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Home > Blog > January 2012 > Preschool Spotlight on... Margaret Bernardi

One of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s best and brightest Children’s Librarians can be found at the Independence Branch at 18 South 7th Street, a neighborhood rich in culture and variety. Margaret Bernardi is known for her great story times for preschoolers and other children, her creative flannel boards, and her expertise in children’s books.

In her “Pre-K Hurray!” story times, children ages 3 to 5 years and their siblings and caregivers are invited to enjoy seasonal stories and songs. One of Margaret’s yearly favorites is “Mardi Gras” story time, which will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 21st. She has some great plans to have the children decorate glittery masks (the gaudier, the better!), dancing to some zydeco music, and of course, sharing great books!

Margaret has a few favorite books that she turns to again and again in story times. One is A Sick Day with Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Margaret likes it because:

“It is a very sweet, empathetic sharing experience between adults and children.  I was touched by the attentiveness and thoughtful expression this tender story elicited from our pre-k groups.  Illness is a universal experience; sick children long for the special one-on-one sympathy and caring that loved ones provide.  In addition, when reading Amos, the kids enjoy identifying the zoo animals, the mode of transportation, and the comforting activities shared by a caretaker with a child 'under the weather.'"   

Another of Margaret’s tried and true favorites is The Little Engine That Could, which she pairs with songs like “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” or “Down by the Station,” even incorporating a wooden train whistle!

Stop by the Independence Branch to meet Margaret and check out one of her great story times!

Tags: Children's books, Free Library staff, Pre-K, early literacy

Margaret with her beautiful, handmade flannel board pieces.
Margaret with her beautiful, handmade flannel board pieces.
Margaret's handmade flannel board for The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.
Margaret's handmade flannel board for The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.
One of Margaret's favorite books.
One of Margaret's favorite books.
Sat, January 07, 2012
Great post! I love the handmade flannel board characters. Very creative. The Mardi Gras program sounds like it will be a blast!
Meg - Northeast
Wed, January 16, 2013
Margaret: You are the best! Thank you for all the help you have given to me over the years!
Lee Gutman - Independence Library
Sat, April 06, 2013
I had the great to fortune to have been babysat by Margaret when I was a child. She helped foster in me a life long love of reading and I now share that with my own children . Finding out that she is a children's librarian is amazing! What a gift to the children of the Independence Branch!
Vanessa - Formally of South Philly
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