LOVE Storytime

Image result for hug machine Image result for love monster Image result for my heart is like a zoo

STORYTIME FOR: Dowagiac District Library (In-House)

Hello/Goodbye Song

We Say Hello/Goodbye Like This (with ukulele)
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
D                                                          A7
We wave hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we wave hello like this.
D                                                         A7
We clap hello like this…with our friends in storytime, we clap hello like this.
D                                                           A7
We stomp hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we stomp hello like this.

Why These Books?

Hug Machine by Scott Campbell.  One of the things that drew me to this story is how it tries to defy stereotypes, putting a boy in a pink book.  And did I mention he loves giving hugs?  He hugs his parents, his pets, and even random objects on the street.  I think that’s what made this book such a big hit, even with the little boys (correction: ESPECIALLY with the little boys).  It’s silly, and it also makes you feel great.  This is a great book for valentine’s day…or any day, because it’s all about sharing love and joy!

Love Monster by Rachel Bright.  This is another book that puts two opposing ideas together.  Love and monsters?  Monster lives in a world filled with cute things, which makes him stand out, and not in a good way.  So he goes searching for someone to love him.  This worked well for storytime, because we did actions with monster (he looked high, he looked low), and also, even though the author tells you differently, monster is adorable.  He really tugs at your heart strings.  He even wears a little purple heart.  This is sure to be a storytime favorite.

My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall.  We ended storytime by getting back to basics.  Who doesn’t love the zoo?  Animal books are always a hit with my storytime kids, and all the animals in this book are made up of heart shapes!  The text is simple, so we spend more time enjoying the illustrations and talking about sounds that animals make.

Extensions

The More We Get Together (sign language song)
The more we get together, together, together,
the more we get together, the happier we’ll be.
When your friends are my friends, and my friends are your friens.
The more we get together the happier we’ll be!

See my awesome mentor for Skokie Public Library, Holly Jin, teach this song in sign langauge.

Skinnamarink (ukulele song)
Skinnamarink-y-dink-y-dink, skinnamarink-y-doo, I love you.
Skinnamarink-y-dink-y-dink, skinnamarink-y-doo, I love you.
I love you in the morning, and in the afternoon,
I love you in the evening, underneath the moon,
Skinnamarink-y-dink-y-dink, skinnamarink-y-doo, I love you.

If You’re Happy and You Know It (Egg shakers)
If you’re happy and you know it, shake your egg.
If you’re happy and you know it, shake your egg.
If you’re happy and you know it, and you really wanna show it,
If you’re happy and you knot it, shake your egg.

How It Went

We had a good balance of boys and girls today, who really got into the books and songs.  I was a little wary of using Hug Machine, because I thought it might be too long or too pink, especially for the boys, but they really engaged with it.  We talked a little before storytime started about what you do on Valentine’s Day, like giving presents or hugs, which lead nicely into Hug Machine.  The shaker eggs were a hit, and the parents and kids also loved the sign language song.  I did it once at the beginning and once at the end, and the kids picked it up quickly.  Those who didn’t just clapped their hands, which was totally ok!

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Halloween for Picture Books

It’s been a while since of blogged, and Halloween feels like the perfect time to start back up. There are plenty of things to love about Halloween (candy, monsters, scary stories), but since I became a storytime librarian two years ago Halloween picture book ranks at the top. Just take a look at this list and you’ll see why. Stop back soon for a blog post on my favorite Halloweens for tweens and teens.

 

Image result for crankensteinCrankenstein.  Samantha Berger, illus. Dan Santat.

Crankenstein doesn’t like to get up in the morning, or go to school, or do a lot of other things.  And all he has to say is, “Mehhhhh.”  Until one day…he meets another Crankenstein?  Dan Santat’s dramatic and colorful illustrations perfectly encapsulate the mindset of a cranky preschooler.  The tie to Halloween is obvious, but this is also a book that will help children talk about feelings, make connections to their every day lives, and laugh out loud.

 

Image result for skeleton hiccupsSkeleton Hiccups.  Margery Cuyler, illus. S.D. Schindler.

Skeletons does the same things as everyone else–he even has the hiccups.  How can he get rid of them?  This is an active story that will engage young readers and a storytime crowd with its friendly illustrations and funny storyline.  Schindler depicts Skeleton’s R.I.P headboard and everyday things with bright, contrasting color.  Skeleton’s face never changes, and yet somehow manages to convey his emotion at not being able to get rid of his hiccups.  Children will enjoy playing along with the story and guessing how Skeleton will get rid of his hiccups!

 

Image result for pumpkin eye bookPumpkin Eye.  Denise Fleming.

Setting the mood for children about to experience Halloween, Denise Fleming sweetly describes all the objects that come along with the spooky holiday in simple rhyme.  Fleming’s illustrations of colored cotton fiber and hand-cut stencils give a uniquely hazy, yet playful, impression of Halloween night.  The book will help children talk about the different things they might see on Halloween night and make connections to their own Halloween plans.

 

Image result for ghosts in the house!Ghosts in the House!  Kazuno Kohara.

In striking black, orange, and white illustrations, Kazuno Kohara tells a story of a little witch, whose house is haunted.  Not to be daunted, however, the witch and her cat set about catching the ghosts and putting them to good use (as tableclothes and curtains).  The contrast of the white ghosts on the dark pages give a textured, almost three-dimensional look.  Though the storyline sets itself up to be spooky and dramatic, the witch’s sweetness and cleverness will delight young readers in unexpected ways!

Wiggle Your Parts at Storytime

  

STORYTIME FOR: Dowagiac District Library

Hello/Goodbye Song

We Say Hello/Goodbye Like This (with ukulele)
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
D                                                          A7
We wave hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we wave hello like this.
D                                                         A7
We clap hello like this…with our friends in storytime, we clap hello like this.
D                                                           A7
We stomp hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we stomp hello like this.

Wiggle by Doreen Cronin.  A dog wiggles all the parts of his body, outside and inside.

Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas.  The main character, a ladybug, asks its readers to imagine what they would do if a bug was on their face, in their clothes, etc–until a giant frog shows up!

Where is Your Nose?  by Rookie Toddler.  This books asks kids to point to and move their body parts.

Extensions

Hokey Pokey
You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out,
You put your right foot in, and you shake it all about.
You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around,
That’s what it’s all about!
Repeat: left arm, right leg, left leg, head

If You’re Happy and You Know It
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…
If you’re happy and you know,
and you really want to show it,
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
Repeat: stomp feet, touch toes, say hooray.

Bean Bag Boogie
Play the bean bag boogie song by Greg & Steve.  The song has the kids put their bean bags on different parts of their body.  This is a great way to learn body parts and get moving as well!

How It Went

Both kids and parents really enjoyed this one.  Wiggle is a great book to start with because it get kids warmed up and moving their body parts, and they loved the silliness of Can You Make a Scary Face?  In addition to getting moving, the kids learned about the different parts of their bodies.  I have to admit that by the end of the second book I was exhausted!  I meant to end with “If You’re Happy and You Know It” on my ukulele, but I went for something more soothing–“The More We Get Together.”  Overall this was very successful.  Everyone had a great time!

Little Artist Storytime

   

STORYTIME FOR: Berwyn Public Library (Outreach)

Hello/Goodbye Song

We Say Hello/Goodbye Like This (with ukulele)
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
D                                                          A7
We wave hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we wave hello like this.
D                                                         A7
We clap hello like this…with our friends in storytime, we clap hello like this.
D                                                           A7
We stomp hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we stomp hello like this.

Why These Books?

Lily Brown’s Paintings by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis.  A young girl named Lily Brown loves the world she lives in and loves to paint her world.  As she paints, her renderings come alive like a dream.  This is a sweet book that stimulates the imagination.  Kids love to point out details on the page, and reading this is a great opportunity to talk about self-expression.

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall.  The crayon in this story is supposed to be red, but he keeps drawing blue!  And now matter what anyone does to try to help him, all that he draws is blue.  Then one day, a purple crayon asks him to draw a blue ocean…and suddenly the “red” crayon has found his purpose.  This goes over well with kids because they love to correct me…”He’s not red, he’s blue!” and also love the message that you just need to find your true self to make your mark.

Jeremy Draws and Monster by Peter McCarty.  Isolated in his room, Jeremy draws himself a monster, but things don’t go according to plan.  Jeremy’s monster starts making all kinds of demands–without saying thank you–and Jeremy has to draw him a ticket out of town.  This is a silly book that delights the kids.  They love being able to say, “He’s not very nice,” which makes this a great opportunity to talk about manners.  There’s a hidden theme in here that some classes catch onto.  After dealing with the monster, Jeremy decides that it’s okay to go outside and play with the other kids.  I also include this book because I get to point out another way to be an artist, by drawing.

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont.  A boy’s mom puts his paints away, but then he secretly gets his paints back out and starts to paint all over his body.  He choruses, “I ain’t gonna paint no more, no more, I ain’t gonna paint no more,” yet goes on painting.  Here’s an opportunity to practice prediction skills.  What will he paint next?  Some kids even catch onto the rhyme scheme.  I like to get the kids to say the chorus with me, too.

Extensions

This is the Way We Paint (action  song)
This is the way we stir the paint, stir the paint, stir the paint
This is the way we stir the paint so early in the morning
(dip our brush, paint the paper, blow it dry, frame the picture)
*credit: Storytime Katie

Big Green Monster (flannel puppet)

biggreenmonsterBig green monster has big scary green face,
Two big yellow eyes,
A long bluish-greenish nose,
Two little squiggly ears,
Scraggly purple hair,
And a big red mouth with sharp white teeth…But…
You’re just a puppet!  You don’t scare me!  So…
Go away, scraggly purple hair,
Go away, two little squiggly ears,
Go away, big yellow eyes,
Go away big red mouth with sharp white teeth,
Go away big green scary face,
And DON’T COME BACK!

The More We Get Together (w/ American Sign Language)
The more we get together, together, together,
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.
Because your friends are my friends
And my friends are you friends.
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be!

A Fun Magic Coloring Book
Activity with A Fun Magic Coloring Book that stimulates the imagination.

How It Went

The two big hits were I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More and A Fun Magic Coloring Book, though most of the other books and extensions also worked really well.  There’s just something about the combination of rhyme and silliness in I Ain’s Gonna Paint No More that makes it PERFECT for this age.  I had a lot of kids saying they wanted to check it out.  I ended up switching Red: A Crayon’s Story with Lily Brown’s Paintings for groups that were more restless, if I could tell right away.  I love Lily Brown, but it’s a much quieter and sweeter book, so the silliness of Red worked better for some groups.

Do you have little artist stories you love to read in storytime?  Let me know in the comments!

Storytime for Little Builders

 Product Details   

STORYTIME FOR: Berwyn Public Library (Outreach)

Hello/Goodbye Song

We Say Hello/Goodbye Like This (with ukulele)
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
D                                                          A7
We wave hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we wave hello like this.
D                                                         A7
We clap hello like this…with our friends in storytime, we clap hello like this.
D                                                           A7
We stomp hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we stomp hello like this.

Why These Books?

Blow Your Nose, Big Bad Wolf.  Steve Smallman.  Illus. Bruno Merz.  The story of the Three Little Pigs is an essential folktale to share for any building storytime. There are a lot of great variations out there, but I liked this one best for preschool.  Everybody lives, and it’s a funny take on “I’ll huff and I’ll puff.”  I have to say that for any version of the Three Little Pigs (I originally started with James Marshall’s), the kids are ready and willing to chant along when it’s time to say “Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.”

Frank Architect.  Frank Viva.  Including this book was a great opportunity to talk about the planning stage of building.  This book was published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so it’s all about the unique ways things are built and presented.  If I ever read this again, I think I would focus more on the different building experiences and less on the actual story.  There’s some character development here that is a little complicated.

Construction Countdown.  K.C. Olson.  Illus. David Gordon.  I had this tucked away in my bag for a while before I actually tried using it.  When I first looked at it, I thought it would be better suited for toddlers, and that the simplicity of the text would not be appealing to preschoolers–but I was wrong.  They kids immediately became engaged once I started this story, more than they had for the previous two stories.  It was a lot of fun to count the trucks.  This was a good reminder that sometimes preschoolers just enjoy showing what they know.

Rex Wrecks It.  Ben Clanton.  This is the perfect book to end a storytime with!  Rex loves wrecking things, but his friends are not so pleased to have their hard work destroyed.  This story has distinct characters, repetition, and conflict.  This kids loved the opportunity to roar out loud with Rex, and they were very attentive while Rex’s friends came up with a solution.  I like this story because it talks about building in a very applicable way for preschool: building with blocks.

Extensions

Here is a House (Fingerplay)
Here is a house built up high (hands over head to make a roof)
With two big chimneys reaching for the sky (raise arms up high)
Here is a window (draw a square)
Here is a door (pretend to open a door)
If we look inside (peek through fingers)
There’s a mouse on the floor! (scamper fingers away)

Credit: storytimekatie.com

Wheels on the Bus (Action Song, Ukulele)
C   C
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
G C
Round and round, round and round.
C   C
The wheels on the bus go round and round
G       C
All through the town.
Repeat: wipers, windows, babies, mamas.

A House of Shapes (Flannel)

With square, triangle, and circle flannel pieces, have the kids help  build a house on the felt board.

How It Went

I struggled with this storytime theme.  Honestly, building is not the most exciting subject for me, which may have been my problem.  Even so, I think there was something to be gained here.  The extensions went pretty well, but I would have liked to find more books like Rex Wrecks It about imaginative play.  The kids had a lot of fun pretending to run away from the mouse in the Here is A House action rhyme, and took charge of the Wheels on the Bus.

Cooking Up Storytime

STORYTIME FOR: Berwyn Public Library (Outreach)

Hello/Goodbye Song

We Say Hello/Goodbye Like This (with ukulele)
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
D                                                          A7
We wave hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we wave hello like this.
D                                                         A7
We clap hello like this…with our friends in storytime, we clap hello like this.
D                                                           A7
We stomp hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we stomp hello like this.

Why These Books?

Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells.  I start with this book, because it’s a bit longer than the rest.  Despite the length, the narrative has repetitive part and many accidents, which helps keeps the kids engaged.  Rather than simply reading the story, I point to the pictures and ask the kids about the accidents Max makes.  We also talk about what tastes betters–brown earthworm cake or pink raspberry cake.  (Even the boys admit that the pink cake will taste better.)  This is a good story for teaching the stages of baking.

Round is a Tortilla by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra.  I originally thought that this would be a good multicultural book to add to the mix, since it is in rhyme and teaches about shapes–it even mixes in spanish words!  But the experience of reading this story didn’t go so well as I hoped.  The book often poses the question, “I can name more round things.  Can you?”  Some classes struggled to name the shapes, perhaps because there was no context to tell them what the shapes were called.  For example, a stove burner is round, but the preschoolers did not necessarily know its name.  I also think this book serves as a better book to read one-on-one with a preschooler, like an Eye Spy book, rather than for storytime.  That way, a child can spend more time exploring each page.

Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee.  Contrary to my initial opinion of Round is a Tortilla, I was hesitant to use this book at first because it seemed like there was a lot of text.  Then I heard another librarian read it, and I’d thought I’d try it out in my cooking storytime in place of Round is a Tortilla.  I was pleasantly surprised by how well this went over!  The story is told in rhyme, with a bouncy rhythm that makes it perfect for storytime.  I also really like this book because it goes through the steps of making bee-bim bop (a Korean dish), from getting food at the grocery store to boiling rice to setting the table.  There are a lot of opportunities to start conversations, too.  Do you help someone grocery shop?  Why do you cry when you cut an onion?  Do you help set the table?  What is your favorite meal?

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.  Thematically, this is a great way to end cooking storytime because it is all about the polite way to eat after food is prepared.  It’s also fun and exciting, and it’s hard to miss the mark with Jane Yolen’s and Mark Teague’s How Do Dinosaurs series.  I’ve had a couple of different experiences reading this.  In response to questions like, “Does he burp, does he belch, or make noises quite rude?” one class responded with the typical “no,” as in he shouldn’t.  But I also had a class that said “yes” as in that’s what he’s doing on the page.  I thought both responses were great, and it just goes to show you one book can be interpreted many ways.  The preschoolers also loved to point out their favorite dinosaurs, and some of them identified when the people in the book looked mad or happy.

Extensions

I’m a Little Teapot  (action song)
I’m a little teapot short and stout,
Here is my handle, here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up, hear me shout:
“Tip me over and pour me out!”

Make a Pizza (flannel)
With a round felt piece, have kids add felt pizza toppings.

pizza felt

Pat-a-Cake Cake (fingerplay)
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s hands,
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Pat it, roll it, mark it with a B,
And put it in the oven for baby and me..

Popcorn  Kernels (rhyme, scarves)
Popcorn kernels, popcorn kernels, (bounce scarves high)
in the pot, in the pot.
Shake them, shake them, shake them, (roll into a ball, then shake)
Till they pop, till the pop.

*credit: Jbrary

How It Went

Though it took me a while to get exactly the right selection of books, the extension activities all worked really well.  The kids loved the scarf rhyme (as usual) and eagerly participated in the fingerplays and motion activities they knew well (Pat-a-Cake and I’m a Little Tea Pot).  They really enjoyed the pizza felt, which was very easy to make.  I cut out an oval for bread, an oval for sauce, an oval for cheese, and a made enough toppings that all the kids could put one thing on.  We talked about shapes and colors as well as the process for making a pizza.  If I ever did this theme again, I would probably try to talk to the kids more about what they like to make at home.

Storytimes That Grow

STORYTIME FOR: Berwyn Public Library (Outreach)

Hello/Goodbye Song

We Say Hello/Goodbye Like This (with ukulele)
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
D                                                          A7
We wave hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we wave hello like this.
D                                                         A7
We clap hello like this…with our friends in storytime, we clap hello like this.
D                                                           A7
We stomp hello like this… with our friends in storytime, we stomp hello like this.

Why These Books?

Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea.  I heard another storytime librarian at Skokie Public Library read this book and instantly fell in love with it.  This books rhymes, it involves call and response, and it easily helps kids understands the things that grow and the things that don’t.  It’s a great book to start a storytime, because the call and response really gets kids warmed up.  I would suggest it for any age.  It’s easy enough for two-year-olds, but humor of the things that grow really engages the general preschool crowd.

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson.  I love this book for Kadir Nelson’s art alone–his oil on canvas paintings are absolutely life-like, stunning, and vibrantly colored.The book begins by showing how a seed will grow, and then transition into a message about what happens when you plant seeds of selfishness and kindness.  When I read this book, I paused and asked the preschoolers to identify different food that grew in the garden.  Though the language–or poetry–is sparse for a preschool book, it definitely succeeded in capturing the preschoolers’ attention.

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli.  This book is less designed to teach about growing, but rather offers a hilarious, imaginative perspective.  When an alligator who loves watermelon swallows a seed, he begins to panic that it will grow in his stomach until he becomes a watermelon.  When he spits out the seed, the drama begins all over again.  It’s a short book, but a great story to end on.  A lot of the kids I read to told me the liked this one a lot.

Extensions

Green Leaf (fingerplay, scarves)
Here is a green leaf (hold out one palm)
And here is a green leaf (hold out other palm)
That, you see, makes two (hold up two fingers)
Here is a bud (cup hand together)
That makes it a flower (slowly open hands)
Watch it bloom for you (slowly open hands)

*Credit: Jbrary video

Not a Garden
Have kids identify different types of fruit and vegatables that grow in the garden, and have each student put a food item on the felt board.

In My Garden (action song)
Digging, digging, his is how we dig the ground
In our garden, in our garden …
Digging, digging, this is how we dig the ground
early in the morning.
Repeat: hoe the weeds, plant the seeds, peas will grow, pick the peas, eat the peas.

*Credit: Raffi
 

How It Went

This has, rather unexpectedly, been one of my favorite storytime themes.  The idea of growing is so tactile and interactive that all the extensions worked really well.  The kids (and teachers) liked the Green Leaf scarf rhyme the best.  For some classes, I ended up repeating it more more than three times.  It took a for some classes to get through the felt activity, just because there were so many students, but completely worth it.  They loved being able to come up and put something on the board.  For the Raffi garden song, I got into a habit of asking the kids what we should do next (many classes came up with a new verse: water the seeds).  They loved the books too!  Personally, I loved how this ended up being both fun and educational.