Fall Into 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?

Mouse’s First Fall, by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Edogan – This is a sweet, simple book that talks about the excitement of fall, as well as colors and shapes.  Kids love looking for Minka’s tail when she’s hiding.  It’s really great for younger three and four-year-olds at the beginning of the year.

I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen – I have to confess, this is my favorite storytime book.  Possibly ever.  I paired it with fall books, because we can talk about forest animals that are common during the fall.  The humor in this is dry, but kids don’t miss it.  One of my groups this week giggled every time the bear asked, “Have you seen my hat?”  They love the repetition, the drama, the mystery.

The Busy Little Squirrel, by Nancy Tafuri – This is another sweet book, and a great way to end a storytime.  It has bright colors and an assortment of animals.  I like to ask the kids to make the animals sounds when they come up.  For example, the frog says, “Croak, croak.”  There’s also repetition here (“He was so busy!”), which encourages the kids to predict what the squirrel is doing.


All the Leaves Are Falling Down (tune: London Bridge)
All the leaves are falling down,
G                   C
falling down, falling down.
All the leaves are falling down,
G       C
I see [color] ones.

Pass different colored felt leaves to each kid, make sure they know what their color is. Then sing about each color, and have the kids put their leaves on the felt board.

Here Comes a Bear, by the Wiggles (#8 on Let’s Wiggle CD)

Have the kids act out the motions of each animal.

Animal Bag

Pull animal puppets out of a bag.  Ask questions like, “What noise does this animal make?”  This activity leads really well inot The Busy Little Squirrel, where there are a lot of animals that make different noises.

How It Went

Each group I visited responded very well to this storytime.  Only a couple sang along with me, but the others were still involved in acting out the songs (hello/goodbye, as well as the felt).  They really liked being able to come up and put leaves on the felt board.  I did the Wiggles song and the animal bag consecutively, so they were able to move around and talk before the last story.  Next time, I might read slower to give them the opportunity to talk about what they see on the page.  Overall, I was very pleased and I had a lot of fun!


Cinderella in Space

Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Meg Hunt

I love any story that happens in space.  Case in point: when I was a kid, my favorite Muppets skit was Pigs in Space.  So it’s no surprise that Interstellar Cinderella​ is my new favorite picture book.

Unlike the original fairy tale, this Cinderella has a goal.  While she toils away fixing robot dishwashers and zoombrooms, she dreams of working on space rockets.  Then one day, the prince announces he’s having a space parade–but Cinderella’s stepsisters fly away with her tool box.  Her fairy godrobot shows up to lend her a new tool and spacesuit.  Cinderella soon makes it to the space parade and even proves her worth by fixing the prince’s burning ship.  She vanishes at midnight, leaving just a socket wrench behind, but the prince comes up with a clever plan: he sets out to look for a girl who knows how to fix his ship.

I think one of the reasons I love this rendition so much–besides the fact that it takes place in outer space–is that the original tale is really turned on its head.  The prince “falls” for Cinderella because she is clever and able, not necessarily because she is beautiful.  Whatsmore, she excels at science, an area that is for some reason seen as a boy’s arena.  Plus, she has pink hair.  (And who doesn’t want pink hair?)  This is a Cinderella who knows exactly who she is, and she’s not afraid to show it.

Oh, and did I mention it’s all in rhyme?

But the best part comes near the end (spoilers?) when the prince asks her to be his bride.  Cinderella replies, “I’m far too young for marriage, but I’ll be your chief mechanic!”

Which is really the most sensible thing to say, after all.