Storyhour Fridays @ 10:30, ages 2-5.
PLUS join us Friday afternoons. Dog Bookbuddies will join us Fridays @ 3:00. For early readers and dog lovers. So stop by after school on Friday to pick up your books and movies, read to a cute pooch, and build something with Legos or K'Nex.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Pre-K Firefighter Storytime

Know a  Firefighter?
Children have been known to hide from firefighters in burning houses because the appearance of the firefighters in all their gear can be so scary.  Invite a firefighter to your storytime and ask them to put on their gear while the kids watch.  I bet they'd even read them a book.

Intro: The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck by Laura Murray. Wow, what a great resource!  A book which deals with all the details of firelife THROUGH THE EYES OF A GINGERBREAD MAN!  And in rhyme! Firetruck books can get pretty repetitive.  This one is welcome fun.
Gripping Tale:  Clifford and the Firefighters by Norman Bridwell.  Clifford just happens to be visiting the fire station and just happens to make a mess of the "stop, Drop and Roll" drill when the fire alarm just happens to go off and he just happens to get to go help at a fire. 
Science and Math:  Firefighters by Patricia Hubbell.  Cover more than just the glory of the hook and ladder truck; the paramedics are key too.
Classic:  Curious George and the Firefighters by Rey.  Curious George is useless as always when it's time to do something important BUT he does keep the ball rolling -- literally.  While the firefighters work to put out the blazes, he cheers up the frightened children with his juggling act.  Some books should deal with the reality of how scary a real fire is, and what to do when you are sdared.
Finale: Fire in the Forest, a Lego Book. I know, how dorky can you get.  But this book brings up a)non-emergency fire calls (it was just a campfire) and b)forest fires, which you have to fight with special planes! Even more great firefighting equipment!

Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Firetruck

Fireman flannelboard


Blow Art/Spit Art
This is a great art activity for firefighter storytime because a) it is totally fun and b) it really relates to fire! I picked fire colors, red, yellow, orange (and a little blue), and blew them around on the page with a straw.  Ha, ha.

1. I used poster paint diluted by about half.
2. I showed the kids how to use a plastic teaspoons to put half a spoon of paint in the middle of the paper.
3. The straws with spoons on the end didn't work as well -- I snipped off the ends.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Earth Day Storyhour, Garden Storyhour

What is more magical than planting a seed?
  • Great Intro: Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson.  Soooo interactional.  Tap the magic tree, turn the page, and see howyour tapping made the leaves grow, the flowers blossom, leaves change.  A beautiful book, perfect for any storytime.
  • Great Intro: Maisy's Nature Walk by Lucy Cousins. A really cute lift-the-flap. Very perishable, however; don't leave in circulation.
  • Good Story: My Garden by Kevin Henkes.  Henkes once again speaks truly to how we all feel -- we all want jellybean bushes and chocolate rabbits in our gardens, and to be able to plant seashells if we want to grow seashells.
  • Classic: The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. The moms and dads all oohed and ahhed in helpful horror as the Mom and Dad and Brother said, "It won't grow!"
  • Good Story: Searcher and the Old Tree by David McPhail. What do trees do for us?  In a clear, compelling (love weather sound effects) tale, McPhail shows how trees protect us.
  • Good Stories:  Nibbles: A Green Tale and Nibbles: Another Green Tale by Charlotte Middleton.  This book really has everything -- good art, a cute guinea pig, and everything yo need to know about seeds and gardening.
  • Longer Tale: Pinkalicious GOES GREEN! "I was strolling in the park...suddenly I tripped on a rock and fell, breaking my tiara and wand."  Pinkie's recycling is like nothing's as if she's been on Pinterest for hte last six months. She creates thrones, castles and a boat mobile out of the garbage she finds strewn over her favorite picnic site.  Long for the little guys, but chop it up and add a recycling craft and it's a winner.
  • Longer Tale: Rotten Island by William Steig. "This book is about MONSTERS," I said, and the children clung to each other in mock terror.  I did abbreviate the text, but the kids enjoyed this great story.  Just last week one of my storyhour kids gave me a  big pink daisy, and I pulled that out as The Flower.
  • I Went to the Bay by Ruth Miller. This short, rhyming tale perfectly describes Florida wildlife.
  • The Earth Book by Todd Parr.  I dunno, I like to get my message across with a little more liveliness than Parr uses.
Craft based on A Seed Was Planted by Toulla Palazeti

We did this last summer with begonias.  Buy a big, beautiful plant, and then just divide it up into cuttings so that each child can have a new plant.  This works very well with the young ones with no attention spans.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pre-K Bears Storytime, Friday, February 27 @ 10:30 - 11:00. Tell your friends!

Pooh's tales are a bit long for the average bunch of three year olds, and the Berenstains are.... well, they aren't wearing well with me. But by all means take them off the shelf and let them take a bow today.


Intro: Baby Bears by Kari Schuetz.  From the Super Cute series, and these are supercute.
IntroWhere's My Teddyby Jez Alborough. The rhyme in this book is so much fun it practically reads itself aloud. Boy loses teddy bear in forest; Giant bear loses giant teddy in same forest. Boy finds giant teddy and is horrified! Ted won't fit in his bed! Likewise for Bear! When they meet again, they know this much. THEY WANT THEIR OWN BEARS BACK! Props: tiny bear and giant bear make this an easy one.
Gripping Read: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood, Audrey Wood. Yup, a classic.
Good Story: Bossy Bear by David Horvath.  Great readaloud.
Good Story: Bear Wants More (The Bear Books) by Karma Wilson. Have you ever heard a story about a bear that eats too much and gets stuck trying to get out of his cave? Rings a bell with me, too, but this is a cute version.
Action Story: We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. Maybe cut short a bit, but get interaction! I printed out the pictures from and blew them up on the computer, putting the words on the back. Then I told it with a clothesline because it's so sequential. The fun part about this book is the rhythm and then the sound effects you can add as you squerch through mud, fight your way through a snowstorm, etc. (I left out the forest.) I positioned my giant bear at the end of the clothesline so that when we got to the cave, there he was sitting with his shiny wet nose and two big goggly eyes. Then I rushed home to my story teller's chair, taking all the caves and rivers etc. off the clothesline and clutching a tiny teddybear for safety.
Story/Song: Ten in the Bed by David Ellwand. This is a cute board book, but I always do this as a little play. I get five (not ten) teddy bears and line them up on a big pillow on a table. Then I sing the song, roll the bears over, and roll one right off the table and onto the ground. The moms quickly picked up on this and inserted a "Oh, whoopsie!" into the chorus. At the end the smallest bear nestles into the covers and says, "Hmmm, so comfy!" OR 5 fuzzy teddy bears sitting on the wall/sitting up straight and feeling pretty tall/1 fell off and that was all/now there're 4 fuzzy teddy bears sitting on the wall. 

  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain (I don't really get this song. Why does he go over the mountain? What's the point?)
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear turn around
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear touch the ground
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear shake your hips
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear blow a kiss.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear jump up high.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear see my smile.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear give a hug.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear lots of love.
Yarn wrapped bear
Found a way to use up all those leftover donated bits of yarn!

Materials:  Die cut shape; cardboard backing, yarn scraps, tape, brads or staples
1. Let kids go through the yarns scraps and pick out their colors, doing a little cutting.
2. Tape a piece to the back the cardboard backing.
3. Start wrapping the yarn around the cardboard.
4. Fill in.
5.  Punch holes and add brads to attach the die cut bear, or whatever shape.

Fuzzy polar bear ornament 

Teddy Bear Party
Ever host a Teddy Bear Party at your library? Ask your favorite young patrons to bring in their teddy bears for a slumber party. They can pick them up the next day. Take lots of pictures of the teddy bears enjoying a tea party at your library, reading books, doing puzzles, snoozing, and have them ready to show their owners the next day. Aw, making memories.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pre-K Book and Library Storytime

I've steered clear about putting this one on my schedule because it sounds a little too toot-your-own-hornish. But then I remembered the reason why I give myself a blow-out birthday party every year. Because if you don't celebrate yourself, no one else will! And what's a better subject for yahooing than books books books.


I gather up a bunch of different books and talk about how books come in all shapes and sizes.  Showing off the different book formats was a lot of fun, and many parents weren't hip to CD books etc.
  • Cloth book
  • Novelty book
  • Book with sound
  • Board book -- Waddle has scanimation.
  • Tiny little book & a big book, which I used to demonstrate page turning: on edge of book not in middle.
  • I played a book on a DVD.
  • Pop Up Book
  • and don't forget the net:  Scholastic Picture Books on Netflix

Intro: Dinosaur vs. the Library by Bob Shea
Gripping Tale: Wild About Books by Judy Sierra is a great place to start because like everything she writes, it's funny, it's about dopey animals, and it's a natural readaloud. Dedicated to the great Dr. Seuss, her rhymes couple in his silly style. And the props for this book are a natural: books. "Thin books, fat books, Cat-in-the-Hat books, new books, true books, heaps of how-to books. Tall books, small books, panda bear Chinese, and Harry Potter for the otter." Stack them up and show off the size and shape of them as you read. You'll be showing off what's on your shelves as well as underscoring the humor of the book. Of course,hyenas would want your joke books!
Good Book: Read It, Don't Eat It by Ian Schoenherr.  Picking just one book to read to a group about how to treat library books? Choose this one! Its very simple text gets right to the point, and includes a pun on each page ("Don't OVERDUE it -- renew it!) so that you can use it on older as well as younger kids. VERY funny. (Thanks for the suggestion, Olivia!)

For Older Kids

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
When I say this book is for older kids, I mean MUCH older -- like all your bookish friends at Christmas time. This beautiful book inspired the film below. Like the best of children's books, it's about life itself.
But Excuse Me That is My Book (Charlie and Lolaby Lauren Child
End your storytime with a directions for playing scavenger hunt in the library. When kids drop by for a visit, tell them to stop by your desk and you'll give them a clue for something hidden in the library. 
Craft: Book marks

Can’t wait to cook up a fun bookmark craft. Because the surface for bookmarks is so small and because the final product has to be relatively thin and unmushy-gushy, we might do tissue paper. This is still in the lab.

  • owilson3 Dec 23, 2013 @ 3:25 pm
    Whenever I am reading to a visiting school, I usually read "Read it, Don't Eat It." We keep a copy in our Story Time collection, which doesn't circulate. This book gives you all the prompts to talk about how to treat a book. We talk about water, mold, food, dog ears, sun damage...
  • tfsherman Dec 23, 2013 @ 4:06 pm
    Thanks for the title, Olivia! I'll put it on order.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pre-K Dragon Storytime for Chinese New Year, Friday, February 20 @ 10:30. Tell your friends! Spread the word!

February storytime? What would those kids want to hear about? Valentine's Day and romantic love? Groundhog Day & overgrown Pennsylvania rodents? Mardi Gras...dead presidents... How about a Chinese New Year Storytime with DRAGONS!!! 

Intro:  The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by Gemma Merino.  This (adorable) crocodile doesn't like the water because he's a DRAGON!  Wonderful book about finding out who you are. Funny pix a must.

Gripping Read:  Dragons Love Tacos. I've heard people complain that this silly book is just silly -- so what's wrong with that?

Good Story:  The Best Pet by David LaRochelle.  Dragons may love toys, but they won't pick them up; they do not like to help with chores; and they make a mess in the kitchen. In fact, they are not very good pets at all, but when Mom asks the dragon nicely to leave, he refuses.  Her son is forced to put a Dog Wanted sign on the front door, because it's a well known fact that dragons fear dogs greatly. A boxer knocks on the door, the dragon puts on his hat and sunglasses and splits.  I love doing the mom voice especially.

Didn't get to this year: Good Story:  Dragon Stew by Steven Smallwood.  5 Vikings go in search of a tasty dragon to stew.  Sure. A little long.

Nice Ending: Dragon Who Wanted to Fly by Jeffrey Comanor.  What a cute little bubblehead Fedge the Dragon is! He's been carried away from his home in the Island of Dandy by a hairy condor Snooch, and since he can't fly, he's really stuck! He has many great ideas for flying, though, and tries them all out.  Funny AND cute.

Science Bonus:  Komodo! by Peter Sis.  A lovely, magic book about a boy who has always loved dragons and whose parents take him to see a real komodo dragon in Indonesia.

Have you Seen My Dragon by Steven Light. Don't know how the pictures will work for a storytime -- you have to really look to find the hidden dragon.

Game:  I explained that in China, people like to scare away the dragons by making a lot of noise. Then I gave out a lot of noisemakers.  I had a nice dragon puppet, and I told them as soon as they saw the dragon (peeking over the songboard) they should try to make as much noise as possible to scare it away. And then stop when he disappeared.  They were happy to comply and made a great deal of noise, but they were good at stopping too, and they didn't want to stop.

Songs:  Changed up the intro song. Told them all they were dragons:

  • Hello all you dragons, how do you do? How do you do? How do you?
Hello all you dragons, how do you do? How do you do today?
Hello all you dragons, fly way up high! etc.
Hello all you dragons, show your claws!
Hello all you dragons, let's hear your roar!

  • Dragon Pokey:  (Horns & tails and claws)
  • If You're a dragon and you know it

Craft:  I usually do a Valentine's Day craft because there are so many great Valentine's Day crafts, making necklaces, cards, heart pix, etc, but Chinese New Year came after Valentine's Day this year, so we made dragons.

A volunteer cut the crepe paper in half (fold long segments up and cut multiple thicknesses at one time)  and did about eight per dragon. We attached them with double sided tape on the inside of the roll but I suppose we could have used regular tape. Then we attached the eyeballs and nostrils with double sided tape. They didn't stay on really well, Anybody have any better ideas? But the crepe paper did whoosh satisfactorily. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Feelings Storytime, Friday @ 10:30

Valentine's Day at my library is when we talk about feelings. I use it to bring up some of the many subjects that may be bothering young children. It's one of my favorites.
What Was I Scared Of by Dr. Seuss.  Story pulled out of The Sneetches.  This scared Noah and Milo into listening. 
Prop: After the book, I drew a grid on the chalkboard and divided into four.  I drew a scared face in the 1st grid, and then showed the next book, A Good Day, and introduced it by drawing a sad face and then a happy face.
A Good Day by Kevin Henkes. Short & sweet. Prop: The yellow feather!
(Angry face) The Day Leo Said I Hate You by Robie Harris. No intro needed. I show off the coverand read the title in a hushed voice. "The Day Leo said I HATE YOU!" pronouncing each word with scandalized horror. A gasp goes up from mothers and children alike. 
Leo does in fact tell his mother he hates her and he is afterwards very, very sorry and embarrassed. His mother and he talk about this: It's OK to say you hate broccoli but not people. This is a very helpful book for kids learning to deal with and communicate their frustrations. I like the fact that Leo is a human boy with a human mom and not an animal character, and the scribbley art work adds too.
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. I was Grumpy Bird and the kids by turn to be sheep, or beaver, etc, and join me walking around the room, hopping, etc.

My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
I finished  with this charmer, which was kind of perfect. The kids tried to recognize the creatures and call out their names.

Didn't get to:

How Kind!
Props: cup of milk (I have a plastic cup painted white on the inside -- comes in very hand), a flower, and my big golden egg with a little chick inside.  This friendly book about "paying it forward" gets my storyhour off on a cheery note.

If I Were a Lion by Sarah Weeks
Sarah Weeks writes a great readaloud, and this is no exception. The indignant child in the book is reminding her accuser that if she really were a lion she would... The repetition is charming, but to gear this one up a bit, start reading faster and faster towards the end to emphasize the humor and predictability.
Godzilla Version of Skinnamarinka
Max just gave me his old Godzilla puppet, so I thought I would have some fun with it. I brought out a pretty red fairy puppet and introduced her as the Valentine fairy. "And I want you to sing Skinnamarinka, Godzilla," she announced. "No!" Godzilla roared. "Roooar!" She used her magic on him and he had to sing it in his Godzilla voice. Then she sang in her little squeaky fairy voice. It was pretty funny. I just learned the sign version of it this year, so I'm going to have the fairy teach it to G. instead.

  • Old MacDonald Felt so Glad. Ha-Ha-HA-HA-HA
And when he’s glad, he sounds like this:
With a Ha-Ha here, and a Ha-Ha there,
Here a HA, there a HA, everywhere a HA HA
Old MacDonald felt so glad, HA HA HA HA HA

Scared, Oooh! Ooooh! Oooh! Oooh!
Proud, Yay ME! Yay ME! Yay ME!

Books to try someday:
  • When Sophie Gets Angry
  • I'm Not Cute
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You
  • Pierre: A cautionary tale
  • My Many Colored Days
  • What Was I Scared Of?
  • Painting white paper doilies.
  • Squishy Potato Dudes.  Fill a balloon with playdough and seal it, then draw a face on it.  They'll stay moist and squishy for months.
  • 2015: Someone just gave me a huge box of TP rolls so we used them to stamp heart outlines.  Used lots of colors and added a bunch of embellishments too.
Best Links

Feelings Storytime Blog
Children's Librarian blogs on Feelings
Feelings Flannelboard
A nice little flannelboard about feelings.
American Psychological Association Magination Press
A catalog that covers a very wide range of self help books for kids, both fiction and nonfiction titles.
Heart Shaped Animal Crafts
The perfect craft to go with Michael Hall's My Heart is Like a Zoo.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Pre-K Construction Storytime


Construction Storyhour
  • Bling Blang by Woody Guthrie.
  • Roadwork by Sally Sutton.  Great rhyming book about building a road.
  • I'm a Truck Driver by Jonathan London.
  • Building with Dad by Carol Nevius 
  • The Three Little Gators by Helen Ketteman or The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon.  Any favorite 3 little piggie thing; Gators is nice and short and I love doing the Texas accent.
  • Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop by Lisa Shulman. Shorten a bit.
  • Digger to the Rescue by Mandy Archer 
  • Graders by Mary Lindeen.  This is a Mighty Machines book by Blastoff Readers, and it really is a great series for beginning readers -- clear photos and a little info.
  • Didn't get to: Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Rinker. 

  • Motor boat (and pick-up truck, steam engine and rocket ship)
  • Bumping up and down in my little red wagon (bring in a wagon!)
  • To the "Bakery Shop"
Down around the corner at the used car lot
There were 8 big trucks all ready to be bought.
Along came (child in audience), all alone,
She hopped in the backhoe and she drove home.

(Backhoe, 'dozer, loader, skid steer, digger, dump truck, grader, excavator)
This year I used a simple set of colored trucks. I counted them first, explained the set up to the kids, and they all sat in a nice semi-circle.  I called on them according to where they were sitting, looking to their parents for help with names, and that worked better than asking for raised hands, etc.

  • To "Where is Thumbkin"
Where is racing car? Where is racing car? Here I am, here I am, etc.
Where is dump truck, big van, helicopter (twirl finger!), freight train.
Go over the words first. Fun.

  • Windshield Wiper (From Best Kids Booksite)
I"m a windshield wiper, This is how I go. Back and forth in the rain and snow. Slowly! There's just a drizzle. Fast now! It's pouring! Ah, just a nice steady rain now.
BE the windshield wiper! This is an exercise in fast and slow, and the kids love its POURING AND YOU HAVE TO GO SO FAST!

  • Five Big Trucks                                                                    
Five big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But only four big trucks came rolling back.
The HOOK & LADDER FIRE truck is needed at a fire!
          (Picture: The hook and ladder has stopped to put out a fire.)

Four big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But only three big trucks came rolling back.
          The garbage truck needs to drop off a stinky load!
(Picture: The garbage truck has stopped to pick up garbage.)

Three big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But only two big trucks came rolling back.
The tow truck has stopped to tow a car!
(Picture: The backhoe has stopped at a construction site.)

Two big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But only one big truck came rolling back.
The dump truck needs to drop off some dirt!
(Picture: The dump truck has stopped to make a drop.)

One big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But no big trucks came rolling back.
          The back hoe is needed at a construction site!
(Picture: The tow truck has stopped to tow a car.)

No big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Let’s go to the race!”
And the trucks came back from all over the place.

Sounds:  Mixer. Warning bell & then errr errr errr.
              Crane. Warning bells. motor sounds high and motor sounds low.

  • I made a cardboard box tower, from enormous to tiny, with everyone counting as we went.
  • We built a flannelboard house.  I lined up the square (house) triangle (roof) etc., and called on the children by turns to add a piece. We ended up with the tree trunk as a chimney, the fluffy green leaves as a green cloud, and a side door that was very sideways. A lot more fun!
Just get out the blocks, Duplos, and Legos and let them build.


This year was near Valentine's Day. The kids are pretty little, so we did Folded Hearts.  Thanks, Monica, for cutting out all those hearts.  I punched out little ones for them to practice the technique on.  

Maria figured out that you can open and then shut the door to  play peekaboo with the  girl.

Cole's sky is full of clouds and raindrops.