Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bear Storytime, Friday, February 17

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.


Polar Bear's Underwear by tupera tupera.  Quite perfect.  Don't forget, mouse and polar bear voices.  And then let the kids guess a little about the underwear.  They got the rabbit's carrot underwear right. (Not all are wearing underwear yet, so I didn't belabor that point, but I did mention it.)
Play Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin.  I used the figures from kizclub and strung them up on my storytime clothesline.
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach. (Actually a supercute dog ate your sandwich -- surprise ending. VERY IMPORTANT: Read the book in a gruff dog's voice.  This is so important you should put a sticky on it to remind yourself.  Remember: lying dog voice.
Where's My Teddy? by 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! I made it a point to show the kids just how tiny the bear and boy were on the page -- you could hardly see them.
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.
Baby Bears by Kari Schuetz.  From the Super Cute series, and these are supercute.
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood, Audrey Wood. Yup, a classic.
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 teddy bear for safety.
Play 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, "I'm lonely!" 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. 


Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • 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.

Relief painting  I demonstrated this (the miracle of using water to stick paper to paper) and it worked very well.  Some bears, of course, looked like they had seen action in a volcano, since I gave them yellow and red too.  But the technique worked very well.

Fuzzy polar bear ornament 

I'm a Gummy Bear!

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.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Feelings Storytime, Friday, February 10 @ 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.

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!

I'm Not Scared by Jonathan Allen. This one is actually a kind of thin read aloud about fear. Pass next time.

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. Some were very tough -- might want to use paperclips on some.

It's Tough to Loose Your Balloon by Krosoczka.  Pitch perfect about the good and bad of very, very, authentic kids stuff. We had a nice chat about bandaids.
Can You Make a Scary Face by Jan Thomas. Fun. 
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.

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. 
(Angry face) The Day Leo Said I Hate You by Robie Harris. No intro needed. I show off the cover and 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.

NEW MUST ADD:  Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster by Michelle Nelson=Schmidt
Happy by Hout.  Just looking at this book makes me happy. Drawing fish with oil chalks on black or blue paper would be a great craft.
Finn Throws a Fit! by Elliott -- very short, funny exaggeration.
The Happiest Book Ever by Bob Shea. Features a frog and a dancing cake.

Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.  Doesn't get better than this.
Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer


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. 
  • 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
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.

What Was I Scared Of by Dr. Seuss.  Story pulled out of The Sneetches.  Memory: This scared Noah and Milo into listening.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Pre-K Dragon Storytime for Asian New Year, Friday, February 3 @ 10:30.

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 an Asian New Year Storytime with DRAGONS!!! 

Display Props

  • The Oriental Trading crepe paper dragon stretches across the storytime clothesline, looping around and around very impressively.  He's folded up in the backroom in the red portfolio. 
  • Sometimes but not every time I get out the Chinese good luck posters.


Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly Dipucchio. Cute and a big book promo! When I got to the page about knights, I did a quick aside on what a knight is. I used Sabuda's Castle pop-up, which has a gorgeous full page pop-up knight. 

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.

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. I changed the dragons' swim club to swimming lessons, which the kids are more familiar with. Funny pix a must.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin. I've heard people complain that this silly book is just silly -- so what's wrong with that?

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Klosterman.

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.

Me and My Dragon by David Biedrzycki. Great book about pets.

 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

 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 quit playing.


This year it was heart prints using paper towel rolls.

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 Asian 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. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Pre-K Number Storytime, Friday, January 30 @ 10:30

I always start this storytime by counting US! 

The math skills three year olds need to be working on are not number problems but shapes, sorting, and counting to five. 
The math skills three year olds need to be working on are not number problems but shapes, sorting and counting to five.

  • Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by Kimberly and James Dean. Monica made me a set of beautiful cupcakes, and this was a great read with those props.  (Cupcakes are in Food folder in file cabinet)
  • This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington.  Love this version.
  • Cat up a Tree by John and Ann Hassett.  Too funny, and you can do voices. 
  • Didn't Get to: One by Kathryn Otoshi is the book I usually use, (Colors, numbers, and a great lesson about standing up to a bully make this a classic must-read in my book. The moms really love the ending of this one. So do I.) But this year I'm going for her Zero. It may be the only picture book I know that talks about zeros and placeholding, but is fun and appealing.  I'm going to make pipe cleaner numbers so I  can twist them around. Wish me luck.
  • Big Fat Hen by Kevin Baker. The moms know all the words and you can clap to it!
  • Didn't Get to: 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle.  We've all read them ad infinitum. 5 monkeys jumping on the bed, ten bears rolling off the bed, etc. etc.  But this is Eric Carle.  Animals AND a sea voyage AND rubber ducks.
  • Ten Little Mermaids board book TEN. Just got a new copy with the mermaids' glitter not yet picked off and the pop-up fresh, so I had to share.
  • Ten Little Fish by Woods. 
  • Pete the Cat and the Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin.  Even when he loses his beautiful buttons, Pete's OK, cuz he'll always have his... BELLY BUTTON! Kids loooved the ending of this. Pete the Cat is the three year old's zen master.
  • Telling Time with the Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.  Farm animals + telling time +  a spider web tell and draw that even I can tell and draw. While the spider spins so busily in the story, I draw the web on my chalkboard using a piece of chalk concealed on the belly of my very large spider so it looked (I hope) as if the spider really was spinning a web. I even had a hapless fly fingerpuppet land in the middle of the web and be eaten.
    • One potato, two potato, three potato four (clapping song) We started with this to set the mood.
    • Down at the corner of the bakery shop... Had to use this after Pete the Cat!  The kids came & got them -- I called on two at a time when they were buddies.  When finished, I explained these were special MAGNETIC cupcakes and asked them to come and stick them back on the magnet board -- which was as much fun as a pretend bakery.
    • 5 little monkeys.  We know these are bad monkeys, I said. Are they teasing Mr. Crocodile today or jumping on the bed? The vote was on bed jumping.
    • 5 bears in the bed and the little one said, "Roll over"
    • Zoom, Zoom Zoom, we're going to the moon
    • 6 little ducks went out one day, etc.
    • Over in the Meadow
    • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a fish alive.

    Show me a one!
    One, two three! WHEE by Eric Litwin
    1, 2, 3 WHEE! (5)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    1, 2, 3 JUMP! (5)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    1, 2, 3 SHAKE! (5)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    1, 2, 3 TWIST! (5)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    1, 2, 3 WHEE! (5)

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


    Wednesday, January 18, 2017

    Pre-K Opposites Storytime, Friday, January 20 @ 10:30


    • Pop-Up Book: Animal Opposites by Horacek.  Gorgeousity.  Great attention getter.
    • Caldecott Winner and a true Gripping Tale: Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. Although I admired the beautiful pictures in this book as much as anyone, I never thought I'd be using it for a storytime. But the very traditional tale worked out perfectly. Because it's a wordless book, it really lends itself to prediction -- prediction is all there is! What are those men unloading? A net! (A gasp goes up.) The kids ALL listened, even 20 month old Peter. This works year after year.  
    • Fun Read: I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry. I love this cute, funny tale, and so did the kids. Very short, repetitive text as the squid cruises by all the smaller critters. The kids had a great time calling out the different sea creatures on each page -- shrimp, crab, etc. The poor bragging giant squid came to a bad end in the end -- in the belly of a giant whale.
    • Sophie's Big Bed by Tina Burke or My BIG Boy Bed by Bunting or Board Book Big Enough for a Bed, Board Book Jordan, starring Elmo.  The kids were impressed with their own maturity on this important issue, so I went ahead and read this book and it was well received. It helped that it was so short, too.
    • Actual Size by Steve Jenkins, 591.41 Jenkins.  I always use this beautifully illustrated Jenkins book which depicts the ACTUAL SIZE of a gorilla's hand (front cover) a Giant Squid's eye, etc. We interact with it; the kids take turns putting their hands on the gorilla's hand. I hold up the eyeball of the giant squid next to a parent's face, and they can see how much bigger the giant squid's eye is. I hold up the bear head on top of a child's shoulder, and the the crocodile, etc. Very fun. 
    • How Do Dinosaurs Go Up and Down board book Yolen. Even though this is right on theme, it didn't capture the kids.  Next year I'll stick with You are (Not) Small.
    • You are (Not) Small by Anna Kang. Geisel Award.  Strips big and little concept down to two bears arguing, a big one and a little one. To read:  I sat down and read up at the ceiling for the little bears and stood up and read down to the chair as a big one.
    • Pop-up: Big Frog Can't Fit In by Mo Willems. Poor Big Frog! He's too big to fit inside this book! Oh, look how sad that makes him! Luckily he has these nice little froggie friends who make the book (back cover) bigger, and now he fits! Sure, it's a dumb premise for a book, but the pop-ups are fantastic and it's great for big/little.
    • Big and little pom poms.
    • Shaker eggs, played loud and soft.
    • Boxes in different sizes. Little bear in a little box.  BIG GIANT bear in a BIG GIANT box.
    • Babies and grownups!
    • My NEW TOYS!!!  I made a slit in a small box at the top, tied scarves end to end, and stuffed them in one at a time so that when I pulled the end, they slowly fed out, gorgeous color by gorgeous color.  They all wanted to get in on that -- they ended up forming a color line and parading around the room.
    • I bought myself a present. "Right now, this can is down, way down low. Let's see if anything changes when I take off the lid." Be careful to point away from the kids! 
    • GAME:
    Pom pom sorting.  Have them sort out the big and little pom poms. I threw them out on the ground and had them pick them up ("Big! Big!" Now medium sized!" etc.) and put them in a big basket in the middle.

    To Frere Jacques:

    This is big, this is little. I added this for sound:

    This is quiet, this is quiet
    This is loud, this is loud.
    Quiet, hushed and whisper
    Quiet, hushed and whisper
    Loud roar SCREAM
    Loud roar SCREAM

    Bread and Butter, Jelly and Jam
    This is little, this is big
    Clap, clap clap your hands as slowly as you can
    Motor Boat
    See the Bunnies Sleeping
    Itsy Bitsy Spider

    CRAFT: Painting with TP rolls and small square boxes.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Penguin Storytime, Friday, January 13 @ 10:30

    We started off by waddling like penguins and then belly diving (hand motion) at the beginning.  They really wanted to jump up and down though.

    Note:  Penguins do a lot of talking in these books. Work out a penguin accent. 

    Waddle! Waddle!  by James Poimos.  Plenty of action here. Waddle, slide, sing, and blow your horn.  The book has the concept of the penguin missing his new friend, which is really his own image reflected in the water.  I tried bringing out a small mirror, setting it on the ground, and having him see himself in that. I think I would have to use a bigger mirror, maybe set on the whiteboard, so that everyone in the audience could see the puppet recognizing himself in the mirror.  As it was, these little guys didn't get the concept, and you can just skip it entirely, because him going off with his two new friends is nice enough.
    Penguin Problems by Jory John.  I love this funny book, but the concept of a dissatisfied penguin and a sagacious walrus when waaaaay over the kids' heads. Save for 3 - 4 year olds.
    Little Penguin's Tale by Audrey Wood.  Don't forget your Grand Nanny Penguin walking stick.  This book BEGINS with Grand Nanny shushing her audience,  which makes this a perfect storytime book!Love the chorus of "Now everyone knows a little penguin can get..." (in trouble in some way.)  The eyes of the three year olds were firmly glued to me, and then relieved when I turned the page.  Lots of action what with gooney birds and all. 
    Fun Read: The Pirate and the Penguin by Patricia Storms. A pirate AND a penguin in the same book? They switch places to change it up a bit. Who wouldn't? I was sloppy with my penguin vs. pirate accent.  

    Didn't get to this year: 

    Good Read: Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. "Once there was a boy" --'like you, Carson, or Milo, or Alex," I begin, rounding up their wandering attention with eye contact, "who found a penguin at his door."  Oliver Jeffers' tale of the journey of this kind hearted boy and the penguin he is trying to help was so engrossing that there was actual silence in the room while everyone listened.
    Personal Favorite: Penguin's Big Adventure by Yoon. Simple text, simple story. 
    If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor.  A bright and cheerful little penguin reminds kids what they would be up to if they were penguins.
    Busy Penguins by John Schindel.  OK, not a lot of science, but this was a mostly twos crowd.

    Flight School by Lita Judge.  Should a penguin enroll in flight school? Good question.
    Grumpy Pants Clare Messer


    I asked all my little penguins to stand up and go over their penguin anatomy before we chanted this.

    Head & flippers, tails & feet, tails & feet.
    Head & flippers, tails & feet, tails & feet.
    Eyes & ears & mouth & beak.
    Head & flippers, tails & feet, tails & feet.

    Row, Row, Row, Your Boat 
    Gently down the stream
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
    Life is but a dream

    Row, row, row your boat,
    Gently down the stream,
    If you see a crocodile,
    Don’t forget to scream.

    Row, row, row your boat,
    Gently down the Nile,
    If you see a camel,
    Don’t forget to smile.

    Row, row, row your boat,
    Gently down the river,
    If you see a penguin,
    Don’t forget to shiver.

    Row, row, row your boat,
    Gently to the shore,
    If you see a lion there,
    Don’t forget to roar!

    Row, row, row your boat,
    Gently down the creek,
    If you see a little mouse,
    Don’t forget to squeak.

    I don't usually do TP roll crafts, but penguins just LOOK like TP rolls, don't they? Vocab:  cylinder. Directions  Everyone was AOK with this craft.

    The coolest yet. We painted with bubblewrap-paper towel roll paintbrushes. Over crayon resist. The results were fantastico.

    Penguin joke:  Two penguins were standing on an iceberg. One of them said to the other, "You look like you're wearing a tuxedo." The other one answered, "What makes you think I'm not?"