Friday, April 29, 2016

Mother's Day Storyhour, Friday, May 6 @ 10:30

This week is all about our brilliant storyhour partners – you moms!  
Thank you for wanting the best for your kids every day. 
Thank you for bringing your wonderful children to storyhour. 
Please enjoy t his imaginary flower from     Ms. Travis.  


  • Bread and Honey by Frank Asch.  Thanks, Molly, for locating for me the wonderful book which gave rise to the Monkey Face story.  This is the source of the little monkey whose picture of his mom changes comically on the way home.
  • Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse. I had the big book and spent a lot of time introducing the setting, which is very important for the children to understand the choice of the different animals and the way the characters are dressed. 
  • Over in the Meadow. I love the Jane Cabrera version with its big bright pictures best, so unfortunately out of print.  You get numbers, critters, and an assortment of verbs.
  • Pouch by David Stein.  I had a kangaroo & joey puppet and we acted out the book, with bee, bunny & bird.  I gave the other puppets to some parents to work.  Ordinarily I would have chosen kids, but this solution was very stress free and I will definitely do it again this way. 
  • Ol' Mama Squirrel by David Stein.  Another fun one -- Mama Squirrel and her many ch-ch ch-ch's.  The moms were great about ch-ch ch-ch'ing with me, and going shoo.  Strangely enough, even the little tiny ones liked this one, maybe the most.
  • Dinosaur vs Mommy by Bob Shea. New. Oh, that naughty dinosaur, trying to take on Mom. Make a point before you read:  Is this a WELL behaved dinosaur?
  • Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino. I love books with strong ending rhymes, and I always pause at the end of the sentence to try to get the kids to guess them. Kids should shout out in storytime.
  • My Mom by Anthony Browne. Simple bright pictures matched up to simple action oriented text make this one my first choice for mom's storytime. Calls for dancing, roaring like a lion and painting.  Don't forget your plant.

  • Mama's Little Baby loves bouncing, bouncing
  • Skinnamarinka
  • "Over in the meadow" done with a metalboard.  I only go about to 5, stopping with the bees.  The kids just love this.
  • Over on the beach in the sand and the sun
    Lived a big mama turtle and her little turtle one
    Dig said the mama
    I dig, said the one
    And they swam all day in the sand and the sun.
    Over on the beach where the waves lap so blue
    Lived a mama seagull and her seagulls two
    Squawk! Said the mama
    We squawk! Said the two
    And they squawked all day where the waves lap so blue.
    Over on the beach near the tall palm tree
    Lived a little sandcrab
    And her baby sandcrabs three
    Crawl! Said the sandcrab! We crawl said the three
    And they crawled all day by the tall palm tree.
    Over on the beach on the sand by the shore
    Lived a mama pelican
    And her pelicans four
    Swoop! Said the mama. We swoop! said the four.
    And they swooped all day on the sand by the shore.
    Over in the water where the dolphins like to dive
    Lived a big mama fish and her baby fish five.
    Swim! Said the mama.
    We swim! Said the five. So they swam all day where the dolphins like to dive.
Mothers's Day Banner

Materials:  wallpaper, yarn

They made a card and decorated a bookmark as a gift their mothers.  I had punched out hearts of different color which they COULD have assembled as flowers with a center but they mostly just stuck hearts all over their cards and did likewise with the bookmarks.  They were happy as long as they had a gluestick in their hands. 


    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Manners Storytime, Friday, April 29 @ 10:30 AM

    I begin  by explaining that there are different kinds of manners for different kinds of places. (Playgrounds vs. Libraries) Then I talk about the manners people should be using in storytime. Now's your chance to eyeball offenders and get down and dirty, as well as reminding moms you need them too. Good manners means making other people feel good, and when people talk when you're reading a story, it hurts your feelings. You think they don't like it. Rub it in. 

    We always sing our hello song, but there are so many ways to say hello.  In some countries, you always bow.  Here, we sometimes slap hands, but I like fist bump. 
    Excuse Me by Karen Katz
    Time to Say Please by Mo Willems
    Please: The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems
    Begging: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
    Interrupting: Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
    Table manners: How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Jane Yolen.
    Mind Your Manners. B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra.  A bit long for a very young crowd, great for 3s and 4s.  "Sip your tea and never slurp" song goes with the "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" tune.
    Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony.  How do you get a donut? You ask nicely. Strange ending though.

    Science:  Animal Talk by Etta Kaner (j591.59), pg. 22. The meaning of different animal faces, showing your teeth, eyes closed, etc.


    3 nice mice, 3 nice mice, see how nice they are, see how nice they are.
    They're always polite when they nibble their cheese.
    They never forget to say thankyou and please.
    They always remember to cover their sneeze.
    Achoo! Achoo! Achoo!
    They're 3 nice mice.

    5 little ducks ran in the parking lot
    1 fell down and he went plop
    Mama called the Big Duck and the Big Duck got hot!
    No more ducks running in the parking lot! etc.


    We pretended we were in a restaurant waiting to be served, practiced some restaurant games. This site has some terrific ones: Restaurant Games, I had the table all set with placemat.  I particularly like tic-tac-toe with sugar packets and straws, I Spy, ABC Spy, and Disappearing Objects. 

    We did Disappearing Objects, I SPY, and ABC Spy.  Very VERY fun. 10 - 15 minutes went by easily, and then I told them their order was up.  I passed around the cookies a la Please, Mr. Panda and I got a lot of please and thankyous.


    We made Pigeon and Duckling fingerpuppets using a template from Don't Let the Pigeon Finish This Playbook

    Friday, April 15, 2016

    Pre-K Earth Day Storyhour, Garden Storyhour, Friday, April 17 at 10:30

    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. I used it as the conclusion. I had a small, and very young, group, and it worked very well.
    • Great Intro: The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli.  Plant a seed, yes, but what happens when you accidentally SWALLOW one?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 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 you need to know about seeds and gardening.
    • Longer Tale: Pinkalicious GOES GREEN in Emeraldalicious! "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 the 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.
    • Over in the Meadow
    Cupcake Flowers 

    I succumbed to making flowers out of cupcakes, and it worked out OK. It's not the cheapest craft around; cupcake liners really do cost money, so unless you've picked up a couple on sale, this craft may not be that worthwhile. Also, the crafts on pinterest look adorable but they've used beaucoup high price liners. I got some pastel ones and they were so blah I spraypainted them with leftover spray paint. I wasn't sure about this craft but it did accomodate the skill sets of 2 - 5 year olds. Gluing was all the kids HAD to do, but they could also cut the edges of the flowers, cut the yarn, draw, and crumple tissue paper for the centers.  

    Shape Collage
    This year a volunteer punched out some shapes, like hearts and circles and cut rectangles. I showed them how to make flowers and butterflies from hearts. I gave them a pile of shapes and had them play with them on the paper (and also cut them up) before I handed out the paste.

    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.

    Monday, April 11, 2016

    Baby Storyhour

    I loved doing a storytime about babies for BIG KIDS like two-year-olds. And you can always throw baby animals into the mix for variety.

    Game: Intro: I had a four sets of animals and their babies pinned to the clothesline. The lion was with her cub, but the others were all mixed up. I asked the kids to help me straighten them out. Is this right? Is this right?


    • Potty Time by Guida van Genechten (Yes! Everyone poops! and it's so funny!)
    • Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
    • Royal Superbaby by O'Malley. 
    • The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz. 
    • Baby Says "Moo!" by JoAnn Early Macken. I had puppets for all the animals, so I distributed them among the sitters in front.  Then as I read the book, I approached each child and interacted with them. 
    • Didn't get to: Quickie: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox. I like to remind the kids that when they were all born (Yes! They were born!), the first thing their doctors and nurses and moms and dads did was count all their fingers and toes. So how many fingers and toes do they have? They were born with then fingers and toes, and they still have that many, just like the babies in this book!
    • Hello Baby! by Mem Fox.  Animal babies
    • Mommy, Carry Me Please! by Jane Cabrera. I like this one so much because it talks about how each mom carries her baby.  "Would you like to sit in your mother's mouth?" etc.
    • Maybe: Avocado Baby by John Burningham. The Hargraves are a bunch of weaklings, and at first, there baby is too.  But the children get the idea of feeding their new baby avocado, and in no time he is moving furniture, chasing burglars, and throwing bullies in the nearest pond. For avocado eaters everywhere. Pull it out: ahhhh-voe-caaaahh-doe.
    Songs Background: Any lullaby CD
    • Over in the Meadow
    • Mama's little baby loves bouncing, bouncing (to Shortnin' Bread). 2nd chorus, wiggling.
    • 5 little babies rocking in a tree
    4 little babies blowing kisses at me.
    3 little babies knocking at the door.
    2 little babies crawling on the floor.
    1 little baby playing hide and seek. Keep your eyes closed now, till I say PEEK!

    • Bringing Home a Baby Dinosaur

    (sung to I'm Bringing Home a Bumblebee)
    I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur
    Won't my mommy fall right through the floor?
    I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur
    Ouch! He squished me! Flat as a pancake!
    I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur
    Won't my mommy hide behind the door?
    I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur
    Tromp! Tromp! Tromp!
    I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur
    Feeding him will make my mommy poor.
    I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur
    There goes all the dog food! There goes the dog!
    I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur
    My mommy shouts, "Don't bring me any more!"
    I'm bringing home a baby dinosaur

    Where you going in the car, Mom?
    • Let's make one thing perfectly clear: The babies on my Wheels on the Bus do not go waa-waa-waah. They play peekaboo. I hope yours do too.
    Baby Oil Suncatcher
    I know, I know, incredibly dorky, huh?  But the kids get into polka dotting, and everyone smells like baby oil instead of poster paint for a change.


    Lorena is displaying a baby mobile. Since babies can't see color (no wonder they cry all the time), we made black and white mobiles. The children selected precut geometric shapes made of black and white paper and made their mobiles, using 1/4 length pipe cleaners. (So much easier than fussing with knots if you're not good at that yet.) AFTER the mobiles were assembled, they painted them with some very cool new foam stamp brushes we had from Oriental Trading, and then they kind of went haywire and painted the table too, but luckily it was papered over. Everything was mounted on a pipe cleaner tied to a piece of red yarn, which made the thing quite bouncy -- MOBILE, get it?

    Update: At the last minute, no white paint! So we used chalk and I liked that better -- the kids have never used chalk in art before, and so that was good.  They liked punching holes and cutting up the string to make a vertical instead of horizontal mobile -- and it was easier.

    Friday, April 1, 2016

    Pre-K Construction Storytime


    Construction Storyhour
    • Roadwork by Sally Sutton.  I asked the kids to do the actions with me, hammer the pegs, move the earth, load the dirt, etc. I repeated the chorus, like Ping! Bang! Tap! 3 x.  Next time, I'd go even slower to get the job done! I read to the page about "Roll the tar" and then skipped to the end, "Shout hooray!"
    • 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.
    • Digger to the Rescue by Mandy Archer
    • Building with Dad by Carol Nevius 
    •  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. 
    • Bling Blang by Woody Guthrie.
    • I'm a Truck Driver by Jonathan London.
    • Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop by Lisa Shulman. Shorten a bit.

    • 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.


    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.

    Friday, March 25, 2016

    Pre-K Funny Storytime, Friday, APRIL FOOL'S DAY @ 10:30

    Well, I know we're usually p-r-e-t-t-y darn funny at storytime, but this week we're going to be just plain silly. We'll do everything backwards; sing the goodbye song for hello, wear our clown wigs.


    • The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak.  All about the voice.  I bet the babies would love this one too.
    • The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak.  All about the voice.  I bet the babies would love this one too.
    • Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas.  Good for audience participation. Remember to brush up on your chicken dance.
    • That Is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems.  Although let's get real, ANY Pigeon book is really funny.
    • Are You a Cow by Sandra Boynton.  Yoon's Do Crocs Meow would have done even better. They were REALLY young this year.
    • The Boy Who Cried Ninja by Latimer.  This kid has it tough.  When they ask him what happened to the last piece of cake and he explains that a ninja (or an alligator or an alien) entered the house and took it, they punish him! He solves his problem by inviting the visiting miscreants to a party at his house.
    • Didn't Get To: Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad? by Julie Middleton.  As dad and his son tour the museum, the dad ticking off all the attributes and long names of the dinosaurs, the kid's getting tickled by triceratops etc.  Are the dinosaurs dead, dad? Of course! But....what's T-Rex doing?  The author works everything off the letter D, so as you read the short text, plunk down on the D sound for extra ridiculousness.
    • Chicken Butt by Erica Perl.
    New:  Eric Carle, THE NONSENSE SHOW.

    • If you're silly and you know it stick out your tongue.
      If you're silly and you know it stick out your tongue.
      If you're silly and you know then your face will surely show it.
      If you're silly and you know it stick out your tongue.
         Pat your head,
              Rub your tummy
              Do all three
    • 1 2, Chocolate Goo, 3,4, Want some more, 5, 6, pudding mix, 7, 8, get your plate, 9, 10 hungry again!
    • 5 Little Ninjas Fighting with Each Other, One Kicks Super Fast and Turns to Peanut Butter
    • The Banana Song:  (First you peel, peel, peel peel banana, etc.)
    Painting with Balloons

    Lesson Learned:  Next year, pass out the balloons and then ask the kids to practice holding them by the knot.  Make sure the balloons are blown up pretty small.  As it was, they just held the balloons and sort of rolled them around in the paint instead of dipping and pressing.  (These are the gorgeous ones I did -- theirs were quite a bit more smeary.) They would probably roll them around anyway once they got started, but start them off right. (We don't want paint on our hands, do we?)

    2015: Slime recipe.  
    I mixed up and premeasured cups of the glue/water mix. Each kid got one and a spoon and was told to start stirring a bit. Then I went around and added the food coloring color of their choice -- no, they could not do it themselves!  and told them to keep stirring.  Then I went around and added the borax "potion" solution, and told them to watch for the magic.  I guess I'm not much of a scientist -- it's magic, not polymers, to me.  The kids loved this and I think the parents loved it even more.  

    Next year I think I'll remember to save the reverse of the shelf paper we use to cover books, so that after the kids mix the stuff up, they can dump it out and play with it on a smooth surface.  Slime sets better as it works.  Even more fun. I might even give them little creatures to embed in the slime.  

    Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    Pre-K Rabbit Storytime, Friday, March 25 @ 10:30

    We'll be searching for eggs in the library again this year, so bring your baskets!  You know what I love best about Easter? When all my alumnae come to visit me on their spring break and I get to see how  SMART and GROWN UP everyone is.

    2016: This year's Easter Storytime was THE BEST!!!  We had so much fun, and I got to see so many old friends. Eggs were hidden, eggs were found, balloons were blown up.  It was great.

    I was late for storyhour so I rushed in garbed in white plush but without my bunny ears. I was carrying my bag with all my hats, and after I apologized, I started trying them on.  "Is this the right hat?" I asked, and pulled on my witch's hat.  "Nooooo!"  I went through a Cat in the Hat hat (NOOOOH!), a pirate hat (NOOOOOO!), and a crown (NOOOOO!) before I pulled on my ears.  Ham I am!


    • Across the Stream BIG BOOK.  
    • Too Many Bunnies by Matt Novak. I had so much fun with this goofy old favorite! I had five little beanie baby rabbits and two strawberry boxes.  All five bunnies were crammed into one of the boxes and the other was empty.  During the book, the bunnies move back and forth between the holes, and I act it out with the bunnies.  
    • Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman.  This is actually a pretty complicated story and a little weird too.  It needs a bit of a set up.  It's about being eaten up, which is always a fave, but it needs a bit of an explanation. Emphasize the chorus, "He's going to eat us up!"
    • Fierce Bad Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. Don't forget to bring some wrapping bubbles to stomp on for the boom of the hunter's gun. I just introduced the famous rabbits, Peter Rabbit and Max and Ruby, today.
    • Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes.  You deserve all those Caldecotts. This was a great wrap up tale at the end of story time.
    • Lion vs. Rabbit by Alex Latimer. The pictures are very busy, and they may have missed the humor. 
    • The Easter Bunny that Overslept by Priscilla & Otto Friedrich
    • Daley B. by Jon Blake. This funky old book deals with a very confused bunny who doesn't know what the heck he is, where he should live, or just what being a rabbit is supposed to be all about.
    • "Little Bunny Foo Foo." 
    • "This is the Way We Shake Our Eggs," to the tune of "This is the Way We Wash Our Clothes" and we shook our dollar-store-plastic-eggs-filled-with-lentils-and-taped-shut way up high, way down low, very fast and then oh-so-sloooooow. 
    • "The Bunny Pokey" -- you put your ears, your nose, your tail & your paws in.  At this time I swept away by the whole Easter Bunny spirit. After all, I was the one with the ears. I was the one with a bushy tail.  I felt myself becoming larger then life -- like Kevin Henkes' Little White Rabbit. I was full of myself indeed.
    • "Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose/ Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose/ Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose/ and he flicked it till it flew away...& then ear, paw, tail, etc. (Thanks Miss Mary Liberry!), starring Peter Rabbit and the Fly. 

    Shaker Eggs

    After years of careful research, I've finally discovered the easy (and only) way to make homemade shaker eggs.  Run the strips of duck tape lengthwise. Then and only then will the eggs not snap open under the baby's determined grips.

    Rabbit Mobiles

    Have them decorate white paper bags with markers, stamps, stickers, cutting around the edges, etc. These will be the bags for their Easter Eggs. While they do this, you can hide the eggs.  Really, four is plenty per child. A Hershey's Kiss, a butterscotch, and a mini.
    A very simple rabbit mobile made of cardstock w/a few stickers.  How I yearn for a diecut at egg time! But Michelle, my obliging teen volunteer, hardly complained at all about cutting out all those bunny rabbits and some eggs.  I gave some visiting four year olds scissors and crayons too, but I kept it simple for the young ones.