Monday, September 20, 2010

STORYTIME: CAT MAT HAT : stories with rhythm

Jump! by Scott M Fisher - A fun rhyming book with a great refrain "jump" that kids will enjoy yelling aloud when prompted.  If they need to get a little energy out, you can even have them stand and jump, or jump like a frog.  
Bear in the Air by Susan Meyers - Lovely illustrations and a beautiful story about a stuffed bear who gets shuffled all over by different characters in the story.  

STORYTIME: I'm So Misunderstood

Big Al by Andrew Clements - Al may be the scariest fish in the ocean but all he really wants are some friends. A little bit long, but an engaging story none the less.
Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer- A book about being yourself even if you are supposed to be a scary monster.

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin- A great story about colors and going with the flow. There is a great 3 line refrain the cat sings and the kids can sing along. A must read book.

Scaredy Cat by Joan Rankin- A really funny book! A kitten keeps thinking everyday household things are actually scary thingamajigs out to get him.

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen- An empowering tale that shows young girls that not all princesses were crowns and fancy dresses. Sometime princesses like to dig in the mud just like them (while wearing fancy crowns!)

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen- This is my new favorite book. The humor is amazing and the illustrations are simple and minimalist. A bear has had his red hat stolen so he interviews all the animals in the forest to see if they have his read hat. At one point he meets the critter who stole it and is wearing it but he doesn't noticed. The audience will have fun noticing the hat and pointing it out. As a craft help the kids fold their own origami red hat that looks like the one in the book.

Good Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen- A little grey wolf who hangs out with a grandma (without eating her) and is friends with a pig is the main character in this funny read aloud. He starts to doubt himself when he meets a big bad wolf who tells him all the things a wolf should be doing. A great book to use different funny reading voices. Plus it is the perfect length.

Clumsy Crab by Ruth Galloway- A crab cannot seem to stop breaking things with his pincers and is feeling pretty down when at last his most distinguished feature comes in handy.

I Don't Want to be a Pea! by Ann Bonwill- 2 best friends cannot see eye to eye on what costume to dress up in for the party. Funny book with a hint of sarcasm.

STORYTIME: Messy Messy Messy

Mrs. Wishy-Washy by Joy Cowley - A little board book about a woman who's farm animals can't help but play in the mud. This can be turned into a feltboard easily. Can also be used as a stand up action story. Get the kids to twist and turn when Mrs. Wishy-Washy cleans the animals. Or, have them mine using a sponge to clean-up.

Max Cleans Up by Rosemary Wells - Likable Max has a really gross messy room. With the help of Ruby he just might be able to change his messy ways.... or can he.

What Did You Put in Your Pocket? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers - One of my favorite read alouds. Funky illustrations with some really fun opportunities to get kids involved. Each day of the week you put a new gross thing in your pocket and make a total mess. Kids really love how silly and gross this story is.

Mouse Mess by Linna Riley - I just love the collage illustrations in this book. A mouse sneaks out after the family is off to bed to snack on the treats in their kitchen, making a huge mess in the process. The artist uses multiple panels on pages showing a sequence of events. This is a good intro to the concept of sequences for young kids.

Maisy Bakes a Cake by Lucy Cousins - Baking a cake can be messy work, luckily Maisy is a neat little mousey. This book is full of pull tabs to show kids the process of making a cake from start to finish. Loads of fun and very interactive.

Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia - A fun read aloud that encouraged kids to make hand motions mimicking what each type of truck does. Lots of repetition makes kids really feel ownership of this story.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

STORYTIME: Imagine.....

The Birthday Box by Leslie Patricelli - A littlle boy shows all the creative uses for the box he got for his birthday.

That's How by Christoph Neiman- Did you know the inner mechanics of a steamroller are nothing more that a parrot tickling two brown bears? Why not! In this playful book a boy imagines that the mechanics of all kinds of machines are quite different than they actually are.

Peg Leg Peke by Brie Spangler- I love books where you are talking directly to the character in the book when you read aloud. It makes for some pretty funny moments during storytime. Follow up this book with a craft where you make your own pirate hat and bird to wear!

Where's Walrus by Stephen Savage- Wordless picture book with great graphic illustrations that look like old screen prints. Walrus is cleverly hiding on each page hiding from the zoo keeper.

Blackout by John Rocco - Very few words with great illustrations that tell the story of the power going out one night in the city. Pictures are creatively laid out in panels inspired by graphic novel illustration. Make no mistake though this is a great picture book for toddlers. A fun story about what families can do when the lights go out. Ask your kids what they do when the power goes out.

What Shall We Play? by Sue Heap - Three young friends play make believe throughout a day and come up with some very fun ways to pretend. Have your kids mime some of the ways they pretend to be cats, jello, fairies and other fun interactions.

I'm Me! by Sara Sheridan- A little girl listens to suggestions from her auntie about what they can pretend to become for the day but finally settles on being herself. A bit on the longer side so do this book as your first for the program.

Chalk by Bill Thomson- A wordless picture book with amazing hyper-realist paintings. Some children find a bag of chalk on the playground and each thing they draw on the sidewalk comes to life. A great introduction to getting kids into telling the story in their own way in a picture book. If you are into Visual Thinking Strategies, this is a perfect book to exercise VTS.

Perfect Square by Michael Hall- Think "Press Here." A square gets torn up into all sorts of shapes that are turned into flowers, parks, and oceans. A very creative book that can show kids how a square can be broken down and turned into anything...with a little imagination. A great craft activity to accompany is right from the book. Give each child a square of tissue paper, have them rip it up into 6-8 pieces. Glue those pieces onto a piece of paper. Give them crayons and let them draw flower stems and leaves to make the bits of tissue paper the flowers.

Yes Day by Amy Krouse Rosenthal- What if for one day all your parents said yes to your every request? The result is a fun to read for parents and kids. From eating ice-cream to staying up late kids will appreciate the humor. When the main character asks if he can do something have the audience yell yes. Then turn the page and ask them to describe the scene

Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis- The follow up to the popular book "Not a Box" this time with a stick! Cute, clever, funny, and a joy to read aloud.

Storytime Performed on:



Thirsty Thursday by Phyllis Root -  A little girl tickles a raincloud with the help of her farm animals to bring some much needed rain to the land.   A good introduction to a few varieties of flowers.

STORYTIME: Sounds and Noises

Dog's Noisy Day by Emma Dodd- A dog investigates all the animals living on the farm. Loads of chances for kids to show off their animal noises.

Have You Got My Purr? by Judy West - Ridiculously adorable story of a kitten who cannot make her purr sound so she ventures around the farm going from animal to animal to find it. Kids will enjoy making all the different farm animal noises along with you.

Say What? by Angela DiTerlizzi- Wonderful illustrations. A fun rhyming scheme that introduces kids to the concept of similar sounding words ie: "hiss and kiss." A fun, highly recommended storytime read.


Five Little Sharks Swimming in the Sea by Steve Metzger - Told in the style of 5 Little Monkeys

Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt - A great interactive book. This book has it all, humor, cutouts, physical and verbal participation.

The Great White Man-Eating Shark by Margaret Mahy- A funny book, but long so use only with your pre-schoolers.

I'm a Shark by Bob Shea- I must say Bob Shea really is the best. This book is so funny and is easily one of my new favorites. It can work for pre-school, Kindergarten age kids as well and parents will appreciate the subtle humor. Two narrators so a great opportunity to do multiple voices while reading.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I Love Bugs! by Emma Dodd- Big simple illustrations with fun text with lots of movement around the page. A great book to introduce the concept of text design.

Bugs Galore by Peter Stein-With Bob Staake illustrations this big book is great fun to look at. The rhyming scheme is fun and interesting to read. A bit too long so I will paperclip some of the pages together, or perhaps create feltboard pieces to go along with the book.

Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth - Ok this book is really cool simply because there are plastic ladybugs popping off the page. I find a little gimmick goes a long way in storytime and I try to incorporate lift the flap, etc books every so often. It really excites the kids! This story follows similar counting rules as some of our fingerplays. Ie: five little ladybug sitting on a leaf......"something happens".............and then there were four!

Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr- Features the wonderful artwork of Lois Ehlert. A simple story that introduces kids to the world of caterpillars and butterflies. Fun to read.

Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming - A huge format for a picture book. Big interesting illustrations with fun to read aloud adjectives describing the beetles on each page. A quick read.

The Very Lazy Ladybug by Isobel Finn & Jack Tickle - Great transitions between the board book pages as the ladybug hops onto different animals to try and find a cozy place to rest.

Butterfly Butterfly by Petr Horacek- A really neat book with Eric Carle like illustrations and a pop up butterfly on the last page sure to WOW!

Little Bea by Daniel Roode- A Little bee goes around helping other animals with their daily tasks. A pretty vapid story but can be used as a filler book because it has sweet illustrations.


Oh, Daddy! by Bob Shea - Really cute and colorful illustrations. A silly story where a father teaches his son the correct way to do things by doing them the complete opposite way!

Itsy Mitsy Runs Away by Elanna Allen- A longer story about a girl who wants to run away. good thing she has a clever father to distract her with all the burdens that accompany running away from home.

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle- A little girl asks her father to get the moon for her. A wonderful imaginative story with Carles classic style of illustration. The pages of this book open to expand the scenes on most pages which is a real treat for story time patrons. Kids are also learning about the phases of the moon in a very subtle way. This story can be followed up with photographs of the different moon phases.

My Dad, My Hero by Ethan Long- A hilarious book! Parents and kids will find this story charming and funny.

My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks by Hanoch Piven- A fun portrait of family members. Uses everyday objects and is a very simple introduction to metaphors.


What Pet to Get by Emma Dodd - A little boy talks with his mom about all the exotic pets he can get. Mom has some valid points as to why most all of them wouldn't work out. Very funny and cute, a little long though.
Me Want Pet! by Tammi Sauer-What a riot! This team effort between Sauer and Bob Shea's illustrations is a storytime hit. Caveboy want pet. Parent say no pet. Book write in caveman speak. Fun read.
Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly- On the longer side. I may save this one until the end of this storytime session once the kids can sit through more complex stories.
My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee- Such wonderful illustrations, and a really funny book. Sometimes working with really young kids makes me sad because they are too young to understand the humor in the books I read. The parents usually get it which is fun, but I do love reading to school age kids for that reason.
Pet Shop Lullaby by Mary Ann Fraser- A story that I am not crazy about the text but love the illustrations. Luckily it lends itself well to having the kids tell the story through the pictures.
Dino Petsby Lynn Plourde- A fun book about what kind of dinosaur to choose as a pet. Great big illustrations.
Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet by Kely DiPucchio- This book is one of those books where I would skip over a bit of the text. It is a funny book so I did not want to write it off for storytime.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Action Rhyme: I am a Volcano

I am a volcano ( squat down with hands around knees)
Hear me rumble (tremble and rumble)
The lava deep down in me,
Is beginning to bubble.
Something is going to happen,
Happen very soon!
I'm erupting with a
Big gigantic BOOM!!! (jump up and extend arms upward)

Fingerplay: Monkeys in a Tree

Five Little monkeys
Sitting in a tree (hold up 5 fingers)
Teasing Mr. Crocodile (make teasing motion with thumbs against temples)
"You can't catch me."
"You can't catch me."

Along comes Mr. crocodile (stretch arms out in front of body, using hands to form mouth of crocodile)
As quiet as can be
SNAP!!! (shut hands with a clap!)

Continue till all monkeys are gone then

Away swims Mr. Crocodile
As full as he can be!!!

Feltboard: Five Donuts

Five little donuts in a bakery shop,
Sprinkled with powdered sugar on top.
Along comes ____________ (insert child name) with a dollar to pay.
He/she buys a donut and eats it straight away. (have children gobble down donut)

Continue down to zero

Mitt stories: Chickadees

Five little chickadees, sitting by a door-
One flew away then there were four

Chickadees, chickadees, happy today
Chickadees, chickadees, fly away

Four little chickadees, sitting in a tree-
One flew away and then there were three
Three little chickadees, looking at you-
One flew away, then there were two
Two little chickadees, sitting in the sun-
One flew away, and then there was one.
One little chickadee, sitting all alone-
That one flew away, and then there was none.

Mitt stories: Birds

There was one little bird in a little tree,
Hew was all alone, and he didn't want to be.
So he flew far away, over the sea,
And brought back a friend to live in the tree.

Do this adding one more bird to the glove each time

Feltboard: Purple Violets

One purple violet in our garden grew.
Up popped another, and that made two.
Two purple violets were all that I could see;
But ______________________ found another and that made three.
Three purple violets if ____________ could find one more,
We'd give them to mother-we'd have four.
Four purple violets-sure as you're alive!
Why, here is another! And now there are five!

Mitt stories: Squirrels

Five little squirrels sitting in a tree
The first one said, "What do I see?"
The second one said, "Some nuts on the ground."
The third one said, "Those are nuts I found."
The fourth one said, "I'll race you there."
The fifth one said, "All right, that's fair."
So they shook their tails and ran with glee
To the nuts that lay at the foot of the tree