This week it snowed in Chicago! It was the fifth largest snowstorm on record and it just keeps falling. I planned this story time a few weeks ago and really wanted to wait for a snowy week to share this theme with my story time friends.

Books we read:

Snow by Urio ShulevitzSnowballs by Lois EhlertSnow by Manya Stojic

Snowball by Nina Crews

Oh! by Kevin Henkes

Snow by Uri Shulevitz

Snowballs by Lois Ehelrt

Snow by Manya Stojic

Snowball by Nina Crews

Oh! by Kevin Henkes

I do multiple story times each week for different groups and ages of children, so I always like to have more than a few choices to swap in and out.

Songs we sang:

I’m A Little Snowfriend (to the tune of I’m a Little Teapot)

I’m a little snowfriend short and fat!

Here’s my scarf and here’s my hat!

When the snow is falling hear me say,

Build a snowman every day!


I’m a little snowfriend short and fat!

Here’s my scarf and here’s my hat!

When the weather warms up, tee, hee, hee

I’ll melt and there’s no more of me!

I found it here ( and changed the words from snowman to snowfriend.

Flannel board activities:

I made two flannel boards for this week’s them. The first is all over the internet, but I first found it on Loons and Quines @ Librarytime ( I really love the idea of backing the snowflakes with blue felt to make them more sturdy and also I think it will look a bit nicer on my red flannel board. Something to add for my next snow themed story time!

Five little snowflakes

Five Little Snowflakes

One little snowflake with nothing to do,
Along came another and then there were… two!
Two little snowflakes laughing with me,
Along came another and then there were…three!
Three little snowflakes looking for some more,
Along came another and then there were…four!
Four little snowflakes dancing a jive,
Along came another, and then there were…five!
Five little snowflakes, having so much fun!
Out came the sun, and then there were none!
I was also very inspired by Storytime Katie’s mittens ( I really loved how she added shapes to her mittens, which can add some depth to the activity and made the mittens a little more exciting to look at.

Everyone LOVED this activity, which was no surprise. The kids really loved matching their mittens and we had a nice chat about whether or not we wore mittens or gloves (I prefer mittens!)


I am back!

After taking a few years off, I am back to blogging. A lot has changed for me professionally since I last blogged. I have worked at 4 different branches in my library system in 4 different neighborhoods in my fair city. As a result, story time has been something I have learned to be flexible with. I am at new library with a really wonderful community and have the pleasure of having full and fun story times once again. Weekly, I do on average 4 story times to different ages. Some of these are outreach story times and some are for neighborhood families. I don’t do crafts anymore, but am trying to figure out how to bring that back at some point. For me, this blog is a great way to keep track of my ideas and share them with anyone who stumbles upon it.

A Blue Story Time!

 This is the last of the colors story times. I started with Red, after that came Orange, who can forget Yellow, and last but not least good old Green! Special thanks to my pal, Storytime Katie for inspiring me to do this.

The Books:

Little Blue Truck Leads the Way by Amy Schertle

I had intended to read Little Blue Truck but when I went to the shelf to pull it, I discovered this book instead. It’s very cute and features the sweet little truck from the first book. This time the Little Blue Truck is visiting the city and meets all sorts of city vehicles.

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw

I really like this book and think it would be great to make it into a flannel board. It has been featured before in its own storytime and there was a great craft that went a long with it. It was the perfect addition for this storytime!

The Deep Blue Sea: A Book of Colors by Audrey Wood

This is a great book about colors with loads of repetition so the kids were able to read along with me. Again, I just discovered this book on the shelf and was pleased with how well it worked in storytime.

How It Went:

This week went really well. I tried to check if the children understood what was happening with these themes and it seems like they had no idea. That’s fine. I use themes more as a guide for myself anyway.

The Craft:

For our craft this week, we glued fish on to our own deep blue seas.

Overall, it went fairly well. The kids really enjoyed coloring their fish and we are still working on glue stick skills. I am sure in no time everyone will be on the same level!

A Green Story Time!

Hello there folks! After yellow comes GREEN! You will remember, I have been doing this whole colors theme for storytime. First came Red then
Orange, and then Yellow and we are on Green. I looked forward to this week because I really like green and there are TONS of books that work with this theme.

The books we shared this week:

Snip Snap! What’s That? by Mara Bergman

This is a great storytime book! It has a lot of momentum and tons of repetition so the children really get into it.

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox

Ok, I totes stole this one from Storytime Katie’s Green Story time. It’s a storytime classic and so much fun. I had honestly forgotten about it and was really glad when her storytime reminded me of it!

Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra

I discovered this title while shelf reading. I have a love/hate relationship with shelf reading. I LOVE that I always discover a pile of new books etc…

The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long

I love using Ethan Long’s books in storytime. This book is a hilarious take on the hokey pokey and had all of us up and moving around

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

I recently made this into a flannel board! Hooray!  Here is a link to the template I used:’s Big Green Monster Template. I will be honest, I found it because of Storytime Katie’s blog. Credit where it’s due, folks! Anyway, this flannel board is super popular with the kids and they asked for it again and again!

How it went:

It went really well. Green is an awesome color and there are tons of great books that fit this theme. The kids were super receptive and especially loved The Croaky Pokey and Go Away Big Green Monster.

Crafts are back!

I am really still trying to catch my stride with this. With such large numbers of children and just a few adults, it’s been a challenge to find anything that works really well that isn’t just coloring pages. There is a huge difference between what a 3-year-old with an adult and a 3-year-old by themselves can handle. This week’s craft was inspired by The Croaky Pokey. We made frogs!

I gave each child a frog outline and they glued the green squares inside. It worked really well. For a lot of the children, this was one of the first times they have ever used a glue stick. We did have some messy fingers but it was a lot of fun! I think I would use this again and give the kids more color choices. Usually I am all about letting them express themseves but since our theme was green we just used the green squares.

A Yellow Storytime! (And some ducks too!)

To continue on with the color theme, we next tackled Yellow. The theme started out as Yellow but then sort of morphed into Ducks. I will be honest, in my mind ducks are yellow. I realize this is not true and neither of the ducks on these covers are in fact yellow, but I went with them anyway. As you will recall, I was inspired by the lovely Storytime Katie to do a colors so check out her posts for some great ideas!

The books I read this week were:

Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein

This is a great story about a gorilla who is little and everyone loves. One day he gets big and guess what? Everyone still loves him! Everyone has been there and this seemed like a fitting message for my little storytime pals.

Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell

I love this book! Poor duck is forced to do all of the work because of a lazy old farmer! Luckily, his friends come to the rescue and chase that mean old farmer off. This is one of my favorite books for storytime. One of the great things about having a new job is introducing some of my all time favorites to the children I work with now. It’s awesome!

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

As will all books by David Simon, this book is a joy to read aloud. It’s fun and silly and has lots of characters. I love that the duck is a bit

How it went:

It went great! I think this week just proved that sometimes you just have to go with what works best in storytime, even if that means straying away from the theme. I am constantly reminding myself of this. Ultimately what is most important is the children enjoy themselves and take something positive away from their storytime experience.

The Craft:

Still no craft this week, but I promise next week you won’t be disappointed!

An Orange Storytime!

Ok, so it took me a little bit to get this blog up. As it turns out, blogging is something I enjoy doing but I am not really the best at getting it done. I really want to thank everyone that has commented with great ideas about storytimes. It’s been really helpful in how I plan for my groups so thanks a bunch! Anyway, continuing on with the colors theme next I tackled Orange! As you may recall, I got this idea from Storytime Katie and you should check out her blog to get some great ideas! If you want a refresher, the red storytime that I did is here.

The books:

Fat Cat: a Danish Folk Tale by Margaret Read MacDonald

I started with this one each time because it is the longest. I have quickly learned with my storytime groups that their attention really starts to go after book two so I have to start with the one that requires the most from them as an audience. This is a great book that I first learned about in library school from my awesome Materials for Children professor. It’s very silly and has lots of repetition.

Where is Tippy Toes? By Betsy Lewin

I first talked about this book in a storytime contender post Storytime Contender post and haven’t had a chance to It’s really sweet and cute and I was so happy to share it with my group. I like to have the children guess what kind of animal Tippy Toes is based on the cover. This week there were lots of tiger guesses.

Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch by Mary Peterson.

This is a great book about some very silly piggies. When I was planning this storytime, I tried to think of orange things and of course pumpkins came to mind! It was a bit early for a pumpkin storytime or anything having to do with Halloween so I went with this book. It is about autumn but not in an overwhelming sort of way and those piggies are just so dang cute! It’s quick and fun and perfect for my little ones who aren’t able to sit still for too long.

How it went:

I am still adjusting the size of my groups. Overall, the kids were really receptive to the books, which made me very glad. Because my storytimes are now 45-50 minutes I do A LOT of fingerplays and play A LOT of music. However, the books are still the stars and the children really like them this week, especially Tippy Toes, which they asked me to read again.

The craft:

For this storytime, I was not yet doing crafts. I was still sort of catching up and trying to figure out some logistics. Not to worry, crafts will return soon! Once again, thanks to everyone who gave me craft ideas/advice. I love how much we are all willing to share with each other, it’s really cool!

A Red Storytime!

This was my first week of planning my own storytime at the new job! I have been doing storytime for the last few weeks, but they were pre-planned from before I got here. I think we all know there is a huge difference between doing a storytime you planned yourself versus doing a storytime someone else planned. As I am sure you can imagine, I was super excited to share storytime this week since it was my own creation!
I took a page out of Storytime Katie’s book and decided to do some color themes. We are starting out with RED!

The books we read this week were:

The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philemon Sturges, illustrated by Amy Wood.

I really love this book. Even though it’s a bit on the longish side, it’s so hilarious and silly it keeps the kids’ attention all the way through. I love reading it aloud and doing different voices for each animal.


The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood.

This is a personal storytime classic from my days as a storytime intern. I like this book a lot because it sets the children up to be scared of the BIG HUNGRY BEAR but it ends up being a sweet nice story. Be prepared for lots of “The bear never came!” Even though no one seems to really mind that.


Fire Truck by Peter Sis.

This is a very simple book about a boy who loves fire trucks so much he turns into one! It short and sweet and just the right amount of fun.


Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

This is a new book to me, I discovered it when scanning the shelves before storytime. It’s great! I really think it begs to be made into a flannel board so you may be seeing that pop up on the blog soon.

The Extras:

 I will be doing a longer post about songs/fingerplays/flannel boards etc. soon. So look out for that. I am trying to teach my group a lot of songs so we have a lot of repetition going on that doesn’t really have anything to do with the theme. I am totally OK with that.

How it Went:

Overall, this was a success. The groups will need a bit of work in transitioning from the pervious style to my style. I see very larger groups (over 4o kids!!) so a lot of storytime is crowd control. There are lots of movements and songs. As far as the books go, they really enjoyed them. Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) was very popular and they asked me to read it again and again and again. I held up the books and asked them to guess what the theme was this week. After a few random guesses, one of them got it! I think I will continue to do this each week just to see if they can tell.


For the time being, I am not doing crafts. I really hope to change this soon but if you want an idea for a craft (it can really be anything red for this one) you can take a look at Storytime Katie’s Red Storytime.

Look who’s back…

Helloooo! Is there anybody out there? I am back from a long hiatus! I moved jobs and it has taken a bit for the dust to settle. I apologize for my super long absence from blogging. I will try to not let it happen again. I changed jobs in the absolute middle of Summer Reading so things were a bit crazy. I am not sure I would ever recommend doing this… I guess there’s no harm in jumping in head first, eh? It’s all over now so I’ve been able to get my head on straight and have finally been able to sit down after a few weeks of running around totally crazy.

So, things have changed for me storytime-wise. I am now doing four storytimes a week, three of them are local preschools/daycares that come to the library and the other is an evening storytime for folks in the neighborhood. I am still going to plan one storytime per week and just run it three four separate times. So, when I discuss it in the blog, I will tell you about the books and any extras that are necessary to discuss then I will tell you what the kids thought.

The other HUGE difference is the preschools and daycares come for an HOUR so my storytimes are much, much longer. These groups are walking dozens of small children long distances so we are making it worth their while and having a long program for them. I know everyone has an opinion about appropriate length for storytime. I, myself think about 25-30 minutes is the sweet spot, but this is something out of my control. As a result these programs are very fingerplay, flannel board and movement heavy. I still read 3-4 books but that happens towards the beginning since the groups are generally less antsy at the beginning and can sit still then. After that we are getting up and moving a lot more.

Working at a new library always brings new colleagues to learn from and this place is no exception. The person I work with most closely is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fingerplays, so that’s been a huge help.

Finally, the last thing that has changed is I am not doing any crafts – for the time being. My preschool/daycare groups are all much too large and we don’t really have the space supplies. There also aren’t quite enough adults around to help. Each group has at least 45 children so it’s a little intimidating. I do want to get a craft started with my nighttime group, because that is generally much smaller. Eventually, I do want to start doing some crafts with the larger groups because frankly speaking I think it would be helpful for them and also a great use of that hour. Hopefully I can get this started soon!

It’s all a work in progress. Does anyone have any advice? I have been re-reading Storytime Katie’s blog entries because I know she is doing similar things. You will even notice she has inspired my first few weeks of planning on my own at this job.

Storytime Contenders VI

Contender Title: I’m Me!
Author: Sarah Sheridan
Illustrator: Margaret Chamberlain
Publisher/Year: Chicken House/Scholastic 2011
ISBN: 9780545282222
Storytime appeal: Imogen (how cute is that name?) is spending the day with her Aunt Sara and decides rather than play pretend she would rather just be herself. This book has huge, beautiful illustrations and I was particularly pleased that it featured the relationship between a niece and aunt. I am an aunt myself and can’t wait to share this book with my little niece.
Possible themes: I recently put this in a book bundle about individuality and think it would be great for a storytime along the same theme.

Contender Title: Itsy Mitsy Runs Away
Author: Elanna Allen
Publisher/Year: Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2011
ISBN: 9781442406711
Storytime appeal: True story: I attempted to run away as a child and my mother responded by packing my bag and carrying it to the front door for me. I think we all have a story like this from our childhoods and this book brings that story to life. Itsy Mitsy has had enough of bedtime and decides to run away. This absolutely adorable book has everything like in a storytime book: fantastic illustrations, repetition, and a very sweet story.
Possible themes:  Fathers & daughters, running away, bedtime and maybe even green (Mitsy has a very cute green outfit!)

Picnic Storytime

Storytime is back! This week was the beginning of our 6 week session. But sadly, I will only be doing three of those weeks. The weather was crummy this morning and I arrived to work with totally soaked pants. Needless to say, I was not in the best of moods but luckily my storytime crew turned that around really quickly. I had a very big bunch today so there was great energy in the room.

Our theme today was picnics, a perfect summer theme.

The first book we read was Picnic by Emily Arnold McCully.

In this book, a family of mice are going on a picnic. On the way to the perfect spot, they lose the youngest member of their family. (Spoiler alert!) Luckily they are all reunited and have a lovely picnic. This is a very simple story and I had the children guess if they would find her. Almost everyone said yes- there’s always one who goes against the grain.

The next book we read was The Best Picnic Ever by Clare Jarrett.

This is a great book about a boy named Jack who is going on a picnic with his mom. He has lots of adventures with animals before sitting down to the best picnic ever. It’s full of imagination and has lots of repetition. It’s a bit long, so make sure you group can handle longer-ish books.

The last book we read was We’re Going on A Picnic by Pat Hutchins.

In this book Hen, Duck and Goose are going on a picnic! They are a bit silly and can’t find the right place to have the picnic. There is a lot of silliness in this book and it’s fun to share with a group.

For our craft today, we made one of my favorite picnic foods: watermelons!

Since it is summer and we have lots of teen volunteers, I had one cut out the shapes prior to the program. I gave them crayons and black circles to glue on as seeds. I told one of my little friends that his watermelon looked good enough to eat. He nicely reminded me “Miss Sarah, you can’t eat paper.” Silly librarian!