Time to Brush Your Teeth

This week in storytime we discussed teeth. As a child, I really hated going to the dentist (probably because I always had cavities) but I have grown up and seen the error of my ways.

When I decided on this theme, I wondered if there would be good fiction on this topic. We have a lot of nonfiction books that are not very good read alouds. I was very pleased with the books I discovered.

We started with Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth by Alison McGhee, illustrations by Harry Bliss.mrswatsonwantsyourteethThe premise of this book is a bit scary. At the start of first grade, a second grader tells the main character that her teacher, Mrs. Watson is an alien who eats children’s teeth. Luckily, it turns out the second grader is wrong and Mrs. Watson is actually really nice. The Kids really enjoyed this book. I prepared them in the beginning, telling them to be brave. Everyone was relieved that Mrs. Watson was not an alien..

Next we read Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut.clarabellas-teethMy co-worker had mentioned that she used this book for storytime once and it didn’t work to well. I decided to give it ago because I think that Vrombaut’s illustrations are so fun, they could carry the book on its own. I am glad I went through and read it. The kids loved the repetition of Clarabella’s brushing and brushing and brushing. This also led to a nice discussion about the importance of brushing your teeth. I am pleased to report that almost all of the children brush their teeth “right away” when they get up and “right before” bedtime. I always like to ask kids if they have seen Star Wars. For those who have I ask if they remember The Emperor- that guy definitely didn’t brush his teeth!

Next we read Maisy, Charley and the Wobbly Tooth by Lucy Cousins.maisy_toothLucy Cousins’ books always work really great in storytime. I think it’s because the kids can really identify with Maisy Mouse and her friends. I wanted to include a book that mentioned dentists, just to reaffirm that dentists aren’t bad or scary.

We closed with Snip Snap! What’s That? by Mara Bergman, illustrations by Nick Maland.snip-snapFor our closer, I took a different turn with the teeth theme. I love reading this book aloud. It can be a bit scary, but it doesn’t have to be if its framed the right way. I sort of used Mrs. Watson as a way to prep and see how scared this group got. Not to worry, these were some brave kids- just like the ones in the story.

For the craft this week, we made super teeth paper bag puppets.tooth-puppet

The craft can be found here: http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us/smiles/pdf/puppet.pdf

I found some fingerplays that were to the tune of other songs. Interestingly, the kids didn’t really enjoy them so much. They kept asking if we could sing “the real one.” Something to remember for the future.


Pizza! Pizza!

This week’s storytime theme came about in a sort of  backwards fashion. Last week we had a pizza taste-off program for the elementary school kids (A HUGE success and lots of fun) and we made lots of back-up craft ideas in case the pizza tasting went quicker than we imagined it would. It turned out that the pizza tasting went longer than we thought it would- our pizza tasters were very thorough and we had no time left for our awesome pizza crafts. So rather than waste an already prepared craft, I decided to use it for storytime this week.

Usually, I prefer to let the books do the choosing rather than letting the theme dictate the books. I have found that the later makes for a somewhat forced storytime but luckily pizza is pretty straightforward theme and I knew that the kids would really have fun with it.

First we read The Little Red Hen (makes a pizza)retold by Philemon Sturges, illustrated by Amy Walrod.

The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza

I love this retelling of the Little Red Hen story. In my storytelling class my professor had a former student of his come in and he told this story. It was very awesome. I think this story lends itself to a very exciting and fun telling. He did it without the book and I, of course, had the book. It is on the longer side as far as picture books go and when I told a co-worker I was going to use it she worried it would be too long. The kids LOVED it. Sturges’ writing is so funny and clever and Walrod’s cut-paper illustrations are just as hilarious as the story. I think that the kids really benefited from having experience with the original Little Red Hen story and were quite surprised by the twists and turns this retelling makes.

Next we read Pete’s A Pizzaby William Steig.

Pete's a Pizza

I can’t imagine doing a pizza theme and not including this book. This is such a simple and sweet story about one family’s solution to a rainy day. The kids really enjoyed this book (although one little boy was very concerned that the boy in the story would be eaten by his parents- I assured him that was the end to another book, not this one) and it was perfect for today as it is quite rainy outside!

We finished with Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington.

Pizza At Sally's

This is a very sweet book about Sally who owns a pizzeria. It was great to read aloud because it allows for lots of interaction with the kids, everyone mimed the creation of a pizza. It was especially great for the craft we did this week, which was making our own pizzas.


The template for this craft come from:


It was very successful with the kids. Almost as successful as the craft we did for the Pets theme. I think this is because kids really love gluing and especially love gluing with glue sticks. So many of the pizzas ended up with A LOT of toppings. Funny, because everyone told me their favorite kind of pizza was plain cheese.

I found few great pizza fingerplays that everyone enjoyed:

PIZZA MAN, PIZZA MAN (to the tune of “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear”)
Pizza man, pizza man, turn around
Pizza man, pizza man, touch the ground

Pizza man, pizza man, smell a rose
Pizza man, pizza man, touch your toes

Pizza man, pizza man, touch the sky
Pizza man, pizza man, wave goodbye

Pizza man, pizza man, turn around
Pizza man, pizza man, sit back down

Pizza man, pizza man, shake your head
Pizza man, pizza man, go to bed

PIZZA SONG(To the tune of “If You’re Happy and You know it”)

If you want to eat some pizza
Raise your hand.
If you want to eat some pizza
Raise your hand.
If you like bubbly cheese,
Then just say, “Pizza please!”
If you want to eat some pizza,
Raise your hand.

Presidential Storytime

Yesterday my co-worker Katie alerted me to a great YouTube video. It is President Obama reading Where the Wild Things Are at the White House Easter Egg Roll. Obama has stated that this is one of his favorite children’s books (mine too!) The site Literary Obama has a transcript of Obama discussing his love of this book and his relationship with reading.

It’s a great video and it warmed my heart. However, not to criticize our leader but I do think he could use a few tips about proper book handling, I would be more than willing to give him a little lesson.



This week we came back from quite a long storytime break (4 weeks!!!) and I wanted to start off with a bang! So, what better theme than DINOSAURS!!! We had a lot of fun practicing our gigantic ROARS with some fantastic books.

First we readEdwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems.

Edwina, the dinosaur who didn't know she was extinct

I love reading Mo Willems’ books in storytime because not only do the kids always have a fun time, but the adults in the room usually enjoy them too. Not quite as popular as his Pigeon or Knuffle Bunny books, Edwina is one of my favorites. It is really fun to read aloud and a great way to get storytime started out!

The next book we read was Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea.

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime

I have read this book with my evening storytime crew before but hadn’t had an opportunity to share with the morning kids. This book is very popular at the library and goes out all of the time. I will admit, at first I thought it was a crazy choice for a storytime but the kids really get into it.

We finished with How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food

I have often read another of this duo’s books, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, and while I don’t think this one is quite as awesome it was still a hit with the kids. I don’t think seeming dinosaurs making the wrong choices and acting silly ever gets old. I especially like the dinosaur who smashes oranges in his toes (gross!)

For craft this week I got a little help from an old college pal. A few weeks back during a g-chat we were discussing craft ideas. She is extremely creative and clever and she sent me the template she used for a dino finger puppet. This was the perfect craft for this week because it required so little preparation. I had the pleasant surprise of a local nursery bringing in a group of their kids at the last minute and it was easy for me to whip up a few more so everyone would be able to participate.

Thanks a lot Alex for letting me use your awesome craft!

Here is a link to the Dino Puppet Template.