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 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.

Craft

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.

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!)

Storytime Contenders V

Oh look who’s back! It’s me! I know it’s been a while since I have been updating. I promise I have very good intentions, it just doesn’t always work out that well. Anyway, summer storytime soon there will be some more of those popping up and I really hope do some more of these storytime contender posts.

Contender Title: Rain Brings Frogs: A Little Book of Hope   
Author: Maryann Coca-Leffler            
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins/ 2011
ISBN: 9780061961069
Storytime appeal: This is a nice, quick story about a boy who can find the bright side of every bad situation. I really think it could work in storytime because of its clear, distinct text and easy to follow layout. I like having a few short books in my storytime stack because they are great fillers and a good way to recapture a group’s attention.
Possible themes: This would be good for a rainy day theme, or even one about emotions.  

Contender Title: My Cold Went On Vacation
Author:  Molly Rausch and Nora Krug
Publisher/Year: G.P. Putnam’s Sons/ 2010
ISBN:9780399254741                                  
Storytime appeal: This is a super clever book! A little boy has a cold and when it goes away he imagines all of the places it could go. It might pop up in Iowa (my home state!) or visit various other family members. He imagines it could also take a trip around the world, possibly stopping in Peru, the Alps or sailing the seven seas. He discovers his cold did not go as far as he imagined, it only went across the hall to see his sister. This book is so funny and requires a lot of imagination on the part of the reader. I could see a fun conversation happening after reading this in storytime
Possible themes: This is a great choice for a sick theme. I also think it would be a lot of fun in an imagination/pretending storytime.

Garden Storytime

Spring has sprung! The weather is absolutely beautiful and we celebrated today with a garden storytime! This is a lovely theme and is very versatile. I have been looking forward to this storytime for weeks and was so happy to finally share it with my kids.

First we read My Garden by Kevin Henkes.

This is a beautiful book about a girl who helps her mother in the garden and goes on to describe what her dream garden would look like. It’s full of imagination and encourages the children to dream about what their garden would look like.

Next we read A Handful of Sunshine by Meanie Eclare.

This book was a lovely addition to storytime today. It was a surprise find, I just stumbled upon it and am so glad I did. This is why I like it: it has real photos of a real girl planting sunflowers. That doesn’t happen too often with storytime books. Obviously there are lots of fantastic illustrations out there (Henkes’ from the first book are a glowing example) but it is nice to mix it up with something different. This book is a nonfiction and is easy to share with a group. Highly recommended!

Also included this week was Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert.

This is a super versatile storytime book. It would be great in a colors theme and was perfect for gardens as well. The illustrations are bright and vibrant and it contains good information on plants.

We closed with Lenny in the Garden by Ken Wilson- Max.

This is a nice story about a young boy Lenny, who is in the garden with his mom. While I like this book, I do think it is a bit young for the group I had today. I think if I were to use it again, I would use it for baby storytime.

For our craft today, we made our own gardens!

This was a super easy craft preparation wise. I made lots of flowers with our die cut machine, gave them glue, crayons and paper and let them go crazy.

I should mention that my friend, storytime katie, recently did a garden theme as well. If you want more ideas, be sure to check out her blog!

Tropical Storytime

This week’s theme went through a lot of changes. Let me explain: I wanted to read Pig-Boy: A Trickster Tale from Hawai’i by Gerald Mc Dermott (I talked about it in a Storytime Contenders post post).  I started out with a fable theme, but it just wasn’t working for me. Then I decided to do a Hawaii theme but it was a challenge to find enough books to fit this theme. Finally, I opened it up and settled on a Tropical theme. This just gave me more to work.

I had to remind myself that themes are basically for myself. I know librarians who never use themes. Sometimes I don’t if I have a preschool visit suddenly pop-up or something. I have just found structuring a storytime around a theme to be a good way to focus the storytime for myself. I don’t always announce it to the children and I would be willing to bet some of them have no idea that there ever is a theme.

 So, we started with one of my favorite books set in the ocean I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry.

I think this book is hilarious. For the first time today in storytime, one of the children pointed out that the main character is boasting and “is not very nice.” Everyone was very excited to see what would happen to this boastful fellow. In the end, he is swallowed by a whale and proclaims the he is the biggest thing in this whale. Many of the children noticed that his is NOT, however, the biggest thing in the ocean.

Next we read Hula Lullaby by Erin Eitter Kono.

This is a very nice lullaby story with bits of flavor from Hawaii throughout. This is a nice book to calm everyone down a bit.

We closed with Pig-Boy: A Trickster Tale from Hawai’i.

Since this book was the reason for this storytime, I was super excited to share it with the group. I am pleased to report it was a success! It really held their attention and everyone was very interested in what happened to Pig-Boy. I love it when I share a book no one in the room has read before and everyone is so interested to see how the story ends.

I am also very excited about today’s craft. We made leis! This is a very easy craft to make. I cut out flower die cuts, and gave them yarn and some spacers I made out of cardstock. That was probably the most time-consuming part of the preparation.

Oh! One more thing! There is a new Froggy book I would have loved to have included today but it is new and still on-order at my library and although I put it on hold,  it didn’t come in on time. It’s called Froggy Goes To Hawaii by Jonathan London.

Turtle Storytime

Today’s storytime theme was turtles! It was a fun theme and the group really enjoyed it. I can’t believe I haven’t done it before.

I only have two books to share today because my group was very talkative and had lots of energy so we did extra movement activities to help them get their wiggles out! It’s been cold lately and I think everyone has a bit of cabin fever waiting for spring to come back.

The first book we read is called Hurry Up and Slow Down and it is by Layn Marlow.

This is a very sweet book about a tortoise and a hare. The hare is always in a hurry and wants the tortoise to “Hurry Up!” However, when it comes time for the tortoise to read the hare a story, the hare worries the tortoise is going much too fast and wants him to “Hurry Up and Slow Down!” It’s a nice book and many of my kids were familiar with the tortoise and the hare which added a bit of depth for them.

We also read Turtle Splash! Countdown to the Pond By Cathryn Falwell

This is a counting book about turtles. It’s simple, but fun to read and it kept my group’s attention. We all counted together, which was a great way to keep them involved with the story. Falwall has another book that features turtles, Scoot! that is a great book for this theme.

I didn’t get to it because I ran out of time and we spent much more time moving around this week than usual.

Our craft today was really cute. It’s from this website.

It’s a turtle whose head can peek out from its shell! Everyone really liked it and the children were quite proud of what they were able to make. This craft does require a bit of cutting, which worked great today because most of the children are confident with scissors and if they needed help their parents were there to provide it. Everyone’s storytime group is different so if your group isn’t ready for scissors, this craft might require some pre-cutting. As usual, everyone’s turtle was spectacular!

Tools

This week’s storytime was all about tools! I have done a construction storytime before (unfortunately prior to the start of this blog) so this was a different take on the same idea.

We started with Emma Garcia’s Tap Tap Bang Bang.

This book is the reason I wanted to do this theme for storytime. I am a huge fan of Garcia’s books. Tip Tip Dig Dig is one of my favorite picture books about construction and Tap Tap Bang Bang does not disappoint!. This book describes the sounds and actions of tools: “We can bang bang with the hammer and tappety tap in the nails.” This makes it lots of fun to do with a group.

Next we read Whose Tools Are These? By Sharon Katz Cooper, illustrated by Amy Bailey Muehlenhardt.

I like this book because it is interactive and ask the reader to guess who uses each tool. This book goes beyond the standard hammer, wrench, screwdriver tools and includes a chef’s tools, doctor’s tools and even a teacher’s tools. We had a good time discussing the type of tools we each use. A librarian’s tools are books!

We closed with I Love Tools! by Philemon Sturges.

This was a great book to close with. It discusses lots of tools and culminates in the creation of a bird house!

There are a few other titles worrth taking a look at if you want to use this theme. They are:

Magic Toolbox by Mie Araki
The Toolbox by Anne and Harlow Rockwell
and Toolbox Twins by Lola M Schaefer, illustrated by Melissa Iwai

I am sure there are others I am not including. Do you have a favorite tool book you like to use for storytime?

Our craft this week was a bit abstract. The children were given shapes and they could build something of their own on their paper. I will admit, the group needed a bit of guidance. It’s not as clean-cut as other crafts so we discussed it prior to starting and I gave them some ideas and asked them what they thought they would like to build. As a result, their creations were quite varied but they were also very imaginative.

I was told this is Thomas. As in the Tank Engine.

I did not get a chance to find out what this one is, but I think we can all agree it is awesome!