Welcome back to storytime! After quite a break, I am back! It is great do have storytime again, I always forget how much fun it is.

I debated long and hard about what to do this week, I wanted something super fun. I decided that since it is still winter, I wanted to do a cold theme and penguins seemed perfect. Who can resist these cuties?? Not me!

The first book we read today was 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental illustrated by Joƫlle Jolivet.

365-penguinsThis is an incredibly awesome book about a family that mysteriously receives a penguin every in the mail and is forced to take care of all of them. It is humorous and fun to read but also very informational because it mathematical concepts and touches on environmental concerns. The illustration are fantastic and extremely fun to look at.

The next book was Cuddly Duddley by Jez Alborough.

Cuddly Dudley

This is a very sweet book about a penguin, Duddley, who is so cuddly that everyone wants to cuddle him which is very frustrating for him. The rhyming text makes this book a joy to read aloud and the children all agreed they would be just as frustrated as Duddley if everyone wanted to cuddle them too.

Next we read Penguin Pete by Marcus Pfister.

Penguin PeteThis is a board book, so I was initially worried about how well it would work for storytime. Luckily, there was not a large group this week so everyone was able to see. Pete is a very sweet penguin who wants to fly like his chick friends but as he is a penguin, he cannot. Luckily, he makes some penguin friends who show him how fun it is to swim in the water.

Finally, we finished with Penguin Dreams by V.L. Walsh illustrated by J. Otto Seibold.


I am fan of this duo’s work,Vunce Upon A Time, is a great Halloween book and Penguin Dreams is just as much fun to read. It is all about a penguin who has some crazy dreams. When we finished this book, we had a short discussion about our craziest dreams.

Finding a craft this week was a bit of a challenge. We ended up making Styrofoam cup penguins.

penguin-cup1I found this great craft here:

This was a surprisingly easy craft for the children to complete and I think it was extra fun for them because it gave them free reign of the Scotch tape which is always very exciting because that rarely happens.

Happy Halloween!

Since Halloween is this week it seemed silly not to get into the spirit and have Halloween storytime!
The first book we read was The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

This is one of my all time favorite storytime books. It’s rhyming text lends itself to be a fantastic read aloud and while it is not specifically about Halloween the Gruffalo is a scary monster who is outwitted by a clever mouse. The kids really enjoyed this story and were eventually able to start predicting the text.

Next we read rick or Treat Countdown by Patrica Hubbard.

This counting book is geared for younger kids but I made it a bit more interactive for the older kids by having them help me count and guess which number was to come next. Five year olds love to show off their counting skills and this book provided an excellent opportunity for them to do it!

Finally, we finished with Halloween Sky Ride by Elizabeth Spurr.

This was a great way to end our Halloween storytime. A witch takes some of her friends for a ride on her broom and go to a Halloween party. This book has a great message about friendship and the kids got a kick out of the story and everyone was very pleased with the end.
For our craft we made cat masks in preparation for Halloween. This was an extremely fun craft and everyone was very creative with their decorating
The template can be found here:

Click to access catmask.pdf

Mice are nice

I had some difficulty deciding on today’s theme. For some reason, I felt drained out of new and fun ideas. Finally, I decided on a mouse theme. I realized quickly that this was a great choice because there are SO MANY books with mice in them.

This beautiful Caldecott Honor book was a great way to start out storytime this week. There is a mysterious element to this story and the children really loved that.

The next book we read was one of my favorites from childhood, Whose Mouse are You? written by Robert Kraus illustrations by Jose Aruego.
I think I love this book so much because I can remember it being on of the first books I read on my own. We had fun talking about Aruego’s pictures- especially one of lots of cheese.
Next we read Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley.
This is a delightful book about a mouse who helps himself to a few snacks and makes a huge mess. He then blames the owners of the house for being so messy which the children found hilarious. This book has great rhyming text which makes it fun to read and listen to.

Finally we finished today with The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood.
I love reading this book because the children always think it is going to be scary, but it’s not. It is actually a very sweet, funny story. It is always a crowd pleaser, the children always enjoy hearing this story and get a kick out of the illustrations of the little mouse.

For our craft we made another paper bag puppet, but this time it was a mouse!
Everyone enjoyed making this craft however I think it might have been a bit complex for a lot of the children. It required a lot of gluing which can be tough for little hands.
Here is the link for this craft:

Let’s go to the zoo!

We had so much fun during last week’s storytime when we went to the farm, so this week we took a trip to the zoo! I love zoo/jungle themes because there is an endless amount of books that fit this them and the crafts are always really fun.

We started with the book Beautiful Bananas by Elizabeth Laird illustrated by Liz Pichon.

This is a very sweet story about a girl who is trying to take her grandfather a gift of bananas but the animals of the jungle keep messing up her plans. I enjoy reading this book in storytime because it is fun for the kids to discuss the animals however it is a bit long so I usually start with it when their attention spans are at their longest.

Next we read Sam Who Never Forgets by Eve Rice.

The kids liked this book a lot, more than I expected. I think it is because of the elephant that is featured in the story, they all seem to really like elephants. This book lead a to a nice discussion about zoo keepers and what they do.
After that we read Whose Nose and Toes by John Butler.This book is awesome! I love, love, love reading it in storytime. The children always have a great time guessing which animal each set of nose and toes belong to. This sort of thing never gets old in storytime.

The final book we read was The Giraffe Who Cock-A-Doodle-Doo’d by Keith Faulkner illustrated by Jonathan Lambert.

This book is a great way to end. It is lots of fun and as an added bonus is a pop-up book.

For our craft this week we made paper bag puppets. We have a lot of paper bags in our craft closet so I decided to use them to create fun puppets.I am not sure if there is anything cuter than a 3 year old running around making his paper bag puppet lion roar at other paper bag puppets.
Here is a link to the template for this craft:

Barnyard fun

Today for storytime we took a trip to the farm for a barnyard storytime!

We opened today with Clip Clop by Nicola Smee.

This is a short and sweet story about Mr. Horse who takes his friends Cat, Dog, Pig and Duck for a ride. The children really enjoyed this story, it has a great rhythm and fun illustrations.

Next we read Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm by Joy Cowley illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller.

I really think Mrs. Wishy-Washy is a great character to introduce in storytime. There are many stories about Mrs. Wishy-Washy and so the children can continue to discover new books with this fun character. This is a super funny story and the children all laughed and chanted “Wishy-washy, Wishy-washy,” with me.

Next we read a very fun and interactive book, Peek-a-Moo by Marie Torres Cimarusti illustrated by Stephanie Peterson.

I LOVE using this in storytime, especially with the younger crowd. It is a lot of fun for everyone to say all of the animal sounds and the upside down flaps are silly and fun.

After that we read First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

This book was a Caldecott honor book in 2008 so as a librarian I was excited to use it, however the kids could care less. This is a very nice, simple book with great illustrations. I have a feeling the parents enjoyed it a bit more than the children did, but that is Ok- they need to have a fun time too.

Finally, we ended with Look Who’s Talking! On the Farm by Danny Tepper illustrated by Valeria Petrone.
This was another lift the flap book and it was equally as enjoyable as the first we read. I was worried the kids wouldn’t have as much fun the second time but kids do love repetition so we had an even better time making animal noises.
For the craft this week, we made little chicks coming out of their eggs. The children got to glue on the beaks and the googley eyes and color in their chicks. I made mine a very boring yellow.

Here is the link to this craft:

Monster Mania

This week we channeled our inner monsters and has a monster storytime!

We began with the classic, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Where the Wild Things Are

I was surprised that so few children in attendance knew the story of Max who was very bad and his adventures with the wild things. Sendak’s illustrations of the wild things were a huge hit with the kids, however there was some relief when Max returned home and his dinner was still warm.
Next we read There’s A Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone.

We had a fun time turning the pages and getting closer to the monster. There were a few children who did not want me to turn the pages and did not want to see the monster at the end of the book. There was a definite sense of relief when we discovered the monster at the end of the book was our friendly narrator.
Mo Willems’ hilarious Leonardo the Terrible Monster was next.
While some of the kids worried that they would be scared of Leonardo they soon realized that he wasn’t scary just down right terrible at being a monster. This is one of my favorites by Willems and I was so excited to share it with my storytime kids.

We finished with I’m Looking For a Monster by Timothy Y

Pop-up books go over really well with this group so I was confident that this one would be a fun way to end and I was right! We had a great time looking for a monster finally finding the right one.

For our craft we made very scary monster masks. Everyone had a great time running around making monster noises and scaring themselves. Special thanks to my co-worker Katie for modeling this week’s craft!