Happy Birthday to you!

It’s true, Halloween is my favorite holiday but there is one thing I might love even more… birthdays! I love my birthday, of course, but I really do love everyone’s birthdays. This was a very popular theme because of course EVERYONE enjoyed sharing stories about their birthday.

We started with Don’t Spill the Beans! by Ian Schoenherr.

This is a very cute book about a bear who has quite a surprise a birthday party! The kids really enjoyed this book, everyone was excited to find out what the secret was.

Next we read Happy Birthday, Monster! by Scott Beck.

This is a really great birthday book and everyone really enjoyed it but I think it is better suited for a one on one reading situation. There were lots of extras (the characters talking to each other etc) and I had thought it would have been no problem, but it ended up being a little distracting. However, this is a really sweet story about a birthday and also really fun.

I closed with My Birthday Cake by Olivia George.

This book features a little girl after my own heart. She creates quite a cake with lots of sweet treats. Unfortunately, she discovers that it is a bit TOO sweet and she really prefers the cake her mother makes her. This was the perfect book to close with because for our craft we made our own birthday cakes!

This was very easy. My kids really enjoy coloring and I also provided foam sticky shapes for them to stick on their cakes. Everyone got very creative.

There are lots of great fingerplays and songs out there that go with this theme. Obviously good old “Happy Birthday” works well. We also sang another of one of my favorite ones.

Jelly in the Bowl
Jelly  in  the  bowl, (cup hands and wabble around)
Jelly  in  the  bowl.
Wiggy  waggy, 
Wiggy  waggy,
Jelly  in  the  bowl.

Cookies in the jar, (creat jar with hands and shake)
Cookies in the jar,
Shake ’em up,
Shake ’em up,
Cookies in the jar,

Candles on the cake, (display all ten fingers)
Candles on the cake,
Blow them out, (“blow out” fingers)
Blow them out,
Candles on the cake.

As an unrelated note, today in storytime one of my kids said “I love your shirt!”, which made the rest of the kids comment on what they love. It was fantastic and a great way to start the day!


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.

I’m Hungry!

This week’s storytime was all about one of my favorite topics: food! There are so many awesome books on this topic it was hard to choose just a few. I am sure that I will be revisiting this theme in the weeks and months to come

We started with Sausages by Jessica Souhami.
I will admit that I chose this book initially because I liked the cover. However, as it turns out not only does it have an appealing cover but it is a really fun story. This book is a retelling of an old folk tale. It is about about a husband and wife who get three wishes from a magic elf. The husband mistakenly wishes for sausages and in her annoyance at his wasting of a wish his wife wishes that it they get stuck to his nose. So they are left with only one wish left and must use to it get the sausages off his nose. The kids really liked this book and agreed that it was ok to use the final wish to get the sausages off of his nose. We had a big discussion about what we would wish for. Not surprisingly everyone wanted to be rich and no one wanted sausages.

After that we read Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Cordce.

I was first introduced to this book by the boys that I babysit and feel in love with Little Pea. It is the super cute story of a little pea who does not want to eat his dinner- candy! Of course all of the kids decided that they would like to be little peas and eat candy for dinner. There were only a few, like myself who found his dessert, spinach appetizing.

Next we read Today is Monday by Eric Carle.It seems difficult for me to do a storytime with out a book by Eric Carle, I like him that much! This is really great for storytime for younger children. I like to use this book to help teach the days of the week. For a little extra fun we made the animal noises for the animals.

Then we read The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and illustrations by Crockett Johnson.

I have always liked this book and today it was fun because a few of the kids had read this book before so they got excited about knowing the end ahead of time.

Finally we read Round as a Pancake by Joan Sullivan Baranski illustrated by Yu-Mei Han.
I had never read this book for a storytime before and was plesantly surprised about how great it worked! It had a really fun and fairly simple rhyme. So, it was lots of fun for the kids to hear as well as to anticipate.

For the craft this week we made some bananas with funny faces. The free downloadable templates can be found here: http://www.makingfriends.com/preschool/fruit_faces.htm
I forgot to take a picture so you will have to use your imaginations!

Back To School

A few of my regulars start Kindergarten next week so in preparation, we did a back to school storytime!

We started with Chicka Chika Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault illustrated by Lois Ehlert.

This book is extremely popular with the kids in my library, its circulation rate is through the roof. My storytime friends really enjoyed pointing out the different letters and especially enjoyed all of the different injuries suffered by the letters after they fell off the coconut tree. The vibrant and silly pictures are always a huge hit with the kids.

Next we read Minerva Louise At School by Janet Morgan Stoeke.
This book may have been a bit much for the younger kids but the older children enjoyed Minerva Louise as she mistakenly identified different things in the school. They were very proud when they were able to identify the items correctly.

Next we read School Bus by Donald Crews.

Although I think this is a great book, I don’t think that the kids enjoyed it as much as I hoped they would. I think part of the problem may have been that only a few of the children actually ride school buses to school so they are not as familiar with them.

We finished with Wow School! by Robert Neubecker.
Although this isn’t a very text heavy book the pictures are absolutely fantastic. Much like his other books, Wow City! and Wow America! this book has bright and colorful pictures that fill each page. The kids couldn’t get enough of them.

Coming up with a craft this week was sort of difficult. I settled on an apple craft. You know, because apples have to do with school… in a way. We made super hero apples with a capital A. I got it from this website: