Monday, November 26, 2012

Bunches of Bears!

My favorite little brown bear puppet
from Fancy Zoo Puppets
(no longer available ... of course)
 It's almost winter ... which means it's time for Bears (and other creatures) to find a nice, warm place to sleep until spring. Our stories today were all about bears and hibernation.

Books We Read :
Every Autumn Comes the Bear 
by Jim Arnosky
Hibernation Station 
by Michelle Meadows
Bear Dreams 
by Elisha Cooper
by Claudia Rueda

Time to Sleep  by Denise Fleming (book prop)
*note to Flannel Friday-ers : this is not a flannel I made!
It was purchased from many years ago (no longer available)
Would make a fantastic handmade flannel, however!
The bear does come out of the cave ...

Ever heard that song about the ants? Where they go marching to get out of the rain?
Well, here is one just like that, but it's about bears getting ready for hibernation time!

The bears go marching one by one,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The bears go marching one by one,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The bears go marching one by one,
The little one knew that autumn was done ...
And they all go marching down
To their den
Because winter
Had set in, bum ... bum ... bum

... two by two ...
little one stopped to sneeze : "ahh-choo!"

... three by three ...
little one stopped to scratch a tree

... four by four ...
little one stopped to eat just a bit more

... five by five ...
little one stopped to whisper : "nighty-night!"

Finally, I turned Lydia Dabcovich's book "Sleepy Bear" into a flannel story :

Monday, November 12, 2012

Shoe Bop

It was all about shoes (and boots and sandals and slippers) at storytime today. We had a dusting of snow so we could talk about wearing boots outside and shoes inside.

Books We Shared
"Two Shoes, Blue Shoes, New Shoes!" by Fitz-Gibbon
"Shoe Baby" by Dunbar
"Botas Nuevas (New Boots)" by Van Genechten
"Whose Shoes?" by Hines

A Silly Chant We Shared (and I showed photos of different types of shoes) :
Late last night,
When I was asleep,
Someone put funny shoes on my feet!
I walked here,
I walked there,
I walked almost everywhere!
But at the end of the night,
My shoes were too tight,
So I took them off, and wiggled my toes,
And my feet felt all right ...
We ended with a horse shoe, which of course people can't wear ...

Flannel Story
Finally! Pete the Cat made an appearance at the end of storytime with his groovy white shoes ...

For you Flannel Friday-ers out there, this was my first attempt using Puffy Paint (Tulip brand) -- here's how some of the more successful shoes turned out. The smaller the shoes got, the more difficult it became ... you may also notice from the above photo that I modified the story a bit. I changed the story from Pete stepping "into a bucket of water" (what?) to having rain fall down and washing all the colors off to return his shoes to white at the end.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Music, Maestro!

Ahh ... something near and dear to my heart -- music. Today was about all things musical. We shared music-related books, sang oodles of songs and I had an instrument demo.

Here's what we read :
Thump, Thump, Rat-a-Tat-Tat  by Gene Baer (love reading this book)
Punk Farm  by Jarrett Krosoczka (how can you go wrong with a barnyard rock band?!?)
Hey Diddle Diddle  by Eve Bunting
Soon, Baboon, Soon  by Dave Horowitz (complete with triangle demo at the end -- ting!)

I brought my violin and played an Irish tune followed by a rousting fiddle version of "If You're Happy and You Know It" (always a crowd pleaser). I also brought a grab-bag of percussion instruments as a show-and-tell. It included :
  • rain stick
  • tambourine
  • bells
  • chimes
  • shekere
  • kalimba
Finally, we sang this silly song that I've known for ages and ages (learned in Girl Scouts) and which I adapted for the flannel board with a shout-out to Reading Chick at Rain Makes Applesauce who gave me the idea. I included verses about the Penguin, the Horse, the Panda Bear, the One-Eared Cat and Fuzzy Wuzzy.

Before ...

... and after!

Here is my YouTube clip of the song, with the above verses included ...


Friday, November 2, 2012

Flannel Friday - Turkeys!

I love this flannel and use it pretty much every year.
It was a collaborative effort -- one of my brilliant co-workers made the turkeys, I made the pizza and I modified the original rhyme to suit my needs. It can be spoken or sung to the tune of "Five Little Pumpkins".

Five Fat Turkeys

Five Fat Turkeys sitting on a fence,
The first one said,
"Oh my! I am immense!"
The second one said,
"Just watch me waddle"
The third one said,
"Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!"
The fourth one said,
"Thanksgiving Day is coming!"
The fifth one said,
"We'd better start running!"

The turkeys could not be found on Thanksgiving Day,
So the poor old farmer had this to say ...

"I guess we'll have to eat pizza ..."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This week at both Family and Baby Storytime we celebrated Halloween with songs, fingerplays, flannel stories and, of course costumes and treats! Here is a sampling of what we shared this week :

Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming
Halloween Forest by Marion Dane Bauer
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler

Peek-a-Boooo! by Marie Cimarusti
Where is Baby's Pumpkin? by Karen Katz

One of my all-time favorite cut-and-tell stories was shared -- "The Little Old Lady and the Cat"

Once upon a time there lived a little old lady and her cat.
Make sure to fold paper with open end at top
They had outgrown their house, so one day they went for a walk to find a new one.

Cut paper as you tell story -- make a notch at the top for the stem

Cut a high, tilted door on right for pumpkin's mouth

They came upon the perfect house and decided to move in.
However, there was no door in the house ...
So, the little old lady (who wore a tall, pointed hat) made a door fit just for her
Cut a smaller door in middle of house for pumpkin nose
cut a big door

Make a hole and cut through to make window (pumpkin eyes)

The cat wanted his own door as well, so the little old lady made a door fit just for him
cut a smaller door for the cat
When they moved inside, they realized there were no windows!
So, the little old lady made a window in the house.
cut a window in the paper
When their new house was finished, the little old lady put up the calendar on the wall.
"Oh my goodness!" she cried. "Today is Halloween!"
In all their hard work, they had forgotten about Halloween -- and had no decorations!
But when they looked further ... they realized they had the perfect jack-o-lantern.

Flannel Stories We Shared :

This is the House that is Haunted
This is the house that is haunted ...
This is the moon that shines on the house that is haunted.
These are the bats that fly past the moon that shines ...
This is the ghost that startles the bats that fly past the moon ...
These are the trees that sway in the breeze that flutters the ghost who startles the bats ...
This is the cat that sits by the trees that sway in the breeze ...
This is the pumpkin that glows in the dark that warms the cat who sits by the trees ...

Four Little Spiders
Four little spiders,
Hanging from a tree,
Trying to decide what to wear for Halloween.
The first one said,
"I think I'll wear a hat!"
The second one said,
"I think I'll be a bat!"
The third one said,
"A scary ghost I'll be!"
The fourth one said,
"I think I'll just be me."
So the four little spiders,
Hanging from a tree,
Scared the trick-or treaters on the night of Halloween -- Boo!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Giddyup! Horses in the Library!

We had a very special guest star at storytime today ... and his name was Joey. Joey came to us along with his handler Chris. They both are from Half-Pint Horses out of Bloomington, MN who specialize in bringing miniature horses to community events and hospitals.

Before Joey made his grand entrance, we shared a few horse stories :

Horses : Trotting! Prancing! Racing!
by Patricia Hubbell

by Malachy Doyle

We ended our mini-storytime with the silly song "Alice the Camel."

And then ... JOEY!
Thank you, Half-Pint Horses!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Trees & Leaves

Fall is upon us in Minnesota ... which means it's time to celebrate the changing colors of the trees!
Today at storytime we shared the following books :

The Busy Tree  by Jennifer Ward
Fall, Leaves, Fall!  by Zoe Hall
Fall is not easy  by Marty Kelley
Leaf Man  by Lois Ehlert

I purchased craft leaves at Michael's for our leaf fingerplay. I have used "real" leaves for this but find that by the time I get the leaves to storytime they've lost a lot of their brilliance. Fake ones do just fine.
We all learned the ASL sign for "tree" which was incorporated into this rhyme.
I held the leaves high aloft while my attendees provided the wind to blow them down ...

this can be sung to any "five little ..." tune you know
Five little leaves, so bright and gay
Were hanging on a tree one day,
The wind came blowing through the town ...
And one  little leaf came tumbling down.
one by one I dropped the leaves
at the end, I "raked" them up into a pile

I included this Native American story which explains why some trees lose their leaves and some stay green all winter long (a big deal in the north). The story is titled "The Evergreens" and comes from the Vancouver Coast region. My only substitution here was I made a maple tree rather than a willow tree. I love this story and had a lot of fun making Jack Frost.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Let's Eat!

Everyone loves food and there are so many good titles to choose from. Here is a sampling of what we read at our food-themed storytime today :

Too Many Pears  by Jackie French (love her cow, Pamela)
"Hi, Pizza Man!"  by Virginia Walter (always a favorite)
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear  by Don & Audrey Wood

Flannel/Book/Puppet Story
Lunch  by Denise Fleming

This is such an easy book to expand in so many directions (colors, foods, textures).
We shared this book with a mouse puppet and flannel. As each food was listed, I had the mouse "grab" the food off the flannel and chow down.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Let's Go To The Fair!

The State Fair in Minnesota is a big deal. So, to celebrate the end of the summer, we took a trip to the fair at storytime!

Books We Read :
Night at the Fair  by Donald Crews
I Know a Wee Piggy by Kimberly Norman
A Fabulous Fair Alphabet by Debra Frasier (Minnesota's own!)
Roller Coaster by Kevin O'Malley (sadly now out of print ...)

The thing to do at the State Fair (other than go on the rides, see the animals and play games) is eat. And everything you can get to eat comes on a stick. So I created this simple flannel to go with that theme :

     I went down to the Minnesota Fair
     The cows and the sheep and the pigs were there.
     But when food I did demand,
     We waited at a stand
     And got cotton candy on a stick to share!
     a dill pickle
     a corn dog
     a caramel apple

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dinosaur Craft Storytime

I love having the opportunity to do craft storytimes with older kids (ages 4-8) during the summer -- not only do we get to make cool and fun things, but I get to read books that otherwise I would be unable to read to my toddlers & preschoolers because of the length. Such was the case today!

Books We Read :
Inside-Outside Dinosaurs by Roxie Munro (a good introduction)
When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach, fantastically illustrated by David Small -- this is one of my favorite dinosaur books, but due to the length I usually can't read it at storytime.
T is for Terrible by Peter McCarty

Dinosaur Flannel :
Since I did not have time to turn this into a prop with flannel pieces, I had to take the lazy man's shortcut and use images printed onto cardstock. Worked just great - and now I plan to turn this into a full-fledged flannel rhyme for future use!

(to the tune of "Little White Duck")
There is one dinosaur, stomping through the trees,
One dinosaur, eating all he sees,
He took a bite from a mountain top
And along came a friend with a CRASH! BANG! PLOP!
Now there's two dinosaurs, stomping through the trees,
Two dinosaurs, eating all they see ...

Dinosaur Craft :
I got this out of a fantastic book titled Paper Scissors Glue by Catherine Woram. G
ood, easy crafts for kids in preschool and early-elementary. We made a 3-D dinosaur using cardstock, scissors, markers and stickers. Fun, cute and easy!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Buggy Bugs

Today at storytime was all about BUGS -- not insects, mind you, because included were stories about spiders, centipedes, snails and worms.

I love doing a bug-themed storytime because I always do the following repeat-after-me chant, learned years ago at Girl Scout Camp :
Flea, fly!
Flea, fly, flow,Mos-qui-to!
Calamine, calamine, calamine lotion
Oh, no more calamine lotion!Itchy, itchy, scratchy, scratchy got one on my back-y, back-y,
Owie, owie, zowie, zowie, wish he'd go away!
Quick! Get the bug spray!I think he went that-a-way!Sh ... sh ... sh ... sh ... shhhhhhh .......

We also read the following "buggy" books :
Sitting in my box by Dee Lillegard
(one of my favorites, now sadly out of print)
I love bugs! by Emma Dodd
Gotcha! by Gail Jorgensen
Big rig bugs by Kurt Cyrus

I then shared the book prop for "Sam's Sandwich" by David Pelham

Finally, I created this flannel for today's storytime. The idea was "borrowed" from Miss Mary Liberry and worked just absolutely fantastically with my enormous summer crowd :

Five little caterpillars and not one more,
One spun a cocoon and now there are four.

Four little caterpillars sitting on a tree,
One spun a cocoon and now there are three.

Three little caterpillars with a big job to do,
One spun a cocoon and now there are two.

Two little caterpillars basking in the sun,
One spun a cocoon and now there is just one.

One little caterpillar knew her work was almost done,
She spun a cocoon ... and now there are none.

 BUT ...

One cocoon opened up underneath the sun.
Now there's a beautiful butterfly - that makes one!

Another cocoon opened up with the morning dew,
There's another beautiful butterfly and that makes two!

                                                       Yet another cocoon opened up in the shade of the tree,
                                                       That makes another butterfly - now there are three!

                                                       One more cocoon opened up spreading her wings galore,
                                                       There's another butterfly -- that makes four!

                                                       The last little cocoon opened up, feeling so alive,
                                                       That makes another butterfly -- at last there are five.

Monday, June 18, 2012

MnDOT Truck Storytime

Thanks to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, our truck-themed storytime today had a little extra "vroom"!

We started off with a few truck books :
Job Site  by Nathan Clement
I Drive a Snowplow  by Sarah Bridges

We read the snowplow book because although it was June and about 85 degrees in the shade, the MnDOT folks knew that this truck would be ready and available to visit us.

Sam tells the kids what a MnDOT truck driver does
Sam, our MnDOT driver, came in and told us a few pieces of information about the trucks :
the MnDOT trucks are always orange
they do more than just plow snow!
poor Sam gets a lot of calls from his boss "in the middle of the night" to come and do a job for the state of Minnesota.

We thank MnDOT and especially Sam for coming out to the library today and giving us an up-close experience with one of these massive working trucks.

Outside with the big plow!


The back looks like a giant dump truck

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


At our last spring storytime today I hosted a StoryWalk.
The original StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT.
I modified the idea for my use at my library.

We used Denise Fleming's fabulous
Our small small pond
In The Small, Small Pond.
After an abbreviated storytime inside, we walked around the pond outside while reading the 15 panels from the book, each one displayed on a blank lawn sign holder.

This entire project was extremely affordable -- I purchased two copies of the big book, had them laminated, purchased the blank lawn signs and lawn sign holders and mounted the pages of the book onto the signs. The beauty of displaying a StoryWalk this way is that we can re-used the signs to display a different book at a different StoryWalk in the future (I used double-sided tape which is very easy to remove from corrugated plastic). My attendees were thrilled with getting their kids outside and we had absolutely perfect weather. A success!

hover, shiver, wings quiver

sweep, swoop, swallows scoop