SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Dragon Storytime

This was a storytime I took over last minute when a colleague called in sick. She had some books selected, and I spent about three hours throwing the rest together! (The activity details are at the end of the post)

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: The Knight and the Dragon – Tomi DePaula

(this is a great book to chat about during reading, due to some wordless pages being incorporated)

Activity: Little Dragon’s Birthday (see at end)

(made a little cake from an oatmeal tube, with straw candles that I could raise and lower the flames of…after the candle blows them on the first time the kids got to blow them out, then use their dragon breath to blow them on again.)

Book: When a Dragon Moves in – Jodi Moore

(I found out with my first group that this was too long, and it went much better when I paper clipped about five pages from the middle.)

Activity: Dragon, Dragon (see at end)

(I believe this is a variation of the Teddy Bear version, I changed it further.)

Book: Baby Dragon – Amy Ehrlich

(I think this is a very cute story, love the illustrations. It was a little wordy, so I did more telling than reading.)

Activity: Five Knights in Shining Armor

(Used knights on the flannel board, with the words posted as well. It was more popular than I expected, with parents singing along.)

Book: The Paper Bag Princess – Robert Munch

(Great just the way it is!)

Craft: Paper Plate Shields

(2nd week in a row with crafts! So glad when this inspiration hit, was desperately scrambling and couldn’t find anything to round out the storytime. Used paper plates and rolled strips of card stock (like making a paper chain) and glued one roll on the plate as a handle. The kids colored the convex surface.)

The Parts:

Little Dragon’s Birthday-

Once upon a time there lived a little dragon.  He lived with his parents in the great woods. Like all dragons, he puffed fire. Little Dragon puffed orange fire. On Little Dragon’s birthday, his mother said, “I’ve made a birthday cake for you. You may run and look for your friends. Tell them to come and have some birthday cake.”
Little Dragon ran into the woods. He found Mouse, Mole, and Turtle there. “It’s my birthday”, he said. “Come and have some birthday cake.” “Thank you,” they answered. “We’d like to come. But tells us something, please. With your breath of fire, how do you blow out your candles?” “Wait and see,” he told them, and they followed Little Dragon to his house. Mother Dragon put the cake on the table. Little Dragon made his wish, and then he blew a big breath of fire. He lit every candle on the cake! “OH,” laughed his friends. “Now we know what dragons do. They don’t blow out the candles. They blow them on!” “That’s what we do,” laughed Little Dragon. “And I got my wish, too.”

Dragon, Dragon-
Dragon, dragon, turn around
Dragon, dragon, touch the ground
Dragon, dragon, fly up high
Dragon, dragon, soar in the sky
Dragon, dragon, clean your scales
Dragon, dragon, shake your tails
Dragon, dragon, give a roar
Dragon, dragon, drop to the floor.

(we took some time acting out each section, ending in a ‘nap’ pose.)

Five Knights in Shining Armor-

 Five knights in shining armor,

Fearless and brave,

Went hunting for a dragon

In a deep dark cave.

The dragon breathed some fire,

The knights were all aquiver

And one little knight

Ran and dove into the river!

 (Count down remaining knights)


Leave a comment »

Magic Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Magic Box – Kate Cleminson


(Fun, simple story with awesome illustrations.)

Activity: Magic Hat (see at end)

 (Trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat, but different animals keep coming out instead! I used a monkey, a giraffe, a mouse, and a chicken before the rabbit finally appeared…and I had the kids help of the final chant to make sure it would work!)

Book: The Wizard the Fairy and the Magic Chicken – Helen Lester

(This is a cute story, but runs just a little long. The kids weren’t as engaged as I expected.)

Activity: “Poof” You’re a… (see at end)

 (Use a wand to ‘transform’ the kids into different things. I found Kangaroo to be popular, and of course changed them back to kids for the next story!)

Book: Sausages – Jessica Souhami


(I think this is a charming version of the classic tale. It’s great that the couple ends up still happy.)

Puppets: Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock

 (A traditional tale, I used the Kimell version as my basis. Had a prop rock, puppets for Anansi, Lion, Elephant and Bush Deer. I also had pics of the food Anansi stole for the flannelboard [the top of which I use for the stage].)

Book: Anton Can Do Magic – Ole Konnecke


(It’s nice when a new book comes in and you think ‘I know just what to use that for!’.)

Activity: Wand Craft

(Different colored popsicle sticks, with cut out stars to attach and glitter glue to decorate!)

The Parts:

(MAGIC) – “Hat Trick” by Deanna Romriell.  (Use a top hat/rabbit puppet along with a selection of other animals to perform this rhyme.)

Magic!  Magic!  In my hat,

I’ll pull out a rabbit –

Aaaaaa!!  What is that?!!

(Pull anything other than a rabbit out and repeat.)

Magic!  Magic!  In my hat,

I’ll pull out a rabbit –

 See!!  Look at that!!


“Abracadabra, poof!  You’re a _____________!”  (Some of the things to turn the children into could included a duck, ogre, bear, tree, monkey, frog, fire engine and rock.  And of course, the kids had to act like that thing).


Getting Better Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: The Flea’s Sneeze – Lynn Downey


Puppets: Bark George by Jules Feiffer

(Did this story as a puppet show, with just George and the animals that get pulled out by the vet. I was the part of the mother and the vet. This story is great no matter how you tell it!)

 Book: Sick Day for Amos Mcgee – Philip C. Stead


(I wasn’t sure how well this would go over, it’s a slower pace, but the kids were engaged throughout! Nice options for open dialogue with some wordless pages.)

Song: John Brown’s Baby (see at end)

 (A song with a Bingo sort of feel, with words being replaced by actions with each consecutive round. I had a chart with the words and actions for the song. Over the illustration of the actions I taped a slip with the word, which I removed as we progressed through each round.)

Book: I Broke My Trunk – Mo Willems


(Can’t go wrong with Mo Willems!)

Poem: Curing the Hiccups by Mary Jane Mitchell (see at end)

 (I used a lion puppet to recite the poem. Puppets make poems so much more engaging! He acted out what he talked about…and we let the kids try to scare the hiccups away before the line ‘…and ‘hic’ been scared again.’)

Book: Boo Hoo Bird – Jeremy Tankard


(I love the vibrant colors, and the story is cute too!)

Activity: No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (with parachute)

(Did the classic ‘No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed’ with Balloon monkeys [each had a pebble inside for weight] on our big parachute. We would bounce the monkeys until one fell off then put down the ‘blanket’ and count the remaining monkeys before bouncing the next one off!)

The Parts:


John Brown’s baby had a cold upon his chest
John Brown’s baby had a cold upon his chest
John Brown’s baby had a cold upon his chest
And they rubbed it with camphorated oil.

Verse 2: Omit word “baby” throughout and do motion
Verse 3: Omit “baby” and “cold” and do motions
Verse 4: Omit “baby”, “cold” and “chest” and do motions
Verse 5: Omit “baby”, “cold”, “chest” and “rubbed” and do motions
Verse 6: Omit “baby”, “cold”, “chest”, “rubbed” and “camphorated oil” and do motions
MOTIONS (not done on Verse 1):
baby – rock baby in arms
cold – cough
chest – slap chest
rubbed – rub chest
camphorated oil – hold nose and make a face

Curing the Hiccups by Mary Jane Mitchell

I have the …hic, hic …hiccups,

And nothing that’s been done

Has helped at …hic, hic …curing them.

Hic, hic …This isn’t fun.

I’ve breathed into their paper bags

And …hic… counted to ten.

I’ve …hic… been scared by everyone

And  …hic… been scared again.

I’ve …hic… walked on a balance beam.

I’ve …hic… stood on my head.

I home they cure them pretty coon

Before I’m …hic, hic… dead!

Leave a comment »

Food Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies out – Raffi

Book:Burger Boy – Alan Durant


(This is a book I’ve wanted to share since before I was hired for storytimes. So glad I finally could!)

Shadow play: from Hungry Hen by Richard Waring


(Borrowed from a fellow librarian. Told the story using a projector and transparencies, with chicken and fox shadow puppets)

Book: Gobble Gobble, Slip Slip – Meilo So


(I love having the opportunity to bring in other cultures, this is a new favorite.)

Song: I’m Hungry! (see at end)

(variant of the song from the CD Road Trip by Hullaballo)

Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle


(The kids were excited to see this in the lineup, they all love it already!)

Activity: The Greedy Python by Eric Carle (see at end)

 (I acted this out rather than reading the story. I had a green tube scarf on hand with a lot of stretch that I added eyes and a tongue to for the python. Changed some of the animals from the original to match what I had to stuff inside it. The kids got excited when all the animals were coughed up…and it took a little effort to get their attention back for the ending.)

Book: Me Hungry – Jeremy Tankard


(So simple and engaging. Defiantly a book you want to establish voices for [there is just the boy, the dad and the mom].)

Activity: My Name is Joe (see at end)

The Parts:

I’m Hungry

I’m hungry, I’m hungry, I want something to eat.

Wait, never mind I found a raisin in my seat!

I found a raisin in my seat, I found a raisin in my seat.

Wait, never mind I found a raisin in my seat!

(Pantomime eating the item. Then repeat with pretzel, cracker, peanut, cookie, and earthworm! I had a group shout out ‘Don’t eat it!’ when I got to the earthworm…so it ended up back in the seat that day. I also had the kids identify each item as I pulled it out. I used real food, and a rubber earthworm.)

The Greedy Python by Eric Carle

-Half hidden in the jungle green

The biggest snake there’s ever been

Wound back and forth an in between

-The giant snake was very strong

And very, very, very long.

He had a monstrous appetite.

His stomach stretched from left to right.

-He quickly gobbled in one bite

Whatever creatures came in sight:

A mouse that scampered to and fro,

A frog that jumped from up below,

A fish that swam a bit too slow,

A bird that flew a bit too low,

-A tortoise resting half asleep,

A monkey who was in mid-leap,

-An elephant, complete with trunk,

Was swallowed in a single chunk.

“I’m far too big to eat!” he cried.

“Oh, no you’re not!” the snake replied.

-At last the python’s meal was done

And he lay resting in the sun.

The animals inside his skin

Were making quite a dreadful din;

-And when they all began to kick,

The snake began to feel quite sick.

-He coughed the whole lot up again—

Each one of them—then coughed again.

-He soon felt better, and what’s more

Was hungrier than just before.

He hadn’t learned a single thing:

His greed was quite astonishing.

He saw his own tail, long and curved,

And thought that lunch was being served.

-He closed his jaws on his own rear

Then swallowed hard…and disappeared!

My Name is Joe adapted by Paul Musser

Hello, my name is Joe, and I work in a pizza factory.

I have a wife, a dog, and three kids.

One day, the chef said to me:

“Hey Joe, can you stir some sauce with your right hand?”

I said “Sure!” (pantomime action, and build with following)

Hello, my name is Joe, and I work in a pizza factory.

I have a wife, a dog, and three kids.

One day, the chef said to me:

“Hey Joe, can you chop some vegetables with your left hand?”

I said “Sure!” (pantomime action)

Hello, my name is Joe, and I work in a pizza factory.

I have a wife, a dog, and three kids.

One day, the chef said to me:

“Hey Joe, can you open the garbage can with your right foot?”

I said “Sure!” (pantomime action)

Hello, my name is Joe, and I work in a pizza factory.

I have a wife, a dog, and three kids.

One day, the chef said to me:

“Hey Joe, can you hold open the door with your left foot?”

I said “Sure!” (pantomime action)

Hello, my name is Joe, and I work in a pizza factory.

I have a wife, a dog, and three kids.

One day, the chef said to me:

“Hey Joe, can you lick some stamps with your tongue?”

I said “Sure!” (pantomime action, kids love the garbled talking while licking!)

Hello, my name is Joe, and I work in a pizza factory.

I have a wife, a dog, and three kids.

One day, the chef said to me:

“Hey Joe, are you busy right not?”

and I said “Yeah, I’m kinda busy.”

Leave a comment »