SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Outer Space Storytime

This underwent considerable revision between the Tuesday and Thursday programs. I was surprised at how few good storytime books there are for the theme! Even looking for ‘alien’ etc. I think it’s because most of the stories were narrated, rather than having characters ‘interact’. See what I cut out at the end of the post.

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Austronaut Piggy Wiggy – Christyan and Diane Fox

(No one in the crowd seemed very interested in this story. I’ve used the pirate Piggy Wiggy before and it was much more popular. Not sure why this one flopped.)

Activity: Robot Zot (based on the story by John Scieszka)

(Zot with the ‘dangerous enemies’, and his Queen)

Bring Robot into view,

“Robot Zot—Wham Bot! Robot Zot—Bam Bot!

Robot Zot—never fall. Robot Zot—Conquer all!

 Robot Zot crashed his attack ship on earth, there he meets a dangerous enemy! “

 Bring appliance into view (follow pattern with each)…interact with kids…”does this look like a dangerous enemy? Robot Zot thinks so! Who will win? Robot Zot yells his battle cry,

 “Robot Zot—never fall. Robot Zot—Conquer all!”

 Mock battle with Robot Zot and the appliance, Robot Zot wins, hurrah! Then, another appliance (three in all, a blender, mixers, and hand vac)…until the last round, with the pink and blue toy.

“Does this look like an enemy?

This not enemy, is Queen of all Earth.

Robot Zot—rescue bot, Robot Zot—hero bot!

 Robot rescues toy and runs off behind flannel board.

 And off they go in the spaceship to explore another distant galaxy.

(I was glad to have a chance to use this again, it was so popular during my Robots theme. These crowds weren’t quite as excited about it, but it still had a good reception.)

Book: Moon Plane –  Peter McCarthy

(A simply story with very nice pictures. It’s fun to throw in some vehicle noises as well.)

Activity: If you’re going to the moon

sung to  ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It,’

If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp, stomp)
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp, stomp)
If you’re going to the moon, and you want to get there soon
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp, stomp)

…wear your suit (ziiiiiiip)

…wear your gloves (clap, clap)

…wear your helmet (pat, pat)

(then we blasted off!)


I am a rocket crouched on the ground,

(put arms over headfor rocket’s nose)

Waiting quietly without a sound (put finger to lips)

Light this fuse on my little toe, (wiggle toe)

Ready for blast-off? Here I go!

5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1


(jump into the air)

Book: There was a bold lady

(This is a nice variation of swallowing the fly. I got some good guesses about what she wanted the star for!)

Activity: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (with sign language)

(I’ve used this before, I  don’t remember what the theme was, so it was easy to stick in as a last minute replacement. It was so popular we did it three times!) 

Book: Star Climbing – Lou Fancher

(Really nice illustrations, but I’m not sure the kids understood the concept of constellations. Still, we had fun identifying the animals and making their noises.)

Activity: Bubbles

(The we pretended the bubbles were stars and caught them! Played Zoom Zoom from the CD Purple Collection by Ladybug Music. Such a fun song!)

What got kicked out–

I had Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy as part of the storytime, with some pages clipped together, but it was too similar to Astronaut Piggy Wiggy. I also cut Green Wilma Frog in Space by Ted Arnold. I think it could work, but it switched it for the less wordy Moon Plane. I also replaced There Was A Bold Lady Who Wanted a Star (which I had prepped as a flannel board) with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star so I could tell it in the original book form.


Daddies Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Today’s storytime is all about Daddies, because this Sunday is Father’s day. It’s a day to show our daddies just how much we love them. 

Book: Knuffle Bunny – Mo Willems

(It was a pretty vocal group today, which worked great with this story. Some kids were already familiar with the book so I didn’t even have to prompt for responses about the bunny getting left behind! Very well received.)

Activity: D-A-D-D-Y (B-I-N-G-O)

(I taped the letters around a paper towel roll, and slid them around for the letters to disappear. When the first D was gone one child wanted to know what the new word was, so we sounded it out each time a letter disappeared. Very fun.)

Book: Oh Daddy – Bob Shea

(Silly daddy keeps doing things wrong! Even the older elementary kids that sat in were having a good time with this one.)

Activity: If You’re Happy and you Know It from the CD Get Ready, Get Set, Sing! by Sarah Barchas

(Introduced this by asking if the kids daddies loved them when they were happy ‘Yes!’ and when they were angry ‘No!’ [oops!] We reiterated that daddies love us all the time, whether we are hungry or sleepy or sad. Then sang the great version with a bunch of different emotions.)

Book: A Wild Fathers Day – Sean Callahan

(The kids were excited by the cover of this book ‘They’re turning into monkeys!’ and had fun throughout. One proclaimed after the story, ‘That was a book about imagination.’)

Flannel Board: Matching Families

(I was going to do a flannel version of ‘The Fathers are Coming Home’ but ended up using the images for a matching game instead. We put all the daddies on our flannel board and talked a little about the animals, then I held up the baby animals and the kids told me what they matched with. This one seemed to fizzle out a little bit, maybe 8 was too many pairs?)

Book: My Dad is Big and Strong, but… – Coraline Saudo

(Such a fun new book! I worried that it might feel a little long, but the kids were engaged throughout. )

Craft/Activity: Shirt cards

(I had a bunch of ‘shirt’ cards ready for the kids to color, with a poem printed inside.)

With my fingers I dance a beat,

that tickles through my daddy’s shirt.

He helps me eat a tasty treat,

that drips drops down my daddy’s shirt.

When I get scared, he’s where I look,

hold tight onto my daddies shirt.

Then nod off after one last book,

snuggled against my daddies shirt.

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Sendak Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Today is a special storytime, we’re going to do stories that were all by one author, Maurice Sendak. He died just a little while ago, so this is to say thank you for all the great books he wrote for us.  He also drew pictures for books, and our first story is one where he just drew the pictures. 

Book: Bears –  Ruth Krauss

(I sort of talked the kids through this one, we followed the kidnapping and recovery of the boys teddy bear. It was well received.)

Flannel Board: One Was Johnny


(This story translated magnificently to magnet board telling. The base of the room was drawn on with markers. The kids had quite the fun as the room filled up, and then emptied out again!)

Book: Where the Wild Things Are

(The kids were very excited to see this book, almost all of them knew it. Everyone helped the wild things roar the roars, and gnash their teeth, etc. )

Activity: Be wild things

Then we got to be wild things! I modified the classic ‘Teddy Bear’ chant. First, thought, we practiced our wild thing roars, and got our wild claws ready.)

Wild thing, wild thing turn around,

  Wild thing, wild thing scratch the ground.

Wild thing, wild thing Roar out loud,

Wild thing, wild thing, touch a cloud.

Wild thing, wild thing, win a race.

Wild thing, wild thing, jump in place.

Wild thing, wild thing, stop and pause,

Wild thing, wild thing, touch your claws.

Wild thing, wild thing, sit right down.

Wild thing, wild thing, make no sound.

Book: In the Night Kitchen

(This was a fun book, went over without any hubaloo either way.)

Puppets: Pierre

(Used our boy and lion puppet for this. I cut out the father character, using just the mother, lion, and doctor sections. It was very popular, and everyone was happy to see Pierre ride away on the lion at the end.)

Book: Bumble-ardy

(This was tricky, the audience lost interest about a third of the way through. I felt like just reading through it left confusion about what was happening in the pictures, and stopping to talk about the pictures made it too long and interest was lost.)

Activity: Instruments

(after reading about Bumble-Ardy’s party, we had one of our own with instruments and music. All-in-all it was a really good storytime!)

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