SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Night Creatures Storytime

 Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

(I ended up having such a good time with this! And quite a bit of it was thrown together relatively last minute.)

Book: Kittens First Full Moon – Kevin Henkes


(A simple story with lovely large pictures. The group wasn’t quite settled down yet, but there were still some devoted listeners.)

Activity: There’s something in the nighttime (Modified from There’s something in my garden)

 There’s something in the nighttime

that I can’t really see.

There’s something in the nighttime,

now what can it be?

Whoo, Whoo

Hear it’s funny sound?

Whoo, Whoo

An Owl is what I found!

(Continue with other animals, I used an Owl, a cat, a mouse, and a skunk

‘Smell that funny smell? Sniff, sniff, A skunk! You sure can tell!’)

(I use the ‘Something in my Garden’ during book babies, and it was an easy modification for this! I wanted to use a bat, but didn’t have one on hand, so I used what I had. I think the kids weren’t as excited about the skunk as I was.) =P

Book: Owl Babies – Martin Waddell

(Such cute illustrations, and an adorable story. Tried with some success to get the kids saying ‘I want my mommy!’ along with the littlest owl. Quite well received.)

Activity: Owl Freeze Game (modified from the song ‘Silly Dance Contest’ by Jim Gill)

 Fly any way you want to, fly any way you please

fly any way you want to, but stop when I say Sleep!

(continue with fly as high as you want to, fly as fast as you want to,

then fly any way you want to again to end.)

(I made a two-sided moon/sun visual and explained to the kids that we were going to be owls. That means that if the sun is out we have to be asleep! Then I’d flip it around to the moon for us to be owls flapping our wings. I used a freeze game format, shouting out Sleep! after they’d been flying for a bit and everyone lay down. Loads of fun!)

Book: Dark Night – Dorothee de Monfreid

(Everyone was really into the storytime at this point, and helped out making the animals noises. A fun simple story, the best kind.)

Activity: Bears Toothache (Modified from the book The Bears Toothache by David McPhail)

I was sleeping in my bed last night, when I heard a noise out my window.


Do you know what it was? A Bear! This was a nice bear, but it had a toothache, that’s why it was grumpy. 

I decided to help out, so I found the hurt tooth and I pulled, and pulled. But it was too stuck! 

Then the bear thought chewing on some gum might help to make it loose. 


But he just swallowed the gum. No more gum for you bear!

I tried to hit the tooth with my pillow, but the bear ducked!

I guess he didn’t want to get hit in the face. I thought I’d try one more thing.

So I got some string and tied it to the tooth. Then I held tight, and the bear jumped out the window.

Look! The tooth! The bear said ‘Thank you’ and let me keep the tooth because I was such a big help.

What do you do with a tooth? Put it under your pillow! Good night.

(The audience was really engaged with this, probably because of my huge bear! One little girl came up to stand right beneath it, so I had her hold the string when the bear jumped out the window. Very cute and fun for everyone!)

Book: A Book of Sleep – Il Sung Na

(I love the illustrations in this book. The story is very simple, but the kids had fun identifying the animals.)

Activity: Bats in the belfry

One bat hanging in the belfry,

One bat flew in threw the door.

Two bats hanging in the belfry

snuggled up and flying no more.

(continue with increasing numbers, we went to six)

(I threw this together the night before while at the children’s desk. I had four kids ask to make a bat while I was working on it, so I decided that could be a craft for after the storytime! I traced a pattern and copied it onto colored paper. The kids choose the color bat they wanted, colored it, and then I taped on a pipe cleaner loop that bent over for feet so the bats could hang upside down from the kids fingers. Everyone had a great time with it!)


Sport Star Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Cozmo Zooms – Arthur Howard

(A nice book, maybe a stretch for the theme but it totally worked for me!)

Activity: This is the way you …

This is the way you ride the board, ride the board, ride the board.

This is the way you ride the board when you’re on a skateboard.

 This is the way you Hit the ball, hit the ball, hit the ball

…when you’re playing baseball.

 This is the way you slide your feet, slide your feet, slide your feet.

…when you’re going skating.

 This is the way you Dribble the ball, dribble the ball, dribble the ball

…when you’re playing basketball

 This is the way you Kick the ball, kick the ball, kick the ball,

…when you’re playing soccer.

 This is the way you move your arms, move your arms, move your arms.

…when you’re going swimming.

 This is the way you get tackled, get tackled, get tackled,

…when you’re playing football.

 (We acted everything out, some kids were very happy to do the action for there favorite sport. Then we fell down to get tackled at the end!) 

Book: Sergio Saves the Game – Edel Rodriguez

(Was probably a little long, but I thought the soccer theme would be popular, and the other Sergio book I used before was well received. Sometimes you miss the mark!)

Activity Projector: In the Driver’s Seat from the book by Max Haynes

(This was an activity adapted by fellow librarian Paul Musser for projector. The kids each get a paper plate steering wheel to drive the car thorough all the adventures!)

Book: Rhino’s Who Surf – Julie Mammano

(One of the parents in the back really appreciated this, but I think the kids were getting antsy).

Activity: Have You Seen the Trampoline? – from the CD Music Play for Folks of All Stripes by Jim Gill

(This was really popular, kids love to jump!) 

Book: Boing – Nick Bruel

(Cute story about a kangaroo who had trouble jumping. Wise Koala figures out why. Everyone loved the revelation.)

Activity: Sports Balls on Parachute

(Or that’s what I would have done if I could have found inflatable sports balls! Instead the kids just jumped in the bubbles and had a grand time.)

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Wild West Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Today our storytime is all about the Wild West, do you know who works there? Cowboys! Our first book is called Tex, does this look like a good cowboy? He’s got a hat and a rope, and what standing behind him? A cow!

Book: Tex – Dorie McCullough Lawson

(I like to include photobooks when possible. The story was pretty dry, but it was a nice opportunity to talk about the images.)

Activity: Trot Ol’ Joe – traditional folk song

Do you remember what Tex rode around on? His horse! Let’s all pretend to ride our own horse, we’ll name him Old Joe. What is it called when a horse is moving slowly? It’s a trot! (then we added additional verses with cantor, gallop, and run. At the end on ‘Whooooaaa!’ throw up your hands and fall off the horse!)

 Trot old Joe, trot old Joe

you ride better than any horse I know.
Trot old Joe, trot old Joe

you’re the best horse in the country, oh.

Book:How I Spent My Summer Vacation – Mark Teague

(I originally used ‘Cowboy Ned and Andy’ in this spot, but it felt a little labored on the Tuesday. Thursdays group appreciated this better!)

Activity: Go and Get the Cows

What did the cowboys round up? Their cows! Now we have a bunch of cows to round up too. Let’s count them together. We’ve got all the cows! Now we can take a rest. Everyone fall asleep.

(SNORE) (remove all the cows from the flannel board)

Wake up you sleepyheads
Go and get the cattle,
Wake up you sleepyheads
Go and get the cows.

All the cows have run away, Oh no!

The cows are lost.
The sun is warm.
I think I’ll rest,
Til they come home.

(replace cows incrementally, ours were all different colors so we identified them as they ‘came back home’)

(This was so much fun! One little boy came to both programs and started to giggle every time the slower ‘cows are lost’ part of the song began.)

It isn’t just cows that live on the wild west, there are some wild animals too! Like Coyote.

Book: Coyote – Gerald McDermott

(I think McDermott’s books are fantastic! I liked including a non-cowboy book too.)

Coyote lived out on the wild west, can you think of some other animals that do? How about Old McDonald, do you think he would? Let sing about Old McDonald’s ranch!

Song: Old McDonald Had a Ranch

Old McDonald had a ranch E-I-E-I-O

and on that ranch he had _____ E-I-E-I-O

with a (animal noise) here and an (animal noise) there

here an (animal noise) there an (animal noise)

everywhere an (animal noise).

Old McDonald had a ranch E-I-E-I-O

(This was a hit, and a fun excuse to use my guitar [with the theme I felt obligated to make use of it!]. The parents got all gung ho on this one too. We did coyote, horse, cow, snake, rabbit, depending on what the kids suggested, and ended with cowboys saying Ye-haw!)

Book: Are You a Horse? – Andy Rash


(Such a fun book! All through the story the kids were engaged, and the reveal at the end was a fantastic conclusion.)

Activity: Instruments

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Circus Storytime

(The group started off really reserved today, but by the end everyone was all gung-ho! This theme was a request from a summer group, and ended up being a lot of fun for me.)

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Where’s Pup? – Dayle Ann Dodds

(A fun way to start the program, the little clown meets all sorts of performers as he looks for his lost pup. It was fun to point out some uncommon circus performers, like the mouse and pig.)

Flannel Board / Activity: One little clown

(modified from ‘One Little Elephant’, and I made 7 clowns but only 5 fit on the flannel board. I showed the string and asked if they knew what it was. Then proclaimed it was a spiderweb!)

One little clown went out to play

upon a spiders web one day.

He had such enormous fun

that he called for another little clown to come.

(continue, adding clowns, until you run out of room!)

Book: Big and Little – John Stadler

(A fun book that kept everyone engaged and had a lovely surprise at the end.) =]

Activity: Elephants have wrinkles

(What do elephants have? We talked about some different parts of an elephant, and don’t forget the wrinkles!)

Elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles,

elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles everywhere.

On there toes, no one knows


Elephants have wrinkles…(and continue with other body parts)

(end with…) … on their teeth. On their teeth? Don’t be ridiculous!

But!, on their nose, on their ears, on their hips, on their knees, on their toes, no one know


Book: C is for Clown – Stan Berenstain

(A nice simple story that I threw in last minute, and glad I did! It’s also fun to read when all the words start with the same letter.)

Activity: Star of the Circus (adapted from the book by Jose Aruego)


(I wasn’t able to access this book, only pages from it, so I don’t know what the real ending is supposed to be. I started with mouse on his tightrope. [introducing it first, the kids knew it was a spiderweb! I told them this time is was a tightrope.] Then the animals progressively cover each other until they all fall, and decide they can all be the star of the circus!)

Book: Wolf Won’t Bite – Emily Gravett

(But not everyone Wants to be in the circus. The wolf certainly doesn’t seem to enjoy it. Fun ending for the storytime, and the pigs have so much character!)

Activity: Popcorn Parachute

(We used the parachute to pop popcorn [cotton balls]. It was so much fun! Of course they went everywhere, and the group defied any attempt at coordinated shaking, but no one minded. I think we parachuted for 10 minutes before I decided to call an end to it.)