SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Treasure Storytime

(This ended up being one of the most fun programs I’ve done recently. That typically seems to be the case when I choose a more challenging topic.)

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Poggle and the Treasure – Michael Evans


(This felt just a tinsy bit wordy, the fun illustrations and suspense made up for it though.)

Flannel Board: What a Treasure  – from the book by Hillenbrand


I used the flannel board characters from the Will Hillenbrand website Very cool!

(The kids quite liked this, and one of the boys quipped, ‘a friend is the best treasure!’)

Book: Once Upon a Tide – Tony Mitton

once upon a tide

(Have used this before, and it works great!)

Activity: Going on a Treasure Hunt – adapted from the traditional ‘Bear Hunt’ format

 We’re going on a treasure hunt, (walk in place)

We’re going to find a treasure! (peer with hand shading eyes)

In a great big chest (hold hands apart)

buried deep in the ground (mime shoveling).

Look on the map!

It’s the ocean.

Can’t go under it, can’t go around it, can’t go above it,

better paddle across it! (mime paddling with an oar.)’s tall island grass! (brush the grass aside with your arms.)

…it’s coconut trees! (dodge the coconuts by jumping side to side.)

…it’s quicksand! (lift knees high as you walk through it.)

…it’s the X! Let’s dig up the treasure. (mime shoveling.)

Wait, do you hear something? Aaarrr

It’s scary pirates!!

Quick, run back through the quicksand, dodge the coconuts, swish through the grass, paddle to the boat…

now point the cannon at the pirates, and light the fuse Ffffhhhhshh. Ka-boom!

…uh oh. I think we blew up the treasure too!

2013-06-25_11-37-41_591(The echoing idea took a little while to catch on, the parents saved it! This was super fun. The map was drawn with marker on the back of a torn paper bag.)

Book: The Treasure Bath – Dan Andreasen


(Stepping outside my comfort zone with a wordless book, and it worked fantastically! Lovely talking points, and the illustrations are fabulous.)

Flannel Board: Can You Find Treasure For Me?


 Look and see, look and see

Can you find treasure for me?

Is it in the (red) chest?

(continue with other colors)


(The kids were perhaps a bit too excited about what was in the chests. It would probably work more smoothly to have them all empty except for the treasure …like my tooth fairy set from which this was adapted.)

Book: Treasure – Suzanne Bloom

treasure bloom

(I sort of wish this were a bit more complex, the minimal texts makes room for the fun illustrations though!)

Craft: Treasure Chests

2013-06-25_11-44-30_289 2013-06-25_11-44-15_937

(Then we drew our own treasures to ‘lock’ in our treasure chests. Design copied onto card stock and fastened with brads.)

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At the Beach Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

This week is Water Week. Since we live in a desert, that means we think about the water we use. Do you know a place with lots of water? Today we’re going to do stories and activities about the beach!  But first we have to get there.

Book: How Will We Get to the Beach? – Brigitte Luciani

(a nice progressive story in which each mode of transportation would mean leaving one item behind, until the solution comes along!)

Flannel board : Mrs. Armitage and the Big Wave from the book by Quentin Blake

Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave – Quentin Blake

(adapted for flannelboard use)

Mrs. Armitage and her dog Breakspear went to the beach one day.

“What we have to do, Breakspear,” Said Mrs. Armitage, “is to swim out to sea and wait for the Big Wave.”

But while they were waiting Mrs. Armitage could see that Breakspear’s little legs were getting tired.

“What we need here,” said Mrs. Armitage, “is something to keep a faithful dog afloat.” So she got an inflatable desert island and they went on waiting for the Big Wave.

But it was a hot, hot day and soon Mrs. Armitage was sweating and Breakspears tongue was hanging out.

“What we need here,” said Mrs. Armitage, “Is something to protect us from the suns powerful rays.”

So she got a cap with a yellow plastic brim for herselfand an umbrella with pink spots for Breakspear; and they went on waiting for the Big Wave.

 Now they were nice and cool, but they began to feel rather hungry.

“What we need here,” said Mrs. Armitage, “Is a selection of light snacks to keep us going.”

So she got a plastic duck and tied an empty box to it and filled it with tasty items. Mrs. Armitage ate an avocado burger and Breakspear had some crunchy dog biscuits and they went on waiting for the Big Wave.

 In the distance they saw a windsurfer pass by.

“What we need here,” said Mrs. Armitage, “Is something we can hail fellow sportsmen with.”

So she got a red megaphone and a horn as well because it’s always a good thing to have a horn.

Then she gave a few shouts and hoots and they went on waiting for the big wave.

 Mrs. Armitage saw a bunch of fish swimming under the water. They’d gathered around to see what the fuss was about. Mrs. Armitage was a little worried she might attract some sharks too.

“What we need here,” she said, “Is something to ward off any pests.”

So she got a sturdy boat hook. “Now we can give a prod to any shark that wants to bother us.” And they went on waiting for the Big Wave.

 And then the Big Wave came! At the same moment they noticed a little girl named Miranda who had swum out too far and was in trouble.

“Pah-hee-huh-hurge” went Mrs. Armitage on the horn. She hooked Miranda with the boat hook and off they went!

 They did a California slither, a Bali swerve, a Wakiki flip…and landed at the beach right in front of Miranda’s parents and they all went to the café to celebrate.

(A fun story that adapted for flannel board very well, do to it’s ‘add things on’ format. I used a smaller whiteboard so that when the wave came I could manipulate it for the ‘surfing’.)

Book: Pig Kahuna – Jennifer Sattler

(Fergus isn’t as excited about the water as Mrs. Armitage, lets see what he does with a surfboard! Very cute, simple story.)

Song: Dancing in the Sand from the CD The Sea, Beach, and Summer Stuff by Geof Johnson

(Fun song, where you isolate certain parts of the body for dancing: head, arms, hips, feet…and then you put them all together!)

Book: I Spy Under the Sea – Edward Gibbs


(Not as great as the other Gibbs I spy book, but still good, and very appropriate for the theme.)

Activity: Five Little Fishes (variation of Five Little Monkeys)


Five little fishes swimming in the sea

Teasing Mr. Shark, you cant catch me! You can’t catch me!

Along comes Mr. Shark swimming very slowly….Chomp!

gobble gobble gobble

(Count down remaining fish. When all the fish were gone, I asked if the shark was going to eat them! The kids all shouted NO! That’s right, sharks don’t like to eat people. Then we said bye to the shark and he swam away.)

(After the story time the shark chomped on willing children’s fingers.)

Book: Beach Day – Karen Roosa

(The alligators get distracted on the way to the beach, and when they get there the sun’s gone down and everyone has left. But they still have a good time! Great ending to the storytime.)

Activity: Bubbles (with the music I Love the Beach from the CD The Sea, Beach, and Summer Stuff by Geof Johnson)

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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)


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Pirate Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Bubble Bath Pirates – jp Krosoczka


Activity: One-eyed Jake (see at end)

 (A short yet challenging activity.)

Book: Once Upon a Tide – jp mitton


Song: P-O-L-L-Y (see at end)

 (A simple variant of B-I-N-G-O, I had a parrot puppet to help with the Squawks.)

Book: Tough Boris – Diane fox


Song: The Pirate Song from the CD H.U.M. All Year Long by Carole Peterson

 (Great simple actions, and includes rhymes and counting.)

Book: Pirate Piggy Wiggy – jp fox


Activity: Walk the plank

(I set a shelf board at the front of the storytime area, and the kids walked the ‘plank’ into a stream of bubbles from our bubble machine. Kids loved it!)

The Parts:

One-Eyed Jake
I’m One-Eyed Jake, the pirate chief
(cover one eye with hand as if covering eye with a patch)
A terrible, fearsome ocean thief
I have a peg upon my leg
(Stand on one leg)
I have a hook and a dirty look
(One arm in the air, curving hand into a hook shape—make exaggerated mean face)
I’m One-Eyed Jake, the pirate chief
A terrible, fearsome ocean thief.

This is a fun one to use cumulatively. Add action after action, until the child is standing balanced on one leg, an eye covered, arm in a hook.


There was a pirate, had a bird, and Polly was her name, O.

P-O-L-L-Y, P-O-L-L-Y, P-O-L-L-Y and Polly was her name, O.

There was a pirate, had a bird, and Polly was her name, O.

Squawk! -O-L-L-Y,  Squawk! -O-L-L-Y,  Squawk! -O-L-L-Y and Polly was her name, O.

(continue with the next letter being replaces with a squawk each verse.)

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Hawaii Storytime

Put together for the One World Many Stories summer reading program.

Opening: Shake Your Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Surf Wars – Margaret Read MacDonald


 (This book lives in our non-fic section, and is a great simple story with lots of sound effect opportunities.)

Activity: Ocean Motion (see at end)

(Acting like different ocean animals.)

Book: Grandma Calls Me Beautiful – Barbara M. Joosse


 (I clipped some pages from this book, it’s sweet and has lovely images but ran a little long.)

Activity: Hula Dance (Pearly Shells)

 (follow the link for the dance moves!)

 (I love being able to incorporate dance! We practiced the easy to follow moves, talking about what the actions were, before dancing to the music.)

Book: Pig Kahuna – Jennifer Sattler


 (Such a cute story.)

Flannel Board: Mrs. Armitage and the Big Wave by Quentin Blake



(I try to make the flannelboard of a story look as close to the original illustrations as possible. Quentin’s style was fun to do! This shows the beginning and the end, add-on tales translate to flannelboard quite easily.)

Book: Pig Boy – Gerald McDermott


 (I love everything McDermott! Such vibrant colors.)

Activity: Parachute Volcano

(I had some brown balloons for lava rocks that we put on the parachute. Then we rumbled with little shakes, gradually got bigger, and exploded with fast up and downs, tossing the balloons everywhere!)

The Parts:

Ocean Motion

Jiggle like a jellyfish.

Creep like a sea snail.

Soar like a seagull.

Wiggle like an eel.

Float like a sea otter.

Bark like a seal.

Walk forward.

Walk backwards.

Walk sideways like a crab.

That’s the motion in the deep blue ocean.

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