SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Birds Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi


Book: Do Like a Duck Does– by Judy Hindley


(A clever fox and a cleverer mother duck are charmingly captured in this book. The kids know what’s up, end enjoy being a step ahead.)

Activity: Two Little Blackbirds


Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill

One named Jack and One named Jill

Fly away Jack

Fly away Jill

Come back Jack

Come back Jill

…sitting in the snow, one named fast, on named slow…

…sitting on a cloud, one named quiet, one named loud…

…sitting on a pole, one named high, one named low…

 (We make the sound of the birds flying away and back, which makes the add on actions even more fun!) 

Book: I Hatched! – Jill Esbaum


(This didn’t hold attention as well as I thought it would. I did clip a few pages together, but perhaps not the best choice for storytime.)

Activity: Shakey Egg – from the CD Whaddaya Think of That by Laurie Berkner

(A fun activity, and of course we have to pass out shakey eggs to the kids.) 

Book: There is a Bird on Your Head – Mo Willems

EP_There-is-a-Bird on your head

(Elephant and Piggie are always a hit, the kids loved it!)

Activity: House for Birdie adapted from the book A House for Birdie by Stuart Murphy

Birdie does not have a house.

Whenever it rains she gets wet, when the wind blows she gets cold.

So she decided to ask her friends to help her find a house.

On the way they find lots of houses that fit her friends perfectly,

but nothing for rosy!

Finally, the friends decide to build her a house.

And it fits just right!



(Another one that’s always a success. The kids really enjoy identifying which bird fits in each house as the story progresses.)

Book: The Baby BeeBee Bird – Diane Redfield Massie


(And the Baby Beebee Bird is fantastic, so noisy, so relateable. I’m sure the parents sympathize with the tired zoo animals.) 

Activity: Instruments

(The we let the kids be as loud as the bird with instruments!)

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Birds Storytime

(It was fun having the kids identify the birds of the covers of the stories before we read them.)

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi


Book: Birds – Kevin Henkes


(I really like that this book succeeds without being a conventional story. Lovely all around!)

Activity: Hens of a Different Color


This little hen is BLACK ( hold up black hens)
She stands in the barnyard by a big hay stack.

This little hen is RED (hold up red hens)
She is very tired and won’t get out of bed.

This little hen is BROWN (hold up brown hens)
She likes spinning round and round.

This little hen is BLUE (hold up blue hen)
She lays eggs for me and you.

This little hen is YELLOW (hold up yellow hens)
She’s shakes like a bowl of jell-o.

This little hen is WHITE (hold up white hen)
She dance’s and plays, oh what a sight.

This little hen is PURPLE (hold up the purple hens)
She spends her day running around in circles.

This little hen is GREEN (hold up green hen)
She is the silliest hen I’ve ever seen.

This little hen is PINK (hold up the pink hen)
She goes down to the pond to get a drink

(The kids really like to identify the different colors as they are presented.)

Book: Owl Babies – Martin Waddell


(So fun in it’s simplicity. The illustrations are fantastic too.)

Activity: I Know a Chicken – From the CD Whaddaya Think of That by Laurie Berkner

(This wasn’t as big a hit as it has been. Still good for getting up and moving though!)

Book: Sergio Makes a Splash – Edel Rodriguez

Sergio Makes a Splash

(Fun and engaging for the kids. Just the right balance of detail and simplicity.)

Activity: 5 Penguins

Five Penguins in the bathtub going for a swim

Knock, knock (clap hands)

Splash, splash, (slap knees)

Come on in!

(count up to five penguins)


(This is a fun, kids were engaged and enjoying it)

Book: Little Green – Keith Baker

Little Green Keith Baker

(Lovely illustrations, and the kids like it more when you do sound effects for the hummingbirds buzzing!)

Activity: Streamers

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Shapes Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Mouse Shapes – Ellen Stoll Walsh


(I was a bit reluctant to include this book, the pictures are on the small side for my group. It worked well enough though!)

Activity: Build-a-bot

parts  2012-02-03_12-28-39_877

(After we saw the mice make things from shapes, we made something too! I had the kids identify each shape as I added it to our creation, and then tell me what we made. They were quite excited during this activity. Then ‘Boop’! we pressed the star and turned it on.)

Book: Press Here – Herve Tullet


(And this book was all about pressing the dot (circle)! A great interactive adventure.)

Activity: Shape Matching

(The kids were so good at following the books directions, we decided to do some more direction following. I passed out various colored shaped to the kids, and then held up my copies one at a time, and if they had matching shapes the kids help up theirs too. We matched colors, and then had them returned by shape. The kids had fun with it!)

Book: Perfect Square – Michael Hall


(This was probably the most dryly received. Even so, it worked all right.)

Activity: A House for Rosy (from the book A House for Birdie by Stuart Murphy)

Rosy does not have a house.

Whenever it rains she gets wet, when the wind blows she gets cold.

So she decided to ask her friends to help her find a house.

On the way they find lots of houses that fit her friends perfectly,

but nothing for rosy!

Finally, the friends decide to build her a house.

And it fits just right!


(The kids were very excited about his one. It was difficult keeping them off the flannel board when a new house appeared, they just Knew which bird was supposed to go in it!)

Book: It looked Like Spilt Milk – Charles G. Shaw


(Then I mentioned that shapes can look like anything, as long as it goes all the way around. The kids loved yelling out the shapes, my favorite was a little boy who had me turn the page back to the cake to correct me and say ‘It’s a boat!’ )

Activity: Bubbles!

(Finally, what shape are bubbles? Circles! And the kids had a grand time playing in them.)

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Letter C Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Cat Secrets – Jef Czekaj


(One of the kids wasn’t sure we should be reading the book, because we Weren’t cats!  Good interactive story.)

Activity: Scat The Cat

Scat the cat was a black kitty when he was born, and he’d been black for as long as he could remember.

One day, he decided to see what it would be like to try a different color, so he said his magic words.

‘I’m Scat the Cat, I’m sassy and fat,

and I can change colors, just like that!’ *clap*

(Scat tried being different colors, and decides in the end that the color he was born is the best color for him.)



(The kids are always excited about Scat! They are also very good at identifying the color he has changed to.)

Book: Cow that laid an Egg – Andy Cutbill


(So fun! Marabel doesn’t feel very special, but the chickens have a solution.)

Activity: I know A Chicken – from the CD ‘Whaddaya Think of That?’ by Laurie Berkner

(We handed out shakey eggs, and shook along to the song. Good times!)

Book: Chickens to the Rescue! – John Himmelman


(Such a fun story, but probably better suited to individual reading because of the detail. Still, the kids enjoyed it!)

Activity: Alice the Camel

Alice the Camel has 5 humps.

Alice the Camel has 5 humps.

Alice the Camel has 5 humps.

So go Alice go! Bum, bum, bum

(count down remaining humps. End with..)
…Alice the camel had No humps, so Alice was a horse!



(I made this for my job interview, and finally got around to using it! One of the kids pointed out early on that camels only have one hump. I assured her that Alice is a special camel. It was a hit!)

Book: The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? – Mo Willems


(Pigeon is jealous of Ducklings cookie, will he learn how to get one? Not my fav pigeon book, but still top notch!)

Activity: Cotton balls on Parachute

(Then the kids gathered around our parachute, and bounced cotton balls on it! …we did the same thing last week, but no one cared) =P

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Penguin & Polar Bear Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Ted Bo and Diz The First Adventure – Jason Chapman

 ted bo and diz

(A fun little adventure, with a lovely penguin surprise at the end! Well received.)

Activity: 5 Little Penguins (tune: Farmer in the Dell)

 Five Penguins in a row, Five penguins in a row,

One slid down low, where did he go?

I don’t know.

(continue with remaining penguins)

(to end, show all penguins) …to play with his friends in the snow


(Works well as a finger play too, good stuff.)

Book: If You Were a Penguin – Wendell and Florence Minor

 if you were a penguin

(Lovely big pictures. We went through twice, and identified the things people do the second time.)

Activity: Penguin, Penguin (tune: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around)

Penguin, penguin turn around. Make a little penguin sound. eeerk!

Penguin, penguin reach up high. Penguin, penguin touch the sky.

Penguin, penguin bend down low. Penguin, penguin touch the snow.

Penguin, penguin, go to bed. Penguin, penguin rest your head.

Penguin, penguin, turn off the light. Penguin, penguin say goodnight.

(A fun variation. This pattern always works well in a program.)

Book: My Little Polar Bear – Claudia Rueda

my little polar bear

(Not such a hit. I think some of the pics were too ambiguous, and the text not engaging enough for a group.)

Activity: We’re All Going To the North Pole – from the CD Songs for all Seasons by Geoff Johnson


(We went on a trip to find Santa, but this Polar Bear was everywhere we looked! Was a bit flat this go round.)

Book: Flip and Flop – Dawn Apperley

flip and flop

(The kids were quite engaged for this, even though I worried a bit about the length.)

Activity: Bubbles

(We pretended it was snow! Played Doing the Penguin from the CD Hot! Hot! Hot! Dance Songs during the bubbles.)


Letter B Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: The B Book – Stan and Jan Berenstain


(The kids were quite interested in this, particularly later in the book, as things get more chaotic. I think they didn’t quite get the bursting balloon though.)

Flannel Board: The Hat (from Squid and Octopus by Tao Nyeu)

squid-and-octopus  Squid finds a fantastic hat, (but is it really a hat?) his friends all think it has different uses, from a flower vase, a soup bowl, and a doorstop, until Squid shows up with an idential hat, just like octopus knew it was.


(This was good, not stand out either way.)

Book: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons – Eric Litwin

pete the cat buttons

(A great addition to the Pete series. Really, the only one I like other than the original.)

Activity/Song: Beanbag Song (Totline Magazine)

(Sung to:  If you’re happy and you know it)

Put your beanbag on your hair, on your hair

Put your beanbag on your hair, on your hair

Put your beanbag on your hair and leave it right up there

Put your beanbag on your hair, on your hair.

…Put your beanbag on the ground, now step and step around…

…Put your beanbag on your toe, lift it high and and lift it low…

…Put your beanbag in your hand, toss it up and watch it land…

 (The kids got to play with beanbags, what’s not to like! We did it twice.)

Book: Big Smelly Bear – Britta Teckentrup

big smelly bear

(This was more popular than I expected. Nice big pictures!)

Activity: Sleepy Bear (from Storytime Katie)

“Sleepy Bear” (Tune: “Thumbkin”)
Where is bear? Where is bear?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you this winter?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep. Go to sleep.


(I think we could have done this for the entire storytime and the kids would have had a blast. Eventually, bear decided to go somewhere more quiet to hibernate. …for my Thursday group, I had to let the kids know that screaming didn’t wake up bear, only saying ‘wake up bear!’ did.)

Book: Baby Bird – Joyce Dunbar

baby bird

(Fun and simple, with nice pics and interactive element having the kids help with the animal noises.)

Activity: Bubbles

(And Bubbles! Butterfly by Imagination Movers was our background music for bubble time.)

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Where We Live (houses) Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Too Tall Houses – Gianna Marino

(Friends keep trying to build the biggest house, until they realize it might be better to work together. Response was lukewarm.)

Flannel Board: A House for Birdie (from the story by Stuart J Murphy)

Essentially, Birdie doesn’t have a house and recruits friends to help her find one. Each house they come upon doesn’t work for Birdie, but one of the friends claims it. Finally, the friends decide to build a house just for Birdie.

(The kids were really excited about his. They loved identifying which bird fit in the houses as they appeared.)

Book: Where To, Little Wombat – Charles Fudge

(Wombat want’s to live somewhere else, but realizes a burrow is the best place after all. Well simple, nice pics. Good overall.)

Activity: In and Out the Doors (from Susan M Dailey)

In and Out the Doors
(sung to “Go In and Out the Window”)

    Step in and out the front door.
(take a step forward, then back)
Step in and out the front door.
Step in and out the front door.
Then make a doorbell sound.
(say “ding dong”)

    Jump in and out the back door.
(jump forward, then back)
Jump in and out the back door.
Jump in and out the back door.
Bend down and touch the ground.
(touch ground with hand)

    Slide in and out the side door.
(slide to one side, then other)
Slide in and out the side door.
Slide in and out the side door.
And then turn all around.
(turn around)

    Step in and out the front door.
Jump in and out the back door.
Slide in and out the side door.
Then sit yourself right down.
(sit down)

(We did each action twice, with the kids remembering which action fit each location. Good stuff!)

Book: Do Lions Live on Lily Pads? – Melanie Walsh

(A bit short, certainly great for engaging the kids!)

Puppets: 3 Little Pigs

The Traditional story

(Had a wolf puppet as well, was just a bit much to handle as one person. Kids still had a super time with it! The little pigs in the house window just showed up at the beginning and the end. I swapped out props on a puppet for each pigs turn in their house.)

Book: Bear Says Thanks – Karma Wilson

(This was my attempt to tie in Thanksgiving, unnecessarily I’m sure. The kids kinda lost interest for this.)

Activity: Paper Bag houses (from Storytime Katie)

(We made little houses of paper bags with cut out ornamentation. )

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Spider Storytime

(This program is heavily influenced by suggestions from Liesl Johnson. I just did some tweaking) ~.o

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi
Book: I’m a Shark – Bob Shea

(Shark is pretty brave, but there is one thing that make him nervous. Great illustrations, though the pics of imagining the bear with the spider confused the kids who thought it was actually with a spider.)
Activity: Little Miss Muffett – Traditional

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet

eating her curds and whey.

Along came a spider that sat down beside her,

and frightened Miss Muffet away!

(With a puppet girl and spider. The kids love seeing the girl scream and run away! We do it a couple of times, but end with the girl stomping on the spider, and it running away instead.)

Book: Yellow Bird, Black Spider – Dosh Archer

(Very simple, a great talking book! Kids know where birds usually live, how they make music, and what they eat. But this bird is a little different.)

Activity: There’s a Spider on the Floor – Traditional

There’s a Spider on the floor, on the floor.

There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.

There’s a spider on the floor, it just crawled in through the door,

There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.

…there’s a spider on my shoe, and I don’t know what to do!…

…there’s a spider on my knee, and it’s looking right at me!…

…there’s a spider on my tummy, and I really want my mommy…

…there’s a spider on my arm, it won’t do me any harm (I hope)…

…there’s a spider on my neck, and I’m a nervous wreck…

…there’s a spider on my head, and I’m feeling full of dread…

and then it jumps down!

…there’s a spider on the floor, I’m not worried any more…

(Each little kid got a little black poof ball for their spider, and we moved them the the places as we sang the song. Good times!)

Book: Aaaarrgghh! Spider – Lydia Monks

(Adorable book, the kids get really into it.)

Activity: Itsy Bitsy Spider/Emotions – Traditional

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout,

down came the rain and washed the spider out!

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,

so the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again!

(We did this the traditional way, then with a variety of emotions. …’Put on your sad faces!’ the kids really enjoyed it, and the parents too! We did angry, sad, scared, and happy. )

Book: Itsy Bitsy Spider – Keith Chapman

(With deviating text, this is a great storytime book. The spider interacts with lots of animals, and the kids can made the noises! Sparkly webs certainly don’t hurt either.)

Activity: Bubbles (with Sammy the Spider by Jewel playing)

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In the Sky Storytime

The second time I did this program, I used the same books, but swapped out some of the activities. 

For our first activity we did a flannel version of “There Was a Bold Lady who Wanted a Star” by Charise Harper. 


And after the book ‘Birds’ we did The Cow Jumped Over the Moon, 


The cow tried to jump behind, under and onto the moon, before the kids helped it remember where it should go. Over the moon! Then we all stood up and did the rhyme with actions. 

Hey diddle diddle, the Cat and the fiddle,

(pretend to play fiddle)

The Cow jumped over the moon.

(jump up)

The little Dog laughed to see such fun,

(hold or tickle belly)

And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

(run in place)

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Kite Day – Will Hillendbrand

(This is a nice simple book, with a sweet ending. A parent even commented on what a nice book it was to her child when it was finished.)

Flannel Board: My Friend Rabbit – from the book by Eric Rohmann

(Mouse has a new plane, but Rabbit gets it stuck in a tree! He has an idea to get it back though. My first group of kids wasn’t as attentive, but the 2nd group was pretty engaged.)


Book: Birds – Kevin Henkes

(I quite like this book! It isn’t a narrative, but more a series of observations. Great illustrations.)

Song/Activity: Way Up High in the Apple Tree

 Way up high in the apple tree (hold apple cutout over head)

a little red apple smiled at me.

I shook the tree as hard as I could, (shake arm and drop apple)

down came the apple!

Mmmm was it good!

(We did this with red, green and yellow apples. Then with 2 little, and 3 little apples. The kids love shaking the apples down!)

Book: Butterfly, Butterfly – Petr Horacek

(This is a fantastic book, bright pictures and a lovely pop-up ending that always entrances the kids.)

Flannel Song: Fireworks – from the webpage of Miss Angela

(I had pipe cleaner fireworks to put up, the kids loved making the Boom! and identifying the colors.)

We sit and look at the dark night sky

waiting for the fireworks to start to fly.

Then with a Boom (clap hands) and a flash of light

a big RED firework sparkles in the night!

(continue with other colors)

Book: Kens Cloud – Isabel M. Arques

(I was a little surprised at how well this was received! Even at the end of the storytime the kids were very into it during both my sessions.)

Activity: Bubbles

(I wanted to bounce balloons on our parachute, but didn’t manage to get any. So bubbles worked as a default!)

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Garden Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: And Then It’s Spring – Julie Fogliano

This time of year is called spring, and it’s when all the plants grow. But it takes some time.

(An adorable book about a boy waiting and waiting for brown to turn to green. My favorite spread is when he worries about bears stomping in the garden ‘because bears can’t read signs that say things like ‘please to not stomp here – there are seeds and they are trying.”)

Activity: Rainstorm

Do you remember what the boy wished for right after he planted his seeds? [show the picture] He wished for Rain! It looks pretty sunny outside, but we can make a rainstorm if we all work together.

(Follow me, do as I am doing)
brush fingers together
Do I hear the pitter patter of some raindrops? Listen closely
Clap softly
Oh, I do think it is going to rain
Clap loudly
It IS raining!
Slap thighs
Wow, it’s really getting wet out there
Stomp feet
My, oh my, I’m glad I’m not outside right now!
~now reverse, add a commentary as you go:
Tapping fingertips together, and stop
What a beautiful rainstorm that was!

from Laptimeandstorytime

Book: I Love Bugs – Emma Dodd

After the rain, some little animals like to come out in the garden. Bugs! Do you like bugs? The boy in this little book Loves bugs.

(And he loves the spider that shows up in the end, because it sends him squealing! Super cute illustrations and a very fun ending).

Activity: Mr. Sun – from the CD Singable Songs for the Very Young by Raffi

After the rain falls, the flowers need something else to help them grow.

Planting Seeds

First you take the seed and you plant it in the ground (pretend to plant seeds in hand)
Next a little rain cloud comes that waters all around (Use hand to simulate rain)
And the sun sends beams, shining bright without a sound (make circle over head with arms)
Then in a few days, a flower can be found! (cup hands together, then open fingers with wrists touching.)

(We also did this fingerplay in the musical interlude during Raffi’s song.)

Mr. Sun
Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun,
~arms up, rock in time to the rhythm

Please shine down on me.
~wiggle fingers down toward face
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun,
~arms up again
Hiding behind a tree
~ASL sign for ‘tree’ in front of face to ‘hide’

These little children are asking you,
~gesture towards children

To please come down
so they can play with you,
~sign ASL sign for ‘Play’

Oh, Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun,

~arms up again

Please shine down on me.
~wiggle fingers down toward face

Book: Up Down All Round – Katherine Ayres

After the rain falls and the sun shines, the plants grow! But they don’t all grow in the same way.

 (The kids were fun to shout out the ‘up, down, all around!’ and we pointed or circled our fingers for each one).

Activity: There’s Something in my Garden

Do you think it would be fun to eat food from the garden? Some animals think so too! Oh, I think I hear something!

There’s Something in My Garden

There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound….
A FROG is what I found!

(continue with other animals. I pulled some from my critter bin: a frog, rabbit, chicken, bird, and mouse.)

From SurLaLune Storytime

Book: Little Green – Keith Baker

We got all of those animals out of the garden, but there are some animals that are nice to have in the garden. Like this one! A hummingbird called Little Green.


(nice vibrant illustrations and a simple story make this a fun read).

Activity: Streamers

The boy painted all the ways that the bird flew, and now you can make the shaped with streamers! Try circles and zig zag, and going way up and down. (played Family Garden from the CD Family Garden by John McCutcheon while they played with streamers).

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