SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Bones Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Bone Dog – Eric Rohmann


(Charming illustrations, and just enough scaryness without being too scary.)

Song: This Old Man – traditional

This old man, he played one, (hold up finger)

He played knick-knack on my thumb;

With a knick-knack (clap, clap) paddywhack, (slap knees)

Give the dog a bone, (pat knees)

This old man came rolling home. (roll hands)

 Continue with increasing numbers


(This was a fun counting and rhyming activity. We’d ask the kids what rhymed with each number. Three ended up knick-knacking on pee!)

Book: Skeleton Hiccups – Margery Cuyler


(A cute book with nice big pictures, and a bit of interactive potential.)

Activity: Bones in My Body


(We stood up and wiggled each body part that we added to the list. I made up the words and tune, so you can do it chanty, or make up something!)

Book: The Skeleton in the Closet – Alice Schertle


(Such cute pictures! They keep the creeping skeleton from being too scary. A lovely find.)

Flannel Story: Bone Soup – from the story by Cambria Evans (full version here)


(My favorite part of the program. The kids all thought the soup was disgusting!)

Book: Halloween Forest – Marion Dane Bauer


(Fun pictures, and a nice Halloween ending made this a lovely finish to the program. It didn’t hurt that

Activity: Streamers

(And if we had no bones, how would we be? Just like wibbly streamers! We danced to the song Dem Bones by Five Little Monkeys)


Dinosaur Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Dinosaur vs The Library – Bob Shea

dinosaur vs the library

(A good intro for proper library behavior, and we got to start the storytime with roaring!)

Activity: Dini Dinosaur – based on the book by Karen Beaumont


Dini has been playing in the mud, so him mom tells him he needs a bath before bed. He scrubs different parts, but forgets to take of his clothes! Back in the tub!


“Dirty Dini Dinosaur splashed in the tub. He tried to wash his head with a scrub-a-dub-dub!
Silly Dini Dinosaur! Don’t you know? You have to take your Hat off, back you go!”

Dini’s momma helps him get clean, and tucks him into bed. Good night Dini!


(Pretty cute, and simple. Kept the kids engaged.)

Book: Down at the Dino Wash Deluxe – Tim Myers


(I thought it might be a little too wordy, but it worked out fine. Nice bright pictures.)

Activity: We Are The Dinosaurs – from the CD Waddda Think of That by Laurie Berkner

(I introduce some different dino’s we can be …flap for pterodactyl, hold up fingers on head for triceratops, chop hand together for t-rex, etc…and we act out the song. It’s fantastic!)

Book: The Really Really Really big Dinosaur – Richard Byrne


(A cute story with a bit of a surprise ending, and a good lesson in manners.)

Puppet Song: Dinosaur Round – from the CD Rhinoceros Tap by Sandra Boynton


(The puppets act out this song. Dino is a bit of a messy eater, but the kids are eager to re-feed him the food that drops. At the very end he gobbles up the boy! Loads of fun.)

Book: How Do Dinosaurs Eat their food – Jane Yolen


(Then we learn how you ought to behave at meal time. This series is awesome.)

Activity: bubbles

(You think these are bubbles? No, they’re mini asteroids! Destroy them before they crash into the earth!)

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Letter I Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: An Island Grows – Lola M Schaefer


(One of the boys said ‘Islands don’t grow!’ when I introduced this book, education time! Lovely simple text and vibrant images. One of the kids announced about midway through ‘It rhymes!’. A fun find indeed.)

Activity: Itsy Bitsy Spider – Traditional

(We sang the Itsy Bitsy spider, then I pulled out my emotion faces, and we sang it angrily, sadly, happily, nervously, and finally sleepily. The kids loved it.)

Book: Should I share my Ice Cream – Mo Willems


(Another big hit, when I asked if sharing his ice cream was a good idea, there was a big chorus of ‘No!’. I think by the end they were convinced that sharing was a good thing.)

Activity: Ice Cream Cone – from the CD Buzz Buzz by Laurie Berkner

(For this song I introduced the sign language for Ice Cream, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry. Then told the kids that we’d Freeze, and melt like ice cream when the music stopped. I paused it before each new ice cream flavor, which was a good break to refresh the sign language. I threw in actions for the rest of the song as well, and we ended by melting. It was a hit!)

Book: Except If – Jim Averbeck


(I know a story was well received when at the end a kids says ‘That was a funny story.’ and this one earned that recognition!)

Activity: The Great Big Itch – adapted from Rhino’s Great Big Itch by Natalie Chivers


Elephant has a great big itch in his ear! It won’t come out with shaking, or rolling. Bird says he just need some help, so elephant goes and asks fish (who is too slippery), turle (who is too slow) monkey (who is too silly) he doesn’t even bother to ask crocodile. How will he get the itch to go away! Bird offers to help, but elephant doesn’t see how a tiny bird can get rid of a great big itch. But bird does!

(I adapted this story for the puppets I had on hand, and it worked great.)

Book: Icky Sticky Monster – Jo Lodge


(I wasn’t sure I’d get this book on time (it was checked out while I was planning the program) but it arrived the morning I needed it, and was a great finish! When the monster wants a kiss at the end, I asked who wanted to give him one. As expected there were no volunteers, so I suggested blowing a kiss, which they were all happy to do.)

Activity: Instruments

(Then we had free play with instruments!)

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Bear Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Panda And Polar Bear – Matthew J Baek


(This wasn’t the biggest hit, but I thought it was nice to include more than just the brown bear. And it still worked fine.)

Activity: Masha and the Bear – traditional (see full version here)


Book: It’s the Bear – Jez Alborough


(So much fun, the engagement of the kids is palpable.)

Activity: Silly Bear Hunt – from the CD Dr. Jean Sings Silly Songs


(A fun twist on the Bear Hunt, you eat through a candy factory, swim across a peanut butter river, wiggle thorough a jell-o swamp, and finally find the bear in the cave. I held up the images to demonstrate the ‘over, under, around’. )

Book: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear – Don and Audrey Wood


(A lot of the kids know this book, and were very excited to see it.)

Activity: Bear Wants More (from the book by Karma Wilson)


Bear wakes up hungry! Throughout the story he has friends who lead him to different foods. I handed out different colored bean bags before introducing the Big Bear, and when he found the food , whoever had that color of beanbag got to come up and feed it to bear! (above you can see him with mouse, who leads him to Strawberry Vale)

The kids loved guessing which color would be next, based on what the friends led him to. I chaned some of the animals for what I had on hand, and this is how it played out for me.

Bear eats grass – green beanbags

Mouse lead to strawberry vale – red beanbag

Hare leads to blueberry bush – blue beanbag

Skunk leads to fish feast – purple beanbag

Bee leads to honey cakes – yellow beanbag

Then bear is full, full, full, and doesn’t want any more.

Then we said ‘Goodnight’ to bear, and he went off to take a nap.


(One of the first things I ever made was this big bear, with a mouth and stomach, specifically for this story. Now, some three years later, I finally did it! The first time was fantastic, the second group got a little excited and the bear was mobbed a bit, even if the kid didn’t have anything to feed the bear.)

Book: Big Smelly Bear – Britta Teckentrup

big smelly bear

(This is a great book, nice big pictures and an easy storyline. You can tell it’s good if it can keep the kids interest after big bear!)

Activity: Parachute

(Some of bears snacks were left over, so we bounced them on the parachute.)

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Big and Bad Storytime

Did my first partnered storytime this week with the lovely Natalie, who has just joined our Library team. It was loads of fun, and our big crowd had a great time. =]

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Scary Mary – Paula Bowles


(Such personality in this book! I love the illustrations and layout.)

Activity: Little Miss Muffet – Traditional

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,

eating her curds and whey.

Along came a spider that sat down besider her,

and frightened Miss Muffet away!

 (Used a girl and spider puppet, and after a few times through …the kids can’t get enough… Miss Muffet karate chops the spider and scares it away!)

Book: The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson


(This worked fantastically as a partnered read. Natalie did all the mouse bits and I did the rest. )

Activity: The Troll – from the CD Animal Songs by Jim Gill

 (After the mouse took a walk and met the scary Gruffalo, we pretended to go on a walk and met a scary Troll! Simple song to follow the actions of, the kids loved it!) 

Book: Solomon Crocodile – Catherine Rayer

 solomon crocodile

(I adore Rayner’s books, this one does not disappoint! Solomon loves to scare, but the Hippo isn’t having it …until Solomon finds a friend.)

Activity: Three Little Pigs – Traditional



(With the addition of a wolf puppet, these were the props. Worked great, and the kids love huffing and puffing with the wolf.)

Book: It’s a Tiger! – David LaRochelle


(Such a fun engaging book. Tankard always has such bright illustrations, and the repeated theme really sucked the kids in.)

Activity: Streamers

(In the jungle the boy walked passed monkeys hanging from vines, so the streamers were our vines! Not really, the kids just danced around with them, but I can pretend it fits the theme!) ~.o

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Monster Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Don’t Squish the Sasquatch! – Kent Redeker

(A simple, bright book with a great fold out. The kids all got to help give the Sasquatch kisses too.)

Activity: Chocolate Chip Ghost

used the idea from rovingfiddlehead‘s blog

Little ghost is left alone and mother warns him not to eat anything until she gets back, but he does anyway! And all the foods turn him different colors. Finally momma ghost gets back and fixes things with milk and vanilla ice cream.

(Kids love being able to shout out the colors they know. This was a great participation activity!)

Book: Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

(It’s great seeing the excitement kids have when you do a familiar book. This is fantastic of course!)

Activity: Wild Thing, Wild Thing (modified from Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear)

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.

(A fun activity for the kids. One little girl pointed out that she couldn’t race because she had a cast on her foot.) =P

Book: Creepy Monster, Sleepy Monster – Jane Yolen

(I was drawn to this mostly because one of the monsters gets to burp. The illustrations are still fantastic, and there are some nice talking points!)

Activity: One Little Monster

One Little Monster

One little monster dancing on the floor

Had such fun it gave a Roar!

Then there came one monster more

Now there are more monsters than before!

(continue with increasing numbers)

(I attempted to make the rhythm match 5 Little Monkeys, but after the roar it always turned chanty. The kids still had fun with it!)

Book: Leonardo the Terrible Monster – Mo Willems

(A great story, as you’d expect from the author. And it was nice to end with the monster being the boys’ friend.)

Activity: Instruments

(Monsters like to be noisy! So we made noise on instruments while the song ‘Horns to Toes’ by Sandra Boynton played. )

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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.”

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Silly Stories Storytime

(it felt like there were quite a few hits and misses in this program, maybe it was just the week after Christmas funk.)

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub – Audrey Wood


(well recieved, it’s got some pretty stunning illustrations.)

Poem: I’ve Turned into a Carrot – Jack Prelutsky

 (I made a carrot puppet to recite this poem. It wasn’t a hit, but it wasn’t a complete flop either. I had a rabbit puppet that chased away the carrot at the end.)

Book: Oh Daddy! – Bob Shea


(This was popular, Shea has such great illustrations!) 

Activity: Silly Willy – fromt he CD Dr. Jean sings silly songs by Dr. Jean

(My first group wasn’t very eager to play along…I feel like the format of the song was a little strange, sometimes adding everthing together, sometimes just moving to the next body part. The second group liked it better…maybe it’s just that I wasn’t a fan!)

Book: Easy to See Why – Fred Gwyne


(this didn’t work with either group. It’s a pretty simple story, but the humor comes from the illustrations. Some of the parents got it, but I think it went over the kids heads, even when we talked about the pictures.)

Poem: I’m Being Eaten by a Boa Constrictor – Shel Silverstein

 (Super populer, converted a sleeping bag into a Boa Constrictor with eyes and fangs [inspired by our great Liesl Johnson]. It eats you as you recite the poem. My first group had one kid who said ‘Eat me!’ and it was a small enough group that each of the kids got a turn being eaten by the ‘Boa Constrictor’…or just running from it)

Book: Catalina Magdalena Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan Was Her Name  – Tedd Arnold


(this was engaging at the beginning, but it maybe ran too long. Interest was lost along the way.)

Activity: Silly Dance Contest – from the CD Jim Gill sings The sneezing song and other contagious tunes by Jim Gills

(This was popular, once the kids got into it…they were a little slow to warm up but it’s still a great song. Maybe it was a laxidasical week in general.)

The Parts:

I’ve Turned into a Carrot by Jack Pretlutsky

I’ve turned into a carrot,

It’s baffling and strange.

Somehow while I was sleeping,

I underwent a change.

Last night I was a human,

With head and hands and feet,

This morning I’m a vegetable

I’ve rarely cared to eat.

I look into the mirror,

And see I’m long and lean.

I have an orange body,

May hair is leafy green.

A further complication

Compounds my current woe,

A rabbit is approaching…

So long!  I’ve got to go.

Boa Constrictor by Shel Silverstein

Oh, I’m being eaten
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don’t like it–one bit.
Well, what do you know?
It’s nibblin’ my toe.
Oh, gee,
It’s up to my knee.
Oh my,
It’s up to my thigh.
Oh, fiddle,
It’s up to my middle.
Oh, heck,
It’s up to my neck.
Oh, dread,
It’s upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff . .

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Cookie Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: The Cow Loves Cookies – jp Wilson


(Fun pictures, and a nice repetition makes this a great storytime book.)

Song: 5 Yummy Cookies (see at end)

(had cookies for the flannel board)

Book: The Best Mouse Cookie – jp Numeroff


(A cute story with a familiar protagonist.)

Puppets: Sam’s Cookie – from the book by Barbro  Lindgren (see at end)

(This book easily converted to a puppet script, it was a little tricky switching between the Dog and Mommie though)

Book: Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? – jp Beaumont


(Cute story that’s good to engage the kids.)

Activity: Making Cookies (see at end)

 (a pantomime activity)

Book: May I Please Have a Cookie? – jr Morris


(Teaches manners, but also creativity and resourcefulness!)

Activity: Decorate cookies

(This storytime was for our annual Gingerbread Jamboree, so we end it with decorating pre-purchased gingerbread men!)

The Parts:

5 Yummy Cookies

5 yummy cookies all chocolate chip,

Were sitting in the cookie jar

When the table tipped.

The cookie jar tumbled,

One cookie crumbled,

How many cookies were left?

Sam’s Cookie by Barbro  Lindgren

Narrator: Look, here comes Sam! Sam has a Cookie. Sam Likes his Cookie.

Sam: Good, good cookie.

Narrator: Here comes Doggie. Doggie wants Sam’s cookie. Doggie takes Sam’s cookie. Sam is Angry.

Sam: Dumb doggie.

Narrator: Doggie is angry.

Doggie: Grrr

Narrator: Sam is scared. Sam cries. Mommy comes.

Mommy: No, no. Don’t take Sam’s cookie.

Narrator: Sam gets another cookie.

MAKING COOKIES CHANT (modified from the Jean Warren version)

First we take the butter and we cream it, we cream it (twist fist in palm)

Then we add the sugar and we blend it, we blend it (open and close fingers, like mushing something up)

Then we pour in the milk and we stir it, we stir it. (stirring motion)

Then we take the dough and we roll it, we roll it. (rolling motion)

Then we take the cutter and we cut it, we cut it. (twisting hand)

Then we bake it in the oven and we smell it, we smell it. (sniffing)

Then we set it on the rack and we cool it, we cool it. (Wave hand)

Then we pop it in our mouth we eat it, we eat it! (mime eating cookie.)

(The Jean Warren version:

First we add the butter and we mash it, mash it.
Then we add the sugar and we blend it, blend it.
Then we add the eggs and we whip it, whip it.
Then we add the flour and we stir it, stir it.
Then we make a ball and we roll it, roll it.
Then we choose a cutter and we cut it, cut it.
Then we set out a cookie sheet and we place it, place it.
Then we bake it in the oven and we smell it, smell it.
Then we set it on a rack and we cool it, cool it.
Then we pop it in our mouth and we eat it, eat it.)

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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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