SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Fairy Tale Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Waking Beauty – Leah Wilcox


(This is a very fun book, if just slightly long. It still holds the kids attentions well, and the adults really appreciate it.) 

Activity: Princess and the Mattresses
(Princess and the Pea)

A video of my presentation. 

(A very fun puppet story, inspired by a post at The Voices Inside My Headphones. The kids love the sleepless princess and the surprises she discovers in her bed.) 

On top of all these mattresses I get to spend the night,
I toss and turn and cannot sleep, for something is not right.
Something (tickley, squishy, buzzy, scary, lumpy)  keeps me up.
These mattresses I’ll spread…
A (feather, banana peel, bee, monster, pea)! That’s no good,
get out of my bed!

(The princess then throws the item and climbs up for the next verse)

Finally everything is soft, and I can rest my head. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Book: Paper Bag Princess – Robert Munch


(This classic is always fun to include. I worried at first it would be too wordy, but it works great!) 

Activity: Pinocchio
from Super Simple Learning

(Some of the kids were a little lackluster this go round, probably due to a younger crowd. It still worked well enough, and I like it!) 

Book: Interrupting Chicken – David Ezra Stein


(I feel like this ran a smidge long, maybe do to the younger crowd again. It’s a very cute book.) 

Activity: Somethinglocks and the Three Somethings
(See the full version here


(A great way to engage the kids and build narrative skills. Lots of fun!) 

Book: The End – David LaRochelle


(Our program was running a bit long, so we ended up dropping this title. I think it is great though!) 

Activity: Streamers


(We finished by dancing with streamers) 

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Fairy Tale Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Waking Beauty – Leah Wilcox


(The kids really liked this, fun story and illustrations)

Flannel Board: Five Knights in Shining Armor (from Moxie)

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)


Book: Paper Bag Princess – Robert Munch

The Paper Bag Princess

(There always seems to be someone know know this story, and is excited to hear it again!)

Activity: PinocchioSuper Simple Learning

 Everybody in. [Move forward.] Everybody out. [Move back.]
Everybody turn around. [Turn around.] Everybody shout, “Hey!” [Jump up and shout, “Hey!”]
Everybody ready? Here we go. [Put your hands on your hips and sway side to side.]
Let’s do The Pinocchio. [Make a Pinocchio nose by putting two fists in front of your nose, and then make it “grow” by moving one hand forward.]
Right arm! [Hold up your right arm as if it were a puppet’s arm.]

[Keep your right arm up as you dance in and out.]
Everybody in. Everybody out.
Everybody turn around. Everybody shout, “Hey!”
Everybody ready? Here we go.
Let’s do The Pinocchio.
Right arm! [Hold up your right arm.]
Left arm! [Hold up your left arm…continue with right leg, left leg, chin up!]

(A fun new activity for the kids! I was so pleased to find this.)

Book: Interrupting Chicken – David Ezra Stein


(A fun story, great opportunity for voices, and the kids were quite engaged.)

Activity: Somethinglocks (full version here)

Little Chicken didn’t quite get the stories right, and I might need some help with this one!

Essentially, it’s the story of Goldilocks and the three Bears, but I kept messing up and having the kids help me out.


…you mean she didn’t want to eat the bear’s big plate of spaghetti?

(The kids loved helping me get this right, and playing with the pieces after the storytime was over.)

Book: Musicians of the sun – Gerald McDermott

musicians of the sun

(This was a bit of a droop after the Somethinglocks excitement, but the images are so awesome, and it still held the kids attention pretty well.)

Activity: Instruments

(Then we were the musicians! They always love the instruments, some ended up with handfulls in my Thursday group.)

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Somethinglocks and the three somethings

I know this is a story about a little girl who goes into the woods and finds a house where three things live, and she eats their food, but I don’t think I remember it all quite right. So you might have to help me if I mess up.

Once there was a girl named Brownielocks, and she went to the house of the three dinosaurs.

…oh, it wasn’t Brownielocks? Or dinosaurs? Ooops! I think I remember now.


Baldielocks was skipping through the woods when she came to the home of the three clowns…

oh, I’ve gotten it wrong again. Who was it? Goldielocks! And the 3 bears? okay, I think we’re on the right track now!


There was a papa bear, a momma bear, and a baby bear, and they went for a walk in the woods.


So Goldilocks came inside and ate the cookies the bears left for their breakfast.

…oh, not cookies? Oh yeah! It was a big plate of spaghetti!


Porridge? That’s right! Three bowls of porridge. The first bowl was too moldy. Oh, Cold! The second bowl was too spicy. Hot? I meant hot. And the third bowl was…? Just right! Of course. And she ate it all up!


Then she wanted to sit down for a while, so she went to the garage where the bears kept their car.


…oh, that isn’t right? Was it the hen house?


Oh yeah, I remember! She went to the living room and sat on chairs!

The first chair was too…? Hard. You are so smart! What about the second chair? It was too soft, and the third chair? Just right! …but it broke? Oh no!


That’s okay though, because Goldilocks was getting sleepy, so she went to take a nap on the giant chicken.


Not a chicken? Are you sure? I guess beds do make more sense. The first bed was too…? Hard, and the second bed too…? Comfy! And the third bed? Just right! Well that’s nice, and Goldilocks fell fast asleep.

Then the three bears came home, they found the porridge (baby bear said ‘Good! I don’t like porridge anyway!’ …oh he didn’t? She ate it all up! Goodnesss!) They found the three chairs (baby bear said, ‘yea, now I can jump on my chair!’ …no? Oh, he was sad! Poor baby bear.) And they found the three beds (Baby bear said ‘Horray! A new stuffed animal!’ …someone was sleeping in my bed, and here she is? Yeah, that’s how it goes!)


And Goldilocks never went into a strangers house again!

Thanks for helping me! You sure know your stories. =)

The kids loved helping me get this right, and playing with the pieces after the storytime was over. I created the Goldilocks pieces for this, and just pulled random stuff from flannel boards I already had for the rest!

(This weeks Flannel Friday is hosted by Storytime Katie.  For all things Flannel Friday, check out the official blog.  Also, make sure you stop by the Flannel Friday Pinterest page for an excellent flannelboard resource. )


Sleepy Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Moo, Moo, Brown Cow, Have You Any Milk? – Phillis Gershator

 moo moo brown cow

(This was a fun way to show where things come from (pillows, blankets, milk, bread and honey). Pretty well received too.)

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.


(Super fun, the kids love it!)

Book: My Dad is Big and Strong, But… – Coralie Saudo


(Such an adorable story, and the parents love it as much as the kids.)

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: Sleep Like a Tiger – Mary Logue

 sleep like a tiger cover

(Perhaps a bit ambley, I felt like the group was wandering a bit during this one. Might swap it out with Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime for my Thu group.)

Activity: Princess and the Mattresses


On top of all these mattresses I get to spend the night,

I toss and turn and cannot sleep, for something is not right.

Something (tickley, squishy, buzzy, scary, lumpy)  keeps me up. These mattresses I’ll spread…

A (feather, banana peel, bee, monster, pea)! That’s no good, get out of my bed!

(The princess then throws the item and climbs up for the next verse)

Finally everything is soft, and I can rest my head. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


(This was loads of fun! I saw another princess flannel board, and used that as inspiration to make this. We counted all the mattresses as we set them up, and the kids loved guessing what the item was, and watching the princess throw them away. …though she was too scared to pick up the monster, and just karate chopped it out of my hand.)

Book: Who Said Coo? – Deborah Ruddell

who said coo

(A very cute, simple story, and a great end to the program.)

Activity: Parachute

(The final activity was our parachute with monkey beach balls, for the five little monkeys jumping on the bed. The group was too big to try the song, so we just had fun bouncing!)


Hugs and Kisses Storytime

Opening : Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Waking Beauty – Leah Wilcox


(Just a bit wordy, but it still had a good response. I might see if I can clip some pages for next time. Very fun!)

Puppets: Stop Kissing Me – from the book by Eric Long


Puppy just won’t stop kissing kitty! Finally kitty finds out why, and doesn’t mind as much.

(The kids love this!)


Book: Kitty’s Cuddles – Jane Cabrera

kitty's cuddles

(Since kitty prefers hugs, this was a nice transition. Nice big illustrations, simple story.)

Activity: In the Valentine Forest


In the Valentine Forest there was a valentine house,

In the Valentine house, there was a valentine room,

In the Valentine room, there were some valentine drawers,

In the valentine drawers, there was a valentine box,

In the valentine box, there was…

…some candy!/a frog!/a kiss!/


(The kids really get into this, and the surprised different endings were fun! …I did it once more at the end of the storytime with the Valentine stickers ending, and then gave each child a sticker. It was made by printing images onto paper, then putting them in sheet protectors which I tied together with ribbon. Easy flipping to reveal the next page.)

Book: Hugless Douglas – David Melling

(This was a nice story, but you do have to explain some of the action [a bush turning into a bunch of sheep, for example] but still jolly good!)

Activity: Mother, Mother, I Want Another – from the book by Maria Robbins


(This had sort of lukewarm reception as a puppet story. I had fun with it though!)


Book: How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? – Jane Yolen

how do dinosaurs

(It’s always nice when I can add a book from this series to a program. They’re super duper!)

Activity: Bubbles (little kisses)

(Then we played in the bubbles and got their little bubble kisses, and everyone got a valentine sticker!)

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Colors Storytime

I’ve done colors before as a theme, but I decided this time to focus on a specific color for each book, rather than smooshing them all in each time. The activities still had a variety!

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

We practiced some of the colors as I put the pillows from the Tooth Fairy flannel on the board. Then left them up during the first story. 

Book: The Red Wolf – Margaret Shannon

(This was a bit too long. I’ll try to make it more concise for the Thur group. I love the story and the illustrations! And I was surprised at how well the kids stayed focused. …this worked great for the Thur group with some pages clipped together and the rest condensed a bit!)

Visual: Tooth Fairy

(Now we made use of the pillows! One had a tooth hidden behind it, so the tooth fairy came out and sang her song until we found the tooth. Jolly good fun.)

Look and see, look and see,

Can you find the tooth for me?

Is it behind the ____ pillow?


(I like to get suggestions from the kids on which pillow to look under, and it makes them more excited too! If they get it too quickly, the tooth fairy goes to a different house with the tooth under a different pillow and we play again!)

Book: Little yellow leaf – Carin Berger

(I felt that this might not be interesting enough for the kids, and there is probably a better choice out there. Notwithstanding that, it worked well enough especially adding some talking points throughout.  I think it’s charming, and it tied it very nicely to the next activity!)

Song/Activity: Autumn Leaves

Way up high in an autumn tree

a little Green leaf happy as could be

The wind went Wwhoooooshh!!

and the leaf danced around,

then floated gently to the ground.

(continue with other colors)

(The kids had a great time with this, though passing out the pre-sorted leaves took a bit of time. We held them up high, danced them around, then drifted down to the ground with them.)

Book: Blue Chicken– Deborah Freedman

(Chicken spills the paint, and the other animals aren’t too happy about it! Lovely illustrations and narrative.)

Puppet: Baa baa black sheep – Traditional

(We sang Baa Baa Black Sheep, then this little guy popped up because no one ever sang about the white sheep! So we did, and then he put on different colors so that more were represented. The kids were much more excited about this in the Thur group. The idea of the sheep puppet with other colors was taken from Amy White of the Orem Public Library)

Book: Where is the green sheep? – Mem Fox

(The kids really liked this one, it was nice to bring back some simplicity.) =]

Activity: Leaves on Parachute

(All of the leaves from the song were put on a parachute, and we bounced it! The kids were so excited today, and even after quite a bit of play time, they left the room buzzing.)

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Fairy Tale Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Emerald Tree – Janet Palazzo-Craig


(I like this story, but the kids were a little antsy toward the end. Better told than read.)

Activity: The Cow Jumped

(Had a cow puppet and a moon prop, started the Hey Diddle Diddle but had the cow jump under, behind, around, onto the moon. Finally the kids helped me get it right! from Liesl Johnson)

Book: The End – David LaRochelle


(This was a lot of fun. I first asked if anyone knew how a fairy tale ended, and one boy shouted out “And they all lived happily ever after” [bless him] which is how this story begins!)

Activity: The Troll – from the CD Animal Songs by Geof Johnson

 (The kids liked moving, but it felt kind of awkward. I think I just wasn’t familiar enough with the song.)

Book: In the Foggy Foggy Forest – Nick Sharratt


(I thought this would be more popular, while the  kids liked it they weren’t all gung ho.)

Shadowplay: Masha and the Bear


(A traditional Russian tale that I made a shadowplay for during Russian Storytime. See the story here. )

Book: Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox

(Very cute, quite a few words had the kids confused though I think. Still, they got the general meaning, the parents enjoyed it more.)

Activity: Dancing in bubbles

(Played some classical music, it was a ballroom in my imagination at least!)

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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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