SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Friendship Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Lottie Paris and the Best Place – Angela Johnson


(A great way to introduce the theme, making friends at the library! I clipped the ‘rules’ pages to streamline things.) 

Activity: Dear Zoo
from the book by Rod Campbell


(A zoo keeps sending the wrong pet! The kids loved saying why certain animals weren’t a good fit, and we swapped a skunk for the original camel.) 

Book: Wombat Walkabout – Carol Diggory Shields


(Quite a fun book, though it felt a smidge long. Maybe it would be better as a opening title.)

Activity: If You’re Friendly and You Know It

If you’re friendly and you know it, clap your hands!
If you’re friendly and you know it, clap your hands!
If you’re friendly and you know it, then your face will always show it,
If you’re friendly and you know it, clap your hands!

…wave hello
…jump up and down
…shout Horray!
…do them all.

(A nice simple activity to do some moving.) 

Book: My Friend is Sad – Mo Willems


(A fantastically fun book, as all the Elephant and Piggie are.) 

Activity: My Friend Rabbit
from the book by Eric Rohmann


(Pretty simple, we ask the kids to identify the animals as rabbit brings them out to add to the tower.) 

Book: You Will Be My Friend – Peter Brown


(A good lesson in friend behavior. Clipped a few pages together, and it went over well!) 

Activity: Streamers


(Our last book ended with the new friends having a dance party, so we finished with a dance party of our own!) 

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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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Letter E Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct – Mo Willems

Edwina the Dinosaur

(Charming book, as you’d expect from the author. Had even parents laughing. Edwina and Extinct)

Activity: Most Wonderful Egg In the World – from the book by Helme Heine



(A fun story about three friends who have an egg laying contest to see which is best, and find out they all have unique talents. Quite fun. Eggs)

Book: Emma Kate – Patricia Polacco


(This had a sort of indifferent reception. Lovely pictures, but the cleverness of the story was lost I think. Emma, Elephant)

Activity: Elephants Have Wrinkles video here

Elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles,

elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles everywhere.

On their toes, no one knows Why-ai-ai-ai.

(continue with other body parts)

(Loads of fun! Elephants)

Book: Edward the Emu – Sheena Knowles


(Nice large pics, and a very cute story. Well received, and introduced a new word to most of the kids! Edward, Emu)

Activity: The Very Greedy Python – from the book by Eric Carle

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(Python eats all the animals, but they cause a din and he coughs them up again. Kids love it, though one boy was a bit concerned for the animals at first. Eat) …for my python, I used a tube scarf and safety pinned some flannel eyes and tongue. Super simple and it’s easy to ‘cough’ out his mean by pushing in through the back.

Book: The End – David LaRochelle

the end

(A very fun book, and a fantastic ending! End)

Activity: Bubbles

(This didn’t match the theme, but the kids love them non-the-less. Enjoy!)

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Opposties Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Quick, Slow, Mango! – Anik McGrory


(This was perhaps a bit long, but the pictures are so cute! Even having it first in the line up the kids got a bit restless.)

Fingerplay: Two Little Blackbirds – Traditional

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 was fast and one was slow…

…sitting on a cloud. One was quiet and one was loud…

…on a lily pad.  One was happy and the other was sad…

…were getting very old. One was hot and one was cold…

…sitting on a pole. One was high and one was low…    

(I had a few more opposites, but this was about the right amount to avoid wearying the theme.)

Book: Dinosaur Roar – Paul Strickland


(A fun book, sort of mid grade to me.)

Activity: Grand Ole Duke of York – From the CD Baby’s first Nursery Rhymes

Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of
The hill and he marched
Them down again.

And when they were up they were up.
And when they were down they were down.
And when they were only half way up,
They were neither up nor down.

(We marched around the room standing on our toes, or crouching as the lyrics dictated. Nice wiggle song.)

Book: Big and Little – John Stadler


(This was really popular, fun surprise ending.)

Flannel Board: Never Too Little To Love – from the book by Jeanne Willis

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(The little mouse wants to give the giraffe a kiss, but can’t reach, even when he makes a big …precarious… pile to stand on. Quite popular.)

Book: Opposnakes – Salina Yoon


(This was a big hit as well. Simple structure but lots of fun.)

Activity: Instruments

(Then, because the kids were so quiet for the stories…at least I pretended they were… we got to make lots of noise!)

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Thank You Bear – Storytime Visual

This week’s storytime was prepared by our new teen librarian, so I suggested a puppet adaptation of Thank You Bear by Greg Foley’s for her Friends theme (I’d used it for my Boxes Storytime). I used to have a little mouse, but it vanished! I searched around locally but didn’t find anything I liked, so I made one instead. All of the other characters were puppets we have on hand.


I created the pattern first with paper, to work out the kinks, then cut it out of felt. Using hot glue I attached the tummy piece on the sides and top, then glued down the top of the nose. Voila! Add the eyes, ears and nose and it’s good to go!


Choosing a tail. I also stitched in some whiskers, and added a dot of whiteout on the eyes.


And mouse is all ready for his gift from bear.

Anne at So Tomorrow is hosting the round up this week. Make sure you fill our our Where in the World is Flannel Friday survey. We want to hear from everyone who participates in Flannel Friday, both bloggers and readers.


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

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(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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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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Boxes Storytime

I wasn’t sure I’d find enough material for this theme, but there was loads of stuff! Even so, the program in general felt a bit flat.

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: The Birthday Box – Leslie Patricelli


(A nice simple story about a birthday present made into much more that it’s giver intended.)

Flannel Board: Where’s Tumpty? (Polly Dunbar)

(Tumpty is certain he’s hidden, but he’s quite large. Eventually he finds the perfect place. The kids quite liked this. )


Book: Inside Outside Upside Down – Stan & Jan Berenstain

(A fun story, but it felt rather short during the program.)

Activity: I like to be a jack in the box

 Sometimes I like to hide in a box (Crouch with hands over head)

My handle spins around.  (spin one arm around)

Then after a little while …

Boooiiing! (Jump up!) It’s me you found!

(This was fun, but the kids always enjoy jumping! We did it a number of times.)

Book: Chloe – Peter McCarthy

(The little rabbit doesn’t like the new TV so much, but the box it came in is loads of fun!)

Puppets: Thank You Bear  (Greg Foley)

(Bear finds a box, looks inside and thinks ‘This is the greatest thing ever!’ On his way to give it to mouse, the other animals he meets make him think maybe it isn’t so great after all.)

Book: Magic Box – Katie Cleminson

(Katie gets a magical box, and pulls all sorts of wonderful things out of it. After the big party with dancing and music, she makes it all go away …well, almost. Nice big illustrations)

Activity: Instruments

(I had a box that I introduced at the beginning of storytime, and at the end the kids got to look inside. It was full of instruments and we had our own party!)

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