SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Letter V Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: How I Spent my Summer Vacation – Mark Teague


(This was a smidge wordy, but worked okay for the first book.)

Activity: A Circle is Not a Valentine
adapted from the book by H. Werner Zimmermann

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(A very popular part of the program, the kids are great at helping correct the puppet when he paints the wrong shape.)

Book: The Sleepless Little Vampire – Richard Egielski


(A simple story and very nice illustrations, this also brought some Halloween into our program.)

Activity: Little Volcano
tune: I’m a Little Teapot

I’m a small volcano in a mound,
(crouch on the floor)
Waiting so quiet, without a sound.
(Shushing finger at lips)
When the lava bubbles and churns around,
(fingers wiggle up for bubbles, then spin)
KaBoom! I explode then fall to the ground.
(Jump into the air, then sink back down.)

(One of our groups wasn’t really into this, but the other had a great time with it!)

Book: Vulture View – April Pulley Sayre


(I think this is a very nice book, and it’s worked well before. This time, there just didn’t seem to be much interest.)

Activity: The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice
adapted from the book by Kristen Balouch


(A great adaptation, where the little girl has trouble finding a friend, until she meets someone with a voice as big as hers!)

Book: The Ugly Pumpkin (Vegetable) – Dave Horowitz


(Such a cute character, and it is a great link from October to November!)

Activity:  Parachute (volcano)


(We finished by bouncing balls on our parachute ‘volcano’.)

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Letter U Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great – Bob Shea


(I thought this might be a bit wordy, but our crowd was just the right age for it! …usually we have quite a few very young patrons.) 

Activity: Uniforms


(This was a hit, and super simple. The kids loved identifying the jobs based on their uniforms, and then deciding which would use the tools we revealed.) 

Book: Up, Up, Down – Robert Munsch


(Perfectly simple fun book, the kids loved it. The ending felt just a bit abrupt.) 

Activity: Grand Old Duke of York

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 in place, then went on our toes for Up, and squatted for Down). 

(We started this at a normal speed, then gradually increased the speed for about four rounds of the song. They loved it!) 

Book: What Color is Your Underwear? – Sam Lloyd


(A simple, silly book. The kids were great at identifying the colors, and really liked the laugh-out-loud ending.) 

Activity: One Rain Drop


(A simple little rhyme, wasn’t fantastically recieved, but I needed something else for the theme, and they didn’t dislike it.) 

One rain drop came out to play,
On an umbrella one day.
It had such enormous fun
That it called for another little drop to come!

…continue adding more drops

Book: The Umbrella – Ingrid & Dieter Schubert


(Wordless books still make me a little nervous, but this was fantastic! We just chatted about what was going on, the kids were great at filling in the information.)

Activity: Parachute


(I made ‘raindrops’ out of yarn to bounce on our parachute. We kept going until more kids were interested in hiding under the parachute than bouncing the rain on it.) 

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Letter T Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: It’s a Tiger – David LaRochelle

(A very fun book, the kids are great at joining in on ‘It’s a Tiger!’)

Activity:  TV With T-Rex
adapted from the story Worm Watches by Kathy Caple


(This is a very fun story I adapted for our letter. T-Rex watches a movie with clowns and laughs, watches movie with monsters and hides, watches a movie with crying and cries, then watches a movie with kissing and falls asleep. Everyone loved it!) 

Book: Treasure Bath – Dan Andreasen

(A very nice book, great pictures and a pretty clear story even with no text. It’s always been a hit!) 

Activity: I Had a Little Turtle

I had a little Turtle
(Sign language for Turtle)
His name was Tiny Tim I put him in the bathtub
(set ‘turtle’ onto the floor)
To see if he could swim
(pantomime swimming)
He drank up all the water
(pretend to drink)
He ate up all the soap
(pretend to eat)
and now he’s sick in bed with a bubble in his throat!
(point to throat)
Bubble, bubble, bubble, Bubble, bubble, bubble,
(hands make bubble shape, and move farther apart)
Bubble, bubble, bubble, Bubble, bubble POP!
(hands end up far apart, then come together for a loud Clap!)

(This is a fun little activity. The kids that don’t already know it catch on really quickly.)

Book: Where is My Teddy – Jez Alborough

(I think the kids like the follow up story better, but this emphasised the Teddy, so we used it, and it was okay.) 

Activity: The Bears Toothache
from the book by David M. McPhail

(A very engaging activity. I need to make a post just for this story soon!) 

Book: Tickle the Duck – Ethan Long

(A super fun book! One day we had a crowd a little too eager to join in the tickling. The other day they were very well behaved, and on the last page we took the book around to give them the chance to tickle …since the duck had said it was okay.)  =]

Activity: Toy Instruments

(We finished today by playing with Toy instruments.) =P

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Letter S Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Some Smug Slug – Pamela Duncan Edwards

Some Smug Slug by Pamela Duncan Edwards HarperTrophy,2

(A lovely alliterative story, with a satisfying surprise ending. We did clip a couple of pages, as they were a bit redundant.) 

Activity: Baa-Baa Black Sheep

Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full;

One for the master, and one for the dame,

And one for the little boy who lives down the lane

Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full.


(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 idea of the sheep puppet with other colors was taken from Amy White of the Orem Public Library)

Book: I’m a Shark – Bob Shea


(Bob Shea is pretty well a guaranteed hit. This had great illustrations for storytime, and a very fun plot.)

Activity: Spider on the floor

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 cotton ball for their spider, and we moved them the the places as we sang the song. Good times!)

Book: I Spy Under the Sea – Edward Gibbs



(A very simple guessing book with nice big pictures. A hit!)

Activity: Sammy the Snake

Sammy the snake is searching for a snack

But only if it starts with ‘S’.

Is this something Sammy will eat?

No, or yes?










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(We start with the short Sammy, then introduce different images and have the kids tell us if it starts with ‘s’. If so, we flip it over to the silhouette side, and add it to Sammy’s stomach! This was lots of fun, the kids really like showing their smarts. We didn’t use all the images, but felt out when interest was starting to wane, about eight things.) 

Book: Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes – Eric Litwin



(Can’t go wrong with Pete the Cat, a great finish for our program.) 

Activity: Streamers

(Then we played with Streamers! It was a well received program all around.) 

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Letter R Storytime

I’ve been reusing past themes for my storytimes quite a bit, thus no posts for a while, but the letters are still new!

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Rain – Linda Ashman


(I wasn’t sure how well this would go over, but the kids were engaged. We talked through it more than usual to make sure it was clear.) 

Activity: Itsy Bitsy Spider – traditional

(The Itsy Bitsy spider has a little trouble with the rain. The kids always love something familiar in the program.) 

Book: Rrralph! – Lois Ehlert


(A great book for R. Might have gone over the kids heads a little, but they liked the dog noises anyway.) =]

Activity: Row Row Row your boat

Row, row, row your boat

gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

life is but a dream.

(we acted out the rowing, then repeated with different actions:

paddle, rock, bounce, wiggle, and ended with a super fast verse of ‘motor’)

(One of the kids wanted to do ‘underwater’. so we tipped our heads and blubbed our lips with our fingers as we sang. Having the kids make suggestions takes it to the next level) 

Book: Rabbityness – Jo Empson


(I was surprised at how well this was received. Both groups were very attentive, even after the action song. ) 

Activity: Rainbow Song

Tune: Hush little baby

Rainbow purple, rainbow blue,

rainbow green and yellow too.

Rainbow orange, rainbow red,

Rainbow smiling overhead.


(I use this in my book babies program, the kids identify the colors as we put them up, then we sing through the song a few times. I nice gentle song that they really like.) 

Book: Dinosaur Roar – Paul and Henrietta Stickland


(Then we had roaring dinosaurs! This was sort of midstream during this program. Not great or terrible.)

Activity: Rhythm (instruments)

(Then we got to make noise like the dino’s with our instruments, fun ending!) 

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Letter Q Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi


Book: Little Quack’s New Friend – Lauren Thompson


(A fun story about accepting difference, well received by the kids.)

Activity: 5 Little Ducks (quack)


(The classic song, with some bonus ducklings to act it out!) 

Book: Quick as a Cricket – Don and Audrey Wood


(We acted out the different qualities of the animals, fun interactive potential)

Activity: Roll, Roll, Roll Your Hands (quickly)

tune: row, row, row your boat


Roll, roll, roll your hands,
As slowly as can be.
Roll, roll, roll your hands,
Do it now with me.
Roll, roll, roll your hands,
As quickly can be.
Roll, roll, roll your hands,
Do it now with me.

Clap, clap, clap your hands…
Shake, shake, shake your hands…
Stamp, stamp, stamp your feet…

(A fun, simple activity that you can add to or reduce easily.)

Book: Little Raccoons Big Question – Miriam Schlein


(Little Raccoon want’s to know when Mamma loves him most. If the illustrations weren’t so charming, I think this wouldn’t have worked for storytime. It was okay though.)

Activity: Q words Quilt

Which items start with Q and belong on the Q quilt?

We showed each item one at a time until the quilt was full with Queen, Question Mark, Quarter, Quiet, Quail and Quidditch!

Q quilt

(A chance for the kids to show off their smarts! …which they love. )

Book: Quiet Night – Marilyn Singer

quiet night

(The kids were pretty amped, so we just did the first five creatures.)

Activity: Quail Craft

Then the kids got to make a quail to take home! They colored the card stock (identical on the other half of the circle), then attached the feather and pipe cleaner.

quail craft

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Letter P Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi


Book: Please Say Please – Margery Cuyler



(The kids were laughing out loud at the animal antics, and were very good at recognizing inappropriate behaviors)

Activity: 5 Pigs So Squeaky Clean – from Mel’s Desk (tune: 5 green and speckled frogs)

Five pigs so squeaky clean, cleanest you’ve ever seen,

wanted to go outside and play. Uh huh!

One jumped into the mud, landed there with a thud.

Now there are four pigs squeaky clean. Oink, oink!




(This was a little blah to this group, but has been popular in other programs)

Book: The Pigs Picnic – Keiko Kasza



(An adorably funny story, with slightly frightening illustrations. The kids had a good time with it.)

Song: The Pirate Song –Carole Peterson

When I was one I had some fun on the day I went to sea 
I jumped aboard a pirate ship, and the captain said to me 
“Now you go this way, that way, forward, backward 
Over the deep blue sea!”

continue with increasing numbers and rhyming words



(We had a pirate friend show up to guide us through this song. A fun ‘get up and move’ activity.) 

Book: Pretty Pru – Polly Dunbar



(Pirates aren’t very pretty, but Pru is! A very fun, simple book.)

Puppets: Princess and the Pea

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.

(Then our pirate puppet jumped up and said ‘Instead of sleeping, why don’t you join my crew?!’ and she became a princess pirate who went ‘this way, that way, forward, backward, over the deep blue sea.’ Which got a chuckle from some parents.)





(The kids have such a fun time with this, and are very good at recognizing what will be under the mattresses.) 

Book: Pigeon Wants a Puppy – Mo Willems



(We did a pigeon book last week, so the kids were already familiar and ready to interact. It was a hit!)

Activity: ‘Popcorn’ on Parachute

(We then used cotton ball ‘popcorn’ on our parachute. Lots of fun.) 

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Letter O Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Tickley Octopus – Ruth Galloway


(A nice, colorful book with a good message. Thought it might be a bit long, but the kids handled it fine.)

Activity: Biggest Thing in the Ocean – from the book by Kevin Sherry


Giant Squid is the biggest thing in the ocean, or so he thinks.


The whale (made of foam board) is certainly bigger, but still…


the Giant Squid is the biggest thing in the whale!


(A fun little story, made even more impactful with a BIG visual. Even the parents chuckled at the final line.)

Book: Owl Babies – Martin Waddell


(Such a charming story, the kids are really engaged throughout.)

Activity: Flap Any Way You Want To – adapted from dance any way you want to (Ralphs World)

(Then we acted like owls and flapped around! A great movement activity.) 

Book: Opposnakes – Salina Yoon


(We did some opposite flapping …fast and slow…which was a great transition to this book of opposites. The kids were pretty good at knowing what was going to unfold, and love the illustrations.) 

Activity: Open Up the Barn Door – found on Storytime Katie

Open up the barn door, the spring goes “Boink.”
There’s a pig in the barn, saying, “Oink, oink, oink.”
Open up the barn door before the clock strikes two.
There’s a cow in the barn, saying, “Moo, moo, moo.”
Open up the barn door, it’s a sunny day.
There’s a horse in the barn, saying, “Neigh, neigh, neigh.”
Open up the barn door, singing, “Tra-la-la.”
There’s a sheep in the barn, saying, “Baa, baa, baa.”
Open up the barn door, while the sky is blue.
There’s a rooster in the barn, saying, “Cock-a-doodle-do!”
Open up the barn door and don’t get off the track.
There’s a duck in the barn, saying, “Quack, quack, quack.”


(We had the kids hold their hands together until we ‘opened’ the door. Then they identified the animal that we showed and helped make the noise. Fun times!)

Book: Are You Ready to Play Outside? – Mo Willems


(It’s hard to go wrong with Mo Willems. I particularly like the worms cameo.)

Activity: Streamers

(Then we used streamers to wiggle like an octopus. I had to convince one boy that his arms and legs could count, and he only needed four streamers to have eight octopus ‘legs’)

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Letter N Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: The Perfect Nest – Catherine Friend


(Such a fun book! The characters are dynamic and entertaining, and the ending delightful. I did skip most of the chick pages.)

Activity: Elephants Have Wrinkles (for Nose) – Video here

Elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles,

elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles everywhere.

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

(continue with other body parts)

Book: Alfred’s Nose – Vivienne Flesher


(Skipped quite a few pages, the story and pictures are lovely though, and fit right in with Nose.)

Activity: Last Night I Had A Dream – Laurie Berkner

(This was okay, not fantastic. We acted out various animals in the ‘dream’.)

Book: No! That’s Wrong – Zhaohua Ji


(This is a consistent hit. With underwear so prominently featured, how could it not be!)

Activity: The No No Bird (Andrew Fusek Peters)


(So much fun turning this story about a contrary bird into a puppet story.)

Book: Dog’s Noisy Day –Emma Dodd


(The kids were pretty unsettled during both of the programs with this book. The puppets much have gotten them too hyped up! Good thing it’s bright, simple, and interactive.)

Activity: Instruments

(Then the kids got to make noise of their own with instruments.

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Letter M Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out

 Book: Mouse Was Mad – Linda Urban


(A fun book to introduce different ways to deal with anger.)

Activity: Five Little Mice

Five little mice came out to play,
Gathering crumbs up on their way;
Out came a pussy cat
Sleek and black, Meeoooww!
Four little mice went scampering back.

(continue counting down remaining mice)


(The cat would come out and snag a mouse. Pretty engaging for the kids)

Book: One Mitten – Kristine O’Connell George


(I worried this would be a bit dry, but it worked well!)

Activity: Monkey See Monkey Do

Monkey see, monkey do
Little monkey in the zoo
Monkey, monkey, in the tree
Can you jump around like me?
(swing tail, clap hands, nod head, sit down)

(What a fun activity! I stole this from somewhere, but I didn’t save the link.) =[

Book: Is Your Mamma a Llama? – Deborah Guarino


(The first time I’ve used this, and it was awesome!)

Activity: Magic, magic in my hat – (created by Deanna Romriell)

Magic!  Magic!  In my hat,

I’ll pull out a rabbit –

Aaaaaa!!  What is that?!!

(Pull anything other than a rabbit out and repeat.)

Magic!  Magic!  In my hat,

I’ll pull out a rabbit –

 See!!  Look at that!!


(This is always a winner. I have a hole in the box, and the hat, so I can reach though and pull out the animals.)

Book: Icky Sticky Monster – Jo Lodge


(I love this book so much! Great gross factor…too bad the pop-ups get so mangled.)

Activity: Monster Hand Craft – As done at the Irving Schwartz Branch

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