SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Outer Space Storytime

This underwent considerable revision between the Tuesday and Thursday programs. I was surprised at how few good storytime books there are for the theme! Even looking for ‘alien’ etc. I think it’s because most of the stories were narrated, rather than having characters ‘interact’. See what I cut out at the end of the post.

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Austronaut Piggy Wiggy – Christyan and Diane Fox

(No one in the crowd seemed very interested in this story. I’ve used the pirate Piggy Wiggy before and it was much more popular. Not sure why this one flopped.)

Activity: Robot Zot (based on the story by John Scieszka)

(Zot with the ‘dangerous enemies’, and his Queen)

Bring Robot into view,

“Robot Zot—Wham Bot! Robot Zot—Bam Bot!

Robot Zot—never fall. Robot Zot—Conquer all!

 Robot Zot crashed his attack ship on earth, there he meets a dangerous enemy! “

 Bring appliance into view (follow pattern with each)…interact with kids…”does this look like a dangerous enemy? Robot Zot thinks so! Who will win? Robot Zot yells his battle cry,

 “Robot Zot—never fall. Robot Zot—Conquer all!”

 Mock battle with Robot Zot and the appliance, Robot Zot wins, hurrah! Then, another appliance (three in all, a blender, mixers, and hand vac)…until the last round, with the pink and blue toy.

“Does this look like an enemy?

This not enemy, is Queen of all Earth.

Robot Zot—rescue bot, Robot Zot—hero bot!

 Robot rescues toy and runs off behind flannel board.

 And off they go in the spaceship to explore another distant galaxy.

(I was glad to have a chance to use this again, it was so popular during my Robots theme. These crowds weren’t quite as excited about it, but it still had a good reception.)

Book: Moon Plane –  Peter McCarthy

(A simply story with very nice pictures. It’s fun to throw in some vehicle noises as well.)

Activity: If you’re going to the moon

sung to  ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It,’

If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp, stomp)
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp, stomp)
If you’re going to the moon, and you want to get there soon
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp, stomp)

…wear your suit (ziiiiiiip)

…wear your gloves (clap, clap)

…wear your helmet (pat, pat)

(then we blasted off!)


I am a rocket crouched on the ground,

(put arms over headfor rocket’s nose)

Waiting quietly without a sound (put finger to lips)

Light this fuse on my little toe, (wiggle toe)

Ready for blast-off? Here I go!

5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1


(jump into the air)

Book: There was a bold lady

(This is a nice variation of swallowing the fly. I got some good guesses about what she wanted the star for!)

Activity: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (with sign language)

(I’ve used this before, I  don’t remember what the theme was, so it was easy to stick in as a last minute replacement. It was so popular we did it three times!) 

Book: Star Climbing – Lou Fancher

(Really nice illustrations, but I’m not sure the kids understood the concept of constellations. Still, we had fun identifying the animals and making their noises.)

Activity: Bubbles

(The we pretended the bubbles were stars and caught them! Played Zoom Zoom from the CD Purple Collection by Ladybug Music. Such a fun song!)

What got kicked out–

I had Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy as part of the storytime, with some pages clipped together, but it was too similar to Astronaut Piggy Wiggy. I also cut Green Wilma Frog in Space by Ted Arnold. I think it could work, but it switched it for the less wordy Moon Plane. I also replaced There Was A Bold Lady Who Wanted a Star (which I had prepped as a flannel board) with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star so I could tell it in the original book form.


Away We Go Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Storytime today is all about things that can take us places, what are some thing you can think of that go? (One little boy had a toy boat, it tied in perfectly with the first story!) Those are some great things, and we’ll have songs and activities about all of them! Out first story is about a boat. A big blue boat.

Book: Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat – Philip C Stead

(I adore this book, even though it’s too wordy for storytime. I shortened a lot of the text, and skipped a couple of pages. I think it’s one the grown ups appreciated more. )

Flannel Board: Freight Train – Donald Crews

Do you remember what color the Big Boat was? Blue! Lets see if you can help me name the colors on this freight train from the story by Donald Crews. (I put up the parts ‘what color is the caboose?’ and the kids shouted out the colors.) Now we have all of the train! What noise does it make? ‘Chugga Chugga…’ Good job. Oh look! The train is moving! Keep making the train noise (I then told the rest of the story, scrolling the background behind the train).

Here is the train, moving.

Moving through mountains.

Moving past cities.

Moving over tressels.

Going in darkness

Going in daylight.

Going, going…slowing, slowing…stopped.

 You did such a good job driving that train! Do you think cows would be good drivers? Let’s find out in this book!

Book: Sakes Alive!  A Cattle Drive by Karma Wilson

(A fun story, nice illustrations. My kids started to lose interest though, might try to shorten it some.)

Activity: Green says go

Did those cows follow good driving rules? No!, lets see if you know how to!  When you see a traffic light, what does Green mean? (hold up green circle). Go!, good job. What does Yellow mean? (hold up yellow circle) Slow!, that’s right! And what does Red mean? (hold up red circle) Stop! You’re so good! Now lets see if you can follow the rules. (The kids had a lot of fun with this!)

(Hold up colored circles to command the actions.

Run in place, fast with green. Slow with Yellow Stop with Red.

Repeat and continue with other actions,

jumping, spinning, and end with sitting (yellow for slow, then Stop!).

Good job! Now we’re going to have a story about an airplane. Have you ridden on an airplane? The little boy in this story hasn’t but he’s going to pretend to, and then the airplane can go anywhere he’d like!

Book: Moon Plane by Peter McCarty

(A simple book with rich illustrations. The kids were really into it.)

Song: Drivin’ In My Car – from the CD Ralph’s World by Ralph Covert

Now lets go driving in our own cars! How do you hold the steering wheel? Good job! remember to follow the traffic signals. (I held up the red circle from the earlier activity at each ‘Red Light’).

(Such a fun song! I even had a parent come up afterwards to ask what CD it was from)

Book: Dinos on the go – Karma Wilson

Isn’t driving fun! Look who’s going to be driving in this next book, Dinosaurs!

(I think the kids were a little antsy today in general. They were pretty engaged, but restless as well.)


The different things the dinosaurs rode made different noises, and now you can make some noises with instruments.

(played Rocketship Run from the CD Rocketship Run by the Laurie Berkner Band under the instruments)

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