SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Silly Stories Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Ducks Don’t Wear Socks – John Nedwidek

ducks dont wear socks

(This is always a hit!)

Flannel Board : The Hat – from the book Squid and Octopus by Tao Nyeu


(A fun short story, Octopus finds a hat …our kids know what it really is… but everyone in the ocean thinks it’s something different.)

Book: Imogene’s Antlers – David Small


(The reveal at the end was what really sold this classic for my group. They didn’t seem too impressed during.)

Activity: My Silly Hat – adapted from SurLaLune

Tune: This Old Man

On my head I wear a hat,

It is such a silly hat.

Wear it hear and there and to and fro,

Where else can my silly hat go?

(continue song with different body parts)

(We used bean bags as our silly hats, which was quite fun, and the kids are great at suggesting where the ‘hat’ can go next, from toes to bums.)

Book: Pigs to the Rescue – John Himmelman

Pigs to the Rescue-thumb-300x240-4541

(This is a fun book from Himmelman’s series. The pigs just can’t seem to get anything quite right.)

Activity: I’m Being Eaten By a Boa Constrictor – Shel Silverstein (idea by Liesl Johnson)

(With a sleeping bag prop, this is a great engaging poem. I do it a couple of times, and have the kids shout out what part of me the Boa Constrictor is nibbling on.)

Book: Oh, Daddy! – Bob Shea


(Such a fun simple book. I love everything about it!)

Activity: Silly Streamers

(Then we finished by dancing with our streamers.)

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Bugs Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: I Love Bugs – Emma Dodd

(The kids quite like this, especially the spider at the end!)

Poem: Flea known as Ralph

(I made this for Unloved Animals storytime, and am so glad to use it again. The crowd loves it, and we do it twice so the kids can help me remember which animal comes next.)

Book: Old Black Fly – Jim Aylesworth

(Such a fun alphabet book, with such gross pictures and a great ending. Fantastic! )

Song/Activity: A Fly Is On My Nose

 A Fly is on my nose,

a fly is on my nose.

Hi-ho, just watch me blow

the fly right off my nose!

(Then we buzzed our finger around until it landed on another body part, and continued the song. We did nose, eye, ear, knee, toe, tummy, and then clapped to catch the fly. It’s nice to get suggestions from the kids on where the fly should land next!)

Book: Sleepyhead Bear – Lisa Peters

(This was a last minute addition, and it worked out very well. )

Flannel Board: The Very Hungry Caterpillar (from the book by Eric Carle)

(I wasn’t sure I could work out this flannel board set, but just kept trying until it happened! [glued the eyes on the caterpillar the morning of the program!] The caterpillar starts small, and keeps eating the items until it’s fat. Then I swap for a brown rolled up felt [the chrysalis], that flips around to be the butterfly’s body. The group seemed quite impressed, I’m glad it payed off!)

Book: Can You Make a Scary Face? – Jan Thomas

(Such a fun interactive book. When the frog was about to show up, one boy call out ‘But that’s a bug!’ about the narrator.)

Activity: Streamers

(Had music play while the kids danced with streamers, all in all, a fun time for everyone!)

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Circus Storytime

(The group started off really reserved today, but by the end everyone was all gung-ho! This theme was a request from a summer group, and ended up being a lot of fun for me.)

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Where’s Pup? – Dayle Ann Dodds

(A fun way to start the program, the little clown meets all sorts of performers as he looks for his lost pup. It was fun to point out some uncommon circus performers, like the mouse and pig.)

Flannel Board / Activity: One little clown

(modified from ‘One Little Elephant’, and I made 7 clowns but only 5 fit on the flannel board. I showed the string and asked if they knew what it was. Then proclaimed it was a spiderweb!)

One little clown went out to play

upon a spiders web one day.

He had such enormous fun

that he called for another little clown to come.

(continue, adding clowns, until you run out of room!)

Book: Big and Little – John Stadler

(A fun book that kept everyone engaged and had a lovely surprise at the end.) =]

Activity: Elephants have wrinkles

(What do elephants have? We talked about some different parts of an elephant, and don’t forget the wrinkles!)

Elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles,

elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles everywhere.

On there toes, no one knows


Elephants have wrinkles…(and continue with other body parts)

(end with…) … on their teeth. On their teeth? Don’t be ridiculous!

But!, on their nose, on their ears, on their hips, on their knees, on their toes, no one know


Book: C is for Clown – Stan Berenstain

(A nice simple story that I threw in last minute, and glad I did! It’s also fun to read when all the words start with the same letter.)

Activity: Star of the Circus (adapted from the book by Jose Aruego)


(I wasn’t able to access this book, only pages from it, so I don’t know what the real ending is supposed to be. I started with mouse on his tightrope. [introducing it first, the kids knew it was a spiderweb! I told them this time is was a tightrope.] Then the animals progressively cover each other until they all fall, and decide they can all be the star of the circus!)

Book: Wolf Won’t Bite – Emily Gravett

(But not everyone Wants to be in the circus. The wolf certainly doesn’t seem to enjoy it. Fun ending for the storytime, and the pigs have so much character!)

Activity: Popcorn Parachute

(We used the parachute to pop popcorn [cotton balls]. It was so much fun! Of course they went everywhere, and the group defied any attempt at coordinated shaking, but no one minded. I think we parachuted for 10 minutes before I decided to call an end to it.)


Daddies Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Today’s storytime is all about Daddies, because this Sunday is Father’s day. It’s a day to show our daddies just how much we love them. 

Book: Knuffle Bunny – Mo Willems

(It was a pretty vocal group today, which worked great with this story. Some kids were already familiar with the book so I didn’t even have to prompt for responses about the bunny getting left behind! Very well received.)

Activity: D-A-D-D-Y (B-I-N-G-O)

(I taped the letters around a paper towel roll, and slid them around for the letters to disappear. When the first D was gone one child wanted to know what the new word was, so we sounded it out each time a letter disappeared. Very fun.)

Book: Oh Daddy – Bob Shea

(Silly daddy keeps doing things wrong! Even the older elementary kids that sat in were having a good time with this one.)

Activity: If You’re Happy and you Know It from the CD Get Ready, Get Set, Sing! by Sarah Barchas

(Introduced this by asking if the kids daddies loved them when they were happy ‘Yes!’ and when they were angry ‘No!’ [oops!] We reiterated that daddies love us all the time, whether we are hungry or sleepy or sad. Then sang the great version with a bunch of different emotions.)

Book: A Wild Fathers Day – Sean Callahan

(The kids were excited by the cover of this book ‘They’re turning into monkeys!’ and had fun throughout. One proclaimed after the story, ‘That was a book about imagination.’)

Flannel Board: Matching Families

(I was going to do a flannel version of ‘The Fathers are Coming Home’ but ended up using the images for a matching game instead. We put all the daddies on our flannel board and talked a little about the animals, then I held up the baby animals and the kids told me what they matched with. This one seemed to fizzle out a little bit, maybe 8 was too many pairs?)

Book: My Dad is Big and Strong, but… – Coraline Saudo

(Such a fun new book! I worried that it might feel a little long, but the kids were engaged throughout. )

Craft/Activity: Shirt cards

(I had a bunch of ‘shirt’ cards ready for the kids to color, with a poem printed inside.)

With my fingers I dance a beat,

that tickles through my daddy’s shirt.

He helps me eat a tasty treat,

that drips drops down my daddy’s shirt.

When I get scared, he’s where I look,

hold tight onto my daddies shirt.

Then nod off after one last book,

snuggled against my daddies shirt.

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Sometimes I feel… Storytime

Today we’re going to have stories all about how we feel . What are some feeling that you have? Does anyone feel silly? Let’s shake those sillies out!

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

There are lots of things to like, but hopefully you all like each other, and yourself. 

Book: I Like Me! – Nancy Carlson


(A nice simple book. I’m probably a bit jaded due to nostalgia, it’s one of my mom’s favorites!)

Puppet: Worm Watches – from the book by Kathy Caple

Worm watches lots of different movies, how do you think they make him feel?

Worm watches a movie with clowns. Worm laughs!

Worm watches a movie with monsters. Worm hides.

Worm watches a movie with crying. Worm cries.

Worm watches a movie with kissing. Worm falls asleep.

I guess worm watched too many movies! Sometimes movies make us sad, what do you do if your friend is sad? Do you try to make them happy? That’s what Piggie does in this next book, lets find out if it works!

Book: My Friend Is Sad – Mo Willems


(What isn’t to like about Mo Willems!)

Song/Activity: If you’re happy and you know it

Gerald ended up happy! What do you like to do if you’re happy and you know it? Clap our hands! There are other things you can do for other emotions too.

(I love that the song expresses such a wide range of feelings, happy, sad, scared, mad. And it doesn’t hurt that it includes reading too!)

Book: The Day Leo Said I Hate You! – Robie H Harris

…If you love and you know it give a hug!’ That’s a good way to show you love someone. Who is someone that you love? You love your mom too? Good, but sometimes we can get angry at the people we love. Then we might say something we don’t mean to say.


(So good! The illustrations express Leo’s emotions so well, even the parents gasped on the spread where Leo says ‘I Hate You!’)

Flannel Board: Never Too Little to Love – Jeanne Willis

Leo really did love his mom. Sometimes it can be hard to show someone you love them.

 This is Tiny too-little. He loves somebody. But she’s way up high.

 And that’s a long, long way if you’re tiny and you really want a kiss. He tries to reach her but he’s far too little. Even on tiptoes.

He’s too little even on tiptoes on a thimble.

He’s too little, even on tiptoes on a matchbox, on a thimble.

…(continue adding other items)

He’s too little, even on tiptoes,

on a cupcake, on a clock, on a candle, on a cabbage, on a teacup, on a watermelon, on a matchbox, on a thimble.

Tiny too-little reaches way up.

Wobble… wobble… wobble…CRASH!

Topsy too-tall sees tiny too-little. She loves him. But he’s way down there.

It’s a long way down if you’re tall. But it’s an even longer way up in you’re tiny.

So she bends down and gives him a great Big kiss.

Which just goes to show that, even if you are tiny… you are never too little to love.

Book: What Was I Scared of? – Dr. Seuss

Isn’t it nice when you can show someone you care about them? Sometimes, though, it can be a little scary to meet someone new.


(I skipped the pages with the bike, I don’t know if the kids were loosing interested, or just sluggish from the heat, but they still seemed pretty engaged.)

There are lots of different feelings we talked about today, which feeling do you like best? I like to be happy! Do you want to know something that makes me happy? Bubbles do!

Activity: Bubbles

(Played ‘Sometimes‘ from Frances England’s CD Fascinating Creatures while the kids played in bubbles.)

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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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Magic Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Magic Box – Kate Cleminson


(Fun, simple story with awesome illustrations.)

Activity: Magic Hat (see at end)

 (Trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat, but different animals keep coming out instead! I used a monkey, a giraffe, a mouse, and a chicken before the rabbit finally appeared…and I had the kids help of the final chant to make sure it would work!)

Book: The Wizard the Fairy and the Magic Chicken – Helen Lester

(This is a cute story, but runs just a little long. The kids weren’t as engaged as I expected.)

Activity: “Poof” You’re a… (see at end)

 (Use a wand to ‘transform’ the kids into different things. I found Kangaroo to be popular, and of course changed them back to kids for the next story!)

Book: Sausages – Jessica Souhami


(I think this is a charming version of the classic tale. It’s great that the couple ends up still happy.)

Puppets: Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock

 (A traditional tale, I used the Kimell version as my basis. Had a prop rock, puppets for Anansi, Lion, Elephant and Bush Deer. I also had pics of the food Anansi stole for the flannelboard [the top of which I use for the stage].)

Book: Anton Can Do Magic – Ole Konnecke


(It’s nice when a new book comes in and you think ‘I know just what to use that for!’.)

Activity: Wand Craft

(Different colored popsicle sticks, with cut out stars to attach and glitter glue to decorate!)

The Parts:

(MAGIC) – “Hat Trick” by Deanna Romriell.  (Use a top hat/rabbit puppet along with a selection of other animals to perform this rhyme.)

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!!


“Abracadabra, poof!  You’re a _____________!”  (Some of the things to turn the children into could included a duck, ogre, bear, tree, monkey, frog, fire engine and rock.  And of course, the kids had to act like that thing).


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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What We Wear Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Ducks Don’t Wear Socks – jp Nedwick


Song: Bring Your Clothes – from the CD Whaddaya think of that? by Laurie Berkner

 (act out the song as it goes!)

Book: No! That’s Wrong! – jp Ji


Flannel Board: I’m Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems

 (used the same text, acted out with stick puppets. They would switch during each change.)

Book: Ella Sarah Gets Dressed – jp Chodos-Irvine


Song: Mitten Song – from the CD H.U.M. all year longby Carole Peterson

 (A really basic song, not sure I’m a big fan of it, but it was something to do!)

Book: Froggy Gets Dressed – jp London


Activity: If Your Clothes Have Any Red

(A fun activity, I did have to interject a purple for a little girl that was just waiting to have a turn doing something! I don’t remember what I rhymed with purple, but it was there when I needed it.)

The Parts:

If Your Clothes Have Any Red

If your clothes have any red, any red

If your clothes have any red, any red

If your clothes have any red,

put your hands above your head,

If your clothes have any red, any red.

…if your clothes have any blue,

jump up and down inside your shoes,

…if your clothes have any white,

scrunch your face up small and tight,

…if your clothes have any yellow,

jiggle like a bowl of jello-o,

…if your clothes have any green,

tilt sideways ‘till you lean,

…if your clothes have any brown,

turn around and around,

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Chicken Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Stuck in the Mud – Jane Clarke


Flannelboard: Hens of a different color (see at end)

(Paused before naming each color, so the kids could shout it out.)

Book: The Chicken of the Family – Mary Amato


Song: Clucky Clucky Chicken – sesame street

 (Did a little dance around the room…this wasn’t my favorite but it worked fine.)

Book: Chicken Little – jf Emberley


Flannelboard: The Most Wonderful Egg in the World (from the book by Helme Heine)

Three chicken friends go ask the king which is most wonderful.

They lay eggs in a contest, and each becomes a princess for their skills.

Book: Chickens to the Rescue – jp Himmelman


Song: I know a chicken – from the CD Whadda’ Think of That by Laure Berkner

(used shakey eggs, and did as the song told! If you don’t have shakey eggs, you could put beans or rice in plastic easter eggs.)

The Parts:

Hens of a different color

This little hen is BLACK ( hold up black hens)
She stands in the barnyard by a big hay stack.

This little hen is RED (hold up red hens)
She is very tired and won’t get out of bed.

This little hen is BROWN (hold up brown hens)
She likes spinning round and round.

This little hen is YELLOW (hold up yellow hens)
She’s shakes like a bowl of jell-o.

This little hen is WHITE (hold up white hen)
She dance’s and plays, oh what a sight.

This little hen is PURPLE (hold up the purple hens)
She spends her day running around in circles.

This little hen is GREEN (hold up green hen)
She is the silliest hen I’ve ever seen.

This little hen is BLUE (hold up blue hen)
She lays eggs for me and you.

This little hen is PINK (hold up the pink hen)
She goes down to the pond to get a drink.

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