SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Pigeon Wants to Find a Job

We did a community helpers theme in honor of Mr. Rogers birthday, and I wanted to use a flannel activity that represented a wide range of helpers. We were reading Mo Willems Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and I thought it would be fun to let him drive some other vehicles after the book!



We identified who would drive each vehicle, pigeon was hidden behind one as we put them up, then we sang this song.


Tune: Do you know the muffin man

Pigeon wants to find a job, find a job, find a job.

Pigeon wants to find a job, what will he be today?


Then the kids told us which vehicle to look behind, until we found the pigeon. Lots of fun!




This Flannel Friday is being hosted by Reading With Red


On the Go Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

 Book: Sheep in a Ship – Nancy Shaw


(Lovely lyrical text, and fun pictures make this a winner. Little bit on the small side.)

Flannel Board: Row Row Row

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’)

(The kids had a great time with this. It’s fun to get suggestions from the group about what action to use, and one of the kids taught me a new ending! ‘If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream! Aaaaa!!’)

Book: The Bridge is Up – Babs Bell


(This was quite the hit! I’d have the kids identify which vehicle joined the line, and eventually there was a little chorus saying ‘Everyone had to wait’ with me.)

Activity: Green says go

The drivers followed the rules in that story, do we know driving rules? Red means…Stop, Yellow means…Slow, and Green means…Go!


(I would hold up a colored circle, and the kids would respond according to the rule. We ran in place, jumped up and down, spun in a circle, and finally sat down …ending with stop and ready for the next book!)

Book: Firehouse – Mark Teague


(Great illustrations, and an engaging text. I left out the last spread, and ended with the parade.)

Song: Drivin’ In My Car – Ralphs World

(A super song! I used the red circle from the last activity for the Red Light part of the music.)

Book: Clickety Clack – Rob and Amy Spence

clickety clack

(This was another great addition. A great build and fall, and a nice ending for the storytime.)


(There were some noisy riders on the train, so then we got out instruments and made noise too! )

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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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Birds Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Don’t Let thePigeon Drive the Bus – Mo Willems


(The kids were a little slow to shout out the ‘No!’…but made up for it by being vocal the rest of the storytime.) =\

Activity: Two Little Blackbirds (see at end)

 (This was very well recieved. We have little blackbirds on popsicle sticks, but I knew there wouldn’t be enough so we just used our thumbs as the birds. Each time they flew away we did breathy flying noises that matched the descriptors.)

Book: The Wolf’s Chicken Stew – Keiko Kasza


(I encouraged some response ‘Who likes pancakes?’ and even though I’m not the biggest fan of the illustrations, I think this is a nice story.)

Activity: I know a little rooster – song by The Best of the Babysitters

(The kids seemed a little disintersted in this…I think something more active would have been better. I’ll try the chicken dance with the next group.)

Book: Grumpy Bird – Jeremy Tankard

(A simple story, cute pics, I think it kinds of went over the heads of my group though.)

Activity: 5 Penguins in the Bathtub (see at end)

(They liked this a lot…it’s a variant that I put to a tune. It even got an encore!)

 Book:  Do Like a Duck Does– by Judy Hindley

(I’m a big fan of this book, cute big pictures and fun opportunity for voices. The kids like it too!)

The Parts:

Two Little Blackbirds

Two little black birds sitting on a hill,

One named Jack and one named Jill.

Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill!

Come back Jack, come back Jill!

…sitting on a pole,

one named high and one named low…

…sitting on a cloud,

one named quiet and one named loud…

…sitting in the snow,

one names fast and one named slow…

Five Penguins in a Bathtub

One penguin in a bathtub, going for a swim

Knock, Knock (clap, clap)

Splash, Splash (slap knees, slap knees)

Come on in! (motion with hand)

Two penguins…

Three penguins…

Four penguins…

Five penguins…

…They all fell in! (final line)

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Making Noise Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: The Baby Beebee Bird– Diane Redfield Massie


(I used a bird puppets to make the birds noise throughout the book [one handed page turning takes pratice!] A fun story, well recieved, but it can also stand to have a few pages skipped [which I inadvertently did].)

Song/Activity: Hands are for Clapping – from the CD The Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes by Jim Gill

(You get to make noises with different parts of the body, Clapping, tapping, snapping, slapping etc. Fun! During the whistling portions of the song I’d guide the kids to clap big, small, fast etc. for each action.)

Book: Katie Loves the Kittens – John Himmelman


(As soon as I opened this book, I knew I wanted to read it aloud, just so I could ARrooooo! for Katie [the kids like to as well]. A very cute book about a dog that loves the new kittens a bit too much. Runs a little long, the second time I skipped about a dozen pages [where the kittens go to sleep and Katie eats their foot] and it held interest much better.)

Puppet Play: The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice – Kristen Balouch

(Used puppets for this [substituted the snake for a monkey I have on hand], and everyone loved when the girl and lion roared and laughed together. The text is so simple, it worked great!)


Book: Dinosaur Vs the Library– Bob Shea


(How can you go wrong with Dinosaur! It’s fun to make the roaring noise in the other animal voices too…chicks, turtles, etc.)

Flannel Board: Animal noises

(A simple activity using farm animals I inherited. Introduce that some of the animals have mixed up their noises, tell the kids to shout ‘Yes!’ if they get it right, and to help the animals if they get it wrong. Then put up the animals and make a noise for them [I did two wrong for every one right]. Then we reviewed them all at the end. It was fun!)

Book: Clickety Clack – Rob and Amy Spence


(Tried to get the kids to join in making the noises of the yaks, singing, etc, but they were really only excited about the ducks and fireworks. )

Activity: Instruments

(The kids played with instruments! Played some Frances England in the background.)

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Colors Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Freight Train – Donald Crews

(We made the chugga, chugga noise of the train as it traveled, speeding up until it was gone! )

Activity: Scat the Cat (see at end)


(This is a folder that I colored, cut out the shape of Scat, then laminated. Then I used white out and marker to give Scat the definition. The colored pages [I start with black] just slide out the side. It’s really popular! I use it in my Book Babies rotation too.)

Book: Butterfly Butterfly – Petr Horáček

(A simple story with nice pictures, and a fun pop-up at the end!)

Song/Activity: Colors – from the CD Learning Basic Skills Through Music by Hap Palmer

(I handed out  colored shapes, and used a paper towel roll with slots for colored popsicle sticks to help the kids follow which color was standing or sitting. It gets a little crazy but it’s fun! I just wish there weren’t so much verse singing that we essentially just have to wait through.)

Book: Pete The Cat – Eric Litwin


(An awesome book. By the third time we get to the song, the kids and parents are singing along!) 

Flannel Board: Hens of a Different Color (see at end)

 (I tried using a flannel board of Dogs Colorful Day by Emma Dodd, but the kids were too restless to just watch, so for my second program we did the hens, and the kids had fun shouting out the colors…though my purple looks too much like blue =P  )

Book: I Spy With My Little Eye – Edward Gibbs


(A wonderful book with lovely big pictures. Very interactive. There were lots of great choices for this theme.)

Activity: Do Your Clothes Have Any Red (see at end)

(Inevitably there’s a kid who hasn’t worn any of the colors I’ve prepared rhymes for. At the front of my last group was a rather vocal girl in only Black and Grey, so we did a ‘pat yourself on the back’, and ‘pretend to drive a sleigh’. Pink is a common color too, so I stuck in ‘slide in a skating rink’ as well.)

Streamers (Just let them play with the streamers while the song played. With Put A Little Color On from the CD Can a Cherry Pie Wave Goodbye by Hap Palmer)

The Parts:

Scat the Cat

Once there was a cat named Scat, and he’d been a black cat for as long as he could remember. One day he learned some magic words to change color, and decided he would try come different colors to see how they were.

He said his magic words:

Chorus:’I’m Scat the Cat, I’m sassy and fat

And I can change colors, just like THAT!'(Clap hands)

Then what color was Scat?  He was a Blue kitty! He went around seeing what it was like to be a blue cat, but then he came to a pool of water, and it was blue too so Scat didn’t see it and stepped in it! Do kitties like to get wet? Scat decided he should try a different color, so he said his magic words.


Then what color was Scat? He was a Red Kitty! He went around seeing what it was like to be a red cat, but when his friends saw him they laughed at him. ‘Oh you look like you’ve been sunburned! Ha hahaha!’ Was that very nice? No. It made Scat feel bad, so he decided to try a different color. He said his magic words.


Then what color was Scat?  He was a Green kitty! He went around seeing what it was like to be a green cat, but what color is the grass he’s standing by? It’s green too! Scat was hidden in the grass, and his friends couldn’t find him to apologize, or to play, so Scat decided to try a different color. He said his magic words.


Then what color was Scat?  He was a Yellow kitty! His friends said they were sorry for teasing him, and they all decided to go to the zoo. At the zoo they saw a Lion, do you know what color a lion is? It’s yellow too! The lion said to Scat ‘I’m the only cat that ‘s allowed to be yellow! Raaawwwrr!’ So Scat decided he’d better change colors again. He thought about all the colors he had been and decided which color he liked best. Then he said his magic words one more time.


And what color was Scat? He decided that he like the color that he’d been born the best, and spent the rest of the time being a black kitty. The End!

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.

Do you’re 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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