Storytime Share: BLUE

29 01 2018

As I began planning my outreach storytimes for the beginning part of this year, I was feeling a little bored with my usual themes. So I decided that each month I will focus on a different color, wrapping things up in May with a rainbow theme. The first color up in the rotation is blue.



Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting; illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier

Duck goes on a hunt for his missing new blue socks enlisting many of his fellow animal friends along the way in this rhyming picture book. Toddler; Preschool


White Snow, Blue Feather by Julie Downing; illustrated by the author

While out exploring the woods on a snowy day, a young boy finds a blue feather that he gives to his mother at the end of his adventures. Preschool


Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman; illustrated by the author

A little chicken just wants to help an artist finish a painting, but she makes a mess when she spills the blue paint all over herself and the other barnyard animals in the artwork. Preschool


Blue Penguin by Petr Horácek; illustrated by the author

When the other penguins reject a little blue penguin because he doesn’t look like them, he finds a way to make friends while still being true to himself. Preschool; Early Elementary


Sam’s Winter Hat by Albert Lamb; illustrated by David McPhail

Sam’s friends and family are always there to lend a hand when he is a bit forgetful about keeping up with his coat, gloves, and hat. Preschool


Will You Wear a Blue Hat?  by Rookie Toddler

Toddlers can work on learning their colors through this musical, interactive board book. Infant; Toddler


“B-L-U-E Spells Blue”

“The Chickens in the Coop”

sung to: “The Wheels on the Bus:

The hens in the coop go, “Bawk, bawk, bawk”…

The rooster in the coop goes, “Cock-a-doodle-doo”…

The chicks in the coop go, “Peep, peep, peep…

All day long.


“Sock Matching Game” flannelboard



Storytime Share: Being Thankful

30 11 2017

For my November storytimes I didn’t necessarily want to do a Thanksgiving-themed storytime. I’ve done them in the past, but wanted to go in a different direction this year. Some years rather than read all about turkeys I’ve done food-themed storytimes, which works well. This year I decided to do my storytimes around the idea of being thankful.



Thank You for Me! by Marion Dane Bauer; illustrated by Kristina Stephenson

Children are thankful for all the things from nose to toes that make them special. Toddler; Preschool


Bear Says Thank You by Michael Dahl; illustrated by Oriol Vidal

Little Bear shows young listeners the importance of saying, “Thank you.” Toddler; Preschool


Thank You Bear by Greg Foley; illustrated by the author

When Bear finds a small box, he can’t wait to show it to his friend Mouse, but he starts to have doubts when other animals don’t think the box is as special as he does. Toddler; Preschool


Ten Thank-You Letters by Daniel Kirk; illustrated by the author

When he sees Pig writing a thank-you letter to his grandmother, Rabbit is inspired to write a series of letters of his own. Preschool


The Thankful Book by Todd Parr; illustrated by the author

This bright, happy book reminds readers to be thankful everyday for all the people and things around us. Toddler; Preschool


Feeling Thankful by Shelley Rotner and Sheila Kelly, Ed.D.; photographs by Shelley Rotner

A listing of reasons to be thankful accompanied by photos of joyful children. Preschool


Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson; illustrated by Jane Chapman

Bear’s plan to have a feast for his friends is thwarted by an empty cupboard, so he is thankful when his friends bring food for a gathering to him. Preschool


“I’m Thankful”

sung to: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”

I am thankful for my friends

And my family

I’m thankful for the food I eat

I’m happy to be me.


“If You’re Thankful and You Know It”

sung to: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

Sing verses as usual substituting “thankful” for “happy” adding this last verse:

If you’re thankful and you know it, say “Thank you”


Storytime Share: Pumpkins

26 10 2017

Rather than do an all-out Halloween storytime for my outreaches this month, I chose to do a pumpkin theme. In addition to a variety of pumpkin stories that I’ve done in the past, I was able to find a couple new pumpkin activities to do to make the storytime fresh for myself.



Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch by Alyssa Satin Capucilli; illustrated by Pat Schories

Biscuit the puppy takes a trip to the pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin and finds some friends there, too. Baby, Toddler


Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills; illustrated by the author

Friends Duck and Goose search high and low for a pumpkin until a helpful friend suggests the right place to look. Baby, Toddler


How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? by Wendell Minor; illustrated by the author

Imagine just how big a pumpkin could grow – as big as a building or even the Grand Canyon! Preschool; Early Elementary


Pick a Pumpkin, Mrs. Millie!  by Judy Cox; illustrated by Joe Mathieu

On a class trip to the pumpkin patch, silly Mrs. Millie keeps mixing up her words – “big” becomes “pig” and “wagon” becomes “dragon” and so on in this humorous tale. Preschool, Early Elementary


Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch by Mary Peterson and Jennifer Rofé; illustrated by Mary Peterson

Two little pigs run amok all over the farm until the big bull chases them back to the pumpkin patch. Toddler, Preschool


The Pumpkin Patch by Cliff Griswold

Readers follow a young girl as she visits the pumpkin patch with her family to select the perfect pumpkin. Toddler, Preschool


Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington

Starting with one seed, young Jamie grows a pumpkin, then after carving it into a jack-o-lantern he starts all over again with a handful of seeds. Toddler, Preschool


Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book by Stephen Savage

Count down from ten to one as Halloween friends such as a mummy, witch, and ghost, select their pumpkins. Toddler, Preschool


“Ten Little Pumpkins”

sung to: “Ten Little Indians”

One little, two little, three little pumpkins

Four little, five little, six little pumpkins

Seven little, eight little, nine little pumpkins

Ten little pumpkins in the pumpkin patch

Sing again counting backwards from ten to one


“Pumpkin, Pumpkin”

Pumpkin, pumpkin, sitting on the wall (make hand into a fist and prop on opposite arm)

Pumpkin, pumpkin, tip and fall (make “pumpkin” wobble and fall off “wall”)

Pumpkin, pumpkin, rolling down the street (make rolling motion with arms)

Pumpkin, pumpkin, good to eat (or trick or treat)!

Flannel story: “Orange Pumpkin, Orange Pumpkin” from First Grade a la Carte blog

Activity: “Old McRainbow’s Pumpkin Farm” from Fun with Friends at Storytime blog

Storytime Share: Fall Harvest

21 10 2016

For my outreach programs to preschool classes in the community I do some form of autumn storytime every year – pumpkins, leaves, etc. This year I wanted to expand the theme a little bit and chose to do books and activities related to harvest time. Below are the books I read as well as a few songs, fingerplays, and rhymes I also shared.



Fall by Ailie Busby; illustrated by the author

An adorable group of toddlers enjoys the delights of autumn. Baby, Toddler


Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky; illustrated by Susan Swan

When a family visits a farm to enjoy all that the season has to offer, they observe the various shapes all around. Preschool


Time for Cranberries by Lisl H. Detlefsen; illustrated by Jed Henry

A young boy helps his parents harvest the cranberries on their family farm. Preschool, Early Elementary


The Pumpkin Patch by Cliff Griswold

Readers follow a young girl as she visits the pumpkin patch with her family to select the perfect pumpkin. Toddler, Preschool


Apple Harvest by Calvin Harris

Simple text about picking apples in the fall. Preschool


Baby Loves Fall! by Karen Katz; illustrated by the author

A young child has seasonal fun in this lift-the-flap book celebrating fall.


Harvest by Kris Waldherr; illustrated by the author

A mother and child spend an autumn day collecting fruits, vegetables, and other plants from their garden that they’ve been tending all year. Preschool


Penguin and Pumpkin by Salina Yoon; illustrated by the author

When Penguin and his friends leave their snowy home to experience a true fall, he brings something special back to share with his baby brother Pumpkin. Toddler, Preschool


“Ten Little Pumpkins”

sung to: “Ten Little Indians”

One little, two little, three little pumpkins

Four little, five little, six little pumpkins

Seven little, eight little, nine little pumpkins

Ten little pumpkins in the pumpkin patch

Sing again counting backwards from ten to one

“Leaves Are Falling Down”

sung to: “Rain Is Falling Down

Leaves are falling down – crunch!

Leaves are falling down – crunch!

Whirling, twirling, whirling, twirling

Leaves are falling down – crunch!

Note: Before we sing this one I talk to the kids about the sound that dried leaves make

Fingerplays: “Way Up High in the Apple Tree,” “Little Seed in the Ground

Storytime Share: Mice

14 01 2016

For my outreach theme this month I randomly chose “Mice.” I based my decision completely on the fact that I wanted to do the “Little Mouse” flannel with my outreach groups. As I had predicted the flannel was a hit, and the rest of the storytime went well, too. I used most of the same fingerplays and songs with all age groups, though the books varied slightly. Age levels for the particular books are listed in the descriptions.



Mousetropolis by R. Gregory Christie; illustrated by the author

A new take on the traditional story of Country Mouse and City Mouse with vibrant illustrations by Christie. Preschool, Early Elementary


Lunch by Denise Fleming; illustrated by the author

A hungry little mouse eats a lunch full of colorful fruits and vegetables. Toddler, Preschool


A New House for Mouse by Petr Horacek; illustrated by the author

When Little Mouse discovers a juicy, red apple that is too big to fit into the hole she lives in she goes in search of a new home. Preschool


A Surprise for Tiny Mouse by Petr Horacek; illustrated by the author

Even though a rain shower interrupts Tiny Mouse’s exploring adventure, a surprise after the rain makes everything better. Baby, Toddler


Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh; illustrated by author

Three white mice experiment with colors when they discover three jars of paint. Toddler, Preschool


“Hickory Dickory Dock” (Traditional)


“Creeping Mice,” “The Quiet Mouse,” and “Hurry, Scurry” from Small Town Storytime Lady blog


Storytime Share: Opposites

15 12 2015

In December, we explored the concept of opposites in my outreach storytimes. Here’s the plan as I did it with the Pre-K/Four- and Five-Year-Old Groups:



Alex and Lulu: Two of a Kind by Lorena Siminovich; illustrated by the author

Alex worries that maybe he and Lulu are too different to be friends, but Lulu reassures him that being different is what makes them such good friends. Preschool, Early Elementary

Song: “Open Shut Them” (Be sure to check out this version from Super Simple Songs that includes several other opposite pairs.)



Sun Above and Blooms Below: A Springtime of Opposites by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky; illustrated by Susan Swan

A class observes a variety of opposites during a field trip to the farm. Preschool, Early Elementary

Song: “Opposites Looby Loo” from Bay Views ACL

Activity: Opposites Matching Game using cards from Kiz Club blog

Fingerplay: “This Is Big” from Mel’s Desk blog



What’s Up Bear?: A Book about Opposites by Frieda Wishinsky; illustrated by Sean L. Moore

Sophie and her teddy bear explore the sights of New York City and come up with many opposite pairs along the way. Toddler, Preschool

Fingerplay: “Two Little Blackbirds” (This fun version from the Jbrary blog goes through many different opposite pairs, and the kids loved it!).



Black? White! Day? Night!: A Book of Opposites by Laura Vaccaro Seeger; illustrated by the author

Author Seeger explores opposites with bold, colorful illustrations, cut-outs, and flaps. Preschool

For the younger preschoolers, the two- and three-year-olds, I followed mostly the same plan with a few minor changes. The Opposites Matching Game took them a little longer, and they needed more assistance from the teachers and me. I also dropped the last book from the lineup due to time constraints and shorter attention spans.

For the toddlers, I shortened the program by about ten minutes, skipping the matching game and substituting a couple of titles. We still read What’s Up, Bear?, but read these two in place of the other books:


A Garden of Opposites by Nancy Davis; illustrated by the author

Opposite pairs are everywhere to be found in the garden. Baby, Toddler


My Book of Opposites by Britta Teckentrup; illustrated by the author

Opposites are represented by lively animals in this board book. Baby, Toddler



Storytime Share: Five Senses

10 12 2015

For my outreach storytimes in November, we read and talked about the five senses. Here’s the storytime plan:



Cold, Crunchy, Colorful: Using Our Senses by Jane Brocket

Brocket uses simple text and colorful photos to introduce the five senses to readers. Preschool, Early Elementary

Activity: Talk about the five senses



Let’s Play a Five Senses Guessing Game by Amanda Miller & Joan Michael

Readers are encouraged to guess items based on a little boy’s descriptions of experiencing the objects using his senses and accompanying close-up photos. Preschool, Early Elementary

Fingerplay: “My Senses”

These are my eyes that let me see. (point to eyes)
This is my tongue that tastes for me. (point to tongue)
These are my ears that let me hear. (point to ears)
My hands and skin feel things that are near. (touch things with hands)
This is my nose that helps me smell, (point to nose)
My senses teach me very well.



Rain by Manya Stojic; illustrated by author

African animals anticipate and experience a rainfall using their senses. Toddler, Preschool

Songs: “Rain Is Falling Down” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider”



Five for a Little One by Chris Raschka; illustrated by the author

A little rabbit counts each of his senses and talks about the things he enjoys by using each of them. Toddler, Preschool

Activity: Animal Sound Guessing Game (Have children use their sense of hearing to guess stuffed animals hidden inside a barn based on the sounds each makes.)

Song: “Old MacDonald”



Senses on the Farm by Shelley Rotner

Experience everything on the farm using sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Toddler, Preschool