Posted in family, Guide

Gift idea: LEGO With Dad (and some LEGO blocks!)

LEGO with Dad: Creatively Awesome Projects for Parents and Kids to Build Together, by Warren Nash, (Oct. 2020, Rocky Nook), $24.95, ISBN: 978-1681985862

Ages 12+

Blogger Warren Nash has taken to blogging and making videos about his LEGO projects with his son, drawing on memories of making cool LEGO stuff with his own dad. LEGO With Dad is a love letter to caregiver and kids bonding time; he notes in his foreword that “LEGO With Dad” carries different meanings for different families. The book is a comprehensive guide to building with the blocks, no kits necessary. Sections on the best bricks to use and best kits to buy are helpful when spending holiday dollars; a section with structural advice, adding unusual bricks for flourish, and working with  moving parts, like gears. Projects go from simple builds to more advanced builds, photographed and detailed step-by-step for easy following. Family Spotlights show off different families and how they share LEGO time together.

Easy to read, easy to follow, and with an emphasis on creating memories, relationships, and LEGOs together, this is a great book for all families. It’s a fun, imaginative gift idea, too: wrap this up with a LEGO set of mixed blocks, like the Classic Creative sets, and you’re all set. Set some time aside every day – goodness knows we’re getting a lot of it, but let’s try to make it less stressful – to build together, talk, and laugh together. And check out Warren Nash’s YouTube channel, too: he’s got some good videos on there, not all of which are about LEGO.

Posted in Family Storytimes, picture books, Preschool Reads, programs, Storytime, Toddler Reads, Toddler Storytime

Margaret Wise Brown storytime: The Diggers, Count to 10 with a Mouse, Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears

Last week, I decided to test drive three Margaret Wise Brown re-released books in my toddler storytime. Most of my kiddos and families know Ms. Brown as the “Goodnight Moon Lady”, or “The Runaway Bunny lady”, so I thought it would be fun to give them more choices when they’re looking for something to read. It went over pretty well. Before I get into that, though, I thought some background on these three books would be interesting – I know I found it fascinating.

In 1990, author Amy Gary discovered a trunk of unpublished manuscripts and songs in the attic of Margaret Wise Brown’s sister’s barn. These manuscripts provided the source material for many of the titles in a new line of classics by the beloved author. While I’d seen Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears pretty recently – Kohl’s had the book and a companion teddy bear as one of their Kohl’s Cares book/plush sets about a year or two ago, and my mom picked up a book and teddy for my little guy – The Diggers and Count to 10 With a Mouse are new to me.

The Diggers, by Margaret Wise Brown/Illustrated by Antoine Corbineau, (March 2019, Silver Dolphin Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9781684127429

Ages 3-7

Moles dig holes. So do dogs. Worms, rabbits, mice, and pirates all dig holes, too! Animals and people alike dig holes for different reasons, and The Diggers tells their stories. The kids loved the whole process of digging a hole for a subway system, and I favored the digger machine digging up “stones, and find dinosaur bones, and cavemen’s homes, and buried gnomes”. This is just an fun, rhyming story that has so much detail to enjoy: buried dinosaur bones and pottery; worm homes that curve to meet their owner’s bodies; a train running along the horizon as it goes down its track, a pirate’s trail of thievery. The kids really enjoyed this one, and so did I. Artist Antoine Corbineau (whose website features much of the artwork from The Diggers, and from where I sampled the interior art) makes bright, bold artwork with loads of things for kids to find. The black and grey-purple endpapers show a cityscape in progress, with pathways all dug out. This is an adorable choice for a construction or transportation storytime; two choices that always go over well with my storytime groups.

The verse is Margaret Wise Brown – you can’t go wrong. The repeated phrase, “Dig Dig Dig” allows kids to jump right in and interact with you during a reading, and there are so many chances to ask them questions: identify the animals, where do they live/what do they eat; what predictions can they make about what’s going to happen next?

Consider an author study with your school-age kids, to really expose them to Margaret Wise Brown’s body of work; The Diggers is such an active book compared to Runaway Bunny and Goodnight, Moon; it will give the kids so much to think about and discuss.


Count to 10 With a Mouse, by Margaret Wise Brown/Illustrated by Kirsten Richards, (March 2019, Silver Dolphin Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9781684127412

Ages 2-5

This book is a hit! I love a counting book that has a fun story to go along with it, and Count to 10 With a Mouse fits the bill perfectly! The endpapers are covered in mouse paw prints, and there are two holes, one of which has the cutest little mouse peeking out of it! This counting story has everything: rhyme, repetition, and concepts (counting). A little mouse lives in a hole, and teaches himself to count by looking at the things around him: one mouse, two holes, three fish; all things he discovers as he crawls through the holes to the next pages. The rhyme and repetition are sweet, and filled with discovery: Each page, each discovery, starts off with the repeated phrase, “And there, what does he see? And there, what does he see?” Each spread leads readers to the next with a tempting invitation: “Then the mouse ran through the book, the mouse ran through the book. He ran onto the next page to take a little look”. Kirsten Richards’ illustrations are soft, sweet, and fit perfectly with Margaret Wise Brown’s storytelling rhyme, creating a whole experience for readers. The end of the book suggests turning around and starting all over again – expect that at bedtime!

I loved Count to 10 With a Mouse, and this one is definitely going in my storytime collection. I’m tucking it into my Children’s Book Week book ideas.


Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears, by Margaret Wise Brown/Illustrated by Julie Clay, (Apr. 2019, Silver Dolphin), $12.99, ISBN: 9781684127603

Ages 2-6

What would a Margaret Wise Brown collection be without another cuddly bedtime story? Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears is perfect for bedtime cuddling. Pastel-colored endpapers look like a comfy quilt to snuggle down into, and the story – a big sleepy bear and a little sleep bear get ready for bed – teaches important lessons about modeling behavior. Everything big sleepy bear does, little sleepy bear does, from yawning, to stretching, to getting into bed and putting heads on the pillow. They each recite a sweet little rhyme (a variation of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) and drift off to sleep. I’ve read this to my little guy when we’re both about to nod off, and it’s a wonderful way to ease into bedtime. The affection between big and little bear comes through as words and the soft art palette come together to send readers off to their own dreams.

The kids at storytime weren’t quite ready to go to bed when I finished this story, but it was a nice close to storytime. Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears is a new bedtime classic to add to your shelves.


The best news? Silver Dolphin is launching 15 more Margaret Wise Brown books this Spring and Summer, and will have two more in the fall!


Posted in Non-Fiction, picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads, Toddler Storytime

Birds, Birds, Birds: Hello, I’m Here! A new bird greets the world, and Carme Lemniscrates’s Birds

Hello, I’m Here!, by Helen Frost/Photographs by Rick Lieder, (March 2019, Candlewick Press), $16.99, ISBN: 9780763698584

Ages 2-5

With rhyming text accompanying beautiful wildlife photos, Hello, I’m Here! is the story of an adorable sandhill crane chick hatching and exploring its new world. The hatchling and its sibling splash around in the water and enjoy some bugs and snails under the watchful guidance of their Mama and Papa, always nearby. The photographs are beautiful, allowing readers to enjoy the fuzzy, long-legged chicks and the stunning adult birds’ coloring. The photos have incredible texture; the birds’ feathers look like they’d ruffle under one’s hand, and the chicks look so fuzzy, you’ll want to run your finger across their heads. The photos of the birds in flight are stunning. The text is sweet and has a comforting cadence; the sentences are short and put readers in the chick’s place as it discovers the world around it. An author note about sandhill cranes has some great additional information for readers: did you know that parents and chicks communicate while the chicks are still in their eggs? That went over really well when I told the parents! I love being able to add little facts like that in a storytime. The endpapers have beautiful photos of a baby sandhill crane and its parent, and of four cranes flying across the sky at sunset. Absolutely breathtaking.

I tried Hello, I’m Here! out in a recent storytime, and the kids and parents alike loved it. The parents gestured to the pages quite often, impressed with the photos, and the little ones loved hearing about the little bird taking its first steps, flapping around with its sibling, and watching other cranes fly overhead. This is a great choice for a nature/discovery/science storytime, a spring storytime, and just a plain, good storytime for the little ones. I would also read Alex Latimer’s Am I Yours? as a companion to this one: it’s got dinosaurs, but the whole story of a baby dino in its egg talking to prospective parents is just too cute to pass up.

Hello, I’m Here! has a starred review from Kirkus. This is the fifth book that Helen Frost and Rick Lieder have collaborated on; all of which have received starred reviews from Kirkus.



Birds, by Carme Lemniscates, (March 2019, Candlewick Press), $14.99, ISBN: 9781536201789

Ages 2-5

Next up, I read Birds, by Carme Lemniscates. It’s a nonfiction book of a different sort, with bright, bold mixed media illustrations of various birds and two children enjoying their company. The text reads like a poetic ode to birds, starting first with descriptive sentences: “Some birds are really big/Others are tiny/Some like to show off, while others would rather watch”, moving into more illustrative musings: “A bird’s song is like the loving words of a friend/A happy song that greets us every morning/And our hearts sing, too, because birds are like good news coming”. Eagles, owls, peacocks, and hummingbirds all find a home here, as do parrots, toucans, and Canadian geese. It’s a celebration of birds, of spring, and of nature. The endpapers feature bright and bold feathers, some that you’ll recognize right away, like the peacock’s; some, you may have to guess at (is that black and white spotted one a woodpecker or a guinea fowl?). Let the kids color some feathers of their own as an after-storytime craft.

Birds went over nicely in storytime. The kids loved the bright colors and enjoyed calling out birds they recognized. We made some bird sounds (honking for the Canadian geese went over well, as did the parrot caws) and spread our arms to soar and flap like the birds do. It’s a nice addition to picture books where nature and birds are popular.


Posted in Family Storytimes, picture books, Preschool Reads, Storytime, Toddler Reads

Saturday Storytime: Mindfulness and Wonder

I had a Saturday storytime a couple of weeks ago, and used it as a testing ground for some new books. A nice theme of mindfulness emerged, with a smidgen of wonder underneath; the kids and parents alike seemed to really enjoy this one. I created a short YouTube playlist to show videos for the singalong parts of the storytime; you can use this one, too, or build on it. Now, onto the books!

You Are Light, by Aaron Becker, (March 2019, Candlewick), $15.99, ISBN: 9781536201154

Ages 2-8

I started off with this gorgeous board book by Aaron Becker. The cover has a beautiful die-cut sun and circles; when you hold it up to the light, the effect is really stunning. The book is a rhyming meditation on the relationships between everything in our world: “This is the light that brings the dawn/to warm the sky and hug the land/It sips the sea to make the rain,/which waters wheat to grow the grain”. Each page highlights a facet of the world: sun, fire, water, wheat, leaves, a flower, the moon, and finally, a multicolored mandala with a human form inside of it. The die-cut circles shift in color as each spread progresses, always keeping the readers’ attention and reminding us that all things are connected, including us. The watercolor art is elegant, simple, and lovely; the pacing and text is thought-provoking and soothing. I saw parents cuddle their little ones while the bigger kids reveled in the shifting colors on each page. Aaron Becker does it again, bringing a board book with incredible depth for readers to love. This is going into my regular storytime rotation: it’s beautiful to look at, soothing to read and hear, and inspires thought and affection.

Aaron Becker is a Caldecott Honor-winning author of the Journey picture book trilogy and A Stone for Sascha. His author website has a wealth of free downloadables for parents, caregivers, and educators. You Are Light has starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal.

The Whole Wide World and Me, by Toni Yuly, (Feb. 2019, Candlewick), $15.99, ISBN: 9780763692636

Ages 2-6

A young girl considers the world and her place in it in this beautifully illustrated book. This is another story about how we, and nature, are all connected; the story reads like a gentle meditation: “Like a flower/in a field…/like a fish…/in a pond…/like a cloud…/in the sky…/so am I”. It’s a story of being present, being mindful, and reads almost like a mantra. This would easily be as at home in a yoga or meditation storytime as it is in a traditional storytime. The ink, charcoal, torn tissue, cut paper, and digital collage artwork comes together and provides texture, with bright, bold colors adding a sweet, childhood feel that will bring the grownups in the room back to days when they would climb a tree, lay on the grass, or stick their toes in the water in a pond or at the beach. The artwork is perfect for a post-storytime craft where kids can make their own torn paper collage art.

The Whole Wide World and Me was another hit; I encouraged the kids to stretch to touch the clouds and pretend they were trees; bloom like a flower, spreading their hands wide and raising them up over their heads; and waving like a leaf floating from a tree. I’d pair this with Tiny, Perfect Things and Gina Perry’s Small for another storytime, too.

The Whole Wide World and Me has a starred review from Kirkus.

Stardust, by Jeanne Willis/Illustrated by Briony May Smith, (Feb. 2019, Nosy Crow), $16.99, ISBN: 9781536202656

Ages 3-8

A little girl dreams of being a star, but she always ends up in her sister’s shadow. Whether it’s finding her mother’s ring, knitting a scarf for her grandfather, or entering a costume contest, the girl’s sister outshines her in everything she does, but Grandpa is in her corner, cheering her on. He tells her that of course she’s a star: he explains the Big Bang Theory to her and how we are all made of stardust, and that she just “shines in [a] different way” from her sister. It’s a message that stays with the girl, as we later discover.

Stardust is one of those stories we can all relate to: there’s always someone better, smarter, funnier… sibling or no, Stardust speaks to us all and reminds us that we all have gifts, we all have something that makes us special – we’re just special at different things. The mixed media artwork gives a multilayered feel to the story, and Briony May Smith’s use of shadows give depth to her spreads. The spreads devoted to the birth of the universe are breathtaking, and placing the girl and her grandfather within those spreads is genius; it gives a real sense of the universe and our place in it, and a source of inspiration for kids everywhere.

The kids enjoyed this one, especially the outer-space spreads. I’d pair this with The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer and Jordan Crane’s We Are All Me for future storytimes and displays.



Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Storytimes, Toddler

New Books at Storytime: The Song of Spring and New York Day & Night

I had storytime today, and decided to test drive two brand-new (coming in March) books that I received for review. They went RESOUNDINGLY well!

The Song of Spring, by Hendrik Jonas, (March 2019, Prestel Publishing), $12.95, ISBN: 9783791373799

Ages 3-6

We started off with The Song of Spring, since the weather here in New York has been… interesting. (It was 3 degrees last week; yesterday, 65. Today, 45.) In this adorable story, a little bird watches other birds call to one another with their songs of spring. One little bird can’t remember his song of spring, but he really, really wants to find a friend, so he takes a shot at it, opening his beak and shrieking… WOOF. A friendly dog answers, but the little bird is looking for a bird friend, so he tries again. And again. Various oinks, moos, meows, mehs, and hee-haws later, the little bird has quite a diverse group of friends, but still, no bird, until a hilariously unexpected fart sounds, and a pretty little female bird sitting nearby says she’s looking for a friend, too. The new friends happily celebrate their good fortune in finding one another.

The Song of Spring is adorable and unexpectedly funny, with a well-timed joke that got the kids in my storytime cracking up. I made a big deal of the sound, waving my hand by my backside, and the kids loved that such a giant sound would come from such a teeny, tiny bird. The book is wonderfully interactive, giving kids the chance to call out the different animals and make their different sounds, each of which gets a big, bold, fancy scripted black font for emphasis. The artwork looks like mixed media or collage – you can see book pages and notebook paper in the artwork – and adds some fun interest to the watercolor artwork. The animals pop off the stark white background, and the plain black story font lets the reader do the reading while the artwork and animal sounds take center stage.

The Song of Spring is going in my storytime collection, for sure. I even had a mom ask me for my copy when I was done with storytime! (So it’s also going in my order cart.) Pair this with Bark, George! by Julies Feiffer, and Sandra Boyton’s classic Moo, Baa, La La La! for an out of this world animal sound storytime!


New York Day & Night, by Aurélie Pollet/Illustrated by Vincent Bergier, (March 2019, Prestel Publishing), $16.95, ISBN: 9783791373782

Ages 3-7

This one got a great reception, too. A cat named Sandy and a squirrel named Frankie let readers see New York City through their eyes: the cat, by night; the squirrel, by day. Each sees very different things, aided by translucent blue plastic sheets that turn the Empire State Building into a rocket, the Guggenheim Museum into a spaceship, or a construction worker into a flying superhero.

New York Day & Night plays with perspective, and the idea that we see things differently in the light of day. Sandy, a nocturnal cat, sees the fantastic; Frankie, a diurnal squirrel, chastises Sandy, and sheds light – literally and figuratively – on what’s really happening. Or is it? Who’s to tell, in New York, right? The artwork is done in blues, oranges, and black and white, making for stark images that pop right off the page, boldly outlined and with easily recognizable New York icons.

My storytime group LOVED this one; I got cheers and gasps from parents and kids alike as I showed them a monster that turned out to be an elevated train (the community here lives near our own Queens elevated train) and King Kong beating his chest over the jungle that turns out to be Central Park. My favorite came in at the end – but I’ll let you get the book yourself to enjoy that one.

New York Day & Night is absolute fun, and a great way to extend a storytime by talking about colors, shapes, and city life. You can pair this with any books about a city: any of Kate McMullan’s truck books would pair well (I’m Big!, I Stink!); Julia Denos’ Windows; or Dave Eggers’ Her Left Foot are always good to go with.

I also read Have I Ever Told You, which I just wrote about a few days ago. It went over better with the parents than the babies; the artwork kept their attention for a little bit, but these were babies and toddlers; this one will be much better for a preschool and kindergarten storytime. I’ve read Hands Can to my babies and toddlers in the past, and it’s been a hit, so I’ll stick with that for the wee ones.

I also updated my songs for my Mother Goose Storytime (newborns to 18 months) and Toddler Storytime (18 mos-3 or 4 years) sessions. I try to change them up every season, so the families have time to get comfortable with the songs; I’ll insert one or two for different seasons or holidays, and I usually slot in a song in Mandarin and/or Spanish. (Mandarin for my community; Spanish, because I have a couple of Spanish-speaking families that I want to feel part of things, and because it’s fun to sing songs in different languages!)

And that was my storytime today!

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler

Construction fun with Builders & Breakers

Builders & Breakers, by Steve Light, (Oct. 2018, Candlewick), $16.99, ISBN: 9780763698720

Ages 2-6

Dad’s off to work at the construction site, but – oh no! – he’s forgotten his lunch! Two siblings take the lunchbox and run to meet their father at work, setting the stage for this vibrant story about construction sites and all the activity they embody.

Sparsely worded, this is a great book for toddler storytimes, proving that board books aren’t the only choice when reading to little ones. Each scene is boldly outlined and inked, popping off the plain white page, to create a cityscape where cranes hoist, wheelbarrows carry, and children search.

Because this is a Steve Light book, the beauty is in the small details. The endpapers are blueprints for the building Dad must be working on; the story starts on the title page, where Dad kisses Mom goodbye as his lunchbox sits on the floor. Mom discovers the lunchbox on the verso page, and sends the kids after dad right under the dedication. There’s no wasted space here; there’s storytelling to be found everywhere.

City kids will recognize the omnipresent green wall and “post no bills” stenciling that runs across one spread. The kids search for their dad in the background on subsequent spreads, always giving the reader something to look for. Sound effects invite readers to rat-a-tat-tat-tat along with jackhammers and spark! spark! spark! with welders, and two spreads flip the book lengthwise to show readers a different perspective. A digger reveals treasures on the sides of the dig, including several fossilized dinosaurs, a bike, and a car. When the kids reunite with their father, it’s snack time! Steve Light talks about his architectural influences in an author’s note at the end.

Display and booktalk with Steve Light’s own Diggers Go!, Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, and its companions; Byron Barton’s Machines at Work is a nice companion for toddler storytimes about vehicles and construction, and I can’t get enough of Christy Hale’s Building Up. Get out your toy trucks and blocks for some play time after your construction storytime!

Educators and caregivers interested in a Steve Light author study can check out Steve Light’s author website, where he has a free downloadable author study guide available.


Posted in Family Storytimes, Storytime, Urban Librarians Unite

Urban Librarians Protest Storytime: 6/30/2018

I was one of the librarians at the Urban Librarians Unite Protest Storytime yesterday, at the New York City Keeping Families Together protest. Our reasoning: we can’t read to the kids who are separated from their families, but we sure as heck can read books on empathy, diversity, and refugees/immigrants/migrants to the many, many families that participated in the protest. Books we read included Faith Ringgold’s We Came to America, Justin Roberts’ The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade, Rachel Isadora’s Say Hello, Anne Sibley O’Brien’s I’m New Here, and Humans of New York Brandon Stanton’s Little Humans.

New ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo joins ULU at the march
ULU’s Christian Zabriskie reads The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade to the smallest protestors
Reading Faith Ringgold’s We Came to America
We really are. ULU’s Lauren Comito shouts out to the profession.

We held the first storytime at Foley Square, gathering spot for the protest. As the crowd started moving, we packed up and headed to Brooklyn, settling in for the rally at Cadman Plaza and holding another storytime. Parents sat down with their kids in the shade, listened to stories and songs, and thanked us for the break.

As Lauren said, “When kids don’t have access to a normal life, even storytime is a radical act.” We were reading books to children that empower them and remind them that immigrants are what America’s built on, and to always be welcoming and share with others. You know, the kind of stuff you’re supposed to learn from adults.

Yours truly reading I’m New Here

We even garnered a mention in School Library Journal, which is amazing. When you’re standing with Christian and Lauren, you realize the immensity of a situation; I’m flattered, thrilled, and blown away to call them my colleagues, and to have been invited to be part of this event.

Posted in Infant/Baby, Storytime

Baby Storytime: A World of Love and Fun

I’ve been enjoying my month of lapsit storytimes. Being part of a 3-librarian children’s room, March was my turn with the babies; for April, one of my colleagues takes over and I’ll have time to craft more storytimes. I’ve been using the same songs each week, which has been great; I’ve seen the parents get the hang of the songs and fingerplays and we’ve had a great time together.

I’ve been trying to stick less to a story-specific theme, more of an overall theme of using one concept book, one fun book, and one book that addresses diversity. This week, we read Shhh! This Book is Sleeping, by Cedric Ramadier; Wherever You Are, by Mem Fox; and A You’re Adorable, by Martha Alexander. The families loved the interactivity of Shhh! This Book is Sleeping. As I read Whoever You Are, there was plenty of opportunity for families to cuddle, and seeing my storytime group of families from all over the world playing not only with their own little ones, but the little ones around them, made my morning. I was amazed at how well A You’re Adorable went over: families repeated each verse after me, bouncing, kissing, and tickling their babies as we went along.


It’s been a lovely month of storytimes, and I’ve come away with an excited new perspective, thanks to Storytime Underground. I’ll be working on toddler and preschooler themes next.



Posted in Storytime, Toddler

Toddler Storytime/Test Driving New Books

I had a picture book storytime planned for my second session today, but most of my attendees were toddlers, which required a little tweaking of the booklist (I’d used most of the same songs from the first storytime). Luckily, I’d left the house with two new ARCs that I picked up at ALA Midwinter, figuring I’d test them out if the crowd seemed up for it. I’m really glad I did – the books were PERFECT for storytime (one of the reasons I picked them up); the kids loved them and really got into the reading!

clap  monkey  plant-a-kiss

Clap, by Uncle Ian Aurora (Sept. 2016, Flowerpot Press), $16.99, ISBN: 978-148670945-8 is an interactive book that got my kiddos clapping, stomping, and counting. A boy narrates the book, telling readers that “this is the book where we all clap along, because sometimes a book has a beat like a song”. We clap and stomp, counting to 10; we clap to show different feelings and for different locations; we clap for our narrator, which brings the story to a fun close. The cartoony characters and bold marker-writing font, caught the kids’ attention, and the parents enjoyed playing along with their little ones. This is entering my permanent storytime rotation.

Spunky Monkey is the newest from Bill Martin Jr. and  Michael Sampson (Jan. 2017,Scholastic Press, $17.99, ISBN: 978-0545776431), and it’s illustrated by Brian Won – this is already a home run. Monkey is absolutely adorable – the digital illustrations look entirely hand-painted, and a note at the end of the book explains how Won achieves this. It’s bright, colorful, and loaded with movement – Monkey is on the move, and he’s taking us with him! Michael Sampson uses rhyme and repetition to get kids up and moving, and uses the doctor’s diagnosis for Monkey – he needs exercise! – to emphasize the importance of movement and exercise. He builds on the classic rhyme “Down Down Baby” to set the tone and beat for the book. Kids and parents alike responded so well to this book! We ding-donged, clap-clapped, stomp-stomped, and sis-boom-bah-ed the whole way through! This is another must-own for caregivers and educators; toddlers and preschoolers will love this and so will you.

I slowed things down by reading Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Plant a Kiss, with art by Peter H. Reynolds (Dec. 2011, HarperCollins, $14.99, ISBN: 978-0061986758). Everyone enjoyed the magical story about a girl who plants a kiss and shares the explosion of glittery love and happiness that follows.

Most of the songs stayed the same from my earlier Toddler Storytime, but I added Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Days of the Week, and I’m Going to Take a Sweater, since it’s freezing out today!

Song: “I’m Going to Take a Sweater” (to the tune of “For He’s a Jolly Good) Fellow”
I’m going to take a sweater, a sweater, a sweater
I’m going to take a sweater when I go out today
When I go out today, when I go out today
I’m going to take a sweater when I go out today
I’m going to take a scarf, a scarf, a scarf,
I’m going to take a scarf when I go out today
When I go out today, when I go out today
I’m going to take a scarf when I go out today
I’m going to take my mittens, my mittens, my mittens
I’m going to take my mittens when I go out today
When I go out today, when I go out today
I’m going to take my mittens when I go out today
I’m going to take my hat, my hat, my hat,
I’m going to take my hat when I go out today
When I go out today, when I go out today,
I’m going to take my hat when I go out today!
Source: King County Library System

Song: “Days of the Week” (Addams Family tune)
Days of the week (snap, snap or clap, clap), Days of the week (snap, snap or clap, clap),
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap or clap, clap)
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday, there’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday,
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday, and then there’s Saturday.
Days of the week (snap, snap or clap, clap), Days of the week (snap, snap or clap, clap),
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap or clap, clap)

These storytimes are great for my own fitness level – I spent over an hour jumping, dancing, and playing!

Posted in Storytime, Toddler

Toddler Storytime: Hugs and Kisses

I had my first storytimes (two sessions, both attended by toddlers) at my new library today, and incorporated quite a few ideas from Storytime Underground’s Social Justice kit. The storytime here runs a little bit longer than my Corona storytimes, so I plumped up the outline with a lot of songs and fingerplays. Since I was a little nervous about storytime to a new crowd, I turned to Jbrary for guidance; sure enough, the ladies have a storytime planning sheet that helped me visualize everything I wanted to do.

I had a great crowd – 35 families, including some of my Corona families, who came to visit! Everyone seemed to enjoy the songs and fingerplays, and happily, the Chinese and Spanish that I incorporated into my stories and songs went over well. Here’s the storytime in full, with links as used.

besos  huggy  nice

Hello song (ASL)
Hello, my friends,
Hello, my friends, Hello, my friends,
It’s time to say hello.
Source: Jbrary

Song: We Clap and Sing Hello
We clap and sing hello, We clap and sing hello,
With our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello!
We wave and sing hello, We wave and sing hello,
With our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello!
We stomp and sing hello, We stomp and sing hello,
With our friends at storytime,
We stomp and sing hello!
Source: Jbrary

Action Rhyme: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,
And eyes, and ears, and mouth, and nose,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes!

Song: “Yo te amo”
Yo te amo, yo te amo, all day song, I sing this little song to you,
Yo te amo, yo te amo, darling, I love you.

Wo ai ni, wo ai ni, all day song, I sing this little song to you,
Wo ai ni, wo ai ni, darling, I love you.

I love you, I love you, all day long, I sing this little song to you,
I love you, I love you, darling, I love you.
Source: Jbrary

Fingerplay/Song: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip
climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Blast off!
Source: Jbrary

Song: “The More We Get Together”
The more we get together, together, together,
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.
Because my friends are your friends, and your friends are my friends,
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.

Song: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap)
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap clap)

If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet (stomp stomp)
If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet (stomp stomp)
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet. (stomp stomp)

If you’re happy and you know it, shout “Hurray!” (hoo-ray!)
If you’re happy and you know it, shout “Hurray!” (hoo-ray!)
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it, shout “Hurray!” (hoo-ray!)

If you’re happy and you know it, do all three (clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!)
If you’re happy and you know it, do all three (clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!)
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it, do all three. (clap-clap, stomp-stomp, hoo-ray!)

Song: “Skinnamarink”
Skinnamarink-e-dink, e-dink, skinnamarink-e-doo, I love you,
Skinnamarink-e-dink, e-dink, skinnamarink-e-doo, I love you,
I love you in the morning, and in the afternoon,
I love you in the evening, and underneath the moon, oh!
Skinnamarink-e-dink, e-dink, skinnamarink-e-doo, I love you!
Source: Jbrary

Song: “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”
The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout,
Down came the rain and washed the spider out,
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

Song: We Clap Goodbye
We clap goodbye like this, We clap goodbye like this,
With our friends at storytime,
We clap goodbye like this!
We wave goodbye like this, we wave goodbye like this,
With our friends at storytime,
We wave goodbye like this!
We stomp goodbye like this, We stomp goodbye like this,
With our friends at storytime,
We stomp goodbye like this!

Goodbye song (ASL)
Goodbye, my friends,
Goodbye, my friends,
Goodbye, my friends,
It’s time to say goodbye.

After storytime, I passed out these great alphabet craft bracelets for the kids to color and wear. They went over very well!