Saturday, March 30, 2013

Preschool Storytime: Bunnies, Eggs and Chicks

Easter Sunday is tomorrow, so in honor of the holiday, this week's storytime theme was about Easter things.  I chose not to focus on the religious aspect of the holiday due to the diverse community we have at our library, and instead chose to read books about rabbits, eggs and chickens.  For an added treat, one of the families brought in their pet rabbit, Cocoa and kids learned about the breed, what they eat, and how to take care of a rabbit.  They also got to pet Cocoa.  Check out our library's Facebook page for pictures!

Book:  What Does Bunny See? by Linda Sue Park; illustrated by Maggie Smith
A perfect choice for the spring (not that the weather in Central New York has been very spring-like), this book is about a little bunny who wanders through a garden and discovers flowers in different colors.  The rhymes make this fun to read aloud and the kids loved shouting out the colors.

Flannel Rhyme:  Five Little Bunnies
One little bunny, wondering what to do,
Another bunny came along, and now there are two.
Two little bunnies, hopping just like me,
Another bunny came along, and now there are three.
Three little bunnies, jumping around outdoors,
Another bunny joined them, and now there are four.
Four little bunnies, so fluffy and alive,
Another bunny joined them, and now there are five.
Five little bunnies, ready for some fun,
Hopped away in the warm, spring sun.
Source:  King County Library System

Book:  Roly-Poly Egg by Kali Stileman
I adore this book!  The illustrations are adorable and full of color.  Splotch is a colorful bird who lays a spotted egg that rolls out of her nest in the tree.  As it rolls through the story, it passes many animals and kids can follow the egg along on its journey.  As it makes its way back home, you will discover a surprise ending.

Song:  "I Know a Chicken" by Laurie Berkner from her album Whaddaya Think of That?
A storytime favorite, I could NOT have a storytime about chickens and eggs and not play this song.  Make sure you break out the shaky eggs.

Book:  Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman
When I was choosing books for this storytime, I discovered this one which was a little different than your average chicken book.  A little chicken tries to help an artist paint the barnyard in the book, but she ends up making everything blue -even the animals.  How will she fix it?

Fingerplay:  Ten Fluffy Chickens
Five eggs and five eggs, that makes ten.
(Hold up two hands.)
Sitting on top is the Mother Hen.
(Fold one hand over the other.)
Crackle, crackle, crackle; what do I see?
(Clap hands three times.)
Ten fluffy chickens, as yellow as can be!
(Hold up and wiggle ten fingers.)
Source:  King County Library System

Craft:  Bunny Mask
A very easy craft to prep - you just photocopy the template onto cardstock.  I had the kids choose a pom-pom nose and they also added cotton balls to bunny's face.
Source:  First Palette

More Books to Share About Easter Things:
The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett
Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack
The Little Gray Bunny by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs by Janet Morgan Stoeke
The Easter Bunny's Assistant by Jan Thomas
Max's Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Passover Books for Children

Passover starts next week.  If you celebrate and are looking for books to share with your children, try these ones available at the DCL!

The Passover Lamb by Linda Elovitz Marshall; illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
New York: Random House, 2013
This sweet book tells the story of Miriam who has to figure out how to save a baby lamb and her family's Seder dinner!  Snowball, a lamb on her family's farm, gives birth to triplet lambs, but is only able to provide milk for two, so one must be bottle-fed continuously.  But, it's almost time for Passover, and it's Miriam's turn to ask the Four Questions at her grandparents' Seder.  How will the baby lamb get fed if Miriam's family must leave for her grandparents' house?

What Am I? Passover by Anne Margaret Lewis; illustrated by Tom Mills
Chicago: Albert Whitman & Co., 2012
This lift-a-flap book is perfect for younger readers.  Children lift flaps to discover things that make Passover a special celebration, from a family getting ready for their Seder to the different foods eaten and special items needed for the dinner.

A Sweet Passover by Leslea Newman; illustrated by David Slonim
New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2012
Miriam loves matzoh, especially during Passover.  She eats it for breakfast, for lunch, and with dinner.  But, in the middle of Passover, she decides she's had enough matzoh.  But, Grandpa has a special recipe for matzoh brei (kind of like French toast).  Will Miriam give it a try?  Includes a recipe to make matzoh brei with your kids!

The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah by Leslie Kimmelman; illustrated by Paul Meisel
New York: Holiday House, 2010
This retelling of the folktale makes it perfect to share at Passover!  Little Red Hen needs to make matzoh for Passover, but none of her friends will help her make it.  After she's done all the work, her friends show up for Seder dinner to eat it.  What will the Little Red Hen do?  Includes a recipe to make matzoh.

Dayenu! A Passover Haggadah for Families and Children by Carol Boyd Leon; illustrations by Gwen Connelly
Jersey City, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, 2008
This book is perfect for introducing children to Passover, as well as explaining the many elements of a Seder dinner.  It tells the story of Exodus, and relates why Passover is such an important story of the Jewish people.  Easy to understand text and brightly colored illustrations makes this a good choice to share with your family.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Preschool Storytime: Green Things

With St. Patrick's Day coming up next week, I wanted to do a story time around the holiday.  Alas, there are few picture books about St. Patrick's Day geared towards the under five year old set.  So, I expanded my theme and did "It's a Green Storytime!"

Book:  The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long
I started out by asking the children what animals are green.  They shouted "frogs," so this was our first book.  I love books that I can sing along to, because they make them more interactive and fun.  This book follows "The Hokey Pokey" and involves a frog trying desperately to catch a fly.  Will he catch it?

Flannel Rhyme:  Five Little Froggies
(If you don't feel like making a flannel board, this may be done as a fingerplay.)

Five little froggies sat on a shore,
One went for a swim, and then there were four.
Four little froggies looked out to sea,
One went swimming, and then there were three.
Three little froggies said, "what can we do?"
One jumped in the water, and then there were two.
Two little froggies sat in the sun,
One swam off, and then there was one.
One little froggie said, "this is no fun!"
He dived in the water, and then there were none!

Book:  Snip Snap! What's That? by Mara Bergman; illustrated by Nick Maland
Another green animal the children picked was an alligator (or crocodile).  This book involves a scary alligator that makes its way into a home to scare the children.  But, the children have a trick up their sleeves to get rid of the alligator.  We had fun making alligator noises with our hands.

Puppet Activity:  Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
Since we read a book about a "scary" animal, I decided to follow with an interactive activity about a green monster that "doesn't scare me!"  I purchased the puppet kit from Lakeshore Learning, handed out different pieces to the kids, and they came up and gave our monster a face.

Fingerplay:  Five Green Peas
Five green peas in a pea pod pressed.
(children hold hand in a fist)
One grew, two grew, and so did all the rest.
(put thumb and fingers up one by one)
They grew and grew,
(raise hand in the air slowly)
And did not stop,
Until one day the pod went POP!
(clap hands together)
(Source: Storytime Katie)

Book:  There Was a Tree by Rachel Isadora
This is one of my favorite "new" books we've got in our picture book collection.  Based on the song "The Green Grass Grew All Around," this book is set in Africa and depicts a tree growing and all the things that land on the tree.  I really loved singing this, and was so happy that the parents and kids sang along with me!

Craft:  Shamrock Crowns
Just because I didn't read any books about St. Patrick's Day didn't mean I wasn't going to get my shamrock on with a craft!  The kids had a blast making these cute crowns.  Thankfully, we have an Ellison machine and a shamrock die shape, so it was easy to prep this.  And yes, that is me modeling my crown (I have a tough job, but someone's gotta do it)!
(Source:  DLTK)

Other Books to Share About Green Things:
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover! by Lucille Colandro
In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox; illustrated by Judy Horacek
Emeraldalicious by Victoria Kann
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
My Snake Blake by Randy Siegel; illustrated by Serge Bloch
Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator! by Mo Willems
The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Preschool Storytime: Dinosaurs

If there is one topic most children gravitate towards, it's dinosaurs.  Thankfully, my library has a pretty large selection of picture books on these extinct creatures, so I give you the makings for a dinosaur storytime (roaring included).

Book:  Dinosaur Pet by Marc Sedaka
I started off storytime with this newer addition to our collection.  Based on the song "Calendar Girl" by Neil Sedaka, this version had a dinosaur hatching out of an egg in January and growing bigger and bigger as the year progresses.  I love the illustrations in this book, and the repetition of the lyrics.

Song:  "We Are the Dinosaurs" by Laurie Berkner
You can't have a dinosaur storytime without playing this awesome song!  I gave the kids shakey eggs (again, a must) and we stomped around the room, stopped and ate a snack, took a nap, stomped some more, and ROOOAAARRED because, well, we were being dinosaurs.  This song is on her album Whaddaya Think of That? which is available at my library.  If you don't know the awesomeness that is Laurie Berkner, I urge you to check out her music.  You and your kids will love it!

Book:  Dinosaur Countdown by Nicholas Oldland
I chose another relatively new book to our collection, and the kids really liked it!  They got to countdown from 10 to 0.  One of my particulars in picking dinosaur books is to make sure I can pronounce the names of the different types of dinosaurs, because in the past I read a book and mispronounced a name, and boy oh boy, did the kids correct me.  So, I double checked and got all the dinosaurs right in this cute book.

Flannel Rhyme:  Five Enormous Dinosaurs
(If you don't have flannel dinosaurs, you can easily change this to a fingerplay and count on your fingers.)
Five enormous dinosaurs, letting out a roar,
One went away and then there were four.
Four enormous dinosaurs, munching on a tree,
One went away and then there were three.
Three enormous dinosaurs didn't know what to do,
One went away and then there were two.
Two enormous dinosaurs having lots of fun,
One went away and then there was one.
One enormous dinosaur afraid to be a hero,
She went away and then there were zero.
(Source:  SurLaLune Storytime)

Book:  Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems
I just had to read this funny book - it's one of my favorites!  The kids loved it too.  Who wouldn't love a story about a friendly, helpful dinosaur that also bakes you chocolate chip cookies?

Song:  Dino-Pokey (tune of: "The Hokey-Pokey")
Put your claws in.  Put your claws out.
Put your claws in and scratch them all about.
You do the dino-pokey and turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!
Put your feet in...stomp them all about.
Put your teeth in...chomp them all about.
Put your tail in...wag it all about.
(Source:  SurLaLune Storytime)

Craft:  Paper Plate Dinosaur
For each child you will need two paper plates, scissors, tape, and crayons and markers.
1.  Cut around the rim of one of the paper plates, and then cut that rim in half.  One part will be the dinosaur's head and neck and the second part will be the tail.
2.  Cut two legs from the middle of the paper plate.
3.  Tape these pieces to the second paper plate.
4.  Kids may decorate their dinosaurs any way they'd like.