Books! Books! Books! Storytime

Book Book Book

We started storytime today with Clap Your Hands and told a story with puppets, based on Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke. All the animals at the farm are bored because the kids are back in school, so they go to the public library and ask the librarian for something to do. But the only one she understands is the hen who asks for a “Book!”

book bruss

Then we read a new book which is a translation from French, called Mom, Dad, Our Books and Me. It’s by Danielle Marcotte, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon and translated by Karen Li. This book is like an ode to reading, and it talks about reading all kinds of things–books, weather, clocks, schedules, sheet music, scientific instruments, even facial expressions. There are so many things we read to get information about the world around us, or to escape into other worlds.

We did a flannelboard activity and I invited kids to come up and participate. I set out five “books” with different color covers and their genre written on the cover too, and each book had a surprise inside. Kids came up one by one and we said a rhyme:

Storytime! Storytime! Take a look
What will we find in the (color, genre) book?

five books

five books 2

Inside the books were a pirate sword, a magic wand, a rocketship, a ghost, and a moose with a purple mustache wearing green underpants!

We did another story where kids came up and we said their names, and they got to take off one of the books from the board:

Five little books at the library
Five little books as great as can be
Along comes (name) with their library card
To take one home and read
(Source: What Happens In Storytime)

Then I told everyone I was going to read them a very boring book with no pictures. We read The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak.

I love this book, and I happen to know it’s made a few readers out of some of the kids I’ve seen at the library. It’s hysterically funny.

After that horribly silly book we just had to shake our sillies out. Then I announced we were not going to read any books with no pictures anymore. In fact, we were going to read a book with no words!

We read The Boy and the Book: A Wordless Story by David Michael Slater and illustrated by Bob Kolar. This poor little book gets positively beaten up by a little boy who loves ripping its pages and tossing it in the air. The book is terrified of the boy and even tries to escape from him. But once the little boy has spent enough time with the book, something magical happens that changes their relationship forever.

We did a reading activity with the flannelboard, fixing the mixed-up speech bubbles I put up above the animals:

Animal Sounds felt board mixed up

Animal Sounds felt board fixed

This was followed by singing “Old MacDonald” and watching “That Book Woman,” an animated film version of the book by Heather Henson and illustrated by David Smallfilm. It’s based on the true story of the “Book Women” who brought books to the poor, isolated families living in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky. It’s on the Scholastic DVD Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.

The video might have been a bit too long, and I had so many other activities that storytime lasted around 45 minutes! Next time I show that video I may cut it short. We finished with the song [If] I Was a Bird.

If you’d like some more great books about books and reading, check out these!

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian working in the Children's Room at the Pasadena Central Library. I purchase juvenile nonfiction books for all sites, juvenile Spanish books for all sites, and juvenile DVDs for the Central Library. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including Lucha Libros, writing workshops, and STEAM/science programs. I also do 16 weeks of Infant/Toddler Storytimes each year. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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