We had a blast in our family storytime today!  Our theme was simple – Birds – but the books we shared weren’t exactly ordinary.  Since we had a broad range of ages, I tried to read a book for each developmental level – I was pleasantly surprised when all of them held some interest for each child, regardless of age.  Here are some of the stories & activities we shared:


Chris Naughton does a great job of building suspense and leaving us in stitches in Shh! We Have a Plan.  Four friends are on the hunt for a beautiful bird…the youngest member of the team seems to have a habit of yelling “Hi Birdie!!” right when they’re all trying to catch the bird by surprise.  But shh!  – they have a plan!  Of course these plans don’t seem to work out as the bird escapes their net every time.  Eventually the littlest member of the group offers the bird some bread and the rest is history.  A really fun read aloud that invites audience participation.

night owl

For the babies and toddlers in the audience, I read Night Owl -a sweet story by Toni Yuly.  Night Owl stays up late and is very brave UNTIL she realizes she’s lost sight of her mommy.  She strains to hear her mother’s hoooot!  Before she finds her mommy she hears tap, toot, chirrup and croak…then it’s thunder, rumble, BOOM!  (These are not the sounds of her momma!)  She flies back home, hoping to hear her mommy’s familiar voice.  Finally, as she sits up in the tree and listens one more time…she hears a faint hoooot!  Guess who that is?  Great visuals and simple text make this a great book for the wee ones…the older children seemed to enjoy it too.


Birds by Kevin Henkes (illustrated by Laura Dronzek) is simple, yet profound.  Beautifully illustrated with vivid colors and dramatic imagery, we get the simple story of birds – their various colors, their shapes, their behavior as they perch on wires (then disappear), their ability to fill a tree and then fly away in flocks , their beautiful singing voices…a young girl likes to imitate birds and pretend to fly, but she can’t fly…however, she can sing like a bird.  A feast for the eyes and a good book to read to toddlers or preschoolers.


Five Little Birds

1 little bird with feathers of blue, flew beside the green one and then there were 2

2 little birds singing in the tree, the red one came to join them and then there were 3

3 little birds wishing there were more, along came the pink bird and then there were 4

4 little birds happy to be alive, found a yellow one and then there were 5

5 little birds happy as can be, singing beautiful songs just for you and me!

A House for Birdie


Birdie was tired of getting cold and wet during the winter months.  Soooo she called upon her friends Rex the rectangle-shaped bird, Olive the oval-shaped bird, and Tri the triangle-shaped bird to help her find the perfect “bird” house.  Birdie looked more like a circle-shaped bird.  Unfortunately, her friends were able to find their “perfectly shaped” bird homes but not Birdie…there just weren’t any homes that fit her shape.  She was broken hearted and flew away to lament the fact that she couldn’t find a home that fit her “perfectly”…  Luckily for Birdie, the story doesn’t end there.  Birdie’s friends decide to build her a house shaped just for her so the story comes “full circle” with a happy ending!


Chicken Little (Ed Emberley’s version)