The Meaning of Life: Preschool Storytime — and, some of the best picture books of 2019!


Books We Shared

We had some great new picture books this past year, and this lovely and colorful book Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer was one of them! In it, a little boy goes around his neighborhood asking people what makes a good day for them. When they all get what they want, it makes his day!

A seed tells his life story, and how he came to be “bad,” after he no longer felt his life had purpose, in The Bad Seed by Jory John and illustrated by Pete Oswald. It’s funny hearing the “bad” things that the Bad Seed does, like not listening and not saying please. But at some point, he decides to stop being so bad. He decides to start saying “please” and “thank you” and becomes a good seed.

Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman was another one of my personal Best of 2019 Preschool books picks. Carl is an earthworm who is asked why he digs and eats dirt. He doesn’t know. He goes all over the place looking for answers… leaving behind the very important and very meaningful work he was put on Earth to do.


Flannel Board

Pete the Clown and His Five Bright Balloons

(Credit: Story Time Secrets)

Pete the Clown bought five bright balloons at the carnival.
He was so excited about them, he sang a song as he walked along.
“I’ve got five balloo-oons! I’ve got five balloo-oons!”

(The tune for Pete’s song is what you would sing if you were part of a conga line.)

But then… POP!
One balloon broke and started to drop.
Now how many balloons did Pete have?

Did Pete cry? No, never.
He knows balloons don’t last forever.
Pete was still so happy to have four balloons, that he kept walking along and singing his song.

“I’ve got four balloo-oons! I’ve got four balloo-oons!”

(Repeat the same sequence of events until Pete is out of balloons, then add the following ending.)

Pete was out of balloons! What could he do?

Well, he stopped where he was, turned around, and went back to the carnival, where he got five more balloons.

As he walked along, he sang his song:
“I’ve got five balloo-oons! I’ve got five balloo-oons!”


Songs and Rhymes We Shared Without Music

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!)

I’m a Little Teapot

I’m a little teapot
Short and stout
Here is my handle (one hand on hip)
Here is my spout (other arm out straight)

When I get all steamed up
Hear me shout
“Tip me over
and pour me out!” (lean over toward spout)

(Click here for video: I’m a Little Teapot)

Pat-a-Cake

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can
Pat it and prick it and mark it with “B”
And put it in the oven for baby and me

Two Little Blackbirds

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill.
One named Jack and one named Jill.
Fly away Jack, flay away Jill.
Come back Jack, come back Jill.

(Click here for video: Two Little Blackbirds)

Goodbye Friends (song in sign)

Goodbye friends, goodbye friends
Goodbye friends, it’s time to say goodbye.

(Click here for video:  Goodbye Friends)


Music from CDs We Shared

“Fireflies and Goodbye in the Bayou” from Bon Voyage by Jazzy Ash

“Song In My Tummy” from The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band

“I Know a Chicken” from The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band

“Goodbye Song” from Shining Like a Star by Laura Doherty


Video We Shared

We watched an animated version of the book Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss. In this book an earthworm writes in his diary about the various lessons he’s learned.


AnnMarie’s picks: Best Picture Books of 2019

These are some of my favorite books that came out last year. Most of them are great for preschool. A few of them can be read with a preschooler but might be better for a kindergartener or first grader. Check these out at your Pasadena Public Library branch:

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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