Family Storytime: The Blues

You can skip reading the blog and just view the highlights… But you won’t be able to see the books very well. But it’s nice I was able to get a video with my laptop!

Our storytime today was about the Blues. I’ve always wanted to do a storytime like this, because I’m really into jazz and blues. We started off with a song from Brother Yusef’s album Kids Get the Blues Too, and the song is called “Good Morning, Blues.”

Kids Get the Blues, Too

Good morning, Blues. Blues how do you do?
Good morning, Blues. Blues how do you do?
I’m doing all right–tell me, how about you?

Woke up this morning, Blues walking round my bed
Woke up this morning, Blues walking round my bed
And then I turned over, and this is what I said:

Chorus:
Good morning Blues, good morning Blues
Good morning Blues, how are you?

I went to bed last night, I was turning from side to side
I went to bed last night, I was turning from side to side
Blues had me so sad, I lay down and cried

Woke up this morning, Blues walking round my bed
Woke up this morning, Blues walking round my bed
I sat down to breakfast, the Blues was in my grits and bread!

We read Everybody Gets the Blues by Leslie Staub and illustrated by R. G. Roth. I like this book and the way it starts out kinda sad, but elevates the reader with its happy ending. I paired it with a song from one of the library’s jazz CDs, The Golden Years of Jazz. The song is Track 12, “Laura” performed by the Don Byas Quartet.

Everybody Gets the Blues

We did an activity with shaker eggs, counting from one to ten and back down to one, and sang “One little, two little, three little shaker eggs.”

Then we did a felt board activity where we tried to match the instruments to their sounds. We talked about onomatopoeia and how all these words describe both an action and a sound.

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We then read and sang to a hilarious book called Baby’s Got the Blues by Carol Diggory Shields and illustrated by Lauren Tobia.

Baby's Got the Blues

The book is written in perfect 12-bar blues time so I sang it with the help of a backup track I downloaded from the internet. You can use it too to sing this book! The file is at http://www.jamtracks.ru/mpjam/Blues/12_blues/AcousticBlues_A.mp3. (Many thanks to its Russian creator for making this wonderful music library available for free download!)

We watched a video with the one and only B.B. King (rest in peace). It’s a video he did for Sandra Boynton, author of a lot of fun board books and picture books. The book and accompanying DVD are called One Shoe Blues and it’s available for checkout from the library.

One Shoe Blues

But if you don’t want to wait til your next visit, you can view the video right here!

Our closing song for the day used the book Dancing in My Bones by Sylvia Andrews and illustrated by Ellen Mueller. We danced to another tune from the jazz CD The Golden Years of Jazz. This time we used a very upbeat tune called “Revolutionary Blues” by Milton “Mezz” Mezzrow and Sidney Bechet.

Dancing in My Bones

Here are a few more CDs to expose kids to the soulful beauty and joyful rhythms of jazz and blues:

Wake Up, Clarinet

Nicky's Jazz for Kids

And you can check out all kinds of books from the library with a music theme:

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Don’t forget, you can sign up starting TODAY for our Summer Reading Challenge! There will be fun and prizes for the whole family: kids, teens and adults! Here are some of the activities we are offering here at the Central Library:

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AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian currently working at the Lamanda Park Branch Library while Central Library is closed for seismic repairs. I purchase juvenile fiction for grades 2-8, and some foreign languages. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including 3 regular book clubs (Windows and Mirrors, Read Around the World, and Lucha Libros), as well as writing workshops and STEAM/science programs. I also Infant/Toddler Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes, and outreach to local area preschools. 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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