I started out storytime with a puppet show using a bunch of our Folkmanis puppets of all kinds of birds. I used them to tell the story of Hello, My Name is Ruby by Phillip C. Stead. In my telling, Ruby is a chicken (because I have more chickens than anything else!). I try to model storytelling with puppets so that parents and kids can learn that the fun of a book doesn’t have to end when a book is over–you can try retelling the story by acting it out with toys or in person.
Then we read the book Froodle by Antoinette Portis. It’s a story about finding your voice, letting go of other people’s expectations, and just being silly!
We sang “Five Little Ducks” with Susie Tallman and Friends from their Animal Songs and Stories CD.
Then we read a silly story called Pardon Me by Daniel Miyares, about a yellow bird who is annoyed that all the animals in the swamp keep interrupting his peace and quiet, even to the point of preventing them from warning him about real danger!
We did a very short flannelboard story about Three Talking Toucans, adapted from a song I found here:
Three talking toucans sitting in a tree
The first one turned & squawked at me!
Three little toucans sitting like kings
The second one said “I can flap my wings!”
Three little toucans sitting side by side
The third one said “I can open my big beak wide!”
Then a little chameleon the toucans spied–
But he changed color fast, so that he could hide!
(The chameleon is double-sided, light and dark green)
We sang Six Little Ducks — I couldn’t find it at first so we did it a capella, but Raffi has a good version of it.
I think this next book didn’t work so well for the crowd today, and required a bit too much abridging, but I’ll list it here anyway: You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple and Melissa Sweet. It talks about a lot of different birds most people won’t know, and it is written in beautiful verse. It would work great one-on-one at bedtime but it needs to be very abridged for a preschool group.
Our movie was a hit though: Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late based on the book by Mo Willems.
We finished with the song “[If] I Was a Bird” by Old Town School of Folk Music on their Wiggleworms Love You CD. This is my favorite storytime CD and I use “Clap Your Hands” all the time as well.
Here are some more cute books about birds: