We had a mixed attendance at preschool storytime over the summer. There were only 6 weeks of programming, two preschool storytimes per week. I did have some extra toddlers, because I switched program times with the toddler storytime and some of those kids came, but the average attendance was about 12. Oh well.
Storytime Favorites: These are the books we read again, and again, and again!
- Can YOU make a scary face? by Jan Thomas. This is my wiggly kids storytime staple. A marvelously interactive and imaginative story, the kids stand up and sit down, wiggle, dance, and make a scary face!
- What will fat cat sit on? by Jan Thomas. This is another marvelous interactive story - and one that never fails to send the kids into fits of giggles.
- Pigs to the rescue! by John Himmelman. The sequel to our favorite Chickens to the rescue! the pigs are enthusiastic but disaster-prone, unlike the efficient chickens. Kids love searching the pages for signs of the sneaky pigs and telling me what went wrong in each scenario. This is actually a new book, but it's a sequel to an old favorite so...
- Good Egg by Barney Saltzberg. This hilarious moving pieces book isn't really a staple, it's one I keep in my professional collection and bring out occasionally for a treat. Never fails to get the giggles
- Don't let the pigeon drive the bus! by Mo Willems. Another fail-proof story. We always read it with a chorus of "no's"
- The Doghouse by Jan Thomas. Another winner! The kids giggle hysterically over my doom-laden tones when I read "The Doghouse" dum da dum!
- I'd Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio. I occasionally have to shorten the text, but kids - and parents - like this sly little story about picky eaters!
- Ping Pong Pig by Caroline Church. Don't you just looove the title? We all adore this story of a little pig who wants to fly - and ends up learning how to do what he enjoys and still help out around the farm!
- Cupcake by Charise Harper. There wasn't much interest in the beginning of this story, as we see the different kinds of fancy cupcakes and candles, but the kids loved the silly toppings and telling me whether or not they were things you put on cupcakes.
- Hooray for summer! by Kazuo Iwamura. This story is one of a series of seasonal stories. They are shorter than the average picturebook, but have quite a bit of text. I usually read them pretty fast - and then we spend quite a bit of time looking for the small animals and answering questions about the story.
- Little Rabbit and the meanest mother on earth by by Kate Klise. I loooove the art in this - older kids (and moms!) enjoy it the most.
- Outfoxing the fox by Friederike Rave. This odd, clever story works best with the older kids. The younger ones really didn't get it and there was too much text. It's also probably a good one on one story, since there are all sorts of tiny details and clever jokes.
- What the ladybug heard by Julia Donaldson. I am ordering this asap. The kids LOVED it. Loved making the animal sounds, loved finding the ladybug on every page, and the older kids thought it was hilarious. A must for toddler storytimes.
- The Gentleman Bug by Julian Hector. There wasn't much interest in this one, other than the kids being confused because The Ladybug doesn't look anything like the one in the previous title. I think this would circulate well, but as a storytime book it was kind of a flop.
- Clarice Bean, Guess Who's Babysitting? by Lauren Child. This is long for storytime and you really have to memorize parts since the words go upside down. I think I'll save it to read aloud to my elementary school visits in the fall.
- Ferocious wild beasts by Chris Wormell. I've read this one before - the younger kids never get the ironic humor, which drives me nuts, but it's so funny and I keep trying to read it to them...I really need to save this for class visits next fall.
- Butterfly Birthday by Harriet Ziefert. I still think the sparkly, georgously colored illustrations in this book were amazing, but the kids just weren't interested in the text. I did have a very wiggly/inattentive group that day, so it might go better another time. I'm still thinking about purchasing it.
- Granny Gomez and Jigsaw by Deborah Underwood. The kids really liked this warm and funny story about a pig. Even though it's a bit longer than they're used to listening, they were quiet and enjoyed the funny bits.
- A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead. This quiet story wasn't a huge hit, but the kids were mildly interested and especially liked the motif of the red balloon.
- Cowboy Camp by Tammi Sauer. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about this one, but the kids were definite - it's a hit! They thought it was hilarious and were very interactive, guessing what Avery was going to use instead of the regular cowboy things.
- The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews. This was a little long for some of the kids, but most of them listened to it. I think it's going to be more interesting one on one or in an older group. The kids did like telling me whether they were fairy princesses or not, though.
- The Fox and the Hen by Eric Battut. This story really grew on my as I read it - and it grew on the kids too. It has a very folktale-ish repetitiveness that holds the kids' attention in a grip of iron.
Chameleon Chamelon by Joy Cowley. We've had this in nonfiction for a long time and I recently purchased a replacement for our badly ripped copy. I decided to try it in storytime. Voila! Instant hit! We discussed what was special about lizards and looked for the different things in the pictures.
Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep! by Mo Willems. I like reading this new series aloud to toddlers - they love it!
Doctor Ted by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lemaitre. My group didn't really "get" this story, but it was a very small and rather shy one. Would definitely be popular with a kindergarten group, I think.
Who's afraid of the big bad book? by Lauren Child This is really too long for a typical preschool storytime group, but I had a very good group with some older kids, who totally got the story and loved it!
One Pup's Up by Martha Chall Wilson, illustrated by Henry Cole. I'm still undecided about this book. I really love Cole's illustrations, and puppies are cute, but I didn't feel the counting grabbed the kids as much as it should have. Hmmm...
Fat Cat by Jack Kent. This is an old Danish folktale. If you can find an out of print copy, it's a very fun, repetitive nonsense story.
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. Again, we experience the magic of folktales. Kids will sit still for this pretty loooong story, when they'd be wiggling all over the place if it was a "regular" book.