FAMILY STORYTIME | Animals That Don’t Do What They’re Supposed To Do

26 Nov


Welcoming Music | “Simple Gifts” – Wilson

3 minutes            Opening Rituals | Greetings + Chester

5 minutes            Read-Aloud Story 1 | Lost and Found – Jeffers

3 minutes            Song + Movement | “Old Macdonald”

5 minutes            Read-Aloud-Story 2 | The Cow that Went OINK – Most

3 minutes            Board Book | Series – Northwest Coast Native Art: Colour

5 minutes            Felt Board Story | “Little Mouse, Little Mouse”

4 minutes            Read-Aloud-Story 3 | Bark, George – Feiffer

2 minutes            Closing Rituals | Announcements and Birthday Club

1 minute              Closing Song | “I Love My Library” (“London Bridge”)

TOTAL:              31 minutes


☐  Chester

☐  Portable CD Player

☐  CD: Dulcimer Lullabies

☐  Snappy Library Cards

☐  Circle, Square, Triangle (in VPL colours)

☐ 8 Books: Northwest Coast Artists (4); Jeffers (2); Most; Feiffer

☐ Felt Board

☐  “Little Mouse” Felt Pieces

☐  Rubber Stamps + Ink Pad

☐  Babytime Brochures



Welcoming Music | Track 6 from Dulcimer Lullabies: “Simple Gifts” – Joemy Wilson


Opening Ritual | Greetings


Snap, snap, snap!

What’s that? What’s that?

That’s the sound of Happy-Snappy Library Cards welcoming you to Storytime at the Vancouver Public Library!

Welcome boys and girls! Welcome big people!

[Scan audience and decide which greetings might be appropriate]:

l   Bienvenue!

l   Bienvenido!

l   Benvenuti!

l   Bem-vindo!

l   Nuānyíng Guānglín!

l   Yōkoso!

l   Mabuhay!

l   Hoan nghênh!

l   Wilkommen!

[Wave to everyone] Hi! My name is Michael and today we’re going to have some FUN!

Before we start, a few words:

Kids, I hope you’ll put on your best “listening skills” for the next half hour. That means sitting still and really, really listening to the stories. And then, when the time comes, participating in the activities!

Big people, if your child gets restless, please feel free to take them out into the hallway until they are ready to rejoin us. Everyone appreciates your cooperation and consideration. Thanks!

Now, are you ready? Okay!

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – Let’s Go!

Art, Arf!

Oh my! I forgot something. Chester? Chester? Chesterwhere are you?

Arf! ARF!

Oh, there you are. [Put on puppet]. Hi Chester!

Hello Michael. Who are all these people?

They’re you’re neighbours, Chester. They live in your neigh-bour-hood.

Won’t you say “hello” to your new friends?

Arf! ARF!

Are you telling any stories about dogs today, Michael? Arf. ARF!

Well, Chester, I do have a story today about a dog. His name is George.

I think you’re going to like the pre-dic-a-ment George gets himself into.

But we’ve got other stories — about cows and pigs and penguins —

for your new friends today.

Oh! And some mice, too.

Arf. Arf! ARF! More!

Today’s stories are about animals that don’t do what they’re supposed to do. And the stories are about friendship and how we can learn things from our friends — and how a good friend is like a gift.

And … for the youngest members of our audience today – and that includes you, too, Chester …

Arf. Arf!

[Whisper] Chester’s still a puppy.

— we’re going to learn our colours. Sound like a plan? Well then … Chester, I’m going to put you over there so you can listen to the stories? Okay?



Now let’s all get comfy and listen. Okay? Well, then …

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – Let’s Go!

Read-Aloud Story 1 | Lost and Found – Oliver Jeffers

Our first story today is about a penguin that doesn’t live where it’s supposed to live. It’s also about friendship. Does anyone know what a penguin is? Where do they live? What’s a friend?

Today’s story is called Lost and Found. It’s by one of my favourite writers and illustrators for children, Oliver Jeffers.



A good friend is a great gift. That’s what I think.


(To the adults: I really like picture books that are written and illustrated by one person; if you liked this one, I’d recommend its sequel, called Up and Down [Point to book]).


Singing + Movement | “Old Macdonald”

Now, our next book is about animals that live on a farm. So let’s all get up, shake our wiggles out, and sing two verses from that silly song about Old Macdonald and his farm. Now, what sound does a cow make? And a pig?

Okay … 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – Let’s Sing!


Old Macdonald

Old Macdonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O
With a “moo-moo” here and a “moo-moo” there
Here a “moo” there a “moo”
Everywhere a “moo-moo”
Old Macdonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

Old Macdonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a pig, E-I-E-I-O
With an “oink-oink” here and an “oink-oink” there
Here an “oink” there an “oink”
Everywhere an “oink-oink”

Old Macdonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O

So, in English, cows go “moo” and pigs go “oink-oink.” But wait … did you know that other languages have different sounds for animals? For example, Korean cows say “Um-er” and Koreans pigs say “Gul-gul.”

Does anyone know any other animal sounds in other languages?

Thanks for sharing!


Read-Aloud-Story 2 | The Cow that Went OINK – BIG book } Bernard Most

[Show book] This is a story about how each and every one of us is special and how lucky we are when we find a special friend who can teach us things. It’s written and illustrated by a fantastic writer for young children, Bernard Most.


The Cow that Went OINK …

I think you liked that one! [Invite comments]

Board Book | Learn the Colours with Northwest Coast Native Art


So, last week we learned our shapes, remember?

[Show shapes]: Circle. Square. Triangle?

This week, we’re going to learn the names of colours!

I like this little book about the colours for its local content – West Coast First Nations artists illustrated the book to give children a taste of their cultures. It’s from this series of board books in our collection [Point to the other books in the series].

Are we ready to learn our colours? Okay then, 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – Let’s Learn!

“Red! Blue! Yellow! Green! Purple! Grey! Brown! Pink! Orange! White!”

Fantastic folks!

What’s your [point to a few audience members] favourite colour?

Felt Board Story | “Little Mouse, Little Mouse”


Now, I bet some of you have been wondering what all these coloured houses are doing here today. They weren’t here last week, were they?

Well, this is a game I really like to play but I need [Point] your help. And the younger kids here today need the help of the older kids. So, let’s all work together, okay? Are you ready to play? 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – Let’s Play!


Look at all the little houses we have.

They’re all different colours.

Let’s see what colours we have:

We have a red house; a pink house; a blue house … and a white house.

But we have a problem. Your see, we don’t know which house the little mouse is hiding in. Will you help me find her?

Let’s call for her:

“Little mouse, little mouse, are you in the [Point to] ________ house?”

(Using sound effects slowly peel back all the houses but leave four on the board)


Hmmm … she wasn’t in any of those houses. Maybe if we whisper she’ll come out. [Softer]:

“Little mouse, little mouse, are you in the [Point to] ________ house?”

(Pull back another empty house)

Let’s try this house:

“Little mouse, little mouse, are you in the [Point to] ________ house?”

(Peel back the house to reveal the little mouse)

There she is! Hello little mouse!



Let’s make sure she’s the only one, okay?

“Little mouse, little mouse, are you in the [Point to] ________ house?”    

“Little mouse, little mouse, are you in the [Point to] ________ house?”

(Slowly peal off the remaining two houses with exaggerated SFX)


No. No more mice. She’s the only one! Thanks for your help everybody —

I don’t’ think I could have found her without you!

(To adults: do mice live in houses? Are they supposed to?)

Okay, now it’s time for our last story, Bark George, written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. This one’s for you, Chester!


Arf! Arf!



Read-Aloud Story 3 | Bark, George – Jules Feiffer

[Contingency Plan: If time is running out, hold up the book and tell the audience that unfortunately it’s time to say goodbye but Bark, George will be the featured book next week, when the themes will include … Dogs and the Wacky Things They Do!]

This is a fantastic story about a dog that doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do.

Do any of you know this book? (If someone knows the story, ask their name and, at the end of the story, ask them if they would like to deliver the punch line.) I hope you like it!

This story is for you, Chester!

Arf! Arf!

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer …

So, what did you think of George’s pre-dic-a-ment?


Closing Rituals | Announcements + Birthday Club

Well, girls and boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, that con-cludes today’s Storytime. Thanks for being such good listeners. And thanks for helping me find that mouse! I hope you had fun — I know I did. I really hope to see you all again next week, when we’ll learn about sizes – little monkeys and big gorillas, tiny insects and gi-gan-tic dinosaurs and things like that.

Before we go, does anyone have anything they’d like to say?

Thanks for coming to Storytime at [Joe Fortes/Kerrisdale] today.

Don’t forget that we also have fun at Babytimes on [day of week and time].

I have brochures here for anyone who knows a family with a baby. And please tell your friends about Family Storytime.

Kids, I also have some animal stamps if you’d like to remember your visit to the Library today. And Chester would love to meet you if you want to meet him. He loves little children and he never bites!

Finally … is anyone celebrating a birthday this week?

[If so, sing “Happy Birthday”]

So now it’s time to say goodbye. Let’s all stand and sing our goodbye song:

Closing Song | “I Love My Library” (“London Bridge”)

Now it’s time to say goodbye,

say goodbye, say goodbye.

Now it’s time to say goodbye.

Un-til … next time!


See you at the library,

library, library.

See you at the library –

I love my li-brar-y!


One more time!


Thanks again for coming to the Vancouver Public Library today! My name is Michael and I hope to see you again soon!


One Response to “FAMILY STORYTIME | Animals That Don’t Do What They’re Supposed To Do”

  1. Carolyn - Storytime Standouts 2008-05-07 at 10:10 #

    Michael – I have a feeling I would absolutely love your storytimes. What an amazing resource you’ve put together here. Congratulations and thank you!

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