Archive | December, 2011

RESOURCES |“Tell Me a Story” :: King County Rocks!

31 Dec

Looking for great storytime resources? Be sure to check out King County’s fantastic array of rhymes and songs. King County Library System rocks!

2009 Videos

2010 Videos

2011 Videos

RESEARCH | G&M :: On Books as Alien Devices

26 Dec

Another article (link below) from The New York TImes about kids’ books and technology presented the view that many parents prefer the tactility of books over ereaders. Ivor Tossell of The Globe and Mail suggests that some children prefer the tactility of a tilting iPad. What do you think?

Illustration for The Globe and Mail by Graham Roumieu


For some kids, a book is just an iPad that doesn’t work


18 November 2011

At the age of 2, Calvin Wang’s son seems to have learned a truism that is already ricocheting around the Internet: A book is an iPad that doesn’t work.

Wang designs interactive storybooks for the iPad. He was inspired, he says, by watching his daughter interact with a movable cardboard book. Since then, Loud Crow, his Vancouver-based firm, has turned an array of children’s picture books that take the pop-up concept into the digital age. Books such as Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit now respond to touch by moving, twirling, speaking and noise-making.

Having experienced the app, he says, his son is puzzled by the fact that creatures in the original cardboard books don’t move. “When he opens the book, the first thing he does is start tapping the creature in the book.”

Turning children’s literature into iPad apps is a new and potentially lucrative business; successful creators have seen products fly off the virtual shelves, and venture capitalists are showing interest. But traditional publishers face challenges entering this market: Interactive applications are expensive to make, difficult to perfect and tough to market in the App Store environment. And even children’s authors are asking: Does a product that blurs the line between a book and a game destroy the joy of reading? And is one more screen what young children need in their lives?

Adaptations of kids books have been around almost as long as the iPad itself, a device so entrenched in the public consciousness that it seems as though it has always been a fixture on the landscape even though it has been on the market only since April, 2010, a mere 19 months. The first to make a splash was an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, simply called Alice. The creation of a laid-off journalist and a former financial-sector programmer, the $8.99 app took Lewis Carroll’s text and the iconic original illustrations from John Tenniel – both of which have passed into the public domain – and used the iPad’s innovative capabilities to turn them into tactile experiences.

When the iPad is flipped, Alice grows or shrinks. When the device is tipped, the queen’s crown teeters, or even falls off its pillow. Because the iPad can sense acceleration, developers could endow objects on-screen with realistic physics – the kind that young users find especially intuitive.

Chris Stevens, the app’s co-creator, says it hardly sold at all for the first couple of days. Then, he says, he released a YouTube video of the app, went to bed and woke up the next morning to see that 500,000 had seen it: This new medium’s potential had caught the public imagination. The app would later turn up in The New York Times and on Oprah.

“It was the right market to get some attention,” he recalls. “There was some excitement about the idea that the iPad might be the future of publishing.”

The Alice app would be the first of a bumper crop, mostly coming from the heady world of new-media app developers. It was one of the inspirations for works that followed, including Wang’s growing business in Vancouver. (This week, Loud Crow announced that it had snagged the rights to adaptPeanuts TV specials, including iconic entries such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, into the app format.)

But for all the hubbub, traditional children’s publishers are approaching the emerging market with caution.

One challenge is economics: Flashy, full-colour, animated interactive projects that run on high-end tablets are a different creature from eBooks, which typically aren’t interactive and can be read on a variety of devices, such as simple black-and-white Kindle or Kobo readers. The eBooks adhere to popular standards, making them relatively simple to make, whereas each children’s app is a unique creation that requires attention from authors, designers and programmers.

However, publishers can typically charge more for eBooks than they can for apps, which consumers are used to buying for less than $10. For instance, Loud Crow’s Peter Rabbit books cost $3.99 in the App Store.

“The interactive apps cost a lot of money, need to be updated frequently and the price point is incredibly low,” says Barbara Howson, vice-president of sales at House of Anansi and Groundwood books. All the same, Groundwood is currently working on an interactive adaptation of one title, Cybèle Young’s A Few Blocks.

“I think we’re in early days for kids books, in terms of demand and technology,” says Denise Anderson, director of marketing and publicity for Scholastic Canada. The publisher has embraced eBooks, with 400-odd titles already available in the format. As for interactive apps, few are currently available from the publisher, but she expects that to change within a year.

“Our mandate is to get books into the hands of children, however they’re delivered.”

So far, many of the interactive apps that have appeared in the marketplace have been adapted from books that are already cross-platform properties, such as Stella and Sam, a series of children’s books by Montreal author Marie-Louise Gay, which has been turned into a successful animated TV show.

For Gay, it’s important to distinguish between books and games – and the app, she says, is primarily a game. Where it comes to replacing books themselves with apps, she worries that the immersiveness of the technology can break up the shared experience of a child learning to read with a parent.

“You could actually put an iPad in a baby’s crib, and the pages will turn by themselves,” she says. Apps that read stories aloud and present interactive widgets threaten children’s ability to explore pages at their own pace, turning a social experience into an isolated pursuit, she says.

“That’s something that’s dangerous, because it’s like putting a child in front of a TV.”

That is a sentiment that has some support, even within the app world. The best interactive kids apps are the ones that actively depart from the source material, says Jason Krogh, the founder of Zinc Roe, the Toronto developer behind the Stella and Sam app, among others.

“The least successful examples take the book, put it on the screen, and they make hot spots so that when you press it, something happens,” he says. That’s why his firm is pushing interactive children’s technology in a new direction: letting kids tell their own stories. A new app called DoodleCast encourages kids to draw on the iPad screen, while making a real-time recording of what they’re saying aloud. After all, a child’s scribblings can be visually indecipherable, but its meaning comes clear as they explain it aloud.

“If you’ve ever drawn with a four-year-old, there’s always a narrative. They’re telling you about their day,” he says.

Kids books have gone through the looking glass, indeed.

Ivor Tossell is The Globe and Mail’s technology culture columnist.

FELT BOARD STORY | Slippery Fish by Charlotte Diamond

25 Dec

Fishy fun!

Slippery Fish by Charlotte Diamond 

(Make swimming motions as you sing)

Slippery fish, Slippery fish,

Swimming in the water.

Slippery fish, Slippery fish,

Gulp … gulp … gulp …

Oh no,

(put your hands to your mouth)

it’s been eater by an –


(Make squiggling motions as you sing)

Octopus, octopus –

Squiggling in the water

Octopus, octopus,

Gulp … gulp … gulp …

Oh no, it’s been eaten by a –


(Make flashing motions as you sing)

Tuna fish, tuna fish,

Flashing in the water,

Tuna fish, tuna fish,

Gulp … gulp … gulp …

Oh no, it’s been eaten by a –


(Make lurking motions as you sing)

Great white shark, great white shark,

Lurking in the water,

Great white shark, great white shark,

Gulp … gulp … gulp …

Oh no, it’s been eaten by a – 


(Make spouting motions as you sing)

Humungous whale, humungous whale,

Spouting in the water,

Humungous whale, humungous whale – 

Burp! Ex-cuse me!


AUDIO > Listen to an audio sample of Ms. Diamond singing “Octopus (Slippery Fish)” MP3 | RealAudio

FAMILY STORYTIMES | A Baker’s Dozen’s Worth of Books, Felts, and More

24 Dec

13 weeks of Family Storytime programming, by theme and week. Use, re-use, and recycle.

Start of the series: The magic of books via Hervé Tullet.

Clap your hands if you’re here for the magic of Storytime! Ready? 1, 2, 3, Let’s Go!


Press Here by Hervé Tullet

PDF > JOKES: Jokes About Our Bee Friends


The Honeybee and the Robber: A Moving/Picture Book by Eric Carle

PDF > FINGER PLAY: Five Big Bees on a Billygoat’s Knee

PDF > SONGS: Bee Song + Bumble Bee

PDF > SONGS: Bees Here

The Very Greedy Bee by Steve Smallman, illus. by Jack Tickle

PDF > FINGER PLAY: Here Is the Beehive

Be-wigged by Cece Bell

I Love Jerry Bookmarks


Jerry Bee Colouring Sheet


Bee Stamp


Goodnight, Little Monster by Helen Ketterman, illus. by Bonnie Leick

Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters: A Lullaby by Jane Yolen, illus. by Kelly Murphy

Taming Horrible Harry by Lili Chartrand, illus. By Bonnie Leick, illus. by Rogé, translated by Susan Ouriou

LINK > FELT BOARD STORY: Five Little Monsters

LINK > Week 2: Full Program



Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton

Man on the Moon: A Day in the Life of Bob by Simon Bartram

Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I’m off to the Moon by Dan Yaccarino


LINK > Week 3: Full Program


Pouch! by David Ezra Stein

Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? by Karen Beaumont, illus. by Eugene Yelchin

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly illustrated by Simms Tabak

LINK > FLASH CARD STORY: COSMIC PANDA: Chapter 2: Reunion at the Double Helix

LINK > Week 4: Full Program



Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin (aka Mr. Eric), illus. by James Dean


Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin

Splat the Cat by Bob Scotton

There are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

LINK > Week 5: Full Program



It’s My Birthday! by Pat Hutchins

The Birthday Fish by Dan Yaccarino

Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch

LINK > FELT BOARD STORY: Ten Little Candles

LINK > Week 6: Full Program

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

Butterfly, Butterfly: A Pop-up Book of Color by Petr Horáček


LINK > Week 7: Full Program




Dog’s Colorful Day: A Messy Story About Colors and Counting by Emma Dodd

Animals Should Definitely NOT Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett, illus. by Ron Barrett

What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd


LINK > Week 8: Full Program

A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom

Hugless Douglas by David Melling

Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers


Footprint Penguin Instructions

LINK > Week 9: Full Program

Call Me Gorgeous by Giles and Alexandra Milton

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae  and Guy Parker-Rees

Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra, illus. by J. Otto Seibold

LINK > Week 10: Full Program

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do You Hear? by Bill Martin/Eric Carle

The Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera

Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere by Bob Barner

LINK > FELT BOARD STORY: The Monkey and the Crocodile

LINK > Week 11: Full Program

On My Walk by Kari-Lynn Winters

Wow! City! by Robert Neubecker

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

LINK > Week 12: Full Program

Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt

Every Friday by Dan Yaccarino

No, David! by David Shannon

LINK > Week 13: Full Program


A Zeal of Zebras by Woop Studios

Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton

Brian Wildsmith’s Animal Gallery by Brian Wildsmith

Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj

Look! A Book! by Bob Staake

Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

The Cow that Went Oink by Bernard Most

Mig the Pig by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins

FLASHCARDS | Cosmic Panda

17 Dec

I thought that YouTube’s “Cosmic Panda” was extra-cute and thought I should grab some images of him before he disappeared forever.

I made some flashcards; now I’m thinking of how to incorporate them into a storytime. Perhaps a felt board story about Cosmic Panda’s intergalactic friends?

WEEKS LATER … Well, I didn’t go for the felt board idea. Instead, I’ve been working feverishly on a fairly long and complex story about Cosmic and his galaxy of friends that I’m printing on card stock. So far, I’m up to two chapters.

Click on the last link below to see how this project unfolded. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Cosmic Panda and his intergalactic adventures.

PDF > FLASHCARDS: Cosmic Panda (Original Version; Complete Version > link below)

Google Operating System | No More Cosmic Panda

PORTFOLIO | Marketing Tools for Storytimes

16 Dec

What’s the point of throwing a par-tay if no one shows up?

I think it’s extra important to spend time developing catchy marketing tools to get the message out to your audience.

This portfolio is where I park my marketing projects for future reference.

LIBRARIES | Happy Holidays, Mayor Ford!

16 Dec

If you care about the future of  libraries, follow the link below.

I walked the walk and I’m glad that I did. If libraries helped shape who you are, now is the time to take a stand.

INFORMATION BOOKS | Collective Nouns :: A Zeal of Zebras + Brian Wildsmith’s Animal Gallery

16 Dec

Who knew?


I came across these two extraordinary — and strikingly dissimilar in style — books today and they prompted me to do some more research about collective nouns.

Who knew that the English language had so many strange names for collectivities of animals?

Woop Studios — Miraphora Mina, Eduardo Lima (photo, below), Harriet Logan, and Mark Faulkner — have a contemporary graphic style that is extremely appealing. The words are engaging, too!

The cover of A Zeal of Zebras sets the tone for what’s inside. The Studio’s artwork captures the essential “animalness” of each of the collective nouns they cover in this gorgeous book.

I’d recommend A Zeal of Zebras as a gift for your graphically-minded friends — they’ll appreciate its bold style.

Woop is, I think, bent on becoming a repository for all of these, as they put it, “eccentricities of the English language.” Be sure to check out WOOP WORDS (link below) for more collective nouns.

From their website:

We believe that making a comprehensive A-Z list of collective nouns freely accessible will help those who share our fascination learn new terms and enjoy and share familiar. We hope that irrespective of whether you are browsing for fun or researching for homework that you will find these words, images and facts entertaining and informative. If you enjoy exploring this list you may well find our forthcoming book A Zeal of Zebras worth a look.

Some of the collective terms listed have real pedigree and lineage and can be found in JThe Oxford English Dictionary, ames Lipton’s 1968 An Exaltation of Larks or even The Book of St. Albans published in 1486. Some are of a more dubious and newer vintage than the original terms of venery. We make no apologies for being eclectic and hope that you will have fun with the words and enjoy our graphic interpretation of some of them.

Brian Wildsmith is, to me, the Eric Carle of England (though he resides in France). He liberated children’s picture books in the mid-sixties with his emphasis on minimal text and brilliantly conceived (art directed, really) page spreads with lots and lots of white space to let his images breathe on the page.

Wildsmith has never achieved Carle’s level of success because he refuses to repeat himself. I think his artistry is unique and superlative and underappreciated.

Trust the Japanese to know a quality artist when they come across one: the Brian Wildsmith Museum is located in Izu-kogen, south of Tokyo (link below).

Here are a few words about Wildsmith pulled from The Guardian:

Korky Paul on Brian Wildsmith

Brian Wildsmith’s work came out in the 1960s and he changed picture books. It was revolutionary stuff. One of his best books is The Hare and the Tortoise. He uses his own colours. He plays with scale, and his animals have characters: roosters strut their stuff, chickens are always eating, cats always sleeping.

What I like about his work is his wonderful use of white space; there are raggedy edges and extraordinary detail. He uses a mixture of media: watercolour, wash, then he works on top with chalk or pen. There is a lot of movement there.

My work is more spiky, but I love trying to create a fantasy world and to stylise it. Children’s books allow artists of all kinds to explore their own vision, how they see the world, and that’s what Wildsmith achieves so well. Exposing children to that teaches them that there are all sorts of ways of viewing the world.

Korky Paul has created illustrations for books including the Winnie the Witch series.




Click on the links below to find out more about these brilliant artists and their fact books for children that illustrate the strange collective nouns we use to name animals.

These two books are full of strange and fascinating collective nouns accompanied by rich illustrations drawn with flair and élan.

Though utterly different in style, both are highly recommended for kids of all ages.

Brian Wildsmith Museum of Art


POEM | The Moon Game

16 Dec

Be sure to check the  Moon Phases Calendar for the moon phase of your storytime!


I’m the moon and I play a game.

I don’t always look the same.


Sometimes I’m round,

A silver sphere.


Sometimes just half of me

Seems to be here.


Sometimes I’m a crescent,

Shaped like a smile.


Sometimes I surprise you

And hide for awhile.


Look up in the sky

For my friendly light.


What shape will I have

When you see me tonight?

– Author unknown

PDF > POEM + FLASHCARDS: “The Moon Game” + The Phases of the Moon

Deutsch: Der Vollmond, fotografiert in Hamois ...

VIDEOS | How Not To Take Care of a Baby

11 Dec

Your daily smile

PDF > INSTRUCTIONS- How Not to Take Care of a Baby

FELT BOARD STORY | Five Little Monsters

10 Dec

“I said, get down off of there!”


Five little monsters jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped her head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monsters jumping on the bed.”

Four little monsters jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monsters jumping on the bed.”

 (Repeat with 3 and 2)

One little monster jumping on the bed.
She fell off and bumped her head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monsters jumping on the bed.”

More Monsters!

Five Little Monsters ver. 1

Five little monsters by the light of the moon
Stirring pudding with a wooden pudding spoon.
The first one says, “It mustn’t be runny.”
The second one says, “That would make it taste funny.”
The third one says, “It mustn’t be lumpy.”
The fourth one says, “That would make me grumpy.”
The fifth one smiles, hums a little tune,
And licks all the drippings from the wooden pudding spoon!


Five Little Monsters ver. 2

5 little monsters sleeping in my bed
5 little monsters sleeping in my bed
1 crawled out from under my spread
I called to Mama and Mama said:
“No more monsters sleeping in your bed”

(Continue until there are no little monsters and then say):

No little monsters sleeping in my bed
None crawling out from under my spread
I called to Mama and Mama said:
“There are no more monsters, go to bed!”



Five Little Monsters Sitting on the Floor ver. 1

Five little monsters sitting on the floor
The [red] one said, “Let’s knock on someone’s door.”
The [green] one said, “Let’s act a little scary.”
The [white] one said, “Why are we so hairy?”
The [blue] one said, “I hear a funny sound.”
The [pink] one said, “There’s no one else around.”
Then “WHOOSH” went the wind and “EEK!” someone said.
So five little monsters ran under the bed.

Five Little Monsters Sitting on the Floor ver. 2

Five little monsters sitting on the floor
The [xxx] one said, “Let’s knock on someone’s door.”
The [xxx] one said, “Let’s act a little scary.”
The [xxx] one said, “Why are we so hairy?”
The [xx] one said, “I hear a funny sound.”
The [x] one said, “There’s no one else around.”
Then “WHOOSH” went the wind and “EEK!” someone said.
So five little monsters ran under the bed.

PDF > Five Little Monsters


COPIES OF COPIES DEPARTMENT: I am in debt to the two superbloggers below, from who I got the idea and whose beautiful felt monsters I copied for my storytime. Merci beaucoup!



ARCHIVES | Clip Art from Clker

6 Dec

Guybrarian highly recommends Clker online royalty free public domain clip art. This site has some really tasteful clip art that you can have fun modifying.

This post is my repository of my favourite Clker images, some of which I’ve had fun toying with.

Please me know if you’ve found some other great site with NICE clip art images.



UPDATE: Check out for more creative inspiration!


4 Dec

Here’s where I stash away my favourite, extra-special photos for future reference > please feel free!

RESEARCH | The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

4 Dec

When I was a student learning how to become a guybrarian, I took a number of children’s literature courses and was delighted when La Trobe University in Australia accepted my paper about Frances Hodgson Burnett for publication.

The Secret Garden was the original The Secret — a New Thought parable written for an adult audience one hundred years. The real secret of this garden is that it has, over the course of its long life, found its way into the hearts and minds of so many generations of children.


Few children’s novels have been analyzed as much as The Secret Garden. Critical readings of the novel have filtered Frances Hodgson Burnett’s story through the lens of sexual awakening, class conflict, feminist and post-colonial theory, primitivism, and paganism. This novel is more than a children’s book — part of The Secret Garden’s longevity and “classic” status is that it appeals to adults. Indeed, it is a summation of an author’s belief system deliberately aimed at readers of all ages. 

This study explores the author’s life through her belief system(s) and how she incorporated her ideas about life and death in her masterpiece, a “Beautiful Thought” fable that has endured because of its essential truthfulness in characterization and message.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

by Herbert Rose Barraud
carbon print on card mount, published 1888
9 5/8 in. x 6 7/8 in. (245 mm x 175 mm)
acquired, 1950
Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery Photographs Collection
NPG x5179

“Frances Hodgson Burnett in garden” courtesy of NYPL Digital Gallery Image ID: 1664096

The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children’s Literature > Forget the Devil and Keep Your Pink Lamps Lighted: The Metaphysics of Frances Hodgson’s The Secret Garden


4 Dec

Here are some files for library types and those who love them (with extra special thanks to the many anonymouse clip art artists!):


AUTHORS | The Amazing Mélanie Watt + That Squirrel

3 Dec

I want to share Scaredy with the whole wide world!

U, Scaredy! Don’t be afraid — it’s a wonderful world out there!

Scaredy Squirrel @ Night Poster – PDF

Scaredy Squirrel @ Night 2012 Storytime – PDF

I love just about everything about Scaredy Squirrel — the books, that is. (The cartoon version of Scaredy, shown above, is another matter altogether and I’ll leave it at that … click on the last image in this post and judge for yourself.)

The books, though … ah, what delights for kids of all ages. I mean, what’s not to love about a neurotic little rodent?

(Scaredy and I share a fondness for contingency plans.)

I’m a fan of Mélanie Watt — she deserves the success she has achieved. The Scaredy Squirrel books are fabulously fun and their message — that our fears are often baseless — is couched in copious amounts of humour.

The stories are captivating, but it is Watt’s art that initially draws the reader into Scaredy Squirrel’s world. Watt is an extremely talented writer-illustrator who deservedly won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award for Children’s Picture Book for the first title in the series.

The little guy has gone global and now speaks 8 languages, including Japanese, Serbian, French, Korean, Spanish and Norwegian. Go Scaredy! (The Japanese title, below, is decidedly bizarre.)

Mélanie is a Kids Can Press author whose other titles include include Chester and Augustine. She lives in Montreal.

This is my fan letter to her: “Mélanie, you and Scaredy are terrifyingly terrific!”

To find out more about the amazing Ms. Watt, visit her website or Scaredy’s Facebook page, below, or Kids Can Press.


1. Scaredy Squirrel (2006)

2. Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend (2007)

3. Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach (2008)

4. Scaredy Squirrel at Night (2009)

5. Scaredy Squirrel has a Birthday Party (2011)




Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award for Children’s Picture Book
OLA Blue Spruce Award 2007 & 2008
Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award


CBA Libris Award for Children’s Author of the Year



ALA’s Notable Children’s Books
Independent Publisher Book Awards – Picture Books 6 and under (Bronze)
Children’s and YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards – Cybils
NCTE Notable Children’s Books in Language Arts


ReadBoston 2006 Best Read Aloud Book Award
ForeWord Book of the Year Award
Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award
North Carolina Children’s Book Award – Picture Book



Le Prix de la Librairie Millepage” in Vincennes, 2006 (France)

SOURCE > Scaredy’s Wikipedia page

こわがりやのクリス だっしゅつだいさくせん

» Chris escaped the fearful and Yutsudaisakusen «

RECOMMENDED > Scaredy Squirrel Capilano · Adventures of Scaredy Squirrel and his friends in North Vancouver

Scaredy Squirrel Capilano · Scaredy Squirrel and The Earthquake in Japan

SONGS | The Teddy Bears’ Picnic

3 Dec

Let’s picnic!

The Teddy Bears’ Picnic

If you go down to the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods today
You’d better go in disguise.

For ev’ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Ev’ry teddy bear who’s been good
Is sure of a treat today.
There’s lots of marvellous things to eat
And wonderful games to play.

Beneath the trees where nobody sees
They’ll hide and seek as long as they please
Cause that’s the way the teddy bears have their picnic.

If you go down to the woods today
You’d better not go alone.
It’s lovely down in the woods today
So please don’t stay at home.*

For ev’ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today
Watch them, catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday.

See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout;
They never have any care;

At six o’clock their mummies and daddies,
Will take them home to bed,
Because they’re tired little teddy bears.

Words by Jimmy Kennedy in 1932; music by John W. Bratton in 1907

* Lyric change to make the original (“But safer to stay at home.”) less scary!

SONG – The Teddy Bears’ Picnic – PDF

More Teddy!

RHYME | Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around,

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground,

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, reach up high,

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, slap your knees,

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, sit down please.

RHYMES | My Teddy Bear

My Teddy Bear is a faithful friend

You can pick him up at either end

His fur is the colour of breakfast toast

And he’s always there

When you need him the most!

My Teddy Bear

My Teddy Bear is soft and brown

His heart is warm and good.

No matter if I laugh or frown

I know I’m understood!

RHYME | Teddy Lost His Coat

Teddy lost his coat.

Teddy lost his hat.

Teddy lost his rubber boots.

What do you think of that?

Teddy found his coat.

Teddy found his hat.

Teddy found his rubber boots.

He’d left them on the mat!


3 Dec

Where’s that mouse?

Look at all the little houses we have.

They’re all different colours. Let’s see what colours We have: We have a  soft pink house; a loud pink house; a red 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 peel 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!

FOR ADDITIONAL FUN: Place some other items behind some of the houses:



Guybrarian recommends Once Upon A Felt for great felt board stories. The owners (Vesna Krcmar Lukic and Sandy Yip) are extremely talented and share my deep concern for early childhood literacy > check out their website:

FELT BOARD STORY | Ten Little Candles

3 Dec

Happy Birthday!

Ten little candles on a birthday cake


Puff! Puff! (Blow out 2 candles)


Now there are eight.


Eight little birthday candlesticks


Puff! Puff! Now there are six.


Six little candles and not one more


Puff! Puff! Now there are four.

Four little candles, red, white and blue


Puff! Puff! Now there are two.


Two little candles, we’re almost done


Puff! Puff! Now there are none.

FELT BOARD STORY: Ten Little Candles – PDF

FELT BOARD STORY | The Monkey and the Crocodile

3 Dec

A tale from India


On an island in the middle of the river grew a tall mango tree.

The fruits of the mango were fat. They were ripe. They sent their irresistible smell to the monkeys that lived by the riverbank.

One young monkey stood and stared sadly at the mango tree. He sniffed the air and whimpered.

A crocodile surfaced in the river. “Ah, friend monkey! I, too, have been wanting some of those delicious mangoes. Suppose we work together, as friends, to get them. I can swim across the river, but I cannot climb a tree. You can climb trees, but you cannot swim. So, jump on my back and I will carry you to the island. You can climb up the tree and eat all the mangoes you want, and throw the rest down to me.”

The happy monkey leaped onto the crocodile’s back and the crocodile swam away from the shore. But when they were no more than halfway to the island, the crocodile dived under the water. The poor monkey clung to the crocodile’s scales and held his breath.

When the crocodile surfaced, the monkey gasped and coughed. “What are you doing, friend crocodile? You know I cannot breathe underwater.”

“I am trying to drown you. Then, after I drown you, I will eat you.”

“Oh dear,” said the monkey. “That is so sad. So very sad. You are going to eat me, but you will not be able to taste my heart. It is the most delicious part of my body.”

“I will eat your heart!” said the crocodile.

“No,” said the monkey. “I don’t think so. You see, I keep my heart in the mango tree. I left it there just last week when I was checking to see if the fruit was ripe.”

“I will take you to the mango tree, and you will climb up and get your heart for me,” hissed the crocodile. “Then I will eat you and your heart.”

“Very well,” replied the monkey, “since you insist.”

The crocodile reached the far shore of the river and the monkey leaped onto the sand and scrambled up the tree. He began eating the ripe mangoes, and for good measure he threw some hard green ones down on the crocodile.

“Come down here!” growled the crocodile.

“Ha!” laughed the monkey. “A crocodile who believes that a monkey keeps his heart in a tree is as foolish as a monkey who calls a crocodile his friend.”

The monkey spent many happy days on the island. But he knew he must find a way to get back across the river to his home.  Around and around the island swam the crocodile, still very angry.

The monkey went down to the sandy shore where the river was very narrow. Soon enough, the crocodile appeared.

“I guess I might as well give up,” said the monkey sadly. “I can’t get back across the river, the mangoes are all gone, and I shall soon die of starvation.”

The crocodile licked his crooked lips.

“So I might as well let you eat me,” continued the monkey. “Open your mouth and I will jump in.”

The crocodile opened his mouth.

“Get just a little bit further back from the shore, so I can make a good final leap,” called the monkey.

The crocodile backed up.

“Now open your mouth wide, wider, wider . . . so wide that you even have to close your eyes.”

The crocodile opened his jaws as wide as they would go and scrunched his eyes shut. Monkey made a stunning leap . . . over the crocodile’s mouth, landing on his back, and with one more bound he was back on the bank of the river with his family and friends.


Colour the monkey and the crocodile on both sides. Cut the crocodile’s mouth on the dotted line. When he opens his mouth at the end of the story, take the two parts of his mouth and separate them, making him open wide. Cut four or more mangoes and colour them orange (or use orange felt). Place them on the tree, and place the tree to the left of the felt board at the beginning of the story. When the monkey eats the mangoes, remove them from the board. The monkey begins the story standing on a small bit of sandy shore at the right of the felt board.

The Tale from India:

The Monkey and the Crocodile: A tale from India – PDF

The Felt Board Story:

FELT BOARD STORY: The Monkey and the Crocodile – A tale from India – PDF

BOOKLISTS | A Selection of Canadian Children’s Literature by Judith Saltman

2 Dec


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