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STORYTELLING PROPS | The Rabbit in the Carrot Pop-Up

1 Aug

I was called in at the last minute to give a Family Storytime to a group of caregivers and their charges. Needing some extras, I went into the “closet” and found a cute Made-in-China pop-up toy featuring a little rabbit hiding inside a carrot.

I asked my boss what she knew about this object and she replied:

Well, I was mesmerized and so were the kids and their caregivers.

So, I decided to buy one for my regular Storytimes.

A long search came up empty-handed. As no bunnies in carrots were to be found, my crafty side began to think that I could build one myself.

I already had a finger puppet from IKEA that I could use:

So, I gathered together a pair of scissors, a stick, a plastic funnel,  squares of orange and green felt, a piece of white fabric to make a “skirt” for the bunny, a sewing kit, thick rubber bands to hold the skirt to the funnel, and a bottle of Weldbond to hold the last layer of felt in place, and … got busy!

Weldbond – It’s the best!

About an hour or so later (twisting the felt just-so was somewhat frustrating!) I had my bunny on a stick. Up and down she goes, depending on her shyness quotient (or how enthusiastically the kids shout out their part in the play: “Yes, she will!”).

Total cost: less than $3. That’s a lot of joy per buck.

And, if I may say so, I think it’s better than the Made-in-China one back in the box in the “closet” at work.

and …

OPENING SONG | “So Happy You’re Here” by Hap Palmer

16 Jan

A brilliant way to start storytime! Thanks, Mr. Palmer!


Sing Doo wah doo, Tra la la, Yo-dle-ay, Sha na na
Hi dee hi, Howdy doo
It’s all a funny way to say, “We’re glad you’re here today!”

Now give yourself a pat on the back
Reach out and shake your own hand
Give a gentle squeeze to say you’re pleased We’re so happy you’re here today, today We’re so happy you’re here today

Sing Fee fi fo, Fiddly dee
Shooby doo, Golly gee
Skizzamaroo, An a hi to you
Now turn and face someone and say, “We’re glad you’re here today!”

Now give someone a pat on the back Reach out and shake a hand
Give a gentle squeeze to say you’re pleased We’re so happy you’re here today, today We’re so happy you’re here today

This is a song to warm up our voices and welcome everyone to music and movement time. Listen to each funny phrase, then sing it back like an echo. During the first chorus, give yourself a pat on the back, shake your own hand, and give yourself a hug and squeeze. During the second chorus, give someone else a pat on the back, shake her/his hand, and give that person a gentle squeeze to say, “We’re so happy you’re here today!”

Make up your own funny phrases. Write them on the board, then sing the song using your ideas. You can also create a funny motion that goes with each phrase and play follow the leader

PDF > OPENING SONG: So Happy You’re Here by Hap Palmer

PUPPETS | Introducing Chester Brown

8 Jan

New to the game of children’s librarianship, I watched an amazing puppet performance by a colleague — a fellow guybrarian — whom I truly respect.

After the show, I asked his advice about puppets. His words: “Choose one and stick to it. Develop its personality and you’re set for any show.” I asked him how long he’s had his “special friend” and he responded: “Thirty-five years.” Solid advice from a pro.

So, without further ado, I present my one and only “special friend” (other puppets may come and go for special occasions, but this guy is the main attraction at my storytimes) — Mr. Chester Brown, from Guilford, Surrey, England.


FINGERPLAY | Five Little Monkeys Sitting In a Tree

2 Jan

I really like this one!

Five Little Monkeys Sitting In a Tree

5 little monkeys sitting in a tree,

Teasing Mr. Crocodile:

“You can’t catch me!”

Along comes Mr. Crocodile,

Silent as can be.

And …


4 little monkeys …

3 little monkeys …

2 little monkeys …

1 little monkey …

And no more monkeys.

And away swims Mr. Crocodile,

As full as he can be!


PDF > FINGER PLAY – 5 Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree

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

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

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