Missing Storytime?

Man, this is one long storytime break! Storytime at Randall Oaks Branch Library doesn’t start back up until Monday, January 5!


There’s going to be a Family Dance Party at Randall Oaks on Monday, December 15 at 10 am. There will be music, instruments to play with, and more! It’s sure to be a fun time. 🙂

(There will also be additional Family Dance Parties at the Dundee Library. Check out our calendar to find out dates and details for these and all of our fun programs happening while we’re missing storytime.)

For Squirrely Kids…

…a squirrel storytime to kick off our fall storytime sessions at Panera!

The Fox River Valley Public Library District (formerly known as the Dundee Township Library District) will be hosting additional “Milk and Cookie Storytimes” at Panera Bread, 2484 N. Randall Rd. (near I-90) in Elgin the following Mondays at 9:30 a.m.: 10/1, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, & 11/5.

Come for the stories (presented by yours truly)… stay for the complimentary milk and cookies (thank you, Panera!). These sessions are limited to kids ages 3-6. Registration is required and opens up 6 days before each individual storytime. To register, visit “Events and Registration” at the library website, call 847-428-3661 (and press 2), or come to the Children’s Desk at the Dundee Library.

Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

Read-aloud #1: Count Down to Fall by Fran Hawk
*Flannel: 5 Little Leaves
Read-aloud #2: Erroll by Hannah Shaw
**Action Song: Peanut Butter and Jelly
Read-aloud #3: Frisky Brisky Hippity Hop by Alexina B. White (has real photos of squirrels!)
***Flannel: 5 Little Acorns
Read-aloud #4: The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri
Fingerplay: Way Up High in the Apple Tree
Fingerplay: Fun with Hands

Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This

Easy squirrel books not used: Acorns Everywhere! by Kevin Sherry and Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert
Longer squirrel books not used… maybe better for one-on-one sharing (but very fun): Those Darn Squirrels! by Adam Rubin and the Scaredy Squirrel series by Melanie Watt

*5 Little Leaves (used 5 autumn leaf flannel pieces)
Five little leaves on the tree next door
One fell off and then there were four
Four little leaves all over the tree
One fell off and then there were three
Three little leaves where the wind blew
One fell off and then there were two
Two little leaves sitting in the sun
One fell off and then there was one
One little leaf in the tree all alone
The wind blew and blew now there are none!

**Peanut Butter and Jelly (a classic!):
Check out this librarian’s video presentation!

***5 Little Acorns (adapted from “5 Little Apples”)
(Chanted to Five Little Monkeys Teasing Mr. Crocodile)
Five little acorns hanging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Bushy Tail “you can’t eat me”,
Along comes Mr. Bushy Tail as hungry as can be…
(Chant with 4,3,2,1)
(Used tree flannel, 5 acorn flannels and a squirrel flannel or puppet)

Featuring Priscilla Howe

Every month (September-May), librarians in my area unite to share ideas for “Lincoln Story League”. It’s great fun!

This month, I told a favorite story from a favorite storyteller, Priscilla Howe. “Chickens!” is about a pack of siblings who go off to explore an old barn. They take turns testing their bravery and going inside alone. In the barn, there are chickens… with money in their beaks. And a ghost who warns, “I’m the ghost of Charles Dickens, leave the money with the chickens!” The big sister and the big brother freak out and run away… but not the baby. Find out how the baby scares the ghost away!

Watch Priscilla tell this story here.
Purchase her cd Chickens! and Other Stories for Young Children here.

Her other cds include The Ghost with the One Black Eye and The Best (and Worst) of Beasts.
She also has two dvds, The Itsy Bitsy Tiger and Other Ridiculous Stories and Songs and The Bully Billy Goat and Other Stories.

Coming back!

Sorry for the lack of posting lately! Life was a little crazy for a while there… but it’s time to come back to this blog… and back to storytimes!

This summer, I will be presenting Milk and Cookies Storytimes on various Mondays (starting next week!) at the Panera on Randall in Elgin. Space is limited, so be sure to register… see the Dundee Library kid’s webpage for more information. I will also be on the patio serving as a “Story Chef” in the children’s department at Gail Borden Library some Tuesdays starting in July. (Details to be determined.)

Our summer reading theme is “Reading is soooo Delicious!”, so let’s cook up some FUN!

Featuring Heather Forest

Yesterday, I got to go out and play with other librarians at a story-swap meeting (Lincoln Story League)!!!

There, I shared my love of musical storyteller Heather Forest. I plugged two of her wonderful cds, Sing Me a Story and Tales Around the Hearth as well as her picture book version of The Little Red Hen. These cds (as well as mp3s of individual stories from the collections) are available from such sites as CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon.

I’ve adopted catchy musical refrains from her versions of The Mitten, The Turnip and The Little Red Hen into my own storytelling at the library. Adding these refrains is a great way to perk up the presentation and to get the kids singing along.

I also talked a little about how I tell The Little Red Hen. In addition to using Heather Forest’s singing refrain (“If you want some cake to eat, who will help me plant this wheat, etc.?”), I often use audience participation in the form of choosing some kids to work puppets or wear special headbands to act out the parts of the dog, the cat and the mouse. I wear a crazy chicken hat and act as the little red hen. Everyone else gets to be my little chicks. So, when the dog, the cat, and the mouse all say “Not I”, I ask my little chicks if they will help me. They all nod and agree, and we act out planting the seeds, harvesting the wheat, etc. And, of course, the little red hen and her chicks all get to mime eating delicious cake at the end! For my youngest audiences, I usually use flannels and visual cards to tell the story. I still have the kids be chicks, but I don’t select anyone to be a specific part.

The Little Red Hen was a part of a chicken folktale program that I geared for a K-3rd grade audience (and their families). I also used it in my storytime best practices presentation for the California Library Association Conference in 2009. (Please note my email address and blog URL have changed since then.) For that presentation, I also included a template for a fun chicken craft. Other chicken storytimes I’ve done can be found here, here, and here. (Can you tell it is one of my favorite themes?)

Silly Librarian Update

Happy New Year!

I apologize for the lack of posting lately. If you haven’t been able to tell, I am on another hiatus. I am still looking for a part-time librarian job. Unfortunately, there haven’t been a lot of openings in my area. This makes me sad and also makes me wonder if I should consider a career change. I would love to be back at a library, though, doing my storytime-thing. I enjoyed volunteering over the summer, so I may be able to at least do more of that. In the meantime, I’ve been attempting to write some picture books… and I also had the opportunity to do some community theater last November.

I still have some archives I can post, though… and my husband and I got a video camera for Christmas, so I may finally get around to posting more videos to this site. I’m making it a resolution to post more this year, maybe even weekly. Starting this Friday, January 6…

See you again then! Best wishes for a wonderful 2012!

–The Silly Librarian

Food, Folks & Fun… & Stories!

This just in! The Silly Librarian is coming back from hiatus… I will be volunteering as a Royal Reader for the fabulous Gail Borden Public Library!

For the next couple of months, I will be presenting storytimes at the McDonalds on Larkin Avenue in Elgin, IL on Wednesdays at 5 pm (starting today!). I don’t know if this will end up being a “traditional” storytime… or if I’ll end up going table to table asking folks if they “want a story with that”?… but I’ll be wearing a princess hat and will have some fun books ready to be read. So, join me, all ye wee lords and ladies!

I may also be doing additional “royal reading” over at the Culvers in South Elgin and the Rakow Branch Library. I’ll keep you posted!