Happy Pig Day!

Happy Pig Day!There are so many really fun pig stories out there!

Sadly, I only have one more storytime left this summer (that I know of), and that is on THIS FRIDAY, July 1 at 12:30pm at the Lakeside Fest in Crystal Lake. Two storytimes in one week! Lucky me 🙂


Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

Read-aloud #1: Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems
Song (sung with a puppet on my head): Pig on Her Head (from Laurie Berkner: Buzz Buzz)
Read-aloud #2 (Big Book): If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
*Action Song: Fun with Hands
Flannel/Storytelling: The Three Little Pigs
**Fingerplay: Two Mother Pigs
Read-aloud #3: Ten Pigs: an Epic Bath Adventure by Derek Anderson
Song/Fingerplay: Hands Up High
Read-aloud #4: Z-Z-ZOINK! by Bernard Most
“Dancing” Song: “Jumping and Counting” from Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem

Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This

*Fun With Hands
Suit actions to words.
Tune: “Row, Row, Row your boat”.

Roll, roll, roll your hands,
As slowly as can be.
Roll, roll, roll your hands,
Do it now with me.
Roll, roll, roll your hands,
As fast, as fast can be.
Roll, roll, roll your hands,
Do it now with me.
Clap, clap, clap your hands…
Shake, shake, shake your hands…
Stamp, stamp, stamp your feet…

**Two Mother Pigs

Two mother pigs lived in a pen, (two thumbs up) Each had four babies and that made ten. (Wiggle four fingers on each hand)
These four babies were black and white. (Wiggle four fingers on one hand)
These four babies were black as night. (Wiggle four fingers on the other hand)
All eight babies loved to play. (Wiggle eight fingers)
And the rolled and they rolled in the mud all day. (Roll hands)
At night, with their mother,
They curled up in a heap, (Make fists, palms up)
And squealed and squealed
‘Til they went to sleep. (Tuck thumbs under fingers)

I Know a Chicken!

I had SO MUC0-698-11374-8H FUN at storytime today! I really need to start thinking about finding a steady storytime home. Today, we did one of my favorite themes: Chickens!

Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

Read-aloud #1 (Big Book): Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins
*Fingerplay: Beehive
Storytelling (with puppets): “Book! Book! Book!” (This is a well-loved librarian anecdote about a chicken that comes into the library. One version, “The Well-Read Frog” can be found in Margaret Read MacDonald’s Three Minute Tales.)
Read-aloud #2: The Wolf’s Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza
Flannel: The Little Red Hen (I used a singing refrain from storyteller Heather Forest’s sound recording Sing Me a Story.)
**Fingerplay: Chook-Chook-Chook
Read-aloud #3: Most Wonderful Egg in the World by Helme Heine
Dancing Song (with shakers!): “I Know a Chicken” from Laurie Berkner’s Whaddaya Think of That?


Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This

*The Beehive
Here is a beehive
(Make a fist.)
Where are the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Watch as they come out of their hive—
One, two, three, four, five,
(Extend fingers one at a time.)
They’re alive! Buzzzzzz!
(Wiggle your fingers.)

Chook, chook, chook
Good morning, Mrs. Hen. (Hold up both thumbs)
How many chickens have you got?
Madam, I’ve got ten. (Show ten fingers)
Four of them are yellow. (Show four fingers on one hand)
And four of them are brown (Show four fingers on the other hand)
And two of them are speckled red (Show two fingers)
The nicest in the town.

MY NEXT STORYTIME: Wednesday, June 29, 10:30 am @ Rakow Branch Library in Elgin

Summer Job and Storytimes!

Hey, everyone!StorytimeFoxSecret I’ve got some news to share… I’m back at a library! I am working a temporary summer job over at the super duper Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin! I’ve been volunteering on and off over there for a while, but it’s nice to now be an employee at my local library. I’m working in the children’s department on the desk, helping kids find good books and sign up for the summer reading program.

I also have a few storytimes I am doing this summer (including one TOMORROW):

Wed., June 15, 10:30am @ Rakow Branch Library in Elgin
Wed., June 29, 10:30am @ Rakow Branch Library in Elgin
Fri., July 1, 12:30pm @ Lakeside Fest in Crystal Lake

I hope that you are having a great summer full of good books and fun times!

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Jen and RamonaI don’t usually post anything here other than storytime plans, announcements, and the occasional booklist or early literacy tip (and even those posts have been rare lately! Sorry; I am still on hiatus**), BUT I have to come out of the woodwork to declare my love for Beverly Cleary and to wish her a very happy 100th birthday!!! Her Ramona books were some of the first books that really got me excited about reading and writing when I was a kid (I even wrote “Ramona Gets Married” for my Young Author’s book in third grade!)… and they continue to influence me and inspire me today (especially in my writing). I’ve enjoyed re-reading all of the books and writing a paper titled “Ramona Quimby Grows Up: Tracing the Character Development of Ramona in the Henry Huggins and Ramona Series” in library school, visiting the sculpture garden in Portland (and also walking on the real Klickitat Street!), listening to the audiobooks narrated by Stockard Channing, checking out the Ramona statue and exhibit at the St. Paul Public Library, and placing my own middle grade book (that I am working on) in the category: “for fans of Ramona.” I’m a forever fan, and I am so grateful for Beverly Cleary! For a long time, I’ve wanted to be like her: a librarian and a writer. She’s a great role model.

I’ve been thrilled with all of the attention she’s been getting lately. I’m starting a collection of links of posts/articles in her honor that have popped up this year. I haven’t had the chance to read them all yet, but I am looking forward to checking them out (and adding to this list). If I still have any readers out there who have additional links to send me, feel free to post them in the comments section.

ALSC: Celebrating 100 Years of Beverly Cleary
BookRiot: 100 Awesome Things About Beverly Cleary on Her 100th Birthday
Book Riot: To Ramona Quimby, with Love
CNN: Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!
GoodReads: 7 Delightful Beverly Cleary Quotes to Celebrate Her 100th Birthday
Horn Book’s Collection of Posts Tagged “Beverly Cleary at 100” (There are multiple pages worth!)
The New York Times: Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!
The New Yorker: Beverly Cleary, Age 100
NPR: Beverly Cleary is Turning 100, But She Has Always Thought Like a Kid
Oregon Public Broadcasting: 5 Things About Beverly Cleary
Picture Book Builders: Beverly Cleary’s 100th Birthday!
Publishers Weekly: Beverly Cleary, on Turning 100
Publisher’s Weekly: Beverly Cleary’s Birthday Party of the Century
Publishers Weekly: Still Cleary After All These Years
School Library Journal: Beverly Cleary Turns 100 Today
TODAY Interview
The Washington Post: Beverly Cleary on Turning 100
Yakima Herald: Beverly Cleary’s Formative Year as a Librarian

**Though I am still on hiatus (for now), I WILL be doing another guest storytime at Rakow Branch next Wednesday, April 20 at 10:30!!!


I am feeling a little sad today, knowing that storytime is starting up again… without me. I’ve had the best group over at the Randall Oaks Branch Library in West Dundee, Illinois these past couple of years, and I already miss them lots! I know that Ms. Susan will do an excellent job.

I have left my job at the library, and I am going on a storytime hiatus for a bit. Among other things, I am planning on focusing on some writing projects. (I have a few picture books and a chapter book that I’m working on!) I would also like to work on this blog a little, maybe finally adding some more videos, book talks, new look… Feel free to check in on me here!

I hope that come spring or summer, I’ll start doing some storytelling events again. I LOVE STORYTIME!

Until then, I’ll be hibernating and thinking about happy memories…

Photo by Mike Greene
Photo by Mike Greene

Snowy Days are soon to come

Last Friday, I enjoyed doing a 20-minute toddler storytime for my nephew Jackson’s class at Crystal Lake Montessori School!

Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

Read-aloud #1 (Story Cards): Oh! by Kevin Henkes
Flannel: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. (Templates available here.)
Song/Fingerplay: Hands Up High
Read-aloud #2 (Story Cards): Disappearing Snowman
*Flannel: Five Little Snowmen
Song: Silly Hat Song
Read-aloud #3 (Sung): Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins, version illustrated by Richard Cowdrey
Action Song: Fun with Hands
Dancing Song: “The Wiggle Song” from Carole Peterson: Sticky Bubble Gum and Other Tasty Tunes

Closing Song: We Wave Goodbye

*Five Little Snowmen
Five little snowmen round and fat.
Each one wearing a funny hat.
In the morning, out came the sun.
It looked down and melted one.

December Stories

More Golfview Family Literacy Fun! Happy Holidays, everyone 🙂

Opening Song: “Put Your Finger in the Air” from Pete Seeger: Children’s Concert at Town Hall (live version)
Read-aloud #1: You Make Me Smile by Layn Marlow
Flannel: Rudolph! Rudolph!
Read-aloud #2 (Sung): Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins, version illustrated by Richard Cowdrey
Storytell: The Mitten (You can use beautiful visuals as props from Jan Brett’s website here.) (I also used Heather Forest’s musical refrain from her version on her Tales Around the Hearth cd.)
Read-aloud #3: Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
Closing Song: “Jingle Bells” from The Wiggles: Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas (with bells, of course!)
Craft: Make holiday cards