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.

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?)

Who Wants a Pet Dragon?

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting a “pre-show” storytime for a family movie night in the park showing of “How to Train Your Dragon”. Of course, I chose dragon stories. It was a nice ending to the “A Midsummer Knight’s Read” theme we had going on here.

Oral Storytelling:“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. There is also a picture book, Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss that expands this tale. This was not about dragons, but I often use it as a library introduction.)
Read-aloud #1: Me and My Dragon by David Biedrycki
Song/Fingerplay: Fun with Hands
Read-aloud #2: The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash and Lynn Munsinger
Fingerplay: Open, Shut Them
Read-aloud #3: The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Action Song: Let Everyone Clap Hands with Me

Afterwards, I handed out leftover summer reading activity sheets from the library.

Thanks,Gail Borden Public Library, for allowing me to volunteer this summer… and helping me keep up my mad librarian skills! 🙂

Royal Ribbit

I am currently on storytime “hiatus” again (until I find another storytime opportunity… hopefully, a paying gig!). However, I still have a couple of storytime posts to catch up on 🙂

OPENING:
Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

PROGRAM:
Read-aloud #1: Snog the Frog by Tony Bonning
Song (with finger puppets or flannel pieces): Down on Grandpa’s Farm
Read-aloud #2: Froggy Eats Out by Jonathan London
Song/Fingerplay: Five Green and Speckled Frogs
Read-aloud #3: The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner (pop-up book)
Fingerplay: Open, Shut Them
Read-aloud #4: Bad Frogs by Thacher Hurd

CLOSING:
Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This

Royal Rover (& Other Pets!)

If you’re hoppy and you know it, you’re a bunny… or a happy storytime kid! It’s been a fun summer for me. I’ve really enjoyed doing storytimes again, and I hope that I can find a way to continue in the fall. Sadly, though, Summer Royal Reading is coming to a close. My last storytimes this summer in Elgin will be next Wednesday, August 17th 10:30 am at the Rakow Branch and 5:00 pm at the McDonald’s on Larkin. I intend to “live it up”!

Here’s this week’s pet storytime…

OPENING:
Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

PROGRAM:
Read-aloud #1: Me and My Dragon by David Biedrycki
Fingerplay: Ten Little Fingers
Read-aloud #2:  If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
*Fingerplay: Five Little Kittens
Read-aloud #3: Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey
Song/Fingerplay: BINGO (used flannel pattern from Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra) OR If You’re Happy and You Know It
Read-aloud #4: Peanut by Linas Alsenas OR If You’re Hoppy by April Pulley Sayre

CLOSING:
Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This

*Five Little Kittens
Five little kittens standing in a row, (Hold up five fingers.)
They nod their heads to the children so. (Bend fingers)
They run to the left; they run to the right. (Run fingers to the left and then to the right.)
They stand up and stretch in the bright sunlight. (Stretch fingers out tall.)
Along comes a dog who’s in for some fun. (Hold up one finger from opposite hand.)
ME-OW! See those little kittens run! (Let fingers run.)

Royal Roaming

Another “transportation” storytime… Only three more weeks of “royal reading”. My, has the summer flown by!

OPENING:
Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

PROGRAM:
Read-aloud #1: Arthur’s Tractor by Pippa Goodhart (I’m not sure that I’d use this for storytime again. It was kind of confusing to read-aloud… and may be more suitable for one-on-one sharing as the illustrations tell a lot of the story. I was being stubborn and insisted on continuing my summer trend of combining royalty AND the week’s theme into one story.)
Fingerplay: Open, Shut Them
Read-aloud #2:  Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
Song (with puppets): Five Little Ducks
Read-aloud #3: The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort
Song/Fingerplay: The Wheels on the Bus
Read-aloud #4: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

CLOSING:
Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This

Royal Roost

I can’t get enough of chicken stories 🙂

OPENING:
Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

PROGRAM:
Read-aloud #1: The Most Wonderful Egg in the World by Helme Heine
*Fingerplay: Chook-Chook-Chook
Read-aloud #2:  Stuck in the Mud by Jane Clarke
Song (with finger puppets): Old MacDonald
Read-aloud #3: Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds
Fingerplay: Five Fat Sausages
Read-aloud #4: The Wolf’s Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza

CLOSING:
Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This

*“Chook-Chook-Chook”
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.

Royal Ribs (& the Rest of the Body!)

OPENING:
Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

PROGRAM:
Read-aloud #1: Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox
Song/Fingerplay: Tony Chestnut
Read-aloud #2: Cowlick! by Christin Ditchfield
Story Prop: Head to Toe by Eric Carle (Patterns can be found here.)
Fingerplay: Ten Little Fingers
Read-aloud #3: The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
Song/Fingerplay: Fun with Hands
Read-aloud #4: Parts by Tedd Arnold
Song/Fingerplay: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

CLOSING:
Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This

Royal Rodents

SQUEAK! These mice were welcome at the restaurant:)

Also: FYI, in addition to my Wednesday storytime at McDonalds… next week, I will be presenting storytime at the Rakow Branch on Wednesday (July 20) at 10:30 am!!! Hooray for storytime! Hooray for libraries!

OPENING:
Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

PROGRAM:
Read-aloud #1: George, the Dragon and the Princess by Christopher Wormell
*Fingerplay: Bella and Beau
Read-aloud #2: A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker
Song/Fingerplay: Hands Up High
Song/Fingerplay: Where is Thumbkin?
Read-aloud #3: A New House for Mouse by Peter Horacek
Fingerplay: Way Up High in the Apple Tree
Read-aloud #4: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
Storytelling (with flannel): The Enormous Turnip

CLOSING:
Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This

*Bella and Beau (Thank you, Youth Services Staff at Gail Borden for this adaptation)
Once upon a time…
A little prince lived in this castle (Show right thumb, put in fist)
A little princess lived in this castle (Show left thumb, put in fist)
The little prince came out of his castle
He looked up and down the kingdom
He didn’t see anyone, so he went back into his castle
The little princess came out of her castle
She looked up and down the kingdom
She didn’t see anyone, do she went back into her castle
The next day, the little prince came out of his castle
And looked all around
The little princess came out of her castle
And looked all around
They saw each other!
And they played and they played and they played
Until darkness came and
The little prince went back into his castle and
The little princess went back into her castle.

Royal Rest

Princes and princesses need to catch their Zzzzzzzzzs just as much as the rest of us! (I need to catch UP on Zzzs AND posts!) Despite being about bedtime, this storytime didn’t put anyone to sleep…

OPENING:
Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story

PROGRAM:
Read-aloud #1: Waking Beauty by Leah Wilcox
Read-aloud #2: Stop Kissing Me! by Ethan Long
Song/Fingerplay: Tommy Thumb
Read-aloud #3: Tiger Can’t Sleep by S.J. Fore
Song/Fingerplay: Fun with Hands
Read-aloud #4: Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems
Song/Fingerplay (with finger puppets): Ten in the Bed
Read-aloud #5: How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen

CLOSING:
Closing Song: We Wave Good-bye Like This