Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baby/Toddler Story Time, 4/19 (Special Jazz Story Time)

Each library in my system was asked to do a Jazz-themed story time during the month of April. I chose to do it for babies and toddlers because that is my largest and most stable story time, and I knew I would have a big audience. It was definitely a different kind of story time than usual, and I think that confused some people, but overall, it was a nice opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and learn some new books and songs.

Opening song: Hello song

Song: ABC's

This song was fun because it sings the alphabet three times through, getting a little bit faster each time. I was thankful for some of the older siblings in attendance, who helped the little ones get into it by singing along at top volume.

Song: If You'd Like to Read a Book

Book: Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler and R. Gregory Christie

A musical family scats, sings, swings, and bops the baby to sleep. Lots of great rhythm and movement in this book. I felt silly reading it all, but it was worth it. With a book like this, the more you ham it up, the better!

Song: Session 1: The Wheels on the Bus; Session 2: The Wheels on the Bus

The jazz songs I used in the first session weren't very successful, so I didn't use as many in session 2.

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes (Session 2 only)

Book: A Tisket-A Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald, illustrated by Ora Eitan

I played Ella Fitzgerald singing this song, and turned the pages of the book along with it. I absolutely love  the song, and though the book didn't 100% follow the recording I had, I think it still worked well. A little boy mourns the loss of the little yellow basket that held a letter for his mother. He's convinced a little girl took it, and spends the rest of the book searching for it. The song leaves us hanging, without ever finding out the fate of the basket, but the book resolves the ending, and we find out the little girl didn't take the basket at all - there were two yellow baskets all along.

Song: Session 1: Ten Little Monkeys; Session 2: Monkeys on the Bed

Book: Jazzmatazz by Stephanie Calmenson, illustrated by Bruce Degen

This book features a baby and his animal friends playing and tapping along to jazz  music. They all play the same rhythm, which is  repeated again and again throughout the book: "Doo-dat ditty-dat, ditty-dat doo!" as each animal shows off his or her talent, then hands the spotlight over to the next one. A good rhyming story, with repetition that makes it easy for the audience to join in and read along with you. 

Song: There's a Little Wheel a-Turnin' in my Heart

Song: One, Two, I Love You (Numbers Are Our Friends) (Session 1 only)

Book: What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, illustrated by Ashley Bryan
I can remember loving What a Wonderful World as a kid. I have a very clear memory of being at some sort of Girl Scout event and  watching a nature video where this song played in the background. I sat there fighting back tears and had no idea  why. So I decided this would be a good way to  end story time, by introducing the kids to a song maybe they haven't heard yet. Ashley Bryan's colorful interpretation of the song is beautiful, and many of the adults sang along with the help of the words on the pages. The kids don't know who Louis Armstrong is yet, but hopefully, someday they will.

Goodbye Song: Skinnamarink

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