Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekly Story Time Wrap-Up Volume 6

Rain and a half-day of school kept the crowds away from Family Story Time on Monday once again, so I have nothing to report on that, but Tuesday, as always, was a full house, with close to 100 babies and toddlers in attendance. There was a minor disaster in that our aging CD player started skipping during almost every song, and I was put on the spot to remember the lyrics to Raffi's "Shake My Sillies Out" with no assistance. But thank God for books, which don't require batteries, electricity, or anything but a reader and someone to turn the pages, because all three of my choices were pretty successful.

I began each session this week with Anna Grossnickle Hines's adaptation of 1,2, Buckle My Shoe. The text is simplistic, and more or less follows the traditional nursery rhyme, but the illustrations are unique in that the entire story is told in the patches of a quilt. The numbers are counted off by buttons, which appear prominently around the edges of each numeral. On alternating spreads between numbers a little girl is seen buckling her shoes, shutting the door, picking up sticks, opening the gate, and playing with a big fat hen.

For such a short read, this book provides a lot of opportunities for a story time group. The parents and some of  the more verbal kids counted along with me. I pointed out colors and shapes in the quilt squares, and when the hen makes an early appearance around number 8, we wondered aloud as to what she was doing there. I would definitely use this again, and it would make a great addition to a numbers theme, or a quilt theme. (If I was into themes, which I am really not.)

The second book I chose for this week was The Wheels on the Bus by Maryann Kovalski. This is an adaptation of a favorite story time song, and because all the adults have heard it 900 times before, they were all able to sing along. This was maybe the only time I didn't hear adults talking amongst themselves during  the entire session, and both groups gave this book a big round of applause. The story also has a minor, humorous twist at the end, which the second session found especially amusing. It's hard to find a little joke that makes a baby/toddler group laugh, but this one managed it.

Finally, we read In the Driver's Seat by Max Haynes. Though it wasn't the most loved of the week,  I still think it's great. Each page of the story shows the view from the driver's seat of a car, as though the child reading the book is the one driving. Lots of wonderful sound effects and exclamations ramp up the excitement of the story, and it's just silly enough to keep the reader laughing. Unfortunately, I'm starting to think three books is just too many. I need to get some felt board stories so I can start to vary things a little bit. I'm also considering adding another session to try and thin the crowd out a little. But we'll see what will fit into our already packed schedule.
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