Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flannel Friday: Dream Big, Read

I don't know if I've ever been this behind in summer reading planning. Traditionally, I have always started brainstorming in March, and I usually have most of my ideas at least in the planning stages by early April. This year, though, it's nearly April and I've only just begun to seriously think about what I want to do, and how. That is what I get for having a Spring wedding. In any case, even though I'll be in New York all weekend for my shower, I didn't want to miss out on the chance to participate in the Flannel Friday Summer Reading Extravaganza, so I've gotten my act together and come up with a few ideas to share. There is a good chance I'll be revisiting many of these on future Flannel Fridays for fine tuning, but here's some of what I'm working on:

Stars Shining Bright

This Christmas song by Nancy Stewart has alternate lyrics that will work for any time of year. I plan to cut out stars in different colors and sing the song either with the flannel board, or using popsicle stick puppets.

Five Astronauts

This is one of the first flannel boards I made, and the very first I shared for Flannel Friday. Since then, I have redone the astronauts using Microsoft paint, instead of my own coloring skills, because they look bolder, and I covered them in Contact paper this time so they will last.


I made a flannel board of this a long time ago, and have never shared it. I'm thinking of redoing it with larger pieces, since it is otherwise hard to do with large groups. I'll be traveling to a number of branches within my system this summer to do a moon-themed story time, so I want to be prepared for groups of all sizes.

One Fuzzy Slipper

When I made my pairs of mittens for this Winter, I immediately started thinking of other things that come in pairs so I could re-use the concept that inspired the song, One Red Mitten, What'll I Do? For Spring, I'm going to use boots, and for a bedtime related song, slippers. I haven't found clipart I like for it yet, but I still think I will.

Five Little Marshmallows

I got the idea for a rhyme about roasting marshmallows after seeing a few campfire crafts on Pinterest. This is still a draft, so I might improve upon it in the future, but here's what I have written:

Five little marshmallows toasting in the fire
They started turning brown as the flames grew higher
One little marshmallow was ready to eat
So someone came along and took that tasty treat!

I could also substitute an animal or person for "someone". My audiences tend to respond better when there is a cute or funny ending, but so far I don't have one. I'll keep thinking.

It's Baby's Bedtime

This is a cumulative song I wrote to the tune of Today is Monday. The idea is to print clipart associated with the various activities kids do to get ready for bed, then add a new one to the flannel board with each new verse. The verses are still a work in progress, but for now they look like this:

It's baby's bedtime
It's baby's bedtime
Time to wear your pj's

It's baby's bedtime
It's baby's bedtime
Time to fluff your pillow
Time to wear your pj's
And time to go to sleep.

(Continue, adding a new verse each time through.)
Time to hug your teddy
Time to pull up the blanket
Time to turn out the light
Time to read a story
Time for hugs and kisses

Five Little Moths

This is another rhyme I wrote. I'm not quite sure how I will make the pieces for it just yet - maybe I won't end up using it - but I love the concept of bugs attracted to a light after dark. And the clip art above might work if I make each one a different color.

Five little moths around the porch light.
until... one little moth says goodnight.

Count down to zero...

No little moths around the porch light.
So let’s turn it off and say goodnight!


I so rarely change my goodbye song, but for the summer, with this theme, it's impossible to resist a goodnight song. I'm learning it for the ukulele, so hopefully I'll be able to play while we sing, but I also thought it might be nice to pause between verses and put the different animals on the flannel board. The recorded version of the song only mentions a few, but I plan to use whatever I have flannel pieces and/or puppets for.

I love this year's theme, so I can't wait to see what everyone else is working on! Sharon is hosting the round-up this week. I will be back home on Monday to check it out!

Baby/Toddler Story Time, 3/27/12

I can't believe it has taken me two days to finally post Tuesday morning's story time! But better late than never. Here it is.

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes (2011)
I read this story through a few times before story time so I could memorize some of the text and therefore time the page turns with the words. I think it worked okay, but this book isn't as big a hit with toddlers as I expected, even with the big, bright pictures. It just doesn't have the same magic as A Good Day.

Rhyme: Hop Your Bunny
We did this rhyme once with one bunny and then a second time with two bunnies.

Rhyme: Five Eggs and Five Eggs

Book: Wee Little Chick by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by John Butler (2008)
I chose this because it had a lot of farm animals in it, which usually lend themselves to a lot of audience participation. They weren't really into it, though, and this book is longer than they were willing to sit for.

Song with Puppets: All the Pigs

Song: Head and Shoulders

Song: Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

Flannel Board: Here Stands a Robin
King County Library System has a song called Here Stands A Red Bird, which is meant to be an action song. My group isn't quite coordinated enough to do all the movements, since they're mostly new walkers, so I took the concept and adapted it to a flannel board with just two simple motions. Everyone sang along, and I think if we keep doing this one, all the kids will learn to start flapping. The tune for the song, by the way, is Brown Girl in the Ring.

Rhyme: Wiggle Your Fingers and Toes

Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up
I changed the words to this one slightly since I didn't think our large group could move forward and backward without trampling each other. So we did it sitting down and mostly moved our hands.

Song with Puppet: I'm a Little Green Frog

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: Put Your Finger in the Air

Song with Puppet: You Are My Sunshine

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

6 Tween and Teen Novels About Characters Who Are Speechless

Stuck in NeutralStuck in Neutral
by Terry Trueman
Trapped inside his body by cerebral palsy, Shawn can't communicate even though he can understand everything that happens around him, including the fact that his father might be trying to kill him.
Silent to the BoneSilent to the Bone
by E.L. Konigsburg
After his baby half sister gets hurt and falls into a coma, Branwell stops speaking. Can his best friend Connor get him to break his silence and tell what he knows?
Secrets of the Cicada SummerSecrets of the Cicada Summer
by Andrea Beaty
Lily hasn't spoken since her brother Pete was killed two years ago, but a duplicitous newcomer might just break her silence.
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Something bad happened to Melinda at the end of summer where she called the cops and got all her friends in trouble, but she keeps it a secret to avoid being further ostracized. 
Just ListenJust Listen
by Sarah Dessen
Annabel and Sophie stopped being friends, but Annabel hasn't been able to talk about why until she meets Owen, a boy who is willing to listen.
The Loud Silence of Francine GreenThe Loud Silence of Francine Green
by Karen Cushman
Good girl Francine never speaks out against anything, but when she becomes friends with opinionated Sophie Bowman she sees the impact words can have.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Caldecott Challenge Post #19

Freight Train by Donald Crews. Published 1978. Caldecott Honor 1979. Greenwillow Books. ISBN: 9780688149000

I’ve read this book with kids so many times, I’ve stopped really looking at the pictures, but they are definitely brilliant. Donald Crews does such interesting things with color, motion, and light, and this book is as close to perfect as any picture book gets. It’s a concept book, which teaches colors, a vocabulary lesson, teaching new words for the different parts of the train, and a story beloved by train-loving little boys everywhere. The plot and text are so simple, and yet so emotionally satisfying. I especially love the empty train track at the beginning and end of the book, and the way the colors on the different cars blur together when the train is in motion.

Truck by Donald Crews. Published 1980. Caldecott Honor 1981. Greenwillow Books. ISBN: 9780688802448

The only words in this transportation-themed picture book are printed on signs and the sides of vehicles. There isn’t much of a plot or story, rather the illustrations just follow the same red truck, labeled TRUCKING, through a tunnel, down the road, through rain and fog, and to its destination, where it delivers a load of boxed-up tricycles. The nice thing about the book is that it draws attention to street signs, encouraging even the youngest kids to notice print in their everyday lives. It’s also a favorite of toddler and preschool boys who are obsessed with vehicles, and I can imagine they have a good time coming up with their own narrative to describe what happens on the page. I don’t think this is Donald Crews’s best work. It feels a bit self-indulgent, like the entire purpose of the book is to show off what Crews is able to do with his art. Freight Train is, by far, the superior work.

Hot Air by Marjorie Priceman. Published 2005. Caldecott Honor 2006. Atheneum. ISBN: 9780689826429

This book gives a somewhat fictionalized of what might have happened on the first hot air balloon ride on which the passengers were barnyard animals. In this book, they are a duck, a sheep, and a rooster, who moo, baa, and cock-a-doodle-doo through a clothesline, a flock of birds, and a fountain. The majority of the book is wordless, with just the animals’ expressions and actions to drive the story along. Some pages are paneled like a comic book to show the progression of events, while others zoom out and show the entire balloon floating in space. The orientation of the book, as well as the involvement of animal characters reminds me a lot of Chicken Cheeks and My Friend Rabbit - interestingly, each of those books has very little text as well.

See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Caldecott Challenge Post #18

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback. Published 1997. Caldecott Honor 1998. Viking Books. ISBN: 9780670869398

I have looked at this book on the library shelf a thousand times, and somehow I always think I already know the story and put it back without reading it. This time, though, after having spent some time with Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, I was a careful reader, and I learned that a lot more thought went into Taback’s representation of this folk song than I ever realized! As he does in Joseph, Taback uses cut-outs in the illustrations to show the animals inside the lady’s stomach, and how the size of her stomach increases as she swallows more and more of them. That approach is kind of obvious, and not particularly exciting, but the details are very impressive. The page about birds depicts at least a dozen different birds, all labeled with their names and drawn in different artistic styles. At the end of each verse, animals comment in rhyme about the lady’s impending demise, contributing to the somewhat dark humor of the song. Every page offers something new to look at, while also remaining true to the original story. I never read this book or sing the song at story time because of the morbid ending, but this book really makes me want to try it.

Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni. Published 1960. Caldecott Honor 1961. HarperCollins. ISBN: 9780688132835

Every time I so much as think about this book, I start singing The Garden Song. “Inch by inch, row by row...” The song is appropriate enough, considering the story is about an inchworm, who prides himself on his useful skill of measuring things, and uses this skill to bargain his way out of being eaten. This trick works on a robin, a flamingo, a toucan, and even a nightingale, who allows the inchworm to try measuring his song. I think this book would be great for a bird-themed story time, though it doesn’t look like it at first glance, and it would also pair well with a book like Mouse Count, wherein some clever mice outsmart a snake predator using their own cleverness. I never paid much attention to Leo Lionni before, but his illustrations of the natural world are gorgeous - and I think I need to start paying more attention to his books when it comes to recommending titles to library families.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin. Published 2000. Caldecott Honor 2001. Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 9780689832130

This silly picture book about farm animals who type is one of the funniest I’ve ever read, and a favorite among parents and kids at library story times. Doreen Cronin has a very dry sense of humor, and this book works on multiple levels, entertaining children and adults alike with sophisticated as well as silly jokes. My favorite illustration in the entire book is the scene where we only see Farmer Brown’s shadow, but we can tell from the shape of it that he’s having a meltdown about the latest note from the barn. Subtle moments like that are such treats in children’s books. The twist at the end is also just perfect, and it gets a huge laugh, especially from four- and five-year-olds. For more barnyard humor from Doreen Cronin also check out of one of my favorite chapter books, The Trouble with Chickens.

In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming. Published 1993. Caldecott Honor 1994. Henry Holt. ISBN: 9780805059830

What appears at first glance as a very simple picture book, is actually more sophisticated than meets the eye. In the very first spread, a child watches a frog leap into a pond. The reader is drawn to the frog based on the gaze and expression of the child figure. From there, we can follow the frog from page to page as we meet each form of wildlife that lives in or near the pond, and experience the cycle of the four seasons, ending in Winter, when the frog settles into hibernation. My favorite illustration, no question, is on the spread where the text reads “circle, swirl, whirligigs twirl” because the frog, floating in the water, is nearly hidden. I knew to look for him, since he’s on every other page, and the payoff was great when I finally found him. I also really like the alliteration on the page about the crabs. The hard C sound imitates the sound of their cracking claws and makes the crabs on the page seem almost alive. This is definitely about to become a new favorite in my story time repertoire!

See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Baby/Toddler Lap Time, 3/23/12

A couple of old favorites, and the usual Spring routine for today. Only one thing changed. At the start of the first book, I asked everyone to make a quiet noise to help us get ready to read. We all said shhhh twice, and then I said, "Let's stay this quiet while we read our story." It worked like a charm. I didn't repeat this technique for the second book, but I definitely will in the future, because this group is so large and loud!

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big

Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers 

Book: Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker (1994)

Rhyme: Five Eggs and Five Eggs

Book: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (1999)

Flannel Board Song: All the Pigs

Song: Head and Shoulders

Song: I'm a Little Teapot 

Song with Puppet: Flutter, Flutter Butterfly

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Rhyme: Wiggle Your Fingers and Toes 

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun 

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

After School Read-Aloud & Craft: Gardening Theme, 3/22/12

This was a nice program. The kids loved it, the parents got involved, and I actually read books to an interested group. Plus, the craft came out great! Here's what we did:

The Craft: Cupcake Wrapper Bouquets 

I. Supplies 
  • Colorful cupcake wrappers
  • Buttons in assorted colors
  • Straws in assorted colors
  • Ribbon 
  • White glue
  • Scotch tape
II. Prep 
There was minimal prep needed for this craft, which is honestly part of why I chose it. For an example, I made three flowers - two with the cupcake wrappers left right-side out, and one with the wrappers turned inside-out - then tied them together with a ribbon. The kids instantly understood that they were flowers, and most of them were eager to make one.

III. Process 
Most of the kids had an adult with them, and were old enough, really to do the entire thing on their own. Only one little girl needed my help. I had three nice compliments. One came from a dad who said it was a great idea, another from a mom who said her two-year-old loved it so much they made two, and the third from a little boy who announced, "This library has the best projects!" 

Here's one of my flowers:

The Read-Alouds: Books About Gardens 

Book 1: In the Garden: Who's Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George (2006)
This book was great for the group I had - mostly preschoolers, and one little girl who might have been in kindergarten. They loved guessing at which animals might have been in the garden,

Book 2: Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2002)
Another hit. The kids thought it was neat how the rabbits kept outsmarting Mr. McGreely, even if the ending did seem to leave them hanging.

Book 3: Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni (1960)
This book opened up a discussion about who does and does not love worms. A set of twin girls was split on the decision, and a little boy announced that he definitely doesn't like them.

The Display: More Spring and Garden-Themed Books 

Flannel Friday: Let's Make a Noise by Amy MacDonald

Today's Flannel Friday is yet another rhyme from Stories and Fun for the Very Young. (The others I've posted about are Snazzy Aunties by Nick Sharratt and I Can... by Helen Oxenbury, the art from which I used to accompany my own rhyme.) This one is very, very simple and therefore absolutely perfect for my baby and toddler groups. I think I will probably incorporate it into my Spring baby lap time sessions when they start in a couple of weeks.

The title of the rhyme is "Let's Make a Noise." Amy MacDonald wrote the simple text, and Maureen Roffey did the colorful illustrations, which I then blew up on the copy machine. I won't type up the whole rhyme here, to be respectful of copyright, but if you can't get your hands on the book, you can email me for the full text. For now, though, I'll just list each animal/object/person and the noise it makes.

Dog... WOOF

Train... TOOT TOOT
Cat... MEOW
Sheep... BAA-AA

Truck... BRMM, BRMM

 Baby... WAAAH

There are lots of ways to adapt this concept to flannel board pieces you might already have, and I think these would also be really great pop stick puppets - at least when blown up to a fairly large size. I am already thinking of ways to use individual pieces on their own as puppets. 

Today's Flannel Friday host is Cate. The full Flannel Friday archive is kept by Anne. Next week, don't forget our 2012 Summer Reading "Dream Big, Read" Theme Extravaganza. I'll be in New York, but I hope to post at least a preview of my summer reading flannels ahead of time so I can participate.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

7 Children's Novels About Non-Traditional Families

Between Mom and JoBetween Mom and Jo
by Julie Anne Peters
Nick is strongly affected when his birth mother and her wife, Jo, begin to experience marital strife.
My Mixed-Up Berry Blue SummerMy Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer
by Jennifer Gennari
June struggles against the cruelty of her neighbors, who don't want her mother to marry a woman.
My So-Called FamilyMy So-Called Family
by Courtney Sheinmel
Leah will never know her father, because her mother conceived her with help from a sperm bank, but when she discovers the same donor has also fathered other children, she is desperate to learn more about them.
The Higher Power of LuckyThe Higher Power of Lucky
by Susan Patron
When Lucky's mother dies, her father arranges for his second ex-wife, Brigitte, to take care of Lucky in her hometown of Hard Pan.
Ballet ShoesBallet Shoes
by Noel Streatfeild
Pauline, Petrova, and Posy are adopted by the eccentric Gum (Great Uncle Matthew) and decide on the surname of Fossil before joining a dance academy and rising to stardom and success.
Lock and KeyLock and Key
by Sarah Dessen
When her mother leaves, Ruby is sent to live with her older sister Cora and her husband, whose standard of living is much higher than what Ruby is accustomed to. 
Journey to an 800 NumberJourney to an 800 Number
by E.L. Konigsburg
After his mother gets remarried, Bo joins his father in selling rides on his camel Ahmed at fairs and conventions.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Caldecott Challenge Post #17

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. Published 1995. Caldecott Honor 1996. Putnam Publishing Group. ISBN: 9780399226168

Poor Officer Buckle. I feel his pain whenever I get up in front of a story time group and notice that no one is paying attention. I think kids understand that feeling too - the fear that no one is listening to the important things they have to say. Gloria is a wonderful asset to the performance, but even her exciting jumps and flips create a problem. Officer Buckle realizes it’s not him but Gloria who is so popular. Thankfully, though, the students at the schools recognize it’s the partnership that works, not Officer Buckle on his own, or Gloria on her own, and everyone comes out feeling important . I love kids’ books with adult main characters, because they show that all people, regardless of age, face challenges, and it they help kids see the adults in their lives as real people, not just authority figures, or folks doing a job. This book is great for demonstrating empathy, and also reinforcing good listening skills.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig. Published 1969. Caldecott Medal 1970. Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 9780671661540

From childhood, I have been troubled whenever I know something as a reader (or viewer) that characters in a book (or show) have yet to discover. It makes me so anxious that I either want to stop reading, or skip quickly ahead to the (hopefully) happy ending. This is probably why I have never liked Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. There’s nothing wrong with the story - it’s well-told, well-illustrated, and has an important moral. The animals are depicted with very human characteristics and clothing, and the subtlety of facial expressions shows Steig’s wonderful skill with just a few carefully placed lines. I just can’t handle the pain the parents face when they think their beloved Sylvester has gone missing, and it makes me nuts that the magic pebble is right there, and there’s nothing I can do to alert them!

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein. Published 2003. Caldecott Medal 2004. Scholastic. ISBN: 9780312368784

Mordicai Gerstein’s name was not familiar to me the first time I heard it in library school, but only because I don’t pay attention. In truth, he was the illustrator of one of my favorites series of books during childhood - the Something Queer books by Elizabeth Levy. Since becoming a librarian, I’ve discovered others of his wonderful books, including Applesauce Season (written by Eden Ross Lipson) and his 2011 poetry collection Dear Hot Dog. This biography of a street performer who walked a wire between the twin towers is interesting on its own, but made much more compelling and emotional by the events of September 11th. I love the way Gerstein frames the book with the loss of the towers, but without dwelling on how they fell, and I think his straightforward style resonates with kids, whose natural curiosity demands the facts but whose level of comprehension still demands simplicity. I also love the unique perspectives in the illustrations which give the sensation of being high up in the air. This is one of my favorite Caldecott books thus far!

Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully Published 1992. Caldecott Medal 1993. Putnam Publishing Group. ISBN: 9780698114432

This book tells the story of a young girl whose talent for walking the high wire is discovered when Bellini, a famous tight-rope walker, comes to stay at her widowed mother’s boarding house. Bellini has developed a fear that prevents him from performing, which Mirette, through her persistence and determination, helps him to overcome. The plot reminds me somewhat of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which also focuses on a child helping an adult overcome an emotional roadblock. I’m not sure the picture book audience can relate to that kind of plotline, but the illustrations are very beautiful. Of the two high wire books on the list, however, my favorite is definitely Gerstein’s.

See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baby/Toddler Lap Time, 3/16/12

Just realized I never posted Friday's 11:00 story time. I'll skip the commentary since it's not fresh in my mind anymore and just save the repertoire for posterity.

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Rhyme: Wiggle Fingers 

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big

Book: Five Little Chicks by Nancy Tafuri (2006) 

Song with Puppets: All the Pigs Say Oink, Oink, Oink  

Song with Puppet: I'm a Little Green Frog 

Book: Mommy, Where Are You? by Leonid Gore (2009) 

Song: Head and Shoulders 

 Song: I'm a Little Teapot 

Flannel Board Rhyme: This Little Baby 

Song: The Wheels on the Bus 

Rhyme: Wiggle Your Fingers and Toes  

Song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider 

Song with Puppet: You Are My Sunshine 

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Baby/Toddler Story Time (with Transitions), 3/20/12

I had an appointment that prevented me from doing the second and third story time sessions this morning, but the first one so made up for it by being completely awesome. There are some elements of a great story time that can be controlled - good books, a good mix of songs, a positive, welcoming attitude - but an engaged audience is one of those things that happens when it happens and doesn't when it doesn't. And today was one of those days where everything just came together - and I think this is the first time I felt that magic since I stopped using recorded music. It's working, and people are getting used to it, and everything about today's story time just felt good.

I think my introduction and transitions worked especially well today, so I've included them in red italics below.

 I think it's time to get started. Good morning, everybody! (Pause for response.) Do you have your waving hand with you today? Let's sing our hello song. Here we go!

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Great singing! Thank you so much for singing with me! Here's my first book for today. It's called I Love Bugs. 

Book: I Love Bugs! by Philemon Sturges, illustrated by Shari Halpern (2005)
I chose  this book because it wasn't too wordy, and had some nice bold lines in the illustrations. I heard parents saying the names of the different insects (and a spider) to their kids as I turned the pages. The butterfly seemed to be  the favorite.

Now let's do a rhyme about some bugs. It's about some bees who live in a beehive. Can you make a beehive?

Fingerplay: Here is the Beehive 
We haven't done this one in a long, long time - most of these kids probably weren't born yet when I last did it at story time. But I think the fact that I am much more comfortable now than I was last year made this work much better than it did in  the past. I said the rhyme with a lot more expression, and that seemed to really engage all the kids and adults.

Give yourselves a hand! Now, let's read another Spring story. This one is called The Happy Egg.

Book: The Happy Egg by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Crockett Johnson (1949)
This book is an easy reader, and its illustrations are very small, so I was iffy about reading it, but everybody loved it! The ending, where the little bird flies, got a huge round of spontaneous applause. So clearly this book needs to go into my "greatest hits" repertoire.

We have a rhyme to go with this book, too! It's about some eggs that hatch into chicks! Here is how it goes...

Rhyme: Five Eggs and Five Eggs
This is a rhyme I  have seen on several websites before, but this version from Preschool Express worked best for me.

Great job! I brought a Springtime friend with me today, too. (Hold up butterfly puppet.) Oh my goodness! Say hello to my butterfly. Let's sing a butterfly song.

Song with Puppet: Flutter, Flutter Butterfly
There is nothing more exciting to a baby than a puppet flying above their heads. They just kind of stare at it with their eyes wide and mouths open. Adorable. I messed up the words a little bit, swapping the third and fourth lines, but only the most die-hard story time attendees who remember this song from last summer noticed.

Let's say, Bye-bye butterfly! Now let's stand up and do another song. We're going to pretend to be daisies. The tune of  the song is I'm a Little Teapot, but it's called I'm a Little Daisy.

Song: I'm a Little Daisy
I have been planning to  do this song for two weeks, but kept chickening out. And sure enough, the first time through I screwed up the words. But we pressed on undaunted, and the second time through was better. We'll do it a few more times this Spring - by then I'll have it down!

We'll do one more song while we're standing. We'll start by clapping our hands. Ready?

Song: Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

Let's sit back down and make some animal sounds. I'll put an animal up on my board. Oh, look! The pig! What does the pig say?

Flannel Board Song: All the Pigs 
I just sing "all the pigs", not "all the little pigs", because it fits the rhythm of the song much better. I saw lots of little three year olds singing along with me this morning - it's such an easy song for them to learn, and they get really into it.

Now let's do our rhyme called Wiggle Your Fingers and Toes. Here we go!

Rhyme: Wiggle Your Fingers and Toes
Some of the nannies make this great sound when we get to the wiggling part of this rhyme. I don't even know how to describe it, but it's amazing. And so perfect for the rhyme. I love it when the nannies love something enough to personalize it. 

How about the Wheels on the Bus? Do you know that song? Get your wheels ready! Here we go!

Song: The Wheels on the Bus
There is a mom of twins who stops by the desk every week to tell me what her kids have been doing at home. This week, her daughter wants to sing "The doors on the bus" and "The babies on the bus" over and over again. She doesn't have many words yet, but apparently "waa waa waa" is her favorite!

Great singing! Can you put one finger in the air? That's the name of our next song - Put Your Finger in the Air.  

Song: Put Your Finger in the Air 
This one is now growing on everybody. It's still a little bit hard to remember all the verses, but I feel confident the grown-ups will all have it by May. And the kids are so cute with their little fingers in the air!

What a great job you did! Let me see... I think I have one more springtime friend. I do! My frog. What does a frog say? Ribbit, ribbit, that's right! Let's sing a song about this frog.

Song with Puppet: I'm a Little Green Frog

Say bye-bye, frog! And now I have my sunshine for You Are My Sunshine. 

Song: You Are My Sunshine 
(After the first time through the song) Very nice singing! Let's sing it once more. This time, let's hold up our arms like this. 

We have time for one more song before we say goodbye. Let's sing Twinkle Twinkle.

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 

Beautiful singing. That is the end of our story time. We're going to sing our goodbye song, then [name of other staff member] will do the 10:30 and 11:00 story times.  Now let's sing goodbye!

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This 

Thanks for coming to story time this morning. I hope to see you again next time!

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