Favorite with EL Tip: Have You Seen My Lunch Box? by Steve Light

This look-and-find board book has detailed filled illustrations that provide plenty of opportunity to introduce new vocabulary  to toddlers and preschoolers. Missing items are in color and are easy to spot. The fun comes in challenging listeners to find all sorts of different things in the crowded and otherwise black and white illustrations. (Early literacy tips: Identify objects in the pictures; ask older listeners to identify rooms of the house; point to the word for the missing object and then to the object.) Place hold.

Preschool Storytime: Transportation (February 21, 2017)

Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz
Old MacDonald uses lots of trucks on his farm in this fun book that invites listeners to sing along. (Early literacy tips: Point to the “eieio” letters as you sing them; give listeners a chance to identify vehicles before you say them; emphasize the syllables in the vehicle names; invite listeners to describe the activities in the illustrations; point to the words that take the place of “o” on each vehicle page as you read them.)
Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham
Children and animals are invited aboard Mr. Gumpy’s boat, but only if they behave. (Early literacy tip: Point to the name and picture of the animal asking for a ride and encourage listeners to say the name before you read it; ask listeners to count the number of boat riders as each one asks for a ride; ask children what they think will happen as the boat fills up.)
Own that Word: Trample (from Mr. Gumpy’s Outing)

Music: The Airplane Song (From The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band)

Word Activity: Listening for the smaller sounds in words
Say the names of vehicles and clap, pat, whisper and shout the syllables.
Excavator: Clap out the four syllables as you say the word; pat the four syllables on your knees, whisper the four syllables; shout the four syllables, ask listeners to count the four syllables on their fingers. (You can use pictures of vehicles or even the pictures in Old MacDonald Had a Truck. )

Action Activity: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Row, Row, Row Your Boat (Make rowing motions with arms)
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
Repeat, asking children to do the following as they sing:
1. Row backward
2. Jump
3. Hop
4. Run in place
5. Squat
6. Sing and row very fast



Preschool Storytime: Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14, 2017)

Hug Machine by Scott Campbell
A little boy is a champion hugger, hugging everything from a rock to a porcupine. (Early literacy tips: Point to the words “hug” and “machine” as you read them; invite readers to say the repeating words “hug machine” with you; ask readers to name the objects that the little boy hugs.)
Own that word: Accomplish (From Hug Machine)

I Love you Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark
Blue kangaroo, Lily’s favorite toy,  is afraid Lily no longer loves him when she receives lots of other stuffed animals to play with. (Early literacy tip: ask listeners what they think Blue Kangaroo is feeling as Lily receives new toys; when Lily says “I love you” to her toys, point to each one and ask listeners to name it before you read its name.)

Finger play #1
Now it’s time to make a heart
Form a “V”–it’s the place to start. (Put wrists together to form a “V”)
A bump on one side (Curl fingers of one hand toward center)
And another makes two. (Curl fingers on other hand)
Put them together (Bring curled finger on each hand together)
For a valentine I made for you!

Finger play #2
Right here in my pocket is a big surprise for you (Point to shirt.)
It’s not a wiggly spider (Link thumbs and wiggle eight fingers.)
Or a monster who says, “Boo!) (Raise hands and say, “Boo!”)
It’s not an umbrella (Palm of one hand covers index finger of other)
Or a snake that likes to hiss (Make hand and arm move like snake.)
Right here in my pocket (Point to shirt.)
Is a big two-handed kiss (Mmmwah! Blow kiss.)

Rhyming Guessing Game
This rhyme asks listeners to guess what favorite food each animal would want for Valentine’s Day. (Use puppets or pictures of animals and pictures of food)
Dog:  Be mine, be mine, be mine alone.
Sweet Valentine for you ….a bone.
Frog: Be mine, be mine, let’s high five.
Sweet Valentine for you…some flies
Penguin: Be mine, be mine, I’ll grant your wish.
Sweet Valentine for you….some tasty fish.
Bird: Be mine, be mine, laugh ’till we squirm.
Sweet Valentine for you …a worm.
Horse: Be mine, be mine, come what may.
Sweet Valentine for you…some hay.
Cat: Be mine, be mine, you feel like silk.
Sweet Valentine for you…some milk.
Mouse: Be mine, be mine, if you please.
Sweet Valentine for you…some cheese.



Preschool Storytime: Silly Stories (Feb. 7, 2017)

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland
When a sleeping bear is disturbed by four animals that want to share his warm cave, only one of them figures out how they can all get along. (Early literacy tip: Emphasize the rhyming words as you read; invite listeners to roar along with bear; ask listeners to predict if attempts to make bear feel better will work.)

Own that word: Cranky (From The Very Cranky Bear)
It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle (Early literacy tip:  Encourage listeners to anticipate and say the repeating word “tiger.”)

Music: The Goldfish (From Victor Vito by Laurie Berkner)
This is a fun story-song to act out!  Enjoy.

Action Rhyme: Tiny Tim
I had a little turtle (Stack hands so that a thumb extends from each side)
His name was Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub (Cup hands to make bathtub shape)
To see if he could swim (Make swimming motion with hands)
He drank up all the water (Pretend to drink)
He ate up all the soap (Pretend to chew)
He woke up sick in bead
With bubbles in his throat (point to throat)
Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles (jump and roll hands, or other  motions of choice)
Bubbles, bubbles, pop ( Clap hands overhead)
Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles
Bubbles, bubbles, pop!


Preschool Storytime: Zoo (Jan. 24, 2017)

Class Two at the Zoo by Julia Jarman
A dastardly anaconda at the zoo decides to make a feast of visiting Class Two in this humorous rhyming story. (Early literacy tips: Ask listeners to identify the animal on the cover to get them thinking about story; emphasize the rhymes as you read the text; pause before saying the repeated word “anaconda” to give readers a chance to say it with you.)
Own That Word: Squabble (from Class Two at the Zoo)

Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles
Tired of being an Emu, Edward decides to act like other animals at the zoo. Great pictures, rich vocabulary and rhyming text! (Early literacy tips: Ask listeners to describe what the animals are thinking and to anticipate which animal Edward will act like next.)

Do Crocs Kiss by Salina Yoon
Fun life-the-flap book presenting animal sounds.

Music: Head and Shoulders (Get Your Move On by Mr. Jon and Friends)

Action Song: Boarding the Zoo Train (Use puppets or pictures of animals)
Boarding the train next to the zoo (Bend elbows, move arms back and forth like wheels on a train)
On came an animal. Do you know who?
Monkey: Swinging, swinging, watch us go
Swinging fast, swinging slow
Swinging down, swinging back
Swinging around the zoo train track
Repeat “Boarding the Zoo Train” opening with each additional animal.
Elephant: stomping
Kangaroo: hopping
Penguin: waddling



Preschool Storytime: Winter (Jan. 10, 2017)

The Mitten by Jan Brett
Forest animals of varying sizes seek shelter from the cold in a young boy’s mitten in this Ukrainian folktale. Enjoy the detailed illustrations and rich vocabulary in Brett’s presentation of this enduring tale! (Early literacy tips: Ask listeners to help identify the animals on the cover; as you read the story, point to Brett’s illustrations on the right margins and encourage listeners to predict what animal shows up next; as each new animal approaches the mitten, ask listeners if they think it will fit in; at the end of the story, ask listeners what Baba might be thinking; emphasize new words such as “talons” by pointing to parts of the animals.)
Own That Word: Commotion (From The Mitten)

Ten in the Sled by Kim Norman (We didn’t have time for this story, but enjoy it at home!)
Based on the nursery action rhyme “Ten in the Bed,” this silly winter tale can be sung to the same tune. (Early literacy tip: Ask listeners to hold up ten fingers and to put one finger down each time an animal falls off the sled. Point out the animals in the snow that are becoming a giant snowball!)

Flannel Story: Hey, Mr. Snowman
( This is an easy story to tell using construction paper pieces. You’ll need to draw and cut out: blank snowman; hat, scarf, eyes, buttons, twigs for arms, mittens, carrot, red strip for mouth (licorice!), boots)
I went walking through a winter wonderland
When I spied a snowman that needed a hand.
“Hey, Mr. Snowman, what do you need?”
” I need some eyes. Will you put them on me?” (Ask listener to tell you where to put the eyes and all the other pieces when you get to them.)
“Hey, Mr. Snowman, what do you see?”
“I see an orange carrot. Will you put it on me?” (Note: Hold up carrot and let listener identify it before you say what it is. Be sure to ask listener to identify color as well. Repeat this will all pieces.)
Continue until you use up all the pieces. When the snowman is assembled:
“Hey, Mr. Snowman, what do you see?”
“I see the coolest snowman ever. Me!”

Music: Jumping and Counting (From Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem)

Finger Play: Ten Little Fingers
I have ten little fingers (Have listeners hold up ten fingers with you.)
And they all belong to me.
I can make them do things,
Would you like to see?

I can shut them tight, (Make fists)
Or open them wide. (Spread fingers wide)
I can put them all together, (Put fingertips together)
Or make them hide. (Put hands behind back)

I can make them jump high, (Fly hands high)
I can make them fall down low, (Place hands down by sides)
I can make them clap loudly,
Or clap them soft and slow.

I can make a snowball, (Pretend to form ball)
shape it nice and round.
See how far I can throw it (Make throwing motion)
before it hits the ground!



Preschool Storytime: Farm Animals–10/11/16

The Cow That Laid an Egg by Andy Cutbill
Lots of silliness in this story about friendship and jealousy on the farm. (Early literacy tips: Start out by asking listeners if cows lay eggs! Ask for predictions about what will be in the egg. Have fun with the silly ending and encourage listeners to join you in a loud MOOO!)
Own That Word: Astonish (From The Cow That Laid an Egg)
Digby Takes Charge by Caroline Church
Here a Chick, Where a Chick by Suse MacDonald (lift-the-flap book)

Music: Head and Shoulders (from Get Your Move On by Mr. Jon and Friends)

Finger Play–Adding, Subtracting!
Five silly cows sitting in a tree. (Hold up five fingers)
Two jumped over the moon, so that left three (Put two fingers down, three up)
Three silly cows all singing moo (Say moo!)
One jumped down to graze, so that left two (Put one more finger down, two up)
Another silly cow thought the moon looked fun,
so she jumped over the moon, and that left one (Put one more finger down, one up)
Then three silly cows didn’t like the moon anymore,
So they returned to the tree, and now there are four (Put three fingers back up, four)
Four silly cows waited for their grazing friend to arrive
She finally did, so now there are five (Hold five fingers up)
Note: (Ask group to sing “Hey Diddle Diddle” to create context for cows jumping over the moon.)

Animal Rhymes Guessing Game: (Use puppets, stuffed animals or pictures, if available)
1. I am big and strong and have four legs
I sleep in a stable.
I have a mane and a tail
And gallop when I’m able (horse)
2. Some say I’m cute, and you might too
Some thing I am a slob.
I like to roll in mud all day
And eat my corn on the cob  (pig)
3. I like the water, but I’m not a fish
I have feathers and a beak.
People sometimes feed me bread
I have webbing on my feet  (duck)
4. When I hatch, I have no legs
But soon they start to grow
When they’re strong, I jump around
Who am I? I bet you know! (frog)
5. I have a very special coat
It’s made of thick, warm wool
It’s the farmer’s job to shear me
When my coat grows long and full (sheep)
6. There is a crown upon my head
I have a special job to do
I wake the farm up every day
With my cock-a-doodle-do!) (rooster)




Preschool Storytime: Cats-10/4/16

read-to-tigerRead to Tiger by S.J. Fore
Tiger prevents a young boy from reading by making all sorts of noise.
Have fun making the noises tiger makes and ask listeners to join you. Raise and lower the volume of your reading voice as the story dictates. (Early literacy tip: Ask listeners to anticipate if the young boy will be interrupted, once again, by tiger; point to the words representing sounds as you say them. Discuss whether listeners think tiger was real.)
Own That Word: Concentrate (From Read to Tiger)
The Cat Barked by Lydia Monk
There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz
Have fun with this flap book! Have listeners act out the actions.

Music: Jumping and Counting (From Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem)

Song Activity: Old MacDonald using items that begin with hard “c” (tie-in with first letter of theme: cat)
Sing old MacDonald using items in your environment that begin with a hard “c.” Make up sounds or actions that go along with those items. Use animal puppets or stuffed animals if available. Examples: Cup: with a drink, drink here; crayon, with a color, color here; carrot, with a crunch, crunch here; etc.

Silly Rhyme:
I know a cat
that was very fat (arms out in front in a semi-circle)
He wore a hat (hand, palm down, in air on top of head)
He stomped it flat (Jump)
He played with a bat (swing arms)
He chased a rat (run in place)
He stretched out flat (stretch arms out to the side)
and that was that!  Meow!

Action Song : Shimmy-Shimmy Cocoa Pop


Preschool Storytime: Concepts-9/27/16

perfect-squarePerfect Square by Michael Hall

Punchy sentences and lots of descriptive language tell the story of how square changes shape and color to become a variety of different things. (Early literacy tips: Ask  listeners to name the colors and identifiable shapes on each page; model some of the activity described by the words. For example: “was snipped into ribbons:” use fingers as a scissor; “was torn:” use two hands to make tearing action; etc.)
Own That Word: Rigid (From Perfect Square)
Do You Know Which One Will Grow? by Susan Shea (Emphasize the rhymes in this clever concept book about living things that grow and inanimate things that don’t.)
Mouse Count by Ellen Walsh

Music: Jumping and Counting (From Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem)

Finger play:
Blue is the sky (point up)
Yellow is the sun(make circle with arms above head)
Silver is the twinkling stars (wiggle fingers)
when the day is done.
Red is a bird (link thumbs, wave fingers)
Green is a tree (hold arms above head; spread fingers)
Brown is a chocolate cup cake (make circle with hands)
for you and me. Yum! (rub stomach)

Action Song: If You’re Wearing Red Today
If you’re wearing red today, red today, red today,
If you’re wearing red today, stand up and shout hooray!
(Repeat with other colors)
End with: If you’re wearing clothes today….


Homes: September 20, 2016

too-tall-housesToo Tall Houses by Gianna Marino
When rabbit’s rooftop garden blocks Owl’s view of the forest, a competition begins to build the tallest house! (Early literacy tips: Engage listeners by asking questions about the pictures: Who’s on the cover? What do you think rabbit and owl are thinking? Ask listeners to anticipate what will happen as the story continues.)
Own That Word: Twilight (From Too Tall Houses)
Run Home Little Mouse by Britta Teckentrup
(Ask listeners to guess the name of the animal that peeks through the cutouts!)

Music: Wiggle and Freeze (From Ready to Learn by Cathy Bollinger)

Animal Homes Rhyming Guessing Game (Use pictures or stuffed animals if available)
I live in a hole way up in a tree.
I chatter and eat nuts constantly:  Squirrel

My home of twigs is way up high
I chirp happy songs, eat worms and fly: Bird/nest

I swim on a pond and say quack.
I have feathers on my back:  duck

I have eight long legs and tiny eyes
My home is a sticky trap for flies: spider/web

My home is filled with others just like me
It’s were we make our golden honey:  bee/hive

I might live in a hole in the wall
I have whiskers, I squeak, and I’m very small:  mouse

Finger Play:
I’m going to build a little house (fingers form roof)
With windows big and bright (draw square in the air)
With chimney tall (put one arm in air) and curling smoke (move hand or fingers in spiral action)
Drifting out of sight.
In winter, when the snowflakes fall (fingers flutter down)
Or when I hear a storm (Cup hands behind ears)
I’ll go inside my little house (fingers form roof)
Where I’ll be nice and warm (hug self)