Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This Would Only Happen To Me

Ari and I went to the library for story time yesterday. As soon as we entered the children's room, I made eye contact with the children's librarian, and I knew something was wrong.

"I have to sit at the desk, can you do story time today?" She pleaded with me.

"Uh...okay..." I said. I was barely caffeinated and certainly not prepared with material for 0-4 year olds, but I didn't want to let the group down. I quickly scanned the library shelves for age appropriate material and went through my mental rolodex for songs to perform.

I had a rough start.

The books I picked were way too long for the group. By the third page of a book where the protagonist draws all over her bedroom wall with crayons, two toddler girls were screaming at the top of their lungs and bludgeoning each other with giant lady bug shaped pillows. Ari was sitting at the front of the room with me pointing out all the colors in the story very loudly.

The songs were a bigger hit than the story. I did the color song. It goes like this:

"Red, red is the color I see.
If you're wearing red then show it to me.
Stand up and turn around, show me your red and then sit down."

The kids who are wearing the particular color you're singing about have to get up and dance. They loved it.

I also did some old standards like Old McDonald and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. After we sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I let them in on a little secret.

"Did you know that Twinkle Twinkle Little Star has the same melody as another song?"
I made them guess what song it was. Someone guessed right!
"Yes! The alphabet song!" Naturally, we sang the A-B-C song after that.

After some songs, I proceeded to read more books that they couldn't focus on, and there was more hitting and screaming. I kept saying:

"Okay! On the count of five we're going to sit back down on the rug!" They would sit on the rug and then get bored and start running around again.

The librarian is on vacation for 10 days starting next week. She asked me to come back and do story time again. I felt too badly to say no.

Any suggestions for age appropriate books?


  1. Wow! How exciting! If you want some fun, interactive books that aren't too wordy I would try "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" by Mo Willems and "The Monster at the End of This Book." If I think of any more I'll send them along. Have fun!

  2. Good call! I have that book, Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus! I'm totally gonna bring it!

  3. Go with something REALLY short or rhyming that they might know - Dr. Seuss, Goodnight Moon, Corduroy.

  4. Nice! Thank you Leigh. Which Dr. Seuss book is best?

  5. Brown bear books. I love reading those series. What a cool job. :)

  6. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle; Froggy gets Dressed by Jonathon London (any of the Froggy books); Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin

  7. How awesome Fader!!! Having them scream only sometimes is actually an accomplishment! LOL! I Hope you get PAID!!!

    As for books, my kids don't sit through many other than 10 apples up on top. It's a shorter one of Dr Seuss so give it a try!

  8. Couple of years ago I had to read to my son's Pre-K class and I choose "Are you my mother?" by P.D. Eastman .It was a big hit , kids loved it and my son loved this book ever since he was about 2 years old.

  9. ladydazy- Thank you! Eric Carle rocks!@

    Tina.Ari- Awesome! I own Click Clack Moo! I'll bring it!

    Cordy- It's volunteer! But that's okay. Yes, a sometimes screaming audience is better than an always screaming audience.

  10. The biggest hit at our library's storytime is "Clap with Elmo" or something like that. There's an Elmo puppet and the book is based on "If You're Happy and You Know It." Also, my kids have really enjoyed "Dooby Dooby Moo" by the same author as "Click Clack Moo."

  11. Evelyn- I LOVE Are You My Mother! Good call!

    Lindsay- I think I have that Elmo book somewhere in my house. I have to look...

  12. I was going to say "Brown Bear", but I see someone already suggested that. So I'll second that suggestion. Also "Where's Spot?" is a good one, and it has flaps to lift so they can practice taking turns opening the flaps or you can do it if that's too chaotic. Oh, and anything by Sandra Boynton. "Moo, Ba, La,la,la" is good. Those are my go-tos for the preschool set.

  13. I was totally going to say anything by Mo Willems because they are short and simple and funny. He also has a Piggie and Elephant series that is great.
    The Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas is similar in that it is all done through speech bubbles. The great part is it introduces rhyming words in a funny way.

  14. Haha! Mark LOVES to mix Ba Ba Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle and ABC all together to concfuse poor Theo ;)!


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