…storytime, books, and ideas

Archive for January, 2012

Flannel Friday- Trains

This week’s Flannel Friday is inspired by this post from Mel’s Desk. I used her patterns and will be using her own version of the rhyme. I realized, after I had already made the figures, that they might not all fit on my small Flannel Board. So, you can see I’ve had to arrange them quite cleverly to allow them all to be on the board at once. **Note to self: make sure the figures will fit before cutting and gluing!

I made these completely out of felt, and they were super easy and fast. I wanted them to be bright and funky, so I did not try too hard to make them exactly as the original pattern. The passenger car is my favourite, so here’s a close-up.

I was inspired to do Train Storytime when I was at a Kitchen Party and someone played this song, Little Pinkie Engine; I thought immediately that it would be great to share in storytime. It is a song from Cape Breton, and one that is somewhat rare, so not only am I sharing a fun train song, I am helping keep this bit of culture alive. I love it when that happens. You can listen to the song and find the words in the link above. (I will probably only share a few verses, the ones that are most kid-like).

Here are some of the books I am using:
I saw an ant on the railroad track – Joshua Prince
Engines, Engines – An Indian counting rhyme by Lisa Bruce
Hey Mr. Choo Choo Where are you Going? – Susan Wickberg
All aboard the Dinotrain – Deb Lund
The Rain Train – Elena De Roo
and, if they will sit still for it, The Little Engine That Could (may audience is a bit young).

And now, Chug chug to storytime…..

Mock Caldecott

On Saturday, January 21, I am leading a Mock Caldecott workhop and mock election. I have a big list of books to take with me. Some of these I really don’t think have a chance at the medal, but I have gathered books that have gotten good reviews, books that I personally have enjoyed and think are the best of the year, and books that other Mock Elections have noticed. Here’s my rather long list — some are hopefully in a box that is being shipped as I write, and I will have them tomorrow or Friday. Here it is!


A Ball for Daisy – Chris Raschka
All the Water in the World – George Ella Lyon
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse- Eric Carle
Balloons over Broadway – Melissa Sweet
Bee & Bird – Craig Frazier
Blackout – John Rocco
Blue Chicken – Deborah Freedman
Bone Dog – Eric Rohman
Brother Sun, Sister Moon – Katherine Paterson
Bumble Ardy – Sendak
Dot – Intriago
Drawing from memory– Allen Say
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School – Laura Murray
Grandpa Green – Lane Smith
The Great Migration– Eloise Greenfield
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans – Kadir Nelson
House that Baba Built– Ed Young
I Want My Hat Back – Jon Klassen
If I Never Forever Endeavour by Holly Meade
If You Lived Here – Giles Laroche
Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat- Philip Stead
Leap Back Home to me– Thompson
Little White Rabbit – Kevin Henkes
The Man in the Moon – William Joyce
Me…Jane – Patrick McDonnell
Naamah and the Ark at Night – Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Neville– Norman Juster
Orani: My Father’s Village – Claire A. Nivola
Perfect Square – Michael Hall
Red Sled – Lita Judge
Stars – Marla Frazee
Subway Story- Julia Sarcone-Roach
Tweak, Tweak – Eve Bunting
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star– Jerry Pinkney
Where’s Walrus? – Stephen Savage

What do YOU think will win? Are any of these your favourites? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Flannel Friday: The Lady with the Alligator Purse

I’m planning a crocodilian storytime soon, and wanted a fun flannel for this one, so I chose “The Lady with the Alligator Purse”. I found an extended lyric online, so I used it for deciding which figures to make. Here’s the words that I used.

I used clip art as the pattern for my figures, and made them with the felt- fabric method. I wanted the people to be multicultural, so I made them all with a swirly olive coloured fabric that I had:

Doctor and Nurse

I also try to add print to my flannel stories, and I had 3 opportunities for this one — soap, measles, and mumps. I like that I can add some letter knowledge and new vocabulary into storytime with this simple method.

Here’s all the figures I made: Baby, bathtub, soap, doctor, nurse, 2 speech bubbles, penicillin, castor oil, pizza.

I know you are all wondering where the Lady with the Alligator Purse is! That will be me, because, yes, I do own an alligator purse (two actually, but the other one has a broken strap). I plan to act out the Lady’s parts, carrying my alligator purse, of course. Here it is:

Alligator purse

Storytime Books

Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s a few new and recommended that have crossed my path the past few weeks:

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? By Jan Thomas – The cows are jumping on Chicken’s sofa! So much fun! But Chicken does not appreciate this behavior. This silly romp through Chicken’s living room will have the kids shouting along with you. Better be ready for fun when you read this one!

Neville by Norton Juster – A boy moves to a new town, and he feels very lonely, sad, and a bit angry. His mother suggests he take a walk, so he can make friends. He walks to the end of the street and shouts Neville! , and kids come from all around to help him shout and look for Neville. The simple line and folksy feel of the illustrations really make this book come alive, and I’d put money on this one being A Caldecott contender. Great read aloud for grades P-2.

Where’s my T-R-U-C-K? by Karen Beaumont – The rhymes in this one are quite fun, but I wish I liked the illustrations better. They are watercolors with an awful lot of detail, so if you have a small group for storytime, this might be ok. Basically, a little boy has lost his favourite toy truck, and is quite grumpy about it. There’s not much story here, but I do think it would make a fun romp for storytime, because the rhymes and spelling of the word T-R-U-C-K work.

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle – Fans of Eric Carle will love this simple book, and toddlers will enjoy the bright, bold pictures. Great jumping-off point for an art class or preschool craft project. Read this book, get out the paint and smocks, and go for it!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Jerry Pinkney – Pinkney’s signature watercolors beautifully illustrate this familiar song, and extend it out of the confines of a nursery rhyme. Take time to savour the pictures. This one would be just right for pajama storytime.

Batty by Sarah Dyer – Batty lives in the zoo, and all he can do is hang upside down. He visits other animals, but doesn’t quite fit in. Use this one for a preschool introduction to perspective.

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