Here’s a few books that are fun for storytime, plus a bonus book that’s just too pretty not to share. First up, the storytime books. Pssst…. If you have an AVRL library card, links are provided for titles so all you have to do is click and place your holds!
I love a book that gets kids shouting in the library. Some of my favourites include Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Is Everyone Ready for Fun? . Now, get ready for fun with Crunch the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli. Dunlap’s text involves kids right off by asking kids to say hello to this shy dinosaur. (Of course they are going to scare away the shy dino.) The book teaches kids all about shyness in such a fun way they will never know they are being schooled. The story is expertly paired with Pizzoli’s chunky shapes and bright colours, which he can always pull off and turn into a fantastic work of art. Pizzoli even sneaks in a bit of gender-bending with the frilly flowered hat on a male dinosaur. This book will be one of your favourites for Dinosaur Storytime. Go ahead an buy an extra copy now.
Speaking of hats… hat stories are always fun, and A Good Day for a Hat by T. Nat Fuller, illustrated by Rob Hodgson, is no exception. This simple story of a bear who seems to have the right hat for every occasion will fit right in with your hat storytimes. Pair it with Hooray for Hat and Caps for Sale, and you’ve got a themed storytime all ready to go.
If you want to add some physical activity into storytime, pull out Everybunny Dance! Dancing, playing, running, cheering, these bunnies are having a rootin’ tootin’ good time, and so will your storytime kids. There’s another title featuring the same bunnies that will add some math into storytime, Everybunny Count! These would be fine choices for the non-secular Easter season storytime theme — Bunnies!
If you have older kids or maybe an elementary school group visiting, you could try I Just Ate my Friend by Heidi McKinnon. This one falls into the “slightly absurd” group of storytime books, but I love using these with kids who will giggle uncontrollably. As a bonus, this book also could be used to teach about size comparison in math classes. It is funny and silly and would also be a fine choice for reading to adults.
If you want to add a bit of poetry and diversity into storytime, Seeing into Tomorrow, with haiku by Richard Wright and illustrations by Nina Crews is a fine choice. This book is also a really good introduction to poetry, and includes a short biography of Wright. Read it aloud and enjoy the beauty of the language and the images evoked by the words that are illustrated by Crews’ photographs. Vocabulary bonanza!
This one may be only for those who can fit a longer book into storytime, or for classroom use. The cover right away makes you think this is a story you already know. There’s a wolf, there’s a little girl in a red dress, and they are in the woods. However, this is a different kind of wolf. Re-imagined by Metis writer Katherena Vermette and illustrated by Julie Flett, The Girl and the Wolf turns Little Red Riding Hood into a nature study. It is fresh, well-told, and certainly should be in your collections!
And now, for the book that is just too pretty to leave out. It is called The Forest, by Riccardo Bozzi, illustrated by Violeta Lopiz and Valerio Vidali. It is translated from the Italian by Debbie Bibo, and published by Enchanted Lion Books. The book is a metaphor for life. Life is a forest, unexplored. Sometimes there are other explorers in the forest. Sometimes there are insects, and tigers. Occasionally there is a clearing, so that the explorers can rest. While the forest metaphor is well done, and the text is lyrical and gentle, the illustrations and design are where this book shines. The cover is a transparent watercolour wrapped around thick white paper. There are embossed figures, and paper cuts that suggest lines. You really have to see it to get the feel for this book. It probably won’t hold up terribly well to public library usage, but those who do get to experience it will be surprised and pleased. It would make a lovely gift book. Take a look at this one and immerse yourself in a very fine example of modern bookmaking.
That’s all for now! Follow me on Twitter @annavalley for more books and my #PictureBookPile tweets!