…storytime, books, and ideas

Posts tagged ‘books’

New books for storytime

Here are a few new books that have caught my attention:

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid – Reid’s signature clay artwork honors the beauty of a tree in this simple sing-songy verse. After reading this story, many children are going to want to draw, paint, or sculpt their own trees. Why not add writing into the mix, and have them write a word that describes their tree? If they cannot yet write, ask them for a word (vocabulary!) and write it on their artwork for them.

In the Sea by David Elliott – This is a book of tiny poems all about things in the sea. You could read the whole thing, or just pick your favs, but it would make a very nice addition to a beach or ocean themed storytime. With the rhymes and alliteration in the poems, you’ll be adding some phonemic awareness into the mix as well.

Moonlight by Helen V. Griffith – Bunny goes into his rabbit hole to sleep, and the moon comes out like butter and spreads over everything. The artwork is lovely, and the repeated idea of the moon spread like butter is reinforcing vocabulary. Great add to bedtime –or moontime—storytimes.

Silly Goose’s Big Story by Keiko Kasza – Silly Goose tells great stories, but when the animals play, Goose always gets to be the hero. Wolf takes care of that, but Goose’s storytelling skills save the day—as do Goose’s pals. A great story of friendship, and the power of storytelling. Tell a story after this, and get the kids to help you tell it! And don’t miss The Wolf’s Chicken Stew by the same author. You can’t help but love a story with baby chicks and cookies.

Otto the Book Bear by Kate Cleminson –Bear jumps out of his book and gets stuck out in the world, but the library saves him. Librarians will sigh at the sentiment in this book, and kids will enjoy the plot twist at the end. A nice little story that could be a starting point for some other bear tales.

One Special Day by Lola M. Schaefer – This is a special book for big brothers and sisters. Simple similes and fun cartoon-like drawings compare a boy to jungle animals, until he becomes a big brother, when he becomes quiet and gentle. Children can help tell the story through the pictures, which are large enough for storytime sharing. Extend the story by asking children to name animals that are quiet and gentle, like the big brother.

New for Storytime

Anton can do Magic by Ole Konnecke – Anton has a magic hat. A real one. I like the simple story and simple, clear illustrations in this book. It would go nicely in a hat storytime along with I want my hat back by Jon Klassen and Jennie’s Hat by Ezra Jack Keats. Extend your storytime by looking for hats in the pictures and talking about different names for hats—turban, bowler, baseball cap.

And then it’s spring by Julie Folgiano – Wishing to see some green? This book is perfect for Spring or gardening storytimes. It has a gentle, soothing text, and lovely illustrations by Erin E. Stead. The illustrations will probably work best in small groups, but the book is so lovely, it needs to be shared. Lots of vocabulary opportunities here, in describing the greens and browns of Spring—why not take a walk outside to look for and describe the greens and browns around your area? (Perfect gift for the gardener in your life, too.)

The Easter Bunny’s Assistant by Jan Thomas. – Jan Thomas is one my new favourites for storytime. This book is so silly, I can’t wait to share it. Easter Bunny is getting eggs ready for the big day, and Skunk is helping. But when Skunk gets excited… well, nature takes over. Such a fun romp! Look for the letter E all through the book to extend it into the Early Literacy realm. Perhaps you could read it a second time and ask kids to shout “EEEEEE” when they see that letter?

The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett- A pig-for-princess switcheroo ends well in this fun fractured fairytale. If you have kids that will sit for a longer story, this is just the ticket. Bright illustrations will keep them looking while you read. A very silly story that has references to several well-known tales, which could be an opportunity for some puppet storytelling after the reading.

Storytime books!

A new batch of books just went out! Here are my picks from the new book shelf.
For teachers and those of you who have an audience a bit older, I have a few new books to mention. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett is a lovely little book about happiness, and maybe magic, too. In this story a young knitter never seems to run out of yarn, but when her yarn box is stolen, the yarn disappears. Can anyone spot a familiar bear in this book? Jon Klassen’s illustrations are a perfect fit for the story. Mudkin by Stephen Gammel is a fun nearly wordless romp in the dirt. It would be a great book for classroom storytelling. E-Mergency by Tom Lichentheld plays with acronyms and letters.

Baby storytimes get a boost with Big Hugs, Little Hugs by Felicia Bond, All Kinds of Kisses by Nancy Tafuri, and Animal Baths by Bob Barner. This last title is a nice little lesson in nature as well.

And for preschool storytime, you’ll make the boys happy with The Construction Crew by Lynn Meltzer. This fun little book actually has a tiny bit of story to it as well as some participation. Bright colors and snappy rhyme make it well worth a place in your next transportation-themed storytime. Get creative and develop a rap with this one! And my final choice is The Belly Book by Fran Manushkin. A celebration of all sorts of bellies, with a chance to get everyone up and bellydancing right in the middle of the book! Add this to your dance-themed storytimes for a little body-knowledge spice.

Books for the season

Time for a few of my favourite Christmas books, including some new ones from this year.  AVRL owns all these books, but at this time of year, don’t be surprised if they are all checked out. Here they are:

The Money We’ll Save by Brock Cole: Ma sends Pa to the store for eggs and flour, and returns home with a turkey poult that they can raise for Christmas dinner. “Think of the money we’ll save!” he says. Anyone who has raised chickens or turkeys knows where this is going. And since this family lives in a crowded city tenement, the story gets wild quickly. The children name the turkey Alfred, and when they realized that Pa intends to eat their friend, well, they have to come up with another solution, and a fine one it is. I love Brock Cole’s sensibilities, and this book does justice to his others, such as Buttons, Larky Mavis, and Good Enough to Eat.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg: If you’ve only seen the movie, you are certainly missing out on a Christmas classic. In this book, a boy is awakened by a train, and he is commanded to come aboard. He sleepily boards the train—the Polar Express – which is headed for the North Pole to see Santa give the First Gift of Christmas. The writing is brilliant, and the illustrations won Van Allsburg a coveted Caldecott award. This touching story of a bell that rings for those who believe is one that I read every year. Often, I read it several times.

Melrose and Croc: a Christmas to Remember by Emma Chichester Clark. I have to first admit to having a soft spot for books that have crocodilian characters. That said, this story of a little crocodile (clad in his jaunty red scarf and carrying his small suitcase) who goes to the big city for Christmas, and Melrose, a dog who is decorating his apartment in same big city (which looks an awful lot like NYC), just makes me smile. Both Melrose and Croc realize that Christmas would be so much nicer if there were someone to share it with, and then BOOM! they run into each other (literally) on the ice rink. I love the old-fashioned looking illustrations and the thick, creamy paper in this book, and the glittery snow on the cover is a nice touch.

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long. I am recommending this one mainly for the illustrations. It is truly a lovely book, the perfect thing to pore over under the lights of the tree, or by the fire on a cold winter’s night. The paintings are lush and remind me of Renaissance artists.

Silver Packages  by Cynthia Rylant. Another confession:   I cannot read this one without tissues at hand. It must be that the story resonates with my Kentucky upbringing, and makes me sentimental at this time of year.  Silver Packages tells of the Christmas Train that rolls through small town Appalachia, and gifts wrapped in silver paper are thrown off to eager children. There’s a real Santa Train, and it is still running through Tennessee and Kentucky.  This story can also be found in the book Children of Christmas : stories for the season, and makes a fine read-aloud, even if you’ve never been to Kentucky.

Storytime Books

Here are a few good books that I receommend for storytime. These are newer to our collection here at AVRL.


Tuck me in by Dean Hacohen – Kids love to help turn the page and tuck the little animals in.

Bandits– Johanna Wright – could be read in a slightly spooky tone for Halloween storytimes.

Dinosaur vs. The Library  – Bob Shea – Everyone loves dinosaurs, and the library….

A huge hog is a big pig : a rhyming word game – Francis McCall – Lots of fun word play in this one, with a great guessing game built right in.

Kitty’s Cuddles – Jane Cabrera – Sweet book for baby storytimes, with lots of animals and snuggles.

Plumply, dumply pumpkin  by Mary Serfozo – Great rhyming book for Halloween, just the right length and tone  for toddler time.

Rocking in my school shoes by Eric Litwin  Pete the Cat is back with new school shoes.

Find the song tune here.

Ten little caterpillars by Bill Martin (illustrated by Lois Ehlert) Add a little science to storytime!

Who said coo? by Deborah Ruddell  – Fun word play and another story that could be used with a spooky voice for Halloween storytime.


Those are some of the best that have crossed my desk in the past few weeks. Enjoy!


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