…storytime, books, and ideas

Posts tagged ‘literacy’

So many books!

For my first post in 2013, I have a huge stack of books to share. Here are some really fun books that just went out on our shelves!

Chu’s Daa chu'say by Neil Gaiman

A little panda with a big sneeze is the premise of this fun little book. Play-on-words and quirky illustrations make this one a delight to share at storytime.

Squeak Rumble Whomp Whomp Whomp: Sonic Adventure by Wynton Marsalis

A noisy romp through the sounds around us. Make lots of sounds while reading this music-inspired book. Get the kids to chime in with their own sounds; make some shakers, drums, etc.  and get moving around the room!

I am So Handsome by Mario Ramos

The Big Bad Wolf is so full of himself that he does not even realize that his usual targets are afraid of him. This twist on the old icon is filled with wonderful language and great new vocabulary. Share along with a Red Riding Hood and 3 Pigs story, or pair with Jon Scieszka’s True Story of the Three Little Pigs for a wild wolf romp.

I’m NOT Sleepy by Jane Chapman

Little owl wants to play, but Grandma insists it is time for bed. She gives him a snack, tucks him in, and still he is wide awake. There’s not much new here in the plot line, but the illustrations are cute and the repeated phrase of “Hop, jump, flutter,  flump” will be fun to say with the kids. Teach them this phrase beforehand and add some TALKing to your early literacy storytime.

Polar Bear Morning by Lauren Thompson

Two little polar bear cubs meet and become friends. Short enough for toddler storytimes, and the illustrations are large and friendly. Good vocabulary builder for little ones. See also Polar Bear Night by same author/illustrator.

All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep by Crescent Dragonwagon aa all the awake

Not only do I love this author’s name, I love the alliteration in this book. It is a bedtime alphabet book chock full of letter sounds. Add in the big list of new vocabulary and David McPhail’s quiet illustrations, and you have a perfect addition to your next pajama storytime.  A big dose of early literacy!



The Reader by Amy Hest

A charming story of a boy, a dog, some snow, and a book. A gentle story to end storytime with.

Beach Feet by Kiyomi Knoagaya

Warm up your winter with a visit to this sunny beach. The illustrations are full of movement and, of course, feet.

Railroad Hank by Lisa Moser

Hank and his train are off to visit Granny Bett who is feeling blue. His misunderstandings send the whole gang up the mountain, along with some chickens, cows, apple trees and a pond. Of course Granny cheers up, and everyone has a grand time. The repeated refrain of “Chugga Chugga Chugga Chugga Woo Woo Woo” will get kids interacting with the story.aa mice

Mice  by Rose Fyleman

Lois Ehlert’s signature illustrations turn this slight poem into a fun picture book. The rhymes will reinforce phonological awareness, and the paper collage illustrations are just begging to be imitated. Would also make a great writing prompt book for early elementary classrooms.

About  a Bear by Holly Surplice

This simple ode to a bear is just right for baby and toddler storytimes, and would be a good book for those just learning to read. Bright, large pictures accompany this bouncy bear rhyme.


Ostrich and Lark by Marilyn Nelsonaa ostrich

An original tale illustrated by artists in Botswana. Two bird friends in the African veld spend their days and nights together. Lark sings, but ostrich is silent, until he finds his voice. Simple story with bright folk-art paintings to spice it up. Pair with an ostrich sound and some African folk tales. Lots of new vocabulary here, too!

A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy

Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day of the year. A sweet little book about… kisses! Smooch it up for storytime with babies and toddlers.

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas

Not-so-brave cowboy gets distracted as he tries to serenade a couple of cows to sleep. As expected, Thomas delivers a fun romp, this time about bedtime.


Books without words?

I just love wordless books. And usually, when I tell people about them, and show them how much fun they are, they begin to love them, too. But I do have to “sell ” these books, as many parents or teachers will pick them up and think, “Well, there are no words in this book. How am I going to read that to my child?” Here’s how!

An easy exercise in a parent group is to get people into pairs, and hand out one wordless book to each pair. Tell them that they are going to read to each other– one starts, and halfway through, the other will take over and read. Then say, “GO!” and see what happens. Often you will hear silence at the beginning, and then, as they start to realize that they are now the storytellers, they get into the spirit. Children have no problem with this, being born storytellers. Wordless books are a great way to get children practising those early literacy concepts of talking and telling stories. They are using their imaginations and having an art experience as well. There are many uses for these books, so I am singing their praises today!

Here are a few of my favourites:

A Ball for Daisy, by Chris Raschka. Not only did it win the Caldecott Medal in 2012, it is a fun story featuring a playful little dog. Open it up and start telling the story of what happens when your favourite toy is lost.

Another Caldecott winner is Jerry Pinkney’s The Lion and the Mouse. This familiar story is beautifully created in watercolor and sunshine. The Weston Woods film of the book is brilliant, too, with music that sets the tone of the story.

David Wiesner’s Flotsam was also noticed by the Caldecott committee, and for good reason. This amazing book tells the story of a camera found on a beach in gorgeous paintings that you can look at over and over. Robot Dreams by Sara Varon will enchant older readers with this story of a rusty robot.

For even more wordless books, try this link to our Wordless Books booklist. Enjoy the art and the story that you and your child tell together. Pick out a few of these and have your child “read” to you!

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