Today I had 17 people at storytime, which is unusual for the Friday crew. We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and I taught them the American Sign Language signs for the animals. I did this with the 1-3 age group, and they mostly stared at me (they mostly stare at me most of the time). This older crew were totally into it, and remembered the signs when we got to the end of the book where there’s a review page of all the animals (a black sheep, a white dog, a purple cat).
There’s a little girl who comes to storytime who is totally rad, but kind of freaks out during songs – I had wondered if it was that she didn’t know the words, which would make things confusing and overwhelming. As it turns out, her mom thinks it’s the standing up and singing out loud that terrorizes her shy heart. Today before storytime started, I asked her if there were any songs she liked. She said “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, so we did it after the first story. Everyone liked it, coming right after the sign language bit (remember walking your fingers up the waterspout?) and my shy girl smiled and sang and it was goooood. So, I learned a lesson – some sitting songs are good for those who hate the limelight.
I had never read Winston the Book Wolf, and I’ve noticed that a lot of books about libraries are terrible and librarians buy them because they’re about our world, but this one made the kids laugh and kept their attention. Winston goes from literally eating words to “eating them with his eyes”. It sounds weird to say out loud, but the concept is there, and as a voracious reader, a wolf analogy is appropriate. Also, we talked about how babies like to chew on books, and then they learn to read, so babies are like wolves.
We sang “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, and my shy girl ran. Can’t please everyone all the time. We did it in super slow motion, then again really really fast. That’s always a crowd pleaser, much like suggesting “tounge!” or “butt!” when doing the hokey pokey.
Then we read Just Teenie, by Susan Meddaugh. The main character is very small for her age, but the memorable part of the story is the plant that she grows, which starts pulling keys, socks, and – dare I say it – underpants into its vines. Teenie ends up in it too, which turns out to be exactly what she needed to feel big and important. The kids were totally into the idea of a giant plant that tries to take stuff.
The craft we did was drawing a plant like Teenie’s, then sticking foam stickers of animals, boats, etc. into its branches. Coloring + gluesticks+foam cutouts = awesomefun.