Storytime: Garden


Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
What Does Bunny See? by Linda Sue Park
Up, Down and Around by Katherine Ayres

Five Green Peas
Five green peas in a pea pod pressed (make fist)
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest (raise fingers 1 by 1)
They grew and they grew and they didn’t stop (spread hands apart in the air)
They grew and they grew until they popped (clap hands)

Something in My Garden
I used an app on my phone to play the animal noise and had puppets in my bag. The kids had a blast trying to guess what the next animal would be.
There’s something in my garden, now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden that I can’t really see.
Hear it’s funny sound (make animal noise)
A (animal) is what I found!

A Little Sun
A little sun (circle arms overhead)
A little rain (wiggle fingers down)
Now pull up all the weeds (pulling motion)
Our flowers grow, all in a row (hold up fingers)
From tiny little seeds

Five Spring Flowers
I used our mix and match flower flannel board, the kids loved being able to change the flowers around.


Five spring flowers, all in a row (hold up 5 fingers)
The first one says, “We need rain to grow” (wiggle fingers down)
The second one says, “Oh yes, we need water” (nod head)
The third one says, “It’s getting hotter” (fan face)
The fourth one says, “I see clouds in the sky” (point up)
The fifth ones says,k “I wonder why?” (shrug shoulders)
Then BOOM went the thunder (clap)
And crash went the lightning
That springtime storm was very frightening (hug self)
But the flowers weren’t worried
Oh no, no, no (shake head)
Because the rain helps them grow, grow, grow (raise arms up)

Leave a comment

Filed under Storytime

Book Review: Someone Elses Summer by Rachel Bateman



Pub Date: May 9, 2017

Description: “Anna’s always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm’s summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm’s list along with her sisters best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm’s dream summer would eventually lead to Anna’s own self-discovery?”

Review: I’m not sure that “epic” is the word I would use to describe this road trip, maybe played out? I really liked the idea of Anna taking over her deceased sister’s bucket list. The road trip was light and entertaining but unoriginal. I felt like this book didn’t have an aspect that makes it stand out from other YA coming of age/road trip books. Anna and Cameron fall in love (obviously) but I never felt connected to their characters and quite frankly I didn’t really like Cameron. The characters weren’t really fleshed out. For example, we keep hearing how Piper is Anna’s best friends but all of their conversations and interactions are superficial. I wish there was more character development to help me become vested in the story. I honestly think my favorite character was Storm, who you never actually meet in the book but only hear about. Storm seemed to be the most dynamic character of the bunch. While I enjoyed the beginning half of the book I quickly grew uninterested. Overall, this book is a standard coming of age story that many teenage girls will enjoy.


*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Book Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

“The Whole Thing Together” by Ann Brashares



Description: “Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.”

Review: I really struggled to read this book, I found it slow, confusing and lacking dimension. All of the interesting aspects of the story are briefly mentioned and are glossed over. The story felt like it was rushed.

This story is about a variety of personalities, how they cope with life and how they manage to live together. Due to so many characters it was difficult to keep track of who is who (sorry Mattie and Emma) and to feel connected to any of them. The characters and story of Ray and Sasha are more developed but I found the whole romance to be disturbing. Even though Ray and Sasha are not biologically related the budding romance between them creeped me out.

I wish the author cut the number of characters in half and gave them more details and focus. The characters had a lot of potential for growth but due to the overwhelming number of characters, all with personal struggles, I found it difficult to get to know them. A lot is mentioned and hinted at in the book but not much is flushed out.

While I will be purchasing this book for the public library I work at due to the author’s name (teens will still want to read it) I do not think I will personally recommend it to anymore.

*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review

Storytime: Monkeys


Kiki’s Blankie by Janie Bynum
Two Little Monkeys by Mem Fox
Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett

Bananas for Lunch
A fat little monkey had bananas for lunch
He peeled and he ate them (peeling motion)
Munch, munch, much (eating motion)

1 banana, 2 bananas, 3 bananas, 4 (count on fingers)
He ate and he ate but he wanted more

He peeled and he ate and he peeled and he ate
5 bananas, 6 bananas, 7 bananas, 8

He peeled 2 more and continued to munch
And before he knew it, he ate the whole bunch!

Itsy Bitsy Monkey
Tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy monkey climbed up the coconut tree (climbing motion)
Down came a coconut and bopped him on the knee (tap knee)
Along came his mama, who kissed away the pain (blow kiss)
And the itsy bitsy monkey climbed up the tree again
Source: King County Library System

Five Little Monkeys
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed (hold up 5 fingers)
One fell off and bumped his head (tap head)
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said (phone to eat)
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” (shake finger)

(count down)

Way Up High


Way up high in the banana tree
Five little bananas smiled at me (hold up 5 fingers)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (shake hands)
Down fell a banana (wiggle fingers down
Mmmm, it was good (rub stomach)

(count down)

Leave a comment

Filed under Storytime

Storytime: Spring

“Spring is Here” by Will Hillenbrand
“Mouse’s First Spring” by Lauren Thompson
“Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck” by Lisa Westberg Peters

Little Bear
Tune: Frere Jacque
(ask children and parents to repeat after you)
(this is a great song to do with a bear puppet!)

Are you sleepy, are you sleepy (yawn)
Little bear, little bear
Wintertime is coming, wintertime is coming
Very soon, very soon

Find a cave, find a cave (shade eyes and look around)
Little bear, little bear
Wintertime is here, wintertime is here
Go to sleep, go to sleep (put head on hands)

Are you sleepy, are you sleepy
Little bear, little bear
You wake in the spring, you wake in the spring
Little bear, little bear

Time to wake up, time to wake up (stretch)
Little bear, little bear
Springtime is here, springtime is here
Wake up now, wake up now

In the Spring
Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb

Sway your arms in the spring, in the spring, in the spring
Sway your arms in the spring, a happy time of year

repeat with:
wiggle your toes
shrug your shoulders
stomp your feet

During the Spring
During the spring it often showers (flutter fingers down)
Or the sun shines for many hours (circle arms overhead)
And both are good for the flowers (cup hands and extend them up)

Ten Little Flowers
Tune: Ten Little Indians

1 little, 2 little, 3 little flowers (count on fingers)
4 little, 5 little, 6 little flowers
7 little, 8 little, 9 little flowers
10 flowers in the spring

Give them rain and lots of sunshine (wiggle fingers down and circle arms overhead)
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
So they’ll grow up tall! (reach arms up)

Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mother duck said “quack, quack, quack, quack”
But only four little ducks came back

(count down)

Leave a comment

Filed under Storytime

Storytime: Caterpillar/Butterfly

The group I have for this story time tends to run young. We started the story time by introducing the theme and going over how caterpillars turn into butterflies. This is a great time to introduce a non-fiction book by talking about the images. It was wonderful to see some of the children understanding the concept!

“Waiting for Wings” by Lois Ehlert
“Butterfly Butterfly” by Petr Horacek
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

Two Little Butterfllies
Tune: Two Little Blackbirds

Two little butterflies sitting on a hill (hold up thumbs)
One named Jack and one named Jill (wiggle thumbs)
Fly away Jack, fly away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill

I’m a Caterpillar
Tune: Skip to My Lou

I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me (wiggle body)
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
What’ll I be my darling

I’m a chrysalis, now sleep with me (whisper, put head on hands)
I’m a chrysalis, now sleep with me
I’m a chrysalis, now sleep with me
What’ll I be my darling

I’m a butterfly, come fly with me (soar around the room)
I’m a butterfly, come fly with me
I’m a butterfly, come fly with me
That’s what I’ll be my darling


Flutter, Flutter Butterfly
Flutter, flutter butterfly floating in the summer sky (wave scarves overhead)
Floating by for all to see, floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly floating in the summer sky

Fly, Fly Butterfly
Tune: Skip to My Lou

Fly, fly butterfly (wave scarves while flying around the room)
Fly, fly butterfly
Fly, fly butterfly
Fly high up in the sky (wave scarves high)


Butterfly, Butterfly
Butterfly, butterfly dancing all around (wave scarves)
Butterfly, butterfly now you’re on the ground (lower scarves to floor)
In a tree you’re hard to see (raise scarves)
Now you’ve flown away (hide scarf behind back)
Butterfly, oh butterfly
Please come back some day!

Butterfly Colors

The first to come to the garden bed
Is a lovely butterfly of brilliant red
Then in comes another and that makes two
Fly right in, my friends of blue
“The garden is fine, the best I’ve seen”
Says the butterfly of softest green
Our garden needs a sunny fellow
Fly on in, butter with wings of yellow
Little friend of purple, fly in too
The garden is waiting for a color like you
Orange, orange, we’ve waited so long
Fly right in, where you belong.
Butterflies, butterflies, you’re such a sight
Flying together – what a delight!

Leave a comment

Filed under Storytime

Storytime: Royalty

“Who Wants a Dragon” by James Matthew
“I didn’t Do It!” by tony Ross

Royal King Family
This fingerplay is exactly like “Daddy Finger.”
Thumb – King

Pointer – Queen
Middle – Prince
Ring – Princess
Pinkie – Royal Baby

King finger, king finger (tap thumb)
Where are you?
Here I am, here I am
How do you do?

(repeat with other fingers)

Dragon, Dragon
Dragon, dragon turn around (turn)
Dragon, dragon touch the ground (touch floor)
Dragon, dragon fly up high (hold arms up)
Dragon, dragon float in the sky (hold arms out to the side)
Dragon, dragon shake your tail (shake behind)
Dragon, dragon move slow like a snail (tip toe)
Dragon, dragon give a roar
Dragon, dragon sit on the floor

Two Little Dragons
(Tune: Two Little Blackbirds)
Two little dragons sitting on a hill
One named Jack and one named Jill
Fly away Jack, fly away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill

Grand Old Duke of York
Parents bounced their child and older children marched and raised/lowered their arms.

The grand old duke of York
He had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again
And when they’re up, they’re up
And when they’re down, they’re down
And when they’re only half way up
They’re neither up nor down

Humpty Dumpty
Each child was given the chance to knock humpty dumpty off of the flannel board!

FullSizeRender (1)

Humpty dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty dumpty had a great fall
And all of the kings horses
And all of the kings men
Couldn’t put humpty together again

Leave a comment

Filed under Storytime

Storytime: Clothes

“Ella Sarah Gets Dressed” by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
“Hooray for Hat!” by Brian Won
“Duck Sock Hop” by Jane Kohuth

Silly Hat
On my head, I wear a hat (pretend to place hat on head)
It is such a silly hat
That my head will wiggle waggle to and fro (tilt head side to side)
Where else can my silly hat go?
(repeat with different body parts)

Source: Jbrary

Grandma’s Glasses
These are grandma’s glasses (circle hands over eyes)
This is grandma’s hat (place hands over head)
This is the way she folds her hands (clasp hands together)
And lays them in her lap (place hands in lap)

Here are grandpa’s glasses (circle hands over eyes)
And here is grandpa’s hat (place hands over head)
And here’s the way he folds his arms (cross arms)
And takes a little nap (place head on arms and snore)

Boots by Laurie Berkner


This was a great song to get wiggles out! We marched around the room, had kids jumping like frogs and danced about. Even the shyest kids got into it!

Missing Socks Flannel Board
(Tune: Where, Oh Where)
For this flannel board I hot glued a magnet onto a clothes pin and gave each child a clothes pin to practice opening and closing it. Parents were great about helping their little ones use their motor skills! Next I gave each child a colored sock and had them discuss with their parents what color the sock is. As I sang about my missing sock children would bring their matching sock to the board. 


Where, oh where did my socks go? (shrug shoulders)
Where, oh where can they be?
I have looked high and I have looked low (shield eyes and pretend to look)
Where, oh where can they be?

I’m looking for my red sock!

(repeat with other colors)

Leave a comment

Filed under Storytime

Storytime: Crayons



“Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson
“The Crayon Box that Talked” by Shane DeRolf
“Go to Bed, Monster!” by Natasha Wing

How a Crayon is Made


We started the storytime by talking about our favorite colors and how crayons are made. I didn’t read “What Happens at a Crayon Factory?” verbatim but it is a great book to introduce how crayons are made.

Five Little Crayons
Five little crayons standing in a row (hold up 5 fingers)
The first one said, “I’m red, you know!” (wiggle the fingers as you talk about them)
The second one said, “I’m green like a tree”
The third one said, “I’m blue like the sea”
The fourth one said, “I’m yellow as the sun”
The fifth one said, “Being purple is fun!”
Five little crayons, happy as can be (hold up 5 fingers)
Coloring pictures with you and me (point to person and then self)

Source: Storytime Katie

10 Little Crayons
(Tune: 10 Little Indians)
1 little, 2 little, 3 little crayons (count on fingers)
4 little, 5 little, 6 little crayons
7 little, 8 little, 9 little crayons
10 little crayons to take to school

10 Little Fingers
1 little, 2 little, 3 little fingers (count on fingers)
4 little, 5 little, 6 little fingers
7 little, 8 little, 9 little fingers
10 little fingers on my hands

They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together (wiggle fingers and hands)
They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together
They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together
10 little fingers on my hands

They clap and they clap and they keep on clapping (clap)
They clap and they clap and they keep on clapping
They clap and they clap and they keep on clapping
10 little fingers on my hands

Source: Jbrary

For the next few songs/activities I handed each child a crayon to act out the motions. When handing out items of different colors I always remind children (and parents) that “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”


Put Your Crayons
Put your crayons up (raise hands)
Put your crayons down (lower hands)
Hold your crayons up and turn around (turn in a circle)
Put your crayons up
Put your crayons down
Put your crayons on the ground (touch floor)

I Have a Crayon
Children brought their crayon to me when I held up the corresponding color.
I have a crayon, I’ll give it to you
Here is my crayon, my crayon of blue.
I have a crayon, a lovely little fellow
Here is my crayon, my crayon of yellow.
I have a crayon, it’s here on my head
Here is my crayon, my crayon of red.
I have a crayon, we can draw a circle
Here is my crayon, my crayon of purple.
I have a crayon, what do I see?
Here is my crayon, an orange one for me.
I have a crayon, the best ever seen
Here is my crayon, my crayon of green.

Harold’s Other Crayons (Flannel Board)
(Tune: Mary Wore a Red Dress)

Harold was working on a picture, he used his purple crayon
Harold used his purple crayon, purple crayon, purple crayon
Harold used his purple crayon all day long

Then Harold decided to use blue!
Harold used his blue crayon, blue crayon, blue crayon
Harold used his blue crayon all day long

(repeat with other colors)

Wow! Look at all of Harold’s Crayons.
Let’s say the colors one more time.
Do you know why Harold used these colors?
Because he was drawing a rainbow!

Source: Story Time Secrets


Filed under Storytime

Superhero Training Course

Who doesn’t want to become a superhero?? This training course was simple to prep and really fun for the kids. The attendance we receive was over double of what I expected (thank goodness for awesome staff who can cut out masks quickly)! If you have never done a superhero training course I highly recommend you do. Our program was aimed at children 8 and under but can be modified to meet other age groups.

To become a superhero children had to complete the stations in order, I gave each parent a checklist and pencil to keep track. Once children completed all of the stations they received a superhero certificate!

Station checklist:
You can find a printable checklist here: superhero-checklist-read-with-mich
You can find printable station signs here: station-signs-read-with-mich

Station 1: Make a Mask
We made each mask out of cardstock to ensure that it would hold up while the children completed the training course. The template we used came from Clip Art Best.


Station 2: Make Arm Cuffs
First we painted toilet paper rolls, next we cut a line down them and curved the edges to give it a superhero touch! We put out stickers, puff balls and foam stickers for children to decorate the cuffs with.


Station 3: Superhero Name
Every superhero needs a special name! Children used the name generator or came up with their own and put it on a name tag. My favorite name was “Captain America Batman.” I found this Name Generator image online but do not have a source for it.


Station 4: Spider Crawl
For the spider crawl I put out a tunnel in the stacks. While this was a fun activity for the younger crowd I did have a few 10 year olds who were unable to go through it.


Station 5: Knock over the Villains
We used some plastic bottles who had laying around (cans would work as well) and taped pictures of different villains onto them. Children then used bean bags to knock over the bottles This was by far the favorite activity!


Station 6: Leaps & Bounds
Another very simple activity that was a crowd pleaser! We printed out pictures of real buildings, laminated them and then taped them to book ends. There was a lot of creative jumping.


After completing the training course each superhero received a certificate with their superhero name on it! The Burke Family’s Blog is the source of the certificate.


Leave a comment

Filed under Children's Programs