Friday, February 24, 2017

Flannelboard: Houses

If I come up with more rhymes and songs to go with this set, the post will be updated to reflect that. If you have ideas for other ways to use the set, please share!


Mouse in the House is a storytime staple. When I decided to do a city themed storytime and found the "Five Little Houses" rhyme, I knew I had to make a mouse to add to the set too. Both the houses and the mouse, like most of my flannels, are my own design. I've used this flannelboard for many storytime themes including: city, Dr. Seussmice, and opposites. I'm sure that I'll be bringing it out for future storytimes too.

Flannelboard: Hearts

If I come up with more rhymes and songs to go with this set, the post will be updated to reflect that. If you have ideas for other ways to use the set, please share!


This was actually one of the easiest flannelboards I've made so far, which was good because I didn't have much time to make it! The hearts were supposed to look like they were making kissy faces when you turn them over, but it mostly just looks like they are wearing lipstick. Oh well, it's still cute! I used this for my hugs, kisses, and love and families storytimes

Flannelboard: Dinosaurs

If I come up with more rhymes and songs to go with this set, the post will be updated to reflect that. If you have ideas for other ways to use the set, please share!


My goal here was to make the dinosaurs cute, but also realistic enough to be able to easily identify which dinosaur it was supposed to be. Hopefully I succeeded! Included are a red Tyrannosaurus Rex, a yellow-orange Pteranodon*, a green Apatosaurus, a blue Triceratops, and a purple Stegosaurus. I think my favorite has got to be the Stegosaurus. It definitely took the longest to make! I used this flannelboard for my first and second dinosaur themed storytimes.

*Fun Fact: A pteranodon is not actually a dinosaur!

Click read more for songs and rhymes to go with this board.

Storytime: City


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Wow! City! by Robert Neubecker
Subway by Anastasia Suen
*City Animals by Simms Taback
*City Shapes by Diana Murray
City Street Beat by Nancy Viau
Good Morning City by Pat Kiernan

Books marked with * are the ones we used for this storytime. There are lots of great options for city themed books! I had a big group with a wide age range today so I chose one book with a bit more text, City Shapes, and one with very simple text and lots of interaction potential, City Animals. I wanted to include Subway as well, but we just didn't have time today. City Shapes is a fantastic book with nice rhyming text. There are great opportunities to ask the kids to point out different shapes and colors on each page. As a bonus, the child who leads readers through the city is an adorable little black girl, based off the illustrator's daughter, and there is lots of diversity in all the people on the pages. City Animals has large pages that fold out to slowly reveal a city dwelling animal after giving different clues. The kids had a lot of fun guessing what the animal was, some were much easier to guess than others. The fold out pages and big images were great for the larger group to see.

 For songs and rhymes click read more!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Citing Sources

My blog started off as a series of Google Docs that were personal resources for planning storytimes. When I wrote those out, I didn't make note of where I got specific rhymes and songs since they just for personal use and planning. Now that I'm regularly converting those documents into public blog posts, I will try to be better about citing where I find any activities I use. As a librarian, I know I should be better about citing sources!

The next storytime post I do might not have that since I've already pretty much planned the storytime in my Google Docs, but hopefully starting next month! I will also try to start taking my own pictures of crafts, either my own examples or ones the kids make, instead of pulling examples from the various craft blogs I use. 

If I have time to go back through old posts, I'll try and find the sources and also take pictures of my own craft examples. I don't want to promise anything right now though since sifting through old posts may take a while!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Storytime: Hugs, Kisses, and Love


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*Love Always Everywhere by Sarah Massini
~A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy
Hug Machine by Scott Campbell
The Perfect Hug by John Walsh
~*Kitty’s Cuddles by Jane Cabrera
Love Monster by Rachel Bright

Books marked with a ~ are ones used for our toddler storytime. Books marked with a * are ones used for our all ages storytime. Today was my first week doing both toddler and all ages storytimes. Since our toddler storytime was on Valentine's Day this week, I wanted to do something thematically appropriate for the holiday without actually mentioning the holiday directly. There is a lot of debate in the storytime world about whether to do holiday storytimes or not. I think it's best to er on the side of caution and not do anyhting directly related to holidays in case some of my patrons don't celebrate them and wouldn't be comfortable attending a storytime themed around one. Hugs, kisses, and love can be enjoyed by everyone though! Our all ages storytime ended up only having two toddlers this week so the books skewed younger than they normally would for that day. Love Always Everywhere, A Kiss Like This, and Kitty's Cuddles all have pretty simple text with few words on the pages. There aren't any plots for younger kids to follow or concepts illustrated by the pictures that might be hard to understand for very little ones. Love Always Everywhere has a diverse cast of children in the illustrations, which I love. It's a very sweet book and perfect for a love themed storytime. If we had had a slightly older crowed for the all ages storytime, I probably would have used Love Monster and Hug Machine, but the sweet simple text in Love Always Everywhere was great for the younger group.

Click read more for rhymes, songs, and crafts!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Storytime: Dinosaurs


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*Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad? by Julie Middleton
Gigantosaurus by Jonny Duddle
*Inside-Outside Dinosaurs by Roxie Munro
The Littlest Dinosaur’s Big Adventure by Michael Foreman
Dig Those Dinosaurs by Lori Haskins Houran
*I Dreamt I was a Dinosaur by Stella Blackstone

Books marked with a * are the ones I used for this storytime. I have a thing about not using dinosaur stories that show people living with dinosaurs so most of these titles do not have human characters. Are The Dinosaurs Dead, Dad? does include humans with dinosaurs, but the dinosaurs are museum exhibits so that was okay for me. Both of the humans in that story are white. Dig Those Dinosaus is about paleontologists and there is some diversity in the humans included in the illustrations. Inside-Outside Dinosaurs is a non-fiction book, not a story. I shared it with the kids at the end of storytime. It has one large spread of a dinosaur skeleton over two pages with the name of the dinosaur and what it means. On the next page it has an illustration of the dinosaur in it's habitat. The kids in my group were really into the pictures in this one, so we went a little over our half hour looking at pictures of the dinosaurs!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Review: Good Morning, Superman

When I got to work this morning I had a box of books waiting for me from Baker and Taylor. These were free samples that they sent out for me to look at, which is always exciting! I probably won't be adding most of them to the collection, but there were a few standouts. I won't review every book I use in a storytime or every book I think is good because that would take ages, but I would like to highlight ones that might help add diversity to a collection!


In the post about my superhero storytime, I mentioned how difficult it was to find superhero books with diverse characters. The protagonists of superhero picture books are almost exclusively male and white. Imagine my delight when I opened up this box to see a superhero book with a black boy front and center on the cover! Good Morning, Superman by Michael Dahl goes through the boy's morning routine such as getting out of bed, putting on his clothes, and brushing his teeth, and compares them to what Superman does during his day. Having daily mundane tasks compared to heroic activities might help make reluctant kids a little more enthusiastic about their day-to-day routines. It even includes checklist at the end for kids to check off their morning tasks.

Part way through the book Superman needs help from a friend and Supergirl appears. In the boy's daily routine Supergirl is his sister, a young black girl who also sports a superhero costume. Having a superhero book that features diversity in both race and gender is extremely uncommon so I really appreciated seeing that here. The girl is not the focus of the book, but she appears on a number of pages and young female superhero fans will appreciate seeing that girls can be heroes too. The illustrations are colorful and fun and make a great addition to the simple text.

This book is the second in a series after Bedtime for Batman, which features a boy of ambiguous race getting ready for bed and comparing his nighttime routine to Batman's. I love that DC comics has a wide range of titles available for even the youngest superhero enthusiasts and I hope that they will continue this series, preferably with a young female protagonist in the next one!


Young superhero fans will love seeing how their daily activities make them just like Superman and adults will appreciate the diversity that this book offers.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Flannelboard: Snow

If I come up with more rhymes and songs to go with this set, the post will be updated to reflect that. If you have ideas for other ways to use the set, please share!


These cute little snowflakes were my first foray into making felt creations for flannelboards. I was greatly inspired by the adorable creations from Felt-tastic Flennelboard Funtime. I should really get a photograph of these on a darker background since their pastel outlines just sort of blend into the light blue. The board I have at the library is dark blue, so they look much better on that one. I used these for my snow storytime, which was very lightly attended and started late due to the weather. Hopefully I'll be able to make good use of them for a future storytime with higher attendance!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Flannelboard: Yetis

If I come up with more rhymes and songs to go with this set, the post will be updated to reflect that. If you have ideas for other ways to use the set, please share!


These cute yetis aren't based on anything in particular, just a design I drew up on my own. The blue one was the first one I made. It seems the most yeti-like to me because of the color scheme, but I didn't want all the yetis to be identical. Cool colors and neutral colors say "yeti" to me more than bright colors or warm colors. Perhaps I should have made a grey faced yeti instead of a pink one! Maybe in the future I'll either replace the pink one with another color or just make a full set of 10 and include a grey one in that. I used this for my yeti storytime. It could also work well for a general monster themed storytime, though I'd probably want to do monsters in multiple different colors for that!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Storytime: Yetis


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Dear Yeti by James Kwan
*The Thing About Yetis by Vin Vogel
Are We There Yeti by Ashlyn Anstee
Yeti and the Bird by Nadia Shireen
Yeti, Turn Out the Light by Greg Long
*No Yeti Yet by Mary Ann Fraser

Books marked with a * are the ones I used for this storytime. All these titles are super fun and it was very hard to choose which ones to read! Vin Vogel also has a book called Bedtime for Yeti, which could be another great option. There are so many yeti themed picture books available right now, which makes for a lot of potential options to tailor your selection to your specific group. Unfortunately, none of these titles really feature diverse characters. There are some diverse children in the background of The Thing About Yetis, but obviously the yetis are the focus of the story. No Yeti Yet features two androgynous white children. One of the characters in Dear Yeti is slightly darker skinned, but that's about as far as it goes for diverse books with these titles.

We didn't read Are We There Yeti because I wasn't able to get a copy in before the storytime. All the copies in my library system are currently checked out! If you do read Are We There Yeti, I would highly recommend listening to or watching a video of Emily Arrow's Are We There Yeti song if you have the time for it in your program!

Click read more for yeti song and rhyme ideas!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Flannelboard: Books and Bookworm

If I come up with more rhymes and songs to go with this flannel set, the post will be edited to reflect that. If you have other ideas for ways to use this set, please share!


The books for this flannelboard are based classic Penguin Book covers. I doubt any of the children got the reference, and I'm not even sure the parents would get it, but it made me happy and you should definitely make things that make you happy too! It makes the creation process that much more fun. The bookworm was actually and afterthought, but I'm so glad I made him because it makes the flannelboard much more versatile since it can now be used for both counting rhymes and a hiding game! I used this flannelboard for my library themed storytime and my school storytime.

Flannelboard: Superheroes

Though nearly all of my flannelboards will be included in storytime write-ups, I wanted to highlight each individual board and its song or rhyme options in a separate post. If I come up with more songs and rhymes for a specific board, I will edit the post to include new options. If you have other ideas for how to use this set, please share!


This is a really fun flannelboard that can be used with a variety of rhymes, songs, and fingerplays. The kids loved it when I did my superhero storytime! They couldn't resist helping me make the little heroes fly off the board when it was time to do so! In the future I want to make five more heroes so I can do the "Ten Superheroes" rhyme with this board as well. I already have plans for what heroes I want to do. I like using already established superheroes as the basis for my costumes. Here we have Storm, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batgirl, and Batman. However, you could make up your own original hero designs too!

Tip: When making flannelboards that include human characters, try to have diversity in both skin color and gender. For this board I used a different color of felt for every skin tone.