I am delighted to report that I now have a library home, so I get to do REAL storytimes now! YAY! I went to pre-k yesterday to do a Feelings storytime. I thought this would be a good topic because I myself have mixed feelings about this time of year, what with Christmas ending and a new year beginning. Here’s what I read:
My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. Can you go wrong with Dr. Seuss? (In case you haven’t guessed, the correct answer is “no, you can’t go wrong with Dr. Seuss!) This book was an excellent introduction to the theme because it deals with many different feelings, and it describes them in terms that children can easily grasp–colors and animals. The rhyming text easily lends itself to reading aloud, and the colorful illustrations varied enough from page to page that they sparked conversation with the kids. For example, grey was depicted as an owl, but only the top part of his face and large yellow eyes showed. One girl remarked that he “was too big to fit in the book”. 🙂 We also debated whether purple was a dinosaur and black was a wolf. The ending message of the book is that feelings are normal. They pass away and you are still you in the end.
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. I LOOOOOVE this book! I started out by asking the kids how they thought the bird was feeling based on the cover of the book. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this beginning because they mostly said “angry”, which segued into a discussion about Angry Birds! Ha! I also asked them to give me their best grumpy faces, and they enjoyed that. In this book, Grumpy Bird goes for a grumpy walk because he’s too grumpy to fly. On the way, he meets some friends, who manage to cheer him up. The kids really responded to this book, and I’ll definitely use it again in the future.
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney. A classic! I mostly picked this one because it’s just so fun to read aloud! Baby Llama experiences many feelings (loudly) as he braves bedtime after his mama llama leaves the room. Many of the kids had read this one before, but I encouraged them to listen closely for the different feelings in the book–even those of Mama Llama! I really played up baby llama’s fits of screaming and crying, as well as his fear that mama llama was GONE. We noted at the end that baby llama looked happy and peaceful after his mama had reassured him.
If You’re Happy and You Know It! by Jan Ormerod and Lindsey Gardiner. This was my closer, because it got a little bit rowdy! I started by asking the kids if they knew the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, which of course they did. I asked them what they thought animals did when they are happy and they really want to show it? We went through the book and made up motions as we went along–the dog swishing his tail, the crocodile snapping his teeth, the kangaroo bouncing. If time had permitted, I probably would have just sung the book as a song, putting the motions in. As things were, I stuck with reading the text, which doesn’t track the song exactly. It was a nice, positive ending to the storytime.