I’m not going to Pre-K next week (sad face) because of spring break, so I decided to do a silly-themed storytime in honor of April Fool’s Day. Really, it was just an excuse to read all my favorite goofy stories. Wow, I love my job!
Rhyming Dust Bunnies, by Jan Thomas. In my opinion, dust bunnies are inherently silly, at least in nomenclature. Anyway, this book is absolutely perfect for 4 to 5 year olds because they know all about rhyming words. I would recommend introducing it by asking if they know what dust bunnies are. “Are they real bunnies? No, they aren’t. They don’t really look like the ones in this book, either. Really, dust bunnies are just balls of dust! So, if they are dust, what do you think they are most afraid of?” (My target answers were “broom” and “vacuum cleaner”, but I got some other, really funny responses to this question–my favorites were “Mrs. So-and-So” and “Swiffer!”) What I’m trying to say is that it might take a little effort on your part to get them to see how funny it is, but it is SO WORTH IT! For those who are interested, there are some very cute prop ideas out there. Check this out.
Silly Sally, by Audrey Wood. Once upon a time, many moons ago, I wrote a post about making some Silly Sally puppets. (Head over to that link if you want to see how I made them). Since I still had them, I decided to use them to tell the story instead of just reading the book (though I do love the book!)
Since I only have two hands and I suspected that a request for audience participation could result in Pre-K chaos, I decided to convert the animal puppets into flannelboard pieces. I did this by ripping the dowel off and putting a velcro dot on the back. Easy peasy. I left Silly Sally and Neddy Buttercup as puppets. While telling the story, I held Sally in my right hand (upside down, of course!) and the other characters in a stack on my lap. It went sort of like this:
Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards, upside down. On the way she met a pig (hold up pig), a silly pig. They danced a jig (make Sally and pig dance, then put pig on flannelboard). Silly Sally went to town, dancing backwards, upside down. Etc.
When Sally meets the sheep and falls asleep, I pretend that I’ve fallen asleep. Then, I “wake up” and ask–“Now how did Sally get to town, sleeping backwards, upside down?” (Hold up Neddy Buttercup with other hand and point out the feather that he is holding). Along came Neddy Buttercup, walking forward, right side up. He tickled the pig who danced the jig (make the feather tickle the pig), and so on… I hope this description makes sense. It really went pretty easily, and I think the kids enjoyed it. (If I had been at my library, I would have used a larger flannelboard so that the animals would fit properly.)
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems. Is there anything sillier than a pigeon who wants to drive a bus? I was surprised that a number of my pre-k friends had not encountered Pigeon before. Most of them told him “no” with gusto, although there are always a few who say “Yes!” the whole time, or, worse yet, those that just look at me like I’m crazy. Nevertheless, in my opinion this is storytime gold, and I always have so much fun reading it.
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin, Illustrated by Betsy Lewin. As with Rhyming Dust Bunnies, I think that this one benefits from a bit of groundwork. Luckily, I had this awesome typewriter made out of cardboard to take along with me. When I asked if anyone knew what a typewriter was, most of them didn’t (we’re all computerized now, remember?) Knowing what a typewriter is is critical to understanding the humor of the story, so I took a few minutes to describe a typewriter, how it is similar to and different from a computer. Then, after the story, we invited my cow puppet (wrapped in her blanket) to demonstrate how she typed the notes to Farmer Brown.