Even in south Georgia I can tell that the weather is starting to get cooler (in the mornings, at least). And fall officially began on Saturday, so I felt perfectly justified in giving a fall-themed storytime, despite the fact that during the days it’s still around 90 degrees here!
Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers. (E HUMOR JEFF). If the name Oliver Jeffers sounds familiar to you, you might be remembering my profound love of one of his other books, The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. Stuck is the tale of a young man whose kite has become stuck in a tree. He uses all (and I do mean ALL) of the resources at his disposal, but he ends up getting into an even bigger mess.
I truly love Oliver Jeffers’ style, both in his writing and his artwork. It is perhaps a teensy bit subtle for some preschoolers, but I think it is a worthy challenge. I did end up making a lot of comments and gestures to supplement the text to make sure that everyone knew what was going on. Maybe my delivery improved after repetition, because the last group laughed a lot more than the previous ones did. This is a fantastic book, and I think it worked well for this storytime.
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt, by Steve Metzger and Illustrated by Miki Sakamoto. (E TREES METZ). This simple, repetitive book features three children on a nature walk to collect leaves. I like the vocabulary that it offers with names for specific trees (hickory, birch, maple, red oak). We also paused on the tree pages to observe what colors we saw (which led in perfectly to the next flannel/song). At the end, I said, “Guess who followed them home?” and pulled out my skunk puppet for a quick hello.
[Yellow] leaves are falling down. (wow–I have no idea what happened to the color in this picture. my flannelboard is actually gray, but it looks blue here!) Apparently there are many variations of a song about leaves falling to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down.” The way I did it was to ask what colors we saw in the previous book. If the kids said red, I put the red leaf up on the flannelboard and we sang “Red leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down. Red leaves are falling down, leaves are falling.” And so on with the other three colors. This was a nice, simple song that they could easily join into.
Flannelboard story: Fall is Not Easy, by Marty Kelley. Lately, Flannel Friday has been all aflutter with flannelized versions of this brilliant little illustrated poem. I struggled with whether to use the book or a flannel, because the illustrations are really beautiful. But in the end, I LOVED the various flannel versions I had seen, and I thought it might present better for my large pre-k groups than the relatively small book, which has delicate illustrations. My version is nothing new or special–seriously, check out some of the ones that are out there. But it got the job done. I LOVE this as a flannel story. Thanks (as usual) to my fellow Flannel Friday-ers for the inspiration!