Outreach storytimes–Pumpkins


One thing that I’m absolutely loving about my new job is that I get to do lots of outreach to pre-k classes, daycares, and Head Start.  Typically I will play my ukulele and sing “Hands are Clapping” and “Hey Hey How Are You?” then introduce the topic with a puppet.  So far, I’ve just been using Grizz because the kids love him, and jeez, well, who can blame them?  Anyway, this month I have mostly been using some variation of the following pumpkin themed storytime.  Grizz tells the kids about his jacket (orange like a pumpkin), he’s wearing it because it’s fall and it’s getting cooler (in south Georgia we have to fake it ’til we make it), and reveals that he went to the pumpkin patch.  He decorated his pumpkin to look like himself (Little Grizz).  Then we read the following books:


Plumply, Dumply, Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo and Valeria Petrone.  I’m going to recommend this based solely on the idea of “pumpkin pickles.”  Read it.  You won’t be sorry.


This is NOT a Pumpkin, by Bob Staake.  A longtime favorite of mine.  It’s always funny to me how kids react in one of two ways: one, they insist (with increasing volume) that YES IT IS TOO A PUMPKIN, or two, they are genuinely confused at how they could have so misled into thinking a pumpkin when it wasn’t one.  Then the knowing laughter at the end.  Love it!

IMG_1976 Rhyme with Prop–Jack O’Happy.  I’ve been using this for a long time too, but I recently had to redo my puppets since I left my old ones at my previous library.  The idea originally came from Narrating Tales of Preschool Storytime, and you can get the words to the poem there, too. 


Pumpkin Trouble, by Jan Thomas.  Don’t we just love Jan Thomas to bits?!?  This could be my favorite book of hers, but it is hard to choose.  In order to make sure the kids know what’s going on, I do a fair amount of narration outside of the book’s text.  For example, when Duck falls into the pumpkin, I ask the kids to imagine that their heads are inside of a pumpkin.  Can you see?  Nope, it’s dark.  Turning back to the illustration of Duck with a pumpkin on his head, I ask, “Can we see Duck’s face?”  Nope, the pumpkin is covering it.  This makes the whole “pumpkin monster” and Pig and Mouse not recognizing him thing make a lot more sense.  Anyway, I LOVE this book and always will.

At the end of our time together, I usually do Icky Sticky Bubble Gum, and sometimes Joe and the Button Factory with older kids.  Then, I sing “See you later, Alligator” with my uke and go.  Outreach is seriously one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.


One thought on “Outreach storytimes–Pumpkins

  1. Love your pumpkin pie face! “Jack O Happy” is such a fun rhyme, I finally made my own faces for it last week. We also read The Plumply Dumply Pumpkin and then looked at 5 different flannel pumpkins in the patch to find the perfect plumply dumply one for a jack o lantern. 🙂 Still need to get my hands on a copy of This is NOT a pumpkin, sounds like a super fun story!

    Outreach storytimes are (usually) the best! I work with some awesome teachers this year, but I’ve also had outreach preschool storytimes where teachers treat it as a break to be on their cellphone or leave the room. Which I get having been a tired teacher myself, and…

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