In Case You Missed It: Winter 2014


It’s baaaaack! The hiatus of ICYMI was almost entirely accidental. Summer reading planning hit, my sister got married, my grandfather fell and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I decided to job search and then got a new job and now here we are.

I had been saving stuff since NOVEMBER in my Feedly reader. I decided to just do 2014 posts and wipe the slate clean. I’m hoping to make this seasonal since it’s such a time-intensive post to write, but obviously I want to keep sharing the AMAZING things that my INCREDIBLE colleagues are doing in their libraries.

So, without further ado…In Case You Missed It!

    ALA Elections

  • 3.7.14 Kelly is on the ballot for Printz Committee this year. She lays out all the reasons why you should vote for her and I’ll add my own here: I served with Kelly on Outstanding Books for the College Bound and can personally attest to her dedication and incredible value as a committee member. Kelly is someone you want on your team because she truly gives it her all. I know she’ll be an asset to her fellow committee members, her chair, and that she will give careful, serious consideration to all books nominated.

    Libraries & Librarianship

  • 2.12.14 Abby got tips and tricks for reading aloud! A must-read for new and seasoned librarians.
  • 2.19.14 Marge encourages and reminds us to share what we know with others. This really resonated with me; I never intended Storytime Katie to be a resource for others but my life is richer because of the online connections that I’ve made because of the blog. I don’t know what I would do with you all!
  • 3.5.14 Amy writes at Storytime Underground about how the YS profession needs to start shouting that our work has value and is important and that we need to share it if we’re going to change how people perceive us. So, arguably the single most important post in this round-up.

    Outreach & Partnerships

  • 1.13.14 Marge partnered with a local yoga instructor (full disclosure: my dear, dear friend Rachel!) to collaborate on a yoga storytime. I love this kind of unconventional partnership and already have this in the works at my new library!
  • 1.30.14 Brooke gave us the rundown on her preschool tour, based this year on Dinosaur Vs. the Library!
  • 2.18.14 Marge talks about her library’s new program that encourages all staff members to get involve in programming. A circulation staff member reached out to international students from the local university and had a wonderful global countries & cultures program for the kids!
  • 3.5.14 Lisa created an AMAZING Kindergarten Literacy Night based around The Pigeon. It was held in the library, but I’m counting it as outreach since it was a partnership/school-requested event. I love the activities that Lisa planned, especially that sweet Pigeon flannelboard!

    Preschool Programming

  • 1.22.14 Amy rocked out with the parachute play program and managed to make a program work even when the iPod didn’t!
  • 2.7.14 Amy gave us a way to get out that winter cooped-up energy with her Preschool/Toddler Obstacle Course! I think I need to start hoarding Baker & Tyler boxes and shelving boxes and all those boxed that the library sees every day.
  • 2.10.14 Anne shared her awesome Mother Goose Games program and all I can say is: I know what I’m doing Summer 2016.
  • 2.12.14 & 2.13.14 Lisa writes up her latest Play to Learn program, based on Go Away, Big Monster! She also posted about the creation of the color wheels featured in the program in another post. I want to steal this program SO MUCH. What a great literacy program!!
  • 2.13.14 Meg isn’t afraid to embrace STEM anymore with her shapes PreSchool Explorers program! I love Meg’s willingness to step out of her comfort zone to do a great program for her kids.
  • 3.5.14 Amy did a great hands-on art program: Little Learners. After a special message to the parents to remember their patience, Amy gave the kids scissors to make some Kandinsky inspired pieces. I think Amy’s book choices were spot-on and I’m sure the kids had a great time!


  • 1.6.14 Kendra revamped her Baby Storytime. And I definitely going to use the Smooth Road bounce considering we’re entering pothole season in Illinois!
  • 1.6.14 & 2.3.14 Erin is posting a new series called “A Few of My Favorite Themes.” THEMED STORYTIME PACKETS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD. January’s theme was snow and February’s was Valentine’s Day!
  • 1.24.14 Anna told her how she re-vamped (in mid-program!) an unruly storytime program.
  • 2.13.14 Lindsey finished her Toddler Storytime planning series. It is basically the only thing you’d need to read to start up Toddler Storytime in your library. And it has been my biggest how-to source to do the very best toddler storytime I can at my new library.
  • 2.19.14 Mollie and Leah answered a reader-submitted question: how do you do storytime on a tight budget? Their recommendations are perfect and easy to implement for any librarian.
  • 2.24.14 Amy blew my mind with a ballet storytime featuring a REAL-LIFE BALLERINA. Four-year-old Katie is wishing for time travel to be a real thing already.
  • 3.7.14 Melissa and Lisa want to know about the average storytime workload. If you do storytime at your library, would you mind stopping by to take their survey?

For more awesome round-ups, please visit Stacked’s Links of Note, Jbrary’s We’ll Link to That!, and Storytime Underground’s Coolest Thing on the Internet.

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Flannel Friday: Ten Little Dinosaurs

This week, I bring you a flannelboard I’ve used ridiculously often since dinosaurs are a favorite storytime theme of mine: Ten Little Dinos! And it even fits into the science theme, though it isn’t chemistry or physics.

I use this flannelboard with this song:

Ten Little Dinos
One little, two little, three little dinos
Four little, five little, six little dinos
Seven little, eight little, nine little dinos
Ten little dinos for me!

I cannot find the pattern for these dinosaurs in my files, but Melissa also has an awesome pattern available on her website. I would totally recommend using hers, especially since she had a Pterodactyl.

Amy will be hosting the round-up today! You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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Pajama Storytime (August)

After the library stopped hosting “Afternoon Storytime” and a trial program of “Starry Night Stories”, I made the decision to start a monthly “Pajama Storytime” session at the library. I wanted to give families the chance to enjoy hearing stories together — and especially wanted to try again to host an evening program. Our suggested age range is ages 0 to 7 and their families, which means I sometimes get a few older siblings. The goal in this program is simple: foster a love of reading and particularly of reading together as a family!

The Plan



Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by
Go to Bed, Monster by Natasha Wing
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Tiger Can’t Sleep by S.J. Fore

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Four Little Stars”

Rhyme Wheel: “Baa Baa Black Sheep”

Action Rhyme: “Big Yellow Moon”
Big yellow moon shines so bright, (circle overhead)
Glides across the starry night (arms left to right)
Looks down at me (hand shades eyes)
Asleep in bed, (head on hands)
Whispers, “Good night sleepyhead.” (shh)
Big yellow moon, your turn is done (move arms down)
Here comes Mr. Morning Sun (circle overhead)
I wake up. (arms stretch out)
You go to bed. (head on hands)
“Sleep well, Moon, you sleepyhead.” (shh)
Credit: King County Library System

Rhyme Card


Since we don’t do a craft at Pajama Storytime, I decided to create a little something for my families to take home and I came up with the idea of rhyme cards on a laminated ring. Each month will have a different rhyme that we do at storytime and then send parents home with the words. This is a picture of the rhyme cards after quite a few months. This first month, I did Baa Baa Black Sheep.

How It Went

The absolute, hands-down favorite book was “Tiger Can’t Sleep.” The kids thought it was hysterical that Tiger was having such difficultly sleeping. This session was a good deal of older kids (6s and 7s), so they really appreciated the humor. All in all, it was a good launch to the program!

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The Plan



The Ant and the Grasshopper by Ed and Rebecca Emberley
Bugs By the Numbers by Sharon Werner
Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek
I Love Bugs by Emma Dodd

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Hungry Ants”
Five hungry ants, marching in a line,
Came upon a picnicwhere they could dine.
They marched into the salad,they marched into the cake,
They marched into the pepper….uh oh, that was a mistake!
(count down)
Credit: Miss Mary Liberry

Flannelboard: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Action Rhyme w/ Puppet: “Flutter, Flutter Butterfly”
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the summer sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the summer sky
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

Action Song: “Ants Go Marching”
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!
The ants go marching one by one, the little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground, to get out of the rain
Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom
(Two/tie shoe; Three/climb a tree)
Credit: Childhood


For the first summer reading session, I went with a craft where I could easily have extras available in case we got swamped with registrations: scratch art! This is what my demonstration art looked like. I scratched some simple lines for the kids and showed them how you could write as well. I had a lot of preschoolers practicing their letters while my smaller kiddos worked on making the colors come out.

How It Went

Thursday morning

The kids absolutely loved “Five Hungry Ants” on the flannelboard. (Both groups did, but the Thursday morning kids were especially excited by the flannels.) The biggest book success of the day was “Bugs By the Numbers.” The kids loved the big fold-out pages and the different kinds of bugs. I chose to only read the main fact on each page, making it a great storytime read instead of being too long.
Friday morning

This group loved “The Ant and the Grasshopper” and “Butterfly, Butterfly.” But their absolute favorite was “The Ants Go Marching.” They got really into playing around with me and acting out the song. I took it to five ants since they were having such a good time, though I was pretty darn tired by the end of it!

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Just Moved!


Just in case you’ve noticed a lack of post or tweets in the past couple of weeks, I wanted to go ahead and post a quick announcement: I’ve accepted a new job at a new library!

I’ve been at my new position for a week today and everything is going swimmingly. I’m very happy to be there and excited to work with my new patrons, co-workers, and community.

For you, dear blog readers, that means a plethora of clean-up posts from my previous library. (Seriously, I have the whole Summer 2013 storytime session to post and all of Winter 2014 and seven months of Pajama Storytimes that you’ve never seen and four months of Explore the World and a ridiculous amount of Flannel Fridays. And outreach visits and special programs, yikes! Also, I found even more Growing Readers pictures/literacy activities that never went up. And a few Picture Book City posts to do too.)

That also means the start of a new storytime series that I’m calling “Storytime Essentials” — my most favorite storytime activities, hopefully complete with some video performances so that my old co-workers can learn from me even though I’ve changed libraries.

And, once I get myself settled, a ton of brand-new storytime plans and early literacy amazingness. My first tasks include doing Toddler Storytime during the spring session and working to add new activities to our early literacy/family space.

So, please be patient as I work on getting everything out! Thank you for reading!

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Picture Book City: Neighborhood List & Info Sheet


That moment when you’re cleaning out your draft section and you realized that you never finished a series? Yeah, that’s this post right here. This was supposed to be a short post anyways, too!

The official list of Picture Book City neighborhoods:

  • Bedtime
  • Celebrations
  • Concepts (Streets: 123s, ABCs, Colors, Opposites, Shapes, Size, Time
  • Fairy & Folk Tales
  • Favorites (Streets: Awards)
  • Growing Up (Streets: Baby, Family, Feelings, Health, Jobs, Loss, Manners, School
  • Nature (Streets: Bugs, Dinosaurs, Farm, Forest, Ocean, Pets, Seasons, Zoo
  • Rhymes & Songs
  • Stories (Streets: Libraries, Monsters, Pirates)
  • Transportation (Streets: Cars, Con, Truck)

For further information on Picture Book City, check out these documents I wrote/made for patrons and staff:

Patron Information — This is still out in the department for parents to take. It is a document holder I’m constantly refilling since patrons are still taking it a year after PBC was finished!

Picture Book City Training Manual — This is what I wrote for our Tech Services department and for our Pages. It’s also been used to train new staff members in Reference as well.

I will finish this series in the next month (March) with an update about the section after a year and information about doing Picture Book City in Spanish!

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Rosemary Wells!

The Plan



Max’s ABC by Rosemary Wells
Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells
Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells
Time-Out for Sophie by Rosemary Wells

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”

Action Rhyme: “Loud and Quiet”
Quietly, quietly not a sound
I’m listening and I’m listening
As I look around
No sounds as I nod (nod)
No sounds as I clap (clap)
No sounds as I tap my hands on my lap (tap)
Loudly, loudly, stamp and clap (stamp and clap)
Loudly, loudly, stamp and clap (stamp and clap)
Loudly, loudly, stamp and clap (stamp and clap)
All that noise, well fancy that!
Credit: Preschool Storytime Outlines

Puppets: “Five Little Bunnies”
Hippety hop and hippety hay,
Five little bunnies went out to play.
Hippety hop and hippety hay,
One little bunny hopped away.
(No more bunnies are playing today,
I hope they come back another day.)
Credit: Twizzle Magazine

Song: “ABCs” (Two Ways)
Credit: Mel’s Desk


Since coloring sheets have gone over so well at the daycare, I’ve decided to go ahead and keep using them. The teachers love the sheets and the practice the kids get with holding crayons.

How It Went

The kiddos were pretty much unfamiliar with anything except Max and Ruby, so I was glad to introduce them to more works by Rosemary Wells. She’s one of my favorite authors from my childhood and the first preschool program I ever did was a Max and Ruby program, so it’s close to my heart. Kids had the best time with “Max’s ABCs” and the corresponding activity of singing the ABCs to different tunes really blew their minds in the best of ways.

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Flannel Friday: Five Little Ducks

Another flannelboard from the archives! I think this was my second or third flannelboard.

I use this with the song “Five Little Ducks!”

Song: “Five Little Ducks”
Five little ducks went out to play, over the hill and far away
Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
And only four little ducks came back
(count down until)
Sad mother duck went out one day, over the hill and far away
Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
And all of her five little ducks came back

Meg will be hosting the round-up today! You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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The Plan



Circus by Lois Ehlert
Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer
Say Hola to Spanish at the Circus by Susan Middleton Elya
A Small Surprise by Louise Yates

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Little Kernels”
Five little kernels sizzling in the pot
All of a sudden, one went POP! (count down)

Flannelboard: “One Elephant Went Out to Play”
One elephant went out to play
Upon a spider’s web one day
She had such enormous fun
That she called another elephant to come (HEY ELEPHANT)

Action Rhyme: “Five Little Clowns”
Five little clowns all in a row (hold up five fingers)i
Wearing funny hats (tap head)
And polka dotted bows (fix pretend bow tie)
One little clown hopped away (hop)
Back to the circus to laugh and play (wave goodbye)
(Four little clowns, one twirled away; three little clowns, one tumbled away; two little clowns, one wiggled away; one little clown, he tiptoed away)
Credit: Perry Public Library

Action Song: “Funny Clowns”
Funny clowns, funny clowns,
Jump around, jump around
Sometimes making faces
Sometimes running races
Funny clowns, funny clowns
Funny clowns, funny clowns
Spin around, spin around
Sometimes with a big nose,
Sometimes with big toes
Funny clowns, funny clowns
Credit: Youth Literature


This craft kit came from Oriental Trading. It is smaller than it appears in the pictures! The kids enjoyed getting their fingers dirty and doing some fingerprint stamping. I did buy a few additional stamp pads since the craft kit Circus!only contains one small stamp pad per dozen. But we can use those for other projects, too!

How It Went

This was my last regular storytime for the fall session. Attendance has really dropped this year as the weather has gotten colder, so I made the decision to not do a winter session for this year. So, this storytime was bittersweet because I had several moms who would have new babies by the time we started up again! Nevertheless, the kids really enjoyed the theme and it was good to do it in November (when Chicagoland gets the circus). Their favorite book was “Olivia Saves the Circus,” but I also got a lot of compliments about reading “Say Hola to Spanish at the Circus!”

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Flannel Friday: If You Have a…

Today’s Flannel Friday is a super simple clip art easy Flannel that I make ALL THE TIME.

To make this, I find a clip art pattern that I want to use and change its color in Paint. I make twenty-thirty pieces with at least five colors. I print out and laminate each bike (or fire engine or whatever), attaching sticky-back felt to the back of the laminated piece!

Then, in storytime I sing this song to the tune of The Muffin Man:

If you have a red bike,
A red bike, a red bike,
If you have a red bike,
bring it to the board!

The kids come up and place their pieces on the flannelboard, which they love to interact with. I typically do this flannel in addition to a more traditional story, song, or rhyme flannel. The response to this flannel has been wonderful — the kids practice their color knowledge, interacting with me, and taking turns with their peers!

Kathryn will be hosting the round-up today! You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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