I’ve recently figured out that doing storytime for toddlers is HARD. With babies, they’re not crawling or walking anywhere, so they’re a captive audience. With preschoolers, they’re being taught in school to sit down, criss-cross applesauce, to pay attention, so they’re usually attentive. But with 2s and 3s, boy, they are all over the place. So I never know if they’re listening or not while they’re having little freakouts or bouncing around the mats.
Still, having learned that, I had a super-fantastic storytime today. It was so much fun. I had about 65 children and adults combined, mostly from nearby daycares. We have some new guidelines that we share with the caregivers, too, at the beginning of all storytimes, which is important:
- This program is for (insert ages here). Sometimes an older sibling preschooler will be good during his/her little sibling’s storytime, and sometimes s/he won’t be. It’s really useful to keep all attendees the same age.
- Please encourage your child to participate. Your child is more likely to participate if you do. Truth. Kids mimic what they see adults doing, and if you pat your head, so will they.
- Adults, please set your cell phones to vibrate, and please don’t have conversations with each other during storytime. Frankly, I’d like to take that a little further: please put your cell phones AWAY. Put them down. Check them briefly and discreetly if you need to once in a while, but now is not the time to play Candy Crush.
So I went with a food theme this time, and read the following books:
First, The Watermelon Seed (which just won the Geisel Award); the kids I think were scared by the character’s imagination that a watermelon would grow in his belly, even though on each page I reassured the kids that “That’s silly, right? Does that really happen? Nooooooo!” The biggest success was the next book, Worms for Lunch?, which allowed us to talk about lunch foods and what we eat for lunch, and what animals eat. (Fun tidbit: the book is dedicated to Andrew Zimmern, who, the author notes, has had worms for lunch before. Hee!)
Before the last book, I pulled out Coworker C’s birthday cake felt, which I probably didn’t use in the best way, but it was fun.
Before the kids came, I set it up with the cake behind the oven on the flannel board. Then we talked about what ingredients go into a cake, and I stuck them on the board. Then I told them it had to cook, so we had to wait, so why don’t we count to ten, and then voila, I took off the oven and there was the cake, which the kids loved. Then I held up the B, asked what color it was, what words started with B, and then I put the candles on top, and asked the kids what it was. (A birthday cake!)
(Wait till you see tomorrow’s flannel. I am very proud.)
The last book was Chew, Chew, Gulp, which is fun, but maybe not a storytime book. They were getting a little restless, so I sped that one along.
Interspersed within the books were the songs “Open/Shut Them,” with our usual opening and closing songs. The David Carter If You’re Happy and You Know It” is always a hit.
I also got some lovely compliments after the show by some of the care providers – the ones who had their phones away and were participating – that should tell you something.
Tomorrow is baby time! Hooray! My favorite, honestly.
In other news, I also spent 90 minutes in the non-fiction section covering for the staff while they had their staff meeting. It was fun – so many interesting and different questions than in children’s, I’ll tell you that.
Now, links, my dear readers:
How about a second Divergent trailer?
These are incredible. If I didn’t break my nails all the time shelving, I’d invest in getting them done.
Library history can be a lot of fun, I swear. Have you ever wondered about the history of this? Or wanted to learn more about Melvil Dewey, who was kind of an a-hole, but still the father of librarianship?
Too cute for words.
More post-Potter revelations from J.K. Rowling.
While I don’t really advocate vandalism, this is still a fun idea.
Confession: I really wanted to be a cruise ship librarian for a while. Still do, sort of, but this broke my bubble.
From Sister A. I am most obviously, clearly Ramona Quimby.
Also from Sister A, some rockin’ bookstores.
Do you live in the most literate city in the U.S.? Which city takes that honor might surprise you.
In What’s Annabelle Reading, I spent a few days wading through the new release Belle Cora. I love historical fiction, and this focused on New York and California in the 1850s. One of those sweeping sagas. It was pretty good. I also read – skimmed, I must admit, because I couldn’t bear to read it intensely – This Star Won’t Go Out, about Esther Earl, who was friends with John Green and partially inspired The Fault in Our Stars. Heartbreaking but uplifting, if that makes any sense. I’m in the middle of a novel for book club that I can’t put down – I can’t wait to share it with you when I finish.