Posted in Infant/Baby, Storytime

Baby Storytime: A World of Love and Fun

I’ve been enjoying my month of lapsit storytimes. Being part of a 3-librarian children’s room, March was my turn with the babies; for April, one of my colleagues takes over and I’ll have time to craft more storytimes. I’ve been using the same songs each week, which has been great; I’ve seen the parents get the hang of the songs and fingerplays and we’ve had a great time together.

I’ve been trying to stick less to a story-specific theme, more of an overall theme of using one concept book, one fun book, and one book that addresses diversity. This week, we read Shhh! This Book is Sleeping, by Cedric Ramadier; Wherever You Are, by Mem Fox; and A You’re Adorable, by Martha Alexander. The families loved the interactivity of Shhh! This Book is Sleeping. As I read Whoever You Are, there was plenty of opportunity for families to cuddle, and seeing my storytime group of families from all over the world playing not only with their own little ones, but the little ones around them, made my morning. I was amazed at how well A You’re Adorable went over: families repeated each verse after me, bouncing, kissing, and tickling their babies as we went along.


It’s been a lovely month of storytimes, and I’ve come away with an excited new perspective, thanks to Storytime Underground. I’ll be working on toddler and preschooler themes next.



Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

See the animal mommies, count the baby animals!

Count the Baby Animals, by Guido van Genechten, (March 2017, Clavis Publishing), $17.95, ISBN: 978-1605-37324-9

Recommended for readers 2-5

This fun die-cut book shows a pregnant animal mommy; with a flip of the page, she’s surrounded by her babies! Sweet rhyming text throughout invites readers to count each group of animals while offering descriptive details.

This is an adorable book to introduce to toddlers, who can point to and name animals as you read along. Encourage them to make animals sounds for each one to extend the fun. There are oodles of fun animal coloring sheets and activities available online; matching games with moms and babies would be a great choice for older toddlers and early preschoolers. You can pair this with books like P.D. Eastman’s classic, Are You My Mother?, or Nancy Tafuri’s All Kinds of Kisses (one of my personal faves).

Originally published in 2016, this is the English translation of Guido van Genechten’s original Dutch. His artwork is child-friendly, with gentle, cartoony faces and smiles. Endpapers with frolicking baby animals bring the reader right into the fun, and the sturdy paper stock will hold up to exploring little hands, who will love turning the half pages back and forth to see each mommy animal with a round belly, and later, surrounded by her babies.

How Many Baby Animals is a fun addition to toddler bookshelves and would make a fun sibling-to-be gift, too.

Posted in programs, Storytime, Toddler Reads

Baby Storytime: Imagination, Love, Fun

We have honest to goodness baby storytimes here at the new library, so it’s challenged me to work with books and songs that will work for lapsits. It’s been fun, reading board book after board book and learning what will work with my littlest audiences versus my toddlers and preschoolers. I’m also keeping the Social Justice theme in my head as I put these together; making sure my books reflect the diversity in my neighborhood and introducing the kids and parents to other cultures. Since this community has a strong Asian, Southeast Asian, and Latinx community, I’ve introduced both Spanish and Chinese songs (so far), and they’ve gone over really well!

all-fall-down  look-look-again  tickle-time

I chose one book that reflected diversity, a fun fold-out book that challenges the way we see things, and finally, one of my favorites, that gets parents tickling and little ones giggling.

Hello song: “If You’re Ready for a Story”
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Make your hands all nice and neat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat

Hello song: “We’re So Glad to See You”
Where is [insert kids name]?
Where is [insert kids name]?
There s/he is.
There s/he is.
We’re so glad to see you
We’re so glad to see you
Peek-a-boo, Peek-a-boo.
Source: Storytime Katie

I was afraid when I first used this song, to be honest; I didn’t know whether the large group would get tired before I got through every child’s name, but it worked very nicely, and the parents all welcomed the little ones happily and with loads of clapping and hugging.

Action Rhyme: “Acka Backa”
Acka backa soda cracker, acka backa boo! (Rock or bounce your baby)
Acka backa soda cracker, I love you! (Hug your baby!)
Acka backa soda cracker, acka backa boo! (Rock or bounce your baby)
Acka backa soda cracker, up goes you! (Raise your baby up, or put their hands in the air)
Source: Storytime Katie


Action Rhyme: “Choo Choo Train”
This is a choo choo train, going down the track (Bend your arms and move them)
Now it’s going forward, now it’s going back (Lean forward, lean back)
Now the bell is ringing, (Ring your bells!)
Now the whistle blows (Blow on your baby’s head!)
What a lot of noise it makes, (Cover your ears)
Everywhere it goes! (Spread out your arms!)
Source: The Essential Lapsit Guide

Song: Two Little Tigers (Mandarin)
Liǎng zhī lǎohǔ, Liǎng zhī lǎohǔ,
Pǎo de kuài, Pǎo de kuài,
Yī zhī méiyǒu ěrduo, Yī zhī méiyǒu wěibā,
Zhēn qí guài, Zhēn qí guài.

Two little tigers, Two little tigers,
(They) run very fast, (They) run very fast,
One has no ears, One has no tail,
Very strange, Very strange.

This was my first attempt at singing a song in Chinese. I watched a lot of YouTube videos to get the rhythm and pronunciation right, and the families were very generous with me. 🙂 This one will stay in the rotation.


Action Rhyme: “Dos Manitas/Diez Deditos”
Dos manitas, diez deditos,
dos manitas, diez deditos,
dos manitas, diez deditos,
cuéntalos conmigo.

Uno, dos, tres deditos,
cuatro, cinco, seis deditos,
siete, ocho, nueve deditos,
y uno más son diez.

It was nice to get back to a song I knew! This one always goes over well, no matter who the audience is. Waving hands and wiggling fingers makes lapsitters happy!

Song: “Yo te amo”
Yo te amo, yo te amo, all day long, I sing this song to you,
Yo te amo, yo te amo, darling, I love you.

Wo ai ni, wo ai ni, all day long, I sing this song to you,
Wo ai ni, wo ai ni, darling, I love you.

Āmi tōmāẏa bhālōbāsi, all day long I sing this song to you,
Āmi tōmāẏa bhālōbāsi, darling, I love you.
I love you, I love you, all day long, I sing this song to you,
I love you, I love you, darling, I love you.
Source: Jbrary

I’ve added Bengali in here, but haven’t had the chance to sing it yet – hoping my upcoming storytime will be the charm. In the meantime, more chance to practice!

Fingerplay/Song: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip
climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Blast off!
Source: Jbrary

Nursery Rhyme/Song: “Baa Baa Black Sheep”
Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full…

Gotta have an original classic in there! This one is a favorite, everywhere I go.


Closing Rhyme: “With My Little Hands”
With my little hands I go clap, clap, clap
With my little feet I go tap, tap, tap
With my little arms I wave bye, bye, bye
With my little legs I kick high, high, high
With my little eyes I play peek-a-boo
With my little mouth I say “I love you”
Source: Storytime Katie

Closing Rhyme: “Tickle the Clouds”
Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around
And tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime’s over
So wave goodbye!
Source: Storytime Katie

I think I’m off to a good start. I’ll swap in three new books every storytime, and keep most of the songs and rhymes, introducing a new one and swapping it back and forth with a previous one, to give the families familiarity with them, so they can do them at home.

Posted in Infant/Baby, programs, Storytime, Storytime

Storytime: What Baby Can Do

This was a storytime I tried out with my Corona infants a little over a year ago. It’s meant to be a lapsit for babies about 6-10 months, but toddlers had fun with this one, too. I tried to keep a good mix popular songs and fingerplays, with some books that encouraged parents to be interactive with the little ones.

Books read:

katz   katz_2   counting-kisses

Opening Song: Hello, My Friends! (to the tune of “A Hunting We Will Go“)

Hello, my friends, hello!
Hello, my friends, hello!
Hello, my friends, hello, my friends,
Hello, my friends, hello!

Story: Wiggle Your Toes, by Karen Katz

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

And eyes, and ears, and mouth,
And nose.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

(When I’m doing this with preschoolers, I’ll have the kids do it faster, and again superfast. They love it!)

Fingerplay: This Little Piggie
This little piggie went to market,
This little piggie stayed home,
This little piggie had roast beef,
And this little piggie had none.
But THIS little piggie went WEE, WEE, WEE, all the way home!

Story: Peek-A-Baby, by Karen Katz

Rhyme: One Hand, Two Hands
One hand can wave, (wave)
One hand can tap, (tap your knee with your hand)
But they each need a friend
If they want to clap! (clap hands together!)
Thanks to Perry Public Library for this one!

Rhyme: We Can! (great for toddlers, but easily adapted for babies)
We can jump, jump, jump, (bounce baby on your lap!)
We can hop, hop, hop, (bounce baby!)
We can clap, clap, clap, (clap baby’s hands!)
We can stop, stop, stop. (hold baby’s hands in a stopping motion)
We can nod our heads for yes, (nod)
We can shake our heads for no, (shake your head)
We bend our knees a little bit, (gently bend baby’s knees)
And we can sit down slow.
Thanks to Perry Public Library for this one!

Rhyme: My Hands (copy the actions)
My hands upon my head I place,
Upon my shoulders, on my face,
On my hops, and by my side,
Now behind me they will hide,
I can raise them way up high,
And make my fingers fly, fly, fly,
Now they are in front of me,
I will clap them, 1, 2, 3!
Thanks to Perry Public Library for this one!

Story: Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz (I encourage my parents to kiss along with the story, with adorable results and giggling babies)

Song: Hokey Pokey (again, great for toddlers, easily adaptable for babies by having caregivers sit in a circle and raise each body part for baby)
You put your right hand in,
You put your right hand out,
You put your right hand in,
And you shake it all about,
You do the hokey pokey
and you turn yourself around
That what it’s all about!

2) left hand
3) right foot
4) left foot
5) head
6) tush
7) whole self

Closing Song: Goodbye, My Friends! (same tune as the Hello song)

Goodbye, my friends, goodbye!
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye!
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye, my friends,
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye!


Posted in Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade

Eric Orchard’s Bera the One-Headed Troll is great graphic storytelling

bera_1Bera the One-Headed Troll, by Eric Orchard (Aug. 2016, First Second), $17.99, ISBN: 9781626721067

Recommended for ages 8-14

Bera is a happy and solitary troll, living on her little island where she harvests pumpkins and has an owl to keep her company. She finds herself on the run when she saves a human infant – an infant that other trolls and goblins want for themselves! Now Bera has to keep the baby safe until she can find the parents and reunite the family. It’s a big job, but Bera has a lot of heart and is more than up to the task.

Bera’s another great story from Eric Orchard, who gave us Maddy Kettle’s adventure with the Thimblewitch almost two years ago. Now, Orchard gives us the story of a solitary troll who finds herself called upon to stand out when she makes the decision to save a human baby that’s ended up in the land of trolls. This isn’t something she sought out, but she won’t let an innocent be harmed: it’s a great message for kids; don’t worry about standing out from the crowd if you feel something is wrong. Protect and defend those who can’t defend themselves. I love the storytelling, I enjoy Orchard’s art, and once again, great graphic storytelling brings an important message to readers in a powerful yet sweet fashion.

First Second publishes great graphic novels for all ages. This is another great selection to add to graphic novel collections.



Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Book Review: What Does Baby Do? by Martin Larranaga (Begin Smart, 2008)

whatdoesbabydoRecommended for ages 0-4

Using lift-the-flaps to teach babies the concept of object permanence, What Does Baby Do? presents cartoon children in different situations and asks the question, “What does baby do?” Each flap reveals how baby handles a new situation: petting a cat, blowing kisses to grandma and grandpa, and waving good-bye to Daddy. Each action is physical, allowing for parents and guardians to interact with their children by asking them the question, “What does baby do?”, and acting out the answers. The book features multi-ethnic families and its artwork is cartoon style with bright colors and pastels and a bold, childlike font. Flaps are oversized for small fingers that are just learning to grasp. A note to parents in the book provides information on object permanence in infants and offers ideas on using the book.

This is a participatory book, so a story time allows the audience to take an active role, repeating the question on each page and acting out the answers. Story time leaders can also teach object permanence games like Peek-a-Boo to parents and guardians, and provide handouts from parenting websites with more information.

Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Book Review: Shake it Up, Baby! by Karen Katz (Little Simon, 2009)

shake it up babyRecommended for ages 1-4

Shake It Up, Baby! is an interactive board book that will get parents and toddlers moving together. The book, which contains a rattle in its spine, leads readers through a dance, encouraging them to “touch your nose, rub your tummy, [and] shake your rattle”. As with Katz’s other books, the featured babies are multiethnic and have big, round heads with cheerful facial expressions. Katz’s artwork uses pastels with her trademark heavy outlines, varicolored backgrounds, and bright colors with bold fonts. Dotted curves depict movement.

The book includes a link to, the publisher’s children’s division, where parents and guardians can read a parenting guide and discover more Karen Katz activities.

As the book is the activity, a story time using this book gives parents, guardians and toddlers the chance to get up and dance with the book. Story time can include other songs and dances, like the Hokey Pokey and fingerplays like Tommy Thumbs.