We’re experiencing *slight* technical difficulties…

And by technical difficulties, I mean I was flustered and not prepared!



So last week was my very first StoryTech! I have not yet had time to do a full write up (thanks, summer library program!) but I will tell you that it was all about bugs and once I looked hard enough to find all the parts I needed, it went off without a hitch.


I’ll sit down soon and get all the gritty details out, until then, on to our next regular storytime!


A Berry, Beary storytime

Bears are known berry fans. Some, like this fine bear below, like to sample. 520833238_5c977b90b1_m   Some are more aficionados as you can see demonstrated by this lovely bear… bear-berry1   And some would go to just about any length to get their cute little paws on some berries like this risk taker below. Careful Mr. Bear! Don’t fall! poster,375x360,ffffff


Since we ended our Spring storytime session with a bear theme, I thought it might be fun to sort of carry that over into the start of summer with another related theme, berries! I’ll be honest, I don’t expect anybody to have really remembered the theme from almost 3 weeks ago, let alone get the connection to this week, I just like to amuse myself with abstract continuity.  😀

It also gives me the chance to test the waters with bringing in a puppet / stuffed mascot. I wanted to use a stuffed bear in one of my flannel boards for some added fun.

oooh, maybe I could try to work bears into every storytime…. nah, that might be silly.

Anyhow, I actually have TWO whole flannel boards that I made for this theme, one of them is a play off the book Jamberry by Bruce Degen I got the idea from Jbrary when I was searching for ways to do Jamberry as a flannel since we (GASP) don’t own a copy here! Jbrary also makes an excellent point in that the book doesn’t have much of an actual story line so it ends up being great as a flannel activity.

You can see their video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFns_G4PrP0

I modified it slightly in that my berries will be going into a basket since I don’t think the boat makes much sense if you haven’t or aren’t reading the book and I changed the wording a tiny bit too.

As I spoke the lines I (and the kids) acted out the motions like they do in the Jbrary video which I thought was fun and makes it a bit of an active rhyme as well as a flannel board all while helping to develop gross motor skills and vocabulary with the motion and word associations. Yay, learning!



Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 1 berry, 2 berries, pick me some blueberries

Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 3 berries, 4 berries, pick me a strawberry

Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 5 berries, 6 berries, pick me some red cherries

Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 7 berries, 8 berries, pick me a blackberry

Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam. 9, berries, 10 berries, pick me a raspberry.

Under the bridge and over the dam, baskets of berries, berries for jam.


In addition to Jamberry the flannel, I’ll be doing  Five Ripe Strawberries and this is where Mr. Bear comes in handy. As I’m doing the counting and taking the berries off the board, I give them to Mr. Bear to eat. I make silly eating noises and the kids giggle, what’s not to like?

Five Ripe Strawberries

Five red strawberries, sweet to the core.
Bear came and ate one (om nom nom nom) and then there were four.

Four red strawberries, growing near a tree.
Bear ate another one (om nom nom nom) and then there were three.

Three red strawberries, for you and you and you.
Bear came and ate another (om nom nom nom) and then there were two.

Two red strawberries, sitting in the sun.
Bear ate the biggest one (om nom nom nom) and then there was one.

One red strawberry, where five had been before.
Bear ate the last of them (om nom nom nom) and then there were no more.

No more strawberries, whatever will bear do?
He’ll have to go berry picking with all of you!



I’ve found this or very similar rhymes on various sites though I changed the last line for my use. Aside from the two flannel activities, I also picked 3 books about berries. 2 of them are about blueberries; Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey and Blueberry Mouse by Alice Low, and then this mouthful of a title, The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood.

Blueberries for Sal is a classic that I remember reading when I was young which I was a tiny bit worried wouldn’t make for a great storytime read due to the small size, monochrome and detailed illustrations, and somewhat wordy text, but I figured if I read it first it might be ok. Both groups did very well with it. It doesn’t hurt to involve the kids every couple pages by asking them questions like “do you think Sal found her mother?” “How many blueberries are in her pail?” things like that.

Blueberry Mouse was a new one for me but I thought it was all around pretty cute; great rhyming and rhythm, cute illustrations and a fun guessing game at the end. “What kind of house do you think Blueberry Mouse will live in next?!”

After those two I ended with The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. I think this is such a fun and cute book. I love the relaxed tone and had comments from kids and parents alike about liking the book. There are actually very few words, maybe 5 or so a page in general but it’s a big book with bright and detailed illustrations.

I had a lot of fun with the two flannels and all three of the stories. Having more than one flannel gave me lots of room for improv. During one storytime, counting was a big thing so we counted the berries we picked for jam, then we counted how many of each color, then I brought out the strawberries from the other flannel and we counted ALL the berries, then the types and so on. You could also easily use them to play memory games by adding and taking away different ones and asking the kids to remember.

I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous going back into storytime after such a long break, I was worried I’d fallen out of sync with it but all was well.

Now, next storytime to conquer will be a StoryTech storytime! I’ll be busting out the apps and videos on our iPad and using them along with regular books to enhance our storytime in a new and hopefully exciting way!

I’m not dead….yet!

It’s true, I’m alive! We’ve been on a break from storytime here at my library but we’ve still been busy what with getting ready for the Summer Library Program, yay!


bring on the registrants, we are caffeinated and mobile!


In fact, today is the official start and we are off and running! We’ve registered 86 kids in the first 3 hours, yowza!

This will actually be my first year doing the summer program at this particular library but I am MORE than familiar with the various aspects of summer reading / programs when it comes to libraries having worked at my fair share and used many growing up. I love that they all put their own little spin on things. Here we are doing something call “Top Ten” which is a list of activities or features of the library that are either well used or we wanted to highlight such as “Read a Book” or “attend a library program” or”use the tech farm”. Kids pick an activity from the list, complete it, then log it to claim this week’s prize. I love that it gives kids the option to make their summer program work best for them; maybe they aren’t big readers yet, or maybe they aren’t one for “computing” as one young gentleman informed me today.

“Hello!” said the youth department head, “Have you heard about our summer library program? Can we sign you up?”

“well, to be honest, I’m not really one for computing.”

 To which she informed him that if he changed his mind to let us know and with that he tipped his cap and said “Cheerio”  and was off on his merry way. No joke. This actually happened today and it made my morning. Loved that kid.

Anyhow, as I was saying, not everything appeals to every person and this gives people the chance to explore in their own way and make the library their own experience. Speaking of tech and computing, I will have my very first Storytime Plus (I still wanna call it StoryTech, but it’s already on the calendar as “storytime plus”. curse my slow creativity) in a week! Ahh, nerves! I have lots of ideas and am hoping they go over well but I’m also dreading the wrench(s) in the wheels that are bound to happen.

What do I do when the sound doesn’t work or the picture goes out or some kid comes and smacks at the very tempting smartboard causing the app to go haywire?!

*deep breath* I improvise and move on. At least I now have a hefty bit more storytime experience under my belt than when I first started here.  I know that if nothing else, I’ll have back up books and other fun stuff to make up for any technological failures.

Speaking of storytime, We’re back on track with our summer session starting Monday; I hope that the return is berry, berry fun.  😉


bears bears bears bears!



Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff
He’s Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Willy nilly silly old bear


This weeks theme was bears, though sadly, I didn’t read any Winnie the Pooh books. :/

Maybe I’ll do a whole Winnie the Pooh storytime! ooh….ideas!


Anyhow, I did read some pretty great books and had some fun flannel and rhymes as well.

One of my new favorite author / illustrator duos is Sean Bryan and Tom MurphyI read one of their other books in a previous storytime and loved it so when I saw that they had a bear themed one I was all over it. They’re cute and silly and quick with great rhythm and get lots of giggles from the kids. The first book of theirs that I read was “A Boy and his Bunny” which is about a boy with a bunny on his head and what he does (or can do) in his day to day life, bu what was quite funny about this one was that the roles were reversed and it was called“A Bear and his Boy” and featured a bear with a boy on his back!


 “This is the story
Of a Bear named Mack
Who woke up one morning
With a boy on his back!”

I also read the book “Bear Dreams” by Elisha Cooper. The theme of that story is a bit more fall/winter themed since it talks about hibernation, but it was a cute book and had fun pictures so I went with it. The kids seemed to quite like that one because the bear does some silly things like tries to fly with some geese and hop with bunnies. I love the style of the illustrations as well, they’re very pretty watercolor images.

After Bear dreams we got some energy out by going on a bear hunt!

I’m sure most, if not all of you are familiar with the story of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” which has been around in many versions for quite some time. we didn’t read the book or just act it out, we did a flannel board for it and I had them help me act it out. Not only is it fun to pretend to climb trees and skip over bridges, but it helps develop their imagination, strengthen gross motor skills, group dynamics, and instill confidence in the kids as they act things out with (somewhat) of an audience.

But mostly, it’s lots of fun. 🙂

Our final book was one that I quite enjoyed, “The Bear Who Shared” by Catherine Rayner. The story is cute but still is able to portray messages of patience as well as sharing/kindness. The illustrations are simple but very pretty and unique, in fact, I remember looking at the cover when I picked it off the shelf and thinking “oh I hope this one is good because I love the picture!”  I’m glad it lived up to my expectations.  I had a couple other rhymes / fingerplays that I considered doing but I ended up only doing one but I’m glad I did because it was a HUGE hit; fits of giggles through the room. yay!


Two Little Black Bears 

Two little black bears sitting on a hill
One named Jack and the other named Jill
Run away Jack, run away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill

Two little black bears digging in the snow
One digs fast and the other digs slow
Run away fast, run away slow
Come back fast, come back slow

Two little black bears feeling very proud
One is quiet and the other is loud
Run away quiet, run away loud
Come back quiet, come back loud

Two little black bears bouncing with a ball
One bounced short and the other bounced tall
Bounce away short, bounce away tall
Come back short come back tall

 There are many versions of this rhyme out there but that’s the one I used. You can add just about anything that you think you can act out with your hands. Well, I guess you could act it out with more than your hands or use puppets, but I opted for the one finger version a la Jbrary.  So, for example, when you’re saying “One is ___ and the other is___”  you make you voice / actions match to the words. So if one is fast and one is slow, say the words around “fast” really quickly the words around “slow” very slowly. You get the point, the video below shows it better anyhow. hah. I also tried to let the kids come up with different verses to add but they were either not feeling very creative that day or were pretty ok with just the ones I’d done. 😉



Now we’re on a break from storytime for the next couple weeks so hopefully that’ll give me time to write up some other posts I’d been hoping to get to as well as nail down more details about my Storytime Plus sessions! Exciting!


until next time!