friends, friends, friends...

Let me begin this post by saying either this storytime needs a LOT of work or I was having a *seriously* off day, but storytime was not a big success for me today. I was kind of excited about the theme - friends - because it left me open to all kinds of stories, but the kids didn't really seem to get into it and many of them even seemed distracted. :(

For what it's worth, here's the setlist:

'Hello Everybody'

Welcome: I asked the kids to guess what this week's theme was (which was hard to do!) and then gave them a hint - what do we call two people who play together and have fun? FRIENDS! I asked them what they do with their friends (play games, sing, dance, play sports, read, etc.) and told them that today's stories were all about friends - the good, the bad, and the funny.


Your Pal Mo Willems Presents Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Mo Willems rarely disappoints and this book is no exception. "Leonardo was a terrible monster." But not the way you'd think. Leonardo is terrible at being a monster. All he needs is one chance to "scare the tuna salad out of somebody" and he knows his reputation would be saved. After some research, he finds who he thinks is the most scaredy cat kid in the whole world... and Leonardo has to make a big decision.

This is a nice, big book which makes it easy to share, but the illustrations have some subtly to them that gets lost when children aren't seated close enough to spend some time viewing them. Overall, though, this is a great story to share as empathy is a skill that we must learn.

Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett
I might have forced this one because I just love it SO MUCH. Chameleon is doing all he can to find himself a friend and end his loneliness. Now, we all know that chameleons can change their color, but this Chameleon bends over backwards to fit in with his desired "friends"! The text is minimal, so the charm is really in the pictures (and some of Chameleon's own dialog, which includes asking a sock on a clothesline if they could "hang out") but I did try to make the story a little more interactive by asking the kids if Chameleon could really be friends with some of the sillier objects.

Let's Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile
I used this book with my 4-K group as I was pretty sure it would be over the 2-3 year old's heads. Frankie and Sid have done everything - played every game, baked enough cookies to "feed a small country", etc. - so there's nothing left to do... but nothing. Which is a lot harder than it sounds.

I got some serious giggles from some of the harder-to-crack storytime nuts. :)

Song: 'Skidamarink' (reprisal from last week) & 'If You're Friendly & You Know It"

A Girl and Her Gator by Sean Bryan
As a huge fan as A Bear and His Boy, which we read earlier this session, you can imagine my delight in finding A Girl and Her Gator. A girl wakes up with a gator on top of her head. All the lines rhyme with "there", so our girl is Claire and our gator is Pierre - who reassures Claire that a girl can do anything with a gator up there. And concerns about whispering, gossiping friends are put to rest when Claire has the courage to embrace her new headpiece.

I'm the Best! by Lucy Cousins
If the cover doesn't get you, the story certainly will. Dog has great friends - Donkey, Goose, Mole, and Ladybug - but he needs you to know that he wins at everything he tries, so he is the best! His friends are hurt by Dog's boastful ways and (surprisingly) it doesn't take long for Dog to realize that he isn't the *best*... or is he?

The bright and cheery illustrations are real attention grabbers and the kids in both groups really loved this one.

Craft: "My name is ____ and I am a good friend" Portraits
I definitely came up short in the craft department this week. I didn't plan far enough ahead because if I HAD, I would have tried to borrow a handprint diecut from a neighboring library to use to make a friendship wreath.

Instead, I wrote out the sentence above and drew a head with ears, a neck, and the top of a shirt. Then I had the kids (who could) write their names and add hair and features to do a self-portrait.