Stories With Ms. Jenna

Storytimes, Programs, Booklists, and More!

Storytime: Cake


cake mypoppoplittlemouse

The Cake That Mack Ate by Rose Robart
My Pop Pop and Me by Irene Smalls
Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake by Thomas Taylor
Jake Baked the Cake by B.G. Hennessy
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
It’s My Birthday by Helen Oxenbury

jakebaked giveacat mybirthday

Rhymes & Songs:

Rhyme: “Make a Wish”

Big birthday cake (make huge circle with arms)
Ice cream in a dish (cup hands)
Here are the candles (wiggle fingers on one hand)
Now make a wish! (blow and make fingers into a fist)

Rhyme: “A Birthday”

Today is everyone’s birthday
Let’s make us a cake (form cake with hands)
Mix and stir, stir and mix (stir)
Then into the oven to bake (push hands out)
Here’s our cake so nice and round (make a circle)
We frost it pink and white (spread frosting)
We put five candles on it (hold up hand)
To make a birthday bright!

Then repeat the rhyme twice with tiny cake (small motions) and large cake (big motions).

Song: “This is the way…”

This is the way we mix the batter, mix the batter, mix the batter
This is the way we mix the batter, when we bake a cake!
This is the way we spread the frosting, spread the frosting, spread the frosting
This is the way we spread the frosting, when we bake a cake!
This is the way we eat our piece, eat our piece, eat our piece
This is the way we eat our piece, when we bake a cake!


Five Birthday Candles

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Storytime: Jungle

We have a weekly Saturday morning all-ages drop-in storytime. My co-workers and I rotate who leads it. Last time it was my turn, my theme was “Jungle!”


headtotoe starrysafariwheelsonthebusohno

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Starry Safari by Linda Ashman
The Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera
Oh, No! by Candace Fleming

Rhymes & Songs:

Five Little Monkeys
(done in sign language)

Five little monkeys
Sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr. Alligator,
“Can’t catch me!”
Along comes Mr. Alligator
Jaws open wide
And snap!
Goes another monkey
Deep inside

If You’re a Lion and You Know It
(tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)

If you’re an elephant and you know it, STOMP your feet
If you’re a monkey and you know it, JUMP up and down (ooh ooh aah aah)
If you’re a crocodile and you know it, SNAP your jaws (motion with arms)
If you’re a lion and you know it, give a ROAR!

Animal Action 1
Greg and Steve’s “Kids in Motion”


Let’s hear you roar like a lion!
Let’s see you jump like a frog!
Let’s see you snap your jaws like a crocodile!
Let’s hear you howl like a dog!
Pretend you’re an elephant with a big, looooong, truck.
Pretend you’re a monkey. Let’s see you jump, jump, jump!
And now you’re a mouse. Just let me see
How very, very quiet you can be.

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Free Comic Book Day

It’s taken me a while to get to writing this post, but this year, for the first time, my library celebrated Free Comic Book Day! FCBD is an annual event held the first Saturday in May. Its largest group of participants are comic book shops, but libraries and schools are welcome to get involved, too. The purpose of FCBD is to hand out free comics to patrons.

Free? What comics? Well, it’s free for the patrons, but the shops or libraries have to purchase the comics from the publishers (very cheap though). The comics themselves aren’t just any comics. They are comics specially made by the publishers for FCBD. They serve as great introductions to series to hook new readers.


For my library’s celebration, we partnered with a local comic book shop to obtain the comics. I selected 14 kids or all-ages titles to be ordered as we were hosting the day in the Youth Services Department. I had teen volunteers at the table with the comics to explain the event and help children and parents choose comics. I had a limitation of one comic per child, but we did have leftovers so next year we will probably allow 2 comics per child.

Our most popular comic was Hello Kitty.


Other than the comics, I printed out coloring pages and other activity sheets from Marvel and DC for the kids to take home. I had tables of displays from our graphic novel collection, separated by genre/theme (ex. “As Seen on TV,” “Superheroes,” and “Realistic”). These displays were important because my rational for bringing FCBD to the library was to increase the readership of our graphic novel collection. I also had a trivia box with the chance to win prizes including FCBD t-shirts, an Adventure Time hat, an Ariol poster, or a Dinosaurs poster.


Celebrating FCBD in the Youth Services Department of my library was a huge success, and I look forward to making it even bigger and better next year!

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C2E2: Getting the Most out of Graphic Novels in Your Classroom and Library

WP_20140425_00620140425181457 - EditedToday at C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo), I was on a panel as part of their “Professional Day” programming. The panel was a joint collaboration between Reading With Pictures and ALA‘s Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Interest Group. Our session was titled “Getting the Most out of Graphic Novels in Your Classroom and Library.”

Our moderator, Josh Elder, talked about Reading With Pictures and how they collaborate with educators and librarians. Check out their website for more info!

Jim McClain discussed how his comic Solution Squad can be used to teach math skills to middle schoolers.

Educator David Cutler talked about using comics in his high school history classes.

I was the public librarian perspective on the panel, and rather than present a specific program, I talked about how I developed the juvenile graphic novel collection at my library and how I continue to promote it. I mentioned the 10 Benefits of Reading Comics Handout I made, and bringing Free Comic Book Day to my library (which I will blog more about after the event next week!)

I had a great time today at C2E2, and I’m excited to head back tomorrow!

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Storytime: Space

Storytimes take planning. There are some non-librarian folks out there who think storytimes are just throw together, but the reality is far different. I lead a weekly evening family storytime for ages 2-6 with their families. I come up with a theme each week, and then find books that not only fit that theme, but will work as a good read aloud for a mixed age group. I have to balance different length books with movement rhymes and songs (that also tie-in to the theme), and sometimes throw in a flannel story (which requires making the flannel pieces and learning the story!).

All that being said, sometimes the days just get away from me, and I need to plan my storytime at the last minute. When this happens, my favorite resource is Jbrary. Not only do they have an amazing pinterest with many boards for a variety of storytime themes, they also have a fantastic youtube channel filled with storytime songs. I mention this all because going into work on Wednesday, I had my stack of books ready for storytime, but hadn’t yet prepared any songs. I looked no further than Jbrary to find 4 fabulous songs for my theme: Space!

Book: I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis


Song: We’ll Be Orbiting Around the Moon

We’ll be orbiting around the moon, yes we will
We’ll be orbiting around the moon, yes we will
We’ll be orbiting around the moon X 3
Yes we will

We’ll be landing on the Moon…
We’ll be walking on the Moon…
We’ll be blasting off again…
We’ll be landing back on Earth…

Book: Moon Plane by Peter McCarty


Song: My Little Space Shuttle

Bumpin’ up and down in my little space shuttle
Bumpin’ up and down in my little space shuttle,
Bumpin’ up and down in my little space shuttle,
Won’t you go to the moon with me?

My space suit’s on and my boots are, too…
We step on the moon and bounce up and down…

Book: Higher! Higher! By Leslie Patricelli


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!

Book: Zoom, Rocket, Zoom! By Margaret Mayo


Song: Climb Aboard the Spaceship
Tune: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Climb aboard the spaceship,
We’re going to the moon.
hurry and get ready,
We’re going to blast off soon.
Put on your helmets
And buckle up real tight.
Here comes the countdown,
Let’s count with all our might.
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1—BLAST OFF!!

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Storytime: Pigs

This week’s evening family storytime was all about Pigs! As I was preparing for this storytime, I had trouble finding pig-themed songs/ rhymes that I liked. I prefer ones that involve the kids standing up and using their whole bodies. So, for the first time, I adapted classic songs to make them my own- not near as painful as I thought it’d be! Hence, “Little Piggy” and “Piggy Wiggly” were born, and they were great fun!

Book: Little Pig Joins the Band by David Hyde Costello


Song: Little Piggy
to the tune of “Wheels on the bus”

The little piggy’s feet go trot trot trot
trot trot trot
trot trot trot
The little piggy’s feet go trot trot trot
All around the farm

Snout- sniff
Tail- swish
Mouth- Oink!

Book: Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda


Flannel: The Old Woman and Her Pig


Book: Piggies by Audrey & Don Wood


Song: Piggy Wiggly
to the tune of “Hokey pokey”

Put your right hooves in
Put your right hooves out
Put your right hooves in
And you shake them all about

You do the piggy wiggly
And you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about!

left hooves, snout, tail, whole pig

Book: Z-Z-Zoink! by Bernard Most


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Flannel: The Old Woman and Her Pig

This week my storytime was about pigs, and I knew I wanted to tell the folktale “The Old Woman and Her Pig”. Specifically, I was following the picture book adaptation from Margaret Read MacDonald which I like because it has two short songs that are repeated a few times, and it involves less animals than other versions.

In the story, a woman goes to buy a pig with a penny that was found. When she’s trying to return home with the pig, they get to a bridge and the pig refuses to cross. A dog comes and the woman asks him to bark at the pig so he’ll cross the bridge. The dog refuses. A rat comes and she asks him to nip at dog so dog will bark at pig so pig will cross the bridge. Rat says no. The cat comes along and agrees to set off a chain of events that leads to the pig crossing the bridge, and they return home. In other versions, there are more animals or other elements before someone decides to help, setting off a longer list of chain of events.

I knew I wanted to tell this story, but I didn’t feel like making a whole new set of flannel pieces. Therefore, if you look through my other flannel stories, you’ll notice most of these pieces are borrowed from other sets.


For more flannel stories, check out the Flannel Friday roundup this week, hosted by Anna from Future Librarian Superhero.

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Storytime: Spring

Even though it doesn’t really feel like it yet, it is officially spring! Here is my Spring-themed storytime I did this week at Evening Family Storytime:

Book: Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand


Rhyme: Planting Time
to the tune of “Row Your Boat”

Dig, dig, dig the earth (pretend to dig)
Then you plant your seeds (pretend to plant)
A gentle rain (fingers flutter down)
The bright sunshine (arms circle overhead)
And flowers you will see (open arms wide)

Flannel: Five Little Kites


One little kite in the sky so blue,
Along came another, then there were two.
Two little kites flying high above me;
Along came another, then there were three.
Three little kites, just watch them soar,
Along came another, then there were four.
Four little kites, so high and alive
Along came another, then there were five.
Five little kites dancing across the sky,
What a sight to see, way up so high!

Book: Some Bugs by Angela Diterlizzi


Scroll Story: Wake Up, It’s Spring


Song: “Itsy Bitsy Spider” –Songs for Wiggleworms

The itsy bitsy went up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again

great big hairy spider, very quiet spider, l’araignée gypsy

Book: Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson


Rhyme: Relaxing Flowers

Five little flowers [Hold up five fingers.]
Standing in the sun
See their heads nodding [Make fingers nod.]
Bowing, one by one. [Make fingers bow.]
Down, down, down
Falls the gentle rain, [Flutter fingers downward.]
And the five little flowers
Lift up their heads again! [Hold up five fingers.]

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Flannel: Five Little Kites

This flannel rhyme was inspired by Storytime Katie.


Five Little Kites

One little kite in the sky so blue,
Along came another, then there were two.

Two little kites flying high above me;
Along came another, then there were three.

Three little kites, just watch them soar,
Along came another, then there were four.

Four little kites, so high and alive
Along came another, then there were five.

Five little kites dancing across the sky,
What a sight to see, way up so high!


This week’s Flannel Friday host is Brooke from Reading With Red. Check out her post for a round-up of awesome flannel creations!

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Scroll Story: Wake Up, It’s Spring!

I love making flannel stories, but I wanted to change it up a bit and try something new. Hence, the scroll story was born. This story is based off the picture book Wake Up, It’s Spring! by Lisa Campbell Ernst. The gist is that spring has just arrived so then sun wakes up the earth, who wakes up a worm, who wakes up a seed, who wakes up a ladybug… and so on and so forth. Then everyone dances because they are happy it is spring.

To tell this story, I have drawings of each thing that is woken up. I taped them on a long strip of butcher paper and rolled it all up around some rolled up and stapled cardstock. As I go through the story, I un-roll one picture at a time until the whole thing is showing- I needed a helper to hold one end as it was way too long for me to hold it all up myself. Also, I wrote some words on the back so I didn’t have to memorize the whole story. This project took a lot of time to make, but I think it’s pretty cool so hopefully I’ll find numerous occasions to use it!

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