Stories With Ms. Jenna

Storytimes, Programs, Booklists, and More!

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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Storytime: Alligators & Crocodiles

This week’s evening family storytime was all about “Alligators & Crocodiles!”

Book: Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond


Rhyme: Crocodile, Crocodile Turn Around

Crocodile, crocodile, turn around.
Crocodile, crocodile, touch the ground.
Crocodile, crocodile, dance on your toes.
Crocodile, crocodile, touch your nose.
Crocodile, crocodile, jump up now.
Crocodile, crocodile, take a bow.
Crocodile, crocodile, stomp your feet.
Crocodile, crocodile, take a seat.

Book: There’s an Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Mayer


Rhyme: Five Little Monkeys

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

I learned this in sign from Marge Loch-Wouters at Guerilla Storytime at ALA Midwinter ’14. So much fun!

Book: Snip Snap! What’s That? By Mara Bergman


Rhyme: The Crocodile Goes
to the tune of Wheels on the Bus

The crocodile’s legs go crawl, crawl, crawl
Crawl, crawl, crawl
Crawl, crawl, crawl
The crocodile’s legs go crawl, crawl, crawl
All through the swamp

Tail goes swish
Eyes go blink
Teeth go chomp

Book: Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut


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Happy Birthday Flannel Friday!

My blog is all about birthdays lately! My last post was about my Happy Birthday! storytime that I did in honor of my upcoming birthday. However, this post is about a different birthday… Happy 3rd birthday Flannel Friday! To celebrate, participants were asked to share their favorite Flannel Friday projects.

There have been so many awesome and inspirational Flannel Friday projects that I cannot list them all, but here is a sampling of some that I really loved:

Hedgehogs from Miss Meg- Little hedgehogs the kids used with a song and then got to take home with them! Adorable.

I Dream of an Elephant from Miss Tara- I love using this book in storytime, and this flannel version is so cute!

Five Little Kites from Storytime Katie- I need to make some kites of my own soon, and if they turn out half as lovely as these, I’ll be thrilled.

Goldilocks from Library Village- I am in love with this flannel set. The pieces are so beautiful.

The Lovely Ladybug from Fun with Friends at Storytime- I made my own copy of this since I loved it so much. Thanks Kathryn for introducing me to the wonderfulness that is folder stories!

Go Away, Big Green Monster! Draw and Tell from So Tomorrow- I have yet to use a draw & tell in storytime, but when I do, this is one I’d love to try.

For more posts like this one, check out the round-up hosted by Anne at So Tomorrow.


Storytime: Happy Birthday!

Last night I had the first storytime of a new session (our patrons register for 6 week sessions of storytime). Half my kids are returnees from last session, and half are new! I have a mixed group of 2-6 year olds with a lot of siblings which is really fun. Since my birthday is this upcoming Saturday, our theme was “Happy Birthday!”

Book: The Birthday Pet by Ellen Javernick


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!

I then repeated the rhyme twice with tiny cake (small motions) and large cake (big motions).

Book: It’s My Birthday by Helen Oxenbury


Flannel Rhyme: “Five Birthday Candles

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Song: Laurie Berkner Band “Five Days Old”

I’m sitting here I’m one day old
I’m sitting here I’m two days old
I’m sitting here I’m three days old
I’m sitting here I’m four days old
One day I’ll be a year
Then I’ll be two then three then four
But as for now I’m sitting here
I’m five days old and no days more

jumping up, clapping my hands, kicking out my legs, getting tired, jumping up

Book: If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff


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)

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Flannel Friday Round-Up

It’s Flannel Friday! Here are this week’s awesome submissions:

Bridget over at What is Bridget Reading crocheted these cute Rabbit Finger Puppets. Think of all the rhymes and stories one could use with these!


Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime made these Lion Puppets (Yes, they’re puppets!). She’s using these along with the rhyme “5 Ferocious Lions.”


Lisa from Thrive After Three made this video about using Edward Gibbs’ I Spy series in flannel form. I love when librarians make videos. It’s so helpful!

Anne at So Tomorrow created a flannel adaption of The Noisy Counting Book by Susan Schade. It sounds like such a fun story to tell!


Jennifer at Storytime Extras made these Two Little Blackbirds props for the kids to use while saying the rhyme… Much more exciting than just using their pointer finger!


Katie at Story Time Secrets made this flannel set for the rhyme There Was an Old Man with a Beard by Edward Lear. Kids will love this silly rhyme, and will probably enjoy discussing what else could find a home in his beard!


Mrs. Todd at A Librarian Less Ordinary wrote about her Shark Storytime that included this flannel set to go along with the song Five Little Fishies. I love that shark!


Dana over at Magic Librarian created this Down by the Bay set to use with the Raffi’s version of the song. This set looks so fun, and this song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day now for sure!


Ms. Monica at Ram Ram Storytime shared this prop to go along with the book Monkey Soup by Lois Sachar. What a great way to bring this story to life!


Miss Sue at Library Village created a flannel set to tell the classic tale, Goldilocks. These pieces are GORGEOUS!


Anne at itsybitsymom made this fabulous I Can Read! rebus rhyme magnet set. I’m sure the kids loved making all kinds of different sentences!


Piper at Piper Loves the Library made this lovely flannel circles as part of her Common Ground Art Smart program. This sounds like such an amazing program, and Piper gives an in-depth how-to!


This week, I (Jenna at Stories with Ms. Jenna) made this cake to use with the rhyme Five Birthday Candles in my upcoming birthday storytime.

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Thanks everyone for your creative submissions this week!

For more information about Flannel Friday, check out the blog. To find more flannel inspiration, take a look at the pinterest.



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