Stories With Ms. Jenna

Storytimes, Programs, Booklists, and More!

Storytime: Socks and Shoes

I recently lead a drop-in, all-ages storytime. I only had a few kids, most of whom were going to a juggler performance we were hosting right after. Therefore, this was a short and sweet storytime! We still had a lot of fun. :)



Ooh La La Polka-Dot Boots by Ellen Olson-Brown
Whose Shoes? by Stephen R. Swinburne
Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting
Who Has These Feet? by Laura Hulbert


This is What My Feet Can Do!

This is what my feet can do, feet can do, feet can do.
This is what my feet can do
Can you do it too?

Let your feet go hop, hop, hop; hop, hop, hop; hop, hop, hop
Let your feet go hop, hop, hop
All around the room.

Make your feet go jump, jump, jump…
Can your feet go tiptoeing, tiptoeing, tiptoeing…

Now your feet can sit right down, sit right down, sit right down,
Now your feet can sit right down,
Quietly, please.

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.

repeat faster and faster until it’s too hard to do

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Review: Absolutely Almost

absolutelyMy library recently teamed up with our local news to provide a “Read of the Week” feature. I was the first one up to bat, and I reviewed Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff. Check out my rave review and then do yourself a favor and read the book!

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Storytime: Books

During the summer, we have a weekly “picnic storytime” for all ages. The kids bring a picnic lunch to have during the storytime. The staff rotates who leads the storytime, and when it was my turn, I chose the theme “Books!” This storytime is different than my normal ones because I used a lot less movement since the kids would be sitting and eating.


snatchabookbooksalways midnightimnotreading

The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty
Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt
The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara
I’m Not Reading! by Jonathan Allen

Folder Story:


Lovely Ladybug. (This didn’t fit into my theme at all, but it was a great way to get participation from the kids without making them move)

Songs & Rhymes:

Both from the wonderful Jbrary!

Let’s Take a Look

Let’s take a look
at this book
Here is the cover
We open it wide
Here are the pages hidden inside
There are words and pictures
We look and we look
And when we are finished
We close up the book

The More We Get Together

The more we get together, together, together
The more we get together
The happier we’ll be
For your friends are my friends
and my friends are your friends
The more we get together
The happier we’ll be

The more we read together, together, together
the more we read together
the happier we’ll be.
Read big books and small books
Read short books and tall books
The more we read together
the happier we’ll be.

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Yoga Storytime

A while ago, I did a Yoga Storytime alongside a co-worker. (I thought I posted about it already, but just realized I only had a draft of it!)

We had never done a Yoga Storytime before, so this was an expirement. Overall, it went really well! We had 12 kids in grades 1-3, and the program lasted 45 min. My co-worker and I both practice yoga, but neither of us are instructors. Therefore, the actual yoga in this program was pretty light. It was more of a movement storytime with some yogic principals infused.

We wanted to set a mood when the kids entered the program so we had instrumental music, dim lighting, and mood lamps. After everyone was settled on their yoga mat or towel, we gave a brief introduction and talked about breathing techniques. Throughout the program, we mentioned being mindful of nature and creatures around us and the importance of compassion.



Stretch by Doreen Cronin
Each Living Thing by Joanne Ryder
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Breathe by Scott Magoon
Hi, Harry! by Martin Waddell

breathe hiharry

Music/ Movement:

In between the books, we used three songs from the CD “Dance for the Sun” by Kira Willey:

Dance for the Sun (Yoga Track)
The Shimmy
Namaste Song (for this song, the kids laid on their backs and placed beanie babies on their stomachs to watch the rise and fall of their breath)


This idea came from my co-worker’s daughter! We called it “Yoga Combo.” Each kid was given two slips of paper, one with an adjective and one with an animal. They had to put the two together and create a new pose to go along with it. If they were willing, they could share the pose with the group and we would all do the new pose together! We all had so much fun with this.

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Storytime: Red, White, & Blue

A “Red, White, & Blue” themed storytime to use near the 4th of July!


redhen itlookedlike petethecat

The Red Hen by Rebecca & Ed Emberley
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
Red, White, and Boom! by Lee Wardlaw

littlewhiterabbit redwhiteboom

Songs & Rhymes:

Blue, Blue
Blue, blue is the color I see
If you’re wearing blue, then show it to me
Stand up, take a bow, turn around
Show me your blue and sit back on the ground

repeat with white and red

Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem
Oh say can you see me slap on my knee?
If you’ll do the same, we’ll begin this new game.

Oh but say I have plans to add clapping hands.
And this we’ll repeat ’til the song is complete.

Oh say just suppose that we tried tapping toes
And attempted all three simultaneously.

Oh say have you tried to sway side to side?
Lean left, then reverse … on this, the fourth verse.

Oh say I’ll advise that you now close your eyes.
And let me remark … it’s more fun in the dark.

Oh say one more thing. Do you think you could
sing? La la la la la la la la la la la la………

(Mary Had a Little Lamb tune)

Fireworks go
snap, snap, snap (snap fingers)
crack, crack, crack (slap knees)
zap, zap, zap (make flashing motions with hands)
Fireworks make me
clap, clap, clap (clap hands)
on Independence Day!

The Freeze from “Greg & Steve’s Kids in Motion
Tell the kids, when they freeze, they have to freeze in a firework pose (however they want to interpret that)

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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

WP_20140226_001 - Edited

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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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