Stories With Ms. Jenna

Storytimes, Programs, Booklists, and More!

Too Much Noise Flannel

I recently shared my finger puppet story of Too Much Noise. For that version I say the man is a zookeeper and brings in his animal from the zoo. However, next week I’m doing a barnyard themed storytime so I decided to make flannel farm animals! In the story, the farmer cannot sleep because he thinks there is too much noise (leaves, bed, door..) so he goes to the wise old woman and she tells him to bring the cow into his bedroom. He does this, but that night there is even more noise! He returns day after day and each time the old woman tells him to bring in another animal. Eventually, after 5 animals have been brought in his room and he has still been unable to sleep, the old woman says to put all the animals back in the barn. From then on he is able to sleep. I love telling this story because kids love it every time and always participate in making the animal noises and saying “Too much noise!”.


(also, if the cat looks familiar, it’s because I am borrowing it from my Three Little Kittens set instead of making another one!)


Storytime: Things That Go Bump in the Night

This week was my last Evening Family Storytime for the first 6 week session. Now I have two weeks off before starting a new 6 week session! The theme for this storytime was “Things That Go Bump in the Night.” I used the regular Hello and Goodbye song/ rhyme. I used less songs and fingerplays than usual since some of the stories I used had songs or movement built into them.

Book: If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberley


Flannel Story: The Singing Pumpkin

Movement Rhyme: “Monster, Monster”
Monster, monster, turn around.
Monster, monster, touch the ground.
Monster, monster, reach up high.
Monster, monster, squint your eyes.
Monster, monster, show your teeth.
Monster, monster, stamp your feet.

Book: Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley


Flannel Story: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Book: Ghost in the House by Ammi Joan Paquette


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The Singing Pumpkin Flannel

This flannel story goes with the Iranian folktale “The Singing Pumpkin” that I discovered in Judy Sierra’s Silly and Sillier: Read-Aloud Tales from Around the World. In this tale, a woman goes to visit her granddaughter, but happens upon a ogre on her way! She convinces the ogre to not eat her until her way back because she will be much fatter then. When the woman gets to the granddaughter’s house, the granddaughter gives her a huge pumpkin to hide in and roll past the ogre. However, the woman sings while inside the pumpkin and the ogre knows something is weird about this. The ogre tells the woman to come out but she says she cannot until he says the magic words, “Come here my big white dog.” When the ogre says this the woman’s dog comes running and chases the ogre away.




Flannel: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Flannel story based on the book The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. Fun story that uses repetitive phrases and movements. Great for Halloween storytimes!




Storytime: Guess Who?

This week I had my first outreach storytime. I went to a local daycare and did 25 minute storytimes for the 3’s class and for the 4’s class. It was so much fun and really made me miss working in a daycare! The theme was “Guess Who?” (which I used pretty loosely). I mostly did the same things for each class.

Songs/ Rhymes


If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it
Then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands

… stomp your feet… say hooray

If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Make your hands all nice and neat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat


Can you hop like a rabbit?
Can you jump like a frog?
Can you walk like a duck?
Wag your tail like a dog?
Can you fly like a bird?
Can you swim like a fish?
Can you turn in a circle
And sit down like this?

Monkeys Swinging
(tune of “skip to my loo”)

Monkeys swinging, swinging all day.
Monkeys swinging, swinging all day.
Monkeys swinging, swinging all day.
Swinging, swinging ‘til I say,

Eating, Scratching, Jumping

 “When Cats Get Up” – Wiggleworms Love You

When cats get up in the morning
They always say good day
When cats get up in the morning
This is what they say: Meow Meow Meow
This is what they say.

Birds- Tweet tweet tweet
Cows- Moo
Ducks- Quack quack quack
Dogs- Woof woof woof
Kids- Mommy! Daddy!
Moms & Dads- Shhhhh.

“Clap Your Hands” – Wiggleworms Love You

Clap your hands Clap your hands
Everybody clap your hands
Clap your hands Clap your hands
Clap your hands Clap your hands
Everybody clap your hands

Stomp your feet, Wave hello, Brush your teeth, Touch your nose, Clap your hands


We’ve listened to stories
And sat with our friends,
But now we are finished
And it is the end.

Story (with Finger Puppets)

“Too Much Noise”



Who Has These Feet? –Laura Hulbert
Monkey and Me –Emily Gravett
In My New Yellow Shirt –Eileen Spinelli
Bark, George –Jules Feiffer

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Too Much Noise

I tell the folktale “Too Much Noise” using these finger puppets:


I bought these at IKEA. The story is usually told using barnyard animals and a farmer, but I adjusted it so it would work with the puppets I have. So in my version, this man is the zookeeper. And he takes these animals from his zoo. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense still with that bunch of animals and this man who is supposed to be a groom? pilgrim? I’m not sure. But I have told this story to around 6 different groups of kids ranging from ages 2-6 and no one has ever questioned me. In the story, the zookeeper wants to go to sleep but he can hear the leaves outside and his bed and the door and he says there is too much noise. So day after day he goes to the wise old woman and asks for advice. Each day she tells him to bring a different animal into his room. The children always join in with making the different animals noises. Eventually, the wise old woman tells him to bring all the animals back in the zoo and then he’s able to fall asleep.


Storytime: Insects, Bugs, and Frogs

This was week 5 of my 6 week storytime session. I’ve used the same Hello and Goodbye song/ rhyme each week, and yesterday realized it’s amazing how much my kids have picked up on the French and Spanish verses in the hello song. Adorable.

This week’s theme was Insects, Bugs, and Frogs! It’s the first week I didn’t use a flannel story and one girl immediately asked me where my board was. However, I appeased them with pop-up books so all was well!

Book: Butterfly Butterfly by Petr Horáček


This book has a pop-up butterfly on the last page.

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: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle


Song: “The Ants Go Marching” – Songs for Wiggleworms

The ants go marching 1 by 1 hurrah hurrah
The ants go marching 1 by 1 hurrah hurrah
The ants go marching 1 by 1
The little one stops to suck his thumb

And they all go marching down
to the ground
to get out
of the rain
boom boom boom

2 by 2-tie his shoe
3 by 3 -climb a tree
4 by 4 -shut the door
5 by 5 -take a dive

Book: The Wide-Mouthed Frog : A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner


This entire book is pop-up. The wide-mouthed frog is going around asking other animals what they like to eat but near the end he comes to a crocodile who likes to eat wide-mouthed frog… at this point I had a little girl gasp, “oh my gosh!” It was so funny.

Book: Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming


Fingerplay: “Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar”

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar
Into a corner will creep (creep fingers up arm)
He’ll spin himself a blanket (roll hands)
And then fall fast asleep (rest head, close eyes)
Fuzzy, wuzzy caterpillar
Very soon will rise (wake up)
And find he has grown beautiful wings (connect thumbs and flap hands like wings)
Now he’s a butterfly!

Book: Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira


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Classics Vs. Fantasy

Let me start with some background information: A few days ago, I learned about The Austen Project. Six bestselling authors are writing contemporary re-imaginings of Austen’s six completed novels. I’m really excited about this because I love Jane Austen and I’m a sucker for re-tellings. Especially when Pride and Prejudice is being re-worked by the wonderful Curtis Sittenfeld. Anywho, the first novel is coming out this month. It is a re-telling of Sense and Sensibility from Joanna Trollope.

Fast forward to today: I see on facebook that The Austen Project page has posted a link to an article titled “Children need classics not fantasy says Joanna Trollope.” Uh-oh. I know this will probably infuriate me, but I click on it anyway. I read the tagline, “Children are getting little moral guidance from fantasy novels like Twilight and should instead return to the classics, according to novelist Joanna Trollope.” She states that, “Although fantasy is a lovely escape, I am not sure it’s much help,” and that fantasy novels don’t relate to the real world.

The facebook post that lead me to this article said to “let us know your thoughts” so I commented: I’m really excited about The Austen Project, and I’m looking forward to reading Trollope’s Sense & Sensibility. However, it really bothers me when authors bash an entire genre of books… especially fantasy. She obviously doesn’t understand that although fantasy is not the real world, the themes and problems are very reflective of what is real. Fantasy isn’t just “an escape”. It’s a way for us to view our world through a different lens. As a child, I learned more about morals, empathy, and courage from books like The Neverending Story, Ella Enchanted, and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe than I did from anything realistic. Children should read what they enjoy, and schools should teach a wide range of styles/ genres of books.

Awesome author Marcus Sedgwick also weighed in on Trollope’s views from his blog post, “Jane Austen, fantasy fiction and the morals of our children” where he stands up for fantasy and states, “Personally, I believe the main thing is that they’re reading, and enjoying what they’re reading, for that opens the doorway not only to the vast world of literature; it can also lead to the desire to embrace diversity, something Joanna Trollope seems unwilling to do.”

So readers, what are your thoughts? Are classics better for children than fantasy, or does Trollope have no validation for what she is saying?


Storytime: Cats

This week my theme for Family Storytime was Cats! As usual, I used my regular Hello and Goodbye song/ rhyme.

Book: Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes


Song: “If You’re a Kitty and You Know It”
If you’re a kitty and you know it, say meow.
If you’re a kitty and you know it, say meow.
If you’re a kitty and you know it, then your face will surely show it.
If you’re a kitty and you know it, say meow.
Lick your paws, show your claws, swish your tail, do all four.

Book: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin


Some of kids already knew Pete the Cat, and others didn’t. Everyone enjoyed it though and had fun participating!

Flannel Story: Three Little Kittens

After the storytime, I had a group of kids that wanted to play with the felt pieces so we spent a few minutes putting the mittens on and off the kitties and talking about pie. Adorable.

Book: How to Be a Cat by Nikki McClure


In this simple book, each page has an image with one word of something a cat does (ex. lick, chase, find..) I made the book an activity by having the kids mimic the cats on each page.

Book: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin


Fingerplay: “Kitty Cat, Pounce”
Kitty cat, kitty cat
Sneaks out of the house.
Kitty cat, kitty cat
Creeps up to a mouse,
And … pounce!
Kitty cat, kitty cat
Creeps up to a bird.
Kitty cat, kitty cat
Is not even heard
And … pounce!
But the mouse ran
And the bird flew away,
So kitty cat, kitty cat found
A ball of yarn
To play … pounce!


Three Little Kittens Flannel

Flannel story I made to go along with the nursery rhyme “Three Little Kittens” :


Three little kittens,
They lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
We sadly fear
Our mittens we have lost.
What! Lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.
Meow Meow Meow
You shall have no pie.


The three little kittens,
They found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
See here, see here,
Our mittens we have found.
What! Found your mittens,
You darling kittens!
Then you shall have some pie.
Meow Meow Meow
You shall have some pie.


The three little kittens,
Put on their mittens,
And soon ate up the pie;
Oh, mother dear,
We greatly fear
Our mittens we have soiled.
What! Soiled your mittens,
You naughty kittens!
They began to sigh,
Meow Meow Meow
They began to sigh.


The three little kittens,
They washed their mittens,
And hung them out to dry;
Oh mother dear,
Look here, look here,
Our mittens we have washed.
What! Washed your mittens,
You’re such good little kittens.
But I smell a rat close by!
Meow Meow Meow
I smell a rat close by!