Stories With Ms. Jenna

Storytimes, Programs, Booklists, and More!

Storytime: October 8, 2014

Week 4 of theme-less storytime!

Book: Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato


Rhyme: “Animals”

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.

Book: Duck On a Bike by David Shannon


Song: Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mother duck said “Quack, quack, quack”
But only four little ducks came back.

(continue with 4, 3, 2, 1, 0)

Then mother duck said
And five little ducks came waddling back.

Folder Story: Lovely Ladybug


Song: “Silly Dance Contest” by Jim Gill

Dance any way you want to
Dance any way you please
Dance any way you want to
Bur stop when I say freeze.
Jump as high as you want to…
Dance as fast as you want to…
Dance as slow as you want to…

Book: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer


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Storytime: October 1, 2014

Week 3 of theme-less storytime!

Book: Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd


Rhyme: “Little dog, little dog”

Little dog, little dog, turn around
Little dog, little dog, touch the ground
Little dog, little dog, reach up high
Little dog, little dog, touch the sky
Little dog, little dog, find your nose
Little dog, little dog, touch your toes
Little dog, little dog, touch your knees
Little dog, little dog, sit down please

Book: Is Everyone Ready For Fun? by Jan Thomas


Song: All Around the Kitchen by Dan Zanes

Flannel: The Three Little Pigs


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: Hooray For Hat by Brian Won


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10 Favorite LGBT Characters in MG and YA Literature

Earlier today, VOYA tweeted out an article from Entertainment Monthly: Entertainment News from Emerson College titled The Top Ten LGBT Characters in Young Adult Literature. I applaud the author for trying to bring more awareness to LGBT books, but based on the comments, many are underwhelmed by the list or find it problematic. Big points of concern include that Dumbledore is on the list and that there’s a lot of David Levithan.

I’ve decided to create my own list of 10 great LGBT characters, but from both YA and MG literature. Also, I in no way can claim to have read enough books with LGBT characters to create an ultimate top 10 list, so instead, this is just my personal 10 favorites based on what I’ve read. I’d love to hear recommendations of your favorites! Presented in no particular order:

askthepassengers gracefullygrayson misadventuresofthe

10. Astrid from Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

I think this was the first book I read with a LGBT character who I felt was a fully realized character. Astrid struggles with what to do about these new romantic feelings for a girl, but that’s just a portion of her character. She also deals with family problems and tries to figure out who she is as a whole person. Also, I’m pretty sure this was the first book I read with a lesbian relationship at the forefront… which is pretty sad considering I was 22 when I read this.

9. Grayson from Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this upcoming MG book featuring a transgender girl. I was so thrilled to see a MG title about a transgender character. The entire book is quite gentle and entirely appropriate for it’s intended audience. I really hope this book finds it’s way into the hands of many young readers (and their parents, too!)

8. Dad and Papa from The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy

Another MG title, this book is about a family of 4 boys being raised by 2 dads. I love that this book isn’t about gay dads, but rather about a whole family that happens to include 2 dads. I also love that Dad and Papa are very different characters and don’t fall into stereotypes.

freakboy aridante justoneday everythingleadsto

7. Angel from Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

When people talk about this book, they mostly talk about Brendan, but for me it’s really Angel who steals the story. She’s transgender and confident about herself despite having had to deal with many hardships when she was first transitioning. She tries to help others in similar situations by volunteering at a center for LGBT teens. She’s an inspirational and realistic character.

6. Ari and Dante from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

A coming of age story about two Mexican-American teen boys who fall for each other. There’s a reason this book won so many awards. Stunning.

5. Dee from Just One Day by Gayle Forman

I was trying to keep this list about LGBT characters who are the main characters of the story, but I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t include Dee. Despite only being a side character, he’s really well developed. He’s also just an amazing friend and person. Please please, Gayle, give Dee his own story!

4. Emi from Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

This book isn’t a coming out story. That shouldn’t be a big deal, but this was huge for me because so rarely do I find a book with a LGBT character that isn’t their coming out story. In this story, Emi is dealing with the aftermath of a break-up from her long-time on-again-off-again girlfriend. She knows it’s finally time to move on, especially when Ava comes into her life. Rather than being a coming out story, this is a regular romance story journeying how a couple found their way to each other. And I found that so refreshing.

batwoman oneman fivesix

3. Batwoman from Batwoman, Vol. 1: Hydrology by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman

(I’m cheating a little with this one. It’s really aimed more at adults, but I would assume plenty of teens are reading it, too.) Lesbian superhero! That’s really all that needs to be said.

2. Ethan from One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

This is Alek’s story, but it’s love-interest Ethan who really stole my heart. He’s confident about his sexuality and isn’t a stereotype at all. He’s independent and daring but can also be so sweet. I totally understand why Alek fell in love with him.

1. Nate from Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle

We first met Nate in the MG book Better Nate Than Ever, but it’s in this sequel that we see him navigate a crush and possible relationship… all while dealing with being a star in a broadway show! Nate is so funny and lovable and I could just re-read these books over and over and over again.


Comics Count


Over at my library’s blog, I posted about why comics count as reading. I listed the benefits of reading comics and gave a short booklist of some of my favorites. I’ve heard too many parents say that comics aren’t really reading yada yada yada, so I’m hoping this post might help convince them otherwise! Read the post here: Comics Count.


Review: Greenglass House

greenglassMy library teamed up with our local news to provide a “Read of the Week” feature. For my latest review, I talked about Greenglass House by Kate Milford! If you want to hear my thoughts about this middle grade mystery, check out my review.

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Storytime: September 17, 2014

As I noted in my last storytime post, I’ve gone THEME-LESS this session. Instead, I’m doing any books and rhymes of my choosing. Here was week 2 of the 6 week session:

Book: Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt


Song: “Octopus (Slippery Fish)” by Charlotte Diamond

Slippery fish, Slippery fish
Sliding through the water
Slippery fish, Slippery fish
Gulp, gulp, gulp

Oh, no! It’s been eaten by an…
Octopus, Octopus
Squiggling in the water
Octopus, Octopus
Gulp, gulp, gulp

Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a…
Tuna fish, Tuna fish
Flashing through the water
Tuna fish, Tuna fish
Gulp, Gulp, Gulp

Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a …
Great white shark, Great white shark
Lurking in the water
Great white shark, Great white shark
Gulp, gulp, gulp

Oh, no! It’s been eaten by a…
Humungous Whale, Humungous Whale
Spouting in the water
Humungous Whale, Humungous Whale

Finger Puppets: Too Much Noise!


Book: You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang


Rhyme: Stretching

When I stretch up, I feel so tall.
When I bend down, I feel so small.
Taller, taller, taller, taller.
Smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller.
Into a tiny ball.

Book: The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort


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Storytime: September 10, 2014

It’s taken me a while to get around to posting my storytimes so I’m going to play catch-up over the next few days! This fall, I’m back to doing my weekly evening family storytime. Participants sign up for a 6 week session. For the first time ever, I’ve decided to go theme-less (I’ll write a post about this eventually). Instead, I’m just doing any books or rhymes that suit my fancy. I’m using the same Hello and Goodbye songs that I’ve always used. This was my first storytime of the new session:

Rhyme: Hickety-Pickety Bumble Bee

Hickety-Pickety Bumble Bee
Won’t you say your name for me?
Miss Jenna
Let’s clap and say it.
Miss-Jen-na (clap with syllables)
Let’s say it loud!
Let’s say it quiet.

-Go around and do this will all the kid’s names

Book: The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli


Rhyme: Stretching

When I stretch up, I feel so tall.
When I bend down, I feel so small.
Taller, taller, taller, taller.
Smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller.
Into a tiny ball.

Flannel: The Enormous Turnip


Song: “The Freeze” from Kids in Motion by Greg & Steve

Book: Hug Machine by Scott Campell


Song: Five green and speckled frogs

Five green and speckled frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating the most delicious bugs – Yum, yum!
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green speckled frogs.
(continue countdown)

Book: Down by the Cool of the Pool by Tony Mitton


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