Stories With Ms. Jenna

Storytimes, Programs, Booklists, and More!

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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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: Barnyard

This week began my new 6 week session of Evening Family Storytime. I have a few of the same kids as last session, but mostly a new group. A younger group. Half of the group is 2 years old! Therefore, I’m doing even more songs and making the storytime a few minutes shorter. The theme of the first session was “Barnyard.” Check out my Hello and Goodbye page for the songs I used to begin and end the storytime.

Book: Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee


Song: Farm Chores

This is the way we plant our seeds, plant our seeds, plant our seeds
This is the way we plant our seeds so early in the morning

Water our seeds, weed our seeds, our seeds grow up, pick our plants, eat our plants

Book: Cock-a-doodle Quack Quack by Ivor Baddiel


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 running back.

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

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

Flannel Story: Too Much Noise


Song: All Around the Farm
(to the tune of Wheels on the Bus)

The cows on the farm go moo moo moo
moo moo moo
moo moo moo
The cows on the farm go moo moo moo
All around the farm

Horses- neigh neigh neigh
Pigs- oink oink oink
Chicks- peep peep peep
Sheep- baa baa baa

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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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Bear Squash-You-All-Flat Flannel

This week I made a flannel story to go along with the tale “Bear Squash-You-All-Flat,” a Russian folktale I found in Judy Sierra’s Silly & Sillier: Read Aloud Tales from Around the World. The story starts with Whiskery Mouse who finds a mitten and decides to make it his home. One by one, along come Croaker the Frog, Hoppity Hare, Frisky Fox, and Sneaky Wolf who all join Whiskery Mouse and live in the mitten. But then Bear Squash-You-All-Flat shows up. When he tries to get in the mitten, he destroys the little house! All the other animals run away. The end. My group really enjoyed The Enormous Turnip flannel story I told last week, so I think they’ll really enjoy this one too as they are both cumulative tales with repeated phrases.




The Enormous Turnip Flannel

Next week, my storytime theme is going to be “In the Kitchen” and everything is going to be about food! I’ll post about the entire storytime after it happens, but to give you a sneak peak, here’s the flannel story I’ll be doing…. The Enormous Turnip! It’s a Russian folktale about a grandpa who tries to pull his enormous turnip out of the ground, but needs help. One by one grandma, granddaughter, dog, and cat try to help. It is not until little mouse joins them that they are finally able to pull it out! I made the pieces myself, but they are largely based off others that I found pictures of online.




Storytime: Names

Yesterday night was my first Evening Family Storytime! It is aimed at children ages 2-6 and their families. My first theme was “Names.” Overall, we had a lot of fun, and hopefully they’ll all be back next week! I am using the same Hello and Goodbye songs/ rhymes each week. Here is what else we did at the “Names” storytime:

Book: Me… Jane by Patrick McDonnell


Rhyme/Activity: Hickity Pickity

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

We sat in a circle and went around doing this for every child’s name. In my handout for the storytime I included an “Early Literacy Tip!” section next to the words for this rhyme: Breaking words into syllables is a component of developing phonological awareness (awareness of sound structure) which leads to later success in reading and spelling.

Book: Matthew A.B.C. by Peter Catalanotto


Song/Flannel: Aiken Drum by Wiggleworms Love You -see my earlier post about my Flannel for this song. I also handed out the instruments listed in the song to the kids so they could jam out.

Book: My Name Is Elizabeth by Annika Dunklee


Song: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt by Susie Tallman

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, that’s my name too
Whenever we go out, the people always shout
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt
Da da da da da da da!

I let the kids free dance for the song and we all threw our hands up in the air for the “Da da da…” part.

I could have probably squeezed in another book but I decided to give them a few minutes to look at the books I pulled that they could check out. And then I got my first library-kid hug so my night ended on a great note. 🙂

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“The Greatest of All” Flannel Story

Starting in the fall, I will be leading a weekly evening family storytime which I’m really excited about! It will be aimed at ages 2-6 and their families so I’m expecting a wide range of ages. I haven’t completely planned out anything yet, but I’ve started gathering ideas. I’m not sure what my themes will be yet, but I do know some stories I want to use so I’ll make sure they fit in somewhere!

One story I know I want to tell is “The Greatest of All.” It is a Japanese folktale that I first learned in undergrad when I took a Children’s Lit class and had to do a storytelling project. I based my telling off the version in the picture book, The Greatest of All by Eric A. Kimmel. When I used it for my class project I just told the story, but it always stayed in my mind in a box labeled “great for flannel.”

The story is about a young girl mouse who wishes to marry the humble field mouse. However, she lives with Papa mouse in the Emperor’s palace so Papa thinks she deserves to marry the greatest of all. Papa proceeds to ask Emperor to marry his daughter. Emperor explains that he is honored but he is not the greatest. Sun is greater than him because when Sun beats down even an emperor must hide from it. Papa goes on to ask Sun to marry his daughter, but Sun leads Papa to Cloud. Cloud sends him to Wind, and Wind sends him to Wall. Wall explains that he is not the greatest either. The greatest is a field mouse who can tunnel through him. Papa finds the humble field mouse and says he can marry the daughter.

WP_20130731_001Field Mouse, Daughter Mouse, Papa Mouse.

WP_20130731_002Top: Cloud, Wind. Bottom: Emperor, Wall, Sun.