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Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superhero Storytime! – Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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Today, we celebrated superheroes, both fictional and real, with our very own League of Library Superheroes Mr. Tom “Batman” Cat, Superhippo and Miss Matilda the Wonder Mouse. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids.

Our Heroes

The League of Library Superheroes wants you…


to clap,


run, and jump to show how happy you are!

Fire Engine Man by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha was our first book. The little boy in this story loved fire engines, and wanted nothing more than to grow up and be a fireman. As we read through the story we learned just what the little boy would do as a fireman. He would drive the fire truck, help the firefighters put out burning buildings and even make snacks for his fellow firefighters. At the end of the story, the little boy told us that when his baby brother grew up, they would be firefighters together.

The rhyme for our first activity, “Five Firefighters” was borrowed from Storytime With Miss Tara, but I modified it. Prior to Storytime I printed out, and laminated, images of five firemen and a fire truck. Before beginning the activity, I arranged the five firemen at the top of the board, and the fire truck at the bottom. In between was a yellow strip meant to symbolize the fire pole. I then handed out jingle bell shakers to all the children. We began by counting how many firemen we had. Then I explained that to get the firemen from the top of the board, down the pole, and into the firetruck, we needed to shake our shakers really loud. Each time we counted down, from five to one, everyone shook their jingle bell shakers, and one of our firemen slid down the pole. The children who wanted to were able to come up and move the firemen into the firetruck. This activity was very enjoyable for the children and helped reinforce counting, and sharing skills. Here are the words to the original rhyme:

5 brave firefighters waiting by the pole
Ring, ring, ring goes the bell (I had everyone shake their jingle bell shakers)
And down one goes

4 brave firefighters waiting by the pole
Ring, ring, ring goes the bell
And down one goes

3 brave firefighters waiting by the pole
Ring, ring, ring goes the bell
And down one goes

2 brave firefighters waiting by the pole
Ring, ring, ring goes the bell
And down one goes

1 brave firefighter waiting by the pole
Ring, ring, ring goes the bell

And down she goes


Everyone shake your jingle shakers really loud!


So the firemen know it’s time to slide down the pole,


hop in the firetruck and drive away.

Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin was our first book. The little boy in this book had a mom who was in the military. He told us about all the amazing things his dad did, from jumping out of planes, to driving tanks. The little boy was so proud of his dad, and it really showed, his dad was his superhero.

My Dad, My Hero by Ethan Long was our next book. The little boy in this story idolized his dad, his dad was his superhero. The little boy did explain to us though, that his dad didn’t really have superpowers. He couldn’t fly, didn’t wear a cape and could not leap tall buildings. What his dad did do though, was spend a lot of time with him, playing catch, watching movies and playing games. The little boy loved his dad, even though he didn’t have superpowers.

The parachute made an appearance for our last activity. I brought out several of our small beach balls, then, while the “Spider Man” theme and “Batman” theme from the Hit Crew’s CD “Super Heroes played, we all tried to bounce the beach balls as high and as long as we could. The children took to this activity with energy and enthusiasm, and really showed off their super strength and speed.


Mr. Tom “Batman” Cat and Miss Matilda the Wonder Mouse joined us for our Batman, Spiderman parachute fun.


Bounce those beach balls as high as you can!

Police: Hurrying! Helping! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell was our last book. This rhyming book was a wonderfully detailed look into a police department and how it functioned. We saw detectives examining fingerprints, police dogs sniffing out evidence, policeman assisting the public in a variety of ways and much more. We also learned about the many modes of transportation the police department uses, from cars to bicycles. This book showed us how hard, but rewarding, the job of police officer can be. The children enjoyed pointing out where all the police officers were in every illustration. We also got to identify things like police boats, motorcycles and even the dogs and horses that help policemen do their jobs everyday.

Children need heroes for a variety of reasons, as this article from Parenting outlines. Children look up to individuals they regularly to not only help them understand the world, but also as a guide for proper values. The heroes that pervade children’s lives can come from many sources, including family, or even characters from books or visual mediums. The article goes on to describe why heroes are an essential part of childhood development, and the positive role they play.

The League of Library Superheroes joined us again to shake their sillies out, along with us and Raffi from his CD More Singable Songs.


Shake your sillies out Superhippo!

Sillies4 Sillies3 Sillies2

We will all join in the fun with you!

Toddler Move ‘N’ Read will be taking a break until June 23rd , using that time to plan fun and exciting summer activities!

See you June 23rd, when our theme will be Summer!

-Miss Jessica

Happy Mother’s Day- Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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It’s that time of year again when we celebrate one of the most important people in our lives, our mom! Today our theme at Storytime was Mother’s Day. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids, and we had a special guest, in the form of Mama Hippo, join us in our singing and dancing.


If you’re happy and you know it…


jump for joy…


just like mama Hippo!

What Not to Give Your Mom on Mother’s Day by Martha Seif Simpson was our first book. This was the hilarious story of a little boy who was looking for the perfect gift for his mom. Unfortunately, he kept bringing her gifts more suited to birds, deer, salamanders and a host of other creatures. Eventually though he found the ideal gift for his mom, a hug and kiss and those three little words, I love you. As we came across each new gift a puppet representing the animal in the story made an appearance. The children loved being able to shout out which animal they saw at any given point throughout our story. The children laughed and giggled at all the strange gifts the little boy selected before making his last, best, choice.

Mother'sDay1 Mother'sDay2

Unless you mom is a bird, and likes worms, or a beaver and loves sticks, a hug and a kiss are the best gifts.

Our first activity had it’s origin in the book Whose Baby Am I? by John Butler. Butler is an award winning children’s book author and illustrator and each of the colorful pictures of baby animals was accompanied by the question “Whose Baby Am I?” For example, one of the babies shown in an owlet chick, whose mom is, of course, an owl. I paired this book with pictures of all of the mother and baby animals mentioned that I obtained from Kidz Club. I printed the pictures out and laminated them. For Storytime I had the pictures of the mother animals on a board, and I handed out the pictures of the babies to the children. I added an extra dimension by incorporating puppets. I explained the activity this way, each time we saw a mother animal puppet appear on the stage, the child with the matching baby animal would be able to come up to the board and place that baby with the image of it’s mother. It was so wonderful to see when a child encountered their favorite animal, they became so enthusiastic!

WhoseBaby13 WhoseBaby14

First we saw a mama zebra, and everyone with a zebra came up.

WhoseBaby10 WhoseBaby12

Next, came a panda mom…

WhoseBaby6 WhoseBaby9

followed by a seal, and those who had the picture of a baby seal.

WhoseBaby8 WhoseBaby7

One of the last mommy and baby pairs we made was as owl mom, and her owlet.

Mommy is That You? by Atsuko Morozumi was our next book. Four little ducklings got separated from their mother and had to find their way back to her. The little ducklings bravely set out to locate their mom, asking every animal they encountered along the way, if she was their mother. From roosters to fish, to many more in between, the little ducklings were determined to find their mother and did not stop until they did so. Each time the ducklings encountered a new animal, a puppet of that animal made an appearance, culminating in the ducklings being reunited with their mother. This adorable and heartwarming story ended with the ducklings locating their mother swan, and she leading them safe and sound, back to the nest.

Mommy1 Mommy2

The duclings nest got swept away, and landed on a turtle, but the turtle was not their mom.


Neither was the fish in the stream.


Eventually, the ducklings and their mommy were reunited.

Our next book was Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino. This classic children’s story followed Lloyd the llama as he attempted to identify what kind of animal each of his friend’s mama was. Whenever Lloyd would ask his friends “Is your mama a llama?” they would answer with a riddle, leaving Lloyd, and readers, to puzzle out what the animal was. Each time we encountered a new animal many of the children would quickly shout out what that animal was. The vibrant illustrations helped us all identify the animals. In the end, Lloyd not only learned what animals each of his friends were, but also what his mama was. I enhanced this story by letting the children listen to the sounds some of the animals in the book made, utilizing the app Free Animal Sounds. This educational app has a wealth of animals in it, and each time a child selected one they got to hear two distinct sounds that the animal made.


Lloyd had friends whose moms were bats…




and kangaroos.


Lloyd’s mother though, was a llama.

Our last activity paired music and bubbles. I put on the CD Mother Goose Rocks Vol. 2, turned on our bubble machine, and just let the children play with the bubbles. This rollicking CD took traditional Mother Goose rhymes, and turned them into songs which were based on the songs of popular artists. The rhymes were given rock, country and pop music twists. Today, we listened to “Three Blind Mice” as we all romped through the bubbles.

Bubbles3 Bubbles2


Everyone rocked out with Mother Goose, even mama Hippo.

Mommy Is a Soft, Warm Kiss by Rhonda Gowler Greene was the last book we read. I love using this book for my Mother’s Day Storytimes. As the seasons progressed the children and I learned that the best experiences are those you share with your mom. From building sand castles in the summer, or making Halloween costumes in the fall, life is better if it is shared with someone you love. Greene’s book was written in rhyme and had such a lyrical flow to it.

Several of our activities today involved matching and classification. Activities such as the ones we engaged in today aid in children’s cognitive development by helping them analyze and process information. In our first activity, based on Whose Baby Am I?  the children were asked to match up mother and baby using visual cues such as how each of the animals resembled each other. When we read Is Your Mama a Llama? children were able to take visual clues from the illustrations, and use those clues to identify what each type of animal Lloyd’s friends mothers were.  In the case of younger children, activities that focus on matching and classification help increase vocabulary as well, they are not only learning the names of new animals, but also learning to pair those names with the actual animal through visuals. This article from Global Post describes the benefits of activities that focus on cognitive development.

After our last book we shook our sillies out, with Mr. Tom Cat for company and to the music of Raffi’s CD More Singable Songs.

Sillies2 Sillies3


Shake your sillies out, you too Mr. Tom Cat.

We had a craft at the end of Storytime today, a construction paper flower pot. I had pre-cut flower pot shapes in various colors that the children could choose from. Then they traced a handprint on green paper and cut that out as well. The handprint was then glued to the back of the flower pot so it looked as if the fingers were stems. Die cut flowers that the children glued on to the tips of the “stems” completed the flower pot. The children could then decorate their flower pots any way they chose.


Everyone made their own individual flower pots.


We had a fun time today celebrating Mom, and all she does.

Heroes will be our theme next week!

-Miss Jessica

Books Grow on Trees – Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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Today we learned about many different kinds of trees, what they do, and their connections to the people who plant them. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from   40 English Songs for Kids.

Happy2 Happy3 Happy1

Mr. Tom Cat joined us in showing how happy he was by patting his head.

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson was our first book. This enjoyably original book needed its readers to move the story along. The tree at the center of our story was changing and growing as the seasons progressed, but it needed help. It needed the children and I to tap, shake, jiggle and interact with the book in a myriad of ways. By doing so, we were able to transform the tree from season to season. We had added help in transforming our tree from a variety of puppets.


When we jiggled the book, apples fell from the tree.


We had to rub the book to keep the tree warm when it snowed.


As we turned the last page, we saw that all of our efforts had helped create a birds nest.

Our first activity was a counting rhyme entitled “Five Little Leaves,” that I wrote myself. Prior to Storytime a tree, with the leaves on it, was attached to our stage. As we counted down from five to zero, five different animal puppets would come out, one at a time, and remove a leaf. Here are the words to the rhyme:

Five little leaves on the tree next door,

A kangaroo came and ate one


and then there were four

Four little leaves all over the tree,

A giraffe came and ate one


and then there were three

Three little leaves in the branches where the wind blew,

A koala came and ate one


and then there were two

Two little leaves sitting in the sun,

A zebra came and ate one


and then there was one

One little leaf, in the tree alone

A hippo came and ate it,


and then there were none.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert was our next book.  Ehlert’s books are so inventive for many reasons, one is because of the materials she uses for the illustrations, and this story is no exception. Utilizing such things as paper, ribbons and paint, Ehlert took her readers on a journey through the life of a sugar maple tree. From it’s beginnings as a seed, to being harvested, sold, and bought by a father who planted it for his son we saw the tree grow and thrive. It became a home for birds and a place paper airplanes would get stuck. The boys favorite time of year with his tree was fall, when the leaves turned brilliant shades of red and gold. At the end of the book Ehlert provided a wealth of end material on the many different components of a tree and how to plant it.


A chipmunk was foraging for acorns at the base of the maple tree.

The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward was our next book. This rhyming tale showed us all the different functions one tree did. We started at the roots, and worked our way up to the highest branches, all the while learning about the tree and the animals that made use of it. We saw that the acorns fed the squirrels, that spiders used the branches to anchor their webs and that children even tied tire swings from the limbs. Several times, when we met a new animal that made the tree it’s home, we also met that animal in the form of a puppet.


This busy tree was home to many animals, including our friend owl.

Our last activity paired music with the parachute. Utilizing “Silly Squirrel Dance” from the CD Sesame Street Hot! Hot! Hot! Dance Songs, we all got together and bounced a squirrel on the parachute. This lively song made use of the tune from the 1960’s pop song “Locomotion.” As we bounced and moved our parachute, one of our squirrel puppets joined us on stage, dancing right along.





Mr. Squirrel danced his silly dance, and we had fun bouncing and shaking our parachute.

Our last book was one the children had been eyeing since Storytime started, Foggy, Foggy Forest by Nick Sharratt. This book was very creatively constructed. The pages, which resembled a forest full of towering trees, had a wax paper like appearance to them, and were slightly opaque. You could almost, but not quite, make out the illustrations on the pages behind the ones you were reading. Also, each illustration started out as a silhouette, and as you turned the page, a full color image of the object appeared. As we read through the book, I would ask the children to guess, just based on the silhouette, what the object was. They were all very fanciful, which really made the children laugh and smile.  In the end, we discovered, that all of the people we met in the forest were heading to a traveling carnival for a day of fun. Several times throughout our story, puppets of the characters we were reading about made appearances.


We saw a fairy on a trampoline.


A unicorn playing a horn…wait, Mr. Hippo what are you doing here, you’re not in the foggy forest!


We also saw a witch on a motorized broomstick.

Children, like trees, reach milestones as they age. This article from talks about various literacy milestones, and at what age children should begin to achieve them. It starts at less than six months old, encouraging caregivers that it is never to soon to read to your baby. The article then progresses through 6-12 months where children might begin to show an interest in their favorite books by doing things like touching them while you read to them. The article goes all the way thorough 2-3 years where it advises that, at this age, children love predictability and will likely want the same book read to them over and over. The article also offers some very informative links at the bottom for sharing books with children of various ages.

Mr. Tom Cat joined us in shaking our sillies out today, with music by Raffi from his CD More Singable Songs.


Clap your crazies out Mr. Tom Cat.


We will join you…


as we jump and shake out sillies out too!

We planted our seeds and they grew into wonderful stories today at Storytime.

Mother’s Day will be our theme for next week!

-Miss Jessica

Bark for a Good Book – Toddler Move ‘N’ Read Storytime

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Today at Storytime our theme was dogs. Our opening song was “If You’re Happy and You Know It” from 40 English Songs for Kids. Rufus the sheepdog joined us for our opening song, I’m wasn’t sure if Mr. Tom Cat would make an appearance today, since out theme was dogs. We would have to wait and see.


Rufus is happy to be singing with us…


and everyone was happy to see Rufus.

Please Take Me for a Walk by Susan gal was our first book. The dog in this story loved to go for walks and experience life in his neighborhood. From chasing cats and squirrels up trees, to saying hi to all his friends that owned different stores, dog enjoyed his walks. His favorite person to meet was the butcher, because he always left with a nice, tasty bone. Dog also enjoyed watching people shoot hoops on the basketball court, and play chess in the park. His favorite activity of all to do on his walks, was visit the dog park and catch up with all his friends.

“Where’s Spot?” was our first activity, based on the book of the same name by Eric Hill. In Hill’s book Spot’s mother was trying to find him, and had to search all over the house to do so. The props for this activity were borrowed from Kidzclub. I printed out, and laminated, Kidzclub’s images of various hiding places such as closets and baskets, along with images of what animal was hiding behind the objects. Prior to Storytime I placed the images of the animals up on the board and covered them with the images of their respective hiding places. As I read through the story, the children and I had an enjoyable time trying to find Spot. I would ask the children, “Where is Spot? Behind the door?” then a child would come up and pull back the door to reveal what animal was hidden behind it. As an added element, each time a hiding place was uncovered, and a new animal revealed, a puppet. The children enthusiastically shouted out the names of the animals that were hiding and, after much searching, we found Spot concealed in the basket!


Was Spot in the closet?


No, that was the monkey.


Was Spot hiding under the bed?


No one there but an alligator.


I know, Spot was in the piano, right?


Nope. There was a hippo in the piano


Yay! We found Spot, he was hiding in the basket all along.

Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd was our next book. As Dog, who was white with one black spot on his ear, went through is day, he kept acquiring colorful spots. The red spot came from jam that dripped on him at breakfast, the brown spot came from a little boy petting Dog with chocolate on his hands, the pink spot came from someone dropping ice cream on Dog’s ear. More and more spots appeared, from wide ranging locations and circumstances. At the end of the day, Dog’s owner noticed he was a lot more colorful than he was at the start of the day. She decided Dog needed a bath. After being washed and dried, Dog, now white with just one black spot, settled into his bed for a good nights sleep. We had a dog puppet act out this story with us, and each time Dog acquired a new spot, so did our puppet!


Dog started out with one black spot on his ear.


By the end of the story, Dog had ten colorful spots all stuck to his fur!

Dog’s Day by Jane Cabrera was our next book. In this delightful tale we met a dalmatian who really knew how to have fun. He would swing from trees with monkey’s, swim underwater with fish and hand upside down with bats. The little dalmatian had lots of animal friends that he really enjoyed spending his day with. His favorite thing to do though, was to play with his father at the end of the day.


This is our friend the dalmatian, and he had a very interesting day…


Hanging upside down with bat…


Slithering along with snake…


And running really fast with cheetah.

The jingle bell shakers made an appearance for our last activity. Everyone chose a shaker, and then I strung a piece of tape across the length of our puppet stage. What could the tape be for? It turned out to be a tightrope for the amazing, stupendous circus dog named Wags. As we listened to “Wags the Balancing Dog,” from the CD The Wiggles: Hot Poppin’ Popcorn, and shook our shakers along to the music, we saw Wags come out and dance across the tightrope. Wags, one of our dog puppets, was especially adept and balancing and running across the tightrope. At the very end of the song, Wags bowed and exited, and Mr. Hippo came out to try his luck on the tightrope. It bowed a bit in the middle, but Mr. Hippo was able to balance just like Wags.


It’s Wags, the amazing circus dog!


And his little known partner, the amazing circus hippo!

Me and Dog by Gene Weingarten was our last book. Sid, the little boy in this story, owned a wiener dog named Murphy who idolized him. Murphy thought Sid was an extraordinary little boy. Sid thought Murphy was the best dog in the world. This book was a wonderful look at the relationship between a boy and his four legged best friend. Each were just ordinary, but to each other, they were extraordinary.

Several of the books and activities we did today had musical and rhyming elements. As this article from Nellie Edge explains, books that have rhyming or musical components are some of the most beneficial literature we can give to children. They help children distinguish sounds, build phonic awareness and so much more. These books also aid children in memory development and vocabulary expansion, which in turn increases their literacy skills. In addition, the article recommends various books that have musical and rhyming elements.

At the very end, when we all had given up hope of seeing him, Mr. Tom Cat did appear to dance and shake his sillies out with us, and Raffi, from his CD More Singable Songs.


Mr. Tom Cat joined us in the end, clapping and jumping his sillies out


Everyone was very happy to see him.

A howling good Storytime was had by all!

Trees will be our theme next week!

-Miss Jessica


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This Page is for the “Next Dr. Who Contest”. for Clearwater Library in July 2015.

Call David L. on 727-562-4970 for Info. Must live in Pinellas County to be able to compete.