Check It Out! A Storytime for National Library Week

This week is National Library Week, and today is National Library Worker’s Day. So we had a fun library-themed storytime at the park today. Here’s what we did:


Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss; illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke

When the kids go off to school, the farm animals are bored. They decide to go to town, and wander into the public library to find something to do. Each animal tries to talk to the librarian, who only hears neighs, moos, and baas, until the chicken comes up to ask for a “Book!” I had a great time reading this aloud. The kids enjoyed supplying the animal sounds, and everyone laughed at the final pun.

The Library Book by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark; illustrated by Chuck Groenink

This super catchy song by Tom Chapin has been stuck in my head for days! The book tells a story of a trip to the library, featuring famous book characters like Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, and Madeline. My only complaint is that the librarian shushes people, which is a stereotype I try to avoid, but it does make sense in the context of the song. The kids were dancing, and many of the grown-ups were singing along.

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman; illustrated by Andy Elkerton

A little boy really wants to bring his dragon to the library, but the librarian explains all of the reason why it would be a bad idea: dragons are very large, and tend to wander, and when they get too excited, they breathe fire. But she offers a solution that will allow the dragon to enjoy the books while staying safely at home. The large format of this book worked really for our storytime, and I love the diversity of people depicted in the colorful illustrations. The kids joined in on the repeated “Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library” refrain.


These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner

I love this song, and the kids always seem to enjoy it too. Laurie Berkner has a great YouTube video of the song and the motions.

The lyrics are:

These are my glasses,

This is my book.

I put on my glasses,

And open up my book.

Then I read, read, read,

And I look, look, look.

I put down my glasses and whoop! close up the book.

When Ducks Get Up in the Morning

I sang this one as a follow up to Book! Book! Book! It works really well for storytime because the kids can suggest different animals, and you only need to know two chords to play it on the ukulele or guitar. Today we sang about horses, cats, T-rexes, and kids:

[C] When ducks get up in the morning

They [G7] always say, “Good [C] day!”

[C] When ducks get up in the morning

They [G7] always say, “Good [C] day!”

[C] They say, “Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack!”

[G7] That is what they [C] say.

[C] They say, “Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack!”

[G7] That is what they [C] say.

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

This song worked really well as a follow-up to Book! Book! Book! too. One funny thing about outdoor storytime is that since the kids are usually sitting on a blanket, they sometimes seem hesitant to stand up. So for this one, I encouraged them to hop with me each time we sang the “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” line.

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,
Now there are four green speckled frogs!

Four green and speckled frogs…etc.

Fly, Fly, Dragon, Fly

I got this song from The Perpetual Preschool, and it was a great lead-in to Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library. It’s to the tune of Skip to My Lou:

Fly fly dragon fly
Fly fly dragon fly
Fly fly dragon fly
Way up in the sky.

Hop hop dragon hop
Hop hop dragon hop
Hop hop dragon hop
Dragon, dragon stop!

Stay and Play: Origami Bookmarks

For our Stay and Play, I had the kids decorate Origami Bookmarks (the kind that fits onto the corner of a page). They are very easy to fold, but since my crowd is largely toddlers and preschoolers, I folded a bunch in advance, and put out googly eyes, gluesticks, markers, scissors, foam shapes, some precut paper teeth, and scraps of paper. The kids really seem to enjoy projects that involve gluing things onto the paper, so this was a hit!

I printed out these instructions from the Jewish Community Relations Council and also put out pieces of origami paper, in case anyone wanted to try folding their own. There are also lots of video tutorials, including this one from Red Ted Art, if you need any help following the instructions.

Happy Library Worker’s Day!


2 thoughts on “Check It Out! A Storytime for National Library Week

  1. Ashley, Deborah Bruss here, the author of Book! Book! Book! I’m about as far away (in NH) as I can be from you, but if we were neighbors, I’d bring my barnyard full of puppets and sing along with you. Ukulele is such a fun instrument to bring to readings. I hope you don’t mind if I use your song. I’m sure you don’t need more suggestions for storytime, but…. Big Box For Ben (Star Bright, 2011) makes for a fun craft project. I bring lots of boxes, which the kids can sit in during the story, and then use their imagination to make their boxes into planes, cars, boats, or whatever strikes their fancy. By the way, LOUD librarians are cool.

    • Wow! Thank you so much for writing! You made my day. You are definitely welcome to use the song (it’s actually in the public domain, so I can’t take credit for it, but I’m honored to be asked). And thank you for the book/craft suggestion. I am always on the hunt for new ideas. Most of all, thank you for writing such a wonderful book for storytime!

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