The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Hungry Children


Strawberry Mice! The adorable one on the left was made by Sarah.

Tonight I continued the food theme, since our Summer Reading Program has officially started.  Plus there are so many wonderful food books!  These are some of my favorites:


The Sweet Touch by Lorna and Lecia Balian

A childhood favorite of mine that I thought had disappeared into the mists of time until I found a single copy in our library system (according to Amazon it’s back in print.  Woohoo!).  When a tiny genie grants a little girl a single wish, she asks for the ability to make everything she touches turn into something sweet.  Her bed becomes gingerbread, her rug chocolate, her pillow full of cotton candy.  The kids were mesmerized.


Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean

To be honest, I don’t enjoy all of the Pete the Cat books, but I LOVE this one and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.  This book got horrible editorial reviews when it came out, but the simple story of the cat with white shoes who keeps stepping in different things (strawberries, blueberries, and mud) has tremendous kid appeal, and is always a big hit at storytimes.


Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells

My favorite Max and Ruby book.  Max wants to buy Red-Hot Marshmallow Squirters for his Grandma’s birthday cake, but no matter how hard he tries, the grocer can’t read his writing on the grocery list, until he hits on a solution.


The Little Mouse, the Red, Ripe Strawberry, and the Big, Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

A classic, with the most luscious strawberry, and the most adorable mouse, ever drawn.  Also a great book for a range of ages.  Younger kids can empathize with the little mouse’s terror at hearing about the big hungry bear, while older kids can discuss whether or not there really is a hungry bear at all.


Way Up High in the Apple Tree

Way up high in the apple tree (Raise arms high)
Two little apples smiled at me (Make circles with fingers)
I shook that tree as hard as I could. (Shake imaginary tree)
Down came the apples! (Lower arms)
MMMM! They were good! (Rub tummy)
The kids suggested other kids of trees, including cupcake trees, pear trees, and ice cream trees.

Three Little Kitty Cats

Three little kitty cats
Lying in the sun.
One jumped up and said, “I’d like to run!”
Then said the other one, “I’ll run too!
Running running running and I’ll play with you!”

I asked the kids for suggestions, and we sang the song as lions, kangaroos, and then kitty cats again.  The jumping up and running in place is a great way to work off some energy in the middle of storytime.

Little Bunny FooFoo  

Yes it’s one of the many violent children’s songs. I also regularly do the Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly with a puppet that the kids “feed.”  I do kill her off at the end (Hey, you can’t eat a whole horse without consequences!), but then I revive her and pump her stomach.  The infamous Bunny FooFoo has always been one of my favorites though, and tonight there was an adorable two year-old doing all the motions.

INSTRUMENT PLAY WITH CD: Rhubarb Pie by Laurie Berkner (from Under a Shady Tree)  

CRAFT TIME: Strawberry Mice

I washed and stemmed the strawberries ahead of time, then pulled apart strips of string cheese for the tails.  The kids stuck the tail in the hole at the back of the strawberry, then broke banana chips to make ears, and stuck mini chocolate chips into the strawberry for the eyes and nose.  Yummy fun, and definitely healthier than the marshmallow monsters we made last week!

What are your favorite food books?  Also, next week is Father’s Day, so I’ll be hunting down some good Dad stories.  I always love recommendations!


My friend and wonderful children’s librarian Barbara B. recommends:

What Did You Put in Your Pocket? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (illustrated by Michael Grejniec), a fun rhyming book that goes through the days of the week with all kinds of messy substances kids can imagine putting in their pockets.

Chocolatina by Erik Kraft (one of my favorites as well, about a girl who loves chocolate so much that she wakes up as a chocolate girl)


When Marshmallow Snowmen Attack: A Foodie Storytime

The adorable and VERY sweet Mr. Bill, created by Jonas (and Ria)

The adorable and VERY sweet Mr. Bill, created by Jonas (and Ria)

One of my storytime moms suggested that I should compile a list of the stories I read each week for Family Storytime, so that families who can’t attend could still check out the books.  So, here is my first entry:

As a teaser for the Summer Reading Program, which has a Reading is SOOOOO Delicious Theme this year, I did books about food.  They were:


Monkey Soup by Louis Sachar

An old favorite by one of my favorite children’s authors (and a Newbery winner for Holes), this is a simple story about a little girl who wants to make soup for her Daddy, who is sick.  She puts into it all the things that make her feel better: Band-Aids, bubbles, buttons, tissues, and her toy monkey.  At least two kids wanted to check this one out when I was done.



Chicka-Chicka-1-2-3 by Bill Martin, Michael Sampson & Lois Ehlert

I wasn’t actually planning to read this one, but one of the kids requested it, and it did have an apple tree in it.  Very similar to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, except with numbers up to 100.  The kids liked the quirky illustrations: number 5 with its big top hat, and 70’s long, sandy hair (which got some chuckles from the parents).


ice cream

Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems

I throw a Gerald and Piggie book in whenever I can, and kids love this one where Gerald faces a major ethical dilemma.


I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child

The original Charlie and Lola book, and my favorite.  Charlie convinces his picky little sister to eat orange twiglets from Jupiter (carrots), greendrops from Greenland, and cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji (mashed potatoes).


Monkey See and Monkey Do

1,2,3,4,5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive

INSTRUMENT PLAY:  On the Good Ship Lollipop performed by the Persuasions, who really liven it up.  From the 20 Great Kids Songs CD, which is one of my very favorite children’s albums.  It has a wonderful version of This Land is Your Land featuring Willie Nelson, along with Tom McCutcheon’s version of Big Rock Candy Mountain, and many more.


Tonight we made marshmallow snowmen, with some Jumbo marshmallows I found at Safeway (they would work just as well with regular marshmallows).  We stuck the head and body together with pretzel sticks, which also served as arms, legs, hair, and even buttons (one of the moms came up with that one).  I had small tubes of icing for the face (I tried to find food coloring pens, which would have been easier).  They were fun, quick, and not nearly as messy as you might think, although I’m afraid most of the snowmen were devoured before they left the library.

Three unrelated books I was happy to get hold of this week were:

The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen

I loved the idea of the dark as a living thing that hovers in closets and corners during the day and comes out at night.  I haven’t quite figured out what age group to share it with yet, but I enjoyed it for myself.

Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

A book that works on multiple levels: as a teaching tool for punctuation and a wonderful story about finding your unique talents.  Exclamation Mark is dismayed that, no matter how hard he tries, he always stands out among the periods.  But then he meets a very curious new character who show him how to make his mark.

The Sweet Touch by Lorna and Lecia Balian

One of my favorites as a child, I was thrilled to find the single copy we have in the library system.  When a little girl named Peggy buys a real gold ring made of genuine plastic and rubs it, a tiny genie appears and grants her a single wish: everything she touches will turn into something sweet.