Hungry for Stories: A Food Themed Storytime

It’s been a while since I’ve written up a food-themed storytime, so I thought I’d do an updated one. I’ve actually done three different storytimes this week, with the same theme but for different age groups, so these are some of the highlights:

caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

I had to include this classic, of course, especially for my toddler groups. Lately, I’ve been trying to add an interactive element into one or two of the books I read, so, since I read this one after doing a song with play scarves, I asked the kids to pretend that their scarf was a caterpillar while I read. We made munching noises and pretended the scarf caterpillars were eating the foods on each page, and when the caterpillar went into his cocoon, we stuffed the scarves into our fists, then had them emerge as “butterflies.”

food fight

Food Fight Fiesta by Tracey Kyle; illustrated by Ana Gomez

This rhyming book is so much fun, especially since it is based on an actual celebration in Buñol, Spain, where the whole town has a huge tomato fight. Once again, we used the scarves, only this time we pretended they were tomatoes, which we threw into the air whenever the story called for it. The kids loved it!

pea

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Jen Corace

One of my all-time favorites, this hilarious story about a pea who hates to eat candy is always a hit.

peeling

How Are You Peeling by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers

This is another fun book to share. The kids love shouting out the names of the vegetables and fruits in each photo, as well as answering the questions posed by the text about feelings.

sausages

Sausages by Jessica Souhami

This is a wonderful, funny, simple adaptation of the classic Three Wishes folk tale, where a couple are granted three wishes, and accidentally waste them on a string of sausages, which get stuck to the man’s nose.

water

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

Adorable and hilarious story about a crocodile who accidentally swallows a watermelon seed, and imagines that a watermelon vine is growing in his stomach. The kids loved repeating the “Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!” lines.

SONGS:

If You’re Happy and You Know ItI sang this one after reading How Are You Peeling? For the past few years I’ve changed it to add in different emotions, and the kids love it. Here’s what we sing (with ukulele or guitar chords):

 

C                                                           G
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands, (Clap, Clap)
G                                                           C
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands, (Clap, Clap)
F                                                           C
If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it,
G                                                           C
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (Clap, Clap)

 

If you’re sad and you know it, cry Boo Hoo! (“Boo Hoo!”)…

If you’re angry and you know it, say, “I’m mad!” (Stomp your feet while saying, “I’m Mad!”)…

If you’re sleepy and you know it, yawn and stretch (Yawn! Stretch!)…

If you’re shy and you know it, hide your face (cover your eyes, then uncover them and say “Peek-a-boo!”)…

If you’re happy and you know it, shout hooray! (Hooray!)

 

If All the Raindrops

I use this song all the time, with a wide range of age groups. The lyrics below are the “real” version, but usually when I sing it for storytime, I just do the first verse, then have the kids suggest other foods for the next few verses. Click on the arrow to hear the tune:


C
If all the raindrops
G                             C
Were lemondrops and gumdrops
C                                               G
Oh, what a rain that would be!
C                    G                            C                     G
I’d stand outside, with my mouth open wide
C               G               C                C
Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah!
C                                         G                             C
If all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops,
C                   G                    C
Oh, what a rain it would be!

If all the snowflakes
Were candy bars and milkshakes…

If all the sunbeams
Were bubblegum and ice cream…

Candy Corn for Dinner: I wrote this song several years ago for an Ice Cream Storytime, and it’s a fun one to have the kids play along to with maracas and egg shakers. Click on the arrow to hear a recording:

C                                                                     G7                   C
My mom and dad put me in charge of our dinner tonight.
C                                                                                G7
They said I could make anything as long as we ate right.
C                                                        G7                   C
I had to serve some vegetables, a salad, and a stew.
C                                                                        G7               C
I thought a while and cooked a bit, and here is my menu.

F                                                     C
We’re having candy corn for dinner
G7                             C
With a side of chocolate stew.
F                               C
A three jelly bean salad,
G7                                                C
And an ice cream sandwich too.

I don’t know why Mom and Dad say cooking’s such a chore,
‘Cause I had such a great time going to the grocery store.
My mom said we were out of milk, so I bought a big milkshake,
And since my dad likes cheese so much, I got him a cheesecake.

We’re having candy corn for dinner
With a side of chocolate stew.
A three jelly bean salad,
And an ice cream sandwich too.

CRAFT: SPICE PAINTING

This week, I ended up doing Playdough for craft time, but one of my all-time favorite art activities is spice painting, which I did a few months ago. Basically, you just mix different spices with water (turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, etc.) and give the kids paper and brushes to paint. The kids loved the different colors and smells.  There’s a description with pictures on Mama.Papa.Bubba: https://mamapapabubba.com/2014/02/19/spice-painting/

OTHER BOOKS ABOUT FOOD: 

martha

How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans by David LaRochelle; illustrated by Mark Fearing

I love this story, although it works better for older preschool and early elementary school kids. Martha has always hated eating green beans, but when they kidnap her parents, there is only one way for her to rescue them.

rude

Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

This hilariously quirky book describes how cakes who never say please or thank you get their comeuppance when they encounter a cyclops who likes to wear cakes as hats. Delightfully random and very funny.

What are your favorite picture books about food?

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

Image

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:

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

SONGS AND RHYMES:

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!”
MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!

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!

OTHER BOOKS:

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)