By Awnali Mills
Begin the dirge.
It was our last preschool storytime in this library today. In a few weeks, this library that has served so many will be closing its doors and reopening down the street in a brand new building full of lovely new books.
We’re sad. And excited!
So, as a final storytime, I chose the theme of libraries and books. We read Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I Don’t) by Barbara Bottner and A Library Book for Bear by Bonnie Becker (and what’s with the Bs, man? Totally unintentional.) I also chose Book! Book! Book! By Deborah Bruss (Again with the Bs!), but the other books were longer ones and I didn’t actually get to read it.
In my magic bag I had a library card and did the whole spiel about how what I had in my bag could take you through time and space to other centuries, other worlds, and even into the future. Sadly, no one guessed what was in my bag. Sigh.
The first book I read was Miss Brooks. I love this book! Because there were so many non-typewritten words as part of the illustrations, I used my finger under some of them as I read them, and under some of the text as well to tie together that both were written words. After the book was finished, I did my early literacy tip:
“Did you know that researchers have found that when we read picture books to children, 95% of their attention is on the pictures? When you point to the words in the book, you’re helping them realize that it is the text we are reading, not the pictures.”
Then, I had the kids help me with the next flannel, the Library Cheer. We all slapped our hands on our legs and chanted “Books are good! Books are great! I want books, I will not wait!” Then I did the next little part, putting up the book pieces. The kids watched me like hawks until it was their turn to slap their legs and chant. They did a fantastic job!
Next, we read A Library Book for Bear. I love these characters by Bonnie Becker. There’s lots of potential for dramatic voices and over acting—the stuff my life is made of.
To finish, we did the Five Library Books flannel. I put all the books up, then called up individual kids and had them take the books down. One stubborn young man refused to take one down because he couldn’t have the yellow one, which another young lady had already taken. Ah, well. There were more kids where that one came from! Eventually, we got all the library books taken off the flannelboard.
I wanted to go out with a bang, so I pulled out the parachute. Here’s the stuff we did:
- The Noble Duke of York (move the ‘chute up and down according to the song)
- There’s a Spider On My ‘Chute
- Ring Around the Rosie (A total winner. All we did was walk around in a circle carrying the ‘chute, and then “all fall down.” Falling is big with preschoolers for some reason.)
- If You’re Happy and You Know It (shake your ‘chute, walk to the right, walk to the left, make big waves, etc.)
- Five Little Monkeys (I have a set of Five Little Monkeys finger puppets, so I threw them on the ‘chute while we chanted the Five Little Monkeys rhyme)
- Oh, I’m Being Eaten By a Boa Constrictor by Shel Silverstein
Oh, I’m being eaten (sit on floor with parachute at your feet)
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don’t like it—one bit.
Well, what do you know?
It’s nibblin’ my toe. (pull ‘chute up over your toes)
It’s up to my knee. (pull up over your knees)
It’s up to my thigh. (pull up over your thighs)
It’s up to my middle. (pull up to waist)
It’s up to my neck. (pull up to neck)
It’s upmmmmmmmmmffffffffffffffff (pull up over your head and giggle insanely)
- And to finish it off, I tossed Beanie Babies onto the chute and we gave them rides until I was sweaty and tired and had lost my voice all together.