We did our usual transition songs and play with musical instruments for our song breaks. For the flannel, I used Mary Has Lots of Lambs. We sing Mary Had a Little Lamb but each kid gets a different color lamb to put up.

Dancing Feet by Lindsay CraigDancing Feet by Lindsey Craig turned out to be the book both age groups (2-5 and 4-5) enjoyed the most. I originally wasn’t going to use it for the older storytime, but it was such a hit. It is very short with only one sentence per page, but it works like a guessing game. The sound of dancing feet is described for different animals and you can see part of that animals body/foot in the picture before the page turns to reveal what the animal is. I had the kids demonstrate with their own feet what that animal’s dance would sound like. I like the paint and cardboard collage and the last page that shows that the dancing creatures are actually kids dressing up. I ask the kids to say which animal each child is pretending to be (even though the “bear” kid isn’t dressed in any bear clothes, but he is Black, which I find slightly sketchy).

Be Quiet Mike by Leslie PatricelliI like Be Quiet Mike! By Leslie Patricelli because I find it similar to the book Don’t Touch (now out of print) but with sound instead of touch. Mike is always turning things into musical instruments and making noise. He wants a new drum set he sees in the shop window. But everyone is always telling him “Be Quiet Mike!” Finally, Mike does make his own drum set out of household junk and his family ends up enjoying his music. I thought the chorus Be Quiet Mike would be fun to shout and that students could relate to grown ups telling them no. But the words were too long even for the older kids and they got restless. So sad because Patricelli is so funny and relatable to the child experience.

Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma WilsonHilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson was another flop for this group. Past storytimes have loved this book, but I think attention spans are shortening and they didn’t all get the humor of a hippo making thunderous noise and knocking things over by dancing. I also thought the kids might like the chorus of Hilda Must Be Dancing, but only one child caught on and started shouting it out. And we worked on identifying the animals, but some of them were so stylized they though the rhino was an elephant with a short nose (and didn’t know what buffalo were at all).

Row Your Boat by Jane CabreraMy track record wasn’t working well for this storytime, so I received the recommendation to try Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera. I originally thought this might be too babyish for the older ones, but they all liked it. It starts with the regular row your boat song and then starts to piggyback. The kids were a little confused at first, even though I warned them the lyrics changed, but they liked guessing the setting for each refrain and thought it was cool to sing a book.