King Bidgoods in the Bathtub by Audrey WoodFirst, we read the longest book, King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood. I figured that’s when the kids had the longest attention span. They loved it. I’m glad because it’s one of my favorites. I like to point out how the page has to carry all of the things back from the tub and we study all the details in the tub for each spread. Who says we can’t be observers in storytime? We spent a lot of time looking at the pictures. I asked the kids for ideas about how they would get the king out, but they wanted to conk him on the head and drag him by his feet… slightly violent children. They were so satisfied with the ending it’s hard to describe. Obviously a superb book that still deserves the Caldecott with its perfect combination of pictorial cues, pacing, and rhythm.

We start the fingerplay almost whispering and end it almost yelling. Not only is it a great one, but I think they like it even better because it’s the only time I’ll let them shout as loud as they want. We probably scared the computer lab people. Fingerplay:  Bubbly Bubbly Bath

Bubbly bubbly bath (wiggle fingers)

Filled to the top (raise fingers overhead)

Listen to the bubbly bubbles (cup hand to ear)

Pop! Pop! Pop! (clap three times)

Animal Baths by Bob BarnerThen we looked at how other animals than humans take bathes with Animal Baths by Bob Barner. I usually pick this one or Sayre’s (see below) depending on how much nonfiction I think they can handle and maturity level. The kids liked shouting out the animal before I read the page and at the end of the page, they would act out how that animal likes to bathe and make their noises. I think their favorite was rolling on the floor like pigs and oinking. Crazy kids. I thought it was hilarious they thought the eel was a dinosaur.

Prop: (no flannel) Hokey Pokey Bath with puddles. We laminated blue construction paper puddles so each child gets a bath puddle (alternately you can use this in April for a rain puddle). We play hokey pokey but put our [right foot] in the puddle and out. I do feet and hands, then I ask the kids to suggest things…. So we got: nose, elbow, butt (of course), belly (it actually can be done).

Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo WillemsThe Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems is a new classic. I know it barely has words and is technically a reader, but it still works great for storytime. If there were different panels on the page, I just pointed to each part. I thought it might be hard for them to follow along but they loved it. They liked crossing their arms (wings) like the pigeon. I asked them, like the pigeon, when was the last time you took a bath?! (Oh, that was pretty recently.) I even made them smell their armpits. There wasn’t much coercion, they thought it was the funniest thing ever, even the parents laughed. And when the pigeon says, “I don’t smell anything!” I walk around with the book and let the kids sniff the page. Even the kindergarteners get a kick out of it and plug their nose and say stinky!!!!!! Classic. I am no longer afraid to read books with a couple words per page to kindergarteners.

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Back-up Books: