I Feel Sick by Tony RossWhen I did this storytime, I picked I Feel Sick! (a Little Princess story) by Tony Ross. It’s short and funny, but also relatable. The princess always pretends she’s sick when she is asked to do chores. Kids don’t like chores. As one of the ones in my program put it, “Going to a party is funner than cleaning up cat poop. I don’t like poop.” Princess does all these funny things like paint her face green (we had to talk about why people say, ‘you look a little green.’), make grotesque faces, and say she would love to do things but can’t. And then of course, she is invited to a party and miraculously feels better. Then she proceeds to overeat junk food and dance like a maniac and then be sick for real. The kids think it’s funny. I like that there is only about one sentence on each page and there are a lot of fun inferences to make by looking at the pictures and the text together.

The Fleas Sneeze by Lynn DowneyThe first time I did this storytime, I took a cute suggestion from a few colleagues called The Flea’s Sneeze by Lynn Downey. It was supposed to be funny. Except, the kids didn’t know what a flea was even when I showed it to them and explained it. And the concept was about how when you are sick, everyone else around you tends to get sick next (which seems to be in EVERY sick book, so a little repetitive). It was supposed to be good rhythm with the repetition of all the animals in the barn, but it didn’t pull off that technique nearly as well as books like The Napping House and The House That Jack Built.

For our action song, we did head, shoulder, knees, and toes because it talks about “health” loosely right? Body parts. And it gets them moving to get their jitters out. We do it a couple of times starting slow and getting faster so the littles can catch on.

Bear Feels Sick by Karma WilsonI could have picked either Llama Llama Home With Mama by Anna Dewdney or Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson because they are both so similar. They both are series picture books that rhyme for the same age group. They both talk about taking care of a person when they are sick, and then of course subsequent person(s) then gets sick next and they trade rolls. So, I guess I didn’t really need both. I feel like the kids cared more about bear and offered more suggestions to help him. Not a lot of kids had seen the Llama Llama books before (surprising), so I don’t think they liked him as much because they didn’t know what a llama was and he didn’t look as cute and cuddly as a bear. But Llama Llama books are very good for phonological awareness, even more so than Wilson, whose Llama Llama Home with Mamarhymes are sometimes, but not often a stretch and not as rhythmic. The Dewdney’s books are each to guess because the kids can feel the cadence and often guess the end rhyme word correctly. So, of course, I always leave off the last word and let them finish it. For this particular book, they learned that doze means the same thing as to rest. They knew the word had to mean to go to sleep because llama’s eyelids were drooping in the text and the picture showed him being tucked into bed and closing his eyes. But they didn’t know the word doze yet. So phonological awareness and vocabulary! Score!

I swear they're band-aids, not leeches, haha. I had 15 different colors for the kids to choose from.

I swear they’re band-aids, not leeches, haha. I had 15 different colors for the kids to choose from.

Our “flannel” was carried out on our golden retriever mascot, Booker. This flannel, Band-Aids, was designed from Storytime Katie’s flannel. It’s a little nerve-wracking and sad(!) to give fake illnesses and boo-boos to a fake dog, but the kids really enjoyed making Booker feel better. A child in my second class even had a stuffed husky he brought and put next to Booker to keep him company during his nap. At the end of the program, we woke up Booker, and he felt better! We took off the Band-Aids and each child got to pet Booker before picking out a book to take home. I kind of felt bad pretending Booker was sick… oh empathy.

Sick Day for Amos McGeeThe last book (or sometimes I switch up the order depending on attention spans) was A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead. I admit it. I love this book, everything about it. As I leave novice librarian status, it gets easier for me to “read” books and/or pages that have no words. It’s fun now instead of scary. I was worried it might be too long or abstract for the kids to pay attention to, but with lots of predicting questions they enjoyed it too. It always makes me happy when they enjoy a book I love (cough cough King Bidgood). First, we just look at the cover. They identify the animals on the cover. I say, this is Amos (point to him) and these are his friends. Where do you think he works if these are his friends. This time around, they got the answer right! I asked them, after Amos stays home, what each animal wants Amos to come and do (remembering the text skills and drawing inferences from the pictures). Then I ask them where are the animals going? when the page shows the animals leaving the zoo. They thought it was funny that the animals rode the bus too. And one of the boys even noticed that you can track the red balloon throughout the story.