I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by WestscottFor the younger storytime, I started with I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Nadine Bernard Westcott. Fellow librarians kept telling me that the kids loved it and though it was hilarious. I’m not really a fan because of several reasons: a) the lady is eating whole animals (animal rights!), b) the text and kids keep commenting on how she’s eating too much and getting fat (this makes me feel bad about talking about fat people), and c) the sentences keep ending in “perhaps she’ll die.” I don’t like that phrase at all. I know it rhymes with fly, but I don’t want kids afraid someone is going to die. And I don’t want them afraid to eat things because they think they’ll die. And I feel really awkward saying it. So maybe it’s because of my awkwardness, but the kids didn’t really think the book was funny (even though I read it in that exaggeratedly goofy way to make them laugh) and they were scared the lady died. Never reading it again. Sorry fans.

Martina the Beautiful CockroachThe older storytime started with one of my favorites, Martina the Beautiful Cockroach by Carmen Agra Deedy. Ever since I read it for Monarchs, I have loved it. It is funny, full of witty puns that the older kids and parents get (so they enjoy reading it and it raises the kids’ vocab!). I like how they made cockroaches pretty and not scary; it’s hard to do. I like that it’s a multicultural folktale. None of my kids had heard of the story or customs in it before. The vocabulary is rich. The Spanish words in it feel intuitive even though they are not everyday words. The repetition and rhythm of the suitors’ proposals becomes comforting and predictable so the kids get the rhythm of the tale. And after the first suitor the kids were shouting out whether or not she should marry that person and why. I loved it. They made great comments even though the vocab was high (she shouldn’t marry him because then she’d be like Cinderella and would have to clean icky mud all day). LOVE it!

After our lengthy debut book, we stood up and sang the familiar Itsy Bitsy Spider. Twice. I always find it fascinating that the kindergarteners still like this song.

Very Hungry CaterpillarThen we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and I used this adorable sock puppet (see picture). I made nom nom noises and gobbled all the fruit. The kids thought it was hilarious. When he became a butterfly, I walked around and let the kids pet him. Once again, it’s amazing that they think it’s real and not my hand. Silly 5-year-olds. I know this book is probably over-read, but kids like the familiarity and the puppet activity is just too fun to pass up.

bumblebeeWe did the flannel because we were running out of time: Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Do You Know Me? By Anne Rockwell. I like that this book is matching so we had the bugs roost on their respective flower. And naming the flowers was a good challenge for them because they kept calling all the flowers roses when I asked them to guess, haha.

My extra books were:

  • The Ant and the Grasshopper by Rebecca Emberley that was on a recommended blog, but I didn’t like it. I thought it was too long with too high vocab for the little dudes to follow. So I traded it for The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney which is beautiful and shorter (if you’re not afraid of wordless pages). Thanks Carol for the suggestion!
  • Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! By Bob Barner
  • Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr.
  • Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni