Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)
Story: Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks. I did this storytime outside in the park, and a child had just found a spider on her lap and screamed, which could not have been a better introduction to this story. I find it harder to engage the kids during outdoor storytimes, but screaming is a great way to get participation (and lose your voice in the process, but you can’t have everything.) I have used this story for Halloween and for bugs, but it was fun to use it for a pet theme, because thinking about a pet spider is just so wonderfully wacky.
Song: “Spider on the Floor” by Raffi from Singable Songs for the Very Young. It was a good match for the story, and I managed to figure out how to play it on the guitar all by myself, which was something of a small miracle.
Story: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer. A dog is not really a crazy pet, but the thought of a dog swallowing a cow? Pretty crazy. I usually alter the page turns in this book because I think the illustrations give away the joke too quickly. This always comes back to bite me on the cow page, which really does have that page turn between the text and the image, but it’s worth blowing that one page so that the kids can predict what the vet will pull out of George before they can see the pictures. I always think of this as a book everyone knows, but perhaps this is less true than it used to be; I got a lot of surprised giggles.
I would usually do another song here, but I decided to keep this storytime short and sweet, so I went straight on to the next book.
Story: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin. Again, a cat is not a crazy pet, but a button-wearing, belly-button showing cat? Crazy. Or at least groovy. I like the rhythm of this one even more than I Love My White Shoes. I taught everyone the groovy buttons song before starting, so I got a little bit of singing help. I tend to tone down the arithmetic portion of the story, which I think is a bit excessive. The kids will naturally shout out the new number of buttons without going all math-crazy on them. I actually had a family show up in the library right after outdoor storytime wanting to check out this book, so it must have struck a chord with someone.
Ending Song: “See You Later”
No crafts since this was an outdoor storytime to go with the “Paws to Read” theme.