This was our second tandem storytime of the fall. I worked with two different partners. Most of the stories were the same, but I did make one change mid-week.
Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)
Story: I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems. It is basically impossible to have a tandem storytime without doing an Elephant and Piggie story. In fact, I think that’s one of the reasons why we chose Pink as a tandem week. It’s so easy to just type up the text and then act out the script. We did change the end so that it was Gerald who asked Piggie what happened to his snout, but were otherwise faithful to the text. I was Piggie with my first partner and Gerald with my second, so I even got to try out both of our paper towel/toilet paper tube noses. So fun!
Song: “Sticky Bubble Gum” by Carole Peterson. This is fun, and active, and pink – the trifecta! I liked it so much, I even tried it in Babytime, and got just as much participation there. Later in the week, I saw a little guy who goes to several storytimes per week walking around the department and singing the song. It was even cuter because he’s a native Chinese speaker, and I don’t often hear him speaking English.
Story: Peanut Butter and Cupcake! by Terry Border. When I first saw this book, I thought it would be fun at storytime, but it was even better than I thought. It also made a great tandem; one person was the narrator and the other characters, and the other was Peanut Butter. I adore the photographic illustrations, which make me want to play with my food. And the kids really got the joke – “I’ll make you chuckle deep down in your belly / And we’ll go together like peanut butter and … French fries!” The first time, they all shouted “jelly”, which fit the rhyme scheme and the expectation, but by the second repetition, they got the pattern. Then it was just so satisfying to actually end with Jelly.
Song: “Herman the Worm“. I don’t know why so many kids’ songs/stories have a character burp to expel other things from its stomach. Let’s not kid ourselves, you’d need to vomit. But still, the kids like it. They really got into the actions this time and played and sang along.
Story: Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats. Some of the kids knew Peter from The Snowy Day, but most were not familiar with this book. Some also identified strongly with having a new baby in the house and drew an emotional connection there, which was nice. I wasn’t crazy about it for two reasons. One is that, as a tandem story, we couldn’t find a good way to break it up, so we just alternated reading the pages. Which was ok, but not super exciting. It would probably be better for a solo teller. <soapbox> The other objection I had was the idea that of course, for a baby girl, you just have to paint everything pink. Because, you know, how could a girl possibly be expected to sit in a blue chair? Imagine the emotional trauma! </soapbox>
Alternate Story: Bob and Otto by Robert Bruel. In my last storytime, I put this as the second story, before “Herman the Worm,” and finished with Peanut Butter and Cupcake. I liked this a lot better than Peter’s Chair. It was beautifully tandem-able; there was clearly a Bob and an Otto. Plus reading it in two voices was even better than reading it solo because it really reinforced the parallel activity of the two friends, worm and caterpillar. Overall, definitely a hit. If it hadn’t been a tandem, I would have finished with Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler, which has an awesome rhythm and rhyme, but wasn’t super splittable.
Craft: Stamping/printing with pink paint and a variety of objects. I had read about Lego printing and wanted to try it, but that was really my only contribution to this craft; it was really my first partner’s idea. The kids loved trying out the different materials. They were really into the toothbrushes. It was kind of cool that so many of the items made circles; even though this was essentially a process-oriented craft, it was hard to have a bad product.
Herman the Worm
Well I was sittin’ on my fence post (Tap! Tap!)
Chewin’ on my bubble gum (Chomp! Chomp!)
Playin’ with my yo-yo (Whoop! Whoop!)
When along came Herman the worm
And he was this big
So I said: “Herman, what happened?!?”
And he said:
I ate a blueberry! Chorus)
I ate a grape! (Chorus)
I ate an apple! (Chorus)
I ate a cantaloupe! (Chorus)
I ate a watermelon! (Chorus)