This is the first week of fall storytime, and the first of our color-themed storytimes. I liked the flexibility of planning for “yellow” – there was some structure, so it didn’t feel totally willy-nilly, but I also felt pretty free to interpret it broadly. Is the cover yellow? It counts! Is there something yellow in it? It counts!
Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)
Nonfiction: Seeing Yellow All Around Us by Sarah L. Schuette. This is a nice rhyming text with lots of yellow objects. And it doesn’t name the objects, just describes and shows them, so there’s plenty of space for the kids to yell things out. I skipped the text altogether; I gave clues and let the kids guess the answer, and then showed the picture. This worked pretty well, but I should have practiced ahead of time so I was more intentional about which objects I used, since I didn’t end up using the whole book.
Story: Peepsqueak! by Leslie Ann Clark. Peepsqueak, a baby chick, wants to fly. A variety of animals tell him that he can not, but he does not listen. “Because why? He was on the move!” The bright, cheerful colors and repeated refrain made for a fun start to the storyime. If the kids had been older, I might have skipped this one, started with Roadwork, and then used Beautiful Bananas by Elizabeth Laird as my second story.
Song: “Bananas” by Jim Gill, Music Play for Folks of All Stripes. (Sung without the CD) I only had about 12 kids, ranging in age from 2 to 5, which was not quite enough critical mass to make this one fly. It would have worked better with more kids.
Story: Roadwork by Sally Sutton. This has been a storytime favorite of mine since it first came out in 2008. It’s got a great rhythm and really goes through the whole process of road-building from beginning to end. I have the kids repeat the onomatopoetic phrases at the end, even though they’re only given once in the text, because they are just so fun to say. Who could resist shouting out “Whizz! Splop! Splurt!” A colleague said she found it too long and clipped a few of the pages, but it worked for me at full length.
Song: “The Wheels on the Bus” with guitar. Usually I lead a verse or two and then let the kids make suggestions. These guys didn’t shout out a ton of favorites, so I ended up leading most of it. I’m always afraid the older preschoolers and kindergarteners will complain about being “too old” for this song, but it never actually happens. (I had also considered playing “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles on Yellow Submarine and dancing with blue and yellow scarves and bubbles. I backed out of that because I wasn’t sure this group was going to be into it, and I didn’t want to be dancing all by myself.)
Story: Tyrannosaurus Wrecks! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. I wanted to sneak in a school bus or school story to honor the beginning of school. There’s nothing really yellow about this book except the cover, but they didn’t mind. In fact, this was probably many kids’ favorite. The bouncy rhyming text, full of long dinosaur names, just begs to be read aloud. My dino-loving kindergartener commented to me later about the use of the different meanings of rex/wrecks.
Craft: Yellow books. Make an 8-page quarter-sheet-sized book out of a single sheet of paper with a yellow cover. Decorate with yellow crayons, markers, dot paints, stickers, die-cuts, etc. The kids really got into this project. Most of them didn’t write anything, but several drew pictures to go along with the die-cuts and stickers. Almost all of them read their books to me before they left, which was super fun (for me, at least).
Other Contenders: New Socks by Bob Shea; Press Here by Herve Tullet; Beautiful Bananas by Elizabeth Laird