Jana Rambles 22.3 // 5 Fun Storytime Books

This month I got to lead a preschool storytime program for the first (and second, third, and fourth) time! In the past I’ve helped one of our other librarians, but until a few weeks ago I had never led a program entirely on my own. It has been a fun (and nerve-wracking) learning experience, and along the way I have read LOTS of fun picture books! Today I’m going to highlight a few favorites that I came across.

Ducks Away by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek (published 2016)

Count along with Mother Duck as her ducklings try to waddle across the bridge. When a sudden gust of wind sweeps one of Mother Duck’s ducklings into the river, she doesn’t know what to do. With four ducklings on the bridge and one below, Mother Duck is torn as to which way to go. Suddenly, a second duck falls and Mother Duck grows more panicked. Should she stay on the bridge or fly down to her ducklings in the river?

Ducks Away is a fun counting book that you can easily make interactive. There are also at least a handful of fun songs and rhymes that include ducks, which can be combined to make for a fairly easy themed storytime session.

Yellow Kayak by Nina Laden and Melissa Castrillon (published 2018)

You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.

This is a calmer picture book with gorgeous watercolor-esque illustrations.

Ducks in the Fridge by Jeff Mack (published 2014)

It’s time for bed, but that doesn’t mean it’s time for the same old boring bedtime story. This one starts with a boy who discovers a duck in his fridge. Soon there are more ducks, and the only thing they are interested in is having fun. So the boy gets some dogs to scare them away…but things don’t go quite the way he planned. More and more animals arrive, and soon there’s a party. Will the boy ever be able to get to sleep? Filled with puns and loads of visual humor, the silliness pours off each page of this rollicking story.

Ducks in the Fridge has a lot of words for a younger storytime, but about kindergarten and up should find it hilarious.

There’s a Bear in My Chair and There’s a Mouse in My House by Ross Collins (published 2015, 2021)

There’s a Bear in My Chair: Poor Mouse! A bear has settled in his favourite chair and that chair just isn’t big enough for two. Mouse tries all kinds of tactics to move the pesky Bear but nothing works and poor Mouse gives up. Once Mouse has gone, Bear gets up and walks home. But what’s that? Is that a Mouse in Bear’s house?!

There’s a Mouse in My House: This time, it’s Bear who has an unwelcome guest, and that cheeky mouse just won’t leave. He’s making a real commotion in Bear’s house – eating all the food, listening to loud music and even spilling bathwater all over the floor! But when there’s an unexpected knock at the door, Bear decides that perhaps mice are actually rather nice! A funny family story to share at bedtime (or any time!) 

A fun pair of books full of rhymes and silliness! Also good to pair with some felt board activities and other rhymes.

The Wind May Blow by Sasha Quinton and Thomas Hegbrook (published 2021)

This stunning picture book, which features peek-through pages, engaging artwork, and gentle, lyrical text, celebrates every parent’s wish for his or her child in the face of life’s challenges.

Every parent wishes for his or her child to be able to handle the challenges that life presents. Sometimes, our life experiences will not be smooth; there will be times when fierce winds blow, storms rage, and rain falls, making the situation feel hopeless. Through lyrical text and inviting illustrations, children are reminded that they are strong and smart and can figure out a solution to every tricky situation that they may face.

This book book may not be the best fit for sharing in storytime, but it also might be the most heartwarming book I have ever read and it’s definitely a new favorite. In my opinion, this would be a wonderful pre-bedtime book, especially if it’s been a rough day or evening.

Even though I recently took a children’s literature class, I’m exploring a whole new world by looking at books through the lens of “would this be a good fit for storytime this week?” And, while of course I am sad that my colleague had to leave, it’s a lot of fun getting to be like a stand-in children’s librarian from time to time. Reading children’s books, leading rhymes, and singing silly songs is a nice break from some of the other hats I wear day-to-day.

Do you have a favorite picture book, either from your own childhood or more recently?

Until the next chapter,

Jana

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