Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 13

What is the best way to label baby storytime outlines? I don’t use themes, but does the current weekly title make sense? Should I change the titles to the title of the book I used? Now that I’ve been at this for a while, I’m starting to doubt my blog organization skills. It’s starting to remind me of my closet that I reorganize once a year.

I didn’t actually present this storytime (I was sick!), but I still thought I would share the outline and videos with all of you.

Links for More Storytime Content:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Look! Babies Head to Toe by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Anoosha Syed

Early Literacy Tip: Look in the mirror and name body parts. Ask questions like “Where is baby’s nose?” Then point to your child’s nose (and your nose!).

Song: Wheels on the Bus by Laurie Berkner

Action Rhyme: One, Two, Peek-A-Boo!

Bounce Rhyme: Jelly on a Plate

Bounce: A Hippopotamus Got on a City Bus

Song: Baby 1, 2, 3 by Peter & Ellen Allard

Puppets: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals (Little Red Wagon by Old Town School of Folk Music)

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Little People Big Dreams: Ella Fitzgerald

As part of our virtual programming, I began a monthly school age storytime, designed for ages 6-8. This program highlights a different diverse individual from the Little People Big Dreams book series.

Like all of our virtual live storytimes, this program took place on Facebook. I didn’t expect an audience here, and, as I expected, I was very much presenting a storytime to no one, but we are leaving these programs up a little longer than regular storytimes due to the content. We have had a slight increase in views over time, and I’m thinking about ways to make this more accessible (such as uploading storytimes to YouTube).

Watch the full storytime here:

In the event description, I included links to:

Storytime Outline

Intro: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

First Book: Ella Fitzgerald by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People Big Dreams)

Ella Fitzgerald: 11 (Little People, Big Dreams): Sanchez  Vegara, Isabel, Alca, Bàrbara: Books

Music Break: A Tisket, A Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald (with shakers)

Second Book: Making Their Voices Heard : The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe

Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and  Marilyn Monroe: Kirkfield, Vivian, Harris, Alleanna: 9781499809152: Books

Closing Rhyme: See You Later, Alligator

See you later, alligator
In a while, crocodile
Give a hug, ladybug
Blow a kiss, jellyfish
See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur
Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly!

Next Time

In October, I’m planning to focus on athlete Pele. I think the storytime outline is going to stay the same, though not all famous people are going to lend themselves to a specific song like Ella Fitzgerald does. I’d like to continue to always use diverse musicians for my music though, no matter who that month’s famous individual is. I’m hoping interest in this series grows over time.

Book Review Tuesday

Lots of great books this week! Read the book reviews below, and learn more about my favorite reads:

Happy reading!

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson: 9780399545436 | Books

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson (novel in verse)
Gr. 4-7. ZJ’s football star dad isn’t his hero–he’s just ZJ’s beloved dad. Lately, ZJ’s dad struggles to remember things and sometimes gets really angry. ZJ’s mom explains that the memory loss has to do with all the head injuries and hits ZJ’s dad took during his professional football carer. The doctors can’t seem to help, and ZJ is scared of losing his dad forever.

Wow. This is an incredible book, told in verse, where, with such raw emotion. ZJ shows that the “ever after” isn’t always happy and life isn’t always okay. I hope this one receives lots of recognition at the youth media awards.

Dear Sweet Pea: Murphy, Julie: 9780062473073: Books

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy
Gr. 4-5. Sweet Pea is trying to figure out what her new life looks like. She still lives in her small town in Texas, but her parents don’t live together anymore. After the divorce, her dad moved in right next door, meaning Sweet Pea has two nearly identical houses, with nearly identical bedrooms. That isn’t all Sweet Pea has to think about–there is also her ex-best-friend who has moved on to prettier and skinnier new friends, a possible first crush, and the reason for that divorce, that her dad realized he’s gay.

When Sweet Pea’s eccentric neighbor, Miss Flora Mae, has to go out of town, she leaves Sweet Pea with a job: collect the letters Flora Mae receives from the newspaper and send them along to Flora Mae’s temporary address. Flora Mae is the town’s one and only advice columnist, and she wants to keep her trip a secret. Sweet Pea is excited by this new project, but when she finds a letter to Flora Mae from Sweet Pea’s ex-best-friend, Sweet Pea can’t help but reply to the letter herself.

Sweet Pea is an amazing kid, and an excellent, honest protagonist. I felt and understood every one of her decisions, even when I knew they would end badly. (I would have probably made the same decision if I had been caught in Sweet Pea’s sleepover dilemma.) This book is particularly wonderful because of its fat girl representation. Sweet Pea is fat, plain and simple, but this isn’t an issues book. Fat girl issues are mentioned, such as trying to find cute clothes in larger sizes and a fear that her old friend, Kiera, has moved on to skinnier friends. But the book isn’t about these things. There is a sense of self-acceptance in the book, but not about her weight, because Sweet Pea accepts and loves herself before this book even begins. Refreshing and sweet. Kodi (Book 1) (9781603094672): Cullum, Jared: Books

Kodi by Jared Cullum (graphic novel)
Gr. 2-3. During a summer stay with her grandma, Katya struggles to make friends until she rescues a hurt Kodiak bear. Affectionately named Kodi, the bear and Katya quickly become inseparable. When Katya has to return home early, both Katya and Kodi are heartbroken. Kodi is determined to be reunited with his friend, stowing away on a cruise ship and traversing the streets of Seattle until he finds Katya once again.

A sweet and quiet read, this graphic novel focuses on friendship and perseverance. Great for younger readers and fans of books about kids and their dogs. Snow Place Like Home (Diary of an Ice Princess #1)  (9781338353938): Soontornvat, Christina: Books

Snow Place Like Home (Diary of an Ice Princess) by Christina Soontornvat (first chapter book)
Gr. 2-3. Princess Lina loves her magical life living in castle in the clouds, but she also dreams of doing regular things at a Groundling (human) school with her best friend Claudia. Lina convinces her parents to let her try out human school, but Lina still doesn’t have control of the wind powers she inherited from her mom. Whenever she feels strong emotions, Lina tends to make ice and snow appear in the world around her…and that ice and snow have followed her to her new school.

I read this series entirely out of order, though I am very happy to finally make it to the first book. This series is simply fun–with a great combination of humor, everyday school adventures, magic powers, and a lovely message of self-acceptance. Plus, this series stars a biracial main character, is written by a diverse author, AND is a fantasy series–a combination very hard to come by in first chapter books. Recommending to anyone and everyone.

Heroes Wear Masks: Elmo's Super Adventure (Sesame Street Scribbles): Sesame  Workshop: 9781728236599: Books

Heroes Wear Masks: Elmo’s Super Adventure by Ernie Kwiat (picture book)
PreS-K. Elmo is about to start school, and his mom helps him prepare with tips about staying calm, handwashing, and mask wearing. More details and suggestions in the back for caregivers.

This is exactly what you would expect from Sesame Street, and a book that I’m sure is needed right now. Elmo sets a great example for kids everywhere, wearing his mask, keeping six feet from his friends, and still managing to have a great day at school. A Neighborhood Walk, A Musical Journey (9780807536704): Hill,  Pilar Winter, Duchess, Olivia: Books

A Neighborhood Walk, a Musical Journey by Pilar Winter Hill and Olivia Duchess (picture book)
PreS-K. Penelope and her mom travel through their city to a farmer’s market, discovering a variety of musicians along the way. Eventually, Penelope discovers a violinist at the farmer’s market, and Penelope falls in love with the sound.

A fun story combined with bright illustrations creates a glimpse into the diversity of city life (both people and locations). A simple introduction to different instruments and sounds that would pair well in a storytime focusing on music, perhaps where instruments or recorded sounds could be played on appropriate pages. Read as an eARC. ¡Brilla, brilla, pañalito! / Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You!  (Spanish and English Edition) (Small Talk Booksƒƒ‚ƒƒ‚‚&#) (9781595728944):  Ellen Mayer, Ying-Hwa Hu, Ying-Hwa Hu: Books

Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You! by Ellen Mayer and Ying-Hwa Hu (board book)
Baby. Mama changes baby’s diaper in this simple board book. While the action is straightforward, the book excels in modeling ways a caregiver can turn a small exchange, like changing a diaper, into a literacy-development experience by singing a modified version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, practicing animal sounds, identifying body parts, and more. Bonus points for featuring a diverse family.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (9/14/2020-9/20/2020).

Annamarie’s Reading

Picture Books & Readers:

Everything Else:

Note: My reading is finally slowing down, which was about due, I think. Though I’m intentionally squeezing in more longer titles which is a nice way to balance out my reading. I’m sure picture books will pick up again soon as the October releases start to come in.

Stats for the Week:

  • 25 Books Read This Week
    • 13 Books with Diverse Main Character (52%)
    • 9 Books by Diverse Authors (36%)
    • 6 Books by Own Voices Authors (12%) (to the best of my knowledge)

Check-In on Yearly Reading:

  • 1264 Books Read This Year
    • 594 Books with Diverse Main Character (47%) (+11% from July)
    • 352 Books by Diverse Authors (28%) (not calculated in July)
    • 296 Books by Own Voices Authors (23%) (to the best of my knowledge) (+5% from July)

I am reading more diversely, as the stats are increasing. I’ve been book talking more diverse titles as well, though my storytime diversity is still weak. I actively included more material when I was working with preschoolers, but baby books and toddler books are harder to select due to finding materials that are age appropriate and work well virtually. I’m going to work harder there.

This week’s reading highlights:

Michala’s Reading

Note: Gah. Pity Party hits close to home on the feels. I lost my dad when I was 14 and no one knew how to react and there were lots of awkward conversations and encounters and this was soooo good and soooo hard to read. (A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness does that to me too.) I really need to start reading more brain candy books and things with less feels because 2020 is already killing me.

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 12

I’m back in the baby storytime routine again, though still getting used to filming at work. I have an interesting personal conundrum with filming on our new iPad–everyone else in our department has been filming on Apple devices so that they can see themselves. I am an Adroid user, so I’ve not been able to see myself during the last five months of filming. When testing out the new iPad Pro, I realized that I find watching myself extremely disorienting, particularly because of the flipped screen. Also, I am way too focused on myself–and I am not the reason I am running storytime. I have a feeling I’m going to be flipping the iPad and still filming from the camera on the back of the device.

Links for More Storytime Content:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Kiss, Tickle, Cuddle, Hug by Susan Musgrave

Kiss, Tickle, Cuddle, Hug: Musgrave, Susan: 9781459801639: Books

Early Literacy Tip: Babies love to see other babies! Especially now, check out books featuring large photos of babies.

Song: What Shall We Do With the Sleeping Baby? by Rainbow Songs

Action Rhyme: I Wake Up My Hands

Bounce Rhyme: Did You Ever See a Baby?

Bounce: Popcorn, Popcorn

Song: Tickle Time by Moey’s Music Party

Puppets: Book Retelling of Do Cows Meow? by Salina Yoon

Manipulative: Scarves (The Tickle Song by Rainbow Songs)

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Doc McStuffins Storytime

Doc McStuffins Storytime

Another themed Saturday storytime special, this time celebrating the one and only Doc McStuffins! I didn’t have much knowledge about the young toy doctor before my deep dive for Doc McStuffins Storytime, but I genuinely enjoyed the episodes I watched. I’m surprised she isn’t more of a focal point in pandemic times, as she has a series of songs that align perfectly for kids and current times–songs about handwashing, playing outside, and even one about not being able to hug your friends right now so you don’t spread germs.

Check out other virtual storytime outlines:

Doc McStuffins Storytime Preview

I made another “commercial” for this program, which you can view below:

To help continue the Doc McStuffins fun at home, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Download it here.

Doc McStuffins Storytime Video

Unlike past storytimes, I didn’t create individual YouTube videos portionsof of this storytime. Most of the storytime included a lot of Doc McStuffins music, and the internet does not need more videos of me dancing along to music without clear motions.

I am going to risk the wrath of the copyright overlords and share a video of the complete storytime. This may be removed in a few weeks, but I am particularly proud of how this storytime came together, and I think it will make more sense in its full effect:

*The storytime starts about 5 minutes into the video. We start our livestreams early to allow viewers time to login and make sure technology is working.

Doc McStuffins Storytime Outline

Little ones were encouraged to bring their own stuffed animal to storytime.

Doc McStuffins Theme Song Intro: We got ready for storytime by dancing to the original Doc McStuffins theme song.

Book: Guess Who, Doc!

Disney Doc McStuffins Guess Who, Doc! (1): Disney Doc McStuffins:  9780794430054: Books

First Patient: Stuffy

After a quick explanation of how our program was going to work, I accidentally knocked down Doc’s Big Book of Boo Boos and Doc’s stuffed dragon, Stuffy. Poor Stuffy was instantly flattened, and we had to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it.

(How to do: Stuffed Stuffy was on the bookcase. Paper Stuffy was on the floor since before storytime began. I “accidentally” knocked stuffed Stuffy onto the floor with the Big Book of Boo Boos. When I bent down, I picked up paper Stuffy. We talked through our activity and song, and then put Stuffy down so he could stomp his own feet. After the song, we picked stuffed Stuffy back up.

Doc McStuffins Storytime: Stuffy's Flat!

During Stuffy’s turn as a patient, we:

  • Gave Stuffy a checkup with our Time for Your Check Up Song.
  • Diagnosed him with Squished Flat-a-tosis.
  • Cured Stuffy by moving and grooving to shake out his stuffiness by dancing along to Doc McStuffin’s Dinosaur Stomp.

Second Patient: Gustav the Gator

Now that Stuffy was all better, we checked into our waiting room and discovered Hallie Hippo had a patient for us: Gustav the Gator! Gustav has been warned in the past by Doc about eating the right foods for him, and we had to talk to him again about foods he should sometimes eat versus foods he should always eat.

Doc McStuffins Storytime: Gustav's Getting a Check-Up!

During Gustav’s turn as a patient, we:

  • Gave Gustav a checkup with our Time for Your Check Up Song.
  • Talked to Gustav about what he ate that morning.
  • Diagnosed him with Stuffedfulliosis.
  • Taught Gustav about foods he can always eat and foods he should just eat sometimes as a special treat.

For our Always vs. Sometimes activity, I divided a magnetic cookie sheet in half, and we sorted chocolate chip cookies, apples, french fries, bananas, carrots, and ice cream (doughnuts and water were cut for time).

Doc McStuffins Storytime: Sometimes vs. Always Foods

Third Patient: Lambie

Now that Gustav was feeling a bit better, we let him rest. We were about to check in on our waiting room again, when we started to smell something odd. Lambie was covered in mud! We needed to give Lambie a bath to get her nice and clean, and then we also practiced washing our own hands.

Doc McStuffins Storytime: Lambie Needs a Bath!

During Lambie’s turn as a patient, we:

  • Gave Lambie a checkup with our Time for Your Check Up Song.
  • Diagnosed Lambie with Filthy Icky Sticky Disease.
  • Gave Lambie a bath with the song “This Is the Way We Wash Our Legs.”
  • Practiced washing our own hands to the Doc McStuffin’s Wash Your Hands song.

We sang “This Is the Way We Wash Our Legs” to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”:

This Is The Way We Wash Our Legs
This is the way we wash our legs,
Wash our legs, wash our legs.
This is the way we wash our legs,
Wash our legs, wash our legs,
When we are nice and dirty!

We continued with our arms, bellies, and heads.

Fourth Patient: Chilly

We realized that we were missing one of Doc’s friends! We hadn’t seen Chilly all morning. Doc left us a clue with a guessing game activity. We found a picture of Chilly behind a picture of a white bear, and we found the real Chilly behind the real stuffed bear in our waiting room. Chilly was a bit nervous about seeing so many people for storytime, but we helped him get over his nerves by finding ways to say hello virtually.

Doc McStuffins Storytime: We Found Chilly!

During Chilly’s turn as a patient, we:

  • Played “Chilly, Chilly, Where Do You Hide?” to find Chilly.
  • Found stuffed Chilly behind our white bear.
  • Diagnosed Chilly with a case of The Shy Guys.
  • Said “hello!” three different ways with the song “We Wave and Sing Hello!”

We played our own version of the storytime classic, Little Mouse, Little Mouse, by checking behind various toys to see where Chilly might be hiding. We used the words:

Chilly, Chilly, where do you hide?
Are you behind the _______________? Let’s look inside!

After we found Chilly, we taught him different ways to say hello:

We Wave and Sing Hello
We wave and sing hello!
We wave and sing hello!
With all our friends at storytime,
We wave and sing hello!

We continued with: Sign and Sing Hello, Smile and Sing Hello

Fifth Patient: Hallie

All this time, we had left poor Hallie in the waiting room, but we realized that she hadn’t been talking much. We found out she was very tired today, even though she slept a lot last night, and we realized she might need some exercise to get some new energy.

Doc McStuffins Storytime: Hallie Needs a Check Up!

During Hallie’s turn as a patient, we:

  • Gave Hallie a checkup with our Time for Your Check Up Song.
  • Diagnosed her with No-Talk-A-Tosis.
  • Cured Hallie by doing some exercise with the Doc McStuffin’s Ready for Action song.
  • Showed off Hallie’s talking skills (she is a squeeze and talk stuffed animal).


We wrapped things up by reviewing everyone we helped today, talking about our Doc McStuffins School of Medicine Certificates (in those Doc McStuffins At Home Packets), and dancing along to the Doc McStuffins Theme Song – Toy Hospital Edition.

I wasn’t sure about attendance at this program, as the Doc McStuffins tv show ended in April, but this was my second highest Saturday Special attendance yet (after Baby Shark). Lots of Doc love, and now that I’ve spent some time with the character, I see why.

Book Review Tuesday

You might have noticed from our weekly It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? posts, but I read a lot. I don’t typically read as much as I have been during pandemic times, but I have recently thrown myself into reading even more than usual. For a few months, I’ve been interested in writing brief reviews of some of the books I read, but I don’t want reviews to affect my reading pace. I like recording my thoughts about titles that really stand out to me, but I don’t feel a need to recreate a publisher summary for every book I’ve read this week.

Personally, I really appreciate It’s Monday! What Are You Reading posts to find new books that I haven’t heard of, so I don’t want to limit the number of books shared on my Monday posts. This has led me to a new feature for Book Cart Queens–Book Review Tuesdays.

Book reviews are going to be brief, focusing on what I want to remember and books that stand out to me (these don’t replace professional reviews by any means).

Happy reading!

Class Act by Jerry Craft (graphic novel)
Gr. 5-7. New Kid was my dream Newbery winner, and the sequel does not disappoint. Readers get more detailed glimpses into the lives of Jordan, Liam, and especially Drew, with even a touch more character development from Andy. Drew takes center stage here, with a different perspective on his classmates than Jordan. So many real issues are discussed in ways that never feel preachy, with Craft’s appealing artwork balancing humor and reality (race, bullying, class differences, microaggressions, friendship, and more). Hoping for more books in this universe. Read as an eARC. Mary Had a Little Glam (Volume 1) (9781454932857): Sauer,  Tammi, Brantley-Newton, Vanessa: Books

Mary Had a Little Glam written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (picture book)
PreS-K. Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s illustrations shine here, bringing young Mary to life. Brantley-Newton sprinkles in details from nursery rhymes and fairy tales, going beyond the written words to add humor and a bit of sass to young Mary’s fantastic outfits (the sheep crossbody purse is my favorite). Between the fun illustrations and the rhythmic beat, there is a ton of storytime potential packed into this title.

I Am Not a Label: 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists  from past and present: Burnell, Cerrie, Baldo, Lauren Mark:  9780711247444: Books

I Am Not a Label: 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past and present written by Cerrie Burnell and illustrated by Lauren Mark Baldo (nonfiction, biography)
Gr. 3-5. This gorgeously illustrated collective biography features the stories of 34 disabled individuals who are artists, musicians, athletes, innovators, activists, and more. While there have been a plethora of collective biographies in recent years, this one’s focus on people with disabilities (a group very underrepresented in children’s books) is refreshing, along with its well thought out collection of diverse people from around the world with a variety of types of disabilities.

Nana Akua Goes to School: Walker, Tricia Elam, Harrison, April:  9780525581130: Books

Nana Akua Goes to School by Tricia Elam Walker and April Harrison (picture book)
Gr. 1-2. Zura is nervous about bringing her Nana Akua to school for Grandparent’s Day. Nana Akua is Zura’s favorite person in the world, but Nana Akua also has tribal markings on her face from a family tradition from her childhood in Ghana. Sometimes, those marks scare strangers when Zura and Nana Akua go to the park or the store. What will Zura’s classmates think?

Zura’s nerves won’t feel unusual to children hesitant to share their own familial differences with their classmates. The blend of designs and patterns in the artwork make this story shine, helping teach readers about empathy and accepting people’s differences.

Astronaut Training

Astronaut Training written by Aneta Cruz and illustrated by Olivia Aserr
PreS. Astrid wants nothing more than to be an astronaut, but her Daddy seems to think she isn’t quite ready yet. After some bedtime adventures send Astrid to distant planets where the residents are a bit too big or a bit too small, Astrid returns home for a father-daughter space adventure that feels just right.

Brightly colored, playful illustrations capture Astrid’s real and imagined worlds while managing to stay away from standard little-green-alien imagery. A fun read for preschoolers dreaming of the stars. Read as an eARC.

Dog Man: Grime and Punishment: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog  Man #9) (9): Pilkey, Dav, Pilkey, Dav, Pilkey, Dav: 9781338535624: Books

Grime and Punishment (Dog Man 9) by Dav Pilkey (graphic novel)
Gr. 2-4. I’m a Dog Man fan through and through. Dav Pilkey never ceases to amaze with the themes and messages he can pack into a series that is considered by so many to be slapstick superhero books. Petey’s character progression-from standard villain to caring papa-is a personal favorite, and the newest title doesn’t disappoint with lessons about forgiveness, love, and happiness as well as an ending that left me a little teary eyed. Looking forward to Book 10 and excited to keep recommending this series to young readers.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (9/7/2020-9/13/2020).

Annamarie’s Reading

Picture Books & Readers:

Graphic Novels:

Everything Else:

Note: Less reading this week, but I was able to wrap up a large personal project.

Stats for the Week:

  • 36 Books Read This Week
    • 28 Books with Diverse Main Character (78%)
    • 14 Books by Diverse Authors (39%)
    • 14 Books by Own Voices Authors (39%) (to the best of my knowledge)

This week’s reading highlights:

Michala’s Reading

Note: I was a bit under the weather with a migraine the last few days, so I do apologize that I added my reads after this was published originally. But I am working on an actual blog post, so gasp! there will be a teen update this week. 🙂

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 11

And we are back! I haven’t presented a baby storytime in over two months, which feels a little odd, but makes it more refreshing to come back to this age range. Trying out some new bounce rhymes, a new action rhyme, and a new puppet activity. I’m also super excited about my Shaker Song this week–Baby Loves Beignets by Jazzy Ash.

I also really wanted to use this perfect new baby storytime book, but alas, my August counterpart claimed it for storytime two weeks ago. But you should use it!

Welcome to the Party: Union, Gabrielle, Evans, Ashley: 9780062978615: Books

Welcome to the Party by Gabrielle Union

Links for More Storytime Content:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera The Wheels on the Bus (Jane Cabrera's Story Time)  (9780823444793): Cabrera, Jane: Books

Early Literacy Tip: Sing all the time with your little one—make it a part of your routine. Tune “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” is great for singing about daily activities.

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Put the Beat On

Bounce Rhyme: Ride that Horsey

Bounce: Bounce and Stop

Song: One Little Finger by Super Simple Songs

Puppets: If You’re Happy and You Know It

Manipulative: Shaker Rhyme & Song

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Program: Disney Trivia

I am a Disney fan. I worked at Disney for about a year though the Disney College Program, we grew up growing to the parks and watching the movies, in non-pandemic days I vacation there fairly regularly. So hosting Disney Trivia was a bit of its own dream come true.

We didn’t have a big audience for this – about 45 people (this was no Dog Man Trivia). I think the questions might have been a bit too hard for the intended age range (6-11), though for the players who stuck through to the end, everyone had near perfect scores.


I shared the questions via screensharing a PowerPoint on Facebook Live (details below under Logistics). Twenty questions, followed by going back through the twenty questions faster to review the answers.

Watch the full video here:

*The video cuts off at the very end. I think the internet went out.

View and Download the PowerPoint below. The fonts I used (that didn’t seem to copy over) were Century Gothic and Grobold:

More links:

Disney At Home Fun Printable Packet

Disney Trivia Music Playlist

Reserve Disney Book

Disney Trivia Printable Answer Sheet

Disney Trivia Master Certificate

Disney Trivia Logistics

Like many of our school age programs, trivia took place on Facebook Live, though this could easily be translated to whatever platform your library is using for virtual events.

There are many great tools out there for trivia. Kahoot is a particularly popular tool that I’ve seen used frequently. That tool asks participants to play along on their phone or another device while watching the livestream, and the system times the questions and ranks participants. While I like that concept for an adult or maybe teen trivia, when there are no prizes involved, I don’t like that system for kids. Plus, it involves a second piece of technology, and for families playing along, it may be especially difficult to have each kid play individually.

I added the questions to PowerPoint, shared to Facebook using their livestreaming screenshare technology. Some detailed tips for those interested in trying a program this way:

  • Make your slides “widescreen” so they fill up the viewers full computer, phone, or TV screen. Do this by going to Design – Slide Size in Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • I don’t like the clunkiness of viewers seeing me open my powerpoint after going live. To always just have the powerpoint as the center of your screen:
    • In PowerPoint, start the “Slide Show” mode, making your PowerPoint full screen.
    • Use the Windows key (not ESC) to exit the Slide Show presentation view. This key leaves it open in the background.
    • Start your Facebook Livestream. Instead of sharing your entire screen, just share one application — the Slide Show view of PowerPoint.
    • Return to the Slide Show view to change slides for your participants. Always use the Windows key to exit. If you use the ESC key, you won’t be able to restart the slideshow without creating a new livestream.
  • Using the steps above, you cannot easily see the comments during the presentation. I have my phone nearby with the livestream running, allowing me to see questions and comments as they come in. A coworker posts links and types responses to the comments, and I respond verbally as I can.

These are supposed to be 30 minutes, but I talk too much, and this, like previous similar programs was closer to 45 minutes.

This is part of a weekly livestream “after school” series on Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in September. I’m not sure if our audience will stick around, but I sure hope we keep up a following with this style event at a consistent weekly time.

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