Storytime: Baby Bounce or Movement Rhymes

Baby Bounce Rhymes are a staple of Baby Storytime. Our baby storytimes are designed for ages 0-2, so my example videos often show a little bit more movement than may make sense for a little one you are holding in your arms (especially a little one that needs head support). Many of these baby bounce rhymes can also be adapted for walking babies, who could jump instead of bounce. When little ones have started walking, I encourage grown-ups to do the baby bounce rhymes themselves, even if their little one is standing nearby and doesn’t want to be confined to a lap anymore.

I sometimes refer to baby bounce rhymes as “movement rhymes” instead of bounces because there are many activities that encourage the same behavior as bounce rhymes but instead focus on swaying (or other, similar, full body movements). Regardless of what I call them, when introducing this section of storytime, I always use these activities as an early literacy moment, explaining to parents how bouncing or moving little ones to the rhythm of words helps them hear the small parts of words and builds phonological awareness skills.

Looking for more storytime tools? Check out our Storytime Resources page for links to more content.

Baby Bounce Rhymes

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 I Caught a Fish Alive

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (bounce)
I caught a fish alive! (hug)
6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (bounce)
Then I let him go again! (tickle)

Acka Backa Soda Cracker

Acka backa soda cracker,
Acka backa boo.
Acka backa soda cracker,
I love you! (hug)

Acka backa soda cracker,
Acka backa boo.
Acka backa soda cracker,
Up goes you! (lift)

Andy Pandy

Andy Pandy Sugar and Candy
All pop down.

Andy Pandy Sugar and Candy
All pop up.

Andy Pandy Sugar and Candy
All pop in.

Andy Pandy Sugar and Candy
All pop out.

Bounce and Stop

We bounce and bounce and bounce and stop!
We bounce and bounce and bounce and stop!
We bounce and bounce and bounce and stop!
Now bounce that baby to the top!

Bouncing, Bouncing

Bouncing, bouncing,
Let’s go bouncing!
Up and down,
All around.

Bouncing, bouncing,
Let’s go bouncing,
Don’t fall down!

The Bouncing Song

Bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing,
Bouncing, bouncing, STOP!

Bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing,
Right up to the top!

Continue with: Rocking, Clapping, Tapping, Tickling

A Bouncing We Will Go

A bouncing we will go,
A bouncing we will go,
Hi ho the derry o,
A bouncing we will go.

Continue with: rocking, tickling

Did You Ever See a Baby?

Did you ever see a baby, a baby, a baby?
Did you ever see a baby go this way and that?
Go this way and that way, and that way and this way?
Did you ever see a baby go this way and that?

Dump Truck

Dump truck dump truck, bumpin’ down the road.
Spillin’ out gravel as you travel with your load.
Bumpety, bumpety, bump, bump, bump!
Dump truck, dump truck, dump truck,

Five Little Riders

Five little riders on a nice fall day,
Jumped on their ponies and rode far away.

They galloped in the meadow.
They galloped up a hill. (lift)
They galloped so fast,
That they all took a spill. (tip over)

Giddy Up

Giddy up, giddy up, ride to town.
Giddy up, giddy up, UP and DOWN (lift).
Giddy up fast!
Giddy up slow!
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, WHOA! (tilt)

Gregory Griggs

Gregory Griggs, Gregory Griggs,
Had 27 different wigs.
He wore them up,
He wore them down.
To please the people of the town.
He wore them east.
He wore them west.
But which one did he love the best?
This one!

Here We Go Bumpy Boo

Here we go bumpy-boo
Here we go bumpy-bye
Here we go bumpy-bee
All on top of my knee.

I bounce you to the left.
I bounce you to the right.
I bounce you up and down.
I bounce you out of sight!

Here we go bumpy-boo
Here we go bumpy-bye
Here we go bumpy-bee
All on top of my knee.

I bounce you very fast.
I bounce you very slow.
I bounce you up and down.
And back we both do go!

Here We Go Up, Up, Up

Here we go up, up, up!
Here we go down, down, down,
Here we go back and forth,
And here we go round and round!

Here’s a Little Pumpkin

Here’s a little pumpkin bouncing on the vine.
Roll it left, and roll it right,
And bounce it bounce it down the line!

Continue with:
Medium pumpkin…medium bounces
Great big pumpkin…great big bounces

Hippity Hop

Hippity hop to the candy shop,
To buy ourselves some candy.
Some for you and some for me,
And some for sister Mandy!

A Hippopotamus

A hip, a hip, a hippopotamus
Got on, got on, got on a city bus,
And all, and all, and all the people said,
You’re squishing us! (hug)

A cow, cow, a cow got on the bus,
And all, and all, and all the people said,
Moooooooooove over (tilt to side)

A sheep, a sheep, a sheep got on the bus,
And all, and all, and all the people said,
Baaaaaaaaaaccckkkk up (lean back)

Humpy Dumpty

We rock and rock and rock on the wall, (sway)
We rock and rock, I hope we don’t fall!

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall! (tilt sideways)

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men (bounce)
Couldn’t put Humpty together again!

I’m Bouncing

I’m bouncing, bouncing everywhere.
I bounce and bounce into the air.
I’m bouncing, bouncing like a ball.
I bounce and bounce and then I fall.

Jelly on a Plate

Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate,
Wibble wobble, wibble, wobble, jelly on a plate.

Candy in a jar, candy in a jar,
Shake ’em up, shake ’em up, candy in a jar.

Candles on a cake, candles on a cake,
Blow ’em out, blow ’em out, candles on a cake.

Old Grey Mare

Clip, clip, clippety clop,
Clippety, clippety, clop.
The old grey mare goes up and down,
Until it’s time to stop!

Popcorn, Popcorn

Popcorn, popcorn sizzle in the pan.
Shake it, shake it, bam, bam, BAM!

Popcorn, popcorn now it’s getting hot!
Shake it, shake it, pop, pop, POP!

Ride That Horsey

Ride baby ride, ch ch ch ch ch!
Ride that horsey ride, ch ch ch ch ch!

Ride baby ride, ch ch ch ch ch!
Ride that horsey ride, ch ch ch ch ch!

Repeat in a whisper.
Repeat really loud!


Rocking Horse

Rocking horse, rocking horse, to and fro,
Side to side and away we go,
Rocking horse, rocking horse, front and back,
Don’t fall off just like that.


Snuggle Up

Snuggle up together,
Baby in your lap.
Snuggle up together,
And clap, clap, clap!

Snuggle up together.
Don’t you nap!
Snuggle up together,
And tap, tap, tap!

We’re working out together.
Baby don’t stop.
We’re working out together,
So hop, hop, hop!

Now our song is over,
Get ready to stop!
Now our song is over,
So stop, stop, stop!

Tick Tock

Tick, tock, tick, tock,
I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
Now it’s almost one o’clock.
Cuckoo! (lift)

Tiny Little Babies

Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’,
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ so.
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ yeah.

Bounce to the left,
Bounce to the right,
Now hug that baby nice and tight.

Toast in the Toaster

I’m toast in the toaster.
I’m getting very hot.
Tick tock, tick tock,
Up I pop! (lift)

Two Little Boats

(rock front to back)

Two little boats went out to sea.
All is calm as calm can be.

(rock side to side)

Gently the wind begins to blow.
Two little boats rock to and fro.


Loudly the wind begins to shout!
Two little boats they bounce about.

(freeze then rock front to back)

STOP goes the storm, the wind, and rain.
Two little boats sail on again.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’ll get there very soon.

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Book Review Tuesday

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

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The Best Worst Poet Ever by Lauren Stohler (picture book)
Gr. K-2. Pug and Cat are both determined to become the world’s best poet–though they have vastly different poetic styles. A battle of wits and words ensues, with rapidly increasing hilarity, until the two realize that maybe they would work better as a team.

This was so much fun! I would have a lot of fun reading this to an elementary school classroom, but I am really looking forward to turning this into a reader’s theater script.

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Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim (picture book)
Gr. K-2. Danbi just moved to America from Korea, and she is thrilled to start school! Except, when she gets there, she doesn’t understand what her teacher says. She figures out that her teacher wants her to write her name, so she does–in perfect Korean, not English. The kids dance and play games that Danbi has never seen. Danbi is sure that she knows what to do at lunch, but even her food is different than everyone else’s. Can Danbi figure out how to make new friends?

This adorable, upbeat book shows young Danbi’s genuine excitement at starting school, even with obstacles in her way. I really appreciate that Danbi always stays positive, showing her classmates how to use chopsticks, leading her own musical parade, and making a friend when she is surrounded by so many new things. The illustrations show the wonderful chaos of an elementary school classroom. Lots of fun!

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Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures! by Mike Lowery
Gr. 2-4. Learn everything you can imagine about sharks, oceans, and underwater creatures in this kid-friendly fact book.

Over 100 pages of fun illustrations and quick facts will make this book appealing to kids of all ages. A ton of great information fills the book, including the differences between each ocean, profiles on each shark species, and many a poop or snot related fast fact box. The book ends with really simple how to draw instructions for various sea creatures. The well-thought out design (with kids in mind) will make this book a winner.

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Ginger and Chrysanthemum by Kristen Mai Giang
Gr. 1-2. Cousins Ginger and Chrysanthemum love each other, but they each approach life a little differently. Ginger is spontaneous and loves to move fast and try new things. Chrysanthemum is more careful and loves plans and lists. The two enjoy their time together, preparing for their grandmother’s birthday, until they are tasked with making the birthday cake–together. Personalities clash, and soon everything is ruined.

A fun story about teamwork, friendship, and siblings (even if these two characters are cousins). A nice author’s note reflects on how traditional Chinese food (like ginger and chrysanthemum) have warm or cool characteristics. When brought together, they create balance, just like when our two cousins figure out how to work together. A good book to pair with Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao or Bilal Cooks Daal when working with older readers.


I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day
Gr. 4-5. Edie doesn’t really ask about her Native American heritage. Edie’s mom was adopted as a baby by a white couple, and other than an annual visit to a nearby reservation to purchase fireworks, her parents tend to redirect any questions she has about their extended family. When exploring the attic with friends, Edie discovers a box filled with letters signed “Love Edith.” When Edie asks her mom who Edie was named after, Edie’s mom freezes up and lies to Edie’s face. Edie has a lot of questions–who was Edith? Why hasn’t Edie met her? And what secrets are her parents keeping?

This book was sweet, though heart wrenching. A family mystery seems like it will end with Edie learning about a death, but the painful reality is worse in a lot of ways–especially because of the very real women who went through the exact same trauma as Edie’s grandmother. I expected to have more of a glimpse into Native culture in this title, and that isn’t really present, but I did come away with new characters I will miss, knowledge about an atrocity faced by Native people just decades ago, and a new author to look out for.

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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (graphic novel)
Gr. 6+. Will’s older brother was shot and killed outside of their apartment building. Will is determined to follow the rules passed down to him by his brother: (1) no crying, (2) no snitching, and (3) get revenge. Will has his older brother’s gun and, early the next morning, starts down their building’s elevator to get revenge on the person he is sure is his brother’s killer. But this elevator trip is like no other, with each floor revealing a new ghost from Will’s past, all with something to say.

I love how unique all of the adaptations of this book are. I love the original, I love the audiobook, and I also love the graphic novel. Each serves a purpose and shows this story in a slightly different light. Danica Novgorodoff did an amazing job with the watercolor illustrations that brought this to life. Wonderful.


Melly Bean and the Giant Monster by Mike White (graphic novel)
Gr. 2-4. Lovable pup Melly Bean loves to play games, even if her three cat housemates prefer to nap while their humans are away. While preparing to bury a shoe in the backyard, Melly discovers that her hole is a bit deeper than she could have imagined. She slips through into a magical world filled with kings, knights, and even a humongous rabbit named Narra. Narra isn’t so fond of humans, as they spend their time hunting her for the gold that flakes out of her eyes. But Melly is sure not all the humans in this magical world are bad–maybe they just haven’t yet discovered the power of a Good Sit.

This was adorable. Melly has all of the expected energy and personality of a cute puppy, and her positive attitude seeps into the way she jumps right into adventure in the world she stumbles into. Lots of low-key adventure with high stakes, but the illustrations and story lack the depicted violence in many fantasy graphic novels for kids–a good thing here, making this a great book to hand to second or third graders looking for something fun but not scary. Hoping for more!

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Powwow: A Celebration Through Song and Dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane (nonfiction)
Gr. 3-5. Learn about the history of celebrations of Indigenous song and dance–powwows. Author Pheasant-Neganigwane explores powwow history and culture in all of North America, with a focus on Canada. Her words are paired with beautiful photographs, creating a rich book that will serve as a wonderful introduction to these events for young readers. While I wish there was an equivalent title with a bit more focus on the United States, I am happy this book exists at all. Will be recommending.

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Rescuing Mrs. Birdley by Aaron Reynolds (picture book)
Gr. K-1. Young Miranda Montgomery loves the Nature Joe Animal Show. Every day, she watches Nature Joe rescue hurt animals and return lost animals to their natural habitats. When Miranda visits the grocery store, she finds something very grave–her teacher! Obviously, her teacher has escaped her natural habitat (their classroom), and it is up to Miranda to use all of the skills she has learned from Nature Joe to safely bring her teacher home.

This was so much fun! Taking the “Where do teachers live?” question to a whole new level with young Miranda’s very logical comparison of her teacher to a wild animal escaped from its natural habitat. Miranda sets traps and does her best to safely and carefully place her teacher where she will be safe. A fun storytime read when visiting an elementary school classroom.

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Wherever I Go by Mary Wagley Copp (picture book)
Gr. 1-3. Abia has been at the Shimelba refugee camp longer than any other kid. She is proud of her seven years and counting, ruling over the other kids like a queen. Her parents think they have been at the camp much too long, but Abia knows that wherever they go, she will always remember her days as queen of the camp.

A moving, approachable refugee story told in a slightly different perspective, focusing on a child’s nerves about leaving camp instead of their experiences after moving to a new country. Wonderful illustrations make young Abia shine while also not hiding the harsh realities of camp life.

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Work It, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey by Caroline Moss (biography)
Gr. 3-4. Learn about the life of Oprah Winfrey, from her childhood as a little girl preaching at her grandma’s church (at the age of four) to her more tumultuous teenage years being shuffled between parents and her breakthrough into the world of television.

The Work It, Girl biography series is a ton of fun. While the content isn’t deep or overly thorough, these books provide a great introduction to famous individuals. Their physical design makes them particularly appealing, with well organized layouts and gorgeous paper cut illustrations.

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 (10/26/2020-11/01/2020).

Annamarie’s Reading

Picture Books & Readers:

Everything Else:

Note: I got through all of the picture books that came in last week! This feels like such an accomplishment right now.

Make sure to stop by on Tuesdays for short reviews of some of these titles!

Stats for the Week:

  • 52 Books Read This Week
    • 27 Books with Diverse Main Character (52%)
    • 13 Books by Diverse Authors (25%)
    • 10 Books by Own Voices Authors (19%) (to the best of my knowledge)

This week’s reading highlights:

Michala’s Reading

Note: It’s that time of year, can you sense a theme in my reads? Although all my Halloween picture books just came in so next week I might be listing a few stragglers that make the cut for good reads.

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 10

Some more spooky storytime stories and rhymes this week! I’m back to baby storytime in November, but I’m already searching for more to retell with toddlers in December! If you ever want to watch these live, we have three live storytimes a week on the Westerville Public Library Facebook Page on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9:30 am. My next storytime is for the babies on Tuesday at 9:30 am.

Find additional content at the links below:

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Make up your own words to familiar tunes to create silly songs. Let your child choose unique animals for “Old McDonald Had a Farm” and unique actions for “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”

Book Recommendation: The Ghosts Went Floating by Kim Norman (abbreviated) The Ghosts Went Floating (9780374312138): Norman, Kim, Fleck,  Jay: Books

Song: Can You by The Wiggles

Fingerplay: Five Little Pumpkins

— Find more Fingerplays in this post. —

Retelling: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

— Find more Book Retellings in this post. —

Action Rhyme: Horns and Fangs

Magnet: Five Little Bats

Manipulative: Shakers (If All of the Raindrops by Old Town School of Folk Music)

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Rainworks: Dragon Footprints!

Many libraries are still closed across the country due to COVID. We have just opened our doors to allow limited browsing opportunities, but, as is the case in most parts of the country, in-person programming is a thing of the distant future. I’m thrilled to highlight a tool that might be perfect for engaging your patrons outdoors: Rainworks!

This post is not sponsored–I just really appreciate this product. The easiest explanation:

  1. Create or purchase a stencil.
  2. Find a surface likely to get wet when it rains.
  3. Secure your stencil to the surface while it is dry.
  4. Spray your surface, following their directions.
  5. Wait 24 hours, dump water on the area you sprayed the day before and BOOM:

Make sure to follow their directions, spray lightly, and thoroughly cover the surrounding potential “overspray” areas. I had a lot going on while I was installing these, so I was more impatient than I should have been, and you can see some of my overspray spots (though, really, I don’t think it hurts the affect).

We’ve only had these installed for about two weeks, but they can last for up to three months! When the ground is dry, you can’t see any difference, but whenever the ground gets wet, your Rainworks shapes appear.

Rainworks Expenses

Nothing is free, however, with limited in-library offerings, I can see a lot of potential for this product over the coming months, especially as things get wet and rainy as we enter winter. Our chosen stencils were connected to our visiting dragon (more on that below), but some creative librarian types could make obstacle courses, hopscotch boards, book recommendations, and more.

The biggest (and required) expense is the spray. I definitely over-sprayed in places, but with about half of a 16 oz. bottle, I created nine 2 foot dragon footprints and three words on our steps. That bottle costs about $130.

Your other potential expense is your own stencils. Rainworks provides an extensive explanation on how to make your own stencils that, for a crafty librarian, might be easy enough to do:

However, time isn’t always on our side, so I took a look at the premade Rainworks stencils in their shop, available for purchase. There aren’t too many options, but they range from about $7-10 each.

Options are limited, however, so I decided to test my luck on a limited budget and ask about pricing for custom stencils. I was so happy with the pricing–all three words for “Kindness is Magic” were a combined $30 and the dragon footprint was just $18 (think about how long it would take you to make stencils by hand and how much you get paid by the hour, and this may really work out in your favor).

Back Up. Why Do You Have a Dragon on the Roof?

Hilda, our 30-foot roaring and smoke breathing dragon, is part of our annual Wizards & Wands Festival event. While I haven’t been too involved in Hilda’s creation or execution, I did chair this event in 2018-2019, creating something pretty cool. Last year, we had 3,000 people over four hours explore our library for one magical evening:

The 2020 Festival was supposed to be my last attempt at shaping this event, with my co-blogger Michala taking over in 2021. For pandemic reasons, there was no event this year. Assuming pandemic resolutions, I’m going to give this one last run in 2021 while relying much more heavily on Michala than I might have in 2020, especially with some exciting plans to keep the magic but move away from all things Harry Potter.

So instead of 3,000 visitors and a ton of magic, we have some footrprints and the return of a dragon whose roars echo through our quiet post-pandemic children’s space. Though that is still pretty cool, right?

Book Review Tuesday

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

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#Baby by Michael Joosten (board book)
Baby-Toddler. Adorable board book in it for the laughs. Each spread is simply a photograph of a baby paired with a hashtag–#lewk, #foodie, #fashionista, and my personal favorites #mondays and #holidayspirit:

This board book is the perfect mix of adult humor combined with those beautiful photographs of baby faces that will appeal to the intended audience. Quite a collection of diverse babies too! Not quite my storytime style, but this will definitely have a lot of audience appeal.


Becoming Muhammad Ali by Kwame Alexander and James Patterson
Gr. 4-6. Cassius Clay was a kid, just like most kids. He struggled in school and dealt with bullies, but after his new bike was stolen when he was twelve, Cassius started training as an amateur boxer. Dual perspectives follow Cassius through his teens, with readers following his story from both Cassius’ point of view and the point of view of his best friend, Lucky. A final chapter, from the point of view of his friend, quickly sums up Cassius’ adult life and his transformation into Muhammad Ali.

A powerful, fun read showing Cassius discover confidence and strength. I am not a sports reader, and this book kept me fully engaged with so many humorous anecdotes that painted a beautiful picture of Ali’s childhood and teen years.

Unfortunately, this is the first title in a while that I wish I hadn’t listened to on audio. I feel bad starting a review that way, but due to the narration choices, I was very confused for the first half of my listen–I wasn’t entirely sure there were two perspectives since the voices were indistinguishable, and I just kept getting confused as we shifted from Cassius being described in the first and third person. I also missed out on the illustrations I see mentioned in many reviews–I will be tracking down the physical book soon to get a more complete view of this title.

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Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins (picture book)
Gr. 2-4. Siblings Maria and Juan are thrilled to head to the US-Mexico border to visit their grandmother and celebrate Las Posadas with her. Even though they are divided by a fence, they are excited to swap stories, but when it comes time to leave, they realize that their presents won’t fit through the fence. Maria creates a cunning plan to get her younger brother’s beautiful picture across the wall.

A beautiful, heartwarming story about families, love, and celebrations that also highlights the conditions of families separated by a border wall, trying to celebrate the holidays together. A soft color palette makes the harsh realities of the story more palpable for young readers.

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Bling Blaine: Throw Glitter, Not Shade by Rob Sanders (picture book)
Gr. K-1. Blaine loves everything sparkly. Sue loves orange; Alberto loves high-tops; Marvin loves hoodies; and Blaine loves bling. While his classmates embrace Blaine’s love of bling, not everyone else does. After some bullies make fun of his accessories, Blaine decides to leave the bling behind. Can his classmates stand up for Blaine and help Blaine get his groove back?

A cute story about identity and gender norms. The understanding and support from Blaine’s classmates is fantastic. Illustrations are colorful and show a diverse collection of students and teachers. Back matter talks about what it means to be an ally and how you can practice standing up for others.

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The Chicken Who Couldn’t by Jan Thomas (picture book)
Gr. PreS-K. Chicken just CAN’T win a ribbon at the fair, CAN’T fly, CAN’T walk all the way home–chicken couldn’t possibly accomplish these things! With some help from new friends, chicken develops self-confidence that allows him to defeat the hungry fox that likes to eat chickens that walk down the road.

Lots of Jan Thomas humor. This book is entirely dialogue, making it a bit of a difficult read aloud choice. May work well as a reader’s theater script. Filled with Thomas’s standard, colorful, child-friendly illustrations.

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Craftily Ever After: Making the Band by Martha Maker (first chapter)
Gr. 2-3. Craft-loving friends Maddie, Bella, Emily, and Sam have to figure out an act for their school’s talent show! They are sure they can find some way to showcase their crafting talents on stage, but all of their ideas are just okay until Sam is inspired to start a band using instruments they make themselves.

This is an adorable series, brimming with diversity and happy, positive messages about caring about the environment, being kind to others, making new friends, and embracing the activities you love. This particular title stands out for the kids’ perseverance after their first instruments are destroyed by rain. Also a good place to find lots of creative DIY ideas for young crafters.

Diary of an Ice Princess by Christina Soontornvat (first chapter)

The Big Freeze. Gr. 2-3. Lina has got a lot to figure out in just a few days! Her teacher at her human school wants her to create a piece of art representing Lina. Lina loves science and magic–but science won’t work for her project, and she can’t reveal her magical secret at her human school. Lina is stumped, but she doesn’t have too much time to focus on her art project because her grandfather wants Lina to pick her magical forever task. Her grandfather directs wind currents. Her mother brings the spring rains. Her cousin, Jack, makes intricate lace-like artwork out of ice. What does Lina want to do? And is she really ready to pick the job she wants to do…forever?

Slush Puppy. Gr. 2-3. Lina wants to get the perfect present for her best friend’s birthday. Claudia really, really wants a dog, and, luckily enough, Lina discovers that her winter magic can bring snow to life! Lina makes the most adorable snow puppy…but the puppy turns out to be a bit more trouble than the girls imagined. How to you train a magical dog made of snow?

This series is 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.

Ellie Ultra by Gina Bellisario (first chapter)

An Extra-Ordinary Girl. Gr. 2-3. Ellie Ultra is a superhero! She has spent her first eight years training in supervillain identification, combat skills, flying, and more, but now her parents think it is finally time for Ellie to start regular school. Ellie is thrilled–until she realizes that none of the other kids have superpowers. If Ellie wants to blend in, she is going to have to become a little less super. But is fitting in the best choice for Ellie?

Team Earth Takeover. Gr. 2-3. Ellie Ultra is a superhero! Ellie regularly uses her superpowers to stop supervillains, but this time she is faced with a different challenge: working with her classmates to help save the environment. Ellie and her best friend Hannah decide to build an animal habitat. Ellie loves the idea, but, as a superhero, she knows that she must really do all of the work–all of the earth saving–all by herself. It’s her superhero duty after all! Though, if she uses her dad’s cloning machine to make two Ellies that just means two superheroes will accomplish even greater results! Right?

Ellie is a cute, spunky young superhero. I prefer Mia Mayhem’s everyday adventures to this series, but, reading level wise, this is a good step up from the Mia Mayhem books. Lots of kid appeal, and I appreciate any diverse young superheroes.

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Fiona, It’s Bedtime by Richard Cowdrey (picture book)
Gr. Toddler-Pres. Howl! Roar! Squawk! Coo! The sun is setting at the zoo. Fiona travels around the Cincinnati Zoo to say goodnight to all of the animal families, including the cheetahs, sloths, tortoises, and more before falling asleep herself.

Come on…it’s an animal book with adorable illustrations about the baby hippo internet sensation that lives just a few hours away from my house. How can I not love it? The rhyme scheme and large illustrations (plus the local familiarity with Fiona) make this title a good storytime contender. Lots of animal identification and guessing as we turn each page and explore the zoo with Fiona.

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I Love My Fangs! by Kelly Leigh Miller (picture book)
Gr. PreS-K. Little Dracula loves his two, pointy, beautiful fangs! He brushes and flosses them every day, but suddenly one starts to wiggle. And then–oh dear–it falls out! How can Dracula be a vampire with just one tooth? He tries tape, string, and bubblegum to get his fang to reattach, but it just won’t go back in. How can he face the world with just one fang?!?

Lots of humor and drama surround our adorable young vampire including a hilarious battle with the tooth fairy. Bright, colorful illustrations will keep the youngest readers engaged. A great explanation about teeth for little ones soon to be visited by the tooth fairy themselves. Hoping for more adventures starring this little guy.


I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee (teen)
Gr. 5-10. Skye has been told she is fat her whole life. For a while, she participated in her mom’s crazy diet schemes, but, since then, Skye has accepted herself as she is, even if her Korean mom and much of the Korean-American community find her body size alarming. Skye doesn’t have time to worry about the number on a scale because she is too busy preparing for auditions for a prestigious, televised Kpop competition. Skye knows she has the vocals and the dance moves to succeed–but will anyone in this stereotypically skinny field take her seriously? And why is hot, Instagram model Henry Cho auditioning anyway? And why is he so interested in Skye?

THIS BOOK! I powered through this title in just a few hours. This book is great mix of girl-power, strength, confidence, and pure awesomeness with a plus-sized, bisexual main character; an adorable love interest; and wonderful side characters. I love a good romance, and Henry Cho is adorable, but this book would have been just as successful without the romance because of the strength of the main character. I love the new trend in books featuring plus-size characters who are fully confident in their size. Skye is a force to be reckoned with–when she is body shamed, her confidence in herself and her appearance simply grow. Will be recommending.


A Journey Toward Hope by Victor Hinojosa and Coert Voorhees (picture book)
Gr. 1-2. Children Alessandra, Laura, Nando, and Rodrigo travel, unaccompanied, north from Central America, nearly 1,000 miles through Mexico, to seek asylum in the United States. Although the children don’t know each other when the book begins, and language differences sit between them, they become fast friends as the band together to make the dangerous journey north.

Based on the true stories of the 50,000 children who make this journey each year, A Journey Toward Hope provides a unique view into these children’s experiences. Paired with four pages of back matter giving more details on the real kids who make these trips each year and information on how to help.

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Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera (graphic novel)
Gr. 10+. Juliet is leaving the Bronx and moving to Portland to intern for her favorite feminist author, Harlowe Brisbane. Just before leaving, Juliet came out to her Puerto Rican family and the results were…not exactly great. Juliet hopes that Harlowe will help Juliet figure out what it means to be a lesbian and Puerto Rican, but, while Harlowe definitely has a lot of ideas, Harlowe doesn’t really understand Juliet’s perspective. Even with a few bumps in the road, Juliet is sure that her experiences in Portland will help her figure out her place in the world.

Juliet is fun, vibrant character, and this is a lovely queer coming of age story that touches heavily on race and identity. I haven’t read the original book, which may have made the graphic novel experience feel a little disjointed at times. Many of Juliet’s Portland experiences felt a touch too quick, and I would have appreciated a little more detail (perhaps I just would have enjoyed this book better in novel form instead of as a graphic novel). The art is vibrant, with the colors matching the pace and setting of the story.

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The Last Kids on Earth and the Skeleton Road by Max Brallier
Gr. 3-5. Newest addition to the Last Kids on Earth series! This time, Jack, Quint, June, and Dirk are on the road trip of their lives, determined to track down and stop the evil Thrull. The team finally have a lead that might take them to Thrull’s Tower (a portal to bring Rezzoch, Destroyer of Worlds, to Earth). But, of course, a road trip in this series combines new monsters and constant danger with a ton of snacks, lots of humor, and many, many kitschy roadside attractions.

I adore this series–a perfect mixture of humor, action, crazy fantasy, friendship, and sarcasm. Looking forward to more, particularly additional June standalone adventures.


The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson (nonfiction)
Gr. 4-8+. A beautiful collection of thirty short stories, poems, letters, and essays from an amazing group of diverse authors and illustrators about how they talk to young people, most often their children, about race.

Each story was unique and poignant, though for me, personal standouts include “Handle Your Business” by Derrick Barnes, “Mazes” by Christopher Myers, and “Our Inheritance” by Adam Gidwitz. In the first, Derrick Barnes’ son comes home and in passing talks about his teacher doing an entire unit on the book Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. A kid in class asks Derrick’s son if he is happy that they are finally reading a book with a character that looks like him. While the child stands up for himself and his history, this one really hit home why proper representation is so important. Myers talks about the story of the Minotaur and how stories are twisted by the tellers to create a view that most benefits them. Gidwitz talks about explaining to his young daughter how their white family has benefited from racism–historically and in the present–giving a sharp reminder that these “talks” about racism should not be limited to diverse parents warning their kids about what they will face now and in the future.

There is so much to unpack here–it isn’t really possible to write decent summaries of some of these stories, as they each have so many layers and nuances. An excellent book to read together as a family, one story at a time. A title I will be recommending to teachers, parents, librarians, and more.

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Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper (picture book)
Gr. 1-2. The day after a blizzard, young Lina awakens to silence–the silence created by a heavy layer of snow. Lina decides to walk to her grandmother’s house to make a special meal. Her grandmother can’t see very well, so as Lina walks, she focuses on listening to the sounds of the world around her, discovering ten different ways to hear snow.

A beautiful story with stunning illustrations and a great point of view. Lina and her grandmother have a wonderful relationship, and the blending of story, diversity, and even a science lesson about your senses would make this a wonderful storytime or classroom read.

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 (10/19/2020-10/25/2020).

Annamarie’s Reading

Picture Books & Readers:

First Chapter Books:

Everything Else:

Note: So…I came back to work last week to over 100 holds. These were just the picture books:

So many books. And another 25 came in yesterday. Now that I write at least brief reviews for each title on Goodreads, these take more time, so even with reading a lot of books this week, I feel like I haven’t made a dent. I always have a big stack of library books, but this feels excessive even for me.

Make sure to stop by on Tuesdays for short reviews of some of these titles!

Stats for the Week:

  • 43 Books Read This Week
    • 28 Books with Diverse Main Character (65%)
    • 17 Books by Diverse Authors (40%)
    • 16 Books by Own Voices Authors (37%) (to the best of my knowledge)

This week’s reading highlights:

Michala’s Reading

Note: It’s that time of year, can you sense a theme in my reads? Although all my Halloween picture books just came in so next week I might be listing a few stragglers that make the cut for good reads.

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 9

A handful of “spooky” storytime additions this week, mixed in with some old favorites. I have a lot of great new material for upcoming baby and toddler storytimes from the book Move, Play, Learn by Alyssa Jewell.

Find additional content at the links below:

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip: Toddlers need to move, so don’t worry if they act out stories or just skip, romp, or tumble as you read to them. They may be moving, but they are listening.

Book Recommendation: Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed by Bill Cotter

Song: The Goldfish by Laurie Berkner

Fingerplay: Dance Your Fingers Up

— Find more Fingerplays in this post. —

Retelling: I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

— Find more Book Retellings in this post. —

Action Rhyme: Put Your Claws

Magnet: Little Spider, Little Spider

Manipulative: Scarves (Song: Shake Freeze by Little Maestros)

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Virtual Program: How to Train Your Dragon Kits

We’ve been exploring different ways to provide virtual programming to our patrons. Many libraries have been providing make-and-take kits, but, unfortunately, due to our library’s curbside setup and our patron demand, that isn’t an option for us. A few week’s ago, I shared my Baby-Sitters Club Membership Kits, and my Camp Half Blood Welcome Kits (Percy Jackson). These How to Train Your Dragon Kits follow a similar style.

Why dragons? As part of our annual Wizards & Wands Festival, we have a 30-foot, smoke-breathing dragon on our library roof. While our large event is not taking place in 2020, Hilda has returned, and we have a few events throughout the month with a magical feel.

Why send kits in the mail? Especially kits that focus more on fun than a specific learning concept? Read my thoughts in this post.

Looking for more Mail-To-You Kit Ideas? Check out:

Baby-Sitters Club Membership Kits
Camp Half Blood Welcome Kits
Teen Bubble Tea Kits

How to Train Your Dragon Kits: Contents

I had a lot of fun with these! Lots of dragon and viking magic will be found within. I focused on making sure each bag contained a tangible activity (not just something to read, no matter how cool that reading might be).

Downloads for most items can be found in the downloads section below. All files are PDFs, though you can email me ( or post in the comments if you are interested in the originals for editing.

Each child received their own envelope, even if there were multiple kids in the same house registered. This made it more individual–not just that the oldest or youngest got to open the package from the library.

Each kit contained a general welcome kit, in a document envelope, as well as seven individual bags. Four bags focused on a different element of dragon training, two were related to Viking apparel, and one contained tools that were parts of multiple included crafts.

The general welcome kit included:

  • Personalized welcome letter from Hiccup and Toothless
  • Dragon Trainer ID Card
  • How to Train Your Dragon Activity Guide
  • Readalike Book Recommendations
  • Swag: Bookmarks, Buttons, Trivia Sheet, Viking Name Generator, Map of Berk

The kits contained two Viking bags to create Viking apparel, so dragons would be more comfortable in our young trainer’s presence. The first kit focused on Viking Helmets:

The second focused on Viking shields:

Our first dragon training bag focused on Identifying Dragons. These included a dragon identification guide as well as a BINGO game to help young trainers master their new dragon IDing skills.

Learn how to bond with your own dragon by getting to know Hiccup’s best friend, Toothless, through a paper bag craft.

Design your dream dragon by making an adorable paper plate craft dragon from Pink Stripey Socks.

Finally, train your dragon with the best training tool in all of Berk–sheep! Discover different ways to play with your sheep in the included training guide.

Each kit also contained a tools bag, which contained supplies needed to complete many of the included crafts, such as crayons, glue dots, and gem stickers. Scissors were also needed for most crafts, though those were not included.

Each kit’s Dragon Trainer Welcome Letter was personalized.


Everything should be downloadable from the links below. All files are PDFs, though you can email me ( or post in the comments if you are interested in the originals for editing. They are all Publisher files, and as usual, I used a lot of fonts.

Book Review Tuesday

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

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Animal Showdown: Round Three by Stephanie Warren Drimmer (nonfiction)
Gr. 3-4. Which animal is most acrobatic? Loudest? Most venomous? Lives the longest? Find out in the newest round of animal matchups.

I like that this series isn’t quite as clear cut as the Who Would Win books. While some of these questions have just one answer–like the loudest animal–the book makes the reader look at the stats and facts to figure that out (or, in the cases of less clear cut matchups, the answer is up to the reader). A great design paired with beautiful photographs and, of course, fascinating information, makes this series a win.

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Goldie Vance: Larceny in La La Land by Hope Larson (graphic novel)
Gr. 4-8. Goldie Vance is back and taking Los Angeles by storm! While her best friends have glamorous lives as movie stars or are off working at fancy internships, Goldie has to figure out her own summer plans. When she stumbles across a grown-up female detective, Goldie knows she is meant to spend the summer solving real mysteries! After a bit of convincing, Goldie manages to land her dream assistant job where she is quickly caught up in a pair of intertwining mysteries involving both sentimental and very lucrative thefts.

Goldie is back! Move aside Nancy Drew–Goldie Vance is the queen of teen detectives. I love the sweet alternate reality that Goldie lives in (that essentially looks a bit like a Hollywood version of the 1960s without racism, the Vietnam War, and all of those real-world issues). Goldie and her friends exude the diversity that is much needed in modern comics but probably wouldn’t have worked out well in real life at the time–Goldie is biracial, gay, curvy, and amazing (she also drag races, though that isn’t featured in this book). Her friends are equally unique and awesome. Plus these comics are just fun–a combination of Sherlock Holmes meets Nancy Drew mystery, a few high stakes action scenes, fun side characters to flesh out the plot, and a great color palate that brings the setting to life. More please!

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Move, Play, Learn: Interactive Storytimes with Music, Movement, and More by Alyssa Jewell (professional development)
Adult. Make your storytimes active through movement, music, and play! Think about how to make all parts of your storytime, not just some elements, an active experience, engaging little ones and caregivers throughout.

I wish I had read this book pre-COVID, but I am still glad to have found it now. Lots of great messages and