Tag Archives: kids

Little People Big Dreams Storytime: Jean-Michel Basquiat

As part of our virtual programming, I run 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. In March, this program featured Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Each program features 1-2 books on the famous individual (one book being their matching title from the Little People, Big Dreams book series). I also highlight music from a diverse artist and include a link to an at-home packet to continue the fun and learning.

Explore More Little People, Big Dreams Storytime Outlines:

Ella Fitzgerald
Harriet Tubman
Martin Luther King Jr.
Muhammad Ali
Rosa Parks

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Watch the full storytime here:

In the event description, I included the link to the printable at home activity packet.

Storytime Outline

Intro: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

First Book: Jean-Michel Basquiat by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People Big Dreams)

LITTLE PEOPLE BIG DREAMS JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT /ANGLAIS: SANCHEZ VEGARA  ISABE: 9780711245792: Amazon.com: Books

Movement Break: Down Down Up Up by Kymberly Stewart

Second Book: Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe

Children's Books - Mobile Museum of Art - Mobile Museum of Art

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: Malala Yousafzai

Don’t Let Pigeon Take Over Storytime!

Pigeon Storytime! Featuring the one and only bird from the Mo Willems books. I have my own personal secret: I hate this bird. The books and Pigeon’s general personality annoy me to no end. But…this ended up being one of my favorite storytimes.

The highlight, of course, was Pigeon’s attempted storytime coup:

Catch a glimpse of the whole experience in the video below.

This was another very popular program: over 600 virtual attendees!

Just like past virtual storytimes, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Many of these materials are from Mo Willems’ Pigeon website, full of great resources. Download the activity packet here.

Watch the short preview video below. This isn’t like many of my other preview videos…instead Pigeon keeps popping up all over the library!

And watch the full storytime here:

The general storytime layout–in order of what I presented–is below, with videos where applicable.

Pigeon Storytime Outline

Intro Song: Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs

Pigeon Book: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!: Mo Willems, Mo Willems: 8601416094786:  Amazon.com: Books

Music: Wheels on the Bus by Jay Laga’aia

Action Song: If You’re a Pigeon and You Know It

If you’re a pigeon and you know it, flap your wings!
If you’re a pigeon and you know it, flap your wings!
If you’re a pigeon and you know it,
And you really want to show it!
If you’re a pigeon and you know it, flap your wings!

Shake your tail (shake, shake)
Eat your cookies (nom, nom)
Drive the bus (zoom, zoom)

Pigeon Takeover
After If You’re a Pigeon and You Know It, I realized–oops!–I forgot our second book! I needed to step out to get it, and while I did just that, I put on some music and needed everyone watching to keep an eye on storytime. Sure enough, Pigeon attempted a takeover!

I didn’t actually leave the room–instead I had a table on wheels to the side of the screen. When I stepped off screen, I opened and closed the door to the room before wheeling the table on screen. I tested the height ahead of time to make sure Pigeon was visible but the table wasn’t.

I had the signs piled and ready on a table off screen. The sticks were attached from the top because it is much easier to drop something from above onto the screen then for me to try to lay below the camera and get up again. If I did this again, I might try to have this situated somehow so the signs were resting on the table, and I removed one at a time. My hand was shaking quite a bit during this portion (so the signs were too).

I ran through the timing of the song and the signs beforehand and made sure I had just enough signs to last the length of the song. I came back at the end of the song with another opening and closing of the door and a loud “PIGEON!” before returning on camera to “rescue” storytime.

Pigeon Book: The Duckling Gets A Cookie?!

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (Pigeon series): Willems, Mo, Willems, Mo:  8601420609846: Amazon.com: Books

Magnet: Pigeon Playing Hide and Seek

Pigeon, Pigeon playing hide and seek
Are you behind the yummy cookie?
Let’s take a peek!

Closing Song: I Know a PIGEON (Chicken) by Laurie Berkner
We very loudly shouted PIGEON in place of Chicken throughout the song.

Extra, Extra!
I filmed a few extra Pigeon videos that were on YouTube but didn’t make it into storytime:

Two Little Pigeons:

Two little pigeons sittin’ on a hill
One named Jack and one named Jill.
Run away Jack, run away Jill.
Come back Jack, come back Jill.

Two little pigeons sittin’ on a cloud.
One named soft and one named loud.
Run away soft, run away loud.
Come back soft, come back loud.

Two little pigeons sittin’ on down below.
One named fast and one named slow.
Run away fast, run away slow.
Come back fast, come back slow.

Five Little Pigeons Sitting in a Tree:

Five little pigeons sitting in a tree
One flew away! How many do you see?

One, two, three four!


And finally, I attempted to write a rhyme to the tune of the Itsy Bitsy Spider, but I didn’t get it quite right. Feel free to edit and make it your own!

The happy little pigeon
Snuck onto the bus route.
Along came the driver
Who chased the pigeon out.
Along came the kids who
Jumped onto the bus.
And the happy little pigeon
Rode along with us.

Book Club in a Bag: Shuri

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: Shuri by Nic Stone.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmark)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Shuri Kit

The Shuri Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Shuri Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Shuri General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Shuri kit is no different.

Shuri Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Shuri Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The Shuri readalike bookmark features these titles:

Shuri Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

The Shuri Discussion Questions include:

  • Shuri has the responsibilities of a princess, even though she really wants to spend time creating fascinating new inventions. When have you had to choose between something you have to do and something you love to do?
  • When Shuri first realizes there is a problem with the Heart-Shaped Herb, the adults seem too busy to listen. How do you convince people to listen when you have something important to share?
  • Shuri meets many superheroes on her adventures. Who is your favorite superhero? If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
  • Think about K’Marah and Shuri’s relationship. Are they friends at the beginning of the novel? What about at the end? How do you know?

Shuri Swag – Activity Book

This bag also included a Shuri Superhero Activity Packet. Download a ready-to-print PDF here.

Shuri Crafts, Games, and More

This particular bag included two activities: a Create Your Own Superhero activity sheet and a pack of Superhero BINGO carts.

Download the Create Your Own Superhero Sheet here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

BINGO Cards

I also included a set of Superhero BINGO cards. I first used these for a Facebook Live event a few months ago, but I created a play at home, pre-printed set for each Shuri kit.

Download the Superhero BINGO Cards here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Reader’s Theater: Virtual Edition!

Reader’s Theater was a popular in-person program, pre-pandemic. It was actually one of the last programs I ran in person, with our regular season running each February (learn more about in-person Reader’s Theater here, though the process is pretty similar to what is outlined below).

My Reader’s Theater kids are known for their energy, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into by making this a virtual program. But, in the end, other than internet connection issues, the program was pretty seamless.

Before the Program – Script Prep!

Most of my work takes place before I see the kids the first time, and this was also the case virtually. Personally, I don’t use standard “reader’s theater scripts” that you can find on Google–they often feel forced or aren’t as fun for my 3rd-5th graders. Instead, I look for funny picture books that can be adapted to a reader’s theater style performance. I also have a stash of old Zoom Playhouse Scripts. The Zoom website is no longer available, but some of these can be transcribed from YouTube videos.

Knowing that I both had some new faces among my signups and that I wanted some familiarity, this year’s scripts included the titles below. Click on the links on the titles to download the scripts to use in your own program.

I plan for a full group of 15 kids. Not every kid is in every play. I select scripts that allow for 60 parts total (four per reader). Many picture books allow for multiple narrator roles, allowing me to tweak scripts to fit the number of parts I need to reach 60.

Once I have all of my scripts, I print them all out and highlight the appropriate lines for each part. Then, the sorting begins.

I sort scripts into folders before the first rehearsal. In person, kids then randomly select a folder without knowing what parts are inside. Virtually, I had to distribute folders out the drive thru window pickup service, so I had to pick parts for kids ahead of time. When I had a toss up for who should get a part with more lines, I tended to give it to kids who were aging out of the program this year (especially those who had been doing this a while).

To break scripts down into folders, I try to aim for the following:

  • 4 scripts per folder
  • At least 1 script that is a “lead” role (more lines)
  • Not all parts in one folder are narrator roles
  • If possible, spread scripts out based on the chosen performance order (not all scripts are at the beginning or end)

Each folder has two labels on the front with the parts of the performer and the performance order. I use three-prong folders, so scripts are hole-punched and inserted into the prongs.

Another difference: in person, kids would only get copies of the scripts for the plays they were in. Virtually, each kid got a copy of every script because I new we would have absences and drop outs, and I would need to assign those roles. In person, I handed kids the folder of the absent participant, virtually, I didn’t want to deal with sending links to virtual copies of scripts.

Some other practices to make script assignment smooth:

  • I create a master sheet for me, organized by play, labeling which scripts/performers have which parts. This helps a lot when 15 8-11-year-olds are paying zero attention to which play comes next.
  • I have a jar on hand with the names of each kid inside on a separate slip of paper. If someone is absent, I pull a name out of the jar to evenly distribute extra parts.

Reader’s Theater Virtual Program

This virtual program followed a similar schedule to in-person Reader’s Theater:

  • Week 1: Zoom Scavenger Hunt, Intro to Reader’s Theater, Practice Scripts
  • Week 2: Zoom Scavenger Hunt, Practice Scripts (continued from week 1)
  • Week 3:Zoom Scavenger Hunt, Full Rehearsal
  • Week 4: Performance for family, friends, and more

We started the first three virtual sessions with a Would You Rather question and a Zoom scavenger hunt.

Would You Rather Questions included:

  • Would you rather only be able to get around by hopping like a kangaroo or leaping like a ballerina?
  • Would you rather have ketchup randomly come out of your belly button or your nose?
  • Would you rather be able to only eat your favorite food for the rest of your life, or would you rather never be able to eat it again?

Zoom Scavenger Hunt Items included:

Week 1
1. Something you can wear on your head
2. Something with words on it
3. Something related to dinosaurs
4. Something with wings
5. Something that is meant to get wet
6. Something that makes a sound
7. One of these: rock, paper, or scissors
8. A spoon
9. Something bumpy
10. Something that makes you laugh
11. Something you really want to share
12. Your script!

Download PPT.
Week 2
1. Something you can wear on your head
2. Something related to food
3. A book
4. Something Orange
5. Something round
6. Your script!

Download PPT.
Week 3
1. Something you can wear on your head
2. Something that can hold something else
3. Something related to animals
4. Something purple
5. Your script!

Download PPT.

We only rehearsed one script at a time, so the kids who are not currently practicing are welcome to watch and give feedback, or they can explore some busywork packets–mad libs, dot-to-dots, kawaii coloring sheets, Captain Underpants Name Changer, etc. Download our busywork packet here.

On performance day, family and friends could use the same link to watch the performance. I asked them to mute and turn their cameras off (and did so for them if they did not), and gave them instructions on how to only view the performers on their screens. Everything went smoothly, with a great performance by all!

Reader’s Theater: Virtual Tips

I’ve run this program a lot in person, and I imagine everyone’s experience (virtual or in person) will be very different. Some things I discovered virtually:

  • A lot more kids came once and never returned or never came at all. This meant our final performers ended up with more parts–but it also made things a little more challenging to organize when we got to plays that had more parts than we had performers.
  • “Correcting” kids feels very different virtually. I don’t like to actively correct the kids in any setting, but in person, another kid would more often step in and try to help someone struggling with pronunciation. Sometimes, I would make sure I was seated in a spot situated near someone who needed a little more help reading (or someone who struggled to pay attention to a long script). Virtually, other than through chat, it isn’t really doable to whisper something to one kid without everyone hearing. I mainly only stepped in if someone was really having microphone issues or internet connection problems.
  • Speaking of internet connection problems: they persist, kids can’t always solve the problems on their own, and you can’t always help either. When reading scripts that rely on reading in order and moving through a lot of lines quickly, internet lags can make a 5-minute script take 15 minutes.
  • Figure out, or prepare for, microphone issues ahead of time. I’ve seen some teachers may require kids to keep their microphones on during a virtual class. I didn’t want to require that, but I debated requiring kids to keep them on during a play they were performing in to help keep things moving. I decided not to, for privacy, and that ended up being the best decision. It slowed things down, but one of our particular participants who muted between every line had a screaming baby in the background. It added a few minutes to things, but it was more enjoyable for everyone.

Book Club in a Bag: Phoebe and Her Unicorn

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmark)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Phoebe and Her Unicorn Kit

The Phoebe and Her Unicorn Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Phoebe and Her Unicorn Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Phoebe and Her Unicorn kit is no different.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The Phoebe and Her Unicorn readalike bookmark features these titles:

Phoebe and Her Unicorn Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

The Phoebe and Her Unicorn Discussion Questions include:

  • Are you more of a Phoebe or a Marigold Heavenly Nostrils?
  • Phoebe was granted a magical wish when she rescued Marigold. If you had one magical wish, what would you wish for?
  • Most of the Phoebe and Her Unicorn books are collections of comic strips. What makes this book different than other graphic novels you have read? 
  • How does the friendship between Phoebe and Marigold change and grow throughout the series? How do you see that difference in the illustrations and the text?
  • When the story starts, do you like Phoebe and Marigold equally? How does that change?

Phoebe and Her Unicorn Swag – 1″ Buttons

This bag also included 5 1″ Phoebe and Her Unicorn buttons. Download a printable PDF to make them yourself here.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn Crafts, Games, and More

This particular bag included three activities: a drawing guide, a unicorn bookmark craft, and a unicorn puppet craft.

The drawing guide borrowed heavily from the resources available on the Publisher website. Find more of those here.

Download the ready-to-print drawing guide here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Unicorn Crafts

We also included the supplies to make a unicorn puppet craft and a unicorn bookmark. The two crafts needed a set of instructions, glue dots, a piece of white cardstock, and shared unicorn accessories sheets. Kids were encouraged to design their own unicorn pieces, but they could choose from the included pieces if they preferred.

Download the Unicorn Accessories sheets here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Download the Unicorn Puppet Instructions here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Download the Unicorn Bookmark instructions here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Book Club in a Bag: New Kid Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: New Kid by Jerry Craft.

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmark)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

New Kid Kit

The New Kid Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items depending on your budget.

Want to use make a New Kid Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

New Kid General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the New Kid kit is no different.

New Kid Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

New Kid Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The New Kid readalike bookmark features these titles:

New Kid Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

The New Kid Discussion Questions include:

  • Which five words best describe New Kid?
  • Why do you think Jerry Craft drew Jordan’s sketchbook drawings completely differently than the rest of the book?
  • Have you ever been the new kid somewhere? How was your experience the same or different from Jordan’s?
  • What makes being a new kid so challenging for Jordan?
  • Jordan’s Tips for Taking the Bus (pages 56-57): Why does his behavior change—how he looks and dresses as he moves around? What is different in each panel?
  • What does this book say about friendship? What makes a good friend?
  • Which character do you identify with the most? Why?

New Kid Swag – Buttons

This bag also included a 2.25″ New Kid button. Download a printable PDF to make them yourself here.

New Kid Crafts, Games, and More

This particular bag only included one activity: make your own journal. Supplies included:

  • Instruction Sheet (below)
  • 3 sets washi tape
  • 2 pieces cardstock (halves of 9 x 12 sheet, pre-punched)
  • 20 pieces of printer paper (10 full sheets in half, pre-punched)
  • 3 binder rings
  • Colored Pencils (not pictured)

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Little People Big Dreams Storytime: Muhammad Ali

As part of our virtual programming, I run 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. In February, this program featured Muhammad Ali.

Each program features 1-2 books on the famous individual (one book being their matching title from the Little People, Big Dreams book series). I also highlight music from a diverse artist and include a link to an at-home packet to continue the fun and learning.

Explore More Little People, Big Dreams Storytime Outlines:

Ella Fitzgerald
Harriet Tubman
Jean Michel Basquiat
Martin Luther King Jr.
Rosa Parks

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Watch the full storytime here.

In the event description, I included the link to the printable at home activity packet.

Storytime Outline

Intro: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

First Book: Muhammad Ali by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People Big Dreams)

Image result for little people big dreams muhammad ali

Movement Break: Banana Banana Meatball by Blazer Fresh (GoNoodle)

Second Book: Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born by Gene Baretta

Image result for muhammad ali book picture

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: Jean-Michel Basquiat

Book Club in a Bag: Wings of Fire Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: Wings of Fire Kit featuring the Wings of Fire books by Tui T. Sutherland

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmark)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Wings of Fire Kit

The Wings of Fire Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Wings of Fire Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Wings of Fire General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Wings of Fire kit is no different.

Wings of Fire Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Wings of Fire Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The Wings of Fire readalike bookmark features these titles:

Wings of Fire Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

The Wings of Fire Discussion Questions include:

  • Clay is loyal, Starflight is smart, Tsunami is a protector, Sunny is an optimist, and Glory is gentle. Which dragonet is most similar to you?
  • The original prophecy did not include a RainWing. How do the other dragonets feel about Glory? How do the dragonets relationship change over time?
  • Clay believes that he is not a “naturally-hatched hero.” What makes him feel that he does not meet expectations? Have you ever felt that you did not meet expectations? Were you able to overcome those feelings?
  • Think about the world where the Wings of Fire books take place. Can you summarize the way this world works? What are the main factions of dragons? What do you think about this place?
  • The Wings of Fire books are tied to prophecies, fate, and destiny. Can the dragons escape their “destiny”? How do the dragonets feel about their destiny? What do you think—is your destiny written in stone, or do you have the ability to change your fate?

Wings of Fire Swag – Bookmarks

This bag also included four Wings of Fire bookmarks, printed on cardstock. Download a printable PDF to make them yourself here.

Wings of Fire Crafts, Games, and More

There are so many dragon activities, and so much to do with the Wings of Fire universe that it was hard to choose. Thinking about space, prep time, and budget, I focused on three activities: which dragon are you quiz, memory game, and flying dragon craft.

Wings of Fire: Which Dragon Are You? Quiz

I recreated the Wings of Fire dragonet quiz available in the Scholastic Wings of Fire Activities & Resources.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Wings of Fire Memory Game

Create your own Wings of Fire memory game. I left the pieces on one sheet for participants to cut out. The back of each square has the Wings of Fire logo.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Flying Dragon Craft

Make your own flying dragon craft with a straw, pipette, and some adorable dragon pictures.

Download the dragon images here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

And the instructions here:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF here.

Molly of Denali Storytime

Molly of Denali Storytime! I’ve been planning this for a while, but I’ve also been quite nervous about it–I want to do Molly justice. Our community is pretty white, our library staff is mostly white, and I am (you guessed it) white.

In case you aren’t familiar with Molly: Molly Mabray is a 10-year-old Alaskan Native (Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan) vlogger from the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska (near the mountain of Denali). The PBS show is the first show to feature an Alaskan Native main character. Much of the cast and crew, including the voice of Molly – Sovereign Bill of Auburn – are of Alaskan Native or First Nations heritage. The show authentically portrays the life of an Alaskan Native girl (while also having a particular focus on examining and evaluating sources of information).

Molly of Denali is a wonderful show, and I encourage you to watch it yourself, explore the website (and app and podcast), and find ways to promote it at your library. I tried to keep Molly’s energy during this storytime while focusing on some of the places Molly frequently visits in Qyah as well as some of the popular storylines from the show.

There were some adjustments for me. I’m used to music being a big part of my storytimes, but the music featured in Molly of Denali is wrapped up in her culture. Dancing (often nonsensically) to the Daniel Tiger or Pete the Cat theme song felt fine–wiggling, swaying, and shaking along to Molly’s theme song felt like it might be closer to cultural appropriation. Instead, I played the Molly of Denali theme song before I came on screen, and I promoted official Molly of Denali content on YouTube with this playlist.

Looking back, I’m afraid I focused a bit too much on animals and too little on Molly’s culture. My reasoning for this during planning is that my main audience for these storytimes are ages 2-3. While some of the concepts were still there for older kids to explore, I knew I needed to keep the attention of those bouncy toddlers. In hindsight, this program would have been better suited as a separate event aimed for ages 6-8.

Just like past virtual storytimes, I curated a PDF packet that we shared with event participants. Many of these materials are from PBS. Download it here.

Watch the short preview video below. I tried to not dance through this the way I often do, instead highlighting storytime activities:

The general storytime layout–in order of what I presented–is below, with videos where applicable.

Molly of Denali Storytime Outline

Intro Song: Molly of Denali Theme Song (played before I came on screen)

Daniel Tiger Story: Crane Song

Exploring Qyah: I really like when these storytimes have some kind of unifying theme. For Molly of Denali storytime, we were simply exploring Qyah along with Molly.

Denali Trading Post: 5 Shiny Agate Stones

We started out at Molly’s parents’ store: the Denali Trading Post. Molly and her friends were trying to buy a new tubing raft, so they were selling agate stones again. We talked a bit about agate stones before jumping in with the rhyme shown below.

Down around the corner at the trading post,
There were five shiny agate stones at the most.
Along came a neighbor with a dollar to pay.
She picked out an agate and took it away.

Dog Kennel & Vegetable Garden: Anka Playing Hide and Seek
Tooey didn’t show up to help with the agate stones, so we went to find him at the Dog Kennel to make sure everything was okay. His dog, Anka, is missing again–but Tooey doesn’t think she is lost this time, just playing hide and seek…in Trini’s vegetable garden! Did you know that vegetables grow ENORMOUSLY large in Alaska? I learned that from Molly.

Anka, Anka playing hide and seek!
Are you behind the _?
Let’s take a peak!

Fish Camp: Five Little Salmon
Off to find some fish for hungry Anka at the Fish Camp! Catch your pretend salmon by tossing out a line and reeling it in or snatching a salmon from the air like a bear.

Alaskan Animal Adventure
Now that Anka was taken care of, it was finally time to explore Alaska by looking for something Molly loves and Alaska is well-known for–its amazing wildlife! I gave some hints for each animal before revealing the puppet and after the reveal, I encouraged viewers to do a quick motion.

There’s something by the river,
Now what can it be?
There’s something by the river,
That I can’t really see.

Wrapping Things Up
And that was it! For the reasons mentioned above, I didn’t have a closing song either (which was unusual for me). I once again directed people to the official Molly of Denali PBS playlist.

Book Club in a Bag: Azaleah Lane Kit

Take-and-make kits; craft kits; programs to go: whatever your library calls these programs in a bag that have become a staple of no-contact offerings, one thing is fairly standard: these kits are well loved, but they take time to make. I love creating materials for kits and thinking about how a family might interact with program materials at home. I’ve introduced a new pair of kits for ages 6-11 in January 2021: Book Club in a Bag. This week’s feature: Azaleah Lane Kit featuring the Azaleah Lane books by Nikki Shannon Smith

The Book Club in a Bag kits look a bit different from some of my previous kits. Instead of focusing on just one book universe, these kits each feature four characters, hopefully some old favorites as well as some new, diverse characters.

In January, these featured characters included (links provided as the bag contents are shared on Book Cart Queens):

Each bag contains some repeated resources:

  • List of kit contents
  • List of books in the featured series
  • List of readalike books
  • Discussion questions
  • Swag item (button, sticker, bookmark)
  • 1-3 crafts, games, activities

Azaleah Lane Kit

The Azaleah Lane Kit can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. Most of this kit can be re-created simply using a printer, with the addition of extra items (like animal figurines) depending on your budget.

Want to use make a Azaleah Lane Kit at your library? Download the PDFs at the links below, or write a comment or send an email (bookcartqueens@gmail.com) for editable files.

Azaleah Lane General Materials

Each bag contains some of the same basic materials, and the Azaleah Lane kit is no different.

Azaleah Lane Bookmark – All Books

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF listing all book titles here.

Azaleah Lane Bookmark – Readalikes

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Readalike titles here.

The Yasmin readalike bookmark features these titles:

Azaleah Lane Discussion Questions

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the discussion questions here.

**Find some of these discussion questions (and more) in the back of each book.

The Azaleah Lane Discussion Questions included:

  • General Questions:
    • Azaleah loves animals! What is your favorite animal? Where does that animal live in the wild?
    • Azaleah is the middle child; she has an older and younger sister. Are you the oldest or youngest child in your family? Somewhere in the middle? An only child? What is similar or different between your experience and Azaleah’s experiences?
    • Azaleah likes to solve mysteries! What did you do when something went missing around your house?
  • Sample Story Questions: The Dramatic Life of Azaleah Lane
    • Who did you think was behind the problems at rehearsal? How did you know? Were you right or wrong?
    • At the end of the book, you learn who was behind all of the mishaps. What do you think their consequences should be?
    • Think about the problems that happened in the theater. Can you list them in order? Try using the book for help.

Azaleah Lane Swag – Stickers

This bag also includes a printable Azaleah Lane sticker, made on 2.5″ circle Avery label paper. Download a printable PDF to make them yourself here.

Azaleah Lane Crafts, Games, and More

Azaleah loves to solve mysteries, and she loves animals, so I included activities related to those two topics.

Azaleah builds an animal habitat diorama in the first book in the series. I purchased tiny animal figurines and included a mini animal diorama kit. I also included an appropriate animal habitat background as well as a half sheet with pictures of animal diorama inspiration on one side and books to research animal habitats on the other.

You could take this activity to the next level by providing more than one animal figurine, tiny trees, and more diorama supplies–it just depends how much you want to spend and how big your kits can be.

The inspiration and research half sheet:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the animal habitat research here.

The animal habitat backgrounds:

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the habitat backgrounds here.

Azaleah Lane Detective Practice

In the first two Azaleah Lane books, Azaleah examines clues, finds evidence, and collects suspects to solve a mystery! In the kit, participants built their detective skills though simple riddles and puzzles.

Slideshare not working? Download the PDF of the Puzzles and Riddles book here.

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