Storytime Suggestions: Rhyming Dust Bunnies
That went well! A week or two ago I announced that I would begin a new series on this blog. My idea was that children’s librarians always want to see how other children’s librarians tell different stories. It gives us ideas. We can steal ways of telling books and incorporate them into our own storytimes. So I did a post called Storytime Suggestions that consisted of a video of me reading The Noisy Counting Book by Susan Schade along with suggestions on how to present it.
Well I had so much fun that I’m doing it again! And since we already did a Toddler Storytime book last time, let’s go for a Preschool Storytime book this time!
Name: Rhyming Dust Bunnies
Author: Jan Thomas
In Print?: You bet.
Best For: Preschool Storytime
Storytime Suggestions: While there’s nothing saying you couldn’t present this book to a group of toddlers or even second graders, I personally feel that the ideal audience for this book is preschoolers (which is to say, 3-5 year olds). First off, when each Dust Bunny asks for words that rhyme with “car” or “cat”, sometimes an enterprising preschooler will interject with suggestions of their own. You can totally use that. And that makes Bob’s ill-rhymed words all the better.
Some librarians I know have performed a kind of Readers’ Theater with this book. They’ve taken colored fluff, be it faux fur or colored cotton balls, and stuck ’em on the ends of pencils or popsicle sticks. Or, if your office looks anything like my own, you can grab actual dust bunnies and give ’em a dye job. And googly eyes. Be sure you are well stocked in googly eyes.
The advantage of any Jan Thomas book is that it reads well from a distance. Now in this video I cut off the side of the book once in a while, but it’s rarely a problem because the images are so doggone big. Thomas participates in what I like to call The Todd Parr/Lucy Cousins Effect. Which is to say, if you combine thick black lines and bold colors, kids go gaga. Add in some humor and you’ve come up with the world’s greatest readalouds.
When doing a Jan Thomas books in a preschool storytime you can always begin with this one after the preliminaries. It doesn’t get the children so riled up they won’t sit for more books (unlike, say, Can You Make a Scary Face?), though they may be baffled by the ending. I love Ms. Thomas but while her books read aloud beautifully, her endings sometimes leave kids confused. Only What Will Fat Cat Sit On? has a real kicker of a closer. Books like this one can feel a little like they’re trailing off when you finish them. Be sure to move immediately into your next book then. It’ll keep the flow of the storytime going.
As always, send me links if any of you guys care to create Storytime Suggestions of your own. Last time we did this I got some great suggestions for other Storytimes including:
Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel – Suggested by Jennifer Schultz
Too Much Talk by Angela Shelf Medearis – Suggested by Jennifer Schultz
Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern – Suggested by Toby Speed
The Valiant Red Rooster by Eric Kimmel – Suggested by IF
Next Time: A picture book readaloud appropriate for kids between Kindergarten and Third Grade.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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