Kiddosophere: Slimy Scaly Stories – Stories About Reptiles and Amphibians
I love reading books with animal characters for story time, but I get a little tired of adorable animal antics from time to time. Since my previous story time was all about baby animals, I wanted something that wasn’t so sweet and cute. I have many story time plans that I’ve revised throughout the years, but nothing was really inspiring me until I decided to combine my outlines for a frogs story time and a snakes story time.
I’d only presented these story times once or twice, and frankly, they weren’t that successful. Gathering fingerplays wasn’t a problem; I had some fun fingerplays for both themes. The truth was that I was really only excited about two books in my list for each theme. Experienced children’s librarians know that presenting a book that you’re rather “meh” about is a recipe for disaster. You should only include books that you really love to share. I usually include 3-4 books per story time session, so I decided to create a new “reptiles and amphibians” theme. I found new fingerplays and presented the story time this past Wednesday.
It was a hit! Two stories were a bit longer than what I normally read, but we had no problems sitting and listening to the story. They even elicited impromptu feedback, which is always wonderful. This story time is a keeper! Here’s what we enjoyed:
I introduced Lauren Thompson’s Little Quack in my baby animals story time (a bit hit), so I decided to bring back this darling duckling one more time. Little Frog invites the little ducklings to play, but since he’s so different (green and says “ribbit”), they’re a little hesitant…except for Little Quack! When the ducklings see how much fun they are having splashing, squishing mud, and ducking their heads in the water (the illustration of the ducklings bottoms-up is precious), they know that having friends who are different is super cool. Little Quack’s New Friend is not only a super-cute story, but it has a quiet little message about the universality of play and friendship.
Want to add some drama to your story time? Snip! Snap! What’s That? will definitely bring it. An alligator invades the home of three unsupervised children; although they are initially scared (who can blame them?), they drum up enough courage to boot the alligator out. One of my all-time favorite read alouds.
I begin story times with my longest story first; Turtle Day was the perfect way to end the read aloud portion of my toddler story time. It’s a simple story of a turtle waking up, quenching its thirst, sunning itself, protecting itself from a snake, and crawling inside its shell at the end of the day. It’s also a good “cause/effect story”–because turtle is thirsty, it drinks water. Because it is scared, it goes inside its shell, etc.
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library