RovingFiddlehead KidLit

Shoes & Clothing Storytime

May 18, 2015

A clothing-themed storytime featuring lots of colour-based songs and accessories such as hats, shoes and socks.

Opening Song: Glad to See You by Pete Allard

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
A girl with a mind and style all her own!

If You Like Wearing….[Red, Black, etc.]
(Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
If you like wearing red, shake your head
If you like wearing red, shake your head
If you like wearing red
Then please shake your head
If you like wearing red, shake your head

(Continue to add colours and movements to fit the song)
Blue, touch your shoe
Green, bow to the queen
Yellow, shake like Jell-O
Black, pat your back
Brown, turn around
Hat by Paul Hoppe
A simple story filled with both imagination and compassion.

Prince Wore a Red Crown

Princess Wore Her ____ Crown Flannelboard
(Tune: Mary Wore a Red Dress)

Princess wore a *purple* crown, a *purple* crown, a *purple* crown,
The princess wore a *purple* crown all day long.
Prince wore a *blue* crown, a *blue* crown, a *blue* crown,
The prince wore a *blue* crown all day long.
Repeated with the red, pink polka-dot, green and starry crowns.

New Socks

New Socks by Bob Shea
Can’t beat Leon’s enthusiasm for his new socks!

Where Oh Where Has My Clothing Gone?
(Tune: Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?)
Oh where, oh where have my new shoes gone?
Of where, oh where can they be?
I’ve looked up high, and I’ve looked down low
Did someone hide them from me?
(Repeat with: white socks, blue jeans, red shirt, yellow hat, etc.)

Pete the Cat

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin.
Let’s face it, Pete the Cat puts a smile on everyone’s face!

Color Rhyme by Jean Warren
If your clothes have any red
Put your finger on your head
If your clothes have any blue
Put your finger on your shoe.
If your clothes have any green
Wave your hand so you’ll be seen
If your clothes have any yellow,
Smile like a happy fellow
If your clothes have any brown,
Turn your smile into a frown.
If your clothes have any black,
Put your hands behind your back.
If your clothes have any white,
Clap your hands with all your might.

No That's Wrong

No! That’s Wrong! by Zhaohua Ji and Cui Xu
A rabbit mistakes a pair of underwear for a hat. Giggles ensue.

Early Literacy Tip

Make a dress up trunk with lightly used clothes for dramatic play. Dramatic play and pretend play help to build narrative skills along with encouraging social and emotional development.
Source: CLEL Play Reminders.

Stone Giant

May 13, 2015

Stone Giant

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.

In Stone Giant: Michelangelo’s David and How He Came to Be by Jane Sutcliffe, Michelangelo does just this; discovering David within the giant piece of marble that had troubled the city of Florence for years. Even Leonardo da Vinci refused to work on the block that had been abandoned to the elements by so many sculptors.

The work was an obsession and Michelangelo worked long hours to remove “not-David” and reveal the powerful David that lay within. The choice to portray a strong and capable David reflected the way Florence viewed itself. Florence and David were growing together, both upstart troublemakers in their respective realms, both ultimate success stories. Sutcliffe unites these two storylines to create an art book with broader appeal.

Beautifully illustrated by John Shelley, Stone Giant brings 16th century Florence to life as much as the Michelangelo’s sculpting. The crowd scenes are engaging and the scenes showing the sculpture’s moving day are filled with instructive detail and emotion. The history of daily lives is portrayed alongside the story of magnificent art.

Much beloved from its unveiling in 1504 to today, David stands as a testament to the power of art to help people define themselves. Stone Giant shows the ties between art and its community.

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge

For this week\’s nonfiction picture book challenge roundup, visit Alyson Beecher's blog, KidLit Frenzy. #nfpb2015

Ben Franklin’s Big Splash #nfpb15

April 1, 2015

Ben Franklin's Big Splash

Ben Franklin’s Swim Paddles

Ben Franklin’s zest for life and self-assurance shine through in Ben Franklin’s Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of his First Invention by Barb Rosenstock. Not restricting himself to the way things were always done, Franklin learned to swim (rare in colonial America) and then started pondering ways to swim faster and easier. While only a letter written fifty years after the fact describes eleven-year-old Franklin’s swimming paddles, there is ample information about the rest of Franklin’s life and inventions for Rosenstock to write a literary biography filled with historical detail. S.D. Schindler’s illustration capture both colonial life as we know it and imagined iterations of the swim paddles.

“Not Satisfied”

Curiosity, perseverance and self-confidence, qualities important for any inventor are evident throughout. Franklin did not fail, but rather he “was not satisfied” with his swim paddles.

“Most kids might have felt sad, ashamed or stupid. Instead, this smart, stubborn, sensible son of a soap-maker simply thought he’d made a mistake — and wouldn’t stop seeking, studying, and struggling until he SUCCEEDED.”

Slip, slosh, squirt, spurt, spout

This book’s strength is that Rosenstock has great fun delivering the message that Ben Franklin enjoyed himself and learned while making mistakes. Words beginning with the letter S predominate the text. Typography emphasizes Rosenstock’s wordplay with bold S-verbs. Cumulative tale techniques highlight the trial and error method central to invention and scientific discovery.

As a delightful nonfiction read-aloud, Ben Franklin’s Big Splash stands out among historical biographies.

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge

For this week’s nonfiction picture book challenge roundup, visit Alyson Beecher‘s blog, KidLit Frenzy.


Flannel Friday: French Rhyme Petit Poisson

March 20, 2015

Petit Poisson

This cute red fish was made by the dynamic duo, Jackie and Mathieu, that I worked with to do French storytimes. It goes with the following Petit Poisson (Little Fish) rhyme. Craft sticks are perfect since the fish are going in circles. They brought stick puppets for the children as well.

Petit poisson qui tourne en rond,
Petit poisson dis-moi ton nom.
Petit poisson qui bouge,
Petit poisson tout rouge,
Petit poisson dis-moi ton nom.

Rough translation:
Little fish who swims in circles
Little fish tell me your name
Little fish who moves
Little fish who is red
Little fish tell me your name

The rhyme comes from Un Deux Trois: First French Rhymes selected by Opal Dunn and illustrated by Patrice Aggs. Helpfully for us non-native French speakers, the book comes with a CD as well so you can play the rhymes if you need help with pronounciation.

Finding Flannel Friday

This week’s host is Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime. You can also find past and future roundups and lots more information about Flannel Friday at the Flannel Friday website. For a visual round-up of all postings, check out Flannel Friday on Pinterest.

Flannel Friday: St. Patrick’s Day

March 13, 2015

For a St. Patrick’s Day flannelboard, I took inspiration from leprechaun tales and Rainbow Stew. When the Vikings raids were upon Ireland, the leprechauns hid the fairy gold and even today, guard it jealously. Supposedly it can be found in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. In an add-on to Rainbow Stew, my leprechauns transform fruit and vegetables into gold.

Begin with a selection of rainbow-colored fruits and vegetables.

Take an apple, put in the pot
Stir it, stir it, stir it a lot.
Take it out, what will it be?
The prettiest red you ever did see?

Stirring Rainbow Stew
Continue with orange, yellow, green, blue and violet fruits or vegetables and rainbow pieces.

Rainbow Stew Food

When the rainbow is complete, it is time for the leprechaun to dance and do his magic.

Where the rainbow ends, do a little jig.
Grab a shovel and dig, dig, dig.
Pull out the treasure, what will it be?
The fairies’ gold for all to see.


Find­ing Flan­nel Friday

This week’s host is Laura at Library Lalaland. You can also find past and future roundups and lots more information about Flannel Friday at the Flannel Friday website. For a visual round-up of all postings, check out Flannel Friday on Pinterest.

Goldie Takes a Stand #nfpb15

March 4, 2015

Goldie Takes a Stand

“I knew just what to do and naturally – I’d be president!”

Goldie Takes a Stand: Golda Meir’s First Crusade written by Barbara Krasner and illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley fills a gap in childhood biographies of political leaders.  There is no shortage of the biographies of the childhood adventures of male presidents and prime ministers foreshadowing their great deeds. It is nice to see an equally charming childhod biography of a woman leader.

Growing up in Milwaukee in the early 1900s, Goldie Mabowehz began her long political journey when she gathered her sister, friends and classmates to form the American Young Sisters Society. The organization had a philanthropic purpose (to raise money for textbooks for poor classmates), but also provided an opportunity for Goldie to lead – a role she relished. Her capers to raise money (including overcharging customers at her parents’ store) offer a window into formative experiences of one of the first female prime ministers in the world (Golda Meir for Israel, 1969-1974). Her take-charge attitude and self-assurance served her well as a nine-year-old and for years to come. This picture-book biography emphasizing teamwork, perseverance and philanthropy by a group of girls is a great title for Women’s History Month.

For more Women’s History Month biography suggestions see:

Amelia Bloomer Project

Crystal’s Goodreads list

A Mighty Girl picture book suggestions

For this week’s nonfiction picture book challenge roundup, visit KidLit Frenzy.




Gingerbread for Liberty #nfpb15

February 25, 2015

gingerbread for liberty

Gingerbread for Liberty: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff with illustrations by Vincent X. Kirsch is the delightful story of Christopher Ludwick. Appreciative of the freedom and comfort life in America brought him, the aging and overweight baker was determined to do his part when the Revolutionary War began. His contributions to feeding the American soldiers (at his own expense) and converting some Hessian mercenaries to their side were indeed significant. The illustrations, all done in the style of elaborate German gingerbread, perfectly complement the text. And Ludwick’s large belly is a delight! A gingerbread recipe is aptly included on the endpapers.

The story is entertaining and the baker endearing, but I fear many children will not realize they have been reading about an actual person and actual events. Ludwick is not even named until the author’s note! It is a shame that the readers who skip the Author’s Note will not realize the depth of his contributions and may even believe the brave and cheerful baker to be a fictitious character.

For more nonfiction picture book recommendations, visit the weekly round-up at KidLit Frenzy.



Animal Movement Storytime

February 23, 2015

In the midst of freezing temperatures, animal movement storytime, with lots of swinging, shaking, stomping and hopping throughout, is a fun antidote to being cooped up indoors.

animal movement books
Book: Dancing Feet by Lindsay Craig

Action Song: The Animal Boogie by Debbie Harter – love this song! So catchy and the kids really get into it.

Action Rhyme:
I can take giant moose steps    (step in place)
I can take tiny mouse steps     (tiptoe in place)
I can take quick, quick bunny hops   (hop in place)
I can sit still, as still as a rock. (sit down)

Book: Babies on the Go by Linda Ashman – a quieter, more reflective picture book than the others here


Fingerplay/Flannelboard: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Book: Jump by Scott Fischer. Love this story of the confident, dare I say cocky, animals jumping to safety.

Action Rhyme: Five little pigs
Five little pigs rolled in the mud –
Squishy, squashy, felt so good.
The farmer took one piggy out.
“Oink, Oink, oink,” the pig did shout!

Count down until…

No little pigs rolled in the mud.
They all looked so clean and good.
The farmer turned his back and then,
Those pigs rolled in the mud again.

I used Melissa’s adorable muddy pigs with this one.

clean and dirty pigs

Who Hops? by Katie Davis. A basic silly book in which elephants slither and giraffes crawl. Or do they? This one closes on a note encouraging kids to be active, a fitting

Additonal book suggestions:
Can You Move like an Elephant? by Judy Hindley, illustrated by Manya Stojic
Do Donkeys Dance? by Melanie Walsh
This is the Way by Charles Fuge
You are a Lion and Other Fun Yoga Poses by Tae-Eun Yoo

A sampling from You are a Lion:

Squat on your feet
Hands on the ground
Hop up!
You are a … (turn page)

Ribbit your song
Leap in the pond
All the day long

Weeds Find a Way #nfpb15

February 11, 2015

weeds find a way

Weeds find a way to live where other plants grow,
send their seeds into the world in wondrous ways…
find a way to wait…
find a way to be loved…

There is wonder and beauty to be found in all of nature. Weeds Find a Way by Cynthia Jensen-Elliott and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher gives weeds the prominence, strength and beauty normally reserved for flowers, trees and food plants.With bold illustrations and large text, weeds take center stage in this engaging picture book. Children play amongst the weeds throughout as weeds grow in the cracks of a hopscotch game, the sole of an old shoe and, of course, dandelion seeds are blown into the wind.

In the closing profiles for the 28 weeds mentioned and/or illustrated throughout the book, children will delight in the often amusing names such as cheeseweed, stinkweed, and ox-eye daisy. Back matter provides context for when and why weeds are problematic. While Weeds Find a Way is a celebration of their perseverance and adaptation, the back matter makes clear that all is not sweetness and light in the realm of weeds.

For more nonfiction picture book recommendations, visit the weekly round-up at KidLit Frenzy.


PB & J Hooray #nfpb15

February 4, 2015

PB & J Hooray

PB & J Hooray written by Janet Nolan and illustrated by Julia Patton is a fun and effective picture book answering the question “where does your food come from?”

Nolan tells a cumulative story beginning with a boy making himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. With short rhythmic, but informative explanations and illustrations, the trail goes from the kitchen to the grocery store, delivery truck, bakeries and factories, farmers’ fields and seeds. At last, with all the pieces of the puzzle in place, several friends join the boy and “it’s finally time to say PB & J Hooray!”

Interesting tidbit: Julia Patton’s illustration process began with eating her first peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

For more nonfiction picture book recommendations (including lots of ALA Youth Media Awards coverage this week), visit the weekly round-up at KidLit Frenzy.