Monday, August 9, 2010

New Story Time Picks

For the Toddlers: A Sick Day for Amos McGee (by Philip and Erin Stead) is a very sweet and very simply story about a zookeeper's life on a normal day, and then his life when he has to stay home sick. The repetitive structure and adorable animals help keep the younger set seated and listening, and the woodblock/pencil illustrations and limited palatte create a low impact, soft setting that suits younger readers nicely. I've read this story a couple times at story time, and while it does not quite engage the 4+ set, those who are younger give all the telltale signs of enjoyment, which really just means that they listen the whole way through.

For the 3-6yr olds: A Pirate's Guide to First Grade (by James Preller and Greg Ruth) went over swimmingly at this weekends' totally boy dominated storytime. We had three incoming first graders in the crowd who were especially pleased. Those who were not quite ready for first grade were equally amused, or at least were amused by my awful pirate voice (yarrr). What cracked me up as I read this story was that the kids were laughing the whole time, even when they had no idea what the pirate jargin meant. While I like to think that they may remember that "choppers" means teeth now, I have the sneaky suspicion that the idea of talking like a pirate at school was enough to keep the giggles coming for all 39 pages. I'm just glad I don't have to keep reading How I Became a Pirate (Melinda Long and David Shannon) over and over again in order to sate the still staggering need for pirate-voice stories. Yar.For Mixed Ages: Dog Loves Books (by Louise Yates) is a book guaranteed to have bookseller support since Dog, as the title promises, loves books so much that he opens his own bookstore. And while it's a store with little to no foot traffic, Dog passes the time reading books, and going places he'd never imagined with things like dinosaurs and martians and monsters. The kids at storytime were perhaps a little less amused by the bookseller jokes as I was, but they did love the pink pterodactyl, the kangaroos, the planes, the swords and all the adventures Dog finds in his books. As my coworker Bob put it on his shelf-talker: "Dog Loves Books: A gritty and unflinchingly realistic portrayal of the challenging and hurly-burly world of bookselling." Just what Yates was going for, I'm sure.


  1. I love your reviews. I am definitely going to check those out! I especially liked your comment, in Sick Day for Amos McGee, about how the younger set listens, which _is_ a sign of enjoyment. That's a cool way of looking at it. I must remember that for my own storytimes, especially when I think at the end, "Did they get that book at all?"

  2. Thanks for reading Carey! Where do you do storytime?