In this monthly feature, I pick my favorite storytime reads of the month–one from my baby storytime, one from toddler storytime, and one from preschool storytime.
Baby Storytime Pick:
So Big! illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. This one is kind of a cheat choice, as it’s the book I read in every single baby storytime. I have this book memorized! But this month I was on vacation (I’m missing those Hawaiian beaches right now), so I only did a few storytimes. And our baby times have become so crazy busy and active that I actually didn’t get to read the second book I had chosen in most of them. Although it’s kind of a cheat, I do stand by this as a great choice for baby storytime. I always tell the parents to either lift baby in the air, or lift their arms up on the “So Big!” and we all say it out loud together. It’s definitely a storytime institution in my library, and whenever the babies are getting a bit restless, this is a great book to recenter them and get them focused on storytime again.
Toddler Storytime Pick:
Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton. I think the storytime that is the hardest for me to find books I love is toddler storytime. Don’t get me wrong, I adore toddler storytime–it’s so much fun–but I find it hard to find really great toddler books. Which is one reason I love Byron Barton. His big, clear illustrations, and simple text and stories make his books a perfect choice for toddler storytime. This book had the toddlers absolutely captivated. I used it as the first book of the day, which is probably a good choice as it’s a bit long to use later in storytime, and it was one of those storytimes where I felt like everyone was with me, and they were SUPER into the book. And it was a huge storytime (over 70 people!), so that’s saying a lot.
Preschool Storytime Pick:
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead. An old coworker and I once talked about the book you should choose to read in an interview for a children’s librarian position. We both agreed that the book you choose for this needs to be an absolute showstopper, and a book you love so much it’s imprinted in your DNA. This is one of those books for me. I fit it into as many storytime themes as I can. Zoo storytime? Amos McGee. Animal storytime? Amos McGee. Friendship storytime? Amos McGee. Illness storytime (this month’s theme)? Amos McGee. I could also make a case for this in a vehicle storytime, as they ride a bus. Basically: I love to read this story out loud. I love its gentle, circular rhythm, absolutely adore the beautiful illustrations, and just think it’s a nigh perfect picture book. This month was no exception.The children love giggling at the animals riding on the bus, and we discussed at the end why you may not want to share your bed with an elephant (“He would crush you!” in the words of one of my storytime kiddos). Just love this one.
So those were my favorites from October! This was a hard list to make, as I also had a Halloween preschool storytime with lots of amazing Halloween books, but I had to chose A Sick Day for Amos McGee.