Miss Mary Mack by Mary Ann Hoberman
Listen to My Trumpet! by Mo Willems
This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt

Action Rhymes / Songs:
Instead of a board story or me leading songs, between each book we had “kid karaoke” and I invited kids to think of their favorite songs and then to come up and help me lead the group in singing it with them. This was super fun and some of the songs chosen were:  “Twinkle, Twinkle,” “Old MacDonald,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” and “Jingle Bells.” I was ready with a list of suggestions in case there weren’t any brave individuals but I never needed it. Everyone wanted to sing – yay!

Play time:
After storytime ended we had band practice.  I put out all of our instruments and let the kids play with them to their hearts’ content. We have a ton: maracas, bongos, xylophones, triangles, bracelet bells, shakers, rhythm sticks, etc. I was the deejay and played a good mix of music but mostly Jack Pearson.  At one of the sessions, a dad brought his mandolin and played for us. The kids really loved that! Next time I do this theme, I’ll see if I can get a musician to play at the end of each of the storytime sessions.

As always, I had an early literacy handout / coloring sheet but it wasn’t nearly as popular because of the instruments. Still, there were a handful of kids at each session that wanted to color instead of make music (or in addition to making music) so I’m glad I did.

Early Literacy Asides:

Aside #1: Songs are a wonderful way for children to learn about language. Singing also slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words. This helps children when they begin to read printed language. Sing songs and play music for your child.

Aside #2: Sing everything! Sing the alphabet. This will help your child learn about letters. Sing nursery rhymes and other rhyming poems. This allows your child to hear the different sounds in words. Encourage your child to sing along with you.

Other books considered / used for display:
The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine
Play, Mozart, Play! by Peter Sis
Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Lloyd Moss
Ah, Music! by Aliki
Forever Young by Bob Dylan
Can You Hear It? by William Lach
Baby Beluga by Raffi
If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera
Wiggle by Doreen Cronin
The Gunniwolf by Wilhelmina Harper
Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort
Mama Don’t Allow by Thacher Hurd
Punk Farm by Jarrett Krosoczka
Fly Blanky Fly by Anne Margaret Lewis
Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman
Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop by Chris Raschka
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison
Happy Hedgehog Band by Martin Waddell
Music Class Today by David Weinstone
De Colores by David Diaz

Resources Consulted:
Storytime Katie
Sunflower Storytime
Miss Meg’s Storytime
Miss Mary Liberry
Falling Flannelboards
Loudest Librarian

This was a hugely successful storytime. All the kids at my storytimes love music – both making it and listening to it. The books were fun but the band practice at the end of storytime was definitely the biggest highlight. Many kids stayed for 30+ minutes after to play with the instruments and sing more songs!

I would like to dedicate this storytime to my favorite song-strummin’ story man, Jack Pearson. We had the pleasure of having Jack perform at our library for many years. He is greatly missed but his light shines on through all the children (and grown up children!) whose lives he lit up. Thank you Jack, my sweet friend.

“So long to you, farewell, adieu, our song is at an end
May music cheer and warm you on the homeward road, my friend
So long to you, farewell, adieu, the parting time is near
Peace be with you, I’m glad you all were here”

(So Long To You by Jack Pearson)


Jack Pearson performing on July 8, 2016 at Buckham Memorial Library


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