Summer Reading ended a month ago now (boy this summer has flown) and I am finally getting around to posting about the last week of story times. This is due to the fact that I had some out of town visitors (my sisters, one of whom traveled all the way from England!) so I was busy with that, plus the Olympics were on and I love the Olympics so I was rather consumed by gold medals and world records.
So, finally I am catching up on my posting with our final story time theme, Things that go Bump in the Night. This was a fun theme to throw into summer, though it may make this year's Halloween week a bit more difficult to plan. My bump in the night theme went the route of monsters, though I try not to let them get too scary as I do have some young and impressionable children in story time.
Our first book was Jumpy Jack and Googily by Meg Rosoff. I have used this book in the past with older kids and normally would not do it with just 2's and 3's, but my crowd seemed to be trending more along the 4's age range so I figured they could sit long enough for it. This is a cute story about two goofy looking monster friends. One friend, Jumpy Jack, is continually afraid that he will encounter a scary monster - but, look who he is friends with! This is fun for the kids as you can ask them if they see a monster while Googily is checking to make sure that there are NO monsters. When they determine they are cleared of all 'monsters' you learn that Googily has a fear of his own...Socks! The kids seemed to enjoy this one even if they didn't catch all of the nuance (like the monsters Jumpy Jack was afraid of were the exact description of Googily).
The second book was Jon Stone's The monster at the end of this book. This is a classic story and the kids of course loved it. I do feel my reading of it was heavily influenced by the book ap (which is awesome! If you have an i-something look into it. It costs a few dollars but such a well done book ap, my own kids love it). Anyway, I could tell that my emphasis and tone was mimicking Grover from the ap, but I guess that made it more animated, right? If you do not know this story, poor Grover reads the title and becomes terrified of turning pages and encountering the monster at the end of the book. He begs and pleads with the reader NOT to turn the pages and becomes increasingly agitated (that is, if you read it properly). The fun part is asking kids if we should turn the page and having them all shout YES! This book also has a surprise ending, guess who the monster at the end is? Well, if you don't know you will just have to read the book to find out!
I made a monster flannel board to Bedtime little monsters by Emma Harris. I found the idea on the blog Storytiming. I did a post about it a few weeks ago here that you can read for full details. Basically, we looked for the different colored monsters who were hiding behind things. As we found each one we tucked it into bed. Once all the monsters were in bed we sang them a lullaby song and put them to sleep.
Surprisingly, there were some decent, storytime appropriate monster songs out there. My new favorite artist Eric Litwin has one called Stomp around the room. In this song the monsters stomp, run, jump, and do various other things around the room. We have a storytime rug where the kids sit, so we went around that rug as we sang.
Laurie Berkner has a song called the Monster boogie that is fun to do. You act like a big scary monster and then dance around crazy.
Another song that we did was Carole Peterson's Singing in the rain. This song has nothing to do with monsters, but I picked it because here in the midwest we had very little rain all summer. I decided that we could end storytime with a 'rain dance' and guess what, it worked! As the kids filtered out of storytime we discovered that it was POURING rain. The kids were SO excited and I was feeling very magical.
Our video for the week was Maurice Sendak's Where the wild things are. It is hard to do a monster storytime and not use this classic book. I like the video because it adds some great music as Max and the monsters are having their rumpus. I always worry about scaring the kids with this one (no idea why, they can handle much more than we give them credit for) but I do announce the title of the film so that anyone can make a quick escape if wanted. Of course, they all enjoyed the film.