As y'all know, I recently started a new job at a new library. It's been great, but there's always an adjustment period at a new job, which is why I was so happy to get back to storytime last week! At my previous job I did storytime at least once a week, but with the job transition and summer reading starting, it had been over a month since my last storytime and I was having a little bit of withdrawal. So, what did I do for my first storytime at the new library?
I really wanted to use my new Bark, George! felt, so I did Cats and Dogs and it went swimmingly. Here's what I did:
I started with the classic and perennial favorite Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion. Harry is a white dog with black spots and he hates taking a bath. So he buries the bath brush in the back yard and runs away. While he's playing, he gets dirtier and dirtier until he's a black dog with white spots! How will his family recognize him? This one is a surefire hit for storytime (but it's a little on the long side, so it might be a better choice where you've got a slightly older audience).
Next up, I threw in some cats with Mama Cat Has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming. Of the three kittens, Boris is the stinker. No matter what Mama Cat and his siblings do, Boris naps. The kids love to chime in with "Boris naps" and you can have the kids dig in the dirt, sharper their claws, and wash their paws along with the cats in the book.
For another dog book, I brought out Hunky Dory Ate It by Katie Evans. No matter what foods are made, Hunky Dory is sure to grab some for himself. Spaghetti, tarts, steak... nothing is safe from his voracious appetite! And he pays for it with a stomachache and a trip to the vet at the end of the story. I love the rhymes in this book (especially when one of the kids exclaimed "This is a rhyming book!" It makes me want to cheer when they hear rhymes!) and the story is simple and funny.
And my last cat book was Have You Seen My Cat by Eric Carle. A boy is looking for his cat and he asks various people if they've seen one, but all the cats they suggest (a lion, a panther, etc.) are definitely not his! Kids enjoy identifying the wild cats and roaring along with each one.
In addition to the books read, we also sang BINGO with a felt glove one of my coworkers had made. It has velcro letters so that you can take off the "B", the "I", etc. as the song proceeds. This is great for letter recognition and most kids will know the song and enjoy clapping along.
And, of course, I also did Bark, George! as a felt story. It's one of my favorites and I love the surprise ending.
Great readalouds about cats and dogs abound. Some others you might consider for your storytime are What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems (I can never figure out exactly how to read the Pigeon books aloud, but the kids love them so...), Clifford's Kitten by Norman Bridwell, and Top Cat by Lois Ehlert.