A few months ago, I posted What to Read at Baby Storytime, a list of great books to share with babies and toddlers along with ways to make the books interactive to keep the attention of your youngest storytime patrons. Well, I'm back with another list of books that have been a hit with the tykes at our Mother Goose on the Loose sessions!
Mommy, Carry Me Please by Jane Cabrera (Holiday House, 2006). The bright pictures in this book depict various animal mommies carrying their babies in different ways. We don't just have mommies at my baby storytimes, so I change the text, using "daddy", "grandma", "grandpa", "auntie", "uncle", etc. And as we read each line, I ask parents to touch the body part that corresponds (back, teeth, tummy, etc.). Learning body parts helps young ones learn vocabulary.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Puffin, 1969). When I read this at my baby storytime, I found that it was already well known to my audience. I shortened it by not reading it word for word, but just telling the story as I flipped through the pages. If you've got the Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet or plush toy, take it around the circle after you read this book and greet each child with a caterpillar hello!
Do Your Ears Hang Low? by Caroline Jayne Church (Chicken House, 2002). Here's a book that you can sing. Ask parents to do motions to go along with the words, for instance wobbling, tying a knot, throwing something over your shoulder.
Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming (Henry Holt, 1997). Teaching animal noises to young kids is a great way to promote phonological awareness - the knowledge that words are made up of smaller sounds. Ask parents to join in on the animal noises in this book and you'll be surprised at how quickly the kids start chiming in, too!
Tip Tip, Dig Dig by Emma Garcia (Boxer Books, 2007). The kids at our baby storytimes love vehicles and Tip Tip, Dig Dig showcases lots of different construction equipment. With bright, clear pictures and repetitive text, the book is a perfect readaloud. Each of the vehicles is paired with a motion, so it's super easy to encourage participation from your audience. Along with the machines, we tip, dig, roll, lift, push, and more.
Peekaboo Morning by Rachel Isadora (Putnam Juvenile, 2002). Very simple text describes a child playing peekaboo and spotting things that many children see around their houses - mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa, etc. It lends itself perfectly to playing peekaboo with the little guys, a game that most of your audience will already know. Read the whole thing or shorten it if your crowd is restless or you're short on time.
Row Your Boat by Anthony Lishak (DK Children's, 1999). Books that can be sung are always a great bet, especially books that feature nursery rhymes. I ask parents to sing along and do the motions to go with the text as we row our boats, drive our cars, fly our planes, etc. This book also features pop-ups and tabs, which make the story a little more interactive.
Here a Chick, Where a Chick? by Suse MacDonald (Cartwheel, 2004). Here's another book to incorporate animal noises into your baby storytime. As you look for the chicks, lift the flaps to reveal many different farm animals. Again, ask parents to join you in making the animal noises.
Need more ideas for baby storytime? Check out Mel's Desk - she has posted lots of her baby storytimes (and she makes really cute props and felts to go with them!).