My Storytime Has Been Pimped. Again.

Another version of the storytime plan posted on Monday.  Stay tuned for the final post of this Pimp My Storytime round this weekend. Thanks, everyone, for playing! Don’t forget, if you have a storytime you’d like to see pimped, email us.

Monsters – Family Storytime Plan Revised by Linda Meuse, Notes from the Story Room

Caveat: Every library is different. Each librarian has a storytelling style that she/he is comfortable with. This will influence the selection of books and activities. Availability of material, where the program takes place, size of the audience, age range of children and length of the program will also influence selection. The following is a suggestion and illustrates how I do Family Storytime.

What I would change:

Opening – I would not use  “Open Shut Them.” It is too young for Family Storytime. I would use it with Toddlers. If an opening is desired, I would choose a silly song such as “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.”  It starts loudly and ends softly which is a good transition into the program. Also, a silly song sends the message that we are going to have some fun. An opening song also gives stragglers time to come in. Confession: I don’t have a set opening for Family Storytime.

Books – I would probably not use any of them. Since my library does not own Under the Bed, I cannot comment on that book. No Such Thing is too long. I would lose my younger ones. Although Where the Wild Things Are and There’s a Nightmare in My Closet  are classics, they don’t fit in with my storytelling style for Family Storytime. The illustrations would not read well in the large room I use. (Mayer’s book would probably be problematic in my community now though it wouldn’t have been when it was published in 1968.) To be fair, the selection of monster books has improved since 2007.

Activities – As much as I like “Going on a Monster Hunt,” I would not use it because I am lazy and that is a lot to remember. I do better using props and flannel board pieces to trigger my memory. I am torn about “Horns and Fangs” because I really like this and would probably use it if the audience had lots of two-year-olds. (It is always good to be flexible. With a mixed age group, one should be prepared to make changes as needed while doing the program.)

Closing – I would not do a good-bye song because it is not the end of the program. My Family Storytimes are followed by a craft.

Craft – This is the social time. I try to choose crafts that involve the parents/caregivers and the children. I love seeing the families working together. If you can’t do a craft, a coloring sheet or activity sheet relating to the theme is fine for the children to take home.

Note: I did a Monster Family Storytime in 2012 and posted details about the props I used on my blog. Links to these posts are included. You will see that I have changed some of the books but not the other material.

My philosophy:

Goal – To engage the entire family, adults as well as children

Method – Heavy use of visual material and an emphasis on humor and folktale themes


1. Read/Sing If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberley  The illustrations are bold and colorful. There is a free song to download. The tune is familiar. The book encourages audience participation. Silly monster noises are always fun.

2. Finger puppets – “Five Little Monsters” There are several versions of this rhyme. I made up my own to go with my made up monsters.

3. Read My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck. Although the illustrations are detailed, they are colorful and fit well with the story. It is told in rhyme which will appeal to younger children. Older children will enjoy the role reversal. The grown-ups will like that it is a sweet story about mother and child.

4. Prop story – “Sam and the Acorn” This is a story I wrote using a common folktale theme – be careful what you wish for. It was the hit of my monster program. The adults particularly enjoyed it.

5. Read Monster Munchies by Laura Numeroff I don’t usually use easy readers in storytime but this one is not too long and has bold illustrations.  It also goes with the next story.

6. Poem with Prop – “Monster Lunch” Children enjoy seeing the food go into the monster’s stomach. I have the poem glued to the back of the prop.

7.Paper cutting story – “The Mess Monster” Children love it when you open up the paper to reveal what you have cut out.

8. Game – “Little Monster, Little Monster” This I would keep. However, I would do it at the end of the program so there are no time constraints. We have played numerous versions of find the object/critter and it never gets old. What child doesn’t like trying to outsmart a grown-up?

9. Read Nighty Night, Little Green Monster by Ed Emberley. Although it is a little on the small side, the illustrations are easily seen. It makes a nice ending to the “story” part of the program.

10. Craft – Monster feet and Monster mouth The feet are easy to make and wear. There was a whole lot of stomping going on.


About Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

Posted on November 21, 2013, in Hack My Storytime. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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