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All the world's a stage...

Some books are meant to be read independently and others are perfect for bedtime, but my absolute favorites are those that are meant to not just be read-aloud, but are perfect for performing!
Some of these have been mentioned in other blogs, but I hope a few of them will be new to you, or at least remind you of an old favorite. I especially have to give credit to Adrienne (of What Adrienne Thinks About That) and her readers for giving me some new ideas/inspiration for how to use books differently with kids.

Almost any of Mo Willems' Pigeon books could work, but Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late have been the most sucessful for me. Who doesn't love to yell "No, pigeon!"? Probably someone who I wouldn't like very much.

If you have another staff member handy (or parents who are game--in my case, it was a teen volunteer to torture) and an extra copy of the book, some of the entries in the Elephant and Piggie beginning reader series are wonderful when read aloud. Like the Pigeon books, there is no pesky narration to bog down the story, just pure, delightful dialogue. In library school, I turned My Friend is Sad into a felt board story. This summer I did I Am Invited to a Party for "Getting Dressed" storytime. (Because the books are too small for a crowd, I made sure we had two on hand and divided the crowd into 2 halves of a semi-circle. We had a large crowd this summer-45 people, when 20 is normal, so I had everyone yell "PARTY!" after each time the word was used in the story, so people would listen.)

Another story primed for a two-person performance is Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka. It makes me sad that this book hardly ever gets checked out at my branch, because it is such a great one. I like to read it just because the kids love to see two grown-ups yelling at each other (inside the library! Horrors!). If you have 2 copies handy, then you can do a little bit of acting--start well apart from each other as the two strangers in the book do and come closer to each other as indicated by the book's pacing.

Books I Want to Try This Method With:
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont. I think it would be fun to tell this story with a paintbrush and pretend to paint yourself, or some of the kids in the audience if they seem up for it.

Good Boy, Fergus! by David Shannon


  1. I'm late on this, but oh how fun! I love your idea for Ain't Gonna Paint. We're already using that one in storytime, and I like the idea of painting myself (and the kids). In my 4 and 5 year old storytime, that would be a great prelude to the day we paint at the end of storytime, which I do once a season.


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