Music Storytime

Last week I performed a Music-themed storytime for our "Be Creative @ Your Library" summer reading program.

The first book we read was A Soup Opera by Jim Gill. Having seen Mr. Gill perform this book (I have an autographed copy!!) live, I am not content to merely read the book. That would be too easy. Instead, I have the tracks from the accompanying CD loaded into my iPod and I skip forward or backward as needed. I occasionally use stick puppets instead of holding the book up, as I have the whole thing memorized. (Doing the same storytime 5 days a week will do that to you.) Also, storytime attendees have to help me sing opera-style. This must include "opera arms." I have a little sign with "I Can't Eat the soup!" which I hold up when they are to sing... "I Can't Eat the Soup!" I try to remind people that "if you feel silly, you're doing great!"

Then we sang/read Jane Cabera's version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm and I passed out farm animal finger puppets to kid volunteers who were instructed to wave them crazily in the air when their animal was being discussed.

At my first storytime of the week, we did a version of I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Fellow by Barbara S. Garriel. (This was an idea from the summer reading program manual, where they had all the instruments and the shy fellow and I enlarged the pieces on the copy machine. Then I cut open a paper grocery bag to serve as Mr. Shy Fellow's tummy and the kids got to help him "swallow" the cello, cymbal, fiddle, etc.)

I feel OK about saying that a good time was had by all. I try to make my storytimes almost absurdly interactive, and I got lots of compliments from the parents and day care teachers in the audience. And an "I love you" from a boy I had never met before.