Guest Post Palooza Announcement

guest post final

In March, Flannel Friday will celebrate its fourth anniversary.  To do that, we’re trying something different — we’re inviting people who don’t have blogs to get in on the fun by hosting a Guest Post Party.

Do you have flannel stories from your collection that you’re dying to share, but don’t have a blog? We’ll pair you with a seasoned host who is willing to share his/her little space on the interwebs.  It’s pretty easy.  We’ll help make it that way.

Do you have a storytime blog and think it’d be fun to share your blog for a week?  You can help by being a blog host.   It’s pretty easy.  We’ll help make it that way.

On March 6, 2015, there’s a place for you in celebrating Flannel Friday’s fourth anniversary. Fill out this Google Form and we will contact you.  In the next few weeks, watch out for announcements and blog posts on what it means to be a guest blogger or blog host.


Make Some Noise Saturday Storytime 1.3.15

Saturday Storytime
attendance: 45
Miss Mouse was wearing her very pretty ribbon dress. She was still celebrating the New Year
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind party hats.
fingerplay: Clap, Clap Your Lap
Book 1: The Seals on the Bus by Lonny Hort
I was heckled. Instead of errping like a seal a first grader said over and over, “I’m too old for this. I’m too old for this.” It was true.  She was there because her little sister was there and her father was a sitting farther away not parenting either of them. As I was turning pages, I leaned in and suggested that maybe she should sit next to her dad.  It got better after that. 
Song: Humpty Dumpty by Old Town School of Folk Music, Wiggleworms
Prop story: Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern. Do you know this folk tale? Peter is tired of his house noises, so he consults a wise man who really confuses things.  I use puppets for the animals and instruments for the noise…the tea kettle noise=jingle bells.  Leaves on the roof=shaky eggs. bed creaked = tambourines. floor squeaked = clappers.  In the end it’s a cacophony of sound and everyone gets to participate.
song: Shake Your Sillies Out (Raffi the live version)
fingerplay: Roll Roll Sugar Babies
Book: If you’re happy and you know it by David Carter

Titles I didn’t use but intended to:

  • Flannel:Mona Mouse’s Party Dress
  • Book: Moo by David LaRohelle

All for Pie, Pie for All by David Martin

AllforPieOne of my co-workers created this.  I think she intended it to be temporary. I found it on her desk and asked if I could do it for my Thanksgiving storytime as well. 

The story: Momma Cat makes pie for her family. Everyone gets a piece with one left over.

Momma Mouse finds the pie and splits the remaining piece of pie amongst her brood. Everyone gets a piece.

Momma Ant finds enough crumbs for her family. Everyone gets a piece.  All for Pie, Pie for All, indeed.

The premise is very simple. Miss Diane made a pie (she’s a pastry chef by training, so even her fake pie looks good.) Then she cut the pie up into pieces.  The pie crumbs are taped on.  I read the book and took the pie pieces off as the story dictated.  Note: the book says Momma cat made an apple pie, this one is clearly a cherry pie. 

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Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.  Hope it’s filled with pie.

Make-a-Jedi Flannel

I don’t get a lot of traffic on this blog.  It’s a vehicle to keep track of my storytimes, and I use this blog to share the amazing flannels that come out of the department where I’ve worked since January 1997.  Some of these flannels are mine, most of them aren’t.

This flannel is not mine.  It’s made by Miss Suzanne, a part-time librarian.  Someone on staff was getting ready for Star Wars Read Day (we made it a whole weekend) and wanted to have a flannel board for her storytime.  Suzanne made a “Make a Jedi.”  You’ve probably seen the Make a Pig on this blog.  It’s the number one post on my blog (other than round-ups).  This is the premise: get kids to help you build a thing.  “What comes next?” or “What else does a pig/snowman/gingerbread man/pirate need?”  It works for just about everything, and increases their expressive vocabulary. Also, it’s a hoot.  It’s also a good time waster.  Really, it’s the trifecta of flanneling: works for most things, it’s fun, and a time stretcher.

So, here we have a hero.

jedi 1Our hero needs some clothes:

jedi 2

Okay, wrong kind of hero.  Oh, well.  I have a robe.  Do Jedi heroes wear robes? I seem to remember that…

jedi 3

What? It’s the wrong sort of robe? Jedi’s don’t wear bathrobes.  Well, I have this…

jedi robe

This is good?  Whew!  Okay, what does else does a Jedi need?  Shoes! Yes, How about these shoes? (so, lots of options here….would be fun to do a few. I love the red clogs.)

jedi 5

Okay, we have a Jedi hero with a robe and brown boots.  Now, I think the Jedi needs a side sick.  (here are two options)

jedo 9

(The Ewok ends up in a basket). Okay, now the Jedi needs something… Hmmm, what happens to be missing?  Oh… right.


a Light Sabre!!

Something for the head!  I know… how about this choice? (here are three choices)

No? You’d like some hair?  Oh.  Got it.

jedi 11

Yep! This Jedi is a girl.

(And according to the librarian who did this program, no one questioned it!)

I think this is great and I’m happy to share my co-worker’s hard work. She did a great job, didn’t she?

Halloween Light Saturday Storytime 10.25.14

Saturday Storytime: We have our official Halloween storytimes on Monday and Tuesday.  I gathered material they weren’t using those days and added some other non-Halloween things as well.
attendance: 55
Miss Mouse was wearing her SuperMouse outfit.
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind Well, it was cats, but Miss Mouse doesn’t hide behind cats.  She left a note and was in her basket.
fingerplay:Hickory Dickory Dock
Book 1: Ten Orange Pumpkins by Steven Savage It was very fun tracking the cat!
Fingerplay: Roll Roll Sugar Babies.  We Meow, Meow, Meowed like a cat.
Song: I’m a Little Teapot/Two Little Blackbirds by Wiggleworms
Book: In a Dark Dark Wood an old tale with a new twist by David Carter.
speaking of boo… Fingerplay:   See my big and scary eyes.
Song 2: Knuckles Knees by Jim Gill
Flannel: Kitty Face. This is a homegrown story based on Monkey Face.  Kitty draws a picture of her dad at school. Her pirate, vampire, witch, Wolfman, and Bat friends help her fix it. If you know me, you know I love Monkey Face. This was a great one. And everyone was mesmerized by it.  

Book: What Am I? Halloween by Anne-Margaret Lewis. This was sort of easy, so I read the clues without showing the pictures.
Story Cards: Boo? Boo Who? Homemade.  Ghost shapes, can you guess who the ghost is?  The last card is the ghost of Miss Mouse.
Book: It wouldn’t be Saturday Storytime if we didn’t end with If you’re Happy and You know it by David Carter

Titles I didn’t use but intended to:

Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark: a not-a-Flannel, Flannel Friday

Let me just say that we are under construction this summer.  Our program room is housing A/V materials, our puppet collections are in file drawers…and my 60+ puppet collection is at home. Nothing is as it should be, but this is such a cool prop story, I wanted to share this for Shark Week.  My co-worker Miss DJ made this prop story.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

3 fish big bad shark

Three Little Fish and The Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist is about seven years old, hopefully you can find a copy.  Momma Fish tells her three little fish, Jim, Tim and Kim to make a home of their own in the deep blue sea.


So, Jim made his house of seaweed…Seaweed House








Continue reading Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark: a not-a-Flannel, Flannel Friday

Shark Week Flannel Friday Round-up for 8.15.14

Welcome to Flannel Friday, Shark Week Edition.

FF shark week little


I hope you enjoy this little (and short) video we made at my library: 5 Little Goldfish Swimming in the Sea. The shark pencil holder came from Raymond Geddes and was one of our summer reading prizes and I kept thinking, we need to do something for Shark Week with these things.  We did.  I think the librarian who edited it, did an excellent job, don’t you?

Now for the round-up.

Speaking of new formats… Anne from So Tomorrow is sharing her recent Scratch project The Fish with the Deep Smile.  She’s going old school with two previously shared posts as well.  That Anne, always bringing new technologies into storytime.

Jbrary is sharing a Baby Shark song on their YouTube channel. I decided different formats were okay since this is all about the Shark!

Kathryn from Fun with Friends at Storytime shares Old Man Skipper Went to Sea. The shark reference here is loose, but we’re running with it!
Continue reading Shark Week Flannel Friday Round-up for 8.15.14

National Pig Day Storytime 3.1.2014

Saturday Storytime

A toupee!
A toupee!

It turns out that this was my last story time for a few months. The library where I work is undergoing a renovation starting in April and the program room will be closed, renovated, or used for storage. I’m sort of glad I didn’t know it was my last storytime….I think I might have gotten emotional about it.  What makes it so serendipitous is that March 1 is National Pig Day and piggy storytimes are my favorite storytimes.  When I first started working here, I had a lot to learn.  My co-worker at the time really knew her storytime stuff and I modeled my programs after hers.  Piggy storytimes became my go to, when I needed to pull something together. Continue reading National Pig Day Storytime 3.1.2014

Weeding the Storytime Collection: an unconventional Flannel Friday

Our library is undergoing a renovation this year. It means collections are moving; new carpeting; new services. Sigh. It also means that we have to move stuff. Eventually, hopefully, everything in the library will be moved. And not for the sake of moving, but because we’re getting new carpeting (yay!) and suspending things in the air just hasn’t proven cost effective.

Also, visual clutter is a problem. If you’re a children’s librarian, you probably know visual clutter. Visual pollution comes to mind. And, if you’re a children’s librarian, you don’t even see your visual pollution. It’s just Daily Work and an essential part of our job. These materials are the tools of our trade. If the service we provide (storytime) is valued, then we need our stuff. It doesn’t always make sense to use a flannel once and throw it away. The whole notion is a) silly and b) wasteful.  It’s a waste of staff time and taxpayer money. So we keep it.

In our perfect world, we’d have doors on our story collection. But, it’s impractical. Opening and closing doors to closets is just a waste of time. We chose open shelves because it’s easier. and really, worrying about how it looks is just vanity.

However. This collection just keeps growing. Every once in a while, we’ll weed some books from our shelves. A few years ago, we weeded the the flannel boards. We reworked some too. But still, the files were crammed.

Enter, today’s staff meeting. Continue reading Weeding the Storytime Collection: an unconventional Flannel Friday

Snowy Saturday Storytime with Miss Amanda

Saturday Storytime 12.21.2013

For seven years I worked with a very talented young woman, Miss Amanda.  She’s amazing at storytime. Amanda got married and had a baby.  And chose to be a working mom. Until she didn’t and resigned from the library to be a stay at home mom.  Not one to waste her talent, she applied for a part time job at the Naperville Public Library, where they very wisely snapped her up.  She does storytime there.  Her kids are older now and her daughter asked her why she doesn’t do storytimes at their home library (the one I work at). She emailed me and asked if we would arrange for her to do a Saturday storytime. I, very wisely, said, “hey, let’s do one together!!”  I like to learn from the masters.

This is our storytime.  It was fun.  The process of putting it together was fun.  Watching how she’s grown in her craft was fun.  Doing it with her was fun. I don’t think we’ve lost our rhythm.
attendance: 44
Miss Mouse was wearing the Pigeon dress. Continue reading Snowy Saturday Storytime with Miss Amanda