Category: puppets

Kangaroos Saturday Storytime 2.18.2012

Kangaroos Saturday Storytime 2.18.2012

Saturday Storytime
attendance:  54 there were all sorts of ages from babies to toddlers with lots of preschoolers.  There were far more dads than moms today.  I’d say about 75% of the parental units were dads.  I like that about Saturday story times.

Miss Mouse Hides Inside of Pockets

Miss Mouse was wearing her red and black dress.  She showed us the large ♥ box of chocolates. Empty.
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind in pockets.  This was cute! I’d never used them before and all the elements inside the pockets (save Miss Mouse) were items that start with the letter P: pickles, pjs, popcorn, etc.  Who puts a pickle in a pocket?  Pickle, pigs, pjs and popcorn all start with P!!  Oh, and pizza too!
fingerplay: Clap. Clap your lap.
Book 1: Pouch by David Ezra Stein.  I like this story. I had to fill in a few words to make it work as a read-aloud, but a great book. We hopped along in our seat every time Pouch hopped.
Fingerplay: Roll, Roll, Sugar Babies
Prop Story: Joey by Jack Kent.  This is a lap story that a friend made for me years ago.  Joey’s mom’s pouch expands as his friends show up.  It’s great.
Song: Jack Be Nimble.  Jumping seemed the only thing to do for this story time.  (I still don’t have a source for this song…)
Prop Story 2:  McGillycuddy Could by Pamela Duncan Edwards  McGillycuddy visits the farm and learns his talents for running, jumping, hopping, and boxing aren’t as grand as laying eggs, growing wool, making milk… or is it?  I have all the puppets for this, so I turned it into a prop story.  (Isn’t it funny how I turn every story time into a farm animal extravaganza?)
Fingerplay: Hickory Dickory Dock
Flannel Story: Katy No Pocket by Emmy Payne
Fingerplay: Fee Fie Fo Fum
Book: Boing by Nick Bruel.  This one doesn’t have a lot of words so I did some explaining.  Cute.  If my audience were filled with lots of young kids it wouldn’t have worked…
Finger story: Miss Cat and Mr. Dog
Book: If you’re Happy and You know it by David Carter.

This was such a fun story time.  It was different and filled with things we hadn’t done in a long time!  

Owl Story Time 9.29.11

Owl Story Time 9.29.11

Pajama  Storytime

attendance:  15
Miss Mouse was wearing her jammies.  She’s was a little put off that we woke her up — but acknowledged that she knew about Pajama story time.  She wasn’t too happy we were doing a story time about owls.
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind the green leaf

It's a pretty book

fingerplay: The Owl (I found this online…)

There’s a wide eyed owl (thumbs and forefingers around eyes)
With a pointed nose (forefinger makes a v at end of nose)
Two pointed ears (forefingers extended up from head)
and claws for toes (Fingers and arms bent in front of chest)
when he sits up in the tree (point to tree)
and he looks at you (point at a child in the group)
he flaps his wings (fold arms into arm pits and flap)
And he says “whooo Whooo”.

Book 1: Cock-a-Doodle Hooooooo by Mick Manning (make sure you get all 7 o’s or Worldcat will never find it.)
Fingerplay: Roll Roll Sugar Babies
Book:  Wow! Said the Owl by Tom Hopgood
Song:I know a Chicken by Laurie Berkner
Prop Story 1:  Owl Babies by Martin Waddell  (I have three baby owl puppets, purchased for this very reason.)
Fingerplay: Clap . Clap Your Lap.
Prop Story 2:  I’m Not Cute by Jonathan Allen  (rabbit, fox, and squirrel owl joined mamma owl and baby owl)
Book 3:  Knock Knock Who’s There by Tad Hill (get it, Whooooo’s There?)
Book 4: Who’s in the Forest by Phillis Greshator. This is a beautiful board book. Fun too.

Bath Time and Rubber Duckies 9.19.11

Bath Time and Rubber Duckies 9.19.11

Open  Storytime
attendance: 69
Miss Mouse was wearing her bathrobe and towel wrap. (She was adorable.)  We interrupted her bath preparations.  She showed us her three rubber duckies: one small, one medium, and one large.
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind bath toys.  She was behind the scrub brush.  Instead of chanting to Miss Mouse to come out, come out, come out,  we yelled, “rub-a-dub-dub, Miss Mouse is in the tub.”
My Hand Waves Hello.  Also ears, lips, feet, hair and cheeks.
fingerplay:  Clap.  Clap your Lap.
Book 1: Bubble Bath Pirates by Jarrett Kroszocza. It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day so this seemed appropriate.
fingerplay: Roll Roll Sugar Babies.  I think there were some people who didn’t know this.  That’s good.
Book 2: Catch That Baby! by Nancy Coffelt.  Nudy Rudy!  It’s very fun.
Song: Planned: Everybody Wash, but I couldn’t find it. Instead I did Drivin in My Car.  It’s easy… a crowd pleaser, no one has to stand up but the wiggles get out!
Prop Song: Rubber Duckie with Ernie. We have an Ernie puppet, rubber duckie puppet, and props for the story.  Everyone sings along.
Prop Story: Walter the Washing Machine.  I think this book was a pop-up type book… called Wanda’s Washing Machine.  Someone turned it into a prop story. It’s fun telling Walter the Washing Machine to “eat dirt, Walter.”  He does a great job.  It would have been better if all the props were there, I was missing a clean shirt so I had to skip it which confused me and flow of the story.  The story was complete when I practiced it Friday, so i must have dropped it somewhere. Frustrating.
Fingerplay 3:  Hickory Dickory Dock.
Flannel:  Counting Duckies (soon to be on Flannel Friday)
and then suddenly it was a half hour and time to go.
My Hand Says Thank You…
Handout: Accucut Rubber Duckie

Titles I didn’t use but intended to:

Barnyard Dance

Barnyard Dance

Saturday Storytime
attendance: 47
Miss Mouse was wearing a pretty yellow dress and told a joke:

Knock Knock
who’s there?
Cargo who?
Car go beep beep beep.

fingerplay: Clap. clap your lap.
Book 1:Chickens to the Rescue. by John Himmelman. We practiced saying “Chickens to the rescue”. It was too much for one boy who cried at the noise, so we toned it down.It’s such a funny book.
Prop Story:Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern. An oldie but a goodie. I like audience participation, so I’ve worked the story to include instruments:

  • The bed creaked? tambourines
  • The floor squeaked? clappers
  • The leaves falling on the roof? rattles
  • Tea kettle whislting? jingle bells

After the instruments have been passed out, we practice a bit. Usually it’s a cacophony of sound, which is okay, the point is these things are noisy. I tell the story, using puppets as the animals the wise man counsels Peter into getting. I love this story.
Song:Drivin’ in my Car by Ralph’s World
Book 2: Big Yellow Sunflower by Frances Barry. I like throwing in a book that has nothing to do with the week’s theme… it mixes it up. Have you seen this title? When the pages unfurl, the mystery of that little seed is revealed.
Story Card and Song:: Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton. We photocopied the book to make it large enough for crowds to see. It’s one of my favorite Boynton books; I love the cadence. We somehow have the music to this as well. And we tried it out. Too hard to do in preschool storytime. I’d almost like to do it with grade school kids.
Book 3: Pigs to the Rescue by John Himmelman. So Chickens to the Rescue ends with the pigs running in to help the Greenstalk family. We had time, so I read this one… but those piggies are not nearly as helpful as the chickens. I like the chicken book better and will not be doing both books in one storytime. It’s too much.
Fingerplay 2: Roll roll sugar babies.
Book 4: If You’re Happy and You know it by David Carter.

Lunch by Denise Fleming

Lunch by Denise Fleming

Is it farmer’s market time in your area? Illinois corn is just coming in. We’re having our first ears of the summer tonight. And beets. I love this time of year for the fresh produce. Thinking about this made me think of Lunch by Denise Fleming. It’s such a simple, wonderful book which makes for a great flannel. The text of the book is simple and easy as well.

For this flannel, we use a Mouse finger puppet. His lunch starts with a turnip.

First he ate through a turnip. Munch-a munch-a munch-a

You might ask yourself, “what up with the slit in the turnip?” As Mousie eats the turnip, it slips onto the storyteller’s arm.

(You can see in this photo the file envelope we use to hold our flannel boards. It was a big project for our summer volunteers about 10 years ago… they transfered our flannel board files into these folders. It’s a great fit for us. )

Look at all those glorious veggies. It's like a farmer's market in here...

By the time Mouse has finally eaten his way through the watermelon (“um, excuse me while we crunch through the seeds”), he’s tired. Yawn, Mousie decides to take a nap until… dinnertime!!! Here are the veggies on my arm (it wasn’t easy taking a picture of my arm with my other hand… but here goes…)

Yawn, someone ate too much and is getting sleepy....

Anne shared her version of Lunch on her blog.

Introducing … Miss Mouse

Introducing … Miss Mouse

Miss Mouse, Miss Mouse
Come Out, Come Out, Come Out!

The original Miss Mouse from circa 1980ish

That cheer is heard weekly at the library where I work. Miss Mouse (MM), our story time mascot, has been attending story time for more than 25 years. (When I started they said more than 20 years — and that was in 1997. Like any girl, Miss Mouse doesn’t reveal her true age.) Actually, that isn’t true, Miss Mouse has her own written biography: she is five years old, silly,and a little bit shy. She lives in a wicker basket with her friend Whiskers and loves cheese: cheese crackers, cheese cake, cheese balls. And… she has a better wardrobe than I do.

Let’s get back to that cheer. Miss Mouse attends every preschool story time in our library (and lately even they play Where is Miss Mouse Hiding? in the Early Walker story time).

Each story time is opened by a visit with Miss Mouse. After our opening song, Miss Mouse comes out and tells a joke or somehow introduces our loosely based themes. Unfortunately, almost every story time, Miss Mouse isn’t in her basket. Rather, she is hiding behind some felt pieces (flowers, farm animals, whatever relates to the stories for that week). Before we look for her, I review the elements on the flannel board (we limit it to 8 pieces)… Then I ask for advice on where we should look, hoping they do not get the right guess the first time. It helps if everyone is yelling a different answer… as the story teller, pick the one you like. We say the cheer quoted above, then I’ll ask, “Miss Mouse, are you hiding behind the _____?” She isn’t. From this point on, I give them choices avoiding the one item she is hiding behind (would you like the green flower or the blue flower?). Depending on the crowd, I might check two items at once.

Once the flannel Miss Mouse is found, it’s time to take her out of her basket. With her back to the audience, I adjust her outfit and ask everyone count to three. We all say, “Hello Miss Mouse.” She turns around does her “thing” and then it’s time for her to go. She blows lots of kisses and goes back to her basket. (For more on what Miss Mouse might do during her time with us, see my specific story time posts plans throughout this blog. You can search story time plans as a category.)

There are days when I think I know what Miss Mouse is going to say. I plan it out, especially if she is telling a joke. Then there are days when I have no idea and just sort of wing it. Miss Mouse never actually speaks to the audience, she is entirely too shy for that… instead she speaks to the story teller’s ear and we relay it. Also, another Miss Mouse rule: she must always, always, always be fully clothed. If she has a robe or raincoat on: something has to be on underneath it. Something happened once years ago, we never speak of it, but she must be fully clothed. (I think she was just out of the bath and in a robe and a child pointed out Miss Mouse was naked — the details are foggy.) Occasionally, someone a little older and new to Miss Mouse will say, “she’s a puppet.” We cover Miss Mouse’s ears and whisper, “shh, she doesn’t know that.”

One more thing, the children of our community have grown up thinking that famous nursery rhyme is said:

Hickory Dickory Dock, Miss Mouse ran up the clock
the clock struck one, Miss Mouse ran down
Hickory Dickory Dock

Initially, I was very intimidated by the Mouse. It felt like a lot of responsibility, but I’m happy to say she has always been very easy to work with. We train each story teller with the in’s and out’s of MM. Training includes reading her biography, knowing the rules (never, ever let a child open her basket), and practicing on Miss Mouse’s friends (several puppets were made there is Pink Bunny, Raspberry Mouse (she isn’t blue, she’s Raspberry), and others).


This is my favorite picture of Miss Mouse.
Here are the elements for Miss Mouse (MM) Hides Behind Cats
Where the cheese is... Miss Mouse can't be too far behind (and... when we find MM before the cheese, I'll have everyone sing "The cheese stands alone, the cheese stands alone, hi ho a derry-o the cheese stands alone" until it's found.


Here is the flannel Miss Mouse hiding behind flowers. Someone who used to work at this library used MM at her new library... this was so popular, they turned her into an online game. We aren't letting it go to her head.
This is a list of all the MM Hides Behind flannels we currently have. A few are more than 14 years old.
Miss Mouse welcomes preschoolers through their very own Mouse Hole.
Preschoolers and their caregivers are welcomed to the Mouse House our own little shrine to The Mouse.
Super Mouse: Able to detect cheese a mile away!

(all pictures of Miss Mouse are © Downers Grove Public Library. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.)

Project Fashion Mouse
In 2008, with the purchase of my sewing machine, I thought it was time for some new clothes for Miss Mouse. This would help me learn to sew (!!!) while getting some new clothes for MM. She is pretty small (the width of your hand) and does not fit most doll clothes. We’ve made our own in the past, but the person who used to do that retired in 2005. Luckily, a co-worker knows how to look at a dress and create a pattern from it. After several attempts, I successfully made her a dress. We thought about it and decided it would be fun to create a contest to get more clothes for Miss Mouse.
Project Fashion Mouse was born.
We invited patrons of all ages and skill levels to pick up a pattern and create an outfit (accessories welcome) for Miss Mouse. At the end of the six weeks, we put together a Look Book where patrons could vote for their favorite designs. We had three winners: patron winner, staff winner (we opened it up to our talented staff members), and librarian’s choice (our favorite outfit). The winners all received a gift certificate to the local quilt shop (more fabric). It was a wonderful success, and we have about 20 new outfits!
Project Fashion Mouse



Open Preschool Storytime
attendance: 51
handout: ice cream cone ellison die

My Hand Waves Hello.


Miss Mouse: was hiding presents.  There were other things hiding as well: cake, teddy bear, scooter

Miss Mouse was wearing her ribbon dress (it’s very fancy) . She had a party hat on, got out her big folkmanis birthday cake and wished me a happy birthday. I told her it wasn’t my birthday — that is later in year  — but she didn’t believe me.

As she was going back to her basket, Miss Mouse presented me with a big blue box and told me she bought me a diamond pin. I couldn’t believe it. I told her it wasn’t my birthday but she insisted I open it up once she was back inside her home.

So I did. I showed everyone by beautiful diamond pin inside this h-u-g-e blue box.  They laughed.  How could that  be?  Well… there were more boxes inside the box.  Until I came to a teeny tiny yellow box.  That one I kept to myself and would you believe inside was a dime and a pin.  That Miss Mouse looovvvves to play pranks!

Finger play1: Hickory Dickory Dock
Book 1: Piggies in the Kitchen by Michelle Meadow. I’d done this book last Saturday story time and added it to the list.
Song1: Drivin’ in My Car. A hit, every single solitary time.
Book 2: I am invited to a party by Mo Willems.  We yelled, “party, party!” a lot.
Magic Envelope: Birthday Cake. We loaded up the envelope with lots of cake supplies. Someone came up with the magic words: the nursery rhyme, Pat-a-cake.  And viola, a cake.
Flannel Board activity: 5 Birthday Candles (We have a flannel birthday cake and five flannel candles)


5 Birthday candles;
Wish there were more.
Blow out one                                   (hold up finger like a candle and quickly, blow out the flame)
Then there are four.

4 Birthday candles;
Pretty as can be.
Blow out one                                   (hold up finger like a candle and quickly, blow out the flame)
Then there are three.

3 Birthday candles;
Mother bought themnew.
Blow out one                                   (hold up finger like a candle and quickly, blow out the flame)
Then there are two.

2 Birthday candles;
Birthday cakes are fun.
Blow out one                                   (hold up finger like a candle and quickly, blow out the flame)
Then there is one.

1 Birthday candle;
A birthday wish is fun.                (pause and make a wish)
Blow out one                                   (hold up finger like a candle and quickly, blow out the flame)
Then there is none.

Carlson, Bernice Wells.  Listen and Help Tell the Story.  Abingdon Press, 1965.
Flannel Activity: Clifford’s Birthday Hair.  I’m sure this is from something, but I don’t know what.  The Clifford puppet comes out.  I brush his hair and tell him I thought I’d get him ready for a party.  Did he want something special?  Then out come flannel pieces of pictures of possible hair cuts:  the poodle, the sheepdog, the workout dog, afghan hound, etc.  Until we decide that Clifford as he normally is, is Clifford at his best.
Good bye song: My Hand Says Thank You.

Titles I didn’t use but intended to:

Goats 2.5.11

Goats 2.5.11

I really like the new Jan Thomas/Mem Fox collaboration,  so decided to see if I could do a whole Goat storytime.

Saturday Storytime
attendance: 28
Miss Mouse was wearing her pink  chocolate dress with pink sweater.
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind snowflakes.  She was behind the purple diamond snowflake.  When she came out she told us what she did during the blizzard: she got out her library card and checked out books.  She checked out 9 books — we know because we counted them all.
fingerplay: Clap. Clap your lap.
Book 1: Snow! Snow! Snow! by Lee Harper
Fingerplay: Roll Roll Sugar Babies
Prop Song: Three Billy Goats Gruff by Greg and Steve. This is very fun… we have a set of puppets specifically for this. It’s long but it’s good. “I’m a comin’ to gobble you up.  Yum. Yum.”
Song: Jack Be Nimble.  Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, ten times jump the candlestick.
Book 2: Let’s Count Goats by Mem Fox and Jan Thomas
Song 2: Drivin in My Car by Ralph Covert. Everyone loves this one… even the dads.
Book: If You’re Happy and You know it by David Carter.
Titles I didn’t use but intended to:

  • Book: G is for Goat by Patricia Polacco.  Normally I wouldn’t use an alphabet book in storytime: I think they’re too long and often don’t tell stories.  This one was cute.
  • Book: That’s What Friends Are For by Valeri Gorbachev. Piggie invites Goat to dinner. When Goat sees Piggie crying, he imagines all sorts of problems and solutions.
  • Fairy Tale Fun 11.29.10

    Fairy Tale Fun 11.29.10

    Open Storytime
    Hand Out: Ellison crown
    Miss Mouse: was hiding behind Fairy Tale Characters.  A gingerbread house, a fairy godmother, the frog prince etc…  she was behind Goldilocks sleeping on a bed.
    Miss Mouse told a joke: Knock Knock, who’s there? Tank.  Tank who? Your Welcome….
    fingerplay: Clap. Clap your lap.
    Boo1: The Frog Princess? by Pamela Mann  If you don’t know this title, it’s a librarian lover’s book.  Too old for this group?  Probably…..
    Song: The List of Dances by Jim Gill. He made a list of dances in this song so we wouldn’t get them wrong…
    Prop Song Puppet Show: Three Billy Goats Gruff by Greg and Steve.  The tale of the three Billy Goats Gruff in Song… with puppets.  It was very fun! (and it is five minutes long…
    fingerplay 3:   Roll Roll Sugar Babies
    Magic Envelope: Make a princess.  In the 13 years and 13 months I’ve worked here, I’ve always been to chicken to do a magic envelope. Today I did… and successfully.  We put all the ingredients of a princess into the envelope said some magic words and viola a princess.
    Book 2: Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein. A Great book.  Too long, wrong time of story time to read it, and the crowd wasn’t with me.
    Goodbye song: My hand says thank you.

    Things I didn’t have time for:

    • Book: Each Peach Pear Plum:  would have been a better choice
    • Book: Ivan the Terrier: similar story to Interrupting Chicken, less text.
    • Prop: The Three Little Pigs.  With 74 in storytime, it would have been better to spend the time and do another puppet show.  They could have huffed and puffed with me.
    Thanksgiving Story Time 11.22.10

    Thanksgiving Story Time 11.22.10

    Open Storytime
    Hand Out: Ellison turkey
    Miss Mouse: was hiding behind a Thanksgiving fest.  There were pilgrim girls and boys and a Wampanoug boy and a feast.  She was behind the the cranberries, the little tart.Miss Mouse was wearing her Louis XV dress.  It is something to behold.
    fingerplay: Clap. Clap your lap.
    Story: Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes.  It’s the sweetest story and a wonderful way to introduce the concept of being thankful.
    finger play 2: Roll Roll Sugarbabies
    Book: The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz.  The natives were restless until I got to the punch line: Oh my gosh, I’m a squash!
    Song 1: The Turkey Hop by Carole Peterson
    fingerplay 3:   Hickory Dickory Dock
    Prop Story: I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Allison Jackson.  We have a girl puppet and we attach a clear bag to her front.  As she eats her prop pie, drinks her cider, etc. the props fall into the clear bag so everyone can see it.  The thought of “perhaps she’ll die” is a little scary.  So I whisper it while holding her ears and then said, “I hope not”.
    Song 2: Drivin’ in My Car by Ralph Covert.  I used to drive to my brother’s house in Minnesota so I thought it would be fun to include this song for Thanksgiving.  This song is really, really good!  Even the non-music lovers join in!
    Book 2: The Day After Thanksgiving by Mavis Smith. It’s a lift the flap book.  An alternative title could be: Too Much Turkey!
    Book 3: If you’re Happy and You know it by David Carter.  Instead of happy  we sang Thankful.  I really love this book and wish it would be re-released.
    Goodbye song: My hand says thank you.

    Things I didn’t have time for:

    • Flannel:  Sam’s Sandwich by David Pelham
    • Book: Snappy Little Thanksgiving
    • Book: Mouse Mess by Linnea Asplind Riley