Tag: Miss Mouse

Snowy Saturday Storytime with Miss Amanda

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.

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Don’t Let the Pigeon Use My Sewing Machine

Don’t Let the Pigeon Use My Sewing Machine

We have the Pigeon app on the library’s iPads.  It’s an electronic madlib and I always finish the phrase “Don’t Let the Pigeon”  with “Use My Sewing Machine.”  It’s funny.  At least to me.

Have you noticed how busy that clever, fast talking pigeon has been?  He has his own fabric line.  A lot of children’s book illustrators have fabric made from their illustrations.  Most of it doesn’t appeal to me.  But the Pigeon fabric from Cloud9 Fabrics… pure love.  ♥  As soon as I saw it I knew that we’d have to make a dress for Miss Mouse.

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Underwear Saturday Storytime

Underwear Saturday Storytime

Saturday Storytime September 1, 2012
attendance: 35
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind Underwear…
Miss Mouse was wearing her pink chocolate dress and toting a magnifying glass. She wanted to tell everyone that Miss Mouse Mysteries have started. Find three clues and answer the question for a sticker!  Good times!
fingerplay: Clap, Clap, Your Lap.
Book 1: Bear in Underwear by Todd Doodler
Song:  Started what I thought was “Humpty Dumpty” by the Wiggleworms.  Oops, it was I’m a Little Teapot/2 Little Blackbirds.  Followed up by Humpty Dumpty.
Book 2:  Chicken Cheeks by Ian Michael Black.  Well, this is a fun book. Multi-syllabic synonyms for the business end of animals.  Perhaps my favorite: Duck-billed  platypus Gluteus Maximus.
fingerplay: Roll Roll Sugar Babies
Book 3:  The Underpants Zoo by Brian Sendelbach.  A fun look at the undies zoo animals might wear.
Song 2: Shake My Sillies out, the live version
Flannel: Dress the Pirate.  The dread pirate is in his underwear… let’s dress him!
Story cards: Underwear Do’s and Don’ts by Todd Parr.
Book 3: 
If You’re Happy and You Know it by David Carter

Titles I didn’t use but intended to:

  • Book: Silly Sally by Audrey Wood (big book)
  • Book: Mrs. Wishy Washy (big Book)
Cats and Dogs Storytime

Cats and Dogs Storytime

Saturday Storytime
attendance: 52 a young group
Miss Mouse was wearing her yellow dress, hoodie, and pink boa
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind Nothing. She was not very happy with me and with the Cat storytime.  In fact, she was so unhappy, I had to cover her ears whenever I said the word Cat.  I apologized, she forgave me and everyone gave her a kiss good-bye.
fingerplay: Hickory Dickory Dock
Book 1: Come Back Kittens by Ormerod
Fingerplay: Roll Roll sugar babies. We meowed like kittens, fluttered like butterflies and went supersonic speed!
Song:Silly Dance Contest / Jim Gill  Lots of wiggles today and it seemed like they needed to get moving
Book 2: The Cat Barked  by Lydia Monks
Mother Goose Flannel: Three Little Kittens who lost their mittens!
Prop song: How much is that doggie in the window?  (in which I pile up all my dog puppets on the wall and everyone sings along… arf arf)
Fingerplay: Clap Clap your Lap
Book: Who Says Woof? by John Butler
Song 2:Drivin in My Car by Ralph Covert. Everyone loves this one… even the dads.
Book:  Bark George by Jules Feiffer . Normally I do the prop story for this title, but decided on the book.
Book: If you’re Happy and You know it by David Carter.
Titles I didn’t use but intended to:

  • Flannel: Scat the Cat (sassy and fat).  This group was too young.
Sheep Storytime 1.6.2012

Sheep Storytime 1.6.2012

Miss Mouse looking spiffy as a Lamb

Saturday Storytime
attendance: 30
Miss Mouse was wearing her lamb outfit
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind snowflakes.  Purely wishful thinking on her part.
Flannel Nursery Rhyme #1: Mary Had a Little Lamb
Flannel Board: Mary Had a Lot of Lambs
Book 1: Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox. Afterwards, my Green Sheep came out and said hello.  This is possibly my favorite book. It’s great for rhyming and the repetition is just wonderful for audience participation.
Fingerplay: Clap, Clap Your Lap.
Song: Jack Be Nimble
Book 2: Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
fingerplay:Roll, roll sugar babies. We baa’d like sheeps, used our feet, and went super-sonic fast.
Flannel Nursery Rhyme #2: Baa Baa Black Sheep
Book 3: The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Song 2: Drivin in My Car by Ralph Covert. Everyone loves this one… even the dads.
Flannel Nursery Rhyme #3:Little Bo Peep
Book:If You’re Happy and You know it by David Carter.

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:

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
Animal Sounds 10.16

Animal Sounds 10.16

Perhaps my favorite storytimes revolve around farm animals…

Saturday Storytime
attendance: 20
Miss Mouse was wearing her red and black ruffle dress
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind farm animals.  Not the kitty.  She was behind the rooster.  When she came out she told a joke:
What is a cow’s favorite pie?  Lemon Moo-ringue
fingerplay: Clap. Clap your lap.
Book 1: The Little Rabbit Who Liked to Moo by Jonathan Allen
Song: Jack Be Nimble.  Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, ten times jump the candlestick.
Flannel: Make a Pig.  In which there are many different parts of pig and we try to put it all together.  You want a nose? How about a goose beak? No, elephant’s trunk?  Oh you are so picky.  And up goes the snout.  Great vocabulary builder because the kiddos need to use words to tell me why it’s wrong.
Prop: I had a Rooster and the rooster pleased me.  I methodically purchased puppets for the purpose of doing this song in storytime.  When the crowd is right, the kiddos hold the puppets.  And sometimes, it’s just the storyteller doing all 7 or 8 puppets to avoid tears. Puppets needed: rooster, pig, cow, horse, chicken, dog, lamb, baby. It’s fun and it’s takes a great deal of time up distributing the puppets, putting people in order and then singing the 5 minute song!
Book: Animal Soup: a mixed up animal flap book by Todd H. Doodler
Book: If You’re Happy and You know it by David Carter.
Titles I didn’t use but intended to:

  • Prop: Bark George
  • Springtime!


    Open Preschool Storytime

    March 22, 2010

    Attendance: 44 (grandparents, moms, nannies, dads and kiddos ranging 2 – 5)
    Miss Mouse Hides behind chicks (she was behind the baby blue one)
    Miss Mouse told a joke.  What time is it when you’re on a trampoline?  Spring-time (boing boing boing ) Then we talked about what happens in spring.
    fingerplay Clap. Clap your Lap.
    book 1 The Wind Blew byPat Hutchins (visual clues!)
    song Jack be Nimble — jack be quick. 10 times over the candlestick!
    fingerplay Roll Roll Sugar Babies
    Prop Story Mixing up Spring .  (This is an in-house production.  We take the large black cauldron and hide a rainbow windsock on the bottom. Then hand out various “spring things”: green leaves, flowers, birds, butterflies.  Then we talk about “spring things”.  We have props we add: birds, bunnies, lightning bolts, raindrops, ants. Then have the kids bring up their spring things to throw in the pot.  I mix it up good with a big spoon and we come up with a magic word. Today’s magic word (they’re always different and always good) was “grow” which we chanted five times.  and out popped the rainbow.  Fun.)

    book 2 Chickens to the Rescue by Jon Himmelman. (What a fun book. It’s my new favorite.  We practiced the line “chickens to the rescue” with one arm and finger pointing up! It’s a new favorite!!)
    finger story: Miss Cat and Mr. Dog. It’s an story I learned about 11 years ago and bring out when I need a few minutes.
    My Hand Says thank you

    handout: ellison die tulip