Copy of Vehicles by Xavier Deneux

Our next book is called Vehicles by Xavier Deneux. It is part of the touch-think-learn series which is great for many ages from babies to preschoolers. That’s because it has touch-feel which is great for babies and toddlers. It also gives words to think about for each topic which is good for all ages. The kinds of words they use can build vocabulary for preschoolers too.

[Show train page.] Here is the page for train. You can see the railroad track is curvy. It look like a backwards S. And on the opposite page the train and all the cars are in a curvy S shape. As we look at the picture we can talk about some of the words noted here, like locomotive, tracks, caboose, passenger car, curve, windows, roof, chugging, and rolling. And we can add our own words too, like the sound the train makes or who works on the train.

Early Literacy Tip—Example—Letter Knowledge: When we point out letters and let children trace letters, we help them recognize letters which will later help them read.


Vehicles by Xavier Deneux

Our next book is called Vehicles by Xavier Deneux. It is part of the touch-think-learn series which is great for many ages from babies to preschoolers. That’s because it has touch-feel which is great for babies and toddlers. It also gives words to think about for each topic which is good for all ages. The kinds of words they use can build vocabulary for preschoolers too.


[Show page with cars.] Here is a page with lots of cars. As we look at the picture we can talk about some of the words noted here, like traffic light, gas pump, and exhaust pipe. And we can add our own words too, like the pump hose, the colors, the bridge.


Early Literacy Tip—Example—Vocabulary and Background Knowledge—Content Knowledge: No matter our children’s ages, we can add some new words and information to what is in the book to build their vocabulary, the words they know, and information about the world around them. Both these activities will later help them understand what they read.

Who Lives Where? by Stephanie Babin


Our next book has sliding pictures so that we can guess. It’s like a book of riddles. Let’s see if you can help me find out the answer to some of the riddles.

Let’s look at the page that says In the Garden. Here is a picture of a bee. What sound does a bee make? [They respond.] Buzz buzz. Great! and where does a bee live? [They respond.] Yes! in a bee hive. [Slide the tab to show the bee hive.]

[As you talk about each animal, add some information about where they live.]

Early Literacy Tip—Example Tip—Background Knowledge—Content Knowledge: When we talk with children about factual information, adding to what they already know, we build their background knowledge about the world. The more they understand about the world around them, the easier it will be for them to later understand what they read.


Early Literacy Tip—Example Tip—Print Motivation: When we involve children in a book by asking them to share what they know, they will enjoy the booksharing experience. This helps them be interested in books and later learning to read.

Opposite Surprise by Agnese Baruzzi


[Opposite Surprise is a fold-out board book that can be used on different levels with mixed age groups. Some of the concepts are simple, like small or big which shows a small car and a large truck. Others are more complicated like thin and wide showing a pencil and a bridge, and one rather puzzling hot and cold showing the sun and two plugs. School age children could even make their own fold-out pages of opposites.]

Introduction: Our next book is a book about opposites. Can anyone tell me something that is opposite? [See if they give examples.] Let's look at this fun book of opposites. [Choose a few pages or read the whole book, talking about the pictures and the words that are opposite, letting older children guess what might the picture might be before opening the fold-out page.]
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Background Knowledge--Conceptual Thinking: Adults, we might often use words that are opposite like big and small or up and down. However, also pointing out that these ARE opposites helps children learn the concept of opposite which builds their understanding about the world around them, and also their comprehension when they later read these words.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Vocabulary: Adults, when we use the word opposite with words that are opposites, we are helping to build children's vocabulary which will later help them understand what they read.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, you certainly don't need a book about opposites to talk about opposites. As you are playing with your children, even lifting them up and down, feeling tired or rested/refreshed, or in the bathtub--float and sink--there are many opportunities throughout the day to talk about opposites which helps your children understand their world.


Clip, Clop by Catherine Hnatov


Introduction: Our next book is about the movements animals make and what it sounds like when they move. The book is Clip, Clop by Catherine Hnatov. What is this animal on the cover? That's right, a horse. When he trots about, his hooves on the ground sound like this--clip, clop, clip, clop. Let me hear you say clip, clop. Very good! [They can tap their thighs if they like.]

Read the book. [Pause to talk about the words for the movements and making the sounds together.]

Early Literacy Aside--Example: This book is full of interesting words that we might not use in regular conversation with our babies and toddlers. Sharing this book with our children offers us the opportunity to build their vocabulary as they hear new words and their listening skills as they become aware of words that sound like the sounds themselves. When we expose our children to new words, even if they don't understand all the words right now, we build their vocabulary which makes it easier for them to understand words later and to understand what they will read.
When we point out sounds, we help them become more aware of the sounds around them. This awareness can also help them later hear smaller sounds in words which will help them later sound out words when they learn to read.
[You may do either or both of these aspects of the book--vocabulary (words) or sounds (phonological awareness).]

Math Handout for Parents/Caregivers


Here is a sample handout on math concepts for parents/caregivers.
It is available in Word so you can edit it. However, sometimes the text and graphics get scrambled in Word, so there is a pdf version here as well.
The idea is that you can copy them back-to-back and then cut in half, so you get two handouts per sheet. One side is the general information on math concepts. The other side (half the sheet) you would edit to reflect whatever concept and activities you are doing in a particular storytime and an idea to keep it going after storytime is over.

Here is also a general handout of science and math concepts.  Word    PDF

Tractor by DK Publishing (Board book)

Introduction: Our next book is a board book that is cleverly cut in the shape of a tractor. We won't read the whole book, but this is a good introduction to a tractor, its different parts, and what it does. Let's look at the cover. What do you see? (lights, tires) What does a tractor do? . . . Good ideas! Let's find out more. [Choose a page or two to share.]


Early Literacy Aside--Example:  Adults, when we talk with our children, even our young children, about factual information, we help them learn about the world. This introduces them to the background knowledge they will need to later understand what they read. Even if they do not understand everything we say, it is still important to share the information with them.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, you do not need a book to share factual information with your children. As you are doing things together or going places together, share information you know about any topic of interest. You are building your child's background knowledge about the world which helps with comprehension. And! they are so very curious about the world.

Zoom, Zoom, Baby by Karen Katz


Introduction: Our next book is Zoom, Zoom, Baby by Karen Katz. In this book there are many environmental sounds, sounds we hear around us. We can say these sounds together. Let's practice first (children and adults say each sound together, adding repetitions till they are comfortable with saying the sounds--the boat goes putt-putt; the bus goes beep! beep, the plane goes whoosh-whoosh, the train goes choo-choo; the truck goes rumble-rumble; and the car goes zoom-zoom.
OK! let's read this book all together.

Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, drawing your children's attention to the sounds in the environment helps them become aware of sounds. This is a very beginning step to having them later hear the smaller sounds in words which will later help them sound out words when they learn to read. (That skill is called phonological awareness.)

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, remember the book Zoom, Zoom, Baby by Karen Katz, which I read earlier? You can talk about the sounds you hear at home and as you go about your errands, even without a book. Helping your children become more aware of sounds will help them later hear those smaller sounds in words which will help them sound out words as they learn to read. Yes! It does start early.

My House by Byron Barton

Introduction: Our next book is a very brightly colored one with clear pictures, which makes it easier for babies to focus on the pictures. It's called My House by Byron Barton. As I read this book, I will also point out and name some of the shapes in the pictures.


Read the book. [Talk about shapes on a page or two. For example on the page "This is the inside of my house,"] Look at Jim the cat's eyes. What shape are they? Yes, circles. And here you can see the colors of the rug. Each color is an oval. It is curved like a circle, but is longer.

Early Literacy Aside--Example (after reading book): When we talk about shapes with children we help them recognize shapes. Researchers have noted that children recognize letters by their shapes, so learning shapes is a first step to letter knowledge, which they need to decode words when they learn to read.

Early Learning Aside for Math: When we talk about shapes with children, we are helping them develop their geometry skills which is one of the math concepts needed to do well in math.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, you can talk about shapes all around you throughout the day, even without a book. Many children love to notice shapes and point them out to you. Isn't it great knowing that such a fun activity is also helping them to later recognize their letters!

Look at You! by Star Bright Books (book with a mirror)

Early Literacy Aside--Explain: Today I'll be pointing out we can share feelings while using books and songs. It is important to use many different words for feelings. This not only helps your child learn new words and builds their vocabulary, but it also helps them manage their feelings. The first step to managing feelings is to able to identify feelings.


Book: Read Look at You!  Talk about the expressions on the faces of the children in the photos. For some, you may ask them to make the faces of those feelings. Older children will be able to remember a time they felt that way.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: As we shared this book, some of the children shared when they have felt upset or surprised, which helps them understand these feeling words and their own feelings more deeply. Using specific words for feelings helps develop your children's vocabulary.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: There are many books that lend themselves to talking about feelings. Sometimes you may talk about feelings from the expression on a character's face in a picture, even if the feeling word is not mentioned in the text. When you read with your child, your child can share more than in a storytime group. I hope this week you will enjoy sharing feelings as you read together. I have a list of some feeling words to give you, to help bring them to mind. Sometimes it is hard to think of words for our feelings, other than the obvious ones like happy, sad, angry, surprised.
Words for Feelings handout

Libro! Book! by Kristine George

Introduction: The boy in this book loves to read books and he got a book as a gift. Where do you like to read books? . . . Let's see what this boy likes to do with his book.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults when we are a bit silly as we talk about the pictures in a book, [such as the one wearing the book like a hat or turning it upside down] we are encouraging that enjoyment around books which will serve your children well when they try to learn to read. That enjoyment makes them choose to read and the more they choose to read, the easier reading will become, bit by bit.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: I have pulled some books onto this table for display. Having your child choose a book they may enjoy is another way to support print motivation, your child's enjoyment around books and reading. If your child does not like the ones here, I would be happy to help you pick out something together from our collection.


Food/Los alementos A Say & Play Bilingual book by Sterling Children's Books

Introduction: Our next book is a board book called Food or Los alimentos. Each page is a different photo to talk about with your child. [Read the book, talking about the pictures on each page. As you talk, be sure to demonstrate richness of language.] Here is a peach. Look there is a green leaf growing from the stem. Peaches are very delicious and quite juicy. They grow on trees in orchards. There are many different kinds of peaches. Some are whitish inside, some are yellow. I like the yellow ones better.
Early Literacy Aside: Example--For simple books with just a word or two on a page, we can point to the picture and say what it is, and then expand on the picture, give some more information, or even tell a little story about it. This allows your baby or toddler to hear many new words. YOU are the one giving your child that rich language which will help him/her understand more easily when learning to read. It seems hard to believe, but it starts when they are so young because their brains are programmed to pick up language.


Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn

Introduction: Our next book is about a child named Leo who loves storytime. Read the book, making connections to your own storytimes, even adding in a stretchy or rolly song when songs are mentioned.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: By sharing books in an interactive way and connecting what is in the book to the child's experience, you help to make the book more enjoyable. When children associate reading books with joyful experiences, it helps them want to learn to read and to stick with learning to read even when it might be difficult.

Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee

"Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee" Hickety Pickety bumble bee Who can say their name for me? First child’s name. Clap it. (Clap out the syllables in the child’s name.) Whisper it. (Whisper the syllables.) No sound. (Mouth the syllables.) Hickety pickety bumblebee, Who can say their name for me?

Early Literacy Aside--Example--Phonological Awareness
By clapping out and singing children's names, they hear words slowed down and they hear the parts of words, the syllables. This will later help them as they try to sound out words when they learn to read. The kids love the song, and parents tell me that they are clapping out the syllables to other family members names too.

Submitted by Marie Rogers, Hardin County Public Library in KY

Sing by Joe Raposo

Early Literacy Aside--Explain: Some of us can sing well, others not so well. Some of us like to sing whether we can or not and others would rather not sing. Did you know that singing is one way to help children learn the sounds in language which will then help them hear sounds as they learn to sound out words? Songs have a distinct note for each syllable so children hear the rhythm of language and hear words broken down into parts.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Our next book is a songbook. It uses the words to the song as the book itself. It's called Sing by Joe Raposo. I often feel like the third bird! I hope you do too. Let's see what happens when one of the three birds can't sing. We can all sing the words together and notice how songs help with hearing sounds in words.

Read/sing the book first describing what is happening in the wordless pictures.

Little You by Richard Van Camp

Using a baby doll or stuffed animal as a baby, demonstrate reading this book using more words than what is in the text. For example page 1: Little you, little wonder. Point to the parents and to the child. Here is the father and the mother and there is the little baby. There is a big round red sun in this picture (as you point to it) and a little flower with a ladybug. They look happy together, they are smiling. Another example, page 3: Little wish, gentle thunder. Let's see what is in this picture; there's a cat and a little kitten, a baby cat, just as this mother is holding her baby. And look out the window, there is a crescent moon. It looks dark outside. We see a flash of lightning that also comes with thunder. When I was little I used to be afraid of storms, especially when the thunder was so loud.
Early Literacy Aside--Explain: In today's storytime I'll be pointing out different ways you can read with your baby. Reading with your children is the single best thing you can do to help them become good readers later. There are many ways to read and share books with young children and I'll be pointing out some today.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: When you read to your baby and the book has only a few words on the page, take time to add your own words about the picture or about things the picture makes you think about. This adds to your baby's vocabulary and background knowledge which will make it easier for them to later understand what they read.

You can have a few minutes of Read Together time where you pass out board books for each family and have them add words to the few in the book. They may not get through the whole book. That's fine! They are enriching their babies' language experience.

Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson Handout

Read the book The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson. Have participants join in with the repeated phrase "but the cow loves cookies."
Early Literacy Aside--Empower: At the end of storytime pass out the attached handout. Tell the adults they can cut out the pictures with their children and play different games.  Children can match the animals to what they eat. Use the pictures to help children retell the story, too! Young children can say the sounds of the animals. Have children say the repeated phrase “but the cow loves cookies.” Older children can retell the story using the pictures to remember the order. All these are steps to help your children retell stories and help them understand how stories work which will later make it easier for them to understand what they are reading. Handout: cowlovescookies

Little Red Hen Handout

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: In our storytime today, we read the story of the Little Red Hen by Byron Barton. Your children also retold the story with me on the flannel board. In today's handout I have the repeated phrases and the order of what the little red hen did. There are also boxes for your children to draw the animals. You can cut them out and have the children retell the story for you. For your younger children, they can say the words "Not I" or say the sounds of the animals. Having your children retell stories helps them understand the story better and helps them learn how stories work. Enjoy!Handout: lrhenhandout

Rock a Bye Baby

Song as lead in to book: Rock a Bye Baby[Adults rock baby back and forth] Rock a bye baby on the tree top, When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks the cradle will fall, And I'm there to catch you, cradle and all.

Early Literacy Aside--Example: When we sing to babies, they hear language slowed down which makes it easier for them to hear the sounds in words. Even thugh we may not sing to our children for this purpose, it is the beginning of helping them to later sound out words when they later learn to read.

Jane Klein, Chester County (PA) Library System