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.

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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.

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[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.

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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

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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.

OR

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.

Feelings by Alice Le Henand

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This book by Alice Le Henand is called Feelings. It is a pull-the-tab book. On each page there is something happening and it shows how the child is feeling. Then the adult does and says something and the child’s feelings change, as we pull the tab.

[Read the book talking about what is happening on each page. Adults can say what they may have done in the situation even if different from what is done in the book.]

[Page 3 uses the word disgusted.]

Early Literacy Tip—Example—Vocabulary: We often use common words for feelings like happy and sad. Using some less common words to describe your children’s feelings can help them identify those feelings. It helps them not only with emotional development, but also it helps them learn new words which will later help them understand what they read.

This Is the Nest That Robin Built by Denise Fleming

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Denise Fleming’s book This Is the Nest That Robin Built can be used in many ways to support early literacy. here are some possibilities:

Story Structure—How Stories Work
Our next book is This Is the Nest That Robin Built is a story that keeps building on what the sentences that went before. It is a cumulative story. [Read the page with the Squirrel. Have children repeat twigs, not too big, that anchor the next that Robin built. Tell them they can join in on every page.]
Example Tip: When we have children notice the pattern in a story, we help them understand how some stories work. This helps them predict what might happen next and helps them understand the story.

To support vocabulary, there are many words to choose from to explain—anchor, trim, soupy, bind, plaster, cushion, brittle, tufted, fledglings.
Example Tip for Vocabulary: When we explain a word, rather than replace the word with an easier word, we build our children’s vocabulary which will later help them understand what they read.

You could also talk about how the baby birds in the nest feel—worried, scared. Or you might use the word apprehensive, uncertain. This helps to develop both children’s vocabulary and their background knowledge, when you help them relate these emotions to their lives.

Cat on the Bus by Aram Kim

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Introduction: Our next book is Cat on the Bus by Aram Kim. This book is almost wordless, hardly any words, so you can help me tell the story from the pictures. We are going to look carefully at the faces of the characters, the cat, the man, and the girl. I would like you to tell me how you think they are feeling.
[Read the book together, talking about the feelings of the characters. Use words for feelings that may not be so familiar. In addition to happy and sad, you might add curious, confused, disappointed, overwhelmed, content, friendly, joyful, and more.]
Example Aside: Vocabulary: When we add less familiar words to ones that children already know, we are building their vocabulary which will later help them understand what they read.  OR
[Read the book together, talking about when children have felt the way the characters in the book have. You may have this discussion after the end of the book; you need not interrupt the story.]
Example Aside: Background Knowledge: When we relate something in the story to the child's own experiences, we help them make the connection between the story and themselves which helps them understand the story.

Pocket Craft

Craft: Make a Pocket
Using yarn and paper and/or fabric, sew a pocket. This can go with books like Pouch by David Stein or There's a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss.
Early Literacy Aside: Example Aside--Writing:  When we do crafts like this, using scissors and lacing, children are developing fine motor skills, strengthening the muscles they need for writing! If you would like to write a letter on the pocket, P for pocket or the first letter in their name, for example, then they would be learning letters as well!

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Thanks to Jenny Rodriguez, Boynton Beach(FL) Public Library for this idea

Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury

Introduction: Our next book The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury has some animals in it. What animals do you see on the cover? What does it look like the animals are doing? In this book, someone is saying "I'm the giant jumperee" in a very loud voice. Can you say that? Let me hear you. [Practice a couple of times.] Great! Now let's see what is happening in this story.
Read the book, having participants join in with the repeated phrase.
Go back to the pages that say the cat slunk and the bear swaggered. Talk about what does slunk mean? What does swagger mean? How would the cat slink, or the bear swagger? You may ask them to show actions for these words. How is it different from walking?
Early Literacy Aside--Example--Vocabulary: Adults, when we help children understand the meanings of words, like by having them act them out and by discussing differences between words with similar meanings, we are helping to develop their vocabulary which will help them later understand what they read.

At the end of storytime, have the children and adults slink or swagger out of storytime.

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Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson

Introduction: Our next book is called Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson. It is illustrated by Brian Won. [Remember Hooray for Hat? Brian Won wrote and illustrated that book, too! Bill Martin, Jr. wrote Brown, Bear, Brown, Bear, What Do You See?]

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I'd like you to help me with reading this book. The monkey is getting some exercise and does somemovements to sounds. So, when it says the rhythm of the head, the sound is ding-dong and we move our head from side to side. Let me see you do that. Great! When it says rhythm of the hands, then we clap twice, clap clap. Try that. Great! For the feet, it says stomp stomp, so stomp your feet twice. Good! And then for the rhythm of the hips, it says shake, shake so wiggle your hips. OK! Let's try it.
[Read the book, having them join in. Repeat the movements in sequence till the children are comfortable with it--the page with ding dong, clap clap, stomp stomp, shake shake] Yay! You got the pattern--ding dong, clap clap, stomp stomp, shake shake!

Early Learning Aside--Example--Math Concepts--Patterns: Adults, in math, a repeated sequence is a pattern. When we did the repeated motions over and again, they could notice the pattern and begin to anticipate what comes next. This fun activity and book helps to build math skills!

Early Learning Aside--Empower: You can notice patterns or make up movement and clapping patterns throughout the day. Lots of fun and builds math skills, too.

City Shapes by Diana Murray

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Introduction: Let's look at the cover of our next book, City Shapes by Diana Murray. It is illustrated by Bryan Collier. What do you see on the cover? [Note some different shapes, also kaleidoscope. Describe one, show one if possible. Open to end papers--what do they see, what does it look like?] 
Read the book, pointing out and asking children to point out some of the shapes.
Early Literacy Aside--Example:  Did you know--recognizing shapes is a first step to recognizing and writing letters, because researchers have found that children actually identify letters by their shapes. And this book has so many possibilities for recognizing shapes, from toddlers to school-age children.
Early Literacy Aside--Empower:  When we talk about shapes all around us, throughout the day, we help our children become more aware of shapes which will support their letter knowledge.
OR
Writing Activity: Have children draw a picture of whatever they like, can be related to the book.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, as your children are drawing and talking about their picture, talk with them about the shapes they see in the picture. Helping them be aware of shapes will also them identify and write letters.

Opposite Surprise by Agnese Baruzzi

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[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.
OR
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.

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Found by Salina Yoon

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This book can is a good one for mixed age groups. It can be understood on many levels. Even adults will enjoy the humor in the "Lost" signs, such as "Anyone see an elephant in the room?" or "Lost track of time."
Introduction: Here is a story called Found written by Salina Yoon. I see Bear on the cover. What do you think he has found? Yes, a bunny, a stuffed animal bunny rabbit. Let's see what happens when Bear tries to find bunny's home.
Read the book. On the page with all the Lost signs, read some of them, pointing to the text.
Early Literacy Tip--Example: [After reading the book, go back to the page with the lost signs. Point to and read a couple of the signs.] Pointing out the words in signs is one great way to help children develop print awareness, that print has meaning, that we are reading the text, not the pictures. This will make it easier for them to focus on the text when they learn to read.
Early Literacy Tip--Empower: Whenever you see signs, as you are driving, walking, at a store, pointing out what the text says is one way to help your children develop print awareness, one of the pre-reading skills they need to learn to read.

Math Handout for Parents/Caregivers

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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.]

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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.

Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Winds Blow by Marianne Berkes

Introduction: Our next book is called Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Winds Blow by Marianne Berkes. We can make the actions and sounds of the animals as we go along.

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Read or Sing the book. After completing the book, come back to the page with the owls.
There are some interesting words on this page. There is a mother snowy owl. What color is the owl? And her little owlets seven. A baby owl is called an owlet. Let's say that together. It says here that the owls glide. Let me see how the mother owl glides (Let them show you wide wings with their arms). And how does a baby owlet glide? (wings/arms not so wide). What does flying look like? What does gliding look like? (more smooth, soar) and what does swooping look like? (from high to low--plunging, lunging, diving).

Early Literacy Aside--Example: Songs can give us words we might not hear in regular conversation. In this book, having fun with the action words can help children distinguish between words of similar meanings. This helps children learn small differences in the meanings of words which builds their vocabulary and helps them later understand what they read.

Zoom, Zoom, Baby by Karen Katz

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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.

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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!

Big Box for Ben by Deborah Bruss

Introduction: I have a big empty box here. What do you think we can do with this box? What could you do with it? [You may want to have more than one box if you want to give them time to explore and play with the boxes, or you may choose to do this after reading the book.]
Today we have a book called Big Box for Ben by Deborah Bruss. Let's see what this boy Ben likes to do with his box. [As you read the book, add interesting words describing the box, the position of the box and the flaps, what Ben is imagining--using the word imagination]

Early Literacy Aside: Playing is a great way to build children's language. By following your child's lead, giving them time to express their ideas and think imaginatively, asking open-ended questions, adding new words and description, you give them opportunities to build their vocabulary, to think of stories, and to understand the world around them. All these skills contribute to later helping them understand what they read.

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Hooray for Hat by Brian Won with flannel board

Introduction: Our next book is called Hooray for Hat by Brian Won. In this book each of the animals is grumpy until they get a wonderful hat. Then when Elephant gives each animal a hat they all say "Hooray for hat." You can help me tell the story by saying "Hooray for hat."  Let's practice saying "Hooray for hat." Good!
[Read the book, pausing for them to say "Hooray for hat."]
Now I have a flannel board of this same book. You already said "Hooray for hat," and now you can help tell the whole story!
[Put up pieces on the flannel board, pausing for the children to tell you what comes next, and to say as much of the story as they can.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, we help children retell stories, they can remember it more easily, and they also are learning how stories work--what happens first, next, and last--and phrases that are repeated. Learning how stories work will make it easier for them to both understand stories when they read them and even to write stories when they are asked to do so in school.
Photos of pieces for flannel board of Hooray for Hat

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Hooray for Hat by Brian Won

Introduction: Our next book is called Hooray for Hat by Brian Won. In this book each of the animals is grumpy until they get a wonderful hat. Each time an animal gets a hat, the animals say "Hooray for hat!" So, I would like you to say with me "hooray for hat." We are going to clap for each word. So, three claps--hooray--for--hat. Let's practice saying and clapping the words "Hooray for hat."  Very good. Ok, here comes the story.
[Read the book, pausing for them to say "Hooray for hat."]
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, when we help children hear individual words, this is a starting point to later hear even smaller sounds within words which will help them later sound out words when they learn to read. (This skill is called phonological awareness.)

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