story time + activity: libraries!

On Thursday morning at work, my manager asked me what I was doing for story time.  My answer?  “…Crud, it’s Thursday morning, isn’t it?”  I threw something together in about twenty minutes (whoops), and it was a lot of fun!  Feel free to try it with children you read with, too.

Book 1: The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara9781596439856

The Midnight Library is a library staffed by a child called Little Library Girl and her three owl helpers!  Together, they serve a variety of animal patrons depicted in bold, thick-lined illustrations.  The art manages to be both simple and detailed all at once, and the story is cute.  It’s Kazuno Kohara’s fourth book, and it’s probably my favourite of hers so far!

Book 2: Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree by Naoko Stoop

The third Red Knit Cap Girl adventure finds our heroine building a library for all her forest friends.  After Squirrel tells Red Knit Cap Girl about a hollow tree, she declares that the hollow is a “nook” and that she’s going to keep her storybook there so anyone can enjoy it.  Other animals bring their books to share, too, and soon, the nook is not simply a hollow tree but a place where everyone can come together as a community of friends.  Naoko Stoop is an amazing illustrator (I love her art for this board book retelling of Noah’s Ark so much!), and Red Knit Cap Girl is an active, creative heroine.

a338a856dc6f2d4bccf8980ac4dda027Activity: Design a book for Red Knit Cap Girl’s library

Imagine you’re in the forest, too, and Red Knit Cap Girl comes up to you.  She asks if you’d like to donate a book to her new library.  Would you say yes?  (One little girl at story time said “Maybe,” which made all the parents crack up.)  What kind of book would you donate?  Do you think the other animals would like it?

Give each audience member a picture of a book cover to colour (we used this one from twistynoodle.com) and crayons.  Younger children will have fun scribbling, and older children can respond to the story you’ve just read.  If it’s a small enough group, talk about the books they came up with for Red Knit Cap Girl.  (My favourite on Thursday was a copy of Little Red Riding Hood–I’m betting Red Knit Cap Girl will appreciate that one a lot!)

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