Tonight, I had the pleasure of doing my first ever storytime at the library! I filled in for the regular storyteller, who is on vacation, and as pajama storytime is typically a small group, it was a good time to get my feet wet. Being a newbie, I did several things to prepare. A few months ago, I had observed several storytimes at the library, but I visited the pajama one last week to familiarize myself with its particular participants and dynamics. I Googled for lists of favorite storytime books by experienced librarians. In addition, I browsed through the stacks and grabbed about eight books that looked promising based on their illustrations and subject matters. Trucks? Fairies? Sounds good to me!

ernest_the_mooseI ended up choosing a couple of books that were mentioned most often in storytime booklists – gotta have at least a couple of surefire successes at my first storytime – and to select the rest, I checked online reviews of the books I had taken from the stacks and read through them myself. One book I very reluctantly let go – the illustrations were gorgeous, but I felt the language was a bit too sophisticated for 4-7 year-olds. I don’t want to underestimate the children, so I’ll review this book with a librarian to see if she agrees. One last thing I did to prepare was to check out a few popular storytime songs on YouTube – it’s been a while! It was interesting to note that while I grew up singing “Eensy weensy spider,” out here in California it’s “Itsy bitsy spider”…

how-do-dinosaurs-say-goodnightSo tonight, I read my five stories and interspersed them with songs and poems. Some of the children piped up with suggestions of their favorites – Humpty Dumpty; Row, Row, Row Your Boat; and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – so we sang/chanted those as well as other popular tunes. One thing I was not prepared for was the tendency of some children to want to come up to touch the book! When I observed past storytimes, I focused mostly on content and storytelling techniques. In future observations, I will pay closer attention to children management and how each storyteller controls the level of interaction with the children.

All in all, it was a fun evening. Time sped by quicker than I expected. I hope the children found it entertaining as well!