Tag Archives: Elephant and Piggie

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…

Hello and welcome to another fun filled storytime featuring ME the Not So Nice Librarian. With all the hurricane’s that have been beating the heck out of our coast over the last couple weeks; I decided to do a ‘Rain’ themed storytime instead of an Australian themed one – which allowed me to still do my rainstick craft, and might let any of the Littles attending that may or may not have been a little scared if they had seen any of the news lately (my kiddo did, and was very worried that when it rained that we would get flooding like there was on the TV), be soothed by seeing that rain wasn’t really a BAD thing. The kiddos that have been coming to our storytimes have been VERY little; so I have NOT been getting though all of the things I planned on. I’ve been lucky to get through 2 stories before the Wiggles gets the best of them. Which is ok. Little kids were not meant to be still for any length of time. So I just need to keep adapting my program until I find a happy medium. So this time I went with one I’ve read before, an Elephant and Piggie book, Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems.

I figured this was a great book to show kids that rain wasn’t a scary or bad thing. It shows some of the FUN things you can do while it rains. The next book I did, was The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book by Nancy Tafuri.

I knew I wouldn’t have their attention for much longer, so I turned this one into an into an interactive story. In this book a storm is rolling in and 10 animals take shelter in a cave, or a ‘hill hollow’, according to the book. So I found some REAL live pictures of the animals depicted in the book (which adds a non-fiction element to the story and program) and allows the kids to work on their memory and animal recognition skills.

So while reading, when the animal ran to the hill hollow, I would pause and say “Who has *insert animal*? Can you bring them up to the board?” And then we would count how many animals were now in the ‘hollow’. It helped keep their attention through the book; but after the 2nd story, they were done. Which is sad, because I thought they would like the other story I picked. So neither Boom!By Mary Lyn Ray or the nonfiction book Weather made it into the official line up.

I had printed off a 2nd game to play with the kids; but it too didn’t make it to the line up.

Once that second book was done; the kiddos were ready for the craft. And with the addition of the animals in the Big Storm, it had lengthened the program enough that I didn’t feel overly bad about skipping the other books and game.

So Rainsticks! Or glorified shakers… which ever you prefer. This is a really cheap simple craft. If, like us, you have a bunch of left over cardboard tubes from other programs those work AWESOME for this craft. If you don’t, you can make your own tubes out of paper or cardstock. So what you’ll need: tubes rice (or beans work too) newspaper markers and/or stickers and other things for decoration.

First, staple or tape one end of your tube.

Once that’s done, set the tube aside and grab a piece of newspaper. If you’re using paper towel tubes, or something of a similar size, you won’t need a whole sheet of newspaper. in fact, I cut the newspaper into 4-5 inch strips then cut those in half so I ended up with pieces about 4 in x 12 in. That is in no way an exact number, so don’t go grabbing the ruler or anything. Just eyeball it, seriously.

Now twist your strip of paper. It doesn’t need to be pretty or perfect. Basically this is going INSIDE the tube to give the rice something to bounce off of and make noise.

It’ll look something like this after you’re done twisting.

Next, take that twisted paper, find a pen or marker, and twist the paper around the marker in tight coils.

Carefully take it off the marker, try to preserve the twisty, curly-Q shape as much as possible. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Next slide your paper curly-Q into the tube.

Add rice. You don’t need a lot. Only a handful really.

Once the rice is in, staple/tape that end closed.

Should look something like this:


Now decorate!

I think the kids enjoyed playing with the rice and stickers far more than they actually enjoyed making the rainsticks. Oh well.  Note to the wise… have a vacuum handy; that rice is like glitter, it gets EVERYWHERE!!!

Even the kids at the Mall Storytime were able to get in on the shaker….er… rainstick, action.

All in all, we had fun. The kids really seemed to like their rainsticks.

On the way back to work from my Mall Storytime, I got a call that no wife really wants to hear, but even with all that drama (which I will probably make a separate entry about later) it was still a pretty good day.

Now I need to figure out what to do for my October theme. I’ve done monsters and scary stories in previous years…. and I wanna lean away from a Halloween theme.

Hmmmm…. decisions, decisions.

Well, until next time; this is the Not So Nice Librarian signing off. Ciao!


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Snakes Storytime 2017

This week was the 3rd Annual Snake Storytime at my library. This is a program I do every year (hence the ‘annual’ bit), each year is a little different; but I always try to impart some of my love and respect for our slithery garden companions.

This year, my crowd was a bit younger; so for my first book I read The Greedy Python an Eric Carle style book written by Richard Buckley. 

This story has the traditional Eric Carle bright crayon-like illustrations and rhyming words. Its about a snake that eats waaaay to much and just ’bout explodes. The ending has a funny little twist that the kids really seemed to enjoy.

My next book was a Nonfiction book on Garter Snakes written by Julie Murray.

This was an easy to read book that discuss various simple facts about the common Garter snake. The pictures were big and colorful and the facts were easy enough for young kids to comprehend. It opened the way to talking about Snakes more and allowed me to bring out some of my show-n-tell items (more on that later).

After that, was our Make a Snake game using shapes.

Since my crowd was a lot younger then previous years; I shelved the snake identification game…. and went with something more toddler friendly.

I chose 3 different shapes that I thought young children would be able to easily recognize; but weren’t the standard circle, square, triangle.

I went with a heart, oval, and diamond.

I got the template from DLTK’s Growing Together; it was actually a paper craft that I turned into a shape matching game.

I printed the shapes onto colored paper. Then, to make the heads stand out a little more, I added some red glitter to the tongues and google-eyes….because who doesn’t like glitter and google-eyes???

I printed off regular shapes  -sans glitter and google-eyes; on different colored paper. I then handed those out to the kids and had them take turns coming up to the board and putting their shapes next to the snake head. (Just a note: toddlers do NOT get the concept of coming up to the board one at a time. It normally turns into a free-for-all as they all rush the board for their turn.)

After that was our 3rd book; a personal favorite and one that’s enjoyed by both younger and older children – Elephant and Piggie’s Can I Play Too? By Mo Willems.

I love Elephant and Piggie….as I’ve said on many, many occasions. This features a snake and the age old question burning every in child’s mind….. can a snake play catch???  If you’ve never read it, I won’t spoil the ending for you.

Next we did our craft: Snake Finger Puppets.

I got the idea and template from Mr. Printables. The templates come in the 4 colors shown and in a blank version that kids can color and make their own snake patterns.

Folding is a little complicated of a concept for the real young ones; but this craft was to cute NOT to do. So to make things a little more user friendly; I added glue dots where glue needed to go, and a red dot where the piece needed to be stuck.

In hindsight, I probably should have made the dots different colors, because somehow the kids were sticking the glue dot on the red spot on the opposite side of the snake, instead of the dot right next to said glue dot.

Anyway, despite the small road blocks we had; all the kiddos left happy with snakes hissing from their fingers.

Now originally, the template produced a smaller snake. Like so:

I worried that the smaller size would make it more difficult for little hands to work with it…. so I blew it up a couple sizes to make giant snakes…

Now normally, this would be where my program normally ended; but for this Storytime, I had show-n-tell items.

Being the odd ball, pagan, nature lover and mother of a little boy that I am… my mom is always sending me weird things she finds out on her walks so I can show my little munchkin.

One of the items she sent me was a dried ‘petrified’ baby snake; pretty sure its a ring-neck snake.

Not that my mom isn’t totally justified sending me weird crap. I love it. While camping last summer my son and I found a baby snake skeleton, complete with jaw bones (well, we actually found 2 but I could only find one, which was a miracle and a half, since we literally just moved).

I, of course, kept the skeleton… because…well…because its cool alright! I woulda kept it even if I didn’t have a kiddo… but I do, so I have an excuse!

Anyway, later that same summer, we were walking along the outdoor track at our local gym when we found our 2nd petrified snake… this time a garter snake (I think).

Now before anyone asks; no, I didn’t put the them through the laminator… I used clear book tape. This way the kids could pick up the pieces to get a better look without destroying them.

I also had a magnifying glass available for them to get a better look.

And, as I had for the previous years, my rattlesnake head made another appearance.

Kids always like him; its a pity his mouth doesn’t open. The kids always want to see his fangs. Oh well… eventually I’ll get a rattlesnake skull with fangs and a tail rattle.

I also updated my Oklahoma Venomous Snake guide; this year I added a section on ‘Snakes and Your Dog’ that talks about what to do if your furry family companion has a close encounter (just in case you’re wondering….the answer is TAKE YOUR PET TO THE VET!!!!.

And as usual, I made sure there was a cart full of books for the kiddos to check out for further reading.

Well, that’s all for this week! I hope everyone had a great Spring Break! Mine was spent working on getting our new house set up… feels more like I’ve just been moving one pile of crap to another part of the house. But, I don’t mind really; I love we’re someplace new – hate the actual moving process. With all the warm weather we’ve been having; my mind has been fixed on getting my garden ready; since I now have the space for one. I know, technically it’s still to early…. but it FEELS like spring! It was freaking 90 degrees yesterday! Surely it’s time to start shopping for plants….right?

‘Til next time my lovelies. Ciao!



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Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Storytime

Hello everyone and welcome back! This is the first official storytime of the New Year here at my library, and this year I decided to start off with a BANG!… Well, not really, the higher ups kinda frown on that sort of thing.

Instead, I found in a list of ‘obscure holidays to celebrate with your kid’ that February 6th is officially “Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day”….. and what a great idea for a storytime!  What kid doesn’t love Ice Cream?

So, to dive right in… I read the standard 3 books. Since our age ranges vary significantly between programs; I’ve taken to selecting several books of varying age levels.

In the morning session I had a lot of littles; if any of them were over 3 I would be surprised. Because of this, I removed the Easy-Reader nonfiction book Milk to Ice Cream  by Lisa Herrington.

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In it’s stead, I read another Easy book called Ice Cream Soup by Ann ingalls

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Which is a very simple rhyming book about a little boy that attempts to make an ice cream cake….and instead makes a huge mess and Hey melted ice cream is still pretty good too.

The next book is a tried and true favorite simply because it’s an Elephant and Piggie book. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I LOVE Elephant and Piggie. And wouldn’t you know, there’s an Elephant and Piggie book about….you guessed it, ICE CREAM!

It’s called Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems.

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It’s an adorable book featuring Gerald, who buys an ice cream cone and then can’t decide if he wants to share it or not. Just as he finally makes his decision… his ice cream drops.

After that, we played an Ice Cream Matching Game; initially, I had planned on doing a simple number match up – count the dots on the ice cream and then match them to the number on the cone. However, since we’ve been having so many Littles in our Storytimes recently, I wanted to make sure that even kids that were to young to know their numbers could still come up to the board and play the game.

I got the initial idea from Teachers Pay Teachers, they have the template to download here.

However, in trying to figure out how to make the game Little friendly; I ended up making my own game pieces, based on the above concept. I found an ice cream clipart I liked:


I then printed several of them off on different colored paper. I still wanted to do the number match; so once I had cut all my ice cream and cones out, I drew dots and numbers on all of them. That way, the Littles could match the colors and the big kids could match the numbers.

The funny thing about the younger kids and the games… they have no concept of what ‘let’s take turns means’; so they kinda bum-rush you to get to the board and put up their pieces.

Still, it’s fun and they enjoy themselves and even if it’s disorganized, it still forced them to match colors and differentiate between shades which in turn builds critical thinking and cognative development.

For my 3rd and final book I read Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin:

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What could be better than a singing dog, ice cream AND dinosaurs? This is a really fun book written along the same vein as Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. The illustrations are very bright and colorful; the text is repetitive, and is great for getting the kids to participate. Plus, singing the “Love my Doggy Ice Cream, Love my Doggy Ice Cream”  is a lot of fun, and even the adults were getting into it, doing a little shimmy in their chairs along with the beat.

Now, most of the kids know, that with Ms. Sara, after that 3rd book comes the really fun part….CRAFT TIME! Only this time, we didn’t do a craft per say…. it was more like a science experiment that we could eat.

We made 5 Minute Ice Cream.

Yes, you read that right. Google it, seriously. It is awesome. I had my doubts initially; I have made homemade ice cream as a kid, and knew for a fact that it took WAAAAAAAY longer than 5 minutes to make. So I sent out an  email to all of the branching within my library system, asking if anyone had actually tried this experiment. The response was pretty quick, and positive…. yes it worked, but it normally took longer than 5 minutes.


I did a little more digging and found that most of the ‘5 minute’ recipes called for Cream or Half&Half rather than milk.  Yes, you could use milk… but it takes longer. The higher the fat content of your liquid, the faster it thickens.

So, I run the idea by my boss, we get the ingrediants and give it a try.  Surprisingly, it WORKED! We used Half&Half and within 5 minutes we had a single serving of soft serve vanilla ice cream.

Now, for some reason, when the kids did it, the consistancy turned out more like that of dippin’ dots, and by the time they had put all their toppings on, it was the consistancy of soft serve.

And it tastes great too! I was floored. Where has this been all my life?!


You’ll need:

1/2 cup Half&Half (or Milk, or Cream)

1/4 tsp. vanilla (or other flavoring)

1 tbsp. sugar

6 tbsp (approx. 1/2 cup) Rock Salt

Ice (approx. 4 cups; bag needs to be at least half filled)

Quart Ziploc Freezer Bags (Slider Bags)

Gallon Ziploc Freezer Bags (Slider Bags)

Gloves and/or towels


1. Mix the Half&Half, vanilla and sugar in the Quart bag.

2. Seal the bag, make sure to remove the excess air

3. Fill the Gallon bag with ice(at least half full)

4. Add the Rock Salt

5. Place the Quart bag INSIDE the Gallon bag on top of the ice.

6. Seal the Gallon bag.

7. Set a timer for 5 mins and shake the bag, making sure to tip it up-side-down, back and forth, and every which way for at least 5-8 minutes.

**NOTE: The bags will get VERY COLD. Protect little hands with gloves or towels**

8. After 5 minutes, check to see if your mixture has solidified (it should have). If it has, you can either scoop it into a bowl or just eat it straight from the bag. Add your favorite toppings and ENJOY!

(This is my munchkin; he helped me in making the step by step tutorial…it helped that there was ice cream as a reward LOL)

Things to note:

I can’t stress enough how cold this experiment gets, so please, please, protect your hands. Also, you may need to double bag the bags; especially if your Littles are helping you shake it, as some of them did leak.

You need to SHAKE the bag, up and down, flip it upside down, then right side up. If you just shake it back and forth it will not solidify; you’ll need to work it longer.

This experiment was, as you can probably imagine, a great hit. The kids loved it, even the parents seemed to enjoy it. I made sure to print out my recipe and made it available to everyone there; and most took home a copy so they could try it again over the summer.

Now there are dozens of various recipes for this online; all you have to do is Google ‘5 minute ice cream’ or ‘ice cream in a bag’. This one, however, is tried and true 5 minutes. I even set a timer and at exactly 5 minutes we stopped shaking and opened our bags to check.

It can be messy – of course, you have kids mixing things, especially liquids! of course it’s going to be messy! – So make sure to either do it outside or cover your work space.

So, first storytime of the New Year is done and over with; it was a great success if I do say so myself. Everyone had fun; even the parents.

I have no idea how many storytimes I’ll actually be able to do this Spring before Summer Reading is upon us. We have a couple new temps that were hired and are training (Why we needed temps when they could just bloody well give me 40 hours like I’ve been asking for the last 6 years; but oh no, apparently I don’t have the ‘personality type’ for Outreach work…Bam Humbug!) In any case, it looks like the temps will be doing most of the storytimes/programming; so they can get their training in.

In other news: I now work part-time at the local Wellness Center…. well, lets not be coy, its a gym. My husband works there and since we spend so much time there anyway; why not get paid to do so? Plus their filing was attrocious! Oh My Goddess… it was awful. My inner librarian shuddered. But, not to worry…. The Not So Nice Librarian to the rescue! LOL.

It’s been an experience to say the least.

But after a long hard day, its time to relax. 

Even as I type this my kitten who isn’t a kitten anymore is demanding attention.

So, I’m off to bed. Nighty nights, my lovelies! Ciao!

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Elephant and Piggie Storytime

Hip-hip hooray for the beginning of a new year of storytimes!!! Woohoo!!!!

So for the first storytime of the New Year, I decided to do an Elephant and Piggie theme.

Sadly, I have to confess that I’m rather late to jump on the Mo Willems band wagon. I didn’t discover Elephant and Piggie until I did the Get Well Soon storytime back in October of last year. I read Pigs Make Me Sneeze and enjoyed it so much, I took it home to read to my son….. who LOVED IT.

After that, the kid has been on an Elphant and Piggie kick. Which is awesome, they’re one of the few books that interest him enough that he wants to read them on his own. Sure he’s looked at the pictures of the nonfiction books he gets and he’s great at memorizing the words to some of his favorite books and ‘reading’ them back to me. However, Elephant and Piggie were simple and nonthreatening enough that he would sit and actually attempt to (and normally succeed at) reading them to himself.

Since they had been such a hit in my household over the holidays; I decided to dedicate a whole storytime to the two best buddies. Probably one of the easier programs I’ve put together. There were so many great ideas floating around the internet.

The hardest part?

Choosing only three bookst to read during the program!!! I loved so many of them!

I finally decided on:

We Are in a Book


Listen to MyTrumpet


And finally, my personal favorite; Pigs Make Me Sneeze


Both the kids AND the parents laughed during these books; which is great and I always consider a win.

After the first two books, I did my ‘game’;  I did Help Elephant Find Piggie! Piggie was hiding in one of the books, help Elephant find his friend! An idea I totally borrowed from Literary Hoots .



Each kid got a chance to come up and either choose a color or physically flip up the book. We kept going until someone found Piggie. Then I’d ask if they wanted to play again; if they did (and they did) then they had to close their eyes….NO PEEKING NOW! And I’d hide Piggie again, and the game would start anew. We did this two or three times before I went into the third and final book.

Here’s the templates I used:




Or you can always mosie over to Literary Hoot and check out their Friends storytime and get the templates there as well.

For the craft portion of my program I did Elephant and Piggie paperbag puppets.



I borrowed the idea from Kindergarten Nana’s Pigeon Party storytime.



I printed off the templates onto colored paper and cut them out. They had a bit of a gray tint to them, but not enough that it was noticable. A reminder though: DON’T FORGET TO PRINT DOUBLE EARS FOR ELEPHANT!  I say that because I did…. oops. Got everything cut out and started putting pieces together when I realized, whoopsie I was short on ears! So I had to trace a few more and cut them out again.

Since I have a lot of younger kids, I pre-cut everything and instead of using gluesticks… which never seem to stick like they should. I put gluedots on the back of each piece with the protective paper still on them so all the kiddos had to do is peel off the back, just like a sticker (and what kid doesn’t love and understand the concept of a sticker??).  I also went and numbered each piece and the corresponding place on the paperbag. Basically, a match the piece to the number – practice those numbers!

It made putting together the puppets easier, and the few older kids I had were able to figure it out and move on to the next part without having to wait for the younger ones.

It was a great success and we even ended up have an impromptu puppet show put on for us by a couple of the children, who acted out two of the books for us.



It was great. And as always, I had a cart full of Elephant and Piggie books for them to take home a few after the program.


Not a single kiddo left without at least two tucked under their arms or shoved into their library bags.

So all in all, despite having a sore throat and cough, our first storytime of 2016 was a success. I won’t be doing the storytime next Tuesday; my supervisor and I take turns doing storytime each week. So my next one will be at the end of the month. Since it’sa leap year this year, I think I’m gonna do a storytime on ‘Things that Leap’? Can’t remember where I heard that idea from, probably Storytime Underground -an awesome Facebook group I follow; but I love the idea, and it’ll give me a chance to incorporate some nonfiction books back into the program as well.

So, until next time folks…..tootles!

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