Top Ten Books to Read During Story Time by Shannon Hawkins
A couple years ago I would have never believed I would write a blog post about story time books. I’ve always loved children’s books for my own entertainment, but I never really took myself for a story time sort of person. However, after a crazy turn of events, I took over doing story time at the public library where I work. Now, after some months’ experience with the kiddos, I have found out that I am…still not much of a story time person, but I have improved considerably.
At first, I felt like a blubbering fool, but now I’ve come to enjoy reading the different stories and seeing the kids’ reactions. One positive change is that I’ve learned to find entertaining books to read. I now have a list of 50+ books that I’ve read during story time and that the kids enjoy. Among them, the following ten books are those that I enjoy reading most of all.
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
It’s no secret when I’m at work, or with my family, or with my friends, that I am in love with this book. Luckily, the story time kids love it too. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin tells a very straight-to-the-point story about how much dragons love tacos and how they especially love taco parties. The unexpected pairing of dragons and tacos gets the kids’ attention and keeps them smiling, so much so that I want to read it for nearly every story time!
Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos
The first time I read Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos, all I had to do to get a giggle out of the kids was show them the cover and tell them the title. After that, they were hooked. As the title reveals, this books tells the story of a baby who is born with a mustache. But that’s not all. The baby—and the parents—must wait to find out whether the mustache will grow into a good-man or a bad-man mustache.
Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin
By the author of Dragons Love Tacos, Secret Pizza Party introduces an unlikely protagonist—a raccoon—whose sole mission is to find some pizza to eat. But who wants to invite a raccoon to a pizza party? No one. Which is why the raccoon must form his own (secret) pizza party. Like Rubin’s other books, this book uses direct and relaxed language that children can understand and relate to.
What Goes Up by Paula Bowles
This story by Paula Bowles is about a dragon who is learning how to fly but is having some trouble because of his tiny wings. The dragon and his friends come up with some interesting techniques to try to help him to fly. Since it was “opposites” week when we first read this, we were also able to talk about how “up” and “down” are opposites.
There’s an Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Mayer
A lot of the books I read during story time have been recently published. But sometimes I like to throw in some older books, giving kids a taste of what I grew up with. Mercer Mayer’s There’s an Alligator Under My Bed is one example of this. Even though the library copy of this book is worn and faded, the kids enjoy this simple story of how a child lures and traps the alligator that is hiding under his bed.
He Came with the Couch by David Slonim
As the cover hints at, the story told in David Slonim’s He Came with the Couch is very odd. However, it’s this very oddity that drew me to this book in the first place and that keeps the kids interested. In this book, a family picks up a new-used couch at the dump. The couch seems decent enough, but there’s one problem—the random dude who is sitting on it and who will not move a muscle. And the story goes on from there.
Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet
“It’s magic!” That’s what the kids say about this book. This book teaches about the different colors and about how colors can be mixed together to produce new colors. The experience of Herve Tullet’s Mix It Up! can seem magical because it gives children the illusion that they are mixing colors within the book. We’ve read this many times at my library, and we always ask for volunteers. For example, one child will come up to press the book pages together (or shake the book around, or turn it sideways, etc…). Then all the kids will close their eyes while we turn the page, and then Voila! a new color has appeared on the next page.
Max the Brave by Ed Vere
Max is a black cat who is so talented at catching mice…if only he knew what a mouse was. This cute story by Ed Vere follows Max the Brave as he is searching for a mouse but encounters something much bigger…a monster!
Dog Blue by Polly Dunbar
Adorable. This is the word that comes to mind when I think of this book. The story is simple: Bertie loves blue, and he wants a dog that is blue. But things get complicated when he meets a Dalmatian who is not blue. The illustrations are simple, but—like the story itself—they are overwhelmingly adorable.
Are You a Horse? by Andy Rash
Andy Rash’s Are You a Horse? tells about a cowboy who doesn’t know what a horse is. So, he goes from animal to animal asking “Are you a horse?” My favorite part is when the cowboy meets a sloth, and the sloth takes all day long to say that he is not a horse. There are so many books about all the different kinds of animals, but this one is my favorite to read during story time.
Shannon Hawkins works as a public librarian in western Oklahoma and is currently attending the University of Oklahoma to receive her Master’s in Library and Information Studies. More than anything, Shannon enjoys simply hanging out with her family. Besides that, she also loves reading and has daydreams of being a writer. Check out her blog at www.beautyandthemessblog.wordpress.com