Llama Llama Red Pajama – a baby llama’s bedtime drama

thA fearful baby llama breaks down at bedtime.

Bibliographic Info:  Dewdney, Anna Llama Llama Red Pajama Viking 40pp. $17.99  Formats: Hardcover (2005) ISBN: 978- 0670059836, Paperback, Board Book, Kindle, iBook, iPad App, Audio CD, Audible Audiobook  Reading Level: 3.2  Interest Level: K-3  Genre: Bedtime Stories, Comedy and Humor  Major Themes: Confronting and Resolving Fears, Bedtime, Moms

th-5Summary:  After storytime and a kiss, Mama turns out the light.  But scared little Baby Llama melts down.  After a lot of freaking out, crying and shouting, busy Mama hears the drama and comes running to help.

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Llama Llama Red Pajama was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on March 24th, 2015 and has been selected for the PictureBookWOW, Picture eBookWOW and AppWOW collections at storytimeWOW.com.

th-2Review:  A nurturing bedtime story, Llama Llama Red Pajama is also very funny tale that will warm the hearts of children, parents and caregivers. If you have ever experienced a young child’s bedtime breakdown, the story will ring true.  Dewdney’s twist on the bedtime routine features a cute and emotionally-expressive baby llama, rhymes, and illustrations that vividly portray all baby llama’s drama.  This delightful read aloud is sure to make kids and parents giggle.

th-6Storytime:  During storytime, call out the simple rhymes for repetition.  Whenever you say “Llama Llama”, cue children to repeat “Red Pajama”.  Emphasize the key highlighted words.  Have children mimic Baby Llama’s emotional exprerssions, just like his toy llama.

Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness:  This story is the perfect way to settle down a child a child having a rough go at bedtime.

Readalikes:  Readalikes include Adam Rubin’s “Dragons Love Tacos” and Helen Lester’s “A Porcupine Named Fluffy.”

Links:  author’s website, Llama Llama website, Scholastic

th-4Awards:  Jumpstart’s Read for the Record book in 2011; The Dolly Parton Foundation’s Imagination Library selection; Scholastic Parent and Child “100 Greatest Books for Kids” award winner; Bank Street “Best Children’s Book” recipient; Missouri Building Block Award winner; National Public Radio pick; Carolina Children’s Book Award Master List winner (picture book category).

Other Reviews Links:  Goodreads  Kirkus Reviews

I chose this book to help promote the children’s book theme of confronting and resolving fears through storytime programs.

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!

Too Many Toys – “BUT I LOVE THEM ALL!”

th-6Spencer has tons of toys and his parents think its time to downsize.

Bibliographic Info:  Shannon, David  Too Many Toys  Blue Sky Press (2008)  Formats:  Hardcover ISBN: 978-0439490290, Paperback, Audio CD, Audible. 32 pages.  Price: $9.99  Reading Level / Grade Level Equivalent: 2.4  Interest Level: preK-3  Genre: Comedy and Humor, Read Aloud  Major Themes:  Conflict Resolution, Toys, Growing Up, Moms and Dads

th-2Summary:  In Too Many Toys, Spencer loves his toys and he has a ton of them.  Unfortunately, he has so many that they have become a household hazard. One day after Spencer’s father painfully trips on a toy (a self-portrait by Shannon), and  Spencer’s mother announces that Spencer must get rid of some toys.  This announcement is met with an emotional protest.  The boy puts up a dramatic defense for every toy his mom suggests losing.  Finally, when mom threatens Spencer with a loss of tv for a week, he agrees to fill the box that mom picks out.  But when the time comes to take the box to the car, mom finds it has been dumped out all over the hallway. Too many toys!  Spencer explains that the box the toys were in is actually the best toy of all (and he cannot part with it).

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Too Many Toys was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on March 31st, 2015.  This book has been selected for the PictureBookWOW collection. Read below for storytime tips.

th-3Review:  Too Many Toys is another one of David Shannon’s instant children’s book classics.  It’s very highly rated by many professional review sources and kids will want to read it again and again.  Brightly colored acrylic illustrations reflect Shannon’s trademark style and take readers and listeners on Spencer’s and his parent’s fun, yet emotional rollercoaster.

Storytime: th-5  Too Many Toys does not include the kind of repetitive elements that are great for engaging kids in storytime, but it does include a lot of comedy and a compelling child-centered theme.  The story itself will engage preschoolers and kindergarteners through third graders.  Its built-in humor can be the tool with which you engage kids (just use dialogic reading and get them involved in the story).  Spend some time finding the funny bits and guide your listeners to experience them.

Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness:  Parents who want to have the “too many toys” discussion with their kids can use this book to prompt a dialogue.

th-4Read-alikes:  No, David! (1998), Alice the Fairy (2004), Good Boy, Fergus! (2006)

Links:   Author’s Website    Scholastic   Shannon reads excerpts from Too Many Toys   Amazon.com

Other Reviews Links:  ALA Booklist  Goodreads  Kirkus

Why I chose it:  I chose to review Too Many Toys because its humor and child-centered theme makes it an excellent choice for storytime.

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!  Use your local library to check out books for free and get more recommendations.

Mad, from Big Block Singsong – cool it down

 th-3Mad, from Big Block Singsong is a sing-along that teaches children an effective way to cool it down and feel better when they’re feeling mad.


Bibliographic Info:  Brown, Warren & Goddard, Adam  Mad, from Big Block Singsong  Disney Junior (2013) Format: Children’s Music Video, DVD, CD  Platform: YouTube, artist’s website  Channel: Disney Junior Official on YouTube  Interest Level: children under 10  Genre: short format TV series  Themes:  Feelings, Emotional Development, Social Development, Sing-alongs, Positive Thinking, Understanding

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1Mad, from Big Block Singsong was given StorytimeWOW’s Marquee Seal on March 21st, 2015 and has been selected for the MusicVideoWOW collection.  Read the Storytime section below for details on why it was selected.

madSummary:  In this sweet children’s music video, a big orange block from Big Block Singsong (the enjoyable animated musical series on Disney Junior) teaches a mad purple block how to calm down and feel better.

Review:  Mad, from Big Block Singsong is a children’s music video that teaches kids to let go of anger.  It’s main character, a big orange block, begins by expressing empathy for an angry purple block.  With sensitivity and understanding, he sings “everybody out there gets mad.”  Then the emotionally intelligent orange guy proceeds with the singable chorus… a trick for how mad purple block (and all of us) can cool it down.  Colorful blocky background singers chime in with more good advice, such as “think about it”, “talk about it”, and “talking about it might help you feel better… might help you not feel so mad.”

Storytime:  Ask children if they have ever felt mad.  Give some child-centered examples of when you have felt mad.  Then, tell them Big Orange Block can show them a trick that will help them feel better when they’re mad.  Here’s what they can do!  Watch, sing and move-along to Mad, from Big Block Singsong (and follow the orange block’s prescription).  By teaching kids the lyrics and adding movements, the piece will also function as a cool down between stories.  Before playing the video, the presenter should practice the lyrics and movements with groups.

BBSS_121_Mad_03Here are the lyrics to the chorus:
 Breathe out.
Breathe in.
Take some time.
Count to ten.
Now you’re ready
to begin
to cool it down.
Check back for suggested choreography to create a movement layer for storytime.

Mad, from Big Block Singsong meets the StorytimeWOW Standards for Music Videos.  This video:

  • has universal appeal
  • has that “WOW” factor (it’s enjoyable for groups of children)
  • is well-suited for repetition (it can be played as a regular element during storytimes)
  • provides viewers with a happy takeaway
  • is free of squirmy moments (this sing-along is highly engaging)
  • hits the storytime target audience’s interest level (young children)
  • includes participation or lends itself to group interaction (teach kids the chorus and add storytimeWOW’s suggested movement layer)

-1Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness:  This sing-along can be used to remedy upset spirits.  Remember, naming and expressing feelings is a key cognitive development experience for kids during their preschool years.  Always encourage children to talk about their feelings.

Watch-alikes:   Happy, from Big Block Singsong   Here We Go, from Big Block Singsong  Octopus, from Big Block Singsong

Links:  Creator’s website   YouTube   DVD Volume 1-Amazon   Greatest Hits Album

BBSS_121_Mad_04Early Childhood Education and Development

The following lists the stand-out benefits of Happy across various early childhood education (ECE) and child development checklists.

1.  Mad, from Big Block Singsong provides young children with the opportunity to practice the following Pre-Reading Skills (see full list of pre-reading skills here):

  • Knowing the names of things (vocabulary)
  • Being able to hear and play with smaller sounds in words (phonological awareness)

2.  This video provides opportunities for caregivers to utilize the early literacy-building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):

  • Singing helps children learn new words and vocalize.

3.  This video follows Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):

  • Integrate more new media materials and technology.  Cultivate media literacy by modeling media literacy behaviors.
  • Create a more participatory culture in group programs and classroom settings.  Use materials that invite participation and keep learners engaged.

Why I Chose to Review this Video:  Mad, from Big Block Singsong is a children’s music video that teaches children a valuable skill they will use for the rest of their lives.  

3Make Reading More Fun

Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!