All About Me! Story Time

Self-esteem is the real magic wand that can form a child’s future. A child’s self-esteem affects every area of her existence, from friends she chooses, to how well she does academically in school, to what kind of job she gets, to even the person she chooses to marry.

STEPHANIE MARTSON, The Magic of Encouragement

Story time is suppose to be fun. Kids expect fun animal crafts and exciting songs about pirates, the whole horse ‘n’ pony show (so to speak). While I agree that 99% of story time’s should be exactly like this, I also feel that I have an obligation to teach children about more important issues. Issues like body image, nutrition and self-esteem are often overlooked because they don’t appear to be as much fun to plan. These issues will plague them into adulthood and I want them to remember that the library will always have the information to help them.

A few Wednesdays ago, I decided to have an “All About Me” story time. I searched the internet and came up with an idea for the kids to create name banners. I made these out of paper plates, construction paper and glitter.

They enjoyed making these.

We read a few different books, which they enjoyed because they got to tell me stories about themselves after each one. It even helped some of the kids who aren’t so talkative and tend to be a little shy.  Each of the kids enjoyed taking the banner home and they were showing it off to their parents after story time.

Books We Read:
Incredible Me!  by Kathi Appelt
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
Being Me by Julie Broski
For just one day by Laura Leuck

I also made them a handout that asked them questions about themselves. The handout had things like, “My favorite color is________.”, “If I was an animal I would be ____________.”, “The toy I love the most is ________.”

After I had read the stories we talked about what we liked about ourselves, what our favorite things are and why we like them. It was nice to hear some of the kids say that they really liked who they were!

Going Nutty for Stories*

This weeks Story Time @ 10 theme was “Going Nutty for Stories” and featured books about squirrels.

I had four (4) very excited youngsters who loved all of the books that we read, but especially Those Darn Squirrels  by Adam Rubin. Each of the books was displayed when the children came into the library (except Those Darn Squirrels because I had already taken it to the story time area):

To start with, we “Shook Our Sillies Out” and then sang “The Squirrel Song.” The kids enjoy getting up and moving before we read the stories. This helps them settle down when I actually start reading and they seem to listen better!

I read the following stories:
Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin (this was SUCH a big hit that they wanted me to read it again, so I read Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door as well)
Rosie to the Rescue by Bethany Roberts
Heart to Heart
 by George Shannon

I displayed Gray Squirrel at Pacific Avenue and Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach, but did not read them because the natives were getting restless. We then talked about what we learned about squirrels and my favorite was “They are the champions of the forest!” So now when that little girl has to do a report on squirrels in school, she will most definitely cite this.

After our discussion on “Why Squirrels Are So Awesome!” we made Squirrel hand puppets out of paper bags. I would have loved to do something more detailed, but I had to remember that these are preschoolers. I tried to get a picture of each of the kids with their finished puppets, but they were too busy trying to eat each with their squirrels.

In all of the years I have been doing story time, I have NEVER had kids ask for me to read the same book immediately after I finished it. This has to be a testament to how great the Rubin/Salmieri’s writing team is! The illustrations are amazing and I would point things out to the kids that they didn’t notice before (cats legs crossed in his portrait, birds faces, etc..). The kids loved the squirrels and they made sure to point out that the cat, “Looked really mean!”


All in all, it was a fantastic story time! The kids loved the crafts and I was excited by their enthusiasm for the books.  I would highly recommend reading Those Darn Squirrels for a story time, as the kids were enthralled by the book the entire time I read it. Squeals of laughter and giggles are always a good sign that a book is a hit!

*Sorry for the delay in posting, work has been a little hectic!