Recently my theme was bath time. Most of the books were a splashing success, while one surprisingly was a washout. Here are the books and an app we used.
Wonderful Ones – 10 months to 24 month
Pearl and Brownie Hit the Hay by Cynthia Rylant and Pictures by Brian Biggs
Brownie and her cat Pearl have had a busy day. Before going to bed they have a routine that they follow which includes: bath, snack and story time. The girl and her cat are happy companions as they complete each ritual. This worked brilliantly with this age group. The big pictures with short spurts of information was just the ticket for my little ones. It was a lovely addition to my bath storytime or could be used for a bedtime theme. I would also suggest it to early emerging readers due to the word repetition and concise sentence structure.
Baby Bathtime! by DK
A board book that talks about several types of at bath toys. Each page has colors to identify and items to count. It is visually appealing with large pictures of familiar objects. The Wonderful Ones and Little Dreamers classes ended with this tale. It was successful in both groups as a way to end our time together before the good-bye song.
Little Dreamers – 2 and 3 year olds
How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth by Michelle Robinson and Kate Hindley
A little girl gives step by step instructions on bathing her pet Woolly. As expected undertaking this task is quite a challenge, but the girl is resilient and prepared. Each step goes along with some silly results as we find out some of his traits, one of them being he is ticklish. Things get sticky when she tries to wash near his eyes and he escapes up a tree. The children and parents were delighted with this tale. They laughed at his expressions and the surprise ending that included a trampoline and lots of mud.
Big Smelly Bear by Britta Techentrup
All the animals and even the flies stay away from Big Smelly Bear. He says doesn’t care if everyone thinks he is smelly, though a friend would be nice. He is okay until a problem occurs. He gets an itch. He cannot scratch. He tries to scratch his itch by rubbing against a tree and rolling in the leaves. A Big Fluffy Bear sees Big Smelly Bear trying to get some relief. She offers to scratch his itch if he takes a bath. After much arguing, Big Smelly decides to finally take a bath, but states he never will again. Now that he is clean, Fluffy Bear helps him and they become friends. It seems that Smelly Bear really likes Fluffy because in the end he secretly takes another bath.
The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems
As most readers know the Pigeon has an “I’ve got to me attitude” which usually turns into comic fun. In this story the Pigeon is really dirty. He has numerous reasons why he does not need a bath. When he finally agrees, he has a big problem with the bath water temperature. He gets in the tub. The water is perfect and he never wants to get out! I was really looking forward to reading this story. The Pigeon has been a huge favorite in the past. This class did not get into the story at all. I was expressive and silly, but they did not go along for the ride. I was shocked. The book has lots of holds so hopefully one on one the Pigeon will come out smelling sweet for them!
Story Stars – 4 and 5 year-olds
Rabbit Ears by Amber Stewart and Illustrated by Laura Rankin
Hopscotch is a typical boy bunny who knows what he likes and what he does not like. He likes his stuffed bunny Rabbity, playing with blocks and chocolate cake. Of course there are things he does not like, but he especially does not like having his ears washed. He does not like them wet or soapy. His poor mother tries several ways to convince him to change. Hopscotch does his best to avoid her efforts even when she offers him chocolate cake. When his nifty older cousin visits, they have an excellent time together. Hopscotch notices that older boys like Bobtail wash their ears quite easily. Once he gets the hang of it, Hopscotch is able to do it too. Because of his maturity he is allowed to sleep over Bobtail’s house for the very first time! The class appreciated the story and had thought-provoking comments about Hopscotch and his cousin.
Boats by Byron Barton
Since the theme was bath time, I stretched it a bit by using the app Boats because they travel by water. There are that various types of boats to explore. The sentences basically describe what each boat can do as they travel on the water. The children got to move the boats and tap the words that said them out loud. This allowed the children to fully explore all sights and sounds that happen when a boat or ship is used for work or play. The story was informative but not dry. Pages can be examined over and over without starting at the beginning of the book. The app worked effortlessly and kept the kids focused on the story even when it was not their turn. It was a boatload of fun!