Zoo books = awesome storytime with preschoolers! I just have to share a few of the great ones I discovered this week while doing storytime with my typically squirmy batch of storytime kids. We did do some fun action rhymes and had some puppets from the “zoo” come to visit which helped calm some of the squirmies, but if the books aren’t up to par, the kiddos won’t sit still no matter what.
The first story we read was Animal Strike at the Zoo. It’s True! written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Margaret Spengler Valeria Petrone, and it was a hit. The kids loved the illustrations and understood the jokes. It was a good story to encourage the little ones to interact and ask what they would do or feel in different situations (What would you feel like if you were at the zoo and all of the monkeys were sleeping?) Plus, I really enjoyed the story so that helped with the enthusiasm level in which I told it.
Then we moved on to Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert. They LOVED this one! If you haven’t checked this book out yet, take a look at it. It really sparks the imagination and gives some great practice with shapes. Different animals are created through the use of shapes and each page has a certain shape cut out of the middle of it, so when the page is turned a new animal is created. At first the kiddos didn’t really get it, but after a little coaxing and explanation they understood it perfectly and were shouting out the shapes they saw and what animals they thought were on the page (which can get quite creative!).
Our third read, Two at the Zoo by Danna Smith and illustrated by Valeria Petrone was just as well received. Here the kids got to count different zoo animals we discovered throughout the zoo with the little boy in the story and his grandpa. The pictures were brought to life with bright colors and were very fun to look at. The book rhymed the animals with the numbers so it was easy for the little ones to figure out what number would come next. And it only went up to ten so the book didn’t seem to drag on and on.
I did try to sneak in a fourth book since the first three went so well, but I was pushing my luck. I read (most of) Never, Ever Shout In A Zoo written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Doug Cushman. It was a great story but four books was just too much for the younger ones in my bunch. I ended up having to skip every other page and some of the repetitive sentences. The book told a rather funny story of a girl who shouted in the zoo and inadvertently ended up letting all the animals out, who in turn locked all of the humans up. The kids did like my shortened version though.
Then we ended with a quick and easy paper plate lion craft I came up with that morning
since I was bit behind schedule all week :S but it turned out pretty cool and the kids had fund, so I was okay with it! We just took a paper plate colored it brown or orange or whatever color they wanted and then painted glue around the outside rim of the plate and stuck on torn up bits of orange tissue paper. Then drew on a face and ta-da…Lion! (picture to come)
Does anyone know of any other great zoo books for pre-schoolers?