When preparing for a Fairy Tales storytime awhile back a coworker introduced me to The End by David LaRochelle and Richard Egielski. I love it so much I'm going to use it agian in our GIANT TIME program in a few weeks! The story begins with "And they lived happily ever after. They lived happily ever after because ..." and it tells the story of the soggy knight falling in love with the clever princess backwards. I love it - I absolutely love it. At the end when everything comes together, kids as young as 3 were getting it as the their eyes lit up and they realized what happened to the lemons! So wonderful! And it is a perfect tie in for multiple early literacy points - Narrative Skills (most stories are told moving forward in time! Lets read one that moves BACKWARDS!), Print Motivation (books can be arranged so many ways! How do you feel about books that read like this?), Print Awareness (what was different about how that book was set up?). The storytime I read this in was huge - 87 kids! But I can't wait to use this in a more intimate setting - one of our age specific storytimes, a 3s or a 4,5,K where I can more easily start up a discussion about the book. I want to see if the kids can then tell the story back to me forward! Kaylee can, but one-on-one storytimes are different.
I pulled A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C Stead and Erin E Stead off the new books cart somewhat on a whim and I'm so glad I did. The book is a story about a zookeeper who befriends all the animals and when he wakes up sick one day his animal friends take the bus to see him. It's beautiful and adorable and somewhat perfect. Kaylee is definitely not reading yet, but on our way home from the library (husband had dropped her off just as I got off of work) Kaylee started acting a bit like a 3 year old (every once in awhile she remembers that 3 year olds are traditionally obnoxious) so I handed her the top book in the pile and she was enchanted the entire drive. She recounted the entire story to me as we drove ("look! He's playing checkers with his friend the elephant! Look, he's chasing after the turtle! ... Oh, he's in bed and he looks sad. Is he sick? ... His friends are sad. Why isn't he playing with his friends, Mommy? Look! The penguin is bringing him a balloon! He's playing checkers with his friend again!" etc.), and I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart that the pictures in this book are so beautiful and expressive that the Kins could get everything out of the book without me having ever read it to her before.