- Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner. Great opener & great readaloud! Carson fell over backwards! Try to gurgle the r in "frog" and don't forget to pinch up your mouth at the end for the alligator encounter.
- Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni. The way frogs grow up? It's just weird. Every fish could tell you that. (Tarpon Springs has the big book.)
- Oscar and the Frog by Geoff Waring. Educational series, we'll see how these smart little VPKs like it.
- Big Frog Can't Fit In by Mo Willems. The sheer engineering genius of this book makes up for its underwhelming story. Try pushing the sad big frog/good friends angle.
- Gripping tale: 99 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura. It gripped us!
- I Don't Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty. Little Froggie is complaining bitterly to Froggie Dad about being a wet, slimy creature instead of an owl, say, or maybe a pig. Until they bump into a wolf....
- Story of the Turtle Who Flew:
I held up two turtle puppets and showed them the cracks on their backs.
"This is the story of why turtles have cracks on their backs. The birds and the turtles all lived along the shores of a great river. The turtle was very smart. He noticed that the birds could eat all the little fish and bugs on one side of the river, and then fly to the other side in just seconds and eat some more, while the poor turtles had to swim and swim and swim. The more he watched those birds fly, the more he wished he too could go up high.
Finally he crawled up to a flock of them and said, "Please-birds-I've-been-watching-you-and-I-really-really-want-to-fly-up-high-like-you-I-really-really-do-it-looks-so-amazing-and-fun-and-easy-please-please-birds-won't-you-take me-up-too?"
"How could we do that? We are birds. We have wings. You are a turtle with short stumpy legs."
"An interesting plan, turtle. But there is one problem with it."
"Turtle, it wouldn't work. Because you couldn't give your big mouth shut long enough."
"Well, we were going across the river anyway, so pick out your stick." Turtle found his stick, and bit down with his jaws, which weren't all that powerful. One bird got on one side of him and one on the other, they picked up the stick with their claws, and took off.
Turtle was up in the air! He was up up up, looking down down down at every body. There was an alligator, ha ha, stuck in the water. He wiggled his turtle foot at it, but of course the gator didn't look up and see him. They flew over a hippo. He wiggled his turtle at it, but of course, the hippo didn't look up. They flew over some children playing, and they looked up and saw him!
They were so amazed! They all pointed at him, and he was very proud to be in the air, all because of his brilliant idea. He waved all his feet at them.
"Wow, look at those birds!" he heard them call out to each other. "They're so smart, they've figured out how to carry turtles around!"
The BIRDS were so smart! Turtle was FURIOUS! He stopped waving his feet, craned his head down at them over the stick, and shouted down, "But it was my ideaaaaaaaaaa SPLAT."
Turtle landed on the back of his shell, and that's why, to this day, turtles have cracked shells.
(I first learned this story from Donarita Vocca, a storyteller who learned it at the Jonesboro Storytelling Festival. What makes the story fun is having the turtle speak super fast, running his words together and repeating himself again and again. When he's up in the air, I stand up and move my hands over my head as if holding on to a stick, look down, and move around on tiptoes.)
- Froggy Learns to Swim by Jonathon London. Fun motions, and ALL the kids in my storytimes are taking swimming lessons.
- I Wish I Could Fly by Ron Maris. A mom turned the pages for me while I acted out the story with puppets. I turned off the lights when it began to rain at the end of the story -- that got their attention -- and just then the roofers started stomping around on the roof. "And the lightning and the THUNDER" I said! Next year I'll have to bribe Stan to crawl up on the roof for me because it was a hit.
Songs & Poems, besides the usual:
- 5 green and speckled frogs
- Over in the meadow
- There was a little turtle (with turtle puppet)
- Clapping Song: Tiny Tim
- Hop Little Bunnies (2nd stanza is about hopping froggies)