I don't think it's a mystery that I love working at the library, and moreover, that I love the children's section. And by "love" I mean it's an abnormal day to leave the library without at least one picture book tucked neatly under my arm.
Usually there are three or four.
This morning I got to participate in one of the aspects of the library I adore the most. Storytime! Lest ye be deterred, storytime is not just some miserly old woman sitting in front of a group of disgruntled toddlers reading them archaic stories. No! This is nearly an hour jam packed with books, fingerplays, songs, physical activities, and merriment, all orchestrated to help develop early literacy skills.
I was guest this week and worked with one of the usuals on the theme du jour. Guess what it was! No, really, guess!
Okay, fine, I'll tell you. It has to do with animals and going out and finding them..
That's right! SAFARI!
I came dressed up in my "safari explorer" gear, equipped with a safari hat and felt very Crocodile Dundee. We started off with the book Starry Safari, which I loved, but the monstrous group of five year-olds was far too active to sit through much more reading. So we went on a safari.
It. Was. Awesome!
The kids and I held our hands up to our eyes and yelled "Come with me! What animals will we see?" Then my lovely assistant would pop out of the coat closet carrying (and sometimes animating) a stuffed animal. The kids would all shout out what the animal was, we'd make an animal noise or movement that went along with it and then bring our hands up to our eyes again. I had to get inventive with some of the animals, but they were the most fun. For example...
Does anyone know what an ostrich sounds like? I don't. All I know is that they're tall and have silly feathers. So what did we do? We raised both of our hands hiiiiiiiiigh in the air and wiggled.
It was an instant classic.
The fun only got better when we had a staff meeting immediately following storytime in which everyone was curious about the safari extravaganza. If you think a group of preschoolers raising their hands high in the air and wiggling is a hoot, wait until you see about ten middle-aged librarians.
Also an instant classic.
"Come with me! What animals will we see?"