Storytime Standbys

Since our new team of storytime providers will be subbing for each other (which they are used to), but they may now have to sub at short notice at a different branch (which they are not used to–yet), I asked them to all prepare an Emergency Storytime Kit to keep in their cars.

Then if I need to contact them in the morning to step in at another location, they can go straight there with a storytime ready to go, and not worry about stopping off at their desks to grab materials or use someone else’s storytime that they haven’t practiced.

We told everyone that we’d purchase 2 books for each team member to start their kits, and I loved seeing what titles they selected. Then yesterday Cory asked on the Facebook Storytime Underground page, “What 5 picture books (new or old) do you think every children’s collection absolutely must own?” and I loved reading THAT list too!

Which made me think you might have fun seeing the tried-and-true books the team selected, so here you go:

About a Bear, Surplice (x2!)
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Litwin (x2!)

Bear’s New Friend, Wilson
Press Here, Tullet
Pigeon Needs a Bath, Willems
Mud Puddle, Munsch
Seals on the Bus, Hort
Let’s Go for a Drive, Willems
Mama Why? Wilson
Except If, Averbeck
Edwina the Dinosaur, Willems
Duck on a Bike, Shannon
Bear Snores On, Wilson
My Bear Griz, McGinniss
More More More Said the Baby, Williams
Giraffes Can’t Dance, Andreae
Boy and His Bunny, Bryan
Don’t Play with Your Food, Shea
What Will Fat Cat Sit On? Thomas
I Want My Hat Back, Klassen
Kid Tea, Ficocelli
Butterfly, Butterfly, Horacek
Bear and Bee, Ruzzio

What books would you put in an emergency storytime kit?

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12 Responses to Storytime Standbys

  1. Danielle says:

    Bark George by Jules fifer
    Very lazy Ladybug by Finn

  2. ann m says:

    Duck on a Bike (Shannon) – everytime.
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Carle)
    It’s the Bear (Alborough)

    Those three could get me through anything.

    Also: Teasing Mr. Alligator flannel

  3. I second (or third) the “Pete the Cat” recommendation. I’d also have a copy of “Bark, George” by Jules Feiffer and “Rhyming Dust Bunnies” by Jan Thomas.

  4. Rick says:

    What a great idea and what a great list!!

    I would probably include:
    I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track, Prince
    Niño Wrestles the World, Morales

  5. Mary Penn - Washington District Library says:

    Bark, George! … There is a Bird on Your Head … Stop That Pickle! … Max Cleans Up … Pigs a-Plenty, Pigs Galore … and … Good Night, Good Knight … for younger children.
    And for older kids: What Do You Do with a Kangaroo? … Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really Big Adventure … Beware of the Storybook Wolves … Bubba the Cowboy Prince … The Wolf who Cried Boy … and Mr. Murray & Thumbkin

  6. Melissa says:


  7. Mary K says:

    I would ABSOLUTELY have Bark George and Pete the Cat. Also Owl Babies by Waddell, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Willems, Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Shea, Grumpy Bird by Tankard, and for the toddler set: Dear Zoo by Campbell and Monkey and Me by Gravett. What do they keep at the ready for babies? I would probably have “Little Mouse” flannelboard (or “Baby Duck”) flannel ready and my ukulele (Itsy Bitsy Spider is always a hit!)

  8. One – Kathryn Otoshi — All the other colors are intimidated by “Red” until “One” arrives and shows how everyone can count. This is a deceptively simple concept book that is also a brilliantly empowering story on how students can help one another stand up to bullies.

  9. Erin says:

    The Wide-Mouthed Frog (Faulkner), Press Here (Tullet), and The Incredible Book Eating Boy (Jeffers). For older kids I just adore Secret Pizza Party and Big Bad Bubble (Rubin)

  10. Mari Nowitz says:

    So, here’s the thing that just struck me about this and the super-cool list forming on the Storytime Underground FB page. It is so true that there are SO MANY essential books. It makes me happy in the extreme to see all of these titles together. But also, ANY book can be an essential book, as long as you, the storytime presenter, love it passionately and can’t wait to share it again with as many people as possible. When you can only choose 2 or even 5 titles, you have to distill things down to your absolute favorites. It’s such a personal thing, and I love that I can feel the joy coming from all of these posts because we love the books SO MUCH! Hooray!

  11. Melissa says:

    Hooray indeed, Mari! Exactly why everyone’s “emergency kit” is going to be different–and how cool is that? PS See you next week!!!

  12. Jane Dorfman says:

    Always work for me:

    Bark George! by Feiffer

    Whose Mouse Are You? by Kraus

    Benny Bakes a Cake by Rice

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