Monday, October 10, 2011

Tucking Them In...An Autumn Storytime for Families

This time of year, it is hard to find a more perfect book for story time than Denise Fleming's book, "Time to Sleep."  It is such a good book in so many ways.  It is simply and artfully told, attractively illustrated, and opens up dialogue about hibernation, animal homes, and signs of autumn.  Whether you are looking for a book to integrate into a hibernation theme, want something to talk about on a nature walk with your child, or need a gentle bedtime book...You'll love reading "Time to Sleep," and your children will love hearing it over and over again.

Below is a very snuggly story time for children and caregivers of all ages...a lovely evening family program at the library (invite everyone to bring a favorite blanket or pillow).  For parents and caregivers at home, it's an alternative to movie night.  Bring out all your softest quilts and blankets, a mountain of pillows and build your own winter family nest!


Opening Rhyme

The Wide Eyed Owl

There's a wide-eyed owl,
with a pointed nose,
with two pointed ears,
and claws for his toes.
He lives high in a tree.
When he looks at you
he flaps his wings,
and says, "Whoo, Whoo, Whoo."

Use actions on each line that is appropriate.


Time to Sleep, by Denise Fleming (Henry Holt, 1997)

Our Nest, by Reeve Lindbergh and illustrated by Jill McElmurry (Candlewick, 2004)

The Quilt Story, by Tony Johnston and Tomie dePaolo (Penguin Putman, 1985)

Hibernation Song
Tune: Are You Sleeping

Bear is sleeping, bear is sleeping
In the cave, in the cave.
I wonder when he'll come out,
I wonder when he'll come out
In the spring, In the spring.

Birds are flying, birds are flying
In the sky, in the sky.
I wonder when they'll come back,
I wonder when they'll come back,
In the spring, in the spring. 

Closing Song or Rhyme

Where Is Bear?
(substitute any hibernating animal)
Tune: Where Is Thumbkin?

Where is bear?
Here I am.
Here I am.
How are you this winter?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep.
Go to sleep.


All rhymes and song courtesy of Mrs. Jones Room.  Thank you!

Hi!  My name is Anne Lee.  I am a children's author, illustrator, and children's librarian (most recently with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh).  For other programs, reviews, and art activities please visit my blog: or my website