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4 of our Children’s Librarian’s Favorite Stories to Stream Right Now

4 of our Children’s Librarian’s Favorite Stories to Stream Right Now

Looking for storytime online? Through the generosity of writers and publishers many picture books are currently being read and shared on the internet. Decorah Public Library’s Children’s/ Young Adult Librarian (and storytime fan) Rachael Button shares some of her favorites readings AND some ways children and caregivers can continue learning after storytime.

(Youtube links in story titles.)

  1. You Hold Me Up by Monica Gray Smith

Suggested age: Any!

Why our Children’s Librarian loves it:

“Cree Lakota author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers, and educators about the importance of the connection. I love this video, in part, because it was made pre-COVID-19 so author is reading to a group of children, taking their questions, and listening to their ideas. For those of us who read to children, Monique Gray Smith is a wonderful model for how to listen to children and let their ideas and insights shape storytime.”

Extensions:

  • List things that your family is doing to hold each other up or to hold up your community.
  • Make a list of things you want to do in the future to show kindness and care.
  • Write and illustrate your own book using “You hold me up when…” as a refrain.
  1. A Map of the World by Kao Kalia Yang

Suggested age: First grade and up, this is a picture book that has a bit heavier content and more text.

Why our Children’s Librarian loves it:

“Hmong-American award-winning author and teacher Kao Kalia Yang is fairly local: She’s a Carlton College grad who currently lives in St. Paul. She chose to share this story online because she believes positive representations of Asian Americans are really important in this cultural moment. I love this book because it’s so gentle and also so vivid. It represents a range of experiences from moving, to having a new sibling, to losing a neighbor, to trying to make art to help someone who’s grieving.”

Extensions:

  • This book is a great story to take some time with—there’s a lot of substance and a lot of space for family conversation.
  • After reading it you may want to: 1-create art for someone you love, 2-draw your own “map of the world” with sidewalk chalk, or 3-write your own story about the last year of your life: What happened each season? What details do you remember?
  1. Where are my books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Suggested age: Any!

Why our Children’s Librarian loves it:

“So many kids love and need stories that are silly!  The book is light, funny, and relatable.  (Who among us hasn’t lost or misplaced a book before?!)   This video is particularly awesome because the author (Debbie Ridpath Ohi) talks about her writing inspiration and shares instructions for drawing squirrels.”

Extensions:

  • Draw squirrels following the author’s instructions!
  • Write or tell a story about the squirrels you drew.
  1. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner

Suggested age: K and up

Why our Children’s Librarian loves it:

“Kate Messner is a former classroom teachers whose books show us how vivid and beautiful ecology can be. I love this particular book because it’s the perfect story to share with kids before starting your own garden work.”

Extensions:

  • Kate Messner ends this video by suggesting that kids watching should get outside and see what they notice both in and above the soil. This close observation could be a fun start to 1-doing some nature journaling, 2-writing and illustrating your own “Over and Under”, 3-starting to plan and plant a garden, or 4-germinating seeds in a ziploc bag where you so you can watch how they grow.

Other awesome resources available online:

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