Storytime Thoughts from Ms. Sydney
I know every word of Margaret Wise Brown’s story Goodnight Moon by heart.
You might assume that’s because I’m a children’s librarian, but this is not the reason. Goodnight Moon was *the* book for my youngest child—grown-ups, you know what I’m talking about…
…That one story, song, silly little bouncing game that your child will ask for approximately 40 times a day.
As a toddler, he’d come into his room at bedtime carrying an armful of books, the enormous stack leaning against his little belly, always balancing our Goodnight Moon board book right at the top.
We’d read it together as the last story before bed, and sometimes when we woke up in the morning, and while we ate snack, and on the car trip to Grandmas… After a while, I was ready for a new selection. But one night, we got to the final two pages: Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere.
As I read, my son wiggled his teeny fingers over the black and white stars on the page, like he was sprinkling a little magic.
Next time we read, I did it too and it became our special addition to the story. Snuggled in the glider together, we’d whisper the last few words and wiggle our fingers like we were tickling the stars.
We invented more silly actions —waving our hands like a pair of mittens and fixing our hair with the comb and the brush.
I noticed how he would sit engaged with the book for longer than usual, so I took the opportunity to weave in other early learning practice, too.
We’d look for other colors in the great green room and count the stars after we tickled them (there are a lot, in case you’re curious). I loved how it motivated him to want to read, but most of all, my mama heart cherished these moments of togetherness that were all created from *the* favorite book.
Whether it’s with a book, a song, or a puppet, special moments of togetherness make children feel safe and confident.
They find joy in this playful learning and the best part is, they get to do it with their favorite person.
At the library, we get the privilege of helping to create these opportunities for learning and growing together at storytime.
Every once in a while, I will read (or rather, recite) Goodnight Moon at storytime and I mention to the adults how this book always brings back warm, snuggly memories of reading with my own little one who is no longer so little. I tell them how I hope that they might leave with a new favorite book or a silly rhyme their child falls in love with.
And I remind them that not only will this build their child’s early literacy and learning skills, but it also strengthens the ever-growing bond with their favorite person—you.
We can’t wait to make memories at storytime this fall.
On weekday mornings, MPPL will host 3-week storytime sessions for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, all tailor-made for each age group’s unique stages and interests.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning sessions require registration, which can be a great option for families looking to see familiar faces every week.
If you prefer the flexibility of drop-in storytime, join us on Thursday and Friday mornings with no registration required.
If evenings are a better fit for your family’s schedule, we’re here to help!
On Tuesday nights, our Virtual Mini Movers storytime is filled with songs, a story, and lots of musically magnificent movement. Join in via Zoom for fast-paced fun from the comfort of your living room.
On Wednesday nights, bring the whole crew to the library for an all-ages Family Storytime that’s got something special and fun for everyone.
For more information on storytimes and for registration, check out our full calendar here.
Registration for all our September programs, including Storytime, opens on August 15th!
Looking for a sweet, silly read aloud to create your own storytime moments at home?
Here’s a list of tried-and-true suggestions for little readers, all linked to our catalog so you can easily reserve them.
Who knows, maybe one of these will become *the* favorite book at your house!
Sydney Stensland is the Early Childhood Librarian at Mount Prospect Library. She has worked as an early childhood teacher, curriculum writer, and toy designer. As a passionate advocate for play, curiosity, and the power of a picture book, she has presented workshops for parents and educators of young children ways to create whole-child opportunities for literacy, language, and social-emotional success.