Don’t Rain on My Parade!

Between Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s day, there are a lot of parades in St. Louis in March. Join in the fun with these picture books.

The Rain Stomper  Addie Boswell

Jazmin is all set to twirl her baton in the big parade, but is let down when thunder and rain rumble into town. Instead of wallowing in her disappointment, Jazmin rolls with the rhythms of pounding rain and crashing thunder to become the “Rain Stomper”. The illustrations and graphics in The Rain Stomper are terrific. The muted colors mirror Jazmin’s initial dreary mood, but the oversized “kerplunk”, “boom”, “walla”, and “crash” graphics enliven the pages with a stormy rhythm.

Max Found Two Sticks  Brian Pinkney

With inspiration from sounds in the neighborhood, such as chiming church bells, fluttering pigeon wings, and clanging train tracks, Max uses two fallen sticks to drum on pails, cans, and bottles. His musical efforts are noticed by a passing marching band drummer. This book offers a lot of opportunities for participation. When I use this book, I sometimes bring two sticks with me, and encourage listeners to take turns doing “drum solos” on the floor.

Paper Parade   Sarah Weeks

When the needs of a little girl’s baby brother prevent her from participating in the parade outside, she immerses herself in paper crafting and eventually dozes off. In her dreams, she is the leader of her own fantastic paper parade, with mermaids, pandas in bumper cars, and cello-playing bears. In the end, her creative expression helps her make amends with her kid brother. Like The Rain Stomper, and Max Found Two Sticks, the text of this book echoes the rhythm of a parade–many of the words in Paper Parade begin with the fun-to-say prefix “tickity”. The illustrations are entirely made with paper, which may inspire kids to make their own paper parades.

Other ideas for a parade theme:

  • Listen to marching band music from the library, such as music by John Phillips Sousa .
  • Request toy musical instruments from the library’s toy collection, and fashion your own parade .
  • Wear hats!

–Brian Novak


Planning Some Programs?

If you’re a caregiver or teacher, you’re likely to often be looking for new variety in your programs and storytimes. Rob Reid’s resource books have lots of ideas to get your creative juices flowing in planning programs for mixed age and school age groups.

–Beth Scandrett-Leatherman

Baa, Baa, Green Sheep

Now is the time to enjoy green-ness. But how can we celebrate without the green sheep? We know where the blue sheep, the red sheep, the bath sheep, and the bed sheep are. Help us search for our missing friend in the pages of Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek.
A “living” green sheep can be made using an empty tissue roll, cardboard, cotton balls, and grass seeds. Punch 4 small holes into the bottom of the toilet tissue roll.  Roll 4 small pieces of cardboard small enough to fit into the holes, and secure with glue or tape. Cut an oblong shape with ears resembling a sheep’s head and attach to the upper front of the tissue roll with glue or tape.  Cover the tissue roll by gluing cotton balls over the surface, and let dry.  Lightly spritz the cotton with water and sprinkle with grass seeds.  Place your sheep in a sunny spot and spray with water daily.  Before long, you will have a green sheep of your very own.
–Jane Lambert

Extraordinary Women: Honoring Women’s History

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History has a tendency to hide groups that aren’t in power at any given time; because of this we often have to dig a bit deeper to find what was happening. Women’s History Month honors the undersung females of our past; here are a few of my favourite selections from the SLPL catalog about these women.

  • You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer!  Shana Corey
  • Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream  Tanya Lee Stone
  • Me, Frida  Amy Novesky
  • Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart  Candace Fleming
  • Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald  Roxane Orgill
  • Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World  Marilyn Nelson & Jerry Pinkney

Read-a-Likes: Junie B. Jones

Has your child devoured every single Junie B. Jones book at the library and still wants more? Here are some other books that also have spunky girl protagonists that are for about the same reading level.

“Clementine” by Sara Pennypacker

“Sassy: Little Sister is Not My Name” by Sharon Draper

“Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up” by Melissa Thomson

“Ruby and the Booker Boys” by Derrick Barnes

“Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same” by Grace Lin

“Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel” by Nikki Grimes

“Judy Moody” by Megan McDonald

“Ruby Lu, Brave and True” by Lenore Look

— Eliza Pope


Interested in tying books in with current events? The picture book Tsunami by Kimiko Kajikawa tells of one man’s attempt to warn his fellow villagers of a huge wave approaching.  Fourth and fifth grade classrooms enjoyed it, especially when I showed them the picture of a tsunami from Ben Hillman’s How Big Is It? (and while you’re at it, let them see the python on the escalator and the polar bear on the basketball court photos, too).

–Beth Scandrett-Leatherman

Feeling Green

That’s What Leprechauns Do Eve Bunting

In Ireland, the wee folk’s job is to place the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. One of the mischief leprechauns messes up his neighbor’s properties instead of doing his duty. As the rain begins to fall, everyone was out to look for the treasures. Will anyone find his or her gold at the end of the rainbow or something else?   

St. Patrick’s Day Alphabet  Beverly Barras Vidrine

This a great alphabet book with Irish symbols and Irish Culture in it.

Clever Tom and the Leprechaun  Linda Shute

Clever Tom Fitzpatrick captured a leprechaun and he thinks his fortune is set. The leprechaun negotiates his freedom by letting Tom know the secret hidden treasure. As the same, leprechaun has a clever plan that will let him keeps his treasure and his promise to Tom. What plan do you think the little mischief comes up with?

–Adeline Chow