Well, I performed my first official children's storytime the other day, and I think I did a pretty good job of it. It was sprung on me all of a sudden, but no one else was going to be there to do it (schedule changes and adjusting and events in the evening). So, I got a few tips from our Youth Programs Coordinator the day before and the next morning, I was introduced to it trial by fire style. Just the way I like it, haha.
She told me it was a good idea to have a theme in your books whenever you read to kids, but it isn't necessary. It is just good for tying everything together. She also said not to pick too many. Two or three stories is enough for the kids I was going to read stories to.
I wanted to do one book about cats, one book about hats, and one book about bats at first. Since they all rhymed, I thought I was being pretty clever. But I couldn't find a very good book with a story about bats in it, so I abandoned that idea and ended up going with cats. I read a bunch of picture books with cats in them, so I thought it would put me at ease reading some books that I had read before.
I chose ....
Red Cat, Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond
Clarence the Copy Cat by Patricia Lakin
The Secret Life of Walter Kitty by Barbara Jean Hicks
Some of my favorite kitty books :) - I tried to be clever and add another underlying theme with the books too. All of the cats in all of the books learn the value of being themselves and staying true to themselves while appreciating another's way of doing things. I'm not sure that the kids understood the underlying theme, but they seemed to enjoy the books a lot.
Our Youth Programs Coordinator told me that the best storytimes engage kids as they read, so I asked them questions about the books as we were reading like "Where is Clarence at?" and "What do all the things Red Cat ate have in common?" .... the kids were pretty bright for their age. For my first storytime, I only stumped them once or twice. I was afraid the questions I was going to ask would be too hard.
I stumbled across the words a couple of times and the pages got stuck together in some spots, but I just laughed it off like it was no big deal. It's all you can do, right? The show must go on!
She also said that they normally ask if the kids liked the stories at the end, but since this was my first one, not to because kids can be brutally honest and she didn't want to have me scared to do more storytimes. But I asked them, and I was happy a lot of them said "yes!" they liked the stories very much.
I know I'm only a youth assistant, but I had a lot of fun and I hope they will let me do storytime again so I can get better and better :)