Last week I was invited to tell stories at a local preschool. I gathered up some puppets, a few books, a handful of flannel stories and my portable felt board, and loaded up my car. It was snowing when I left, so the drive was a little white-knuckled, but by the time I arrived, the snow had cleared, and the roads were fine. I walked in to a warm room filled with noise and scissors and crayons and dress-up and laughter. “She’s here! She’s here!” they shouted and the child care workers proceeded to round them up and get them into a circle. I started with a book, just to test the waters. I knew I was in the right place when they shouted “Another!” as soon as I closed the book. I told them a puppet story. We sang a song. I did a flannel story. We read another book. I did another puppet story. I told them “The Wide Mouthed Frog”. Then a fingerplay story (anybody know Mr. Wiggle and Mr. Waggle?) Another flannel. At this point, they are still shouting “Another!” I read another book, and was nearly out of ideas (and voice) when I decided to try a longer story on them. I had recently used Margaret Read MacDonald’s Conejito : a folktale from Panama at storytime, and I’ve been fortunate to hear the story told several times by the brilliant Jen and Nat Whitman, so I thought I could pull it off. It was a rousing fun version, even if I did forget to include one character. The kids loved it and when we all got up at the end to dance and say “OOH LA LA”, I knew it was a success. The lovely posterboard card they made for me as a thank you was sweet, but their shouts for one more story made my day.
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