Blogger Katie Salo

Using Caldecott Books In Storytime

Celebrating 75 years of the Caldecott!Ever since I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the Youth Media Awards in Seattle, I’ve been thinking about how to use Caldecott books in storytime. Sarah Bean Thompson has been doing all Caldecott books in her storytimes this year, and that has really inspired me to better incorporate Caldecott books into my themes! To help me achieve my goals, I went ahead and brainstormed ideas for this year’s winner and honor books.

"This Is Not My Hat" -- 2013 Winner
“This Is Not My Hat” — 2013 Winner
  • This Is Not My Hat written & illustrated by Jon Klassen — obviously you can use this book with an ocean or fish theme. Or get more creative and use it in a storytime about manners. Or do a fish and food chain storytime and pair it with either “I’m the Biggest Thing In the Ocean” by Kevin Sherry or “Ugly Fish” by Kara LaReau.
  • Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Jon Klassen — I’ve used this book in Letter “Y” storytime before with great success. But I would love to use it in a pirates theme. Or you could pair it with “Crafty Chloe” by Kelly DiPucchio and do a crafts theme.
  • Creepy Carrots written by Aaron Reynolds & illustrated by Peter Brown — you’ve got rabbits and vegetables as the obvious (but effective) picks here. I would love to do this book in a very scary storytime, accompanied by “The Spider & the Fly” by Tony DiTerlizzi.
  • Green written & illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger — colors, frogs, anything else with green in it. You could also use it in a storytime with cut-out pages, like Petr Horacek’s “Butterfly, Butterfly” or Seeger’s other Caldecott Honor, “First the Egg.”
  • One Cool Friend written by Toni Buzzeo & illustrated by David Small — could be used in a storytime about penguins, the zoo, or friends. But it would also make a great storytime addition to Father’s Day themes, too!
  • Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue & illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski — this is tailor-made bedtime story if I ever saw one. You could also use it in an animal themed storytime or together with Eric Carle’s “From Head to Toe” since they both use the refrain “like an animal.”

Do you have any other Caldecott books and storytime pairings to suggest? Let me know in the comments!

– Katie Salo
Youth Services Manager
Melrose Park Library


  1. Debbie

    This post comes at a perfect time, I am doing a Caldecott theme storytime for preschoolers on Tuesday! I am reading This Is Not My Hat, Creepy Carrots (love this book!), Sleep Like A Tiger, and Grandpa Green (my favorite from last year). I’m excited to see how the kids like it and talk about the illustrations! I’m subbing for the regular preschool storytime librarian, so it is a different theme than she usually uses. It’s also my first storytime at my library!

  2. Sam

    Sick Day for Amos McGee – sniffly storytime, zoo storytime
    The Lion and the Mouse – jungle theme
    A couple of boys have the best week ever – summer theme

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