Children`s Programming



Children`s Programming
Children’s Programming
M o n t h l y
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P ro g r a m s & IDE AS for Pr eschool T HRO UGH gra de 3
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from the
Chinese Stories
Kathy MacMillan
Welcome to Children’s Programming
Monthly, a compilation of ideas culled
from bestselling ALA Editions programming books.
Thinking about summer reading programs? The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) can help. The organization, a members only cooperative
encompassing 49 states and the D.C.
area, chose “One World, Many Stories”
as its 2011 theme. The selections in this
issue support that topic, but they can be
used in programming throughout the
year. For a snapshot of CSLP and its offerings, visit
All books in this issue are still available, many in new editions, including
some in Spanish.
For information about ALA titles
mentioned, visit our store (alastore.ala
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Stephanie Zvirin
[email protected]
Children’s Programming Monthly
(ISSN 2156-8685) is published 13 times a year by the
American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St, Chicago,
IL. 60611. It is managed by ALA Editions.
The Foolish Merchant
and The Greedy Camel
Yvonne Amar Frey
African Tales
Diane Briggs
All Around the World
Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker
The Magic Fox
Margaret Read MacDonald
Festivals and Fiestas/
Los Festivales y Las Fiestas
Rose Zertuche Treviño
Sing the World
Sue McLeaf Nespeca and Joan B. Reeve
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Vol. 1 / Bonus Issue
(ISBN 978-0-8389-5822-3)
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Editor: Stephanie Zvirin
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Copyright © 2011 American Library Association.
All materials in this journal subject to copyright by the
American Library Association.
a program to share?
Do you have a successful program or activity you would
like to share—a storytime, a puppet play, a flannelboard,
even a list of picture books your kids really love? Send
your submissions and suggestions to Stephanie Zvirin, ALA
Editions, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St.,
Chicago, IL 60611; [email protected]
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus Issue / 2
Kathy MacMillan
Chinese Stories
acMillan includes plenty of wonderful projects
and picture books to introduce children to Chinese
culture and folklore, but the most unusual feature of her
program may be her recorded music suggestions, which
include Chinese Lullabies by the Beijing Angelic Choir.
Excerpted from A Box Full of Tales.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus Issue / 3
Chinese Stories
_ = material especially useful with toddlers
The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine. Simon and Schuster,
The Empty Pot by Demi. Henry Holt, 1990.
The Greatest Treasure by Demi. Scholastic, 1998.
How the Ox Star Fell from Heaven by Lily Toy Hong. Albert Whitman, 1991.
_ Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong. Albert Whitman, 1993.
_ My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz. Henry Holt, 2004.
The Rooster’s Antlers: A Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Eric A. Kimmel.
Holiday House, 1999.
In the Snow by Huy Voun Lee. Henry Holt, 1995.
1, 2, 3, Go! by Huy Voun Lee. Henry Holt, 2000.
Big Jimmy’s Kum Kau Chinese Take Out by Ted Lewin. HarperCollins, 2002.
_ Dim Sum for Everyone by Grace Lin. Knopf, 2001.
_ Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin. Knopf, 2004.
The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy. Scholastic, 1990.
C Is for China by Sungwan So. Silver Press, 1997.
_ Red Is a Dragon: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Thong. Chronicle, 2001.
The Seven Chinese Sisters by Kathy Tucker. Albert Whitman, 2003.
Beyond the Great Mountains: A Visual Poem about China by Ed Young.
Chronicle, 2005.
Lin Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Tale by Brenda Williams. Barefoot, 2009.
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young. Philomel,
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 4
Chinese Stories
Recorded Music
Chinese Lullabies by Beijing Angelic Choir. Wind Records, 1996.
“In the People’s Republic of China” and “A Train Ride to the Great Wall” from
I Know the Colors in the Rainbow by Ella Jenkins. Educational Activities,
Inc., 1994.
_ “China (Show Ha Mo)” from Multicultural Rhythm Stick Fun by Georgiana
Stewart. Kimbo Educational, 2006.
_ “Chinese New Year: Dancing Dragon” from A World of Parachute Play by
Georgiana Stewart. Kimbo Educational, 1997.
I have two little chopsticks.
I got them at the store.
I use them to eat my rice,
And then I eat some more!
Chinese 1, 2, 3
1, 2, 3, can you count with me?
In Chinese we say
yi, er, san.
That is 1, 2, 3.
As I was walking down the street,
down the street, down the street,
My little friend I chanced to meet,
and so I said “Hello.”
But in China, walking down the street,
down the street, down the street,
In China, walking down the street,
people say “Ni hao.”
(Pronounced “nee haw”)
The Senses
(A traditional Chinese nursery rhyme)
Little eyes see pretty things,
Little nose smells what is sweet,
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 5
Chinese Stories
Little ears hear pleasant sounds,
Mouth likes delicious things to eat.
Five Fingers
(A traditional Chinese nursery rhyme)
This one is old,
(Hold up each finger as you say the lines)
This one is young,
This one has no meat,
This one has gone to buy some hay,
And this one is on the street.
The Cow
(A traditional Chinese nursery rhyme)
A cow is on the mountain,
The old saying goes,
On her legs are four feet;
On her feet are eight toes.
Her tail is behind
On the end of her back,
And her head is in front
On the end of her neck.
Good Morning Song
(To the tune of “Happy Birthday”)
Good morning to you, good morning to you,
Good morning everybody, good morning to you.
Ni hao (nee haw) to you, ni hao to you,
Ni hao everybody, ni hao to you.
_ Five Fortune Cookies
Pieces needed: 5 fortune cookies
5 fortune cookies waiting by the door,
My mother ate one, and then there were 4.
4 fortune cookies—what’s inside? We’ll see!
My father ate one, and then there were 3.
3 little fortune cookies, with messages, it’s true,
My sister ate one, and then there were 2.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 6
Chinese Stories
2 little fortune cookies, isn’t this fun?
My brother ate one, and then there was 1.
1 little fortune cookie, yum yum yum,
I ate that one, and then there were none.
Let’s count those cookies in Chinese:
Yi, er, san, si, wu!
Additional Suggestions
Chinese Character Cards
Copy the Chinese characters from Huy Voun Lee’s books (on page 4) onto large
pieces of posterboard and laminate. Use these “cards” to introduce the concept
of Chinese characters while sharing Lee’s stories. Have the children draw the
characters in the air with their fingers.
Chopstick Pickup Game
Pieces needed: A pair of chopsticks and a pom-pom for each child
Have the children put the pom-poms on a floor or table and practice using the
chopsticks to pick them up. For older children, you could have a “chopstick
relay race,” where they have to carry the pom-pom across the room with the
Paper Lantern
Materials: 1 piece of construction paper for each child, a strip of construction paper about 7 inches by 1 inch for each child, scissors, tape, decorating
1.Fold the construction paper in half the long way.
2.Starting from the folded edge, cut slits in the paper at 1-inch intervals,
stopping about 2 inches from the opposite edge of the paper.
3. Unfold the paper.
4. Wrap the shorter edges of the paper around, overlap, and tape them
5. Tape the single strip of construction paper to the top of the lantern to
form a handle.
6. Decorate as desired.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 7
Yvonne Amar Frey
The Foolish Merchant
and the Greedy Camel
rye’s simple puppet play, easy enough to be presented by one
person, is rooted in an Arabic proverb. Follow your performance
with a picture book such as Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur! by Margaret
Read MacDonald and Ibrahim Muhawi (Marshall Cavendish, 2006);
The Golden Sandal, a Cinderella variant by Rebecca Hickox (Holiday,
1999); or, for slightly older children, Goha the Wise Fool by Denys
Johnson-Davis (Philomel, 2005).
Excerpted from One-Person Puppetry Streamlined and Simplified.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus Issue / 8
The Foolish merchant and the greedy camel
Puppets needed: A man (merchant), a camel
Prop: A tent (optional)
NARRATOR: Once upon a time in the desert in the Middle East, a merchant
set up his tent for the night. As he was arranging his pillows, he saw the flap of
the tent open slightly. (The man and the camel enter)
CAMEL: Oh, Master, Master!
MERCHANT: Yes, what do you want, Camel?
CAMEL: Nothing important, Master. It is just that I, your faithful camel, am
getting rather chilly out here in the desert.
MERCHANT: Well, what is that to me? You are a beast of burden. You should
be used to the nightly cold.
CAMEL: Oh, I am, Master, but I was wondering if I could ask a slight favor of
MERCHANT: Go ahead and ask; I am awake now. What is it?
CAMEL: Well, I wondered if I could just put my nose inside the tent to warm
up a bit.
MERCHANT: I suppose that wouldn’t hurt anything. Sure, but just your nose.
It is a small tent, after all. Good night now.
NARRATOR: So the camel put his nose in the tent. A little later in the evening, the camel makes a noise to get the merchant’s attention.
CAMEL: Humpf. Humpf.
MERCHANT: What is it now, Camel?
CAMEL: Oh, nothing much, Master. I just wondered if I could put the rest of
my head in the tent. It would be a lot warmer for me.
MERCHANT: Oh, I guess so. It’s all right for you to put your whole head in the
tent. Just let me sleep.
NARRATOR: So the camel put his head in the tent and was warmer that
night. The next night, the camel makes the noise again to get the merchant’s
CAMEL: Humpf. Humpf.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 9
The Foolish merchant and the greedy camel
MERCHANT: Yes, Camel, what is it now? Your head is now in the tent. What
more do you want?
CAMEL: I was happy with my head in the tent, but I was just wondering if you
would object to my putting my front legs in, too. I think that would
make me even more comfortable.
MERCHANT: Well, I guess so. Your legs and your head, huh?
CAMEL: Yes, Master. I’m sure I would be much more comfortable.
MERCHANT: All right. Now leave me alone!
NARRATOR: So the camel put his front legs and his whole head in the tent.
Later that night, the merchant heard the camel once again.
CAMEL: Humpf. Humpf. Master, please wake up.
MERCHANT: Huh? What is it now, Camel?
CAMEL: Well, it’s just that I am still not very comfortable with just my head
and legs inside the tent. I need to be completely inside in order to lie down.
MERCHANT: I’m sorry, Camel, but there isn’t room in here for both of us. The
tent just isn’t big enough for us both to lie down.
CAMEL: Yes, I realize that, Master, but . . . I have been thinking about that. I
think there’s one thing we can do.
CAMEL: You have to leave and let me have the whole tent to myself. I am,
after all, the one doing all the hard work. I’m the stronger one here, and I need
my night’s sleep!
NARRATOR: So the foolish merchant was kicked out into the cold night,
while the camel slept in the nice warm tent. What is the moral of this story?
Perhaps what we learn is that an innocent exception may prove to be just the
beginning of a major problem. You see, when you give some people an inch,
they try to take a mile. We also find out that it’s sometimes best to keep other
people’s noses out of our business!
The End
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 10
Diane Briggs
African Tales
olktales and stories about animals may come to mind first when we
start looking for books about African, but storytellers have at their
fingertips some wonderful books about children and contemporary African
life as well. Briggs lists several on page 12. Here are a few more that make
satisfying read-alouds: Bikes for Rent! by Isaac Olaleye (Scholastic, 2001);
Goal! by Mina Javaherbin (Candlewick, 2010), and For You Are a Kenyan
Child by Kelly Cunnane (Simon & Schuster, 2006).
Excerpted from 52 Programs for Preschoolers.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus Issue / 11
African tales
Aardema, Verna. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears. Dial, 1975.
Diakité, Penda. I Lost My Tooth in Africa. Scholastic, 2006.
Isadora, Rachel. At the Crossroads. Greenwillow, 1991.
Kimmel, Eric. Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock. Holiday, 1998.
McDermott, Gerald. Zomo the Rabbit. Harcourt, 1992.
Rumford, James. Rainschool. Houghton, 2010.
Tolowa, Mollel M. My Rows and Piles of Coins. Clarion, 1999.
Lion Hunt
I’m going on a lion hunt.
I’m going on a lion hunt.
(Slap your thighs alternately)
I see a swamp.
(Shade your eyes with your hands)
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go over it,
(Slap your thighs)
Have to go through it.
Slush, slush, slush, slush.
(Rub your hands together)
I’m going on a lion hunt.
I’m going on a lion hunt.
(Slap your thighs)
I see a bridge.
(Shade your eyes)
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go through it,
(Slap your thighs)
Have to go over it.
Thump, thump, thump, thump.
(Stamp your feet)
I’m going on a lion hunt.
I’m going on a lion hunt.
(Slap your thighs)
I see a stream.
(Shade your eyes)
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 12
African tales
Can’t go under it,
Can’t go over it,
(Slap your thighs)
Have to go through it,
Splash, splash, splash, splash.
(Do swimming strokes)
I’m going on a lion hunt.
I’m going on a lion hunt.
(Slap your thighs)
I see a tree.
(Shade your eyes)
Let’s go see.
(Slap your thighs)
Up, up, up, up.
(Do a climbing up motion)
I see a cave.
(Shade your eyes)
Down, down, down, down.
(Do a climbing down motion)
Let’s go see.
(Slap your thighs)
I feel something.
(Make a feeling motion)
I feel something furry.
It feels like a lion.
It looks like a lion.
It IS a lion!
(Quickly slap your thighs)
(Climb up)
(Climb down)
Splash, splash, splash.
(Make swimming strokes)
Thump, thump, thump.
(Stamp your feet)
Slush, slush, slush.
(Rub your hands together)
(Do a collapsing motion)
Not going on a lion hunt again!
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 13
African tales
Five Little Monkeys
Five little monkeys swinging in a tree,
(Hold up five fingers)
Teasing Mr. Crocodile: “You can’t catch me!”
(Wag your fingers)
Along comes crocodile quiet as can be,
(Place your palms to indicate
jaws, and make a wavy motion)
And, SNAP!
(Snap your palms together)
Four little monkeys swinging in a tree . . .
(Hold up four fingers)
(Repeat routine with 4, 3, 2, and 1)
SNAP! Ha, ha, you missed me!
Show one of the floowing videos:
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters from Weston
Woods (14 minutes).
The Lion’s Drum: A Retelling
of an African Folktale
from Victory (23
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 14
Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker
n the wake-up song on page 16, French children say “Bonjour!” to salute
the day, Spanish children call out “Buenos días!” and Chinese children
wish others “Ni hao!” Germans say “Guten morgen”; Italians, “Buon
giorno”; and the Xhosa in South Africa, “Bhota.” Ask children and parents
at your program to think of special phrases they use at home, perhaps to
say good-bye or good night.
Excerpted from Storytime Magic.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus Issue / 15
All around the world
A Song and Activities
from Rob Reid’s
Children’s Jukebox
Kids around the World Wake Up
“The Alphabet of Nations.” They
Might Be Giants, Here Come the
“Around the World and Back
Again.” Chapin, Tom, Around the
World and Back Again.
“Birthdays around the World.”
Silberg, “Miss Jackie,” Joining Hands
with Other Lands.
“Dance, Dance, Dance.” Chapin,
Tom, Around the World and Back
“Friends around the World.”
Yosi, Under a Big Bright Yellow
“I Hate My Name.” Charette, Rick,
Where Do My Sneakers Go at
“Joining Hands with Other Lands.”
Silberg, “Miss Jackie,” Joining
Hands with Other Lands.
“Let’s Have a Party.” Silberg, “Miss
Jackie,” Joining Hands with Other
(To the tune of “When Ducks Wake Up in the Morning” at
When French kids wake up in the morning,
they always say good day.
But when French kids wake up
in the morning,
they say it the French way:
“Bonjour!” “Bonjour!”
That is what they say.
When Spanish kids wake up in the morning,
they always say good day.
But when Spanish kids wake up
in the morning,
they say it the Spanish way:
“¡Buenos días!” “¡Buenos días!”
That is what they say.
When Chinese kids wake up in the morning,
they always say good day.
But when Chinese kids wake up in the morning,
they say it the Chinese way:
“Ni hao!” “Ni hao!”
That is what they say.
(Pronounced “nee haw”)
“One Light One Sun; Raffi, Raffi in
Concert; Various Artists, A Child’s
Celebration of the World.
Map Activity
“Magical Madcap Tour.” Harper,
Monty, Take Me to Your Library.
Show a map of the world and have the children mark the country where they
live and mark some of the countries you discuss during storytime.
“Meet My Travelin’ Friends.” Palmer,
Hap, Two Little Sounds.
Let’s Write a Rhyme
“My Aunt Came Back.” Beall,
Pamela, and Susan Nipp, Wee Sing
in the Car.
Many cultures’ traditional nursery rhymes are about nature and everyday
things children see and use. Work with the children to create a short rhyme
about something familiar from daily life. Then ask them to color a picture to go
with it.
(continued on following page)
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 16
All around the world
Fun Facts to Share
“On a Vacation.” The Chenille
Sisters, Teaching Hippopotami to
“The Picnic of the World.” Chapin,
Tom, Mother Earth.
“Places in the World.” Grammer,
Red, Teaching Peace.
“Rock around the World.” Pease,
Tom, I’m Gonna Reach!; Stotts,
Stuart, Are We There Yet?
The country of Italy is shaped like a boot.
The capital city of Germany is Berlin.
Russia is the largest country in the world.
The country of Japan is made up of a string of islands.
The giant panda lives in the mountains of China.
The Great Wall of China stretches over four thousand miles in northern China.
Brazil is the largest of 12 countries that make up the South American continent.
The Eiffel Tower is in France.
London is the capital city of England.
In Canada there are moose, seals, and polar bears.
The Nile, in Africa, is the longest river in the world.
12 Great Books For sharing
My Granny Went to Market: A Round-the-World Counting Rhyme by Stella
Blackstone. Barefoot Books, 2005.
The Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom. Boyds Mills, 2001.
Around Our Way on Neighbor’s Day by Tameka Freyer. Abrams, 2010.
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. Harcourt,
Drum City by Thea Guidone. Tricycle,
All the Colors of Earth by Sheila
Hamanaka. HarperCollins, 1994.
Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz. Henry
Holt, 2006.
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz. Henry
Holt, 1999.
How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the
USA by Marjorie Priceman. Knopf,
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman. Knopf,
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep: A Lullaby for Little Ones around the World by Nancy Van
Laan. Little, Brown, 1995.
My Village: Rhymes from around the World edited by Danielle Wright.
Frances Lincoln, 2010.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 17
Margaret Read MacDonald
The Magic Fox
acDonald’s notes tell us that this story comes from Japan, where tales
about foxes, particularly magical ones, abound. Foxes are familiar
characters in other cultures as well: Jessica Souhami’s King Pom and the
Fox (Frances Lincoln, 2007) comes from China; Nonny Hogrogian’s One
Fine Day (Simon & Schuster, 1971) is a retelling of an Armenian folktale;
and one of Chaucer’s tales was the model for Helen Ward’s The Rooster and
the Fox (Carolrhoda, 2004). Any one of them will make a good companion
to Macdonald’s story.
Excerpted from Twenty Tellable Tales.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus Issue / 18
The magic fox
Once Upon a Time... Japan there were magic foxes.
These foxes could change themselves into anything they wished:
...a w000dcutter...a crying baby...a tree...or a leaf.
They were very tricky.
Once in Japan
there lived a boy
whose name was Zuiten.
Zuiten lived in a Buddhist temple
high in the mountains.
Zuiten’s job was to sweep the temple every day,
dust the altar where the golden statue of the Lord Buddha sat
and cook the rice for the evening meal.
One day when Zuiten was in the kitchen preparing the rice pot,
he thought he heard someone call his name.
Zuiten went into the temple and slid back the shoji door...
he looked out...
But there was no one there.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 19
The magic fox
Zuiten went back to the kitchen and began washing his rice.
Zuiten ran to the door.
He slid the shoji aside...
There was no one there.
Zuiten thought:
“There is something strange here.
I will just wait and see what is going on.”
Zuiten hid beside the door and waited.
Now the shoji doors of the temple
were made of rice paper and wooden slats.
They would slide aside as you opened them.
In the forest near the temple
lived a magic fox.
This tricky fox would sneak out of the forest
and creep up to the temple door.
With his bushy tail
he would brush across the wooden slats of the shoji door
making a noise like...
With his head
he would knock on the rice paper panes of the door
making a sound like...
This sounded as if he were calling:
Zuiten hid beside the door.
The next time that fox brushed
Zuiten got ready.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 20
The magic fox
When the fox knocked
Zuiten slid back the door!
The magic fox tumbled head first
into the temple.
Zuiten closed the shoji door.
He had caught the magic fox.
The magic fox jumped to his feet.
He began to race around the temple.
Faster...and faster...and FASTER...
He was gone.
Zuiten looked around the temple room.
That fox had turned himself into something...
What could he be?
Then Zuiten saw it.
On the altar where sat the golden statue of the Lord Buddha...
there were now two Buddhas!
Which was the real Lord Buddha...?
And which was the fox Buddah...?
Zuiten was clever.
He went to the altar and bowed.
“I’ll soon know which is the real Buddha,” he said.
“Whenever I say my prayers...
the real Buddha always
Now of course the real Buddha
would never stick out his tongue.
But the fox didn’t know that.
Zuiten began to say his prayers.
Slowly he began to beat the temple drum.
And slowly...
the Buddha on the left...
stuck out his TONGUE!
“Mmmhmmm...I see...” said Zuiten.
“After I say my prayers
the real Buddha always
follows me down the hall to the kitchen.”
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 21
The magic fox
Zuiten turned and walked slowly down the hall to the kitchen.
And slowly...
the fox Buddha
climbed down from the altar and
he followed Zuiten down the hall.
“Mmmhmmm...I see...” said Zuiten.
“Now after prayers
the real Buddha always
has a bath in the rice pot.”
Zuiten lifted the big wooden lid
and slowly...
the fox Buddha climbed into the rice pot.
Zuiten popped on the lid
and began building up the fire under the rice pot.
Out popped four fox legs.
Out popped a fox tail...!
Zuiten lifted the lid
OUT jumped the magic fox.
Off he ran
over the hill and into the forest.
The fox never came back to bother Zuiten again.
I do not usually tell this as an audience participation tale, although when telling
to pre-schoolers I do sometimes involve them in a bit of body language play on
the fox’s “Zui...ten” at the story’s beginning.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / Bonus issue / 22
Rose Zertuche Treviño
Festivals and Fiestas/
Los Festivales y Las Fiestas
s Treviño notes, “Birthdays are special for everyone.”
The songs and activities for birthdays and for the other
celebrations she introduces in the following excerpt will be as
much fun for children celebrating at home as for children and
parents together at a library program.
Excerpted from Read Me a Rhyme in Spanish and English.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus Issue / 23
Festivals and Fiestas
Opening Rhyme
Start your program with your usual opening rhyme.
For this first book, you may want to purchase a piñata or even
ask if any of your storytime parents might have one to share at
storytime. Talk to your preschoolers about the piñata and explain that it is traditional to have one at Latino birthday parties.
If you have an outside area, consider having a piñata filled with
candy or small trinkets and letting each child take a turn hitting
it. Be sure to have enough adult supervision and go over some
rules to avoid bumps and bruises. You may want to rope off an
area that kids cannot cross until the person hitting the piñata
has the blindfold removed.
Domínguez, Kelli Kyle. The Perfect Piñata / La piñata perfecta. Albert
Whitman, 2002.
Sing or recite one of the following traditional songs with the group:
Bajen la piñataLower the Piñata
Bajen la piñata,Lower the piñata,
Bájenla un tantitoLower it a bit,
Que le den de palosSo that we can hit it
Poquito a poquito.
Bit by little bit.
La piñata
The Piñata
Dale, dale, dale,Strike it, strike it, strike it,
No pierdas el tino.
Don’t lose your grip.
Porque si lo pierdes
Because if you lose it,
Pierdes el camino.
You will lose your way.
Carnival, or carnaval in Spanish, is a special celebration held in some Latin
American countries. Here’s a book to share that is available in Spanish and in
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus issue / 24
Festivals and Fiestas
Delacre, Lulu. Rafi and Rosi: Carnival! Rayo, 2008. Spanish: Rafi y Rosi:
¡Carnaval! Rayo, 2006.
This is a circle game where children pass a stick around the circle. The stick is
used to keep the beat. The person holding the stick when you sing the last word
at the last word of the song (tran) is out.
Al son de un fandango, With the sound of a fandango,
tango, tango tango, tango
I will sing.
Cantaré con alegría, y con I will sing with happiness, with
el triqui the triqui
Triqui tran,
Triqui tran,
Con el triqui triqui tran.
With the triqui triqui tran.
Birthdays are special for everyone. This birthday
tale, available in both Spanish and English has a
new twist.
Lopez, Loretta. Birthday Swap. Lee and Low
Books, 1997. Spanish: ¡Qué sorpresa de
cumpleaños! Lee and Low Books, 1997.
Sing this traditional Mexican birthday song:
Las mañanitas
Mexican Birthday Song
Estas son las mañanitas
This is the morning
Que cantaba el rey David.
That King David sang about.
Hoy por ser día de tu santo
It is your saint’s day
Te las cantamos a ti.And we sing it for you.
Despierta, mi bien, despierta.
Wake up, my dear, wake up.
Mira que ya amanecióLook, it’s morning
Ya los pajaritos cantan;And the birds are singing;
La luna ya se metió.
The moon has set.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus issue / 25
Festivals and Fiestas
Que linda está la mañana
It’s such a beautiful morning
En que vengo a saludarte.And I come to greet you.
Venimos todos con gusto
We come with great cheer
Y placer a felicitarte.And joy to congratulate you.
Ya viene amaneciendo,And now morning is here
Ya la luz del día nos dio.And with it the light of day.
Levántate de mañana,
Get up on this fine morning,
Mira que ya amaneció.
You are awake now, my dear.
Additional Books
Suggest these titles to adults for sharing with children at home.
Kleven, Elisa. Hooray, a Piñata! Penguin, 2000. Spanish: ¡Viva! ¡Una piñata!
Penguin Young Readers Group, 1996.
Levy, Janice. Celebrate! It’s Cinco de Mayo! / ¡Celebremos! Es el cinco de
mayo! Albert Whitman, 2007.
Torres, Leyla. Kite Festival. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004. Spanish: El
festival de cometas. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004.
Closing Rhyme
You started your program with a rhyme. You can end it with the same rhyme,
or you can try something completely different.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus issue / 26
Sue McLeaf Nespeca and Joan B. Reeve
usic in a story program helps
children get the wiggles out.
It also captures their attention. The
following excerpt explores how to
build an enjoyable storytime using
two familiar tunes and the picture
books that grew out of their lyrics.
Excerpted from Picture Books Plus.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus Issue / 27
Sing the World
Songs, Books, & Activities
We All Sing with the Same Voice
This Sesame Street song, with music by J. Philip Miller and lyrics by Sheppard
M. Greene, was originally recorded by The Sesame Street house band in 1982
and first aired on the program during its fourteenth season. The song celebrates
the fact that children from different countries may look and act differently, but
they are still alike in some ways and able to blend together nicely. Paul Meisel
added bright, joyful, childlike illustrations to the lyrics, which were published
in book form by HarperCollins in 2001.
Multicultural Dances and Harmony
MATERIALS: A tape or CD player, a musical recording of multicultural
dances. You’ll find several recording suggestions below and more music on
pages 16 and 17.
Most children should easily be able to learn the chorus and sing along. Take
advantage of the phrase “And we sing in harmony,” which repeats several times
druing the song, to teach children the concept of harmony. This can be done
using a keyboard, chimes, or a xylophone. For example, play the note G at the
same time you play the note E, and remark on the pleasant effect. Contrast this
sound with the combination of B and A, which is disharmonious. The book also
lends itself well to teaching children music or dances from other countries. Two
easy dances to teach children are the “Mexican Hat Dance” and “The Circle
Dance,” instructions for which are readily available on the internet. Musical
experiences include learning to sing and dancing to music.
You can find music and dance instructions for multicultural dances on the
following recordings: Georgiana Stewart’s Children’s Folk Dances and Folk
Dance Fun, and Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp’s Wee Sing around
the World. A video version of John Jacobson and Alan Billingsley’s Around
the World with Me includes a clip of the “The Circle Dance” as well as several
other movement and activity songs for kids.
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus issue / 28
Sing the World
Present two songs from Raffi’s One Light, One Sun that follow a similar theme.
Both “One Light, One Sun” and “Like Me and You,” for example, express the
closeness and unity of people from many countries around the planet. Have the
children discuss what the songs mean to them. As an additional activity, create a string of paper doll cutouts connect at their hands. You’ll find directions
making these dolls on the Internet and in books such as The Kids Can Press
Jumbo Book of Easy Crafts (Kids Can Press, 1997). Have children decorate the
dolls to look like themselves. As they are working and to enhance this experience, play the songs again as background music.
What a Wonderful World
This song, by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, was made famous by Louis
Armstrong. Ashley Bryan illustrated the lyrics in the book, which was published
by Atheneum in 1995. Bryan’s vividly colored tempera and gouache paintings
show children performing a puppet show that follows the lyrics of the song.
There is no musical score in the book, but the song’s words. painted in calligraphy, frame the bottom of each page. The book will pair nicely with We All Sing
with One Voice, above.
Playing a song with Boomwhackers
MATERIALS: Boomwhackers (percussion tubes) or eight-note handbells, a tape
or CD player, a musical recording of “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Even young children can learn this song when you add simple motions and show
them the large, detailed illustrations in the book. Teach younger children the
motions before the words while playing the recording. Older children will be able
to learn the words simply by singing along to the tape or CD. Because the book
version of the song depicts children and puppets from diverse cultures, consider
reading the story first.
The African song “A Ram Sam Sam” (see the music on the following page) is
a good selection to teach with “What a Wonderful World.” Because it is written
in a C major scale with no sharps or flats, it’s particularly useful for teaching
children to play with eight-note handbells or Boomwhackers. (The most common Boomwhackers are the eight percussion tubes that comprise a diatonic
C major scale. However, you can also purchase chromatic tubes—sharps and
flats—and pentatonic scales and so forth. Eightnote handbells and Boom-
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus issue / 29
Sing the World
“A Ram Sam Sam” Music for What a Wonderful World
whackers are available from outlets such as Music in Motion ( Musical experiences include using recorded music, acting out a
song, and playing instruments.
Before beginning, remind children that Boomwhackers are musical instruments and must be used appropriately and responsibly. The children can strike
Boomwhackers on their hands, knees, or a table, but we recommend striking
them on the palms of their hands. To make the fullest sound, children need to
strike the Boomwhacker halfway between the label and the top edge of the instrument. If the cost of Boomwhackers is a concern, cut different-sized lengths
of one-inch PVC pipe and distribute them to the children. To play, have kids
strike the bottoms of the pipes on the palms of their hands.
Because the book version of the song depicts the lyrics as scenes from a puppet
show, you might want to have the children make simple puppets and props and
perform the song as given in the book. They can also paint a mural depicting
what a wonderful world looks like, which could then be used as a backdrop for
the puppet show performance. Another extension activity might be to listen to
the recording and then sing “It’s a Small, Small World,” which can be found on
the recording Five Little Monkeys (Kimbo Educational).
Children’s Programming Monthly Vol. 1 / bonus issue / 30
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