Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

Introducing Tammy Kersey, picture book author

Posted on September 24th, 2020 by Carolyn Hart

Tammy Kersey is the author of What the Dickens?!?!:  The Tale of a Rascally Pup

Tammy Kersey is a children’s picture book author and founder of Tale Wagger Stories, an online inspirational resource that she hopes to build for parents who seek to empower and instil confidence in their young children. Her focus on the empowerment of children at a young age grew out of personal experience with unemployment and the realization that she had not been taking charge of her own destiny. A very active five months of exploring career options, publishing LinkedIn articles, experimenting with children’s stories, and doing some good, honest soul searching led to a surprising truth: she was free to write her own story. The idea was invigorating and empowering. She wanted to share it with others and chose the path of helping parents use storytime to build their children’s confidence, teach them to question, share opinions and ultimately take control in shaping their own lives. Tammy’s first book, What the Dickens?!?!: The Tale of a Rascally Pup, launched in April 2020 and she currently has a second book almost ready for editing. Tammy has worked as a marketing professional for most of her career and has a degree in History from The College of William and Mary where she met her husband, Ian. They live in Williamsburg, VA and have two adult children, Emily and Andrew. Tammy’s real-life four-legged inspirations are Oscar, Felix and Tristan.

Website URL

Facebook Page


What is the title of your latest published children’s book?

What the Dickens?!?!:  The Tale of a Rascally Pup / A children's picture book

What the Dickens?!?!: The Tale of a Rascally Pup

Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of? 

I think children 3 to 8 are the perfect audience, but I do have fans covering a broader age range. Grandmas especially like this book. And puppy lovers. I think I am most proud of the rhythm and meter of the verse, which makes it fun to read and more appealing for young children.

What the Dickens?!?!: The Tale of a Rascally Pup at

What the Dickens?!?!: The Tale of a Rascally Pup at

If we were watching over your shoulder as you work on a book, what would we see? Where do you work? What does your writing process look like?

Well, that would be embarrassing! I write in a nice, bright upstairs bedroom where I have set up a desk/work area. You would likely see me reading and re-reading phrases and sections as I’m writing. You might see a bit of choir directing, as I’m working through the meter of a story. And you would likely see me laughing out loud when I hit on something funny. I definitely remember having a good laugh when I wrote about Grandma’s lips disappearing. You’ll have to read the story.

What are the joys of being an author? What do you derive your greatest pleasure from?

The most rewarding part of this experience has been the reactions from children. I have received several priceless pictures of young children reacting to the book. I have a 4th grader who told her mom that she was going to follow me for the rest of her life because I liked to write my own books. There are just no words that can fully describe seeing and hearing their joy.

Have any of your books been published electronically? If so, what was that process like? What sort of feedback have you had from readers?

My first book, What the Dickens?!?!: The Tale of a Rascally Pup, has been published in both Kindle and EPub versions. We did have to make a few file adjustments from the print versions, but I was fortunate to have someone to help navigate this part of the publishing journey. It was fairly straightforward and I viewed it as another step in my overall process. Feedback from readers has been great so far. You can see the reviews on Amazon!

If you weren’t an author, what sort of work do you envision yourself doing? Have you had other careers or do you have another career now?

I actually do have a day job! I am a Sales and Marketing Manager for a product design and manufacturing company. We create a wide range of product, from beautiful commemorative museum ornaments, sculpts and ceramics to wild and zany troll dolls. There’s never a dull moment!

If you could dine with any author/illustrator (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

Amy Krouse Rosenthal! I am in awe of what she accomplished. Her books (a few favorites are I Wish You More, Dear Girl, and Duck! Rabbit!) are so simple and beautiful in their words and message. And the relationship that she developed with her readers was unique and personal. I can only imagine what more she would have accomplished with more time.

(Read elsewhere on our site about Exclamation Mark and This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal)

Do you do school or library presentations?

I am available for school and library presentations in a 150 mile radius of the Tidewater Virginia area, or classroom Zoom calls anywhere (these work especially well currently!). My first Zoom call was with a Kindergarten class in Kansas. I love to do a story reading along with a confidence/creativity building activity and/or a Q&A on writing and publishing a book. Kids have great questions on this topic!

Professional Resources for Children’s Librarians and Teachers

Posted on August 24th, 2019 by Carolyn Hart

When planning Storytime in libraries or Circle Time in classrooms, children’s librarians and teachers will find these professional resources very helpful

Circle Time and Storytime Resources  for Children's Librarians and Teachers

An effective Storytime or Circle Time is carefully planned to be welcoming, inclusive, engaging and educational. It should include a variety of enjoyable activities and well-considered materials.

When selecting books to share with a group, for example, non-fiction, as well as fiction, should be introduced. Writing style, book format and illustrations are also considerations – having some books with rhyming text is great but having every story told in rhyme would be tiresome. Big, bold illustrations will be seen more easily than those in small, lap books.

Most children’s librarians and teachers have a selection of props to enhance their Storytime and Circle Time programs. Flannelboards are often used as well as musical instruments, hand or finger puppets and other props. I also like including Cut and Tell stories, which involve cutting paper with scissors as a story is told or Fold and Tell stories. Similarly, Draw and Tell Stories are told and illustrated on the spot rather than ‘read’ aloud to a group.

Teachers and librarians who present on-going programs will want to include elements that repeat (such as welcoming and ending rituals) as well as including some unexpected activities that will make each session unique and memorable. Having extra copies of the books that you share will encourage children to borrow them and read them again at home.

The length of the sessions will depend on the age of the children, the size of the group, the collective attention span of the children attending and whether or not other adults are present. Teachers and Librarians who include movement in Circle time and Storytime will help children to manage their energy and participate successfully.

Watch as Sheryl Cooper shares tips for a successful circle time

She shares secrets to a successful Toddler Circle time on her blog.

Professional Resources for Planning Library Storytime and Preschool Circle Time

In addition to these resources, be sure to explore our free printables songs, rhymes, fingerplays and chants

Professional Resources for Children's Librarians and Teachers including I'm A Little Teapot! Presenting Preschool StorytimeI’m a Little Teapot – Presenting Preschool Storytime Compiled by Jane Cobb and illustrated by Magda Lazicka
Professional Resource for Children’s Librarians and Preschool Teachers published by Black Sheep Press

Featuring more than 60 potential storytime themes, I’m a Little Teapot is a handy resource that includes booklists (fiction and non-fiction), 500+ nursery rhymes/fingerplays, songs and “more ideas.”

For example, for a frog theme, I’m a Little Teapot includes 11 suggested stories to read aloud, 5 non-fiction books and 5 fingerplays. For a clothing theme storytime, there are 29 suggested picture books to read aloud (plus 10 ‘More Stories’ and 3 ‘non-fiction’ titles, 10 nursery rhymes, 16 fingerplays and many ‘More Ideas’).

The book also includes an extensive list of recommended resources, presentation tips and suggestions for program planning, including program structure. Ms. Cobb recommends a core list of felt stories for storytime and references the use of traditional folk and fairy tales with preschoolers.

One of the strengths of this resource is that it does not assume that teachers have access to an extensive library of books or that they know fingerplays or songs. I have used the book when preparing for preschool programs and have found it to be easy-to-use and inspiring. I’m a Little Teapot includes ‘Conventional’ themes and as well as some unexpected ones like Giants and Royalty.

I’m a Little Teapot! Presenting Preschool Storytime at

I’m a Little Teapot!: Presenting Preschool Storytime at

Professional Resources for Storytime including Step into StorytimeSTEP into Storytime written by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Kathy Fling Klatt
Professional Resource for Children’s Librarians and Preschool Teachers published by American Library Association

STEP is an acronym for Story Time Effective Practice.

Almost one-third of this resource consists of professional development for librarians who present storytime programs to very young children.

The first section of the book includes a chapter that examines STEP and deals with implementation within a library system and also by an individual. Chapters 2,3,4 make a connection with child development including Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Intentionality and Scaffolding (adjusting the level of instruction to match the child’s readiness).

The second section of the book makes a connection between best practices and a child’s social/emotional development, cognitive development, physical development and language/literacy development.

Parent Education is a key component of STEP. The authors recommend that presenters model and speak regularly to parents about ways to support their child’s development.

The remainder of STEP into Storytime consists of plans (including scripts) for traditional and sequential storytimes.

As an example, the “Yummy in My Tummy” plan includes introductory remarks, an opening song, parent tip, Do You Know the Muffin Man?, a non fiction book, two fingerplays, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, an action song, a song featuring sign language, two action rhymes, a counting book, an activity, a parent tip, a rhythm stick activity, rhyme with puppets, a song, a parent tip, a closing action rhyme and an extension activity.

STEP into Storytime does not provide alternate books (to be used if the teacher or librarian does not have access to the preferred book(s).

STEP into Storytime: Using StoryTime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds at

STEP Into Storytime: Using Storytime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds at

Storytime Standouts Shares Professional Storytime Resources for Teachers and Librarians including Storytimes for EveryoneStorytimes for Everyone!: Developing Young Children’s Language abd Literacy written by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz
Professional Resource for Children’s Librarians and Preschool Teachers published by American Library Association

This resource is intended for librarians. Almost one-third of the book is devoted to professional development, including providing information about emotional/social, cognitive, physical and language/literacy development and ensuring that the recommended program is properly implemented by a library system as well as by a storytime presenter.

The author presents two different models: traditional storytime and sequential storytime.

“Both models include parent tips to help the adults understand the connections between the activities being presented and how they impact early literacy skills and other areas of child development… The traditional model usually starts with the longest story first and includes a mix of books songs, rhymes, fingerplays, and other language activities targeting all ages throughout the storytime…. The sequential model is designed so that each of three segments is planned with a specific age in mind- the first segment focuses on infants and toddlers….”

The remainder of the book provides detailed scripts for traditional and sequential storytimes, including remarks for parents and instructions for the participants.

As an example, for the Where’s the Beach? (sequential) storytime, the author provides an opening song, an action rhyme, a flannel board story, a song, an action rhyme, a transition song, a factual book, an action rhyme, a picture book, a transition song, a picture book, a fold and tell story, a song and a closing song.

Storytimes for Everyone!: Developing Young Children’s Language & Literacy at

Storytimes for Everyone!: Developing Young Children’s Language and Literacy at

Transforming Preschool Storytime written by Betsy Diamant-Choen and Melanie A HetrickTransforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs written by Betsy Diamant-Cohen and Melanie A Hetrick
Professional Resource for Preschool Teachers published by American Library Association

Beginning with a comprehensive overview of the benefits and components of preschool storytime, Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs provides a step-by-step plan for organizing a storytime and detailed scripts for 8 six-week programs, each focussing on a different book.

I am very partial to I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! so, naturally, I gravitated to the series of sessions suggested for the book. Week #1 is an introductory session that included hearing the story read aloud, singing and painting. Week #2 adds a theme of houses, a flannelboard activity and playing with colorful scarves. Week #3 adds an exploration of body parts, a coloring activity and some body control games. Week #4 has a theme of bathtubs and includes a careful look at David Catrow’s I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! illustrations including a discussion about lines, colors, shapes as well as scarf activities. Week #6 extends the learning by looking at other books by Karen Beaumont including I Like Myself! .

Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs at

Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs at

Enjoy Some Picturebook Fun with Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds

Posted on January 10th, 2015 by Carolyn Hart

Enjoy Some Picture book Fun with Creepy CarrotsCreepy Carrots written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown
Outstanding picture book published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Terrific fun for children aged five years and up, Jasper Rabbit is very fond of carrots and makes a trip to Crackenhopper Field whenever he fancies eating a few delicious treats but one day Jasper has an eerie feeling that Creepy Carrots are following him as he leaves the field. Soon Jasper is seeing Creepy Carrots everywhere: in his house, in the garden shed and on the street. Poor Jasper is petrified! He knows exactly what to do to solve this problem.

Preschool and kindergarten teachers will find all sorts of wonderful (and orange) ways to extend the learning with this delightful book. Whether designing their own carrots or a different solution to Jasper’s problem, this book is sure to inspire fun. Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! would be an excellent companion story.

2013 Randolph Caldecott Medal Honor Book
ALA Notable Book of 2013
2013 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Award Winner (Midwest)

Coloring pages (free PDF download) from Peter Brown’s webpage

Flannel Friday: Flannelboard and Template

Creepy Carrots! at

Creepy Carrots! at

The Creepy Carrots Zone from Peter Brown on Vimeo.

Classic Picture Book: Go Away Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley

Posted on September 23rd, 2014 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts shares classic picture book Go Away Big Green Monster! by Ed EmberleyGo Away Big Green Monster! written and illustrated by Ed Emberley
Die Cut Classic picture book published by Hachette Book Group

Bold colors and clever die cuts highlight this simple, classic picture book for children aged three years and up. When we first meet Big Green Monster, we see only his large yellow eyes. A turn-of-the-page later and we are staring at his large nose and his eyes. Enthusiastic children will “read” along as white teeth, small ears, purple hair, and green face are added to the monster’s visage.

So, GO AWAY, scraggly purple hair…

A happy conclusion allows youngsters to ensure the monster disappears as quickly as he arrived. Great fun for all and a good opportunity to extend the learning by exploring colors and descriptive words.

Lesson plan from UNC School of Education – Describing Words

Read Write Think lesson plan

Scholastic Reading Club lesson plan

SMART Exchange lesson

Go Away, Big Green Monster! at

Go Away, Big Green Monster! at

Check our Pinterest Board for Teaching Ideas and Ways to Extend Learning for Go Away, Big Green Monster!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? A Classic Picture Book

Posted on June 10th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

Our goal with this new ‘Tuesday’ series is to introduce wonderful, classic picture books that are readily available in community libraries, in classrooms and in school libraries. We hope this on-going series will help families to discover outstanding stories and illustrations that have stood the test of time. We also hope that, through this series, young children and their caregivers will discover the joys of the read aloud experience.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? A Classic Must-Read Picture BookBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? written by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle
Classic, Must-Read Picture Book published by Henry Holt and Company

Gorgeous, bold tissue paper collage illustrations and simple rhyming text will have broad appeal for infants, toddlers and preschool-age children. It will not be long before youngsters will know the text from beginning to (satisfying) end. For some children, this will be the first book they ‘read.’

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a picture book that provides opportunities for young children to learn about colors and animal names while gaining phonemic awareness. The repetitive and predictable text includes some alliteration.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was named one of School Library Journal’s Top 100 Picture Books.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? at

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? at

Some related picture books that young readers will enjoy

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – read by (author) Bill Martin Jr.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – with musical accompaniament

– lyrics refer to “a mother looking at us.”

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? on Pinterest.

Back to School Fun with Super Picture Books and Free Printables

Posted on August 13th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts shares picture books and free printables for children starting school

Storytime Standouts highlights three special picture books for youngsters headed off to school and shares a free printable picture dictionary and writing paper

Are your children excited to start school or are they fearful about it? Do they have questions about what the classroom will look like and who will be there? Are they concerned about rules, routine and homework or are they excited to meet their teacher and make new friends?

For many adults, books are a great source of information as well as entertainment. Whether searching for a delicious recipe, researching an upcoming family vacation or deciding if a visit to the doctor is necessary, books can be inspiring, entertaining, informative and reassuring.

Just as adults seek information from books, children gain understanding and confidence as they explore new and unfamiliar situations through books. Whether beginning preschool or returning to school in September, there are many delightful picture books available to help you and your child explore the experience together and then make the transition with ease.

Fun song for children starting First Grade

Biscuit Goes to School Biscuit Goes to School written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by Pat Schories
Beginning Reader published by Harper Trophy

Biscuit is a truly outstanding series for beginning readers. Beautifully illustrated with engaging pictures that will help a new reader to determine meaning. Classroom depicted is racially diverse.

Resources for extension activities, including printables are available here.
Biscuit Goes to School at

Biscuit Goes to School at

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children Starting School including Ready Set Preschool
Ready, Set, Preschool! – written by Anna Jane Hays, illustrated by True Kelley
Picture book about preschool published by Knopf Books for Young Readers an Imprint of Random House Children’s Books

Ready, Set, Preschool! features stories, poetry and detailed illustrations that will enable youngsters to explore a typical preschool classroom, experience a field trip, observe playground activities and more. As well, the illustrations and text offer opportunities to practice counting, identifying colors and shapes, recognize rhyming words, the alphabet and letter sounds.

Extensive notes for parents provide helpful suggestions of ways to extend learning and prepare young children for their very first school experience.

Ready, Set, Preschool!: Stories, Poems and Picture Games with an Educational Guide for Parents at

Ready, Set, Preschool!: Stories, Poems and Picture Games with an Educational Guide for Parents at

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children including Off to First Grade
Off to First Grade – written by Lousie Borden, illustrated by Joan Rankin
Picture book about starting grade one published by Margaret K. McElderry Books

I can still recall vividly a recommendation that was made when I attended my eldest son’s kindergarten orientation: make sure your child is not expecting to ride the school bus to school unless he actually is going to climb aboard)! It was great advice. In those days he was captivated by large vehicles. Discovering at the last minute that he would not be riding the bus off school could have been terribly disappointing. The transition from kindergarten to grade one is explored thoroughly and with thoughtfulness in Off to First Grade. The author tells the story from a variety of perspectives. We discover some children will ride the bus and others will walk. Some are eager to begin grade one and a few think they would rather stay in kindergarten. Mrs. Miller is hoping to remember everyone’s name, the school bus driver is excited and the principal wonders which book to read aloud to the new grade one students.

Off to First Grade at

Off to First Grade at

Storytime Standouts shares Special Picture Books for Children Starting School including How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? – written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
Picture book about school life published by The Blue Sky Press an imprint of the Scholastic Trade Book Division.

For children heading off to school, the best How Do Dinosaurs title by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague is How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? Here the reader visits a conventional elementary school. The school, its staff and students appear quite unremarkable except for eight or ten extraordinary pupils. Enormous creatures from the Jurassic period demonstrate proper behavior enroute to school, on the stairs, in the classroom, during show-and-tell and at the playground. Lots of funosaurus for dino fans who are heading off to school soon.

How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? at

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? at

These stories about worries and fears may also be helpful for children who are anxious about starting school

Our back to school theme printables are perfect for beginning writers.
Picture Books for children with anxiety or fear

3 Free Back to School Theme Printables for Home and School

Storytime Standouts offers a free printable school picture dictionary for children

image of PDF icon  School Picture Dictionary

Free printable school picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one. Also a great resource for ELL / ESL

Storytime Standouts shares free printable back to school interlined paper for children

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Back to School

Free printable Back to school theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

My First Day of School Interlined Paper Printable

image of PDF icon  My First Day of School 'Boom'

Free printable interlined writing paper for the First Day of School

Billy Bully Learns Consequences of Bullying

Posted on November 17th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts writes about how Billy Bully Learns Consequences of BullyingBilly Bully A school-yard counting tale – written by Alvaro and Ana Galan, illustrated by Steve Simpson
Counting book about bullying and friendship published by Scholastic

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

When Billy Bully arrives at the school playground, his animal friends are already there. Cow is enjoying a swing, horse is on the teeter totter and duck is on the slide. Within moments, Billy Bully has taken charge. He chases the others off the slide, grabs toys and he won’t wait his turn. One by one, he upsets each of his classmates and loses friends.

Eventually Billy Bully discovers that every one of his classmates has run away from him. There is no one to play with.

Now Billy Bully’s feeling blue,
Until – he figures out just what to do.

He says to Sheep, “It’s you who won.”
And now his friends are up to 1!

After counting down his friends, Billy sets to work repairing the harm he has done.

When Billy Bull learns how to play,
all his friends come back to stay.

Best suited to preschool or kindergarten age children, Billy Bully is a rhyming counting book with an important message about bullying and friendship. It includes an Afterword for parents and teachers by Ellen Jacobs, Ph.D., Clinical Social Work

Billy Bully at

Billy Bully at

A Picture Book for Canada Day: Canada in Colours by Per-Henrik Gurth

Posted on June 28th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at Canada in Colours by Per-Henrik Gurth, a great picture book for Canada Day.Canada in Colours
written and illustrated by Per-Henrik Gurth
Picture Book for Canada Day published by Kids Can Press

This vibrantly illustrated concept book depicts the colours of Canada from coast to coast. Mr. Gurth begins with a happy, snowy white scene and then takes readers into a lush, green forest. Vivid, graphic illustrations highlight the red sands of Prince Edward Island, the deep blue St. Lawrence River, parklands and dancing fields of sunny, yellow wheat. After sunset, he shows us a twinkling Big Dipper and shimmering northern lights.

A bold celebration of colors and Canada, Canada in Colours is suitable for toddlers and preschool-aged children.

Printable stickers from the publisher

Canada in Colours at

Canada in Colours at

Canada Day is celebrated July 1st. Today we are highlighting our free early learning printables including our writing paper for Canada Day.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Canada Day

Canada- theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

Storytime Standouts offers writing paper for (almost) every occasion, check out the entire collection by visiting our Interlined Paper page.

More News

Learn to Read Printables, Games and Activities for Parents and Teachers

Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth!

Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth!

Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth! written and illustrated ...

Phonemic Awareness

Bolstering Phonemic Awareness, Getting Ready to Read While in the Car

Bolstering Phonemic Awareness, Getting Ready to Read While in the Car

Some of the keys to learning to read are noticing ...

Terrific Chapter Books for Middle Grades and Teens

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, a SLJ Top 100 Novel

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, a SLJ Top 100 Novel

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume Series for ...

Translate »