Tag Archives: elephants

Books to look forward to: Ollie the Purple Elephant by Jarrett J. Krosoczka!

13 Aug

I adore Jarrett J. Krosozcka’s books – especially Punk Farm, which allows me to release my inner Ramone – so it’s a foregone conclusion that I would be excited for the release of Ollie the Purple Elephant. And after watching this video, where Jarrett describes how Ollie was imagined, and a bit of the story, I’m even more excited to read it!

Bonus: learn how to properly pronounce “Krosoczka.” I am pleased to hear that I’ve not been mangling it all these years.



An elephant goes like this and that…: Big, Grey Animals Storytime

13 Jun

You could probably do an entire storytime about elephants. There are plenty of great books out there, and elephants are great, benign, friendly characters. But I not only have an awesome elephant puppet (with trunk controllable from inside) but also a rhinoceros, so I expanded storytime to include rhinos and hippos too. Why not?

Edward the Elephant and Roger the Rhino introduce themselves first. Edward shows off his trunk and all the great things he can do with it, like spraying water on his back and using it like a straw to put water in his mouth. Roger shows us his horns and we talk about horns vs. trunks. Then, on to the stories!

  • Wilson, Karma. Hilda Must Be Dancing. A fun rhyming story with tons of dance vocabulary included. Hilda makes quite a ruckus with her dancing, and while the other animals are bothered, they never berate her or tell her to stop – they just help her find a quieter hobby.
  • Na, Il Sung. Thingamabob. When elephant finds a thingamabob, he is unsure what to do with it, until it rains. The young listeners, of course, knew immediately that the thingamabob was an umbrella.
  • Flannelboard: 1 Elephant Went Out to Play (aka last week’s Flannel Friday!)
  • Willems, Mo. I Am Going! Really, any Elephant and Piggie book would work. This just happens to be one I haven’t read to my groups yet. Gerald (aka Elephant) gets very upset when he finds out Piggie is going. Couldn’t Piggie go tomorrow? Or next week? Actually, no, since Piggie is only going to lunch.
  • It’s fun to say this chanting rhyme a few times, and then practice talking with a “squished” face. Pretty silly!

(we clap or tap out a beat):

A hip, a hip, a hippopotamus,

Got on, got on, got on a city bus,

And all, and all, and all the people said…

“You’re squishing me!” (squish cheeks together with hands)

  • Shea, Bob. Oh, Daddy! Little Hippo has to show his Daddy how to to lots of things, like eat carrots, get dressed, and give hugs. Where would Daddy be without him?

Other great grey animal titles:

  • Rubinger, Ami. I Dream of an Elephant. Color rhymes!
  • Dunbar, Polly. Where’s Tumpty? Tumpty the elephant is not the best at hiding his bulk. But he tries. And finally, succeeds.
  • Newman, Jeff. Hippo! No, Rhino! Confusion reigns at the zoo.
  • Polacco, Patricia. Emma Kate. Who’s imaginary?
  • Bunting, Eve. Tweak Tweak. Little elephant learns what he can do.
  • Arnold, Katya. Elephants Can Paint Too. Elephants and boys and girls take an art class (and paint remarkably similar things!). A true story!
  • Chivers, Natalie. Rhino’s Great Big Itch. The smallest animal may be the best one to help Rhino get rid of his BIG itch.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ride a bus. I hope no hippos try and get on.

Flannel Friday! 1 Elephant Went Out To Play/Un elefante se balanceaba…

3 Jun

This week I’m doing a “Big, Grey Animals” Storytime: Elephants, Rhinos, and Hippos. So many great books to choose from! I will post all of my choices later on, but for now, here’s my flannelboard for this traditional rhyme:

Hard to tell, but Elephant #1 is grey. Really.

1 Elephant went out to play

Upon a spider’s web one day

He had such enormous fun

He called another elephant to come.


2 Elephants went out to play

Upon a spider’s web one day

They had such enormous fun,

They called another elephant to come…


I used a pipe cleaner for the web – it sticks really well. I’ve also used a piece of yarn, tied around the flannelboard. I decided to number my elephants to reinforce numeracy, and I did them in a variety of colors so we could, at the end, talk about them. “What color is number 3?”

Will the spider web hold them all?

Aren’t the elephants cute? I used this clipart elephant as my pattern.

When we get all 8 elephants on the spider web, I give the whole thing a shake and they fall off. Yes, I said 8: I only made 8 because why do we always have to count to 5 or 10? You can make as many as you like.

That's a lot of elephants!

This is also a traditional rhyme in Spanish; here’s the text:

Un elefante se balanceaba

Sobre la tela de una araña

Como veía que resistía,

Fue a llamar a otro elefante!


Dos elefantes se balanceaban

Sobre la tela de una araña

Como veían que resistía,

Fueron a llamar otro elefante…


Here’s a video of me singing the song version, in Spanish, on the StoryBlocks website.

Check in with Miss Mollie’s Storytime Fun later today for the full Flannel Friday roundup!

An elephant the size of my palm.

9 Sep

Today, during animal storytime, we were talking about baby elephants. One young man told us he had held one. “Really?” I asked. “Even baby elephants are pretty big.” But he insisted that yes, he HAD picked up and held a baby elephant.

That is either one strong preschooler or one vivid imagination. Either way, rock on, little dude!

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