The very first storytime I did after a too long hiatus from groups of young kids on carpet squares was in the summer of 2020 via zoom, so is it any wonder the books I gravitated to dealt with worry? We were all worried as we settled into our new “normal” of masks and social distancing and wondered how long it would last, and braced ourselves for each day’s new numbers? What better place to find some comfort and brief respite than between the pages of picture books? And so began our Tuesday morning zooms. Each of these stories somehow touch worry, and show kids (and adults) there’s a way to deal with it and carry on with a hug, some pizza, and maybe a nice wallow in the mud.
Mrs. Potter’s Pig by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Russell Ayto
In this book Mrs. Potter likes everything clean but her baby is messy. One day on a walk, her baby sneaks out of the stroller and into the pigpen, and a little piglet sneaks into the stroller. Chaos ensues! Throughout the story Mrs. Potter worries about getting messy and then deals with the much bigger worry that her baby has turned into a piglet, but eventually learns to embrace the mess (at least sometimes).
The Lady with the Alligator Purse adapted and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Sing this one 🙂 Everyone is worried about the baby who drinks up all the water, soap, and tries to eat the bathtub (but it wouldn’t go down his throat). They call the doctor and the nurse, but it’s the lady with the alligator purse who saves the day. Even the littlest ones love to sing along to this one and I like how the illustrations add funny details like the button popping off the doctor’s jacket.
Hug by Jez Alborough
Baby gorilla can’t find his mother and he’s sad and worried, especially when he sees all the other baby animals hugging their mommies. In the end a kind elephant reunites the baby and mommy. This one makes me go “ahhhhhhh,” every time. Just try to stop yourself from hugging this book, I dare you. This book is great for all ages, very minimal text. After reading this via zoom we did a “hugging” activity/stretch where we got up and stretched our arms wide and gave ourselves big hugs.