Tag Archives: bilingual storytime

From bilingual storytime to just storytime: a learning experience

Last fall, we didn’t offer bilingual storytime at the library.  This was a really tough decision for me to make, and something that definitely made me feel like a failure. Bilingual storytime was something I was proud of, something I had started as soon as I was hired, and one of the biggest ways our library was serving Spanish speakers and creating awareness about diversity in our community.

Continue reading From bilingual storytime to just storytime: a learning experience


Bilingual storytime on the road

This fall, I took bilingual storytime on the road! In order to reach a new and bigger audience, I offered programs at a local church and at our private Catholic elementary school, both in the evening. Not knowing anything about numbers or ages of who my audience would be, I mostly used my normal bilingual storytime outline, with some additions to tweak it for different ages.

Continue reading Bilingual storytime on the road

Bilingual storytime: Estamos en un libro!

My bilingual family storytimes all follow the same outline, and I fill in the blanks with books, flannel stories, apps and activities!

Although this program had a low attendance, I wrangled some older kids who were hanging out in the children’s room this evening with the promise of cookies and Mo Willems, and they LOVED this fun classic.

Book: Estamos en un libro!/We are in a book! by Mo Willems.


As I do, I read first in English, then in Spanish. One older girl translated to English as I read the Spanish version, and I was impressed with her combined Spanish/remembering skills. Continue reading Bilingual storytime: Estamos en un libro!

Bilingual Storytime: Bomberos!

My bilingual family storytimes all follow the same outline, and I fill in the blanks with books, flannel stories, apps and activities!

Lately I’ve been losing some of the younger kids with longer books, so I decided to try shorter simpler books and add in more music.

Book: Opuestos: Mexican Folk Art Opposites in English and Spanish, by Cynthia Weill.


I love this book because it has simple vocabulary and concepts but great art that is culturally relevant. After we read this, we sang Cabeza y hombros (head, shoulders, knees, and toes). I like to sing this three times, first at normal speed, then in slow motion, and finally (the opposite!) really fast. Yay for making connections.

This is something I do at almost all my outreach storytimes, and it never fails to entertain the children. I usually have one kid ask to go even faster, at which point I admit that I can’t sing it any faster but invite them to try.

Saltar por J: Jump for J is a super fun activity that I borrowed/stole from the amazing children’s librarian I shadowed in grad school. I have a stack of laminated alphabet cards, with some extra letters J; the rest are in alphabetical order. We flip through them slowly, and every time we see a J, we jump up and down. We do this a lot in preschool storytime, and it is a great way to work on the alphabet in Spanish too!

Book + vocabulary activity: Fire, fuego, brave bomberos! by Susan Middleton Elya.


We reviewed some vocabulary from the story on the board. After I read the book, we went backwards with the vocabulary, matching words to the pictures.

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Song: El baile de las manos, by Jorge Anaya. I played a shortened version of this song, with the words displayed on a large sheet of paper on the wall, and we followed along with the hand movements.

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Book: Uno, dos, tres; one two three, by Pat Mora.



We did some more counting (I had a very interested baby who wanted to look at the pages up close), and then sang good-bye!

See more bilingual storytime posts!