The Rooster Struts

Citation: Scarry, R. (2004). The Rooster Struts. New York: Golden Books.The Rooster Struts

Ages: 0-5

Grades: PreK

Description:  Scarry’s The Rooster Struts is a simple story that introduces readers to different animals and the concepts of how they move. Sentences are short and the images are large, which lends to a young child storytime. Different animals are mentioned, including roosters, chicks, bears, and ants.

Uses:  The Rooster Struts can be used in a baby or toddler storytime.  The simple pictures and short sentences lend to reading for large groups. Teachers and librarians can read each sentence, and then ask the children to mimic each animal’s movements.

Review Sources: The Rooster Struts. (n.d.). Publisher’s Weekly. Retrieved from:


Search Terms:  animals, animal movements, concept books

If You’re Hoppy

Citation: Sayre, A. P., & Urbanovic, J. (2011). If You’re Hoppy. New York: Greenwillow Books.Hoppy

Ages: 0-7

Grades: PreK – Kindergarten

Description: Based upon the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It”,  Sayre and Urbanovic introduce readers to different animals and their actions. The book begins “If you’re hoppy and you know it you’re a frog!”  and continues through other animals such as bunnies and crickets and their traits, like sloppy and growly. At different intervals in the book children are asked to “stretch your toes” or “ swing your wings.”  The book also features bright, cartoon-style images.

Uses: If You’re Hoppy and You Know It is ideal for a toddler and early elementary storytime. Children at this age may be familiar with the “If you’re happy and you know it” song, which may add to the appeal of the book for children.  Teachers and librarians can read the story for  during storytime, and then invite children to move and hop along with the animals.  In addition to reading the story, librarians and teachers can lead the children in a rendition of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” that includes movement and physical activity such as hopping, jumping, or running in place.

Review Sources:

Cruze, K. (2011). If You’re Hoppy. Booklist, 107(13), 63.

Ludke, L. (2011). If You’re Hoppy. School Library Journal, 57(1), 82-84.

Tags: animals, animal movements, jumping, rabbits

Dunk Skunk

Citation: Rex, M. (2005). Dunk skunk. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.Dunk Skunk

Ages: 2-5

Grades: PreK – K

Description: Dunk Skunk is a simple story of animals engaged in different types of sports. Each page depicts the animals in action, and the story is told with simple, two word rhymes such as “Coach Roach” or “Hurdle Turtle.”  The book has bright, large images and text.

Uses: Dunk Skunk’s large text, simple rhyme, and humorous feeling make it an ideal text for a family or toddler storytime. The animals moving in different ways will inspire children to go and play different sports. There are several ways librarians could incorporate actions into storytimes with this text: first, librarians could read the story, and then lead the children in a storytime appropriate sports game, such as quiet ball. Second, librarians could read the story and ask children to mimic the movements of the animals in the story: they can pretend to dunk, to throw a football, etc.

Review Sources:

Roach, J. (2005). Dunk Skunk. School Library Journal, 51(4):110.

Dunk Skunk. (2005). Kirkus Reviews, 73(3), 181.

Tags:  animals, sports, rhyme

The Yoga Zoo Adventure: Animal Poses and Games for Little Kids

Citation: Purperhart, H. (2008). The Yoga Zoo Adventure: Animal Poses and Games for Little Kids (1 edition.). Alameda, CA: Hunter House.Yoga Zoo Adventure

Ages: Activities: 4 and up; Book: Grades 12 and up

Grades: PreK and up

Description: The Yoga Zoo Adventure: Animal Poses and Games for Little Kids is an educator resource for teachers, librarians, and any who work with young children.  The book contains guidelines for parents and teachers on how to teach children yoga, and how to work with a group.  The majority of the book is dedicated to games based upon different animals children would see at the zoo, such as giraffes, zebras, and elephants. The book also details which size group the activity would work best with: a large group, small group, or pair.

Uses:  The Yoga Zoo Adventure is a wonderful resource for teachers and librarians who want to incorporate more movement into their storytimes.  Librarians/teachers could take games out of the book and create a whole program on movement based upon the concept of the zoo visit.  Individual games can also be used and adapted for different storytimes or programs, especially in the place of traditional fingerplays and action rhymes.

Review Sources: none.

Tags: yoga, animals, exercise, games

Bearobics: A Hip-Hop Counting Story

Citation: Parker, V., & Bolam, E. (1997). Bearobics: A Hip-Hop Counting Story. New York: Viking.bearobics

Ages: 3-8

Grades: PreK – 2

Description: In Bearobics: A Hip-Hop Counting Story, a single bear takes his boom-box into the forest. As he plays his music, more and more animals join the fun, each doing their own dance.  As the animals join in, children are introduced to different numbers and number concepts.

Uses: Bearobics: A Hip-Hop Counting Story could be read during a toddler or family storytime to reinforce or introduce number and counting concepts to children. The rhythm of the story invites students to dance along with the animals. Teachers and librarians can read the story, and then play music for the students to do their own Bearobics.

Review Sources:

Devereaux, E., & Roback, D. (1996). Forecasts: Children’s books. Publisher’s Weekly, 243(51), 58.

Townsend-Hudson, S. (1997). Books for youth: Books for the young. Booklist, 93(12), 1028.

Tags: concept books, bears, animals, numbers

Animal Action ABC

Citation: Pandell, K., Wolfe, A., & Sheehan, N. (1996). Animal Action ABC. New York: Dutton Children’s Books.Animal Action ABC

Ages:  3 – 7

Grades: PreK – 1

Description:  Animal Action ABC is part ABC concept book, part poem about movement. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with a different action verb and poem that encourages readers and listeners to move in various ways. Each movement and letter is paired with an animal, which is pictured in bright photographs doing the motion. There are also children pictured mimicking the movement as well.

Uses: Animal Action ABC could be used by librarians and teachers as a way to reinforce letter concepts in a non-traditional way. Students can move while learning, which is conducive to some learning styles. The short poems for each letter/movement are conducive to reading aloud in a group or storytime setting. The images allow for use during a program focused on animals, or on ABC concepts. The book can also be used to demonstrate to parents how literacy concepts can be integrated into movement activities. Animal Action ABC would also be well used for programs for teens or adults who are differently abled.

Review Sources:

Animal Action ABC. (1996). Publisher’s Weekly. Retrieved from:

Search Terms:  concept books, animals, differently-abled 


Citation: Page, R.  and Jenkins, S. (2006). Move! Boston Mass.: HMH Books for Young Readers.Move!

Ages: 3-9

Grades: PreK – 3

Description: In Move! readers are introduced to a number of animals, and how they move. Whales dive, gibbons swing, and snakes slither. The book also features a description of each animal and its habits.  The book is illustrated in with large, colorful images of each animal, with text mirroring how the animals move.

Uses: Move! is ideal for a preschool or family storytime. It could also be read to younger elementary school children in conjunction with a science lesson about animals. The description of how the animals move begs children and other listeners to get up and mimic the movements. Librarians and teachers can ask students to mimic the movements during the story, or after during an activity. The facts about each animal in the story make the book ideal for a lesson about animals for younger children.

Review Sources:

Carter, B. (2006). Move!. Horn Book Magazine, 82(3), 344.

DeCandido, G. (2006). Move!. Booklist, 102(14), 50.

Glantz, S. (2007). Move!. Library Media Connection, 25(4), 77.

Move!. (2006). School Library Journal, 52:32.

Weitz, S. (2006). Move!. School Library Journal, 52(6):136.

Move!.(2006). Kirkus Reviews, 74(7), 349.

Move!. (2006). New York Times Book Review, 15.

Tags: animal movements,  animals, non-fiction, 

Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch!

Citation: Olson, J. (2010). Tickle, tickle! itch, twitch! New York: Marshall Cavendish Children. Tickle, Tickle, Itch Twitch

Ages: 2 – 5

Grades: PreK – K

Description: Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch! is the story of Gus the groundhog, who loves spending summer days lazily sitting in the shade. One day, Gus gets an itch, and it must be scratched! Little does Gus know, a mouse tickling his back with a flower caused the itch. The story follows Gus as he tries to use various objects to scratch his back, but they aren’t what they seem. Gus grabs a stick that is actually a snake and so on and so forth.  

Uses:  The repetitive structure of Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch! makes it ideal for preschool and family storytimes. The repeating phrases allow children to get involved with the telling of the story, and to predict what will happen next.  Incorporating movement with this story will require a bit more creativity from teachers and librarians.  During the story, librarians/teachers can ask children to move and act like the different animals Gus encounters. They can also get participants scratch their backs and stretch, or, parents can tickle baby’s toes, fingers, etc.

Review Sources:

Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch!. (2010). Kirkus Reviews, 78(19), 1003.

Van Marel, L. (2010). Tickle, Tickle! Itch, Twitch!. School Library Journal, 56(12):87.

Search Terms: animals, mice

Pretend You’re a Cat

Citation: Marzollo, J., & Pinkney, J. (1990). Pretend You’re a Cat. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.  Cat

Ages: 4 – 8

Grades: PreK – 8

Description:  Pretend You’re a Cat invites readers and listeners to move like various animals: a cat, a dog, a fish, and a bee. Marzollo uses a repetitive rhyming text to invite children to move along with the story. There are also richly detailed images of children and animals doing the movements throughout the story.

Uses: Pretend You’re a Cat is ideal for a family or young child storytime. The story can be read out loud, and children can participate along with the story.  The images in this story will also draw in listeners with the vibrant images.

Review Sources:

Dibner, E. (1990). Pretend You’re a Cat (Book). School Library Journal 36(7), 63.

Fader, E. (1990). Pretend You’re a Cat. Horn Book Magazine, 66(4), 446-447.

Tags: animals, animal movements, rhyme, diversity, differently-abled

A Yoga Parade of Animals: A First Fun Picture of Yoga

Citation: Mainland, P. E., & Perry, C. (1998). A yoga parade of animals: a first fun picture book of yoga. Shaftesbury: Element Children’s Books. Yoga Parade of Animals

Ages: 4 – 9

Grades: PreK – 5

Description:  A Yoga Parade of Animals teaches children different yoga poses, named after animals. The book includes pictures of the animal, and then pictures of children doing the explained pose.  The text instructs children on how to execute each mentioned pose, and has bright drawings, and clear photographs.

Uses:  A Yoga Parade of Animals could be used in a specifically yoga based program, as a guide. Librarians and teachers could use the book to instruct children in different poses. The book would also be an ideal display book for a program featuring a more story-focused book that features movement. For example, Cronin’s Stretch and My Daddy is a Pretzel could be the featured reading in a program, with A Yoga Parade of Animals as one of the display items for participants to check out after the program has concluded.

Review Sources:

Stone, L. W., & jones, T. E. (1998). Preschool to Grade 4: Nonfiction. School Library Journal, 44(11), 107.

Tags:  non-fiction, yoga, animals