Get Up and Go!

Citation: Carlson, N. L. (2006). Get up and go! New York: Viking. get up and go

Ages: 0- 8

Grades: PreK – 1

Description:  Carlson’s text begins by telling readers: “You are special!” and that no matter if you are “tall, short, skinny or round” that it is important to take care of your body!  She then directly challenges readers to get out from behind the screen, and to get out and get some exercise. Throughout the book, the animal characters take part in a number of different types of physical activities, and with the text frankly, yet delicately, explaining the importance of physical activity, and what parts of the body physical activity can help.  

Uses: Carlson’s text is a direct challenge to the readers to get up and get moving. It is ideal to use in a storytime about the importance of exercise our about being healthy. The way Carlson presents the information highlights that this book could be used to introduce young children to healthy lifestyles. The book could also be useful in a family, toddler, or preschool storytime where adult family members and/or guardians are present, to also encourage them to get up and get moving, and/or to understand the importance of physical activity. This book could be used in a storytime program as a lead in or explanation before the teacher or librarian leads children through a group exercise.

Review Sources:

Jonas, JoAnn. (2006). Get Up and Go! [Review of the book Get Up and Go!]. School Library Journal, 52(2): 94

Phelan, C. (2005). Get Up and Go! [Review of the book Get Up and Go]. Booklist, 102(7):52.

Kirkus Reviews. (2005).  Get Up and Go. [Review of the book Get Up and Go]. Kirkus Reviews, 73(23):1271

Tags:  exercise, non-fiction, animals, dance, hiking, sports

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” Said the Sloth

Citation: Carle, E. (2002). “Slowly, slowly, slowly,” said the Sloth. New York, NY: Philomel Books.Slowly Sloth

Ages: 0-8

Grades: Pre-K – 3rd

Description: Set in a vibrant Amazon rainforest, “Slowly, slowly, slowly” says the Sloth follows the daily activities of a sloth, as a variety of animals constantly ask him why he does everything so slowly. The animals’ questions and sloth’s responses follow a slow, rhythmic pace, until one animal asks the sloth why he is so lazy. Sloth responds with the largest section of text in the book, using a number of adjectives to describe himself as anything but lazy. The book features a preface by Jane Goodall, and descriptions of all of the rainforest animals that appear in the text.  Carle’s tissue paper collages create a vibrant jungle that all are sure to enjoy.

Uses: While the pace of “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth is much slower than other books that encourage physical activity, it still can be used to encourage children to move.  Carle’s bright and simple images make the book ideal for a preschool or toddler storytime. Librarians and teachers can invite the children to mimic the sloth’s movements – as slowly as possible – during the story. The slow pace of the story allows for students mimic the movements with little disruption to the flow of narration. The book can be used in a storytime about animals, the jungle, or celebrating Eric Carle. Goodall’s preface along with the included descriptions of the animals also lend the book to being used in a lesson for younger grade children.

Review Sources:

Elam, Mary. (2002). ‘Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,’ Said the Sloth. [Review of the book ‘Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,’ Said the Sloth]. School Library Journal, 48(9):181.

Roback, D., Brown, J., Britton, J. & Zaleski, J. (2002). ‘Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,’ said the Sloth. [Review of ‘Slowly, Slowly, Slowly’, said the Sloth]. Publisher’s Weekly, 249(26):77.

Kirkus Reviews. (2002). ‘Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,’ Said the Sloth. [Review of the book ‘Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,’ Said the Sloth]. Kirkus Reviews, 70(15):1123.

Burke, Lynne. (2003). ‘Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,’ Said the Sloth. [Review of the book Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,’ Said the Sloth]. Reading Today, 20(5):32.

Tags:  animals, sloths, jungle, rainforest, relaxed pace


Citation: Calmenson, S., & Degen, B. (2008). Jazzmatazz! New York, NY: HarperCollins Childrens Books. jazzmatazz

Ages: 2-8

Grades: PreSchool – Grade 2

Description: With rhyming text, Calmenson tells the story of what happens when a piano playing mouse enters into a house on a cold, winter’s day.  Eventually, the piano playing mouse has the whole family, then the whole town making music. The characters dance, sing, and fiddle throughout the town, and throughout the book.

Use:The rhyming and sing-song nature of the text makes Calmenson’s Jazzmatazz! a great storytime option. The book can be used as part of a larger program about music and/or dance. Teachers and librarians can read the book, then give students instruments, so they can parade around and dance to their own music.  Teachers and librarians can also play jazz music for students to dance along.

Review Sources:

Kirkus Reviews. (2007). Jazzmatazz! [Review of the book Jazzmatazz!]. Kirkus Reviews, 75(23):1243

Hutley, Krista. (2008). Jazzmatazz! [Review of the book Jazzmatazz}. Booklist, 104 (9/10):94.

Dean, Kara. (2008). Jazzmatazz! [Review of the book Jazzmatazz!] School Library Journal,  54(3):155

Tags: animals, mice, jazz, children, dance

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

Citation: Cabrera, J. (2010). Here We Go Round the Mulberry bush. New York: Holiday House. Mulberry Bush

Ages: 2 and up

Grades: PreSchool – Grade 1

Description: Cabrera’s Here we go round the mulberry bush takes the familiar nursery rhyme and uses it as a framework to tell the story of two puppies, on a cold and frosty day. The storyline and rhyme follow the puppies as they get up, go to school, come home, and eventually go to bed.  The action in the book is depicted in bright, larger than life images.

Use:  The bright images and familiar refrain of Here we go round the mulberry bush make it an ideal book to use in a preschool or toddler storytime.  The familiarity of the text will invite students to join in on the refrain. In order to incorporate physical activity into the storytime, librarians and teachers can get students to act out the old rhyme by doing activities such as: walking in a circle to mimic “going round the mulberry bush” and other activities.  Librarians and teachers can also encourage students to make up their own versions of the rhyme that the whole group can act out.

Review Sources:

Cooper, Ilene. (2010). Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. [Review of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.] Booklist, 107(6):50.

Simpson, Martha. (2010). Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. [Review of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush]. School Library Journal 56(12):92.

Tags: nursery rhymes, puppies, school


Citation: Bruel, N. (2004). Boing! Brookfield, Conn.: Roaring Brook Press. Boing!

Age: 0-7 years

Grade: PreK-2nd grade

Description: Boing! is the story of a baby kangaroo who struggles when the time comes for her to learn to jump.  The kangaroo is assisted in her quest to hop by her mother, a frog, a grasshopper, and a rabbit. A friendly koala comes up with a solution that has the little kangaroo hopping in no time.

Use: Boing! is a resource that could be used during a toddler or young child storytime. Students will enjoy the vibrant pictures as well as the energetic text. After the book has concluded, librarians and parents can encourage students to practice their best kangaroo hop like the character in the story. For further physical activity, children can also be encouraged to hop like all of the other animals in the story.

Review Sources: Kirkus Reviews (2010). Boing! [Review of the book Boing!]. Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved from:

Tags: kangaroo, animals, jumping

Giraffes Can’t Dance

Title: Giles, Andreae & Parker-Rees, G. (2001). Giraffes Can’t Dance. New York: Orchard Books. Giraffes

Age: 3-6

Grade Level: Babies and Toddlers

Description: Giraffes Can’t Dance is the story of Gerald the giraffe. Every year, all of the other Animals in Africa gather for the Jungle Dance, where they prance and dance to the beat of the music.  Gerald is too clumsy to dance with all of the animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds his own beat and rhythm.

Use: With bold watercolor images and rhyming text, Giraffes Can’t Dance is a great resource for use in a young child or toddler storytime. Librarians can invite children to dance along with Gerald, or after the story has concluded, in order to incorporate physical activity into the program.

Review Sources:

Publisher’s Weekly (n.d). Giraffes Can’t Dance. [Review of the book Giraffes Can’t Dance]. Publisher’s Weekly. Retrieved from:

Kirkus Reviews (2010). Giraffes Can’t Dance. [Review of the book Giraffes Can’t Dance]. Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved from:

Tags: animals, dance, giraffes

Can You Peck Like a Hen?

Title: Alborough, J. (1996). Can You Peck Like a Hen? Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. Can You Peck Like a Hen

Ages: 2-4 years

Grade Level: 0- PreK

Description: Similarly to Can You Jump Like a Kangaroo?, Can You Peck Like a Hen? invites young children to move along with various animals through a series of questions and large, bright-colored animal images.  Can You Peck Like a Hen? is a lift-the-flap story that is sure to engage students.

Use: With the large images and lift-the-flap style story, Can You Peck Like a Hen? is a useful book for a toddler or baby storytime. The interaction in the text and question format invite participants to move along with the animals.

Review Sources: none found

Tags: lift the flap, animals, animal movements