rusq: Vol. 52 Issue 2: p. 162
Sources: What’s Black and White and Reid All Over?: Something Hilarious Happened at the Library
Ruth Ann Czech

Reference Librarian, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Virginia

You know the feeling you have when a storytime works well? When everyone is paying rapt attention, laughing, enjoying the music and stories and activities you’ve selected? Rob Reid has added a new book to his collection of storytime publications designed to give you more moments like this. What’s Black and White and Reid All Over?: Something Hilarious Happened at the Library is conveniently divided into sections: programs for preschoolers, programs for school-age kids, and funny books in the library. The book is well indexed and has an appendix of the “Coveted Robbie” award winning books—very useful for the busy professional.

“Humor Programs for the Preschool Crowd” and “Humor Programs for the School-Age Crowd” offer five storytime packages for each age group. Each storytime starts with a “Program at a Glance,” which outlines the entire program in just a few lines. The following pages describe the storytime in detail and often provide transitions from one activity to the next, which is very helpful to the new youth librarian. Reid provides a summary for each book, including valuable storytelling tips. Some of the book selections (Ivan the Terrier by Peter Catalanotto) and activities (the Library Scavenger Hunt, adapted for kindergarten/first grade, and the movement activity Doot Doot Zoo) in the Preschool section could easily be used for the younger end of the School-Age Crowd.

Have you ever changed a few words of a fingerplay or song to suit a program? Reid does some of this creative work for us, as in “How Much Is That Turtle in the Window?” and “Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Zoo.” Also included in the Preschool Crowd and School-Age Crowd sections are much appreciated substitute book choices—we all know how frustrating it is when the books we need are checked out!

“The Funniest Books in Your Library” covers several collections: picture books, easy readers, graphic novels, chapter books, and poetry. For each book listed, Reid includes a summary, suggested age range, and some type of highlight notation. Chapter books, for example, have a “Laugh-Out-Loud Selection.” This chapter also covers “Derivative Literature,” described as “modern day parodies of traditional stories and songs,” which can be fun additions to storytime programs. Highly recommended for public libraries.

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