Book to Boogie is a monthly series that pairs picture books with dance and movement activities for preschool story time. The series is curated by Kerry Aradhya of Picture Books & Pirouettes and written by a different guest writer each month. We hope that children’s librarians, as well as classroom teachers and dance educators, will find these activities useful and fun!

By Julie Dietzel-Glair

Bunny is ready to go skiing, but he has two problems: 1) no snow and 2) no hill. Luckily, Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda is an interactive book, so the reader can help him out. The reader creates the necessary snow and a hill. The reader also comes in handy when Bunny gets stuck in a tree.

Children (and adults) will love being part of this humorous book. The text is simple, and the cool color tones provide a chilly winter feel.

Movement Ideas

Bunny Slopes encourages readers to shake the book to make snow and to tilt it to the right to create a hill. With a group of children, each individual can pretend to be a book:

  • Shake your whole body to make snow.
  • Jump up and down to pack down the snow.
  • Lean to the right to create a hill. (Tip: If you are modeling the movements for children, you should lean to the left. Kids will mirror your movements, and you want them to lean to the right.)
  • Bend over to flip the book upside down.
  • Hold your arms out in front in a circular shape to create a hole.

Create your own winter wonderland using pom-poms. Spread a large number of pom-poms on the floor and let everyone play in the “snow.” (You may also choose to use small pieces of paper; however, pom-poms are easier to clean up.) Play a winter-themed song such as “Let It Snow” while everyone plays, dances, and throws “snow” up into the air.

If you have time, do an experiment after reading the book. All you need for the experiment are:

  • Two marbles
  • Two clipboards (or flat pieces of wood)
  • A few thick books

Stack the books under one end of each clipboard, creating “ski slopes” at two different angles. Ask the kids which hill will make the “bunny” (marble) ski faster. After gathering guesses, hold each marble on the top of each clipboard and release the marbles at the same time. Watch carefully. Which “bunny” made it to the bottom of the hill first?

Be sure to look for other interactive books, especially Press Here by Hervé Tullet.

Julie Dietzel-Glair is a freelance writer and library consultant. Before entering her freelance career, she worked in Maryland public libraries for 11 years, first as a children’s librarian and then as an assistant children’s services coordinator. She is the author of Books in Motion: Connecting Preschoolers with Books through Art, Games, Movement, Music, Playacting and Props (ALA Neal-Schuman, 2013), Nonfiction in Motion: Connecting Preschoolers with Nonfiction Books through Movement (ALA Editions, 2016), and co-author of Get Real with Storytime: 52 Weeks of Early Literacy Programming with Nonfiction and Poetry (Libraries Unlimited, 2015). She is active in the Association for Library Service to Children and Capitol Choices. You can find out more about Julie at http://www.juliedietzelglair.com or follow her on Twitter @JulieDGWrites.

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