Celebrations Programs Chapter

By Kim Lehman

Texas Reads! A Celebration of Texas Authors, Books, and Libraries

Books to Share

Incredible Me! by Kathi Appelt.

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leight Smith.

Little Bunny Kung Fu by Regan Johnson.

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck.

When Turtle Grew Feathers: A Tale from the Choctaw Nation by Tim Tingle.


Give the children a book-shaped nametag made with a die-cut, copied from a clip art site such as School Clip Art at http://www.school-clip-art.com/book_clipart.shtml, or the pattern at the end of this program.

Rhymes and Poetry


One librarian, two librarians,

Three librarians you see.

Four librarians, five librarians,

Live in Texas like me!


Here is a bunny with ears so funny, (bend two fingers of one hand over on thumb)
And here is her hole in the ground. (make a hole with other fist)
When a noise she hears, she pricks up her ears, (extend index and tall fingers of first fist; then close them)
And hops into her hole in the ground. (jump fingers into hole in other fist)


Baby Shark

This hilarious, easy-to-sing action song is sure to be a hit. To learn the song, go to YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5V5_yUZxRc.

Bluebonnet Song

Traditional. Listen to the song performed by Kim Lehman. (MP3 | WAV)

Bluebonnets, bluebonnets, with your coats so blue,

Your white eyes are shining through the silvery dew.

We know you’re a dolly offered for the rain.

We know you’ll return again to Texas in the spring.

Do You Know the Way to Plant

(This traditional French game song was adapted by Kim Lehman. Repeat the song, substituting different body parts, such as elbow, foot, nose, toes, etc. The French version and a simple melody can be heard on the Kiddiddles web site at http://kididdles.com/mouseum/s113.html. The song is also available on the recording Everything Grows by Raffi.)

Do you know the way to write?

Write the pages just as we do.

Do you know the way to write?

See if you can do it too.

You can write it with your finger.

Write the pages just as we do.

You can write it with your finger

See if you can do it too.

Little Bunny Foo Foo

(Words and music to this well-loved song can be found on Bus Songs.com at http://www.bussongs.com/songs/little_bunny_foo_foo_short.php.)

(Traditional. Adapted by Kim Lehman. Sing to the tune of “John Brown’s Body.” For each successive verse, leave out a word or phrase but continue with the movements.

Little Bunny Foo Foo (make rabbit ears with fingers)
Had a fly upon his nose. (put pointer fingers on nose, crossing hands, palms toward body and move fingers in flapping motion)
Repeat two more times. And he flipped it (make flipping motion) And it flew away. (flap arms)


(Traditional. Adapted by Kim Lehman. Sing to the tune of Bingo. Make felt letters to go with the song. For another verse, substitute the words, “I have a friend with long pink ears and Bunny is her name-o. B-U-N-N-Y. Or, substitute the name of your library. “There is a place I like to go and sing, and learn, and read-o. __________ Library.”)

We love the state that we call home,

And Texas is its name-o.

T-E-X-A-S, T-E-X-A-S, T-E-X-A-S,

And Texas is its name-o.

It has one star upon its flag,

And Texas is its name-o.

T-E-X-A-S, T-E-X-A-S, T-E-X-A-S,

And Texas is its name-o.

Reader’s Theater

The Legend of Lightning Larry by Aaron Shepard is available on Author Online! Aaron Shepard’s Home Page page at http://www.aaronshep.com/rt/RTE01.html. Larry is a cowboy with a huge smile, a gun that shoots bolts of light, and a hankering for lemonade who takes on Evil-Eye McNeevil’s outlaw gang. This script is written for 22 readers ages 7 - 12. It runs about 8 minutes.

Three Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar, adapted by Aaron Shepard, is on Author Online! Aaron Shepard’s Home Page at http://www.aaronshep.com/rt/RTE32.html. Some say the teachers and students at Wayside School are strange and silly—and so will you! This script is for 9 readers ages 8 - 12. It runs about 12 minutes.

Puppet Shows

Use dialog and action from Faded Love by John Erickson, Hank the Cowdog book number five.

Perform The Case of the Missing Cat from Hanks Stage Plays and Musical Comedies at http://www.hankthecowdog.com/stage/index.htm - MissingCat.

Puppet Show: Betty Bunny

(By Kim Lehman.)

Characters: Mother Bunny, Benny Bunny, carrot, pictures of food, brown bag

Narrator: Benny bunny was a bouncy baby boy. The only thing he wanted to eat was carrots.

Benny: I LOVE carrots.

Mother: I know you do dear, but if you keep eating carrots and nothing else, you are going to turn into a carrot. Here eat some oatmeal for breakfast.

Benny: I want a carrot. (Eats a carrot)

Mother: How about an amazing apple for snack time?

Benny: I want a carrot. (Eats a carrot)

Mother: How about some scrumptious soup and a lettuce leaf sandwich for lunch?

Benny: I want a carrot. (Eats a carrot)

Mother: How about some yummy cheese and crackers?

Benny: I want a carrot. (Eats a carrot)

Mother: (Benny shakes his head “no: after each food.) How about an amazing avocado, a terrific tomato, a positively perfect potato?

Benny: All I’m going to eat is carrots, carrots, and more carrots. (Eats carrots)

Mother: You are going to turn into a carrot if that is all you eat.

Benny: How about some carrot juice before bedtime?

Mother: What am I going to do with you? (They kiss. Put Benny in a brown bag for a rabbit hole.)

Mother: Rise and shine, Benny! (Benny comes out as a carrot.)

Benny Carrot: Boy, am I feeling bright and crispy today.

Mother: I should say you are!


Tell Tortoise and the Hare by Aesop. This story can be found in books with the same title by Mark White or by Janet Stevens.



  • Card stock
  • Markers and things to decorate with

Cut card stock into the size you want to use for the bookmark. Provide markers, crayons, watercolors, pencils, ribbon, tissue paper, yarn, confetti, and paper shapes. Guide the children’s creativity by suggesting topics such as your favorite book or story, favorite character, favorite author, celebrate the library, or write a poem.

Bunny Ear Headbands

  • Cardstock (or old posters, recycled paper bags, or construction paper)
  • Pink paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stapler
  • Cotton balls

In advance, cut strips of cardstock about two inches wide and eighteen inches long, and cut rabbit ears from pink construction paper. The children glue the ears onto the headbands, and glue a cotton ball on the back of the headband for the tail. Tape them to fit the children’s heads.

Bunny Ear Headbands

Clay Characters

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Alum
  • Kool-Aid ™

Mix together 2½ to 3 cups of flour and 2 cups boiling water with 1 package Kool-Aid™, 3 tablespoons oil, ½ cup salt, and 1 tablespoon alum, and knead. Let the children mold the dough into favorite animals or book characters. For instructions on how to make cooked play dough, visit Instructibles at http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Playdough-Play-doh/.

Hank the Cow Dog Scarf

  • White sheet
  • Markers or stamps and inkpads
  • Scissors

Cut the sheet into triangles big enough to tie around a child’s neck. Let the children decorate the scarves with markers or stamps.

Hank the Cow Dog Scarf

Make a Book

This is an easy way to have children make a book to take home. For instruction on making an accordion book go to http://www.ehow.com/how_2055622_inspirational-accordion-book.html. For older children learn how to make a hard covered book by going to http://www.mothteeth.com/bookmaking/.

My Book About Me

  • Typing paper
  • Stapler

Supply children with a blank book made by cutting two sheets of typing paper in half, folding the four pieces together and stapling on the fold. Read questions to inspire children with ideas for writing in their books, such as the following. “What is you name? Write about the people in your family. Write about your pets. What is your favorite color? What is your favorite story?

Games and Activities

Book Drawing

Have people write their favorite books on bits of paper to be put in a drawing.

Dewey Decimal Round-Up

Blow up balloons. Write call numbers or book titles on each balloon. Have the children move the balloons to a specific area without using their hands.

Hank the Cowdog

Get your picture taken with Hank the Cowdog. For costume rentals, visit Costume Specialist at http://www.cospec.com/childrens_book_characters.html.

Library Book Round-Up

Cut out 50 paper books. Before the children come into the library, hide the books. Have the children hunt for the books and take them to the librarian. The librarian can be a person or a cut out figure. For older children, write call numbers on 50 paper books and let them order the books by the Dewey Decimal System. Another version of this game can be a cattle round up with 50 hidden cows.

Sign Language

Teach the signs for Texas, book, writer, library, and topic of the stories shared like rabbit, flower, contest, ocean, and school. Go to ASLPro.com at http://www.aslpro.com/ to see the signs in action.

We Love Our Library

Display containers with photos and biographies of 8 - 10 library employees. Let patrons purchase tickets at the front desk and cast their votes for their favorite library employees by placing the tickets in the containers of their choice. Funds raised can be earmarked for children’s programs.

Guest Speakers

Invite a local author to visit the library and talk about their books or about the writing process. See the Professional Resources section at the end of this program for information on Texas Authors.

Books to Display or Booktalk

Hank the Cowdog by John Erickson.

Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America by Kathi Appelt.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar.

When Is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto by Elaine Scott.

Bulletin Boards

Texas Authors

Post photos of Texas children’s authors, their names, and pictures of some of their book covers. Many youth authors were also librarians. A variation would be to highlight Texas librarians who are authors. Cynthia Leitich Smith has an amazing web site of Texas authors at http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/lit_resources/authors/texasauth-ill.html.


Display books written or illustrated by native Texans or people who are living here now. Highlight one author by displaying their books and a biography about them. Display books that children have written in a library program, or collaborate with a school or summer camp to display books that children have written.


Make a display of your patrons’ favorite books. Ask them to write down their favorite book titles on pieces of paper shaped like books, and hang them throughout the library.


Order pencils from Texas author Linda Ayers with the message “A Story is Trapped Inside This Pencil. Let It Out!™ at http://www.lindaayers.com/writing_incentives.php.


Serve a cake in shape of Texas, or in the shape of a book. Kids will love to eat Hank the Cowdog Co-op Dog Food (sweetened puffed rice cereal) served in a dog bowl. Make Texas Twister punch by combining fruit juice and soda.

Audio Recordings

“Metamorphosis” on I Was a Supa-Dupa Pupa! By Lucas Miller.

“State Laughs” and “The Court of King Carakitus” on Cooperation Garden Time: Stories and Songs for Kids by Tom McDermott.

“We Don’t Give a Hoot” on Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowdog.


Wayside: The Movie. (49 minutes)

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. (85 minutes)

Web Sites

Book Cover Creator


This site has an easy to use template for creating a design for a book cover, spine, and front and back flaps.

Hank the Cowdog Official


Learn more about Hank and author John Erickson, and play games.

How to Make a Book


This site offers simple inspiration for the actual writing of a book.

Making a Duct Tape Bookcover


Easy to follow directions for making a book cover out of duct tape.

Poetry 4 Kids


This extensive site is packed with ideas on how to write poetry, games, a rhyming dictionary and much more.

Writer’s Window


Get great writing tips and children can submit their own writing.

Professional Resources

Directory of Authors, Illustrators and Storytellers West of the Mississippi by Gwynne Spencer.



This site has the best video sign language dictionary online.

Author Online! Aaron Shepard’s Home Page


A wealth of stories and resources make this site a storyteller’s dream.

Bus Songs


This site includes lyrics to a wide variety of children’s songs.

Costume Specialists


This is a great place to go to rent character costumes.

Cynthia Leitich Smith


This amazing site has pod casts, author lists, an award winning blog and much more. This site is a must!



This site tells you how to do just about anything.

Instructables: The World’s Biggest Show and Tell


This comprehensive site has instructions on everything under the sun.



This is a comprehensive site for songs for children.

Lee Bergman Home Page


This home page of designer Lee Bergman shows how to make a book.

Linda Ayers


Texas children’s author that has pencils to inspire writers.

School Clip Art


If you need clip art of animals or other related topics for children, this is the place to go.

Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators


This is a great place to go to find children’s authors. There are five groups in Texas. To find the closest one to your area go to http://www.scbwi.org/regions.htm.

West Texas Book and Music Festival, Wall of Texas Authors at http://www.abilenetx.com/apl/bookfest_authors.html

Here you will find a compiled list of Texas authors.

YouTube http://www.youtube.com/

This site provides videos from people all around the world.

Craft Materials

Open Book Nametags

Open Book Nametags Sheet - Eight Open Book Outlines

Texas Reading Club 2009 Programming Manual / Libraries: Deep in the Heart of Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011