This from Margaret Kownover, an experienced public librarian:
Using April’s picture books with school children
Picture books April has authored have “come alive” to school children at the library when I have used various props in conjunction with the story. For example, with the story “Turtle Turtle Watch Out!” I gathered together a sea turtle puppet (Folkmanis has a nice one), a raccoon puppet,a flashlight, a sign that said “Beach Closed Turtles Nesting”, a cat puppet and a heron, gull, whale, sailfish, jellyfish and seven sharks (for these I made stick puppets — I couldn’t find hand puppets for them) and a net. The children each take a prop and as I read we act out the story. Any children who don’t have a prop take up the chant “Turtle Turtle Watch Out!” and say this at the times it occurs throughout the story.
Another book, “Dig Wait Listen: A Desert Toad’s Tale” I have used with a rain stick. It works very well to read this lovely story and “hear” the rain right along with the story at the appropriate moments.
“Stars Beneath Your Bed” can be told in conjunction with stories about the stars — I have used it with a constellation program when we learned the legends about the stars and made a constellation viewer from discarded film canisters (drug stores that process film will save these for you). Instructions can be found on the internet by typing in a search for “canned constellations”.
“Shadows” is a great book to use with shadow puppet play and especially around Groundhog Day!
This post was originally part of the Children’s Media Professional forum.