Paws to Read
By Susan M. Dailey

       Before I told this very simple story, I held up cards with the words "Paws" and "Pause" on them. I asked the audience if they knew what each word meant. Then I taught the kids the following chant:
                   Paws to read
                   Paws to read
                   Every day
                   Paws to read
       On "Paws" I held up my hands palms facing out. On "to" I turned my palms in. On "Read" I moved my head left to right, pretending to read. On "Every day" I slapped my left hand to leg, then my right hand to leg, and clapped my hands together once. However, feel free to use whatever motions make sense to you.
       I asked for a volunteer as I came to each new animal and I handed them a mask. (Feel free to change the books to whatever your library owns. Just try to have the name of the animal in the title.) I would have the volunteer make the appropriate animal sound and then I'd whisper their line to them so that they could say it.

       One beautiful summer day a mouse sat under a tree reading his favorite book. It wasn’t The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse or If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. It was Whose Mouse Are You? (hold up books as mentioned, give favorite to volunteer)

       Then who should come up but a cat. The cat started to hiss and then said, "You'd better run, mouse, or I'm going to get you!" The mouse looked up from his book and said:

(audience says chant)

       So the cat sat down and started to read his favorite book, which wasn’t My Cat, Maisie or The Cat in the Hat. It was Cat Up a Tree.

       Then who should come up but a dog. The dog started to growl and then said, "You'd better run, cat, or I'm going to get you!" The cat looked up from his book and said:

(audience says chant)

       So the dog sat down and started to read his favorite book. It wasn’t Harry the Dirty Dog or Clifford, the Big Red Dog. No, it was Claude the Dog.

       Then who should come up but a bear. The bear started to growl and then said, "You'd better run, dog, or I'm going to get you!" The dog looked up from his book and said:

(audience says chant)

       So the bear sat down and started to read his favorite book, which wasn’t Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? or Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It was My Friend Bear.

       Then who should come up but a lion.

       A lion? Wait a minute! (scratch head, act puzzled) There shouldn't be a lion in this story. Lions live in Africa. Do you think I'm "lion" to you? Well, I am telling you a tale, but not about the fact that you should:

                   Paws to read
                   Paws to read
                   Every day
                   Paws to read

 

The masks for this story were created by Cindy Burchell, a co-worker of Susan's.  

Patterns are provided, but they will need to be enlarged.

Mouse

Cat

Dog

Bear

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* This story can be used freely in programs, but may not be re-posted, reproduced, or sold without prior permission.