Here’s our next Ask a Storytime Ninja Lightning Round for the month of May! These questions are posed to all of our ninjas instead of just our featured monthly ones and are meant to be quick and efficient responses to some interesting inquiries. Here’s our question for this week:
“Do you do Mother’s Day/Father’s Day storytime themes or is it better to avoid since so many kids may be from single-parent families, raised by grandparents, or have 2 moms/dads? My library serves an urban population so we see more single parents & grandparents raising kids than in suburban branches.”
Great question! My answer: it depends. For holidays like this Mother’s Day, I tend to not make a big deal out of it. If I feel like it, I might read, Mother, Mother I Want Another, Llama, Llama, Red Pajama or Hooray for Fish but that would be it I think and I don’t think I would ever advertise or announce it as a special Mother’s Day storytime. That being said, I read those stories at different times throughout the year too because I like them, not because they feature moms. Also, a whole lot of kids who come to my storytime are with their (wonderful) nannies, and I have several dads and grandparents and one aunt too so I honestly don’t see the need to give the moms any special recognition on this day more than any other day. They should all be commended for getting out the door and down to the library right? Of course we do have a display for people who want to take out the books about Mother’s Day (same goes for Valentines and all the other holidays, religious and secular).
We do not do Mother’s Day/Father’s Day themes, but it may be because we take a programming break in May, so we’d only be able to do Father’s Day and that’s kind of one-sided. Maybe instead of Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, those weeks might be good times to do “Family” or “Love” or similar storytime themes.
From Meg S. (@theemegnificent, missmegsstorytime.com):
I think you really have to gauge your community–if you see a lot of single parents or grandparents as main caregivers than maybe it is best to avoid it. I typically don’t do Mothers or Father’s Day stuff but was once asked to do a Mother’s Day theme at storytime. In that case (and because I knew most of my regulars) I decided to focus more on families than specifically moms or dads.
From Natalie K.:
We have programs for both holidays, but I make sure to talk about grandparents, aunts, and uncles in my storytimes. This way, no one feels too left out.
From Tabin C.:
I do both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and not simply because it’s two less themes I have to make up (yay!). It’s because I have no biological children, but I am a part-time parent. When something happens to a child’s parents, other people step up and step in. I’ve seen Shrek a gazillion times, have watched the most boring children’s sporting events ever, received calls asking, “Can I come over?” (translation: “Mom is making me do chores.”), figured out mission projects, state projects, and even famously enacted a whole house time out in which I screamed, “Everyone is going to their rooms, including me!!!”
In other words, I deserve acknowledgement. Matter of fact, I deserve more than that, which is why for Mother’s Day I asked for, and received, a 55 inch Samsung plasma TV. So, I figure a few nice stories like “Little Miss Spider” and “Froggy’s Day with Daddy” is not too much to ask out of the library. (Unless you want to send me a 3-D TV…)
Thanks for the responses everyone! Have any of your own? Comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts!