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Pizza Storytime

I decided to allow the Pizza and Pasta storytime kit to live. I’m not over the moon about the pizza books for preschoolers, but the kit does contain some good elementary age read-alouds, so it may come in handy during some SRP storytime when a bunch of grade schoolers show up because Mom needed somewhere to take them now that school is out.

We read:

Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington

Sally runs a pizzeria, and the story follows her as she collects her ingredients and goes about her day. She grows her tomatoes in the community garden and makes her sauce from scratch, so she seems to be pretty organic, which I like. On the other hand, her cat helps her make pizza, and I think the health department might get mad if they found out. The art is cute. It’s a great book, it’s just…well…it feels like all the younger pizza books are about making pizza.

Interactivity factor: Low

Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig

Remember how I said it’s hard to find butterfly books that are NOT about the life cycle of a butterfly? Well, for preschoolers, it’s hard to find books about pizza that are NOT about how to make pizza. This sweet and quirky story describes a game a father plays with Pete, his son, when Pete is in a bad mood. He pretends Pete is pizza dough and goes through the motions of making him into a pizza, including putting “tomato” checkers and “flour” talcum powder on him. It’s a sweet, funny change of pace and the kids liked that the parents in the story acted so silly.

Interactivity factor: Low

The Pizza That We Made by Jean Holub

As you can see, this one is actually a beginner reader, not a straight-up picture book. The story, told in rhyme, follows three kids as they make pizza, clean up, and eat the pizza. It’s not earth-shattering, but the illustrations are appealing to kids and it’s a great starting point for talking about how pizza is made.

Interactivity factor: Low




Action Song

If You Want A Slice of Pizza (Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)

If you want a slice of pizza, clap your hands!
If you want a slice of pizza, clap your hands!
If you like extra cheese, just say, “Pizza please!”
If you want a slice of pizza, clap your hands!

Ask kids what they like on their pizza: mushrooms? pepperoni? pineapple? etc. Then rephrase with a different action, like, “If you want mushroom pizza, stomp your feet.”

Adapted from: Awesome Storytime


The Pizza That Sally Made

This flannel story uses the traditional “House that Jack Built” format. I love it because if you share out the toppings, there are enough pieces that everyone can participate. You can have four or five people hold some of the cheese and so forth, and then they come up when you call their ingredient in the story.



This is the crust that Sally made.
This is the sauce, so red and so sweet,
These are the olives, so black and salty,
These are the peppers, so green and crunchy,
This is the pineapple, fresh from Hawaii,
This is the salami, that makes it Italian,
This is the cheese, so gooey and chewy,

This is the tummy, so hungry and lively,
That devoured the pizza made with the cheese, so gooey and chewy,
That went on top of the salami, that makes it Italian,
That went with the pineapple, fresh from Hawaii,
That went with the peppers, so green and crunchy,
That went with the olives, so black and salty,
That went on the sauce, so spicy and sweet,
That went on the crust that Sally made.
And that was the pizza that Sally made!
Source: Sur la Lune via Storytime Katie


Parachute Pizza

I’ve been having some stomach trouble and didn’t get the flannelboard made in time for the first session, so I substituted with Parachute Pizza. We have a play parachute like those favored in gym classes the country over, and since it’s made of colored triangles, I decided it would make a great pizza! Here’s the how to:

Start with the kids in a circle. Bunch the parachute in the middle.

Have everybody knead the “dough ball,” the compacted chute.

Slowly spread back and open the chute.

Tell them the dough needs to rise. Have everyone hang on and raise their arms on the count of 3 so the parachute makes a big dome.

Spread the dough: Spread it out flat on the ground.

Toss the dough: Spin the parachute. You can do this by having everyone walk in a circle while holding it, or by having them pass it hand over hand to make it spin.

Add the “toppings”: I used shredded tissue for cheese and soft balls from lapsit for meatballs.

Distribute toppings: The fun part! Everyone hold on and gently shake the parachute.

All done: Lay the chute and toppings on the floor, and you have your pizza.


Die cut pizza slices and toppings plus glue. It wasn’t anything huge, but they needed something calming after the parachute!

How It Went

Everyone seemed to like the books, and we all certainly enjoyed talking about pizza: who likes pepperoni, who had pizza for dinner two days ago, whose daddy has to have a special crust because he’s gluten-intolerant, etc. Of course the parachute was the far-and-away success both sessions. I’m not sure they actually remembered anything but the parachute later. My storytimers are all little bitty, so they haven’t gotten to go to school and play with a parachute yet! When I asked who’d played with one, none of them raised their hands. It’s awesome to introduce kids to such a fun activity. Also, I was worried about making them crave unhealthy foods because we talked about pizza so much, but it seemed like the moms and dads were the ones saying, “I want pizza SO BADLY now!” Good times.

Next up: Monsters! The 2013 edition!


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