Put a Storytime in Your Pocket

Printable copy

Pocket Books 

Boing by Nick Bruel (ages 1-7)

Written entirely in dialogue and sound-effects, this energetic picture book shows a mother kangaroo encouraging her joey to try a few hops on his own. One by one, the mother kangaroo, toad, cricket and hare offer their advice and example as a koala slowly climbs down a tree, but the joey still falls flat with a "blomp." Finally, the koala asks "What do you have in your pocket?" While the other animals watch in stunned disbelief, a veritable counting lesson in goodies emerges from the young marsupial's pouch. "Try again." the koala says, once the pouch is empty. This time, the "BOING" bursts from the page--literally, as the last two pages open a pop-up. Now you try!

A Pocketful of Cricket by Rebecca Caudill, illustrated by Evaline Ness (ages 4-8, needs a quieter, more patient audience)

Jay is a five-year-old country boy who revels in discovering the wonders of nature around his family's farm--and bringing these wonders home in his pocket. His favorite discovery is Cricket. On his first day of school, Jay can't bear to leave Cricket at home, so he smuggles the insect to school with him in his pocket. The school day is disrupted by loud chirps emanating from Jay's pocket, but a kind and understanding teacher steps to Jay's rescue with a creative solution. The red, goldenrod and black illustrations will likely not appeal to contemporary audiences, but Caudill's lyrical writing and Jay's spirit are delight enough for receptive listeners.

A Fish in His Pocket by Denys Cazet (ages 4-7)

On his way to school, Russell stopped at the pond to look at the fish. While he was bent over the pond, his math book fell in. At school, Russell apologized to his teacher. "The teacher oozed open the book. Some moss and a little fish slid to the porch floor.../ Russell picked up the little fish. It didn't move." Consumed by guilt, Russell spends the school day distracted by the fish in his pocket. Then, in art class, he figures out a good way to say goodbye.

What Did You Put In Your Pocket? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers (ages 2-7)

"What did you put in your pocket What did you put in your pocket in your pockety pockety pocket early Monday morning? / I put in some chocolate pudding I put in some chocolate pudding Slushy glushy pudding early Monday morning." Each day of the week, another messy substance goes into the pocket until Sunday, when a clean white handkerchief is added to the mix.

A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman (ages 3-6)

Corduroy, a teddy bear, decides that he wants a pocket of his own, and he wanders off in the laundromat looking for something from which to make a pocket.

Pocket Poems selected by Bobbi Katz, illustrated by Marilyn Hafner (ages 3-8)

See "A Pocket Poem" by Bobbi Katz, page 1 and "Keep a Poem in Your Pocket" by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, page 27

Joey by Jack Kent (Ages 3-8)

Joey's mother worried that her little kangaroo might get lost. "So, to keep track of him, she put Joey in her pocket. / ... Joey had coloring books and his toys to play with there. But he was lonely for someone his own age." So, Joey invited his friend Billy... and Betty... and Bob to come over and play. When they got bored, they brought in a TV, a stereo system, and band instruments. Mama's pouch stretches larger and larger, and she watches the proceedings with alarm until Betty brings a piano. "THAT WILL DO!" Joey is a humorous cautionary tale for helicopter parents, and a fabulous pocket story.

Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne, illustrated by H.A. Rey (ages 1-7)

Poor Katy is a kangaroo with no pocket, so her little son, Joey, has to hop along after her everywhere they go. Katy asks other animal mothers how they transport their children, but Joey falls off Katy's back when she hops, and her arms are to short for carrying him. On the advice of the wise old owl, Katy seeks a pocket in the city. There, she finds a carpenter with an apron full of pockets.

The Big Green Pocketbook by Candice Ransom, illustrated by Felicia Bond

A little girl carries her mama's cast-off big green pocketbook while the two run errands. At each stopm, she adds something to the bag.

Peter's Pockets by Eve Rice, illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker (ages 3-6)

One morning, Peter set off with his uncle for the boat pond, wearing new pants. On their walk, Peter found six treasures: a feather, a marble, a ribbon, a button, a ball and a nickel. Only... his new pants don't have any pockets! Peter's uncle puts the treasures in his pocket, and when they get home, Peter's mother sews one pocket onto Peter's new pants for each thing he found on his walk.

A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes: A Pocket Book by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (ages 1-7)

"A sock is a pocket for your toes, / A vase is a pocket for a rose. A pocket for a chicken is a coop, and a bowl is a pocket full of soup--uh oh! A bowl is a pocket spilling soup."

A Pocket Can Have Treasure In It by Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Deirdre Betteridge (ages 2-6)

A barn can have... / ...a horse in it. / And a house can have a 'me in it. A bowl can have a berry in it. / Can a sock have a head in it? No! But a sock can have .../ a toe in it..." A gentle exploration of the concept of "inside."

Max Cleans Up by Rosemary Wells (Ages 1-6)

"Max put his popsicle where no one would find it"--i.e., in his shoe. His bossy big sister, Ruby, is appalled by how messy Max's room is and insists on cleaning up. Max is determined to rescue his treasures from Ruby's cleansing, however. So, he hides the "best" things in his overalls pockets: his favorite piece of chewing gum on a string, the contents of a tube of bubbles, the escapees from an ant farm, and of course that now-melted popsicle. At last, a triumphant Ruby announces "now there's a place for everything, and everything's in it's place!" before suspiciously asking "What's in your pocket?" Max's answer is brilliantly sly and honest: "Everything." For antsier groups, some pages can be skipped. The illustrations are engagingly simple line drawings, rich in primary colors, with multimedia collage materials enhancing the textures of melting popsicle, spilled sand, etc.

Pocket Dogs by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Stephen Michael King (ages 3-7)

Mr. Pockets had a very big coat, and in his coat he had two very big pockets. The two very big pockets were just the right size for two very small dogs. Their names were Biff and Buff. Biff and Buff love being pocket dogs, riding all over town in Mr. Pockets's pockets, but one day Biff falls through a hole in the coat's pocket and gets lost.


Pocket Songs


"Pockets" (2:23) Track 2 on
Andy Z. Pockets. CD. Andy Z Records, 2003.

Andy Z leads a fun, silly celebration of every great pair of pants' star feature: POCKETS!

"Pockets" (4:52) Track 1 on
Wise, Joe. Music For Kids: Best Of Joe Wise. CD. GIA Publications, Inc., 1983.

Joe Wise sings bouncy, bluegrass-style about the treasures he keeps in the five magnificent pockets of his favorite overalls: a stale peanutbutter bar, marbles, a really old nickle, and more...


 Where's Your Pocket?
[Sing to the tune of "Frere Jacques"]
Where's your pocket?
Where's your pocket?
Find it now, find it now, find it now. What will you put in it?
what will you put in it?
Tell me now. Tell me now.
Source: Perry Public Library

Pocket Zoo
[Sing to the tune of "Old MacDonald Had A Farm"]
In my pocket is a zoo. E,I,E,I,O!
There's a doggie in there, too! E,I,E,I,O!
With a woof-woof here, and a woof-woof, there
Here a woof, there a woof, everywhere a woof-woof.
In my pocket is a zoo. E,I,E,I,O!
[Repeat verse with other animals]
In my pocket is a zoo. E,I,E,I,O!
I'll hide it there 'til Mom looks through, E,I,E,I,O!
Then they'll run away here, and they'll run away there,
Here-a run, there-a run, everywhere-a run, all the animals run, run run!
In my pocket is a zoo. E,I,E,I,O!
Source: Perry Public Library


Pocket Poems and Rhymes


A Pocket Poem
by Bobbi Katz
With a poem in your pocket
a pocket in your pants
you can rock with new rhythms.
You can skip.
You can dance.
And wherever you go.
and whatever you do,
that poem in your pocket is going there, too.
You could misplace your homework.
You could lose your left shoe.
But that poem in your pocket will be a part of you.
And nothing can take it.
And nothing can break it.
That poem in your pocket
part of ...
p.1 in Pocket Poems selected by Bobbi Katz, illustrated by Marilyn Hafner

The Brown Kangaroo
The brown kangaroo is very funny
She leaps and runs and hops like a bunny
And on her stomach is a pocket so wide
[put hand on tummy like a pocket]
Her baby can jump in and go for a ride
["hop" other hand into "pocket"]
Source: Perry Public Library


In My Pockets
The things in my pockets are lots of fun
[hold up five fingers-touch each finger in turn]
I will show you them one by one.
In my first pocket is a frog
I found him sitting on a log
[sit hand on top of arm]
In my second pocket is a car
It can race off very far.
In my third pocket is a ball
I can bounce it off a wall.
[Pretend to bounce ball]
In my fourth pocket is a bunny.
She twitches her nose and looks so funny.
[Touch and wiggle nose.]
In my fifth pocket is a dog. He's the friend of my little frog.
Source: Perry Public Library



Pockets Bibliography


Bruel, Nick. Boing. Brookfield, Connecticut : A Neal Porter Book-Roaring Brook Press, 2004.

Caudill, Rebecca. A Pocketful of Cricket. illustrated by Evaline Ness. New York : Henry Holt and Company, 1964.

Cazet, Denys. A Fish in His Pocket. New York : Orchard Books-Franklin Watts, 1987.

deRegniers, Beatrice Schenk. What Did You Put In Your Pocket? illustrated by Michael Grejniec. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2003. (text © 1958, 1986)

Freeman, Don. A Pocket for Corduroy. New York : The Viking Press, 1978.

Katz, Bobbi, ed. Pocket Poems. illustrated by Marilyn Hafner. New York : Dutton Children's Books, 2004.

Kent, Jack. Joey. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, Inc., Inc., 1985.

Payne, Emmy. Katy No-Pocket. illustrated by H.A. Rey. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1944.

Ransom, Candice. The Big Green Pocketbook. illustrated by Felicia Bond. A Laura Geringer Book-HarperCollinsPublishers, 1993.

Rice, Eve. Peter's Pockets. illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker. New York : Greenwillow Books, 1989.

Scanlon, Elizabeth Garton. A Sock is a Pocket for Your Toes: A Pocket Book. illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. HarperCollinsPublishers, 2004.

Stinson, Kathy. A Pocket Can Have Treasure in It. illustrated by Deirdre Betteridge. Toronto : Annick Press, 2008.

Wells, Rosemary. Max Cleans Up. New York : Viking-Penguin Group, 2000.

Wild, Margaret. The Pocket Dogs. illustrated by Stephen Michael King. New York : Scholastic Press, 2000.