Three Storytime Double-Doubles*

28 Aug
Double chocolate doughnut and coffee double-doubled.  Everything is better when it's doubled!

Double chocolate doughnut and coffee, double-double. Everything is better when you double it up! (Photo Credit: Roland Tanglao via Flickr. Click photo for link)

I have a mini-repretoire of books which, when I read one of them aloud, I always follow it with a song, rhyme, flannelboard, etc. that I associate with that book, and pretty much only with that book.  They are a pair, the book and its extension activity, and their partnership has been so successful for me over the years that it would feel weird to sever them  (although I am, of course, open to new material if I come across it).  Below are three favorites of what I like to refer to as “Storytime Double-Doubles”*.

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, ill. by Michael Martchenko.  Paired with the song, The Princess Pat.

Paper Bag PrincessPrincess Elizabeth is a heroine all young readers can cheer for.  She is crafty, brave, and stubborn, and she cleverly plays the Dragon’s pride against him until his might and strength are completely worn down. I learned the song I pair with this story, The Princess Pat, when I was 11 years old at Girl Scout Camp.  I had long forgotten about it, but a few years ago it came back to me out of the blue.  I even remembered all the words and movements without Googling them!  Like Elizabeth, Pat is not just a princess, but also an adventurer.

The Princess Pat is a call and response song.  You sing a line, and your audience repeats it.  The video below is the one I found that is most similar to the way I sing it, although I use a much slower tempo for younger kids.

You can find the lyrics here.  And, wow!  I just learned that the Princess Pat was real!  Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was created during World War I and is still in action today.  The unit was named after Princess Patricia of Connaught, granddaughter of Queen Victoria.  Princess P.  wasn’t a warrior herself, but was pleased to be the Patricias’ (as they came to be called) namesake.  The Princess Pat song I use is an adaptation of a Patricias’ marching song (lyrics at the bottom of this page). The ‘rig-a-bamboo’ comes from ‘ric-a-dam-doo’ which was the name of the flag over their camp.  It is believed to come from Gaelic for, ‘cloth of thy mother.’  Hmmm…Robert Munsch lives in Canada.  Could he have been thinking of the Patricias when he created Princess Elizabeth?  That’s a research paper, or interview question, waiting to happen.

The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges, ill. by Amy Walrod.  Paired with the song, Ravioli.  

Little Red Hen Makes a PizzaIn this take on the classic tale, Ms. Hen goes for conflict resolution instead of completely shutting out her three shiftless neighbors.  I don’t have a go-to pizza song (yet), but the song Ravioli pairs magnificently with The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza.  Like pizza, ravioli is also Italian in origin and a school cafeteria staple, and like the book, the song is funny and absurd and uses repetition to set up the joke.  I believe I first discovered Ravioli in this PUBYAC post back in 2007.  You’ll find it about half-way down the page.

Sometimes I hand out these raviolis to all of the kids before we sing the song.  I draw them on yellow oak tag and scribble over them with red crayon for ‘sauce’:

RavioliIf you don’t know Ravioli, the lyrics are below.  You sing it to the tune of Alouette.  By the second or third verse, the group catches on, and it becomes a ton ‘o fun to get to the end without completely losing your breath!

(Tune: Aloutte)
Ravioli, ravioli, ravioli—
Ravioli, that’s the stuff for me.
Do you have it on your pants?
Yes I have it on my pants.
On your pants?  On my pants.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Ravioli, ravioli, ravioli—
Ravioli, that’s the stuff for me.

Ravioli, ravioli, ravioli—
Ravioli, that’s the stuff for me.
Do you have it on your sleeve?
Yes I have it on my sleeve.
On your sleeve?  On my sleeve.
On your pants?  On my pants.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Ravioli, ravioli, ravioli—
Ravioli, that’s the stuff for me.

Additional Verses
Do you have it on your shoe?
Do you have it on your chin?
Do you have it in your hair?
Do you have it on your nose?
Do you have it in your mouth?

Golly, between Tim Hortons, Robert Munsch, the Patricias, and Alouette, this post has quite a few Canadian references, eh?  I swear, I didn’t know this was going to happen, and I don’t yet know if our final double-double also contains Canuckian undertones.  If I find any, I’ll tell you…

Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again by Dave Horowitz.  Paired with the Old Mother Hubbard flannelboard from Judy Sierra’s The Flannel Board Storytelling Book.

Humpty Dumpty Climbs AgainHumpty Dumpty Rides Again contains scads of appeal to the funnybones of practically any 7, 8, or 9-year-old.  Since being put together again, Humpty has been moping around in his tighty-whities, watching tv and eating potato chips.  Other nursery rhyme characters drop in to try to bolster his confidence, but Humpty is now afraid of climbing, and besides, he doesn’t see the point.  Then the King’s favorite horse, Milt, gets stuck on a cliff, and it’s Humpty to the rescue!

Old Mother Hubbard is of course another well-known nursery rhyme, but that is not the chief reason why it fits so well with Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again.  Once you get past the famous first verse, and the dog starts messing around with his mistress, it’s funny stuff.  Sierra’s flannel board figures magnify the humor of the 19th-century rhymes, and I hear a lot of giggles as I move the dog through his capers and exploits.

Flannel Board Storytelling BookI have embedded a Google Presentation of my flannelboard pieces below.  The text in the presentation is from the Old Mother Hubbard Wikipedia page, which is very close to Sierra’s wording.  By the way, after the pipe, the beer, and the white wine and red, I like to make a crack to the grown-ups in the room, “Boy, this dog has questionable personal habits!”  Kids never seem affected by their presence.  They just want to see what that scamp of a dog will do next.

Anything Canadian in the Humpty Dumpty Rides Again/Old Mother Hubbard double-double?  Nope.  I couldn’t find a single tie-in to our Northern neighbors.  Do you have storytime double-doubles that you turn to again and again and again?


* Double-doubles are coffee prepared with two sugars and two creams.  The phrase became famous through the Tim Hortons chain in Canada and the U.S., but when I am in upstate New York, I hear folks asking for double-doubles at Dunkin’ Doughnuts and all over.


5 Responses to “Three Storytime Double-Doubles*”

  1. Jeanine Lancaster September 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Thanks for the post–I love finding connections between stories and songs, stories and stories, stories and people…

    You might enjoy Charlotte Diamond’s rendtion of Peter Alsop’s ‘I am a pizza’ to pair with ‘The little red hen makes a pizza’. The song is pretty irresistible–she has recorded Spanish and French versions, too. Here’s one video of the English version:

    And Charlotte’s own website:

    And…she’s Canadian, so she fits your stealth theme…

    • zbeforey September 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

      Thanks for the ‘I Am a Pizza’ song, Jeanine! I’ll definitely give it a whirl sometime soon. And thanks for reading!

  2. zbeforey August 30, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Thanks, Ingrid!

  3. zbeforey August 30, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Thanks, Ingrid!


  1. Where the Links are: Last night I dreamed of Dodecahedrons | The Magpie Librarian: A Librarian's Guide to Modern Life and Etiquette - August 30, 2013

    […] Librarians! Z Before Y should be all up in your blogroll already. Read about Miss Catherine’s Double-Doubles. There’s also a picture of a doughnut there, if that […]

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