Casey at the Bat

Author:  Ernest Lawrence Thayer

9781929766000_p0_v1_s260x420What better way to wrap up our monthly theme on baseball than with the classic poem which symbolizes America’s favorite pastime – baseball.   And there is no better way to enjoy this tongue-in-cheek melodrama than to “ham it up” with a few of your favorite little baseball fans and perform a reader’s theater.  I can almost hear those excited little fans now…

Fan #1 – Then from the gladdened multitude went up a joyous yell.

Fan #2 – It rumbled in the mountaintops, it rattled in the dell.

Fan #3 – It struck upon the hillside and rebounded on the flat – 

Fan #1 – For Casey,

Fan #2 – mighty Casey,

Fan #3 – was advancing to the bat.

Put on your baseball caps, switch parts around and put on a show for your friends and neighbors! Reading this poem together will bring enjoyment, laughter, and the realization that reading aloud can be a learning experience while providing a lot of fun! So, let’s get started.

It looked extremely  rocky for the Mudville nine that day…

Mary Byrne Kline

Poem: Stopping by Woods…

[Verbal Communications]
Don’t miss the audio at the end!

Children are quite capable of memorizing this poem by Robert Frost, but it is also a wonderful poem to simply read over and over again to a younger child.   Poetry is so important for language development because of the “music” of the words as well as the rhythm and rhyme of the word combinations used in the poem.   This poem is a prime example.    Read this poem often to a younger child and allow them to add the last rhyming word to select lines themselves. I encourage you to print out a copy of this poem and enjoy it together with your child(ren).

NOTE: We will be highlighting this poem in our “S is for SNOW” script coming soon.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer;
To stop without a farmhouse near.
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

by Robert Frost

This is a great Study Guide if you are interested in digging deeper into this poem.

The following is are readings of Robert Frost’s poem by 7-year-old Chasing Fireflies friends:


Our favorite illustrated version of this book?  The one illustrated by Susan Jeffers.
See past review HERE.
There’s even a link to the illustrator’s artist page where she will walk you through how to draw a horse!

Clap Your Paws

Author:  Kim Norman
Illustrator:  Liza Woodruff


Winter doldrums got you down?   Having dreary days of being stuck indoors?  Feeling snarly when you think of snow?

WELL – warm up your vocal cords and prepare yourself for a rollicking, hilarious good time!  By the end of the first page, you just might feel like “tumbling on the tundra” with the polar bears, seals, and moose!

If it’s snowy and you know it, clap your paws.
You can tumble on the tundra,  just because.
If it’s snowy and you know it,
roll a snowball up and throw it.
If it’s snowy and you know it…
… clap your paws!

You’ll also learn how to taste a flake, grab your skis, sculpt a friend, build a fort, give a roar, blow a kiss, share a meal, and soak your toes.   But after a long day filled with these amazing and exciting adventures,  our animal friends grow weary from their icy sports.   Hm-m-m,  I wonder what they will think of next.   I think it’s something we all like to do.

If it’s wintry and youre weary, read a book that’s warm and cheery. 

YES! I am sure doing some clapping over this book! No more winter doldrums around here!

Mary Byrne Kline

Pair with Ten on a Sled (2010) [Chasing Fireflies REVIEW], also by this talented author-illustrator team.”

The Carnival of the Animals

Composer:  Camille Saint-Saens
Verses by:  Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by:  Mary GrandPre’

carnival-of-the-animals-grandpre-prelutskyThe Carnival of the Animals may have originally been intended to introduce young children to classical music, but children of all ages will fall in love with this captivating book!

Welcome to our carnival,
Where birds and beasts and such
Behave a lot like people do,
At times a bit too much.

While enjoying the somewhat hysterically colorful animals that gallop, hop, tromp, fly, and glide across the pages, the reader is also drawn into the rhythm and cadence of the musical CD.

I truly thought I could hear the elephants approaching as I read Prelutsky’s poem and listened to the music…

When elephants gather, the ground starts to tremble
Beneath the great weight of their ponderous feet.
Be glad there are elephants left to assemble –
Without them our planet would feel incomplete.

Carnival of the Elephant (Saint – Saens)

Powered by

Along with introducing children to classical music,  why not provide them with the opportunity to  act out the animal roles as they listen to the music and the verses?  I’m certain there will be an animal to spark every child’s interest.

Mary Byrne Kline