Poems, Songs, Story-times

I set up My Little Bookcase to help and inspire parents to encourage a love of reading in their homes. I’m a huge advocate for any person, organisation, program, resource or event whose objectives are the same.

On  April 3, I was lucky to be able to attend the Children’s Book Festival at the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne. As well as meeting some wonderful authors and illustrators and participating in some literature based activities, a new resource for families was launched:  Poems, Songs, Story-times.


There is a fear that nursery rhymes could die out, but those involved in the Victorian Young Readers Program are making sure this doesn’t happen. The State Library of Victoria, the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Municipal Association of Victoria initiated the Young Readers Program in Victoria. They have received such positive feedback from parents regarding the program. As a result, and in conjunction with Vision Australia, they have now produced a CD titled Poems, Songs, Story-times (PSST) for parents, which can be borrowed from any Victorian library.

PSST is a practical resource designed to assist parents in leading their child ‘into a world of books and reading’. It is compiled of classic and new rhymes, stories and helpful reading tips.

I highly encourage parents to borrow a copy of PSST. Research over many years has indicated that an exposure to, and a knowledge of nursery rhymes has a positive impact on a child’s reading development and ability in later years. If you’re interested in further research and statistics in this area read our parent tip: It all starts with nursery rhymes.

Below is a brief overview of the CD  but you can find the full track list at the State Library of Victoria website

It provides an overview of the Victorian Young Readers Program:

  • The background of the Young Readers Program
  • An introduction to the CD and how to use it

It is jam-packed with songs, poems, rhymes and chants:

  • Short Rhymes (From Little Miss Muffet and This Little Piggy to Shadow and Hopping Song)
  • Chants (From Humpty Dumpty and Where is Thumbkin? To All of Me and Wriggle Giggle)
  • Languages from other lands
  • Songs (Classics such as Head and Shoulders and Dingle Dangle Scarecrow)
  • Counting (Classics such as Five in the Bed and Five Little Ducks)
  • Alphabet
  • Quiet time
  • Fun (Classics such as Wheels on the Bus and Hokey Pokey and less common songs such as Down by the Library)
  • Animals (From Baa Baa Black Sheep and Cuddly Koala)
  • Lullabies (Classics such as Star Light, Star Bright and Twinkle Twinkle)

It includes snippets of ideas, advice and reading tips:

Some examples include:

  • Have fun
  • Let your child turn the pages of a book
  • There is no right way to tell a story
  • Knowing nursery rhymes means you can use them spontaneously
  • Point to the words as you read a story
  • Talk about the cover page

It includes some audio recordings of well-chosen picture books:

  • Itsy Bitsy Babies by Margaret Wild and Jan Ormerod (Little Hare Books0
  • An Australian 123 of Animals by Bronwyn Bancroft (Little Hare Books0
  • Alison Lester’s ABC by Alison Lester (Allen & Unwin)
  • Yo Yo Goes to Playgroup by Jeanette Rowe (Bright Books)
  • One Wooly Wombat by Kerry Argent (Omnibus Books/Scholastic Australia)
  • Baby by Tania Cox and Ann James (Working Title Press)

PSST acts as a wonderful alternative to a book of rhymes because the audio version provides great demonstration and modelling for parents as well as their children. It can reintroduce parents to some great classics they may have forgotten, while introducing them to some new and Australian rhymes, poems and songs.

My favourite aspect of this CD is the participation of children in the recordings. Some of the songs are simply recorded with the singing voice of a group of children without any background music. I’m sure your child will love being a part of this group as the sing along to the CD.


This CD is only available in Victorian libraries. If you live in another state you may be able to access the It’s Rhyme Time CD produced by The Little Big Book Club.

Unfortunately with items borrowed from the library, you can’t keep them forever. If you like the CD (or if you live outside of Victoria), you might also be interested in these book of rhymes, songs, poems and chants. Many of the poems, songs, rhymes and chants on the CD are from There’s a Goat in My Coat and Mr. Bandicoot and Other Tales.

My Little Bookcase has three copies of There’s A Goat in My Coat to give away, courtesy of Allen and Unwin. FIND OUT MORE.

Poems, Songs, Story-times


  1. Hi there,

    We’re in QLD and I was discussing the CD with friends and we were wondering if there was a way we could get a copy at our local library – do you know who we could contact to find out?

    Thank you,


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