Earthquakes and how to be prepared when they strike can be a difficult topic to address in a preschool storytime, but it is an important topic. There are some very short picture books that talk about earthquakes, so it is worth trying. This can be more successful if parents are an important part of the storytime, so they can follow up at home with discussions of preparedness and safety. Of course, a natural is the song Shake Your Sillies Out. For a craft project, you can make some of the projects at Weather Wiz Kids. Be sure to have lots of handouts for the parents on what to do to be ready for an earthquake. These are available at: www.oes.ca.gov/WebPage/oeswebsite.nsf/Content/A1F2F25F0947AF848825741F006015EF.
Palatini, Margie. EARTHQUACK! In this spoof of the classic Henny Penny, a duck thinks there is an earthquake and warns the other animals. Although the earthquake doesn’t actually occur (the earth is rumbling due to moles digging underground), it is a great way to introduce the subject with humor.
Bauer, Marion Dane. EARTHQUAKE! In this very simple easy reader, Bauer explains why earthquakes occur and what to do if they happen.
Lee, Milly. EARTHQUAKE. Based on her family history, Lee writes her story from the point of view of a Chinese-American child during the San Francisco Earthquake.
Enderle, Judith. FRANCIS, THE EARTHQUAKE DOG. Set at the St. Francis Hotel during the 1906 earthquake, a stray dog helps rescue a little boy.
Givon, Hannah. WE SHAKE IN A QUAKE. The rhyming text makes this a perfect readaloud on what to do in an earthquake.