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The Handbook for Storytellers
Judy Freeman and Caroline Feller Bauer
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1100-6
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $68.00
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416 pages
7" x 10"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1100-6
Year Published: 2015
AP Categories: A, C, G

Read a sample of the book now!

Ideal for both beginners and more experienced storytellers, this exhaustive primer includes everything adults need to start sharing the wonder of stories with children, from babies to tweens. The lively text imparts easy-to-follow guidelines and practical advice on how, when, where, and why to tell stories. Each chapter incorporates a wealth of delectable folktales to read and tell, plus the authors’ hand-selected, annotated lists containing hundreds of classic and cutting edge children’s books, professional books, and relevant websites. Demonstrating the joy of stories and storytelling, this book
  • Provides an overview of the history and types of storytelling
  • Shows how to select, learn, prepare, and tell stories
  • Begins with more than two dozen easy-to-learn stories that adults can read today and tell to children tomorrow
  • Looks at the major types of folk and fairy tales, including many sample stories and booklists
  • Offers a comprehensive list of stories reworked, reimagined, reinvented, parodied, satirized or recreated from folk and fairy tales
  • Includes “Favorite Stories to Tell,” a compendium of more than 500 suggested tales, easily accessible by subject and theme, from which tellers can find the perfect stories to fit every occasion and begin to build their own repertoire of wonderful tales to tell
  • Provides tips for publicizing and promoting storytelling programs
This handbook instructs, inspires, and entertains like no other resource of its kind.

Check out The Handbook for Storytime Programs, the companion volume!

Table of Contents


Part One Getting Started with Storytelling

Chapter 1 Welcome to Storytelling
Chapter 2 Promoting Your Program
Chapter 3 Program Basics
Chapter 4 Selecting, Preparing, and Telling the Story

Part Two Sources for Storytelling

Chapter 5 Folklore
Chapter 6 Around the World with Folk and Fairy Tales
Chapter 7 More Stories to Tell
Chapter 8 Our Favorite Stories to Tell

Afterword “And, Finally . . .”

About the Authors

Judy Freeman is a former school librarian; an adjunct professor at Pratt Institute in New York City teaching courses in children’s literature and storytelling; an international speaker and performer for children, teachers, librarians, and parents; a children’s book reviewer; and the author of more than a dozen professional books about children’s literature and storytelling. She continues to work closely with librarians, teachers, and hundreds of students at several elementary schools to test out new books, ideas, and ways to incorporate literature into children’s lives.

Caroline Feller Bauer (1935–2013) was a public librarian, professor of children’s literature, radio personality, international speaker and performer, author of nineteen children’s books and professional books about children’s literature for adults, and a tireless cheerleader for literacy and storytelling.

Both have developed and performed thousands of programs and workshops incorporating children’s literature, storytelling, music, poetry, and drama to tens of thousands of children and adults across the United States and abroad.

"This handy how-to compendium is for seasoned storytellers or beginning tale tellers and is bound to become the most highlighted, tagged, bookmarked, post-it noted, and dog-eared well-loved volume on the book shelf."
Young Adult Books Blog

”As a practicing storyteller for many years, The Handbook for Storytellers is the book I wished I had had when I first began telling stories. The authors, Judy Freeman and Caroline Feller Bauer, are experts in this field who provide the guidance and encouragement to practice the art and technique of storytelling at any level … The book, an important go-to book for both experienced yarn spinners and beginning tellers, will be an important asset in children’s literature collections, in public libraries, and in library school curricula."
— Catholic Library World

”Beginning storytellers will especially relish this title. Any questions will be answered in this extraordinary volume ... Highly recommended."
— School Library Connection

”A vibrant, in-depth and comprehensive guide to the art and practice of storytelling."
— Reference Reviews

”Although the book is aimed at beginning storytellers, even the most experienced tellers will be inspired and discover new sources because the handbook is brimming with ideas for engaging listeners through riveting tales, interactive play, props, and other techniques."

  Also of interest:  
The Handbook for Storytime Programs
Item Number:  978-0-8389-1265-2
This informative and entertaining resource filled with engaging and creative ways to integrate storytelling and story-related materials into programs for children, ages birth-12.
Price: $65.00
Building a Core Print Collection for Preschoolers
Item Number:  978-0-8389-1219-5
Valuable for regular use by caregivers as well as for collection development, this book spotlights hundreds of titles that are engaging and fun for reader and preschooler alike.
Price: $57.00
STEP into Storytime: Using StoryTime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds
Item Number:  978-0-8389-1222-5
This important resource shows how presenters can use STEP to craft a storytime that is effective for mixed-age groups and adheres to best practices for emotional, social, physical, and cognitive support.
Price: $59.00