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Cool Story Programs for the School-Age Crowd
Rob Reid
Item Number: 978-0-8389-0887-7
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $46.00
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192 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-0887-7
Year Published: 2004

Read Reid's article from the American Libraries May 2009 issue and a Book Links article by Reid now!

What kid wouldn’t love literary explorations of the stinky, creepy, and dirty? Throw in rats, witches, aliens, and underwear, and it’s irresistible. Yet few story times are designed for elementary school children, who are intent on separating themselves from younger siblings.

Why aren’t there more events for these kids? It’s not a lack of great material insists librarian-humorist Reid, who builds upon his earlier ALA bestseller, Something Funny Happened at the Library (ALA Editions, 2002), to offer 18 new wacky and offbeat programs, guaranteed to delight this discerning younger audience.

Each plan opens with a thumbnail overview, then draws on unusual combinations of poetry, picture books, chapter book excerpts, and short stories. The mix varies by theme, but all the programs touch the concerns, interests, and humor (Think: Captain Underpants) for this age group. Audience involvement includes wordplay, reader’s theater, dramatics, writing, music, sports, or crafts. Reid also illustrates how to tweak programs to appeal to younger (or older) audiences.Plans for fun story programs encompass:

  • Catching some Zzzz’s

  • A1 Stories

  • Big and Bad in four separate flavors

  • Cool school, alien school, and don’t wanna go to school!

Designed to inspire public children’s librarians, school media staff, classroom teachers, and anyone who wants to help literature come alive for kids in grades K–4, Cool Story Programs is a proven, adaptable resource, and a must-have for libraries serving kids.
Table of Contents


1 A-1 Stories
Stories, activities, authors, and illustrators that feature the letter A or prominently feature the number 1.
2 Clickety-Clackety, Creaky-Squeaky Stories
Alliterative stories and activities plus a few tongue-twisting challenges.
3 Three
The number three is prominently featured.
4 The Coolest School
Let's look at the positive, and sometimes silly, aspects of elementary school.
5 I Don't Wanna Go to School!
Stories and activities that feature the fears and concerns that kids, and sometimes teachers and principals, have about school.
6 Alien Space School
There are an unusual number of books featuring alien encounters with schoolchildren.
7 Big and Bad: The Big Bad Wolf
The poor wolf has always been portrayed negatively in literature and folklore.
8 Big and Bad: Fox and Coyote
The wolf's canine cousins are especially tricky.
9 Big and Bad: Lions and Tigers and Crocs (Oh My!)
Predatory cats, both big and small, and these dangerous reptiles are featured in these stories and activities.
10 Big and Bad: Monsters, Witches, Ghosts, and Other Creepy Characters
Beware of these horrid, supernatural guys and gals.
11 A Good Frog Story
There's nothing like a good frog story.
12 Rats!
Like the Big Bad Wolf, the rat usually has a poor image in children's literature.
13 Rat's Rodent Cousins
Stories and activities that features mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, chipmunks, porcupines, beavers, and other rodents.
14 Down and Dirty
Here's a fun combination featuring life underground, being filthy and messy, and buried treasure.
15 What Stinks?
Hold your nose for stories and activities that feature odor (mostly bad).
16 What's Black and White and Red (Read) All Over?
The answer is stories and activities that feature black-and-white animals and objects (plus the color red).
17 Underwear and Other Unruly Clothing
Underwear is the one word that gets the biggest reaction from kids everywhere.
18 Catching Some Zzzzzz's
Let's close with stories and activities featuring the last letter of the alphabet.

About the Author
Rob Reid, humorist, librarian, author, performer, and teacher, ties together these passions in his popular books, Something Funny Happened at the Library, Family Story-time, and Children’s Jukebox. A twenty-year veteran of children’s services in the public library, he also serves as youth services systems consultant, university instructor of children’s and young adult literature, and nationally recognized speaker on children’s library programming. When he’s not traveling as a children’s performer, he is lecturer for the Foundations of EducationDepartment at the University ofWisconsin-Eau Claire. He holds an MLS from the University of Minnesota.

  Also of interest:  
Reid's Read-Alouds: Selections for Children and Teens
Item Number:  978-0-8389-0980-5
Reid makes reading aloud to children and teens easy by selecting titles in high-interest topics and providing context to spotlight great passages.
Price: $46.00
More Family Storytimes: Twenty-four Creative Programs for All Ages
Item Number:  978-0-8389-0973-7
This new book from best-selling author Rob Reid features stories, fingerplays, songs, and movement activities to enhance the time families spend at the library.
Price: $46.00
Something Funny Happened at the Library
Item Number:  978-0-8389-0836-5
From easy-to-win-over preschoolers to unimpressed teens, this book will serve as your personal humor coach for even the toughest audiences out there.
Price: $43.00