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A Box Full of Tales
Kathy MacMillan
Item Number: 978-0-8389-0960-7
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $52.00
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232 pages
8.5" x 11"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-0960-7
Year Published: April 2008
AP Categories: A, B, C, D, G, H

Children's programming made easy. Really easy. What librarian doesn't dream of offering more and better children's programs with less effort? After all, these are usually the most popular and sought-after programs in the library. But they are also the most demanding: any librarian who has put in the sweat and time required to pull together a single quality program will balk at the prospect of putting together eighteen programs per week! In Maryland's Carroll County, story boxes have made this impossible dream come true for twenty years. Now MacMillan, writer, storyteller, and former children's librarian, outlines the proven story box system for sharing an array of successful programs. Story boxes offer a simple method for capturing ideas, talent, creativity, and resources available in your library. Including step-by-step instructions from concept through implementation and supplemented by programming tips, A Box Full of Tales answers all your questions:

  • What is a story box?
  • What goes into a story box?
  • How is one put together?
  • Who can contribute?
  • How do you get buy-in from others to share this resource?

    In addition, find detailed plans for fifty great story boxes including suggested books, fingerplays, songs, props, crafts, and sign language. From ah-choo! to antlers, from monkey business to zoo escapes, A Box Full of Tales is an easy way to offer winning, stress-free library programs for children without the headaches and the hassles. You can make the impossible happen when you share resources with story boxes!

    Table of Contents
    Introduction: Storytime Outside the Box

    All about Red
    Animals at Night
    Antlered Antics
    Bells Are Ringing
    Best Buds
    Books Are Magic
    Brothers and Sisters
    Castle Tales
    Cats and Kittens
    Chinese Stories
    Dinosaur Daze
    Elephant Jamboree
    Fall Fest
    Family Fun
    Fast and Slow
    Giant Veggies
    Give Me a Hand
    Good Morning
    Happy New Year!
    I See the Moon
    Join the Parade
    Just Ducky
    Let’s Make Music
    Let’s Talk Turkey
    Lost and Found
    Make a Wish
    Make Me Laugh
    Monkey Business
    Native Americans
    Ode to Ice Cream
    On the Water
    Puppy Tales
    Rhyme Time
    Snowflake Dance
    Spring Cleaning
    Spring Fling
    Sticky Stories
    Stories of Denise Fleming
    Storytime Classics
    Summer Fun
    Super Sign Language
    Sweet Tooth
    Trick or Treat
    Wearin’ of the Green
    Welcome to My Web
    Zoo Escape!

    Appendix: Recommended Resources for Story Box Preparation

    About the Author
    Kathy MacMillan is a librarian, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, instructor, author, and signing storyteller. She has worked in Maryland's Howard County and Carroll County libraries and at the Maryland School for the Deaf. In 2004, Kathy founded Stories By Hand (, bringing the magic of ASL to hearing audiences. She is a substitute librarian at Carroll County Public Library, serves as a consultant for public and school libraries, and earned her master’s degree in library science at the University of Maryland, College Park.

    “The idea of story boxes to share program resources is brilliant—so much so that it’s a wonder that it is not a more prevalent practice...Even children’s librarians who don’t work in multibranch systems will find this guide extremely valuable for its theme-based program outlines, whether or not they choose to create story boxes.”
    –Library Journal

    "Story boxes contribute to time savings, quality and consistency and are excellent training tools."

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