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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!

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

Kathy MacMillan

Kathy MacMillan is a freelance writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita's First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996.  She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was published by HarperCollins in 2016.

"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."