For immediate release | March 12, 2014

MacMillan and Kirker’s baby storytime magic

CHICAGO — The first five years of life are key for brain development and early literacy, and though many public libraries have instituted baby and toddler programs, finding exciting materials that go beyond nursery rhymes can be a challenge. Written by best-selling authors Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker, “Baby Storytime Magic: Active Early Literacy Through Bounces, Rhymes, Tickles and More,” published by ALA Editions, is a treasure trove of new and exciting ideas for programs, all of which revolve around themes from a baby’s world. Packed with ready-to-use activities, reducing prep time substantially, this book is a valuable early literacy tool for every children’s librarian. Inside this resource readers will find:

  • fingerplays, bounces, flannelboards, activities with props, songs, American Sign Language activities and more, with items arranged by type of material;
  • tips for planning storytimes, with advice on logistical issues such as age grouping, scheduling, formats and physical setup;
  • guidance on involving caregivers in baby storytimes, including suggested scripts for explaining the benefits of each activity and how to use it at home;
  • age-appropriate book recommendations;
  • information on the stages of early childhood development, plus an appendix of recommended additional resources;
  • a thematic index to find the right storytime quickly;
  • links to full-sized, downloadable flannelboard patterns, craft patterns and worksheets.

MacMillan is a freelance writer, American Sign Language interpreter and storyteller. She is the author of several books, including “A Box Full of Tales” and “Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together.” She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and prior to that was a children’s librarian at Carroll County (Maryland) Public Library and Howard County (Maryland) Library, where she developed and presented hundreds of programs for all ages. She has reviewed books for School Library Journal since 1999. She presents American Sign Language programs and resources through Stories by Hand and offers storytime resources at Storytime Stuff.

Kirker is a library associate with the Carroll County (Maryland) Public Library. Since joining the library staff in 2005, she has developed and presented many programs for children of all ages, including monthly preschool science programs. Previously, she spent ten years at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) as a research analyst for the Office of Institutional Research.

MacMillan and Kirker previously coauthored “Storytime Magic,” “Kindergarten Magic”, and “Multicultural Storytime Magic,” all of which are published by ALA Editions. They offer storytime resources at Storytime Stuff.

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Related Links

"Baby Storytime Magic: Early Literacy Through Bounces, Rhymes, Tickles and More"

"Little Hands & Big Hands Children and Adults Signing Together"

"Storytimes for Everyone! Developing Young Children’s Language and Literacy"


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Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

ALA Publishing