ISBN: 978-1-55570-810-8 Publisher: ALA Neal-Schuman

Julie Dietzel-Glair

Books in Motion: Connecting Preschoolers with Books through Art, Games, Movement, Music, Playacting, and Props

Librarians and educators can shake up storytimes, help children stay healthy, and encourage a lifelong love of reading with Dietzel-Glair’s easy-to-use resource. Demonstrating exactly how to use children’s books to engage preschool-age children through movement, it’s loaded with storytimes that will have children standing up tall, balancing as they pretend to walk across a bridge, or even flying around the room like an airplane. Presenting hundreds of ideas, this all-in-one book is divided into six sections: 

  • “Art” spotlights titles that are natural hooks for art or craft activities alongside ideas on how to create art just like the character in the story, while an appendix includes art patterns that can be used as coloring sheets;

  • “Games” includes searching games, follow-the-leader games, and guessing games to enhance the books in this section;

  • “Movement” features books that kids can jump, stomp, clap, chomp, waddle, parade, wiggle, and stretch with;

  • “Music” chooses books perfect for activities like shaking a maraca, singing, dancing between the pages, and creating new sound effects;

  • “Playacting” lets kids pretend along with the characters in these books, whether it’s washing their face, swimming with fish, or hunting a lion;

  • “Props” encourages storytime leaders to bring out their puppets, flannelboard pieces, and scarves—these books have enough props for everyone in the program to have a part.

Each chapter includes as much instruction as possible for a wide range of motions. Pick and choose the amount of movement that is right for your storytime crowd, or do it all!

Reviews of Books in Motion

"If you’ve been looking for a way to add activities to your storytimes, look no further. Divided into six sections; art, games, movement, music, playacting, and props, this title provides detailed instructions on how to use children’s books and activites to engage preschool-aged children through movement. The author includes 500 books with strong movement tie-ins, and all have been published in the year 2000 or later. Many of these activities would be useful in storytimes for children with special needs. Whether you have a specific special needs program, or are including children with special needs in your regular storytimes, you will find these activities useful to those children who need more movement. In fact, these activities provide a good way of helping all preschool children succeed at your storytime programs. Activities range from creating art like the characters in the story to encouraging young children to pretend along with the characters in the book. Back matter includes art patterns, an author, title, and subject index. An excellent resource for public and school libraries." -- School Library Journal


"Dietzel-Glair’s book offers simple ideas on ways that children’s librarians and early childhood educators can incorporate art, games, movement, music, playacting, and props into their storytimes … this book would be especially useful to those new to presenting storytimes."  -- Booklist


"Using a wide variety of clever activity, prop, and movement suggestions, Books in Motion offers practical suggestions for children’s librarians, teachers, and childcare providers to get kids moving during the reading of books, not just in between stories. Though this may seem a radical suggestion to some, incorporating games, scavenger hunts, and hands-on activities in the reading of stories addresses multiple intelligences and serves to engage children on many levels. Dietzel-Glair reviews 500 picture books published since 2000, with each entry offering an annotation and detailed suggestions for activities to use while reading. The best word to describe the books chosen is “diversity” – both of well-known and lesser-known authors, and in the cultures and characters represented. Each chapter focuses on one of the categories mentioned in the subtitle, along with group management and logistical tips. Some of the suggestions derive directly from the text, such as the directions for acting out the actions of the frog in William Bee’s Beware of the Frog (Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2008), providing a good guide for storytime leaders who don’t naturally tend to movement in storytime. Many more of the suggestions, however, bring in unusual angles on the text, such as assigning motions to the refrain in Emily Gravett’s Orange Pear Apple Bear (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2005), playing “Pass the Peanut” during Petr Horáček’s My Elephant (Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2009) by having the kids wear socks on the hands as “trunks” and pass a peanut around the circle, or using juggling scarves as superhero capes in Bob Graham’s Max (Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2000). Best of all, many of the creative suggestions can be adapted to other stories as well. Patterns for craft activities are included in the appendix, and books are accessible by author, title, and subject index. This is a great addition to your storytime resource shelf." -- Storytime Stuff


"I recently discovered an inspiring and practical book that is helping me transform my Storytimes into oases of participation by all ages:  Books in Motion: Connecting Preschoolers with Books through Art, Games, Movement, Music, Playacting, and Props by Julie Dietzel-Glair (Neal-Schuman, 2013) ... I've done 3 Storytimes so far using Books in Motion, and the results are substantial ... The added physical activity gives energetic kids more opportunities to move, and the art activities engage little hands and brains that start to get restless near the end of Storytime ... The very best thing about Books in Motion, though, is the creativity it has inspired and the enjoyment it has brought back to planning for Storytime." -- Keeping Up with Kids: IFLS Youth Services.