Let's Pretend

50 Start-to-Finish Preschooler Programs for the Busy Librarian That Foster Imagination
All of these programs contain standard storytime elements, such as picture-book read-alouds and fingerplay sharing, but also include time for structured imaginary play (e.g., the children and the leader go through "Pirate Training" in the pirate theme), and free play at the program's end. Bane is a master at coming up with ideas for props and materials made out of boxes, paper-towel rolls, construction paper, and other everyday objects (she uses a rubber glove to make the udders of a cow for the farm-themed program). Her creations would work well for displays as well as storytimes. Where her recipes fall short are in the book and music suggestions (only one or two books are recommended per program). Her "Step-by-Step Program Examples" are a little sketchy, and she gives no direction for dealing with issues these programs will produce, such as turn-taking, overly rambunctious play, and sharing. The preface has very little theoretical background on the importance of play in early childhood. Seasoned librarians with ample programming time will appreciate the creativity of this resource, but especially busy librarians and novice program planners may find themselves frustrated.—Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

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