Nita’s First Signs now available for pre-order!

 

Coming April 3, 2018 from Familius Press!

Nita’s First Signs by Kathy MacMillan

illustrated by Sara Brezzi

Baby sign language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun! Nita’s First Signs teaches ten essential signs for every parent and child to know, including eat, more, hungry, milk, all done, ball, play, love, please, and thank you. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference. Baby sign language collections aren’t complete without Nita!

Preorder now at amazon.com | barnesandnoble.com | indiebound.org

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On Sale Now: More Storytime Magic

MacMillan_cover_1p.inddMore Storytime Magic

by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker

ALA Editions, December 29, 2015.  $52.00

Order now!

“MacMillan and Kirker continue their successful formula for helping librarians and others who plan stories and activities for children aged two and up…a welcome addition for public and school library professional collections.” – American Reference Books Annual

“Another excellent resource from this author pair, this title presents songs, stories, and activities arranged by themes, such as fairy tales, animals, friends, and food. The stories and songs include originals and adaptations alike, and many of the tunes are sung to well-known traditional songs…For those who wish to specify the elements of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) demonstrated in storytime, the coding found with each activity is helpful…With fun activities and timely information on the CCSS, this is an ideal choice for administrators, librarians, and parents eager to promote current literacy standards.” – School Library Journal

“The authors do a very good job of providing activities that can be used for different age groups as well as different time allotments and settings.” – School Library Connection

“…a worthwhile purchase for any youth department where there is a focus on storytime.” – Booklist

MacMillian and Kirker’s knack for creating storytimes that engage and delight young ones have made their previous books bestsellers. Now they’re back with an all new assortment of original fingerplays, transitional rhymes, movement songs, flannelboards, sign language rhymes and other activities to spice up storytimes for ages two and up. This ready-to-go sourcebook for children’s librarians, early literacy specialists, and other adults who work with young children offers everything needed to plan and host quality storytimes, including

  • more than a dozen thematic groupings of activities, featuring such fun topics such as “All About Me,” “Bugs and Insects,” “Fairy Tales and Castles,” and “People in my Neighborhood”;
  • recommended storytime books for each theme, along with material lists, patterns for flannelboards and stick puppets, and illustrations of American Sign Language signs; and
  • coding for each entry indicating which Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten skills it supports.

Using the guidance and activities contained in this book, storytimes will be more magical than ever!

Baby Storytime Magic

baby_storytime_magic_coverBaby Storytime Magic: Active Early Literacy through Bounces, Rhymes, Tickles, and More

by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker.  ALA Editions, 2014.  $50.00

Order from the ALA Store.

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“This will be a go-to book time and again, for ideas, for planning, and for resources for any adult working with children under age 2, and sometimes older.” – Sara Marcus, American Reference Books Annual

Whether you’ve been presenting baby storytimes for fifteen years or fifteen minutes, you probably already know that the first five years of life are key for brain development and early literacy. Many public libraries have instituted baby and toddler programs, but finding exciting materials for baby storytime that go beyond nursery rhymes can be a challenge. Baby Storytime Magic is a treasure trove of new and exciting ideas for programs, all of which revolve around themes from a baby’s world. Inside this resource you’ll 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

Packed with ready-to-use activities, reducing prep time substantially, this book is a valuable early literacy tool for every children’s librarian.

Click here for a preview of material from the book.

Little Hands and Big Hands makes a great gift

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Louise Sattler of SigningFamilies.com says:

Little Hands and Big Hands cover“Looking for a great baby gift or one for new parents for the holidays? Try Little Hands & Big Hands – a book that demonstrates the basics of sign language and incorporates creative ideas for families to learn sign together! Easy to follow directions! The games included are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Early childhood educators will LOVE this book!”

Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together

by Kathy MacMillan. Huron Street Press, 2013.

AVAILABLE NOW!  Click here to order.

Little Hands and Big Hands coverResearch shows that signing with young children can

-reduce frustration for both parent and child

-increase IQ

-stimulate language learning

-enhance bonding

-raise a child’s self-esteem

All those reasons are great, but the best reason to start signing with your child is that signing with babies, toddlers, and young children improves everyday life and communication. A child who can express him or herself with the aid of signs is far less likely to get frustrated and throw tantrums, and can initiate conversations about topics that interest him or her, which leads to adults talking more about those topics, which leads to a motivated and interested child absorbing more spoken language, which helps develop spoken language skills.

Signing with children naturally complements other language and literacy activities such as books, fingerplays, rhymes, and songs. Little Hands and Big Hands offers solid background information on signing with children ages birth to five, along with hands-on games, fingerplays, songs, and more that parents can use throughout the day to smooth transitions, calm a fussy child, or engage a stubborn one. Each activity is accompanied by photos of the relevant signs.

Even better: the book features American Sign Language, which, as a real language, stimulates children’s language development in a way that made-up gestures can’t. Author Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter and has been sharing the joys of signing for years through her “Little Hands Signing” programs for children and families. Find out more about her signing classes and storytelling programs here.

Multicultural Storytime Magic

Multicultural Storytime Magic  cover

Multicultural Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan & Christine Kirker (ALA Editions, 2012)

Storytime audiences grow ever more diverse, and materials used in programs must reflect that richness of experience. Multiculturalism need not be an occasional initiative attached to particular holidays. Best-selling authors MacMillan and Kirker offer a new paradigm for multicultural programs, one in which diversity is woven into any and every storytime, no matter what the topic. Arranged thematically around dozens of popular storytime themes, Multicultural Storytime Magic features

  • original and traditional resources from all over the world that will enrich storytimes for ages 2-5
  • concrete book recommendations, fingerplays, and other activities that can be integrated into existing storytimes
  • download links for flannelboard and stick puppet patterns, and illustrations of American Sign Language signs

With numerous activities and programming suggestions, this book will seamlessly integrate and enhance cultural awareness for children all year round.

Erica Littlefield of The Idaho Librarian says: “The content, organization, and resources included in Multicultural Storytime Magic make it a useful tool for youth services librarians in public libraries or school librarians who serve preschoolers and kindergarteners. It will help librarians incorporate multicultural touches into their regular storytimes or put together an entire storytime dedicated to a specific culture or country. Highly recommended.” Read the full review.

Purchase now.

Free storytime resources from Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker.

Kindergarten Magic: Theme-Based Lessons for Building Literacy and Library Skills

by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker. (ALA Editions, 2011)

This time-saving program planner for librarians and classroom teachers Kindergarten Magic coveralike includes everything you need to get started—reading lists, flannelboard patterns, poems, songs, easy crafts, even take-home activities to extend the learning process. The many creative ideas packed inside include:

  • Activities keyed to popular classroom themes, with one chapter for each week of the school year
  • Lessons that reinforce skills in key learning areas such as reading, writing, and math
  • American Sign Language and Spanish language activities that make diversity awareness a part of children’s learning
  • Teachable concepts that can be mixed and rearranged for maximum flexibility, complementing classroom schedules

Both veterans and novices will find plenty to help make kindergarten days richer, more rewarding, and more fun. Order your copy today and pick up tips for your school, preschool and library!

The Australian Library Journal says: “Kindergarten Magic provides a time-saving, idea-promoting framework for kindergarten library lessons with an emphasis on fun and interaction…This book would be an excellent addition to a school librarian’s collection to complement lesson planning and allow for quick ideas when faced with a spontaneous lesson. In addition, public library children’s librarians would find this resource useful to assist in creative ways to build library skills into storytime sessions.” Read the full review.

Purchase now.

Free storytime resources from Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker.

Storytime Magic: 400 Fingerplays, Flannelboards, and Other Activities

by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker. (ALA Editions, 2009)

Enriching and supplementing storytelling programs with fingerplays, flannelboards, and other props will be a cinch thanks to this generous sampling of art and craft ideas, songs, sign language and action rhymes.

Storytime Magic coverThis time-saving resource includes:

  • Thematic organization to make program planning easy
  • Recommended books for each theme
  • Easy-to-follow craft and flannelboard patterns
  • Quick Tips boxes that enhance the early literacy component

A unique addition to the programming shelf, this treasure trove of storytime tools is designed to help veteran librarians refresh and enliven ongoing programs, while providing novice storytime planners what they need to get started!

The Australian Library Journal says: ”Organised into chapters based on 16 themes, it is easy for the reader to find a story and associated activity to bring storytimes to life. Although written for librarians, the chosen themes follow topics common to many units of work in early education, and the stories and activities could easily be adapted by teachers to enhance either an integrated or trans-disciplinary unit of work.” Read the full review.

Teacher Librarian says: “There are lots of ideas here on common themes both in the real world and the world of imagination.”

School Library Journal says: “Both new and veteran storytellers will appreciate this book.” Read the full review.

Reviewer Sarah Deringer says: “If you’re a school librarian or a children’s librarian in need of story time activities, this is a go-to book. It includes the advertised fingerplays and flannelboard as well as rhymes, sign language, lists of books to read with each story subject, lots of different themes / subjects, crafts, and more! If you ever need an idea for a story time, I highly suggest you read this book!” Read the full review.

Purchase now.

Free storytime resources from Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker.

A Box Full of Tales: Easy Ways to Share Library Resources Using Story Boxes

A Box Full of Tales cover imageby Kathy MacMillan. (ALA Editions, 2009)

Children’s programming made easy. Really easy.

What librarian doesn’t dream of offering more and better children’s programs with less effort? In Maryland’s Carroll County, story boxes have made this impossible dream come true for twenty years. Now Kathy MacMillan outlines the proven story box system for sharing an array of successful programs. Including step-by-step instructions from concept through implementation and supplemented by programming tips, A Box Full of Tales also offers detailed plans for 50 great story boxes,including suggested books, fingerplays, songs, props, crafts, and sign language.

Library Journal says: “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.” Read the full review.

Purchase now.

Try Your Hand at This!: Easy Ways to Incorporate Sign Language into Your Programs

Try Your Hand at This! Cover imageby Kathy MacMillan (Scarecrow Press, 2006)

A user-friendly guide for librarians and other personnel involved in library programming. From how to set up sign language programming for all ages to dealing with interpreters, publicizing programming to the public and the deaf community, and evaluating and improving the library’s sign language collection, Kathy MacMillan speaks with the voice of experience. She excels at dispelling the numerous myths surrounding deafness and sign language…this handbook is an indispensable tool for all library personnel looking to reach out to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.

Reference and Research Book News says: “…guides library programming personnel through the common pitfalls of new learners of ASL and the background knowledge necessary to introduce ASL in context, and offers practical information on establishing community partnerships, working with interpreters, and marketing programs. The text also includes sample programs for all ages-baby, toddler, preschool, elementary and middle school, and family programs-annotated bibliographies of ASL resources and materials to use with sign language, games and crafts for ASL programs, a glossary of terms relating to sign language and deafness, and a visual glossary of commonly used storytime signs.”

Purchase now.