Selection & Evaluation

Teaching Your Kids About Stories

At the Hicksville Public Library
For Kids in K-2

The importance of stories and storytelling for the human race throughout time cannot be understated, and for all parents with young children, you know that your kids are already storytellers who want their voices to be heard. And, studies have shown, through stories kids develop understanding of what it is to be part of the world, who they are and how to be empathetic, as well as learn language and vocabulary skills and have their creativity encouraged.

The materials listed below, most of which can be found here at the Hicksville Public Library, are recommended starting points to teaching your kids (ages 5-7) about what stories are, how they’re important, and even to start making their own stories!

What Are Stories?


Picture Book:
I Am A Story
by Dan Yaccarino
Harper, 2016, ISBN: 9780062411068

A simple but informative history of storytelling, from cave drawings to e-books, and a beautifully illustrated introduction to stories in their many forms.

Where To Find It: Hicksville JUV – E YACCARINO


E-Book Read-Along:
Read Anything Good Lately?
by Susan Allen and Jane Lindaman, Ill. by Vicky Enright
Millbrook Press, Tumbleweed Press Inc., 2007

An interactive read-along with music that reinforces knowledge of the alphabet as well as showing kids that books can come in many different forms, like “B for biographies” that they can read in bed!

Where To Find It: TumbleBooks on the Hicksville Public Library Website

Storyteller Podcast:
The Story Tree (A Native American Tale) 
performed by Bob Reiser (15:42)

A performance of a folktale in an audio file, kids can experience oral storytelling similar to how humans did many years ago. While exploring the website, which offers many oral folktale performances for free, kids may also begin to understand that stories were how people made sense of the world around them – like how stories came to be from the Story Tree in Native American folklore.

Where To Find It: The Story Bee Website

Stories About Stories & Storytellers

FFGraphic Novel:
Written and Drawn by Henrietta by Liniers
TOON Books, 2015, ISBN: 9781935179900

Henrietta, a little girl with a big imagination, writes and illustrates her own comic about monsters while simultaneously showing kids that they, too, can create their own stories and graphic novels. 

Where To Find It: Interlibrary Loan; East Meadow JUV – FIC Liniers/GRAPHIC

Picture Book:
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein BB
Candlewick Press, 2010, ISBN: 9780763641689

Little Red Chicken is ready for a bedtime story, but not so ready for the original endings of some well-known fairytales…so interrupting papa is the only option. Little Red Chicken becomes a storyteller and resorts to making a new bedtime story, with amusing results.

Where To Find It: Hicksville JUV – E STEIN


Picture Book:
Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, Ill. by Erin E. Stead
Roaring Brook Press, 2012, ISBN: 9781596437456

Bear has a story to tell before hibernating for winter, but his friends need help to prepare for the season too and are too busy to listen. Then spring comes and bear forgets his story – until his friends remind him to start at the beginning.

Where To Find It: Hicksville JUV – E STEAD

Frederick by Leo LionniDD
Alfred A. Knopf, 1995, ISBN: 9780307974501

A beloved classic now available in a new format, Leo Lionni’s distinctive style remains as timeless as ever in the story of Frederick, a field mouse who gathers words, feelings and colors during the summer and becomes a storyteller and a poet in the winter, nourishing his family in a different way than food.

Where To Find It: Nassau Digital Driveway, Hicksville

 Making Their Own Stories

HHWordless Picture Book:
Journey by Aaron Becker
Candlewick Press, 2013, ISBN: 9780763660536

A girl takes a red crayon and draws her way into a journey through fantastic and colorful places. With no words to guide the reader, kids can make up their own stories about her adventures armed with their own metaphorical red crayon.

Where To Find It: Hicksville JUV – E BECKER

AAPicture Book:
Any Questions? by Marie-Louise Gay 
Groundwood Books, 2014, ISBN: 978062411068

Illustrious children’s author Marie-Louise Gay answers some questions about herself but, more importantly, gives kids an inside look on how she creates her stories and inspires them to do the same with their own blank sheet of paper.

Where To Find It: Hicksville JUV – J 818 GAY

Storytelling App:
by Google, Inc.ZZ
iOS and Android; Compatible with phone, tablet and chromebooks; Free

An easy-to-use app that encourages a kid’s imagination, Toontastic teaches storytelling by having kids narrate and move their characters around to make their own cartoon.

Where To Find It: The Toontastic Website and the Apple Store.

Storytelling App:
by Imagistory Publishing Limited
iOS; Compatible with iPad; Free

A user-friendly app that encourages both language skills and the imagination, kids can look through these wordless stories and record their own narratives to match what they see.

Where To Find It: The Imagistory Website and the Apple Store.


Allen, Susan & Lindaman, Jane. (2007). Read anything good lately? Ill. by Vicky Enright. Ontario, Canada: Tumbleweed Press Inc. Found on:

Becker, Aaron. (2013). Journey. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. Found on:

Gay, Marie-Louise. (2014). Any questions? Toronto, Canada: Groundwood Books. Found on:

Imagistory. (2016). Imagistory Publishing Ltd. (Version 1.3). [Mobile application software]. Found on

Liniers. (2015). Written and drawn by Henrietta. New York: Toon Books. Found on: graphicnovels/160223-alsc-graphic-novels-booklists-k-2-spreads.pdf

Lionni, Leo. (1995). Frederick. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Found on: honors/1968honorfrederick

Lisa, Kervin & Mantei, Jessica. (2017). Children creating multimodal stories about a familiar environment. The Reading Teacher, 70(6), 721-728.

Reiser, Bob. The Story Tree. Retrieved from

Stead, Philip C. (2012). Bear has a story to tell. Ill. by Erin E. Stead. New York: Roaring Brook Press. Found on: MlMMLQKOJOLN/bdrtop and

Stein, David Ezra. (2010). Interrupting chicken. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. Found on:

Toontastic. (2017). Google, Inc. (Version 1.0.2). [Mobile application software]. Found on:

Yaccarino, Dan. (2016). I am a story. New York: Harper. Found on: _books_for_kids_sm.pdf


Week 13: Other Visual Materials

Comic Selection:


  1. Stevenson, N., Watters, S., Nowak, C., & Laiho, M. (2015). Lumberjanes: Beware the kitten holy (Vol. 1). Los Angeles, CA: BOOM! Box, a division of Boom Entertainment, Inc.

Reading/Grade Level: Ages 10 & up (grade 5 and up)

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Graphic Novels

BBAwards: Eisner Award for Best New Series in 2015; and the GLAAD Media Award For Outstanding Comic Book in 2016.

Book Summary (back cover): At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are fie rad, butt-kicking best friends determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.



  • Publisher’s Weekly: The first four supernatural adventures of five young scouts-in-training at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Girls Hardcore Lady Types are gathered in this clever, funny, and just-creepy-enough collection…Humorously riffing on everything from scout badges to the X-Men to feminist heroes (“Where the Phillis Wheatley were you?”), it’s a sharp, smart, and most of all fun celebration of sisterhood that will leave readers eager for the Lumberjanes’ future exploits. Ages 10–up.
  • School Library Journal: …There really is so much to love about this first volume of Lumberjanes. The girls have great exclamations from “What the Junk!” to calling out well-known women such as Joan Jett and Juliette Gordon Low. They are smart, capable, and really just a pleasure to read. I would not object to more stories and characters like this. This title needs to be in every graphic novel and/or tween/teen collection.

Literacy Tie-Ins: Learn about the important women mentioned the volumes of Lumberjanes.

Common CoreCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3 (Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution); CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.7 (Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem); CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.5 (Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.)

Read-Alikes: The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1 by Ryan North

Why is it appealing?

I think Lumberjanes is an appealing graphic novel for all ages, but particularly for girls ages 10 and up because its all-girl team (otherwise known as a band of “hardcore lady-types”) is unique; not only is it focused on “girl” power as they battle supernatural creatures and work to solve mysteries, but many different body shapes and skin colors are portrayed throughout these colorful, exciting, and humorous jam-packed adventures. With the representation of all different types of girls being the main characters, instead of just as sidekicks to boys, as well as the importance of friendship between very different personality types, Lumberjanes fills a gap in children’s literature.


Witty, P. (1941). Children’s interest in reading the comics. The Journal of Experimental Education, 10(2), 100-104.

Read Aloud Redo Presentation: A Reflection




After comparing my thoughts and my fellow classmate’s feedback from my original Read Aloud to my redo Read Aloud, overall I’m glad I redid the assignment. Although unfortunately the feedback from students was more (constructively) critical this time around, I was more confident during this Read Aloud and felt I corrected some of my previous mistakes, including speaking louder, with more clarity, and having more inflection in my tone. In the future, I will continue to work with inflecting my tone – which will be easier to practice with books that have dialogue – and definitely work on eye contact and facial expressions, which I still struggle with.

In this redo, I also didn’t let nerves get the best of me and asked nearly every question and relayed every fact I had wanted to tell the class – but this may have been to my detriment this time around. Several students noted in the feedback that I disrupted the flow of the story, so in future read-alouds I’ll have to find a better balance and ask myself: what pages really require explanation, what pages should just be enjoyed, and how can I spread it out enough that it doesn’t affect the story or their understanding and enjoyment of it?

Also, lastly, the most consistent criticism I received was if the questions were appropriate for my audience of 5 to 7 year olds. This, I feel, will only improve with exposure to kids of different ages to gage their interests, attention spans and intellect. I am planning to become a school media specialist, so hopefully I will be working with kids in the near future to understand them better and what they may or may not be able to handle. I also hope to talk to children’s librarians to ask them the kinds of questions they ask their audiences of varying ages.

Week 12: Digital Media


  1. Bates C.C., Klein, A., Schubert, B., McGee L., Anderson N., Dorn, L., McClure, E., & Ross, R.H. (2017). E-Books and e-book apps: considerations for beginning readers. The Reading Teacher, 70(4), 401411.*


I chose this article because its purpose is to evaluate and select e-books and e-book apps (Pioneer Valley, Unite for Literacy, etc.) meant for early readers by considering their specific needs. These needs include how a particular text responds to touch, the ability for the app to record their reading, no “hot spots” that distract the reader, etc. (2017). Essentially, this article argues that in selecting specific digital features of e-books that may help a child learn how to read on a digital device, it will result in improving literacy in general, as well as digital literacy and learning English. This, therefore, is incredibly important for librarians who will be working with young/non-English speaking patrons.

This article’s suggestions of e-book apps is further complemented by websites like Children’s Technology Review Exchange, in which reviews of library apps and early reading e-books give librarians (who often rely on book reviews) an easy way to develop their digital collection. Additionally, The Horn Book website has a growing list of recommended apps and e-books in which the reviews consider digital features of the e-books that are also mentioned in the article, like “read to me” and “read myself” options that help with early literacy.

*Note: Although this article references teachers as its main audience, it also mentions school libraries throughout. Since school media specialists are considered teacher-librarians, I feel that this article is perfect for librarians learning how to evaluate and select e-book/app resources for beginner readers.


Bates C.C., Klein, A., Schubert, B., McGee L., Anderson N., Dorn, L., McClure, E., & Ross, R.H. (2017). E-Books and e-book apps: considerations for beginning readers. The Reading Teacher, 70(4), 401–411. Retrieved from: 10.1002/trtr.1543/epdf

Week 11, Part 2: Multicultural Lit & Poetry

How does a diverse collection support your young patrons?

A diverse collection has “cultural diversity…[which] includes shared characteristics that define how a person lives, thinks and creates meaning,” (Naidoo, 2014) which also includes social factors like sexual orientation, etc. that create a person’s unique culture. In other words, a diverse collection shows young patrons that their perspective is just one part of a very large whole – a world made up of billions of lives and perspectives. One of the most important results of a collection that contains these multitudes is giving patrons a sense of value; they matter because their stories matter.

Representation is key in appealing to readers of all ages; if they cannot see themselves in the books available to them, they will be less engaged and feel undervalued and alone. According to a 2013 study questioning if school libraries were providing enough adequate LGBTQ-themed literature, the answer was a resounding no. LGBTQ youth are high risk, but this can be tempered by libraries providing diverse collections, as “research…shows that the library is ‘the most important information source’ for LTBTQ people” and “LGBTQ-themed literature provides LGBTQ teens with the opportunity to understand what it means to be queer…to know they are not alone, to connect with others like them…to affirm the fact that they are normal,” (Hughes-Hassell, Overberg & Harris, 2013). And so, providing LGBTQ literature for patrons struggling with their sexual orientation will prove to them that they have value because they are being acknowledged through representation.

Representation is also important because it allows young patrons to see themselves in a positive light. The article “Criteria for the Selection of Young Adult Queer Literature” by Stephanie R. Logan argues to “…select queer literature that enhances languages and cognitive development in the language arts by providing a variety of vocabulary structures and forms” (p. 32). This can come in the form of narratives where people who are gay, gender-fluid, gender non-binary, etc. all have stories with a character of that specific sexuality where it is not the only facet of their character. A LGBTQ protagonist can be portrayed positively simply by having “…opportunities in which basic human rights are embraced and not denied,” (Logan, p. 33). Creating a criteria of literary value mixed with positive representation can result in a stronger collection in YA literature for a group who are struggling to understand themselves in the throes of adolescence.


Hughes-Hassell, Sandra, Overberg, E. & Harris, G.S. (2013). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ)-themed literature for teens: Are school libraries providing adequate collections? School Library Research, AASL. 16, 1-18.

Naidoo, J.C. (2014). The importance of diversity in library programs and material collections for children. Association for Library Service to Children, ALA.

Logan, S. R., and Lasswell, T. A. (2014). Criteria for the selection of young adult queer literature. English Journal, High School Edition; urbana 103.5. 30-41.

Week 11: Multicultural Lit & Poetry

Book Selection:

  1. Silverstein, Shel. (1981). A light in the attic. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.


Controversies: According to the ALA website, A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein is on the Frequently Challenged Children’s Books List. Additionally, an article titled “Tyranny of Parents: Banning Shel Silverstein” by Antonio Aiello, as found on Pen America’s website, explained how the book was banned in cities like Huffman, TX, and Mukwonago, WI, because some of the poems in the collection “exposes children to the horrors of suicide” and “glorified Satan, suicide, and cannibalism.”

Book Review #3:

Silverstein, Shel. (1981). A light in the attic. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

“Put something silly in the world / That ain’t been there before.” These last two lines of the poem “Put Something In” describe Shel Silverstein’s collection of poems as a whole: silly, unique and inspiring. The 130 rhyming poems are written with an easy-to-read typeface and are accompanied by imaginative pen-drawn illustrations. Ranging from the absurd to the poignant, Silverstein’s poems are simple and silly enough to appeal to kids ages 5 and up, and yet have a timeless depth that appeals to all. The important themes of death, obedience, imagination, dreams, unfairness, emotions, etc. are illustrated through rhyme, rhythm, repetition, word play and the drawings, which ultimately exposes kids to poetry in a fun and easy way and inspires them to learn, imagine, create and think for themselves.


Aiello, Antonio. (2013, Oct. 11). Tyranny of parents: Banning Shel Silverstein. Retrived from

Week 10: Nonfiction


  1. Tonatiuh, Duncan. (2015). Funny bones: Posada and his day of the dead calaveras. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers. (Winner of the Sibert Award, 2016)
  2. Thong, Roseanne Greenfield. (2015). Dias de los muertos. New York: Albert Whitman & Company. (Notable NCSS Trade Book, 2016)


“Whatever their motivation for reading nonfiction, children deserve to have books of information that are accurate, engaging and well written,” (Horning, 2010, p. 23)

These two picture books, Funny Bones (grades 3-6) and Dias de los Muertos (preschool-grade 2) revolve around the Mexican holiday of Dias de los Muertos, otherwise known as the Day of the Dead.

Although both are informational picture books that revolve around the same topic, Funny Bones is a picture-book biography on José Guadalupe Posada, a famous and well-loved Mexican artist who drew calaveras and calacas in his artwork as political satire, whereas Dias de los Muertos concentrates solely on the history and the traditions of this holiday. The author is a two-time Sibert award winner, and Funny Bones includes an extensive glossary, author’s note, bibliography, index and even incorporates some of Posada’s own artwork. Combining Tonatiuh’s colorful illustrations that complement Posada’s art on every pages allows kids to appreciate, learn and understand how art and politics often coincide. Dias de los Muertos, rather than a biography, is an exploration of the holiday itself, but similarly also has engaging illustrations that are bright, colorful and fill up the whole page. This children’s book also has an extensive glossary in the back that translate the Spanish words to English definitions, as well as an “about” section of the Day of the Dead to provide kids with a necessary background on this important holiday.


Vardell, S. (2014). Children’s literature in action. A librarian’s guide (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Horning, K. (2010). From cover to cover: Evaluating and reviewing children’s books (Rev. ed.). New York: Collins.