Get Real with Storytime

52 Weeks of Early Literacy Programming with Nonfiction and Poetry

by Julie Dietzel-Glair and Marianne Crandall Follis


Using fiction for storytimes is commonplace, but it's time to consider an uncommon approach that offers many great benefits to children—using nonfiction and poetry.

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Cover image for Get Real with Storytime

November 2015

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 337
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Children's and Young Adult Programs/Literature Applications
  Children's and Young Adult Services/General

This is a complete, year-long programming guide that shows librarians how to integrate nonfiction and poetry into storytime for preschool children in order to build literacy skills and overall knowledge.

The right nonfiction titles—ones with colorful photographs and facts that are interesting to young imaginations—give librarians an opportunity to connect with children who are yearning for "true stuff." Presenting poetry in storytime encourages a love of language and the chance to play with words. Written by authors with a combined 25 years of experience working with children and books in a library setting, Get Real With Storytime: 52 Weeks of Early Literacy Programming goes far beyond the typical storytime resource book by providing books and great ideas for using nonfiction and poetry with preschool children.

This book provides a complete, year-long programming guide for librarians who work with preschool children in public libraries and school librarians who run special programs for preschoolers as well as parents, childcare providers, and camp counselors. Each of the 52 broad storytime topics (one for each week of the year) includes a sample storytime featuring an opening poem; a nonfiction title; picture books; songs, rhymes, or fingerplays; and a follow-up activity. Early literacy tips that are based on the authors' extensive experience and the principles of Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) are presented throughout the book.


  • Helps librarians meet children's interests in "real stuff" and reach more children—especially boys—in storytime
  • Provides new and effective ways to build early literacy skills using a unique blend of the "literary" and the "real"
  • Supports national and state standards that emphasize the use of more nonfiction and informational text
  • Enables librarians to make better use of their existing collections
Author Info

Julie Dietzel-Glair is a freelance writer and library consultant. Previously, she was a children's librarian and then an assistant children's services coordinator in Maryland public libraries for 11 years. She is the author of Books in Motion: Connecting Preschoolers with Books through Art, Games, Movement, Music, Playacting, and Props and the 2015 Collaborative Summer Learning Program Early Literacy Manual. Dietzel-Glair provides training sessions for library staff and others interested in early literacy, presents special programming for children, and works on other special library projects. She is active in the Association for Library Service to Children, the Children's Services Division of the Maryland Library Association, and Capitol Choices. Her website is and her Twitter username is @JulieDGWrites.

Marianne Crandall Follis, PhD, is senior librarian specializing in youth services at the Valley Ranch (Irving) Public Library. She has spent the last 11 years working in Texas public libraries, serving young people and the adults who care for them. She has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in children's literature at Texas Woman's University, where she recently earned her doctorate in library science. Follis is active in the American Library Association, the Association for Library Service to Children, and the Texas Library Association as well as its Children's Round Table.

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