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August 20, 2010 / Christian M.

A Live “Movie Trailer” For Books


Yesterday, I attended the first part of a training workshop on Children’s Booktalking sponsored by my library system. I have to say that the presenters of this workshop are excellent booktalkers. They demonstrated with several books, spanning grades K-6. I was so entertained, it made me want to go back to my library and check out the books for myself!

A booktalk is a presentation given to promote and create interest in good books. During the presentation the librarian shares part of the story without giving away the ending. A booktalk program can include storytelling, songs, theatrics, and props. Basically you are entertaining the children while enticing them to read more books.

I have some experience with public speaking since I took a class in undergrad, and also served as my college Student Council President (which involved giving some speeches). But I’m not particularly fond of speaking in front of groups….and now I have to combine that with theatrics and being goofy! This is going to be very interesting.

We will meet again for part two of the workshop next month. In the meantime we have homework: prepare booktalks on two titles – one for younger elementary, one for older elementary (booktalks have to be memorized!); and create two program plan outlines for a hypothetical school visit.

Things to keep in mind for booktalking:

DO read the books you will be presenting.
DO include variety of books (fiction & non-fiction, “boy” & “girl” books, multicultural).
DO practice in advance.

DON’T give away the ending.
DON’T use popular books that everyone is already reading.
DON’T repeat book(s) you already shared with the same group.

Online Resources:

Booktalks Quick and Simple

Librarians@Random – Booktalks

Booktalks, Discussion Guides, Video Booktalks


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