Thursday, September 27, 2012

Introducing "Show Me a Story" by Emily K Neuburger

One of my favorite things about the time I spent at CRAFT was finding and following so many immensely creative folks through their blogs. I love stumbling on new blogs, keeping up with them, and watching them grow over the years, and it's even more exciting to see them make the jump from blog publishing to book publishing. 

Emily with her daughters, Hazel and Leah, telling stories using the Traveling Puppet Theater project from Show Me a Story
One such case is Emily K. Neuburger of Red Bird Crafts, whom I first connected with a couple of years ago after posting about some of her projects on CRAFT. I've followed her work and stayed in touch ever since, and was thrilled to se her new book, Show me a Story, that has "40 craft projects and activities to spark children's storytelling."

The Story Disks project is simple and cute, and will end up providing hours of creative play for kids. 
As a mom, I have to admit that when I've tried to craft with my kids, they don't always jump right on board. They seem to need some kind of additional hook to get going. What I love about Show Me a Story is that the projects have purpose. It's not just about making something cute, it's about making something that you then turn around and use to share creative stories and adventures with others. That bumps the awesome factor right up through the roof for me.

The Storytelling Jar is an adorable project that would look cute on a desk or shelf, and can then be pulled down to use for story telling whenever the mood strikes. 
The projects are mostly pretty simple, and use basic materials that can often be found around your house (even in the recycling bin!) so it's a great book for families to have on hand for rainy days, family activity nights or summer boredom busting. It's also a book that would be a great gift for teachers, because many of the activities would be perfect for the classroom.

Emily's thoughtful and thorough explanations of the mechanics of stories, and her rich prompts help readers jump right in to the story-telling process.
Emily doesn't just provide craft project tutorials in the book, but she also includes incredibly helpful guides for getting kids in the right mindset to fall deep down the story telling rabbit hole. She's prepared rich lists of prompts and explanations that help parents or teachers put the activities in to context for the children. Show me a Story is filled with the kind of projects and inspiration that help create special moments between adults and children, and it's really refreshing to see this kind of take on a craft project book. I like when there is purpose to a project beyond just making it.

If all this resonates with you, you're in luck! I have one copy of Show me a Story to offer for giveaway to an Average Jane Crafter reader. Just leave a comment on this post, telling me how you would use this book with the kiddos in your life, and I'll draw a winner at random on Monday. You have until 9PM CST on Sunday, September 29 to leave your comment. Sorry, contest is open to U.S. residents only.

Hey, wait a minute ... I recognize that name under the quote up there ...


  1. I will definitely have fun with this book, but more importantly, it seems that my son would it enjoy too. I think it will help him with pretend and imaginative play.

  2. I'd love a chance to win this book. I work with young children, ages 2-8, and imagine we'd have a lot of fun trying out some of the projects in the book! Thank you!

  3. what a great review! i am planning on homeschooling my kids, and feel like this book would be a wonderful way to get them interested in storytelling! thanks so much!

  4. How would I use this with my children? They love stones, and so the first project I would try would certainly be the story stones!

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this lovely book...

  5. This book looks incredible from cover to cover, and I'm grateful for a chance to win a copy here. I have a 5 year old and a 9 year old. The 9 year old is in 4th grade and continues to struggle with writing, and now he is in the beginning stages of learning composition skills. I think this book would be really helpful to him. It would be helpful to me as well, helping me put aside my innate need for 'perfection' (?? I know - what place does this have in our life...but I struggle with it nonetheless). If I can set that aside, we can have a LOT of fun together working on these projects, and he may never even notice how comfortable he is getting with writing and storytelling. And my daughter? She will just have fun, too!

  6. We want to do storytelling with the kids this year in First Day school. This book would help out so much!

  7. I am eyeing those wooden story discs. How fun would it be to have a jar of those? I can just see my boys' eyes light up as they reach in and have the fun of feeling all those wooden discs slip through their fingers, and then drawing a few out to tell a story with!

  8. I have 3 girls who are all five years apart-- wait, the math doesn't add up there. Anyway, I would use this book to help bridge the gap in their play. I think that stories are a great way to connect young and old to each other and establish similarities and creative differences in each other. My girls love each other so much but it is really important to me (and often very difficult to find activities that they are all interested in and find meaning from. I think this book is just the thing! my email is Thanks for the giveaway!