Storytime Boxes from the Jefferson Parish Library – a review

About 6 weeks ago, I saw a sign at the library announcing “Storytime Boxes”.  The description of the boxes is as follows:

Box of preschool storytime items each based upon a central theme; for educational purposes. Box contains picture books, resource materials, DVDs and CDs to make the learning experience fun.

I was in the middle of figuring out a plan for preschool and this looked great. They are designed for preschools and day cares but I was told homeschoolers and parents can use them as well.  As soon as I got home, I started searching for them on the library’s website. I had a hard time locating them but eventually did and requested the Dr. Seuss box. That is one thing, you have to request the boxes online.

And I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more. Finally Saturday, I got the call to come pick up my box. I didn’t have time on Saturday so today I picked it up. The box is huge, it’s a big rubbermaid type crate and it’s heavy and bulky.

Inside the box were Dr. Seuss books and lots of them

The books included where:  Cat in the Hat: Cat in the Hat Comes Back: One Fish, Two Fish; Hop on Pop; Fox in Socks; Oh Say Can You Say; Green Eggs and Ham; The Foot Book; My Many Colored Days; I Can Read With My Eyes Shut; Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now;  Gerald McBoing Boing; Wacky Wednesday; Ten Apples on Top; I’m Not Going To Get Up Today; and I Wish I Had Duck Feet.

It’s a good collection, but I’m sad it’s missing some of the classics and favorites such as: The ABC Book; The Butter Battle Book; Yurtle the Turtle; Horton Hears a Who, and a few others.

Also in the box were an activity packet, a CD, a DVD, a puppet, and a book about activities for infants and  toddlers.

In the activity packet where some coloring pages, suggested activities, and patterns for crafts to go with I Wish I Had Duck Feet. I wasn’t impressed with the activity packet. One of the suggested activities was for Yurtle the Turtle, yet the book wasn’t included in the box. I think a simple google search would yield more activities than the activity packet provides. It does give a list of links to find more activities, so that is helpful. It also contain 3 color sheets that you can copy. I think the library could have done a better job with this packet.

The CD and DVD are nice. The CD is a Greg and Steve CD and the DVD has a few Dr. Seuss cartoons. The kidlets loved the DVD. We will probably keep the box for the full 3 weeks, just for these two things.

The puppet is adorable, but it’s Horton and there was no Horton book in the box to reference the puppet.

So the pros – it’s puts together books of one theme for you in a box, the DVD and CD are cute. The puppet seems to be good quality and cute.  You can check out the boxes for 3 weeks at a time and renew it one time.  The boxes are new, so I am curious to see how the puppets hold up over time.

The cons – The activity packet lacks substance. You can’t choose the books you want for the theme, they are chosen for you.  It took 6 weeks for us to get our request, so it would be hard to plan around them, since you can only have one out at a time.

Final thoughts -  I may use them to over the summer, but because they are hard to plan around, I wouldn’t use them for preschool. I thought they would save me time planning, but they won’t. I could put a list of books and activities together on my own just as easily.

I had high hopes for these storytime boxes, I’m sadly disappointed in them. And I’m not the only one that feel’s this way, my friend A, had almost the same opinion.

Comments

  1. That’s really weird about how the boxes work. Good concept; maybe they’ll improve over time since it’s sort of a new program?

    • I hope they improve over time and that it’s just a because it’s new. It’s a really great concept, just isn’t working out so well at the moment.

  2. Please add my e-mail address to get your blog. Susan steveac@bellsouth.net