Five Fun Ways to Encourage Summer Reading

We’re gearing up through our June tour throughout the South. In July we’ll head to New York, New Jersey, and…VEGAS, baby! We’ll be doing our Comedy Story Theater Shows, but all the shows will focus on Summer Reading.  How can you get kids excited to read over the summer? Come to one of our shows, […]

Your Brain on Stories

Love this article about the power of storytelling on our brains! Of course, this is something we’ve always understood as “Storyologists,” but it’s nice to see science backing it up!  Go HERE to check it out.        

Rattlebone Rock ROCKS!

Folks in the town  Still talk of the night When the moon on the graveyard Shone so bright That the spirits there Made the tombstones knock And the beat began for the Rattlebone Rock. BOOMA-BOOM!  BOOMA-BOOM! And so begins RATTLEBONE ROCK, one of my all time favorite Halloween books for kids. And I’mnot just saying that […]

STEAM TRUNK CIRCUS Indiegogo Campaign

So excited about our new indiegogo campaign. Please click the link to see what it’s all about and support creativity in education! Please help us spread the word by sharing it directly from the Indiegogo page. Thanks!! Go to    

A Very Cheesy Contest – Win a Copy of The Great Pizza Contest Book!

Ever been to the town of Mozzarella? You have if you’ve been to a live production of THE GREAT PIZZA CONTEST show or read the popular kids book by yours truly. It’s the cheesy tale of two feuding pizza makers, Vincent Van Dough and Leonardo Da Munchi. Vincent thinks the dough is the most important […]

WEIRD Books Inspire Reading!

Yesterday, Kenny and I were guest readers at Pine Jog Elementary School. It was a blast! We visit lots of elementary schools, but we’re usually on a stage in the cafetorium  (love those cafetoriums) doing one of storytheater shows or our test-taking show. Shows are fun, but it’s also good to get up close and […]

Good Books, Good Times

I was going through my bookshelves today and came across an autographed copy of GOOD BOOKS, GOOD TIMES with poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. I forgot how much I enjoy the poems in this little gem. It’s was the perfect inspiration for me as I begin prepping for a Book SmARTS and Crafts workshop […]


This holiday season I’m grateful for books that make me laugh out loud! Wendy Silvano’s hilarious picture book TURKEY TROUBLE does just that. I picked it up off a library shelf this summer just before I went “on stage” to perform a Summer Reading Program show, and I could not stop giggling (not quite sure […]

Zombie Tag-A Fun Game for Halloween (or any time of the year!)

Zombie Tag is a great game for Halloween or any time you need to bring a little life (or death) to a party. It’s also a great team-building game because the group has to work together to tag the other players. Make it a Book SmARTS activity and Read: A Zombie’s Guide to the Human […]

Great Halloween Book for Kids!

Kids (and adults!) will love HOW THEY CROAKED: THE AWFUL ENDS OF THE AWFULLY FAMOUS. What a great way to learn about historical figures. Who knew that Beethoven died of lead poisoning? The book really isn’t quite as morbid as it sounds. Author Georgia Bragg keeps the tone light, upbeat and funny (but still respectful). […]

Storyologist Kits

Storyologist Kits At the beginning of December, I received a voice mail from my niece, Eliana in Wisconsin. She said, “Aunt Riley, I just wanted to tell you that I want to be a Storyologist when I grow up.”   Needless to say, I was thrilled! She then went on to tell me a story […]

Clothespin Alligator

Featured Creative Literacy Activity: Clothespin Alligator Read the book, then do the craft!      Monsieur Gator decides to cook up some gumbo just like his Maman used to make. But who will help him boil, catch, sprinkle, and chop? Certainly not rude Mademoiselle Possum, ornery Monsieur Otter, or sassy Madame Skunk. But when the […]