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StoryWalks® for Pennsylvania Libraries

An activity guide for public libraries to use for StoryWalk® programs for children and their families and caregivers.

Pennsylvania StoryWalks® Guide

StoryWalks® for Pennsylvania Libraries

A StoryWalk® is a way to combine physical activity with literacy; it’s an innovative way to get people of all ages out walking while reading children’s picture books. Pages of a book are transformed into signs that are then laid out on a trail inviting families, children, caregivers, teachers and others to follow the path of pages. 

The purpose of this project is to support libraries, their communities, and partners as they develop literacy enriched actives and ideas that build children's interest in reading while encouraging healthy outdoor activity and family engagement.

This project is funded through the Family Engagement Grant, a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.


Books and Literacy Prompts

Four books have been selected to launch the Pennsylvania StoryWalk® initiative! These books were chosen for their engaging stories, nature themes, and connections to messages of kindness, caring and inclusion. Literacy prompts are included for each two-page spread. The prompts were developed to scaffold comprehension of the stories for the children and engage the families in conversation around the books.  In addition to literacy prompts for the signs, additional programming ideas are included to enhance the StoryWalk experience for families with young children.

Using the menu to the left, you will find the each of the four stories organized by page into signs with their corresponding literacy prompts. You can use this as a guide when constructing your StoryWalks using the actual book pages to make the process easier!

What is a StoryWalk?

A StoryWalk® is an innovative and delightful way for children — and adults! — to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Laminated pages from a children's book are attached to wooden stakes, which are installed along an outdoor path. As you stroll down the trail, you're directed to the next page in the story.

StoryWalks® have been installed in 50 states and 13 countries including, Germany, Canada, England, Bermuda, Russia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and South Korea!


All StoryWalks should include the following attribution statement:

“The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.” 

Source: Kellogg-Hubbard Library


Additional Information on StoryWalks®

Official webpage of StoryWalk®

StoryWalk® | Let's Move in Libraries

Taking a Walk with the Library: StoryWalk®, Walking Book Clubs and More

What are some established best practices for StoryWalks®?

According to the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and other trusted sources, the following guidelines should be applied to StoryWalk® development:

  1. Copyright Considerations

New books should be purchased so that the writers and illustrators get full benefit. The books cannot be altered in any way, the pages cannot be enlarged, scanned, or reproduced. Only mount them on card stock and laminate each page.


  1. Book Selection

Selection of books focuses on minimal text, and a great story line. In general, look for books that can be used in different seasons and are nature-based. Also, books with a message of kindness and caring should be a key consideration.


  1. Book Preparation

It is best to use 10 ml lamination pockets, as this thickness is strong enough to protect the pages and withstand strong winds, particularly if you are not using sign holders. Mount each two-page spread on card stock; put the page number(s), book title and author, and contact info on the back of each card. Lamination can be done by your local copy center, or you can purchase your own equipment and supplies and do this in-house. It is important to leave a wide margin of laminate around the edges of each page – this completely seals and protects the page from moisture which will ruin the page. Avoid stapling the pages directly to signposts, as the staples can rust. Instead, using industrial strength Velcro to affix the pages, if you are not using sign holders.


  1. Spacing Recommendations

Spacing the signposts depends on the length of the route available, the number of forks or intersections it has and the number of pages in the book. Make sure that the readers know where to find the following page, it is best if the next page can be seen, and the signs are numbered. About 40 paces or so seems like a good distance between pages. A third or half-mile StoryWalk® works well. Pages should be at eye level for young children.


  1. Forming Partnerships

You may want to find some other like-minded people in your community to work with on this project. A team approach offers different perspectives and experiences. This project combines the benefits of physical activity, time outdoors in nature, literacy, and family time. Because of that, many community partners may be interested in StoryWalks®, particularly local parks.


  1. Keeping Track of Participation

It is recommended to place a guest book at the end of the StoryWalk® and ask readers to tell us the date, number in party, and any comments or suggestions that they have for the project. A loose-leaf binder in a weatherproof box along with pencils is a good idea. The boxes developed for real estate information with lids that can be mounted or attached to stakes work well for this. You can also include a hashtag or QR code to connect participants to your social media pages and gather feedback this way.

Websites with StoryWalk Book Suggestions

Boston Public Library: Great Books for a Story Walk

King County Library System: Story Walk Book Suggestions

Curious City StoryWalk Titles

Titles featured by librarians in StoryWalk Week 2021


Bilingual Book Recommendations for StoryWalks® 

Siesta by Ginger Foglesong Gibson 
Bilingual book in English and Spanish

HarperCollins Publisher, 2005
ISBN 9780060560638


From School Library Journal:
Preschool-Grade 1–A sister and brother and a stuffed bear embark on an adventure. An empty blue backpack is packed with an interesting array of items: a red jacket, green flute, yellow book, black flashlight, white clock, and multicolored blanket. Then it's off to the backyard where the clothesline and blanket make the perfect tent, the flute provides a bedtime serenade for the jacket-wrapped teddy, and soon, all are sleeping. This charmingly simple story is told in short sentences, Spanish first, followed by the English translation. The words for colors are written in their appropriate hues and reinforced by the gorgeous pastel, watercolor, and pencil illustrations. Soft edges, pure glowing colors, and rounded forms create a sense of warmth and reassurance. Like Fiesta (HarperCollins, 1996), this book has appeal far beyond its obvious teaching function.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

My Friends / Mis Amigos by Taro Gomi
Bilingual book in English and Spanish

Chronicle Books, 2012
ISBN 9781452122595


From School Library Journal:
"Youngsters will enjoy reading along and mimicking the actions of the protagonist." 

“Simple words and bold illustrations show children that friends are easy to find even in the most unlikely places.”

Curious George at the Aquarium/Jorge el curioso visita el acuario by H. A. Rey
Bilingual book in English and Spanish

Clarion Books, 2010
ISBN 9780547487533            

“The aquarium is one big, exciting place for a little monkey. George’s curiosity helps him make lots of new friends . . . and get into lots of mischief too. But when a baby penguin is in trouble, George comes to the rescue as only a monkey can! The new English/Spanish edition includes highly readable text and bilingual bonus activities.” 

I Need a Hug / Necesito un abrazo by Aaron Blabey
Bilingual book in English and Spanish

Scholastic en español, 2019
ISBN 9781338565959

“Everyone needs a hug in this new, irresistibly funny picture book from Aaron Blabey, the bestselling creator of Pig the Pug!”

“En I Need a Hug / Necesito un abrazo, un diminuto puercoespín solo quiere que lo acurruquen, pero los demás animales huyen de él a causa de sus espinas. Por suerte, al final el puercoespín encuentra a un animal que está dispuesto a darle un abrazo... ¡una serpiente!In I Need a Hug, a tiny porcupine just wants a cuddle. All of the other animals turn him away because of his prickly spikes. But finally, the porcupine meets an animal who's happy to hug -- a snake!”

The Very Hungry Caterpillar/La oruga muy hambrienta by Eric Carle
Bilingual book in English and Spanish

World of Eric Carle, 2011
ISBN 9780399256059

“The time-honored classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar is now available in two bilingual formats (hardcover and board book), bringing together two languages for the ultimate reading and learning experience. With easily readable side-by-side English and Spanish text, it's perfect for children learning to speak either language.”

Señorita Mariposa by Ben Gundersheimer
Bilingual book in English and Spanish

Nancy Paulsen Books, 2019
ISBN 9781524740702

Read-aloud and song performed by the author:

“A captivating and child-friendly look at the extraordinary journey that monarch butterflies take each year from Canada to Mexico; with a text in both English and Spanish.”

From School Library Journal:
“The verses are loosely structured as moving along with the butterflies, where the bold curvilinear black font of the text calls to mind the movement of the butterfly… The text is set to simple verses where the rhyming structure provides a sense of unity and an auditory element that will engage preschoolers during storytime. Kindergartners will also enjoy the digitally made art that brings to life the narrative with emotionally expressive animals and children. The back matter contains Author’s Notes referring briefly to the monarchs’ journey, their contribution to the planet, and their struggles with climate change. A playful picture book . . . that could be used to foster consciousness about protecting the planet and to explain migration and the role of butterflies in pollination.”

Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina
Note: Though not strictly bilingual, this book would be an excellent choice for many communities, as noted below.

Candlewick, 2015
ISBN 978-0763669003


A 2016 Pura Belpré Author Award Honor Book
A 2016 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Honor Book

From School Library Journal:
“In this tale, Medina blends Spanish and English words together as seamlessly as she blends the stories of two distinct cultures and generations. Dominguez’s bright illustrations, done in ink, gouache, and marker, make the characters shine as bright as the rich story they depict...Everything about this book will make readers want to share it with someone they love. A timeless story with wide appeal.”

“A poignant tale of intergenerational connection, transition, and patience. . .  Heartfelt, layered, and beautiful.” — Booklist (starred review)

Commercial Resources for StoryWalks®

Barking Dog Exhibits This company has a division specifically devoted to StoryWalk® design with many options for commercially made signs, posts, backing materials, etc.

Pannier Graphics This is a Pennsylvania vendor that supplies StoryWalk® posts and signs. 

Outdoor poster frame for wall or fence These frames can be used for an outdoor display on a fence or the side of a building. Brooklyn Public Library in New York uses them in this way. Here is an example from the Main Street Playground, Brooklyn Bridge Park, in close proximity to the Adams Street Library.

Akiles ProLam Ultra-XL 18" Professional Pouch Laminator This machine has been used successfully by many libraries for the recommended 10 ml lamination.