Nothing comes as naturally to children as pretending. This book harnesses that wonderful capacity to nourish learning, literacy, cognitive development-- and pure enjoyment. What sets the book apart is Bane's unique integration of storytelling, crafts, and play. Fifty compelling themes encourage kids to use their imaginations to learn about subjects as diverse as camping, the beach, the Old West, pirates, jungle safaris, dinosaur digs, plus 44 more scenarios. Bane begins each program with a short storytime, then uses songs and props to guide children through play that fosters the development of thinking, language, social, and physical skills. Step by step, she spells out detailed, creative programming ideas for props, crafts, and songs--a welcome timesaver for increasingly busy librarians. Over 80 color photographs of sample scenes make setup a snap. Props are made from inexpensive, easily accessible materials with an accent on recycling and an eye to reutilization. Bane even gives guidance on how to apply her concepts to your own ideas or to open-ended imaginative play. Particularly valuable to children's librarians under pressure to offer more and better programs despite budget cuts, Let's Pretend is an all-in-one guide that will make your job easier--and a lot more fun.