Penn Live Arts Blog

Story Time with Stim Returns

Posted December 2, 2020


Penn’s student-led Stimulus Children’s Theatre Company, or Stim, for short, is known for taking their theatrical productions into schools and hospitals to inspire youth through the performing arts. When the pandemic hit, and all in-person events ceased, we partnered with Stim to help bring stories to life in a virtual format. That summer-time series of read-aloud videos was a hit, and we’re happy to kick off a new set of four books read by members of Stim! Check back each week for a story time video featuring the following children’s books:

11/11: Tiara's Hat Parade by Kelly Starling Lyons and Nicole Tadgell
11/18: Leila in Saffron by Rukhsanna Guidroz and Dinara Mirtalipova
11/25: Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jen Hill
12/2: Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen, Heidi Y. Stemple and Anne-Sophie Lanquetin

Tiara's Hat Parade:

Visit Kelly Starling Lyons' website for printable activities and more info!

Leila in Saffron:

Explore fun facts and craft projects on Pakistani culture!
Discover lessons in self-confidence and identity, discussion questions and classroom activities from Read Across America.

Be Kind:

Be Kind Discussion Questions:

1. What are some ways you can be kind to people who are being mean to you?
2. Who can you be kind to in your life right now? Think of ways you can show them kindness.
3. How can you be kind to your classmates and teachers through a computer screen?
4. What are some ways you can be kind to strangers and people you don't know?
5. How can your actions make the world a kinder place?

Discover what being kind means to the author, Pat Zietlow Miller.

Enjoy three levels of word searches using vocabulary from the book: Easy // Medium // Difficult

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink:

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink Discussion Questions

1. Reading the title Not All Princesses Dress in Pink reveals information to the reader, even before the book is read! How do you know from the title that this book is not a traditional story about princesses? What visual clues on the cover of the book confirm this fact?
2. Talk about other princess-themed books you’ve read at home and in the classroom. How is this book similar yet very different? 
3. What does it mean to be a "princess?" Can a girl be a princess sometimes but not all the time? Is it okay to be a girl and not want to be a princess? Why or why not? 
4. Why does each princess keep a sparkly crown on her head throughout the story, even when she is doing something decidedly “un-princess-like?”
5. Talk about "traditional girl" and "traditional boy" roles and views in our society. How does this book go against those traditional thoughts? 
6. Not All Princesses Dress in Pink proves that girls can freely pursue many different interests – in fact, they can do anything they set their mind to doing. If you are a girl, how is this true in your life? 
7. This book sends a strong message that everyone should be true to themselves. What does this mean? And why is this important? 
8. There are many real princesses who play sports, like some of the girls in Not All Princesses Dress in Pink. Princess Anne of Great Britain has been on the British Olympic Equestrian team. Princess Charlene was an Olympic swimmer from South Africa; and even recent Princess Kate Middleton played field hockey when she was in high school. After considering all this and looking at all of the different princesses depicted in the book, which princess is most like you, or another girl you know well? 


1. Host a "girl power" day in your classroom! Some ideas: Have your students find out more about notable successful girls today in the fields of sports and entertainment; have them research and celebrate important women in today's world, and from the past; invite a local female politician or businesswoman to speak to your class; ask the girls in your class to brainstorm even more ideas!
2. Interests and activities – yours, mine or ours? Many boys and girls share the same interests and activities. For example, both can play soccer, and both can play the violin. Make a list of all of the activities, hobbies and interests of each of your students. Then, graph or chart which interests overlap, and which do not. Are the results surprising to your students? Why or why not? 
3. What are princesses really like? Have your students find out more about the real princesses in the world today, and compare them to the princesses of the past. Do these princesses only wear pink, or are they more like the princesses found in this book?  

This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

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