Talespinner Productions

About Judy!



Judy Nichols is a full-time storyteller and puppeteer with a Masters Degree in Library Science. 

With more than 40 years’ storytelling experience, Judy has a large repertoire of folk, literary, personal, and original tales.  She is comfortable with audiences ranging from preschoolers to elders, and she has performed in a variety of settings for audiences, large and small.   

A popular workshop leader for adults, Judy also teaches storytelling, creative writing, and puppetry in elementary-high schools.  

Judy is the author of Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds (American Library Association, 2007), and she has produced three storytelling audiocassettes.







Professional Experience     Education     Publications     Performing Artist     Artist-in-Residence / Student Educator


Adult Educator     Consultant     Honors and Accomplishments     Association Memberships     Continuing Education



Contact          Photo Gallery          Merchandise          Schedule          Bibliographies          Home          Teaching Tools

Satisfied Clients     Performance Information



Professional Experience  To Index

1996-Present; 1984-1987.  Self Employed.   Professional storyteller, author, puppeteer, and consultant, presenting performances, school and library residencies, workshops, and library-related research.  Owner of Talespinner Productions, producer of storytelling performances and workshops, audiotapes, puppets, and story-ornaments.

1996 to Present.  Artist-in-Residence.  Master Teaching Artist with Arts Partners, Wichita.

2006 to Present.  Artist-in-Residence.  Teaching Artist with Kansas Wolf Trap Early Learning through the Arts. 

Wichita Public Library

Wichita, Kansas

1989-1996.  Coordinator of Youth Services.  Responsible for staff selection and training, programming, services and materials’ collections, in twelve locations, for infants through high school youth and their parents, community educators, and care-givers.
OTHER LIBRARY EXPERIENCE:  Waco Independent School District, Waco, Texas (1986); Decatur Public Library, Decatur, Illinois (1981-1983); Wichita Public Library Branch Services, Wichita, Kansas (1973-1980), and Elkhart Public Library, Elkhart, Indiana (1968-1972).

Nancy Renfro Studios

Austin, Texas

1985-1989.  Workshop Leader and Consultant.   Created and presented puppetry workshops throughout the U.S.


Education  To Index

Emporia State University, School of Library and Information Science

Emporia, Kansas  1982.  Master of Library Science.

Wichita State University

Wichita, Kansas  1980.  Bachelor of General Studies, Magna Cum Laude.


Publications  To Index

Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds.  Book

      3rd ed.  American Library Association, 2007.

Tales from the Heart.  CDTalespinner Productions, 2006.

Once Upon a Time...  Fun with Favorite Folk Tales.  CD. Talespinner Productions, 2006.

Christmas Tales.  Audiotape.  Talespinner Productions, 1997.

Story-Ornaments.  Christmas ornaments packaged with stories.  Talespinner Productions, 1996-1998.

Sock Puppets (with how-to booklet).  Talespinner Productions, 1998.


Performing Artist  To Index

Stanley Elementary Assembly.  (Grades PreK-5).  Reading Week Celebration.  Wichita, Kansas.  May 2007.

Harry Street Elementary Assembly.  (Grades 2-4).  Storybook Adventures Culmination.  Wichita, Kansas.  May 2007. 

Once-Upon-a-Puppet, Emerson Elementary School.  (2nd graders).  Traditional Fairy Tales.  Wichita, Kansas.  May 2007.

Johnson County Community College, CLEAR Program. (Adults with Disabilities).  Storytelling Celebration.  Overland Park, Kansas.  April 2007. 

Argentine Public Schools. (Grades K-5).  Storytelling Celebration.  Kansas City, Kansas.  April 2007.

Argentine Branch, Johnson County Library.  (PreK-Grade 3).  Storytelling Celebration.  Kansas City, Kansas.  April 2007. 

Brighton Gardens Retirement Center.  (Elders and 3rd graders).  Storytelling Celebration.  Shawnee Mission, Kansas.  April 2007.

Antioch Branch, Johnson County Public Library.  (Families, Preschoolers, & ESOL Adults).  Storytelling Celebration.  Shawnee Misson, Kansas.  April 2007.

Kansas City Plaza Library.  (Families).  Storytelling Celebration.  Kansas City, Missouri.  April 2007. 

Colvin Elementary, Camp Read-a-Lot. (Families).  3 performances.  Wichita, Kansas.  April 2007. 

Once-Upon-a-Puppet, White Elementary School.  (2nd grades).  Same Tale, Different World: Folktales with Similar Motifs from Two Cultures.  Wichita, Kansas.  April 2007.

McConnell Air Force Base Library, National Library Week. (Families).  Wichita, Kansas.  April, 2007.

Once-Upon-a-Puppet, Lewis Elementary School.  (Families).  Traditional Fairy Tales.  Wichita, Kansas.  March 2007.

McCandless Elementary Assemblies.  (Grades K-5).  RIF Celebration.  Hutchinson, Kansas.  February 2007.

Once-Upon-a-Puppet, Cottonwood Elementary School.  (1st grades).  Traditional Fairy Tales.  Andover, Kansas.  February 2007.

Parents As Teachers, Art from the Heart.   (Families).  Stories for Babies and Toddlers.  Wichita, Kansas.  February 2007.

Enterprise Elementary.   (Grades PreK-5 and families).  Winter Stories.  In partnership with Aaron Fowler.  Wichita, Kansas.  December 2006.

Pulse Systems Inc. Christmas Party.  (Families).  Wichita, Kansas.  December 2006. 

Adams Elementary Puppet Show.  (Kindergarten classes).  Once Upon a Puppet - Traditional Folktales.  Wichita, Kansas.  December 2006.

Swaney Elementary.  (Grades PreK-5).  Children’s Book Week Assembly.  Derby, Kansas.  November 2006.

Chisholm Trail Elementary.   (Grades PreK-2).  Storytelling with Puppets.  Park City, Kansas.  October 2006.

Peterson Elementary.  (Grades PreK-5).  Character Education Assembly:  Responsibility.  Wichita, Kansas.  October 2006.

Haysville Public Library.  (Families).  Critter Tales.  Haysville, Kansas.  July 2006.

McPherson Public Library.  (Families).  Critter Tales.  McPherson, Kansas.  June 2006.

OASIS:  Wichita Homeless Children Summer Project.  (Grades K-4).  Wichita, Kansas.  June 2006.

Derby Public Library.  (Families).  Critter Tales.  Derby, Kansas.  June 2006.

Orchard Park Branch Library.  (Families).  Critter Tales.  Wichita, Kansas.  June 2006.

Jim & Cindy Tours, Grandparents’ Mystery Tour.  (Families).  Hutchinson, Kansas.  June 2006.

Mulvane Public Library, Summer Reading Kick-Off.  (Families).  Critter Tales.  Mulvane, Kansas.  June 2006.

Robinson Middle School Assembly.  (Grades 6-8).  Literacy Week.  Wichita, Kansas.  May 2006.

Allen Elementary.  (Grades PreK-1).  Puppet-Telling Tales.  Wichita, Kansas.  May 2006.

Mother’s Day Tea.  (Families).  Tales of Mothers and Daughters.  Wichita, Kansas.  May 2006.

Harry Street Elementary Assembly.  (Grades PreK-5 and families).  Tales of Bullies.  Wichita, Kansas.  May 2006.

Kansas City Area Storytelling Celebration.  (Featured Teller).  March 2006. 

Hyde Elementary. (Grades K-1).  Asian Tales.  Wichita, Kansas.  March 2006.

Enterprise Elementary Assembly.  (Grades PreK-5 and families).  Stories of Tolerance.  March 2006.

Cowboy Music and Poetry Festival, Emcee.  (Adults)   Wichita, Kansas.  January 2006.

McConnell Air Force Base Library. (Families).  Christmas Stories.  Wichita, Kansas.  December 2005.

Tellabration! 2005.  (Adults).  Wichita, Kansas.  November 2005.

Robinson Middle School Assembly.  (Grades 6-8).  Dias de los Muertos : Days of the Dead.  Wichita, Kansas.  November 2005.

Hutchinson Public Library.  (Families).  Spooky Tales.  Hutchinson, Kansas.  October 2005.

Irving Elementary.  (Grades K-2).  Rhyme Time:  Stories and Nursery Rhymes.  Wichita, Kansas.  October 2005.

Pretty Prairie Public Library.  (Families).  Dragon Tales.  Pretty Prairie, Kansas.  August 2005.

Crane’s Museum and Shoppes.   (Families).  Dragon Tales.  Williamsburg, Missouri.  July 2005.

Callaway County Public Library.   (Families).  Dragon Tales.  Fulton, Missouri.  July 2005.

Little Flowers School and Daycare.   (Preschoolers).  Dragon Tales.  New Bloomfield, Missouri.  July 2005.

Columbia Public Library.   (Families).  Dragon Tales.  Columbia, Missouri.  July 2005.

Southern Boone County Public Library.   (Families).  Dragon Tales.  Ashland, Missouri.  July 2005.

Haysville Public Library.   (Families).  Dragon Tales.  Wichita, Kansas.  July 2005.

McConnell Air Force Base Library.   (Families).  Dragon Tales.  Wichita, Kansas.  July 2005.

Great Plains Nature Center.  (Families).  Nature Stories.  Wichita, Kansas.  January-August 2005.

Cheney Public Library Summer Reading Celebration. (Families).  Dragon Tales.  Cheney, Kansas.  June 2005.

Robinson Middle School assemblies.  (Grades 6-8).  Literacy Week Performances.  May 2005. 

Wichita River Festival, Children’s Stage.  (Families).  Wichita, Kansas.  May 2005.

Curtis Middle School. (Grades 6-8).  Cinco de Mayo celebration.  Wichita, Kansas.  May 2005.

Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, Maple Woods Community College.   Performances at:  Francis Child Development Center, Park Hill school district, Johnson County libraries, and Good Samaritan Retirement Home.  April 2005. 

Enterprise Elementary Assembly. (Grades PreK-5 and families).  In performance with 3rd graders and Aaron Fowler.  Wichita, Kansas.  April 2005. 

Vesper Society Banquet, First Mennonite Church.  (Adults).  Nurturing Stories.  Pretty Prairie, Kansas.  April 2005.

Allen Elementary. (PreK-5th grade assemblies)  Overland Trails’ Stories.  Wichita, Kansas.  March 2005.

Linwood Elementary. (Grade 2).  Sharing the Limelight:  Storytelling with Puppets.  Wichita, Kansas.  February 2005. 

Wintertales Storytelling Festival, Tales and Pails.  Emcee and performer.  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  February 2005. 

Emerson Elementary. (Grades 3-5).  Introduction to Puppets and Storytelling with Them.  Wichita, Kansas.  January 2005.

McCollom Elementary, Red Ribbon Week Assemblies. (Grades K-5).  Stories with Character:  Self-Discipline.  Wichita, Kansas.  January 2005.

Cleaveland Elementary Assembly.  (Grades 2-3).  Kansas Stories.  Wichita, Kansas.  January 2005.     To Index


Artist-in-Residence / Student Educator  To Index

McCollom Elementary, Gifted Classes. (Grades 1-5).  Douglas Avenue Sculptures:  Public Art Tour and Introduction.  Wichita, Kansas.  May, 2007. 

Harry Street Elementary, 3rd grades.  Storybook Adventures:  Storytelling and Creative Writing in partnership with songwriter Aaron Fowler.  Wichita, Kansas.  April-May, 2007.

Wolf Trap Residency, Cottonwood Elementary PreK Special Ed. – Ages 4 to 5.  Andover, Kansas.  April-May 2007.

Wolf Trap Residency, Sunflower Elementary PreK– Ages 4 to 5.  Andover, Kansas.  April-May 2007.

Wolf Trap Residency, Colvin Elementary PreK – Ages 4 to 5.  Wichita, Kansas.  February-April 2007.

Wolf Trap Residency, Wichita Collegiate PreK Music – Ages 4 to 5.  Wichita, Kansas.  February-April 2007.  Wichita, Kansas. 

Enterprise Elementary, 3rd grades.   Storybook Adventures:  Storytelling and Creative Writing in partnership with songwriter Aaron Fowler.  Wichita, Kansas.  January-February 2007.

Wolf Trap Residency, The Opportunity Project Preschool: 3 classes – Ages 2½ to 5.  Wichita, Kansas.  September-December 2006.

Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, Maplewoods Community College, Grades 2-4.  Do Tell!  A Hands-On Storytelling Workshop for Kids.  Kansas City, Missouri.  March 2006.

Harry Street Elementary, 3rd grades.  Storybook Adventures:  Storytelling and Creative Writing in partnership with songwriter Aaron Fowler.  Wichita, Kansas. January-May, 2006. 

Enterprise Elementary, 3rd grades.  Storybook Adventures:  Storytelling and Creative Writing in partnership with songwriter Aaron Fowler.  Wichita, Kansas.  January-March, 2006. 

Harry Street Elementary, 3rd grades.  Storybook Adventures:  Storytelling and Creative Writing in partnership with songwriter Aaron Fowler.  Wichita, Kansas.  March 2005.

Spaght Accelerated Learning Magnet, 3rd grades.  Talking Trash:  Making and Using Puppets Made from Recycled Items.  Wichita, Kansas.  March 2005.

Buckner Performing Arts Magnet, 4th grades.  Storytelling and Retelling based on Fairytales, and Creative Writing of Fractured Fairytales, in partnership with songwriter Aaron Fowler.  Wichita, Kansas.  February 2005. 

Enterprise Elementary, 3rd grades.  Storybook Adventures:  Storytelling and Creative Writing in partnership with songwriter Aaron Fowler  Wichita, Kansas.  January 2005. 


Adult Educator  To Index

Professional Development Workshop for Artists, Arts Partners.  Yes You Can! Storytelling Workshop.  Wichita, Kansas.  January 2007.

Hawaii State Library Workshops.   (Children’s Librarians and Library School Students).  Programs for the Youngest Child:  Lapsit and Toddler Storytimes and Sharing the Limelight: Storytimes with Puppets.  Wichita, Kansas.  January 2007. 

USD259 Professional Development, 3-day seminar.  (Library Media, Art, Music & Physical Education Teachers).   Storytelling:  Team Planned Programs.  Wichita, Kansas.  December 2006.*

Arts Partners Professional Development.  (Area Teachers and Artists).  Character Education through Storytelling.  Wichita, Kansas.  November 2006.*

Arts Partners Professional Development.  (Area Elementary-High School Teachers).  Public Art as Writing Prompts.  Wichita, Kansas.  October 2006.*

Harry Street Elementary School Professional Development. (Gr. 3 & Specials Teachers).  Storytelling and Creative Writing.  Wichita, Kansas.  December 2005.

USD259 Professional Development.  (PreK Teachers).  Stories, Fingerplays, and Puppets, in partnership with Amy Woolf.  Wichita, Kansas.  November 2005.*

USD259 Professional Development.  (Elementary Specials Teachers).  Stories, Puppets, and Masks in Libraries and Art Classrooms, in partnership with Pam Lamont.  Wichita, Kansas.  November 2005.*

Wichita Head Start, Kaleidoscope of Literacy.  (Early Childhood Educators).  Sharing the Limelight:  Puppets and Preschoolers.  Wichita, Kansas.  August 2005.

Arts Partners Early Childhood InstituteWiggles, Words, and Wonderful Sounds:  Books, Puppets and Songs, in partnership with Amy Woolf and Elaine Bernstorf.  Wichita, Kansas.  July 2005.*

Maple Woods Community College Storytelling Celebration.  (Park Hill School District professional development for teachers, media specialists, and public librarians).  Storytelling with Puppets.  Kansas City, Missouri.  April 2005.  

Arts Partners Continuing Education Workshop.  Yes You Can:  Storytelling in Classroom and Libraries.  Wichita, Kansas.  April 2005.

USD259 Professional Development, PreK Teachers.  Join Right In:  Participation Stories and Creative Dramatics.  Wichita, Kansas.  April 2005.

•  Continuing Education or College Credit classes.


Consultant  To Index

One Book Kansas.  Reading Aloud Event.  Wichita, Kansas.  2007-present.

The Opportunity Project.  Early Childhood Education and Enrichment Program.  Program development and trainer.  Wichita, Kansas.  2003-present. 

USD 259 Cable Channel 20, Arts @ Work.  Arts-in-education cable TV program.  Program development and featured performer.  Wichita, Kansas.  October 2000-present.

Arts Partners.  Artist recruitment, trainer, and mentor.  Wichita, Kansas.  1998-present. 

Trees for Life.  Program development, trainer, and creative resource.  1996-present.


Honors and Accomplishments  To Index

SCBWI-Kansas Wichita Network Leader.  2006-Present.

Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts Certification.  Teaching Artist.  2006-Present.

National Storytelling Conference, Regional Concert Director.  Oklahoma City, OK.  July 2005.

Host, Arts @ Work, Cable Channel TV Show.  Wichita, KS.  2004-Present.

Arts 4 Learning website, featured arts-in-education residency.  2003-Present. 

Arts Partners.  Resident Artist.  Wichita, Kansas.  1997-Present.

Beta Phi Mu, International Library Honor Society.   Member, 1982-Present.


Association Memberships  To Index

National Storytelling Network.   1983-Present.

Puppeteers of America.  1986-Present.

National Association for the Education of Young Children.  2006-Present.

Prairiewind Storytellers.  Wichita, Kansas.  Charter member, 1989-Present.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  1997-Present.

Kansas Writers Association.   2004-Present.


Continuing Education  To Index

SCBWI-Iowa City Writing Conference.  October 2006.

SCBWI-Kansas City Writing Conference.  September 2006.

Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts.  Certification training.  July 2006.


References  Available upon request.



What People Are Saying

Your] rapport with audience was amazing, they really connected with you and your stories.   I liked best, watching the group ‘listen’ to you.  Where we were sitting we had almost the same view of the group as you.  The audience was amazed at your talent.” 

Program Chair,

AAUW Christmas Party

“I was surprised at Judy’s ability to captivate the children by telling a story without any pictures or props!” 

Child Advocate,

Women’s Crisis Center

“You grabbed the audience right away.  We can always tell if the residents like a performance by how many leave and by additional people that come after ‘testing’ the show by listening from overhead floors.  You had a great turn out!” 

Activities Director,

Retirement Residence



“One of the best storytellers we have had.  It was a great program.” 

High School Teacher



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