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The ancient art of storytelling

July 17, 2010


As a children’s author, I love stories and storytelling.

Right from the beginning our grandson Cameron showed a marked preference for non-fiction books. Whenever his parents took him to the library he would come home with a pile of books that he wanted to share with me, all about the tyre treads of tractors and different vehicles.  In fact I have learned quite a lot through his observations.  I once pointed out with great delight to an adult friend that we were passing an extremely interesting lorry with a double trailer.  She gave me a withering look, but I didn’t care!  I have enjoyed learning about such things.  Even a hole in the road holds a new interest for me.

I knew that my grandson listened to stories at bedtime, but I found it hard to keep his attention when reading what I thought was a lovely story to him in the daytime.  To my chagrin he did not listen to the first story I wrote – “Under Sammy’s Bed” -.  However, fortunately he does enjoy  “Sammy Goes Flying”.  It is seen as exciting. That is good, as it is due to reappear with new illustrations and a pared-down text next year (April 2011).

I wanted to share so many stories with Cameron and at last hit on a strategy.  It was simple really.  I resorted to telling him the old favourites.  I didn’t need a book in my hand. I could do this for example while sitting on a park bench, if he sat down to catch his breath from rushing around.  I discovered that there were many good opportunities for storytelling.

The very best moment I had was when I was re-telling the story of The Little Red Hen.  He looked so concerned that no animal in the farmyard was willing to help her and he asked anxiously  “Can a Boy help?”  I said ‘Yes” and he hurried out of the room, acting out bringing in the sugar, then out again and back with the flour.  The entrance with the eggs was so adorable as this little three year-old walked very slowly and carefully and delivered into my hands some pretend eggs for the pretend cake.

I was very happy to see that there is something enduring about the joy of storytelling and the sharing of moments of imagination.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 20, 2010 9:29 am

    Ahh! There’s something very special about telling children stories. I love the way they snuggle up to you.

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