On its way to galleys:
I am a children’s librarian, a storyteller, a voracious reader, a leader of adult book discussions, a folklore book reviewer, and creator of folktale guides.
- If this space can help to get some wonderful, timeless folktales out there and into people’s hands
- If this space can let you know about some tools to help you search for a story to address a certain need
- If this space can generate warm conversation around a storytelling table
Then that’s why it is here.
Find out what’s in The Jewish Story Finder and The East Asian Story Finder – these innovative guides to identifying stories by subject and tracking down their sources. Read how they came to be. Check out quality online resources which point the way to whole stories, tips about storytelling, and storytellers. Join the conversation around the table. I’ll get us started….
Sharing Stories There is a real zing to being able to bring an international array of stories to children from diverse backgrounds. It’s like biting into the first tart McIntosh apple in early fall. The child whose culture is being presented sits a little straighter. And everyone benefits – tolerance and empathy grow – from laughing or holding your breath with a character who may be different from you. This, plus a love for the stories themselves, is what has spurred my Story Finders. Too often the same few tales are told over and over, as if that’s all there is to represent a particular culture. So much more is out there, hidden in collections here and there. I want to help connect people to stories they need.
The new Jewish Story Finder includes a reference to the story “Truth and Parable,” about how much more a lesson will hit home when it is dressed as a story. The Native Americans knew this. Better to tell a story than to lecture. When the Iroquois storyteller would arrive, he was given an honored place by the fire, and whole families gathered round.
Folktales have been handed down through the generations for a reason, to communicate human truths and values. Not all of the stories are for children alone. They may be heard at different levels. You never know which story will speak to someone and bring comfort at the moment she needs it. Perhaps there is illness in the family. This past year I saw a Japanese boy riveted by the West African story of the “Cow-Tail Switch” retold by Harold Courlander, where a father returns from the dead because he has not been forgotten.
Stories for healing, hope, laughter, and resilience. It is my passion and my goal, to get the stories out there for you to share. This Spring 2012, I was invited to participate in Betsy Bird ‘s Global Stories Salon at the New York Public Library. The ending to the award-winning book A Story, A Story, an African tale about Anansi the spider retold by Gail E. Haley, fits here, too: “This is my story which I have related. If it be sweet, or if it be not sweet, take some elsewhere, and let some come back to me.”