Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thank heavens for Folktales

Last night's Story Swap at Godfrey Daniels was so much fun.  The usual suspects trotted out great stories.  I told Singing Together from one of Margaret Read MacDonald's collections.  My little camcorder died with storytelling videos trapped inside.  Technology is a blessing and a CURSE!!!!

I so wanted to share Bob Heffelfinger's version of Jack and the Beanstalk - funny and fun!, Tom Egan's convincing first attempt at an Irish accent with "The Hag's Brown Leather Bag" and Ingrid Bohn's engrossing telling of "The Acorn Tree'.  I didn't catch Gerry's story, "Brian Anderson", about passing a good deed along, or Joe's dramatic retelling of a Jack London story because I forgot I had the camcorder in my bag.  (So sad to have an older brain.) That is the reason I missed Chaz Kiernan's version of the Scandinavian story, "The Great White Cat".  Every time Chaz tells this story it gets better and better.

Next month, LV Storyteller members will audition for the opening slot at StoryFUSION during the Story Swap.  We are talking powerful and talented tellers trotting out their best stuff for FREE.  You have to be there.  The date should be February 8th.  I'll remind you.

Has anyone else noticed how many novels for young people include folktales and stories?  In Joanne Rocklin's The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook, the main character helps her younger brother deal with their elderly cat's illness by telling stories of the cat's five former lives.  The stories reflect what is going in their lives and help the reader understand the family and neighborhood dynamics.  The storytelling tradition was one the kids learned from their deceased Dad and it even included a trade mark gesture that signaled that a story was about to begin.  I LOVED this! The book comes out in the Spring, so put it on your to-read list.

Books like Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, Cinder by Marissa Meyer and last year's  A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz all owe their existence to fairy tales and folklore.  I love the little heading on Marissa Meyer's blog.  "It always starts with 'Once upon a time....'.  Yes, it does.

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