Loading...
Browsing Tag

Storytelling

004 The Troll Ride

A girl’s clever sewing saves her from a magician, 

a groom almost misses his own wedding, 

a grandmother leaves her granddaughter an unusual quest.


Storypoem: The Golden Thread (a retelling of Anna Wahlenberg’s “The Magician’s Cape”)

Folk Tale: The Troll Ride (a retelling of Anna Wahlenberg’s “The Troll Ride”)

Rec. Read: “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry,” by Frederik Backman*


*this book isn’t written for kids, but apart from some mild swearing and some scary moments, I think it’s kid-kosher. If you’re unsure, please read it yourself before sharing with the kids in your life. It’s certainly no scarier than most of my beloved books by Roald Dahl!

Images are Symbols

How to draw my cat, Per.

I just realized that for me, drawings are symbols / touchstones / hieroglyphs– they don’t tell all of the story, that’s what the words do.

Not only that, but they don’t have to show all of the story / information, either!

Here’s some insightful mirroring from my dear friend, Kelsi:

Don’t do realistic! Your gift is making the fantastical seem more real/relevant/truthful than Reality.

And a great example from Tom Gauld’s Instagram:

(He cartoons for the New Yorker, so clearly he’s not the only person who believes illustration doesn’t need to be photo-realistic to have value).

What I have always loved about oral storytelling is that I get to give suggestions of the characters, setting, lighting. The listener fills in the rest– which produces an experience better than any movie because it is collaborative, because the listener is making their own Magic.

This is my job. This expression is a touchstone and a doorway to someone else.

Why on earth would a picture book be any different? Leave space for the reader’s Magic. (And don’t sweat the details).

How to Give Creative Feedback

A friend just joined a writing group an mentioned that feedback can feel so personal. Here’s what I told her:

Writing groups can be so tricky, I think, because English classes teach us that the way to give feedback is through pointing out the problems, but that can be stifling in the early creative stages of a project.

If I’m at the very end or am stuck then I totally want someone to just tell me how to cut it up, but if it’s in a younger stage that feels so harsh and generally not useful.

I have always liked the 4 step feedback method I learned from storytelling coach Doug Lipman. It’s up to the writer/receiver how far to go in the steps. Even if you only do the first one it’s really helpful to hear from multiple people what they like about the story.
*First: reader says specific things they like (might be plot element, language, imagery, tone, etc)
*Second: writer asks questions of the reader (ie, Was it clear that 1 year had passed? What did the main character look like to you?)
*Third: reader asks questions (ie, What feeling for you want the reader to have at the end? How old is the main character?) This step can be tricky because readers want to give suggestions but phrase them as questions.
*Fourth: reader gives suggestions; I think phrasing them as “what ifs” is best (What if you start with a flashback? I think you can cut the part about the dog).

1: The Sad Tale of the Delicious Pancake

Watch what you say, or your pancake might just run away! This Norwegian folktale is cousin to “The Gingerbread Man.”

This episode’s story poem is “If You Are Lost in a Troll Wood.” The reading recommendation is “Ronia the Robber’s Daughter,” by Astrid Lindgren.

Animal Tales tours the Arrowhead

Are you in Northern Minnesota? I hope you can join me for one of these free shows! (And bring your friends).

How did Turtle get cracks in its shell? Why do dogs sniff each other’s tails? Why does Bear hibernate all winter long? Kids and families will love finding out the answers with these interactive folktales from around the world.

This program, sponsored by Arrowhead Library System, was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. 

https://www.alslib.info/animal-tales-of-why-and-how-rose-arrowsmith-decoux/