Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Williamstown Literary Festival. People's Choice Awards 2011: Friday 29 April - Sunday 1 May

Willimstown Literary Festival kicks off this Thursday with the People's Choice Poetry and Prose Awards. This year it will be in the Pirates Tavern.

This is the one event where the folk can step up to the mic and strut their stuff. I'll be mcing along with Michael Reynolds - host of Passionate Tongues, Melbourne longest running poetry open mic at the Brunswick Hotel.

The w/end is packed with over 60 writers in forums, workshops and readings.

Quoting from the last Festival update:

' ...It is only one week to go ...

First, we'd like to give a quick special mention to Ford Street Publishing whose wonderful anthology book Trust Me! includes contributions from 50 of Australia’s best known children’s authors, poets and illustrators. Two of the contributors are Willy Lit Fest guests Andy Griffiths andLeigh Hobbs.

Andy's and Leigh's Willy Lit Fest events plus other sessions aimed at younger readers are listed online on our Kids Events and Youth Events pages...'

The website now has a marvellous blog hosted by Megan Bourke. For updates and suggestions on how to make the most of the weekend: Williamstown Literary Festival Blog. See you there.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Poems Songs Story Times (PSST)

This cd is has been created for the Victorian Government's Young Readers Program produced by Vision Australia in partnership with State Library Victoria.

It is targeted towards the parents and caregivers of the very young but is of course a wonderful resource for those of us storytellers who spend a large portion of our time working in kindergartens, library storytimes, childcare and the early childhood council led programs like Imagination Magic.

Language enrichment in the early years through reading, storytelling, rhymes and songs is without doubt the best way to to prepare children to become strong readers regardless of social or economic circumstances.

There are many storytellers working around Australia who take pride in being able to connect and tell stories to people of all ages. Working with these old rhymes and songs, we are keeping alive oral traditions that date back for centuries. PSST includes the traditional and the contemporary, it is also multi lingual and has some wonderful pieces from little Fellas Big Voices (a Darebin Best Start and Indigenous Reference Group).

PSST can be borrowed from your local library.

Learn more: PSST

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kamishibai in kindergartens

After much practice and reading as much as I could about this storytelling art form, I've been having a ball with older children and family audiences.

Today at last, I finally had the opportunity to try out the kamishibai at a kindergarten.

When I opened the box, you could have heard a pin drop. These 3 - 4 year olds sat through 45 minutes of stories and half of that was kamishibai. They loved the slow reveal of the pictures and the use of character voices. In this story, Ol'Joe's false teeth runaway and steal other people's food. A Jackie Kerin original, I was delighted when it was declared an almost unanimous favourite. The children's visual literacy surprised me. They loved the comic drawings with think bubbles and energy lines and as I began the story with a map of the world, there was a gasp of recognition. As a lover of comics, I found their reaction exciting and will build on this as I work on episode 2: Ol' Joe, Split Dog and the Sock o' Gold.

As I closed the box and put it away, one child was heard to comment, 'she has to do that so the stories don't escape.'

When I studied acting, I didn't imagine I would end up telling stories to such young people but it's a privilege and joy to work with young children - still in the early childhood zone. So curious, so interested in the world and so honest in their relationship to stories.

And finally, as always ... thankyou Ted Smith for making me the kamishibai


Blog Archive