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

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