Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Making a new kamishibai story: La Cucarachita

Three days of indescribable mess and I've finally finished making the cards for a new story for the kamishibai! 

I'm off soon to the International Storytelling Conference in NSW in June, there's the inaugural  Winter Kids Festival in July and then there's  Sweet Tidings at the Immigration Museum ... as if I don't have enough to think about! But I adore this story about the cockroach who falls in love with a mouse; very popular in Spanish speaking countries. I had an excuse to skype my storyteller friend Luis Correia Carmelo in Portugal, as I decided that I must speak some Spanish to go with. This little cockroach is thinking about all the sweet she would like to eat: un helado, un chocolatte ...
And ... um .. there's a pig (cerdo) in the story ...   
I have adapted this traditional story from a version I found in Montgomery Kelly's wonderful book available here

Monday, May 21, 2012

Champions Read: Storyteller for Bookweek 2012

Children's Book Week is the highlight of the year for storytellers and authors. Its a wonderful chance to meet our readers, tell stories and share news of our up and coming projects.

The theme for Book Week is Champions Read. I'm not sure if Phar Lap was great reader but if he was I'm sure he would approve of my story.

When I chose to write about this champion I had no idea how much research was involved and then I decided to write the story in verse! That's a story in itself!

Listen to an interview about the process of writing Phar Lap the wonderhorse and a reading here

Read more about my schools programs here

The Storytelling Garden (03) 9569 6149. 

To purchase  Phar Lap the wonder horse (Illustrated by Patricia Mullins, pub. Museum Victoria): 

My second book Lyrebird! a true story will be out shortly and promises to be another winner.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kamishibai in the UK, Italy and Australia

Here is some news of the international connections in my universe - happening because of Japanese kamishibai. Enjoy ...

At the top of this post is Derek Carpenter from the UK. Derek and I met .. well I don't remember how .. but it was to do with a mutual fascination in kamishibai. In particular, we both share an interest in the idea of swapping and trading stories around the world to boost our repertoire. So we set up the Kamishibai Library of Swaps. Well ... sadly we have not been inundated with folk keen to trade but we've had some fun. You can see Derek on a cold day in Newcastle in the UK with his rig and his story, The Two Brothers. And below is me in Australia on a very hot day, at the Comic Book Festival in Melbourne with the same story. Derek sent me the images as jpegs and I took them to my local printer and there they are!

Here is Roberto Leopardi in Italy. Roberto found me via my website and emailed me some of his adventures. Roberto believes he is currently the only gaito (street) kamishibai in Italy but hopes that some other young street artists are willing to learn. After 20 years of hand puppets, he started  two years ago with the kamishibai and says, 'no puppet show can give me same satisfaction and positive response from kids...' Roberto is currently developing a story about the arrival of the potato from South America to Europe in the 16th century for a local tourist association near Bologna.

You can learn more about Roberto here
and Derek Carpenter here
and of course I am here

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Photos: Canterbury Tales Book Club. Williamstown Literary Festival 2012

For those of you  who have been following the story ...  this group of creatives is (mostly) connected through the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club. Sharing an interest in combining music, storytelling, dance and visual art and seeing the Williamstown Literary Festival on the horizon, they formed the The Canterbury Tales Book Club Project. An advance party approached the Literary Festival committee with a plan to present the results of the Book Club to the public and we were given the green light!. Clear as mud?
Well ... enjoy the pics! We had a fabulous time presenting lectures, re-tellings of some of the favourite Tales, Morris Dancing and songs.

Tales told: The Nun's Priest's Tale, The Miller's Tale and The Pardoner's Tale. Each of the storytellers took on their task in unique ways. Pictured at the top is Bernard Caleo (Nun's Priest's), comic book maker and Kamishibai storyteller. Chaucer would have loved it!

Next pics are my friends Catherine Ryan and Claire Saxby, lecturere and MC
And here is me and Danniel O'Connell - the Pardoner and the Miller 
Finally Simon Leverton - our Musical Director.

Thankyou Williamstown Literary Festival


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