Monday, August 27, 2012

Kamishibai under the trees: Book Week 2012

Now this was a great day at the office.

It began with telling stories under the trees off the back of my bike. These are some new Kamishibai cards I've made using paper cut outs.

Following on from the busking I was invited to talk to senior students about my experiences working on the Canterbury Tales.

August and September is a wonderful time for storytellers in Melbourne as books and literature are celebrated at the Melbourne Writers Festival and throughout Children's Book Week.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lyrebird! a true story. Coming soon ... November 2012

Coming soon... in November 2012

Lyrebird! a true story
‘Well heavens to Betsy! ..
You’re no ordinary chook!’

When Edith met a cheeky young lyrebird on her garden path, she could not guess that he would one day be known as ‘A Miracle of the Dandenongs’.
Soon, James the lyrebird was singing and dancing for Edith, mimicking the birdsongs and other sounds that echoed through the bush. Word of their friendship spread and people travelled from near and far to film and record James. But with people came change ...

This is a true story, retold and beautifully illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe, celebrating a remarkable friendship between a gardener and one of Australia’s most extraordinary birds.
Published by Museum Victoria, 2012.

You can see archival footage of Lyrebird James in this short film version of the story made in collaboration with Malcolm McKinnon.

I never do anything in a hurry and this book is no exception. In the process of putting this story together, I’ve enjoyed many hours in the State Library, trips into the Dandenongs to observe Lyrebirds in display, visited gardens and interviewed many gardeners. You are too numerous to thank individually but I hope that in the coming months I will see you all again and I can share the book with you.

Visit Lyrebird! a true story and enjoy some beautiful photographs and the story behind the story.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Human Library. Special National Year of Reading event Saturday 25 August 2012

pictured: Some of the Human Books you can meet on the day. L - R Vinayak Hase, Ray Collins, Jasna Dolic, Ravi Stocks, Mariam Issa. Their stories are transcendent, inspiring, funny and moving and they are all true.

This week I had the pleasure and privilege of  
sharing my storytelling skills and working alongside Springvale Library in setting up their inaugural Human Library. Initially known as the Living Libraries, the concept developed in Denmark in 2000 and since then the idea has spread to over 45 countries. The central concept behind the Human Library is the strengthening of local communities through conversation.

Read about Human Libraries and be inspired. The Australian website provides resource kits along with everything you need to know to establish a Human Library in you area.

So ... come to Springvale and borrow a person not a book, for a conversation like no other.  Each ‘human book’ will have six, twenty minute sessions open to the public. Book a session with your chosen book and discover their life history. If you don’t know what to ask - sample questions will be provided on the day. 
Don’t worry if you miss out this time because there will be more human library events throughout the year.

Launch event: 3pm
Session 1:  4 - 5.30pm
Session 2:  6 - 7.30pm

Bookings essential: Book online here
phone: 1300 630 920

Springvale Library: 411 Springvale Road, Springvale (Mel Ref 79 K11) 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Grimm Reminder with Matteo, JJ and Julia. 4 August 2012

pic: JJ Sheills and Matteo introducing A Grimm Reminder

A Grimm Reminder started out as a set of stories to celebrate 200 years since the first edition of Children's and Household Tales. With storytelling mates, Matteo and JJ Sheills, we presented our first Reminder in Belgrave Library and then moved on to Emerald for the PAVE Festival. It was always our hope that other tellers would join us as we moved about. At Mentone Public Subscription Library Julia Reichstein joined us with a very entertaining version of Rumpelstiltskin.  

Hopefully there will be more Grimm Reminders before the year is out. I've had a wonderful 2012 working with Chaucer (Canterbury Tales) and the Grimm anthologies. These stories are so engrained in our imaginations, we  (well ...I know I do ) tend to take them for granted.

pic: Julia Reichstein thinking about straw and its potential to be transformed into gold!


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