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Friday, October 23, 2015

Professional Pick: The Handbook for Storytellers

The Handbook for Storytellers
by Judy Freeman and Caroline Feller Bauer
ALA Editions
394 pages with subject, author and title  indices
ISBN: 9780838911006

The Handbook for Storytellers is a must-have how to book for storytellers.

This handy how-to compendium is  for seasoned storytellers or beginning tale tellers and is bound to become the most highlighted, tagged, bookmarked, post-it noted, and dog-eared well-loved volume on the book shelf. Judy Freeman has left no stone unturned. She has included numerous well-loved and lesser known stories that can be used with children of all ages. Her helpful hints include ideas of using props including kites, textiles, dolls, puzzles and toys. Ideas for gifts for children to take away from an event  include uncooked pasta to remember Strega Nona, dried peas in remembrance of "The Princess and the Pea," or a piece of rope to remember  The Lion & the Mouse.

I was fortunate enough to attend a day-long session where  Freeman."presented" As a presenter, she came equipped with literally thousands of props, books, instruments, artifacts, and odds and ends. Out of seemingly magical trunks, she created an experience for the audience that this educator/librarian will never forget. A child lucky enough to see Freeman perform would be mesmerized. Storytelling is a time honored tradition that should be embraced and practiced in every library, classroom and children's program. There is nothing as magical as listening--truly listening-- to a wild tale and creating that "movie" in one's mind.

Folklore stories and trickster tales, myths, legends, fairy tales, and modern day versions of old tales are included in the book. Freeman also adds "Favorite Stories To Tell"--the favorites selected by Bauer and Freeman out of thousands of books and stories they both have read/learned. These are listed by subject for easier accessibility.  Stories are listed by title, author, and publication and contain a brief synopsis. The indices in the back of the book also allow storytellers to find what they need. The preface by Freeman is a beautiful testament to the two authors' friendship and collaboration. Freeman expresses her love and gratitude for the dynamo she knew as Caroline Feller Bauer. I never met Bauer, but I've seen Judy perform, and it's a gift. If you ever have a chance to attend one of her seminars, you will have a front row seat to something that will change your presentations forever.

I love this book! It will come in handy in any program. My copy already has tons of post-it notes sticking out of it. Post-it note inventor, thank you!

Highly, highly recommended for any librarian, teacher, minister, public speaker, presenter, counselor, well, just about everyone!

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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