Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Recently a New York Times article mentioned that the sales on picture books are down. The explanation they received from editors and educators was that parents are now pushing their children to move on to chapter books. The rational being that children are more advanced when reading without pictures. If this is true the pressure to excel is taking the joy out of learning. Picture books can be the first introduction to art for young people. They feed young children senses and spark their imagination. Children can make up their own story; they learn verbal and observational skills, and the joy of art and color. They can also learn to read and discover some amazing facts. I can’t imagine a childhood without picture books. Reading is important and so is art so why can’t we have both. Maybe, now we need to have a “Read A Picture Book Month” to remind parents to keep the fun in learning. Picture books are good for the soul.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving Day! and may everyone have wonderful family stories to share this holiday.
Return to Children's Focus
It was intense watching this life and death battle. At one point I thought, My! this cub is even more stubborn than our little people. In my family we have super animated children. They have all inherited very strong and determined personalities. So watching the fight that this mother seal put up hit a strong inner note with me. We are not alone even the animal kingdom has some uncooperative babies. The mother with all her awkwardness finally won the battle, with some force she toppled her little one on its’ back and he finally decided to head back to the sand with his mother.
Unfortunately, some mama seals were a little too lax with their parenting skills and allowed their cubs to wonder off alone to the shore. We watched the Orca scoop them up and disappear. By the time the mothers made it down to the shore there was nothing left of their progeny. They peered out into the ocean and I can only imagine what their thoughts were.
I never thought of storytelling as an art until I attended a storytelling conference and heard Laura Simms perform. She is definitely a gifted performer. Since then Laura has become a master storyteller performing traditional stories interwoven with personal narratives for adults and families throughout the world.
She has also offered master classes for those interested in developing the craft of storytelling. I remember once she had organized a trip to explore and hear the stories of Morocco. It sounded so exotic and fascinating to me, and was at the top of my wish list. Unfortunately, I was not able to go. Now she is offering The Storytelling Mentorship Program which is described as a storytelling journey. She will help individuals prepare and develop a "traditional" story of their choice. So now I have something else to add to my wish list. To find out more about her workshops and see her perform visit her website at www.laurasimms.com/