Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Girls’

Storytelling Starters ~ Tellable tales

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

It’s great to come across a new collection of extremely tellable tales. Girls, Goddesses and Giants by Lari Don (A & C Black) has just this week come into my hands as one of a lovely pile of books I’ve been sent to review for School Librarian magazine. Chris Brown, the magazine’s long-term Books Editor, is just about to retire from that position. He’s done a marvellous job over all of the years. I shall miss him. He always seems to know what books I will value receiving.

Girls, Goddesses & Giants addresses a continuingly important need in stories, namely for strong girl heroines. When I was growing up, I always identified with the young men who were the usual fare in the hero department. Heroines were in shorter supply. Whenever a brave prince was rescuing a kidnapped princess doomed to be sacrificed to a voracious dragon, I became the sword-wielding prince as well as the princess.

Lari Don is not only an author. She’s a practising storyteller too. She has felt the same strong need. And as she says in notes at the back of her book (these include helpful hints on adapting stories to suit your own style), she has felt compelled to satisfy it even while actually being in the middle of telling to an audience of children. The 12 stories in her collection come from all over the world. One of my favourites is a Cameroonian tale, Mbango and the Whirlpool. It brought back to my mind Philip Pullman’s point, made in the interview I quoted a week or two back, that a main reason why children love folktales and fairytales is their belief in justice. They want to see fair play being done. (more…)