Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Lanzarote’

Storytelling Starters ~ Wild is wonderful

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Lanzarote frontWild is wonderful. Wild is the unknown, the unexpected, the uninhibited. Wild places, wild laughing, wild dancing: it’s when you can let yourself go, feel different and free and absolutely part of something else. That’s why Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are retains its appeal as a classic of children’s literature. Child or adult, it draws you in to a world where you can feel the freedom.

And that’s why Where the Wild Things Are has been in my planning for the workshop I will be running today for childcare workers in New Romney in Kent. The idea is to explore the basic importance of engaging children in stories and what it takes to bring about that involvement. Stories told and stories read will both be part of the work: in essence they call on similar techniques including, primarily, a will on the part of the teller or reader to impart the joy of the story.

So that’s why one things I’ll probably do is what I’ve sometimes done before in similar situations – namely read Where the Wild Things Are in Welsh. It’s unlikely anyone else present will understand Welsh. For most participants, the experience is bound to feel strange. Some may feel alienated or excluded – and that, of course, is how some children feel when they’re being read to, especially if no attempt is made to engage them or they don’t know much language yet. Others I hope will feel a bit more engaged when sounds or actions become part of the reading or a finger gently draws attention to aspects of the pictures. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ We’ve all got them!

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

Last week, I was so chilled out – or rather, so warm and relaxed – on holiday on the island of Lanzarote, that I felt I had nothing to say. By today, I’m positively burning to go on about the value of personal links. After all, we’ve all got them in one form or another.

Good days, personal links:

MJ as child cropOne of our best days on Lanzarote involved a visit to an astonishing Cactus Garden. Another was a pilgrimage to the house of José Saramago, the Portuguese writer and Nobel Prize Winner who spent the last 18 years of his life on the island. Both days arose because of personal links, the first because, back here in London, my husband has an amazing collection of cactuses, the second because a very good friend of mine was Saramago’s English translator and, because of her, we have read his books.

Personal links create that extra degree of interest which can make you bother to take journeys, actual and symbolic. I became doubly aware of the truth of that this week when my main task and pleasure has lain in preparing the talk I’m to give next Monday to the Historical Society in St David’s. The society was founded by my father and the link with him is one reason for my sense of anticipation.

Shemi the storyteller (more…)