Storycraft Publishing with Vivian Dubrovin
Most of the storytelling "how-to" books are written for adults, so it was with interest that I received a package of materials intended for young storytellers. The two books and newsletter are all the work of storyteller Vivian Dubrovin.
Storytelling For The Fun Of It; A Handbook For Children by Vivian Dubrovin. Storycraft Publishing, 1994, 518.45 142p. ISBN 0-9638339-0-1
Create Your Own Storytelling Stories 1995 $14.50 ISBN 0-9638339-1-x
Junior Storyteller Newsletter
Storytelling For The Fun of It was awarded the Best Children's Nonfiction Award from the Colorado Independent Publishers association. The book is attractive and inviting to young readers, whom I guess would be between 8 and 12 years old. Four sections cover an intro to storytelling, how to find stories to tell, how to tell, and creating storytelling opportunities.
Create Your Own Storytelling Stories encourages children to look to their own lives and families for inspiration in creating stories. It is set up with journal sections so that readers can respond in writing to the many suggestions and guides to story creation.
The Junior Storyteller Newsletter issues that I received were well designed, 8 pages long, and contained some of the same ideas as the books, but many new ideas as well. There was a game in one issue, a recipe to accompany a story in another, guidelines for starting a storytelling club, and original stories in several issues. Ideas abound in all of Dubrovin's works, and many of them are very good ideas. I would have liked to see more specific examples of how to implement some of them.
For example, in Storytelling For The Fun of It, there is a section on religious stories in which it is suggested that a story can be modified to explain its meaning. The example given is Noah's ark, which, Dubrovin says, can be told to emphasize Noah's obedience, the concern for preservation of the animals, or could focus on the rainbow. Those suggestions would be enough for adult storytellers, but young people would benefit from brief examples of how the story might begin in each of those instances.
In addition to more detail, the other thing I wished for was more careful editing. There were more than a few errors which got past spell check because they were correct spellings, but not in the given instance.
There are more than enough ideas in these materials to get kids going on their own, and many ideas could be fleshed out by adults who might assist them. The book on creating stories works in such a way that it helps kids with creative writing as well as storytelling. Both books are available at discount rates for quantity orders by clubs, classes, or workshops.
The Second Story Review, Vol 1, No. 1, March 1996