Celia Lottridge - A World of Stories

Celia Lottridge

Storytelling has been woven through my life, starting in my childhood when my parents told stories about their early lives. I read every collection of fairy tales I could get my hands on and it seemed to me that these stories should be told aloud. Luckily I had a younger sister who was happy to listen. Later I became a children's librarian (in San Diego) and teacher-librarian (in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island) and told stories in those jobs, but it was not until I moved to Toronto in 1975 that I met other people who seriously called themselves storytellers.

In Toronto I was lucky enough to be one of the seven who founded The Storytellers School of Toronto, now Storytelling Toronto, and went on to tell in festivals and at schools and libraries across the country. I have taught many courses for Storytelling Toronto. Katherine Grier and I built on the work of Joan Bodger to develop The Parent-Child Mother Goose Program that continues to offer parents and their young children in many communities the chance to become immersed in oral rhymes and stories.

I was at the first meeting of what became Storytellers of Canada-Conteurs du Canada, was secretary for several years and received the first Storykeeper Award and also was named StorySave teller for 2014.

I have written books for children and adults including retellings of folktales and novels, some based on the stories my parents told about growing up on the Canadian prairies and in Persia.

All of this because I love nothing better than the told story.

My books that are in print include:

  • The Name of the Tree, illustrated by Ian Wallace. Groundwood, 1989. An African folktale
  • Ten Small Tales, Folktales from Around the World. illustrated by Joanne Fitzgerald. Groundwood, 1993. 
  • Stories from Adam and Eve to Ezekiel, retold from the Bible, illustrated by Gary Clement. Groundwood. 2004
  • Stories from the Life of Jesus, retold from the Bible, illustrated by Linda Wolfsgruber. Groundwood, 2004
  • One Watermelon Seed, illustrated by Karen Patkau, Fitzhenry, 1986. A picture book
  • Ticket to Curlew. Groundwood, 1992. A novel
  • Wings to Fly, Groundwood, 1997. A novel
  • Home is Beyond the Mountains, Groundwood, 2009. A novel
  • The Listening Tree. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 2010. A novel
  • Telling Tales: Storytelling in the Family, with Gail deVos and Merle Harris, University of Alberta Press, 2003
  • You Can Tell a Story, A Handbook for New Storytellers, The Parent-Child Mother Goose Program, 2002

About the Recordings

Like all storytellers I tell the stories I love. The stories on these recordings reflect three streams of stories are especially important to me.

Persian stories: My mother lived her early life in western Persian. Her real-life stories and folk tales from Persia have always been especially alive for me. I have recorded examples of both.

Prairie stories: The prairies are woven through my family history. My father spent his growing years on a farm in Alberta around the time of WWI. His stories of those times were full of joy as well as hardship. And I have found other prairie stories to include.

Russian wonder tales: These have appealed to me since my early storytelling days because of the strong sense of the land and the presence of powerful mythical creatures who dwell there. I have recorded four of my favourites.

To purchase a copy of this CD, please visit the CD's page in the SC-CC Shop.

StorySave wishes to acknowledge support from the Ontario Arts Council in the production of this album. 

Story recordings

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