Storyteller: The Classic that Heralded America's Storytelling Revival

Storyteller: The Classic that Heralded America's Storytelling Revival by Ramon Royal Ross. 3rd revised ed. Little Rock, AR: August House, 1996. ISBN 0-57483-451-1 (pb) $23.95 224 pp.

There is a harvest to be gathered from storytelling, Ross says; a harvest of closeness, of community, of people enjoying one another. In this book's ten chapters Ross prepares the reader for that harvest by introducing him to story in some of its many guises. The gift of the storyteller, says Ross, is to draw people together through a range of story forms, storytelling here includes folktales, personal stories, migratory stories [urban legends], choral reading, reading aloud, story boards (ie flannel boards) songs, dance, and puppetry.

Ross has a gift for sharing his thoughts in a warm, colloquial style that makes using this book !ike pulling up a chair near the fire and sharing a story with him. The book moves like a rich conversation as he quotes Joseph Campbell here, Maslov there, and recounts an anecdote about Sartre, all the while guiding the reader to discover more and better ways to use stories.
A delight to browse in, the book deserves to be read straight through. It is then that you appreciate how much Ross gives the reader and what a good teacher he must be. He makes excellent use of examples and his own experience to show the reader possibilities, to suggest what has and hasn't worked, and to let him discover for himself what will work best.

Each chapter includes a section headed And If You're A Teacher, with tips specifically aimed at the elementary to middle schooi teacher. Also included in each chapter is a list of activities which extend what ,vas discussed. The activities can be used equally well by the individual teller or, with some adaptations, by teachers in the classroom.

The first edition of this book was published in 1972, and the second in 1980. Unfortunately, none of the libraries in this area have those editions so I am unable to make comparisons, but the publisher tells us that this is updated with a new look, new examples, and current bibliographies. I found the bibliographies to be largely made up of older, classic works, with only a few new (post 1990) titles, but they are good nonetheless. Ross himself says in the preface that he has rewritten every page. Whether you are being guided through the choosing, learning and telling of a folktale, or through the steps of a party dance,you can't help but feel Ross's sincere enthusiasm for storytelling and the benefits it reaps in human interaction. Recommended for libraries, and especially helpful

The Second Story Review, Vol 1, No. 4, December 1996
Mot de passe oublié?