One of the nicest little freebies we attended this weekend was a storytelling/autumn fair for kids. It was a nice event to share the long-standing oral tradition of storytelling. And free is GOOD.
It wasn’t very big, but it had a farmstand and a few arts and crafts vendors. There was an airplane folding competition. Oldest daughter won a trophy for shortest distance. It went out 2 feet forward and three feet back beyond the starting line.
But the highlight of the day was the ‘professional’ storytellers that came to tell the children stories. Some of the storytellers were so-so, partly because their stories weren’t very appealing to children. But they tried.
But some storytellers were really fun. This one was because she told the story of the Wide Mouth Frog with puppets and she exaggerated her words so much for a silly effect.
This one below was one who told the most stories. She was the best of the storytellers as she really got physically got into her stories. You could tell she really enjoyed using her whole body to convey the dramatic effects. She told stories from around the world like Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock…a tale from West Africa with many different versions, Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, a Cuban tale and the Chinese story The Empty Pot.
My favorite was her rendition of Martina The Beautiful Cockroach. Not only was the story cute, but she changed her voice with each character. I can’t find an online version of the story, because I think it’s copyrighted, but a summary is this:
At the ripe old age of 21 days, Martina Josefina Catalina Cucaracha, a beautiful cockroach who lives with her family in a cozy street lamp in Old Havana, is ready to give her leg in marriage. Abuela, her Cuban grandmother, gives her “un consejo increíble, some shocking advice.” She tells Martina to spill coffee on each of her suitor’s shoes to make him angry. Then she will know how he will behave when he loses his temper. Abuela says, “The Coffee Test never fails.”
It was a really nice time. And…it seemed like so much fun the storytellers were having. I found out that if anyone wanted to learn more or join our the storytelling guild, they told us where the storytellers meet once a month which is not too far from where we live. I actually enjoyed it so much, and I enjoy working with kids anyway that I was going to find out more about it.