Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has had a great storytelling year. I’m am coming to the end of another school term and it’s time, over here in Spain, to wish everyone Happy Holidays!!!!

Here are some drawings that the children did from my last session in Sant Pol de Mar library. They were inspired by the stories I told; “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and “That Pesky Rat” by Lauren Child.

I said it was going to be a competition but they are all so good I can’t decide on a winner. So here they are in alphabetical order! B for butterfly, C for caterpillar, M for monkey, P for penguin, R for red bird and Z for zebra!butterfly 1


butterfly 2butterfly 3

butterfly 4caterpillarmonkey (2)penguinred birdzebra

Both stories are my favourites. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is so great for teaching English and should be on every parent and teacher’s bookshelf.

As well as loving the illustrations and sentiment of “That Pesky Rat” I had a very special reason for telling that story as we have recently become the proud owners of Elsa a beautiful dog that we have adopted from an animal shelter.

elsa 18.05.2014 001 (12)

Have a great summer and remember to keep reading and storytelling!

Serena xxx


A storytelling fish in Sant Pol de Mar

storytelling fish

A storytelling fish came to Sant Pol to tell the stories of two fish both called Tiddler.

Fidgety Fish by Ruth Galloway.

“Tiddler was always fidgeting. He wriggled and squiggled, until his mum told him to go out and swim till he was tired. So Tiddler swam out into the deep sea, where he met limpets and jellyfish, he went further till he reached a big, dark cave.”

The younger ones really enjoyed this story, I then told

Tiddler, The storytelling fish by Julia Donaldson.

This was a little more difficult for my second language learners but enjoyable all the same especially the great illustrations by Axel Scheffler. Here it is on youtube.

Afterwards the big ones where inspired by Giles Andreae’s book Commotion in the Ocean.


And they wrote some lines about Dolphins

Dolphins are blue.

They swim in the sea.

They are beautiful animals.

Dolphins are very pretty.

Dolphins are mammals.

They are wonderful.

Thank you Sant Pol de Mar for a great storytelling and see you for our last session in May.







Two fishy tales, not to be be missed!!!

12th April, 2014


The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

In May Elvis the postman puppet came to introduce the story in the library at Sant Pol de Mar.

Copia de storytelling may 2013 (4)

He said hello and listened while everyone introduced themselves.

Copia de storytelling may 2013 (10)We then had fun telling the story of The Jolly Postman and reading all the letter inside the book.


We then had a creative time designing new stamps!

storytelling may 2013 (19)

storytelling may 2013 (18)

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storytelling may 2013 (17)

The older children wrote their own letter to a fairytale character. We also had a chance to look at Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Book?

Who's Afraid of The Big Bad Book

I love the illustrations in this book but due to the amount of text it’s difficult for young English language learners.


However the children enjoyed spotting the different fairy tale characters and remembering their names in English!

Who's afraid

I’ll be back in Sant Pol in July with some sessions on the terrace in the meantime I’ll be in storytelling in schools in Argentona, Mollet de Valles, Sant Fost de Campsentelles and Barcelona. And also in a new library in Santa Coloma. Watch this space!


The Sun and the Wind and Winter King Summer Queen

In April we had a look at two stories about the weather.

The Contest Between the Sun and the Wind.

It’s an Aesop’s Fable retold by Heather Forest. It is my favourite Aesop Fable and one I remember from being told as a child.

Heather Forest is a storyteller and author and you can find her website Story Arts here. It has some great resources and I would highly recommend it to everyone interested in storytelling.


It is illustrated by Susan Gaber and you can find her website here and some more of here illustrations from this book below.



I also told the story Winter King and Summer Queen by Mary Lister. This is a beautifully illustrated book by Diana Mayo and published by Barefoot Books. 

There are some great character names including Philippa Freezo, Danny Drizzle, Callum Cloud and there’s also a Serena Sky! Here are some more  illustrations from the book.




We then did some weather related worksheets.





The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs!

If you wanted to hear the “true story” of The 3 Little Pigs you should have been in the library in Sant Pol de Mar on Saturday. If you were not, you may never know that it involved a sneeze and a cup of sugar.

There are many sides to a story and these two pictures books are wonderful re-workings of The Three Little Pigs;



After all the storytelling we had fun debating the all the facts.

Then we did some great writing and drawing! Well done everyone.





Let the wild rumpus start!

My story session at the library in January was inspired by the demons that appear in the nativity story here in Spain. I’m sure that other English people living here also find these extraneous characters especially if you have made a fancy dress costume for your child to wear during the festive season but that is what is so great about different cultures.

So inspired by Spanish demons, I chose for the younger children, in my view the best monster books ever written in English; The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler


and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.


We roared, learned the word for claws and chanted The Gruffalo song. Then we did some colouring and vocabulary.

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For the older children in the second group I told Rama and the Demon King; An Ancient Tale from India. I was so proud of my group who followed the story with such interest and really enjoyed the episodic tale of Rama, Sita and Lakshman who were banished to the forest for fourteen years, fought the demons and were tricked by Ravana, the ten-headed king of all the demons.


The illustrations from Jessica Souhami are wonderful and this is the second book I own of hers the other being Baba Yaga and the Stolen Baby which I told back in February 2012.

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I told the children about the Hindu festival Dussehra  that commemorates the triumph of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana marking the victory of good over evil.

Here is a photo of  an Indian artist who rests near his effigies of mythical demon King Ravana. The effigies are burnt on the Hindu festival Dussehra.


Photo from Hürriyet Daily News taken by EPA/JAIPAL SINGH

Christmas Books – My favourite artwork.

In this post you will find my three favourite artwork books for Christmas.

A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith. Who followed Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem? The shepherds tending their flocks nearby, the wise men–and also Rebecca, Mary and Joseph’s young neighbor. With his richly detailed paintings, glowing vibrant colors and shining gold, Wildsmith gives readers a fresh vision of the familiar Christmas story.


Book A Christmas Story 2

Book A Christmas Story 3


The Night Before Christmas written by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Eric Puybaret. The much-loved classic Christmas poem is brought beautifully to life in this gorgeous new picture book, sure to bring visions of sugarplums to everyone’s head. With dreamy, magical artwork by Eric Puybaret.

The Night Before Christmas


The First Christmas by Jan Pienkowski. Stunning silhouettes by Jan Pienkowski, the master of dramatic design, bring to life the story of the very first Christmas. With words from the King James bible, this is a truly classic and beautiful book to be treasured.




Beautiful and stunning artwork for Christmas. I also found these wonderful colouring pages on Jan Pienkowski’s website which have the added bonus of the written word on the page and all the children in my groups took some home for Christmas colouring.






Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Fun

In the library in December I told lots of Christmas stories and we sang some Christmas songs. I really enjoyed selecting my books for this session, my criteria were good storytelling, beautiful artwork and humor. All the children enjoyed the books especially the funny ones which are included below. I will be using these books for inspiration for writing my next children’s play for LOOK OUT! Theatre Company which will be ready for Christmas 2013.


Santa’s Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene illustrated by Henry Cole. One snack too many lands Santa in a tight spot—literally. During his appointed gift- giving rounds on Christmas Eve, Santa can’t resist nibbling the numerous treats and sweets the children leave out for him. But the goodies take a toll on his waistline, leaving him wedged, unable to whisk himself back up a chimney. Luckily he receives a helping paw. This was a huge success with the younger members of my storytelling group which had them gasping at all the food and giggling with the consequences.

51Hsukoao9L._SL500_AA300_Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. Father Christmas awoke from his dream of summer in the sun, and there it was on the calendar, December 24th, Christmas Eve, the start of his longest night’s work of the year. This book was awarded The Library Association’s Kate Greenaway Medal. This was popular with my older members who saw what it’s really like to be Father Christmas and gave them lots of down-to-earth detail.


The Nativity Play by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen. The Nativity Play is a celebration of the event and a tribute to all those who perform miracles with wire coathangers and stripy towels! Both groups of children enjoyed seeing familiar scenes from the Nativity Play which in Catalonia is called “Els Pastorets” which follows the shepherds that went to Bethlehem to adore him. As well as telling the story of the birth of Jesus there is a fight between the angels and the devils.

In my next blog I will include my top three Christmas artwork books. After I told all these Christmas stories we still had time to write our letter to Father Christmas and look at some worksheets from British Council.

Here you can some of the activities on line.

A letter to Santa

Christmas find the pairs game.

xmas 2012 003

The Smartest Giant in Town

In the library in Sant Pol for my final storytelling session of the school year I told a favourite of mine The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson

It’s a great story to revise clothes vocabulary. If you go back to in my archive to November 2010 you will find a great video from the book. To end our activities we played a game which involved dressing up.

In a smart tie, a smart belt, a smart pair of trousers, some smart socks, a smart shirt but an old pair of shoes, as my husband wouldn’t lend his smart ones!

Here are some worksheets.

Fill in the gaps (clothes)

Fill in the gaps (animals)

Thanks to everyone involved in StoryTime in the library especially Lali and Xavi. Hopefully next year we will be in a brand new library building.

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