The Twelve Dancing Princesses

For the January storytelling session in the library I told the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I used the version by Rachel Isadora which is a simple retelling of the Brothers  Grimm fairy tale with the location changed to Africa.

The illustrations in this book are described here by Rebecca Zerkin for the New York Times. ” Isadora uses ornate textiles as cultural symbols. Some dancers wear detailed, realistic renderings of African fabrics in a range of styles: yellow, blue and brown zigzags; delicate, interlocking purple diamonds; thin stripes in brown and black. Others wear bold gowns painted with thick, textured brushstrokes. Their radiant faces, often shown in perfect profile, have dramatic skin tones, complicated striations of brown, yellow, orange or black. Isadora’s dynamic, crowded scenes, often mounted on simple white backgrounds, spill over the edges of each two-page spread.”

As part of the activity we also made some collages using wrapping paper. Here are the results.

Clapping in the Castle

We also sang a song by Nancy Stewart “Clapping in the Castle” click on the title above to go to her page and sing along.


Baboushka and the Three Kings

In December I told the story of Baboushka and The Three Kings.  It’s a Russian folktale about an old woman who, declining to accompany the Three Kings as they followed the star in search of the Babe and failing to find Him on her own, each year renews her endless search.

It’s a simple story beautifully illustrated with pictures done in only five colours. These have the translucence feel of stained glass windows and Byzantine icons.

After the storytelling we sang some Christmas carols and made some Christmas cards.

Here are the real Three Kings that arrived in Barcelona on 5th January, 2011