Portside Pirates

We had a great adventure this evening in the library in Sant Pol de Mar. After making our pirate hats we were ready to set sail. Heave to and hoist the sails.

All aboard! Let’s sail the seven seas!

All aboard

We’re sailing to Timbuktu! We’ll find treasure! Pieces of eight!

We're sailing to Timbuktu!

We could meet Blackbeard! Shiver me timbers!


Land ahoy!

Land ahoy

All hands on deck!

All hands on deck!

Aye, aye Captain!

We talked about famous pirates. Edward Teach nicknamed “Blackbeard” who was born in England. He would put little candles or pieces of fuse in his hair and light them. They would give off smoke, giving the pirate a fearsome, demonic appearance.


William Kidd from Scotland who fought illegal pirates until he became one himself.


The Barbarossa Brothers from Turkey. They ruled the Barbary Coast of North Africa.


And Anne Bonny and Grace O’Malley both from Ireland and yes they were female pirates! At first they dressed as men while they were at sea but even when they were discovered to be women, they were admired for their skill and courage.


See below the video from Portside Pirates published by Barefoot Books.

See you next week for a journey down the Nile.


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.





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.

Imagen 146

Imagen 140

Imagen 145

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

Little Red Riding Hood – November 2012

Meeting the wolf

Hello, I’m back again in the library in Sant Pol de Mar just outside Barcelona in Spain. We have started a new season of storytelling sessions. This year we are continuing with the two groups but in the first group we have some new young listeners who are all keen to learn English and in the second group are the children who have been coming to my storytelling sessions for a few years now.

The idea will be to look at a familar story for the first group and mix it up a bit for the older children.  I decided to start with Little Red Riding Hood which has some great aspects for young learners and after putting the illustrations by Pau Estrada (see above) in order we were soon chanting “what big eyes “. For the older children I told the story Lon Po Po a red-riding hood story from China by Ed Young.  I was very impressed with my group who now have enough English to be able to tell me the differences between the classic story and this one from China.

Lon Po Po

After all the storytelling we did some worksheets from the British Council Teaching English Website

The older group loved working on My Little Red Riding Hood Story and here are some pictures from the younger ones who followed my comands by drawing a big head, two small eyes, two big ears, one big nose, one big mouth and lots of small teeth.

Lucia Maria Pau Unknown artist Unknown artist 2

Eugeni Judith Kerala


Storytelling and art workshop at the colour box – la capsa de colors

We all had a great time at the color box – la capsa de colors.

We first looked at lots of different animals with wings, fur, scales, fins, tails, horns and feathers using these great flashcards and then I told the story Lord of the Animals by by Fiona French.

We then all had great fun making animal pictures using our hands.

Have a go yourselves, here are some pdfs you can print.

colom = a pigeon

cargol = a snail

anec = a duck

cacatues = cockatoos

Thanks to Gemma at la capsa de colors and to everyone who came to the first storytelling and art workshop. We hope to see you again soon.


Frosty February for StoryTime in Sant Pol de Mar.


This week at the library I told the story of Baba Yaga and the Stolen Baby. A story from Russia which suited the cold snap we have been having.

Production Description from Amazon

The black geese have been seen flying over the village, stealing children for the witch Baba Yaga, so Elena should be looking after her baby brother. But instead she runs off to play with her friends, leaving the baby alone on the grass… Jessica Souhami’s colourful collage gives a contemporary flavour to this lively Russian Baba Yaga folk tale, retold by distinguished author Alison Lurie.

To keep ourselves warm we danced to the song, A witch came flying. a_witch_came_flying

I also used posters diplaying key character attributes of certain characters from traditional fairy tales. The children had a good time discussing different characters and remembering vocabulary.

We ending the session with the children chosing a fairy tale character mask to cut out. Here are some below;

Happy Carnival!


Lord of the Animals

Happy New Year. I’m looking forward to a great 2012 full of storytelling and I started this storytelling year with “Lord of the Animals” a great book by Fiona French. I do love her illustrations and have told many of her other titles including; Pepi and the Secret Names, The Smallest Samurai, Jamil’s Clever Cat: A Folk Tale from Bengal and Snow White in New York.

Coyote has created the world and its creatures, and now he gathers a council to decide how they will make the being who will rule over them all. As the animals start to disagree fur and feathers begin to fly – until Coyote suggests they each make a clay model and then choose the best. Unknown to all of them, however, crafty Coyote has a plan of his own… Fiona French’s boldly-illustrated retelling of a Native American Miwok myth gives an intriguing explanation of how human beings began.  (Product Description from Amazon)

The children really enjoyed the story and afterward we played the game

What am I?






The children had to identify the animals from their silhouettes. It was a great activity and the children got very involved. Here is the worksheet I used; animals_great_creator.

In the first session of the afternoon we ran out of time to make some animal models in plasticine but here are some photos of what we made in the second session.

See you next time!

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