Walking through the Jungle in Sant Pol de Mar.

On Saturday in Sant Pol, Monkey came and helped introduce the stories.

monkey march 064 He was happy as he appeared in all of Saturday’s stories. He is soon to appear in his own play “Pirates for Tea” by LOOK OUT! Theatre Company.

monkey march 060

Here is a link for more photos of Monkey and you can see how he was made. Monkey Puppet

I told the story of Handa’s Surprise. The children really enjoyed this story even those who knew it. Here is an animated video of the book.

I also read Walking through the Jungle and the children spotted all the animals hidden on the pages. Here is a sing along video.

Look forward to seeing you all again in April.


Winter heart-warming stories

For my last two storytelling sessions at the library in Sant Pol in December and January the stories I have had a winter theme and a bear and animal hibernation theme. These are just perfect for snuggling up on the sofa on these cold winter days.


Shall-I-Knit-Mother I just love this colours in this book and it makes you want to get your knitting out.


And it’s always nice to come home and snuggle up when you’ve been for a walk just like in “A Perfect Day For It” by Jan Fearnley. This was one of my sons favourites along with “Peace at Last” by Jill Murphy which has become a modern classic.



For this last one there are some great resources on the internet and I’ve just found these exquisite illustration on the website The Illustration Cupboard well worth a look for any fans of illustration.


0853db64-ddaa-4298-915e-f94943b5f365And my hibernation story; well it came from an advert. I showed my children the advert that had everyone talking in England over Christmas. The bear and the hare. Enjoy!


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 Man Who Walked Between The Towers

This afternoon at the storytelling session in the library at Sant Pol de Mar I told the wonderful, true story of The Man Who Walked Between The Towers. I don’t normally tell true stories but this one has such a magical, fairy tale feel to it  I wanted to share it.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is a picture book written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein.  Published in 2003, the book tells the true story of Philippe Petit, a man who walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Center on a tightrope.

Gerstein won the 2004 Caldecott Medal  for his illustrations. The book was adapted into an animated short film with the same name in 2005.

I hope you enjoy watching the film.

Here are some of our intrepid tightrope walkers.

I went to the market …

This is a video from a Story Time I did at CEIP Sant Salvador in Cercs near Berga. During this term I have been to all corners of Catalunya as part of Pla d’impuls a la llengua anglesa by the Department of Education. I have been to Rubí, Reus, Barcelona, Tivissa and Arenys de Mar. Thanks to all the teachers for their help and their English students for being great audiences. After the Easter holidays I’m going to be visiting schools in Girona, Lleida and El Prat Llobregat .

Jim and the Beanstalk

For the past two of weeks I’ve been editing a video. It took me back to my university days; I did a degree in Film and TV production. It’s amazing now how you can do it all on a computer. It’s a video which I’m going to use to promote storytelling and Look Out! Theatre Company’s Story Time in schools. It accompanies the Story Time web page and includes the storytelling sessions I did at the local primary school  with the 2nd and 4th years and one of the library sessions. (Some clips are included on my last blog) If you are a teacher interested in using storytelling and a storyteller in the classroom please contact me for a copy; story@lookoutcompany.com




At the school one of the stories I told to the 4th years was Jim and the Beanstalk by Raymond Briggs. This a fractured fairy tale and I think they are great to use with children that have knowledge of the traditional fairy tale but might think that the traditional one is too childish for them. In this session we first looked at the plot of Jack in the Beanstalk, so we could review vocabulary. I used questions like; who does Jack live with? Are they rich or poor? ect. The students were able to recall the information in both English and in their first language and I wrote key vocabulary on the board. I also introduced the vocabulary that the students would need for the comprehension for Jim before I told the story.



I’ve posted an edited version of the recording on Storytelling for Children web page. After the students helped measure each other, they told me their results in English and I wrote them on the board. As a round up I made some comparisons for example: Julie is the tallest in the class. Paul has the biggest head. etc. The British Council has got two great worksheets for this activity; Measure Me! and lots more activities related to Jack and the Beanstalk. Another follow up activity is to get students to compare and contrast the two stories: tradition and fractured. Here is a review of Jim and the Beanstalk and a list of some more fractured tales.




I also want to mention a web page from a Catalan children’s programme called una mà de contes which in English translates as a handful of stories. My son and I have been fans of the programme for a few years now and the web page was announced on a children’s news programme a few days ago. Take a look; I think it’s brilliant and a great storytelling resource. There are stories from all over the world, they use all different types of illustrations and you can put the stories into English. These last two photos are from the series. I’m back in the library next week so until then happy storytelling!




In the classroom

On Friday afternoon I went into the local school and performed four stories to two classes of 7 year old children. They receive 3 hours of English teaching a week and have been learning for one year. Below are extracts from the storytelling sessions. The children enjoyed the stories and demonstrated their English knowledge in various moments during the afternoon. During the storytelling they demonstrated listening comprehension and were able to produce key language. I look forward to receiving feedback from their class teacher.

Little Red Riding Hood

Stone Soup

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle

The Bremen Town Musicians