Posts tagged ‘storytelling’

Princess of Springs Blog

Illustration by Martina Peluso from the upcoming The Princess of the Springs

American academic Jack Zipes is what a British newspaper calls the ‘Merlin of folklore studies.’  He has spent his life stepping inside stories and has written and edited scores of books, including The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales and The Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature. He is passionate about fairy tales, their meaning and their importance. He believes in the power of fairy tales to hold up a mirror to our lives and show us ‘the gaps between truth and falsehood in our immediate society.’ Like all of us at Barefoot, Jack is convinced that story is not a commodity or entertainment but a means to explore and express ideas. So how lucky a few of the Barefoot Books Oxford office’s editorial team felt when we had the chance to listen to him talk at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) in London.

Telling a story without a book as a safety net can seem very scary, but it’s a wonderful way to share a story. So if you have a favourite Barefoot fairy tale or animal fable or goddess myth here’s how to go about sharing it with an audience of children:


Ambassador Amanda Taylor shares her experience at the World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) Festival in Wiltshire, UK. She shared stories and enjoyed a wonderful weekend of art, dance and music!

I don’t often watch videos online, but a few weeks ago a friend introduced me to the Sunday sermons that are given at The School of Life, a London-based enterprise of the philosopher Alain de Botton. I went to the School of Life website to investigate. When I saw a talk entitled, ‘The Importance of Storytelling’, I had to stop, look and listen. Susan Greenfield, who presents this lecture, comes at storytelling from the perspective of a neuroscientist. I was fascinated.

If you’ve been into our Oxford Studio, you’ve probably met some wonderful characters who spend their days helping children bring out the best of their creativity, and introducing them to far off lands through stories, art and more. One of these people is Susannah Lambe, a volunteer storyteller who comes in regularly simply because she loves reading to children. We’re pleased to share with you a bit about her personal story, so read on and let us know what your favorite part about reading to children is!

What happens when a group of children’s book lovers and successful business women spend a weekend together in the exquisitely gorgeous Oxfordshire countryside? Lots of story-swapping, camaraderie, best-practice sharing and fun it turns out!