Posted by Judy | 8:50 AM | 16 comments »

Recently, we were in Seattle visiting one of our grandsons, who will soon turn two. One of our “adventures” with him was a trip to Barnes and Noble. There, the wonderful children’s books manager took him around the room, pulling out books and reading bits of them to him in a fun, dramatic way. My husband and I were just as entranced as Jayden. The experience re-emphasized the importance of storytelling as a way to spark imagination, to explain things, and to impart important lessons.

I’ve always loved writing stories for children and, lately, I’ve been doing just that. For me, there is a special kind of excitement in creating a story for them because their openness inspires fanciful, fun ideas.

In a fantasy series of mine, it is the wise men and women of clans who tell stories so their people can gain wisdom and fare better in their primitive world. In creating this environment in which my main characters live, I felt it was important to include these storytellers. Like children everywhere and in every time, they learn much more about themselves and their world through the stories of others.

I remember sitting on my great-aunt’s lap and listening to all kinds of stories about family members and other people she knew. Even now, my life is richer because of them.

Who were some of your favorite storytellers when you were a child?


  1. Barbara Monajem // April 10, 2012 at 9:03 AM  

    My father was a great storyteller. At supper, he would tell us about his day at work. He could make anything funny -- we would laugh and laugh.

  2. Judy // April 10, 2012 at 9:18 AM  

    Hi, Barbara! Yes, family stories at meals bring such happy memories...

  3. Beth Trissel // April 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM  

    I really enjoyed your post, Judy. I love childrens books, and story telling with children. Daughter Elise is finishing a wonderful children's book she did the most amazing illustrations for.

  4. Autumn Jordon // April 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM  

    Ah, Beth, I can envision a whole collection of children's stories by you. Write them, lady. Write them!

  5. Judy // April 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM  

    How exciting, Beth! I bet the illustrations are gorgeous. Good luck with it!!

  6. Mary Marvella // April 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM  

    Grandma Mary, Mama's mama, was our storyteller. She told us about her childhood and her teen years. She told us about the things Mama did as a child.

    I posted some of those on this blog when we first started.

  7. Mary Marvella // April 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM  

    p s, I enjoyed your post.

  8. Judy // April 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM  

    Mary, love the idea that so many family stories were told. They're still a part of your storytelling, no?

  9. Nightingale // April 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM  

    My grandmother Lillian (my mother's mother) told us ghost stories. I bet you did have a great time with Jayden. I wish my grandchildren were closer though I'm better at reading than impromptu stories.

  10. Judy // April 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM  

    Jayden and all our grandchildren are on the west coast. From Florida, it's an all day trip! :( Too far away!

  11. Mona Risk // April 10, 2012 at 4:04 PM  

    When my grandchildren come to visit, they always ask for a story while having lunch. Nona's story, not one that they can read in a book. So I look at the ocean and just talk and talk... Later if I repeat the same story they would remind me of the name I forgot or the detail I neglected. So cute.

  12. Mary Ricksen // April 10, 2012 at 4:50 PM  

    I loved to listen to my grandmother talk about her live in Poland. My grandfather in Italy, and the grandfather from Ireland (never met him, but my mother says he was a Finnian and had to leave Ireland as he would have been shot on sight), then the French Canadian-Abenaki, who never told us stories at all!
    I wish I had paid more attention I could have used a lot of that!!!
    I sorely miss those kids to share stories with of my own! You grannies are so darned lucky!!!

  13. Scarlet Pumpernickel // April 10, 2012 at 5:58 PM  

    Judy my favorite storyteller was my great aunt. She would keep all the children enthralled. She told tales of balls of fire fallling from the sky and rolling down the hill into the swamps. Stories of a "white sheet" that came and spread itself across the front door step of the old home house making all the ladies and children afraid to leave the house. I think I inherited my imagination from Dewey!

  14. Mary Marvella // April 11, 2012 at 2:18 AM  

    Yes, Judy, I still love to tell the stories. I told stories as a kid.

  15. Judy // April 11, 2012 at 8:13 AM  

    Thanks for all the comments, ladies. Interesting how we storytellers had storytellers in our lives...

  16. Josie // April 15, 2012 at 7:15 PM  

    One of my favorite storytellers is a dear cousin of mine. At 60 years old, she still tells the best stories.