by Arthi Anand Navaneeth

Stories could make you laugh. They may make you cry. They can scare you as well as inspire you. They may make you think, but more often they just let you experience. They let you live a slice of life through the characters. And everyone has a story to tell.

There was time when we relied on storytellers for our stories. Then came the books. And now stories come to us through television sets, the internet and the movies. Does that make books and the storytellers redundant? Certainly not!

Children, in particular, enjoy stories being narrated- it helps them understand how life works- relationships, social issues, rule of law, celebration of success, effort and reward, initiative versus inertia…yes, life lessons become more interesting in the story form. Kids learn patience, turn magically into good listeners and learn to express themselves imaginatively, inspired by the teller or her questions.

Story telling is dynamic and interactive. So what sets a professional storyteller apart? Creativity and Connect.

Story telling is dynamic and interactive. The teller modifies and draws on the energy and reactions of her audience. So every listener, especially children, has a hand in shaping the story. It is a great way to bond with and engage the little ones (even infants) who are yet to learn to read.

To make a profession of something as universal as storytelling requires guts don’t you think so?

So what sets a professional storyteller apart? Creativity and Connect. A good teller has to be a good listener too. She needs to gauge audience reaction and improvise. She has to make the story engaging or thought provoking or just plain refreshing. And a great storyteller knows that the audience are the ultimate Heroes.

Story telling is a good way to sell brands and ideas, simplify concepts, resolve conflicts and even inspire action.

Adults too indulge in storytelling. Story telling is a good way to sell brands and ideas, simplify concepts, resolve conflicts and even inspire action. Stories stay with us, much longer than dry fact. So encourage your children and parents and colleagues to tell you stories and share your personal ones with them.

Reading helps build vocabulary and improve grammar. The right book can improve knowledge, promote imagination and hone reasoning skills & perhaps even the humour quotient. But most of all, reading is FUN. It can be done almost anywhere and alone or in a group. It need not ever get boring. You just need to find the next book that appeals to you. There is never, ever a short supply of reading material.

  •  Alternate between reading and narrating to your child, after they begin to learn the alphabet since they will register words better and it will help them progress to reading on their own.
  •  Do not ever force your child to read.
  • Expose them to a lot of variety of books. Do not fret if your child has different reading sensibilities than yours.
  • If you notice a liking for a particular style of book or genre, get more of the same.
  • Set an example by reading yourself.
  • And somewhere, somehow your child will take to reading. If he does not, it is only because he is yet to find the right book for himself.
  • Keep reading and narrating to him.

Saffron Tree, No time for flash cards, A Mighty Girl and Zoe’s Playing by the book are wonderful, free, resources for age appropriate suggestions for books. I too try and share links by theme or age almost daily at my FB page. Drop by. You may enjoy the story of the day!


Editor’s Note: IMC had requested Arthi to do a guest post on storytelling for the Book Week. Arthi was kind enough to send us her views on the topic.

We had interviewed Arthi here earlier

Arthi does a lot of story telling sessions. Her storytelling blog is Art’s Tales. 

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