Hearing a story told can be quite a different experience than having it read to you. Without any sense that one form is superior to the other, there’s something different about a story that’s adapted as it’s told, sometimes shifting emphasis to make a point, other times responding in the moment to the audience. Sure, mistakes abound (How does one suddenly add two heartbeats or momentarily forget a name?). At the same time, on a good day the immediacy of the telling can be magical.

These are some of the stories that have been shared at our Junior School. I offer a special word of thanks to Lucky Budd for capturing them.


If you want to remind yourself about the role of possibility and the value of creative thought in the toughest of circumstances, try The Faery’s Gift by Tanya Robyn Batt.

If you’re looking for something that speaks to when our single-mindedness blinds us to what’s important and we find ourselves needing to repair the damage, listen to The Busy Beaver by Nicholas Oldland.

If you seem to be having trouble disconnecting from your tech, When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins might help you unplug and spend time with those you love. In order to preserve the wonderful rhyme scheme, this story was read rather than told.

If you find yourself doubting the intentions of others, Twenty Heartbeats by Dennis Haseley might help you rethink your approach and reframe your relationship.

If you’re looking at the powerful people around you and wonder what difference you can make, take a few minutes longer than usual to listen to Bloom by Doreen Cronin. For such a young audience, I told it in three sections, which Lucky edited into a single piece.

Mr. Peabody’s Apples based on the story by Madonna.

The Cello of Mr. O based on the story by Jane Cutler.

Chin Yu Min and the Ginger Cat based on the story by Jennifer Armstrong.

Knuffle Bunny Too based on the story by Mo Willems.

The Elephant’s Child based on the story by Van Gool.

Nerdy Birdy based on the story by Aaron Reynolds.

Fu Finds the Way based on the story by John Rocco.

Tiger and Turtle based on the story by James Rumford.

The Golden Nugget based on the story by Shiho Nunes.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates based on the story by Ryan Higgins.

Solomon’s Tree based on the story by Andrea Spalding.

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