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A list of the best books for storytelling

For all those who wish to read stories to small children

“I love reading stories to young children! I have been doing it since 2012. Children thrive from storybooks – make it your duty to read to them as often as possible. Help turn them into book-worms – exploring the pages of books like magnificent wings of butterflies. Storybooks are more powerful than you could ever imagine”

Sherry – Storyteller for What Children Really Want

The main comment that I hear amongst parents, teachers and carers is “Gosh, there are so many children’s storybooks out there on the market, but which ones should I go for?”

At my story-time events, it’s so wonderful to experience the delight on the faces of the children that I’m reading the stories too. I try to pick easy digestible stories for ages 3 – 7 years approx, making sure that there is something for everyone, whether they are native English speakers or not (as most of my work is in Barcelona)

I’m happy to share a list of my favourite books that I use for my storytelling.

Maybe you know some of them? You may not know all of them, but they are worth seeking out as these are the ones I use and get a good reaction to at my story-time events.

I’ll also do a list of the storybooks that I use when I teach English to small children. I make sure I read from a fun storybook in amongst the teaching. I choose books that the kids really respond positively to, and ones that can be read several times without the risk of them getting bored with the story. I sometimes create a craft to go with the story. An attractive but easy craft that I can prep, and the children can complete it with a little bit of help if necessary. All of which you can easily do too! – I will soon be posting and doing video tutorials of the crafts that I do!

My personal lists of the best storybooks for story-time

Books that make great storytelling and are best read to a large group of children…

These are my personal top ten choices for books that I like to read to children when I am doing story-time for 8 – 20 children. Recommended for ages 2 – 3 years and up.

  • ‘Open Very Carefully – A book with bite!’ By Nicola O’Byrne and Nick Bromley.
  • ‘Beegu’. By Alexis Deacon.
  • ‘Something Beginning With Blue’. By Nick Sharrat and Sally Symes.
  • ‘Pants’. By Nick Sharratt and Giles Andreae. Can be used as a quick warm-up story
  • ‘Max The Brave’. By Ed Vere.
  • ‘Mr. Big’. By Ed Vere.
  • ‘Upsy Down Town’. By Sue Hendra.
  • ‘Animal Pants’. By Brian Moses and Anja Boretzki.
  • ‘Thank You For Looking After Our Pets’. By Tim Hopgood.
  • ‘The Ravenous Beast’. By Niamh Sharkey.

My all time favourites have got to be these 3…

  • ‘Shark In The Park’. By Nick Sharratt
  • ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’. By Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
  • ‘The Colour Monster’. By Anna Llenas.

Books that are best read to children in small groups

These are my personal top ten choices for storybooks books that I like to read to children when I am teaching 1 – 4 children. You can easily read these choices to children at home.

  • ‘So Much’. By Trish Cooke and Helen Oxrenbury.
  • ‘Peter’s Pebbles’. By Cherie Zamazing.
  • ‘Grizzly Dad’. By Joanna Harrison.
  • ‘The Tale Of Jack Frost’. By David Melling.
  • ‘The Kiss That Missed’. By David Melling.
  • ‘Billy’s Beetle’. By Mick Inkpen.
  • ‘Give That Back Jack – A Cautionary Tale’. By Phil Roxbee Cox and Jan McCafferty.
  • ‘The Day Louis Got Eatten’. By John Fardell.
  • ‘Big Mum Plum’. By Daniel Postgate.
  • ’10 Minutes Till Bedtime’. By Peggy Rathmann.

My bonus fav is this one!…

  • ‘Meet The Parents’. By Peter Bently. Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie. A great storybook for family members, or teachers, etc to read to children and remind them of how fantastic their parents are!

Buy your children’s books on Amazon

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Children’s books on Amazon USA

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Children’s books on Amazon CA

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Children’s books on Amazon UK

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Children’s books on Amazon ES

Children’s books on Amazon AU

Children’s books on Amazon DE

How to take a step further into doing story-time…

You don’t always need an actual book for storytelling.

  • Use puppets, cut-out figures, flash-cards or adapt any other simple props that you can easily find around you (sock puppets!)
  • Memorise a story, or make up your own one. Preform it in a wonderful, expressive storytelling manner with lots of vocal changes.
  • Make your own story on sheets of A2 and laminate them! You can see the result of my hand-painted story that I like to perform during the festive season

‘In A Cold Snowy Forest’ – by Sherry

‘In A Cold, Snowy Forest’

Do you want to add to these lists? Help others by letting us know if there are any other storybooks that you find great for storytelling/story-time.

Now jump to our other post where I share some of my great tips on techniques for storytelling…

Tips for storytelling, on our website

You can also head over to Book Depository

It has free delivery worldwide!

Book-Depository
Book Depository

This ‘BEST BOOKS FOR STORYTELLING’ Blog Post is brought to you by…


What Children Really Want©

What Children Really Want
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Simple tips for storytelling to young children

Tips and techniques for Storytelling to young children. Storytelling with Sherry
Tips for storytelling to young children. Story-time with Sherry

Hi all! Sherry here – I’m a children’s storyteller. Many people ask me for my personal tips and techniques on storytelling/story-time* to young children.

So I’ll dive straight in!

My personal simple tips and techniques for storytelling/story-time are: 

  • If parents/carers are present, then allow the children to sit with them as many children may feel shy to be placed without a comforting adult.
  • Make ‘happy’ eye-contact with the listeners. Sit on their level e.g, don’t tower over them. If your’e standing, then bend down as often as possible and be close to the children.
  • Speak clearly and try to project your voice at an adjusting tempo – adding slow suspense and fast excitement as needed. 
  •  Be mega expressive with lots of gestures – even when you’re holding a book! Try to know most of the words so you don’t have to be staring at the book the whole time.
  • Try to choose a big book with colourful pictures that can easily be seen and understood. (I’ve used small books before, but I make sure I know the words so I can make up with engaging gestures and different vocals. And when using small books, it’s important to walk around the group).
  • Go around the group showing the children the pictures close-up. Always remember that some may not be able to get a good view, so make sure you find these children and show them the pictures too.
  • Try to make the stories inter-active. Ask questions and allow the children to answer and prompt their imaginations.
  • Choose age appropriate stories. I choose fun stories that are easy to digest and don’t contain heaps of text for 3 – 7 year olds.
  • But sure to select easy to understand books, with engaging stories and illustrations for non-native listeners – such as my all time favourite ‘Shark In The Park’ by Nick Sharratt.
  • Have lots of fun with the children! Don’t take yourself so seriously, and don’t show embarrassment – let yourself be a kid again – Smile and laugh a lot. If you make mistakes, just laugh them off and start the sentence again.
  • Try to wear ‘fun’ clothes that children will relate to – I like to wear a bright t-shirt with a fun character on the front, such as The Cookie Monster. Sometimes I wear a sequinned clowns tie and a waistcoat, with pedal-pushers and stripy socks. But don’t over do it, otherwise your outfit will be distracting.
Festive Christmas story-time with Sherry
Festive story-time with Sherry

Bonus tip for those who want to dive deeper into storytelling/story-time for kids…

Planning a storytelling/story-time event in brief, simple steps.

You can do your story-time as a 45 minute event like I do:

Storytelling with Flashcards. Story-time and songs with Sherry
Story-time and songs with Sherry, using flashcards.
  • No doubt, some people will arrive late to your storytelling event. Don’t worry, this happens for different reasons, and most of them are understandable if it involves kids. So, have something prepared for a little warm-up while you wait 10 mins or so. Play music that the ones who are present can sing-a-long to, or play a simple game with flashcards, play ‘eye-spy’, tell silly jokes, see if they can say any tongue twisters, ask names, etc.
  • Do an introduction when everyone is there – tell them your name and a little bit about yourself and the hosting venue. Or the host can do an introduction for you.
  • Tell two stories: 1 short, fun story to start with. The 2nd story should be a bit longer and very expressive (Such as ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ by Micheal Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.)
  • Follow the stories with action songs! The children will be in need of lots of movement by now. If you don’t have action songs, then do popular sing-a-long ones that the children are likely to know. Try to get the adults to join in too! I like to do songs by ‘Super Simple Songs’ such as ‘A Sailor Went To Sea’, and ‘There Was A Farmer Had A Dog’. I use flashcards that are blue-tacked to the wall. Kids are very visual and the flashcards make it more fun for them, but they are not a must.
  • After the songs is where I would throw in a game, to get the children calmer and ready for the end of the story-time event. You could play musical statues. I like to play a game of ‘Animal Snap’ if there are no more than 20 children. I give out various animal cards making sure each child has about 5 different animals in their hands, and I keep one of every animal card for myself. I then call out the animals that I’m holding one by one, and if a child has a matching animal that I call out, then they must shout out ‘ SNAP’ and I collect their card. The winner is the one who manages to get rid of all their cards. They get a sticker on their hand as a prize. The game continues until every child gets a sticker – so they are all champs!
  • If there is time and you are feeling adventurous, you can add in an easy craft that you have prepped, or give out colouring sheets. (The colouring sheets should be related to the story)
  • Try not to go over an hour – leave them wanting more!

“I used to give out balloons to each child after a storytelling event, but after realising that balloons just end up in the trash or the sea, creating useless waste and potentially endangering wildlife, I happily decided to ditch them.”

Sherry – What Children Really Want
We're Going On A Bear Hunt easy craft for pre-schoolers
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, my easy craft idea for pre-schoolers

Here’s our We’re Going On A Bear Hunt – easy craft idea

So, these were my easy to follow tips for techniques on storytelling to young children

*Side note…

I prefer to describe what I do as a ‘story-time’ for children. I mainly read from a story book as children are gathered round me.

I would describe ‘storytelling’ more as telling a story through acting, and without the use of a book in my hands. I imagine it as someone up on a stage and giving more of a performance.

If you need some advice on selecting some great books for storytelling, then read my blog post that contains

a list of my personal favourite books for story-time

This ‘STORYTELLING/STORY-TIME TO YOUNG CHILDREN’ Blog Post  is brought to you by…

What Children Really Want©

What Children Really Want

Christmas Story-Time! & Meet Father Christmas too!

Father Christmas on the Naughty Step

FREE Festive Story-time! Story-time & book stall in Jardinería Bordas, Barcelona. Plus you will get to meet Father Christmas!

A beautiful, spacious garden centre in Gavà. Come and have some family fun – free stories and songs!

What:

‘Story time with Sherry’. This event lasts 1 hour
For ages 3 – 7 approx. but all are more than welcome!
Aimed at children who have an understanding of the English language – It’s great for children who have a basic to advanced level of English. We try to mix the stories and songs to suit the different language levels and ages.

When:

Sunday 22nd December 2019
at 11h

Father Christmas will be there until 14h –

The Story-Time and Book-stall finish at about 12h!

Where:

Jardinería Bordas
11h – free ‘Story-Time with Sherry’

Location: Av. del Mar. s/n 08850. Gavà

What to expect:

– Intro ‘Hello’ song

– Stories

. ‘Father Christmas on the Naughty Step’

By Mark Sperring & Tom McLaughlin. Can you believe Santa’s name is at the very top of the Naughty List! Find out why!

 

Father Christmas on the Naughty Step

 

.‘In A Cold, Snowy Forest’

A festive adaptation of ‘In A Dark, Dark Wood’ with chilly hand-painted pictures by Sherry

 

In a cold snowy forest

 

 

– Fun festive, action songs for all the family:

. Come dressed all Christmassy!

– Outro ‘Goodbye’ song

 

Please reserve your FREE place here – seats are limited:

Website: www.jardineriabordas.com – Activities of the month
Or email Bordas Garden Centre directly: info@jardineriabordas.com

Jardinería Bordas Logo

 

Please keep checking back on the ‘What Children Really Want’ website and on our social media sites to see upcoming events that get published as they come in.

Many thanks / muchas gracias, Danke, merci

Sherry x

 

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Festive Story-Time & Songs. In Les Corts

Dear-Santa-Rod-Campbell

 

Festive Story-Time & Songs in Intermezzo Italian Bistrot, Les Corts

 

What:

‘Festive Story-time with Sherry’. This event lasts 1 hour approx.
For ages 3 – 7 approx. But all are more than welcome!
Aimed at children who have an understanding of the English language – It’s great for children who have a basic to advanced level of English. We try to mix the stories and songs to suit the different language levels and ages.

When:

Friday 13th December 17.30h – 18.30h

Where:

Intermezzo Italian Bistrot

Location: C/ Taquigraf Garriga 58
08029. Les Corts. Barcelona

What to expect:

– Intro ‘Hello’ song

– Stories
. ‘Dear Santa’ by Rod Campbell – Help to guess which presents Santa has brought in this fun open-the-flap book!

. ‘In A Cold, Snowy Forest’. A festive adaptation of ‘In A Dark, Dark Wood’ with chilly hand-painted pictures by Sherry

 

In a cold snowy forest

– Lets do a colourful Christmas craft!…

We will make paper-chains! If you don’t know what they are, you will soon find out! – But here is a BIG clue…

making paper chains

– Fun, festive action songs to dance and sing to!

 

– Outro ‘Goodbye’ song

Book stall:

I will have quality secondhand English books on sale, mostly as good as new – prices are approx. €2.50 – €4

Price*:

€5 euros per child (includes one soft drink per child)

PLEASE BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE on EventBrite (Limited places – means that you really need to register as admittance cannot be permitted without a booking for this particular event!)

*This is a ‘Special Christmas’ event – this session is a special price of €5 – Following events will be held on the LAST Friday of every month at a cost of €7 per child

Intermezzo_logo

See you there – and remember to come dressed all Christmassy!

 

Please keep checking back on the ‘What Children Really Want’ website and on our social media sites to see upcoming events that get published as they come in.

 

Many thanks / muchas gracias, Danke, merci

Sherry x

 

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What Children Really Want

 

What Children Really Want©

 

 

Story-Time at El Petit Flea

Upsy-Down-Town-Sue-Hendra

EL PETIT FLEA presents…

** BABIES AND KIDS FLEA MARKET **

I’ll be doing storytelling – on Sunday 24th November at this fun flea market that is for a good cause…

Where:

In Casal De Bari  ‘Pou De La Figuera’

Carrer de Sant Pere Més Baix, 70

– SOLIDARITY TABLE :

You can come between 11am and 12pm to donate items to the solidarity table. All must be in good state. Stuffed toys are not accepted.
All the profits will go to Casal dels Infants who help kids at risk of exclusion.

Flea market for kids

– MARKET:

Clothes 0-12 years old, toys, children books, accessories for babies.
If you visit the market to buy please remember to bring a reusable shopping bag, and lots of small change.

– KIDS ACTIVITIES:

I will be doing Story-Time & Songs…

The story will start at 12.00h

 UPSY DOWN TOWN, by Sue Hedra

Followed by some fun action songs!

Upsy-Down-Town-Storybook

 ‘If You’re Happy and You Know it’ by Anna McQuinn & Sophie Fatus – Lets explore the storybook to this well-known favourite children’s song.

If your’e happy and you know it

This event is organised by Mamans à Barcelone

 

Mamans-à-Barcelone flea market

 

 


Please keep checking back on the ‘What Children Really Want’ website and on our social media sites to see upcoming events that get published as they come in.

 

Many thanks / muchas gracias, Danke, merci

Sherry x

 

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Join us on Facebook International

 

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What Children Really Want

 

What Children Really Want©