Resource Review – story telling

By March 21, 2020 April 28th, 2020 Uncategorized

The Boy who would be a Helicopter

Vivian Gussin Paley (1991) Harvard University Press
This has become the classic text on storying. It is as if Vivian Gussin Paley invented storying. She is to storying what Caroline Pratt is to unit blocks and Elinor Goldschmied to treasure baskets. These ladies were not strictly speaking inventors but discoverers. They discovered for us the immense usefulness of storying, unit blocks and treasure baskets, respectively. Paley inspires us with her stories and her example of intense interest in children and their narration. The book stimulates our reflection with brilliant insights such as the way in which children draw lines that connect everything. Then comes the thought provoking statement : “My habit of drawing invisible lines between the children’s images is, I think , the best thing I do as a teacher.”
This is simply a MUST read.

Talking, Drawing, Writing

Martha Horn & Mary Ellen Giacobbe (2007) Stenhouse Publishers
If the kindergarten teacher needs a handbook on how to do storying with infant school aged children, this fits the bill. It offers lots of practical advice and suggestions which will be very useful to
the nursery teacher too.

Talk for Writing in the Early Years

Pie Corbett & Julia Strong (2016) McGraw-Hill Education
Most recently published, this is another manual for early years teachers in the nursery and primary school. It includes material on involving parents. There are also two CDs with lots of great video

Getting Ready to Write

Alistair Bryce-Clegg (2013) Featherstone
In sixty full colour pages the author offers perhaps 100 activities that prepare the child for writing. Reading through the text will remind the pedagogue of the educational value of things that are already going on in the nursery and will suggest new ideas too – all very practical and realistic. When stuck for an idea of what activity
to keep up your sleeve, this is the book to prompt you.


The Revolutionary Baby

Laura Magnavacchi & Deborah Wilenski (2015) On Reflection Publishing. The first of these two from the same publisher is a beautiful collection of children’s stories. ‘Beautiful’ is the word. The children’s work is beautiful and the presentation is beautiful. The second has its similarities but is the record of a long term story-telling project by a number of toddlers. The two little volumes demonstrate the astonishing potential of young children.

Story Cubes

from Rory’s Story Cubes and Tiger

Two sources of useful blocks that we have discovered are these. One is more polished than the other reflecting the price label (£9.99 and £4, respectively) but it is well worth having a commercially produced block to hand. Both are a sensible sized and the pictorial content suitable for young children. The first has a dedicated website: (See here for more on story cubes)


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