Coming Up!

  • Storytelling, Coffee@27, 27 London Road, Tooting SW17. (Every Monday and Wednesday 10am-10.45am, starting 30 January 2017)

I’m very excited to be launching this new regular storytelling session for little ones, featuring lots of interactive songs, stories, rhymes, props and colouring-in for your child to enjoy. £3 per child. Coffee@27 is a lovely child-friendly cafe in Tooting, just two doors down from Tooting Station with yummy food and coffee. Get a free babychino with every coffee. Hope to see you there!

Recent events

  • Carve a Heart Storytelling for World Vision at Westfield London, 6 sessions, 28 October 2016

Over 200 children and adults attended on the day to hear an original story I created especially for the World Vision Carve a Heart campaign. It was a fantastic day, providing an alternative Halloween story based on hope rather than fear. Here’s what they said at World Vision:

“In total, over the 6 story telling sessions on Friday we met 138 children and 74 parents- that was an average of 23 small people and 11 big people per session- much more than I was expecting! Thanks again for your hard work crafting the story and telling it so skilfully- it was a real joy to behold!” Katherine Walker, Senior Marketing Officer, World Vision UK

  • Story Island@ Skylark Cafe, Wandsworth Common. (11-11.30am, Fridays, starting 27 November)

This weekly session for babies and toddlers at a lovely child-friendly cafe in the heart of Wandsworth common featured stories, songs, rhymes and props to enchant, engage, stimulate language development and a love of stories.

  • Storytelling for babies and toddlers at Skylark Cafe on Wandsworth common (2.30pm, Tuesday 17 November 2015)

Come along to this free half-hour session where we will imagine ourselves on a beautiful Autumn walk and join some cuddly friends for a Teddy bears picnic. Featuring traditional oral storytelling, lots of songs and rhymes on the ukulele and props to stimulate your child’s language and sensory development. No booking required.

  • Storytelling sessions at Balham Nursery Children’s Centre (28/9; 5/10; 12/10; 19/10 2015), 72 Endlesham Road, Balham.

These storytelling sessions at Balham Nursery Children’s Centre featured lots of stories, songs, rhymes and props. We had some lovely sessions for babies, as well as more active and rambunctious (great word!) sessions for some very fun three and four year olds. I’m looking forward to doing this again!

  • ‘Beyond the Book’ Story Skills for Parents (5 week course, beginning 24 February 2015, Balham Community Centre, 91 Bedford Hill SW12 9HE, 1pm – 2.30pm)

Storytelling with your child is a wonderful way of creating warmth and special memories. It’s also great for sparking children’s imaginations and literacy. This course was for parents who, like me, want to be the best storyteller they can for their child, but would like to gain some new skills and ideas and build confidence to let their imagination fly. Over five weeks we practiced a range of simple techniques, told stories, listened to stories, shared ideas, discussed what types of stories work for different age groups and temperaments and had a great deal of fun… and cake! The course was directed at parents and carers, including grandparents, but children were welcome to come along.

  • ‘The Emperor and the Nightingale’ at Tooting Community Garden, 5 North Drive, Tooting Bec, Sunday 25 Feb 2015… free

For Big Bird Watch weekend I joined the folks down at Tooting Community Garden to tell a feathery tale for a lovely audience who were full of warmth despite the chilly weather.

  • The Kapiti Storytelling Circle, St Peters Hall, Paekakariki, Thursday 6 February 2014. $5

Hosted by In the Belly of the Whale School of Storytelling, come and join myself and others who are passionate about storytelling for our monthly evening of inspirational story related activities. The evening always concludes with a half hour open mic session. This is a chance to tell a story yourself in a nurturing supportive atmosphere. The Kapiti Storytelling Circle is open to beginning and seasoned storytellers alike and includes a break for tea and biscuits.

  • Storytelling at Paekakariki Railway Museum, 11am and 2pm, 19 January 2014

As part of the Discover Kapiti Heritage Day I created a brand new story for the Paekakariki Railway Museum. The story was a homage to the glory days of the railway Refreshment rooms – bringing to life the good old days of the Paekak “refresh girls”, their love-lorn railway worker beaus and of course, the delights of NZ railway coffee, ham sandwiches and fruitcake that could “block out the sun”. Thanks to all those who came along.

  • Grand-Along, Helen Smith Community Meeting Room, Pataka Gallery, Porirua, January 9, 2.00pm – 3.30pm (facilitated by myself and Greet Pauwelijn, founder of Book Island )

Taking inspiration from the exquisite book Maia and What Matters published by Book Island, this workshop celebrated the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren through storytelling, story-making and craft activities. We had 30 people, children with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, coming up with fabulous stories together.  This event was part of the A-Long Hot Summer Festival being run by Porirua Library. Check out the photos on the Porirua library facebook page,

You can also find the story made up by the participants here on the Porirua library website.

  • ‘The Magic in the Commonplace’ workshops at the Prana New Years Festival, Opoutere Beach, Coromandel 30 Dec 2013 – 3 Jan 2014

It was a pure delight to hang out at this wonderful festival, and do what I love to do – storytelling and re-awakening people, adults and kids, to the wonders of the imagination. The “Magic in the Commonplace” workshop featured stories and sensory guided activities to gently and joyfully coax the imagination to awaken to the sacred in the everyday.

  • A Christmas Story-Along, Porirua Library Story Alcove, December 19, 5.30pm, free

Once upon a Christmas time there was a storyteller with a santa-sack full of Christmas stories and songs to inspire the festive spirit. Thanks to all those who came along to Porirua library for this special Christmas themed story time. Sneaking in among the Christmas tales was a special telling of one of Joy Cowley’s beloved Snake and Lizard tales (in our imagainations they were wearing santa hats!). This was one of two events I was involved with for the Porirua Library A-Long Hot Summer Festival.

  • Storytelling from 10.15am to 10.45 at the Paekakariki Playcentre Bonanza (22 Wellington Road, Paekakariki), Saturday 2 November 2013

It was a glorious sunny spring day in Paekakariki… Someone had painted the local zebra crossing in rainbow colours, the Kapiti arts trail was on and everywhere local artists had their studios open, and the fabulous Playcentre Bonanza was in full swing featuring wonderful music, cakes for sale, and children climbing over everything. In amongst it all I sat under the twisting turning branches of a tree telling tales for children and adults, with happy faces in front of me and above me (in the tree).

Photo by Sam Rye

Photo by Sam Rye

  • School holiday storytelling sessions, Coastlands Shopping Centre, Paraparaumu, 10-11am and 1.30-2.30pm everyday from 30 September – 4 October

This residency saw me provide ten hours of tale-tellin, ukulele strumming but not to much mayhem (besides what happened in the stories) in the midst of busy Coastlands Shopping Town! It was lovely to have so many children join me in the pop-up Story Island everyday for a veritable smorgasboard of entertaining tales from around the world. Everyday brought something a little different. Tales of giants, princesses, knights and a whole heap of very peculiar animals… infact some of the strangest animals ever imagined. Thanks to all the children and parents who came along.

Coastlands storytelling

 

  • The Journey’s Gift at the Wellington Storytellers’ Cafe 7.30pm on Tuesday 1 October 2013

I had a magical time bringing the story of the Love Flute to life with Todd Chaplin of Southern Cross Flutes playing mesmerisingly on his hand crafted Native American style flutes. Graham Ibell continued the meditative mood, reciting from Rumi again to the flute weaving a beautiful gossamer net around us all. Thanks to the Storyteller’s Cafe organisers for inviting me and to those who came along. Looking forward to listening to more tales there soon.

love flute 1Todd love flute

  • Special edition Story Island Story Time at Otaki Library, 10.00am – 10.30am, Tuesday 24 September, Main Street, Otaki

Thank you to Pam and the crew at Otaki Library for inviting me to present a mixed bag of assorted storytelling goodies – tales from Book Island, a string story featuring a princess who LOVED bananas, and the tale of a magic pot that I cooked up recently for the New Zealand Chocolate Festival… more info below…

Nom nom nom…  yes, that’s the sound of me munching through all the yummy chocolate I got to sample at the New Zealand Chocolate Festival. What a brilliant three days! I was very happy to be storyteller in residence for this buzzing festival in my magical Story Cave telling a host of chocolate-coated tales to enchant all ages. The twinkling fairy lights and soft cushions in the story cave provided the perfect spot for overwhelmed chocoholics to relax and let themselves swept into story land. The stories took listeners on a journey to delight the sense – from mysterious tales of the first discovery of the divine cocoa bean to fairy tales with chocolate twists.  I’m looking forward to telling some chocolate tales again soon (I will let you know when)…

Photo by Jun Tanlayco

Photo by Jun Tanlayco

Choc fest Lanz Mont

  • Inter-island adventures at the Auckland Storylines Family Day – Sunday 18th August, Aotea Centre, 10am – 3pm

I had a fab time as resident storyteller for the Book Island stand at the Auckland Storylines Family Day. What a lovely day spent reading from the brilliant children’s books published by Book Island, telling an assortment of fun tales and playing my ukulele, as a procession of excited children and parents buzzed around the festival and the Book Island craft table.

  • Special Story time at Mt Albert Library,11-11.30am on Friday 16th August, 84 St Lukes Road, Mt Albert, Auckland

On the road with Book Island, this time at Mt Albert Library in Auckland, bringing Book Island stories to life at this special free story time event. Reading some of my favourite tales, singing a few songs and telling the tale of naughty Miss Goldilocks (porridge thief extraordinaire!)

Bermie and Flora

  • Amaterasu and the Cave on Paekakariki Radio, Sunday 11 August – Saturday 17 August at 7.45pm – 8pm NZ time

The Japanese myth of Amaterasu the Sun Goddess has a very special place in my heart and I love to tell it. Happily, I had the chance to record this live on radio, with repeats played all through the week.  Paekakariki Radio 88.2 Fm.

800px-Amaterasu_cave

  • Special Edition Story Time (Book Island and Story Island Combined event) – Paraparaumu Library, 1 August 2013

There was a wonderful audience of about 50 little ones and mums at yesterday’s Special Edition Story Time at Paraparaumu Library. Thanks to all those who were able to make it. It was lots of fun, and with all the stories and songs about flowers and the sweet-scented Daphne  blooms we handed out, it felt (and smelled) like Spring was already here. Many thanks to Greet Pauwelijn for inviting me to read some of the fab children’s books she publishes at Book Island and to all at Paraparaumu Library, especially Rosemary for helping us set up. 

There were some lovely comments on the feedback forms including this one…

“Loved the stories. Especially loved the singing. My children said “more” when the session was finished!”

Sing alongHow many bears

CVR_Bernie and Flora_2012_Berebrouckx_facebook

  • The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde and other Wilde-ish tales: 2.30pm – 4.15pm on Sunday 30 June. Address: Tooting Community Garden, 5 North Drive, Tooting Bec, SW16 1RN

Here are some photos from a beautiful afternoon of Oscar Wilde fairy tales, delicious cake and smiling faces raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Thanks to everyone for coming and making it so special, and special thanks to Transition Town Tooting and the Tooting Community Garden. The afternoon featured myself and special guest storyteller Vanessa Woolf, guitarist Christian Duffin and Matt Duizend on sitar.

https://storyislanddotnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/61e8e-storytelling30thjunecopy.jpg

Oscar Wilde flyer for web

  •  I was invited to tell stories at a beautiful, wild Community garden in Tooting Bec as part of their Community Garden Open Day on Sunday 9 June 2013. This amazing space is a project of Transition Town Tooting. There were craft and gardening activities first and then everyone gathered at the log circle in the ‘secret garden’ to hear some stories. In honour of summer finally arriving and to encourage it to stay awhile,  I told a Japanese myth about Amatersu the sun goddess, and a Maori myth about Maui capturing the sun. I peppered the stories with some sunny songs on the ukulele, and wee bit of harmonica.  This event was also part of the Chelsea Fringe festival.

Songs and stories of the sun at the Tooting Community Garden Open Day.

  • I was really thrilled to be asked to tell some stories for children at the Day of Stories event in Tooting Library on Saturday 11 May 2013, from 2.30pm-3.00pm. The Day of Stories event featured great storytellers and craft activities. My segment was featured tales about giants, lizards and snakes. It was heaps of fun. Here is my favourite quote of the day.
    • Me: Did you like the stories?
    • Child: I liked it 100 percent!
    • Me: Wow, that’s pretty impressive – you can’t get better than that.
    • Child: Actually I liked it infinity percent!
    • em story 13

      We can all be giants! Having fun at the Tooting library Day of Stories.