What are we bringing? Books.

Originally published Oct. 1, 2008

When Steve and I go to the UAE, we’re charged with bringing ELTA’s unique interactive drama strategies to the University’s students. We will be looking at the use of puppeteering and pantomime not just as art forms, but as educational tools. We will also take the University student’s through our interactive storytelling training-mentoring model.

Our storytelling work starts with children’s storybooks. From the text of those books, the classroom teacher develops a storytelling and then adds specific “points of participation” designed to engage their young students in being co-creators of the story.

We’ve found the following books to be good starting points:

Aaaarrgghh, Spider! by Lydia Monks.

Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, retold by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Janet Stevens.

Bear Wants More, by Karma Wilson. illustrated by Jane Champman.

Kitten’s First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes.

No Dinner!, by Jessica Souhami.

Ruby, In Her Own Time, by Jonathan Emmett and Rebecca Harry.

We are reading the following books before we go to the UAE:

Kalila Wa Dimna or The Mirror for Princesby Sulayman Al-Bassam.

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle Eastby Naomi Shihab Nye.

Tales of Juha: Classic Arab Folk Humor,edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi

Finally, from Tami C. Al-Hazza’sarticle (Booklinks, January 2006), “Arab Children’s Literature: An Update,” came the following books:

The Day of Ahmed’s Secretby Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland, illustrated by Ted Lewin.

Sitti’s Secrets, by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter.

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