cover image How to Tell Stories to Children

How to Tell Stories to Children

Joseph Sarosy and Silke Rose West. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22 (208p) ISBN 978-0-358-44927-0

The Storytelling Loop blogger Sarosy and Waldorf teacher West debut with a heartfelt and insightful guide to building “intimacy and trust between parent (or teacher) and child” via stories. “The goal,” they write, “is not to create the world’s most engrossing narrative, but simple day-to-day stories that kids relate to,” and across nine chapters they show how stories can relieve stress, soothe a sick child, teach good behavior, and help with learning. Stories are a great way to give children attention, they write, and to that end give practical advice: start when children are young, and create regular verbal cues to begin (“Once upon a time,” for example). Sample stories illustrate where tales can go and what they can teach—examples featuring gnomes in roadway pipes, turtles who feel burdened by their shells, and turkey vultures who fall in love are peppered throughout. The authors’ focus on “intuitive storytelling,” in which no planning is required, will be appreciated by parents who already feel like they’re stretched beyond capacity: “Whatever you choose, find something that feels natural to you. There is a lot of room for variety. Simplicity is the rule.” Parents will walk away smitten with stories­­—and ready to tell some. (June)