Anchorage School District Book Review
"This was such a wonderful book that shows you by explanation how to really involve your audience in telling a story. Such a great resource to learn, teach and show wonderful ideas to engage all in your story."
The Benton Courier
"What makes these stories so much fun is that the audience participates in some way. There are 20 stories altogether. The folk tales represent such varied places as China, Alabama, Italy, the Ukraine, Benin, Gambia, Scotland, and a few places I need a globe to locate.
The book is also a textbook of storytelling techniques with special instructions for the stories included. She also has suggestions for simplifying these techniques for beginners and less structured occasions as well as for more dramatic presentations.
MacDonald suggests ways to incorporate simple folk instruments (like maracas and home-made rattles), dancing, and even origami into these stories.
I would be most comfortable performing these stories if I memorized them, but that is not a requirement. If you do choose to memorize them, they are short and repetitious."
School Library Journal
"An essential tool for librarians looking for participation tales from different cultures. Each of the 20 stories is easy to learn and MacDonald provides wonderful ideas on how to inspire elementary-aged children to join in and become part of the storytelling tradition. Tips for the telling (including props in some cases) and a short history of the folktale follow each selection. The entries are divided into three basic categories: "Chanting, Singing, Dancing, Drumming"; "Talk-Back Tales," subdivided into "Stories with Improv Slots" and "Riddle Stories"; and "Dramatic Play," including "Actors-from-the-Audience," "Tandem Telling," "Story Theatre," and "Act-It-Out-Tales." Each section includes an annotated list of additional selections from which to choose. One downside is that there is no index, but the table of contents is detailed enough that those searching for tales should have no trouble locating them. Overall, a great resource."
"MacDonald presents twenty folktales from around the world arranged in ethnopoetic transcription, that is, the stories are "set on the page in a format designed to evoke the spoken telling." (Beginning tellers will especially appreciate this type of arrangement, which MacDonald has used before with great success, as it automatically creates natural pauses when reading or telling aloud.) The origins of these participatory pieces range from China ("The Terrible Nung Guama") to Panama ("El Conejito"), from Italy ("Buchettino") to Benin ("The Hare Who Married a Princess"). Tips for chanting, singing, dancing, and drumming to told tales, as well as sections on call-and-response stories, tandem tales, story theatre, and more, are included. While this practical title is an excellent resource for beginners, the annotated bibliographies, suggestions for additional stories, tips for telling, and detailed source notes makes it a valuable tool for more experienced tellers as well."
Voices of Youth Advocates
"Twenty international tales that include exciting characters, such as the big bad wolf, a wicked dragon, and an old lady attacked by her house, are organized here into three sections by specific storytelling techniques. These methods range from adding sound effects--"flup...flup...flup"--to selecting and incorporating actors from an audience. An annotated bibliography introduces each chapter, and at the end of each story "Tips for Telling" and "About the Story" sections suggest other versions to read, point out telling steps to skip if the audience gets restless, or explain how to complete a related activity, such as constructing rattling rattlesnakes. Each story's text is spaced to clue the teller for rhythms and pauses, but MacDonald emphasizes that the teller must become one with the story, eventually putting the written text aside and opening up to improvisation. Ample space for the storyteller's notes is provided.
The stories and methods seem most helpful for librarians, teachers, caregivers, or family members who tell stories to young children. In the author's earlier The Storyteller's Start-Up Book
, MacDonald suggests choosing "quieter" stories for the teenage group. These stories are not quiet nor are they like the popular urban stories compiled by David Holt and Bill Mooney in Spiders in the Hairdo
. MacDonald notes, however, that junior or senior high students might tune in to folktales when they tell them to children. Learning to tell the stories in this resource willl help young adults, librarians, teachers, or parents and grandparents awaken or reinforce a love of folkstories and storytelling."
Rambles: A Cultural Arts Magazine
"Margaret Read MacDonald's books have been a godsend to librarians, teachers, camp counselors, parents and storytellers, fledgling and experienced, and Shake-It-Up Tales!
is no exception. A children's librarian and dynamic storyteller, MacDonald excels in selection, presentation and documentation, to the point where there is simply no excuse not to incorporate stories into one's regular interactions with children.
The focus of this title is telling stories that involve some kind of audience participation, from chanting, singing and even drumming to story theater. The twenty tales from around the world are divided into three main sections: Chanting, Singing, Dancing, Drumming; Talk-back Tales; and Dramatic Play. Each section in turn is divided into sub-categories such as Singing Tales, Riddle Stories and Actors-From-the-Audience, and MacDonald assigns two tales to each sub-category.
MacDonald begins each sub-category with an introduction to the kinds of stories and techniques in the section, a list of tales that lend themselves well to those techniques and often, collections for further research. The text of the stories is presented in "ethnopoetic transcription," which means that the lines are arranged in a way that suggests natural speech, pauses and breaks. Each tale is followed by "Tips for Telling" as well as some information about the story itself. MacDonald does nearly everything except tell the story for you, and her bright and encouraging style inspires confidence in even the most timid of tellers.
A lucidly and cogently written introduction gives the reader basic overall tips on learning and telling stories, stressing simplicity as one of the most effective storytelling tools. MacDonald also emphasizes over and over that nothing is cast in stone, and often, a single tale may be incorporated into a variety of telling styles. She also encourages tellers to make the stories their own instead of telling by memorizing her versions verbatim and refusing to deviate from the printed text.
Anyone of the tales is suitable for telling without audience participation, and indeed there are occasions when such participation is not appropriate. But judiciously chosen and wellpresented audience participation stories can stimulate and enhance a child's sense of play, or even that of an adult. MacDonald has done most of the work for you; all that remains for you is to pick up the book, choose a tale and start telling. Who knows what you'll shake up?"
"Margaret Read MacDonald has written another collection of 20 multicultural stories that invite audience participation, But this time you also find riddle stories like "Rich Man Seeks a Daughter-in-law"; singing, dancing and drumming tales, story theater, tandem telling and much, much more. The stories in this book incorporate MacDonald's familiar techniques from teaching a simple refrain the audience can chant to picking characters from the audience or class to play the parts. Each of the 11 chapters begins and ends with telling tips, story background information which I always find so interesting. How do you tell a drumming tale? MacDonald incorporates a repetitive drumming chant. You can figure out the rhythm to drum by her written format and she suggests pounding on tummies, floor, table tops or books. I always like the bold format in which she writes each story-easier way to learn one of the lively stories in her books. I especially like the sound effects in "Terrible Nung Guama." You could add this one to your scary story repertoire. Need a French tale? Try learning "Miera Miera Meow." The music is included as well as French vocabulary to chant. Need a Hispanic tale? "El Conejita" from Panama encourages bilingual singing in this lively tale which is also very cute. Suggestions about story theater techniques and tips for telling appear throughout the book. "Little Old Lady who Hated Housework" is in the story theater chapter and so is "Noisy House" told in a unique new version. MacDonald's books are always peppered with ideas the creative storyteller can custom design. Shake it Up Tales
is good for storytellers, media specialists, librarians who like to read a story and have the audience participate, preschool teachers, senior citizen homes and even grandparents. Remember as MacDonald likes to remind us, adults like to play too! Just give them a chance."
The Story Bag
"For a caffeine-free energizer on a dragging morning, a lethargic afternoon, or a long winter's night when bedtime is still far away, try one of these "shake-it-up tales." MacDonald will have you chanting, singing, and dancing in the aisles. Twenty traditional tales, a mixture of the familiar and relatively unknown, will remind you how much fun storytelling can be. MacDonald has been described as "the best friend a novice storyteller could have," and that's certainly evident here. Her books are all instant storytelling classics, and this is one of the best. She includes tips for telling and further exploration."