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More stories told in different styles

Other Tellers’ Tales

Catherine Leahy shares a kamishibai tale,

Three Magic Charms. One of my favourite kamishibai stories!


I presented this in tandem with a Japanese teacher, Noriko, at AIS in 2014 for Mother Tongue Week. We got the kids saying Japanese onomatopoeia (instead of gurgle gurgle when the yamanba turns into a river, they went gabu-gobu gabu gobu!)  When I, as the yamanba, chanted my spell I said it in English. Noriko pointed out that magic only works in the language the spell was cast in (an idea I learned from a French teller!) and so I had to repeat it in Japanese and sure enough! I grew bigger and bigger!


Here’s another kamishibai tale, told by Australian Jackie Kerin.  


I love her conversational style - notice the way she looks away from the listener as if she’s ‘remembering’ the story, making it seem very spontaneous and intimate - just for us, her listener. Love the bell and the unlocking/opening of the stage - two attention-grabbing opening actions


You’ll notice that this is not a commercial Kamishibai set, but her own art work: Jackie describes herself as ‘an average artist’ - which is really encouraging for other storytellers (like me!) wondering if their own work is ‘good enough’ to use!  Notice how she keeps her images very bold and simple, so that an audience can ‘read’ them easily. (Think how far your audience might be away from you when you tell: kamishibai art is not for the miniaturist!)