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Learning about Story in String
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices was the first Paul Fleischman book we ever read. Since then we have been avid fans. Mr. Fleischman isn’t an author who merely wants us to sit reading his well crafted stories and poems. There always seems to be an invitation to participate, to jump right into the pages of his books.
Lost: A Story in String brings back the ancient way of storytelling through string. This story within a story uses ink on clapboard illustrations as well as string figures.
When a lightning storm cuts off all of the electricity a nine year old girl wonders what to do with herself. She complains that she’ll “simply die” without the use of her computer, TV and VCR. Her grandmother tells her a story about a girl whose life was really in danger.
“About all she had in this world to play with was an old piece of string.”
Here is where the story really begins with the young girl going out to search for her dog only to get lost in the forest during a snowstorm. As the grandmother continues to narrate the story she uses a piece of string wrapped between her fingers and hands. Throughout the story the shapes of a house, jaybird, dog’s head, and many others recounts this snowy tale.
The shape of the North star finally leads the lost girl home. The young girl managed to stay in the forest two days through her own resourcefulness as well as finding her dog. The moral of the story is to do much with little.
The ink drawings match perfectly with the string formations creating a lovely balance. With simple movements the string figures move from one to the other. In the back of the book is a great resource on how to make these string figures. After reading this wonderful tale we spent many days after re-telling it using our string figures.
I’d like to say congratulations to Paul Fleischman for being nominated for the Hans Christensen Award. It is the premier international award for children’s books. Best of Luck to You !
Story in String: Something To Do:
More Story in String Fun!
Once we started making these fun string figures, as well as playing quite a few games of cats cradle, we wanted to expand our string figure repertoire. We found these books helpful:
Here’s wishing you many happy moments of string and story creations.
****Some of these links are affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may get a very small commission. This money goes towards postage and supplies to keep books and ideas in the hands of young readers!
Valarie Budayr is the founder of Audrey Press and author of the books, Dragon Are Real! A Year in the Secret Garden, The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide To Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. She is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and when she isn’t jumping into a book and creating wildly inventive adventures, she is “mom” to three uber creative children, married to a wonderfully patient man who has come to love yarn, proud owner of one adored cat, and the Fox Whisperer to lots and lots of Foxes (that come and go as they please). You can also find Valarie on Facebook or on Twitter at @JumpIntoaBook1.