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Twenty Tellable Tales: Audience Participation Folktales For The Beginning Storyteller

Twenty Tellable Tales: Audience Participation Folktales For The Beginning Storyteller

Author: Margaret Read MacDonald
Illustrator: Roxane Murphy

A favorite of beginning storytellers. Easy-to-learn stories that never fail. Plus tips on learning tales and bibliographies to help find more.

Includes: "Whale of a Tale" (Eskimo); "Coyote's Crying Song" (Hopi); "Coyote’s Rain Song" (Navaho); "Little Crab and His Magic Eyes" (Taulipang, Brazil); "Groundhog Dance" (Cherokee); "Old One-Eye" (Appalachian); "Parley Garfield and the Frogs" (Indiana); "Gunny Wolf" (American South); "How to Break a Bad Habit" (W. Africa); "Sody Sallyrytus" (Appalachian); "Turkey Tale" (original, based on American folk); "Jack and the Robbers" (Appalachian); "Roly Poly Rice Ball" (Japan); "Udala Tree" (Igbo); "The Rabbit and the Well” (American South); "Hic! Hic! Hic!" (Turkey); "Mr. Fox" (England); "Punia and the King of the Sharks" (Hawaii); "The Magic Fox" (Japan).

H.W. Wilson edition out of print. New paperback only edition from American Library Association now available.

Type Year Publisher Price Length   ISBN
Paperback  2005  American Library Association  $35.00  226 pp  0-8389-0893-4 

Additional Information and Resources


"Parley Garfield and the Frogs"
See MRM tell "Parley Garfield and the Frogs"

"Jack and the Robbers"
SEE MRM TELL "Jack and the robbers"

"Old One Eye"
SEE MRM TELL "Old One Eye"


"You can be sure that all of her stories have been tried, some of them hundreds of times, with a variety of audiences, and that they will therefore work"  ...Scheherazade, Brisbane, Australia

"MacDonald, a wise and experienced American storyteller, has produced invaluable answers to the question of how to get children involved in the telling"  ...School Librarian, England

"...a treasure trove of tales, tips, and guidelines on beginning or teaching storytelling. …A highly recommended book for school library media specialists, public librarians involved with storytelling, and anyone looking to simply tell a good tale."  ...Children & Libraries

"By starting with the tales and instructions in this book, almost anyone, could become a skilled raconteur."  ...Collection Management, 2006

"Henry went to farm camp last week. Every day, on the car ride home, he would retell a different fascinating and compelling story that he’d heard. Finally, after three days of this, I said, “Where are you getting these? Are these all different books, or are all these stories in one book?” One book! And it’s this one. .............. A “tellable tale” is also an “easily memorizable tale.” That means that, after reading these stories, you will have a few good stories in your back pocket to pull out if you’re waiting for food in a slow restaurant. It also means that your Henry-aged kid will be able to tell the stories to his younger siblings, which makes all of them really happy, and keeps them occupied, and might be the best part of all. " of julie blog

I love that Julie's son found this book and told the tales!

"This new edition is filled with updated resources...a classic storytelling primer."  ...Booklinks

"New (and experienced) storytellers will find encouragement and pleasure here."  ...National Storytelling Journal, Fall 1987, Ellin Greene

"Although there are several books devoted to storytelling techniques...MacDonald's book takes storytelling one step farther by involving the listener, thus making storytelling a shared experience."  ...Emergency Librarian, Jan-Feb 1987, Bessie Egan

"MacDonald does understand how a story can be brought to life through word, gesture, timing, and audience participation, and she does her best to show how with detailed notes for each story. ...MacDonald offers many suggestions for increasing the joy of storytelling and reducing the stress the beginning teller often encounters."  ...School Library Jornal, APril 1987 Marilyn Iarusso

"All the tales are short and include repetitive verses, making them highly suitable for telling aloud."  ...Booklist, July 1986

"A precise guide on how to prepare and present these truly tellable tales, culled from cultures around the world"  ...Booklist 5/15/1990

Professional Reading: A Roundup.


Children’s Catalog, 17th ed.

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