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Storytelling Series

Seven Secrets of Spontaneous Storytelling

Discover the Magic of Storytelling

November 2023
More details
  • Publisher
    Hawthorn Press
  • Published
    28th November 2023
  • ISBN 9781912480869
  • Language English
  • Pages 216 pp.
  • Size 4.65" x 6.6"

“Here, in this unique book, is the inside story of a supreme storyteller. Here you can discover how the magic of storytelling is made.” — Michael Morpurgo (from the foreword)

When Darinka and Adam unexpectedly meet Dorothy—at first near an old windmill—they embark on a roller-coaster journey that transforms their family through the power of spontaneous storytelling. Dorothy’s seven secrets are the magical tools they need to connect deeply with each other in daily life, from playing to shopping, enjoying mealtimes and bedtimes, and from tidying up to resolving disagreements.

“Everyone tells stories. Although most people would not consider themselves to be ‘storytellers,’ we all are. Humans are storytelling-beings. You and I are storytellers, whether we recognize it or not. We share anecdotes and memories, tell jokes, describe experiences, spin yarns. Our lives are made up of stories. We listen to songs, are persuaded by adverts, read books, listen to the radio, understand our history through the stories of those who came before us, watch films and TV. We make sense of the world through story.” (from the introduction)

Included in this book are fifteen simple, fun games that help the reader easily make and tell stories with children. The games, tips, and tricks provide the confidence to tell spontaneous tales with family and friends—any time, any season, and anywhere. Each Secret has its own chapter, explored through the lens of the story of the troubled Dale family, along with a story game section for easy reference.

Illustrated with pen & ink drawings.

“Full of brilliant inspiration, wisdom, and practical storytelling tools. I would encourage any caretaker, parent, or teacher (or anyone really...) who wants to connect deeply with the children they are fortunate to spend time with, to read this book. Told in the form of an engaging tale by such a brilliant storyteller, the power of stories and story-making as a means for social change and personal development are woven in beautifully and could not be clearer.”

— Karen Napier MBE - CEO The Reading Agency

“This book is truly inspirational and will give parents the confidence to unleash their imaginations to use stories with their children and have lots of fun. The stories can help parents navigate the normal tricky situations all families face with creativity and humor. The story games at the end of every chapter are full of brilliant ideas to help you get started as a storyteller.”

— Caroline Penney, author of The Parenting Toolkit: Simple Steps to Happy and Confident Children

“Look for who is the most appreciated person at the dining table, in the pub, in the car on a long drive—it’s the one who tells good stories!  Danyah makes her living doing it—and she generously gives her secrets away. Anyone at all—mum, dad, someone struggling with shyness—can get better at making others smile, laugh and come alive. It’s a form of love.”

— Steve Biddulph, bestselling Australian author, activist, and psychologist

“Like me, you’ll probably read the book in one sitting and immediately start playing these delightful storytelling games with the children in your life. Develops the skills and confidence for all the family to enjoy spontaneous storytelling and guaranteed to inspire, educate, and transform your relationship to the world of the imagination.”

— Sue Hollingsworth, coauthor of The Storytellers Way

“It surprised me that the whole book is a story itself and the 7 secrets were weaved into the big story perfectly. Somehow, I feel you’re my Dorothy and thank you very much for writing this magical book!”

— A mother in Hong Kong

C O N T E N T S:

Slovenian Vocabulary
Foreword by Michael Morpurgo
Prologue: The Ups and Downs of the Dales

1.  A Welcome Stranger
   The First Secret—Imagination
   Story Games from Chapter 1
   Did You Know?
   Further Reading . . .

2.  Is She for Real?
   The Second Secret—Observation and Senses
   Story Games from Chapter 2
   Did You Know?
   Further Reading . . .

3.  There was Silence
   The Third Secret—Memory
   Story Games from Chapter 3
   Did You Know?
   Further Reading . . .

4.  In Search of Treasure
   The Fourth Secret—Puppets and Props
   Story Games from Chapter 3
   Did You Know?
   Further Reading . . .

5.  Ah! Snow
   The Fifth Secret—Wonder
   Story Games from Chapter 5
   Did You Know?
   Further Reading . . .

6.  Less is More
   The Sixth Secret—Play
   Story Games from Chapter 5
   Did You Know?
   Further Reading . . .

7.  One Step at a Time
   The Seventh Secret—Confidence
   Story Games from Chapter 5
   Did You Know?
   Further Reading . . .

Epilogue: Seven Years On
About the Author
Bibliography and Resources

Danyah Miller

Danyah Miller raised her family on stories. She is an international storyteller, solo performer, writer, and teacher of storytellers. Her award-winning flagship production, “I Believe in Unicorns,” played in London’s West End and on tour throughout 2023. She helped produce two West End musicals, “All You Need is Love” in 2001; Olivier-nominated “Soul Sister” (Life of Ike and Tina Turner) in 2012; and “Pippi Longstocking, the Swashbuckling Musical Adventure” with Royal & Derngate Northampton in 2019. She studied drama, dance, and English at Bretton Hall College, and later improvisation, mime, and physical performance at L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris. Look for Danyah Miller on YouTube.