Storytelling is for everyone. Always.

Everything around us, inside of us and between us does – according to science – exist of atoms. That’s one way to explain the world. I prefer it the other way. I think it exists of stories.

The Story Factor The Storytellers Way Hooked Storytime

We are constantly surrounded by stories. We don’t just read them and listen to them in the news and books, we also see them happening around us all the time. We tell stories everyday even without realising. Kids telling us what happened at school. Neighbours recounting stories about their pets. Partners talking about work. Mums repeating stories about their babies. Builders amusing each other with builder’s jokes. Customers narrating about their childhood. Buildings, parks, streets echoing the stories of the past and present. Toys, pictures, songs and our favourite objects evoking our memories. Birds, trees and mountains unfolding tales of the land and nature. Who will I encounter today and how long will you be a part of my story? Will our stories thread together? Is it going to be amusing? Is it going to be sad?

Stories have many aspects and powers. They cure, connect, entertain, support, educate, clarify, inform, enrich, amuse, impress even sell! They connect us with total strangers. Whether we are able to relate to a story or not, they offer us to slip into somebody else’s shoes and see how green the grass really is on the other side.

Therefore – stories are not just for kids. Stories are not something that rests on the bedside table  and are evoked once every now and then, to lull someone to sleep. Stories are very much alive among us. Living in a city, where everyone has a remarkable story to tell, is – at least for me – very precious. We should remind ourselves more often that these stories are our priceless taonga. We should encourage each other how to nurture and share them.

Here, at Christchurch City Libraries, we are super excited about stories. We feel very grateful to be able to host the world-class storyteller Regi Carpenter (USA), brought to Ōtautahi by Story Collective. Regi will be holding a koha based workshop on Storytelling for children today, 12th May (South Library, Sydenham room, 4-5.30pm).

If you are not yet ready to take your storytelling skills to the next level and just want to submerge yourself into an exquisite storytelling session, come and listen to her perform tomorrow, 13th May, 7.30-9pm, at the Orange Studios.

If you are totally whakama, like myself, and prefer to contemplate about storytelling out of your reading settee, than you may like to browse through our books on storytelling. You never know – you might become the scintillating part of somebody else’s story on your way to the library.

Freerange Little Prints – your chance to collaborate on books for kids

We thought you might be interested in this opportunity from Freerange Press:

Book out and read in: FESTA - Tree Houses for Swamp dwellersFreerange Press is calling for submissions for original, imaginative and interesting children’s books, based around our journal topics, which explore themes responding to life for an urbanized humanity (the city, politics, design, art, pirates). We want to make books that both kids and adults love, that encourage a shared reading experience, as well as exploration and discovery.

We are looking for a combination of great language and illustrations/visual material in the following categories:
Non-fiction (all ages – up to 12 years)
Picture books, from simple (think 3-7 years old) to relatively complex (6-9 years)

We want to hear your thoughts, imaginings and artistic expressions on how to interpret our journal themes for kids. These publications have canvassed a myriad of ideas, from the big to the silly, from the city and the self through to tricksters, gardens and humanimals.

We welcome those who wish to collaborate on a book as an illustrator or writer, and we are happy to discuss proposals at all stages of development, including conception, ongoing or relatively complete projects that are seeking publication. They just need to fit our focus. Read more about the journals and submission process here.

The first round of submissions closes on 31 May.  Please contact Emma for more information: emma@projectfreerange.com

Landscaping – creating an outdoor room

Autumn is almost over – what better than a project to while away the cold days ahead and cast away the winter blues?

Cover of The Complete Guide to Landscape ProjectsWinter is a good time to work out a plan for next summer’s landscaping.  Try drawing it on a large piece of sketch paper; it can be very helpful.

Christchurch City Libraries have many books, eBooks and magazines on landscaping. Not just the garden type: books on deckings, paving, screens for privacyoutdoor furniture, how to make a built-in barbecue – you name it, we have it! And, yes, you can do it yourself. We have many handyman books and magazines as well as books on landscaping.

Have a chat to one of our many librarians and they will point you in the right direction. You will be all organised by spring and ready to enjoy the fruits of your labour by summer. It may just be good for your health too.

Cover of The Living Landscape Cover of Landscape Cover of Landscape and Urban Design for Health and Well-being Cover of Contemporary Designers' Own Gardens Cover of Building Decks Cover of Weekend Outdoor DIY