Annotated Booklist - Spreading the Word

The following represent a number of the books which were read and discussed within the storytelling circles developed as part of Spreading the Word, an intergenerational storytelling project in Vancouver, BC, during the 1995-96 academic year.

Louié Ettling, Janet Isserlis and Lee Weinstein facilitated the project and contributed to this bibliography.

children's books and mixed age: single authors, single stories

Cameron, Anne, illustrated by Tara Miller. (1985; fifth printing, 1994). How the Loon lost her Voice. Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing.

Cameron, Anne, illustrated by Nelle Olsen. (1988). Lazy Boy. Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Pubishing. [Harbour Publishing, Box 219 Madeira Park, B.C. V0N 2H0]. Cameron has retold a number of First Nations tales and legends, of which these are two examples.

Carrier, Roch, illustrated by Sheldon Cohen. Translated from the original French by Sheila Fischman. (1979 and 84). The Hockey Sweater. Montréal, Québec: Tundra Books. The story of one mother's determination to keep her son warm and the son's steely determination not to be seen wearing the sweater of an ill-favoured hockey team in Montréal, in 1921.

Doros, Arthur, illustrated with arpilleras sewn by the Club de Madres Virgen del Carmen of Lima, Peru. (1991). Tonight is Carnaval. New York: Dutton Children's Books. A story about daily life among farming people in the Andes mountains of Peru, told from the perspective of one young boy who is eagerly awaiting the beginning of Carnaval. Arpilleras, fabric hangings, illustrate and illuminate the story; photos describing how the arpilleras are made, and a glossary are also included.

Ghan, Linda, illustrated by Elise Bênoit. (1991). Muhla, The Fair One. Montréal, Quebec: NuAge Editions. [NuAge Editions, P.O. Box 8. Station E, Montréal, Quebec]. A beautifully illustrated story, set in Africa, about a young girl, her family and their dealings with a bad spirit monster. Includes a pronunciation guide and glossary of both African and English words, making the book particularly interesting for both new and more confident readers.

Harley, Bill, illustrated by Ann Miya. (1995). Nothing Happened. Berkeley, California:Tricycle Press. [Tricycle Press, PO Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707]. A story about a little boy whose older brother constantly teases him about what happens after the little one goes to sleep. In the story, the little boy stays up all night to find out if it1s true that nothing happened. Bill Harley is well known in Rhode Island and around the country for his songs and storytelling.

Liddell, Sharen, illustrated by Yvonne Cathcart. (1994). Being Big. Second Story Press. Toronto. The trials and tribulations of a girl who is bigger and taller than her peers, and her mother's efforts to encourage her to value her own unique traits and abilities.

Lim, Sing, illustrated by the author. (1979, first paperback edition, 1991). West Coast Chinese Boy. Montréal, Québec: Tundra Books. Recollections of the author's youth in the early part of the century provide fascinating stories, glimpses into Chinese Canadian culture, and an important part of Vancouver's history.

Munsch, Robert, illustrated by Michael Martchenko. (1980). The Paper Bag Princess. Toronto: Annick Press Ltd. A new spin on the old story of prince meets princess and lives happily ever after. A determined young princess uses her wits to rescue the prince, only to discover that he is more concerned with how she looks than what she feels.

Oberman, Sheldon (1994). The Always Prayer Shawl. Boyds Mill Press A universally interesting story about one family's history, from immigration to integration in a new country. The prayer shawl, handed down from generation to generation, reminds the family of who they are and where they1ve come from.

Ramachander, Akumal. (1992). Little Pig. Illustrated by Stasys Eidregevicius. Toronto, Ontario: Viking. The adventures of one particular pig and the woman who runs a pig farm, with a morality lesson about fair punishment and retribution. Illustrations consist of detailed mask-like sculptures photographed in colour.

Rivard, Ken, illustrated by Jacques Laplante. (1996). Mom, the School Flooded. Toronto, Ontario: Annick Press. [Distributed in Canada by Firefly Books, Ltd., 250 Sparks Avenue, Willowdale, Ontario, M2H 2S4]. A little boy spins a tall tale for his mother after coming home from school in wet clothes. Readers are invited to suggest story endings and possibilities of their own.

Singer, Isaac Bashevis, illustrated by Margot Zemach. (1967). Mazel and Shlimazel or the Milk of a Lioness. Translated from the Yiddish by the author and Elizabeth Shub. Published in Canada by HarperCollinsCanada Ltd, Sunburst Edition, 1995. A story about the forces of good luck, bad luck and human spirit.

The Sechelt Nation, illustrated by Charlie Craig. (1993). Mayuk the Grizzly Bear: A Legend of the Sechelt People. British Columbia: Nightwood Editions. A retelling of the legend of the grizzly bear, contextualized with important information about the Sechelt People. Illustrated in black and white with strong graphic representations of First Nations art and symbols.

Sterling, Shirley. (1992). My Name is Seepeetza. Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre. [Groundwork Books/Douglas& McIntyre Limited, 585 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M6G 1K5]. A novel written in the form of a young First Nations girl's journal, describing the contrasts in life in a residential school and life with her family in northern British Columbia. Written in very accessible, clear and direct language, this is a powerful story that addresses racism, Canadian history and First Nations cultures.

Tran-Khanh - Tuyet, illustrated by Minh-hoa Nancy Hom. (1997). The Little Weaver of Thai-Yen Village. bilingual A story about a young girl, victim of the war in Vietnam, her subsequent adjustment to becoming an adopted child in a new country, and the ways in which she remembers her family and her country.

Wallis, Velma. Two Old Women. A story of survival and friendship among two women who are left behind by their band during a harsh winter.

Yee, Paul, illustrated by Simon Ng. (1989). Tales from Gold Mountain: Stories of the Chinese in the New World. A Groundwork Book, Douglas & McIntyre, Toronto/ Vancouver. [Douglas & McIntyre Limited, 585 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M6G 1K5]. A series of eight stories describing life in the Pacific Northwest and the role of Chinese immigrants in the formation of that piece of history. Beautifully illustrated, Yee transforms historic facts and information into wonderfully told stories.

Yee, Paul, illustrated by Harvey Chan. 1991. Roses Sing on New Snow: A Delicious Tale. A Groundwork Book, Douglas & McIntyre, Toronto/Vancouver. The story of a young Chinese woman at the turn of the century, the ways in which her abilities as a cook and her cleverness enable her to succeed, despite commonly held assumptions about the roles of women.

Young, Ed, (pictures and story). (1989, in paper 1996). Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China. New York: Putnam and Grosset Group. [Putnam and Grosset Group, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA]. Three sisters, left on their own at home, face a threatening wolf disguising himself as their grandmother. Beautifully illustrated.

mixed age: collected writings, poems and stories

Adams, Hal. ed. The Journal of Ordinary Thought. and The Next Word You Read..., a special edition of the Journal of Ordinary Thought, March, 1995. [contact: Hal Adams, Neighborhood Writing Alliance, 1313 E. 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60637]. Collected writings of adults in writing workshops in public schools and libraries in the city of Chicago.

Agard, John and Grace Nichols, editors, illustrated by Cathie Felstead. (1994). A Caribbean Dozen : Poems from Caribbean Poets. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press. The work of thirteen Caribbean poets is represented in this beautifully illustrated text. An introduction, biographical information about and photos of the poets add context to this rich assortment of writings.

Graham, Bill, ed. 1994. In This Country ... Personal Stories About Northern B.C.. Burns Lake, BC: Northern Literacy Readers. [Copies available from Bill Graham, Northern Literacy Readers, College of New Caledonia, Box 500, Burns Lake, BC]. A collection of 86 short stories written by adult basic education students in northern British Columbia, divided into these sections: northern children, transitions, parents and children, northern humour, lifestyles, the bush and winter.

Hanh, Thich Nhat. 1993. A Taste of Earth and Other Legends of Vietnam. Translated from the Vietnamese by Mobi Warren, Drawings by Nguyen Thi Hop and Nguyn Hong. Berkeley, California: Parallax Press. [Parallax Press, PO Box 7355, Berkeley, CA 94707]. Legends of Vietnam told simply and clearly, black and white line drawings, which lend themselves well to reading aloud.

Hull, Robert, ed. (1995). Breaking Free: An anthology of Human Rights Poetry. NY: Thomson Learning. [Thomson Learning, 115 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003]. A collection of poems relating to human rights and human rights abuses around the world, including notes and an introduction which contextualize the writings. Historical photos provide strong graphic illustration.

Jaine, Linda and Drew Taylor, editors. (1992). Voices: Being Native in Canada. Saskatoon: University Extension Press. [University Extension Press, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 0W0]. Anthology of 18 short stories by First Nations writers, both fairly well known and those for whom this volume represents a first publication.

Ireson, Barbara, ed, illustrations by Glenys Ambrus and Caroline Sharpe. (1986). The Fourth Young Puffin Book of Bedtime Stories. Middlesex, England: Puffin Books. [Penguin Books Canada Ltd., 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4V 3B2]. A collection of Western fairy tales, traditional and fantasy-based stories, illustrated with black and white line drawings.

International Task Force on Literacy. (1991). Words are what I've got: Writings by learners from all around the world during International Literacy Year. Toronto: International Task Force on Literacy. Published by Sister Vision Press, P.O. Box 217, Station E, Toronto, Ontario M6H 4E2 In addition to learners' writings from all over the world, maps, photos of and information about the countries represented are presented to provide a context for the writing which has been collected.

Kulpa, Katherine, ed. (1995). Short takes: Brief personal narratives and other words by American teen writers. East Greenwich, Rhode Island: Meryln1s Pen, Inc. [Merlyn1s Pen, Inc, 4 King Street, East Greenwich, Rhode Island, 02818-0964, USA]. A collection of short first person narratives written by teens in North America. Of particular interest is the story, "I Am Kwakkoli," by Bisco Hill, in which a young boy of the Oneida band in the United States describes his naming ceremony and other important Oneida traditions.

Martz, Sandra, ed. (1987). When I am an old woman I shall wear purple. Watsonville, CA: Papier-Mache Press. A collection of poems, prose pieces and photographs reflecting women1s strengths, concerns and issues around ageing.

Seki, Keigo. ed. (1963). Folktales of Japan. Translated by Robert J. Adams, Foreword by Richard M. Dorson. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. A collection of simply told folk tales, some of which were well known to the people in our group, who shared their own renditions of these stories.

Voices: New Writers for New Readers. Published twice yearly, available at an annual subscription rate of $12 at 9260-140 Street, Surrey, BC V3V 5Z4 Writings from adult literacy learners from programs across North America and South Africa. Photographs of many of the writers are included. Subject matter ranges from issues of immigration, returning to school, family, work, poverty, death, life and hope.

The Women's Book Committee, Chinese Canadian National Council. (1992). Jin Guo: Voices of Chinese Canadian Women. Toronto: Women's Press. [Women's Press, Suite 233, 517 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M6G 4A2]. Individual biographical stories, narratives grouped by theme, and photographs detailing the lives of a variety of Chinese Canadian women.

Woodrow, Helen, ed., by Adult Basic Education. (1995). A Newfoundland Spell. St. John's, NF:ABE Writing Network. [available for $7.00 payable to A Newfoundland Spell. ABE Writing Network, 18 Leslie Street, St. Johns, NF A1E 2V6. Collected writings of adults from adult basic education programs in Newfoundland, touching on themes common to all adults as well as focussing on issues particular to those living in Newfoundland.


Bannatyne-Cugnet, Jo, illustrated by Yvette Moore. (1992). A Prairie Alphabet. Montréal, Quebec: Tundra Books. [Tundra Books, Montréal, Quebec H3Z 2N2]. A lavishly illustrated alphabet book with hidden details embedded in each illustration, a glossary and explanation of particular terms and phenomena common to the prairies.

Kim Soo Goodtrack (words and pictures). (1993/94). ABC's of our Spiritual Connection. Penticton, BC: Theytus Books. [Theytus Books, Post Office Box 20040, Penticton, BC, V2A 8K3]. A beautifully illustrated alphabet book which shares information about important objects and ideas in First Nations cultures, including an alphabetical list of extended activities and A Sweetgrass Prayer.

practitioner resources

Barton, D. and R. Ivanic. editors. (1991). Writing in the community. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. [ Sage Publications, 2455 Teller Road, Newbury park, California, USA, 91320]. A collection of essays and articles addressing the social nature of literacy and examining a range of projects in which community writing is generated and shared.

Breen, M. and D. Sobel. (1991). Popular oral history and literacy. Toronto, Ontario: Storylinks. [Storylinks:Learning Through Dialogue, 295 Evelyn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6P 2Z8, (416)604-7726]. A handbook written to explain the rationale behind and methods of collecting oral histories for publication. From practical suggestions to larger theoretical concerns, the handbook is written in a clear and accessible style and is useful to anyone interested in gathering and sharing stories from communities.

Mace, J. ed. (1995). Literacy, Language and Community Publishing: Essays in adult education. Avon, UK: Multilingual Matters. Essays and articles relevant to adult educational practice in general, and community participating in writing projects in particular, examining a number of projects and perspectives within the UK.

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