________________ CM . . . . Volume I Number III . . . . June 30, 1995

Share a Tale: Canadian Stories to Tell to Children and Young Adults

Compiled by Irene Aubrey and Louise McDiarmid
Ottawa: Canadian Library Association, 1995
222pp, paper, $29.95

Subject Headings:
Children's stories, Canadian (English).

Grades 6 and up / Ages 11 and up.
Review by Dave Jenkinson


Large Mosquitoes

Telling time: 30 seconds
Suitability: 11 years and up

Collected by Michael Taft
Informant: Katherine Wood

Mistaking a large mosquito for an airplane will be a familiar joke to many in northern and western Canada. W.O. Mitchell tells a similar story about a grasshopper in Jake and the Kid.

There was a trapper at Fort Nelson. And he got up one morning and he found a mosquito trying on his socks. They say that when the American Army first came to Whitehorse, they had planes coming through that were refuelling. They had five hundred gallons pumped into a mosquito before they found it wasn't a plane.

-- from "Large Mosquitoes I" originally printed in Tall Tales of British Columbia by Michael Taft, copyright © 1983 Provincial Archives of British Columbia.

A companion volume to Storytellers' Rendezvous (CLA, 1979) and Storytellers' Encore (CLA, 1984), previously compiled by Irene Aubrey, Louise McDiarmid, and Lorrie Andersen, Share a Tale offers 103 stories and poems which are to be shared not just with the children's audience of the earlier volumes, but also with young adults, a young adult being defined as someone over 14. The present compilers, both experience children's librarians and storytellers, have included a fine introduction which cleary lays out how the new book differs from its predecessors; in addition to aiming fora broader audience, the compilers have used slightly different categories and included a new section, "Tall Tales," which inclues history, biography, and reminiscenses.

Specifically, users will find:

The stories, a few of which are original texts appearing in print for the first time, are all still "child-tested," and the compilers continue to offer both suggested age levels for the stories plus "Telling Times," which range from as little as 30 seconds to as much as 16 minutes. The book also includes "Name/Title" and "Subject" indexes, plus a brief bibliograhy and directory.

One other significant change from previous volumes is the books's format. The large 8 1/2" x 11" size is gone; the new book is a comfortable 6" x 9", and the text is printed in an easy-on-the-eyes green.

A very small quibble: the compilers say that the book's contents are for "storytellers of every kind, from professionals to parents telling bedtime stories." Certainly a professional audience will be able to use the contents as presented, but parents, plus many classroom teachers whose professional preparation has not included a storytelling course, would benefit from a few hints on how to begin to make a story one's own, so that it can be told with confidence. Though a number of titles listed in the bibliograhy would readily help any beginning storyteller, Aubrey and McDiarmid could still have provided a quick introduction to the art of storytelling.

Highly Recommended.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1998 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364