Storytelling Arts' mission is to preserve, promote and impart the art of storytelling to develop literacy, strengthen communities and nurture the human spirit.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hop online

Hello, I am Julie Della Torre, Master Storyteller with Storytelling Arts, Inc. I have been working as a Professional Storyteller since 1985 and have 9 years of elementary school teaching experience along with the study of child development and curriculum. More information about our work in storytelling and education can be found on the Storytelling Arts website

I find I'm hopping online more and more often when I need to find a story. I'd like to share a few of my favorite sites with you, and hope you will respond with a few favorites of your own.


By far the site I visit the most is SurLaLune hosted by Heidi Anne Heiner. It is a site that is quite easy to use and I recommend you play in it and discover all it has to offer. The site has stories galore as well as essays, illustrations and so much more.

When you first open the site you immediately see on the left, an index of popular European fairy tales. Click on any one of these and wonders appear. The full text of the story is given with annotations. Another index appears on this new page and you can find a history of the tale, illustrations of the tale, similar tales from across cultures, modern interpretations, a bibliography and a book gallery. For some of the most popular tales there are links to other explorations of the tale.

But don’t stop there. Go back to the home page and across the top is another menu. Click on Introduction and a number of essays can be found. Yet another index pops up and you can go to discussions of such subjects as Disney and Fairy Tales, Women and Fairy Tales, a Guide for Teachers, and many more.

Speaking of discussions, the discussion board is a place to find out what storytellers, authors, folklorists, professors, and illustrators are thinking and working on in the field of fairy tales. There are current discussions as well as archives covering many topics of interest.

And there is more on the home page. Scroll down and you will find an empty box with ‘search’ beside it. Type in any word, for example, wind, or daisy, or self-control, and the whole of Surlalune will be searched for your topic. You may find annotations, or discussions, or illustrations. It is a very useful search engine.

And one more overlooked feature. Under the search engine is SurLaLuune Storytime. Here you will find ideas for preschool story programs developed around themes.

SuLaLune has recently introduced a blog to the site. I find it to be funky and eccentric. I go to it for fun, but am still trying to get used to it. You will find many reviews of new books, movies and movie trailers, advertising, allusions and the like, all related to fairy tales.

Story Lovers World

Another site I frequent is Story Lovers World hosted by Jackie Baldwin. This site is more for gathering ideas around themes, countries and educational levels. This site does not have stories available, but when I am working on programs, I find this site quite useful indeed.

The site is a little overwhelming and a bit more confusing than SurLaLune. That’s because there is just so much information tuck away in different places. Go to SOS Site Map (Searching Out Stories) and scroll down and down and down… You will find categories based around theme, age of audience, country, holidays, emotions, and many more. Keep on scrolling because the list is extensive. If you stop at a find at the top of the scroll, you may miss some very interesting stuff. If you wait to the end though, you will have forgotten what’s at the top.

When you click on an interest, you will find lists of books and stories, as well as ideas and discussions from other storytellers. Most of these discussions are from the popular listserv STORYTELL. My creative juices get flowing as I explore what other storytellers have chosen for a particular project.

Jackie Baldwin is a very generous storyteller and has complied stories, activities and books around such themes as water, winter, January and so forth.

Briefly, here are other sites that are bookmarked on my computer.

D.L. Ashliman’s Home Page:

This is the site I go to for the text of stories.

Aaron Shepard’s Home Page:

All Aaron Shepard adaptations. But, he does have some good activities and some readers theatre that I send teachers to.

Generosity of Spirit: Myths and Folktales

This site is sponsored by the Fetzer Institute. I found it and used it when I was collecting stories to accompany a program on character education. I used some of the stories, but found that the stories listed made me remember other stories in my repertoire. A site to explore at least.

Sacred Texts

Texts of many books of myth and fairy tale.

Spirit of Trees

A beautiful site of folktales, myths, essays and poems of trees.