When Daddies Tell Stories
DaddyTeller: How to be a Hero to Your Kids and Teach Them What’s Really Important By Telling Them One Simple Story at a Time
Author: Sean Buvala
Ebook, 73 pages, $14.95
Quick—think of a story your father told you when you were a kid. Got it? Then you’re one of the lucky ones.
What will your children say to the same question twenty years from now? And when they look at you with those big eyes and plead, “Daddy, tell me a story,” what do you say? Do you grab a tried-and-true Golden Book of someone else’s words, or do you launch into a colorful yarn that keeps your kids entranced until the end and coming back for more?
Have you ever wished someone would put together a story-time instruction book for Daddies? Well, someone has.
DaddyTeller: How to be a Hero to Your Kids and Teach Them What’s Really Important By Telling Them One Simple Story at a Time, written by award-winning professional storyteller Sean Buvala, is a collection of eight fables, edited and arranged specifically for Daddies to share with their children. They’re easy to learn and fun to tell.
But DaddyTeller carries a double punch. Stories like “The Donkey Who Thought He Was a Lion,” “Apples For the Princess,” and “The Fisherman and His Wife” are not only bonding tools for parent and child. They also demonstrate the value of honesty, kindness, and integrity, warn of the danger of greed, and encourage a sense of self-worth that is all the more valuable to your children when it comes from you.
Each chapter presents one story in three different ways. First, the story is written out in its entirety, just as you would tell it to your child. Next, the same story is broken down into a “Brick and Mortar Reminder List” to jog your memory as you learn the sequence of events. Finally, the story is written out once again, but this time it is studded with action prompts and suggestions for funny faces and squeaky voices to capture the imagination of your audience.
Not a performer? Don’t worry. Sean’s aim is to get you telling stories to your children as soon as possible, and this he does with warmth and humor. The “coaching” instructions sprinkled throughout each story, down to what to do with your hands, will have you up and running even if you’ve never told a story in your life.
The first two chapters of DaddyTeller are also designed to set you at ease. Chapter One is a “quick-start, ten-step get-going guide” that outlines exactly what to do first, from choosing the lesson you want to share with your child (like honesty or kindness) to the nuts and bolts of how to do it. Chapter Two digs a little deeper into what you can expect from this special time with your kids—pointing out, for example, that “a story told with bumps and mistakes is better than not telling at all.”
“Making mistakes is part of the process,” Sean writes. “Don’t wait to be perfect before telling stories to your kids.”
Nevertheless, DaddyTeller has been thoughtfully compiled to include all the help you need to make story time a success. There are eight stories in the e-book itself, plus a link to a ninth story. In addition, Sean offers support for the novice storyteller in the form of audio training and video instructions that can be found at www.daddyteller.com. You can also sharpen your technique by watching video clips of Sean himself telling stories.
Storytelling as a way to communicate right living has surely been around as long as humans have walked the planet. Campfire lessons on the difference between good and bad choices have gone a long way toward preservation of our species.
And, really, not much has changed over the millennia. The fact is that today children all too often look to movies and television for those lessons, with varying results. Yet a beloved story told over and over by Dad, delivering the message Dad wants delivered, can pierce the jumble of voices in a child’s mind and shine like a jewel.
DaddyTeller is a good idea realized just in time. The book promises to show Dads how to teach kids what’s really important, and in this Sean Buvala seems to be on the right track. One of the greatest DaddyTeller lessons your kids may take with them down the road is that nothing in the world can ever be more important than spending time with their own kids.
For this reviewer, the book’s cover picture says it all: Look into your child’s eyes. And let him look into yours. DaddyTeller gives you a way to do just that.
Durga Walker created this review at our request.