Of witches and princesses!

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For Halloween week, I’ve been asked to do a storytelling session at Times Bookstore in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur. And so, I’ve chosen the story, ‘Room on the Broom’, once again from one of my favourite children’s authors, Julia Donaldson. I decided to tell without pictures this time and replaced them with props – a witch’s hat (bought), a magic wand (handmade) and a ribbon (handmade).

I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision by going “picture-free” or not, because in this session, I got a very different audience. All of them conversed more comfortably in Chinese than in English and they were all girls who were pretty shy (though one came out of her shell during our activities session 😉 She is such a sweetie!).

So I had to make sure that they understood me every step of the way by using facial expressions, hand gestures and constant eye contact, plus lots of encouragement to try to get them to participate. To my amazement, they understood the story and could answer the questions later, though it took them some time… 🙂

Why did I decide to go ‘picture-free’? Well, very simply because I find children these days are being bombarded with too many pictures and graphics, telling them what certain things should look like, what and how to think, etc so much so that they aren’t given room to imagine and wonder; something that shouldn’t be taken away from a child. That’s what make them so beautiful and unique. Why stop their sense of wonder by throwing pictures and graphics and limit them from imagining that world and let them take ownership of it?

During our art & craft session, when we were to make our magic wands, I told them the magic wand that I have looks very boring and not very magical. So I asked them to make theirs as colourful and magical as they can, and they came up with their own versions 🙂

When it came to colouring, I told them the same thing. I asked one of them, if you had a magic frog, what colour would it be? She answered me purple, and she coloured her frog purple with a yellow head 🙂 We also had a very colourful witch who had a very colourful cauldron (a rainbow theme) 😉 As for one of them, who didn’t like colouring, I gave her a blank piece of paper to draw and she drew a magic tree which had little houses hanging from its branches 🙂 I encouraged her to show it off to her parents who were sitting nearby.  

Before the end of the session, I told the girls to remember to use their magic wands whenever they need to by saying the magic words they just learnt 😉

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