Creative Storytelling by Jack Zipes

You may or may not have noticed I haven’t been very good at posting in recent months. Sorry about that; it is because I have been taking classes—most recently, a super-intense 3-week Storytelling class taught by Dr. Jamie Naidoo. One fantastic book I read for the class was Creative Storytelling by Jack Zipes. Since it was so fantastic, I thought I would tell you a little about it for today’s blog post.

Creative Storytelling contains insights and new ways to think about all sorts of stories—fairy tales, fables, folk tales, tall tales, myths, and science fiction. As the book begins, Zipes suggests that the storyteller tell their chosen tale and discuss the meaning more in-depth with the audience before moving on to telling other versions or similar types of tales. He also gives several suggestions for activities when working with students in the classroom, so if you happen to be a teacher, I highly suggest reading this book!

Red Riding Hood standing in middle of snowy forest reaches out to touch a unicorn
Red Riding Hood and Unicorn by Bonnybbx on

And if you’re not a teacher? Well, if you are interested in any of those sorts of stories mentioned above (fairy tales, fables, etc.), you still might want to peruse Creative Storytelling because there’s lots of insightful information to consider. Take the first chapter for example, which discusses some of the aspects of Little Red Riding Hood. Think about it. Little Red Riding Hood has many arresting qualities. It is a quite violent tale and contains a lot of sexism. Gender roles are quite explicit, with part of the lesson the tale is meant to convey being that women are “victims of their own failings.” (p. 29)

Shocking yes, but just the beginning of the story(book)!

Although Creative Storytelling is aimed primarily for working with children ages 6-10, I believe it is also of interest to older “children” just interested in fairy tales, folklore and such. I would positively recommend reading Creative Storytelling by Jack Zipes to anyone.

…Now go read and re-imagine your own favorite tale! How does it fit in?