Posted on 27th April, 2013 by
We've askedÂ Melissa Squire of Honey Bee Books blog if she would like to be a guest blogger. She had a very special experience meeting Boori Monty Pryor on his recent ACT Tour. The tour included the 2013 CBCA Shortlisting announcements and dinner, storytelling workshops at the National Library of Australia and regional libraries; Queanbeyan, Dickson and Woden, as well as being the special focus of the whole-school read aloud in Turner Primary's Indigenous Reconciliation Garden.Â What a trip!
We'd like to say a huge thank you to all the partners involved in the tour, especially ACLA's board member Maureen Brooks from the National Library for pulling it all together and establishing such strong new partnerships in ACT for the LaureateÂ project going forward.
Storytelling with Boori Monty Pryor - Melissa Squire
Originally posted on Honey Bee Books blog, Monday April 15th 2013
"Spread theÂ writeÂ words to make ours a nation of readers and storytellers!"- Boori Monty Pryor.
We were fortunate enough to attend a storytelling session with one of the two inauguralÂ Australian Children's Laureates, Boori Monty Pryor, earlier this week at our local library.
I almost didn't go (you know, one of those days) but I am sooooo glad that I did because it was an amazing experience for my children and myself!
Boori Monty Pryor is the most charismatic, passionate and engaging storyteller I have had the pleasure to listen to. He weaved his storytelling magic and captured the imaginations of the entire audience, who all happily joined in the storytelling experience. As I looked around the young audience, they were simply spellbound! Laughter filled the library!
I thoroughly enjoyed the stories that he shared, but it was how he told them that really impressed me. So instead of simply sharing a review of his books, (which are wonderful and I highly recommend them) I thought I would share some of my observations on his storytelling techniques.
Here are 3 of Boori Monty's storytelling techniques that I observed:
1. Start with some fun and simple questions
The audience was engaged from the very beginning! After introducing himself, Boori asked the audience a series of questions, getting everyone to put up their hands up in response:
- Hands up if you love your Mum?
- Hands up if you love your Dad?
- Hands up if you love eating chocolate?
- Hands up if you love eating chocolate frogs?
- Hands up if you love eating real frogs? EWWW!
As you can see, they were simple questions that even the youngest in the audience could respond to and hands were going up everywhere. The final questions tricked a few of us, which got everyone laughing. It also perfectly lead intoÂ his main story based on his bookÂ My Girragundji,Â where he shared some of his boyhood antics with his pet frog and his family of seven sisters and three brothers.
2. Make the audience active participants in the story
Another method Boori used was to have the audience provide fun sound effects throughout the story. Whenever he said 'scary' we all had to say "oooooo" in our scariest ghost type voice. Whenever he said the word 'funny' we all had to laugh. This technique was used throughout the story and the children loved it. We were being invited to be an active part of the storytelling process rather than sitting passively and listening. Plus it was lots of fun!
3. Get the audience up and moving
As we all know young children don't like to sit still for too long. Fidgeting and wriggling is often a sign that their attention is waning. This certainly wasn't an issue for Boori! Storytelling though dance is an important part of indigenous culture and Boori taught us how to Shake a Leg! While he played the didgeridoo and clap sticks, the children paired up to re-enact a dance that told the story of a boy who didn't listen and the crocodile.
I know this storytelling experience will have a lasting impact on me and my children. In fact, Emily was so taken by him that she actually had a chat to him after the session, which really surprised me as she is always so shy. He was wonderful with her too, taking the time to listen to what she had to say. She even wanted him to come home with us! Each day since meeting him, she has talked about him or the stories he told.
If you have an opportunity to see Boori Monty Pryor in action, drop everything and go! You won't be disappointed. In the meantime, you might want to check out his books!
Posted on 18th March, 2013 by
We've just received some wonderful work from one of the families involved in Boori's session with School of the Air (SIDE).
After the author session with Boori, the children drew a picture of their favourite story from the session. The family all really enjoyed listening to Monty, expressing how engaging he was via Centra.
Posted on 10th February, 2013 by
If you didn't catch Boori's fantastic interview on the Love2Read website in DecemberÂ here's a taster... (read the full article here).
It has been a special year for me both as a National Year of Reading ambassador and the inaugural Children's Laureate, a position I share with Alison Lester.
I was thrilled to be a guest storyteller at the official Canberra opening of the 2012 National Year of Reading with Jennifer Byrne, William McInnes and Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. A particularly special moment was when Bryce Courtenay came up to me afterwards and said 'your story had the perfect structure, and the perfect bones within that structure.'
Reading is a way to survive. It's like traditional hunting. With hunting, if you don't listen and learn from what other people tell you - through their stories and by letting them take you to special places - you won't survive. Literacy is similar. We're going to make a better nation if we can all read and write.
A special activity I have been working on during the National Year of Reading is theÂ Storykeepers documentaryÂ with Meme McDonald, Jon Staley (Youthworx Productions) and Ian Jones (The Tracker, Ten Canoes). Â - Boori Monty Pryor
(Photo: Boori and Meme at the Celebration of the first year of the Laureate at City Library, Melbourne c/o Love2Read website).Â
And here was our favourite answer to his 20 questions (read all here)...
Posted on 3rd September, 2012 by
We just found this lovely review of Alison Lester's book The Snow Pony and thought it might inspire other budding reviewers?
Well done to Hannah from Manjimup primary! What a creative way to review a book you've enjoyed.
Posted on 22nd July, 2012 by
Posted on 8th July, 2012 by
This video was filmed as part of the Wheeler Centre's Childrenâ€™s Book Festival, co-presented with the State Library of Victoria.Â The 2012 and 2013 Australian Childrenâ€™s Laureates Boori Monty Pryor and Alison Lester joined Paula Kelly to discuss their travels as part of the Laureate programme â€“ as well as their love of reading, the value of inspirational storytelling for kids, their plans for further books and their love of meeting children all over Australia.
Posted on 15th June, 2012 by
Australian Childrenâ€™s Laureate Boori Monty Pryor entertained Australian Catholic University (ACU) staff and 100 school students from St Anneâ€™s and St Marthaâ€™s Strathfield on Friday 8 June 2012.
The staff and school children were so enthralled they blogged about it on their Library News. Thanks for your support ACU!
Posted on 5th April, 2012 by
Julie Morrison, a close friend of Boori Monty Pryor talks about why she dedicated 10 months to creating a very special and precious life quilt for her friend Boori. Thank you Julie for this detailed and inspiring article:
"I like to sew and to quilt and Boori had admired my quilts; he mentioned to me one time that he would love it if I made one for him. That set me to thinking; I could design a quilt of blocks that had meaning to him. A personal story quilt.
My first move was to ask him to draw around his hand (his very large hand). I knew that I wanted that to be a rock painting hand, in the centre of the quilt. The rest of the blocks evolved. I used google images to help me design the appliquĂ©s when my limited drawing skills became evident.
The top left hand corner is gum leaves. Those not only represent Australia, but also dance.Â I have been atÂ presentations when Boori teaches the little ones to do the mosquito dance; they dance to music and wave the gum twigs and leaves to brush off the mossies. The kids just love it.
Moving across the top, the next block is the kite. This bird has significance to Boori and his life.
The next block is music. The boomerang and clap sticks are used for rhythm when he plays the didg.
The right corner is writing. Boori got his first computer just a few years ago. Before that he would have an exercise book and pencils always in his bag and would write wherever and whenever he could.
Going down one row is My Girragundgi, the frog. Everyone knows that story now, but I first heard it before the book came out when he told it to my then 6 year old granddaughter to dry her tears.
Across from that is his hand. For the quilters, it is reverse appliquĂ© with his hand shape the same as the rock.
On the right hand side is a North Queensland gecko. They are everywhere up here and we hear them at night as they hunt around the lights for moths.
Under the hand is a library. Boori is a great supporter of libraries and the library at his old school, Garbutt State School has been named for him.Â It also represents the books he has written.
Under the library is the didgeridoo. Boori has played this all over the world. The kids just love his stories of playing the didg, especially the one about the fly.Â He is a very skilled musician and says the kids names through the music.
On the right hand side then, is the crocodile.Â Booriâ€™s family comes from Yarrabah (near Cairns) and he has told me of sleeping on the beach listening to the big crocs barking nearby.
Across the bottom are my interpretations of aboriginal art. On the left is the turtle, then the meeting place, then the fish and the bottom right has a kangaroo.
Across the whole quilt a rainbow serpent winds its way. The rainbow serpent formed Australia, so this serpent starts in snow, goes through cold desert, then the hot sandy desert, up through heat and bushfires, across through the wildflowers then down to the bush, finishing in the rainforest.
It has been quilted with gum leaves all around the edge, then boomerangs, clap sticks and meeting places across the body.
The whole quilt is made of cotton from fabrics that I collected all across North Queensland.
It was fun to make. Stories about people, events and lives can be told in words, painted as art, written in books or sewn into fabric.Â This quilt is my telling of the Boori that I know, admire and love. I think that there will be a lot of people who can see him in this quilt.Â He said the only thing that I left off was the basketball! No, I am not making another to include it."
Posted on 27th March, 2012 by
This is a guest post by Brigitta Ragg, a teacher fromÂ Blackfriars' Priory School,Â who wanted to share her touching experience of meeting Laureate Boori Monty Pryor:
Last week our school was lucky enough to have Boori come and speak to our year 8 students. I shared a story with him and he asked that I share it with you...
When I was a student in Year 8, some 14 years ago, I remember going to the library to hear Boori Monty Pryor speak. I had always been interested in books and reading, but as far as I can remember he was the first â€śreal life authorâ€ť I had ever met. I cannot remember any specific thing that he spoke to us about, but I do remember that I was so inspired by him that I immediately borrowed his book â€śMaybe Tomorrowâ€ť from the library and read it in a matter of days. I remember his energy, his passion, and the way he told a story and made me feel like he was just speaking to me.
Well over a decade later, and now a teacher myself, Â I was recently informed that Boori would be visiting our school to talk to my Year 8 class. I wondered if my memories of him had been inflated over time and whether he would live up to the somewhat magical character I had created in my head. I neednâ€™t have worried. In the much-dreaded time slot of last lesson on a Friday, Boori captured the hearts and minds of nearly 150 Year 8 boys. They laughed until they cried and when they caught their breath, they laughed again. He captivated them with stories of his childhood and inspired them with his messages of understanding and inclusion. I could see by their faces that they, too, felt like he was speaking just to them.
I met Boori Monty Pryor for one hour, over half my lifetime ago, and had never forgot him. I am so grateful that my students were able to have that same experience.
Thank you Boori, for continuing to do what you have always done so well and allowing me the opportunity to be inspired by you all over again.
To read more about Boori's visit toÂ Blackfriarsâ€™ Primary School visit their library blog
Posted on 9th December, 2011 by
â€śI am truly excited by this opportunity to have a national focus on stories â€“ for kids and by kids â€“ celebrating the work we do together, and creating ways to share it with each other. We will perform and live our stories, write and read our stories, sing and dance our stories, and cook and eat our stories! Itâ€™s such an honour and privilege to be chosen as a Laureate and a chance of a lifetime!â€ť