Good Books on: Story Telling
Recommendations of My Favorites!


These are books on how to tell stories - and I highly recommend them to you. For information concerning their prices, availability and, if desired, your convenient purchase, follow any of the linked titles, a service of Eldrbarry's Story Telling Page in association with Amazon.com Books.
  • The Story-Teller's Start Up Book: Finding, Learning, Performing and Using Folktales
    By Margaret Read MacDonald (August House Publishers Inc, 1993)
    ISBN 0874833051

    Want to learn how? The author of Twenty Tellable Tales, and The Parents Guide to Storytelling: How to Make Up New Stories and Retell Old Favorites and numerous other story telling books, will get you started. A teacher and librarian for many years in my Seattle area, Margaret has an infectious and involving style of telling and the twelve stories in this volume are fine examples you can learn and use. All the basics are covered here from finding breaking down and learning the story, to telling it and networking with other tellers, all with excellent bibliographical material as well. This is my number one recommendation for the beginning teller. Margaret Read MacDonald is also the author of The Storyteller's Sourcebook: A subject, Title, and Motif-Index to Folklore collections for Children.

  • Storyteller (3rd edition)
    by Ramon Royal Ross (August House, 1996)
    ISBN 0-874-83451-1

    A classic book that helped to spawn the current storytelling revival 25 years ago, the new edition includes discussion of personal experience stories, urban legends, choral reading, storyboard, puppetry, and music and movement storytelling. Each edition has gotten better, I know, I own all three. Here is a book that will be especially useful for teachers (whether Sunday School or the working week) who want to use puppets or flannelboard or singing and dancing as a part of telling the story. There is material here I haven't found elsewhere.

  • Creative Storytelling: Choosing, Inventing and Sharing tales for Children by Jack Maguire (Yellow Moon Press., 1992)
    ISDN 0938756354

    A practical volume for the beginner whether parent or teacher; there is material here on sources and types, gearing stories to different ages, techniques and utilizing your own experiences to create new tales. If you want to get started, this is a good book!

  • A Crash Course in Storytelling by Jby Kendall Haven and Mary Gay Ducey Libraries Unlimited (November 30, 2006)

    A very simple, easy-to-use guide for beginning storytellers. The chapters are concise, easy to read, and provide useful information, not only on the dos and don'ts of storytelling but also on how to get started. It is geared specifically toward busy librarians. It is written and formatted for those who need a quick working plan to begin storytelling. It is well-organized, allowing for quick reference to the details one might need in undertaking the storytelling process….This up-to-date book will be a great help to beginning storytellers in public libraries, school libraries, and other storytelling venues.

  • Stories to Play With: Kid's Tales Told with Puppets, Paper, toys and Imagination by Hiroko Fujita, Fran Stallings (Editor), [August House, 1999]
    A book on using props for storytelling working with pre-school and younger children. Many of the props in this book enable the preschoolers to recreate the story on their own, which is a valuable pedagogical process in itself. Some of the props are simple enough that the preschoolers can make their own after hearing the story, also a valuable process.

  • Creating a Family Storytelling Tradition: Awakening the Hidden Storyteller by Robin Moore, August House, 1999).

    Focused on storytelling at home with the family - this is a good book for learning storytelling as well. Using series of journeys in imagination - assembling a storyteller's toolkit both inner (memory, imagination and visualization) and outer (voice, gesture and movement.) Thanks to August House for keeping this book in print!

  • Len Cabral's Storytelling Book
    by Len Cabral (Neal-Schuman, May 1997 - ISBN 1555702538)

    This book teaches you to act out a story and interact with your audience rather than just reading to them. Most of the stories are accompanied by a "Telling Guide" appearing in the right hand column of each page which explains step-by-step how to tell the tale and a "Teaching Guide" which offers suggestions for related activities and ideas for discussion. The book begins with some very simple tales and progresses in the level of interactivity so you can move on to more advanced techniques as you become more comfortable and experienced. A couple of dozen multicultural tales are included.

  • The Art of the Storyteller
    by Marie L. Shedlock (Dover Books)
    ISBN 0-486-20635-1

    A classic book by one of the founders of American storytelling written in 1915 but still one of the most readable books on the subject in print. Both the practical how-to's and an excellent selection of stories. You can probably find this one in the library, if not in a used bookstore nearby, though it remains available from Dover Books (11 East 2nd St., Mineloa, N.Y. 11501 - no phone orders accepted), which have also kept available Joseph Jacob's English folklore books, Andrew Lang's Fairy Tale books of many colors, and Howard Pyle's Arthur and Robin Hood books - look in their section on Children's Books.

  • Just Enough To Make A Story: A Sourcebook for Storytelling
    by Nancy Schimmel (Sisters Choice Press., 1992)
    ISDN 093216403X

    Learning how to tell a story can make you a more effective orator and conversationalist, as well as helping you share your own life experiences and those of your family. In simple and elegant style, Nancy Schimmel relates the process of storytelling from choosing and learning a story to telling one. This is a terrific sourcebook with plenty of ideas to get you going and reading lists at the end of each section, including a four page listing of sources for stories involving strong and active heroines.

  • The Way of the Storyteller
    by Ruth Sawyer - Back in Print!! (Penguin USA, 1998) ISBN: 0140044361

    This book first written in 1942 has be reprinted numerous times and is truely a classic! A series of essays on the nature and power of storytelling that have inspired several generations of tellers, combined with eleven excellent stories. Her chapter on how to abolish technique is heavily underlined in my copy. Reread this book often, and put quotations from it on your wall. Just as I have on my website.

    Storytelling Book Sources: and more books suggestions!

    August House, Inc
    P.O. Box 3223, Little Rock, AR, 72203
    1-(800)-284-8784

    This Publisher has lots and lots of Storytelling resources - including lots of books and tapes - in fact that is all they publish. They are linked to the National Storytelling Association and Festival in Jonesborough, TN. They have so many collections of multicultural tales and books of stories - I can't begin to list all the good books they have available on storytelling. Visit their On-Line Catalog or get their catalog soon!!


    Libraries Unlimited/ Teacher Ideas Press
    Department 9643, P.O. Box 6633, Englewood, Co. 80155-6633
    1-(800)-237-6124, ext. 1 - E-mail: lu-books@lu.com

    Noted for award winning books, some of their titles include:


    Ornx Press (Recently acquired by Greenwood Publishing Group)
    4041 North Central , Suite 700, Phoenix, AZ, 85012-3397
    By Fax: 1-800-279-4663 By Phone: 1-800-279-6799


    Stenhouse Publishers
    P.O. Box 360, York, ME 03909-0360
    1-(800)-988-9812

    Publishers and distributors of a wide variety of teaching related materials


    Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.
    100 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013
    (212) 925-8650 Fax: (212) 219-8916

    Internet books and how-to-do books for librarians and educators. Online Catalog.

    • The Storytime Sourcebook: A Compendium of Ideas and Resources for Storytellers by Carolyn N. Cullum
    • Wellsprings of Imagination: The Homes of Children's Authors by Mark West
    • The Birthday Book: Birthdates, Birthplaces, and Biographical Sources for American Authors and Illustrators of Children's Books by Mary Hovas Munroe and Judith Rogers Banja
    • Bridging Cultures: A Program Kit for Schools and Public Libraries by Barbara Radke Blake and Tom Kruger


    Vineyard Video Productions
    P.O. Box 370, West Tisbury, MA., 02575-0370.
    800-664-6119

    • Three fine videotapes with Jay O'Callahan - one of them, "A Master Class in Storytelling", 33 minutes with workshop guide - is considered one of the best ever done on the subject. Other videos available for teacher training, parent education and classroom use, from kindergarten through post secondary levels.


    Yellow Moon Press
    P.O. Box 1316, Cambridge, MA, 02238
    1-(800)-497-8385

    • Joining in : An Anthology of Audience Participation by Norma Livo (Editor)


    H. W. Wilson
    950 University Ave., Bronx, NY, 10452
    1-(800)-367-6770 or (212) 588-8400


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