Story: From Fireplace to Cyberspace: Connecting Children and Narrative

Stuart Hannabuss (The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 1 February 2000




Hannabuss, S. (2000), "Story: From Fireplace to Cyberspace: Connecting Children and Narrative", Library Review, Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 40-48.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

These are papers on the importance of “story” presented at the Allerton Park Institute Conference Center (Monticello, Illinois) in October 1997, and sponsored by the Graduate School. Hearne and Jenkins are associate professors at the School, Del Negro and Stevenson associated with The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books there. This is a reputable series, always worth keeping an eye on for a specialist slant relevant to your own work, and Story is no exception. For storytellers, librarians and teachers alike, it’s full of interest for what it says about stories, storying, resources, culture, theory and professional responsibility.

It looks at story from four viewpoints: practice, theory, literature, and institutional culture, with some three papers in each category. Useful discussions include storytelling in the school library and links between narrative and the curriculum (such as myths and astronomy), the ritual and festival role of story in cultural life, exploring matriarchal and gender issues in and through story, story in the pictures and texts of picture books, and the survival of story in an age of media‐saturated culture. It provides helpful guidance on further reading: collections, indexes, reference works and research tools (like Aarne, MacDonald, Stith Thomspon), resources for storytellers. Story extends from traditional folktale to now, not just as it’s used and studied today in live situations but also as it has developed in cyberspace. We get a good picture of storytelling resources on the Internet, for example the exchange on the listserv STORYTELL worldwide run at Texas Women’s University (see Other good sites are The Children’s Literature Web (∼dkbrown/index.html), the Web site of the National Storytelling Association ( and Storytelling FAQ ( All in all, then, this is a useful resource for any professional involved or interested in storytelling.

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