First Books

First Books

Books hold stories. Storytellers held stories with finger plays, rhyme schemes, or string figures, long before writing was invented. Your students will gain an expanded definition of Reading as a behavior that involves seeing and interpretation; define Books as devices for holding stories; see a variety of skills to make oral presentation engaging and informative. “First Books” includes a retelling of Itsy Bitsy Spider as an heroic epic, original finger plays, paper, and string stories. David draws a distinction between the story and the text. “Storytellers,” he explains, “always had words. What they wanted to preserve was the memory of the story and so could make books from hand gestures with finger plays, or weave a tale using string figures.” His final story is his popular string figure retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, also available as a picture book. Participation, physical and vocal histrionics, clever language, and creative use of objects engages all listeners.

Both in-person and virtual (live and pre-recorded) options are available for this program.


Artist Background

David Novak tells stories to enhance learning, engage emotion, and find common ground. A performing and teaching artist with the Wolf Trap Institute, Lincoln Center Institute, L.A. Music Center, festivals and institutes across the nation. David’s tours abroad include New Zealand, Asia, and the Czech Republic. A Master Storyteller for The Disney Institute, he was awarded the Circle of Excel- lence from the National Storytelling Network, and is often featured at the National Storytelling Festival. His background is in arts education, theatre, and creative writing. David is a published author and re- cording artist, living in Asheville, NC.


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