Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stories from All Over

Last week, we had a great opportunity to hear an amazing storyteller do his thing at Barnes and Noble. I met him earlier in the day at work. Rob Cleveland was the keynote speaker at an early reading conference the station was hosting last weekend and Rob arrived a day early to do some other things beforehand. He wound up sitting in the Ready-to-Learn office while Tasha finished some things up and became parched. Tasha came to borrow some change from me (we bought him a VAULT soda) and Darling Man and I followed her back to her office to meet the man.

He's very enthusiastic about telling stories and using them to help kids learn how to read - especially delayed readers. And his books are so engaging that even though it's on a first grade level, fifth graders love them too so there's no stigma attached to reading them.

That night, he had a reading and book signing at Barnes and Noble and ZBoy and I went.

He told three of his stories, acting them out. He also called on participants from the audience to help him.

Storyteller But...

His audience laughed, holding their bellies and rocking back and forth, rapt. There weren't many of them there, but the enthusiasm of the kids that were there more than made up for it.

Wm rapt Getting down on our level
Afterwards, he signed books. ZBoy was thrilled to have his autographed books. I bought a couple for myself and a couple for ZBoy's friend (red shirt) who'd recently had a birthday.

Rob and Z Rob Cleveland's books
As we were leaving, ZBoy told me that Rob was now his favorite author. And Rob passed us as I was checking out, heading towards the front of the store where the signing was originally set up with the homeless people sleeping in the chairs. Z spotted him and yelled across the store, "I love your stories, Mr. Cleveland! You ROCK!"
And Rob turned back to me and said, "That's the best review I've ever gotten."
If you're interested in checking out his books and the animated versions on line, go to and to buy them,
The stories are folk tales from all over the world. Your kids will enjoy them and you will too!


Jan said...

Thanks, I'll check him out.

Sandcastle Momma said...

There is no better deed than instilling a love for reading in a child. This man sounds amazing and we'll be checking out his books for sure!

margaret (the misanthrope) said...

My mom taught me to love reading and music (in fact, I'm planning to write up a Fun Monday post about her and the goofy songs she used to sing). I am forever grateful for that.

Live storytellers are amazing! I saw one years ago - I think his name was Jim Weiss. His storytelling brought some ancient Celtic and Irish legends to life.

margaret (the misanthrope) said...

P.S. I've added you to my blogroll. I hope that's OK. If it isn't, just let me know!

Janis said...

He sounds like a lot of fun for the kids. I will have to see if my grandaughters know of him. BTW Zboy is a cutie pie.

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