Friday, March 14, 2014

Through her eyes #9 - Jim Weiss 'Live' Story Telling and the tale of Hercules

Dumpling is an avid reader and has a voracious appetite for good stories. We are blessed as she started reading independently early on and this has made my homeschool sessions much easier as a lot of our themes and the books that we read are child-led.

Recently, Jim Weiss visited Singapore for a story-telling event amongst other workshops that he conducted. I do not quite recall where exactly I have heard of Jim Weiss but I recalled that all that I have read have been great reviews so far. Known as a 'master story teller' having a liquid gold voice, I bought tickets to watch him in action with the little one. And he did not disappoint. 

The hall was packed and everyone waited anxiously for him to start. He was very animated and held the attention of children and adult alike with his expressive reading style. Jim told 5 stories that afternoon - the Tortoise & the Hare, a Hercules adventure, a "wise man" tale, The Lion & the Mouse, and The Fisherman & the Genie.

It was quite an experience for me to watch him slip into the various characters of each story easily - one moment he was the proud lion and in the next second, he was totally believable as this small and frightened mouse (in Lion and the Mouse) who knew that his life was just hanging on by a thread for waking the Lion up.

Jim also has a special gift of being able to read the 'energy' level of the crowd well. When he could sense that the crowd was a tad fidgety (especially with the younger children) he had everyone participate in the story telling. In Hercules, he had everyone help out by chiming in (with sound effects) during his story telling. It is no wonder he was swarmed during the intermission for autographs!

Dumpling queuing in line to wait for her album to be autographed

Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan was amongst the crowd of audience and in an impromptu moment (during the interval), he too, shared a story.

 Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan,  Minister for Environment and Water Resources, presenting a token to Jim Weiss

While in the past, Dumpling used to read in the car, we have now managed to successfully break this bad habit by letting her listen to Jim Weiss's CDs instead. :)

Here's sharing a clip on Razor TV and you can see why this award winning story teller is well-loved by both the adults and children. I would highly recommend his CDs to encourage the little ones in reading more and introducing to them fairy tales too. 

Dumpling's recommendation? She & He: Adventures in Mythology. She really likes the story Atalanta and the Golden Apples since she is still very much into Greek Myths but her favorite Hercules tale (not told) is about the Queen of Amazons which she wrote about below.

For me, I like that Jim was able to bring the stories to a level that is easily understood by children even when the stories are on bigger topics like Myths and include classics by Mark Twain, etc. :) In addition, these CDs would complement our homeschool topics well too. We heard that talks are in the way for him to return next year and yup, both the kiddo and I will definitely be watching him in action. 

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