the storytree company : a giveaway

this is a sponsored post
One of my fondest childhood memories involves audio books. I clearly remember borrowing a cassette tape of Milly Molly Mandy stories from my local library and curling up on my bed to listen. I’d while away winter afternoons; consumed by the voice and the mischievous Miss Molly. I was always an avid reader but audio stories added another element to the experience.

As a parent I have turned to audio stories and meditations many times. I started using them when Che first dropped his day sleep. It’s always such a murky transition and audio books filled that gap; they provided valuable quiet time come afternoon and kept the overwhelming emotions and tantrums at bay. Since then they have been a constant in our home and in the car.

Recently I discovered The Storytree Company, created by master storyteller and singer, Jenni Cargill-Strong. Her melodic and soothing voice intrigues and delights and it’s all too easy to get carried along, engrossed in the tales she tells. Based in the Byron Bay Hinterland, Jenni regularly performs to live audiences and has won numerous awards for her CDs. She believes that stories are for humans, regardless of age, and that ultimately, the magic of the story is stronger than the storyteller. “A well-crafted story casts a spell over listeners of any age, invoking a deeply restful state,” she says.

I asked Jenni a few questions about storytelling and the benefits of audio stories for this generation. Her words are both eloquent and educational:

Many people love having my story CDs as an alternative to TV or screen time, if they want to keep their child engaged and occupied but also have their imagination stimulated. Recorded stories are great before bed when you are too tired or busy to read to your child and can also be used if your child is having trouble falling to sleep. They are also a great way to shorten long car journeys.

Listening to stories helps children learn quite naturally and easily. They stimulate imagination enormously because so much of an oral story has to be imagined. With a picture book you see the story as the illustrator paints it but with a told story you imagine it all. 

 

Research has shown that people recall information given within a story at a dramatically higher rate than data given without a story context. Oral storytelling is also an elegant way to engage multiple intelligences. Quality stories, told sensitively, can nourish the soul while fostering imagination, emotional resilience, moral values and critical thinking.While the level of concentration required to follow an oral story is very high, the magic of stories with a folktale structure is such, that modern children can still sink deeply and effortlessly into them. Even very exciting stories can generate a feeling of relaxation, because they create such an intensity of focus or ‘entrainment’.Well told oral stories have a distinctly different structure to written stories. They are all action. This is because the processes of listening as opposed to reading are significantly different. This means firstly that an oral storyteller must always keep the story moving or risk losing their audience. The action doesn’t have to be adrenaline pumping action, it just must keep steadily unfolding. Secondly, though a storyteller can use beautiful words, they need to use words relatively simply. However, a storyteller has something more than words to paint images in the imaginations of their listeners. Just some of the tools on the storyteller’s tool box are vocal tone, pitch, pace, pause, gesture, facial expression, emotional tone, mime, character voices, gaze, song, refrain and repetition.
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Jenni is kindly giving away a pack of her CDs, including Reaching for the Moon, The Story Tree, The Mermaid’s Shoes, Molly Whuppie and The True Adventures of Salty Pete the Pirate – valued at $85. To enter, please leave a comment telling me about your very favourite story as a child. Comments close on Thursday December 11th at 5pm and the winner will be announced shortly afterward. This giveaway is open to international readers. I’ll be at the post office first thing Friday morning to ensure the package gets to the winner in time for Christmas.
You can listen to a preview of the stories at The StoryTree Company and purchase CDs and digital downloads there. CDs are also available from Dragonfly Toys.

 

Comments closed. The winner is Georgia! Congratulations – loved reminiscing about Dot and the Kangaroo. Please email your address to: jodiclairewilson @ yahoo.com.au
 
If you didn’t win and are interested in purchasing CDs for a discounted rate, please visit this page for discounts – valid till 2pm Wednesday 17th December. 

 

 

 

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Showing 58 comments
  • Ellie
    Reply

    I love the sound of these for my kinder kids & I'm off to check out the preview now….
    I was a huge Famous Five fan and still have memories snuggled up in bed reading about Timmy the dog.

  • Beverley J
    Reply

    I'd love my two grand nieces to have a chance reading these. My favorite was The Secret Garden. I still pick it up 60 years later!

  • Cheryl
    Reply

    I had a book of short stories called "the Adventures of the Magic Rocking Horse" that I loved and read many times over.

  • Katrina@capturingmoments
    Reply

    My all time favourite story as a child was The BFG. I regularly overheated and consequently experiences nightmares and so each night I would pretend I was Sophie and that the BFG would send me happy dreams. What a wonderful giveaway Jodi, I'd be so excited to win and it would buy me precious feeding time at night while my boys listened to the stories in their beds x

  • Georgia
    Reply

    When we were kids we listened to the 'Dot' Series, Dot and the Whale, Dot and the Kangaroo – I actually only found out today that they were books first (of course, silly me!) when i saw them on a stall at Evandale Market. They're Beautiful Australian Stories by Ethel C. Pedley, We would listen to them each year as we did our annual 'big trip' to the mainland from tasmania. All six of us squashed in the Car with all our gear, We always had the BEST time.

  • Daisy'sdreams
    Reply

    My absolute favourite story as a child was "Charlie in the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl. The moment I opened it, I was Charlie and off on an adventure of a life time! 🙂 My 2 year old loves stories and I'm loving revisiting so many old favourites right now – I can't wait to share Charlie with her in a few years 🙂
    And my favourite story to listen to on Sunday morning radio (in NZ) was "Bad Jelly the Witch" by Spike Mulligan – a rollicking tale of a stolen cow called Lucy, apple trees that were once Policemen, Jim the Eagle and of course, the star, Bad Jelly 😉 Spike was a genius and there is so much in it for children and adults alike 🙂

  • Carie
    Reply

    I've got so many favourites I thought this would be really hard to choose but it turns out there's one stand out for me – my father reading Swallows and Amazons – I quite desperately wanted to go camping in the Lake District after that!

  • Tara Hayes
    Reply

    My favourite was "Goofy.s Big Race" I still remember walking with my mum as a 3yr old to buy it from our local newsagent, getting a jam & cream donut on the way 😉 I always loved when my dad read it to me, he did the best voices! I knew it off by heart, my favourite bit was "Slow & steady wins the race" my mum kept it all these years, I now read it to my 3yr old daughter

  • Lilybett
    Reply

    Our favourite stories as children were the little vignettes and poems in AA Milne's Now We Are Six. Some of them are decidedly not okay by today's standards but the small tale and melody of Alexander Beetle is still a favourite I read or recite to my own son.

  • Lyndal
    Reply

    I can remember being read The wishing chair and The magic faraway tree over and over as a child. I have just bought the magic faraway tree for my 4 year old and for Christmas and can't wait to start reading it to her. I'd love to get my girls into audio books, my 2.5 year old is on the verge of dropping her day sleeps and I think listing to an audio story would be perfect for quiet time!

  • craftykat
    Reply

    Oh that is certainly a hard one! The Faraway Tree was one of my favourite and I cannot wait to read it to my daughter one day!

  • Rachel
    Reply

    Audio books for relaxation time, thank you for this idea.
    The Secret Garden.

  • jandi
    Reply

    As a very young child I really loved all of the Richard Scarry stories. The illustrations were also wonderful.

  • Hannah-Lea Robertson
    Reply

    Th Dream-Eater by Michael Ende and The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde had me completely emotionally invested as a child and both stories do the same to me to this day.

  • Kristy Chip
    Reply

    My favourite story was a version of Cinderella on cassette tape with an accompanying book. The songs, phrases and images from that story are still firmly etched in my memory!

  • Rachel
    Reply

    I love audio books, we often listen to them on the car with my two children, I'm not sure who gets the most out of the stories, as I often find myself still listening even without them in the car!!
    I have vivid memories of listening to a recording of James and the Giant Peach as a child but I have always loved all things Blyton!

  • jackieb
    Reply

    I just loved all the Blyton stories …they were very "in" those days !! Kids just loved "danny Champion of the World" …I can probably recite the story!

  • Rachel
    Reply

    Oh we've been fans of the audio stories from Sparkle Stories but they are american and now I'm so very excited to find an Australian storyteller! My absolute favourite story as a child was Mem Fox's "Koala Lou". I have a very well worn copy that I always intended to give to my littles but…I couldn't do it. So I got them their own 🙂

  • Bungalowgirl
    Reply

    So impossible to pick just one! Would it be Richard Scarry's great supermarket mystery which has been in my possession since I was three, or Charlie and the chocolate factory, or The Magic Faraway tree ? All of which I still have and have recently shared with my youngest child. These audio stories look wonderful, I have never tried audiobooks with my kids but love anything that is an alternative to screen time. mel x

  • Jovana
    Reply

    "Jezeva kucica" by a mile…they actually do sell it nowadays in english and it is called "hedgehog's home" and it is I thought almost too gruesome for my kiddos (in the end the bear, wolf and fox get what's coming to them:)))) but growing up i loved it, so much- because it was my grandma who always read it to me and she'd always say 'my home is my freedom'- which is what the main character always says. as many of our grandparents she had gone through stuff most of us can't even imagine and having her own home was quite important to her.

  • saripondia
    Reply

    My favourite story comes from a cassette full of tales. This one favourite of mine is called "the stone soup" and talks about cooperation and making everyone feel that by their participation they are part of the succes!

  • Sara Watson
    Reply

    I too remember curling up in my bed, getting lost in audio books. I remember being a young teen, and listening to Hatchet. At that time, that was my favorite story. I ought to listen to it again, to see how my perspective has changed-as an adult!

  • Niki Kate
    Reply

    I used to love Sunday morning stories on the radio here in New Zealand. I'd tuck my transistor radio under my pillow and wait to see what stories were on each week. It felt like a magical few hours but was most likely only an hour! I had so many favourites – Diana and the golden apple, one about a train, Molly Whoppy to name a few. I didn't like Bad Jelly the Witch and remember being a little bit frightened by it. Around Christmas time it was wonderful to listen to the stories as they all had a Christmas theme. I only wish CDs like these had been around 20 years ago when my daughter was small as by then the children's programme on the radio had finished. I would love to have these CDs to share with my future grandbabies.

  • Starr Sonam
    Reply

    My fav storie was one I wrote myself at 5 it was about a girl who took a Star down to earth, I also loved The Folk and The Faraway Tree too. Audio Stories are a BIG part of our day I would love to introduce my kids to these stories.

  • fiona
    Reply

    I have long had a memory of a story called "little lolly little legs" that I loved to pieces as a little girl. I remembered it as being a big book. My 6 yr old just learned to read this year. My mum brought over a selection of early readers for him. I was so excited to see my book amongst the pile! . In real life it was smaller and shorter than I remembered but both my children love it. I have a new favorite moment with that book now. At bedtime recently I went to get a bottle of water for my boys. On my return my 6 yr old was reading this book to my 4 yr old. He was pointing out all the funny bits and interpreting the illustrations as he went. Bliss. They love books.

  • Genevieve
    Reply

    My favourite stories as child were the ones that my father told me about his childhood. I remember thinking how funny it was that my father was once a child : )

  • Fleur
    Reply

    I loved the folk of the faraway tree and the magic wishing chair series by enid blyton, I remember falling in love with 'the power of one' by Bryce Courtney when I was a bit older, Heidi, What Katy did, Little women and we had a REAL Grimms fairytale book that I read in primary school late at night and I was completely terrified. We had a cassette of stories as a child too, I would listen for hours to Snow White and Rose Red. Happy memories, thank you for reminding me.

  • sarah
    Reply

    Oh, we have and love all these stories! (So this isn't a competition entry!) just wanted to cast a vote for how wonderful they are. Wonderful give away.

  • Angela
    Reply

    Miss Leary, my year three teacher read to my class The BFG by Roald Dahl. The feeling of contentment still washes over me as I read that book to my kids. Sometimes I enjoy children's stories more than adult ones, it takes me back to the feeling of being a kid again.

  • Amandine Lambert
    Reply

    Thank you for this fantastic giveaway! I'd be so happy to get these! If I don't I might buy them myself as my son LOVES stories on CDs. So fingers crossed 🙂
    My very favourite story as a little girl was The Princess and the Pea. I was absolutely fascinated by this idea of going behind appearances I actually remember hoping that one day proof would be given that I, too, was a real princess-ah ah!
    Thanks for this lovely opportunity and take care of yourself-you must feel quite heavy by now. Best wishes!

  • aluminiumgirl
    Reply

    I loved listening to Gobilino the Witch's Cat, and Goblino the Kitchen cat – they were cassette with read along books. Loved them! 🙂

  • barbara
    Reply

    I remember that I've always read a lot, sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning! but only now that I'm a mother, reading has a whole different meaning: it's not only doing something for me by myself, but stimulate my daughters' imagination! I love simulate different voices or making funny sounds while reading… I'm italian but I read only english books to them: I know how can be important knowing a different language (english especially). Audiobooks are a great resource because they teach them the right pronunciation of the words and can be listened even while painting or playing, Thanks for hosting this for international readers!

  • lisa
    Reply

    I loved The Magic Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton, and now it is my 3yr old daughters favourite too! She cannot go a day without listening to the audio book (read by Kate Winslet) and can almost recite all three books! I was a slow reader as a child, so I am extremely proud of my little bookworm. I love finding new stories to capture her imagination. The only problem is.. always running out of bookshelf space!

  • Elke Indigo
    Reply

    Oh Jenni's stories are beautiful. Her tales are wonderful and her way of telling is gorgeous. A family favourite here! We have her Mermaid Shoes and Story Tree CD's – both are brilliant. Chilli has often asked for the other CD's in our local gift store when she's seen them. She recognises the covers as similar to the other ones we have! They'd be such a welcome treat here for Christmas car travel, and the two we already have would make beautiful gifts to friends to share the story magic.
    As a child I had so many favourite books. Having an Aunt that was a children's book editor ensured a constant supply of exciting and wonderful new books. 'Alien in the House' with all the mini little books fixed inside a large hardback book format was so exciting, 'The Wattle Fairy' which told the story of me and my friends/family/pets meeting a wattle fairy – always so exciting as a child to see your name in a book! Those custom printed books with relevant details of the child's address, family, friends and pets are such a clever idea to make a child feel special! Of course there were all the classics; The Faraway Tree and Enid Blyton's other creative tales, May Gibbs stories and Blinky Bill. But one book that stands out is a long forgotten title which held in it's pages a 'choose your own adventure'. In the back of the cover was things like a compass sheet you put over a page and things you packed in your backpack etc – I'm a little hazy on the exact specifics now, but the concept of 'if you choose to put this in your backpack turn to page xyz' etc… You could read that story over and over again and it would be different each time with a new adventure awaiting. I remember waking up in the morning excited to read that book and begging for just 5 more minutes reading in bed of a nighttime before my light got turned out to hopefully read just one more section of my adventure. I'll definitely be hunting out books like these for Chilli once she starts to read.
    My last book memory is the launches. These are such a thing of the past now. I know a local book store still has them for adult books occasionally, but I don't hear about them much at all nowadays for children books. As a child, I remember going with my Aunt and Uncle every so often to some intimate little inner city cafe on a Saturday afternoon. Sipping a very special treat of 'cafe made hot chocolate' and listening to the author of the latest released children's book being read. Going home with a copy in my hot little hands of said book with a 'Dear Elke' inscription made out in the front by the author – Gosh, I felt like I'd just met a Hollywood Celebrity – it made my connection with the book, it's words and story – so much deeper and more meaningful. One such memory is of 'High Street Kew East'. I can still hear Komninos' character filled voice reading those rhythmical lyrics, exactly the way they were intended when he wrote them. I miss that these aren't so common anymore – hearing the author read their words with the tone, pause, expression and emphasis in certain places that they wrote it with – that is absolutely priceless.

  • Jennifer H.
    Reply

    My favorite story was any Dr. Suess book.

  • Marnie
    Reply

    My favourite was the Magic Faraway Tree, but really I devoured anything written by Enid Blyton. I have all of my old books ready to pass onto my children.

  • lifeatno2
    Reply

    My favorite childhood book would have to have been The Folk of the Faraway Tree! I loved picturing the adventures in the different lands that the children had, I'm currently sharing it with my young daughter when we read at night!

  • Mother Down Under
    Reply

    Every Friday afternoon at school we had R.I.P which stood for Read In Peace.
    Four teachers would each choose a book to read out loud and we students could then choose what book we wanted to listen to.
    I can't recall but it must have been a book a term.
    I still remember my math teacher reading Stuart Little…I absolutely loved it…the idea of a little boy mouse…the villainous cat…the clever ways Stuart adapts to life.
    Whenever I meet someone named Stuart I can't help but think of that book and of my teacher, bellowing out "Stuart!"

  • Malinda Brown
    Reply

    As a girl I loved Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl books but I devoured anything. I don't think I had a favourite, I just kept reading and never stopped. My favourite book was always the one I was reading in that moment.

  • jolene
    Reply

    My favourite kind of giveaway! I was just looking at audio books from Barefoot Books for a Christmas gift for my daughter. We love audio books for road trips especially! "Madeline" is one of my daughter's favourites because of the french songs included at the end of the story.
    I've always been a book lover and can't choose a favourite but I do have memories of my parents reading me The Berenstain Bears' often when I was a young child…

  • Laura
    Reply

    This sounds wonderful. My son is always begging to be told stories at bedtime and sometimes I'm just out of steam, and stories! I have very fond memories of listening to Disney audiobooks (Cinderella, Snow White, etc.) in the car on long family car trips. Probably because I didn't really like being trapped with so many people and could feel like I was alone with the story.

  • Mandi Poppyfoxathome
    Reply

    I'm really passionate about intentional learning. That your play things, toys, books and homelife should be an open and creative tool for learning. These would be such a wonderful addition to Christmas for my little ones and my nieces. Perfect fir endless car rides too.

  • Lucy
    Reply

    The Hobbit – my Dad used to read it to us – the brown book with the dragon on the cover…

  • Ali
    Reply

    These CDs sound wonderful! My siblings and I have many wonderful memories of listening to audiobooks on tape hour after hour on road trips. I would love my own children to have similar memories! Our favourites to listen to were the Ramona books by Beverly Clearly. And out of my many, many favourite books to read, some of my most loved books were the Betsy-Tacy-Tib series by Maud Hart Lovelace.

  • KM
    Reply

    What a great post and perfect giveaway! We love audiobooks around here :). I have so many favorite books from childhood … and each conjures up such special memories or reading/rereading them: we read Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Narnia series after dinners growing up; I devoured The Secret Garden and dozens of horse books in grade school; so many favorites … And now we listen to everything from Paddington Bear to A Wrinkle in Time while driving around town :). Love it!

  • Desiree M
    Reply

    I always loved the wonderful world and funny descriptive words in Roald Dahl books and have fond memories of pleading for one more page to be read by our father at bedtime. However my favourite books to read myself was a series about a girl called Ramona . A cheeky, clumsy and mischievous, and seemingly fearless girl who ultimately was clever, had good intentions and a kind heart. Her curiousness often lead her astray. Like marvelling at and then pulling another girls springy curls just to see how they bounced back. I loved that she was a just herself without always adhering to the exacting standards of adults. She had a fabulous freedom.

  • Andrea @ The Long Way Home
    Reply

    I know my three year old would love these – she's such a bookworm! And it's such a great replacement for television. I have so many favorite books from my childhood, but Corduroy is the one I always remember. I had a bear that looked just like Corduroy. It's become a favorite of my daughter's too (and the bear).

  • Mrs B
    Reply

    What a wonderful giveaway! We are a huge fan of books in our house as we don't do TV. As a child I devoured any book I got my hands on, but I have been told that as a very young child my favourite was Peepo, a book which is now my son's favourite. It is a privilege to pass on my love of literature to the next generation.

  • Audrey
    Reply

    What a wonderful idea! My favourite storytime memories are of my sister & I curled up in bed, with Dad beside us recounting the most recent adventures of Yucky Mucky (the cockroach residing under our fridge) & his Hairy McClary – a Huntsman spider who got up to mischief with Yucky Mucky. Forever grateful for his vivid imagination – much love xox

  • Angela @ nourish me naturally
    Reply

    I think I have missed the cutoff but I just wanted to add mine. Puff the magic dragon was and still is my absolute favourite book of all time. I bought a copy for my daughter with the accompanying c.d. its such a beautiful story of quickly childhood goes xxx

  • Mrs B
    Reply

    What a wonderful giveaway! We are a huge fan of books in our house as we don't do TV. As a child I devoured any book I got my hands on, but I have been told that as a very young child my favourite was Peepo, a book which is now my son's favourite. It is a privilege to pass on my love of literature to the next generation.

  • Jenni Cargill-Strong
    Reply

    I just had some feedback from someone that the link had dies- I have changed the setting now, but in terms of post deadlines for Xmas, it's best to order by 8pm tonight.

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