story telling: 1 Article

My Story Friend: Interview with the Author

There is the person who tells the story. This is the storyteller. And there is the person who listens to the story. This is the story friend. Kalli Dakos' My Story Friend shows the journey of a child looking for his story friend. Magination Press interviewed Ms. Dakos about creating this beautiful picture book. Magination Press: What inspired you to write My Story Friend? Kalli Dakos: I’ve worked with students for over thirty years and have written over 3,000 poems about life in our classrooms and our schools. In order to write these poems, I had to listen carefully to the students’ stories.  I became a “listener” at a very deep level. For example, when I found a child “hiding in the bathroom,” I listened carefully to the story behind his decision to hide there and to the feelings that he expressed. Then I was able to write a poem that all students would understand. Children want someone to really listen to them. We are a very busy society and there are so many expectations put upon parents and teachers. But I believe that taking the time to encourage our children to share their stories and their feelings is a form of the greatest love.    MP: Why is it important for people to be able to tell their stories? KD: To be heard, to be understood at a deep level, is something we all crave. It helps us to feel that we are not alone in this world and that our Story Friend really has our best interests at heart. The child in my book went looking for this experience and found it with the old woman who had both the time and the heart to really listen to his story and the feelings behind them. He was amazed at how much the simple act of telling his story helped him to understand his problems at a deep level where the solutions could also be found. He learned the value of “listening” at this level and became a Story Friend himself.   MP: Why is it important for people to listen to other people’s stories? KD: Storytelling was used long ago before psychology and psychiatry as healing medicine, and the storyteller was often the most honored member of the tribe or society. It is this healing quality of storytelling that makes it so important through all of time.   MP: The boy in the book struggles to find someone to listen to his story. He doesn’t feel he can tell his family, and two other grown-ups tell him they don’t want to listen to his story. What does it take to be a Story Friend? How can someone become a Story Friend if they are not one? KD: It takes a great deal of practice to listen deeply to a child’s story. Adults want to jump in and either tell the child what to do or move on to something else that they think is more important. Their

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My Story Friend: Interview with the Author 2021-05-17T23:24:35-04:00