Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Storyworld by John & Caitlin Matthews

Title: Storyworld
Author John & Caitlin Matthews
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Published: July 2009
ISBN: 1840117389
Author's Website: http://www.hallowquest.org.uk/

 Rating 5/5 with merits!

I have to be honest about the cover on this - the Amazon picture on the left really doesn't do it justice at all.  The colour of the hard backed cover of the case is an antique yellow, with very intricate and eye catching illustrations on both sides, and mini illustrations of a couple of the storytelling cards on the middle of the cover.  This review is for the starter storytelling pack.  Additional Storyworld cards are available, (reviews to follow on a couple).

This was a pure delight to open.  Both of the Young Reviewers were in awe from the moment they opened the package, which is always a fantastic start!  The top opens like a book; the first half contains a book within it's dvd type cardboard holder, whilst the bottom half contains the 40 gorgeous Storyworld cards.  This is a total work of art from start to finish, and is exceptionally well presented.

The idea behind this is so simple, and very worthwhile.  Beautifully illustrated cards are used as prompts to aid in storytelling.  The included storytelling book details how the 40 cards could be used, along with more in depth ideas for each of them.  On the reverse of each card is a brief description, along with three questions to help storytellers to use them as an aid in their stories.  Each card is stunning.  That's the only word that describes them for me.

The cards have enough detail to help even the most shyest storyteller want to have a go.  I can say this confidently as a parent. Our youngest reviewer who's 4, loves stories. He loves listening to them and preempting what is coming - as long as he knows the story. Since these arrived, every night he's not just wanted stories.  He's wanted to *make* stories and rushes upstairs in anticipation of it!  I love it.  Whilst I'm not suggesting all children will behave in this way, Storyworld is becoming a fantastic part of our evening, and has brought everything from fairies to knights and rainbows into our childrens imagination and storytelling.  It's giving them the confidence to think about how a story is made up, to learn from each other, and to share, whilst encouraging them to expand on their skills.

I haven't used the book that came with the cards much at the moment, I didn't want to be too rigid.  It's worked well so far and the cards are so detailed we've all found a new story to tell (and yes, us adults take part too each evening).  For usability these are great.  As a parent I always look for value for money in things we use regularly...this has by far exceeded my expectations, and there's a lot more stories to come yet!

In summary, this is truly stunning, with beautiful illustrations on each and every of the 40 tell your own story cards, presented in a book presentation format and ready to use, alongside a storytelling book. Storyworld provides the inspiration. The only thing needed is a tiny bit of imagination and you're away.

A few words from Harry, 4:
I like all of it! 

A few words from Shaun, 8:
Very, very, very good.  I like being able to make up my own stories using the cards.  

Storyworld synopsis:
"Have you ever wanted to tell a story, but not know how to begin? Open Storyworld and discover the world of storytelling at your fingertips."

Source: Many thanks to Templar for the review copy, in exchange for an honest review.

Storyworld packs review still to come.


peapod said...

This looks brilliant! Oh dear another book on our mountainous wish list! :)

Michelle at Clover Hill Book Reviews said...

You knew you shouldn't have looked LOL...I think youngest peapod would enjoy them.