Sunday 28 June 2015

Bella the Storyteller

A story about a storyteller  who...well...tells too many stories!
Written by Adam & Charlotte Guillain
Illustrated by Richard Watson
First published by Picture Window Books 2011, first UK paperback publication by Raintree 2014
ISBN 978-1-4062-6618-4
Library Copy reviewed

The story
Bella the owl is a little chatter box. We see her telling stories at mealtimes, in school, during TV time and even at the library. If there is no-one about to listen, she will happily talk to herself. Through all her chatter, Bella doesn't seem to notice that, not everyone wants to listen. One morning, Bella wakes to discover she has lost her voice. She learns to listen to others, manages to concentrate on her school work and realises that, talking less has it's benefits.
This little owl has A LOT to say!
Story Corner :Picture Book Reviews
'Bella the Storyteller'

More from Missus B...
Lets face it, the art of conversation is a pretty important life skill. While little Bella certainly seems confident and happy to tell her stories, she has much to learn about conversation etiquette. 
In this cute story, we see how incessant chatting can sometimes get on other people's nerves.
It's bedtime and Bella should be brushing her teeth, but there is yet
ANOTHER story to tell. Dad is not impressed!
Story Corner: Picture Book Reviews
'Bella the Storyteller
The narrative is written from Bella's perspective and we read about her endless chattering at home and in school.
Lacking in social awareness, Bella completely misses the non-verbal cues of those around her. She doesn't see her teacher folding his arms in irritation, her brother's frowning at TV time goes unnoticed and she is unaware of the harsh stares she gets in the school library.
Guess who doesn't know her three times tables?
'Bella the Storyteller'
Story Corner : Picture Book Reviews
Big brother just wants some peace & quiet. Not likely!
Story Corner : Picture Book Reviews
'Bella the Storyteller
I like that the text is not always explicit, and that the visual narrative speaks more about the impact of Bella's behaviour. While the narrator doesn't delve further into her social faux pas, we can see from the illustrations that, Bella's gabbiness is not always a welcome gift. 
'Library Time' and Bella breaks the Golden Rule.
Story Corner: Picture Book Reviews
'Bella the Storyteller'
 Be quiet Bella!
Story Corner: Picture Book Reviews
'Bella the Storyteller'
The story comes full circle in that, Bella learns that, sometimes it's better to speak less..... she gets gold stars at school, learns that her friend tells hilarious jokes, enjoys cartoons with her brother & gets extra stories at bedtime.  

The animal characters are cute and chunky and each page is filled with attractive patterns & soft colours. The text is large, clear and suitable for self readers. 

In short:

This story delivers messages about social etiquette, self regulation and conversation skills in a non-preachy, light-hearted way. The illustrations deliver more messages than the text, allowing the reader to come to their own conclusion about what's happening. 'Bella the Storyteller' may be a suitable resource in the PSHE/SPHE curriculum.

Happy reading,

Missus B.
Get the book at these affiliate links:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery     

Additional resources:

Check out this excellent article 'Teaching Children How to Converse' written by Courtney Fox in

Support conversation skills at home with   '10 ways to help your child be a good conversationalist'  written by  Parenting Coach, Sarah Hamaker. 

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