Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year's Eve: Let's get ready for 2015!

Well, another year is coming to an end.  Tomorrow, another year will begin.  I look forward to all of the trials, tribulations, joys, and discovery 2015 will bring.

I want to thank everyone who stopped by to ogle, linked in and perused, read faithfully, shared a post or two, or just happened upon me for a moment.  This is a labor I didn't expect to enjoy or sustain, so the fact that I'm still doing it is quite shocking to me at times!

I've got some ideas for the blog for the coming year.

I am planning some interviews with a few of my favorite tellers.

I'm thinking of doing an internet series, and I'll write about it as well as post it to Facebook.

I'm doing an assortment of conferences, festivals, the occasional showcase, lots and lots of storytelling, watching one kid go off to college, and one possibly going off to boarding school, so I suspect there will be posts about those stories culminating all over the place.

I'm going to try to get my husband/business manager to do a post about what it is like to manage a storyteller...he might have to dictate it since he doesn't really enjoy writing and finds it difficult.

I'm going to ask my 15 year old daughter to write a post about what it is like as a kid to grow up in a home where storytelling and fantasy are just part of the day to day life, and what it was like to write her first novel at the age of 14.

I'm going to ask my 18 year old son to write a short post about his thoughts about leaving home and have him reflect on being a sculptor who wants to storyboard for video games.

Yes, I've got  number of things I think will be lovely.

However, before I embrace 2015, I need to spend this last day of 2014 celebrating the fact that quite some time ago a fella took a chance on marrying a full time professional storyteller.

Today is our nineteenth anniversary.  A life filled with stories is the best kind of life you can have!

Celebrate 2014!  Best wishes for 2015!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tales From The Trenches: Telling It In Schools

photo credit

Telling stories in schools is not for the faint of heart.  After twenty-seven years of touring and telling, I still have days where I see things I have never seen before. 

Sometimes I don’t think you could pay me enough to do what I do, and other times I really ought to be paying the school because I learned so much from their students.

All of these things happened this week….

I worked with kids who have never had an assembly at their school, and not only did they not know how to behave, they didn’t even really get the concept of what we were all doing there for the first ten minutes.  After that, they settled in and were mostly quiet.  They stared at me in confusion for a big chunk of time, but they did listen.  By the end, I think most of them decided they enjoyed the storytelling.  Either way, the sixth graders waved at me like three year olds when they saw me in the hall as I walked out of the building.

I encountered kids who clearly go to the theatre all of the time as well as symphonies and opera, and asked cogent questions about what sort of art they would be watching.

After a particularly difficult show with third through sixth graders, a fifth grade group came into the gym as I was packing, and asked if I’d tell them one more story before class started.  Taught them Johnny and Suzy thumb.  They were over the moon.  The gym teacher didn’t rush them.  In fact, he stood there grinning the entire time, not even caring they were eating into his class time.  Score.

One school informed me that their lunchtime started about ten minutes into my set, and they were going to have to take a couple of classrooms out of the assembly at that time.  Oh, and after that, every five minutes another group was going to have to leave.  That wasn’t going to be a problem, right?

At another school, all of the work I do tying the stories into character ed was for naught since not a single teacher attended the set, and only one person stayed behind to monitor the kids.  The kids were good, of course, but half of the assembly is lost when there is no chance that the teachers can do any follow up at all.

I got an unanticipated, spontaneous standing ovation from a first grade class.  First time in my life six year olds have given me that sort of response.

Had an arts representative pre-book me for the following year before I left the building.

Had a principal tell me that she didn’t care how close we were to the dismissal bell, she wanted me to tell one more story…and I did.

Worked in schools where the audience was attentive and it was easy.

Worked in schools where the audience had to be convinced that watching was worth their while, and I earned every penny.

Did I succeed in all I wanted to do?  Nope.

Did I share an arts experience with lots of kids?  Yes.

Did I have some fabulous sets that were absolutely perfect, and I felt like a magic person when I left the building?  Yes.  As I always say, sometimes things go well, but every now and then I totally rock!

Did I touch at least one kid’s imagination or spark of creativity in some very important or special way?  Who knows?

Did I convince one kid that if they have a dream that is big enough they should follow it?  I hope so.

Either way, here are some simple rules of thumb I follow that have served me well.

1)   Record the stories you tell in each venue.   You can either use your computer, or some kind of diary. (I save the information in an EXCEL spreadsheet.)  I know that some tellers use journals, but I’m too prone to lose something like that.  I type in the name of the school, the year, the month, grade-levels I saw, and what I told them.

2)   Because I see many schools multiple years, I have also put together some story sets that last exactly 45 minutes.  They are prepackaged stories, and I’ve divided them into ‘set years’.   So, the first time I visit, your school gets this set, the second time, a different set, and so on and so forth.  It means that I can control the time as well as having stories that I know work well for different grade levels.  I start the rotation again after about four years.

3)   Know that sometimes your set years aren’t going to work because of unanticipated events.  i.e. ‘We’ve decided to add the sixth grade to your K – 2 assembly, that’s all right, isn’t it?’  So make sure you have other alternatives, and be flexible!

4)   Be very polite to the office staff and the custodians.

5)   Ask about the school before you begin.  Find out if there is anything the students are dealing with, or if there are any concerns the staff might have.  You should also find out what the staff members consider their strengths.  As you tell, consider the things they’ve told you, and you can work their concerns and strengths into your stories.  I also ask about reading levels and what sorts of things the kids like.

6)   Teachers work hard.  Give them a break, but invite them to participate with the kids.  Sometimes they will and sometimes they won’t.  Invite them anyway.

7)   Carry hand sanitizer with you because kids want to touch you and there is no telling where their little hands have been right before that.

8)   Adjust to your audience; don’t expect them to adjust to you!

9)   Don’t be afraid to call out a kid who is misbehaving.  If the teachers are really focused on you, they won’t necessarily be paying attention to the kids.

10)                    Remember, you are going to have bad days.  Learn from them, and keep on going.

So, eight elementary schools in four days, and tomorrow I begin a tour through middle schools that will last through next Friday.

The work is challenging, interesting and soul satisfying.  Oh, and you can get paid to do it!

It doesn’t get better than that.

Happy Telling!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Every Story Must Have A Beginning


Photo by-Michael-Nguyen

We must decide how our story is going to be told and how we will be remembered.

Everything has an aftermath...even Ferguson

Friday, November 28, 2014

What You Take Into Your Heart: A Storyteller's Thanksgiving List

I am thankful for Love.  In Love, we find strength to do what we do not think we can do.  Cupid and Psyche

I am thankful for books.  In Books, our thoughts, hopes and dreams  can live for one thousand years. Mort d'arthur

I am thankful for laughter.  In Laughter, we find our way through darkness and back to self.  Where the Sidewalk Ends

I am thankful for a new day.  In New Days, we find the chance to try again and make reparations for our mistakes.  The Wicked Day

I am thankful for music.  In Music, our souls dance and join together.  Pachelbel's  Cannon - the piece my husband selected for our wedding.

I am thankful for Time.  In Time, things come to light and make more sense if we seek the answers.

I am thankful for Knowledge.  In the immortal words of Oprah, "When we know better, we do better."

I am thankful for Stories.  In Stories, we chase Love, Laughter, music,  and Knowledge.  Whether in Books, through electronic devices, or from the mouth of one who tells tales, if we listen, and keep our hearts open the stories change us over Time.

They change us for good or ill.  They change us at bedrock.

One of my favorite movie lines is from 'The Witness'.  A grandfather tells his grandson, "What you take into your hand, you take into your heart."

If that is so, then what you take into your heart, you take into your soul.

Take stories in hand.  If you do, you won't be the first world teacher who has done so.  You certainly won't be the last.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Currituck County: Traveling, Parenting, Performing, Oh My!

The Foreman House in Elizabeth City, NC

This week I am in Currituck County, NC.  It is much colder than normal due to the lovely Polar Vortex that has decided to descend on the United States.  If you are in Buffalo, NY, you have my warm thoughts and good wishes.  If I could send all of you hot chocolate, I would.

I am staying at the Foreman House Bed and Breakfast, and it is the highlight of my trip.  Mel and Andy who run the B&B are wonderful.  Breakfast is plentiful and delicious - yeah, I'm looking at you apple pancakes - and the rooms are gorgeous and spacious.  If you find yourself in Elizabeth City, NC, you could do much much worse than staying here overnight.  I highly recommend it, and am already planning to bring the mister back here for a long, romantic weekend this coming summer.

First night I was here, Mel and Andy had a cocktail party with 'light' refreshments that were a whole dinner.  I normally have one glass of wine every few months, I had four in the last two days.

My daughter was in the Diary of Anne Frank last weekend as Anne Frank.  I missed the last show since I had to drive out here.

My son was in the Diary of Anne Frank last weekend as Mr. Kraler.  Did I mention I missed the last show?

My in-laws were at my house until Wednesday this week hanging out with my family, going to dinner, museums, and wandering around Durham.  They left on Wednesday morning, I left on Sunday afternoon.  They all seemed to have had a good time.  Wish I could have been there.

Antonio Rocha, a friend of mine I always enjoy seeing, is at my house for the entire week.  Apparently, he made dinner for my family last night...good thing, since I'm not there.  I left Sunday afternoon, he arrived Sunday evening.  He's leaving on Friday morning.  I'm returning on Friday evening.  

My son is putting together his first art portfolio for a big meeting with universities who are looking for visual arts students.  It is going to be attended by universities from all over the country.  He needs to get plastic protectors, a binder, labels for his work and who knows what else.  I asked my husband, "Does he have that stuff?"  My husband's response?  "I don't know."  

I'm three and a half hours from being able to deal with this any other way than on the phone or Skype.  Have I seen any of these pics?  No.  Have I seen the way the portfolio is laid out?  No.  Do I know if he's labeled anything?  No.  Am I going to know any of this?  No.  He leaves Friday morning for Washington DC, I don't get back until Friday afternoon.  

I kind of feel like driving the three hours home to put my hands on a few things, and then driving back here tomorrow morning for an 8:45 show, which means I'd have to be on the road at about 4:45am to be certain I'd make it to the first show on time.  Yeah, not happening.

Where, you might ask, is Currituck County?  Up by the border between Virginia and North Carolina.

What, you might ask, am I doing in Currituck County when all of those things are going on at my house?  I'll tell you.  Telling stories.  What else?

I have been doing three to four sets a day.  I've worked with Kindergarten through second grade where the administrators were shocked the kids sat so well, and still had so much fun.

I told with a ninth grade group who was fascinated by the idea that I was storyteller, and was much more comfortable with the idea that I was an author.  They loved the stories.

I told with a group of eleventh graders who lamented they couldn't follow me around the rest of the time  I was in the area, and hear all of the stories.  When I asked if they had questions they asked the exact same question that the little kids perpetually ask.  "Can we hear another story?"

I told with groups of sixth graders, fifth, fourth and third and in every set I had wonderful chances to engage with kids as we laughed, played, and taught each other.  

I bought great Christmas gifts at the Jenkins Art Gallery located in the Arts Center in downtown Elizabeth City.  

The Arts Center in Elizabeth City, NC

I stopped into a small, local pharmacy right next to the Arts Center, where the two elderly ladies who run the place greeted every single person who came in by name, and discussed the 'business of the area'.

"Hello, Charles, honey.  How you been?"
"Fine, just fine."
"Did they steal very much, whoever t'was who broke into the church?"
"Well, tell you the truth, we haven't noticed there was much missing."
"Well, I spect they just broke in there to get warm."

They launched into a great conversation about the local food bank, and how they really needed to get them more turkeys for Thanksgiving.

I wanted to get a chair and sit in the back of that store all afternoon and just listen!

I am having wonderful performances!  I am exhausted at the end of each day.  I have adventures as I wander about and  listen in on people's conversations.  I still want to manage what's going on in my home. 

Oh, and in the midst of this I have several non-fiction kind of important writing activities I have to attend neglected blog is one of those!

Being a traveling storyteller is very cool.  Being a traveling storyteller is very hard.  Being a traveling storyteller is very rewarding.  Being a traveling storyteller is a privilege.  Being a traveling storyteller sucks when you can't do everything you want to do.  I'm not superwoman.

Whenever I start thinking I'm going to rip my dreads out by the roots, I try to remember that what I do is important.  

It helps when I get letters like the one I received last week from the drama teacher at Baker Demonstration School in Evanston, Il.

Balancing the traveling, exhaustion, writing, telling, parenting by phone, and maintaining a marriage is important if you are going to do this work.  Don't let anybody tell you it is either easy or completely glamorous.  

Make no mistake.  Being a professional storyteller is hard work!

Happy Surviving!

Letters That Make It Worthwhile

I visited this school the first week of November, 2014.  Sometimes, you get letters that make you promise that no matter how crazy things get, you've made the right choice.  Thank you to everyone who supports artists and the arts.

Lizanne Wilson Blogs at

Dear Ms. Washington,

I know my colleague and Co-Chair of our Storytelling Committee is going to write to express our gratitude for your recent visit to Baker Demonstration School. I must also add my deepest thanks.
As the Drama Specialist, I am presently teaching a Storytelling class to 18 middle school students. This is my first storytelling class at Baker. I have worked to craft a class that engages my young students while challenging them to utilize the storytellers tools to prepare a well-told tale.

I joined my students last week in our intimate Carlson Auditorium to listen to your stories. As I watched and listened to you spin your evocative tales, they (and I) were riveted. That's a monumental achievement with middle school students! Later in the day, in storytelling class, my students discussed your work and what a conversation unfolded. The students spoke of their delight at listening to your stories, of how they were going to "look you up" online to listen to more of yoru stories. They also spoke about your use of voice, gesture and physical posture to shape the characters and the plot of a story for telling. They discussed the musicality and variety of your vocal delivery and of the deliciously disgusting description of one of your more vivid characters. Ah, the sounds you created! My young storytellers revisited the slurp and squish of the character and of the fact that you must have worked very hard to create something so delightfully specific and grotesque.

So thank you for your work and for helping my students to make the "leap of faith" as storytellers. Your storytelling came at a perfect point in the semester and enabled them to realize that only with hard work comes such virtuosity; and that even a hardworking novice storyteller has the potential (with lots of practice) to entrance an audience with the ancient art of storytelling. We are now working on our second story for telling in public and the excitement is palpable as the students learn to inhabit the world of their stories.

Many thanks for sharing your stories at Baker.


Lizanne Wilson
Drama Specialist

Baker Demonstration School
201 Sheridan Road | Wilmette, Illinois 60091

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

30 Million Word Gap Debunked! Where to start?

Have you ever had a morning where you are reading through the news and your life gets tilted off kilter in a way that makes your heart skip?

That happened to me this morning.  As some of you may know, I am a big proponent of a study done by Betty Hart and Todd Risely back in the 1960's.  What this research showed is that in general, students who come from households where they hear a paucity of language, begin school hearing 30 million fewer uses of language.  Hart and Risely talk about how this difference has far reaching effects in formal education.

I use this study as a jumping off place, and combine these findings with the wealth of research and educational writings that can be found about language acquisition, neurological research, and ongoing research in comprehension.  I am always looking for information to help me better understand, teach and examine language in relation to storytelling.

Storytelling and the Brain

This morning I encountered an article that declared that Hart and Risely's study blames poor parents for their children's lack of academic success, and that the whole of the work was debunked by a pair of people by the name of Curt Dudley-Marling and Krista Lucas  I was stunned, especially since I'd never heard anything about this.

So, I went over to read the article that debunked Hart and Risely's work.

Needless to say, the article does not debunk the work.  You can read it here.  

Curt Dudley-Marling and Krista Lucas did not conduct any research that yielded different results.  No, what they did was  complain about the work and say that it doesn't say what Hart and Risely claim it says.

What the article mainly argues is that Hart and Risely state their language findings in terms of deficits.  

The article's main complaint is that Hart and Risely looked at the research, and spoke of the language findings in terms of deficits and deficiencies instead of talking about differences, and saying that these differences were just...different, not inherently bad.  

The onus should be taken off of the parents, because their color and or socio-economic status should not play into whether or not their children are successful at school.

They correctly pointed out that Hart and Risely connected these deficiencies with socio-economic statuses, ethnic origins, and poverty.

They take issue with the sample size in the study.  

They point out that Hart and Risely were white middle class educated people, and conclude that they had biases when dealing with black, poor and working class families.

Allowing for all of these problems, I come back to a question.  

Where is the research that shows that Hart and Risely were completely and utterly wrong in what they discovered?  

We can debate about what it means, and how it frames what we know about people.   

We can talk about the political ramifications of what we wish they would have said, and how we wish they would have presented their findings.

We can expound about our own social and contextual beliefs about race, poverty and parental involvement.

What nobody has done as of yet is conduct some kind of research that gives us a different understanding of how this whole process works.

The basic assertions made by Dudley-Marling and Lucas are these: 

We should not think about differences in language as deficits.  This suggests that there is a right or standard way, and that poor people or minorities do not live up to that standard.

The research blames the parents for the success or failure of their children.

They state that it is the role of the teacher to expose children to language and concepts, not the parents.  Teachers must teach!  That is what school is for.  

I do not disagree with the idea that our educational system should be set up to deal with the disparities of language that children have when they arrive at the first day of school.  I whole heartedly agree.    

My complaint is that we don't do it.  Period. 

I will continue to talk about Hart and Risely's work.  

I will definitely add Curt Dudley-Marling and Krista Lucas's dissent, but I will be clear about pointing out that despite taking issue with Hart and Risely's findings, they have never done any actual research into this themselves.

I will continue to urge teachers to work on bulking up vocabulary, language and visual imagery.  

So, after doing a great deal of reading and linking to things and considering the arguments, my world didn't change nearly as much as I thought it would.  

Show me the research that proves that there are different factors that go into language acquisition, and I will happily reassess all of it.  It certainly wouldn't be the first time.

Happy Educating!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!

Double, double, Toil and Trouble

Fire burn and Cauldron Bubble.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Peninnah Schram: Gathering The Sparks

Yesterday I performed for the Sisterhood of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh, NC.  We had a wonderful time sharing stories about strong women.  When the set was complete, an elderly woman came over and told me a story.

"This all took place before you were born."  She began.  "I used to take my children down to the 92nd street Y, and there was a storyteller there.  You probably don't know her.  Her name was Peninnah Schram."

She went on to tell me how Peninnah had been such a huge influence on her life, and the lives of her children.

"She wouldn't know me."  The woman said, "I never even spoke to her, but her stories changed the way I taught reading, and they gave my children a profound love of stories and literature that has stayed with them all of their lives."

She told me she'd forgotten all about those far away days, because it was so long ago, but hearing me tell brought it all back to her.

I called Peninnah this morning to share the story.  I asked what she was doing with herself, and if she'd mind if I wrote about her on my blog.  She said I could write about her if I liked, and then told me about the projects in her life.  I forget how much of a whirling bundle of energy she is!  I could do an entire series on what Peninnah is up to these days.

For those of you who are new to her work, there are myriad biographies of this incredible woman all over the web.  If you want to explore more about how she has been shaping storytelling in general, the Jewish storytelling traditions in particular, and using stories to reclaim culture for over sixty years, click here.

Here is a small sampling of what she's been doing to keep busy these days....

Peninnah is currently working with the Maggid-Educator Certification and Ordination of Jewish Educators.

This organization put out a marvelous collection of tales called Mitzvah Stories:  Seeds for Inspiration and Learning.  Not only did Peninnah Schram provide a story and essay for this book, it was dedicated to her.

The proceeds from this book go back into the organization to fund projects.

She performs with a musician by the name of Gerard Edery in a program called The Minstrel and the storyteller.  

They have been working together for twenty one years.

Peninnah Schram and Gerald Edery

She still teaches at Yeshiva University in the speech and drama department, and she is currently working on her thirteenth book of Jewish stories.

Here is a little something from her listing over at NSN.

"Peninnah is a recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educator (1995) awarded by The Covenant Foundation. In mid-1990s she received the National Storytelling Network Regional Leadership Award and in 1999 she received NSN's The Circle of Excellence Award for "a body of work which is nationally recognized as a shining example of quality in the art form of storytelling performance." Peninnah has also been awarded the National Storytelling Network's 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award". This makes her a triple NSN award winner."

Peninnah is a member of the Jewish Storytelling Coalition, and still actively travels the world telling stories, conducting workshops, and teaching as an artist in residence.

She is an award winning author, educator par excellence, master storyteller, and Mensch of the highest order.

Many years ago, I worked with a teller by the name of Susan Stone.

Susan introduced me to the concept of Tikkun Olam.

Once, at the beginning of time, the world was good.  Then, the ten vessels that held the light of the world shattered, and the shards were scattered through the world.  It is the responsibility of the Jewish people to gather the shards of light.  Once all of the sparks of that bygone time have been collected, the vessels can be restored, and the world will be healed.  In order to gather the shards, you must do good deeds and kind works.  These works are called Mitzvahs.

Susan informed me that 'Gathering the Sparks' was an important part of the Jewish tradition.

Storytellers don't always know how we touch people's lives.  We see so many faces in audiences over the years, and we don't remember all of them.  We hope folks enjoy our stories.  We hope that we leave laughter and memories in the hearts of those who share stories with us.

Yesterday, at the end of a wonderful brunch, I was reminded once more that we touch lives much deeper than we know.

If it is a sacred duty to gather the sparks by doing deeds that lift the human spirit in order to bring back light to heal the world, then Peninnah Schram has picked up so many of them she has become a beacon.

Happy Telling!

Here is a list of Peninnah Schram's work.

CD & BOOKS  by Storyteller                 Peninnah
           Peninnah Schram

Schram, Peninnah and Gerard Edery. The Minstrel and the Storyteller: Stories and Songs of the Jewish People. CD.  Sefarad Records.  $15.00      This 72-minute CD includes 6 folktales told by Peninnah Schram interwoven with the 
     songs and music sung and played by Gerard Edery. The stories and songs come 
     from Sefardic and Ashkenazi traditions.

Schram, Peninnah. The Hungry Clothes and Other Jewish Folktales. Illustrated by Gianni De Conno. New York: Sterling Publishing, 2008. hc. $15.00
    22 Jewish folktales filled with wit and wisdom. Elegantly designed and splendidly 
    produced book with full color paintings, with sources and glossary.

Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning, Edited by Goldie Milgram and Ellen Frankel. Phila: Reclaiming Judaism Press, 2011. $25.00
    60 mitzvah-centered stories by leading storytellers, rabbis and educators. It includes  
    essays about the Jewish oral tradition and techniques of storytelling. The Foreword is 
    by Richard Joel, President of Yeshiva University. The book is dedicated in honor of 
    Peninnah Schram. Free Discussion Guide:

Schram, Peninnah and Rachayl Eckstein Davis. The Apple Tree’s Discovery.
Illustrated by Wendy W. Lee. Minneapolis: Kar Ben Publishing, 2012. 
hc $16.00    sc $8.00
     This illustrated book is about an apple tree that wants stars on its branches just like 
     what it sees in the oak tree branches when it looks up into the stars at night. It is an 
     inspiring story for all ages. For 9-page Study Guide created by Peninnah & Rachayl:

Schram, Peninnah. Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another.  Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 1987. Laminated cover. $55.00    64 wide ranging stories and folktales culled from various Jewish oral and written 
    traditions with source-filled introductions to each story, glossary, bibliography and an 
    index. The foreword is by Elie Wiesel. 
Schram, Peninnah. Tales of Elijah the Prophet. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 1991. hc.  $35.00      36 stories of Elijah the Prophet, the master of miracles, gathered from various 
     sources and centuries with a major introduction and endnotes and written in an oral 
     style. The foreword is by folklorist Dov Noy.

Schram, Peninnah, ed. Chosen Tales: Stories Told by Jewish Storytellers. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson Inc., 1995. Laminated cover.  $55.00      A great variety of 68 favorite and meaningful stories chosen by Jewish storytellers 
     and presented as if the book was a "literary storytelling festival". The foreword is by 
     Rabbi Avi Weiss.

Schram, Peninnah. Stories Within Stories: From the Jewish Oral Tradition. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 2000.  hc.  $45.00     The fifty stories in this book, drawn from Talmudic and midrashic sources, medieval 
     sources, and especially the Israel Folktale Archives, are frame narratives. Stories are 
     embedded within stories. The intriguing stories range from witty tall tales to Hasidic  
     tales. The foreword is by Howard Schwartz.
                                                                                                                                             Schram, Peninnah. The Purim Costume. Illustrated by Tammy L. Keiser. NY: URJ Press, 2005. hc. $14.00
      Illustrated story about a young girl’s refusal to dress as Queen Esther for the Purim 
      costume contest. The story of Purim is recounted as part of a Purimspiel.

Schram, Peninnah. The Chanukah Blessing. Illustrated by Jeffrey Allon. NY: 
URJ Press, 2000. hc  $14.00
     Illustrated story about Elijah the Prophet who teaches the children of a poor family 
     why their potato menorah not only fulfills the mitzvah of burning the oil to celebrate 
     the holiday but, also, why it is filled with the love of mitzvah.

Schram, Peninnah. The Magic Pomegranate. Illustrated by Melanie Hall. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publishing Group, 2007. hc  $18.00  sc  $7.00
    Illustrated folktale about three brothers who find unusual gifts. By each using those 
    gifts, they then must decide who deserves to marry the cured princess.

Sefarad Records:  
Sterling Publishing:
Reclaiming Judaism Press:
Rowman & Littlefield (Jason Aronson):
URJ Press:    
Kar Ben Publishing:

FOR INFORMATION & ORDERS please contact:
   Peninnah Schram, 525 West End Avenue, 8C,  

      New York, NY 10024   Email: