Telling Tales Festival

On Demand

Age / Grade 4-6 / Kindergarten 6-8 / Grades 1-3

Join us as we explore the themes of kindness and caring with our host Josh Taylor and his very special guests Monique Gray Smith, Ruth Ohi & Ted Staunton, Lana Button, Maika Harper, Gabe Crimelli and My Friend Christopher. Everyone will be sharing their thoughts on how we can be kind to each other through storytelling. There will also be a fun craft you can do with us and a call from a new friend.

Monique Gray Smith

Join Monique Gray Smith for her presentation of When We are Kind.

When We Are Kind celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness and encourages children to explore how they feel when they initiate and receive acts of kindness in their lives. Celebrated author Monique Gray Smith has written many books on the topics of resilience and reconciliation and communicates an important message through carefully chosen words for readers of all ages. Beautifully illustrated by artist Nicole Neidhardt, this book encourages children to be kind to others and to themselves.

Sing & Dance with My Friend Christopher

My Friend Christopher is a performer on a mission to bring vintage music styles to new audiences. His debut album (Dec. 2019) is a roots soundtrack for daily challenges like getting dressed, whistling practice, and understanding what the cat wants. Join us as he shares the gift of song with our audience. Sing along, get up and dance, or just sit back and enjoy the music.

Ruth Ohi and Ted Staunton

Ruth Ohi has illustrated more than 60 books, many of which she has also written! She enjoys creating warmhearted pictures to help tell great stories, like the ones she has done In Friends for Real. Ted Staunton writes stories about what happens when things don’t go as planned. It’s important to keep an open mind so you can discover something new. Join Ruth and Ted for an engaging presentation featuring their book Friends for Real, and learn more about how Emma loses a favourite toy, but finds a true friend.

Gabe Crimeli “Fights Like a Kid”

Our host Josh meets a new friend—Gabe Crimeli—who knows a lot about kindness and caring. Gabe has a very special story to tell about a battle he waged against the “evil Lukey Leukemia” (don’t worry he won!). Tune in as Josh and Gabe talk about how we can practice kindness every day.

Lana Button

Join Lana Button for her presentation of What if Bunny’s NOT a Bully.

Gertie the elephant says everyone on the playground should stay far away from Bunny because she’s super mean. But Kitty has questions: How did Bunny become a bully? Was she born that way? Was she stung by a bullybug? Or maybe she caught the bully flu? Wait, does that mean bullying is contagious? And if it is, couldn’t the other animals catch it, too? But … then no one would play with them either, and that doesn’t seem fair. Is it possible that Bunny is sorry? Should they give her a second chance?

Making “Baskets of Kindness” at Westfield Heritage Village

Usually we would be at Westfield Heritage Village for our festival. This year is a little different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take you there virtually! Join Josh and our friends at Westfield schoolhouse to learn how to make a paper basket.

Don’t forget to come back after you’ve completed your basket and submit a photo to our Creativity Club for a chance to be featured on our website.

Here’s what you’ll need to complete the activity:

  • Piece of paper or material that is cut into a square. Minimum size is 8 ½ inches. Bigger would be better, but most people have letter size paper which is 8 ½ x 11. So you can cut that down to 8 ½ x 8 ½ (Mamie said 9 inches x 9 inches works well).
  • Ruler to measure the square.
  • Piece of string, cord, or ribbon.
  • Something to put inside the “pocket or bucket” that is being made. Here comes the giving part: wrapped candy, a special note, potpourri, etc.

Maika Harper

Join Maika Harper for her presentation of The Walrus and the Caribou.

When the earth was new, words had the power to breathe life into the world. But when creating animals from breath, sometimes one does not get everything right on the first try! Based on a traditional Inuit story passed forward orally for generations in the South Baffin region of Nunavut, this book shares with young readers the origin of the caribou and the walrus—and tells of how very different these animals looked when they were first conceived.