Elinor Benjamin, Storyteller

Work in schools
Stories I tell
Rune Words
Reiko's Story


“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

G.K. Chesterton


A few of my Favourites for Younger Children

In a program for pre-school or primary children, I find it better to react to the situation than to go in with something pre-planned.


Buttercup ignores his mother's advice, is captured by the wicked troll-hag and nearly turned into soup, but turns the tables in the end. Grown-ups may be horrified by the "troll-icide" but small children know it's just a story and love to sing along with the Troll's song and warn little Buttercup about the danger. Source:Asbjornson & Moe

Ghost of the One Black Eye

Older brother, sister, Mum and Dad just don't have what it takes to get the baby his apple juice from the basement where the ghost is - so he has to take matters into his own hands. Source: Uncertain

The Gunnywolf

A funny take on Little Red Riding Hood from the Caribbean.Source: Many but I really like Priscilla Howe's version.

It was a dark and stormy night

A jump story featuring a scary old woman with bright red lips and bright red finger nails - just for fun. Source: Adapted from Stories in My Pocket; tales kids can tell by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss

Little Crab and his Magic Eyes

Little Crab's teaches his magic eye-sailing trick to Jaguar, but Jaguar abuses the magic and loses his eyes to the Oonkalunku fish in the ocean, and convinces Vulture to bring him new eyes in exchange for a special gift.Source: Twenty Tellable Talesby Margaret Read McDonald

Little Rooster and the Turkish Sultan

When the Turkish Sultan steals his diamond button, the little rooster sets off to get it back - with the help of his magic stomach. Fun for all ages. Source: Twenty tellable tales, by Margaret Read McDonald and Kate Seredy's The Good Master (Newbury Honor Book of 1936)

Obedient Jack

Jack always does exactly what his mama tells him to do - with humourous consequences. Source: Traditional and recording by Elizabeth Ellis

Roly Poly Rice Ball

A poor, but kind old man falls into the Mouse Kingdom under the earth and is rewarded for his kindness. When a greedy neighbour hears of the rewards, he too visits the mice, but his greed brings him exactly what he deserves. Source: Twenty Tellable Tales

Sody Sallyratus

Children can sing along as everyone in the family takes a turn at going to the store to buy the "sody sallyratus" needed to make cookies, and being eaten by a bear. All ends well, and everybody gets to eat the cookies. Source: Twenty tellable tales, by Margaret Read McDonald, and recording by Ed Stivender

Squeaky Door

Grandmother keeps thinking of new animals to put in bed with a boy to keep him from being afraid of the dark. Sources: Laura Simms and Celia Lottridge


This pourquoi story from Africa explains why the sun and moon are in the sky and older children can look for a little bit of science in it, too. Source: Laura Simms

Three Billy Goats Gruff

This is the classic version of the story. I include a song which I remember from a childhood recording that I owned. Source: Childhood memories and Asbjornson & Moe