Tony Mitton The Storyteller's Secrets

ISBN 13: 9780385751902

The Storyteller's Secrets

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9780385751902: The Storyteller's Secrets
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When twins Toby and Tess meet a mysterious old traveller, they are fascinated by his magical tales of far-off places, strange enchantments, and miracles.

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About the Author:

Tony Mitton is an award-winning poet, whose gently mesmerising, often humorous poetry is irresistible to children and adults alike. He is an extremely versatile author, writing story poems and shorter verse with skill and wit. Tony does lots of author events, school visits and poetry readings and always leaves his audience entranced. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two children.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4–6—"Not so very far from here, nor so very long from now," twins Toby and Tess offer to share their lunch with an old man they meet. Introducing himself simply as Teller, he sits beneath a great chestnut tree and tells them stories in rhyme as an ancient bard or poet might have done. "The Woodcutter's Daughter" is the tale of 12 elfin brothers named for the months who save the heroine from an evil stepmother and stepsister. When they meet Teller again, the children hear "St. Brigid's Cloak" and are given a small scrap of the cloak itself. Later they release a small bird, and Teller rewards them with a story of cruelty and hard-earned compassion called "The Seal Hunter." This story suffers from too much moralizing, but the others move well. Tess dreams of finding treasure buried under the chestnut tree, so their friend tells "The Pedlar of Swaffham." In the final story, the children meet Teller near their father's grave, and he tells "Tam Lin." The old man gives them the Map of Marvels, identifies himself as Merlin (an odd choice, as none of the stories are associated with King Arthur or his knights), and disappears. Retelling these tales as poetry is an interesting idea, and it succeeds fairly well. The imagery, rhythms, and careful rhymes create a feeling often associated with traditional stories. Black silhouettes illustrate the children's encounters with Teller, while black-line drawings illuminate the well-crafted stories. The map suggests stories untold and perhaps undiscovered. This is a lovely, artistically presented book.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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