Once upon a time, in a land so friendly where smiles shone more brightly than the sun, Rona, a grey monster with red mushrooms, cast a spell for clouds of isolation to descend over the lives of all children. The anxious parents summoned help from the Bookverse, and heroes turned up with stories to ward off the evil and help children escape with imagination.
Our weekly online event #BooksBeyondWords, has been inviting storytellers every weekend since lockdown weekend one – 28 March – for an online event to tell children interesting stories, including some from South African folklore and some from their own books.
Since our last update, we’ve introduced new storytelling techniques in the form of sign language and puppet shows turning the living room into an interactive playground. With the lockdown now entering its third month and everyone’s world still a lot smaller with social distancing and isolation, the puppet show acts as a portal to a new world unaffected by the pandemic.
The past few weeks have seen inspiring effort from puppeteer Margaret Auerbach and other storytellers like Dina Christiaan, who reintroduced our audience to Khoi heritage by presenting a story in Nama, and Martelize Faber who shared the classic story of Snowhite.