Kids are hungry for my original “Little Bird Stories”. They know that if they “make good choices” during our class time, then they will reap the reward of hearing one of my fifteen Little Bird stories at the end of my kindergarten dance classes.
So how did the Little Bird Stories begin? Ten years ago, I began to make up a story for a class full of restless rainy-day kindergartners, who needed a dose of enchantment to calm their spirits. Now, thousands of children in the Marin schools are hooked.
It began with Mama Robin building a nest and welcoming her three children into the world. Like most children, they were very different from each other. Little Bird was the curious one, always asking questions. Big Brother was the competitive one, who always wanted to be first and of course, well known. Little Sister was the family’s old soul, wise beyond her years, who loved stories. Each of them bumped into the lessons of growing up and with each story a gentle lesson was learned.
Take for instance the story: “Big Brother flies to the Moon.” In it, he asks his sister to tell everyone in the forest to gather at midnight, to watch him fly to the moon. His glorious attempt is foolish but he gives it his all, soaring upwards to a great height, only to fall from grace into a muddy lake. He gets a moment of fame but it soon fades. He despairs, until his sister confesses that he is a hero in her eyes, for trying the impossible.
For the first couple of years I thought I should name the birds, but no names stuck. I realized that a specific name would limit who they were. For these birds were every child that tries to spread their wings and learn.
The children adore and remember these fifteen stories, even to the point of asking when they are older if I still tell them. Why not? They are simple, funny and true. Rather than blockbuster tales about super heroes, these stories celebrate the moments in life that we choose to be a hero for our self, or someone we love.
I created my Little Bird stories for children through the magic of live storytelling, but now I have written down all fifteen in a manuscript, and with luck, soon they will find their way to you in a book to be shared.