Orlanda Marsden - Storyteller

I am an experienced teacher who loves telling stories. I find my stories in the wealth of of multi-cultural folk tales that should be part of every child's experience, as well as among the new classics of children's literature.

My aim is to enrich the child's world through story, using songs, poems, instruments, toys and drama, making the occasion as interactive as possible. I am always happy to fit in with any theme or festival that the class is working on.

I am based in South London and am happy to work in schools or libraries. Below are outlines of a story-telling session for infants and a session for juniors. As an introduction I offer one session free of charge, a free sample as it were. Thereafter I charge £50 per session. I bring my own books and props with me, of course. If you would like more details please e-mail me by clicking here.


I like to work with children from nusery to Year Two, and to take one class at a time. Here is a rough outline of one session, which lasts for half to three-quarters of an hour..

Book: Clippity-Clop by Pamela Allen

Use claves, coconut shells, bricks, objects from room, or body sounds to make sounds like donkeys' hooves. Play at doing it quickly and slowly, loudly and quietly.

Instruments away while we hear the story.

Discuss story, for example what did they think of the characters? Were they kind/unkind/clever/cunning &c? What would they do if they had a disobedient donkey?

Read story again with sound effects, ie instruments and vocal 'push/pull' sounds. Remember tempo and dynamics.

Learn nursery rhyme 'If I had a donkey'. Discuss whether this is a quiet or loud song. Learn 'Horsey, horsey, don't you stop'. Sing with sound effects.

See if class can tell story back to me and their teacher, taking turns to speak, perhaps sitting in a circle.

I may do less , or more, depending on the children's reactions - if thins are going well I have no problem with extending the session, if that suits the class teacher. I like to use what the children give, so no two sessions are ever the same.


I bring a selection of children's literature - Philip Pullman, Farrukh Dhondy, Nina Bawden, Jean Ure among the moderns, and C.S.Lewis, Mary O'Hara, 'B.B', and even Dickens, among older writers. I usually hide the book jacket, so that no-one can reject a writer on the ground of being 'for girls' or 'for boys' or 'too old-fashioned' without actually listening first!

I would ead perhaps a first chapter, or an exciting moment, ending with a cliff-hanger. After each piece I would encourage discussion, ranging from 'I like/don't like' and why, to helping the students identify the type of story, and what they thought the writer was trying to do - to frighten, to show another point of view, to teach something, or to entertain, for example.

My aim is to start an interest where before there had been none and to extend an already-existing love of reading. I like to emphasise that with a book, you the reader are in control; you choose the book, the type of book, when and where you read it, whether you read it all or just dip, what the characters look like, how they sound.........How can television beat that!

For more information please e-mail me by clicking here.


I also make Rag Rugs - if you would like more information on those please click here