Maurice Sendak Storytelling Workshop

ImageBy Karen Biskin

Throughout his prolific career, Maurice Sendak transformed the landscape of children’s literature, conjuring the monsters of childhood dreams onto the pages of his books. On Thursday, November 3, 2011, the Public, School and Youth Sections of the ABQLA celebrated Sendak’s writing during a storytelling workshop held at the Jewish Public Library. Professional storyteller Selina Eisenberg-Smith animated the evening, using a felt board, puppets, and props to explore the various ways to engage children in a story. After her artistic retelling of In the Night Kitchen, she had the group participate in its own wild rumpus and then perform Pierre, a Cautionary Tale with her. She shared her experiences working with children of different ages and explained how she adapts children’s books in order to perform them for a audience.

ImageSeventeen librarians and early childhood educators crouched together over the felt, spoons, and googly eyes to practice the techniques described and create their own puppets for their storytime visitors. Attendees were then invited to view the traveling exhibit “In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak,” which is on display at the Jewish Public Library throughout the month of November. The exhibit was organized by the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, and developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office.