Artists in Schools Directory

First Books

First Books
Books hold stories. Storytellers held stories with finger plays, rhyme schemes, or string figures, long before writing was invented. Your students will gain an expanded definition of Reading as a behavior that involves seeing and interpretation; define Books as devices for holding stories; see a variety of skills to make oral presentation engaging and informative. "First Books" includes a retelling of Itsy Bitsy Spider as an heroic epic, original finger plays, paper, and string stories. David draws a distinction between the story and the text. "Storytellers," he explains, "always had words. What they wanted to preserve was the memory of the story and so could make books from hand gestures with finger plays, or weave a tale using string figures." His final story is his popular string figure retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, also available as a picture book. Participation, physical and vocal histrionics, clever language, and creative use of objects engages all listeners.

Artist Background

When the truth reveals itself, we call it A Telling Experience. David Novak tells stories to enhance learning, engage emotion, and find common ground. He is a performing and teaching artist with the Lincoln Center Institute, L.A. Music Center, festivals and institutes across the nation and abroad. A Master Storyteller for The Disney Institute in 1995-96, he was awarded the National Storytelling Network Circle of Excellence in 2002, and is often featured at the National Storytelling Festival. Recently, he was Keynote Speaker and Master Teacher for Sydney International Storytelling Conference in Australia. A published author and recording artist, with an MFA from UC San Diego, David lives in Asheville.

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