Adventures in Storytelling

The adventures of The Patchwork Players, Patti Christensen and James Nelson-Lucas, as they travel the dimensions of time and space, telling their tales

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Overnight at the Library

Hoorah for the Carlsbad Public Library in Carlsbad CA for hosting a Sleepover at the Library for over 12 years. Kids AND their parents or grandparent spend the night camped out at the library, listening to stories, watching movies (all night if you want AND your parents will stay up with you.) What could be better than building a fort. AT your local library?

Patti and James totally enjoyed joining them for the first part of the evening for a great trip around the world by stories.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Children's Museum at La Habra

"Tell Me a Story" is the new hand's on exhibit at the Children's Museum at La Habra. It consists of wall mounted stories aong with appropriate "you can touch them" costumes and props for kids and parents to play with.

The Patchwork Players got to add our own brand of audience participation storytelling at a recent Saturday morning in La Habra. Children and parents loved joining in on Pedro and Coyote, Stone Soup, Anansi, as well as a favorite Caps for Sale. Check out the'll have a fabulous time.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

How Baby Coyote Learned to Howl

Here it is "hot off the press"....How Baby Coyote Learned to Howl. Available for sale on

Every year, coyotes from all over, the mountains, seaside, and cities, gather in the desert for their annual coyote convention. They always have a contest at their gatherings to see who is the best coyote at ... running, eating, dancing? One year they decide to have a howling contest. Coyotes love to howl at the moon. The coyotes, old and young, begin to practice howling, each one having their own style. Everyone thinks they have what it takes to win. Everyone except for the Baby Coyote. He doesn't know how to howl, he can't play with the others. So Baby Coyote just sits, and cries all alone. His friends call Grandma Coyote to help him out. Grandma Coyote sees Baby Coyote is heartbroken that he cannot howl. So she sends him on a quest through the mesas, arroyos, and cacti of the dessert to help him learn how to howl. With her wisdom and guidance, and some determination,Baby Coyote learns how to howl and wins first prize in the howling contest. The proudest moment of Baby Coyote's life. This modern South-Western fable, told by the Patchwork Players, James Nelson-Lucas & Patti Christensen, is an encouraging story for everyone who has felt like, "I don't know how and no one will help me!" Travel with Baby Coyote as he learns that, with a little encouragement, and some hard work; yes, you can! The playful and entertaining illustrations by Jezreel Lopez that bring the story of Baby Coyote to life, delight and engage pre-readers, older children, and adults alike. The Patchwork Players have told this story to thousands of children, and always send them howling into the night.

Watch our Utube video of telling this story:

Here is what people are saying about Baby Coyote:
Hank Bruce (Rio Rancho, NM USA)
This review is from: How Baby Coyote Learned to Howl (Paperback)
What a delightful and well written book. The story is well developed and explores the roles between elders and children. This is a great story to read to children, again and again because it was written for the spoken word. It is also a great story for children to engage in, both by taking part in the reading and by informally performing it. There is a dynamic diversity of emotions that mirror the feeling of every child, then after the story has been shared there are discussion questions that can be used in a school or home setting, or even in therapy sessions. Classroom conversations can range from bullying, to the value of discovery, practice, participation and the mastering of life skills. This is a story that children will want to visit frequently, and share with family and friends.

D. Benjamin, Minneapolis, Minnesota

This review is from: How Baby Coyote Learned to Howl (Paperback)
My 6 year old daughter loves this book! She brought it in to show her summer school classmates, and she convinced the teacher to read it to the entire class. It's a beautifully illustrated, simple tale that holds up well for repeat readings. It would make a great gift for a special child in your life.

K. Sean Buvala "" (Avondale, AZ United States) -
This review is from: How Baby Coyote Learned to Howl (Paperback)
A good book for anyone who has little ones! Using a story that the authors created from a tale shared by "an old desert grandfather" after a performance, they have created a book with accessible, child-friendly pictures. Moving along a fresh pace, this book invites the reader to experience both the frustration and surprise of Baby Coyote as he learns a new skill. We especially like the interaction between the Grandmother and the Baby. It presents a very normal way that adults interact with children and makes for believable character development. As a bonus, Patti and James present a series of discussion questions at the end of the book. Use these to help your child think more about the story and how they might apply it to their own life. With this book, you are going to get many requests to "Read this one again!"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Modern Princess Tales for Girl Scouts

Today we made a return visit to the Yorba Linda Girl Scout Day Camp, in Yorba Linda, CA. This finely run week has 450 elementary aged girls, Jr and Sr High volunteers, adult leaders, and even activities for the little brothers and sisters.

Nearly a cast of thousands.

We had such a nice time telling some of our favorite princess stories like Rapunzel, The Paperbag Princess, the Invention of The Catapult, and The Frog Princess. Total joy to have kids really listening and "into" the stories. This is James' second time and Patti's third time with them, and we'd be happy to go back every year. Great job, gang!

The campers are spending the week with a "blast from the past" learning all about life in "the old days" like when we were kids. They are going to make pet rocks, learn to do yoga, and wear poddle skirts. How cool is that?

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Yo ho ho! Pirate Tales from The Seven Seas

James and Patti told Pirate Tales at the Rancho Santa Fe Library this week. Everyone had a fabulous time, including the boys who LOVED checking out James' "real" sword.

They told about Pirate Girl, The Pirate Ghost with One Back Eye, as well as The Pirate With the Golden Arm


Southern CA Story Swap

Storytellers from throughout the Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange county gather every year for a family reunion of storytellers. Each storytelling group sent a representative to tell stories. Patti and James were the reps for the South Coast Storytellers Guild. This year it was held on April 17th at the Dudley House in Ventura, CA.

Everyone had a terrific time! Next year it will be hosted by The Griot Workshop in Los Angeles.


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Where does Santa go in February?

So what happens when someone missed out on getting their photo taken with Santa and the Mrs. in December. Well it is storytellers to the rescue. Who says that Santa and Mrs. Claus can't make a Valentine's stop for photos? It's all in a day's work for storytellers and Santa.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Santa and Mrs. Claus

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One of the really satisfying event of this holiday season was playing Santa and Mrs. Claus to a group of children living in a residential program. We got our photos taken with some very happy kids and their families. What a blessing! Take a look at a couple of photos. Hope you holidays were really wonderful. Here's to a great new year.