Tall Tales

Tall Tale Student Storytelling Book

Tall Tale Release with Olivia


By Gail N. Herman


Filling the eager ears of the audience at this year’s Tall Tale Festival were many exuberant stories of happenings with just a few improvements on actual facts, and tongue in cheek whoppers about bunnies, a saber-toothed tiger, roller-skating, and mischievous pets. The event was held at the Fellowship Hall of St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Oakland. A foursome of tellers from Dennett Road School won first place with their story called “The Saber-toothed Tiger” which they augmented with song, mime, and leprechaun characterizations! After escaping by boat from Ireland to London and then to Paris, France, the leprechauns finally got the better of that pesky Saber-toothed Tiger who ended up stuffed in the Paris Museum of Natural History! The first place performers included Brandon Hill, Joey Custer, Hayden McLaughlin, and Nathan Tasker.

Second place went to Angelica Michaels for her story called, “Animal Shenanigans.” With five cats, four rabbits, two dogs, and one parrot, you can imagine the mischief that Angelica has to manage. And her story was just about one twenty-four hour day! [Note: Her mother said the parrot in the story was totally made up. She put her foot down to getting that pet saying, “Enough is enough!”] Joe McClosky whose story was called, “Joe, the Lonely Old Fisherman and His Big Blue Marlin,” won third place. Joe went fishing in a little pond when, surprise, surprise! He caught a big blue marlin. He took it home, put it in a fish tank, fed it, and even swam with it. It grew to be 42 ½ feet long. That had to be one pretty big fish tank!

Other storytellers who won prizes include the following. Katelin Rank won Best Dialog for her story called “Princess Bunny Meets Country Bunny”. The prize for Most Creative went to Julia Hershman and Haley Chapman for their story of “Bob the Monkey and Lulu the Butterfly. “Justin Shafer won the prize for Best Developed Story for his tall tale about The First Turkey Festival. The prize for the Best Ending went to Cheyenne Garrett who told her “true” story about the Guard Cat. Brianna Le May with her REAL LIVE bunny and Madi Hazelwood with her sparkly spots won the prizes for Best Prop and Best Costume respectively. Audrey Lapp and Alysia Smith won a prize for being the Most Expressive. Jenna Wilhelm won the prize for the Best Gestures for her poem story by Joe Cippolini, entitled “Amoeba.”

Brant Miller and Anna Holtschneider told “Lost at Disney” and won the prize for the Best Good-Bad story. In this type of story, the audience has a part; they chant, “That’s good!” and “That’s Bad” at appropriate times. Brant and Anna’s class created the story with Dr. Herman when one student told about a true experience. The prize for being the Most Confident of all tellers went to 1st grader, Jalen Beeman, for his story about “The Dinosaur Who Wanted to Fly”. Second Grader Kerri Kordyban won the prize for a Most Poignant story about “Johnny Appleseed and the (toothless) Snake” and her own two missing front teeth! Chelsea Davis elegantly told her story based on real caterpillars and won the prize for Best Pacing. Dressed as mice, Emily Tichnell and Loren Moon won the prize for Best Articulation and Speech for their story about the “Journey to the Mouse House”. The story called, “A Beary Interesting Day” was created and told by Rachel Reams, Bailey Brown, Megan DeBerry and Maylia Teets who won the prize for the Best Ensemble tellers. They really had the audience on the edge of their seats!

Winnie Dong won the prize for Best Production. Winnie told a wrap-around story about a witch and a girl who was just a bit too picky about eating. Winnie translated her story from a book written in Chinese. She called it, “Sally and Tom”.

The following teachers at the following schools encouraged the students to participate in the Festival: Broad Ford School — Mrs. J. Stuck, Mrs. Heilig, Mrs. Neville, Mrs. Stevenson, Mrs. Taylor, , Mrs. Weimer, Mrs. Catulle, Mr. Yoder, Mrs. Flanigan, Mrs. Hazelwood, Mrs. Blythe, Mrs. Ponceroff. Dennett Road and Yough Glade Schools: Linda Goodrich, Mrs. Elliot, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Shafer. The American Association of University Women and parents of some of the student storytellers provided the second hand book sale. Children’s books were 25 cents! What a deal.

Proceeds from the Festival go to the American Association of University Women’s Scholarship Fund given to Garrett College Foundation. The WV Storytelling Guild is one of the sponsor/supporters. Prizes were donated by businesses mentioned in last week’s newspaper on the Arts page.