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Synchronicity: Buttons November 7, 2007

Filed under: Barefoot Books - titles,storytelling — paulabrown @ 10:24 am


I love it when you think of something then there seem to be a series of serendipitous (oh hark at me with my long words!) events on the same topic. So here’s my latest one.

I met a friend, fellow Barefoot Books lover and semi-professional storyteller for a drink and she was telling me that she was going to be doing the story of the Blue Coat in assembly the next day – a Jewish story from The Story Tree by Hugh Lupton, a Barefoot anthology of 7 gorgeously illustrated stories with an amazing audio CD read by Hugh (well-known storyteller). The Blue Coat is about a mother who makes her son a blue coat and he loves it, runs and skips and jumps and plays in it but when it wears out she makes a waistcoat, a button and a series of increasingly small items from it, I won’t spoil the ending if you don’t know it (though you can buy the book here of course!).

The next day I went to see Hugh Lupton at the Bath Children’s Literature festival and of all the stories he could have done, he did this story. Well I Googled stories about buttons when I got home as I felt a bit of an affinity with that button and found a storyteller who used buttons as a way to get ideas for stories – by asking children which, of a pot of vintage and usual buttons, they liked and why and if they reminded the children of anything.

I planned to use my friend’s idea of having a piece of blue card cut in the shape of a coat and actually cut the card during the story so I set about ebaying vintage buttons for the story prompt idea and a big blue button for that part of the Blue Coat story. I ordered buttons from a woman who I then got virtually friendly with who loved the idea of the use of the buttons, had a 5 year old and set about investigating my Barefoot Books site.

The next day my friend emailed me to see if I wanted to take our kids to the theatre to see… The War of the Buttons, an old story about a school where children were involved in gang fighting etc.

And visiting the school office I was reminded that our school secretary is called… Mrs Button.


One Response to “Synchronicity: Buttons”

  1. writinggb Says:

    Oh, my gosh! It IS weird how these things go sometimes.

    I love the tale of the blue coat. Some good lessons there but also charming.

    I was just writing on my blog about telling my son and his birthday party guests a story yesterday. It amazes me the power that storytelling has — to reign in five oys, age 10 -12, whle in a forest with pinecones at arms length just beggin to be thrown!!

    Anyway, liked your site!

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