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.