The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Whootie Owl's Stories to Grow By Review by Heather Jackowitz

Elaine Lindy

According to Elaine Lindy, telling stories to our children is one of the best ways to strengthen the parent-child bond and encourage values such as compassion, perseverance, and helpfulness. Mrs. Lindy has written a book, A Parent's Guide to Storytelling, in hopes of reviving the long tradition of storytelling. After showing the power of stories, she offers tips on choosing, personalizing, and delivering stories for maximum impact and interaction with your child. Four complete fairytales are included in the book to put your new skill into practice. Whootie Owl, a symbol of wisdom, is the mascot of Stories to Grow By, Mrs. Lindy's web-based company that offers more than 50 stories for free downloading. You can search for stories by virtue (kindness, respect, courage), by genre (fairytale, adventure, riddle), or by country (Russia, China, Pakistan). Stories are kid-tested, nonsectarian, multicultural, and give a positive message. Two collections of stories are available on cassette: Whootie Owl's, Stories to Grow By explores the theme of facing adversity, and More Stories to Grow By focuses on caring for others. There are four stories on each cassette. Whootie Owl introduces each story and prompts children to think about what they have heard. My children absolutely loved the stories, and I think I might have discovered the secret to having quiet mealtimes. The only critique I have of the tapes is that the voice of Whootie Owl does not seem to fit with the image of a wise old owl, and I found her voice annoying. But my childrendidn't seem to mind, and Whootie Owl is but a small part of the tapes anyway. The narrator has a nice, soothing voice and tells the stories very well. Visit and you can see a complete list of stories with summaries, recommended ages, and approximate reading time. It is a veritable online library, well worth a visit!

-- Product Review by: Heather Jackowitz, The Old Schoolhouse®