EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Some of the state’s finest storytellers will be in Eastchester on Saturday, as the Tuckahoe Public Library celebrates storytelling at Tellabration, an annual, international storytelling festival.
Each year, traditionally on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, storytellers from around the world share their favorite stories with audiences of all ages. This year, Tuckahoe and Rye – which participated last weekend – are the only communities celebrating Tellabration in the county.
Tellabration was founded in 1988 by J.G. “Paw-Paw” Pinkerton, who “dreamed of having a night each year when storytellers in each community got together and told stories to their families and friends.” This year, thousands of storytellers around the globe are expected to participate in the festival.
Ellen Tannenbaum, the children’s librarian at the Tuckahoe Public Library, introduced the community to Tellabration three years ago. This year’s event will include six storytellers, including Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi, who participated in Tuckahoe’s inaugural festival.
“It’s bigger this year. We’ve done it in the past and only had three or four storytellers at the most. This year’s tellers are also more varied, a couple of them have never told in Tuckahoe before,” Tannenbaum said. “There will be different storytellers that the kinds haven’t been exposed to.”
Each story will run between 10 and 15 minutes. Tannenbaum, who regularly runs story telling programs with the children in the community, stressed that this isn’t the traditional story telling that the children might be used to, adding, “this is a step up.”
“It’s important to distinguish that this is not the story time with the picture books and songs,” she said. “There will likely be music involved, a tune that goes along with a participation story, but this is a different program.”
Tellabration kicks off at 11 a.m. at the library and is expected to conclude before 1 p.m. Tannenbaum said that all families are welcome, and that they should come with their eyes, and minds, open.
“It’s healthy for children to hear stories and be involved in stories. The more you read to them and tell them stories, the better their mind and literacy will grow,” she said. “This is a ‘come, bring your imagination’ event, because there are no pictures. With the variety of tellers we have, you can really see the kids taking off into different places.”
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