Dan Keding, storyteller of international acclaim, is well known for his telling of traditional world folktales, personal narratives of his boyhood in Chicago, ghost stories and dark tales, and superbly crafted original pieces. A well respected ballad singer, he accompanies himself on guitar, banjo and spoons. This combination of dynamic storytelling and powerful ballad singing has made him a festival favorite throughout the US, Great Britain and Ireland, endearing him to audiences of all ages.
2) Stories of Hope and Spirit Folktales from Eastern Europe by Dan Keding, August House Publishers, Inc. Little Rock, AR ,2004 1-800-284-8784 Hardcover $18.95
Run don't walk to your telephone or computer to order this fabulous book. It is a must-have for the discriminating storyteller's library. Reading Dan Keding's book is almost as good as having Dan in your living room telling the stories to you. Keding's folktales of Slavic origin are already edited in storyteller's language and Dan wants the readers to perpetuate these stories to become part of an unbroken chain (giving Dan credit, of course). I plan to have them all in my repertoire by next year. “The stories talk about challenges as well as strength, wit, hope and courage it takes to overcome them and succeed.”
Dan's book begins with The Angels and the Best Wish, a must-tell or read story to your children and grandchildren and whoever else will listen.
The Most Precious Gift is a variant of the Magic Pomegranate that I and many other storytellers tell but in this version Dan has given us wonderful imagery and a great lesson. In fact at the end of each folktale there is a lesson Dan learned as a child from his grandmother who told him many of these folktales.
The First Story is a marvelous short tale about a boy's telling of his first story. Dan says he uses this short folktale to segue´from one story to another.
Strawberries in Winter, is a Cinderella variant while The Prince Who Married a Frog is a delightful fairytale that was one of my favorites in the book.
Nail Soup, a stone soup variant has a new twist the way Dan tells it. When the soldier knocks on the doors, he says to himself, “Doesn't anyone know the word 'hello'? Also, the soldier voicing these words to himself, “I fought 12 years for these people. I'm sure they will give me something to eat.” I find these words helpful to telling this story.
Notice the story opening lines and the charming anecdotes at the end of each story. Dan also cautions the storyteller “not to change the truth of the story to make it 'better' ……What the story needs from you is for you to allow it to pass through you and into the hearts and imaginations of your audience.”
Buy the book and go out and tell Dan's stories. Your audience will love you for it.
Reviewed by Linda Spitzer, professional storyteller
3) I purchased this book not too long ago and Linda is right on the money with her review. It is a wonderful book, with variants of tales we have come to know and love. It is a keeper.
4) A keeper and a "sleeper." It came out just before the national festival in 2004 and since then it has been climbing the charts. Its a must have for your story collection. Dan is a wonderful "keeper of story."
It's available at the STORYTELLING STORE in JONESBOROUGH
web page updated 11/14/05)