Edit to add: I've closed comments and picked a winner. Lee, can you please send me your email at email@example.com. Thanks!
Greetings from the land of post-holiday food coma! Mariam has been up since about four-thirty this morning and we are getting ready for a busy, busy day of visiting with family, but I did want to pop in for a moment as promised to share something very special with you all.
A few weeks ago, Mariam and I went with my friend Sarah and her boys to the winter festival at the local Waldorf school. While we were there, I happened upon a postcard advertising Sparkle Stories, a brand new and entirely wonderful subscription service sharing audio stories for children and families. Sparkle Stories offers stories from three different storylines, each with unique characters that children will instantly adore. Friendly junkyard animals, a magical backyard landscape filled with fairies, a brother and sister learning to show one another friendship and love in small ways; Sparkle Stories are sweet and whimsical stories that make connections to the common themes of childhood while also encouraging imaginative thinking. A new favorite activity at our house is settling down at the dining room table with a cup of tea, some paper for drawing, and listening to a new Sparkle Story.
One thing that I especially love about Sparkle Stories is the fact that they are intended to be stories for listening. There are no associated picture books or written artifacts to hold in hand as you listen to these stories; something that is rare in our society these days. Storytelling without visual accompaniment is not so common in the online, hi-def age, but I think that it holds and important place in how we, as people, share our experiences and ideas with one another. Encouragement of oral traditions is really a lovely and unusual thing, and introducing this to the children in my life feels truly special.
Sparkle Stories is subscription based, which basically means that you can subscribe to one, two or three of the storylines for a month and receive new stories to listen to each week. The stories are timed to coincide with the shift of the seasons, so last week's stories included themes of winter, holidays and solstice. There is also the Saturday Sparkle, a weekly special feature which includes an additional story as well as poems, songs and listening games. You can listen to sample stories from each of the collections here.
So, on to the good bit: Sparkle Stories is offering a free one-month subscription to all three story lines (plus Saturday Sparkle) for one lucky Bird and Little Bird reader. Leave a comment on this post and I'll pick a winner on Friday via random number. If you'd like, you can use your comment to tell me about a favorite story that you like to tell.
I'll go first: I have much fondness for telling a story about what I call The Summer of Bears. It's about the last summer of college when I lived on Lake Tahoe in a house with a broken door jam and some very, very bold black bears as neighbors (and aspiring roommates). I should tell it to you sometime.