Thursday, June 07, 2018

Gilgamesh and Under the Oaken Bough

I admit that I have been a little slack on blogging. In fact so slack on blogging I have not mentioned two very exciting things:
My CD The Epic of Gilgamesh which I released last year has been awarded a Gold Award by Parents' Choice this April. I am thrilled and overjoyed. A lot of work and research went into this audiobook/CD/album/recording and at this point in time it is the one I am most proud of. I am hoping to get it in book form at some point with illustrations by my son Aidan.

Gilgamesh and Enkidu by S Aidan Brooks, copyright 2018
The other wonderful bit of news is that my book is out! It was released on April 1st when the shops were shut - it was a Sunday. Under the Oaken Bough is a collection of seventeen folk and fairy tales - some old favourites, some more hard-to-find tales. They are retold in the style of my live telling and was quite the challenge. Odds Bodkin called them 'wonderfully irreverent.' I loved that.
The illustrations are by my old friend Rob Brookes. Those of you who have some of my CDs will know Rob's name as he has done all of my storytelling CD cover artwork. He has done the cover art for the book, created art for the holding page of each story, and helped with the book's layout and design. The pictures are true works of art. Personally there are a couple I would have blown up and framed on my walls.
Anansi by Rob Brookes, copyright 2018
The book is aimed at middle school readers and I did not dumb it down. When my publisher, Parkhurst Brothers, suggested I changed some of the words, I suggested a lexicon, or vocabulary list at the back of the book instead. I am thrilled to say Ted Parkhurst agreed. So readers can enjoy rich language and learn at the same time without having to get on a device or look for a dictionary. There are notes at the end of each story telling the sources, the story type, and my thoughts on it. There is also a section called "Tips on Telling" to help not just young readers get into storytelling, but also to assist teachers, librarians, grandparents - anyone - who wants to be able to tell stories. And there is an author Q&A. (A little secret - writers are asked to come up with their own questions and answer them! Shh. Don't tell anyone!) And not only all that, but you will also get this! A suggested reading list of books to help you learn about and how to 'story tell' and great resource books.
Here's one of Rob's illustrations from the book. If you would like a copy of the book it can be found or ordered from your local brick and mortar book shop, or at any other book seller. It can also be purchased on-line in physical or digit format. If you see me performing anywhere ( I will also have copies of the book to sell and sign along with most of my CDs.
I hope this finds you well. Drop me a line with your favourite story.

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