Penny is an author, a bookseller, and a storyteller who lives in Victoria, BC. Originally from Toronto, she received a degree in Literature from Trinity College, University of Toronto and on the side, attended the Storytellers’ School of Toronto. For many years, Penny shared tales as a professional storyteller at schools, libraries, conferences, festivals, and on radio and television. She has told stories in an Arabian harem and from inside a bear’s belly – but that is a story in itself.She first heard the true tale of the disaster at Turtle Mountain from another storyteller who suggested that Penny write the story down. Looking at the disaster through the eyes of a young person - one who is desperate to help in the midst of the chaos - helps us see the tragedy in a more positive light. When bad things happen, what can we do? Will we rise to the occasion, or not? Disasters form an interesting slice of Canadian history. They not only change our landscape and our way of life, but also who we are, and who we dare to become.When not immersed in tsunamis, rockslides and ice storms, Penny manages the textbook department of the University of Victoria Bookstore. In her spare time she loves to travel, and collects stories and indigenous fabrics wherever she goes.
Connecting with readers and budding writers is one of the most important and rewarding parts about being an author. Storytelling visits, author readings and writing workshops can be tailored to appeal to any age group.
Energize your meeting by inviting an author to your book club. Shift the conversation from content to the interplay between writer and reader.
Stories to Books - Putting Skin on the Bones
How do oral tales become books? Explore the process of 'growing' a story from its essential elements to a richly layered book. Using the Disaster Strikes! books (middle grade) or Breaking Big (high school), see how the embedded folklore affects the final story.
Mouth Open, Story Jump Out - Storytelling Visit
From the teller's mouth to the listener's heart, storytelling suits every age from preschool up.
Storytelling in the Classroom
Explore ways to make your storytelling more vibrant; practice easy techniques to create, learn and remember stories; share ideas for building a personal repertoire.
Shadow Puppetry in the Classroom
Shadow puppetry is an ancient form of storytelling that historically draws themes from folklore, culture, religion and politics. In this workshop, learn how to make your own shadow puppets and adapt simple tales for the shadow screen. Participants will make a personal shadow screen during the workshop.
First and foremost, Penny is a storyteller. Every visit starts with a story, so sit back and relax. Then choose the focus for your group. For elementary students, the focus is on engagement. For middle grades, it is on the story and for high school students, on the writing process.
This interactive book talk shares the 'story behind the story' of all my books, allowing for lots of questions about an author's life. Students get to choose which book they'd like the author to read from to wrap up the session. Author visits featuring the Disaster Strikes! series are best suited for Grades 3-6, Breaking Big for Grades 6-12.