A Cool Review for Shine in the Guardian

Shine by Candy Gourlay
'A precious and important novel that also explores exile from neighbours, family and country. The book is about reinvention and the faces we present to the world, whether it be in person, on a postcard or on the internet, all wrapped up in an exciting and perfectly paced story with a disturbing and dramatic climax.'
Philip Ardagh, The Guardian
Read the review

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Creating a Legend in Your Own Time

This was my contribution to the Awfully Big Blog Adventure Online FestivalI was the 4pm act!



Visit the Tall Story website
Art by Sarah McIntyre
In my novel Tall Story, I sewed in myths and legends from the Philippines and elsewhere to add magic to the story of Bernardo, a boy who is eight feet tall.

In the Philippines where I was born, legends were a way of ordinary people explaining the often unexplainable forces of nature around them - the volcanoes, earthquakes, the strange shapes of mountains, caves, the existence of plants and other creatures.

A lot of Filipino folk stories are handed down in the oral tradition - grown ups telling children stories, and the children growing up to tell the stories to their own children.

And every time a story is told, the teller adds his own spin to the story, so the story is always changing. It's a very exciting process!

In the video, I tell The Legend of the Bellybutton - as imagined by me and a group of children at the Hay Literary Festival after a hilarious brainstorming session.
Photo by Another Sergio
(Creative Commons Attribution)

It was just one of many legends we made up in that hour we spent together. We had great fun - we must have written 20 legends in one hour!

It's easy! And it's so much fun!


1st Choose something to make a legend about. It can be anything at all! 

eg. The Legend of the Nose

Thanks to Jon-Eric Melsæter on Flickr
(Creative Commons Attribution)

2nd Decide how things used to be. 

eg. People didn't have Noses. So they couldn't smell anything. So they didn't enjoy eating because they couldn't smell food. And they thought flowers were boring because they couldn't smell how lovely they were. And they themselves smelled bad because they couldn't smell themselves.

People became very grumpy

3rd Something happens to bring your something about!

eg. Someone tripped and grew a bump on their face. Then tripped again and got holes in the bump. And then discovered that they could smell food and flowers (they also began to wash). And everyone became so jealous they went out and accidentally on purpose tripped over too!

And that is why we have noses!

Thanks to Bazusa on Flickr (Creative Commons Attribution)


If you're a teacher or a librarian and you fancy creating legends with your own posse of children, check out my Legend in Your Own Time download on my website!

Thank you!

Other downloads you might enjoy:

3 comments :

  1. I love that legend! And the imagination of kids to come up with it. Lovely seeing you today.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The one thing you can count on at an event like this is that the children will have all the ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm going to try this on my class of very imaginative and exciteable Year Fives. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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