Primitive tribes passed on stories heard around the first campfires to their children. In time, such stories became folk tales, legends, myths, and fables. In creating these stories, adults got in touch with lessons learned from their experiences and the cacophony of different voices living within them.

"Storytelling gives us love and courage for life," notes Nancy Mellon in Storytelling & the Art of Imagination. The author, who has trained as a Waldorf school teacher in England, believes that "storytelling puts us in touch with strengths we may have forgotten, with wisdom that has failed or disappeared, and with hopes that have fallen into darkness."

In this helpful and hopeful paperback, Nancy Mellon offers insights into the secrets of storytelling. There are chapters on beginnings and endings, the movement and sense of direction in a tale, settings and characters for stories, and tips on nurturing the imagination.

Films such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and others help children understand the importance of ideals, causes, and values. But stories told at bedtime or in the living room provide especially good medicine for young souls. Parents who create tales of transformation and adventure renew themselves as they share them. And, Mellon reminds us, the art of storytelling affirms imagination in a personal and positive way. Children who feed on tales in the home often become accomplished storytellers themselves and the circle of creativity is complete.