Free Virtual Performances & Author Visits

It’s official! We’re retiring from school visits after forty years of telling stories together

January 1, 2021 marks the fortieth anniversary of our meeting at a New Year’s Day brunch. We told our first story together less than three weeks later. We had planned to make the 2020/2021 school year our last. While we were busy making plans, the pandemic came along and changed everything. It seems unlikely that schools will be having live performances/workshops during this school year, so we have decided to retire from school visits. We are sad not to be able to say goodbye at several schools where we have worked for many years but are pleased that we had the time to create these videos.

Story Gifts: Free Virtual Performances

We feel immense gratitude to everyone who welcomed us into their schools and libraries during our forty-year career as professional storytellers/authors. We’d like to offer “story gifts” as a way of saying thanks and bringing some cheer during these challenging times. Teachers and parents, we applaud your herculean efforts, and hope these stories will help, even in a small way, to get your children—and you--to the other side of this universal nightmare. We have created two free virtual performances, one for kindergarten--2nd graders, and one for 3rd--5th graders.

Here are the links:
Stories From Around the World: Kdg-2nd grade
Stories From Around the World: 3rd--5th grade
We would appreciate your help to get these videos out to as many schools as possible. Feel free to share with other teachers, parents, or anyone who loves stories.

Free "Ready to Go" Author Visits: More story gifts for the classroom—or living room

We are also the authors of more than twenty-five books and are not retiring from writing. Our Noodleheads series with Tedd Arnold, creator of the Fly Guy series, won a Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) Honor Award and a Notable Book of the Year Award from the American Library Association as well as the Aesop Prize from the American Folklore Society, which predicted, “The Noodleheads are going to be a hit!” The fifth book, Noodleheads Lucky Day, was just released.

Each book in the Noodleheads series was inspired by several world folktales and we created videos for Noodlehead Nightmares and Noodleheads Lucky Day. We tell the old folktales, read part of the book, explain some of the idioms that Mac and Mac take literally, and encourage children to create their own stories. The movies are free, virtual Ready to Go Author Visits. They help children understand that world folktales transcend barriers of time, country, and cultures. As long as people have been around they’ve done foolish things—and made up stories to laugh at their own foolishness. From one culture to another, the stories are strikingly similar. As folklorist Joseph Jacobs noted, “It is indeed curious how little originality there is among mankind in the matter of stupidity.” (We never use that “S” word with children, by the way.)

Created by our publisher, Holiday House, this site includes the videos, an event kit, games, writing prompts, and lots of fun information on all things Noodlehead.

We’d love to hear from you!

Our retirement is bittersweet. What a fun job we had--looking out at a sea of innocent, uplifted faces with slack-jawed looks of awe, never got old. Other aspects of our job did—such as driving on icy roads, packing and unpacking, setting an alarm for the wee hours, etc. If we performed or did residencies at your school or library, please share any memories of our storytelling programs. We promise that we’ll respond.