Tellabration comes to Somers Public Library

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Somers - posted Tue., Nov. 26, 2013
Storyteller Liz Gruber gets children from the audience involved with telling the story, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ Photos by Lisa Stone.
Storyteller Liz Gruber gets children from the audience involved with telling the story, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’ Photos by Lisa Stone.

Children of all ages came to experience professional storytelling at Somers Public Library as part of Tellabration. Liz Gruber not only tells stories, but she performs them as well. On Nov. 17, children and adults alike were engaged in the oral art of storytelling.

The idea behind the large, worldwide Tellabration event is that adults and children alike should be exposed to storytelling. Gruber uses this method to familiarize the audiences with folktales, contemporary stories and personal stories. Gruber holds a master’s of arts degree in oral traditions and has used her stories and activities to help teachers with expanding their students’ vocabulary, listening skills and other aspects of the curriculum.

Gruber gets the audience involved with the stories that she tells. In Somers, the story was, “Jack and the Beanstalk.” She welcomed participants to the stage, and the children took to her right away. Before long, the children were telling a good part of the story and actively participating. “I always start out with the phrase, ‘Once upon a time,’ because I feel that this allows the child to relate to the story in their own time,” said Gruber. “The moral of the stories should apply even today. It could take place anytime and anywhere and anything could happen.”

Gruber spends a bit of time before the actual storytelling to allow the audience to get comfortable with her. She feels that this allows the kids to relax and let their imaginations flow. Gruber said really enjoys what she does. “I love being a storyteller. I relay the stories of book tales, personal happenings and anything else that could reach adults and children alike,” she said.

Christina Krzywicki brought her two sons, Peter and Alex, for the experience. “I really like it,” said Peter. The two boys hung on Gruber’s every word.

The Somers library director, Francine Aloisa, was very happy to have Gruber perform for the audience. “This is a global event,” said Aloisa of Tellabration. “We are very lucky to be able to take part in this.”

“The best part of the event is when the children take part in the story”, Gruber added. “That is the most meaningful part of what I do.”

With more than 25 Tellabrations taking place across Connecticut this month, the Connecticut Storytelling Center at Connecticut College in New London is sure to keep busy. For more information on the center, go online to To contact Gruber directly, e-mail her at

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