About Us

Why an entire blog about storytelling? As Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes in his book Black Swan, humans need a story to displace another story. Metaphors and stories are far more potent (alas) than ideas; they are also easier to remember and more fun to read. … ideas come and go, stories stay.

Stories determine how we run the world. Stories are highly political, even — especially — stories for children.

My roommate actually sited a website called Slap Happy Larry in a college paper

Andreana (@adingess08) January 20, 2017


Children’s books are among the most revealing of cultural artifacts. Quite aside from whatever qualities they may have as literature, and wholly apart from whatever effect they may have on their intended audience, books for the young…. are rich repositories of cultural information…. Like popular literature (which they resemble in several ways), children’s books tend to convey conventional views more often than individual idiosyncrasy, thus offering insight into the common assumptions, the accepted ideas, and the widely shared opinions of a culture. Above all, of course, children’s literature reflects the attitudes toward children and childhood of the society that produces it…. [Social] Changes that began in the latter sixties and continued through the seventies have transformed children’s books in fundamental ways, altering content, style, and, above all, the image of children and childhood (and, I would add, of adults and adult society as well) as these are presented in fiction for the young.

Anne Scott McLeod

Lynley Stace – writer/illustrator

I gather my thoughts by writing them down. If you get anything useful from this blog, even better.

I’m the main blogger here since Dan really only likes to write code. And then when he does write the odd techy thing that’s the post that gets lots of hits…

In 2015 I analysed a lot of short stories and picture books.

In 2016 I re-read Anatomy of Story by John Truby and looked at everything I read through this new lens. I grew increasingly fascinated with how story is both universal and specific, and how everything we might say about popular film does (or does not?) apply to children’s literature.

In 2017 my study goal was to catch up on a few classics of children’s literature. Also, since I’m going to be watching TV anyway, I’ll continue to dive into that. There’s something to be learned from everything!

By 2018 our daughter was starting to move beyond picture books, so I had to make more of an effort to read them. I focused more on short stories. We still read picture books but not so many.

By 2019 the blogging habit is firmly entrenched and it remains one of my favourite things to do. I’ll be learning about storytelling until the day I die, and then I’ll have only scratched the surface. I want to read a lot of short stories this year. I’m finding the effort (and reward) of reading a top-notch short story is about equivalent to reading a novel, so I’ve been reading fewer novels, unfortunately.

In all kindness, you shouldn’t be quoting this personal blog in your assignments. I don’t write with a critical focus. That’s neither my training nor my interest. This is a place for storytellers.

Daniel Hare – coder

Dan grew up on the central New South Wales coast of Australia. He has always been interested in programming. As a kid, he used to spend his pocket money on computer magazines like Zzap, then code simple programs which took hours and hours to punch into his family’s Commodore 64. He also used to help the librarian fix problems with the IBM PC at school.

No one was surprised when Dan decided to study computer science at the University of Canberra. Dan now specialises in cybersecurity at his day job, but has maintained a childhood curiosity for all things programming. He has taught himself how to code in various languages, most recently in Objective C.