The New Storytellers workshops

Cris Pîrvu

Reading The Story of the Lost Kendama for the first time at the Alternative Education Club - School no. 136, Ferentari

"How does a story begin?" Adina asked the kids who were sitting around her, eager to listen to their Sto-ry!  

"Once upon a time!", they all said in chorus.  

"Once upon a time in Ferentari." That's how The Story of the Lost Kendama begins.  

The Story of the Lost Kendama is a universal story about the strength of good examples and the force of evil, about friendship and self-trust, about the hope, which should color the universe of every child.

The ingredients of the story were harvested locally, through storytelling workshops, from individual experiences, descriptions of everyday life, and from the concerns of some of the children from the Ferentari neighborhood, who became characters of this book. The concept of the story developed organically, while the workshops had a catalytic role.

In the summer of 2017, the book's authors, Adina Rosetti and Irina Dobrescu, led 12 workshops with a group of 10 children from the Alternative Education Center from Ferentari.

With Adina, the storytellers learned how to build a story, where the ideas come from, what a book character means and how to keep a private journal. In return, they sang to us some summer hits, tried to teach us some kendama tricks, talked about their friends, teachers, but also about the "bad boys" in the neighborhood. They showed us their playgrounds and invited us in their homes. Along with Irina, they pictured scenes and characters from their own real or imaginary stories.

Thus, through what they learned and what they shared with us, children were the main source of inspiration for the book. In addition, the storytelling workshops had two other goals:

An educational role: through creative games and literary explorations, Adina wanted the children to perceive literature as a pleasant activity that they can use in life, rather than a school scarecrow that gives them headaches.

Developing self-confidence: the children read their creations, felt that their effort was appreciated, and they learned to listen to each other and to relate to each other.

The Story of the Lost Kendama is a book dedicated to 8-12 year olds, where the main characters are two Roma children who go through a series of fantastic events to bring life and color back to the gray neighborhood they live in.

All children need stories where they can find themselves, stories that speak their own language, and that make them dream.

We invite you to discover the story of the workshops in our photo album Storytelling with Adina & Irina.