Starting in the fall, I will be leading a weekly evening family storytime which I’m really excited about! It will be aimed at ages 2-6 and their families so I’m expecting a wide range of ages. I haven’t completely planned out anything yet, but I’ve started gathering ideas. I’m not sure what my themes will be yet, but I do know some stories I want to use so I’ll make sure they fit in somewhere!
One story I know I want to tell is “The Greatest of All.” It is a Japanese folktale that I first learned in undergrad when I took a Children’s Lit class and had to do a storytelling project. I based my telling off the version in the picture book, The Greatest of All by Eric A. Kimmel. When I used it for my class project I just told the story, but it always stayed in my mind in a box labeled “great for flannel.”
The story is about a young girl mouse who wishes to marry the humble field mouse. However, she lives with Papa mouse in the Emperor’s palace so Papa thinks she deserves to marry the greatest of all. Papa proceeds to ask Emperor to marry his daughter. Emperor explains that he is honored but he is not the greatest. Sun is greater than him because when Sun beats down even an emperor must hide from it. Papa goes on to ask Sun to marry his daughter, but Sun leads Papa to Cloud. Cloud sends him to Wind, and Wind sends him to Wall. Wall explains that he is not the greatest either. The greatest is a field mouse who can tunnel through him. Papa finds the humble field mouse and says he can marry the daughter.