Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones

slj“It’s time. It’s time.” All of nature has been waiting for the Christ child and the time has come. The Christmas story is always full of wonder and mystery, the greatest being God become flesh to dwell with men. Sally Lloyd-Jones has captured the anticipation of this great event in her children’s book, Song of the Stars. This unique approach to communicating the Christmas story will help children and adults alike in rekindling the excitement of the incarnation. Filled with beautiful paintings by Alison Joy, this book is sure to bring joy at the most wonderful time of the year.

Song of the Stars is a good addition to the stories being read during the holiday season. The book is small and will be easy to hold by even small-handed readers and its thick pages make it durable. This book is a fast and enjoyable read. A great Christmas gift, but give it early so it can add to the season’s festivities.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Out on the Wire by Jessica Abel

AlbaA large audience of people listen each week to radio shows in order to hear a good story. This new breed of storytellers use a variety of methods all for the end goal of providing the listener with a memorable story and some nugget of truth that they can carry with them after the show ends. And most importantly, to keep them coming back for more in future broadcasts.

Cartoonist Jessica Abel went behind the radio speakers to get a glimpse into what it takes to put together these audio stories that so many enjoy. She spoke to staff at This American Life, Radiolab, Planet Money, and others to get insights into the process, the struggles and victories of telling a good story. The result is Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio.

Books abound in storytelling and the art and discipline of crafting a story. However, Out on the Wire is the only one I have seen that presents the material in comic book form. I am not a reader of comics or graphic novels but I enjoyed the way the book progressed through the chapters in this fashion. It was very informative in the material it presented and the feel of the book made me feel as if I were in the same room with the players, listening to the conversations as they happened in real time. Abel covers important topics like story structure, character and voice, sound (a very important one for a non-visual medium), and editing.

I thought this book was extremely helpful and I recommend anyone interested in storytelling read this, along with anyone thinking of a career (or hobby) in radio storytelling or podcasting. It will be a good resource, but you will need to highlight the dialogue bubbles as you read, since this book doesn’t have a traditional outline or glossary.

I received this book from Bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review.