Activated-Storytellers

Website review by
Jean Armour Polly, Common Sense Media
Activated-Storytellers Website Poster Image
Here's the story ... of a family named Goza.

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The parents' guide to what's in this website.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there are a few Google ads on the site, as well as booking fee structure for the performers themselves. There's a routine pictured where Mom fits herself through a tennis racket (no strings attached), but kids probably wouldn't try this at home anyway.

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What's it about?

The Goza family travels 365 days a year, never staying in one area longer than two weeks. They are nomadic storytellers and performers, usually playing schools, libraries, and museums. Dad does the cooking and writes the scripts, while Mom drives the van and thinks up the physical comedy routines. Their teenage son, Zephyr, performs in the troupe as well. If you're interested in catching a live show, you can find out where the family will be next. Just check the performance calendar or type in the name of your state to see when they will be close by. Until then, the site offers slide shows of some of the acts, which are often drawn from folktales and poetry. Several interactive online books are offered.

Is it any good?

Kids who are used to sleek, flashy sites might be put off by the very '90s design, although the inclusion of podcasts and streaming video brings the content into the 21st century. Or, for some old-fashioned fun, kids can read stories aloud, like the Russian folktale "Vasalisa and Baba Yaga" or "Jack and the Beans Talk," a twist on the classic that features some loquacious legumes. Kids should enjoy -- and parents will appreciate -- the site's inclusion of stories from a diverse array of cultures.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how storytelling and live perfomances offer an alternative to electronic media. What did people do for fun before TV, movies, the Internet, etc.? If you were part of a performing group, what talents would you showcase? Parents can share with kids a story or folktale they learned when they were young.

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