|Artwork by S. Aidan Brooks, copyright 2013
Dear Mr. Brooks,
You recently recorded a my Kindle Single, "A Faithful Man" for Audible.com, and I just wanted to tell you how fine a job I think you did on my book. I've listened to the recording, and you matched, almost perfectly, the voices I heard in my head as I wrote the piece. Thank you very much for your excellent work, and I do hope we get an opportunity to collaborate again at at some future date.
- Robert (Bobby) Elkin
All I can say is WOW! You are simply amazing. I've never seen kids (and adults) so engaged in a storytelling session.
Thank you so very much for being so easy to work with, completely understanding the event and what was needed, and doing extra sets...
I will certainly pass your information along to everyone I know and I will recommend you to all internal departments for any kids programing we have here at the Museum. You are incredibly gifted.
- Kim Rzemien, Director of Special Events - Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.
Don and me and our engineer (and I’m sure our listeners) were mesmerized as you told “One Wish.” It was magical!
- Brigham University Radio Morning Show, Provo, Utah.
Thank you for an awesome workshop today! The kids and teachers enjoyed it very much...the 5th graders did a great job re-telling those stories. They felt so good about their performances afterward and the 3rd graders were so proud of their stories...it was a great day! My 3rd and 5th graders came home so excited. My first grader was mad that he did not get to see you this year that he kept saying "I did not listen to any Simon Brooks stories...it's not fair!" the entire ride home from school...he is so funny, so we told him he'll get his chance next year.
- Patty Trant, teacher, West Elementary School, Andover MA
Hi Simon, I just want you to know that the feed back from Friday was wonderful. Evening performance was great. PTA moms want to do an all school assembly/ perhaps Artist in Residence if funding allows. Thanks for coming. I will try to gather the written responses from the teachers for the afternoon workshop. Definitely needed more time for that one.
- Ann Silverstein, Enfield Village School, Enfield, NH
Simon came into our school for five days and worked with 5-8th grade students. Typically these students are a hard sell on most “assemblies”, but were even more so when they found out that it was a “story teller” that was coming. Simon absolutely mesmerized them. Students were leaning forward in their seat; they wanted to hear more. As the week progressed, Simon had the students draw from their own life experiences and develop a story of their own. Simon worked cooperatively with the students and teaching staff to help develop the stories. He showed them that a “normal” life experience could become a richly told story when given details and tone.
Simon is able to establish relationships with students that are based on mutual respect. For this reason, students quickly bond with him and feel safe within the classroom. He fostered a sense of security and managed the classroom with a calm manner which enabled the students to take a risk in front of their peers to present their stories. Many of my more timid students got up in front of their peers and not just presented their stories, but in fact performed them! It was amazing the growth that was seen in just one week’s time.
- Kate Lester, Blue Mountian Union School,
Wells River, VT.
I just wanted to thank you again for performing at our Camporee. I
keep hearing from more and more people about how amazing you were
-- and I agree. Way beyond my expectations! Honestly, I wasn't expecting
you to be so captivating that a bunch of extremely tired campers would
be spellbound -- but they were. I hope to get to enjoy your storytelling again sometime when I'm not
running around trying to keep a Camporee running!
- Rhonda O'Keefe- Girl Scout's Leader, Hudson, NH (Camporee
contained kids aged 6 - 16 years!)
Simon - I wish I could send you all of the praises for you adn your stories, but I can give you my utmost appreciation for making Anne's day even more special. A room is a room until you fill it with wonderful people and spirit - you did both. Thank you again.
- Ruth M. - birthday party for 'grown-ups'
drama classes and I heard your tales at Nashua North High School today.
We were all very impressed and had a lot of fun discussing storytelling
and drama afterwards.
Thank you for the excellent stories and for helping to keep storytelling
- Walt Freeman, Dept. of
English, Nashua North High School
What a wonderful day the students had with you! Thank you for all
the valuable information you shared about storytelling, as well as,
the entertaining stories you told. I'm so glad that you were able
to spend the day here, and not just perform in the evening. It gave
ALL the children the opportunity to meet you. I'm sure all the teachers
will appreciate the information you have shared. Thanks again, Simon,
for enriching our lives with your storytelling. It's a wonderful art
that you have mastered!
Pam Beck - Madison Elementary School, NH
Hi Simon, Just
wanted to say thank you for being up here at Trapp's over the holidays!
The feedback from guests was really good, everyone enjoyed the show.
I liked how you tied morals into the stories so there was a deeper
purpose beyond the entertainment side of it. That's great for everyone,
especially the kids!
- Jeff O'Neil, Activities Manager, Trapp Family Lodge
Simon, It was
great to have you join us. I know the kids and parents who attended
your stories kept saying, "that was really good" and "Did
you jump, too, when...?" It was a lot of fun and a great experience
they'll carry with them. So thank you from all of us!
Till next time
- Katie Johnson, One Planet, Sharon, VT
Hi Simon. My
wife and my two children, Bethany and Jordan, are big fans. My kids
go everywhere we can find you to hear you. My daughter Bethany is
especially a big fan. And yes, I'm a big fan too! We've been on a
long drive from the Upper Valley down to Maryland, and your CD has
been an absolute Godsend. Several different times Bethany said, "Can
we listen to Mister Simon now?" The long one about Jessee and
the 9-headed dragon [Shape-shifting Girl] is a particular favorite.
Storytelling is now just a big part of what we all do as a family
and has been a great addition to our usual regimen of books, art,
and music. Really wonderful. The kids now tell their own, as well
as repeating many of your [stories]. My six-year-old can tell [The
Goat from the Hills] and Mountains] nearly verbatim, with accents
and all, and my four-year-old likes to try too. Often when we tell
them they're not allowed to do something
they'll put on that
goat voice and answer, "Eeeehhhhhh. Waddayadoinah? Don't you
know who I am?" So from all of us, just want to say thanks for
all the joy you bring to our little ones.
- Ken Davis and family, fans!
Thanks for your outstanding presentation today. I really enjoyed it
and clearly the kids did too. Inspirational! I am sorry I did not
get to meet you after.
- Erik Schickedanz, Title I Coordinator, Halifax School - June 2010
you for giving us ... your engaging storytelling performance at Hartland
elementary School. The kids and adults all seemed to thouroughly enjoy
- Jen Thygesen, Everybody Wins, Upper Valley Buissness and Education
Partnership - Spring 2010
"I just have
to thank you for telling me about the Granite State Storytelling event
in New London. You are kinetic, funny, charming, engaging, and you allow
adults to be children, or should I say, it makes no difference what age
one is when listening to you. It was really really good to hear and see
you, and to observe your audience."
Day-Martin, storytelling fan
great night at the Story Cafe! Simon filled the space with his wit
and talent. He is so at ease on stage and played with the audience
along the way, offering us stories that spanned from seafaring tale,
to an enchanted princess. I loved his version of The Piper's Revenge,
peppered with just enough historical background to put some more meat
on the bones. I heard so many complimentary comments from folks as
they lingered for a bit after his performance."
-Karen Chace, organizer
of Story Cafe, New Bedford, MA
"Simon - Thank
you so much for the wonderful performance you gave December. Students
and staff are still talking about it. Our principal even brought it up
at the school board meeting! I have enclosed some dragons and the information
I sent along to our generous funders (the Green Mountain Festival Series).
We look forward to having you back in future years!"
- Jeanie Phillips, school librarian
To see thank you
notes from the Chester
Andover Elementary School, click here!
You were awesome yesterday! Thanks so much for coming AND telling
some grand stories. Your support of the Valley Quest program is so
very much appreciated."
- Len Cadwallader,
Executive Director, Vital Communities
We got your CD [More Second-hand
Tales] in the mail a couple days ago. My
two boys have listened to it probably at least 30 times. They love
it! They can't decide which is their favorite story and neither can
- Marla Fredette, parent
We had a wonderful time with you! Everyone really enjoyed your visit
and storytelling. I particularly admired how you really got into character-you
looked and acted so different for different characters, even your
facial expressions turned you into the character of the moment, a
Best wishes and happy storytelling!"
- Kim Brewster, Library Media Specialist, Bow Elementary, Bow, NH
Simon - Your talent is a gift, and an astonishing one at that. You're
so astoundingly good at it!"
- Barbara Rogasky, children's author
- One of my 5th graders, an extremely "cool" fifth grader,
let the other students know when entering school Friday that if they
were not at Literacy Night they missed an amazing event - very out
of character for her to be so complementary about school events. Most
of the 26 students there were raving about you for the entire day
Friday. Thanks for the entertaining and fun night."
JoAnn Vana, Principal, Brownington
Central School, Brownington, VT
- Thank You for undertaking another CD!
Thank You for a wonderful collection of Second-hand Stories!
Thank You for making my 3 year old giggle uncontrollably ("I'm
so clever, I'm so clever, I'm so Cleverrrrr!").
We checked out your CD from the library; it is quite clear I will
have to invest in a copy of our own, as your stories are now a part
of every day at my house.
Your gifts are a rare gem and we are so grateful you have chosen to
share your talent.
We'll hope to see you at Bretton Woods and in Wolfeboro this year."
Pike Family, Tamworth, NH - New
I must say I was very impressed with Simon's performance at the high
school level. I was interested to see how it played out. It was evident,
watching the students, that Simon held their attention well. I witnessed
some of the [high school] students actually laughing in parts that
were funny. I truly was impressed."
- Martha Ouellette, President Elect of the New Hampshire Association
of Educational Office Professionals
You were just what we were hoping for yesterday. Your presentation
was delightful, engaging and you connected so well with our children.
Their "bravo" was a definite compliment to you. Thank you
for following Sister Susan's vehement request to entertain but to
elicit respect and engagement from the children: you did it without
resorting to comic relief!! We are grateful as children are accustomed
to the "wilds" on tv and in the movies. You left them with
your stories in their minds. My best and happy holiday ahead with
- Sister Barbara,
Notre Dame Children's Class, Wenham, MA
night was 'wicked good' as they say in N.H. My granddaughter said
they were the best stories she's ever heard. We truly appreciated
your performance. Thanks...Judi K.
- Judi Knowles,
Children's Librarian, Moutonborough, NH
Simon, thanks again for this terrific show. We loved it!"
- Michael M,
Parent, Arlington, MA
I just want to thank you again for the excellent program you did at
our library. I always consider an event a great success when the parents
enjoy it as much as the kids. In the three years I have been here,
your program brought the most complimentary comments from parents
- and the kids lining up for autographs was priceless. Enjoy the rest
of your summer.
Falconer, Children's Librarian, Hampstead, NH
- I just wanted to let you know how appreciated your talents were
at the [town] barbeque. You're the best, everyone says! Thanks so
much for doing the show, Simon, it was fantabulous. Your cd was checked
out of the library this morning.
- Susan DAmico,
librarian, Roxbury, VT
What an incredible performance! The kids (and adults) were clearly
entralled and love loved every minute! I was so impressed that even
on the last day of school, you kept them completely focused. Thank
you for a truly memorable program.
Tracy, librarian, New London, NH
Hi Simon. I
really enjoyed your storytelling tonight. Your quick switches from
character to character were inspired. I think you're really fun to
watch as well as to listen to - great voices and sound effects. Your
movement was precise and speedy with all the quick character changes.
Why, it was so fast that it almost made me dizzy. But in a good way
- like rolling down a hill and getting out of control with laughter.
Your personal style is less set than all the guys who've been at this
biz for 30 or more years. So you've got the freshness of experimentation
in your telling. It's a good thing to have. Keep it for as long as
- Pat Spalding, storyteller
"On a whim a bunch of mommy friends and our gangs went to
the Wolfeboro Library over our spring break and I just wanted to take
a minute to say WOW! It was wonderful!! You were so interactive and
captivating for all ages.Thank you for sharing your gift with our
town. It was definitely a highlight of our break. Looking forward
to hearing your stories again sometime. Keep up the magic."
- Andrea Keslar and family, New Hampshire
"Simon - You knew how to gear the stories to the age level and
size of the group. You managed to thread your way through them all
and know when to help them get their wiggles out. And the kids loved
the sounds effects!
- Barbara Widmer - Librarian, Wolfboro Public Library
"Hello Simon, Thank you for the stories - your CD sounds great
and I'm really happy to hear you doing such a fine job keeping the
traditions alive - it's so important! The music is cool, too!
"I'm going to bring it home to my daughter. She grew up listening
to Jackie Torrence and loves good storytelling.
"Best of luck!
"Your friend, Dan Z"
- Dan Zanes, musician, Brooklyn, NY
"Hi Simon - We got the cd yesterday, thanks very much. It
is a hit! I came down to find both girls snuggled under a blanket
on the cozy chair, enthralled - not even poking each other or trying
to steal the blanket . . . And then my daughter wouldn't get out of
the car mid-story so we sat in the school parking lot until "Death
in a Nut" was done.
Such fun. Thanks."
- C.M. Robinson - parent
"Hi Simon - I gave my niece, Frances, your CD for her birthday.
She has listened to it every night since then and she is ready for
another one, she informed me today. So I thought I should let you
know that your fans are clamoring for more! You better get back to
that recording studio and pop out volume 2."
Laura Dintino - storytelling fan!
"Hi Simon - I wanted to express our marvelous experience with
your CD. Recently I drove my two daughters plus three of their friends
from the Upper Valley to Waterbury, VT for a visit to Ben & Jerry's.
The five girls, ranging in age from 5 to 9, got along well for the
first part of the trip with little intervention on my part. But as
we grew closer to our destination, the bickering began. In response,
I put in your CD and played the first story, Anansi. The girls quickly
grew quiet and all listened raptly. By the end of that story we had
reached our destination, and I promised to play the remaining stories
for the ride home. Before we were even in the car for the ride home,
the girls were reminding me to play the CD. I put it in, and all five
girls were completely silent and mesmerized from the very first word
to the very last. Your storytelling CD did the impossible: we drove
for approximately one hour without one word from five girls! Thank
you, thank you - maybe there is hope for family road trips after all."
- Katrina McCurley, parent & children's librarian, Dunbar
Free Library, Grantham, NH
- Thank you for a thoroughly entertaining morning. It was the perfect
start to the Summer Reading Program. I estimated 97 adults and children
were gathered around. The rest of the staff told me that many adults
thought you were fantastic. The children were quite rapt considering
some were fairly young. The voices you use and the movement certainly
kept them alert. We have 72 children signed so far and I think that
to be a wonderful start to "Treasure Reading". Thank you for
helping make the program a success and for being so accommodating. Have
a great summer."
Widmer, Children's Librarian, Wolfeboro Public Library, Wolfeboro, NH
"Dear Simon - I just wanted to say how wonderful your visit
to our school was this past week - it was such a great gift to everyone.
Your stories were funny, inspiring and uplifting. It was truly remarkable
that you were able to hold the rapt attention of the children for over
50 minutes. Their diverse ages (K-6) made it an especially difficult
assignment and you made it all look easy. Again, thank you for your
energy and inspiration. Have a great summer."
- Kerry Rosenthal, educational consultant, Event Planner, Wellborn Ecology
"Hi Simon: I am very pleased to have met y'all. I was captivated
by the stories you told ...you brought out the child in me and I remember
the stories like a movie playing inside my head. You kept us very interested
and stretched our highly & culturally depleted attention spans so
that we grew, upward, more focussed on Saturday afternoon. We definitely
need the gift of your talents...may your story telling bring wisdom
and joy to many."
"...the children and staff enoyed your telling very much. I
was stopped in the hall by the 8th grade teacher to tell me that her
class admitted that they didn't think they would like the session, but
after attending they came away wanting more. One student suggested that
it would be great to invite you back (to perform at) their graduation
- Kathleen, Cornish Elementary School, PTO
really liked it - a few 'tough customers' actually told me it was "really
cool" and asked if we could have Simon back"
- Andrea Poe, Children's Librarian, Barton, VT
"The children laughed and screeched and rolled around on the
gym floor in delight (at least they rolled around as much as the teachers
would let them)!
He's a very animated and funny storyteller"
- Peg Downing, Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) advisor
"Thank you for kicking the week off with your great stories.
The kids all enjoyed it."
- Bonna Wieler, Vershare Camp director, Hanover, NH
"Thank you for your storytelling session at the library. It was
- Sue Kling, Librarian, Orfordville, NH
"You are great!"
Bruce Genereaux, owner, Upper Valley Events Center, Norwich, VT
"Thank you, Simon, for your wonderful presentation at the Brentwood
program. We have had nothing but praise from the teachers and students
school. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Thank you again for everything."
- Marilyn Morehead, Mary E. Bartlett Library, Brentwood, NH