Monday consisted of more than four hours of storytelling for Brooks, with the day broken into a few different sessions with different age groups.
Some of the stories received gasps, others "ews', and most laughs, but all seemed to delight
- Nashua Telegraph
Some quotes from clients of the Children's Literacy Foundation from over the summer:
"Simon told awesome stories. We had a diverse group of children from preschool through 8th grade and all (including parents) were engaged and enjoying the stories."
"The stories Simon tells are connected to stories we have heard but with his very funny and engaging twists!"
"We had a young autistic girl in the crowd that wanted to sit up by Simon, and had trouble keeping still. Simon did a great job engaging her, yet keeping her from interrupting the program."
"Preparing the space/set-up-Simon was amazing and included the children who came to help. He was very 'valuing' and gave them responsibilities which made them feel trusted and empowered."
"Simon was masterful--he really connected with the kids, drawing them in with humor and spontaneity. This is particularly valuable or this audience of children/youth."
Simon is like a traveling one-man show with his wit, his physical antics, comedy and pathos. Simon’s voices and sound effects are perfected to the point where you become lost in the tale as you might a movie, no matter your age.
- Caladonian Record
Magic in Our Midst. "He becomes his story." Watch Simon Brooks work his magic in front of dozons of children and parents and you'll know...
- Kearsarge Magazine
Simon Brooks. His talent? Storytelling. With words, mouth sounds, gestures and abundant passion for his craft, he captivated the families of the Upper Valley and left a sea of charmed smiles in his wake.
- Upper Valley Life
Thank you for, yet again, a wonderful event. I greatly appreciate your inclusion of our 'helpers'. You made some very special children feel very worthy today. For those kiddos, this will be a day they will always remember - perhaps a day that changed something in them forever.
You are amazing at what you do and who you are only makes it better!
Hopefully we will get to see you again in the future.
Take good care & enjoy every day.
- Jennifer Berkowitz
Thank you once again for today. The children, parents, and staff were all amazed at your performance. When the children returned to their classes they could not wait to begin reading! You truly made a positive difference in many of their lives and helped to create a wonderful memory.
- Michele Martineau, para and special educator
I 'd like to send our heartfelt thanks to you for entertaining us with your wonderful tales and stories. You have an unique and wonderful talent!
- Becky Bjerklie, Wentworth Elementary School
It was a wonderful residency. I share an office space with our District Literacy Coach and was just telling her how much learning occurred during your residency. Our students learned more in those four days about the elements of a story that I ever would have imagined.
I hope I mentioned this to you, but if I did not, please feel free to use my name as a reference for other school residencies.
- Patti Osgood, Community Outreach Coordinator
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 programming 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 Mountain 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 and 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'
Simon - My 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 alive.
- 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!
Simon. 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
"Thank you for giving us ... your engaging storytelling performance at Hartland elementary School. The kids and adults all seemed to thoroughly enjoy your performance."
- Jen Thygesen, Everybody Wins, Upper Valley Business and Education Partnership
"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."
- Lynda Day-Martin, storytelling fan
"Another 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
by S. Aidan Brooks ©
The Dragon and the Monkey's Heart
Dear Simon - This is what I saw in my head when you were telling stories
(The story of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves)
From Dan Zanes when I sent my first CD to him!