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A story-teller is born

Friday, 2 August 2013

Tell Me a Story: Sharing stories to enrich your child’s world

A book written by Professor Elaine Reese

Elaine Reese Book Launch

This special book is a little gem! It is filled with personal family stories told by Elaine to, and from her sons, and of those gathered over 15 years of research.

Tell Me a Story shows parents how telling and sharing stories about family experiences can help children grow into healthy, happy adolescents and adults. It is an enjoyable read no matter the age of your children, and is based on the highest of correlational and experimental evidence. It is written with the ‘lay’ person in mind and is therefore both understandable and practical.

Tell Me a Story was warmly ‘launched’ by Professor Harlene Hayne, Vice-Chancellor, who was introduced by Phillippa Duffy, manager of the University Book Shop (UBS), the event hosts.

Prof Hayne, Elaine’s personal friend and long-time colleague, spoke from three perspectives: that of parent, psychologist, and Vice-Chancellor. Her delight in launching Tell Me a Story and respect for Elaine’s professional work was clearly evident - comments and personal tributes included in her speech were both heart-warming and entertaining. The acknowledgement of Elaine’s sons’ (Ben and Dylan) generosity in sharing their stories in Tell Me a Story, a special touch.

Read the Vice-Chancellor’s comments about Tell Me a Story here

Elaine Reese, Ben and Dylan

Professor Elaine Reese with sons Ben and Dylan

Elaine then spoke about the personal stories she grew up with and has since shared with her own children; she spoke about her love of sharing family stories, and how that passion turned into her life’s work, which has helped to develop not only children’s language and development, but a sense of self and adolescent well-being. We learned of their personal family ritual, which began when Ben and Dylan were young, involving a monthly visit to the University Book Shop where they relaxed and selected the "Book of the Month" before enjoying hot chocolate and scones. She gave her thanks to family and whanau, friends, colleagues, students, research participants and their families for their support and dedication.

And, what a great venue to launch a book! The store offers an appealing ambience – a warm and cosy old-world-charm. The UBS team - Phillippa, Jan and Bronwyn were most inviting, and guests were welcomed with refreshments before moving on to chat and mingle with old friends, and new.

Read "What kids learn from hearing family stories" The Atlantic

See photos of the book launch on our Facebook page