Children’s Book Storyteller
The Twig Book Shop
Anastasia McKenna, a.k.a Miss Anastasia, is a former elementary school teacher who has spent the last 17 years doing weekly and traveling story times for independent bookstores, Austin’s Toad Hall and San Antonio’s The Twig Book Shop. In addition to speaking at TEDxSA 2013, she also had the opportunity to present at PechaKucha Volume 10 in San Antonio.
Inspired by her audience’s enthusiastic response to her performances and the joy of sharing books, McKenna has logged more than 3,000 performances at bookstores, preschools, elementary schools, libraries, children’s shelters and orphanages, museums and at community and private events. As a book lover, seller, children’s book collector and mother, she feels it is essential that children surround themselves with books instead of movies or television shows.
Her accomplishments cannot be measured in awards or kudos, but she loves causing belly laughs and smiles, feeling the crowd hang on her every word and—her favorite—hearing “read it again!”
Stories, not just for bedtime anymore!
Before we’re even born, we need our spirits nourished through human interaction. Live, multi-sensory, and raw story sharing is the essence of human interaction and what humans innately desire the most. To model this, I will perform a Miss Anastasia story time. I will show how certain children’s books are like user’s manuals and can actually make it easy. I will also use simple techniques and tricks of the trade, including inflection, facial expression, sound effects, silly songs, dramatic pauses and voices to kick it up a notch. I’ll ask the audience to think of themselves as children, keeping in mind that children are not critics.
Children want your attention, affection, and to hear your voice. They want you to be fully present and they want to be the center of your universe. They don’t want grown up refinement and sophistication. Having seen my techniques demonstrated, I will call the audience to action and challenge them to just do it! Let go of your inhibitions, pick up a book, keep your screens black, and bring the story to LIFE.