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6 New Ways to Enjoy the Merlin Woods Magic
Galway Fairy Tales: nurturing children's wellbeing through storytelling
With children's issues at the heart of these new books, they take up the thread of the previous books, addressing difficult topics and bringing them to the fore through the experiences of fairies in the woods. The concept behind Galway Fairy Tales is to enable discussion around the difficult topics children experience, with the aim of supporting the development of better social skills and coping skills through the medium of storytelling.
These new books give adults a platform on which discussions around topics such as the importance of apologising and owning up to wrongdoing, the limits to playing pranks on others, the benefits of including others who are different to ourselves, family breakups, and ideas on coping with anxiety.
The first series, the Merlin Woods series dealt with topics such as bullying, friendship, kindness, teamwork, finding good guidance in life, and depression.
Suitable as educational material, these beautiful books, crafted, written and printed in Ireland, also make a lovely gift, along the lines of "if you are going to tell a story, make it an Irish story" as they are light-hearted, engaging and fun. Ideally suited for children aged five years and upwards – and adults like them just as much.
Martha said: "It is wonderful to meet grandmothers who have done Mamó sessions with these books. One lady told me how she invited her grandchildren from different households to come to her home on five consecutive Tuesdays at 7.00 pm. No devices were allowed but they would get chicken nuggets, cocktail sausages or whatever their hearts desire. Then they all sat down to do a storytelling session and chat afterwards. Golden Memories were made. Who would have thought that encouraging storytelling sessions was something novel? It was the way I was brought up."
Martha comes from a long line of traditional storytellers. Originally from Croom, County Limerick, she came to Galway in the 80s where she gained her degree in physics and maths. Later years saw her join so many others in emigrating. Her path took her to Germany. After 22 years she returned to her beloved town of Galway to settle with her children. It was during these years that she cemented her love for Merlin Woods in Galway and the power of supporting children's development through storytelling.
The books are available as individual books or compilation books in all good stores or can be ordered online, where you can contact Martha directly: http://www.galwayfairytales.com
Martha Begley Schade
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