Winner ‘Honours’ US Storytelling World Awards
With influences from the environmental to the fantastical children, will be drawn to these stories through the mystery and power of the ocean. The title track is an original tale of the mermaid of Byron Bay. One full moon night she hears funky drum rhythms on the beach and sees dancers twirling and leaping by a fire. She is so inspired that she swaps her mermaid’s tail for human legs so that she can dance. But will the Sea call her back? This exquisitely produced CD is a must-have for all families. Featuring the music of eight acoustic instruments. There are no scary stories in this collection, so it is suitable bedtime listening for children of any age.
Length: 60 mins
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“The Mermaid’s Shoes”, “The Story Tree” and “Stories to Light the Dark” have now all won this award.
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Track notes in detail
East of the Sun and West of the Moon is Storyland
In Storyland you can do anything, be anyone you dream in Storyland…
Tabla and Cavaquinho- instrumental accompaniment arranged and played by Rochelle Wright. (2:03)
2. The Mermaid’s Shoes by J.R.Cargill-Strong ©1996.
One full moon night, the mermaid of Byron Bay hears funky drum rhythms on the beach. She sees dancers twirling and leaping by a beach fire. She is so inspired that she swaps her mermaid’s tail for human legs, so that she can become a dancer. The mermaid’s shoes hold a magic that allows her to transform under the full moon. But will the sea call her back? Tuned bells, sampled darabouka and jembe music. (12:01)
3. The Rat Traditional China
This circle story speaks of the journey from envy to self acceptance. Rat is one of the many animals in the Chinese zodiac.
Retold by Jenni Cargill-Strong. Zyladrumrhythm devised and played by Jenni. (9:01)
4. The Fisherman’s Baby Traditional Ireland.
A freak storm separates a baby from his young father. But will a seal help?
This version by Irish storyteller, Liz Weir. www.taleteam.demon.co.uk Harp. (8:26)
5. Goldenheart Written by J.R.Cargill-Strong ©1996.
An original tale of a man who finds his feelings too painful. Like Davey Jones, he throws his heart in a tin. Yet his heart finds its way back to him. (4:25)
6. Two Russian Goats by Margaret McDonald Read
The Eastern goat and the Western goat have a problem: how will they share the bridge between their two mountains? Adapted from the tale by Margaret McDonald Read “Peace Tales”.
7. Treasure on the BridgeTraditional Japan
“He dreamt that an old man with a long white robe and a long white beard appeared to him and said: “If you go to the bridge in the town three Ri from here, you will find great fortune.” (12.02)
8. Stories to Light the Dark
Lyrics by J.R.Cargill-Strong, tune by J.R.Cargill-Strong & Rochelle Wright© 2006
Oh let’s just imagine, and see where the wind takes us
Feel the endless horizon when our hearts are singing in tune…
Guitar accompaniment written and played Rochelle. Flute. (3:39
“The Mermaid’s Shoes and other Enchanted Tales” Four out of Five Stars
Last year I reviewed Jenni Cargill’s award-winning Wonder Tales of Earth and Sea, and now Jenni is back with another collection of stories both spoken and sung. Jenni uses folktales and mythology as the basis of her many tales, as well as the natural environment. The title track, The Mermaid’s Shoes is set in Byron Bay and there are references to Australian ecology throughout the CD, as well as sound bites of bush and birds. Other stories take their origins from countries as far-ranging as Russia, Japan and Ireland. Jenni is an emphatic teller of tales. Her spoken narration is clear and energetic, and her singing voice is melodic and inviting. Accompanied by exotic instruments such as the lyre, tabla, cavaqhino and harp, as well as delightful character voices of her two children, Jenni creates a magical atmosphere. These stories are sensitively told, magical tales designed for four to nine year olds. Jenni regards her stories as soul food, and their mystical nature may not appeal to all, but if your children are fans of magic, fantasy and fairytale, then this is just for them. www.brisbane’schild.com.au
Hi! Two of my children and I are in love with your Mermaid’s Shoes CD ever since we bought it about a year ago. For this time order, I would like to have one The Story Tree (for ourselves), and three Mermaid’s Shoes (my friends’ Xmas gifts) please. Akiko, Victoria
When I asked if I could use Akiko’s feedback, she replied:
Of course!! Since there was a limitation on the number of letters I could type into the PayPal special instruction box, I could not say all I wanted to say. We listen to the CD over and over again, and sing it along over and over again. It was wonderful educational CD for them, and it was brilliant tool for a person like me who speak English as second language.
Plus, the Mermaid shoes’ was especially good for us since our kids are mixture of Irish dad and Japanese mom!! ThankYOU for creating such wonderful story CD’s for all of us. Akiko, Victoria
Wanted to share my son’s favourite part of one of your stories…”…ooooo cheeky wind, excuse me!” from The Story Of Rat…and I hear him in play quoting parts of the stories from many different CD’s…totally inspiring imagination and creative play! He just loves the stories so much. Thankyou Jenni!! Big Thank you, keep it up! Love and smiles 🙂 Rah Josh and Jade, Gold Coast
Thankyou so much for sending me four of your Mermaid’s Shoes CD’s. I gave one to my oldest son for his 7th birthday last week and the rest are for pressies. It is the kind of present that feels great to give. I am a musician, composer and writer too, and find your stories and the way they are produced very inspirational. Solomon and Ulysses have asked to meet you! Glad to be on your mailing list now, and bit by bit I intend to introduce your work to an audience of interested listeners up here in Brisbane.” Lynnette Lancini, Brisbane, Qld
Just wanted to let you know that the kids absolutely LOVED both CD’s and have been going to bed listening to them every night. You have a real talent.’ Michelle Gray, Surrey Hills, Victoria.
“My children have been going to sleep to the sound of your Mermaid’s Shoes CD. It’s beautiful! We all love it. The kids at our preschool have enjoyed it at rest-time, as well! I’m looking forward to buying your other CD soon.” Xiola Nolan, Pre-school teacher, Lismore, NSW.
“My kids absolutely love your CD, The Mermaid’s Shoes!!! It’s fantastic in the car! It’s been a lifesaver on long trips.” Jacqueline Orme Ward, Director, Pendragon Shoes, Sunshine Coast, Qld. (Jacki also made the shoes which inspired the tale!)
”I have just listened to your two kids story CD’s. I really, really, really enjoyed them. Of course, your accent is special to American ears. But the tales: I particularly was touched by The Mermaid’s Shoes (echoes of The Little Mermaid, but happier- a delight) and Goldenheart- stunning beauty, simple (which is very, very hard) tales well told, love the sparse instrumentation that adds lots, kid voices … just a wonderfully loved and created story listening event/world/environment! More, more! Your CDs are gorgeous sparkling gems. So thank you and cheers from the other side of Equatorial Pacific. I will feature them prominently on my story radio show. Aloha, Bravo and Mahalo Nui Loa (big thanks).” Jeff Gere, Master storyteller, Director of ‘Talk Story Festival’ and host of ‘Talk Story Radio’, Hawaii, USA.
“Your CD Mermaid’s Shoes arrived and I have listened to it and it is wonderful. Lisa, the other Butterfly Wings facilitator told me to tell you that her kids loved it. They used it as entertainment for their trip to Caloundra and just wanted to listen to it over and over again. Well done. You are doing a great job and there is such a shortage of good story CD’s for young children.” Gwen Raynor, “Butterfly Wings” early childhood intervention trainer, Brisbane, Qld.
“My daughter, Ayla, still listens to you every night. Now it is the “Mermaid’s Shoes” she requests. Finally it has overcome “Wonder Tales”. – Tabitha Robortella, Anglesea, Victoria.
“I was listening to Mermaid Tales with a four year old friend today. She really enjoyed it, stopped and listened attentively. It was lovely to see.” Wendy Johnson, Byron Bay, NSW.
“Your story CD’s are so excellent Breana listens to them over and over and never tires of them. Thankyou!” Sybil, Maleny, Qld.
Last night my kids wouldn’t go to sleep….Sure we read stories. But it’s not something we are up to every night. My husband is a remarkably good storyteller. If he’s in the mood I’ll snuggle in as well. The kids love it. There is something nurturing about storytime. It’s like the prelude to a dreamscape. Lying in your flannie jammies, listening to a story from long ago or far away as you start to slowly drift into deep sleep.
Local writer Jenni Cargill is renowned for her storytelling prowess. In fact, she’s so good I was thinking of ringing her and getting her over. Russ and I were watching a movie and call us selfish, neither was up to the nightie night story thing. My son was making moves that indicated he would not be remaining in bed. I had a flash of genius which involved my husband going out to the car. ‘Remember the story CD that Jenni Cargill sent me to review? It’s in the car. Go get it. Now!’ Five minutes later two children were tucked quietly in their bunks, listening furtively in a darkened room as Ms Cargill’s The Mermaid’s Shoes played. Ten minutes later they were asleep.
I have listened to the stories in full on a car trip. And I have to say they were a Godsend then as well. The kids had just started with the ‘she’s touching me’ ‘he bit me’ ‘her leg is on my leg’ business from the backseat. We popped in the stories and our monsters were angels again. That’s what stories do for kids. Videos don’t. Playstations certainly don’t.
But stories reconnect kids with their imagination and provide them with valuable archetypes and understandings that they can draw on later in life. There is something spiritual or pschychological about story which seems to feed our deep unconscious mind. The stories on Jenni’s latest CD are wonderful. The Mermaid’s Shoes is a story of longing and transformation, about our deep need to attain the unattainable and in the process lose a part of ourselves. In a story that parallels the Mermaid surrendering her tail for shoes and human legs we are fed a much richer parable: what part of ourselves do we lose when we sacrifice our authenticity for a desire of the ego?
You can’t just teach kids these lessons. These are deep moral questions that trickle in like honey through the narrative. Somewhere in your child’s brain is a sophisticated understanding about choice and destiny. There’s an element of melancholy in some stories, a sweet sadness that draws us in, like in Goldenheart, the story of a depressed father who has been a depressed child. Somewhere in the story the child manages to unlock the sadness of his father’s heart.
Then there’s my favourite, the classic tale of the Eastern Goat and the Western Goat set in Russia. On the CD, Jenni’s two children, who she credits with making her a much better storyteller, play the roles of the goats. It’s adorable. Jenni has woven her Celtic influenced folk music throughout the recording. I think you’ll find, like I have, that The Mermaid’s Shoes by Jenni Cargill is a must have for any parent.”