Loralee_headshotStorytelling since 1977 (officially, it’s “Storyspinning,” as her business name), Loralee Cooley was active all through the 1980s with launching Southern Order of Storytellers, a.k.a. S.O.S., and serving as director for the original winter festival, Olde Christmas Storytelling Festival, which began in 1983.  Those festivals were held at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center until the early 1990s, after she and her husband had already “flown the coop” from Georgia, and were in Anderson, South Carolina.

She’s been listed on both the South Carolina and Texas Touring Artist rosters for both state arts councils, and did an extensive residency with Texas Tech University’s International Cultural Center, presenting “Stories (and Songs and Language Games) Around the World,” covering all inhabited continents by using a representative country from each.  She presented this program to schools in around 30 different school districts in the Panhandle and South Plains of Texas from 2000 until 2003.

Her most recent story-related project has been to research and write a children’s biography of Barack Obama’s childhood through his 10th year (example of artwork from the book below). The manuscript has been submitted for consideration with NAPPA awards, pending publication.

ISLAND CHILD is available on-line through www.sharing-books.com.  This is an on-line publisher of children’s literature, based in Vancouver BC. It’s a corporate sponsor of Room-to-Read, an NGO that aids schools and libraries in Asian and African countries.  Room-to-Read was launched by a former Microsoft executive, John Wood.  And Pierre LaPointe of Sharing-Books connected with Wood a couple of years ago.
So far, there is no set charge to download any publications from Sharing-Books, although donations are accepted and encouraged.  They are, however, in the process of amplifying the titles, and will be doing “enhancements” with the stories (this would be a paid feature).  An example of possible future “enhancements” could be that an illustration might have features: If a reader clicked on the illustration “Deep River” (see below), then a short phrase of the song could be played.  Or, since an entire pronunciation guide is included in the book, a link  might be added to any of the selected words as they appear in the text.  If a reader clicked on the word “Aloha,” then the word would be pronounced. Be on the lookout for these enhancements, coming soon!

obamacompl08-deepriver1

Above: Example of artwork by Jillian Gilliland of Kingston, Ontario for Loralee’s book Island Child.