Telling Your Story

Ever one of us has a story. But we’re not all equally skilled in telling those stories. This week, we review several unique products that are designed to jump-start your creativity and get those story-telling juices flowing. It may start with “Once up on a time…”, but where it goes from there is completely up to you.

Ghost Story Box (Laurence King)

ghost story boxCombine these 20 two-sided puzzle pieces to create a different ghostly tall tale every time. Actually, it’ll be a long tale—up to eight feet, to be precise. The pieces are there for guidance, but the true inspiration needs to come from you. Better yet, get the whole family together, and as each person adds a piece to the puzzle, he or she also adds a few minutes of horror to the story. Ages 6+. Under $15.

To the Ends of the Earth and Back Again Coloring Book (Laurence King)

ends of the earth coloring bookFor those who prefer to tell their stories in pictures rather than words, this coloring book—which, at 17 feet is the longest in the world—is just the ticket. Featuring dragons, deserts, mountains, witches, and more, this magical book will inspire and delight you, your children, and anyone who peeks over your shoulder. Ages 5+. About $10.

The Hollow Woods Storytelling Card Game (Laurence King)

hollow woods storytelling card gameLike the Ghost Story Box, this game relies on myrioramas, a Victorian-era visual story-telling technique where the teller could arrange small pictures in different ways to yield a larger one. In this case, the 20 picture cards combine to create more than two quintillion (that’s a 2 with 15 zeros) possible scenes inhabited by unicorns, dragons, and mysterious figures from the mind of illustrator Rohan Daniel Eason. All you need is your imagination to bring them to life. Ages 5+. About $15.

Rehab: A Family’s Release (Rehab Gaming)

rehab family card gameThis simple card game is designed to get families interacting again, and provides a platform for each person to share funny, important issues in their lives. Players take turns turning over cards, reading questions, and—most importantly—answering them. For example, “If you were a superhero, what would your day job be?” or “Name a time when you were sad.” Before passing the turn, the player who just answered picks another player to answer the same questions. When “social” cards come up, all players participate (for example, a breath-holding contest). So, put away your phone, turn off those electronic devices, and get ready to truly reconnect with your family. For ages 8+. Rehab also has a similar game for groups of adult couples (A Couples Release) and another for lovers (After Dark). All are about $12.

The Ultimate Wisecrack Generator (Chronicle Books)

wisecrack generatorIf you’ve ever wanted to come up with a zingy insult but couldn’t find the words, those days are over. This five-part flip book puts more than 60 million original, weird, wacky, silly, and often hilarious insults (each of which is a miniature story) in the palm of your hand. Just pick your person or animal (a Sweaty Yeti), a two-part description (who won’t shut up about sock puppets), a desire (wants to kiss), and the object of that desire (Justin Bieber), and you’re ready to match wits with just about anyone. Ages 6-9. About $10.

Little White Lies Guide to Making Your Own Movie in 39 Steps (Laurence King)

guide to making your movieThese days, it’s all about video. So, whether you’re telling your story in a Facebook post, a YouTube video, a presentation for a client, or simply capturing your baby’s first steps, knowing how to put images together is critical. This information-packed, jargon-free, 144-page book offers tips, wisdom, and guidance from professional filmmakers that will help you make your movie more cinematic—even if all you’re using is your smartphone—in just 39 steps. Under $12.50

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