Storyteller Sunny Stevenson reads a book during the free monthly event "Silk Road Storytime" at the Pacific Asia Museum. As the event's regular storyteller, she has been a volunteer at Pacific Asia Museum since its founding in 1971 and has told stories in the series for almost four years.
The Pacific Asia Museum's monthly Silk Road Storytime children's reading series will feature a series of trickster tales, in keeping with the week's April Fools theme.
The free event takes plate the first Saturday of every month in Pasadena. On April 6th, the series will feature three traditional stories from Turkey. They all center around Hoja, a “silly but wise” character who seems dim-witted at first, but ends up being quite clever by the stories' end — usually fooling everyone around him.
Amelia Chapman, the museum’s education curator, says the trickster series is in keeping with the museum's goal to feature themes “that are universally appealing and present in all cultures.”
“Programs like Silk Road Storytime provide families with a fun way to connect with other cultures,” Chapman says.
Saturday's stories include "The Hungry Coat," "The Slap," and "The Smell of Soup."
After the stories, families participate in a hands-on activity based on the stories. Chapman says that for children, hearing stories, looking at pictures, and making crafts are familiar activities. “We use those familiar, enjoyable moments to introduce other cultures.”
Terry McGlynn says the stories are what his 9 year-old son Bruce McGlynn enjoys most.
“It's when a story comes up with which he was familiar. Since he's a regular, there are some perennially classic stories that are retold on occasion,” Terry says. “He loves it when one he likes comes up again, and he knows how it's going to end.”
The two have been attending Silk Road Storytime for several years, since Bruce was only about 6 years old, and Terry says that Bruce has learned quite a bit.
“He’s had exposure to a bunch of cultures to which he otherwise wouldn’t have as much intentional experiences. Also, he gets to see the commonalities of stories among cultures, and the ways in which they're different, which is a great lesson.”
The Pacific Asia Museum is located at 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101 (see our map below). The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $10 general, $7 students/seniors, and free for museum members and children under 12. Admission is free every 4th Friday of the month. For more information visitwww.pacificasiamuseum.org or call (626) 449-2742.