Scroll down for more feedback on performances, customer feedback, school shows and workshops.
Jenni currently has one double album CD Reaching for the Moon and other wisdom tales, plus FOUR award-winning single album CDs: The Story Tree and other nature tales, Stories to Light the Dark and The Mermaid’s Shoes. All have been awarded ‘Honours’ in the Storytelling World Awards’, which is based in the U.S. BUY NOW!
Molly Whuppie (then called ‘Wonder Tales’) received the inaugural ‘Special Award’ when the National Library of Australia created the award to specially recognise the album.
As a side note that I am sure you are asked all the time, any plans to record new stories? We have all your cds and they are the only ones that don’t drive me mental day in and day out when any one child gets obsessed with a particular song or story. The current favourite is The Monkeys Heart with my 2.5 yr old. He has adored Long Long Long since he was about one and would just frantically slap his hands on his knees to ask for it when we got in the car. Thank you for bringing the gift of real stories and beautiful songs told with dignity and fun into our lives. It has enriched us all.’ Deborah
‘Your story telling has been an inspiration in our home since Griffin received The Mermaids Shoes at 4 years of age. He is now almost 10 and our copy of the CD is so well love it no longer plays all the way through. Molly Whuppie has disappeared completely. So here I am buying those CDs again, this time for Quill who is 6 and adding to our collection with two of your other CD’s, new to us. I can’t wait to listen to them again and discover your new stories and I am sure both Quill and Griffin will be delighted.’
It was after my kids heard Jenni Cargill-Strong tell the story of ‘Shelly and Rustle’ that we found a beached turtle at Lennox Heads and the kids quickly told the people on the beach to stop trying to return it to the sea and that it needed help from the Australian Sea Bird Rescue team. They told us: “That it must have swallowed plastic by mistake and not been able to dive down to eat food and that was why it had barnacles on its back” they remembered about keeping it covered and wet till the ASB Rescue team came with their purpose built turtle stretcher and whisked our ‘Shelly’ off to be treated- I love the power of this story and am grateful for the volunteer who gave up his weekend to save a turtle that didn’t have to be there had someone tied a not in their plastic shopping bag. Tamlin Heathwood, The Channon.
Just wanted to let you know that we LOVE the new Story Tree CD…. We all sat, quietly, totally taken on the journey of each story! My personal favourite is ‘Shelley and Rustle’…. Ocean’s favorite is Lili and the Fig tree. I love how you have woven the educational aspects of the environment into fun and enjoyable stories! Well done… I look forward to hearing many more. Rosie, Byron Bay
I thought that buying two sets of the CDs would be adequate to distribute between the 7 grand kids, but after listening to some of your stories, I don’t want to break up the sets, so I have just ordered another 4 CDs. The 7 grand kids are distributed between 3 of our daughters and I just couldn’t choose which kids would get which CDs! Regards, Jen Dachs, W.A.
‘You’ll need to create some more CD’s, I think just about everyone up here has most of your current ones now. WE WANT MORE OF YOUR STORIES JENNI !!! Sherree, Blue Mtns, NSW.
‘I have to tell you, my girls have learned every story from ‘The Story Tree’ and ‘Reaching for the Moon’ CDs. They recite the stories every day. Their own story telling and expressive voices are developing beautifully. Thank you for the amazing gift you are sharing and inspiring. They tell your stories in unison and take turns doing certain parts and other times they do solo.’
It’s hard to believe how stirring for adults Jenni Cargill-Strong’s performance is, for the stories themselves are so perfectly directed to young children. Her vocal range is compelling and expressive, and the personal way she sets the stage for each tale illustrates exactly how stories should enter our lives: by lending their wisdom to relationships in the world around us. Make a gift to yourself and your favourite child! Storyteller Mary Grace Ketner, Texas, USA
We treasure all of your CD’s. I have three boys aged 11, 4 and 18 months, all of whom adore the music and stories you have shared. All CDs have been downloaded to the car and we never tire of them. You have a magical and engaging voice that captures the spirit and essence of the characters in your stories. We will most definitely be pre-ordering…. LOVE THEM too! Ken Watanabe
‘…totally inspiring imagination and creative play! Big thankyou, keep it up! Love and smiles Rah, Josh & Jade, Gold Coast
I bought two of your (fantastic) CDs back at Christmas time for my children (back then I bought the Mermaids Shoes and Salty Pete). We loved them so much I am buying more for friends/ nieces & nephews. Thank you for such lovely stories that are kind on all our ears and minds!” Sue, South Australia
I recently visited the Lismore Gallery and purchased your CD, Molly Whuppie. We have enjoyed your stories so much that when I got home I ordered your stories for adults CD online. Keep up the great storytelling. Sharon, Boston, USA.
“We are about to replace this disc (Mermaid’s Shoes) for the third time! It’s a much loved CD in our house that is all too often brought to me with excited, not so gentle fingers. Shae
“We have also have had many trips made much easier with Jenni’s storytelling CD’s. And we have found that they appeal to a broad range of kids (our 4 children are 8 years apart and all 4 love the cds!)” Skye, Brisbane
I couldn’t wait until Christmas to give these to my son and he has embraced them with great enthusiasm! I really can’t tell you how much your stories mean to my children and to me. I am loathe to put on a video for my son, but often have times when I can’t give him my full attention. Not that I use your words as a babysitter. Far from it! I feel safe leaving him in your world, knowing that you are expanding in him the same sense of wonderment, beauty, simplicity and awareness of our place in the natural world that I seek to. Thank you. Sarah, Maleney
We are loving the mp3 stories that we downloaded from your website. It was so easy and very affordable. Thank you. Kids very excited to hear the story of Shelly and Russell again. They loved it so much when we saw you at the Gecko Green Day at he Gold Coast. Sandi, Melbourne
Review by Mandy Nolan, The Echo ‘Taking Children to the Moon… and back’ I do a lot of driving. I do a lot of driving with my four-year-old in the car seat – the hostage to my daily routine. She doesn’t want to be in the car. These days she does. In fact, she enjoys the ride because we have a growing collection of storyteller Jenni Cargill Strong’s fabulous CDs thus allowing Ivy to enjoy the wonder of story while I concentrate on the road. I also have that lovely warm feeling that my daughter isn’t in the back on a DVD; she’s ensconced in the creative and wondrous process of listening to story. It’s funny because I listen too, I am kind of forced to. And even though they are children’s stories, there’s a deeper narrative in what Jenni creates herself or the folk stories she chooses and adapts for a new, young and contemporary listener. I was driving the other day and I had this small but slightly profound realisation about story and its importance. I watch my daughter in the car listen to the same story over and over, like a mantra, and I wonder what it is that has her transfixed? It occurred to me that story isn’t just amusement; it serves a much more valuable role. Stories tell children about their world, it tells them about human behaviour, about sadness, joy, disappointment, anger. It tells them about consequence. It creates a pathway of understanding, a kind of emotional and intellectual anchor in the overwhelming sea of existence. Story is the way we pass on mythology. It’s why it was so important to indigenous peoples. Story teaches us things that can’t be told in a scientific factual linear nature. It tells us about spirit, or place, or feeling, and about connectedness. Alongside heroes who triumph in the face of danger, story also shows us the landscape of loss, fear and despair. I wait anxiously for Jenni’s next story albums, and I’m thrilled that she seems to be keeping up with my Ivy’s passion for story consumption. This Christmas Jenni has released for the Moon,a double CD of wisdom tales that get kids to think about their connection to the environment and to inspire them to believe that they can make a difference. Environmental issues are one of Jenni’s passions and something that she manages to weave effectively into her stories, helping nurture the compassion and consciousness of our younger generations. Filled with song, music, and a lively sense of humour, Jenni’s lovely new CD will play for 111 minutes. That’s a trip to Brisbane. That’s a decent afternoon nap. Compared to popping a DVD in the recorded, Jenni’s Story Tree CDs are the food equivalent to choosing a McDonald’s thickshake or a delicious organic mango smoothie. Now what kind of brain food do you want to feed your kids? Read the above Mandy Nolan’s Review online.
School Show Feedback
Feedback to me: ‘Thankyou Jenni for all your wonderful stories. The children have been passionately inspired. The expressions on their faces tell of exotic locations and incredible journeys. Many will retell these stories to their families. Cheers and all the very best for the future,’ Walter Vecchio, Teacher Librarian, Denise and Sandra, Librarian Assistant, Belmont Public, August 2014. Feedback to my agent, Helen Bain at Speakers Ink ‘The literature carnival was superlative. It was the best one yet and received accolades from the entire Belmont community and the kids – well they were showered by fertile anecdotes and barrels of laughter. I want to thank you and Jenni Cargill-Strong , Kerry Argent, Martin Chatterton and Linsey Pollack for their delightful demeanour. They were simply grand, larger than life and wove their magic into the fabric of learning. The kids all went home and told their parents – 900 stories of enduring effervescence. I just don’t know how we can better this next year. It is simply a hard act to follow. All our presenters brought with them incredible knowledge of their craft, a peppering of humility and an overwhelming dose of passion with the kids salivating on every word. Our world is so much richer because they breathed their rhetorical oxygen into the minds and lungs of our young and for this we are forever grateful. Thankyou, thank you, thank you!’ Walter Vecchio, Teacher Librarian, Belmont Public, August 2014.
“What I really appreciated when Jenni came to visit was how richly her stories matched the curriculum the students were working on.”
Kym Oestreich, Trinity Lutheran College, Gold Coast
“Jenni was wonderful and after hearing her tell a Rudyard Kipling tale on Assembly, I realised that I had totally underestimated her wonderful skill at relating stories. Many of our boys were totally speechless listening to and participating in the stories; a truly remarkable feat!” Toowoomba Grammar
‘The teachers and students really enjoyed your sessions and again, they were most delighted with the links to the students current learning. They appreciated you crafting your sessions with stories to suit this.’ Kym Oestreich, Teacher Librarian, Trinity Lutheran College, Ashmore, Qld.
“Jenni Cargill-Strong’s storytelling performance was a lively and entertaining experience which was appropriate for children of all ages. Jenni’s stories captivated the imagination of my students and I would recommend her performance to any teacher who is seeking an enriching experience for their students.” Lauren Colvin, Teacher, Linuwel Steiner School, East Maitland
“Exciting performer for all children. Jenny was very entertaining. The children were buzzing about the performance for a few days.” Linda Constable, Teacher Librarian, Murwillumbah East Public School
“The students were enthralled. Jenni presented the magic of stories and children’s literature in a fun, engaging way. Each of her four performances was aimed at the specific age group, from Stage One to Stage Three.” Libby O’Connor, Teacher Librarian, Byron Bay Public School
“Jenni’s stories came straight from the heart and filled the air with magic and wonder. Her use of simple props, percussion instruments and active participation of children, interspersed with her beautiful singing voice enabled her performance to be received by all the 3-6 year olds in the group.” Mari Mathieson Co-Director, Federal Community Preschool
For descriptions of Jenni’s school performances, go to her performance page.
Non-School Performance Feedback
‘Thanks so much for your wonderful contribution the other night. You had the audience enthralled. You never skip a beat. Well done.” Peter, Organiser, “Tintenbar Upfront”
“I loved Jenni Cargill’s performance of Inanna’s story. It was rich and funny and tragic and wonderfully vivid. In moments I felt as if I’d been magically drawn into the heart of an ancient rite, as if the goddess herself was speaking.” Melaina Faranda, author of the international series: The Circle, published by Random House
For descriptions of Jenni’s performances go to her performance page.
Workshop and Coaching Reviews
‘Thank you so much for your time in honing my skills as a storyteller and hints at making storytelling at rest time much more fun for the 4-5 year olds I work with… After spending skype time with you, I feel more confident in coming up with stories about any subject and more at ease diverging from original tales…I have also begun using more props for the stories, just yesterday in Roodkapje, I used an old piece of sculpture of a face, raised up as high as I could reach for the friendly Giant in the tale. Lots of fun and open mouthed awe. Again thank you for sharing your vast and entertaining knowledge on story telling. I look forward to increasing my skills in storytelling through practice with eager participants, namely the children at the centre in which I work, and sharing the joy with the other staff at work.’
Ron Koot, Preschool teacher, North Queensland.
“Jenni Cargill possesses a natural instinct for the power of language. Whilst discovering and sharing our own personal stories and myths, it has become evident to me that every individual has something worthwhile to say or do and can make a ‘GIANT’ difference to the wellbeing of all. Jenni is an experience not to miss.” Marina Orpen (Co Director of ‘Imagine What’s Next’; Business Development and Trainer), Gold Coast
‘I loved the whole workshop. I have never been trained to story read or story tell but this has given me a push to go out and do it. I loved the simplicity of the mime which can add so much to the telling. It’s been a great day for me. I loved it.’ Margo Styles, Librarian Assistant, Byron, YWCA Workshop Murwillumbah
‘It’s good to know you can be silly, how to engage listeners more and that it’s OK to boss them a bit into a good arrangement for listening.’ Brielle Hallett, Librarian Assistant, Ballina, YWCA Workshop Murwillumbah
“You led the workshop with consummate artistry and skill. I greatly enjoyed myself… You were very spontaneous and went with what the group wanted. I also loved playing ‘Mr Wolf’, which I haven’t played since I was six years old!” Anne Di Lauro, President, Qld Jung Society.
After attending three sessions of ‘The Armchair Storyteller’, my memory, imagination and confidence have grown to the point where it is now imperative that I begin crafting my own stories.” Mariam Makinson, Jungian Therapist, The Channon
“The course has been a lovely introduction into storytelling and has given me lots of ideas and built my confidence. I have gained a valuable introduction to folktale genre and have learnt quite a lot on themes, characters and story lines related to this genre. It has been fun and very non-threatening. Thank you Jenni for your hard work.” Making Up Stories with Soul, Jenny Gregor
“The workshop met my expectations about the feminine. It was perfect. I liked the idea of telling stories and then sharing feedback and interpretations in the group. The visit to the Crystal Castle was great!” Walking with Goddesses workshop, Marina Orpen, Broadbeach
“It was a magical day. You are a wonderful facilitator and storyteller and it was a perfect circle of beautiful women. I so enjoyed hearing everyone else’s stories and feel that I know these women, most of whom are friends, even more deeply than I did before. I loved all the movement and I particularly loved the way it wasn’t rushed or crammed too. I really enjoyed the writing and everyone else’s writings. And the highlight was watching you perform the stories”. Sue Collins, Uki
“I loved the way you presented your knowledge! Wow this was such an amazing workshop. Food for my soul. Love the inner critic and coach and identifying these characters. I didn’t feel thrown in the deep end, you were very supportive. I love anything that gets me back in my body and the work we did that for me. It wasn’t really hard, it felt just right.” Tahlia, Suffolk Park.
For descriptions of Jenni’s trainings, go to Jenni’s programs page.