Michelle shares her storytelling magic with young and old

Children’s book authors Dave Leslie and Michelle Linde. l HLENGIWE MFEKA

Children’s book authors Dave Leslie and Michelle Linde. l HLENGIWE MFEKA

Published Apr 12, 2024



Durban — To promote literacy in the community and foster a love for reading and imagination through interactive activities, narration and sharing the magic of storytelling, Michelle Linde is hosting storytime sessions at the Kloof Community Library in Durban.

Linde hosts storytime at Kloof Library on Thursdays every week.

Storytime is a session where the author reads out loud and interacts with her audience.

The sessions, titled Storytime by Shelly were born during Covid-19 and intended to expose children to the world of literacy. Linde said she started doing online classes through Facebook Live, Instagram Live and YouTube.

She said that she held a live classroom with a community of children around South Africa but grew an international footprint with people from Dubai, London, Australia and all over the world attending.

“Being in the library is creating a lot of space that some kids do not have and weirdly it is not a normal activity here. I do not know if there is one in other provinces but not in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), they do not have storytime as a regular thing,” Linde commented on the lack of storytime in KZN.

During one of the storytime sessions at Kloof Library, Linde collaborated with Dave Leslie, a children’s book author whose three books were read during the session.

Leslie explained the birth of Phillipe the Pony (a real-life pony), the main character in all his books. He said his inspiration came from children’s reactions when they saw him with Phillipe doing some tricks.

“I believe that the interaction between the parents with books makes it easy for children to understand and interact with books, as well,” Leslie added.

The Kloof Public Library permitted Linde to host her weekly storytime sessions. Lungisile Mvelase, a librarian at Kloof, said that they agreed to offer a space for the “Storytime by Shelly,” because Linde’s presence is important in their community.

“The storytime sessions help our community a lot, especially the children. They develop listening skills and increase the importance of learning. This initiative is important for us as a library.

“We have many parents joining in and opening membership cards for the library,” explained Mvelase.

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