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Phone: 386-761-6374
For grades: Preschool through 6th grade
Fees for live visit: Base price is $150 for an hour-long show, with minimums and travel fees based on distance. Discounts apply for multiple hours and/or block booking.


Storyteller/puppeteers »

The students were totally engaged. A wonderful and very professional performance.
--- Palm Terrace Elementary School, Daytona Beach, Florida

While our shows are designed to be fun, to capture the child's imagination and awaken an interest in the stories that we love, we believe that Kaleidoscope presentations also advance the child's education. These educational benefits are not tacked on, but are an intrinsic part of our programs. Many teachers and educational researchers have commented on the benefits of telling stories to children. Others have explored the impact of teaching and entertaining with puppets. Our performances combine techniques to offer an educational experience with true child appeal.

We have a combined repertoire of over two hundred stories. Drawn from many cultures, these traditional tales touch on a variety of subjects. Our performances feature a kaleidoscope of storytelling techniques, including tandem telling, puppet partners, song, poetry, creative drama and audience participation. To add to the educational benefits, each program comes with a teacher activity packet for classroom use.

Here are some of the programs currently in the Kaleidoscope Storytellers repertoire:

  • Puzzle Pieces: This program encourages students to think in new ways, using clues and their imaginations to solve the problems that challenge characters in the stories.
  • Tales to Learn By: This program supports self-esteem and making the right choices. Thoughtless actions have consequences; greed, pride and temper get their comeuppance. Through humor, these tales offer subtle reinforcement of appropriate behavior.
  • Mother Earth and Her Children: Stories of animals and ecology develop appreciation for the natural world. Respect for the environment is a subtext of many of these myths and pourquoi stories from various cultures.
  • For Seeing Out Loud!: Art, music, poetry and craft are the grace notes of our lives, treasured in the stories of every culture on earth. We celebrate this mysterious process in tales of dancing shoes, musical cats and drawings that come to life.
Kaleidoscope Storytellers also offer residencies and workshops for educators and parents. Topics include Introduction to Storytelling/Puppetry, Teaching Kids to Tell, and Telling with a Puppet Partner.
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The Kaleidoscope Storytellers are Suzie Shaeffer and Terry Deer. We bring over fifty years of combined experience as storytellers and puppeteers to our tandem programs. Former children's librarians, now professional story artists, we have charmed thousands of children with our energetic, interactive storytelling. We use tandem telling, puppet partners, songs, props, poetry, creative dramatics and audience participation to bring traditional tales to life.

Both of us are members of Sandcastle Storytellers, the Florida Storytelling Association and the National Storytelling Network. As individual storytellers we have performed at such venues as the Stephen Foster Storytelling Festival, the Cracker Storytelling Festival, the Will McLean Festival, the Florida Storytelling Camp, the Citrus Storytelling Festival, the Great Oaks Storytelling Festival in Mississippi, and many annual Tellabrations. Recently we performed together as featured tellers at the Ocali Storytelling Festival.

After completing a successful tandem tour in central Florida in the summer of 1999, we officially joined forces to perform as the Kaleidoscope Storytellers, choosing the name to emphasize our belief that stories, like a kaleidoscope, reflect and reveal the patterns of life.

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