Knowledge is useful, but language is power.
Language enables people to develop and use their imaginations, their creativity, their ability to express themselves and communicate with each other. Language enables people to acquire and share knowledge, and knowledge is useless if it cannot be communicated.
To develop a child's ability with language is the best start you can give them, as parent or teacher, and the best way to begin that development is through stories - not just reading to them and with them and encouraging them to read for themselves, but also encouraging them to sit and listen to stories.
Everybody loves stories - so much so that it's sometimes possible to overlook how much we love them and how important they are to us all.
A well told story can take an audience from a gasp of shock to a scream of laughter in the twist of a phrase. It can leave the listener more exhilarated and moved than anything on a screen can do: the immediacy and intensity of a live performance which reaches every child in the audience is priceless.
A good Storyteller takes children to another world, where they stretch their imaginations and run the gamut of emotions. Their own experiences can be related to others and learned from, and their understanding of the world around them is developed.
Listening to a good Storyteller can help a child find their own voice in the world.
Why John Harris?
There aren't many full-time professional Storytellers in Britain, and John is the only one who works exclusively with younger audiences.
Over nearly twenty years he's told stories to great acclaim in hundreds and hundreds of schools all over the UK and Ireland. He's also told stories in libraries, arts centres, literary festivals and the Roald Dahl Museum. He's been heard on BBC Radio 4, BBC 6 Music and Planet Rock. Visits from John have been the prize in a national schools writing competition organised by a multinational company, and he's been a guest speaker at The Prince of Wales' Education Summer School, where Michael Morpurgo described his contribution as 'A Tour de Force'.
He's also published four much loved and critically acclaimed children's books, all of which have arisen from his storytelling.
A visit from John can have a lasting effect - we don't have the space on this website to reprint the letters and emails we get thanking him for the excitement generated by his stories and the work produced following his visit. These aren't just from teachers but also children, parents, grand parents and librarians, all of whom want to thank him for the inspiration he's given their children.
His work encourages listening and speaking skills, concentration, an understanding of narrative, and the love of stories which is the basis not just of a love of reading but of a fully rounded human being.
Most of his bookings are either return visits or by recommendation. Wherever he tells his stories the word most often used in response is 'Spellbinding', and when you see and hear him you'll know why. It's significant that in the many schools he visits regularly the older children can remember all the stories he's ever told them - the spell he casts can last a lifetime!
But don't take our word for it - if you click here you can see what people who've booked John recently have said about him.
Have a good look around....
This site should tell you everything you need to know about John and what he can do for your school, but if you have any questions just get in touch - click on the "Contact' link on the right hand of the page.
Thanks for visiting - we look forward to hearing from you!