Yours truly as Mother Goose in 1971.
The cute little boy looking at the book
 is my youngest son, John.

It’s interesting to note that many beginning storytellers who may have volunteered in libraries helping out during story times for tots, elect to take on the persona of Mother Goose as a way to launch a storytelling business. I decided to add Mother Goose to my repertoire several years after performing as Whispers the Clown.

My idea was to attract the attention of customers who had already hired Whispers for a venue and might appreciate an alternative to a magic clown for birthday parties and other family events. This was an easy and logical move on my part, because I had served as a volunteer coordinator for story hour in Matawan, NJ in the late 60s. By then, I had already developed Whispers the Clown to draw attention to our library program, register participants and recruit other parent-volunteers. I really had no idea that what I was doing might actually develop into anything other than a fun, temporary project. As I look back, I know now that serendipity was at work, helping to set the stage for my current work as a storyteller. 

In those early years, I learned a lot and got quite a bit of experience keeping toddlers interested and happy. Furthermore, the press started to notice what we were doing at the Matawan Joint Free Public Library, and in no time at all, many parents in the Jersey shore area had started to ask me to tell stories or bring Whispers the Clown to birthday parties. Trust me, this was not easy work, but I loved it! When we moved to Tucson, Arizona in the 70s, Whispers and the idea of Mother Goose came to the desert with us.  

With Mother Goose, I started to move away from the slap-stick, attention-getting antics of a clown into the quieter and more introspective arena of telling stories for the sake of stories themselves. Glenda as Mother Goose was off and running by the time the family had settled into our home on the east side of town. 

My Mother Goose phase didn’t last long, because Whispers was hired by KUAT-TV (local PBS station) to do some television segments and a 30-minute children’s special, “Whispers Magic Tent.”  By that time, some new “characters” had started to form in my imagination – I plan to tell you about them in future blog posts.   

If you have small children or grandchildren in your life, and if you want them to love books, stories and literature, be sure to check out what your local library has to offer. If the librarian happens to be looking for a parent/volunteer to lend a hand during story times, you might even want to say yes. I’m certainly glad I did! And please keep an eye out for beginning storytellers who bill themselves as Mother Goose – they are a sure bet to entertain at a young child’s birthday party. For some reason, kids always love Mother Goose.