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As a busy and dedicated professional storyteller and touring artist, I have established a large repertoire of personal and traditional tales to entertain audiences of all ages. Since 1996, my work has included performances for schools, libraries, concerts, conferences, festivals and community events in several states around the country. During the past 6 years, I have developed and regularly provide storytelling programs to audiences in senior living communities, including people dealing with memory care issues. If you would like more information about my work, or if you are interested in booking a storytelling show, please send a message via the contact link below.  


(Many of the programs listed below can be formatted to delight, inform and entertain a variety of audiences. LIBRARIANS will find our program descriptions to be ideal to include in Summer Reading Programs, Story Hours for Children, Family Shows, Youth and Young Adult Programming, and Senior Events.)

Assisted Living and Memory Care Program
Elementary and Middle School Programs
Puppet/Storytelling Shows
Family, Adult and Seasonal Shows
Interdisciplinary Projects

“As a teacher for 20+ years, I was greatly impressed with her ability to adapt to four audiences which ranged from Kindergarten through 6th grade. I watched her enthrall students and teachers with her magic, puppets and ‘yarns,’ and I knew I had made a great choice when I invited Glenda.”

Jeanie Sanders, Teacher Librarian
Fulton Elementary School, Chandler, AZ

“She stimulated interest and showed teachers how to use storytelling in the classroom not only to get their students interested in the content, but to provide students with much needed background knowledge so that they may effectively learn that content.”

Cynthia Neuzil,
Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Bullhead City Elementary School District, Bullhead, AZ


Interactive Stories to Delight and Nurture: A proven, social-interactive story program designed to encourage the active attention and joyful participation of older adults.

Through the use of story prompts and sensory activities, individuals in senior living communities and residents of assisted living and memory care sites are entertained and inspired to respond spontaneously to stories about familiar times and objects selected to encourage memory recall. This on-going, non-threatening and nurturing storytelling program was successfully launched the summer of 2014 at three different assisted living sites in Tucson. The 45-to-60-minute storytelling sessions are appropriately adjusted to meet the needs and interest of each audience.

To date, Storyteller Glenda Bonin has more than 40 different topics in this repertoire that have been performed successfully before senior living audiences.


STEM Fun: Stories to Celebrate Problem Solving, Math and Reading
This K-6 program to complement the love of reading and the joy of problem solving is ideal for a school assembly or a family reading and math night. The multicultural stories have been carefully selected to include a tale told with Tangrams, a story using a sequential prop and a tale told by a puppet! Opportunities for audience participation are sprinkled throughout the show.

Folktales (Grades K – 6)
Youngsters love to hear some stories over and over, and this program of old favorites helps to reinforce good literature in new and exciting ways. What a wonderful way to help students develop an understanding of the universal truths found in tales from around the world. The story lineup may include: “The Fisherman’s Wife,” “The Mice and the Elephants,” “The House of No Sorrow,” “The Little Green Frog, ” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “The King Has Goat Ears,” and “The Dancing Turtle.”

How and Why Stories (Pourquoi Tales) (Grades K – 6)
Children enjoy hearing these ancient “how and why” stories from different cultures. Long before we had scientific answers to our questions, people used their imaginations to help explain things they did not understand. The stories in this program deal with questions such as: why the sea is salty; why dogs and cats don’t get along; how the beetle got a beautiful coat; why ants live everywhere; and how hawk and chicken lost the drum.

Multicultural Stories (Grades 2 – 8)
Students enjoy listening to stories from other cultures to learn about diversity in the world and to delight in the areas of commonality we all share. This program of stories from other cultures spotlights how people around the world use humor and simple observation to teach the universal values of honesty, tolerance, kindness and generosity. Multicultural stories complement other areas of study and can help stimulate greater interest in geography, social studies, reading and history.

Just Imagine! Stories for the fun of it (Family groups and students ) Grades K-6)
If you like to sing, dance, draw, perform, write, make music, create craft projects, use puppets, do magic or just dream up new things to do, this story program is for you! The stories in this show will help remind everyone that creativity is all around us!

Dragon Scales and Amazing Tales (Family groups and students – Grades K – 6)
Are dragons misunderstood? Can a princess face a dragon and win? Has anyone seen a dragon lately? During this program, the audience will meet Sam Dragonetti, a friendly dragon puppet, and discover the answers to all these questions.

Beetles, Ants and Butterflies (Grades K-6)
This interactive program of stories about beetles, ants, butterflies, bees, spiders, flies, worms and other small critters provides an interesting and delightful look at the small world to be found right under our feet, in the air and everywhere!

Special Thematic Presentations (Library shows and school assemblies)
Storytelling programs to make your job easier! Select from the following topics: “Pets,” “Wild Animals,” “Farm Animals,” “Imaginary and Magical Creatures,” “The Desert,” “Oceans, Rivers and Lakes,” and “Solving Differences Peacefully.” Seasonal programs like “Scary (but family friendly) Ghost Tales” are also available for booking.
If you don’t see the topic you are seeking, please inquire.


“Super Hero Squirrely Shirley – Ready to Save the Wetlands” is an action-packed adventure with Squirrely Shirley taking on the role of SUPER HERO to help her friends who live in riparian zones around the world. Riparian zones are the places where the land meets water, and where hundreds of critters, like frogs, birds, bugs and fish have their homes. At the end of each show, Shirley provides each youngster in the audience with a Junior Riparian Super Hero Kit full of ideas about what they can do to help.

“Squirrely Shirley Discovers the Magic of Science” is a laugh and learnpuppet/storytelling program for kids and families. Audiences have fun joining Glenda Bonin and Squirrely Shirley in this program of surprises and scientific discovery.
This participatory show helps kids understand why it is important it is to follow directions and how to figure out what can be learned from a scientific experiment.

“Squirrely Shirley Digs Up a Treasure Chest of Trouble” (A lively puppet and storytelling show about solving a mystery and doing the right thing.) This fun show of stories and audience participation features Squirrely Shirley, a feisty little puppet, who needs help after she finds a map and some puzzling clues that lead her to a treasure chest full of shiny objects and a book. Shirley wants to keep the treasure (“bling!”), but the clues tell her (and the audience) who the treasure chest really belongs to. What should she do?

“Squirrely Shirley Meets Fry-Fry!” (A diabetes prevention program for children and family groups)
Squirrely Shirley learns about the dangers of too much greasy, sugary, salty stuff. In this fun-filled story and puppet program featuring the antics of Squirrely Shirley, the audience helps the puppet discover why exercise and good nutrition are important.

“Squirrely Shirley Makes Waves!”(A water safety program for children and family groups)
This delightful show of interactive stories from around the world features Squirrely Shirley, a puppet who lives in a tree stump who wants to learn how to swim. With the help of youngsters in the audience, Glenda helps her friend learn about water and swimming safety.


1914 -1926 Arizona Ranch Girl: The Story of Dusty Vail (Fourth grade to adult audiences) Meet Dusty Vail and learn about what it was like for a young girl to grow up in the early 1900s on one of the largest cattle ranches in the west. Dusty was riding horses by the time she was five years, and when she was eight she had her first riffle. Dusty had many adventures during the twelve years she lived on the Empire, and she never forgot the lessons she learned about ranch life when Arizona was still considered part of the Wild West. Click here to see a short video (2:51) of the Empire Ranch and Dusty Vail.

Scandinavian Folk and Fairy Tales (Family groups and students of all ages)
Wearing a Norwegian costume (a Bunad), the storyteller offers a selection of delightful tales from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. These memorable stories from Scandinavia provide valuable lessons for life through the actions of thoughtful and foolish people, smart and silly animals, troublesome trolls, winsome wood sprites and tricky elves. The program lineup may include some of the following stories: “Three Aunties,” “The Bear Who Said North,” “The Little Bell,” “The Mysterious Box,” and “Why Bear Has a Stumpy Tail.”

The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen (Family groups and students of all ages)
Enjoy a collection of favorite and little-known tales adapted from the rich collection of stories from the imagination of this master Danish storyteller. In the mid-1800s, Andersen used his stories to reflect the human spirit and frailties with such power that they continue to resonate with us today. His tales cause listeners to think about hope, hard work, bigotry, loss, luck, perseverance, gossip, beauty and joy. This program might include some of the following stories: “Luck Can Be Found in a Stick,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “Clod Hans,” “The Pixy and the Gardener’s Wife,” “It’s You the Fable Is About,” and “It Is Perfectly True.”

Ghost and Scary Stories (Halloween parties, Sleepovers and Summer Camps)
Everyone enjoys a good ghost story as long as the atmosphere is really a safe one. This storytelling session promises age-appropriate scares, thrills and creepy stories for audiences seeking a memorable and spooky time.


You Can Be a Storyteller, Too! (Adults)
If you have thought about becoming a storyteller but don’t know where to start, this workshop is for you. Learn how to tell stories to your family, in front of a group of students, in the library or before large crowds! Discover how the basic methods used by seasoned storytellers can help you polish new skills and become confident about communicating the wisdom of stories to others. This learning opportunity can be tailored for small groups or designed for specific individual study.

Fearless Storytelling Skills for Teachers
Discover how to use storytelling to stimulate student interest in exciting and memorable ways. During this interactive workshop, participants will learn how to be fearless about sharing a story to enhance specific teaching goals. This practical session provides educators with effective storytelling tools to connect with students and energize the learning experience.

How to Find and Tell Family Stories (Grades 4 – 12, family groups and teachers)
This workshop is ideal as an enhancement to school language arts programs, but is appropriate for anyone interested in exploring family stories. Information shared during this presentation will encourage dialogue between generations and stimulate original writing skills. This entertaining, nonthreatening program of participation and exploration is a great way to initiate an active interest in family and community history. A ready-to-copy bibliography and resource packet are provided.

Performance-based Learning for Students (Grades 8 – 12)
By using a familiar folk tale or story prop as the foundation for group improvisation, students create a new story for presentation. Students are able to expand their knowledge of others and develop new communication skills by assuming different characters during this workshop. The positive aspect of giving and receiving feedback in the form of “appreciations and suggestions” will be explored. A resource packet is provided for the teacher’s use.

Programs in Writing, Puppetry, Mask Making and Performance Skills can also be provided if you wish. I have been quite successful in combining more than one form of art with storytelling for projects involving large groups of children or the entire school body (K-6). Please inquire if you cannot find exactly what you have in mind.

*Presentations can be formatted to various lengths in order to accommodate the needs and interests of each group.


Please feel free to contact me for more information, or if you have questions.
I am happy to provide details and cost estimates if you need an experienced storyteller to entertain or provide workshops for a special event, festival, conference, school residency, community gathering or annual celebration.

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