Kevin Graal training with British Council

Kevin Graal – children’s storyteller – resources

storytelling resources

Welcome to Kevin’s resources page featuring rhymes, songs, stories and related storytelling activities – from play-rhymes for babies and toddlers and their grown-ups to stories for children and young people.

DLWP Play Circle

Two Nursery Songs

Two lesser-known traditional songs originally recorded by Kevin for Sing Hey Diddle Diddle – an audio-book of British nursery rhymes published by Harper Collins in 2001 – and Grand Playsongs, a 3-volume collection of early years rhymes and songs due for release by Playsongs Publications in 2021.

Commissioned for Hastings Storytelling Festival 2020

Play Circle

Two short films commissioned by De La Warr Pavilion on the East Sussex coast for Play Circle – a series of monthly creative sessions for preschool children and their grown-ups.

The Golden Boat

An action-song about a golden boat, a traditional Ukrainian story about a child with a boat who has an extraordinary adventure and an easy to follow paper boat-making activity.

While the cat's away ...

A tickle-rhyme guaranteed to end in giggles, a beautifully illustrated story – Run, mouse, run! - by award-winning author-illustrator Petr Horáček and a lively rhyming song about a mouse who wants to come out and play.

Animated play-rhymes

Four rhymes for babies and toddlers from Playsongs Rhyme Time, a downloadable album of 22 play-rhymes and action-songs performed by Kevin and published by Playsongs Publications.

The whole album is available from as well as iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Wee Wiggie

A finger (or toe) rhyme similar to This little piggy went to market.

Start with the little finger/toe, then rub each finger/toe in turn. Pretend to gobble up the thumb/big toe on ‘gobble gobble gobble’.

Eye winker

A face-toucher which helps babies with ‘self-other differentiation’ – a crucial step in a child’s development, when they begin to understand that they are separate from other people.

Touch each part of the baby's face and then touch your own. Once familiar with the rhyme, the baby will start to touch your face and later touch their own faces in response to the words.

A little frog

Another finger-rhyme.

Tuck your thumb into your fist. Chant the first part of the rhyme very quietly and then pop out your thumb loudly and suddenly on OUT.

Knock at the door

Another face-toucher – this time with instructions included in the animation.

The audio recording of this rhyme has become a big hit on the social media platform TikTok with more than 2 million posts - and counting!

Learning through stories

Three short storytelling films for schools: The Best Place in the World and The Drop of Honey commissioned by Read Your Way - a literacy initiative promoting children and young people's literacy skills - and Food for Thought created for a primary school and co-funded by private donation and Arts Council England.

Read Your Way & Arts council logosRead Your Way & Arts council logos

The Best Place in the World

A beautifully illustrated story about friendship and belonging by award-winning author & illustrator Petr Horáček. Featuring a cast of lovable animal characters, the story asks simple but profound questions: where is the best place in the world? Where do we feel most at home and why? It's a theme with lots of scope for discussion and follow-up work in the classroom.

The Drop of Honey

Featuring a traditional folktale about personal responsibility and the consequences of not dealing with problems when they first emerge, the film combines images, music, sound effects and onscreen text so that children can ‘read’ the story on a variety of levels. Questions raised by the story are left unanswered in order to encourage discussion and follow-up work such as retelling and creating alternative endings.

Food for thought

Three traditional stories from around the world: Bharunda Bird - a fable from India about co-operation; Two Wolves – an American Indian parable about fundamental emotions; The Ant and the Dove – a fable from Greece about helping each other. Each story has built-in stopping points with onscreen questions to prompt speaking and listening activities and follow-up writing tasks.

A folktale and a picture book

A funny tale for Key Stage 1 and a thought-provoking picture book for older children and young people. Commissioned for Hastings Storytelling Festival 2020

Lazy Jack

A traditional folktale about a silly boy who does the right thing – but at the wrong time! For younger children and everyone who likes a good laugh.

The Last Tiger

A stunning and thought-provoking picture book by award-winning author and illustrator Petr Horácek. For older children and everyone who cares about nature.

Tales with a twist

New angles on two traditional stories retold to highlight health and wellbeing issues.

The Gingerbread Man

An audio recording of a much-loved tale (with a twist!), written by Kevin especially for Global Handwashing Day – an international campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of handwashing with soap to prevent the spread of many diseases.

View or download a PDF book of the story with handwashing guidelines and follow-up questions and ideas for children.

  The Gingerbread Man

Stone Soup

A simply animated version of a traditional folktale found in many parts of the world about the importance of sharing. Kevin’s version of the tale was written especially for World Food Day – an initiative of the United Nations World Food Programme.

View or download a PDF book of the story with follow-up questions and ideas for children.

  Stone Soup
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