Photo by Suzuran Photography

About the Storylady

Amber Wood has been reading aloud with children across Turtle Island for over 25 years. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in theatre and served as a Resident Teaching Artist for Virginia Stage Company. Passionate about helping folks of all ages develop literacy skills and a love of reading, she may often be discovered sitting criss-cross-applesauce in the floors of libraries and independent bookstores looking for her next favourite tales to share! Amber is the Founding Storylady at Lightbulb Heart, a Hamilton-based storytime and collaborative theatre company committed to emotional wholeness and dismantling oppression through thoughtful story curation and compassionate engagement in safe and welcoming spaces for children of all ages. 

Photo: Suzuran Photography

Miss Micha and the Storylady
I have so enjoyed reading with this tiny one over the past few years. She’s not so tiny anymore and often reads to ME now!

“Amber Wood draws children into stories by making the stories their own by inviting them into the illustrations and text with body language and questions and a warmth like the sun. You can feel kindness and empathy in the way that she tells stories – for the characters, and for the little people with wide eyes and ears around her…”

– E. Ardelean
More Reviews for the Storylady
In May 2018, Amber helped choreographer Heidi Anderson bring her vision of Barbara Cooney’s “Miss Rumphius” to life for the TRDance Spring Concert in Norfolk, VA.

I want to read to my kids – where should I start?

Do you want to read to your tiny people and wonder which books to start with? The children’s section of your local public library is a great place to pick up new and classic titles until you fall in love with particular authors and illustrators. If you’re short on time, pick up the titles on display. Does the text contain animal/vehicle/noisy sounds or characters that could be fun to read aloud with your kid? Is the language age-appropriate and engaging? What art interests you? Does that illustrator have other books available? Once you’ve done your homework and been duly smitten, head over to your favourite indie bookstore and give those books a new home!

Diversifying the bookbags we bring home is really important in helping our kids approach differences with curiosity and counter hate with compassion. A Shared Table asked me to develop a guide for (racialized as white) caregivers for choosing picture books that centre BIPOC characters. The guide and an accompanying booklist are available here. I’m biased, but I think a lot of it applies to choosing good picture books in general.

A list of my personal children’s collection is available on Goodreads. If you’re local to Hamilton, please let me know if you want to borrow something! If you’re especially interested in tales of compassion for self or others, of imagination, and of knowing/finding one’s own self, check out this list of books I took with me on the easybake roadtrip. You may also find my #booksilove category useful.

Happy reading!

2 thoughts on “Storytime!

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