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Welcome to Zinger Tales!

Zinger Tales is a collection of stories told by great storytellers! Choose a storyteller below to hear the tale and get some book recommendations too! Stories are provided in RealPlayer format, which requires the free RealPlayer plug-in.

Doc McConnell Doc McConnell (back to top)

For over two decades, Doc McConnell has been known as a man who has helped revive the art and love of storytelling. He is a distinctly Southern storyteller with a mountain flair whose tall tales, yarns, and mountain stories appeal to young and old alike. Doc has been featured at major festivals, fairs, concerts, schools, colleges, and conventions across the United States. He has been a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival for several years.
Stories told by Doc McConnell:

The Rooster and the Bean
The Fox and the Bumblebee
Bear Tale
Frontline StoryTellers Frontline StoryTellers (back to top)

The Frontline Storytellers are a newly-formed group of PLCMC employees committed to bringing storytelling to everyone. Each of these storytellerís talent to tell the tale is unique. Through workshops introducing the art of storytelling to prospective storytellers, this group offers mentoring relationships and opportunities for storytelling practice and initiatives at both branch and system levels. Ultimately, the Frontline Storytellerís goal is to awaken the storyteller in everyone.
Stories told by Frontline StoryTellers:

Kim Stricker-The Cracked Pot
Beth Hutchison- Why Dogs Chase Cats
Carl Schwanke- The Greedy Old Fat Man
Annette Foster-Grier-How Brair Rabbit Outsmarts Frog
Elisha Minter- Elisha Bakes Grandmaís Buttermilk Biscuits
Vera Beers- Foolish Rabbit
Emily Leachman --Caps for Sale
Suzzane Webb--King of the Cats
Sarah Hudson--the Three Bears and Goldilocks
Danielle Mattherson--Black Velvet Ribbon
Amanda NiCastro --The Rat Catcher of Hamlin
Tony Tallent Tony Tallent (back to top)

Tony has enjoyed sharing stories with kids of all ages for many years. Telling stories to both adults and children has been a great way to see the power of a good story. For several years Tony produced and performed in a storytelling drama called "Ramble Mountain." The show was performed in theatres, resorts, libraries, and was even filmed for an infomercial. He began telling traditional tales in his hometown library when he was sixteen years old. Later he began working with puppet shows and theatre. "But nothing is as special as hearing a well told tale -- just the storyteller's voice and the listener's imagination."
Stories told by Tony Tallent:

The Bear That Listened Too Much
Jackie Torrence Jackie Torrence (back to top)

(View our interview with Jackie Torrence)

Jackie Torrence is quite possibly the best known storyteller in the English language. Jackie shared her stories in small town gatherings as well as with TV viewing audiences of millions. She was featured in major publications, from the Wall Street Journal to Parade Magazine, and on radio and television from the CBS Nightwatch to the David Letterman show. Jackie was included in the acclaimed book I Dream a World by Brian Lanker, a striking photo essay work on African-American women who have made important contributions at a national level that also featured Oprah Winfrey and Alice Walker.

Having learned her art from her grandparents, uncles and aunts, Jackie began telling stories as part of her job in the public library and soon found herself on the road 280 days a year. Jackie overcame a childhood speech impediment to become America's favorite storyteller. She received the Annie Glenn Award in 1987 for her outstanding accomplishments in the world of storytelling and has produced eight award-winning albums, three award-winning television shows and has performed around the world, including the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Lincoln Center in New York City.

Jackie continued to tell stories as much as possible, even while dealing with serious health issues. She passed away on November 30, 2004 and will be rememberered for her wit, charm and grace and truly as one of the world's greatest storytellers.

Stories told by Jackie Torrence:

The Woman Who Lived in the Vinegar Bottle
Brer Rabbit and the Well
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
A Cure for Bad Dreams
Donna Washington Donna Washington (back to top)

Donna L. Washington is a professional storyteller, actress and author who has been performing for audiences of all ages since she was six years old. As a member of a large military family, she has lived all over the United States as well as in Asia and Europe. Her first experiences with storytelling came from her father. He used to share tales with the Washington children over dessert. As she grew older, Donna became more and more fascinated with the world of story.

Armed with a Bachelorís of Science in Speech from Northwestern University, she has been loose in the world since 1989. In that time, she has written and performed four one woman shows about historical black heroines, and adapted folk tales into two full-length stage productions for Chicagoís Upstage Downstage Theatre. She has also performed with Trinity Square Theater Ensemble and the Chicago Childrenís Theater Company. Donna has appeared at numerous storytelling venues, including the Illinois Storytelling Festival, the Wake County Festival, The Wild Onion Festival, and the Fox Valley Festival. Donna makes appearances in schools, libraries, young authorís conventions and literacy drives around the country.

Ms. Washingtonís voice narrates a series of wordless picture books by Childrenís Press and three videotapes by Warren Coleman Communications.

Visit Donna Washington at www.DLWstoryteller.com
Stories told by Donna Washington:

The Handsome Bear
Scaring Crows
Moullah Nas Roudin and the Lost Keys
Monkey and Crocodile
Susie Thumb and Johnny Thumb
Anansi and the Two Feasts
Anansi and the Hat Shaking Dance
Arap Sang and the Crowned Cranes
Arap Sang and the Vultures
Peter Piper
Betty Boughta
Red Red Lips
The Laughing Place
Scaring Crows
Always Go Out & Read
We will be adding more stories, so please come back!

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