A Donsy of Gnomes
Here are 7 gentle stories to read to your children. In them you will meet 8 charming gnomes, and their friends; gnomes who teach gnome-sized lessons in generosity, selflessness, resourcefulness, courage and friendship. Travel through the seasons as you share these charming gnome tales with your children. Then act out or perform the stories as puppet shows to further deepen their experience of Gnome.
Cross the threshold into Limindoor Woods to enter into the delightful world of gnomes!
“These are wonderful gnome tales, filled with magical motifs and lovingly crafted by a gifted teacher and storyteller. And not just stories are told, practical ideas and encouragement are given for you to create your own World of Faerie with your children through plays, puppetry, costumes, nature tables, even cooking!
A definite buy for parents (and teachers!) who bring Mother Nature, visible and invisible, to their children."
---Reg Down, author of The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly series
“This grouping of magical stories is one for every bookshelf. These gnomes will surprise and delight you. I have read many gnome story books, but this one is simply the best!”
--- Melisa Nielsen, Waldorf curriculum author, co-owner of A Little Garden Flower
"I loved all the stories my mom told me from a Donsy of Gnomes. In our house, we love gnomes and fairies. My favorite part was about when Ms. Sigi was a girl. In the book she talked about seeing gnomes and that makes me excited to find my own.
---Elleanor Nicol Tow, 8 years old, lover of gnomes
“What a perfect little book for young children! Take your child on a charming and jaunty journey through the worlds of the wee folk. It’s just the thing for sweet dreams at night, or a pause in the midst of a busy day. I predict that this will be one of the books that will remain alive in your children’s hearts long after they have grown and have children of their own.”
--- Nancy Parsons, www. waldorfbooks.com
A Donsy of Gnomes, 186 pages, illustrated with black and white drawings, will be a little treasure for children 5 to 105 years old. This book sells for $14.75 (Also available at wholesale prices). Please contact Sigi for more information.
A fictitious interview with Alesander Sajé and Sieglinde De Francesca
Alesander Sajé, the author of Climbing Down the Mountain, recently interviewed Sieglinde De Francesca about her new book, A Donsy of Gnomes.
AS: Sieglinde, I have just finished reading your delightful book, A Donsy of Gnomes. Tell me. Why gnomes?
SDF: I don’t have a simple answer for you Alesander. Actually, I had started writing a totally different book, a curriculum book, but these gnomes would not let me be. When I relented and finally let them tell their stories I came to understand that this book was to be a portal into their world. I also realized that this book was not just for children.
AS: Tell me more.
SDF: I went to great length to write about gnomes as elementals in the introduction of my book. The elementals are expressions of the forces, the energies, of nature. Perhaps my “pen” was used as a tool to bring forth some of those energies in order to counteract what is happening in the world today. To remind us not to lose touch with the purity of nature.
AS: You say these stories are not just for children.
SDF: I could say these are stories for families, meant to knit the magic that happens when a parent shares a story with a child. But, that would be too limiting. These stories are for anyone who wishes to cross the threshold into the realm of the elementals.
I read and reread the stories myself and the gnomes continue to work their magic on me. I find that I am actually transported to Limindoor Woods, and this reality, this everyday world I live in, becomes obscured by a mist.
AS: Where is Limindoor Woods?
SDF: As a young child I lived in a true colonial house in Westport, Connecticut, the house where Leon and Lucy, the children in the book, live. There was a hill and a stream and meadow and woods, the same as in the book. Curiously, the area of my childhood world that is designated in the book as Limindoor Woods was blank in my memory. Yet, when the stories came to me, those woods came into focus.
The woods name is interesting. Limin, or liminal, has to do with a threshold between two different existential planes. That world of gnome is only accessible by passing through a limin door, thus the name.
AS: What do you think these gnomes have taught you, Sieglinde?
SDF: Ah! Thank you for asking. Alesander, in your book, Climbing Down the Mountain, I learned that life is not just about reaching the pinnacles, it’s about climbing back down and bringing the experience of the ascent into ones future. These gnomes have taken me to a new place in my life and my work.
You know that I am a teacher. There are often, when teaching children, moments that are enchanted. You never know when those moments will come, but you cherish them. I have found that when writing, those moments of enchantment turn into hours.
And more than that. It is more than the enchantment. Maybe my ascent has been really a search for the alchemical solution to my life’s purpose, a sort of crystallization of the gifts that have been given to me so that I could focus them on one intention. I felt I had been climbing my own “Mt. Analogue” until I reached the summit. I am now happily on my descent.
AS: Well, welcome back down the mountain. Tell me, how does imagination play into the experience of these stories?
SDF: As a teacher, I constantly strive to develop my student’s imagination. It begins with opening them to a sense of wonderment.
All that is new and wondrous we first experience through our head, heart and hand, the balance of our being. To imagine something we must resort to what our senses have taught us. We imagine what something looks like, feels like, sounds, smells, tastes like. We remember past sensory experiences and with our imagination we can synthesize a whole new one.
It is well over 50 years since I lived in Westport; many of my memories of the place are vivid. When writing the stories I wanted to immerse myself in the experience of the place as much as possible, short of going there. Remembering a sound that I often heard, the song of a wood thrush, I found a sound bite online at http://www.learnbirdsongs.com/birdsong.php?id=32 and listened to a loop of the song as I wrote. In a way, that sound became my “limin door” to that imaginary place.
It is my desire, my intention, that these stories will awaken a whole world in the imaginations of the readers and listeners. The enlivenment of their imaginations will then serve them in some unimagined way in their lives, as they ascend to their summits.
AS: Thank you so much for the gift of this book, Sieglinde. And thank you for sharing these thoughts. It has been a pleasure talking with you.
Sieglinde De Francesca’s book, A Donsy of Gnomes, 7 gentle gnome stories, is now available through her website, teachwonderment.com, and in many fine bookstores.