Susanna Holstein, also known as “Granny Sue,” made an appearance at the Louis Bennett Public Library on Tuesday, bringing her brand of storytelling to Weston.
The sizable crowd of children sat at attention as Granny Sue spun several tales. Among those tales were that of Anansi the “spider man” of Africa, the Story of Grandfather Bear, and The March of the Ants.
Granny Sue made frequent use of props in her stories, including a “Cranky,” a 19th-Century device that is cranked to move drawings from right to left as she told her tales. She also made good use of her eager audience enlisting them to help her in the telling of many stories.
When asked about what she did, Granny Sue pointed out that stories are important because they build a sense of community and, historically, have been used as a way to teach morals and ethics dating all the way back to the Bible. Many of her stories had important lessons at their core, such as the importance of hard work and sharing.
She stressed that stories can help us gain a better understanding of one another, saying, “When you know somebody’s story it builds a bridge. Stories build a bridge between people, and I think when you hear someone’s story you know them better. You understand them better, and you’re a lot more likely to listen to them.”
She also noted that she’d been a storyteller formally for about 20 years, though stories had always been an important part of her life, simply saying, “I love what I do,” and smiling.