Look Before You Eat! with Bil Lepp


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This week’s Story Seeds collaboration brings together 11 year old Keshav and Bil Lepp (professional storyteller, five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Competition and author of the 2014 PEN award-winning The King of Little Things.)

Bil helps Keshav grow this story idea:

Once there was a cow, a bunny and a fox. There was also a bad wolf who liked eating up people's houses. The cow made a house out of ice cream, the bunny made a chocolate egg house and the fox made his house out of red hot chilies. Now the wolf, being very greedy. Loved ice cream. So he went to the cows house and ate it all up and was now ready to eat the cow. The cow got away and ran to the bunny house. The wolf followed him there. And when he got to the bunny house, he said, mm hmm. Delicious chocolate. And so we went and ate at all. Now the bunny and the cow was scared half to death. So they ran to the fox’s house. The wolf was still hungry because he was a big bad wolf. So he, too, went to the foxes house. You took one bite out of the chilies, up out of the chili house and burned his mouth. He ran away, never to be seen again.

Listen along to this Story Seeds adventure with host Betsy Bird as Keshav and Bil:

  • Develop the backstories for their three main characters and discuss why they chose to build their houses out of ice cream, chocolates, and chilis
  • Get inspired by their visit to Jacques Torres chocolate shop in NYC and sample a selection of their chocolate bon-bons for "research"
  • Look at chilis of all shapes and sizes and ultimately decide there's no need to try any of those in order to grow this story seed!
  • Cook up a quintessential fairytale but with a spicy kick, starring: a cow with a love for ice cream, a bunny with a sweet-tooth for chocolate, a fiery fox with a penchant for chilis, and a big bad wolf!

The episode concludes with this week’s storytime (19:24) where Bil reads the story he grew from Keshav's story seed: Not By the Hare in My Chili Pepper Den .

Stories mentioned in this episode: Three Little Pigs, Henny Penny, Chicken Little, Aesop’s Fables, Anansi Tales, Panchatantra, Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales, The King of Little Things by Bill Lepp

Calls to Action

Bonus Episode: Check back next week to hear Betsy's interview with Bil. You’ll get to hear what it’s like to be a 21st century storyteller and Bil also shares a few hilarious anecdotes, including one about his former life as a preacher.

Kids: Call The Story Seeds Hotline at 646-389-5153, email us at storyseeds@literarysafari.com, or visit our website to submit your story ideas. You can also join The Story Seeds Society, our kids listeners club.

Grownups: Visit www.storyseedspodcast.com for subscription links, to sign up for our newsletter, and to download our printable activity e-zines for your kids (or the kid in you!) that offer opportunities to read, write, and get creative alongside listening to each episode . You can also follow us on Instagram @storyseedspod, on Twitter @litsafarimedia, and on Facebook @literarysafari.

Get our Imagination Lab: Experiments in Creativity activity book! It pairs perfectly with the podcast and features tons of episode-inspired prompts and projects! Order your copy here!

This episode is also available on YouTube. Subscribe here.

Support Us

Visit our recently launched glow.fm page where you can support The Story Seeds Podcast on a recurring or one-time basis. Your donation - large or small - will help us create more episodes of the show and give us the ability to provide opportunities for more kids from around the world to participate in Story Seeds.

Show credits

Produced and written by Sandhya Nankani and Anjali Sakhrani. Our Associate Producer is Kayla Fedeson. Scoring, mixing, and sound design by Ania Grzesik and Matt Boynton of Ultraviolet Audio. Field audio recorded by Nathan Miller. Hosted by Betsy Bird. Music by Andrew VanWyngarden, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/musician and co-founder of MGMT.

The Story Seeds Podcast is a creation and production of Literary Safari www.literarysafari.com

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