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Biography

Storyteller, librarian and former teacher, Gail de Vos has been an active promoter of the oral tradition of literature in Alberta for over three decades. She is the past president of T.A.L.E.S., The Alberta League Encouraging Storytelling. She has told stories at the Edmonton Folk Festival, schools, libraries, on CBC Radio, and abroad. Gail teaches courses on storytelling as well as courses on Canadian children’s literature, Indigenous Canadian children’s literature, comic books and graphic novels at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Library and Information Studies. For many years she told stories at Fort Edmonton Park to bring the history of the Edmonton area alive through storytelling and was co-organizer of the annual Storytelling Festival held at the Park for 18 years. Gail is the author of nine award winning resource books on storytelling and folklore in popular culture intended for educators working with students in Grade 6 and above and numerous articles and chapters on folklore related topics.

Please note that Gail will not be available for touring in Fall 2022 though she remains an active member of YABS.

Presentations

Gail’s storytelling presentations are flexible in order to accommodate the needs and wants of the hosts. She will tailor her storytelling programs accordingly. Some of her most popular programs are as follows:

  • Comic Books and Storytelling
  • Folktales from Around the World
  • We Are Stories (family and personal experience tales)
  • Bringing History Alive Through Story
  • Comic Books and Folklore

For Junior and Senior Highschool

  • Exploring Urban Legends
  • New Tales for Old: The Reworking of Folktales
  • The Power of Story

Gail also conducts workshops on storytelling techniques for students of all ages.

Bibliography

“The Wendigo as Monster: Indigenous Belief, Cultural Appropriation, and Popular Horror” in North American Monsters: A Contemporary Legend Casebook edited by David J. Puglia, Utah in publication.

“Baba Yaga and Hellboy” in Monsters: A Companion edited by Simon Bacon, Peter Lang 2020.

“Cowboy Smithx’s The Candy Meister (2014)” in Horror: A Companion co-authored with Kayla Lar-Son, edited by Simon Bacon, Peter Lang 2019.

“The Writing Connection: Young Adults, Folktales, and Urban Legends” in Engaging Teens with Story: How to Inspire and Educate Youth with Storytelling edited by Janice M. Del Negro and Melanie A. Kimball, Libraries Unlimited, 2017.

What Happens Next? Contemporary Urban Legends and Popular Culture. Libraries Unlimited, 2012.

  • 2013 Storytelling World —Special Storytelling Resources Award Winner

Stories from Songs: Ballads as Literary Fictions for Young Adults. Libraries Unlimited 2009

  • 2010 Storytelling World —Special Storytelling Resources Award Winner

Storytelling for Young Adults: A Guide to Tales for Teens Libraries Unlimited 2003

Telling tales: Storytelling in the Family co-authored with Merle Harris and Celia Barker Lottridge. U of A Press 2003

  • 2005 Applied Arts Magazine – Applied Arts Magazine Awards, Editorial Book Cover
  • 2005 Storytelling World – Storytelling World Award, Special Storytelling Resource

Tales, Then and Now: More Folktales as Literary Fictions for Young Adults co-authored with Anna Altmann. Libraries Unlimited 2001

New Tales for Old: Folktales as Literary Fictions for Young Adults co-authored with Anna Altmann. Libraries Unlimited. 1999

  • 2000 Storytelling World – Storytelling World Award, Special Storytelling Resource

Tales, Rumours and Gossip: Exploring Contemporary Folk Literature in Grades 7-12 Libraries Unlimited, 1996.

  • 1997 Storytelling World – Storytelling Honor Award, Special Storytelling Resource

Telling Tales: Storytelling in the Family co-authored with Merle Harris. Dragon Hill Publishing, 1995

Storytelling for Young Adults: Techniques and Treasury Libraries Unlimited, 1991

SHORT STORIES:

“Room for One More” Ghostwise: A Book of Midnight Stories. Edited by Dan Yashinsky, Ragweed Press, 1997.

“Hare Drier” Share a Tale: Canadian Stories to Tell Children and Young Adults. CLA, 1995.

ARTICLES:

2013 Various entries for Comics Through Time: An Historical Encyclopedia.  Edited by M. Keith Booker, Libraries Unlimited.

2010 Various entries for Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels. Edited by M. Keith Booker, Libraries Unlimited.

2008 “Urban Legends,” In Storytelling: An Encyclopedia of Mythology and Folklore edited by Josepha Sherman. M.E. Sharpe.

2007 “Storytelling and Folktales: A Graphic Exploration.” In The Influence of Imagination: Essays on Science Fiction and Fantasy as Agents of Social Change. Edited by Lee Easton and Randy Schroeder. McFarland.

2005 “The A B C’s of Graphic Novels.” Resource Links: Connecting Classrooms, Libraries & Canadian Learning Resources.

2005 “Comic Books and Graphic Novels in the Library.” In The whole school library handbook. Edited by Blanche Woolls and David V. Loertscher. American Library Association.

  1. “Why Take the Comic Book Seriously?” Teacher-Librarian Today (8:1) 31-33.

2001 “Storytelling, Folktales and the Comic Book Format.” Language & Literacy: A Canadian Educational E-Journal Available online at: http://www.langandlit.ualberta.ca/archives/vol31papers/Gail_DeVos.htm

  1. “Storytelling for Young Adults.” School Libraries in Canada. (19:4) 8-9.
  2. “Who Says Folktales are Only for Children?” (with Anna Altmann) Booklist (96:18) 1752-3.
  3. “Once Upon a Tabloid.” In True North: Canadian Essays for Composition. Edited by Janice MacDonald. Don Mills: Addison-Wesley, 208-211.
  4. “Graphic Novels and the Reluctant Reader.” Quill & Quire. (Jan.) 44.
  5. “Graphic Novels in the Library.” Teacher-Librarian Today (4:1) 10-12.

1998-2001. “Telling your Tales: Column.” CANSCAIP News.

  1. “Bringing History Alive: Storytelling at Fort Edmonton Park.” (With Merle Harris) Alberta Museums Review. (22:3) 36-38.
  2. “The Threads of a Story.” Alberta Museums Review. (20:1) 33-34.

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