Tell Me a Story by Amy Friedman and Jillian Gilliland
Type: Text Feature
For most of us, the memory of a story told before bedtime is like a warm glass of milk &” soothing, comforting, savored. Each week, Amy Friedman and Jillian Hulme Gilliland give us an original story or a children's classic accompanied by a captivating illustration that will launch the imagination.
Amy Friedman and Jillian Gilliland
Tell Me a Story writer and Los Angeles resident Amy Friedman began writing stories when she was 12, emulating her storytelling father and her favorite writers. Stories formed the heart of her life growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, and she took her love of writing along with her as she moved to New York City, where she received her B.A. in literature from Barnard College and an M.A. in creative writing from City College, City University of New York.
Crisscrossing the country - from New York to San Francisco, back to New York, then to Los Angeles and even to a sheep farm in a small eastern town of Ontario, she eventually settled back in Los Angeles. While in Ontario, she wrote a weekly column for Canada's oldest daily newspaper, The Kingston Whig-Standard, and created the seeds of what would become, in 1992, Tell Me a Story. The first incarnation of Tell Me a Story, The Bedtime Story, won the 1991 Alberta Literacy Award for outstanding contribution to literacy.
Friedman has written four books, which have received critical acclaim: "Kick the Dog and Shoot the Cat," a film-to-farm memoir; "Nothing Sacred: A Conversation With Feminism"; "Tell Me a Story"; and "The Spectacular Gift." She continues to write and publish both fiction and nonfiction for newspapers, magazines and literary journals. She also performs her stories, often accompanied by musicians, in schools and at summer festivals.
Friedman has produced three children's folktales CDs entitled, "Tell Me A Story: Women of Wonder" (released 2009), "Tell Me A Story: Animal Magic" (2007), and "Tell Me A Story: Timeless Folktales from Around the World" (2006), which won multiple awards, including the National Parenting Publications Awards' (NAPPA) Gold Award and the Parents' Choice Silver Honors Award by the Parents' Choice Foundation.
She is presently working on a novel, a collection of short stories and a television adaptation of Tell Me a Story. She credits the St. Lawrence River, her collie, Kell, and her two stepdaughters, Sarah and Cassandra, with much of her inspiration.
Jillian Hulme Gilliland
Tell Me a Story illustrator Jillian Hulme Gilliland's first book illustrations were published when she was 18 years old and living on a farm in Africa. She attended Natal University on a fine arts scholarship and graduated with a B.A. in English and fine art, and a diploma in education.
Of the more than 25 books she has illustrated to date, all but six have been for children and include a series of African folk tales, nature craft books, and a silhouette series of multicultural stories.
Jillian's award-winning drawings and paintings have been exhibited in South Africa and Canada; most recently in Montreal's National Exhibition of Illustrations for Children's Books and the Canscaip Traveling Exhibition in New York. The Brock Street Gallery in Kingston, Ontario, also recently displayed a one-woman exhibition of 50 "The Bedtime Story" drawings.
Jillian and her husband, James, live in Kingston, Ontario, and their children, Brian and Alison, also live in Canada. Both children are talented in the field of art.