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   Scene 8 from Jack

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Storycard Theater® kamishibai dramas are printed on 12 sturdy, 13x9-5/8-inch cards. They’re small enough to hold comfortably, yet large enough to showcase the colorful artwork. The back of each card features clear, kid-tested text and a smaller version of the image the audience is seeing.


Momotaro the Peach Boy (ages 4 and up)


Second Edition: Features bilingual text, new artwork, and numerous dramatic improvements based on our hundreds of live performances. Learn more...

“Momotaro” is one of the most famous Japanese folktales, teaching children the virtues of courage, teamwork, and generosity in an exciting setting. A boy mysteriously born from a gigantic peach grows up to be a courageous yet kind-hearted young man. With the aid of three downtrodden animals, he stands up for the poor people in his village, who have been oppressed by a gang of greedy ogres. The Leaf Moon Arts version features joyful color illustrations by Mario Uribe, a noted California artist and enthusiastic scholar of Japanese art and culture. 12 cards (24 pages); bilingual English/Japanese

Scene 3Scene 7Momotaro box photo (Click to enlarge)

BONUS! Hear author Hazuki Kataoka pronounce the Japanese words. 

Special: Scuffed Momotaros (save $3!)
These copies of Momotaro have minor wrinkling or scratches on the packaging. The cards are fine; we just don’t want to sell them for full price because of slight damage to the display box.

Jack & the Beanstalk (ages 4 and up)
The story of Jack — the poor boy who climbs a magic beanstalk to a wicked giant’s castle and returns with a golden harp and hen — reflects humanity’s ancient fascination with touching the sky. (The first printed version appeared in the 1700s.) In most versions, though, Jack is portrayed as a sneaky thief, even returning multiple times to steal more treasure. The Leaf Moon Arts retelling of this classic tale follows one of the lesser-known storylines, presenting Jack as a compassionate figure who rescues the repressed harp and hen from the cruel giant. Kazumi Verkler’s gentle illustrations add a warm, friendly atmosphere. 12 cards (24 pages)

Scene 4Scene 8Jack Box Photo (Click to enlarge)

BONUS! Download free Japanese translation: simplified text | full text (PDF)
BONUS! Hear our BBC interview

Special: Scuffed Jacks (save $4!)
These copies of Jack & the Beanstalk have minor wrinkling or scratches on the packaging. The cards are fine; we just don’t want to sell them for full price because of slight damage to the display box.

The Moon Princess (Kaguya-Hime) (ages 6 and up)

★ 2008 Parents’ Choice Award Winner ★
★ 2008 Storytelling World “Books Kids BEG to Read” List ★
★ 2010 National Parenting Publications Award Winner ★

The Moon Princess is based on one of the oldest written tales in Japan, dating back more than a thousand years. (It’s also known as The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.) A baby girl magically born from a stalk of bamboo grows into a shining beauty. She cleverly outwits all the men who want to marry her before revealing her big secret and floating off to the moon. The story is a wonderful departure from the typical “helpless princess in a tower” tale, and full of fascinating symbolism and historical imagery. Kazumi Verkler’s beautiful illustrations incorporate authentic kimono patterns. 12 cards (24 pages); bilingual English/Japanese

Kaguya Scene 2Kaguya CoverKaguya Scene 10 (Click to enlarge)

BONUS! Hear author Hazuki Kataoka pronounce the Japanese words. 

(Music from our Bamboo Soul CD, available below.)

The Cat with No Name (ages 2 and up)
★ 2008 Parents’ Choice Award Winner ★
★ 2008 Storytelling World “Books Kids BEG to Read” List ★

This classic Russian folktale has parallels in Japanese and Indian folklore as well. An adoring old couple concocts increasingly silly names for its kitten before stumbling on the perfect one. Nina Khashchina’s playful watercolor paintings delight audiences young and old, and the interactive text keeps kids guessing up till the final card. Simple, short sentences are ideal for audiences as young as 2 years old. 8 cards (16 pages); bilingual English/Russian

Scene 5Scene 1Scene 6 (Click to enlarge)

BONUS! Hear author Nina Khashchina pronounce the Russian words. 

Storyteller Starter Kit

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Buy two popular storycard sets and the Presentation Frame together and save! Our Storyteller Starter Kit includes The Moon Princess, Jack & the Beanstalk, two clapping sticks, and our handmade Presentation Frame.

Storyteller Starter Kit (Click to enlarge)


Presentation Frame


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Handmade here in California, the Storycard Theater Presentation Frame creates an elegant stage for your storytelling. Our unique design is built of sturdy birch, yet remains compact enough to carry anywhere. A clever fold-out foot lets you stand the frame on a table, freeing your hands for performance gestures. Dimensions: 13-1/2 x 16-1/2 inches

Frame FrontFrame Rear(Click to enlarge)

Blank Storycards (set of 12 cards)
Create your own kamishibai dramas! These all-white cards show off your children’s artwork and are durable enough for long-term use. Paint or draw on one side, tape text to the other, and refine the story during classroom performances; we sized these cards to fit our Presentation Frame perfectly. Each pack of 12 cards divides easily into sets of six, four, three, and two, so you can tailor the project for all ages. 12 13x9-5/8-inch cards

Blank Storycards  (Click to enlarge)

BONUS! Download our free PDF on making your own kamishibai.

Thunder Tube
It never fails. After every performance, the first thing kids and grownups alike want to do is try the small percussion instrument we use for sound effects. The Remo Thunder Tube is 2-1/2" in diameter by 7" long and has a tightly coiled spring embedded in the drum head at one end. Shaking it produces a rumbling thunder sound (we also use this to evoke Jack’s grumbling stomach!). Scraping or tapping the spring produces sharper sounds.

Remo Thunder Tube  (Click to enlarge)

Clapping Sticks
The original kamishibai street performers gathered audiences by banging together two foot-long chunks of wood called hyoshigi (clapping sticks). In Japan, the sound of hyoshigi was like the bell of the ice cream man in the West — children rushed out to buy treats and hear stories. For their portability and clear tone, we prefer these hardwood claves. (Kids in the audience love to clap these too.) We also use these claves as props, pantomiming Jack’s ax in Jack & the Beanstalk and the chief ogre’s horns in Momotaro.

Clapping Sticks  (Click to enlarge)

Bamboo Soul CD
Mysterious yet uplifting, Adam Chikushin Tucker’s debut album features upbeat, 21st-century tunes for flamenco guitar and Japanese shakuhachi; reflective Japanese koto and Korean kayagum; new arrangements for shakuhachi, harp, and Indian tabla; and 14th-century Zen meditational shakuhachi melodies. Graphic design and audio production by Storycard Theater’s David Battino.

Also available at CD Baby through the buttons below.

History & Performance

Kamishibai Man

Caldecott winner Allen Say tells the moving story of a kamishibai performer who comes out of retirement to delight a new generation. We often take this book along on our own performances to show the audience, and we encourage teachers to read it with their classes before our author visits. The illustrations are warm yet detailed; you get a good sense of what it must have been like to watch the original kamishibai men, back in the days before TV. 32 pages, hardcover

Kamishibai Man Book (Click to enlarge)

How to Perform Kamishibai:

Renowned kamishibai author and illustrator Noriko Matsui (Grow, Grow, Grow…Bigger!) shares a lifetime of tips in this easy-to-read, cheerfully illustrated handbook. Written in question-and-answer format, How to Perform Kamishibai guides you through the process of choosing stories, setting up a performance space, and interacting with your audience. Beginning performers will gain extensive practical information, while advanced performers will pick up historical and philosophical insights. 96 pages, softcover

Kamishibai Q & AKamishibai Q & A(Click to enlarge)

Shipping and Payment
To save you money, we ship via Media Mail (1–2 weeks) or FedEx Ground (3–5 days), whichever costs less. If you need faster delivery, please e-mail us for a quote.

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