Biography of Elaine L. Lindy
The world's foremost authority on ethical and entertaining folk literature, Elaine L. Lindy has created through Whootie Owl International, LLC, a Massachusetts-based company founded in 1998, a selection of educational materials, CD's, audiocasssettes, online materials and books designed to reach the hearts and minds of children through stories.
Lindy has conducted over 5 years intensive field research with groups of children from ages 6 to 12 to find those stories that prove to be crowd pleasers as well as effective communicators of positive messages such as compassion, honesty, and friendship. Research was conducted over that period in elementary schools, libraries, after-school programs and bookstores.
The mission of Whootie Owl International, LLC, is to provide materials to educators and parents so they can take full advantage of the extraordinary power of stories to communicate with children. Among the materials developed to date by Whootie Owl International, LLC, are the following:
Evolution of Whootie Owl's Web site
It was to communicate ideas of positive behaviors to her then-7-year-old daughter that Lindy first embarked on what became a 5-year search for quality fairytales and folk tales. "I wanted to deliver to my daughter material that was linked to some concept of acceptable behavior, and that is what still motivates me to come up with new material," says Lindy.
The book empowers parents by letting them know how their own stories -- that is, stories gleaned from childhood memories, from everyday life, and from the imagination -- can deliver to their children more powerfully positive messages than the most highly acclaimed ready-to-use books or movies. That's because personally delivered stories are targeted for the delight of a single audience, and because the act of storytelling expresses the unique flavor of the parent-child relationship.
For over five years, Lindy pored over volumes of fairytales and folk tales to compile a collection of over 100 stories from 60 countries which illustrate a character's struggle to identify values such as patience or self-reliance. "It's difficult to find stories that are not heavily laced with preachy or didactic language," she says, preferring instead uplifting and entertaining stories.
Once a story candidate is selected by Lindy, it is then "kid-tested" before a young audience. See newspaper article on Lindy's Kid-Testing [scroll down at that page]. Only stories that are enthusiastically recieved are allowed entry into Lindy's story collection. "Kid-testing" has taken place in classes held at a public library, a Barnes & Nobles store, a variety of public and charter schools, and at an aftercare program.
Nearly ten years ago Whootie Owl Productions launched the award-winning web site, "Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By" (). The web site presents to a worldwide audience many of the fairtyales and folk tales culled in the five-year process of "kid-testing". This site has been featured by USAToday (in their newspaper and online), by the Highlights for Children online site, http://www.teachernet.com, and it is recommended by DISNEY to teachers nationwide.
Elaine L. Lindy lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She holds three United States Patents for juvenile product innovations. Previously, Lindy produced a cable television show featuring fairytales and folk tales.
- WHOOTIE OWL'S GUIDE TO STORYTELLING
Lindy's book, Whootie Owl Presents: A Parent's Guide to Storytelling, has received acclaim from parenting experts nationwide.
- WHOOTIE OWL'S TEST PREP STORYTIME SERIES
An all-new language arts series designed for the elementary grades featuring stories from Whootie Owl's unique story collection. Each story workbook presents an illustrated folk tale followed by a variety of worksheets targeted to build standards-based skills in understanding the elements of stories (characters, setting, plot, and main idea). In the series from Level 2 through Level 5, the worksheets are also followed by a composition exercise where the students apply skills honed by the worksheets in creating stories of their own. The story workbooks end with a complete play script of the story. Each level from Level 1 through Level 5 includes three separate story workbooks and a Teacher's Guide. True to form, all of the folk tales presented in Whootie Owl's Test Prep Storytime Series convey gentle, yet powerful, character-building messages.
- WHOOTIE OWL'S WEB SITE
This web site, "Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By" (), presents dozens of fairytales and folk tales from around the world that that speak to positive themes. The stories are upbeat, kid-tested, nonsectarian, interactive, copyright-available, andFREE!
See awards for Whootie Owl's site.
- WHOOTIE'S STORIES ON CD
A variety of unique fairytales (each story different from the ones online) are narrated to the enchanting original music of James Carr. Whootie Owl invites listeners to come online to this web site and discuss the stories on cassette. See awards and reviews for Whootie Owl's cassettes.
Articles by Elaine L. Lindy:
"The Power of Storytelling"
--March 2000, The National Parenting Center
"Using Fairy Tales to Debate Ethics"
--November 2000, Education World
"Folktales of Cooperation for Your K-3 Class"
--April 2000, Education World, April 2000
"Secrets from Sales to Boost Your Parenting Skills"
--May 2000, The National Parenting Center
"The Ethics of Birthday Party Invitations"
--May 2000, The National Parenting Center,
"Three Ways to Make Values Last at Your School"
--October 2000, Education World
--Spring 2000, Character, published by the Boston University Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character
--May 2000, published by Values in Action
Connecticut Reading Association - 2003; 2004
Keystone State Reading Association Conference (PA) - 2004
Massachusetts Title 1 Conference - 2003; 2004; 2005
Massachusetts Reading Association Conference - 2005
Michigan Reading Association Conference - 2004
New York State Reading Association Conference - 2004
Elaine L. Lindy is available for interview or speaking engagements as an expert source on folk literature and character education.
Call toll-free 1-877-WHOOTIE or send an e-mail.