My friend, Alice Brownlee translated the story into sign language. Myself, Dale, Alice, Tedrian, and Merian toured three schools in Ontario in l982. Each child and teacher made their own bird helmet so they could visit all the fantastic characters and places in the story. With creative movement Tedrian Chizak and Merian Soto from New York, we had the students ride in the crystal cup, move with the dodo, dance with the Flamingo, meet the Bee and take a trip to Dragon Ship and Island of Eyes.
The children were involved in several painting activities. They did life size tracings of their bodies and inside painted imaginary symbols, shapes, colors, birds, animals plants and flowers to create the most fantastic paintings. We were often told when we came to a school, the children would not be as creative and may not understand us. This proved not to be true and we found the students to be highly creative and the work proved to be some of the most imaginative we have seen.
When the Environmental Activity Guide was published we included signing of the secrets. In my
storytellings I still today sign the secrets and have the children in the audience join me. Hope you will
join in learning this beautiful and poetic language.
Della Burford - author, painter and storyteller.