THE children at Redwell Primary School were treated to the whimsical tales of a local writer before they broke off for summer.

Joanne Ross visited the kids to promote her “Hillfoots Tales” project with an interactive outdoor storytelling session.

With the help of Mrs Smith and staff at the school the children heard all about The Brownie, Wee Tommy and the fairies or Wee Folk who are said to inhabit the Ochil Hills.

As well as hearing some of the stories, the children were encouraged to recite poetry written about the Wee Folk as part of their reading project with Miss Ritchie and paint pictures of the characters on stones with Mrs McDonald for the story pool.

They also had the opportunity to explore the outdoor garden with Miss Johnston.

Joanne was invited to the school after Mrs Smith read about the project in the Advertiser.

The writer said: “I’m really excited to be able to share the stories with the children and hope to involve the school in the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF).”

She is developing an event in Clackmannanshire as part of the SISF “Growing Stories” program and hopes to generate local interest in the “Hillfoots Tales.”

She continued: "I would like to thank Mrs Smith for inviting me. It was a glorious day and a delight to meet the children and share the stories with them. They were all very interested to hear about the Wee Folk and the landscape of the Ochils.

“Bessie O' the Boggs and Tod Lawrie in particular seemed to capture their imagination and the children had loads of questions about Ochil fairies with one boy saying he thought Tod Lowrie sounded a bit like Rumpelstiltskin.”

Joanne continued: “The kids absolutely loved being outdoors and listening to the tales as well as painting and exploring the natural environment.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working as part of a team with Mrs Smith, Mrs Ritchie who also shared the story of Wee Tommy and a poem about the Wee Folk.

"[Thanks to] Miss McDonald, who encouraged the children to paint some of the characters on stones, and Mrs Johnston who helped the children look for plants and insects such as heather and butterflies which were mentioned in the stories.”

Joanne added that she hopes this is the start of something more long-term.

She hopes to do a follow up after the summer, to involve the school as part of an outreach programme with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF).

In addition, she will also be running a storytelling event in the Alman Theatre, Alloa on Friday, October 26.