1st Edition

It's Only Pretend A Helicopter Stories Tale

By Trisha Lee Copyright 2023
    42 Pages 13 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    42 Pages 13 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Oliver really wants to play a princess in Ariana’s story. He stops, confused, when some of the other boys laugh. But when Noah, the new boy, refuses to take any notice of the laughter, Oliver discovers that there is another way...

    This beautifully illustrated story book explores a common situation that arises for children and teachers taking part in Helicopter Stories and allows the children to explore their feelings in a sensitive and supportive environment. The story is accompanied by teacher’s notes on how to use the book with young children along with questions and discussion prompts that can be incorporated into the curriculum.

    In a class where Helicopter Stories take place on a regular basis, It’s Only Pretend explores issues around gender that might come up in story acting. It is part of the Helicopter Stories Tale series, a valuable and visually captivating resource for all Early Years educators using storytelling and story acting with their children.

    1) Introduction

    2) Story Spread

    3) Teachers Notes


    Trisha Lee is a writer, theatre director and storyteller. She was the first to pioneer Helicopter Stories in the UK and she founded the theatre and education company MakeBelieve Arts in 2002.

    Amie Taylor is a writer and artist. She founded her shadow puppetry and illustration company ‘The Shadow Makers’ in 2013 and now delivers workshops and projects in creating shadow work and illustration.

    "These picture books bring to life the magic of Storytelling and Story Acting. The authentic examples and quandaries are compelling. Trisha gives advice based on her vast experience but also includes the voice of Vivian Gussin Paley herself. This book will be an invaluable resource for anyone who is developing the art of Helicopter Stories in their setting."  

    Anna Ephgrave has written five books around the topic of "Planning in the Moment".  




    "Childhood deserves to spend its days in an immersive world of story and make-believe, and yet again, Trisha shows us how. The rich possibilities she has created here enable an exploration, not only of Helicopter Stories, but of who we are in the kingdom of play. A true adventure awaits you within its pages.

    Holding hands with Trisha’s words are the wonderful illustrations of Amie Taylor, that turn up the dial of imagination and invite us in to story dream even more" 

    Greg Bottrill, author of Can I Go and Play Now – Rethinking the Early Years and School and the Magic of Children




     "Trisha Lee has written a lovely, accessible set of stories that can be dramatized through the Vivian Gussin Paley method. It is set in Fiona Fable's classroom who knows that every child has a story inside them, and her job is to find a way to let those stories out.

    These stories bring to light the importance of children being able to tell their stories right here and right now. It’s a beautiful and natural way of allowing children to address their worries, share their ideas and catch a glimpse of their imaginations. 

    We have used this approach for many years at LEYF and it has made us so much more alert to the power of storytelling. Everyone has a story, and this book gives you the tools to make this part of your daily life of any classroom. It tells the teacher to watch very carefully, and you will see the children’s stories dancing through the air. It is joyful."

    June O’Sullivan, CEO of London Early Years Foundation and author of numerous publications about the Early Years.