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Big Ryan and friends visit MPL

By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff

Medfield children in search of fun holiday activities recently headed to the Medfield Public
Library (MPL) for some unique winter tales. The library’s meeting room provided the venue for
kids to spread out and get comfy, either in chairs or on the floor, as they welcomed storyteller
Big Ryan and eagerly awaited his tall tales.

Ryan, accompanied by Uncle Charlie and Edgar, his trusty dog companions, was ready to lead
the morning of silly stories and songs. For their part, the children didn’t need much coaxing to
participate, and were ready to laugh and socialize. The tall tales were stories of friendship and
togetherness, with an emphasis on toddler-age learning.

Big Ryan enjoyed connecting with children, using gruff and shrill voices to animate the dogs into
outrageous and imaginative beings. Their antics, in turn, had children in attendance howling
with laughter. Ryan’s favorite part about entertaining children, he explained, is the audience’s

“The fun part is having them do the motions with you,” he said. “By making it interactive, you
can tell they’re having the best time. That’s the biggest thing.”

The skills Ryan has accumulated have sharpened over the years, making him an especially
potent children’s entertainer. He recalled stories involving everything from asteroids to snow
aliens. On the day, attentive kids sat cross-legged, fixating their attention and anticipating the
next unbelievable details of his stories. Big Ryan’s ability to stay present and whimsical
resonated with both kids and parents.

A former preschool teacher, Ryan understands the task of teaching through engagement.
Children were captivated by the puppetry, imitations, songs, and exaggerated silly stories. “I was
taking a World Communications class and the professor had us read a children’s book,” he
recalled, discussing the origins of his talent. “I was told, ‘You’re really good, you should do that
for a living.’ And here I am, twenty years later. I don’t think I could do anything different now.”

Children left Big Ryan’s Tall Tales with smiles on their faces and giggles aplenty. The jokes and
tales, along with heartfelt messages, had kept them happy — and had taught them a little about
winter and the concept of friendship, too.

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