Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Brian "Fox" Ellis  

Pen Name: 


Born: in Toledo, Ohio

-- Website --
-- Brian Fox Ellis on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Brian Fox Ellis lives in Peoria, Illinois

Biographical and Professional Information

Brian "Fox" Ellis is an internationally renowned storyteller, author, educator, and naturalist. He has been travelling the world collecting and telling stories for more than 30 years. He has published more than a dozen books and a dozen CDs of stories and poetry. He has written, produced and performed in several one man shows portraying historical scientists and authors, including Charles Darwin, John James Audubon, Edgar Allan Poe, and Walt Whitman. Fox is the artistic director and co-founder of ''Prairie Folklore Theatre'', a touring company that celebrates regional history through musical theatre. He has helped to write and host a television series, "Tell Me A Story", and recently finished his first documentary film, "Voices For the River".

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Learning from the Land: Teaching Ecology Through Stories and Activities
ISBN: 1563085631

Libraries Unlimited. 1997

Travel through time and enter the worlds of molecules and woolly mammoths through engaging stories that breathe life into the dry bones of geologic history. From plate tectonics and mineral cycles to metamorphosis and reproductive cycles, these stories, whether used for read-alouds or silent reading, make abstract scientific concepts concrete and palpable. Extension activities focus on scientific facts, concepts, and methodology. The integrative approach of hands-on science and creative-writing lesson plans helps students explore ideas and reflect the depth of their learning.

Learning from the Land: Teaching Ecology through Stories and Activities
ISBN: 1598849182

Libraries Unlimited. 2011

This all-new set of original science tales for children utilizes the power of storytelling to explore ecology's big ideas, providing extensive accompanying teacher support for maximum impact.

• A dozen original tales that celebrate our relationship to the wild world through creative writing

• More than 30 lesson plans for using the book's stories to the fullest, including separate plans for teaching each story to students at different levels

• Dozens of original pen and ink drawings that illuminate the natural world

• An annotated bibliography of books and websites for teachers and students, allowing further exploration of the ideas examined in the stories

Exploring the Illinois River: An activity and coloring book : the history and natural history of the Illinois River Valley

Fox Tales International. 1996

Exploring the Illinois River: An activity and coloring book : the history and natural history of the Illinois River Valley

Frog Songs
ISBN: 143924331X

BookSurge Publishing. 2009

FROG SONGS - This collection of modern haiku by Brian "Fox" Ellis is gorgeously illustrated with simple line drawings by Kore Loy McWhirter. These organic poems are a beautiful awakening, like the frog who sings the sun up. It includes an essay on the cultural translation of haiku from traditional Japanese to modern English, and two lesson plans, one on teaching haiku, including poems written by students, and a second on making a haiku mini-book. A wonderful compilation of creation modern words in the classic style. "Simply put: marvelous. The "aha moments" are there for me in every poem... so lovely." J. Rosella, poet and banker "Excellent! I will use this in the classroom." M. Wright, teacher "These poems are a beautiful awakening, like the frog who sings the sun up." K. Thrush, wife and mother



The Web at Dragonfly Pond
ISBN: 158469078X

Dawn Pubns. 2006

Storyteller Brian "Fox" Ellis draws from his memories of fishing with his father to tell this true tale of a fish, a frog, a dragonfly, a mosquito, and himself. The experience helped mold the author's life-long connection with nature, and is a wonderful example of entertainment that educates. Simultaneous.

Charles Darwin and His Revolutionary Idea
ISBN: 1439216363

BookSurge Publishing. 2008

Content Area Reading, Writing, and Storytelling: A Dynamic Tool for Improving Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum through Oral Language Development
ISBN: 1591587018

Libraries Unlimited. 2008

Through a balance of pedagogy and practice, Ellis gives teachers the skills and confidence they need to become better storytellers. The book includes dozens of great stories and classroom-tested lesson plans to help students improve reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. With better reading skills, students' ability to learn content will also improve. By telling their own stories students will also learn creative writing strategies.

The preface and introduction recount current research, while providing inspiration for teachers to learn and tell stories. Each subsequent chapter explores one content area, Reading, Math, Science, etc. There is also a series of interdisciplinary units. What makes this project unique is that each chapter offers several exciting, easy-to-learn stories and reproducible pages for a ready-to-use handouts. Lesson plans include detailed strategies for their application, as well as links to national learning standards. Grades K-6

Singing Up the Sun: Swimming Through the Moon
ISBN: 1450500692

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2010

Singing Up the Sun is a celebration of our relationship to nature, while Swimming Through the Moon is an exploration of human nature. In the tradition of Mary Oliver and Gary Snyder, these poems move beyond the Romantic notion of using nature as merely a metaphor, they plumb the depth of inherent meaning found in the wild world. Like Dylan Thomas, this poet writes a poem every year on his birthday as an anchor in an ever changing world. Fox also enjoys playing with genre, so there are free verses, list poems, haiku, and a triolette. Poetry written over the past 30 years gives the reader a deeper view into the life of a poet's evolution from idealistic youth through the land of dreams fulfilled into the ripeness of middle age.


The Web at Dragonfly Pond

won the National Conservation Education Book of the Year award

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

Contact the author via:

Fox Tales International

P.O. Box 210

Bishop Hill, IL 61419