Dragon Ship
Night Bubble
Singing Tree
Giant Flower Island
Island Of Eyes
Dodoland Castle
Shop Dodoland

Facebook      Videos     Google+     Educational     History     Author Visits    EMail

Who and What is Dodoland? (Dodo Land)

In 1977 the Award Winning large format book called
"Journey to Dodo Land" (Dodoland)
was published by Bird Helmet Productions in Los Angles. Thanks to Doug Riseborough appreciation and Dr. Richard Mazurek's vision for the future. ( Other Angels are listed on the web-site) The outstanding large format colorful book won a Printers Institute of America Award in 1978. Della Burford, author and illustrator, created this land where "you can be what you want to be". Dale Bertrand's photographs were published to create the Giant Flower Island. In Dodoland you will find a Sea of Love, A Dragon Ship, Land of Fire, Night Bubble, Island of Eyes and a Giant Flower Island.

The Bird Helmet

The Bird Helmet is a symbol of creativity and the children color it the colors they love best to fly to Dodo Land. Her story themes are imagination and helping the environment. She has been inspired by travel such as her trip to India and also her dreams which she has record in Dream Wheels for thirty years.


In 1978 former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau wrote to Della from Ottawa stating, " My three sons are delighted with your story which ,I am sure, they will want to hear very often. . " In quoting from Ellen Rothstein from Bookmark ( Magazine for Teachers/Librarians in British Columbia), September, 2001- " the Dodo bird once lived on the Earth but, because people laughed and teased him, he decided to move to the place called Dodoland ( Dodo Land ). He became the "Elemental Dodo"- part bird, part fish, part camel and part dragon and taught anyone who came to Dodo Land (Dodoland) to become " whatever you want to be". - "The theme for this issue's Bookmark is "The Eye of the Beholder,", focusing on the integration and importance of arts in education. The works of author-illustrator Della Burford are the epitome of that integration. "

The Elemental Dodo.

In the winter of 1978 Tedrian Chizik of New York, a dance and movement specialist began to perform as the Elemental Dodo. He directed and produced Journey to Dodoland - Dodo Land ( Dodoland). Della Burford was co-director and assisting were Dale Bertrand and Merian Soto who performed as the Dancing Flamingo. Julie Lieberman as Cooey and Musical Director. She Directed, played the violin and sang. Jerry Shrair was the first Musical Director and added so much including the Dodoland Song you can hear on the Video Streaming of Dodoland on the front page of www.dodoland.com. and Larry Karush also was a musical director of Secrets of the Rainbow when there was a show at the Third Street Music School. Thanks to all of you - you all made Dodoland a fantastic experience for all the children who watched it.. One of the main aims was integrating music, movement, art, drama and creating a participatory production.

One of the first participatory performances of "Journey to Dodoland" was at " The Museum of Natural History" in New York in 1980. One of two places in the world that has a stuffed dodo bird. The show on the poster stated "Journey to Dodoland, On Our Way to Puerto Rico" - A musical drama based on the original story "Journey to Dodoland' by Della Burford with participation by the children in the audience. In the summer of 1980 a benefit performance was given at the Cuban Refugee Camps in Pennsylvania sponsored by the Red Cross. The Project "Opportunidad" took the performance in 1982 to East Harlem in New York with sponsorship from the City of New York. Dodoland was performed twice to the schools in East Harlem and Magical Earth also went to these schools. Dodoland performed

It also performed at many hospitals including the Sloan Kettering Hospital and Metropolitan Hospital in New York. Carlos Loran from the Hospital wrote, "Your show did more than bring smiles of joy and laughter to the faces of the many youngster present. It actually made them forget , if only for a short while, about their handicaps and illnesses." Della, Dale, Merian , Tedrian, and Alice took Dodoland to all the Schools for the Hearing Impaired in Ontario and Dodoland was translated into sign language. Della also lead a project for prisoners at the Metro Toronto Detention Centre .

In the years that Dodoland performed in New York it was adapted for a performance for many different events, building and festivals. It performed at the Native American Indian Community Centre, for the Children's festival in Remini, Italy and through the sponsorship of the Organization of American States taken to the "Magic in Me" Conference in Gautemala in 1983, where 300 teachers from Central and South America attended Dodoland along with many handicapped children in various hospitals. There was a grand finale with DODOLAND and Disney World Characters at the National Theatre. Every special event was attended by handicapped and disabled children. In New York City Dodoland performed at the 3rd Street Music School, Museo Del Barrio, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center Library, Staten Island Childrens Museum, and St Peter's Church adjacent to Citycorp on 54th and Lexington for the United Nations International School and other children. The school wrote, "Your fantastic imagination took them to a make believe world, thus providing them with a most unusual and enriching experience."

Dodoland went to Washington and was performed at the Smithsonian Institute in the Discovery Theatre and at the Pavilion of the old Post Office. On the poster from the show it describes Dodo Land as being "In the tradition of children's stories like the Wizard of Oz" and "Alice in Wonderland", this is a festival of imagination, music and audience participation." Over a seven year period Dodo Land was performed by Imaginations Unlimited for over 100,000 children internationally.

Imaginations Unlimited in New York told "Journey to Dodoland" as a storytelling at the" WNYC Storytelling Festival in Central Park. Over many years"Journey to Dodo Land" (Dodoland) was done as a storytelling by Della in hundreds of schools including being taken to native children at the Wandering Spirit Survival School, handicapped children at Sunnyview School. Della was Director of the children's part of the Cape Cod Writer's Conference and Eleanor Titus states in a article called "Storyteller takes students on sojourn over the rainbow" -for the the Cape Cod Times, "Della Burford, known as the "Bird Lady of the Rainbow" shows children how to get there. ..she gently lifts each child into his or her own imaginary world." Author Visits are still being done today and can be arranged with Della.

When Della Burford and Dale Bertrand's book "Magical Earth Secrets" was published in 1990 by the Western Canada Wilderness Committee it added an emphasis of environmental awareness to their workshops.
It is the story of an Eagle Child who loses its power because of pollution and the secrets it learns to love and care for the earth. The book became a bestseller in Canada. David Suzuki in the foreword of the book states, " Children of the world need hope not despair,this book and your postive actions provide it." Pippa Wysong in an article with the Toronto Star states, " The book is indeed about the environment, but presented in a style that is lyrical and typical of the traditional storyteller."

"The Environmental Activity Guide", a teacher's guide, has 54 activites for children to express their feelings about protecting the earth. This guide was bought by the Metro Toronto Separate School Board to be used in over 200 schools, and Della has instructed hundreds of libarians and teachers on how to effectively use the activites to teach the environment. Della did many Canada Trust Friends of the Environment projects around the guide and picture book.

'Magical Earth Secret" was performed for two years in New York by Imaginations Unlimited before being published as a book. It has subsequently been performed in Sweden by children at the wonderful Globetree event in the Concert Hall in Stockholm and at the Centennial library in Edmonton, Alberta by the Maria Formolo Dance Company at the Celebration of the Environment and by various schools as school performances and Environmental Festivals.

Dodoland was represented at WOFIC the World Festival of Island Cultures in May/ June 2001 in Jeju Island, Korea in the Asian and American/European Pavilion. The story was told in English by Della and translated in Korean with sign language

Many schools across Canada have performed Magical Earth Secret as a school play. Magical Earth Secret, with Storytellings and Performances has been performed for 100,000 children.
Many Educational Workshops have been presented over the last 20 years. From 1977 to 2010 Della and Dale have led Workshops in 300 schools and libraries in Canada and the United States. Storytellings have also been done in schools in England and Mexico.

In 2004 Della lead a workshop in Holland on "Creating your own Healing Story". Dale and Della were also filming for two short films in Wales, Cornwall, and Ireland. She also did a storytelling of "Magical Earth Secrets'at Sunshine Hills School in Delta to inspire the children for their Science projects for the spring Science Fair. In 2005 she did a Storytelling for Earth Day at View Royal in Victoria. In 2006-2010 years she worked with students at St. Georges school and various schools in Vancouver and Victoria.

In 1995 the Journey to Dodo Land story (Dodoland) was chosen to be showcased, thanks to Dave Godfrey, in the Swiftsure project in Victoria, British Columbia, underwritten by the B.C and Federal goverment of Canada, using internet technologies to showcase BC culture. Dave Godfey, Ivan Sinclair , from Softwords and Della Burford, and Dale Bertrand (authors and illustrators) launched the cyberspace playground with stories and interactive activity centre. The driving force in getting it launched was the creative mind of Dave Godfrey. "Journey to Dodoland", "Magical Earth Secrets"and the " "Environmental Activity Guide"" are woven together to create this exciting web site. In Dodoland there is a Night Bubble to showcase childrens art and writing ,a Giant Flower Island to learn about the environment, an Island of Eyes to meet authors and illustrators and learn about dreams , and a Dragon Ship for stories, and a blog. Ian Miller of the Times Colonist Newspaper commented , "Dodoland is a new stop on the internet, designed to lure the kids into an interactive world of computers and art."

In 2000-2001 Della, with the help of the Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Kootenay developed "Dodo Land" (Dodoland) further and her Storytelling Workshops. She participated in special workshops in Business development. She learned many Internet & Animation ideas with Sharron Swan and got great counselling with Barb Williams. A wonderful program - thanks to everyone including the Coordinator Kay Ryan. During this time Della worked with Diana Rhodes from the Seed of Life Peace Foundation and together with Dodo Land (Dodoland) and the Earthchild Environment Foundation collected Peace Wishes that were published in two separate Peace Scroll books. The foreword for the last book was done by the Dalai Lama. She also participated in a major Artist Residence at Sundance School and showed the students and her new Storytellers and Stone Journey Art at the Community Arts Council Gallery. In 2002 Della storytold at the International Children Festival in Vancouver. She finished an "ArtSmart" project at Immaculate Conception School in Vancouver in April of 2003. Della is presently part of the Art Start program in Vanocuver. In 2004 Della led a workshop in Holland on ""Creating your own Healing Story"". Dale and Della were filming in Wales, Cornwall, and Ireland. Della also did a storytelling at Sunshine Hills School in Delta to inspire the children for their Science projects for a Science Fair. In 2003 "Dodoland/Magical Earth" was performed at the Festival for Children, South Coast Plaza at Newport Beach, California. In 2005 she did a Storytelling for EarthDay at View Royal in Victoria arranged by Lynn Moorhouse a principal she worked previously with Della at George Jay and Sundance School. Della went to Korea the summer of 2007 and 2009 to storytell and help the children make their own books. This took place in the Dream Center in Kyeongju and at Gapyeong. In 2009,10 and 11 Della and Dale were travelling to Mexico in 2012 -14 to Bali to photograph, film, workshop and paint. In 2011 Della storytold at a school in New York and workshopped "Make an Angel for Japan" in Toronto. Through 2013/15 the Magical Earth Secrets story was performed as a play in Japan produced by 100% Parade . Dale and Della met with the Producers Kazuko Asaba and Ruu Ruu from Japan in Mexico and are planning future work together. In 2012, 13 and 14 Della shared various aspects of her work in Bali.. including the story of Dodoland and also the Dream Wheels book. In 2015 we did storytelling at the Vancouver Language Centre in Guadalajara Mexico. In 2016 a Spirit of Writing and Art workshop is being planned with the the theme "Inner World". We are always open to be part of events that encourage creativity and healing.Thanks to my sister Norah Burford who has been coordinating this event.

Dodoland in Cyberspace is a "Safe Place for Children and those young at heart to enjoy. ". At its twentieth year it has had 20,000,000 hits/requests on the internet by over one million unique visitors . It was started with the inspiration of Dave Godfrey. It has survived by "being a labor of love" by Della and Dale, who have done all maintenance and with Chris Martin the web design would of been impossible.Glen Burford has helped give technical advice and assisted in various Image Shows of the aspects of the project one with a slide show with the Dodoland Song written by Jerry Shrair which comes from our history file. Glen also helped with techical advice Josh Ardnt helped in planning the new Dodoland web-site and Chris Martin joined us in doing the final web-design and all coding for the web-site in 2008. Thank you everyone who has helped us and please excuse me if I have forgotten anyone.
Dodo Land (Dodoland) over the years has been chosen over the years to be hot linked from over 1100 sites around the world .. now we would like to connect with various blogs and connect with people from the Facebook Dodoland page . There are many wonderful sites that have chosen Dodoland to connected to them from Canada, United States, Finland, Brazil, Spain, France, Mexico, Holland, Australia, Japan, Korea, Italy, Sweden, Malaysia, Taiwan, New Zealand, and England to name just a few. Again thank you everyone.Dodoland always has been and always will be for the children and those "young at heart" of the world.

The popularity of Dodoland grows and will continue as children and parents search for a happy, meaningful and safe place to be.

Return to the Singing Tree main page.

"Journey to Dodoland" Copyright and TM 1977. Della Burford, Dodoland in Cyberspace 1995-2017 Della Burford and Dale Bertrand.