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The People Could Fly: The Picture Book
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The People Could Fly: The Picture Book

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4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  398 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
"The well-known author retells 24 black American folktales in sure storytelling voice: animal tales, supernatural tales, fanciful and cautionary tales, and slave tales of freedom."--School Library Journal, starred review. Full color.
Library Binding, 32 pages
Published November 9th 2004 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Michael
Wow. Inspiring, heartbreaking, poetic, and intense. This is an amazing tale that by some act of neglect I had never heard before. It is beautifully told and illustrated in this edition. The references to eye-witnesses and how the story may or may not be true made it quite magical as a story/mythos.

The beauty of this story is that flying is being used as an analogy for many things: of escape from slavery, of hope, of the lost African traditions and culture, of second chances. The story manages to
...more
Carola Prida
Oct 29, 2015 Carola Prida rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ok
"People could Fly" is a folktale, because it has the 4 things that makes it up; no author, having super powers, had a lesson or a message, and is based on a culture. No author; you may get confused in this one, because in the book it says folktale by.... but the thing is that she re-wrote the story as an folktale. Having super powers; the title itself says is. The super power was flying which was stated on pg. 65 line 21. Had a lesson/ message; if you believe in yourself anything can be possible ...more
Sebastian
Oct 29, 2015 Sebastian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The people could fly" is a folktale because it has all four parts it needs for it to be one. Its past from generation to generation:Yes because on "(page 67, lines 122-123) it clearly says:"They say who could not fly told about the people that could fly to their children."People cant fly so that is another part of a folktale which is super natural powers are icludeded.On (page 65, line 62) she is flying on the air with her wings. Thats not normal that people fly. Thirdly for it to be a folktale ...more
Maria Garcia
Oct 29, 2015 Maria Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really recommend this book, it is really interesting and it keeps you wanting more and more. “The People Could Fly” is a folktale about Africans knowing about magic and being able to fly. This folktale tells how Africans were brought to America and mistreated to the point where they died because of the hard work or escaped from their misery. It also talks about how the slave forgot how to “fly” when they were brought to America. The people that could fly now slaves that could fly were able to ...more
L12_markmesserly
Jan 29, 2012 L12_markmesserly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This is a picture book edition of a single story from Virginia Hamilton’s collection The People Could Fly: American Black Folk Tales. The narrative of this folktale is in the tradition of oral storytelling, lyrical and moving. Prior to capture into slavery, some Africans had the magical power of flight. During the grim trip to America, and under the harsh conditions of slavery, many Africans had forgotten the magic. Toby and Sarah still knew the magic, and as their treatment worsens, they attemp ...more
Ms. Nina
Oct 26, 2015 Ms. Nina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The People Could Fly" is, hands down, my favorite folktale. Virginia Hamilton did a wonderful job recording such an important story and in the African American dialect. Even though Hamilton is the author, "The People Could Fly" is actually a folktale, because it meets the four requirements of a folktale. Firstly, folktales don’t have one specific author, because they have been passed down from generation to generation through storytelling. We know The People Could Fly is a folktale, because the ...more
Guille
Oct 29, 2015 Guille marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
For me, I really loved this story. Why? Well, after I read this folktale, it taught a lesson that means a lot. It taught that even though you are going through the worst conditions, always have hope.
As we have seen, the story “The People Could Fly” is a folktale, due to the fact that it meets all the requirements it must contain to be a folktale. First of all, a folktale needs to be passed from generation to generation, like your grandparents told it to your parents and your parents told it to
...more
Daniela
Oct 28, 2015 Daniela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked "The People Could fly" because it teaches you a great lesson about equality and slavery. It is my favorite folktale yet! “The People Could fly” is a folktale because it has the four requirements that are needed in order for it to be a folktale.“The People Could Fly” is a story passed on from generation to generation. “They say that the children of the ones who could not fly told their children’s. And now I have told you” (pg.67, lines 22-23). This sentence shows us that it has bee ...more
Rafael
Nov 19, 2015 Rafael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A Wolf and Little Daughter" is an African-American folktale. The story is about a little girl who lived with her father on a forest. Her father told her to stay inside the fence that sorrounded the house because there were wolves outside.One day her father went out and little daughter went out the gate to pick some flowers, and she saw a big wolf. The wolf made the little girl sing for him because he liked the way it sounded. Everytime little daughter moved, the wolf followed her. Everytime the ...more
Rosa Elena
Oct 27, 2015 Rosa Elena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really think this folktale was awesome! In The People could Fly, you can tell is a folktale because… Firstly, humans could fly, they show supernatural powers. ”’Yes, Daughter, the time is come’ Toby answered. ‘Go, as you know how to go!’ He raised his arms, holding them out to her. ‘Kum… yali, kum buba tambe.” (pg. 65, lines 56-59). Secondly, the folktale has had been told through generations. “They say that the children of the ones who could not fly told their children. And now, me, I have t ...more
Karla Paredes
“The People Could Fly” is a folktale because it has all four elements of a folktale. It includes super natural abilities,like for example in the story it says “ Sarah flew clumsily at first” meaning that a person could fly which is unrealistic (pg.65 line 62). It has a theme or a lesson learned that is that “People who believe or have magic can fly” meaning that if you believe in yourself you can accomplish anything in life (mainly the whole story). Another element of a folktale is an specific c ...more
Ada gonzalez
Oct 29, 2015 Ada gonzalez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The People Could Fly is a folktale because it has a specific culture, a lesson, it has supernatural powers and it is passed from generation to generation. This four things are all the requirements a folktale needs. The People Could Fly's culture is African American "The slaves labored in the field from sunup to sundown..." (p.63, line 6,10-11). The lesson is hope because the slaves believed that they will save themselves with the magic words that says Toby "Kum . . . yali, kum buba tambe" (p.75, ...more
Christen
Aug 10, 2011 Christen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
My spine tingles every time I read the title. Tales of humans who can fly appear in many cultures and has an instant effect on the human psyche. In Virginia Hamilton’s most anthologized folktale based on a black lore motif, she tells of Africans who knew magic – who could fly. But they were enslaved and forgot their magic when they were brought to America. When the slaves begin to fall under their oppressors, old Toby whispers the magic words and they soar away. With a power, musical voice Hamil ...more
Laura Jimenez
Oct 29, 2015 Laura Jimenez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The folktale “The people could fly” was an interesting yet exiting story of having hope even in the hardest situations, because there is always someone that can help you out of a difficult situation. I would totally recommend this emotive folktale of hope beyond struggles. As I read through this story I realized it was a folktale as I found that it has the four elements of a folktale. First it does not have a specific author because it says “They say that the children of the ones who could not f ...more
Jecross7
Nov 02, 2015 Jecross7 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The People Could Fly is a very good folktale. It included every need for it to be a folktale. In page 64 (line 22) we can see that it proves to have a lesson: "She trembled to be so hard worker and scorned." Folktales are important to have a lesson, by passing it from generation to generation, we need to have a lesson or a moral that will give something to the child receiving the story. By the other hand, including supernatural powers
is an optional matter in my opinion. This story includes it an
...more
Jennifer Foeller
Sep 17, 2016 Jennifer Foeller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the stories from the list "1001 children's book to read before you grow up". If you are accustomed to more traditional sentence structure, you're going to find this book difficult to read correctly. A lot of sentences in the book start with the word "Say" and just feel awkward to read.

If you try it and find it awkward, I would suggest listening to the performance of the book by James Earl Jones instead while following along with the book. I just couldn't read it without correcti
...more
Valeria Ortega
Nov 03, 2015 Valeria Ortega rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I definitely didn't like this story for me it had no sense. I have not good opinions about this story because it didn't catch my attention. Even though it had the 4 elements needed for a folktale. But I am not a fan of folktales... They only talked about flying and at one point I got bored of the same.
The 4 elements of the story in The People Could Fly
This story has supernatural powers "The young woman lifted one foot in the air. Then the other she flew clumsy at..." (page 65, lines 61 and 62).
...more
Ana Lopez
There are four characteristics that are needed for a story to be a folktale. People could fly has them all. The first one is that it has no specific author in page 63 the background information it specified that the story or Folktale has been passed from generation to generation and then written down by Virginia Hamilton. The second characteristic is that it needs to be based on beliefs and traditions of a culture in this case it is based on beliefs and traditions of African-Americans you can pr ...more
MarianaReyes
Oct 29, 2015 MarianaReyes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The People Could Fly is a folktale because it has the four elements a folktale needs to be a folktale. It has no specific author: this story has been passed from generation to generation in African culture (Page 67, lines 122-123). Its based on beliefs and traditions of a specific culture: this folktale is based on the beliefs of African American people during slavery time (Page 63, lines 1-2). It includes a supernatural power: Toby has a supernatural power that can make people fly with his magi ...more
Diego Marranzini
The folkatale people could fly has the 4 elements for a folktale to be a real complete folktale. At first It doesn't have a specific author because in page 63 in the background it says that she heard it from African American. Then the next element in a folktale is that the folktale needs to have a Supernatural Power and the Supernatural power in this folktale is that the people could fly it says it on page 65 in line 61. Afterwards the third element is that the folktale needs to have a theme and ...more
Rodrigo
Oct 28, 2015 Rodrigo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story The People Could Fly written by Virginia Hamilton was passed down from generation to generation, as said on page 63 of the book Collections. This folktale taught me that there is always hope to be had. It talks about African American history because the story explains how Africans came to be in America. This folktale said that apparently in Africa people had magic and they even brought magic with them to colonial land. This magic allowed them to fly or grow wings. This story was mean t ...more
Enrique Hernandez
Oct 29, 2015 Enrique Hernandez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story: “People Can Fly” is a folktale because, it has supernatural actions and characters. In pg. 65 and in the line 62 of the text it says, “She flew clumsily in the air,” which states that the story has supernatural stuff. Also in pg. 67 and in lines 122-123 it says: “They say…. it to you,” which proves the text was passed from generation to generation. In pg. 4 it has a lesson to be learned and is the reason why some slaves escaped hope. In pg.63 and in line 6 it says: “Many of the people ...more
Manuel Perez
Nov 01, 2015 Manuel Perez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The People Could Fly" was an interesting story of african culture. This story is a folktale. We can differ this story from other stories to be a folktale because it has the four basic elements a story needs to be a folktale. Folktales are identified because they have no specific author, they are passed from generation to generation, has involved supernatural features and needs to have a lesson or a theme. For example in the story … in page 63 in background it says “… strong sense of tradition p ...more
Lucas Calderon
Nov 16, 2015 Lucas Calderon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Applying the elements of a folktale to The People Could Fly

The first element that I will put is: it is passed from generation to generation.It is passed from generation to generation
Because it doesn't have a specific author, and also it is passed from family to family. 2nd to last element is: it is from a specific culture. It is only from Africa and it is not from another country. To my 3rd element it is: it teaches a lesson, in my opinion it teaches that no one have the right to punish another
...more
Fcavoli
Why The People Could Fly is a folktale


The People Could fly is a folktale, because 1 it doesn't have an specific author like it states on page 67 last paragraph they say that the children of the ones who could not fly told their children. And now, me, I have told it to you, 2 Supernatural features in page 65 3 paragraph it says the young woman lifted one foot on the air. Then the other. She flew clumsily at first,
3 theme theres time for everything, fourth and last reason is culture it comes from
...more
Charlene McCormack
Apr 15, 2009 Charlene McCormack rated it really liked it
Really interesting book. The forward said in the original stories the people within were not given names so the author gave them names. In Of Mice and Men Curley’s wife was also without a name and if I remember correctly it was so she could be any person and not having a name also demeaned her because she was not worthy of having a even name.

I think this story was supposed to be uplifting but it made me sad.

(In Saudi Arabia there are also stories of people that can fly.)

Mariela
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hermes
Oct 29, 2015 Hermes rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First of all it is a fiction story because people can not fly also It has no author and it is ancient (has been passed through generations because of the aspect of the story and because of the background info).
It Comes from African culture (background info)
Teaches a lesson which is just explaining why some slaves could escape and others could not.
I would not recommend this, I found this extremely boring. A boring plot, a boring EVERYTHING. AWFUL STORY
Julio Oscar
Oct 28, 2015 Julio Oscar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The People Can Fly" is a folktale and today I am going to explain why.This story is based on beliefs of African people and has being passed from generation to generation. There are also two supernatural power like magic and flying (Page 65 line 58 to 59 and line 64). The lesson for me in this folktale is that when you are down with no strenght, there is always a person or something that will help you.(Page 66 line 104 to 105).
Jake
Oct 28, 2015 Jake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The People Could Fly" is a folktale and this will explain why.This story has been passed generation to generation in Africa and does not have a specific author.This story is based on beliefs of African people during the time of slavery.There is also a supernatural power where Toby can make people fly by saying the magic words.(page 65,line 58-59).This folktale also has a lesson:"Eventhough you are in a harsh situation there will always be a way for you to get out of it."(page 66,line 104-105).
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