Children's Books discussion

38 views
Folk Tales Globally & by Theme > Folklore of the Americas

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Manybooks (last edited Mar 11, 2018 10:59AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7674 comments Mod
Please post here with your suggestions for foklore of the Americas (North America, South America, Central America, including the Caribbean), both picture books and longer collections, and again, absolutely no self promotion by authors or publishers (this is according to group rules which state that ANY such promotion must be in the author's section).

Although this space is mostly for traditional folk and fairy tales, composed, original tales that are clearly based on traditional elements are also acceptable (but I do want to avoid pure fantasy type tales, so please make sure that if you are going to post an original story, that it is at least somewhat based on traditional folklore).


message 2: by Manybooks (last edited Mar 11, 2018 06:18PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7674 comments Mod
I have read a large amount of foklore from the Americas, and am happy to share these titles (and my musings) with you. Please note that there are a few award winning and also it seems rather universally popular works that I have personally found very much lacking, and I make no excuse for this (I do not expect people to agree and if I am negative about a tome you have fond memories of and love, I do not expect you to change your own mind, to agree with me, but I do expect you to respect my opinions). Will be posting about twenty or so titles in the next week (hopefully).

The Talking Eggs Shows sibling quest and rivalry thematic, with of course also vestiges of Cinderella (but in my opinion, Cinderella is less apparent than the sibling quest scenario, where the good and bullied sibling passes the tests but the pampered, vain and nasty sibling does not and cannot). Not a total fan of the rather busy illustrations, and would have liked a bit more of an author's note, but San Souci's narrative is delightful.

The Faithful Friend, also by Robert San Souci, is one of my favourites, both artistically and folklorically, with not only an evocative combination of text and image, but also an amazing author's note, a Caribbean variant of the Faithful Johannes scenario type but also containing zombies and the greatful dead helping the living.

Cut from the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale is a variable and enchanting collection of North American folklore, of North American tales with strong and independent heroines. San Souci's retellings are readable and inspring, with a bibliography and interesting supplemental details (including comparisons) that are simply to die for.

Roy Makes a Car This is fun and engaging, and the supplemental information on Zora Neale Hurston (who originally collected this African American folktale) is informative and much appreciated. The illustrations mirror the humour of the text and the only caveat I leave is that God appears in the narrative, as Roy makes a car, drives it to heaven and sells it to God.

How Chipmunk Got His Stripes is a fun pourquoi Native American tale, with important messages against both pride and bragging, retold brilliantly and engagingly by Joseph Bruchac and his son (with a short but sweet and very informative author's note). Have much enjoyed this, but aesthetically speaking, do not really find the illustrations all that personally appealing, a bit too garish, with the bear's pointed and protruding teeth kind of creeping me out a bit.

Turtle's Race with Beaver, again by retold by Joseph Bruchac and his son and once more, while I loved the retelling, the presented narrative, the illustrations are not really to my taste. And sadly, there are in my opinion also a few intellectual issues with regard to the author's note, as while this book is indeed a Native American Tortoise and the Hare variant, Bruchac categorically claiming that Aesop was an Egyptian slave is at best a bit problematic as this is but one theory and a very controversial one at that.


message 3: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1806 comments Manybooks wrote: "Roy Makes a Carr This is fun and engaging, and the supplemental information on Flora Neale Hurston (who originally collected this African American folktale) is informative and much appreciated.

Do you mean Zora Neale Hurston?

In the same vein, Virginia Hamilton also collected African-American folk tales. The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales and Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales are both appropriate for older children. Many of these tales bear strong resemblance to folk tales and fairy tales from other cultures.

Are we counting Joel Chandler Harris and the Br'er Rabbit Tales? I poked around GoodReads Listopia and saw there are other retellings that may be more sensitive to African-American culture. Virginia Hamilton retold at least one Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl. This is a cute retelling with charming illustrations but the story failed to interest a 5-year-old.

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain is an American folk tale from Pennsylvania with probable European origins.

I always liked the classic tales like Casey at the Bat, John Henry and Paul Bunyan. I can't find specific books that trigger a memory.


message 4: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7674 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Roy Makes a Carr This is fun and engaging, and the supplemental information on Flora Neale Hurston (who originally collected this African American folktale) is informative and muc..."

Yes, oops!


message 6: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Jun 23, 2018 03:13PM) (new)


message 7: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1806 comments Can't Scare Me! is a trickster tale from the French and English Antilles about a little boy who isn't scared of anything... not even the three-and four-headed monsters he meets. Until ... This book uses rhyming verse to tell a wild and fun tale. I loved this bright, colorful story. It's perfect for small boys and girls who think they are fearless. I have to see if I can get the audio on digital format to go with it when I give it to my "fearless" nephew.


message 8: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited May 18, 2022 04:43PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2477 comments Mod
Living Ghosts and Mischievous Monsters: Chilling American Indian Stories by Dan SaSuWeh Jones
Living Ghosts and Mischievous Monsters Chilling American Indian Stories by Dan SaSuWeh Jones

Jones presents 32 spooky stories in 5 categories: Ghosts, Spirits, Witches, Monsters, and The Supernatural. The author is from the Ponca tribe, but the stories are from many different native tribes all over the US and Canada. Some of the stories are traditional folktales, but other stories are told as if the events actually happened to the teller. The writing flows smoothly, and each tale is fairly short. Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva) created black and white sketches throughout the book. When I was working at the library, many children would come in asking for "scary" books. This one would fit the bill perfectly.
This book was a 2021 Bulletin Blue Ribbon and a Kirkus Best Book.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Neat!


message 10: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited 4 hours, 25 min ago) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2477 comments Mod
The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas
The Sea-Ringed World Sacred Stories of the Americas by María García Esperón

This book features 56 mostly creation myths, but with a few love stories and revenge stories, also. The stories represent 18 indigenous people groups from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, such as Blackfoot, Taino, and Nahua. The stories are short and to the point, illustrated by black, white and blue highly stylized pictures, which did not particularly appeal to me. The backmatter includes transcription and pronunciation guides for indigenous terms; a list of the cultures and a map of their locations; a detailed glossary; and a lengthy bibliography.
This book was a 2021 ALA Notable Children's Book, a Booklist Editor's Choice, a Kirkus Best Book, and an SLJ Best Book.


back to top