According to African Mythology, a lonely Creator made the first human being as separate parts, such as eyes to share the beauty of the garden, a nose to smell the flowers, and legs to skip and run. Finally, a stomach was fashioned. All of the parts enjoyed their functions, except for the stomach, which didn't know what to do. Bored and jealous, the growling, grumbling stomach caused problems for all the others. The angry Creator decided to put all of the parts together so they would have to get along. He placed the stomach right in the middle, but sometimes it still growls. Colorful prose and whimsical illustrations ignite the imagination of young readers.
The Emperor has a problem. He wants his people to remember the year in which his son was born. But there is no way to keep track of the years. So the Emperor devises a race in which animals will cross a river. The first twelve animals to reach the opposite side will have a year named after them. Thus, the people will be able to remember the years and the events that occurred. And so the race is set. Rat, knowing he is no match for the rushing water, schemes with Cat on how to cross the river. Together the two convince Ox to carry them across. But halfway across the river, Rat shows his true colors. Will Cat make it to the other side? Which animals will have a year named after them? Accompanied by exquisite watercolor artwork, this charming story explains the origins of the Chinese calendar.
The great Gitchee Manitou has sent Nanabush the Giant Hare to the new north country to give the first animals their names and special markings. But trickster that he is, Nanabush prefers to play silly games. When Ahmik the Giant Beaver lures Nanabush into a chase across the newly formed land and water, their game etches out a beautiful wonderland of islands and ponds and lakes. Readers young and old will enjoy the legend behind the creation of the state whose very name Wisk-on-sin means "place of the beaver."
Finn McCool is the largest giant in all of Ireland. He's a fierce warrior, even beating the giant Culcullan and saving Ireland from the Scots. Helpful and kind, he helps the farmers bring in the hay. And everyone in the village of Drumnahoon admires him. "He's the best-hearted man that ever walked on Ireland's green grass." But for all his strength, courage, and goodness, there's one thing that Finn lacks. He's just not smart. And he knows it. When a wise man living in a nearby village tells Finn about a magical red salmon with the wisdom of the world, Finn sets out to catch the fish. And he learns a thing or two about himself in the process
Long, long ago, the ancient people of the forest gathered around warm fires and told the tale of a time long past, when the land known as "Michigane" was covered with ice and snow. For thousands of years the cruel North Wind ruled the land North of Up North, chasing away the gentle, benevolent winds from the East, West and South. Winter stayed the whole year round, so nothing could live in Michigane. Not until an old warrior and a young boy traveled through the frigid cold with nothing but warm hearts and an old pair of mittens was there hope that the frozen land would eventually come to life.
Around the world Santa Claus has many names. But in a deep, swampy bayou of Louisiana, he's known as Papa Noël. In such a hot and humid place, there can be no sleds or reindeer, so Papa Noël rides the river in a boat that's pulled by eight alligators, with a snowy white one named Nicollette in the lead. On this particular Christmas Eve, it's so foggy on the river that even Nicollette's magical glowing-green eyes may not be enough to guide Papa Noël. The alligators are tired, grumpy and bruised from banging into cypress trees, and Papa is desperate to get all the gifts to the little children. Well, "quicker than a snake shimmies down the river," the clever Cajun people come up with a solution that saves the day. A colorfully inventive Christmas tale, Papa Noël is a lesson in fast thinking, as well as a witty introduction to a part of America that's rich in folklore and legend.
People have been telling stories since the beginning of time--sharing them from one generation to the next. In Cautionary Stories, readers will read four different scary tales about characters who didn't follow the rules. Readers will recognize some of their favorite stories growing up and discover new ones from different cultures. Books include mature, complex themes at a low readability to engage struggling readers. Includes a table of contents, glossary, index, author biography, sidebars, educational matter, and activities.