When two greedy jungle cats discover a large piece of cheese, they can't decide how to divide it fairly. The clever monkey comes to their rescue. Or so they think. After reading this trickster tale from West Africa, you will think twice before asking a monkey for help.
A big, bully lion is no match for our old friend - the Clever Monkey in this retelling of a classic story from West Africa.
In this trickster tale from Africa, Anansi learns the value of being a good host. He also learns the truth of the old saying, what goes around, comes around.
Anansi is invited to three parties and wants to attend them all. He gives each of his hosts a rope to tug, ties the other end around his own waist, and waits to be summoned when the food is served -- but when all of the food is ready at the same time, Anansi is caught in the middle!
In this classic story from China, we learn why the sun comes up in the morning and goes down at night. We also discover why a certain farm animal is there every morning to greet the sun.
In this story from West Africa, Anansi the spider uses his wits, his trickster skills, and the help of his friends to bring light to the world.
In this trickster tale from Africa, Anansi proves to Elephant and Killer Whale that in a battle of wits, brains definitely outdo brawn.
Did you ever wonder why spiders have no hair? After reading this African trickster tale, you will know. When Anansi goes to help his grandmother, he can't resist her steaming, hot pot of beans. Co-authors Bobby and Sherry Norfolk take a wonderful new look at a classic African story.
According to this Scottish folktale, long ago sweet-toothed fairies flew into peoples homes and feasted on leftover cake crumbs. But the King of the Fairies was annoyed that crumbs never remained from the very best cakes baked by the talented bakerwoman so he orders the fairies to capture her and bring her down to the Fairy Kingdom. The resourceful woman requests items from her kitchen at home, where her bewildered husband looks on as utensils and ingredients float out of the window, borne by invisible fairies. Eventually she strikes a clever bargain with the impatient Fairy King to win her freedom and return home in return for sharing her tasty cakes.
In this Choctaw variant of Aesop's fable "The Tortoise and the Hare," master storyteller Tim Tingle reveals some unexpected twists and expands the cast to include a wild turkey, a colony of ants, and a cheering squad of Little Bitty Turtles as well. When Rabbit boastfully challenges Turtle to a race, he gets his comeuppance and Turtle gets a little assist from his winged friend, Turkey. In the process, we learn why Turtle's shell is cracked and why you never see Rabbit racing Turtle today. The bold and vibrant illustrations capture not only the grasslands of the High Plains but also the demeanor of its animal inhabitants and the humor of the tale.
Deep in the Cajun country of Louisiana, Alligator is king of the swamps king to everyone that is, except a sassy clever old Dog. Storyteller J.J. Reneaux's musical rendering of this classic Cajun folktale explains how the feud between Alligator and Dog got started in the first place. When Alligator finally corners Dog in his swamphole, he falls for the oldest trick in the book and barely escapes with his life back to where he belongs. After being tricked by Dog, Alligator thinks he's a lot smarter. As he floats alone in the dark swamp water waiting for Dog, he promises that next time he'll get that Dog for sure. But will he? The combination of Cajun dialect and beautifully illustrated acrylic paintings, capture the unique flavor and mystery of the region.
Sandpiper finds her daily stroll on the beach interrupted by Whale, who boasts that he is ruler of the sea. Sandpiper responds with equal bravado, asserting her rights to the sand and seawater. Soon the rivals are calling in their cousins, and the beach and sea are filled with shorebirds and sea mammals of every stripe. The standoff grows ominous as Whale leads his cousins in an assault on the beach, eating the sand from under the birds. Sandpiper retaliates by ordering her cousins to drink up the ocean. Soon the landscape is filled with fish, crabs, and sea creatures gasping for survival. How will this end? The outcome of this timely yet timeless nature tale suggests that we are all connected in the ecological chain.
Carlos is working in the kitchen of the Mexican monastery when the cook enters the room in a panic. The Spanish Viceroy is on his way for a surprise visit and will arrive by noon, expecting dinner. What will the brothers feed this important ambassador to the king? Carlos tries to stay out of the way as lunch is hastily prepared, but his curiosity gets the best of him. His eagerness results in a moment of crisis, followed by what the brothers can only assume is a miracle. This story, inspired by the Mexican folk tradition, explains the origins of molé , the popular national dish that combines chocolate with turkey, spices, and nuts. Stefan Czernecki's amusing, angular illustrations capture the chaos in the kitchen as well as the folk tradition behind the tale.
Gecko may be small, but he has a giant-sized problem. Every night he is awakened by the fireflies outside his window. And when Gecko doesn't get his rest, he gets a little grumpy. So he goes to Elephant, the head of the village, to complain. His request that the fireflies stop working at night sets off a comical chain of problems for everyone in the village and complicates everyones life. Through this cumulative tale from the Balinese tradition, Gecko learns that his well-being depends on that of the entire village and he finally goes to sleep, a little wiser.
When a rich man is rescued from thieves by a smelly, slobbery dog, the man offers the dog any treasure is his house as a reward. The treasure that the dog chooses is the rich mans daughter. With great sadness, the daughter honors her fathers promise and goes to live with the dog. Over time, a friendship grows between the girl and the dog, but she still misses her father. In this tale from Great Britain, award winning author, Margaret Read MacDonald puts a new spin on the classic story, Beauty and the Beast, reminding us all that appearances can be deceiving and that compassion can be powerful.
This story is a retelling of a traditional Bengali tale in which a kind and generous Indian barber, pressed by his father and then his wife to earn more money, cleverly persuades a ghost to bring him riches.
In this timeless tale from Thailand, a girl cannot decide which of her many silken dresses and lavish jewels to wear to the dance. So she wears them all. Her foolish decision teaches her a valuable lesson.
A colorful romp celebrating traditional festivals and holidays in Latino culture with a festival for each month of the year, written in both English and Spanish.
When the animals get together in the jungle, they discover that the noise that they have been making is indeed music. Celebrated author and master storyteller, Dylan Pritchett weaves a tale that helps us discover that we all have music inside just waiting to come out when the time is right. This original award winning story is based on the model of traditional African folktales.
Have you ever heard the saying, Your eyes are bigger than your stomach? Well, Cat's stomach is bigger than a lot of things. He is always hungry, and living with culinary-inclined Mouse, who makes thirty-five pies in one day, just makes it worse. Fat Cat swallows everything in sight, including the washlady and her washtub, a troop of soldiers and their swords, even a king and his elephant! But when Cat swallows Mouse and her sewing basket, that's the last straw. Tiny Mouse cuts to the heart of the situation, taking an upside-down world and turning it right-side-up again. Greedy Cat learns his lesson and turns fat into fancy, fabulous, and fantastic. Margaret Read MacDonald's infectious energy combines with Julie Paschkis's folk-inspired gouache paintings to create a new retelling of a favorite comic cumulative tale.
A wise rabbi uses a pillow full of feathers to teach a gossipy villager a lesson on what happens when a person's reputation and trust are harmed by someone's negative, mean-sprited remarks.
Turtle loves to dance and play the flute. But her exuberance puts her at risk when her music attracts the attention of a brave hunter who brings her home to make turtle stew. After she is caught, her only hope for escape is the hunter's children ... and her own wit. This folktale, first told by the indigenous people of Brazil, is now told throughout Latin America. Like the people of Latin America, Turtle always seems to survive any challenge by using her courage and wit. Beautiful watercolors radiant with the dense foliage and hardy wildlife of the Amazon rain forest, guides the reader through this timeless adventure story.
In this action packed folktale from Panama, a clever little rabbit and his Tía Mónica find ways to outwit a fox, a tiger, and a lion, all of whom want to eat him for lunch.
This story opens with "There once was a man whose house was very small," and it continues, "It was cluttered with things from wall to wall." With a tiny, cluttered house, giggling children, and a snoring wife, the poor man can't get a good night's sleep. If only, he thinks, I had a big quiet house! He throws off his covers and goes to visit the wise old woman at the edge of the village. Surely she can help him solve his problem. And she does, but not without giving him some very unusual advice. Bring a chicken into your house, she suggests. And when that doesn't work, she has him add a goat, a horse, a cow, and even a sheep. The ending of the story proves, as so many ancient folktales do, that quite often, nonsense makes the best sense of all. Susan Greenstein's bold illustrations, white pencil on black surface with watercolor - carry the reader through the warm interiors and peaceful nights of the shtetls of Eastern Europe.
This collection of 31 stories comes from all over the world and different variations can be found in a variety of cultures that have been passed over the grapevine and adapted in different cultural traditions.