The baker, Van Amsterdam becomes known in Colonial America for baking his St. Nicholas cookies but his greed drives hime to he become stingy in his business. When an old woman buys a dozen cookies from him and expects to receive 13, he withholds the last one. Unfotunately, his business goes downhill until the day she returns for 12 more cookies. But this time he gives her an extra measure and the custom of offering a "baker's dozen" or 13 items spreads throughout the colonies.
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.
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.
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.
In Mus White's skillful adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic folk story, "There Is No Doubt About It", the news that a hen has lost a feather grows into a humorous tale of five chickens engaged in battle as the story spreads from coop to coop and from hen to hen. Stefan Czernecki's bright primary illustrations and panel design reflect the comic boldness as each chicken passes along the story, until it is no longer recognizable to the original hen who started it in the first place.
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.
Based on a fable from Aesop, the Sun and the Wind test their strength by seeing which of them can cause a man to remove his coat, demonstrating the value of using gentle persuasion rather than brute force as a means of achieving a goal.
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.
This collection of delightful tales from around the world and through the ages explains why an animal, plant, or natural object looks or acts the way it does.
As a companion to her award-winning story collection Three Minute Tales, Margaret Read MacDonald has compiled another delightful collection of entertaining stories from around the world edited especially for the tastes and interests of young readers.