Have you heard these common proverbs? Let sleeping dogs lie. Where there's smoke, there's fire. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Or what about these riddles? What is black and white and red (read) all over? Why did the chicken cross the road? Why is 6 afraid of 7? Proverbs and riddles are tiny, bite-size pieces of folklore. They make us think. They tease our brains. They may make us laugh. But most of all, they tell us something about who we are and how we see the world.
When Tree Kangaroo and Koala dig a well to get some water, Tree Kangaroo ends up doing all of the work and Koala ends up with a stumpy tail in this origin story from Australia.
This timeless ballad has been part of American folklore for over a century. Born with a hammer in his hand, John Henry discovers his true calling as a steel-driving man but he inevitably meets his match in a race against a steam drill that provides a powerful metaphor for the disruption and loss of innocence created by the industrial age. Thornton's charcoal drawings deftly capture the triumphal spirit of this cautionary tale.
A clever, singing rabbit eats his way through the pea patch until Little Girl snatches him up and he is soon singing a new tune as he plans his escape. With a nod to Brer Rabbit, Pickin Peas is adapted from two folktales collected in Alabama and Virginia. The lively storytelling voice of award-winning author Margaret Read MacDonald, combined with Pat Cummings' bright, bold contemporary illustrations, makes this timeless battle-of-wits an instant classic.
Hace tiempo, los nidos de las urracas eran la envidia de todas las otras aves. Para ayudar a las otras aves, Magui Urraca pacientemente les explicó como construir un nido. Pero algunas aves eran impacientes y se fueron volando sin escuchar todas las instrucciones, razón por la cual, hasta este día, los nidos de las aves son de muchas formas y tamaños diferentes. Esta historia ingeniosa de recontar un viejo cuento popular inglés nos enseña la importancia de escuchar cuidadosamente.
Long ago, when the world was young, the magpies' nests were the envy of all other birds. To help the other birds, Maggie Magpie patiently explained how to build a nest. But some birds were impatient and flew off without listening to all the directions, which is why, to this day, birds' nests come in all different shapes and sizes. This clever retelling of an old English folktale teaches the importance of careful listening.
If you ever decide to travel in time, make sure you read the Rule Book first! Jeremy should be at home eating his supper. Instead he has traveled through time with a cat named Aristotle to Mount Olympus, home of the Greek gods. Neither he nor Aristotle has any idea how to get home, let alone how to help Mr. Magnus lift Zeus's curse on his theater, where no play has been performed for years. Not knowing what else to do, Jeremy and Aristotle climb toward the summit, finding adventure all the way.
The greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the luck in Ireland and the whole country has fallen in to despair. Through clever charades, Fiona outwits the Leprechaun King and restores luck to the land. Luminous illustrations add to the magic and wonder of this original folktale.
What if you were given a locked box as a gift and told to never open it? Pandora received this gift from Zeus, the head of the Greek gods. What could be so important that it needs to be padlocked shut?
Hitchiti legend has it that hummingbirds ate fish. In this pourquoi American Indian tale, you'll hear an explanation of why hummingbirds dine only on nectar today.
In this retelling of the Greek myth, King Midas loves gold more than anything else in the whole world! Or at least, he thinks he loves gold the most.
Who is the best trickster in Japan? Let the games begin!
Keelboat Annie does not like bullies! She does not like bullies one bit! Find out how this tall tale heroine brings her own brand of justice to the South.
Cowboy hero Pecos Bill has one true love and that is Sluefoot Sue. He first sees her when she is riding a catfish down the Rio Grande.
Is it better to be a dog without freedom who has his meals provided or a wolf who is free and captures his own food? Read this Aesop's tale and decide.
Can Kanchil, the little mouse deer, trick a few crafty crocodiles with giant teeth? This Malaysian trickster tale gives a humorous insight into the difference between right and wrong.
What happens when two gods from Greek mythology want to rule a town? The townspeople are afraid of a fight between two powerful gods. A contest is set to decide the winner.
Have you ever seen a fluffy bunny tail? They are puffy like cotton balls. Did you know rabbits used to have long tails like squirrels?
Medusa brags and brags about her beauty. She loves to look in the mirror. She loves to tell others that she is the prettiest. Find out what happens when a young lady spends all of her time bragging.
This is a Lakota Indian tale about Iktomi, a lazy trickster who cannot be bothered to hunt for himself. Instead, he plays tricks and steals rather than earn an honest living. Will Muskrat teach him a lesson?
In this Nigerian pourquoi tale, long ago people could take bites of the delicious sky whenever they wanted to. People gobbled and gobbled and gobbled the sky. Soon the sky had to make some changes.
This African American tall tale tells of John Henry, who was as big as an oak tree in overalls! He is famous as the strongest railroad worker in the East, West, North, and South. Read about the hardest worker that ever was!
A poor, hungry man has to pay for simply smelling soup! Here comes the wise Turkish folk hero Hodja to the rescue. What will he do to help?
Do you know why all chipmunks have three stripes down their backs? This pourquoi tale gives a creative explanation as to how this happened. This tale originated with the Seneca Indians.
Paul Bunyan was the biggest baby boy ever born! At one week old he had to wear his father's clothes! And he continued to grow!