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.
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.
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.
Grasshopper thinks Ant should stop working so hardbut what will happen when winter comes?
The shepherd boy shouts "Wolf!" when he gets bored. What will happen when a real wolf comes?
When Mouse wakes up Lion he's in big trouble! But one day, Lion might need Mouse's help
Camel is the laziest animal on Earth. And he's also very rude! Can the desert god teach him a lesson he'll never forget?
Elephant's child never stops asking questions. And when he asks what Crocodile eats for dinner, he gets a big surprise!
Why are ravens black? Why do screech owl eyes look red in light? How did we get fire? You'll find the answers to those questions in this retelling of a Cherokee "pour quoi" folktale. The earth was cold and dark but the animals could see fire coming from the tree on the island. They tried to fly or swim to the island to bring back the fire heat and light. What happened to some of the animals? Which animal brought it back and how?
In this delightful story of perseverance and survival from Russia, two frog sisters learn the truth of that old saying, "It ain't over til it's over," or, "The opera isn't over until the fat frog sinks."
In this story from India, a poor boy's dream of having a drum takes him on an unlikely journey of discovery. He meets several people who guide him along the way. In time, he learns to make his own "magic" in this world.
In this chain story from Cuba, Rooster learns that he needs a lot of help from his friends to get cleaned up in time for Heron's party. Then the real fun begins.
In this story from Peru, we meet a baker who is so stingy that he wants to charge people just for smelling his baked goods. When the baker takes his case to court, the wise judge decides to teach the greedy man a well-deserved lesson.
In this story from China, when a woodcutter finds a magic pot that makes two of everything that he puts inside of it, he thinks all of his troubles have disappeared! Or have his troubles merely doubled?
In this story, a farmer and his wife match wits with a large, mean-spirited ogre. If they cant outwit him, they will end up with no crops of their own to eat or sell. This whimsically drawn story is based on an old Swedish folktale.
Many years ago, the proudest animal in the jungle was not the peacock. The proudest animal was the tiger. In this timeless folktale from Vietnam, we see how Tiger's pride leads him to covet wisdom and, with the help of a wise farmer, earn his stripes.
In Puerto Rico, there are many stories about Juan Bobo, a young man with a good heart, but little common sense. In this tale, Juan Bobo's mother tells him to take care of their pig while she goes to church. When the pig won't stop grunting, Juan Bobo decides that the pig must want to go to church as well.
Three brothers embark on separate journeys to different parts of the world to fulfill their father's dying wish. In their journeys, they visit distant lands, find curious treasures, and learn the true meaning of unselfish giving when they need to work together to save a life.
When the head of a Buddhist monastery decides to pick a successor, he sends the young monks out to accomplish one task. The monks must each steal something, but they must steal in such a way that no one knows they have stolen.
In this story from India, a farmers three lazy sons don't want to work, they just want to make a lot of gold. When their mother tells them about gold buried in the field, they discover the value of a good day's work.
In this collection of three lesser known Aesop Fables, you will learn why bats fly at night, why you should pick your friends carefully, and why even a tiny ant could be your guardian angel.
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!