Special days are times for fun and togetherness. They also link us to the Earth's seasons, and they help us keep track of how time passes. Most of all, they are deeply rooted in folk tradition. Learn more about: the winter holidays, like Christmas and Hanukkah; spring celebrations like Easter and Asian New Year; fall festivals, like Halloween and the Day of the Dead; and summer celebrations, like the Fourth of July. Holidays and festivals draw us together. They remind us of who we are, where we come from, and what we believe. As we travel through the year, folk festivals give us strength. And they make life more fun!
Have you ever played cards on a rainy afternoon? Do you and your friends play jump rope, play hide-and-go-seek, or play Red Rover? If you did, then you were enjoying a folk game. Learn more about these games, including the long history behind: face cards; tag; hide-and-go-seek; some board games; and baseball. Games help us deal with life. They give us physical exercise. They challenge our minds . . . and most of all they fill our lives with fun.
Did you know that todays jolly Santa Claus was originally a Catholic bishop? Or that Santa Claus is connected to Saturn, an ancient Roman god? Or that in some places, Santa rides a camel? Christmas is a holiday of light and giving, and Santa Claus has become a traditional symbol for the seasons deepest meanings. Learn more about: Santa the Christ Child Christmas animals the Wise Men Christmas plants Christmas songs and cards. Across North America, Christmas is an occasion for love and joy and celebration. Discover the traditions and folklore that make this holiday so special.
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.
A Ukrainian folktale about a young man who obtains a flying ship and sets off to win the hand of the Tsarevna --helped by six men with very unusual talents.
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.
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.
Chicken Little may have thought the sky was falling but Peter Pika is sure the glaciers are melting and is off to talk to the Mountain Monarch about it. Joined along the way by friends Tammy Ptarmigan, Sally Squirrel, Mandy Marmot, and Harry Hare, they all wonder what will happen to them if the glaciers melt. Where will they live, how will they survive? When Wiley Wolverine tries to trick them, can the Mountain Monarch save them? More importantly, can the Mountain Monarch stop the glaciers from melting?
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.
Influenced by Native American folktales, this story teaches the phases of the moon while emphasizing how to deal with bullies. After the sun insults her, the moon is hurt and disappears. With the help of her many friends, the moon regains her self-confidence each day until she is back to her full size. The "For Creative Minds" section includes moon observations, fun facts, Native American names for full moon, a section on how to deal with bullies (paperback), a lunar calendar, and graphics to help view and understand the moon's phases. Helps children deal with bullies.
In Jeremy and the Enchanted Theatre, Jeremy traveled to Mount Olympus with an orange cat named Aristotle to save Mr. Magnus's theatre, but Zeus only agreed to help Mr. Magnus if he could solve the riddles on three scrolls. Now, in Jeremy in the Underworld, Jeremy is willing to help solve the first riddle, but is he ready to travel into the Underworld to do so?
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.
What has twenty legs but just one wing? That is part of the riddle Jeremy must solve in this sequel to Jeremy and the Enchanted Theater and Jeremy in the Underworld, if he is to help Mr. Magnus save the Enchanted Theater. However, he will have to captain a ship and face a magical bull to do it.
Jeremy and his cat Aristotle must solve one more riddle to save the Enchanted Theater. Once again they travel through time and space. Once again they face their fears, this time deep in a maze beneath the ground and high in the sky above ancient Greece. If they succeed, the enchantment will be lifted. If they fail...
In this retelling of a Jewish folktale, Jacob tries to stump Rachel with his best riddles but fails repeatedly. When a young woman in need of help presents Rachel and Jacob with the trickiest riddles of all, they discover the only way to solve them is to work together.
Finn loves to swim with the seals in a secret cove. He arrives at the cove one day and rescues a young seal tangled in netting. Finn wishes the seal could live on land. That night the seals sing. "No good comes from seal songs," says Finn's father. When Sheila, a mysterious girl no one has ever seen before, appears on the cannery docks, the fisher folk are uneasy. They believe the newcomer is a magical selkie, a shape changer.
The king is ready to step down and must choose one of his many sons to replace him. A contest will determine who inherits the throne.
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.
When a village is terrorized by a lion, the hunter Kambili wishes to track down the beast. But his wife Kumba warns that the lion is an evil wizard. This is an adaptation of a Malinke story.
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?