In the shadows lurking between midnight and morning, the imagination reigns. Real and imagined become simply words with shifting boundaries and slippery definitions.
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 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.
In this delightful story of perseverance and survival from Russia, two frog sisters learn the truth of that old saying, It aint over til its over, or, The opera isnt over until the fat frog sinks.
When Goat, Rooster, and Donkey decide to try their hand at farming, Donkey learns the price of being greedy and discovers that the truth will always come out in the end.
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 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 chain story from Cuba, Rooster learns that he needs a lot of help from his friends to get cleaned up in time for Herons party. Then the real fun begins.
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.
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 Puerto Rico, there are many stories about Juan Bobo, a young man with a good heart, but little common sense. In this tale, Juan Bobos mother tells him to take care of their pig while she goes to church. When the pig wont stop grunting, Juan Bobo decides that the pig must want to go to church as well.
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.
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.
In this story from India, a farmers three lazy sons dont 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 days work.
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.
A big, bully lion is no match for our old friend - the Clever Monkey in this retelling of a classic story from West Africa.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 trickster tale from Africa, Anansi proves to Elephant and Killer Whale that in a battle of wits, brains definitely outdo brawn.
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.
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 cant resist her steaming, hot pot of beans. Co-authors Bobby and Sherry Norfolk take a wonderful new look at a classic African story.