Folktales

Margot Zemach

Children’s author and illustrator Margot Zemach was born into a show business family--her father was a theater director, and her mother was an actress. Growing up, she drew imaginatively costumed characters to retell her favorite fairy stories and folktales, something she continued to do as an adult that would lead her to worldwide fame.

As she wrote in her autobiography, Self-Portrait: Margot Zemach: "I can create my own theater and be in charge of everything. When there is a story I want to tell in pictures, I find my actors, build the sets, design the costumes and light the stage. . . . If I can get it all together and moving, it will come to life. The actors will work with each other, and the dancers will hear the music and dance. When the book closes, the curtain comes down."

Wonder Tales

By Marina Warner

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Marina Warner introduces this collection of six seventeenth-century French fairy tales with an explanation of how the literary form was invented by French aristocrats during the reign of Louis XIV. Gilbert Adair, John Ashbery, Ranjit Bolt, A. S. Byatt and Terence Cave have written elegant transalations of “The White Cat”, “The Subtle Princess”, “Bearskin”, “The Counterfeit Marquis”, “Starlight” and “The Great Green Worm."
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The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice

By Carolyn McVickar Edwards

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The winter solstice, the day the "sun stands still," marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year (it occurs either on December 20 or 21). Celebrations honoring the winter solstice as a moment of transition and renewal date back thousands of years and occur among many peoples on every continent. The Return of the Light makes an ideal companion for everyone who carries on this tradition, no matter what their faith.

Storyteller Carolyn McVickar Edwards retells twelve traditional tales-from North America, China, Scandinavia, India, Africa, South America, Europe, and Polynesia-that honor this magical moment. These are stories that will renew our wonder of the miracle of rebirth and the power of transition from darkness into light.

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The Mythology of Horses: Horse Legend and Lore throughout the Ages

By Gerald and Loretta Hausman

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An extraordinary collection of myths and facts about horses, their honored place in human history, and the mystique that has surrounded them in cultures around the globe. Horses have always held a mystical sway over the human imagination; no other creature has inspired the same reverence or cross-cultural fascination. The Mythology of Horses offers a comprehensive look at horse breeds around the world, exploring their heritage, physical attributes, and place in human society, as well as the folklore, popular mythology, and true stories surrounding each breed.

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The Moon in the Well: Wisdom Tales to Transform Your Life, Family, and Community

By Erica Helm Meade

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This collection of 63 folktales from around the world is accompanied with suggestions on using the stories in counseling situations. The introduction includes information on the origins, importance, and "how-to's" of storytelling. The tales are short and easy to tell.

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The Girl Who Married a Lion and Other Tales from Africa

By Alexander McCall Smith

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Alexander McCall Smith retells forty African folk tales, some that he has collected since his childhood in Zimbabwe and some that he learned from a friend in Botswana. His wonderful character Mma Ramotswe writes an introductory letter as a preface to the collection.
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Black Thorn, White Rose

By Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

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Eighteen tales that remold favorite childhood stories into things darker and sexier, more resonant and appealing to adults. Tattercoats, the Goose Girl, Sleeping Beauty, Rumplestiltskin, and the Bremen Town Musicians are among the characters whose stories get a revision in this collection.
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A Wolf at the Door: And Other Retold Fairy Tales

By Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

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What ever happened to the seven dwarfs after Snow White ditched them? What was life like for the giant above the beanstalk? Readers need wonder no more. Authors include Jane Yolen, Neil Gaiman, Michael Cadnum, Nancy Farmer, Tanith Lee, Garth Nix, and Patricia A. McKillip.

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Clever Beatrice

By Margaret Willey

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A small, but clever young girl outwits a rich giant and wins all his gold. Suggested for ages 5-9.
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Fiesta Feminina : celebrating Women in Mexican Folktale

By Mary-Joan Gerson

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A collection of folktales from various cultures in Mexico, all focusing on the important roles of women, such as Rosha, a young girl who rescues the sun; the goddess Tangu Yuh; Kesne, a Zapotec princess; and the Virgin Mary. Suggested for ages 8-12.
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