Folklore

The Foxfire Book

The Foxfire Book

Anybody interested in DIY projects or maker culture or just getting back to basics should take a gander at the Foxfire series of books. Beginning in the late 60s and continuing on through today, a class at a rural Georgia high school decided to take a different tack at English class and create a magazine.

They had no money so the venture needed to pay for itself. As there was little market for poetry or short stories found in ordinary high school magazines, they decided to print folklore and folk ways gathered from people in their own community. It was the beginning of something amazing.

Welcome to Sherwood!

In fall, the woods are filled with trees and squirrels and birds and perhaps outlaws with hearts of gold, if your imagination stretches far enough. In England, long ago there arose a legend of a man who lived in the forest with his band of other outlaws. The story goes they stole from the rich, gave to the poor, and fought for justice. Their legend continues to be told today.

Cherries Jubilee!

Tart or sweet, cherries are the berries! Well, they're not really berries. Cherries actually belong to the rose family. Cherry's rosy relatives include other stone fruits such as almonds, apricots, plums, peaches, and nectarines.

February is a terrific month to dig into cherries. For years, people have made cherry pies to celebrate George Washington's birthday. Why do we think of cherries when we think of our first president?

Orange You Glad It's January?

Oranges bring a warm sweetness to the dreariest winter day. They are full of good things: vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Some oranges are used to make juice while others are eaten just as they are.

Where Do Oranges Come From?

When we think of oranges, we think of sunny places, such as Florida, California, Spain, and Brazil. But oranges were not originally (oranginally?) grown in those places. A long time ago, the first oranges grew wild in China and India. The word orange comes from a Sanskrit word--naranga. The first oranges to travel to Western countries about 1,000 years ago tasted sour. Five hundred years later, sweet oranges made their way to Europe.

Folktales of the American Indians

The tribes who lived in the Western Hemisphere before the coming of the Europeans were as different from each other as the countries that came to claim their lands. The many stories of the people who farmed, hunted, and herded in the plains, forests, deserts, and hills of what we call North America tell how they saw the Universe and the wisdom that they found in Nature.

Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: A Nonfiction Companion to Leprechaun in Late Winter

By Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

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"When Jack and Annie got back from their adventure in Magic Tree House #43: Leprechaun in Late Winter, they had lots of questions. What are leprechauns? How do we know many of the old Irish stories? How do fairies spend their time? Who speaks the Irish language? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts. Filled with up-to-date information, photos, illustrations, and fun tidbits from Jack and Annie, the Magic Tree House Fact Trackers are the perfect way for kids to find out more about the topics they discovered in their favorite Magic Tree House adventures."

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Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms

By Greg A. Marley

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"Throughout history, people have had a complex and confusing relationship with mushrooms. Are fungi food or medicine, beneficial decomposers or deadly 'toadstools' ready to kill anyone foolhardy enough to eat them? In fact, there is truth in all these statements. In Chanterelle Dreams and Amanita Nightmares, author Greg Marley reveals some of the wonders and mysteries of mushrooms, and our conflicting human reactions to them.

"With tales from around the world, Marley, a seasoned mushroom expert, explains that some cultures are mycophilic (mushroom-loving), like those of Russia and Eastern Europe, while others are intensely mycophobic (mushroom-fearing), including, the US. He shares stories from China, Japan, and Korea--where mushrooms are interwoven into the fabric of daily life as food, medicine, fable, and folklore--and from Slavic countries where whole families leave villages and cities during rainy periods of the late summer and fall and traipse into the forests for mushroom-collecting excursions.

"From the famous Amanita phalloides (aka 'the Death Cap'), reputed killer of Emperor Claudius in the first century AD, to the beloved chanterelle (cantharellus cibarius) known by at least eighty-nine different common names in almost twenty-five languages, Chanterelle Dreams and Amanita Nightmares explores the ways that mushrooms have shaped societies all over the globe.

"This fascinating and fresh look at mushrooms--their natural history, their uses and abuses, their pleasures and dangers--is a splendid introduction to both fungi themselves and to our human fascination with them. From useful descriptions of the most foolproof edible species to revealing stories about hallucinogenic or poisonous, yet often beautiful, fungi, Marley's long and passionate experience will inform and inspire readers with the stories of these dark and mysterious denizens of our forest floor."

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Seasons on Harris: A Year in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides

By David Yeadon

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"The Outer Hebrides of Scotland epitomize the evocative beauty and remoteness of island life. The most dramatic of all the Hebrides is Harris, a tiny island formed from the oldest rocks on earth, a breathtaking landscape of soaring mountains, wild lunarlike moors, and vast Caribbean-hued beaches. This is where local crofters weave the legendary Harris Tweed-a hardy cloth reflecting the strength, durability, and integrity of the life there.

"In Seasons on Harris, David Yeadon, 'one of our best travel writers' (The Bloomsbury Review), captures, through elegant words and line drawings, life on Harris--the people, their folkways and humor, and their centuries-old Norse and Celtic traditions of crofting and fishing. Here Gaelic is still spoken in its purest form, music and poetry ceilidh evenings flourish in the local pubs, and Sabbath Sundays are observed with Calvinistic strictness. Yeadon's book makes us care deeply about these proud islanders, their folklore, their history, their challenges, and the imperiled future of their traditional island life and beloved tweed."

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Strange But True, America: Weird Tales from All 50 States

By John Hafnor

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"...a 50-state tour de force of every oddball fact missing from standard travel and history books. Richly illustrated by veteran artist Dale Crawford, the book's 101 weird tales and matching drawings are crafted to surprise. Author John Hafnor employed a deeply curious research style to unearth the little-known tales, each building to a twist ending that assures reader interest. The book pulls few punches in redefining much of America's previously unquestioned folklore."

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The Princess and the Pea

By Rachel Isadora

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A simplified version of the tale in which a girl proves that she is a real princess by feeling a pea through twenty mattresses and twenty featherbeds. This version of the Hans Christian Anderson tale is set in Africa. JE Fic Isa Suggested for Ages 3-5
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