Tag: fables and folklore

Get the Backstory! Tales of the Arabian Nights

Get the Backstory! Tales of the Arabian Nights

Lynn: I try not to be a curmudgeon, but there are a few things about contemporary life that I deeply deplore. One of them is the loss of cultural stories. It isn’t possible to booktalk to kids and not be hit over the head with the fact that so many of them don’t know classic tales. […]

Little Red Riding Hood on Safari

Little Red Riding Hood on Safari

Cindy: Fractured fairy tales are always fun and popular with young readers, and Little Red Riding Hood is a perennial favorite. Alex T. Smith’s Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion (2016) is especially delightful due to its spunky heroine and lively, humorous artwork. This Little Red is on safari. She and her pet goat […]

Stories Save Lives – Just Ask Scheherazade!

Stories Save Lives – Just Ask Scheherazade!

Lynn: I loved E. K. Johnston’s smart, original take on dragons in last year’s The Story of Owen: Dragonslayer of Trondheim (2014). I was just getting ready to treat myself to the sequel, Prairie Fire (2015), when I received a galley of yet another new book by Johnson. Oh boy, I remember thinking, a folklore twist. […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
The Time of “Strangenesses”: Salman Rushdie’s Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
By September 8, 2015 0 Comments Read More →

The Time of “Strangenesses”: Salman Rushdie’s Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

Rushdie’s thirteenth novel offers a delectable update of One Thousand and One Nights. The jinn, Rushdie tells us, are “creatures made of smokeless fire,” shape-shifters infused with powers that defy our experience of gravity and time. They live in their own world, yet they can’t resist meddling in our affairs. But the Lightning Princess is […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Egg and Spoon, by Gregory Maguire: Consummate Storytelling Makes This Big Book Well Worth Cracking

Egg and Spoon, by Gregory Maguire: Consummate Storytelling Makes This Big Book Well Worth Cracking

Lynn: I’ve struggled a bit with reviewer block this fall, a result of looming deadlines, towering to-read stacks, and just too many books I HAVE to read. I’ll be honest and say that sometimes I let the number of pages affect my decisions about what to tackle next. I’ll be even more honest and say that, […]

Dusty Book: Coyote Blue, by Christopher Moore

Dusty Book: Coyote Blue, by Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore’s Coyote Blue (1994) may be best described as Tom Robbins meets American Gods (2001). The coyote trickster, a reoccurring figure in Native American folklore, appears to insurance salesman Sam Hunter as a handsome Native American who keeps cajoling poor Sam into making some very bad decisions. Is this payback for the act that turned teenage […]

Posted in: Backlist
West of the Moon by Margi Preus

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

Cindy: I have a faithful following of middle schools girls who love folktale retellings. Most of them are more familiar with the Grimm stories (or stories that Disney films have undertaken–commentary on that topic is available elsewhere online) than with traditional Scandinavian tales. When I introduce them to Edith Pattou’s East or Jessica Day George’s […]

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Lynn:  “Ophelia did not consider herself brave but she was very curious.”  So Karen Foxlee introduces the heroine of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy (Random/Knopf 2014), eleven-year-old Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard.  Ophelia and her older sister Alice have accompanied their father to his new job as curator on an important upcoming museum exhibit in a strange […]

Nasreddine by Odile Weulersse

Nasreddine by Odile Weulersse

Lynn:  Who can resist folk tales?  Not me!  I especially love it when tales from other countries are given a bit of interpretation yet treated with respect.  Nasreddine (Eerdmans 2013) is just such a treat.  A Historical Note tells us that stories about Nasreddine are told throughout the Middle East and the basic story has […]

The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas

The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas

Cindy: Trinket has never “loved anything so much as a story.” Of course, that does not include her mother, who she loved dearly. But as the story opens, her mother is taking her last breaths and by page 11 Trinket is an orphan and I was fighting back tears. The Seven Tales of Trinket (Farrar 2012) […]