American Fairy Tales: From Rip Van Winkle to the Rootabaga Stories

American Fairy Tales: From Rip Van Winkle to the Rootabaga Stories

by Neil Philip, Michael McCurdy
     
 

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Fairy tales brought to America by European immigrants underwent an amazing metamorphosis & became an important part of the countrys emerging literary tradition. Though influenced by the storytelling customs of their European heritage, writers such as Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, & L. Frank Baum created stories that reflected an independent spirit that was…  See more details below

Overview

Fairy tales brought to America by European immigrants underwent an amazing metamorphosis & became an important part of the countrys emerging literary tradition. Though influenced by the storytelling customs of their European heritage, writers such as Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, & L. Frank Baum created stories that reflected an independent spirit that was distinctly American. They captured the homespun charm of regional speech rhythms. This attitude gave birth to an important new art form: the American fairy tale. This book showcases selections from familiar favorites & lesser-known stories by well-known authors.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Dramatic black-and-white woodcut prints add an eerie edge to the distinctive stories--by Hawthorne, Alcott, Baum, Pyle and Irving, among others--which are a cut above the more usual normalizing fairy tale retellings," said PW. All ages. (June)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5 UpAmerican fairy tales first became a recognized form of literature separate and distinct from their European counterpart during the early 1800s and have, from their inception, captivated readers by emphasizing the independence and optimistic attitude characteristic of Americans. Fans of this form of storytelling will relish the opportunity to hear fully voiced renditions of pieces by such well known writers as Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, L. Frank Baum, and Carl Sandburg. Perhaps even more intriguing are the works of lesser-known, but equally entertaining writers such as Howard Pyle, Frank Stockton, and Horace Scudder. Following a brief introduction by professor and author Alison Lurie, Taylor Mali immediately captures listeners'imaginationswith his superb rendition of "Rip Van Winkle." Mali's style changes to suit the character of each story, and flows seamlessly from mischievous to threatening to quizzical in accord with the action. Each story closes with a brief musical interlude followed by a short biographical sketch of the author. The quality of the selections ranges from classic to slight to melodramatic, but the overall effect is to provide, wrapped in several hours of listening pleasure, a better understanding of the fairy tale as an American art form.Cindy Lombardo, Orrville Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
From the pair behind Singing America (1995), a gathering of a century's worth of stories that defy well-known European fairy tale conventions. In an impassioned afterword, Philip writes, "One of the defining themes of the American fairy tale is this sense that ordinary life is something the fairy tale hero must learn to value and enjoy, rather than something from which he must escape." He includes works by writers such as L. Frank Baum, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott, as well as lesser-knowns (Ruth Plumly Thompson and the anonymous M.S.B., among them), who penetrated the heart of American culture by creating characters who relied on inner strength and discovery rather than other-worldly magic. Glass slippers, castles, and class differences aside, Washington Irving, Howard Pyle, and Carl Sandburg remythologized the traditional stories by asserting that the challenge and bounty of America provided more than enough setting and inspiration.

Whether readers recall these stories from English classes or discover them anew, they will see in the texts the promise and potential of an untarnished America. McCurdy's precise black-and- white woodcuts perfectly capture the idiomatic spirit of stories from Kansas to Kalamazoo to Rootabaga Country, and help Philip make the case for the genre that other collections have danced around without naming, the American fairy tale. With a preface by Alison Lurie.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786802074
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
10/01/1996
Edition description:
1st U.S. ed
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
7.79(w) x 10.38(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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