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American Tall Tales

American Tall Tales

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by Mary Pope Osborne, Michael McCurdy
     
 

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The perfect addition to every family’s home library and just right for sharing aloud, American Tall Tales introduces readers to America’s first folk heroes in nine wildly exaggerated and downright funny stories.
 
Here are Paul Bunyan, that king-sized lumberjack who could fell “ten white pines with a single swing”;

Overview

The perfect addition to every family’s home library and just right for sharing aloud, American Tall Tales introduces readers to America’s first folk heroes in nine wildly exaggerated and downright funny stories.
 
Here are Paul Bunyan, that king-sized lumberjack who could fell “ten white pines with a single swing”; John Henry, with his mighty hammer; Mose, old New York’s biggest, bravest fireman; Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, who could “outgrin, outsnort, outrun, outlift, outsneeze, outsleep, outlie any varmint”; and other uniquely American characters, together in one superb collection.
 
In the tradition of the original nineteenth-century storytellers, Mary Pope Osborne compiles, edits, and adds her own two cents’ worth—and also supplies fascinating historical headnotes. Michael McCurdy’s robust colored wood engravings recall an earlier time, perfectly capturing all the vitality of the men and women who carved a new country out of the North American wilderness.




From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A host of old standbys are being reissued this winter. "American folk heroes of the 19th century spring to life in these splendidly retold sagas," said PW upon the 1991 publication of Mary Pope Osborne's American Tall Tales, illus. by Michael McCurdy. The gifted raconteur retells the legends of familiar figures (Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill), as well as lesser-known personalities. McCurdy's elaborate full-color wood engravings, in their robust stylization, dramatically render the grandeur of the yarns. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
American folk heroes of the 19th century spring to life in these splendidly retold sagas. Osborne's reputation as a gifted raconteur ( Favorite Greek Myths ; Beauty and the Beast ) is reaffirmed in this compendium, which retells the legends of familiar figures (Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill), as well as lesser known personalities, such as Crockett's fictional wife Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, a composite character shaped by tales of various real-life women. Also chronicled are heroes hailing from places other than the backwoods, including Stormalong, a giant sailor who as a baby was washed onto a Cape Cod beach by a tidal wave, and Mose, a New York City fireman immortalized in an 1848 Broadway play. As tantalizing as Osborne's storytelling are McCurdy's ( The Owl-Scatterer ) elaborate, full-color wood engravings, which in their robust stylization dramatically render the grandeur of these engrossing yarns. Ages 6-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
An artistic map of the United States appears at the beginning of the book and places these nine tall tale heroes (eight men and one woman) in their geographical locales. Since these tales are intrinsically connected to the 19th century expansion of the United States, it is fitting and proper to begin this way. In her introduction, Osborne states that she chose to emphasize the "humane side of the tall tale characters," while including accurate period detail. The resulting stories are thoroughly engaging. The exaggerated humor will have children eager to turn the pages for one more story. McCurdy's detailed wood engravings are perfectly suited to the rugged bravado of these larger than life heroes. There are familiar characters, such as Davy Crockett, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Paul Bunyan as well as the lesser known Sally Ann Thunder, Ann Whirlwind, Stormalong, Mose, and Febold Feboldson. "Notes on the Story" precedes the retelling and provides an introduction to the character and his/her deeds. The "Bibliography" provides the primary resources and other books and articles that Osborne found useful in creating her retellings. Perfect for units about tall tales, but also a great resource for discussions about 19th century Americans and their impact on our lives today.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-- This strikingly handsome, oversized volume presents nine all-American figures whose overblown exploits take them from coast to coast and through all manner of occupations and preoccupations. Osborne has chosen familiar fictitious characters--Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, Febold Feboldson--and actual people, such as Johnny Appleseed and Davy Crockett, and relates episodes that stress the individuals' human weaknesses as well as strengths. She has melded several legendary characters into a single heroine, Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, who more than holds her own in such grand company. The rip-roaring action, broad humor, and colorful language of the convention are all here, but the violence is kept to a minimum and the laughs aren't at anyone's expense, except perhaps the subjects, who feel rather foolish on occasion. McCurdy's intricate wood engravings tinted with watercolor equal their tall task. He sets these larger-than-life folk on majestic landscapes brimming with energy, rich with wildlife and local color. The author's thoughtful introduction and notes round out this superlative offering. It's ``the whole steamboat!'' --Luann Toth, School Library Journal
From the Publisher
"McCurdy's intricate wood engravings set these larger-than-life folk on majestic landscapes brimming with energy, rich with wildlife and local color. The author's thoughtful introduction and notes round out this superlative offering."—(starred) School Library Journal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307982599
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/28/2013
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
180,200
File size:
31 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Mary Pope Osborne is the award-winning author of over sixty books for children. Her works include One World, Many Religions; New York’s Bravest; Tales from the Odyssey; Adaline Falling Star; and the Magic Tree House series, a New York Times number one bestselling children’s book series that has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Ms. Osborne lives in northwestern Connecticut with her husband, Will.
 
Michael McCurdy is a distinguished illustrator whose wood engravings and drawings have enhanced many books for both adults and children. From 1968 to 1985, he owned Penmaen Press Books, where he produced beautiful small-press first editions by leading American and European writers and poets. He wrote and illustrated An Algonquin Year: The Year According to the Full Moon and edited and illustrated Escape from Slavery: The Boyhood of Frederick Douglass in His Own Words. He lives with his wife, Deborah, in Massachusetts.


From the Hardcover edition.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Goshen, Connecticut
Date of Birth:
May 20, 1949
Place of Birth:
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Education:
B.A., University of North Carolina
Website:
http://www.marypopeosborne.com

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American Tall Tales 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I was hesitatnt about spending the money on these audio CDs, I am so thankful that I did! I am a student teacher, and I was teaching the class about imaginative literature, particularly legends/tall tales. I bought the American Tall Tales book by Mary Pope Osborne as well as these CDs. The CDs were the perfect accompaniement to the lesson. The students were completely engrossed in the stories, and it was a great alternative to simply me reading it aloud. It really brought the story alive, with expression and all of its descriptive words. I think this is a perfect gift for an elementary teacher (I am in a 4th grade class) and a great way to bring American legends/tall tales to life for kids. I was VERY pleased with this purchase!
paTX More than 1 year ago
Goes into more detail for our Cub Scout Bears. Very enjoyable, but the level may be hard for some to read without help.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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