Cut from the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale

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This is a lively collection of folktales retold by the author, each of which features a female central character.

A collection of twenty stories about legendary American women, drawing from folktales, popular stories, and ballads.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Meet 15 bigger-than-life females who give their male counterparts a run for their money. Clever and articulate is Molly Cottontail, a female Brer Rabbit. Annie Christmas of New Orleans fame is as strong, courageous and memorable as Mike Fink. These gals outwit the males, show compassion, and can be downright determined. Each tale is a grand adventure that can be read aloud in a 15-minute time slot. Don't miss it.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Most of us are familiar with the likes of Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill, but few have heard the tall tales of Bess Call, Old Sally Cato, Otoonah or other legendary American women. Robert D. San Souci explains why and remedies the situation with the tales of those and twelve other bigger-than-life women-mythical male counterparts-in Cut From the Same Cloth. Mr. San Souci groups his stories by geographical region, introduces each with information on its cultural origins and provides extensive notes and a bibliography for further reading. Brian Pinkney's crosshatch, linoleum-cut prints extend his text with wit and beauty.
The ALAN Review - Christy Hammer
These fifteen tales of strong, independent, American women are a welcome addition to American folklore. These "bigger-than-life" women undertake every task that confronts them, conquering everything from rivers to cannibalistic ogres to enemy tribes. This collection presents women as unique in their own right, comfortable in roles that were often reserved for men. They are leaders, taking risks, conquering obstacles, making a difference for others. The stories are beautifully written, focusing on Native American, Anglo American, African American, and Spanish American traditions. The stories would work well as part of a multicultural unit: each story, as well, can stand on its own. The book is more likely to function as an excellent resource or supplement to the curriculum than as a book that young adults will pick up and read all the way through on their own. Brian Pinkney's beautiful illustrations resembling ink prints from woodcuts complement the tales.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-8-- In many ways, this volume continues the work of Ethel Johnston Phelps's Tatterhood and Other Tales (Feminist Pr, 1978) as it offers authentic folk and fairy tales about heroines. Here, however, San Souci confines himself to North America and organizes his selections by region, moving from east to west. The women come from the Native American, African American, Mexican American, and Canadian traditions. Although they differ in many ways from their male counterparts, there are still tricksters, sweet talkers, and brave and strong protagonists like those found in hero stories. There has been some retelling, some modifications of dialects, some reshaping of open endings, but the plots have not been tampered with. Each story is illustrated with an engraving of some sort, with black background and white lines that give the pictures an antique quality like a woodcut or copper engraving. Notes on the stories and an extensive list of further reading are appended. An impressive and gratifying collection that's a cut above other such compilations. --Ruth K. MacDonald, Quinnipiac College, Hamden, CT
Janice Del Negro
This well-intentioned collection contains 15 stories retold by San Souci, who's put together his versions from a variety of secondary sources. Divided loosely by geography ("Women of the Northeast," "Women of the South," etc.), the tales feature Native American, African American, Hawaiian, Eskimo, and Anglo American heroines. Each tale begins strongly with Pinkney's black-and-white scratchboard portrait of the heroine, but San Souci's retellings are uneven, lacking both definitive voice and focus. The inclusion of "Drop Star" (a "place legend," popularized by white settlers, about the kidnapping of a three-year-old white child by Indians) as an implied example of Seneca Indian heroism (it's listed in the table of contents as "Seneca Indian") is misleading at best--the character Drop Star barely appears. What's more, the use of pseudodialect in several of the African American tales is highly questionable. While there is a recognizable need in children's literature for folktales with strong women heroines, this will not fill it satisfactorily. The bibliography will be useful for storytellers who are trying to create their own folktale heroines, but the book is recommended only for large comparative folktale and professional collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756962845
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/1/2000
  • Pages: 140
  • Sales rank: 1,176,997
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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