Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Storytelling, the oral tradition that springs directly from folk archives, is well served in this one-volume collection culled from Pantheon's folklore series. The 160 tales are grouped thematically in 13 chapterse.g. ``The Very Young and the Very Old,'' ``Fooling the Devil''taken from a variety of culturesEskimo, Irish, American Indian, Afro-American, Chinese, etc. Folklorists of many eras are represented in both familiar and less-common tales, carefully selected by Yolen, whose insightful introduction sets the parameters of choice. Her professional experience (she is the author of more than 80 books, many of them tales for children), assures us that storytelling, defined as ``a personal art that makes public what is private and makes private what is public,'' is enjoying revival across the North American continent. The organization of this collection makes accessible, for telling and listening, illuminating glimpses of the world's cultures. (November 21)
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Older readers will enjoy Favorite Folktales from Around the World, edited by Jane Yolen. These 155 tales are filled with tricksters, heroes, wise ones and fools and explore universal themes such as love and death, as seen in stories originating in places ranging from Africa to Israel to Ireland. Great to read from cover to cover or dip into at will.
Most of the great human themes, from storytelling itself through love, wisdom, and death, are covered in this dazzling collection of tales, peopled by characters both human (heroes and fools) and inhuman (devils and ghosts). The retellings are vigorous and vernacular, the thematic organization is satisfying. Of 160 narratives from over 40 cultures, a healthy majority are little-known treasures, from our own as well as from distant traditions. Several world folktale collections have appeared recently; this compares favorably with them in selectivity and style. Further, adequate notes are the backbone of such a compilation, and Yolen's are concise, scholarly, and unpedantic. A resource for the serious student, this outstanding collection is a delight for all readers. Patricia Dooley, formerly with English Dept., Drexel Univ., Philadelphia
School Library Journal
YA Most of the 160 tales in this collection have been garnered from the ``Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library.'' With an emphasis on stories from the oral tradition, the stories are grouped thematically: fooling the devil, shape shifters, the not-quite-human, numbskulls and noodleheads, true loves and false, likely and unlikely heroes, and death and the world's end, for example. Selections include tales from the American Indians, the brothers Grimm, Italo Calvino's Italian folktales, as well as stories from Iceland, Afghanistan, Scotland, and many other countries. Yolen provides each section with a relevant introduction, often including historical and literary factors, thus alerting readers as to what to look for. Sure to be a popular reference for junior high units on folktales. Mary Wadsworth Sucher, Baltimore County Reading Services
From the Publisher
“Most of the great human themes, from storytelling itself through love, wisdom, and death are covered in this dazzling collection of tales . . . A delight for all readers.”
"This handsome book, a feast of good reading, deserves a place in every home where there are children."
—John Barklam Reviews
"Be you storyteller or story reader, this wonderful folktale collection is not to be missed."
—Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook
Praise for the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library
“A splendid folklore series . . . ”
—The Washington Post