Serpent Slayer: And Other Stories of Strong Women

Serpent Slayer: And Other Stories of Strong Women

5.0 1
by Katrin Tchana, Trina Schart Hyman

This volume is an anthology of 18 stories about heroines with as much courage, wit and intelligence as their more familiar male counterparts. It includes Li Chi, the serpent slayer, and the old woman sly enough to outsmart the devil.


This volume is an anthology of 18 stories about heroines with as much courage, wit and intelligence as their more familiar male counterparts. It includes Li Chi, the serpent slayer, and the old woman sly enough to outsmart the devil.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the Chinese tale of Li Chi who slays a serpent and saves her village to the Gambian story of an offbeat wise woman, Hyman (Saint George and the Dragon) and her daughter Tchana here collect 18 inspiring stories about women powerful in might and mind. While Tchana's retellings occasionally get bogged down in complicated or meandering plots, her heroines are uniformly impressive. They handle swords, needles and stew pots with equal skill, marry whom they please and even outwit the devil. A few tales contain odd scenarios--as when the skull of her grandmother tells Neruvana to kill her evil husband or the Sun-Girl chooses to abandon her baby to be with her true husband, the handsome Dragon-Prince. Brief source notes indicate the diverse origins of the stories, but Tchana maintains a consistent tone, emphasizing commonality rather than differences in cultures ("Hey, girl," calls the king to Clever Marcela, and "Hey, Janey," calls the squire in "Duffy the Lady"). The thick, oversize picture book features a single full-page watercolor and an opening spot illustration for each story. Hyman's spirited paintings emphasize bold and determined women--Judith the pirate surrounded by her crew of court ladies, Vassilissa wrestling the duke's warlord--while keeping the details of the tales' settings intact. This is a fairy tale world where one can definitely hear women roar. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
Step aside Prince Charming and Aladdin, here's a remarkable collection of fairy tales featuring strong women who use their resourcefulness and wisdom to outsmart their male counterparts. These eighteen stories focus on intelligent and clever heroines who slay serpents, outwit thieves, trick the devil and do much more to save themselves and the people they love. The multicultural stories in this magnificent volume include: The Serpent Slayer, The Barber's Wife, Nesoowa and the Chenoo, Clever Marcela, Sister Lace, The Rebel Princess, Beebyeebyee and the Water God, Kate Crackernuts, The Old Woman and the Devil, The Magic Lake, Grandmother's Skull, Three Whiskers from a Lion's Chin and Duffy the Lady. The author provides concise, well-written versions of popular tales from China, India, Israel, Africa, Latin America, Scotland, England, Armenia, Russia and America. The vibrant, eye-catching paintings perfectly complement this inspirational collection of stories, which simply spring to life when read aloud. This is a noteworthy anthology for girls (and boys) of all ages who are interested in reading exciting stories about female protagonists who know how to fight their own battles--and win! It's a wonderful effort from an amazing mother-daughter team. Hopefully, there's more to come. 2000, Little, Brown and Company,
Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Brown wrote this "For all the kids who insisted on an underwear book." Arthur aficionados will chortle at each picture of boxers and briefs. They'll also empathize with the young aardvark's recurring dreams about public humiliation that inevitably become reality the day his pants rip in the cafeteria. The cook helps him through the ordeal and his nightmares finally disappear. However, Buster, who revealed his best friend's secret fears to their classmates, succumbs to similar dreams at the end. Brown's illustrations remain faithful to the series. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but it's still enjoyable in its familiarity.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-These 18 folktales emphasize feminine strength, courage, and wit. The stories are short-no more than seven pages-and each one is accompanied by a small introductory painting as well as a full-page illustration expertly rendered in ink and acrylic. The selections come from places as diverse as China, Scotland, and the Gambia. There's plenty of adventure to be found here; serpents, devils, thieves, and ogres abound. Many of the heroines are beautiful; all are brave and wise. As in most fairy tales, despair and violence are part of the mix. In the Alaskan story "Grandmother's Skull," for example, Neruvana's husband stabs all of her relatives to death while they sleep. In "Beebyeebyee and the Water God," from Cameroon, the water god is murdered by local fishermen and his brother retaliates by flooding the entire village, only sparing his sibling's widow. That the heroines use their varied skills to overcome heartache, tribulations, and challenges is a fine message to send to budding feminists as well as to their brothers.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Eighteen stories about heroines of all ages require excellent reading skills, but invite a wide age range to realize that women and girls can be as brave and clever as any. From a woman who battles a fierce serpent to an old woman who outwits the devil, this packs in some fine heroic tales of girls and women of all ages.
Childrens Book Watch
In The Serpent Slayer And Other Stories Of Strong Women, Katrin Tchana artfully retells classic folktales from around the world which showcase strong women overcoming a diversity of daunting obstacles and fearsome challenges. These wonderful tales include The Barber's Wife; Nesoowa and the Chenoo; Clever Marcela; Sister Lace; The Rebel Princess; Beebyeebyee and the Water God; Kate Crackernuts; The Old Woman and the Devil; The Magic Lake; Grandmother's Skull; Three Whiskers from a Lion's Chin; Duffy the Lady; and the title piece, The Serpent Slayer are all spectacularly illustrated by the talents of Trina Hyman. These very highly recommended, multicultural stories of courage, cleverness, perseverance, and endurance are thoroughly entertaining, even as they hold forth splendid values and possibilities for their young readers as they live their own lives and overcome whatever obstacles or solve what ever problems they encounter while making their way through the world!
—Childrens Book Watch

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 12.25(h) x 0.62(d)
890L (what's this?)
Age Range:
1 - 18 Years

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The Serpent Slayer: And Other Stories of Strong Women 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
maria_reads More than 1 year ago
I first found this book in the Brooklyn Public Library when my oldest daughter was 2 and starting to be interested in fairy tales. It's the perfect antidote to the stories like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel, because these girls and women, and even hags, do the saving and conquering. The illustrations are breathtaking.