This book is intended to accomplish three distinct purposes: first, to arouse a greater interest in oral reading; second, to develop an expressive voice—sadly lacking in the case of most Americans; and third, to give freedom and grace in the bodily attitudes and movements which are involved in reading and speaking.
The stories given are for the most part adaptations of favorite tales from folklore, Andersen, Grimm, Aesop, and the Arabian Nights having been freely drawn upon. Children are dramatic by nature. They are for the time the kings, the fairies, and the heroes that they picture in their imaginations.
They are these characters with such abandon and with such intense pleasure that the on-looker must believe that nature intended that they should give play to this dramatic instinct, not so much formally, with all the trappings of the man-made stage, but spontaneously and naturally, as they talk and read.
THE TRAVELLERS AND THE HATCHET
Adapted from Aesop’s Fable, The Travellers and the Hatchet.
THE OLD MAN AND HIS GRANDSON
Adapted from Grimm’s The Old Man and his Grandson.
THE CROW AND THE FOX
Suggested by Aesop’s Fable, The Crow and the Fox.
THE MILLER, HIS SON, AND THEIR DONKEY
Suggested by Aesop’s Fable, The Miller, his Son, and their Ass.
EACH IN HIS OWN PLACE
Suggested by Grimm’s The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage.
WHAT THE GOODMAN DOES IS ALWAYS RIGHT
Adapted from Hans Andersen’s What the Goodman does is always Right.
THE CAT AND THE MOUSE
Suggested by Grimm’s The Cat and the Mouse.
THE GIRL WHO TROD ON THE LOAF
Suggested by Hans Andersen’s The Girl who trod on the Loaf.
THE UGLY DUCKLING
Suggested by Hans Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling.
THE RED SHOES
Suggested by Hans Andersen’s The Red Shoes.
THE STORY OF ALI COGIA
Adapted from The Story of Ali Cogia from The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments.
THE WILD SWANS
Suggested by Hans Andersen’s The Wild Swans.
THE TWO COUNTRYMEN
Suggested by an oriental legend; source unknown.
THE MAN AND THE ALLIGATOR
From a folk-tale of Spanish Honduras.
THE SONG IN THE HEART
Suggested by Grimm’s The Three Spinners.
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