African-American Folktales for Young Readers: Including Favorite Stories from African and African-American Storytellers (American Storytelling)

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9780874833089: African-American Folktales for Young Readers: Including Favorite Stories from African and African-American Storytellers (American Storytelling)

A collection of folktales from the African-American oral tradition, presented as they have been told by professional black storytellers from Rhode Island to Oklahoma.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-6-- Thirty four folktales from Africa, the Caribbean, and the American South. The Youngs have classified them into seven categories: stories about heroic youngsters, animal fables, trickster tales, parables with human protagonists, larger-than-life heroes, scary stories, and modern Brother Rabbit tales. Unfortunately, they have sacrificed depth for breadth. Some of the tales are gripping, suspenseful, or humorous, while others end abruptly or seem to trail off with no resolution. While some of the African tales have elements from specific oral traditions, most of them have been homogenized, with little dialect and few features that would distinguish them from the tales in the other volumes of the series. Some of them can also be found in Ashley Bryan's newly reissued The Ox of the Wonderful Horns and Other African Folktales (Atheneum, 1993), where they are presented in far greater detail. Julius Lester's The Tales of Uncle Remus (Dial, 1987) and Joel C. Harris's Jump! (1990) , Jump Again! (1987), and Jump On Over! (1989, all HBJ) maintain more of the original flavor. There are also inaccuracies in identifying the language groups and their geographic locations in Africa (the Yoruba, Ibo, and other groups from West Africa are identified as coming from the eastern equatorial coast), evidence of sloppiness in putting the book together. Certainly, this varied collection has something to offer in its very breadth, but there are at least a half-dozen superior collections for this age group. --Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Siena College Library, Loudonville, NY
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Thirty-four tales (plus two poems) of tricksters and heroes- -fables, wonderfully scary stories (in a section called ``In the Park and In the Dark''), tall tales, and a pair of contemporary Br'er Rabbit stories, all retold in a respectful, unaffected style. Though some (e.g., ``Wylie and the Hairy Man'') are widely available in similar versions, others will make new connections for many readers--the portrait of Annie Christmas, a keelboat pilot and ``one tough woman''; or the two black men ``who made Casey [Jones] famous.'' The Youngs make another sort of connection in ``Three Young Men Go Out to Find Death,'' which they claim to be a direct ancestor of Chaucer's ``Pardoner's Tale.'' In a departure from the general trend for such collections, the editors are vague about sources; most of the tales are ``retold from folklore'' or ``inspired by the stories'' of prominent black storytellers (nine brief bios appended). Not a necessary purchase, but possibly useful to supplement books like Hamilton's The People Could Fly (1985) and the Youngs' own Favorite Scary Stories of American Children (1990). (Folklore. 11+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Richard Alan Young, Judy Dockrey Young, Richard Alan Young (Editor), Judy Dockrey Young (Editor)
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