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American Fairy Tales: From Rip Van Winkle to the Rootabaga Stories

Press:Disney Pr Disney-Hyperion; 1st edition (October 1, 1996)
ISBN:9780786821716
Author Name:Philip, Neil (EDT)/ McCurdy, Michael (ILT)/ Philip, Michael (COM)
Language:English

Content

An illustrated anthology of American fairy tales includes both traditional favorites and lesser-known works by Carl Sandburg, Frank Stockton, Louisa May Alcott, and others.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-An impressive collection of 12 stories representing the development of the American fairy tale from 1819 to 1922. 
Leaving behind the gloomy atmosphere and more formal language of their European counterparts, these literary selections reflect the landscape, egalitarian philosophy, and forward-looking optimism of America.
Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" is firmly placed in the Kaatskill Mountains, while Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Feathertop" is filled with New England superstitions.
The contentment of ordinary life is emphasized in Horace E.
Scudder's "The Rich Man's Place" and Laura E.
Richards's "The Golden Windows." The heroine of Louisa May Alcott's "Rosy's Journey" is solidly self-reliant, and the protagonists in Howard Pyle's "The Apple of Contentment" and Ruth Plumly Thompson's "The Princess Who Could Not Dance" are cheerful and independent.
L.
Frank Baum's "The Glass Dog" and Carl Sandburg's "How They Broke Away to Go to the Rootabaga Country" portray inventiveness and the pioneer spirit.
Sandburg's tale, as well as M.S.B.'s "What They Did Not Do on the Birthday of Jacob Abbott B., Familiarly Called Snibbuggledyboozledom," employ a unique American idiom with their zany words and phrases.
Independent readers may find the archaic writing of some of these selections difficult to deal with; others are quite readable.
Each story is introduced by information about the author; sources are included.
McCurdy's skillfully executed black-and-white woodcuts, both full-page scenes and vignettes, illustrate each tale.
This volume provides a rich read-aloud for families who like quality literature, and will also be of interest to children's-literature students and folklorists.Judith L.
Miller, formerly at Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, INCopyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 
6^-8, younger for reading aloud.
A patriotic-looking jacket with blue stars and red stripes adorns this collection of 12 stories drawn from an American literary tradition that includes such characters as bee-men, goose-girls, kings, fairies, and wizards.
Editor Philip provides an introductory essay about the "American fairy tale" and briefly introduces each selection.
Children might tend to mistake this for a history text and avoid it, but teachers and parents will appreciate the variety of stories and the roundup of famous writers, including Hawthorne, Sandburg, Alcott, and Baum.
McCurdy's woodcut illustrations give the stories a sense of the past yet still allow plenty of room for fantasy.
The tales will make pleasant read-alouds, but a few contain language or allusions that now seem racist or sexist; for example, Hawthorne's Feathertop wears "the Black Man's wardrobe," which is equated to the devil's clothes.
Source notes and related readings are appended.
Karen Morgan

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

From the pair behind Singing America (1995), a gathering of a century's worth of stories that defy well-known European fairy tale conventions. 
In an impassioned afterword, Philip writes, ``One of the defining themes of the American fairy tale is this sense that ordinary life is something the fairy tale hero must learn to value and enjoy, rather than something from which he must escape.'' He includes works by writers such as L.
Frank Baum, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott, as well as lesser-knowns (Ruth Plumly Thompson and the anonymous M.S.B., among them), who penetrated the heart of American culture by creating characters who relied on inner strength and discovery rather than other-worldly magic.
Glass slippers, castles, and class differences aside, Washington Irving, Howard Pyle, and Carl Sandburg remythologized the traditional stories by asserting that the challenge and bounty of America provided more than enough setting and inspiration.
Whether readers recall these stories from English classes or discover them anew, they will see in the texts the promise and potential of an untarnished America.
McCurdy's precise black-and- white woodcuts perfectly capture the idiomatic spirit of stories from Kansas to Kalamazoo to Rootabaga Country, and help Philip make the case for the genre that other collections have danced around without naming, the American fairy tale.
With a preface by Alison Lurie.
(Fiction.
10+) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP.
All rights reserved.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

A collection of American tales for adolescents, adults and all serious students of children's literature, this medley of stories progresses chronologically across a century, from Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" to Carl Sandburg's "How They Broke Away to Go to the Rootabaga Country." From the maleficent witch, Mother Rigby, in Hawthorne's "Feathertop" to the ethereal fairy in "The Lad and Luck's House," the characters in each story are made individuals by Taylor Mali. 
Appealing musical interludes are employed to separate the dramatically rendered stories from the subsequent commentary.
However, the lengthy introduction, read by Professor Alison Lurie, and the ponderous afterword, combined with the discussions of each story and its place in children's literature, will appeal primarily to the mature listener rather than to children.
T.B.
(c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Tags

Children's Books,Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths,Anthologies,Multicultural,Literature & Fiction,Short Story Collections

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Comment List (Total:4)

  •     Just having returned from 18 days in the UK two of those spent in jet and bus travel and eight more getting the most out of an eight day Brit Rail pass that we could I must say...

  •     Twelve stories penned by American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Washington Irving, Carl Sandburg, and others. The stories are all uniquely American in some way, and many depart from the familiar European style fairy tale of the likes of the Brothers Grimm. There is a preface that gives a summation of the growth of American fairy tales (written by Alison Lurie), and each tale is prefaced by a short biographical piece on the author. Illustrations by Michael McCurdy are black-and-white ink drawings. An afterword by Philip puts the stories into a historical framework.It might surprise some people to learn that there are American fairy tales. Most people equate fairy tales with the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, and other European storytellers. But there is a tradition of American tales that, while not necessarily involving fairies or monsters in the usual sense, do fall into the general category of fairy tales, or, perhaps more precisely, folk tales. This book gathers twelve of those stories into one volume, and is a nice collection for anyone interested in folk tales and lore of any background. Some of these stories and authors are familiar: Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle", for example. Some are less familiar: Frank Stockton's "The Bee-man of Orn" or Howard Pyle's "The Apple of Contentment". And some may be surprised that the likes of Louisa May Alcott and Carl Sandburg wrote fairy tales.As for the stories themselves, they run the gamut from those that hold close to the European traditional fairy tale format with American settings and characters, to those that are more unique to their country of origin. Some of the truly American tales utilize the language and colloquial American dialect, or draw on very American superstitions and beliefs, or silly and nonsensical words and phrases. Some may be a bit difficult to read, especially the older ones where the language is more old-fashioned and Colonial. They are all valuable to anyone interested in folk tales and especially to we Americans. The more scholarly parts, in the introductions to each story and the afterword, help to put the whole collection in its historical place.This book is both a study of American storytelling which will be valued by anyone interested in the development of American literature, and an entertaining set of tales that can easily fit in the fairy tale class.

  •     Introduction: Alison Lurie, a professor at Cornell University wrote the preface. She sums up a hundred years of American Fairy Tales and introduces the stories in two pages. Organization: There is a table of contents and the stories appear to be arranged chronologically. The illustrations by Michael McCurdy are simple black and white ink drawing and scratch boards that remind me of illustrations I saw in hundred year old periodicals. The stories themselves: The stories vary as much as the authors. Some, like Feathertop, are quite literary. Here is an example sentence. "'Poor fellow!' quothe Mother Rigby, with a rueful glance at the relics of her ill-fated contrivance." As written, these stories may be better read than told. The stories are also fairly long so a teller might need to trim them. Source Notes: Each story starts with a lengthy source note that includes some critique and history. The Afterword by Neil Phillip is long, detailed, and scholarly. Phillip states that he chose to look at literary tales with a named author for this collection. He critiques and puts the stories into their historical framework. He looks at the broad changes seen in the hundred years that he covers. Final Thoughts: This is a very scholarly look at American fairy tales. Sadly, most Americans are probably not familiar with more than one or two of these stories. This book would make an excellent text book for a high school or college English class and should be required reading. Karen Woodworth-Roman

  •     This collection of literary fairy tales by American authors (from the early 1800's to 1922) makes excellent car-ride listening. While adults and kids alike will enjoy the stories, this book offers more than that. An introduction discusses what elements American writers changed or added to the traditionally-European genre of the fairy tale. Each story is also followed by a brief introduction to the story's author that mentions what particularly American elements readers can find in the story. I really enjoyed this book on two levels: the enjoyable "story-time" of listening to the tales, and the analytical thinking-time of the introduction.The only thing that detracts from the audio version of this book is the horrible synthesized music that plays just for a few seconds at the conclusion of each story to mark the end. Fortunately, the reader is excellent and the music goes away quickly.

 

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