I always know when it is spring. Third grade requests all the country books from the library. It signals me to start my “Folk Tales Around the Planet”.
Most of my folk tales have been in the library for as long as I have been around. A good story is like that, it has a long shelf life. You can see that some of the books need replacing. So here are five favorites:
Baba Yaga: A Russian Folk Taleretold by Eric Kimmel
Teeth made of iron, bony legs, and a hut that walks on chicken, what is there not to be caught up in this story. Kimmel’s retelling of this story is fun. Marina, a young girl visits Baba Yaga to have a horn in her forehead removed. What she doesn’t know is that Baba Yaga wants to cook her for a meal. Marina thinks of a clever way to escape and return home.
The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel
This funny little woman makes me smile every timeI read it. I usually pair it with the Japanese rice paper copy I have had since I was a child. Sadly, the childhood book is beginning to deteriorate.
Head, Body, Legs; A Story from Liberiaretold by Won-ldy Paye and Magaret H. Lippert
I was introduced to this book a few years ago when it appeared on the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award. I love the bold, vibrant art work and the theme of working together.
Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel
“Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo”, I love saying it, kids love saying it. It is one story that I can story tell without the book. I usually talk about names and how I got mine.
Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the Worldby Selby B. Beeler
This is not a folk tale but I love the traditions about what different cultures do with their teeth. Students find it interesting as well. The also talk about their own family traditions.
I find that kids really like to talk about their cultures and beliefs. Books like these help to open the doors to discussions.
What are your favorite folk tales from around the planet?