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Reviews of Selected Books Edited by Iona Opie

I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild’s Pocket Book edited by Iona and Peter Opie; illus. by Maurice Sendak Of Interest to Adults     Candlewick     160 pp. 6/92     1-56402-046-0     $19.99 Generously embellished with illustrations ranging from full-page compositions to vignettes illuminating individual verses, this newly reissued edition of the book which first appeared in […]

Iona Opie (1923-2017)

British folklorist Iona Opie died October 23, 2017, in Hampshire, England, at the age of ninety-four. With her late husband Peter Opie she was “one of the world’s greatest experts on the folklore, games and beliefs of childhood,” as the London Telegraph obituary put it. The Opies’ first publication was I Saw Esau in 1947; […]

Poetry and folklore | class #5, fall 2017

For our class on November 1, we will read four books and one article. Since this class only meets six times, we have to double up on some genres. These two go together better than some because they both need to be read aloud. Successful folklore books must have a strong voice. Folktales and fairy […]

The King’s Ears app review

Based on Katarina Jovanovic’s 2008 picture book The King Has Goat Ears, illustrated by Phillipe Béhà (Tradewinds Books), The King’s Ears app (Rascal Media, 2016; iOS only) adds music, movement, and interaction to this retelling of a Serbian folktale. Tap your way through the story (which you can choose to have read aloud to you, […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, fall 2016

For our class on November 16, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]

Review of The Singing Bones: Inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales

The Singing Bones: Inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Shaun Tan; abridged and adapted from translations of Grimms’ fairy tales by Jack Zipes; sculptures and photos by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    
186 pp. 10/16    978-0-545-94612-4    $24.99    g In the hands of creative teachers, librarians, and parents, this book-lover’s book will find its way […]

Fantastical folklore

The following works of folklore — a new Grimm like you’ve never seen, a Norwegian folk story in silly/creepy graphic novel form, a pourquoi tale done in Duncan Tonatiuh’s unmistakable visual style, and two classic reissues — feature fabulous and fantastical folk. In the hands of creative teachers, librarians, and parents, Shaun Tan’s The Singing […]

Review of The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes

The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh; 
illus. by the author Primary    Abrams    40 pp. 10/16    978-1-4197-2130-4    $16.95 After a string of award-winning picture-book biographies (Separate Is Never Equal, rev. 7/14; Funny Bones, rev. 11/15), Tonatiuh turns to folklore for this adapted pourquoi story that explains the origins of […]

Folklore and mythology collections

Leupin, Herbert  Tales from the Brothers Grimm Gr. K–3     156 pp.     NorthSouth Nine tales, including “Snow White” and the less-familiar “Mother Holly,” are straightforwardly retold and accompanied by Swiss ad man/poster artist Leupin’s mid-century illustrations in a large-format storybook. The richly colored artwork has an early-era Disney sensibility. A lengthy biographical note about Leupin is […]

But where will I put it?

“Should this book go in nonfiction or folklore?” ACK, the book review placement problems.The Decider (Martha) is away this week so Shoshana, Elissa, and I are left to our own devices when it comes to deciding what goes in which category of the September/October Magazine review section. A historical illustrated book retelling a real incident but with invented situations and […]