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

ISBN: 0786810939

ISBN13: 9780786810932

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

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Book Overview

A showcase of familiar favorites and lesser-known gems from America's literary treasures. Capturing the zest and homespun charm of America's early years, the stories featured in this collection reflect the independent spirit that is distinctly good ol' USA.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

A hundred years of American fairy tales.

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

A beautifully illustrated, wonderfully written collection.

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 that even though I have stopped running I feel like I am still running in place. That is how I get some of my best ideas. Those of you who know me know that I sort hang at the margins of the formal academic study of literature. I do this because language and literature study are really sort games which you have to learn the vocabulary (lexicon) if I were presenting at a conference or writing for blue noses.Well one of the hottest games now in the world of literature is the study of the postcolonial literature of the former European colonies, South Africa, Algeria, Vietnam, or what ever. If you were a young academic then it would be well to focus your study in this area. This is especially true if you want work in something other than the house keeping and food service industries as your ultimate career goal.That got me thinking as I re-read and loved Rip Van Wrinkle by Washington Irving in this wonderful collection that I was reading perhaps the archetypal work of post colonial literature, old henpecked Rip (a subject of George III), has a few beers with some very serious 120 year old Dutchman as he falls in with them in their the secret Hudson River Valley meeting place. Twenty years later he wakes up to find he is an American Citizen. I don't but know for sure but, I bet a lot of post colonials feel like that They share with Rip one very large hangover. Well I could go on and play the game further but I think you have the idea, and as a dear friend of mine once said sometimes Philip a little of something goes a long way. So let me get back to this wonderful book , as I urge you to add it to your collectionsAmerican Fairy Tales is a collection has something for everyone .It is a collection of American tales, which really serves three publics. First of course the adolescent reader who may miss or only seen fragments of these wonderful stories. Next the eternal Adolescent likes my self at age 55 who loves a good story. It also serves any 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," Book List had some good things to say about it "A patriotic-looking jacket with blue stars and red stripes adorns this collection of 12 stories drawn from an emergent American literary tradition that includes such characters as bee-men, goose-girls, kings, fairies, and wizards." Editor Neil Philip provides an introductory essay about the "American fairy" tale" and briefly introduces each selection. I loved the variety of stories and the collection of famous w
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