Stories To Solve: Folktales From Around The World

Brief folktales in which there is a mystery or problem that the reader is invited to solve before the resolution is presented. How can a thirsty crow drink from an almost-empty pitcher? How does arresting a stone help a judge find a boy’s stolen money? This artfully illustrated book presents fourteen intriguing mysteries from world folklore. Each brain-teasing tale is followed by a simple explanation of the solution, while notes at the back of the book describe the origins of these classic mysteries.

A Tale From Redwall Lord Brocktree

Salamandastron Captured! The young haremaid Dotti and the badger-warrior Lord Brocktree-unlikely comrades-set out for Salamandastron together, only to discover the legendary mountain has been captured by the wildcat Ungatt Trunn and his Blue Hordes. To face them, the two must rally an army-hares and otters, shrews and moles, mice and squirrels-and execute a plan that makes up in cleverness what it lacks in force.

The Maid of the North

The Maid of the North weaves together tales about a woman’s right to freedom of will and choice. In this collection of mostly nineteenth-century folk and fairy tales, Ethel Johnston Phelps’s heroines successfully portray women as being spirited, courageous and smart. This type of heroine is not easily found in most collections; in most traditional folk and fairy tales we encounter women are portrayed as being good, obedient, submissive, and, of course, beautiful. These women—and girls—are resourceful; they take action to solve a problem and use cleverness or shrewd common sense to solve the dilemmas they face.

The tales themselves are part of an oral tradition that document a generation according to the values of the time. Phelps has given these older tales a fresh, contemporary retelling for a new generation of readers, young and old. She shapes each story—adding or omitting details—to reflect her sense of a feminist folk or fairy tale.

The twenty-one tales collected represent a wide variety of countries; approximately seventeen ethnic cultures from North America to Europe to Asia tell a story in which women play a leading or crucial role in the story.