Many African stories, whether or not they are about Kwaku Ananse the “spider man,” are called, “Spider Stories.” This book is about how that came to be. The African storyteller begins: “We do not really mean, we do not really mean that what we are about to say is true. A Story, a story; let it come, let it go.” And it tells that long, long ago there were no stories on earth for children to hear. All stories belonged to Nyame, the Sky God. Ananse, the Spider man, wanted to buy some of these stories, so he spun a web up to the sky and went up to bargain with the Sky God. The price the Sky God asked was Osebo, the leopard of-the-terrible-teeth, Mmboro the hornet who-stings-like-fire, and Mmoatia the fairy whom-men-never-see. How Ananse paid the price is told in a graceful and clever text, with forceful, lovely woodcut illustrations.
A clever cat wins his master a fortune and the hand of a princess.
Seeking a new lease on life, four clever creatures make music and mischief in this elegant edition of an oft-told classic.
Tricked by a mischievous and hungry tiger, a wise man appeals to other animals and tree to intervene and save his life. However, he finds that the natural world does not hold humanity in as high a regard as he had though. And even being rescued from the tiger has its dangers.
In this Tuscan folktale, a poor farmer’s daughter becomes queen by charming the king with her wit and ingenuity.
A clever but poor cavalier wins the hand of his true love by outwitting her father, the wealthy mayor of Seville.
The giant Finn MacCoul is a lovable but cowardly fellow who finds himself in a peck of trouble after that nasty Scottish bully, Cucullin, tries to pick a fight. Abided by a wee bit of fairy magic, Finn’s clever wife, Oonagh, comes up with a hilarious plan: Finn will hop in the cradle and pose as his own baby. Then Cucullin will be in for a great big surprise.
In the grand tradition of fairy tales, clever and beautiful Katarina must solve the king’s riddle in order to become queen, or risk her dear father going to prison. She must get to the castle — not clothed, yet not naked; not riding, yet not walking; not on the road, yet not off the road. Will kindhearted Katarina be able to solve the riddle and save her father from his fate?Renowned storyteller Ken Setterington has borrowed from European folk traditions to tell an enchanting story of a young girl — intelligent, observant, and pure of heart — whose sensitivity and acumen saves the day. Nelly and Ernst Hofer’s delicate cut-paper art of scherenschnitt makes this storybook an exquisite addition to any collection.
A clever cat brings great fortune to his poverty-stricken young master, in a witty new version of the classic fairy tale, enhanced by sumptuous, richly detailed artwork.
Dexter Bexley has bumped square into a Big Blue Beastie. A bored Big Blue Beastie that ponders eating Dexter Bexley right up just for fun. Thinking quickly, Dexter suggests a much better idea. He and the Big Blue Beastie go into business together. No matter how many adventures Dexter can think up to distract him, the Big Blue Beastie continually finds himself bored and hungry. It seems that this might finally be the end for Dexter Bexley … or is it? Joel Stewart spins a darkly comic yet ultimately reassuring tale about friendship.