The storytelling technique of exaggeration is on full display in these eight Tall Tales. This genre of folktale brings supersized heroes with outrageous skills to confront the perils of their setting.
Last year we worked through a year-long study of Folktales. We looked at fairy tales through the lens of Cinderella and discovered at least 13 Cinderella variations. Aesop’s fables were our go-to for fables. We read a wide range of folk tales from around the world and loved their wisdom, creativity, and unexpected outcomes. Legends had us reading King Arthur and finding this awesome legend of Princess Yennenga. We also turned to YouTube for clips about Greek Mythology. Somewhere in all that we laughed and loved our way through these eight tall tales to explore the Tall Tale sub-genre of folktales.
Book List: Eight Tall Tales
Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg
Join Paul Bunyan and Babe, his blue ox, as they dig the Great Lakes and carve out the Grand Canyon.
Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Big Heart by Pat Mora
Doña Flor sets out with her animal friends to find the source of a terrifying noise so she can help her neighbors and restore tranquility.
Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen
Thunder Rose takes on epic challenges with confidence and resiliency. Stunning illustrations by the incomparable Kadir Nelson.
Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs
Swamp Angel drinks from lakes and lassos tornados but her greatest achievement in this story is defeating a terrifying bear, Thundering Tarnation.
Dust Devil by Anne Isaacs
When Swamp Angel gets too big for Tennessee she heads to Montana where she faces an entirely new set of challenges, including trying to stop outlaw Backward Bart.
Pecos Bill by Steven Kellogg
Pecos Bill was raised by wolves, wrestled venom from snakes, and came up with some creative schemes to help on his family’s ranch. A hilarious re-telling of this Texan cowboy’s life.
The Ghosts of Luckless Gulch by Anne Isaacs
Set during the California Gold Rush, the ghosts of gold miners steal Estrella’s beloved pets and she sets out to find them.
Big Jabe by Jerdine Nolen
Big Jabe towers over the trees, can pick an entire cotton field by himself in one day, and finds ways to mysteriously rescue many slaves.
What tall tales have you come across in your reading or teaching? Please share in the comments below and our lists can grow together!