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Can You Guess My Name?: Traditional Tales Around the World [Hardcover]

Judy Sierra , Stefano Vitale


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Book Description

Oct. 21 2002
A companion volume to the critically acclaimed Nursery Tales Around the World, this collection is the perfect step up from nursery stories. Fifteen wonderful read-aloud tales from many different cultures are grouped together by familiar tale types: stories like “The Bremen Town Musicians,” “The Frog Prince,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Rumplestiltskin,” and “The Three Pigs.” Folklorist Judy Sierra’s inspired retellings are once again paired with Stefano Vitale’s richly detailed illustrations. The stunning art evokes the visual traditions of the tales’ varied countries of origin, which include Japan, Scotland, Argentina, and Sri Lanka. This is a must for folklore collectors and a perfect addition to any child’s bookshelf. Source notes, bibliography.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (Oct. 21 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618133283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618133284
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 1.6 x 25.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 717 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,130,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Graduates of Nursery Tales from Around the World by Judy Sierra, illus. by Stefano Vitale, will appreciate the fine sequel, Can You Guess My Name?: Traditional Tales Around the World. Sierra's division of these 15 impeccably researched tales into five categories, such as "Can You Guess My Name?: Tales Like `Rumpelstiltskin,' " demonstrate common elements that link the globe-spanning stories; they subtly echo each other without overlapping. Vitale honors each tale's country of origin with his stunning oil-on-wood illustration style, painting blue-faced Sri Lankan ogresses and poised Swedish princesses with equal aplomb. Ages 7-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-Familiar themes, characters, and plots appear in the folklore of cultures around the world, reflecting the commonality of the human experience. Sierra has organized 15 of these tales into 5 categories of stories that resemble "The Three Pigs," "The Bremen Town Musicians," "Rumpelstiltskin," "The Frog Prince," and "Hansel and Gretel." Each section is fascinating for both the similarities among the tales, and the differences, highlighted in a brief introduction. The author explains, for example, that stories like "The Three Pigs" were exclusively European or from European colonies because "The idea of moving far from home and living on one's own- was once unthinkable in most parts of the world." Each of the three stories in the "Hansel and Gretel" section, from France, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, is terrifying, involving children escaping from a cannibalistic monster. Fortunately, although each creature is huge, it is dull-witted. All of the selections have dramatic dialogue and repetitive phrases and refrains, and are easy to learn. The author's extensive notes list sources and "tale type" numbers based on the classification system developed by folklorists. Vitale's engaging folk illustrations are painted on wood. Borders incorporate culture-specific motifs and designs, and full-page art throughout gives compelling visual appeal. This collection provides a fascinating experience with comparative literature, one that can open doors to other cultures. A must purchase for most collections.
Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderfully told stories, vivid illustrations March 10 2012
By mamasabria - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a really wonderful book. I am surprised no one else has reviewed it yet. My then-5-yr-old son & I first discovered this several years ago in the fairy tale section of our library, and both of us enjoyed it greatly. My son is now 8 yrs old, we've since checked it out several times - most recently last week, when he sat down and read the whole book to himself! - and now his 5-yr-old brother really enjoys it too. Time to buy our own copy!

The book is divided into 5 sections ("tales like the three pigs", "tales like hansel and gretel", etc.) and each section contains 3 stories with similar story lines, each from a different part of the world -- for a total of 15 stories. Each story is several pages long, with at least one full-page illustration per story, done in beautiful artwork that mimics that of the setting from which it originates (on pages with no large illustration, there are decorative borders, different for each story). The stories are well-told, exciting to read aloud, the language in many cases evokes the feeling of oral storytelling (as these tales were originally passed down that way). It is a really great and engaging way to introduce the idea of literary comparison to young children, plus the stories are just plain fun to read.

Warning: Some of the story elements are a bit gruesome, but from my kids' points of view that is what makes them exciting. They love the story of Oniroku, a Japanese version of Rumpelstiltskin, in which a huge and ferocious ogre (the illustrations for this are wonderful!) threatens to take a man's eyes if he cannot guess his name before sundown. And the Hansel & Gretel stories all involve threatening cannibalistic monsters. All in all, an exciting collection. Highly recommended.

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