Allyn and Bacon Anthology of Traditional Literature

edited by Judith V. Lechner, 
Auburn University. Allyn & Bacon/Longman, 2003



The Allyn & Bacon Anthology of Traditional Literature is an international collection of fables, folktales, myths, and legends. Introductions to the four major genres and their subcategories, as well as to the individual stories were designed to provide readers with the cultural contexts in which the stories were and are told or read. The selected stories are popularly known to people within the cultures from where they come, as for example Brer Rabbit stories are known in the U.S., Anansi stories are known in West Africa, "Toads and Diamonds" in its many varieties is known throughout Europe, and the story of Rama is known throughout India. While the primary audience for the anthology is students in undergraduate and graduate courses in children’s literature, the collection should also be of interest to librarians and teachers, or any other adults who are interested gaining some background knowledge about the fables, folk-and fairy tales, and myths and legends that they are transmitting to children. The collection is arranged by the four major genres fables, folktales, myths, and legends and their sub-categories, such as fairy tales, pourquoi tales, creation myths, etc. The categories are further subdivided by geographical regions.



Table of Contents



List of Illustrations



1. Fables

2 Folktales

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Cumulative tales
  • 2.3  Fairy tales / Wonder tales
  • 2.4 Noodlehead Tales, Tall Tales, and Other Humorous Tales
    • Introduction
    • Africa
      Goha and the King [Egypt]
      Gratitude [Nigeria - Nupe]
      How the Animals Kept the Lions Away [Algeria]
      The Storyteller [Ethiopia]
      The Talking Skull [Nigeria – Nupe]
    • Asia
      An Exaggeration [Japan]
      The Golden Fan and the Silver Fan [Japan]
      The Silence Match [Japan]
      The Tiger and the Persimmon [Korea]
    • Europe
      Get Up and Bar the Door [Scotland]
      Lazy Jack [England] 
      The Golden Arm [England]
      Teeny Tiny [England]
      Bastianelo and the Three Fools [Italy]   
      Hans in Luck [Germany]
    • North America
      Paul Bunyan [United States]
      Wiley and the Hairy Man [United States - African American]  
    • South and Central American and the Caribbean
      Bye-Bye [Haiti]
      Juan Bobo [Puerto Rico]
      The Dance of the Animals [Puerto Rico]
  • 2.5 Trickster tales
    • Introduction
    • Africa
      The Fantastic Lying Contest [Ghana - Ashanti]
      How Chakide Rode the Lion [South Africa - Zulu]
      The Peas Thief [Kenya - Giriama]
    • Asia
      The Rat and the Ox [China]
      The Clever Little Hedgehog [Mongolia]
      Three Tales of Mouse-deer (Tale 3) [Indonesia]
      The Hoca and the Dessert [Turkey]
    • Europe
      The Clever Peasant Girl [Italy]  
      The Three Aunts [Scandinavian]
      How Till Owlyglass Caused an Innkeeper to Be Terrified by a Dead, Frozen Wolf [Germany] 
      Reynard and the Wolf [France]
    • North America
      Jack and the Varmints [Appalachian]
      Brer Tiger and the Big Wind [African American]
      The Moon in the Pond [African American]
      The Signifying Monkey [African American, by Tony Bolden]
      Rabbit Escapes from the Wolves [Cherokee]
      Napi and the Mice [Blackfeet]
      A Satisfying Meal [Hopi]
    • South and Central America and the Caribbean
      Toad and Donkey [Jamaica]
      The King of the Leaves [Nicaragua]
      Coyote Rings the Wrong Bell [Mexico]  
  • 2.6 Pourquoi or Why tales
    • Introduction
    • Africa
      How Crab Got His Shell [Ghana, Northern]
      Why Bats Fly by Night and Birds by Day [South Africa - Zulu]
      Why Hens Scratch the Ground [South Africa - Zulu]
    • Europe
      The Ear of Corn [Germany]
    • North America
      The Birds and Animals Stickball Game [Cherokee]
      How the Possum Lost His Tail [Cherokee]
      First Man and First Woman [Cherokee]
      The Origin of Strawberries [Cherokee]
      How Turtle Got His Tail [Okanogan]
      Why the Chicken Can’t Fly [African American]
    • South and Central America
      Cat and Dog and the Return of the Dead [Haiti]
      Why Fowl Catch Cockroach [Antigua] 
      Why the Fox Has a Huge Mouth [Peru]
  • 2.7 Folktales - References

3  Myths

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Divine Beings and Their Realms
    • Africa
      Isis and Osiris [Egypt] 
    • Asia
      The Birth of Ganesha, the Elephant Headed God [India]
    • Europe
      Minerva (Athena) [Greece]
      Thrym Steals Mjollnir [Norse]
      Death of Balder [Norse]
  • 3.3 Origin and Creation Myths
  • 3.4  Origins of the Animals, Humans, and the Human Condition
  • 3.5 Myths - References

4  Legends, Hero Tales, and Epics

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Hero Tales and Epics
  • 4.3 Legends about People, Places, Animals, and Plants
    • Africa
      The Golden Earth [Ethiopia]
      Sassabonsam’s Match [Ghana - Sefwi]
    • Asia
      A Merry Prank of Pa-Leng-Ts’ang [Mongolia]
    • Europe
      St. Bridget [Ireland]
    • North America
      The Legend of the Corn Beads [Cherokee]
      Legend of the Swift Wind (The Roadrunner) [Apache]  
      A Woman’s Fight [Crow]
      Seeds of Faith [New Mexico - Hispanic]
  • 4.4 Legends of the Supernatural
    • North America
      La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) [New Mexico - Hispanic]
      Spearfinger [Cherokee]
      White House Ghosts
  • 4.5 Legends – References

5 Classroom and Library Applications

  • 5.1 Resources of Activities Using Traditional Literature in the Classroom and Library

6 Web Based Resources of Fables, Folktales, Myths, and Legends



Web Supplemental Stories



Web Supplemental Stories

Aesop Fables

Indian Fables - Panchatantra

Indian Fables - Jataka Tales


Fairy tales/Wonder tales - Asia

Fairy tales/Wonder tales - Europe

Noodlehead Tales, Tall Tales, and Other Humorous Tales

Trickster tales

Pourquoi or Why tales

Divine Beings and Their Realms

Origin and Creation Myths

Origins of Animals, Humans, and the Human Condition

Hero Tales and Epics



Picture Book Descriptions