Allyn & Bacon Anthology of Traditional Literature

Allyn & Bacon
Judith V. Lechner  
Total pages
November 2003
Related Titles

Product detail

Title no longer available


Instead of buying separate collections of fairy tales, myths, and fables, your students will have access in one single volume to a variety of short pieces from different diverse/international collections and authors.

This scrupulously researched anthology of traditional literature is a useful tool for making stories from diverse cultures, which are sometimes difficult to find, accessible to both students and professors by giving the cultural contexts of international fables, folktales, myths, and legends.

The clear successor to much bigger anthologies like the Scott Foresman's Anthology of Children's Literature, this brief yet comprehensive anthology is the perfect complement to the books in your children's literature course. It can be used in conjunction with other children's books assigned in the class or as a supplement to your children's literature text.

Designed to suit your classroom needs, this anthology also provides suggestions for activities, as well as numerous variants of the stories in picture-book format for comparison. A general introduction defines folklore and presents the theories and issues involved in collecting, interpreting, and retelling traditional literature for children to help students understand and appreciate stories from other cultures-not always a simple task.


  • Includes a variety of folklore genres-folktales, myths, legends and fables-giving students in-depth understanding of all four of these key genres.
  • Introductions to folkloristics, cultural contexts, and genres at the start of each chapter and at the start of each story provide insight into issues and problems relating to other peoples' stories as well as one's own.
  • Lists of picture books and story collections, scholarly sources, professional resources, Web-based resources, and stories help students find visually appealing variants and resources for further reading.
  • Classroom and library applications help students envision ways to use traditional literature across the curriculum and specifically in language arts (Ch. 5).
  • A Glossary at the end of the book clarifies technical terms in folklore and literature.
  • The Companion Website provides additional stories with greater diversity and includes a list of picture books and other media versions (audio and video) of the stories in the book-at no additional cost to students! Also on the Companion Website is a unique “Bibliographic Database of Picture Book Versions of Fables, Folktales, Myths, and Legends”-a searchable database of 295 (and growing) titles of traditional literature in picture book and story collection format. The database allows searches by author/illustrator, title, subject, character, genre and subtype, and geo/ethnic source.

Table of Contents

*Asterisked items have full introduction in Anthology and stories on Web at




1. Fables.

1.1 Introduction.

1.2 Aesop Fables.


The Ant and the Cricket [Aesop].

The Bundle of Sticks [Aesop].

The Fox and the Crow [Aesop].

The Frogs Desiring a King [Aesop].

The Jay and the Peacock [Aesop].*

The Lion and the Mouse [Aesop].

The Milkmaid and Her Pail [Aesop].*

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse [Aesop].*

The Tree and the Reed [Aesop].*

The Wind and the Sun [Aesop].

1.3 African Fables.


All for Vanity [Kenya - Luo].

The Goats Who Killed the Leopard [Ethiopia].

Fire and Water, Truth and Falsehood [Ethiopia].

The Magic Tree [Malawi].

What Spider Learned from Frog [Ghana - Adengeme].

Two Dilemma Tales:

The Girl and the Python [Togo-Grushi].

Mirror, Airplane, and Ivory Trumpet [Zaire-Nkundo].

1.4 Indian Fables.

The Panchatantra.


The Jackal and the War Drum*.

Plan Ahead, Quick Thinker, Wait-and-See*.

The Blue Jackal.

The Mice That Set the Elephants Free How the Rabbit Fooled the Elephant.

Jataka Tales.


The Banyan Deer.

The Jackal and the Crow.

The Merchant of Seri*.

The Quarrel of the Quails.

1.5 Fables from Other Traditions.

The Grasshopper and the Ant [La Fontaine].

My Own Self [England]*.

The Nail [Germany].

The Old Man and His Grandson [Germany].

The Shoemaker and the Snake [Turkey].

The Heron and the Hummingbird [Native American-Muskogee].

1.6 Fables-References.

2. Folktales.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Cumulative tales.


The Cat and the Mouse [England].

The Pancake [Sweden]*.

The Carrot [Eastern Europe]*.

Talk [Ghana - Ashanti].

The Young Gentleman and the Tiger [Korea].

2.3 Fairy Tales / Wonder Tales.



Kumba the Orphan Girl [Gambia - Wolof].

Mshayandlela-The Striker of the Road [South Africa - Zulu].

The Suitor [Malawi].


The Faithful Prince [India - Punjab]*.

Princess Pepperina [India - Punjab].

Issun Boshi [Japan].

The Old Man Who Made Flowers Bloom [Japan].

The Mason Wins the Prize [China].

The Two Stepdaughters [Turkey].

The Stepdaughter and the Black Serpent [Turkey].


The City of Luz [Eastern Europe-Jewish].

The Goose Girl [Germany]*.

Mother Holle [Germany].

The Red Bull of Norroway [Scotland].

Tattercoats [England].

The Princess on the Glass Hill [Scandinavia]*.

The Ship that Sailed on Land [France].

Toads and Diamonds [France]*.

The Sky-High Tree [Hungary].

Twelve Months [Czech Republic].

The Tale of Ivan Tsarevich, the Bird of Light, and the Grey Wolf [Russia]*.

Vasilisa the Fair [Russia].

North America.

The Little Old Rusty Cook Stove in the Woods [Appalachian].

La Estrellita [Little Star] [United States-Hispanic].

2.4 Noodlehead Tales, Tall Tales, and Other Humorous Tales.



Goha and the King [Egypt].

Gratitude [Nigeria - Nupe].

How the Animals Kept the Lions Away [Algeria].

The Storyteller [Ethiopia].

The Talking Skull [Nigeria - Nupe].


An Exaggeration [Japan].

The Golden Fan and the Silver Fan [Japan].

The Silence Match [Japan].

The Tiger and the Persimmon [Korea].


Get Up and Bar the Door [Scotland].

Lazy Jack [England].*

The Golden Arm [England].

Teeny Tiny [England].

The Wise Men of Gotham [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.



The Fantastic Lying Contest [Ghana - Ashanti].

How Chakide Rode the Lion [South Africa - Zulu].

The Master Trickster [Nigeria - Hausa].

The Peas Thief [Kenya - Giriama].


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].


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.



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].


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.


Isis and Osiris [Egypt].


The Birth of Ganesha, the Elephant-Headed God [India].


Minerva (Athena) [Greece].

Thrym Steals Mjollnir [Norse].

Death of Balder [Norse].

3.3 Origin and Creation Myths.


How the World Was Created from a Drop of Milk [Mali - Fulani].


Why the Sun Rises When the Rooster Crows [China-Hani].

The Great Deeds of King Yü [China - Han].

Why the Sun Forsook the Tundra [Russian Federation - Koryak].


Echo and Narcissus [Greece].*

Demeter (Ceres) or the Origin of the Seasons [Greece].

North America.

Iroquois [Hodenosaunee] Creation Stories.

The Creation or Age of Beginning [Navajo/Diné].*

Ga-do-waas, His Star Belt, the Milky Way [Iroquois/Hodenosaunee].*

The Hunting of the Great Bear [Iroquois/Hodenosaunee].

3.4 Origins of the Animals, Humans, and the Human Condition.


Death [Kenya - Luo].

The Revolt Against God [Gabon - Fong].


Prometheus [Greece].

Orpheus [Greece].

Cupid and Psyche [Greeco-Roman].*

Icarus and Daedalus [Greece].*

How Happiness Came [Russian Federation - Saami].

North America.

The Spirit Chief Names the Animal People [Okanogan].

Coyote Fights Some Monsters [Okanogan].*

The Theft of Fire [Hitchiti].

South America.

The Origin of the Caduveo [Brazil-Caduveo Indian].

The Obtaining of Fire [Brazil-Gé Indian].


The Theft of Fire [Tonga].

3.5 Myths-References.

4. Legends, Hero Tales, and Epics.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Hero Tales and Epics.


Sundiata [Mali]: The Lion's Awakening.


The Epic of Gilgamesh [Mesopotamia]: Gilgamesh.

The Epic of Gilgamesh [Mesopotamia]: The Story of the Flood.

The Ramayana [India]: The March to Lanka.


The Odyssey [Greece].

The Children of Lir [Ireland].

Finn McCoul - The Chase of the Gilla Dacar [Ireland].*

King Arthur - The Sword in the Stone - Great Britain.

Gawain and the Lady Ragnell - Great Britain.

Robin Hood.

The Kalevala [Finland]: The Singing Contest (The Kalevala).

4.3 Legends about People, Places, Animals, and Plants.


The Golden Earth [Ethiopia].

Sassabonsam's Match [Ghana - Sefwi].


A Merry Prank of Pa-Leng-Ts'ang [Mongolia].

Vasistha's Ardhangini [India].


St. Bridget [Ireland].

North America.

The Legend of the Corn Beads [Cherokee].

The Great Gambler [Navajo].*

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) [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.



Back Cover

Allyn & Bacon Anthology of Traditional Literature

What's Unique about this Anthology?
Instead of having to buy several books of folk literature, readers will have access in one volume to a variety of tales from different collections and authors. This scrupulously researched anthology of traditional literature is a useful tool for making stories from diverse cultures accessible to both students and professors by giving the cultural contexts of international fables, folktales, myths, and legends.

Key Features:

  • Includes a variety of folklore genres.
  • Introductions to folkloristics, cultural contexts, and genres at the start of each chapter and at the start of each story provide insight into issues and problems relating to other peoples' stories as well as one's own.
  • Lists of scholarly sources, professional resources, and Web based resources help readers find other collections, criticism and classroom applications.
  • The companion Website provides additional stories, lists of picture book versions of the stories in the book, and a database of other traditional stories in picture books-at no extra cost.

Read how this book can help you understand traditional literature…

“I enjoyed the history and believe these intros push students to go beyond the 'Disney' version of traditional literature! This is an excellent text. It is well written, insightful, and packed full of interesting stories and references.”
Professor Carol L. Butterfield, Central Washington University

“The chapters develop their topics in a lively, logical, and interesting fashion. The author includes some very interesting 'tidbits' throughout the narrative that give new insights into the reading of some of the selections.”
Professor Melise Bunker, Palm Beach Atlantic University

About the Author:

Judith V. Lechner, PhD., is associate professor of children's and young adult literature in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology at Auburn University, Alabama. Her interest in cross-cultural and global understanding have led her to focus her research on international and multicultural children's literature. She has published on these themes in Bookbird, Teaching and Teacher Education, Phi Beta Delta International Review, and The New Advocate.