MORE BEST-LOVED STORIES: Told at the National Storytelling Festival by Natl. Assn. for Preservation & Perpetuation of Storytelling

MORE BEST-LOVED STORIES: Told at the National Storytelling Festival

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A sequel to last year's Best-Loved Stories that, again, is a literary record of oral tellings that have taken place at the national festival, held annually since 1973. The 39 pieces represented here come from a rainbow of places, including Japan, Norway, Israel, Vietnam, and Persia; and from a number of indigenous cultures--African-American, Native American, and southern, etc. All the tales include concise, useful comments about origins, and most are told simply, usually incorporating a kind of moral or folk-culture epiphany: ""The Boy with a Keg,"" for instance, told by Carol L. Birch, is the story of a boy who meets God, the devil, and Death. The piece, in which the boy barters with Death, is not as richly textured as the best-known tales of Grimm, but it uses a strong plot and folk wisdom to entertain and amuse. ""The Calico Coffin,"" an Appalachian tale told by Lee Pennington, is more gothic, a take on the story Poe loved so much about a beautiful young woman who is unknowingly buried alive. Some tales, such as John Basinger's ""Chester Behnke Goes Hunting,"" use characters who are alter egos of the teller and whom the teller often reuses. Others, such as Luisah Teish's ""The Legend of Obi Gui Gui,"" based on a Yoruba tale from Nigeria that explains why coconuts fall from trees, allow us to experience tribal reality as filtered through the mind of an oral folklorist. Once again, a robust and entertaining collection. Most of the tales are suitable for adults and children alike, and a number would make good bedtime reading.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: National Storytelling Press--dist. by August House