Thursday, April 4, 2013

Selecting the Story

This one of a series of posts about "Telling One Story Five Ways."

Folktales are a staple of my storytime programs. They appeal to all ages and have themes that are common across cultures. Many are downright silly, humorous, or about animals - all storytime favorites.

For this storytelling project I have chosen "The Fisherman and His Wife" from Household Tales, collected by the Brothers Grimm. It is a well-known but not overly familiar story. It has the element of repetition which will appeal to younger children. This makes it a good choice for family storytime. It would also be suitable for preschool storytime and class visits.

There are several versions of "The Fisherman and His Wife" in my library's 398.2 section. It's fun to compare them to an original version such as the one found here (though even the translations from the German vary). Most picture book versions of folktales are too long for storytime which is why I write my own. For this project I am writing my own version and using my own artwork (primarily to avoid copyright issues).

Two versions that I found interesting are pictured below:

The Fisherman and His Wife by Rosemary Wells. (Dial, 1998) It is not illustrated by Wells which surprised me. The story is set in Norway and all the characters are cats. The illustrator, Eleanor Hubbard, studied art in Norway and shows all the characters in traditional dress. The ending is quite different from the original tale.

The Fisherman and the Turtle by Eric Kimmel. (Marshall Cavendish Children, 2008) Not only did Kimmel change the fish to a turtle but set the story in the land of the Aztecs. This works surprisingly well particularly the ending.

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