Tales (and Recipes) for a Winter’s Night

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Yuletide, Winter Solstice – no matter the form it takes – tales and food so often play a part. Stories of memories, tales passed on from generation to generation, and recipes too following down the line from grandmother, to daughter, to granddaughter, to great-grandson. The ties that bind us during the holiday season whether near or far or a picture of remembrance that sits upon the mantel. 

Here are a few books in our collection to get you started on making those traditions: 

The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, Stories & 100 Essential Recipes for Winter by Nigel Slater

A stunning read by author and food writer Nigel Slater, who has more than a few foodie books in our collection. From November to February, Nigel will take you through his winter rituals with folktales, recipes, and personal stories and gorgeous photographs. Truly an ode to winter! Continue reading “Tales (and Recipes) for a Winter’s Night”

Rabbits in myth and legend

rabbit photo courtesy epicnom at flickrThanks to its sweet face and impish nature, the rabbit has enchanted animal lovers, tormented farmers, and inspired legends and cautionary tales in cultures around the world since time immemorial. If you like rabbits, know someone who does, or are looking for a multicultural storytime idea, these traditional folktales available from The Seattle Public Library may be perfect for you. Each of the stories listed below features a witty, wise, or slightly wicked rabbit and introduces readers to a region and culture they might not have known before.

tale of rabbit and coyote book coverThe Tale of Rabbit and Coyote  by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
In this Zapotec trickster tale from Central America, Rabbit repeatedly outsmarts Coyote and we learn why Coyote howls at the moon. Illustrated with vibrant colors. Spanish words are easy to understand in context.

Rabbit: American Indian Legends, retold by D.L. Birchfield
Three Native American folktales featuring the wily rabbit are presented with colorful illustrations. A fact sheet about rabbits and a glossary of terms provide background on both the animal and the native people whose stories are shared.

How Rabbit Tricked Otter and Other Cherokee Trickster Stories by Gayle Ross
Stories of this Cherokee trickster include variations of the well-known tales “Brer Rabbit and the tar Baby” and “The Tortoise and the Hare.” (The tortoise in this variation is exceptionally clever.)

Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl  by Virginia Hamilton
Critics speak very highly of this rendition of the story of Bruh (Brer) Rabbit, who must outsmart Bruh Wolf in order to steal from his garden. Text appears in the dialect of the Gullah people of the Southwest United States and is accompanied by realistic watercolor pictures.

Bo Rabbit Smart for True: Tall Tales from the Gullah, retold by Priscilla Jaquith
In 1946 the Library of Congress made audio recordings to document the oral tradition of the Gullah people. Four such stories, featuring the famous Brer Rabbit, are retold in this collection in the original Gullah dialect.  

Tales of Nanabozho by Dorothy M. Reid
The Ojibwa people of North America tell of a trickster spirit named Nanabozho who often takes the form of a rabbit. He was sent to Earth to teach the people skills such as fishing and to name the plants and animals.

Rabbit Makes a Monkey of Lion: A Swahili Tale by Verna Aardema
Rabbit and his friends play tricks on the regal but somewhat dim-witted lion, King of the Forest, in an attempt to steal his honey. Watercolor illustrations portray the rich colors of the African wilds. Other tales of African rabbit tricksters from Verna Aardema include This for That: A Tonga Tale and Who’s in Rabbit’s House: A Masai Tale.

zomo the rabbit a trickster tale book coverZomo the Rabbit: A Trickster Tale from West Africa, told by Gerald McDermott
A small but clever rabbit asks the sky god for wisdom and is challenged to three tasks that pit him against bigger and more powerful adversaries. Ever the comedian, Zomo soon finds that the joke is on him.

Ho-limlim: A Rabbit Tale from Japan by Tejima
A tale from the indigenous Ainu people of Northern Japan, this story features an elderly rabbit who is losing his sight. Colorful wood block prints depict the beauty of the Japanese countryside and offer a gentle view of the world as it can look through failing eyes.

Jamie O’Rourke and the Pooka by Tomie de Paola
In this Irish story, a lazy man promises to keep the house clean while his wife is away but makes a big mess, instead. Then a pooka (a strange creature resembling a rabbit) appears and cleans up for him. Why has the pooka come? What price will he ask for his services?

(Prefer DVDs? Last year’s Rascally Rabbits blog post features famous lagomorphs in film and television.)   ~ Anne, Greenwood Branch