I'm a huge believer in the power of a good folktale. Folktales communicate important life lessons with only a little bit of text. Folktales are great for teaching metacognitive strategies like inferring. The repetitive structures and language support kids who are just starting down the reading road.
Maybe most importantly, folktales build children's sense of story. And that sense of story strongly impacts children's ability to write well, especially when it comes to personal narrative, memoir, and fiction. I think it's important then, to expose kids to lots of these short, strong, texts that can embed in their hearts, brains, and tongues. And so I read aloud tons of fairy tales, myths and legends, and trickster tales.
AESOP'S FABLES, by Beverly Naidoo, author of Journey to Jo'Burg is definitely going in that pile. The collection of 16 fables beg to be read, practiced, and performed as Readers' Theaters. There are some old favorites-- The Lion and the Mouse, The Grasshopper and the Ant," but there are also lots of others that are new to me- The Farmer and his Children, The Mosquito and the Lion, and The Eagle and the Warthog. And what kid is going to be able to resist South African animals like Rinkhals and Klipspringers and Tamboti? Each of the fables carries a great life lesson:
- It is easier to be friends than enemies
- If you betray a friend, don't be surprised when someone betrays you
- Just wishing for something doesn't make it happen
Naidoo's fables are enhanced by Piet Grobler's absolutely gorgeous watercolor, (I think), illustrations. This one is a must have for your folktale basket!
Review copy provided by publisher.