Thursday, March 15, 2007

Three Ninety Eight Thursdays Celebrate Women's History Month

March brings many celebrations that can serve as inspiration for blog posts. National Craft Month. Deaf History Month. International Hamburger and Pickle Month. Music in Our Schools Month, Noodle Month, Science Month, and Irish American Heritage Month.

March is also Women's History Month, and we have a display of great books about great women. I'm also hoping to do a few Book Bundles on Women's History Month. For Three Ninety Eight Thursdays, I'll read and review folktales and fairy tales that feature your not-so-typical heroine.

I've had my eye on Cut From the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale for some time. When I noticed that the teller was Robert D. San Souci, I moved it to the top of my "to be read" list. San Souci is one of my favorite folklorist and the reteller of such books as Brave Margaret, Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella, and the ever popular
Short and Shivery books.

The tales are divided into five sections: Women of the Northeast, Women of the South, Women of the Midwest, Women of the Southwest, and Women of the West (including Alaska and Hawaii). Various Native American tribes are represented, as well as African Americans and Anglo Americans. Basically, a rich tapestry of cultures is included in the book. Several paragraphs before each story give background information on the tale.

As with most anthologies, this is not something that needs to be read in sequential order. This would be a good anthology to place beside your child's bedside so that a story or two could be read during bedtime stories (the stories run about 4-6 pages in length).

San Souci retells the story with great vigor and fun. The women in the story are inventive, unique, and gutsy; the stories are a joy to read.

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