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Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature defines a tall tale as a story that depicts an extravagantly exaggerated wild adventure. Typical tall tales explain the origins of natural areas, like lakes, mountains, and canyons or recount superhuman exploits. The following titles are meant to be helpful guides in the telling of your own tall tale for the 2009 Big Read.
Traditional Tall Tales
- Lies and Other Tall Tales collected by Zora Neale Hurston ; adapted and illustrated by Christopher Myers.
- Paul Bunyan and his Great Blue Ox retold by Wallace Wadsworth
- Pecos Bill, Texas Cowpuncher by Harold W. Felton
- Big Men, Big Country : A Collection of American Tall Tales written by Paul Robert Walker
- Mike Fink : A Tall Tale retold and illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
- Admirers of the *Pinkerton stories will see that *Kellogg is an inspired illustrator/narrator for any tall tale.
- American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne
- Calamity Jane : Her Life and Her Legend by Doris Faber
- Some of the Adventures of Rhode Island Red by Stephen Manes
Folk Tales From Around the World
- The Adventures of Aku: Or, How it Came About That We Shall Always See Okra the Cat Lying on a Velvet Cushion, while Okraman the Dog Sleeps Among the Ashes retold and illustrated by Ashley Bryan
- The Ox of the Wonderful Horns, and Other African folktales retold and illustrated by Ashley Bryan
- The Sycamore Tree and Other African Tales retold by Lee Po
- The River That Went to the Sky : Twelve Tales by African Storytellers / selected and edited by Mary Medlicott
- A Ring of Tricksters : Animal Tales from America, the West Indies, and Africa by Virginia Hamilton
- The Arabian Nights: a Companion / Robert Irwin.
- Fabled Cities, Princes, & Jinn from Arabic Myths and Legends by Khairat Al-Saleh.
- Genies, Meanies, and Magic Rings: Three Tales from The Arabian Nights / retold by Stephen Mitchell
- Pebbles From a Broken Jar; Fables and Hero Stories from Old China retold by Frances Alexander.
- Heaven's Reward: Fairy Tales from China retold by Catherine Edwards Sadler
- Sweet and Sour : Tales from China retold by Carol Kendall and Yao-wen Li
- The Girl Who Drew a Phoenix by Demi
- Three Strong Women: A Tall Tale from Japan by Claus Stamm
- Tales from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins
- The Wise Old Woman retold by Yoshiko Uchida
- The Badger and the Magic Fan: A Japanese Folktale adapted by Tony Johnston
- Why the North Star Stands Still and Other Indian Legends by William R. Palmer
- Between Earth & Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places written by Joseph Bruchac
- The Boy Who Lived with the Bears, and Other Iroquois Stories told by Joseph Bruchac
- The Boy Who Found the Light: Eskimo Folktales retold and illustrated with wood engravings by Dale DeArmond.
- Favorite Fairy Tales Told in France retold from Charles Perrault and other French storytellers
- The Devil's Bridge : A Legend retold by Charles Scribner, Jr.
- The Devil's Tail: Based on an Old French Legend by Nanine Valen
- The Little Juggler; adapted from an old French legend and illustrated by Barbara Cooney
- The Adventures of Robin Hood retold and illustrated by Marcia Williams
- The Hobyahs by Robert D. San Souci
- Cinderella, and Other Tales by the Brothers Grimm by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
- The Bremen Town Musicians and Other Animal Tales from Grimm retold by Doris Orgel
- The Hero of Bremen retold by Margaret Hodges