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Summary: Each culture has its legends and myths, but none are more rich than those of the wise women who because of kindness, empathy, and wisdom outsmarted those who had plans to "keep them down." You'll find a story from every continent in this volume. This collection of stories/fables feature a wise woman as the hero. Includes two CDs with the stories read by Olympia Dukakis
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, family reading, read aloud book, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 12; read yourself: 8 to 12
Interest Level: 5 to 9
Age of Child: Started reading with 6-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Although our child liked listening to the stories (as well as following along with the CD), it was rare that we could share more than one story at a time. Her favorite was the story of the woman in the moon ... because she can "see" it. Now at nearly seven, she listens to the stories every chance she gets. She is also spending more time trying to read the stories.
Adult Reader Reaction: These are wonderful stories. Some you will recognize because they are similar to other more familiar tales, such as Hansel and Gretel. The CDs are wonderful for expanding a child's listening vocabulary, and we've also noticed that she has expanded her sight words, too.
Pros: This collection of stories captures some timeless tales of magic, wisdom, and perseverance that children will remember their whole life.
Cons: None, really. These are text-heavy stories, so you won't breeze through them in one sitting.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is an enjoyable collection of stories. The CDs make it fun for the family to listen together ... or the kids to listen alone.
Educational Themes: These stories, like all good fables, are meant to be enjoyed "just because." That said, you can add to the fun by researching the themes in other cultures. For example, the story of the Old Woman Who Was Not Afraid has a Shoemaker and the Elves> quality.
Literary Categories: Fiction - cultures and tradition, fables and folklore, multicultural, middle grade, short stories