Publication Date: August 28, 2013 | Age Level: 8 and up | Grade Level: 3 and up
Celebrating the 15th anniversary of these collection of tales. There are among nine “tall” heroes featured in this exuberant collection of traditional American folk tales, including Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, John Henry, and other American folk heroes.
From Publishers Weekly
American folk heroes of the 19th century spring to life in these splendidly retold sagas. Osborne’s reputation as a gifted raconteur ( Favorite Greek Myths ; Beauty and the Beast ) is reaffirmed in this compendium, which retells the legends of familiar figures (Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill), as well as lesser known personalities, such as Crockett’s fictional wife Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, a composite character shaped by tales of various real-life women. Also chronicled are heroes hailing from places other than the backwoods, including Stormalong, a giant sailor who as a baby was washed onto a Cape Cod beach by a tidal wave, and Mose, a New York City fireman immortalized in an 1848 Broadway play. As tantalizing as Osborne’s storytelling are McCurdy’s ( The Owl-Scatterer ) elaborate, full-color wood engravings, which in their robust stylization dramatically render the grandeur of these engrossing yarns. Ages 6-up.
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6– This strikingly handsome, oversized volume presents nine all-American figures whose overblown exploits take them from coast to coast and through all manner of occupations and preoccupations. Osborne has chosen familiar fictitious characters–Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, Febold Feboldson–and actual people, such as Johnny Appleseed and Davy Crockett, and relates episodes that stress the individuals’ human weaknesses as well as strengths. She has melded several legendary characters into a single heroine, Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, who more than holds her own in such grand company. The rip-roaring action, broad humor, and colorful language of the convention are all here, but the violence is kept to a minimum and the laughs aren’t at anyone’s expense, except perhaps the subjects, who feel rather foolish on occasion. McCurdy’s intricate wood engravings tinted with watercolor equal their tall task. He sets these larger-than-life folk on majestic landscapes brimming with energy, rich with wildlife and local color. The author’s thoughtful introduction and notes round out this superlative offering. It’s “the whole steamboat!” –Luann Toth, School Library Journal