Cover image for Sweet land of story : thirty-six American tales to tell
Sweet land of story : thirty-six American tales to tell
DeSpain, Pleasant.
Publication Information:
Little Rock [Ark.] : August House Publishers, 2000.
Physical Description:
176 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Thirty-six true, tall, and traditional tales, primarily from the nineteenth century or earlier, selected by a professional storyteller and divided by the region of the United States from which they originated.
Chicken-coop jail (Massachusetts) -- Amazingly long time (New York) -- Agnes and Henry, a love story (Massachusetts) -- Legend of Peter Rugg (New England) -- Dutchman's Inn (Pennsylvania) -- Pulling the rope (Conn.) -- Ghost dog (Virginia) -- Poor Tail-eee-poe (Kentucky) -- Caleb's wild ride (Virgina) -- Old Joe and the carpenter (North Carolina) -- Sam Davis and the hangman's noose (Tenn.) -- Big, smelly, hairy toe (North Carolina) -- Pecos Bill (Texas) -- Bluebonnet (Comanche/Texas) -- Salting the pudding (Alabama) -- Strongest of all (Louisiana) -- Sam Bass (Texas) -- Haint that roared (Alabama) -- Jack and the bogey man (Texas) -- What gold? (Kansas) -- What you wish for (Ojibwa/Michigan) -- Saint Johnny of the apple orchards (Ohio) -- Calamity Jane (South Dakota) -- Jesse James saves the day (Missouri) -- Buffalo Bill Cody and the bandits (Rocky Mountains) -- Not even a Saint (New Mexico) -- Devil's tower (Arapaho/Wyoming) -- Mountain man and the grizzlies (Colorado) -- Shoot-out in Benson (Arizona) -- La Escalara Famosa / The famous stair (New Mexico) -- Scarface (Blackfoot/Northern Rockies) -- His mother tongue (Calif.) -- Pu-nia and the Shark King (Hawaii) -- Paul Bunyan makes progess (Pacific northwest) -- Why animals have no fire (Couer d'Alene/Idaho) -- Eagle Island (Tlingit/Alaska).
Reading Level:
690 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.7 4.0 60010.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PZ5 .S975 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
Clarence Library PZ5 .S975 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
Eden Library PZ5 .S975 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library PZ5 .S975 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Williamsville Library PZ5 .S975 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Frank E. Merriweather Library PZ5 .S975 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

On Order



NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social StudiesThis unique collection of American stories from the frozen tundra of Alaska to the lush green hills of Virginia; from the sweltering bayous of Louisiana to the windswept prairies of South Dakota is told in DeSpain's signature gentle style. Every reader will find something of interest - the stories range from practical tales of wisdom such as "Pulling the Rope" to silly and scary ones such as "The Haint that Roared" and "The Big, Smelly, Hairy Toe." The stories' represent not only the geographic diversity of the United States but also offer a portrait of our nation's character, values, beliefs, and customs that differ from region to region yet retain a fundamental sense of shared community. These American folktales will teach readers the importance of fairness, responsibility and trustworthiness.

Author Notes

Pleasant DeSpain Bio: Pleasant DeSpain has a most unusual but true name and an equally unusual but true profession - writer and storyteller. He travels the world collecting, researching, writing and retelling traditional tales from native cultures. Born in Colorado, he wrote his first original story at age eight. It was published as "The Mystery Artist" in 1996. Pleasant taught speech-literature-drama for six years at three universities, and wrote-produced-hosted an award-winning TV show called "Pleasant Journeys" on KING TV, Seattle. Now, the author of eighteen award-winning, multicultural story collections and picture books, published by August House, has a home in Troy, NY and frequently travels to spend extended periods of time in Thailand. Pleasant continues to travel the world having amazing adventures. While living in Thailand he has continued to collect more stories and is working on a new book.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. Storyteller DeSpain, known for his global story collections, sticks to stories from the U.S. in this anthology. Organizing them by region, he includes a variety of representative selections--from tall tales and Native American tales to ghost stories and Jack tales. Well-known works such as "Pecos Bill" are presented alongside lesser-known ones such as "La Escalara Famosa" (The Famous Stair) from New Mexico and "Punia and the Shark King" from Hawaii. There are extensive notes for each story, and, in some cases, DeSpain also provides stylistic tips for the storyteller. The retellings are complete, but they still allow plenty of room for embellishment, making this an excellent addition to any storytelling collection. It will also attract middle-graders who like vibrantly written short tales. --Helen Rosenberg

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3 Up-Teachers and librarians who are doing storytelling projects will love these folktales that are suitable for telling by anyone over the age of eight. Some are DeSpain's versions of well-known classics, such as "Poor Tail-eee-poe" from Kentucky and "Saint Johnny of the Apple Orchards" from Ohio. All are arranged by region. None of the selections is more than five pages long; all are easy to learn and are appropriate for audiences as young as preschool age. Notes explain how the reteller discovered each story, as well as sources for other versions.-Marlyn K. Roberts, Torrance Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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