Cover image for Can you guess my name? : traditional tales around the world
Can you guess my name? : traditional tales around the world
Sierra, Judy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
ix, 110 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A collection of fifteen folktales from all over the world, including stories that resemble "The Three Pigs, " "The Bremen Town Musicians, " and "Rumpelstiltskin."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.9 2.0 65475.
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1.S573 CAN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
PZ8.1.S573 CAN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.S573 CAN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.S573 CAN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.S573 CAN 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A companion volume to the critically acclaimed Nursery Tales Around the World, this collection is the perfect step up from nursery stories. Fifteen wonderful read-aloud tales from many different cultures are grouped together by familiar tale types: stories like "The Bremen Town Musicians," "The Frog Prince," "Hansel and Gretel," "Rumplestiltskin," and "The Three Pigs." Folklorist Judy Sierra's inspired retellings are once again paired with Stefano Vitale's richly detailed illustrations. The stunning art evokes the visual traditions of the tales' varied countries of origin, which include Japan, Scotland, Argentina, and Sri Lanka. This is a must for folklore collectors and a perfect addition to any child's bookshelf. Source notes, bibliography.

Author Notes

Judy Sierra holds a Ph.D. in folklore from UCLA. She is the author of many esteemed children's books, including Nursery Tales Around the World, winner of the Aesop Prize from the American Folklore Society, and Good Night, Dinosaurs. She is also the reteller/compiler of several books of folklore for teachers and storytellers. Ms. Sierra lives in Northern California. Stefano Vitale is an internationally acclaimed artist and illustrator. Originally from Padua, Italy, he lived in the U.S. for many years before returning to Italy with his wife and children. He now lives in Venice and commutes in a colorful wooden boat. Visit him online at

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5. For pleasure reading as well as for demonstrating the universality of folktales, this collection brings together 15 variants, from as many cultures, of five familiar stories--"The Three Little Pigs," "The Bremen Town Musicians," "Rumpelstiltskin," "The Frog Prince," and "Hansel and Gretel." Sierra staves off the potential monotony of reading multiple versions with hilariously matter-of-fact humor. In a version of "The Bremen Town Musicians," from Burma/Myanmar, for instance, a thumb-size lad takes on the sun with the help of a rotten egg and a cowpat--as well as a light sprinkling of sound effects and side comments. Vitale, who paints on rough wood to add visual effect, contributes a different patterned border for each story, plus scenes of stylized but easily recognizable figures. For students of folklore, the list of sources and extensive endnotes (some of which undermine Sierra's own thesis by noting motifs that seem to be unique to particular traditions) further enhance the value of this handsome, horizon-expanding collection. John Peters

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Story Goes On... Fans will cheer a host of sequels and series additions hitting the shelves this fall. Graduates of Nursery Tales from Around the World by Judy Sierra, illus. by Stefano Vitale, will appreciate the fine sequel, Can You Guess My Name?: Traditional Tales Around the World. Sierra's division of these 15 impeccably researched tales into five categories, such as "Can You Guess My Name?: Tales Like `Rumpelstiltskin,' " demonstrate common elements that link the globe-spanning stories; they subtly echo each other without overlapping. Vitale honors each tale's country of origin with his stunning oil-on-wood illustration style, painting blue-faced Sri Lankan ogresses and poised Swedish princesses with equal aplomb. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Familiar themes, characters, and plots appear in the folklore of cultures around the world, reflecting the commonality of the human experience. Sierra has organized 15 of these tales into 5 categories of stories that resemble "The Three Pigs," "The Bremen Town Musicians," "Rumpelstiltskin," "The Frog Prince," and "Hansel and Gretel." Each section is fascinating for both the similarities among the tales, and the differences, highlighted in a brief introduction. The author explains, for example, that stories like "The Three Pigs" were exclusively European or from European colonies because "The idea of moving far from home and living on one's own- was once unthinkable in most parts of the world." Each of the three stories in the "Hansel and Gretel" section, from France, Sri Lanka, and South Africa, is terrifying, involving children escaping from a cannibalistic monster. Fortunately, although each creature is huge, it is dull-witted. All of the selections have dramatic dialogue and repetitive phrases and refrains, and are easy to learn. The author's extensive notes list sources and "tale type" numbers based on the classification system developed by folklorists. Vitale's engaging folk illustrations are painted on wood. Borders incorporate culture-specific motifs and designs, and full-page art throughout gives compelling visual appeal. This collection provides a fascinating experience with comparative literature, one that can open doors to other cultures. A must purchase for most collections.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. viii
I'll Blow Your House in!
Tales like "The Three Pigs"p. 1
The Three Little Piggies and Old Mister Fox (United States: Scottish American)p. 3
Big Pig, Little Pig, Speckled Pig, and Runt (United States: African American)p. 11
The Three Geese (Italy)p. 17
Just the Right Friends
Tales like "The Bremen Town Musicians"p. 23
How Jack Went to Seek His Fortune (United States: Anglo-American)p. 25
Medio Pollito (Argentina)p. 31
Master Thumb (Burma/Myanmar)p. 37
Can You Guess My Name?
Tales like "Rumpelstiltskin"p. 43
Titeliture (Sweden)p. 45
How Ijapa the Tortoise Tricked the Hippopotamus (Nigeria: Yoruba)p. 51
Oniroku (Japan)p. 55
I Married A Frog
Tales like "The Frog Prince"p. 61
Princess Tombi-ende and the Frog (Swaziland)p. 63
How a Warty Toad Became an Emperor (China: Hmong)p. 69
Little Singing Frog (Serbia)p. 75
The Scary House in the Big Woods
Tales like "Hansel and Gretel"p. 81
Jean and Jeannette (France)p. 83
The Cake Tree (Sri Lanka)p. 91
The Runaway Children (South Africa: Xhosa)p. 97
Notesp. 103
Works Consultedp. 109