This series explores the many facets of folklore, the traditions that make up our cultural fabric, in North America. Young readers will gain a greater appreciation for how folklore traditions enrich and give meaning to many aspects of modern daily life.
"Black Cats is the most successful of the volumes, with Arkham collecting regionally distinct folk customs across the U. S. and Canada."
"Everything and everyone has a history and in this interesting book readers are shown the origins and evolution of celebrations that seem to be timeless but actually are not."
"Each title in this series can function independently, but it is the folklore that ties the books together." "Each title includes color photographs and illustrations, with boldfaced vocabulary." "Within the text are insets with interesting facts." "Divided into short chapters, the books are well-organized and easy to read." "The books fill a void to help teach about folklore and customs and are well suited for students completing basic research."
Have you heard these common proverbs?
Let sleeping dogs lie.
Where there's smoke there's fire.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
Or what about these riddles?
What is black and white and red (read) all over?
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Why is 6 afraid of 7?
Proverbs and riddles are tiny, bite-size pieces of folklore. They make us think. They tease our brains. They may make us laugh. But most of all, they tell us something about who we are and how we see the world.
Did you know that today's jolly Santa Claus was originally a Catholic bishop? Or that Santa Claus is connected to Saturn, an ancient Roman god? Or that in some places, Santa rides a camel? Christmas is a holiday of light and giving, and Santa Claus has become a traditional symbol for the season's deepest meanings.
Learn more about:
* the Christ Child
* Christmas animals
* the Wise Men
* Christmas plants
* Christmas songs and cards
Across North America, Christmas is an occasion for love and joy and celebration. Discover the traditions and folklore that make this holiday so special.
Did you know that if you drop a spoon, someone will kiss you soon? Did you ever hear that three spiders crawling on the wall are a sign you will soon hear of a death? Or did you know that if rabbits play in a dusty road, rain is on its way?
These beliefs are folk customs found in North America. Discover more, including:
* ways to predict the future
* weather lore
* good luck superstitions
Folklore is shared through customs and traditions. These are patterns that shape our lives. Even in today's world, we still depend on these old ways to make sense out of life.
You may turn on the CD player or the radio when you want to hear music--but once, in the days before modern technology, music was enjoyed whenever groups of people got together. You probably know some folk songs, a song that was passed along from person to person.
* types of folk songs
* folk instruments
* folk music's European and African roots
* Cajun music
* the music of Appalachia
* Hispanic music
* today's folk music
Modern music--Rock, Country, R&B, and more--is rooted deep in North America's musical folklore. And folk music is still alive and well today.
Special days are times for fun and togetherness. They also link us to the Earth's seasons, and they help us keep track of how time passes. Most of all, they are deeply rooted in folk tradition.
Learn more about:
* the winter holidays, like Christmas and Hanukkah.
* spring celebrations like Easter and Asian New Year's.
* fall festivals, like Halloween and the Day of the Dead.
* summer celebrations, like the Fourth of July.
Holidays and festivals draw us together. They remind us of who we are, where we come from, and what we believe. As we travel through the year, folk festivals give us strength. And they make life more fun!
Have you heard of Anansi, the mischief-making spider from Africa? Do you know about the Blackfoot woman who married a star? Or have you heard stories about Jack, the hero who always wins both the treasure and the princess's heart?
Discover stories from North America's folklore, including tales about:
* why the world is the way it is
* heroes and fools
* ghosts and horrors
* death and the world to come
Stories have power. They share the wisdom of other generations. They stir our imagination. They give us hope and courage. And sometimes they just make us laugh!
A patchwork quilt...a handmade mandolin...a rag doll...a wooden chair--all these things are examples of folk arts and crafts. They are useful objects that are also beautiful.
Learn about various kinds of folk art, including:
* religious objects
* musical instruments
* quilts, clothes, and other fabric arts
In folk traditions, art is a part of everyday life. And people still enjoy folk art today.
Do you know who started the first volunteer fire company in the United States? Do you know who the first woman firefighter was? Or did you know that firefighters trace their heritage back to the knights of the Crusades?
"Sirens and Smoke" is full of stories of bravery and tradition. You'll read about:
* the brave guards who fought fire in ancient Greek and Roman communities.
* the long-ago firefighters who battled the great fires that swept through Europe's big cities.
* the community spirit that grew in the New World.
* the African Americans and women who added their strengths to fighting fires.
* September 11, 2001, when firefighters demonstrated their heroism.
Fire can be an enemy--but down through the ages, firefighters have risked their lives to protect others against it. Their folklore reveals a long tradition of courage.
Does your family have a favorite holiday meal? What are your birthday traditions? Do the older people in your family tell stories about their childhood and what life was like when they were young? All these are parts of family folklore.
"Tell Me a Story" will help you better understand:
* what family is.
* the ways the generations are linked together.
* how families relate to each other.
* how families pass along a heritage for the future.
We get strength from our family's past--and this sort of folklore also gives us hope for the future.
Have you ever played cards on a rainy afternoon? Do you and your friends jump rope, play hide-and-go-seek, or play Red Rover? If you do any of these activities, you're enjoying a folk game.
Learn more about these games, including the long history behind:
* face cards
* some board games
Games help us deal with life. They give us physical exercise. They challenge our minds . . . and most of all they fill our lives with fun.
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