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Facing hardship together, two elderly friends agree to share the benefits that come from a patch of land with an extraordinary story.

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As with other collections here, the stories were curated with an overarching message of environmental consciousness based on traditional tales. Practical and straightforward, this collection lends itself to both independent reading and storytelling performance with additional notes on each tale at the end. Echewa, T. Morrow, During another lonely dinner, Mbi discovers a magical fruit that produces a tree to keep him from going hungry.

When another child becomes trapped after trying to steal fruit from the tree, the villagers experience a change of heart and Mbi is welcomed as one of their own. This picture book version of the tale is presented with lovely, expressive watercolor illustrations. Grimm, Jakob Ludwig Karl. Farrar, Helfman, Elizabeth S. Seabury, Beginning with ancient superstitions and legends, Helfman then transitions to more modern tales highlighting the continued importance of trees in a call for a more eco-friendly lifestyle, all followed by an extensive index and bibliography for more in-depth study.

Keding, Dan. Libraries Unlimited, Mahy, Margaret. Knopf, This collection of original tales encourages a closer look at the magic to be found in our own natural world.

McCormick, Dell J. Paul Bunyan Swings His Axe ; written and illus. Caxton, Here, McCormick has collected seventeen stories specially tailored for a child audience, organized to chronicle many of his larger-than-life exploits around the country. Babe the Blue Ox is featured, of course, but a whole host of lesser-known tales make an appearance as well. Penguin, In spite of the morbid lyrics, the villagers are delighted, with the exception of his guilty stepmother. This article does not cite any sources.

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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. Children's literature portal. Categories : Children's short story collections short story collections children's books Cattle in literature Books about cats s children's novel stubs. Turning toward the sound, he saw an enchanting woman and a girl beside her, who was playing on a harp and singing a sad tune. The minister greeted the lady politely, and nodded to the girl. The lady replied in a friendly way.

She asked why he had come to such an out-of-the-way place. He told her about the king and how he had lost his wife. They killed my husband and put all of our people to death. My daughter and I were able to escape and hide, and that's how we were able to survive. The daughter whispered, "Mother, are you speaking the truth?

She twisted the girl's cheek in a quick gesture the Prime Minister did not see. He was so impressed by her charm and appeal that he soon persuaded her to return with him on his ship, to marry the king. As the Prime Minister looked back from the ship to the shoreline, he could tell the rocky island was completely barren and deserted, not fit for anyone to live in. But of that he did not care, nor did anyone else on the ship if they happened to look back, too.

At least, they all felt, they could return home at last. The winds were favorable and the crew enjoyed a speedy voyage. On arriving back home, the Prime Minister sent a messenger to run ahead to the capital and inform the king of the success of his voyage. When His Majesty's eyes fell on the mother and daughter, both clad in dresses of silver and gold, he forgot his sorrows. At once, he ordered preparations for a wedding to the lady to take place at once.

After the marriage, things were different. The king's new wife had to be consulted on all matters.

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She attended all council meetings, and her opinion was the one that mattered in deciding issues of peace or war. T he king did not notice something that other members at court, with alarm, had started to see. Whenever anyone disagreed with the new queen, that person soon disappeared without a trace. Soon, members of the court kept a careful distance from the new queen. The king's two children, Sigurd and Sophia, saw all of this, too.

They also kept a safe distance from their new stepmother. One day, the queen insisted to her husband that his two children must move out of the castle. The king felt he must go along with her wish, though he arranged that their new house was comfortable and luxurious, with servants and carriages and anything they could possibly want.

Soon afterward, his wife said to the king that it was time for him to tour his kingdom and see that his governors were not cheating him of the money that was his due. The king felt uneasy, nevertheless he set about his preparations. The night before he was to leave, he went to his children's home to say good-bye to his son and daughter. They rushed into his arms, for they loved him dearly.

Tales as Tall as the Trees: Arboreal Stories from Around the World

After catching up with news and stories of the day, he said, "Listen to me carefully. There is something important I must tell you. If I should never come back from this journey, I fear it may not be safe for you to stay here. Yet with everything lately that had been going on, they felt it was best to keep quiet, and listen. Take the road going east till it leads you to a mountain.

Cross over the mountain, circle around a bay, and then look carefully for a grove of trees and for two special trees - one that's entirely blue and the other red, so you cannot miss them. These trees are magical. Each of you can hide inside the trunks of the trees. They will keep you safe until the danger has passed. With these words, the king kissed them goodbye.

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He boarded ship and after a few days, the wind suddenly picked up. Soon came a fearful storm of thunder and lightning. In spite of the efforts of the frightened sailors, the ship was driven onto the rocks. Not a man on board was saved. That same night, Prince Sigurd and Princess Sophia had the very same dream. They dreamt their father appeared before them in clothes dripping wet. Taking the crown from his head, his father set it down on the ground, and then he disappeared.

The brother and sister agreed the dream meant that their father must be dead. They must lose no time in obeying his orders and fleeing to safety. So they collected their jewels and a few clothes, and left their house. They took the road east until they arrived at the mountain. Prince Sigurd glanced around. Behind him, he saw their stepmother was following them in pursuit, with an expression on her face that made her more fearsome than the scariest old witch.

He and his sister hurried on over the mountain and around the bay. They reached a grove with the two unusual trees which they recognized right away - one red and the other blue.

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Quickly, each jumped into one of the tree trunks, and once inside, they felt safe and protected. Unable to find the children, Queen Helga returned to the castle. Now at the same time, there ruled in the faraway country of Greece a king who was very rich and powerful. He had one son, young Prince Leo, who was the pride of his father's heart. Now Prince Leo had heard reports of the charms and many accomplishments of Princess Sophia of Iceland.

He determined to seek her out and to ask for her hand in marriage.