Tall Tales

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Article in Juvenile Fiction, Folklore,Big Read, and Diversity categories.

Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature defines a tall tale as a story that depicts an extravagantly exaggerated wild adventure. Typical tall tales explain the origins of natural areas, like lakes, mountains, and canyons or recount superhuman exploits. The following titles are meant to be helpful guides in the telling of your own tall tale for the 2009 Big Read.

Have fun!

Traditional Tall Tales

Admirers of the *Pinkerton stories will see that *Kellogg is an inspired illustrator/narrator for any tall tale.

Folk Tales From Around the World


  • The Adventures of Aku: Or, How it Came About That We Shall Always See Okra the Cat Lying on a Velvet Cushion, while Okraman the Dog Sleeps Among the Ashes retold and illustrated by Ashley Bryan
  • A Ring of Tricksters : Animal Tales from America, the West Indies, and Africa by Virginia Hamilton

Middle East


  • Heaven's Reward: Fairy Tales from China retold by Catherine Edwards Sadler


  • The Badger and the Magic Fan: A Japanese Folktale adapted by Tony Johnston

Native Americans