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Traditional Tales From Abroad


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Hi Guys,

When I go back after half term I was planning to do a mini topic on Handa's surprise but was wondering if I could extend it with other "foreign stories" can't think of any though!

Any ideas would be great. Thanks in advance!

P.s Walker books do a fabulous CD of Handa's surprise read by floella benjamin including songs and actions it's excellent. They have other titles too including Can't you sleep little bear, and Going on a bear hunt, worth checking out!

ruth :)

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If you put the name of the story ie runaway pancake into goggle it will come up with a folktale web site from other countries also big book of the runnaway chapati is great my reception love it



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heres a few i could think of not sure if they are useful just remember seeing them in ks1/fs book box.



handas hen by eileen browne.


amazing graze by carloine binch and mary hoffman.


there are books called a is for africa and c is for china not sure who wrote them.


emekas gift- this has elements of counting


so much by trish cook- elements of afro carribean familar and vocab used.



i love my hair- based on an afro carribean girl and her braids.



thats about all i can think of. there are lots of well know stories not written in dual language.

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There are lots of stories you can find on the web about Anansi, a troublesome spider. I think the stories originate from the West Indies.


Also, I have a book called 'Farmyard Tales From Far and Wide' by Wendy Cooling and Rosslyn Moran published by Barefoot Books. This is nice because it says the country that each story originates from.


'Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: an African tale' by John Steptoe. This is lovely, showing traditional African dress, but quite long - the story not the dress...!


'Ayu and the Perfect Moon' by David Cox, published by Bodley Head - I suspect this might be out of print. It's about a little girl on Bali who learns to perform something called the 'Legong dance'.


'Hot Hippo' by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway, published by Knight Books about how Hippo was granted his wish by N'gai, the god of everything and everywhere, to live his life in water.


'Jamaica Louise James: a New York story' by Amy Hest and Sheila White Samton published by Walker Books


'Bushbaby' by Adrienne Kennaway - lovely pictures that show animals that are, I presume, indigenous to where bushbabies come from...geography...never a strong point!

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'The Leopards drum' by Jessica Souhami is a good one. it's a traditional Asante tale from West Africa. It's not like Handas surprise etc in terms of simplicty but have used with Reception classes a couple of times and they alwys enjoy it.


Emma :)

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Depends if you mean a traditional tale, ie one that is orally told in the culture that it comes from and is passed down, or just stories set in a different culture?


Joanna troughton does great retellings/ versions of traditional tales, my favourite being tortoises dream, an african tale. She also retells an aboriginal dreamtime story "what made tiddalik laugh" which is great for Yr R.


Tales of Hanuman the monkey god from India


Anansi is traditional african/caribbean mentioned above


Do your children's parents have stories they were told as children? could you involve them in oral story telling sessions?



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