A Bedtime Full of Stories

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Title: A Bedtime Full of Stories: 50 Folktales and Legends from Around the World

Writer: Angela McAllister, illustrated by Anna Shepeta

Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Date of Publication: November 9th 2021

Rating: 5 stars

Fifty beautiful folk tales to be read before bed, to soothe your soul, to make you travel in lands of myths and legends, perfect for young and old. From Poland to Vanuatu, from Russia to Mexico, from Serbia to Iraq, prepare yourselves for a dreamy journey.

These are my favourite tales of the collection:

Europe

The Three Gifts (Poland): The Polish version of a well-known story in which three princes are sent on a strange errand. They have to collect three extraordinary gifts. A tale about the importance of family and brotherhood.

The Emperor’s New Clothes (Denmark) and The Sword in the Stone (England), two stories that have defined the evolution of the European Fairytale.

Tsar Trayan’s Ears (Serbia): A classic tale of a king whose ears were the bane of his existence and the terror of the land’s barbers. But when the trees cry the truth, there’s no need for hiding anymore…

Three Golden Oranges (Spain): The story of a brave young man who wanted to marry the girl of his heart and a magic orange tree.

The Bag of Winds (Greece): Who hasn’t heard of Odysseus and Aelous and the idiotic curiosity of the King of Ithaca’s crew that cost them their lives?

Sadko (Russia): The story of a musician that caught the attention of the Tsar, an enchanted gusli and the nymphs of the river Volkhov, set in mystical Novgorod.

Yvon and Finette (France): A popular tale of an adventurous young man who was saved (multiple times) by the daughter of a fairy – witch.

Africa

Ladipo (West Africa): The tale of a bright boy who had the ability to shape-shift.

Paka the Cat and Pania the Rat (Zanzibar): Two friends become enemies when one of them breaks its promise as they travel to the land where Man lives…

How Wisdom Spread Throughout the World (West Africa): Kwaku Ananse tried to hide his wisdom inside a pot to keep it out of sight, but his son had a different opinion. And this is how was wisdom was shared across the world…

Asia

The Wild Goose Lake (China): The story of two brave girls who saved their people from a terrible famine.

Tetan Buri and Boca Buri (Bangladesh): The tale of a woman who understood that sharing keeps you alive.

The Magic Paintbrush (China): The tale of a magic paintbrush, of paintings coming alive, of cranes and dragons.

The Moon Maiden (Japan): The daughter of the Moon is banished to live and love among the mortals.

Oceania 

The Legend of the Frogs (Australia): The Sun teaches the selfish frogs a valuable lesson and creates the beautiful dragonflies.

The Star Hunt (New Zealand): The beautiful tale of a sky spirit that fell in love with a star and the faithful Lake Princess.

America

Strong Wind, the Invisible (Algonquin): The story of a brave warrior and the kind, honest woman who became his wife.

The Star Maiden (Ojibway): The tale of the Star Maiden who loved the human race and came to live with the mortals and the spirits of the Earth.

The Crow and the Daylight (Inuit): The tale of a brilliant girl, a brave crow and the light that always shines through the darkness.

How Night Came (Brazil): The story of how Night came to be, the beauty of the moonlight and the daughter of the Sea Spirit.

The Giant’s Secret (Mexico): A daughter who has been given the ability to shape-shift exposes a giant’s secret, led by her unquenchable thirst for adventure.

Many thanks to Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.