Folk tales can be fun, inform

Black History Month

February 16, 2000|By Susan Rapp | Susan Rapp,Village Reading Center

February is Black History Month, a time for celebration of the contributions and rich history of African-Americans. By studying stories that originated in Africa, we better understand its culture and the ancestors who told them.

African folk tales are fun to read, but also contain valuable lessons. Because not everything is stated explicitly, your child will learn to go beyond the actual words in the story to interpret the meaning. As you read, stop occasionally at a critical point and ask your child, "What do you think will happen next?"

Here are suggested titles of African folk tales.

* "Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti" by Gerald McDermott

* "Anansi Finds a Fool" by Verna Aardema

* "The Hunterman and the Crocodile: A West African Folktale" by Baba Diakite

* "The Flying Tortoise: An Igbo Tale" retold by Tololwa Mollel

* "Trouble" by Jane Kurtz

* "Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale" by John Steptoe

* "The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales" by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst

* "Flossie and the Fox" (a variation on Red Riding Hood) by Patricia McKissack

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