The Tortoise and the Hare: An Aesop Fable

Bibliographic Information: Stevens, J. (1984). The tortoise and the hare. New York, NY: Holiday House.

Brief Annotation: This retelling of Aesop’s classic fable takes the time to add dimensionality to the fast but arrogant hare, and the serene and determined tortoise.

Genre: Fable (Folklore)

Grade Level: PreK-3rd

Readers who will like this: Readers who enjoy folklore; readers who enjoy stories with a moral; readers who fell marginalized due to a perceived lack of ability.

Rating/Response: 4; I enjoyed that this book was written to be read by early readers, and the illustrations were nice. It was nothing surprising, but also not bad. I like that the author added an additional layer to the story that would allow students to approach the moral in different ways. The hare is a bit of a bully, but the tortoise has a strong group of friends who support and encourage him. Thus, the story could be used not only to illustrate the virtues of perseverance, but of friendship.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Have you ever heard somebody say, “Slow and steady wins the race?” Why do you think people say that?


Paul Bunyan

Bibliographic Information: Krensky, S., & Orback, C. (2007). Paul Bunyan. Minneapolis, Minn.: Millbrook Press.

Short annotation: This novel is the story of a fictional man named Paul Bunyan, who grew to be giant man, and whose life and activates with his blue ox named “Babe” became legendary.

The Genre: Fable, Picture Book

Grade level: First grade to Third grade

Readers who will like this book: A few readers who will enjoy this book are children and parents who enjoy reading fables, and educators wanting to expose students to different genres.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I liked how this book covered all of the fables of Paul Bunyan and that all of the pictures really brought  the story to life.

Question: What is the difference between folktales and fables?

Reading strategies connection: A reading strategy that would be great for the fable of Paul Bunyan is a graphic organizer activity (Yopp, R., & Yopp, H., 2010). A graphic organizer includes the teacher or students making some form of story map (Yopp, R., & Yopp, H., 2010). A story map includes the major events that took place within a story but more additional items can be added like the setting, characters, etc. (Yopp, R., & Yopp, H., 2010). This activity will help students to devlope their comprehension, sequencing of events and recalling of important details (Yopp, R., & Yopp, H., 2010).  This activity would be perfect for the fable of Paul Bunyan because in the story Paul there is a clear beginning, middle and end to the story. Also this novel would allow teachers the ability to differentiate for student because the teacher could have some students focus on the sequence of event, while other students look at setting, characters, problem and solution. These are just a few reasons, why this would be a great activity to do with the fable of Paul Bunyan.



Six Crows

Title: Six Crows

Bibliographic information: Lionni, L. (1988). Six Crows. New York: Random House Children’s Books

Brief annotation: A farmer and six crows have a disagreement over his wheat. The crows want to eat but the farmer doesn’t like that so he puts up a scarecrow. The crows try to scare the scarecrow and these actions continue back and forth. eventually an owl convinces them to talk out their issues.

Genre: Fable

Grade: Kindergarten – 2nd

Readers who will like this: This book would be good for students that are learning about fables.

Rating: 4 – I liked the message that this book talks about. If you have an issue with a friend, or anyone in general, the best way to resolve the issue is to talk about it.

Questions: Have you ever had a misunderstanding that was able to be resolved by talking about it?


Very Short Fables to Read Together

Hoberman, M. A. (2010). Very short fables to read together. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.

As a part of the “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” series, this book is meant to be read by two readers! Dive in and enjoy some of Western cultures most well-known fables  as you enjoy the reading company of those around you.

Grade level: PreK-3rd

Genre: Folklore/Poetry

Readers who would like this book: Children who enjoy working with others, children who enjoy poetry, children who enjoy interactive texts/readings.

Rating and response:5; I loved this book, and there is no doubt that I will be tracking down the others that make up the “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” series. This book is a genius text that incorporates strong rhythm and rhyme to help children learn to read fluently and with comprehension. I love that it is in read aloud form, because this can encourage children to use their listening skills and can encourage a deep engagement in the text. I also love that this text simplifies fables by spelling out the moral behind each at the end of each fable, and that the moral is meant to be read in unison. This would be a great series to incorporate into the classroom library.

Question: What is a moral? How can we determine the moral of a story?


Paul Bunyan

Krensky, S., & Orback, C. (2007). Paul Bunyan. Minneapolis, Minn.: Millbrook Press.

This book tells the fable of Tom Bunyan, an American hero living in the woods and how he created important American landmarks.

Genre: Fable, Picturebook

Grades: 3rd-6th

Audience: Parents, Teachers, Students

I would give this book a three. I loved how the pictures look and how the descriptions of the different jobs were so wonderfully written. However, there are so many versions of the Paul Bunyan story, that it is hard to know exactly which are familiar and which are not.

Have you ever seen this man before? Where?


Aesop’s Fables

Bibliographic information: Aesop (1912). Aesop’s Fables. New York: Avenel books

Short annotation: Aesop’s Fables has many short stories that deals with animals and how they get along with one another.

Genre: Nonfiction

Grade Level: Second grade to fifth grade.

Audience: Students would like this book.

Personal rating and response: I give this book a rating of seven. This book provides a lot of short stories that  a moral or lesson could be learned from it. It teaches students the values of life and how it’s important to get along with others.

Question: Have you heard of any fables before?


The Cat and the Cook and other Fables of Krylov

1) The Cat and the Cook and other Fables of Krylov

2) Heins, E. (1995). The Cat and the Cook and other Fables of Krylov. New York: Greenwillow

3) This book is about a cook who trusted his cat to watch his food so the mice would’nt get into it. When the cook left the cat ends up eating the food.

4) Fable

5) 1-4

6) Readers who like cats and funny stories

7) Rate:3; The book was funny and the illustrations brought out the humor very well.

8) What would you do if your cat ate your food?


Fredrick’s Fables

Title: Frederick’s Fables

Bibliographic Information: Lionni, Leo. (1985). Frederick’s fables. New York: Pantheon Books.

Annotation: This book includes 13 fascinating fables. The book starts off by introducing who Frederick is and then continues with more entertaining fables. Cornelius, Swimmy, Tico and the Golden Wings are some of the fables included in this book.

Genre: Fable

Grade level: 1st-4th

Readers who will like this book: Readers who like a variety of fables and looking at great illustrations will enjoy this book.

Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 4 because it provides the reader with multiple different fables. The illustrations are very detailed and the fables are entertaining.

Question I would ask before the reading: Do you know what a fable is?


It’s Mine!

Title: It’s Mine!

Bibliography: Lionni, Leo. (1986). It’s Mine. New York: Dragon Fly Books

Short annotation: The story begins by introducing three selfish frogs who live in Rainbow Pond. All they ever do is argue about what belongs to who. One day, a bad storm and a big brown toad help the three frogs realize that sharing is much more fun than being greedy.

Genre: Fiction, Fable

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this book: Children who have problems with sharing, children who enjoy animal books

Personal response and rating: Leo Lionni makes it possible for kids to see how sharing is important and can even be fun. I think the message was clear and strong and this would be a wonderful book to have in the classroom, especially to pull out if there are problems of sharing. Rating: 5

Question: Does anyone ever get angry when a toy you want to play with is already taken? Have you ever wanted to play with someone else’s toy?

Reading strategy:

a: Story Boards

b: Pictures from different parts of a book are cut out and students are able to piece them together in chronological order.

c: This is a great reading strategy for most any book but I think It’s Mine would especially be a good fit because of the such prominent illustrations which clearly show transition of plot.


Johnny Appleseed

1. Johnny Appleseed
2. Kellogg, Steven (1988). Johnny Appleseed. New York: Morrow Junior Books.
3. Johnny Appleseed lived in Ohio. He began planting apple trees when he was very young. His mother and younger brother had died and his father remarried. He cleared forests to harvest his trees. Johnny even challenged a band of men to a tree-chopping contest, which cleared the land for his next orchard. He did this across the state of Ohio. He sold the trees, read to children, and help the community wherever he could. When it was time for him to move on tales were told about him, each getting more extravagant with the years past. He would sometimes go back and visit, to tell stories. After he died, some still claimed to see him in the forest.
4. Fable
5. Grade 1- Grade 3
6. Readers who like apples, stories of people lives, or fables will like this book.
7. 3; I really enjoyed learning about Johnny Appleseed’s life. It was sad at the beginning but he lead a very good life. I think children will like it too.
8. Have you ever heard of Johnny Appleseed? Have you ever seen an apple tree?