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Tales From Silver Lands (1924)

by Charles J. Finger

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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429745,627 (3.44)16
Atmospheric woodcuts illustrate this Newbery Award-winning collection of 19 South American folktales. Charles J. Finger heard the tales firsthand from native storytellers, whose fables of talking animals, witches, giants, and ordinary people in supernatural settings provide remarkable insights into regional values and culture. The first of the stories, "A Tale of Three Tails," tells of an age when the rat had a tail like a horse, the rabbit had a tail like a cat, and the deer's tail was plumed like the tail of a dog. "The Magic Dog" recounts an act of kindness to a stray animal that helps overcome a witch's curse. In "The Calabash Man," the creatures of the jungle assist a suitor in winning his bride, and in "El Enano," a greedy troll's insatiable appetite leads to his downfall. Packed with adventure and full of surprises, these and other stories emphasize the importance of hard work, courage, and loyalty. AGES: 7 to 11 AUTHOR: English author Charles J. Finger (1869-1941) traveled extensively, visiting Africa and South America before settling in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In addition to his 1925 Newbery Medal-winning Tales from Silver Lands, Finger's books include Bushrangers, Tales Worth Telling, Courageous Companions, A Dog at His Heel, and an autobiography, Seven Horizons.… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
See my review on Goodreads ( )
  GReader28 | Apr 20, 2016 |
I love these stories. They are so different from the fairy tales and legends that were local to my youth, they felt almost completely alien, which is a rather delicious feeling, and one that is hard to recapture as you get older and more experienced in the world. ( )
  Snukes | Jun 14, 2013 |
I enjoyed the tales that Finger collected, but I would have been more comfortable with more formal source notes as a supplement to Finger's occasional brief explanations that would open a tale explaining how he came across it. I know this was published before source notes were a standard practice, but it really does muddy the waters as to what parts really happened to the author and what he created for the purpose of the tale. I also thought the tales could have been better organized within the book - the trio of tales about the three giants was split up and I didn't understand why at all. This could be used as a source for storytellers looking for multicultural tales, but I think most kids won't be interested in reading it anymore. The only audiences I see are kids who are obsessed with fairy tales and folktales (read all of Andrew Lang's stuff and want more like it, for example) or those obsessed with the Newbery. ( )
1 vote JenJ. | Mar 31, 2013 |
Not a book you'd read all at once, but not bad for read alouds a chapter at a time. Some stories are better than others. Harmless.
  mebrock | Feb 3, 2011 |
I will admit to some trepidation about this book when first I picked it up. The author traveled to South America to collect the fairy-tale equivalents of the people of the “Silver Lands.” The fact that he did this in the 1920s made me nervous (see my post about Dr. Dolittle.) Instead, I found a wonderful collection, told with respect and honor towards the people whose stories they were. I would highly recommend having a copy of this on your shelf next to H.C. Anderson and the Grimms. However, don’t read it straight through. These are to be savored individually. (pannarrens)
  sylvatica | Nov 27, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles J. Fingerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Honoré, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the golden hearted Carl Sandburg and his friends, my children Helen and Herbert.
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Down in Honduras there is a town called Pueblo de Chamelecón which is not much of a town after all.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Atmospheric woodcuts illustrate this Newbery Award-winning collection of 19 South American folktales. Charles J. Finger heard the tales firsthand from native storytellers, whose fables of talking animals, witches, giants, and ordinary people in supernatural settings provide remarkable insights into regional values and culture. The first of the stories, "A Tale of Three Tails," tells of an age when the rat had a tail like a horse, the rabbit had a tail like a cat, and the deer's tail was plumed like the tail of a dog. "The Magic Dog" recounts an act of kindness to a stray animal that helps overcome a witch's curse. In "The Calabash Man," the creatures of the jungle assist a suitor in winning his bride, and in "El Enano," a greedy troll's insatiable appetite leads to his downfall. Packed with adventure and full of surprises, these and other stories emphasize the importance of hard work, courage, and loyalty. AGES: 7 to 11 AUTHOR: English author Charles J. Finger (1869-1941) traveled extensively, visiting Africa and South America before settling in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In addition to his 1925 Newbery Medal-winning Tales from Silver Lands, Finger's books include Bushrangers, Tales Worth Telling, Courageous Companions, A Dog at His Heel, and an autobiography, Seven Horizons.

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This book is a collection of nineteen folktales of the native populations of Central and South America, including a "just-so story" describing how rabbits and rats got their tails.
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