The Caribbean islands have a vibrant oral folklore. In Jamaica, the clever spider Anansi, who outsmarts stronger animals, is a symbol of triumph by the weak over the powerful. The fables of the foolish Juan Bobo, who tries to bring milk home in a burlap bag, illustrate facets of traditional Puerto Rican life. Conflict over status, identity and power is a recurring theme-in a story from Trinidad, a young bull, raised by his mother in secret, challenges his tyrannical father who has killed all the other males in the herd. One in a series of folklore reference guides by the author, this volume shares summaries of 438 tales-some in danger of disappearing-retold in English and Creole from West African, European, and slave indigenous cultures in 24 countries and territories. Tales are grouped in themed sections with a detailed subject index and extensive links to online sources.
Sharon Barcan Elswit has been working as a children's librarian for 35 years. She currently teaches in New York City. In addition to having written two books, East Asian Story Finder and The Jewish Story Finder, she writes reviews for Jewish Book World and has published in School Library Journal, Writer's Digest, and other magazines.