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The Magic Orange Tree: and Other Haitian Folktales Paperback – January 21, 1997


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The Magic Orange Tree: and Other Haitian Folktales + Tap-Tap + Running The Road To ABC (Aladdin Picture Books)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken (January 21, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805210776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805210774
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This book is sheer delight. Grown-ups of all ages, as well as children of all ages, will revel in it.
—Lillian Ross, The New Yorker

"An unusual and arresting book . . . [Wolkstein's] prefatory notes are so eloquent and so filled with flashes of light thrown upon the customs, beliefs, and practices of the Haitian people that nothing else seems to be wanted."
—Katherine M. Briggs, author of The Anatomy of Puck and A Dictionary of British Folktales in the English Language
 
“Wolkstein is a handsome example of a Translator: a person who can bridge cultures in such a way as to bring understanding, wit, humor, and moral meaning along with the words.”
—Barre Toelken, Journal of Latin American Literature & Arts
 
“It is a joy to have this book, not only to read it, but to listen to it. The Magic Orange Tree is a gift.”
—P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins

Language Notes

Text: English, Creole

More About the Author

Since 1967, Diane Wolkstein has occupied a unique place in the world of storytelling and literature. Through her performances, teaching, books, and recordings, she has played a major role in the renewed interest in mythology and the modern storytelling movement. Whether recounting epics, trickster stories or fairy tales, Diane enters and speaks from the heart of each story she tells. The internationally renowned author of 23 award-winning books of folklore including the classics, The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folk Tales and Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Wolkstein is known for her meticulous research and her wide range as a performer. Joseph Campbell calls her "one of the greatest storytellers in the Western world."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg named June 22nd, 2007 "Diane Wolkstein Day" in honor of her 40 years of service to New York City: she initiated America's first graduate storytelling program, pioneered a year-round storytelling program for parks and schools, hosted her own radio show on WNYC radio, and taught mythology at New York University, The New School, Sarah Lawrence, and the Pacific Graduate School. Diane has toured five continents, has performed at the United Nations, Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian Institute, and the American Museum of Natural History, and has been a frequent guest on PBS, NPR, and the BBC. She is a founding member of both America's National Storytelling Conference and New York City's Storytelling Center, and is the recipient of the National Storytelling Association's Circle of Excellence Award. She is the epicycle editor of Parabola and a resident of Greenwich Village. More info: dianewolkstein.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I lived in a remote village in Haiti for five years and found this book while home in the USA for a visit. I found its stories unusual and charming -- and authentic! When I returned to Haiti I had a wonderful time with my Haitian friends as I related the stories I had read in this book and they would finish telling them with me and share how their mothers and fathers had shared these same stories with them.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
By the author's own admission, these stories weren't necessarily the best-told she encountered while researching folk tales in Haiti. The flat page lacks the beauty of the oral tale, and some of these stories may have been a little weak in the telling; but on the page they reveal a great deal about Haiti, and are a fascinating read besides.
Folk tales reveal a great deal about a culture-what it values, how members of the society relate, what their beliefs are. These tales do exactly that. While they aren't as clear-cut, with a defined beginning, middle, and end, as American readers have become accustomed to, they do give away a great detail about Haiti. Life is unfinished; hardship is to be embraced and studied; the spirit world is right here at hand, not a million miles away above the clouds.
Even on their own, they stand as a monument to the creative act and the power of the human intellect. These stories will infect your head like a virus, spreading and replicating, until you have to pass them on. Read them casually, and you will be enlightened. Study them seriously, and you may be transformed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for stories with pat, solid endings, this is not the book for you. But, if you're looking for something that reflects the eccentricity and style of Haiti, then this is it. The stories are magical and you can almost see the people telling them for themselves! Kric?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Margaret R. Macdonald on February 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
The amazing thing about this collection is Wolkstein's introductions...she tells you about the teller and the setting in which each tale was collected...it is like taking a storytelling tour of Haiti. I require all of my storytelling students to read these intros to understand the variety of the storytelling tradition. Plus the stories are really great for telling. AND she includes the music! EVERY school and public library should own this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Charnock on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
Although I only fully liked three of the many stories in this book, they were so powerful (exciting, suspenseful, even funny) they were worth the price of the book. I mention them below:

*The Magic Orange Tree
*I'm Tipingee...
*One, My Darling, Come to Mama

I told (not read) them to my junior high students and they told them to primary students--even once during an 8th grade graduation ceremony which drew a standing ovation! This book is certainly worth adding to you storytelling book collection. And if you're new to storytelling, these three stories are a great start.

The Creative Teacher: Activities for Language Arts (Grades 4 through 8 and Up)
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