Hatter's Tomes:
Reference Books
for Storytellers

This shelf in Hatter's Classics is stocked with reference works that storytellers - parents, teachers, libararians - may find useful. It also has books on the history of children's literature. Feel free to print out a copy of this for reference. Browse through the titles. Look for them at your local library or bookstore. For information concerning price, availability, and if desired, a convenient purchase, follow any of the linked titles, a service of Eldrbarry's Story Telling Page in association with Amazon.com Books.
  • The Storyteller's Sourcebook by Margaret Read MacDonald (1982) and The Storyteller's Sourcebook 1983-1999 by Margaret Read MacDonald and Brian W. Sturm

    A tremendous labor of love for story, this book indexes by motif, thousands of folk tales from 556 folktale collections and 389 picture books. Here are the places to find that story that lingers in memory. Or to find variations on a traditional tale - most useful for making a tale "your own". Or to research a theme in folklore of different cultures or geographical areas. The first was published in 1982, and the second covers all published between 1983 and 1999. Make sure your local library has these on hand. Used copies can be found

  • Another helpful index of folklore and story is Index to Fairy Tales: Including Folklore, Legends and Myths in Collections a multi-volume series - Volumes One, Two and Three by Norma Olin Ireland, Volume Four by Joseph Sprug, and a Suppliment by Mary Eastman - that covers a larger range. And a helpful index of picture books is A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Books by Carolyn and John Lima. All these are fairly expensive volumes, though available through Amazon.com, I recommend you make use of your local library's copies - and if they don't have them, see that they get them.

  • The Facts on File Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend by Anthony S. Mercatante

    More than 3,000 entries surveying the world's myths, fables and legends - both ancient and modern, Eastern and Western. Quite useful, and interesting browsing as well. I like having it handy. A similar and useful volume, but now out of print is Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend edited by Maria Leach.

  • Facts on File Dictionary of Cultural and Historical Allusions : From the Middle AgesThrough the 20th Century by Abraham H. Lass might also be handy. The Facts on File Dictionary of Classical, Biblical and Literary Allusions by the same editor is currently out of print.

  • Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable and Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Chivalry and the Legends of Charlemagne by Thomas Bulfinch.

    Written and published between 1855 and 1862, these two books encompass the Greek and Roman and other myths of the Ancient world as well as the great epics, sagas and folklore of the Middle Ages, in particular, the epic tales of Arthur and the round table.

  • Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (16th Edition - 2000) by Ivor H. Evans.

    Find here the meaning and origin of phrases - figures in myth, history and religion. Here is the place to go to find the meaning of some odd expression or phrase. Trivia buffs will find treasure here as well. A searchable online edition is available at: http://www.bibliomania.com/Reference/PhraseAndFable/ fully browsable, although not quite as easily as a book. The web page works by returning not just an entry, but a dozen or so alphabetically sequential entries. If you did a search for a specific entry it's put at the top, but you can carry on browsing the next entries - which equate roughly to what you might find on a double page spread in a book. One can browse the whole book in manageable chunks, or search for keywords. Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable by Adrian Room is also now available.

  • Myth, Magic, and Mystery: One Hundred Years of American Children's Book Illustration by Micheal Patrick Hearn, Trinkett Clark and H. Nichols B. Clark

    A beautiful and affordable paperback! A book put together to accompany an exhibit at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, it is full of familiar pictures - pictures from the books of my childhood - evoking the memories of favorite books. It is also a history of American children's literature, divided into five topical essays. Check the Amazon.com link for more reviews and the chapter's outline.

  • Children's Books and Their Creators: An invitation to the feast of twentieth Century children's literature Edited by Anita Silvey (1995)

    A dictionary of American children's writers since the turn of the century - there are 700 pages of biographical information here. A good reference work for any one who enjoys children's literature - especially for parents who would like to know more about the authors their children are reading.

  • Children & Books by Zena Sutherland. (9th Edition - 1996)

    Originally written by May Hill Arbuthnot (look in the library for older editions under her name), this is the standard work on children's literature and has been frequently revised and updated.

  • Through the Eyes of a Child by Donna E. Norton (1995)

    An excellent textbook on children's literature comparable to Children and Books above the newest edition of this book comes with a disk (CD-rom?) which adds to the cost, but also may be quite useful. I have the older edition. A good book for a teacher or librarian to have on hand.

  • A Critical Handbook of Children's Literature by Rebecca J. Lukens (1999 )

    Written as a text for children's literature courses, but also of interest to parents, writers, and anyone who assesses children's literature. Lukens insightfully covers the various genres, examining character, plot, themes, setting, point of view, style, and tone. The new edition (first, 1955) includes new examples of children's literature published within the last five years.

  • Children's Literature in the Elementary School by Charlotte S. Huck (2000)

    This classic text shows readers how childrens literature can capture the attention of K-8 students and foster a lifelong love of reading. It is the standard work in the field. The text covers learning about childrens literature, understanding childrens responses to literature, the history of childrens literature, picture books and all the genres (beginning books, fantasy, poetry, realistic fiction, historical fiction, biography, and informational books), planning the literature program, and extending and evaluating childrens understandings of literature.

  • Written for Children by John Rowe Townsend (1995)

    This is a history of the development of Children's books in the English language from the early 1800's through the 1960's. As such it is a helpful resource book on the writers, as well it helps us understand how the genre of children's literature has developed and changed through the years. He has several other books on the subject of children's literature.

  • Don't Tell the Grown-Ups : The Subversive Power of Children's Literature by Alison Lurie (2000)

    In this excellent overview, Lurie points out the subtle ways that many classic children's authors such as Barrie, Burnett, Milne, Nesbit, and Carroll embedded social criticism within their stories. Lurie has a smooth, intelligent style, and a refreshing dry wit that sets this book apart from much literary criticism.

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