August 29, 2005

Trickster Tales

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This is another rescued booklist, one created by Tina Hudak when she was a children's librarian here. At the time it was created we owned all these, but books are lost or damaged. We now may, or may not, have any specific book. Please check our catalog.

Trickster Tales
Available in the Children's Room

  wizard hat

The trickster, being true to form, has most certainly eluded us somewhere along the way! In our quest to match wits with his, we ask you to keep your eyes and ears open for him...let us know where you spot him. This is an ever-changing, shape-shifting reading list like the character it tries to capture.


Please, Malese!by Amy MacDonald, illus. Emily Lisker, J 398.2 MACDONA
A trickster tale from Haiti. Malese outsmarts his neighbors until he makes them so mad that they decide to turn the tables on him. But are they clever enough to outwit him?

The Barefoot Book of Trickster Tales, retold by Richard Walker, illus. Claudio Munoz, J 398.2 WALKER
Nine tales from Ghana to Turkey are included in this picture book format. The detailed watercolors by the Chilean artist invite the younger reader to follow along while hearing these read aloud.

Crow & Fox, and Other Animal Legends, Jan Thornhill, J 398.2 THORNHI
Collection of folk tales from throughout the world with a Middle Eastern tale of Fox; Southwest American and Western Canadian tales with Coyote

Land of the Long White Cloud: Maori Myths, Tales and Legends , Kiri TeKanawa,illus. Michael Foreman, J 398.2 T26
Twenty-one legends of New Zealand with the trickster god, Maui. Preface and Glossary included.

Race With Buffalo And Other Native American Stories For Young
collected by Richard and Judy Dockrey Young, J 398.2 Race Wi
This collection includes several trickster tales such as, "The Girl Who Married A Ghost" and more. Extensive "Notes" on these narratives, and "Glossary" of terms are included.

A Ring Of Tricksters: Animal Tales From America, the West Indies, and Africa, Virginia Hamilton, illus. Barry Moser, J 398.2 HAMILTON
This collection includes American, West Indian and African animal tricksters from alligator to spider.

Trickster Tales: Forty Folk Stories From Around the World, Josepha Sherman, J 398.2 Sherman
This is a collection of 40 tales which focus tricksters from all over the world including Asia and the Mideast.

A Twist In the Tail, Mary Hoffman, J 398.2 HOFFMAN
Collection of animal stories from around the world with brilliantly colored illustrations by Jan Ormerod.

With A Whoop And A Holler,Nancy Van Laan, illus. Scott Cook, J398 VAN LAA
This is a collection of tales from regions in southern US: the Bayou, the Deep South & the Mountains. Included are stories, short verse and poems. Good "Source Notes" and "Bibliography".

Why Goats Smell So Bad,translated and retold by Raouf Mama, illus. Imna Arroyo, J 398.2 MAMA
Collection of 20 stories from Benin which feature Yogbo, the trickster.



Coyote as trickster comes to us from wide spectrum of Native American mythology. He is a real rascal, but his destructive acts frequently result in creation despite himself. Though called Coyote, he often seems more human than animal.

Borreguita and The Coyote, Verna Aardema, J 398.2 A113
A little lamb uses her clever wiles to keep a coyote from eating her up.

Cleo and The Coyote, Elizabeth Levy, J PIC LEVY
A city dog, Cleo, and a coyote, Tricky, have an adventure together in the desert and discover how much they have in common.

Coyote and The Fire Stick,Barbara Diamond Goldin, illus. Will Hillenbrand, J 398.2
Coyote enlists the help of other animals to trick the evil spirits and bring fire to the people. Good historical "Note From the Author" included on trickster motif.

Coyote Goes Hunting For Fire: a California Indian Myth, Margery Bernstein, J 398.2 B531
All the other animals fear coyote who successfully bungles their plans to obtain fire.

Coyote & Little Turtle = Iisaw niqw Yongosonhoy: a Traditional Hopi Tale, Emory Sekaquaptewa, J PIC COYOTE
Retells the Paiute legend of the way the Coyote helped an Indian boy bring fire to his tribe. Bi-lingual Hopi-English edition with glossary.

Coyote and The Magic Words, Phyllis Root, J PIC ROOT
After the Maker-Of-All Things uses words to create the world, she allows others to use her magic until Coyote tries her patience with his mischief.

Coyote In Love, Mindy Dwyer, J 398.2 DWYER
A retelling of a Native American legend about Coyote's love for a beautiful star, which results in the creation of Crater Lake, Oregon.

Coyote Places the Stars, Harriet Peck Taylor, J 398.2 TAYLOR
Coyote arranges the stars in the shapes of his animal friends.

Coyote Steals the Blanket: a Ute Tale, Janet Stevens, J 398.2 STEVENS
Coyote receives his comeuppance when he tries to take something that does not belong to him.

Coyote Stories For Children: Tales From Native America, Susan Strauss, J 398.2 S912
Four stories including "How Coyote Got His Power."

The Fire Bringer: a Paiute Indian Legend, Margaret Hodges, illus. Peter Parnall, J
398.2 h489
The story of Coyote who befriends an Indian boy and helps him to bring fire to his people.

Fire Race: a Karuk Coyote Tale About How Fire Came To the People, Jonathan London, J 398.2 LONDON
With the help of other animals, Wide Old Coyote manages to acquire fire from the wicked Yellow Jacket sister.

Giving Birth to Thunder, Sleeping With His Daughter: Coyote Builds North America, Barry Holstun Lopez, J 398.2 L864
This is a collection of stories for young adults which include "Coyote's erotic adventures...Sexual references, as well as stories of cannibalism and bodily functions..." These are closer to the adult psychological role the trickster plays in mythology.

Ma'ii and Cousin Horned Toad: a Traditional Navajo Story, Shonto Begay, J 398.2 BEGAY
A lazy, conniving coyote habitually takes advantage of his animal cousins until his cousin, Horned Toad, teaches him a lesson he will never forget.

Maybe I Will Do Something, Wayne Ude, J 398.24 UDE
A collection of stories about mythic Native American trickster, Coyote, based on traditional versions of this tale.

Meet Tricky Coyote!, Gretchen Mayo, J 398.2 MAYO
A collection of legends about the cunning trickster Coyote, taken from a variety of Native American sources; picture book format.

Navajo Coyote Tales J 398.2 NAVAJO
These six tales are written in verse and include black and white ink drawings.

Old Bag of Bones: a Coyote Tale, Janet Stevens, J 398.2 STEVENS
A story about aging, youth and wisdom where Coyote never learns his lesson.

Partners, Betty Baker, J r1
Whether it is in their several partnerships to put the stars in the sky, or with farming, Coyote tries to outwit Badger.

Quail Song: a Pueblo Indian Tale, Valerie Scho. Carey, J 398.2 C276
A retelling of a traditional Pueblo Indian tale in which Quail outwits a persistent Coyote.

That Tricky Coyote!, Gretchen Mayo, J 398.2 MAYO
A collection of legends about the cunning Trickster, Coyote, taken from a variety of Native American sources. See previous listings by this author.

Uncle Smoke Stories: Nehawka Tales of Coyote the Trickster, Roger Welsch, J FIC WELSCH
Uncle Smoke, a revered storyteller of the fictional Nehawka tribe, shares four stories about the legendary trickster, Coyote.



Fox, an animal of great cunning, makes a logical trickster in western culture. Reynard became famous in France during the 12th century by poking fun at society.

Chanticleer and the Fox, Geoffrey Chaucer, illus. Barbara Cooney, J PIC CHAUCER
Adaptation from 'Nun's priest tale from Canterbury Tales' where a sly fox tries to outwit a proud rooster using flattery. This is a Caldecott Award book.

The Dancing Fox: Arctic Folk Tales, John Bierhorst, J 398.2 DANCING
Eighteen folk tales from the ancient oral tradition of the Inuit culture where animals take on human form and use magic. Reminiscent of "Puss In Boots."

Favorite Fairy Tales Told In Poland, "The Lark, the Wolf and the Fox," Virginia Haviland, illus. Felix Hoffmann, J 398.2 H 388
A fox eventually outsmarts a wily fox and humiliates him before the townspeople.

Renard the Fox, Rachel Anderson and David Bradby, J 840.1 A549
"Twelve stories are included which have been adapted and translated from Le Roman de Renart, a rambling collection of stories satirizing life and customs in medieval France."

Reynard the Fox, Selina Hastings, illus, Percy Grahme, J 398.2 H358
A retelling of the schemes and adventures of a lying, cheating and cowardly fox.



Rabbit uses his wit instead of his strength to survive and sometimes, comes out on top! Brer Rabbit is a famous trickster character adapted from the Southern U.S. oral tradition of storytelling.

The Enchanted Orchard and Other Folktales of Central America, Dorothy Sharp Carter, J 398.2 C323
This collection includes "Tio Rabibit and the Barrel," where Tio Rabbit outwits the hungry Tio Fox.

Bo Rabbit Smart For True: Tall Tales From the Gullah, Priscilla Jaquith, J 398.24 JAQUITH
These tales were recorded in 1949 for the Library of Congress which in 1955 issued a phonodisc under title: Animal tales told in the Gullah dialect. Six tales from Georgia and South Carolina sea islands include not only a moral to the story, but explain how the animals got their markings.

Brer Tiger and the Big Wind, William J. Faulkner, J 398.2 FAULKNE
Clever Brer Rabbit finds a way to teach the greedy Brer Tiger a lesson.

Brother Rabbit, Minfong Ho, J 398.2 HO
A crocodile, two elephants and an old woman are no match for a mischievous rabbit.

The Days When Animals Talked Back: Black American Folktales and How They Came To Be, William J. Faulkner, J 398.2 FAULKNE
Presents more than 20 Afro-American folk tales featuring the escapades of Brer Rabbit and more than 10 tales describing the lives of Afro-American slaves.

The Hunterman and the Crocodile,retold and illustrated by Baba Wague Daikite, J398.2 Diakite
This Coretta Scott King Award winning book tells the tale of how rabbit saves the hunter man from being eaten by the crocodiles. It is a wonderful story of man and animals cooperating for survival.

Jump!: the Adventures of Brer Rabbit, Malcolm Jones, illus.Barry Moser, J 398.2 P252
Adapted from Uncle Remus, his songs and saying. A retelling of 5 folk tales in which crafty Brer Rabbit tries to outsmart all the other animals in his community.

Jump Again!: More Adventures of Brer Rabbit, Van Dyke Parks, illus. Barry Moser, J 398.2 P252
More stories adapted from Uncle Remus, songs and sayings. This includes "Tar-Baby"and Brer Rabbit in love.

Jump On Over!: the Adventures of Brer Rabbit and His Family, Van Dyke Parks, illus. Barry Moser, J 398.2 P252
A collection of 5 stories in which Brer Rabbit outwits three companions to ensure his family's survival during a drought.

The Last Tales of Uncle Remus,Julius Lester, illus. Jerry Pinkney, J398.2LESTER
In this retelling the author creates his own version of Uncle Remus yet still retains the wonderful nature and feeling of the original tales. This is the last book in Lester's series of Uncle Remus Tales.

The Rabbit's Escape, Suzanne Crowder Han, J 398.2 HAN
Tricked into visiting the underwater kingdom where the Dragon King of the East Sea wants his liver, a clever rabbit uses his wits to escape.

Rabbit Makes A Monkey of Lion: a Swahili Tale , Verna Aardema, illus. Jerry Pinkney , J 398.2 AARDEMA
"Retold from The hare and the lion in Zanzibar tales [translated] by George W. Bateman." -T.p. verso. With the help of his friends Bush-rat, and Turtle, smart and nimble Rabbit makes a fool of the mighty but slow-witted king of the forest.

This For That: A Tonga Tale, Verna Aardema, J 398.24 Aardema
Even though Rabbit has not helped to look for water, she tries to charm all the other animals into trading their possessions so that she might drink some. This is highly illustrated and written for young readers.

Why Lapin's Ear Are Long, adapted by Sharon Arms Doucet, illus. David Catrow, J398.2 Doucet
Tales of rabbit as the trickster from the Louisiana bayou. Glossary included to help familiarize the young reader with the sprinkling of french words used throughout the book.



Raven is more than a trickster in these stories; he is a hero who brings something needed to people. These tales are generally from the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Echoes Of the Elders: Stories of Chief Lelooska, Christine Normandin, J 398.2 LELOOSK
Stories from Indians of the Northwest coast with raven as trickster. Exceptional graphic illustrations. Includes compact disc.

How Raven Brought Light To People, Ann Dixon, J 398.2 D621
Raven brings stars, moon and sun to the people by tricking a greedy chief and becomes black from the soot in the process. A tale from Southeastern Alaska.

Raven: a Trickster Tale From the Pacific Northwest, Gerald McDermott, J 398.2 MCDERMO
Tale of how Raven brings light to the people who thank him by feeding him.


spider SPIDER

ANANSI The spider, Anansi (Anancy) is perhaps the most famous trickster among young children. He originated in West Africa and was brought to western culture because of the slaves and is found in tales from the Southern U.S. and Jamaica.

The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales, Joyce Cooper Arkhurst, illus. Jerry Pinkney, J 398.2 ARKHURS
Six tales which explain how Spider got a thin waist and a bald head and why he lives in corners.

Anansi and the Magic Stick, Eric A. Kimmel, illus. Janet Stevens, J 398.2 KIMMEL
Anansi steals a magic stick and wreaks havoc in his village with it.

Ananse's Feast: an Ashanti Tale, Tololwa Mollel, J 398.2 MOLLEL
Unwilling to share his feast, Anansi the spider tricks Akye, the turtle so that he can eat all the food himself. Does he win?

Anansi, Brian Gleeson, J 398.24 GLEESON
Two Jamacain folktales in which he practices trickery on others. Very funny tales with a wonderful cadence when reading aloud.

Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, Eric Kimmel, J 398.2 K49
Anansi uses a strange moss-covered rock in the forest to trick all the other animals, until little Bush Deer decides he needs to learn a lesson.

Anansi and the Talking Melon, Eric Kimmel J 398.2 KIMMEL
The clever spider tricks Elephant and other animals into thinking the melon, in which he is stuck, can talk.

Anansi Does The Impossible!: an Ashanti Tale, Verna Aardema, J 398.2 A113
Anansi outwits snake, hornet and a fairy in order to bring stories from Sky god to humans.

Anansi Finds A Fool, Verna Aardema, J 398.2 A113
Lazy Anansi seeks to trick someone into doing the heavy work of laying his fish trap, but instead he is fooled into doing the job himself.

Anansi Goes Fishing, Eric Kimmel, illus. Janet Stevens, J 398.2 K49
Anansi the spider plans to trick Turtle into catching a fish for dinner, but Turtle proves to be smarter.

Brother Anansi and the Cattle Ranch, James DeSauza, J 398.2 DESAUZA
Anansi has an adventure when he tries to steal a cow. Bilingual (Spanish/English).

Don't Leave An Elephant To Go Chase A Bird, James Berry, J 398.2 BERRY
Anancy trades various items with people he encounters, until he finds himself distracted by a bird and ends up empty-handed.

First Palm Trees, James Berry, J 398.24 BERRY
West Indian Anancy tries to persuade Sun-Spirit, Water-Spirit, and Air-Spirit to create the world's first palm trees so that he can collect a reward from the king.

A Story A Story, Gail E. Haley, J 398.2 Haley. Caldecott Medal Award book.
This is the story of how Anansi outwits the Sky god and is able to bring his stories to the people.

Spider Spins A Story: Fourteen Legends From Native America, Jill Max, J 398.2 SPIDER
Presents tales from various peoples such as, Kiowa, Zuni, Cherokee, Hopi, Lakota, Muskogee. Good bibliography.

Tiger Soup: an Anansi Story From Jamaica, Frances Temple, J 398.24 TEMPLE
After Tricking Tiger into leaving the soup he has been cooking, Anansi the Spider eats the soup himself and manages to put the blame in the monkeys.

spiderIKTOMI Iktomi, which means spider, comes to us from the U.S. Plains Indians. Oftentimes, he resembles a cunning man in these tales.

Iktomi and the Boulder: a Plains Indian Story , Paul Goble, J 398.2 G575
Iktomi and the Buffalo Skull: a Plains Indian Story, Paul Goble, J 398.2 G575
Iktomi and the Buzzard: a Plains Indian Story, Paul Goble, J 398.2 GOBLE
Iktomi and the Ducks: a Plains Indian Story , Paul Goble, J 398.2 G575
These stories feature Iktomi (which means spider) a trickster character from the Plains Indians. He uses his own magical powers and cunning to outsmart others, but often falls victim to his own pranks.
Iktomi Loses His Eyes, Paul Goble, J398.2 GOBLE



Bouki Dances the Kokioko, by Diane Wolkstein, illus. Jesse Sweetwater, J 398.2 Wolkste
A comical Hatian tale where the trickster, Malice fools his friend, Bouki into winning five thousands gourds, which he steals from him.

How Mr. Monkey Saw the Whole World, by Walter Dean Myers, illus. By Synthia Saint James, JPic MYERS
Mr. Buzzard cheats Mr. Hare and a host of other animals out of food, but it is not until he meets Mr. Monkey that he gets his comeuppance.

The Mean Hyena,retold by Judy Sierra, J 398.2 Sierra
Fisi, the hyena tricks Kama the tortoise, who entreats the other animals for help to outwit Fisi. This is a trickster tale from Malawi with rich watercolor illustrations.

Zorro and Quwi, by Rebecca Hickox, illus. Kim Howard, J 398.2 Hickox
An unusual tale where the guinea pig outwits the fox who is constantly trying to eat him! Rewritten and based on Peruvian folk tale.


mouseLiteraryTales & Novels With a Trickster Motif

This group of literature includes characters who embody some of the characteristics of the trickster, although they may not take the more traditional forms. Can you see how Gollum fits into this group and why? Explore and have fun!

The All Jadhu Storybook, Virginia Hamilton, J FIC H22
The Trickster, Jadhu, travels through the mountains and the woods outwitting other animals as he goes along.

The Amazing Bone, William Steig, J PIC S818 Newbery Honor Award book.
Pearl loses her way while dawdling as she goes home from school. She befriends a magic bone who helps her to escape from a clever fox.

Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble, Phyllis Root, J PIC ROOT
Aunt Nancy knows how to deal with the trickster-like character, old Man Trouble and send him on his way!

Bravo, Zan Angelo, Niki Daly, J PIC DALY
This is the story of a young boy who wants to be a clown more than anything. It is based on the true story of Zan Polo, an Italian clown. It comes from 15th century in Venice where commedia dell'arte was a popular form of theatre.

Doctor De Soto, William Steig, J PIC S818 Newbery Honor Book
A mouse dentist copes with toothaches of various animals except those with a taste for mice, until the day a fox come to him with a painful toothache.

Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl, J FIC DAHL
A clever fox devises intricate schemes to outsmart three mean farmers who are trying to kill him and his family because he has been stealing from them.

Fox At School , Edward Marshall, illus. James Marshall, J r1
Fox On Stage, Edward Marshall, illus, James Marshall, Jr MARSHAL
Fox On Wheels, Edward Marshall, illus. James Marshall, J r1
Fox Outfoxed, Edward Marshall, illus. James Marshall, J rMARSHAL
This series places the trickster fox in the 20th c. family environment where he continues to behave as the lovable rascal.

The Ghost Fox, Laurence Yep, JFIC YEP
While his father is away from his Chinese village, Little Lee fights to save his mother's soul from an evil fox creature that has assumed human form.

The Gingerbread Boy, Richard Egielski, JPIC EGIELSK
The Gingerbread Boy, Paul Galdone, JPIC G149
The Gingerbread Man, Eric Kimmel, J 298.21 KIMMEL
A freshly baked gingerbread cookie is anthropomorphized in this story. He runs free as soon as he is out of the oven and escapes various animal pursuers, but cannot outwit the fox.

The Girl Who Married A Ghost and Other Tales From The North American Indian, included is "Fox and the Bears," Edward S. Curtis, J 398.2 C97
A collection of American Indian folklore including a trickster tale from the Plains, Fox and Bear. Illustrations are the special photographs of Edward Curtis taken in the 1900's.

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, illus. Michael Hague, J FIC TOLKEIN
The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, illus. Alan Lee, J FIC TOLKEIN
The Hobbit, Or There and Back Again, J.R.R. Tolkien, J FIC TOLKEIN
The story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventure includes meeting Gollum, a trickster-like character.

Puss In Boots, Charles Perrault, illus. Lorinda B. Cauley, J 398.2 CAULEY
Puss In Boots, Charles Perrault, illus. Fred Macellino, J 398.2 P454
A cunning cat wins for his master a castle and the hand of a princess.

Ring of Tall Trees, John Dowd, J FIC DOWD
Dylan and his Native American friends call on ancient rituals and Raven for help in stopping a logging company from clearing the old growth.

The Trickster and the Troll, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, J FIC SNEVE
Based on Ikomti-like trickster, this story tells of the trickster and a troll from Norway who meet and become competitors, helpers and friends as they try to hold on to the native ways that are being abandoned as more people settle across America.

wizard hat Colophon: Trickster TalesThese are timeless because they remind us of our own follies as humans. They present a character who is basically self-centered and lives to gratify his own needs. Theseare adventure tales in which coyote, fox, rabbit, or spider use cunning, wit and humor to outsmart other animals or people in their search for food. Sometimes, they cast the trickster animal in the role of bringing what is needed for survival to others. Other times the tales show the consequences this greediness brings. Yet out of these actions, even when they are those of lying and cheating, come wonderful results. Through their cunning they bring us the moon and the stars! For children, this character can be especially appealing because is validates the parts of us that are naughty and sometimes get caught in the act. Winning out over sheer physical force through wit and cleverness lends children the feeling of empowerment.

Originally created by Tina Hudak.
Updated July 2003
MJSSpider icons are from Icon Bazaar

Posted by library at August 29, 2005 02:46 PM
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