cover image Grandfather Tales

Grandfather Tales

Richard Chase. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $8.95 (222pp) ISBN 978-0-618-34690-5

Grandparents can be great storytellers, too, and the aptly titled Grandfather Tales: American-English Folk Tales, edited by Richard Chase, illus. by Berkeley Williams Jr. (first published in 1948), collects folk stories and tall tales handed down for generations. Although many originated in England, they have taken on a distinct American flavor. Familiar backcountry characters include Sody Sallyraytus and Old Dry Frye. The Jack Tales: Folk Tales from the Southern Appalachians (1943), also edited by Chase, illus. by Williams, captures 18 folk tales about Jack, well known to children from Jack and the Beanstalk (here known as ""Jack and the Bean Tree""). Williams's occasional pen-and-ink drawings add to the handsome package.