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Publisher's Summary

In The Children's Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales, Dr. Hannah Blevins Harvey unpacks more than 60 of our most beloved stories, fables, fairy tales, and songs from around the world - providing you with a fascinating, in-depth view into the history, context, and deeper meaning of the tales we know and love. As you travel through the catalogs of Grimm, Aesop, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, Oscar Wilde, and so many more, you'll gain profound insights into how and why these stories came to be. Supplementing the stories and insights provided by Dr. Harvey, child psychiatrist Dr. Zheala Qayyum, from Yale University's Medical School and Department of Psychiatry, weighs in on the importance of stories, folktales, and imagination-building exercise in the healthy development of children, no matter where they live.

Throughout this unique course, Dr. Harvey presents not only the exploration of themes, questions, and evolutions but, as a nationally-known professional storyteller and an internationally-commended performer, she also treats you to dynamic, theatrical, and engaging tellings of cherished tales from around the world, both beloved classics and lesser-known treasures.

Join us to discover a collection of stories that will lift your heart, haunt your dreams, and challenge your expectations.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting material

Be sure to understand that the story parts of this were performed for an audience of small kids so there are some silly sound effects and kid focused performance.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Overdramatized and cluttered

Very disappointing. The story of Sleeping Beuaty is told with so many silly sound effects, over-the-top dramatic voices and, worst of all, added detail - that the story is lost. I tried fast forwarding through these interminable tellings to get to the meat of the lecture but wasn't able to find much meat. Try listening before you buy.

44 of 51 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible Delivery, Not a Lot of Content

About 90% of these "lectures" are just the author telling fairytales, folktales, fables, etc. The other 10% (at most) is commentary on the stories. I was really hoping for something closer to a 50/50 mix. Although the author does include some interesting variations on familiar tales (for example, there are several versions of Cinderella), if you're interested enough in fairytales to pick up this title, you've probably already heard most of them. So, this is basically a collection of stories most people have already heard, with a few that might be new to some.

What really makes this into a terrible experience is the lecturer's delivery. The conceit is that she's telling the tales to a group of children, which would be fine if she didn't include weird audience participation cues for them that are distracting out of context. She also trots out a stable of accents so bad as to be offensive (think Natasha and Boris from Bullwinkle, and Apu from the Simpsons). There's no reason to include them whatsoever, and they're unlistenable. She also inserts a nervous chittering laugh about every third sentence, regardless of whether or not anything in the tale is funny.

Listening to this is painful, and the reward for doing so is minimal.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful!!!

I listened to this class with my 8 year old. What a wonderful storyteller - we were both completely engaged. Fantastic!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • VT
  • 12-19-17

Wonderfully narrated

A must have to every collection. The journey through the different tales is magic and informative. Loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Scout
  • Newburgh, IN
  • 12-16-17

Terrible performance.

When listening to ancient stories from around the world, you want a vaguely foreign accent not a patently American one. The speaker may have a lot of knowledge but she is not a skillful storyteller. Over dramatic and and cartoonish ... I found her delivery intolerable. As others have noted, perhaps this might appeal more to children but as an adult looking for a more intellectual discussion about the meaning behind these stories, I was disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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so fun

I listened to this course with my 6 & 4 year olds and my 8 year old neice. We all really enjoy it. My 4 year old made a Baba Yaga hut out of Legos the other day and I love that they have learned so many fairytales.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Story telling at it's best..I absolutely loved it.

Loved every second of it. well worth while listening to..I highly recommend this to everyone.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A mixed Audience?

I listened to this with my boys(ages 7 and 11) and we enjoyed it, by and large. However, the author was not clear to whom she was writing. Much of the time she was clearly speaking to a group of children, but then she would launch into an intellectual analysis, completely losing my boys(and me, as well).
Some of the later chapters begin documenting American folk songs, for some reason.
The author/narrator has a lovely reading and singing voice but also has some annoying mannerisms that, after many hours, began to be annoying.
We enjoyed this, but would not listen to it again.

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  • KL
  • Carrollton, TX, United States
  • 12-13-17

A wonderful introduction...

Loved it. Good for anyone who wants to dip below the surface of fairy tales and appropriate for all audiences. My son (7yo) and I listened to the whole thing and now we are relistening. Wish there was another course like this.

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  • Stephen Thomas
  • 05-20-18

Delightful and educational . 2 in 1 fun

I learnt a lot from this course. The teacher is super and very enthusiastic. I bookmarked the stories so my grand children can hear just the stories, whilst I now understand a lot more about folklore tales.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirstie Harris
  • 07-22-18

Engaging and informative

A lovely overview of folk tales and fairy stories and how they evolve, reflect culture and why they still resonate today. Each tale is beautifully told by Ms Harvey and the discussions around them are interesting and informative. I’ve listened to the whole book both on my own and shared parts of it with my 5 year old daughter, who laid next to me enraptured and has asked for some of them again and again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful