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Happily Ever After: How Our Stories End
Episode 24 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Dr. Harvey reviews the fundamentals of storytelling and expands on common themes that can be found across tales that span time and location, such as protection of family, being resourceful, demonstrating bravery, overcoming entrapment, and more. She shares her favorite…
American Tall Tales and Folk Songs
Episode 23 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Dr. Harvey jumps into the 20th century to demonstrate how Tall Tales reinforce the ideals of the cultures where they were born. After sharing the stories of "Pecos Bill," "Katy Goodgrit" and "Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox," Dr.…
King Arthur and Winnie the Pooh: Heroic Quests
Episode 22 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Continuing with the triad theme, Dr. Harvey uses this lecture to explore the role of the masculine hero, comparing the actions, motifs, and quests of King Arthur and Winnie the Pooh as she shares "Merlin, Arthur, and the Two Swords"…
Rapunzel: Maiden/Mother/Crone
Episode 21 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Femininity is once again examined, this time with a focus on the roles women play in stories. Dr. Harvey shares a combined version of "Rapunzel," pulling from Grimm's German version and Basile's Italian version. Looking at the triad of Maiden/Mother/Crone…
Snow White: Beauty and Handsomeness
Episode 20 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Learn why beauty matters, how beauty is akin to as power in many stories, and how, as these stories got retold and rewritten (by men), the roles men played became more heroic while the roles women played became designated to…
Lions and Tigers and Bears: Fables
Episode 19 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Aesop has made a name for himself. Dr. Harvey presents several of his tales, including "The Tortoise and the Hare," "Androcles and the Lion," "The Stone in the Road," "The Fox and the Wolf," and "Belling the Cat." She also…
How the Camel Got His Hump: Pourquoi Tales
Episode 18 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Many fictional stories are an attempt to explain why things in the world are the way they are. Dr. Harvey shares several pourquoi tales from around the world, including Kipling's "How the Camel Got His Hump" from his "Just So…
Three Little Pigs: Third Time's a Charm
Episode 16 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Dr. Harvey looks at the power of numbers in folktales, specifically the magic of three and seven. She notes how even the story formats are broken into threes: Beginning, Middle, and End. She shares the stories of "The Three Little…
The Little Red Hen: Formula Tales
Episode 17 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Repetition and patterned verse are often the backbone to some of our most beloved tales. Dr. Harvey presents a wide-range of formula tales including, "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" from Norway, Joseph Jacob's "Henny Penny" from Australia, "The Gingerbread Man,"…
Puss in Boots and "The Frog Prince": Fitting In
Episode 15 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Well before his debut in Shrek, "Puss in Boots" was making a name for himself in the Panchatantra. Considered one of the most influential written records of oral folklore, this Indian collection of more than 700 animal fables and folk…
Emperor's New Clothes: Looks Can Deceive
Episode 13 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Just like the lessons learned in the stories Dr. Harvey covers in this lecture, the stories themselves can be deceiving, too. Dr. Harvey first shares the Hans Christian Andersen story of "The Emperor's New Clothes" and then "The Happy Prince"…
Town Musicians of Bremen: Unwanted Animals
Episode 14 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Hear the story of "The Town Musicians of Bremen" - a tale that has been so prolific and retold through so many forms of art that in Bremen you can find a statue to the storied animals. Dr. Harvey also…
Tom Thumb and Thumbelina: Little Heroes
Episode 12 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Tom Thumb is grounded in oral folklore, meaning it was passed through the ages verbally as the storytellers could not read or write. Dr. Harvey shares J.O. Halliwell's poetic version of "Tom Thumb" as well as a Hans Christian Andersen's…
Hansel and Gretel: Ogres
Episode 10 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Folklorists believe that stories like Hansel and Gretel may have begun during the Great Famine in Europe, during the late Medieval age, about 700 years ago. Dr. Harvey shows us how the Scottish version has something else living in the…
Rumpelstiltskin: Naming Our Fears
Episode 11 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Dr. Harvey presents several stories, each of which explore the power of naming. Starting with classic story "Rumpelstiltskin" from Germany, collected by the Grimm brothers in 1857, you'll also hear an Egyptian creation myth, a Judeo-Christian creation myth, the Egyptian…
Jack and the Beanstalk: Archetypes
Episode 9 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Many scholars believe that the beanstalk in "Jack and the Beanstalk" is a reference to the Tree of Life, which is one of our most iconic global images. Dr. Harvey presents religious and cultural insights and more through the telling…
The Brave Little Tailor: Giants!
Episode 8 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Why do we love toppling giants? Stories such as David and Goliath resonate, giving us hope that we can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Dr. Harvey shares two stories: "The Legend of the Chocolate Hills" from the Philippines, and "The Little…
Cinderella II: Baba Yaga and Goddesses
Episode 6 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
With the French and Italian versions of "Cinderella," Dr. Harvey presented a classic "rise" tale, but "Cinderella" is the one of the world's oldest "magic tales" with many versions, interpretations, and morals. Vasilisa the Fair" follows the traditional "Cinderella" story,…
Cinderella III: The Mooing Godmother
Episode 7 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Cinderella stories go back 7000 years, and Mah Pishani is possibly one of the oldest. This Iranian story provides a very different take on the same themes you've become familiar with. Unlike the bickering evil step-sisters, this version is about…
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Transformations
Episode 4 of A Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales
Continuing with the theme of transformation, Dr. Harvey introduces you to a variety of interpretations of the classic story "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," starting with a composition known as a "symphonic poem" by Paul Dukas and notes Goethe's poem. She provides…