Reviews for Her Stories : African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1996
Traditional and true African-American stories ""of the female kind"" are retold and briefly discussed in Hamilton's third collection illustrated by the Dillons. The stories are grouped into sections such as ""Her Animal Tales,"" ""Her Fairy Tales,"" and ""Her Supernatural,"" with a final section, ""Her True Tales,"" containing oral histories of three African-American women. The book will be well used by storytellers and others interested in traditional literature and ""her stories."" Bib. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1996 #1
Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. Traditional and true African-American stories "of the female kind" have been brought together, retold, and briefly discussed by Virginia Hamilton in her third collection illustrated by the Dillons. The author groups the stories into sections such as "Her Animal Tales," "Her Fairy Tales," and "Her Supernatural," with perhaps the most interesting being the final section, "Her True Tales," the oral histories of three African-American women. These place the previous stories in their social, historical, and emotional context. The style of each telling has been subtly adapted to reflect the tale's tone and origin, and the author's comments following each tale are informal and informative. This oversized volume is distinctly different in appearance from Hamilton and the Dillons' previous collaborations, The People Could Fly and Many Thousand Gone (both Knopf). Text is placed on a framed, buff-colored insert on each white page, as are the slick full-color illustrations. The artwork is not evenly executed. Some pieces, such as the portraits of Catskinella and Annie Christmas, are reminiscent of the work of Trina Schart Hyman. The book will be well used by storytellers and others interested in traditional literature and "her stories." m.b.s. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1995 November
~ A volume with as broad appeal as Hamilton's The People Could Fly (1985). All the stories collected feature females, but there similarities end; a variety of ordinary girls and women, her- vampires, mermaids, and witches inhabit humorous and frightening folktales, accounts of life in slavery taken from oral history collections, and elaborate fairy tales incorporating elements from many traditions into solid, African-American renderings. Hamilton divides the collection into ``Her Animal Tales,'' ``Her Fairy Tales,'' Her Supernatural,'' ``Her Folkways and Legends,'' and ``Her True Tales.'' Comments follow each story, offering insights and assurances of authenticity; source notes appear in the back. The Dillons bring luster to an already wonderful project, with polished acrylic portraits on creamy backgrounds; the pictures envelop the mythic aspects of the tales without abandoning their roots in ordinary human experience. It's hard to envision the shelf--children's or adults, on which this volume doesn't belong. (Folklore. 7+) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1995 November #2
The distinguished creators of The People Could Fly and Many Thousand Gone return for this striking collection of 17 tales, each featuring an African American woman or girl as the main character. True stories, ghost stories, folk legends, classic fairy tales, tall tales and more indicate the breadth of African American cultural traditions. Retold from a variety of sources, the stories flow smoothly in Hamilton's expertly measured prose. The full-color illustrations, one per story, are lush and detailed, like the Dillons' work in Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch. In a handsome oversize format, the book itself reflects unusually high production values. Text and art are laid against a buff background in a sophisticated but uncrowded page design, and the volume is bound with an unusually heavy casing. It will need that sturdiness, for these are tales to be read over and over again. Ages 6-up. (Nov.) Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1995 November
Gr 4 Up?Outstanding interpreters of, and contributors to, black culture for children, Virginia Hamilton and the Dillons have produced yet another superb offering, of value to all ages and segments of our society. Her Stories contains 20 brief pieces, equally (if sometimes rather abitrarily) distributed in 5 sections: animal tales, fairy tales, supernatural stories, ``folkways and legends,'' and true tales (including Hamilton's own account of this book's genesis). Vernacular rather than dialectal, the fluid writing recalls the oral sources of these tales (there is a source bibliography, and comments on provenance follow each tale). As the title implies, the stories all feature females, but there is nothing predictable about the roles they play. Funny, touching, scary, magical, and inspiring by turns, the characters are as varied as the narratives?and as the tastes of readers. The Dillons' electric-hued acrylic paintings (16 full-page, several vignettes, and an enticing jacket) catch the tales' multiple moods. The book is a gallery of beautiful women of color. Entrancing and important, this notable collaboration deserves a wide success.?Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 November
Gr 4 Up Nineteen marvelous selections retold by a master storyteller. Whether magical, eerie, comic, or touching, the tales are aptly served by the gorgeous, glowing acrylic paintings. (Nov. 1995) Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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