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So it is with no small amount of gratitude, and a little bit of grace, that we take this opportunity to celebrate one author who unselfishly shared his gift of story with us. In this case, the beloved award-winning author, Robert D. San Souci. This was a story of strength, honor, and freedom.

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Folklore or not, Mulan resonated with me, and every girl like me, by showing us how strong and brave we truly are. I never knew who to thank for this powerful role model until I started working for August House and encountered the name of Robert San Souci. I knew I wanted to honor this man in some way, and we decided to dedicate this issue of our newsletter to celebrate his many gifts.

Best of Robert D San Souci

Since Robert, or Bob as he would affectionately ask to be called, published nearly a hundred books, this is a humbling, if not almost impossible task, but here it goes! The first thing to marvel about Robert San Souci was his deep curiosity about the world. This trait influenced how he gathered his stories. In fact, he made many of his folklore discoveries simply by roaming around and talking with people he would encounter. He traveled widely, meeting new people and learning their histories as he pursued his passion for unique story lines.

When he found a story that excited him, he would go to work writing it down in a way that he could share with the world. Obviously, San Souci was a prolific writer. San Souci had a particular knack for writing scary stories and nearly half of the books he authored were written to frighten his readers.

Fairy tales, fables, folklore and trickster tales

She sends a gift back in return, which Wali Dad then sends off to the noblest man. This exchange leads to the eventual marriage of the two gift recipients and Wali Dad's happy return to his simple life as a grass-cutter. San Souci's "illustrations convey an atmosphere of radiating generosity," remarked Mary Harris Veeder in her Booklist review of the work, and School Library Journal critic Marilyn Taniguchi cited The Gifts of Wali Dad for illustrations "full of interesting details … [that] … support and enlarge upon the text.

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Red Wolf Country relates the experiences of two wolves searching for shelter before giving birth to a litter of cubs. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that San Souci's "elegant" pictures combine with London's text to produce "perhaps the most compatible collaboration yet.

The barefoot book of trickster tales | Boulder Public Library

San Souci's images "bring … children close to the wild herd and the blistering desert heat," noted Booklist contributor Gillian Engberg, and in School Library Journal Ruth Semrau maintained that the artist's illustrations "capture the joy of the running horses in their desert setting. San Souci's work for David F. Birchman's Jigsaw Jackson results in a lighthearted picture book about a farmer who goes on the road to exhibit his jigsaw-solving prowess one winter.

The man finds fame and fortune, but eventually misses his animals and returns home. In School Library Journal, Christina Linz commented on the author's "hilarious scenarios," adding that "there's just enough fantasy blended with realism to create some pretty hysterical pictures. Frightful's Daughter, a story by Newbery Award-winning writer George, is a picture-book sequel to George's highly popular novel My Side of the Mountain, about a boy named Sam and a peregrine falcon he calls Frightful.


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In the story, set in the Catskills, Frighful's chick, Oksi, grows up with an independent spirit that makes both Frightful and Sam concerned for her safety. Now the mother of chicks of her own, Oksi is as brave as ever, even when her nest is besieged by a local weasel with his own family to feed. San Souci sets the wilderness tale amid what Booklist critic John Peters described as "verdant, open forest landscapes," and a Kirkus Reviews writer concluded that the book's "realistic watercolors capture the luminous grandeur" of the story's upstate New York setting.


  1. The Positive Effects of Insomnia on the Human Mind.
  2. Sister Tricksters: Rollicking Tales of Clever Females.
  3. Sister Tricksters – Children's Book Council.
  4. Many of San Souci's illustration projects are collaborations with his brother, author Robert D. San Souci. In Feathertop, their adaptation of a tale by noted eighteenth-century writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mother Rigby, the town witch, turns her scarecrow into a handsome young man and sends him off to court the judge's daughter as a trick. The trick backfires however, when the scarecrow and the girl fall in love, and the girl must try to convince Mother Rigby to make the transformation permanent.

    A seven-year-old and I enjoyed these stories very much, it was nice to read Southern idiom without all the text being mangled to try to visually recreate a Southern accent. The tales are not PC, there are stereotypes and a few beatings with bags of cornmeal, etc. Apr 10, Raven Grider rated it liked it Shelves: children-s-books , gender. I am a huge fan of Robert San Souci, to being with! I enjoyed this book about "clever women" because it doesn't have your typical male hero.

    San Souci's illustrations are always engaging, but these are not as interesting as I had hoped. Overall, I would use this book to incorporate the importance of going against stereotypes or teaching about how great females are. Oct 07, Stacy Kirkman rated it did not like it Shelves: folklore , animals. This book has some racist and violent undertones. The "deep-South" dialect was hard to read and I just didn't like the stories. It was trying to re-tell some classic Uncle Remus stories with female lead roles but missed the mark with me.

    Feb 04, Kara rated it it was ok Shelves: folklore. The 19th century style was long winded and hard to understand, even with the old dialects and accents rounded off a bit. Also, cringe worthy. Aug 11, Kest Schwartzman rated it liked it. Weirdly switches from dialect to not dialect, and the illustrations are pretty subpar. Still, it's nice having the emphasis switch to female characters in some old folktales. Oct 27, Krista the Krazy Kataloguer rated it liked it Shelves: read-womens-history , read-childrens-books , read-folktales-traditional-lit.

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    I may have liked this more had I not already heard a number of the stories in it. May 15, Rani rated it liked it Shelves: adventure , children , folktales , pb-fiction , friends , women , animals , family , multicultural , fantasy. Always remember that "A Woman sees all 'round and over and underneath and on both sides of a thing Nov 18, Felita rated it liked it.

    Love it women females get the best of men.