This month is so busy I decided to do three inter-related stories early and schedule their publishing for the next three weeks. One of my programs is as the One-Room School Teacher. Along the way I show some of the books used as enrichment in those classrooms. E.C. Hartwell or Ernest Clark Hartwell produced the Story Hour Readings, from fourth year through eighth. He also wrote a teaching manual for the series and one other book, The Teaching of History. Beyond that, since he was primarily the editor and not the author, the only information I could find on him was he was born in 1883 and died in 1964 long after the popularity of One-Room Schools.
Because this year's cooperative Summer Reading Program's theme is water-related, I decided to choose stories that might be useful. Starting with the Fourth Year I found a non-oceanic story, but appropriate to this springtime when frogs are singing. It also helped that the story's written by Katherine Pyle. She's less well-known than her brother, Howard Pyle, who has appeared here in five postings before. Her art and writing, however, deserve to be better known and she certainly was acclaimed in her lifetime.
She's a perfect introduction to this Story Hour Readings trilogy and fits the purpose of "Keeping the Public in Public Domain." It opens with a simple illustration not as complex as some of her artwork, but conveys the whimsy she often revealed. It may even have been by one of the miscellany of illustrators used in the series as it's unsigned.
May the story stick with you when you hear everything from the Spring Peepers all the way to a deep bass bullfrog. They all started out as Tadpoles!
That simple story was an introduction to the next two weeks when stories of sharks and swordfish bring high adventure to the older students.
- There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection. I have long recommended it and continue to do so. He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
- You may have noticed I'm no
longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his
offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking
specific types of stories. There's another site, FairyTalez
claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales,
folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for
phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.
Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
- Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links. Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job. In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it. Possibly searches maintained it. Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine. It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!