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Tall Tales

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A tall tale is an extravagant, fanciful or greatly exaggerated story. Usually focuses on the achievements of the ultimate hero. 


Pecos Bill
by Steven Kellogg                               J398.2
The adventures of Pecos Bill, larger-than-life hero of a popular American tall tale, recounts his youth as the adopted child of a coyote, his taming of the Hell's Gulch Gang, and his first encounters with Slewfoot Sue and the horse Lightning.

Paul Bunyan
by Steven Kellogg                          J398.2
Recounts the adventures of the great American folk hero, Paul Bunyan, and his big blue ox, Babe, as they dig out the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and the Grand Canyon. 

Roy Makes a Car
by Mary E. Lyons                                 J398.2
After building himself a turbocharged, non-collision automobile, Roy Tyle--the best mechanic in the state of Florida--builds a vehicle with wings, which flies up to Heaven and that God buys on the spot. 

Clever Beatrice
by Margaret Willey                                J398.2
A small, but clever young girl outwits a rich giant and wins all his gold.  

The Giant Carrot
by Jan Peck                                J398.20947
Wanting to help her family grow the carrot they have planted, Little Isabelle sings and dances for the carrot, which shows its appreciation by growing to an amazing height. 

The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers
by Caroline Arnold                               J398.20973
When animal catchers come to the forest looking for the scary-looking, but very kindly, Hodag to take him to a zoo, a group of lumberjacks must find a way to protect their friend. 

Paul Bunyan
by Stephen Krensky                      J398.20973
Relates some of the exploits of Paul Bunyan, a lumberjack said to be taller than the trees whose pet was a blue ox named Babe.

John Henry
by Julius Lester                        J398.21
Retells the life of the legendary African American hero who raced against a steam drill to cut through a mountain.

 Mike Fink
by Steven Kellogg                                     J398.22097
Mike Fink, a runaway at two days old, plows fields like an ox, fights grizzlies, and out-wrestles the king to become chief of the Mississippi keelboat men, until Hilton P. Blathersby and his powerful steamboat come along. 

American Tall Tales
by Mary Pope Osborne                           J398.22097
A collection of tall tales about such American folk heroes as Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Paul Bunyan. 

Larger Than Life: The Adventures of American Legendary Heroes
by Robert D. San Souci                           J398.22097
A collection of four short tales about such legendary American heroes as John Henry, Old Stormalong, Sluefoot Sue, and Paul Bunyan. 

Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale
by Steven Kellogg                            J634.11 A648
Presents the life of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, describing his love of nature, his kindness to animals, and his physical fortitude.  


All of these titles can be found in the Juvenile In-Between section under the author’s last name.

A Carnival of Animals
by Sid Fleischman
Tall tales about the fantastic adventures of some of the animals that live around Barefoot Mountain. 

McBroom’s Wonderful, One-Acre Farm
by Sid Fleischman
For twenty-five years, young readers have giggled over Josh McBroom's farm, where the acres are piled on top of each other and things grow uncontrollably, and now they will laugh triply hard at an anniversary collection of three McBroom tall tales.

Picture Books 

All of these titles can be found in the Juvenile Picture Books section under the author’s last name. 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
by Judi Barrett
Life is delicious in the town of Chewandswallow where it rains soup and juice, snows mashed potatoes, and blows storms of hamburgers--until the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Railroad John and the Red Rock Run
by Tony Crunk
Lonesome Bob and Granny Apple Fritter have to get to Red Rock by two o'clock or Lonesome will miss his wedding, but Railroad John has never been late so nothing will keep him from pulling the train in by 1:59. 

Whoosh Went the Wind
by Sally Derby
A boy tries to convince his teacher that the reason he is late for school is that, over and over, he had to undo the damage being caused by the wind, from tearing laundry off the line to blowing away street signs. 

The Fish Who Cried Wolf
by Julia Donaldson
Tiddler the fish is always telling tall tales about why he is late for school, but when he is actually caught in a net and taken far from home, it is his stories that help him find his way back. 

The Gum Chewing Rattler
by Joe Hayes
A tall tale of a boy whose chewing gum habit saves him from a rattlesnake's bite. 

Grandma Lena’s Big Ol’ Turnip
by Denia Hester
Grandma Lena grows a turnip so big that it takes her entire family to pull it up and half of the town to eat it, in a story that includes a note about cooking "soul food."  

Apples to Oregon
by Deborah Hopkinson
Moving away from his beloved home in Iowa to Oregon, Papa has a hard time saying good-bye to all his fruit trees and so, in addition to his large family, packs up a collection of peach, plum, and apple saplings to plant in his new garden upon his arrival.

Dust Devil
by Anne Isaacs
Having moved to Montana from Tennessee in the 1830s, fearless Angelica Longrider--also known as Swamp Angel--changes the state's landscape, tames a wild horse, and captures some desperadoes. 

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
by Anne Isaacs
In 1870, Tulip Jones, a wealthy, self-reliant widow from England, acquires the By-Golly Gully Ranch in Texas and soon finds herself saddled with 1000 suitors.

Swamp Angel
by Anne Isaacs
Along with other amazing feats, Angelica Longrider, also known as Swamp Angel, wrestles a huge bear, known as Thundering Tarnation, to save the winter supplies of the settlers in Tennessee. 

Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea
by Tony Johnston
Retells, in tall-tale fashion, how Levi Strauss went to California during the Gold Rush, saw the need for a sturdier kind of trouser, and invented jeans. 

Paul Bunyan’s Sweetheart
by Marybeth Lorbiecki
When legendary logger Paul Bunyan falls in love with Lucette Diana Kensack, he will do whatever it takes to win her heart, including trying to restore the Minnesota environment to its previous condition as part of Lucette's "love test." 

New York’s Bravest
by Mary Pope Osborne
Based on the heroism of a real NYC firefighter from the 1840s named Mose Humphreys, this tale provides a twist to the truth as this brave man turns into an 8-foot legend with super-human strength and courage as he races into burning buildings, rescues babies, and does one incredible feat after another. 

Peggony-Po: A Whale of a Tale
by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Peggony-Po, a sailor boy who was carved from a piece of driftwood and came to life, sets out to take revenge on Cetus, the biggest, meanest whale of them all who nearly took his father Galleon's life.  

by Dian Curtis Regan
Unhappy at home, a newborn baby packs up his blankey and other prized possessions, leaves the farm, and spends a year visiting and learning from bears, monkeys, sea lions, and other creatures. 

The Gullywasher
by Joyce Rosssi
Leticia's grandfather, who was a vaquero as a young man, provides fanciful explanations for how he got his wrinkles, white hair, round belly, and stooped frame.

Davy Crockett Saves the World
by Rosalyn Schanzer
Davy Crockett stops the evil Halley's Comet from destroying the world and wins the heart of Sally Sugartree in the process.  

Jangles:  A Big Fish Story
by David Shannon
A father relates to his son the tale of his encounter--and friendship--with a gigantic trout whose enormous jaw is covered with so many lures and fish hooks that he jangles when he swims, but who has never been caught. 

A Small Tall Tale from the Far, Far North
by Peter Sis
In an illustrated story based on the exploits of a Czech folk hero, Jan Welzl sets out on a thirty-year odyssey to explore the Arctic wilderness, in an adventure that blends tall tale, the hero's own words, and Eskimo myth. 

The Dirty Cowboy
by Amy Timberlake
Telling his faithful dog to make sure nobody touches his clothes but him, a cowboy jumps into a New Mexico river for a bath, not realizing just how much the scrubbing will change his scent. 

The Tickle Stories
by Jean Van Leeuwen
Grandpa's fanciful tall tales of ticklish worms, cows, and toes help three rambunctious children get ready for bed.

Whopper Cake
by Karma Wilson
Things quickly get out of control for a kind-hearted old man who sets forth to make the biggest and best birthday cake ever for his beloved wife.  

Steamboat Annie and the Thousand Pound Catfish
by Catherine Wright
Ernie, the troublesome, thousand-pound catfish, and his partner are back in the waters near the town of Pleasant and are causing a real ruckus in the community, so it's up to Steamboat Annie to take on the task of making Pleasant pleasant once again. 

Audio Books 

All of these titles can be found in the Juvenile Audio Book section under the author’s last name. 

Rabbit Ears Treasury of Tall Tales     J Book on CD    398.20973
The Rabbit Ears Treasury of American Tall Tales features the larger-than-life characters of America's favorite folk stories--read by your favorite stars and featuring original music by some of today's greatest artists. 

American Tall Tales           J Book on CD   398.22097
by Mary Pope Osborne             
A collection of tall tales about such American folk heroes as Sally Ann Thunder, Ann Whirlwind, Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Paul Bunyan.