"Young children will double up in delight when they hear this story collection." - National Catalog of Storytelling Resources
Here are join-right-in tales from our American traditions - both Anglo- and African-American.
Whether the main characters are Rabbit, an old woman, or a modern child, they persist against fear, frustration or just plain silliness to get what they want.
The songs range from whimsical banjo songs like "Old Doc Jones" to "Great Big Dog," a deeply relaxing lullaby.
"A clear, pleasing voice. Varied sound effects, singing, and banjo playing add interest to the selections, which often involve the listener in telling the story or solving the problem." - Booklist
"A highly interactive recording, ... so inviting that children will want to listen to it over and over again."--Chicago Parents Paper
You can read a review of this tape, first published in the Chicago Parents Paper.
Stop That Shaking
Once upon a time, Doug made up this story for a class of children, to explain how any movement can be varied in direction, size, or energy. For once, we can tell someone else to "keep still!"
The Old Woman and Her Pig
Although this is one of the best-known cumulative tales, this is the only known singing version. Leonard Roberts collected it in Kentucky from Jim Couch.
Good Night, Sleep Tight
This is a widely known entertainment rhyme in the United States, sung about bedbugs, mosquitoes, or whatever is "eating" people here and now. Make your own verses!
Rabbit and the Mosquitoes
This story, known by folklorists as "the agreement not to scratch," is told from China to Africa to Georgia, U.S.A. Doug adapted his version freely from Joel Chandler Harris's Nights with Uncle Remus, where it is called "the funniest and most characteristic" of the stories heard on the plantations.
Great Big Dog
An African-American lullaby, collected in the 1930's by Dorothy Scarborough, and adapted by Peggy Seeger and then Doug. Here is a reassuring chance to sing about our fears.
Rabbit and Buzzard
In folktales of several cultures, Rabbit is the trickster hero, getting into and out of trouble by using its wits. This tale was collected in 1925 from Cugo Lewis, who was brought to North America from Africa in 1859.
Old Doc Jones
Doug reworked this Kentucky play-party song to let us sing our silly lies. He plays it on a turn-of-the-century mail-order banjo with nylon strings.
From India to the United States, people use this story to laugh at our preoccupations and our inability to see the obvious. Doug looked at 30 variants before localizing the first part in a modern kitchen, and choosing for the second part his three favorites from an amazing array of self-righteous Sillies.
Here's a double portrait: an older, self-sufficient way of life, and a child who has an answer for every question. Doug adapted Ameda Riddle's Ozark version of the old English singing game, "Milking Pails."
Children's voices: Elizabeth Gordon, Eric Person, Rachel Person
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