The Aesop Award Committee of the Children’s Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society have announced the 2011 Aesop Awards. It’s Not About the Apple, It’s Not About the Crumbs, It’s Not About the Hunter, It’s Not About the Pumpkin, and It’s Not About the Rose have received 2011 Aesop Accolades! Congratulations to Veronika Martenova Charles and David Parkins!
This is what the Award Committee had to say about the Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales:
By learning that the same stories have been told throughout history across many cultures, children can begin to feel a connection to the people of different nations. This is a message that rings true in this series of easy reader books that feature cross-cultural versions of folk and fairy tales familiar to all children. Each volume presents three different versions of a story told by three culturally diverse characters, Jake, Ben, and Lily. In It’s Not About the Rose!, Jake tells the European story of “Beauty and the Beast.” Ben is then reminded of the Indonesian version of this story he knows as “The Lizard.” Lily finally tells her story, based on the Norwegian folktale, “East of the Sun and West of the Moon.” In It’s Not About the Crumbs!, the three friends compare three different versions of Hansel and Gretel tales. It’s Not About the Pumpkin! features Cinderella stories from Europe, India, and China. The children compare versions of Little Red Riding Hood in It’s Not About the Hunter!, and Snow White stories from Greece, Armenia, and Italy are the subjects in It’s Not About the Apple!
These beginning-level books are presented in a format inviting to young readers, including the comic style illustrations of David Parkins. Each book cover shows the three main characters expressively sharing their stories, inviting the reader to join the group. The children compare the stories in familiar venues such as the park or at school, demonstrating how folklore can be part of a child’s everyday life.
Perhaps the best aspect of the series is that it includes folklore in the repertoire of first literature available to young readers. As children grow and mature they will find that folk and fairy tales form the base of much of the body of literature they will be reading. The committee would like to commend the publisher and author for this project that brings folklore into the realm of early reading literature and at the same time works in support of cultural consciousness.