The Cow-Tail Switch: And Other West African Stories, by George Herzog, Madye Lee Chastain, Harold Courlander
doriastories's review against another edition
An excellent collection of West African folk tales, told in spare but clear prose, eminently readable and tellable, and appropriate for a wide range of ages, child to adult. This edition is notable also for its excellent notes and useful pronunciation guide, which is an invaluable guide for anyone who is interested in reading the stories aloud and/or telling them with any kind of authenticity and awareness of their socio-cultural provenance. Courlander's collections remain some of the finest to be found, and this one provides a terrific selection of Ghanian and Ashanti tales, both for those who are new to this narrative tradition and those who are familiar with its many satisfying delights.
triscuit807's review against another edition
3 stars. This is a collection of tales - I hesitate to use the term "fables" since there is usually no clear lesson - that the anthropologist/folklorist collected in West Africa. All in all it was a quick, pleasant read. I think my favorite was the story of the man and the musical tortoise. Courlander was a Caucasian novelist and scholar who specialized in Haitian/Caribbean, African, and Native American cultures and story telling, but he's most "famous" as the author of "The African" - the novel that Alex Haley copied extensively for his own novel "Roots". I read this for my 2019 Reading Challenge and my Newbery Challenge (Honor Book, 1948).
scaifea's review against another edition
A collection of traditional stories from West African. Fun and interesting - I always love a good Anansi story and he's nicely represented here.