Tag Archives: legends

American Myths, Legends and Tall-Tales

This summer the Memorial Library is teaming up with the Children’s Library for the Summer Reading Challenge and we will be dazzling you with some A-Mazing book displays and events.


What is the Summer Reading Challenge? The Summer Reading Challenge is a reading incentive for children that takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up your child at your local library. They read six library books of their choice, collecting stickers and other rewards along the way and some libraries host individual events to coincide with the challenge and many of the events are FREE! This year’s theme is Mythical Maze and it celebrates myths, legends and tall tales and boy do we have quite the collection of American myths, legends and folktales for the whole family to enjoy! 

Children’s Events

pocahontasThis summer the Memorial Library is hosting 3 free events for children aged 8-12 years. On Tuesday August 5th, we will be reading stories about the Powhatan princes, Pocahontas, who came to Norfolk from the Americas in the 17th century and learning about Native American dreamcatcherDream Catchers. In some Native American cultures, DreamCatchers are believed to  filter out or ‘catch’ all bad dreams, only allowing good thoughts to enter the mind. Once the sun rises, all bad dreams disappear. At this event, children will have the chance to make their own DreamCatchers which are often ornately decorated with feathers and beads.



The following week, on Tuesday August 12th, children are invited to hear the enchanting stories of Chinese American author, Grace Lin. Our American Scholars will tell the story of Minli, a young girl who lives in a WhereTheMountainMeetsTheMoonramshackle hut with her parents. In the evening her father tells her old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon, who knows the answers to all life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off for a quest in search of the Old Man of the Moon with hopes of changing her family’s fortune. Children will be encouraged to create their own mythical legend and create their own mythical dragon.


sleepy hollow 3

Finally, on Tuesday August 19th children will hear the legend of Sleepy Hollow and other American Tall-Tales. A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. They are often told in a way that makes the narrator seem to have been a part of the story. They are set in a familiar setting, such as the European countryside, the American frontier or the Canadian Northwest. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a short story by American author Washington Irving; it was first published in 1820.  “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is among the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity. Can you write a legend just as good? Children will hear the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and create their own spooky stories about a location of their choosing. They will make a story flipbook to aid them in story development and creative writing.


Spaces are limited so be sure to call the Memorial Library to book your slot. 01603 774747 All events take place from 2-3:30pm.

For the Elders in the Family

Myths, Legends and American tall tales are not just for children. In fact, you can even study folklore as a profession; it’s called folkloristics. To coincide with the Children’s Summer Reading Challenge the Memorial Library will be celebrating American Myths, Spies and Legends throughout the month of August with book displays. American folklore encompasses the folk traditions that have evolved on the North American continent since Europeans arrived in the 16th century. While it contains much in the way of Native American tradition, it should not be confused with the tribal beliefs of any community of native people.

Here are just a few of our books on American folklore, myths and legends to get you started ahead of the game but do keep an eye out for our up coming display.

Myths and Legends

Johnny Applessed

cowboys myths


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Filed under American Culture, Books, Current Events, Local Interest, Memorial Library, Public Events