Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Blog Posts by Subject: Mythology and Folktales

Reader's Den November - Hell Hath No Fury: Gone Girl, Medea, and the Allure of the Femme Fatale, Part 1

This familiar trope plays out in a complex web of nail-biting intrigue in Gillian Flynn's popular mystery novel and screenplay Gone Girl, but this theme of punishing a philandering spouse to the extreme has ancient roots.Read More ›

Kikimora, Domovoi, Baccoo, and Other Strange and Spooky Creatures

This Halloween, staff of the Word Languages Collection at Mid-Manhattan Library would like to introduce our readers to some unusual creatures from around the globe.Read More ›

The Creepy, the Quirky, and the Occult: A Reading List from Open Book Night

October’s Open Book Night began with a 19th-century slasher story. We discussed Lizzie Borden and the fascinating tale of how she murdered her mother and father, and got away with it. Many more creepy suggestions followed.Read More ›

Paranoia, the Devil, and Witchcraft: Books on the Salem Witch Trials

Why did this happen and how could it have happened? You’ll have to read the accounts, the theories and stories and figure that part out for yourself. The following are recommended nonfiction and fiction books on the topic from children’s, YA and adult collections.Read More ›

Eight YA Retellings of Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding is the story of a girl and a big bad wolf in the woods. Here are some retellings of the classic tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Un-fair-y Tales: Mixed-Up and Irreverent Stories

Many children today are only familiar with the neat and tidy endings to ooey-gooey, sunshine stories. While these types of stories most certainly have their place in childhood, isn't it much more interesting when something unexpected, dark, or silly happens instead?Read More ›

Ten YA Retellings of Rapunzel

Rapunzel is a german fairy tale about a beautiful young maiden who has been impriosoned in a tower by an evil witch. Here are several retellings of the fairy tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Ten YA Retellings of Snow White

You know that romantic tale of a young woman who runs away to the woods to escape a wicked Queen. Here are several retellings of the fairy tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Fairy Tales With a Twist

These titles give the back story of our favorite fairy tale characters, tell what happens after "happily ever after," or when people from our world are tossed into the fairy tale world. Read More ›

Ten YA Retellings of Cinderella

You know that romantic tale of the orphaned girl with a cruel stepfamily, who later becomes the belle of the ball and finds true love after fitting into a glass slipper. Here are several retellings of the fairy tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Ten YA Retellings of Beauty and the Beast

You know that romantic tale of one fair maiden and a prince who has been cursed to look like a beast. The love of the young woman helps to free the prince from the curse and he becomes a handsome young man once again. Here are several retellings of the fairy tale that appeal to modern day teens.Read More ›

Medium Rare: Ghostly Stories from Rare Books

On Halloween, we pull back the curtain between real and unreal, reveling in the spooky, mysterious, and inexplicable. What better way to celebrate the holiday than communing with the spirits and ghosts who reach out to us from the pages of the Rare Book Division?Read More ›

Fairy Tale Villains We Love to Hate-Read

Get ready for the worst of the bad; these villains will make you remember just how Stygian children's stories can be.Read More ›

I Stayed Up Late Reading Cruel Beauty and Why You Should Too

If you want a YA book with demon lovers, fairy tale-Greek mythology mashups, wicked heroines, a castle full of shadowy secrets, and a passionate romance that begins with a murder attempt, look no further.Read More ›

Banned Books Week: The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was controversy surrounding The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales. The time was in fact the early 1990s, and the places were California and Arizona. In 1990, a California school district pulled an illustrated edition of Little Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman (originally called Little Red-Cap in the Brothers Grimm 1812 version) from a first-grade recommended reading list. The assistant 

... Read More ›

The Influence of Struwwelpeter

Heinrich Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter from Andy's Early Comics ArchiveStruwwelpeter is a children's book that has been endlessly imitated and retold, while providing the inspiration for countless parodies.

Struwwelpeter, pronounced Strool'vel-pay-ter, is a collection of cruel and frightening stories written and illustrated by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann in 1844. Wanting to buy his three-year son a book for Christmas and dissatisfied with what was available, he wrote his own. His 

... Read More ›

2013: The Year of the Snake

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. In the Chinese zodiac, the snake is equivalent to the Taurus in Western tradition. February 10th, 2013 to January 30th, 2014 will mark the Year of the Snake.

In the Chinese zodiac calendar, the snake is the sixth animal and symbolizes grace and calmness — it is introspective, cunning, and modest, but also mysterious, deceptive, and possessive. Those born in 2013, 2001, 1989 

... Read More ›

Booktalking "To Ride the Gods' Own Stallion" by Diane Lee Wilson

To Ride the Gods' Own Stallion by Diane Lee Wilson, 2000

In 640 BC, in an ancient Assyrian kingdom, 13-year-old Soulai created horses and other animals out of clay and decorative harnesses. Soulai's father said that he should never have been born, and continues in that vein when he sells Soulai to a king in order to repay a debt. His father's apology does little to mollify 

... Read More ›

Happy Paul Bunyan Day!

By C Jill Reed via Flickr.Since we can't visit all the great statues across the country, In observance of Paul Bunyan Day we're reading about the larger than life lumberjack and his best blue buddy, Babe (and, of course, celebrating anything really 

... Read More ›

Segal and Sendak: A Grimm Collaboration

Earlier this year, the NYPL Manuscripts and Archives division acquired the papers (PDF finding aid) of the acclaimed novelist and children's book author Lore Segal. The collection contains letters and literary manuscripts documenting her life as a Jewish refugee in England during World War II and her subsequent writing and teaching career. Among the papers is a small, 

... Read More ›
Page 1 of 3 Next

Chat with a librarian now