The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls

The University Society (Ed.). (1987). The bookshelf for boys and girls (Vol. 1). New Jersey: The University Society, Inc.

While I was looking for my first story to tell in storytelling class, I came upon this old book in my basement.  I remember when it was a 10 volume set.  I only found 3, but that was more than enough for my purposes.  Aside from the lack of source notes (which may actually be in one of the missing volumes, so I can’t say that for certain), this is a pretty good resource for stories to tell.  I think when I was younger I didn’t pay much attention to this work because of the relative lack of pictures in it (it’s a collection, not a picture book).  But there are some fantastic stories in here.

Volume 1 is devoted to nursery rhymes and nursery tales.  So we have all the old favorites like the “The Three Bears” and “Little Red Riding Hood.”  The story I chose to tell for my first telling was “The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat.”  It’s a very nice innocuous story.  The version in here, I found quite tellable.  There was some nice repetition, and mostly just the bones of the story so it would be relatively easy to modify for telling.

Volume 3 is folk and fairy tales: Snow White, Rapunzel, etc.  It’s a nice collection of them too.  The retellings seem fairly close to the originals, but there does seem to be a little bit of censorship of more “controversial” moments in our favorite fairy tales.  There was some editing of some of the violence and sexual innuendo.  Still, it’s a pretty comprehensive collection that really does belong on the bookshelf, if you ask me.


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