Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fairy Tale Fridays: A Japanese Tale

Special Thanks to my Personal Faery Friend for the Button Art: Ye Olde Faery Shoppe

This week for Fairy Tale Fridays, I have decided to take a spin and begin exploring tales from other countries.  Our first selection, Peach Boy or Momotaro, I discovered when my son picked out an early reader of the book from the library.  I read the story (Peach Boy by William H. Hooks) to my son, followed by the special note from the author, and knew that this was the change that I needed for this weekly feature!

Peach Boy is the title character that comes to an old Japanese couple in a peach . . . hence, the name!  He grows up to a young man of fifteen and decides that he wants to help his family and his community; therefore, he sets out to destroy the oni (a mythical monster commonly portrayed in Japanese folklore or fairy tales) that terrorizes and steals from the village people.  Before leaving, his parents present him with gifts . . . a sword and some dumplings for the road.  Thanks to the dumplings, Peach Boy makes some friends along the road . . . a dog, a monkey, and a hawk.  They all work together in defeating the oni thanks to the help of the sword and return to their home with the treasure intact, sharing the wealth with the village people.  (In the link above, some differences do exist in the story, most notably being onis being replaced by ogres and the hawk by a pheasant.)

I honestly do not know what attracted me the most to this story when I first picked it up.  I think the illustrations were the first thing that drew my eye.  Just imagine . . . a young boy coming out of a peach!  But, then, I was drawn to the young hero who wanted to give back to his community.  There was some fighting, but no death was a result in my version of the story.  And, those animals that you don't usually think of being friends unite to defeat a common enemy, and live happily ever after in friendship.

All in all, the story just leaves me feeling so very warm and fuzzy all over!  This is a definite change from many of the stories that we have read so far!  I am looking forward to discovering other country's tales.  

Do you have any requests or preferences for future tales?  I will be adding more after I visit my local library again!

Friday, June 25th:  The Mother of the Jungle (Traditional Latin American Tale)
**SPECIAL NOTE:  I have linked those stories that I can find above either in writing or as a video of the reading via YouTube.  The generic link via the country's tales will take you to a listing of additional tales or possible replacements.  Enjoy!


  1. The giant peach reminded me of James and the Giant Peach, although I've never read or seen it. I read a version with Ogre Island.

  2. carolsnotebook . . . I've read James and the Giant Peach and now that you mention it, I think of it too! LOL!! I recommend that read! You can never go wrong with Dahl!

  3. I agree-you can never go wrong with Dahl. I love all the variety in your fairy tale choices. My schedule has been weird now that I'm on summer break. I will work on participating soon although the next one I will still be in Michigan.

  4. Peaceful Reader . . . No worries!! I know that you are still there and understand when you can only post now and then. Hope you are having fun in MI! I'm curious . . . where are you at? I lived in that gorgeous state a couple of years!


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