Paul Bunyan: The Invention of an American Legend By Noah Van Sciver; With Stories and Art by Marlena Myles; Introduction by Lee Fran cis IV
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Published by (2023-08-08)

Did you know that a mainstay of American folk culture was in fact created as an advertising ploy?

Few people realize that Paul Bunyan, the legendary lumberjack, and his blue ox are the product of corporate marketing by a highly industrialized commercial enterprise.

Cartoonist NOAH VAN SCIVER shows us the myth creation as real life marketing man extraordinaire W.B. Laughead spins ever more wondrous tall tales. Van Sciver's story is bracketed by rich contributions from contemporary Native artists and storytellers with a very different connection to the land that the Bunyan myths often conceal. Readers will see how a lumberjack hero, a quintessential American fantasy, captures the imagination but also serves to paper over the seizure of homeland from First Peoples and the laying bare of America's northern forests. It’s a tall tale with deep roots . . . in profit-making!

Book Details

Format: Trade Paperback
Price: 15.99 CAD / 11.99 USD
Published: 2023-08-08
ISBN: 9781662665233
Imprint:
Page Count: 48
Trim Size: 7-3/4 x 10
Grades:
Ages:

Bank Street College of Education's 2024 Best Children's Books of the Year
A 2024 Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice

"Van Sciver is a master of subtle mockery."The New York Times

★ "The Paul Bunyan tall tale gets felled.... Readers will come away ready to question what other falsehoods they’ve been fed about the history of marginalized people.... A heightened sense of scale makes Bunyan practically leap of the page in grandeur. An accessible and important reminder of how easily the truth can be coopted." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A busy, thoughtful presentation that will leave readers with much to ponder about the making of this strand of the American mythos.” —The Horn Book

"Enlightening. . . . [A] frank and accessible depiction of the environmental and economic impact of boom-bust industries . . . and how the Bunyan fiction perpetuated these systems."Publishers Weekly

"Offers an opportunity for critical thinking with eye-opening results."--School Library Journal

 "The combined cartoon and folk art styles work well to capture the giant lore of Paul Bunyan [...] A mighty attempt to take on a giant topic of forgotten history." Booklist

“A fast-paced and enjoyable book that captures the cadence and evolution of tall tales in oral history. The bookend contributions by Native authors provide a nuanced and essential critical exploration of the impact of American logging on Native American land.” —SHING YIN KHOR, author of The Legend of Auntie Po, a National Book Award Finalist

"It's so refreshing to see this alternate view of the legend.... An excellent resource for upper elementary school grades."—Youth Services Book Review

"Logging culture may have produced some great stories. But it also cost America, and especially the indigenous people whose land all those trees once stood on, greatly. Both facts are important parts of our history. Van Sciver’s Paul Bunyan tells them both, and he does so in a way that is both potent and fun." – SLJ's Good Comics For Kids

"Logging culture may have produced some great stories. But it also cost America, and especially the indigenous people whose land all those trees once stood on, greatly.... Van Sciver’s Paul Bunyan tells them both, and he does so in a way that is both potent and fun." —Good Comics for Kids

“The legend of Paul Bunyan and his ox Babe is well-known, but this book goes beyond the typical stories you hear about Paul Bunyan.” — YA Books Central

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