The Family of Stories: An Anthology of Children's Literature


698 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-03-921832




Edited by Anita Moss and John C. Stott
Reviewed by Adele Ashby

Adele Ashby was the former editor of Canadian Materials for Schools and Libraries.


This collection of over a hundred stories, nursery rhymes, and excerpts from novels is clearly intended to provide assistance to those who wish to teach children’s literature. Its structure reflects Frye’s belief that “all themes and characters and stories that you encounter in literature belong to one big interlocking family.” The selections, folktales, hero tales, and myths in their original and literary forms are grouped so as to reveal “the many ways in which they resemble each other” and to illustrate the major character types and the range of settings and actions. Each section has an introduction that outlines its basic characteristics and an annotated bibliography of related stories. Each selection has a headnote. Appendices offer stories drawn from picture books, excerpts from novels, and a guide to the teaching of interpretative skills to children. There are eight bibliographies listing works on criticism, on the history of children’s literature, on teaching, and related journals and periodicals. The selections are very broad in scope: two versions of Cinderella, Arthurian legends, John Henry, Narnia, Pippi Longstocking, Millions of Cats, and Anne of Green Gables, as examples.

Because it brings together so much material and organizes it from such an interesting perspective, The Family of Stories isworth considering for every professional collection.


“The Family of Stories: An Anthology of Children's Literature,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024,