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Womenfolk and Fairy Tales

Womenfolk and Fairy Tales
Edited by Minard

Submitter: This cover had us cracking up in the back.  First of all – “womenfolk”?  And second – what are those ladies doing inside that elephant?  The elephant does not look happy at all!

Holly: I’ll grant you, “womenfolk” is an unfortunate term.  Are they inside the elephant because that’s what one of the fairy tales is about?  The elephant does look a little miffed…  My favorite story in this book is “Kate Crackernuts,” whom I have never heard of, but you can read all about her on Wikipedia.

0 Responses to Womenfolk and Fairy Tales

  • Is the cover the illustration for “The Sad, Confused, Squished, Melting Gumby Elephant that Gave Birth to Womenfolk, Children and Baked Beans?” Because I kind of want to read that story.

  • WTF am I looking at? Am I having another flashback?? damn flashbacks …

  • Womenfolk is the feminine version of menfolk. Not used very often, but not exactly unknown. Maybe now we say personfolk, to avoid political incorrectness! 🙂

  • Maybe the womenfolk were cold and needed a source of emergency warmth, sort of like Luke Skywalker and the Tauntaun on Hoth?

  • I’m a librarian, and a womanfolk – and I think I’d keep this one – although it could be nostalgia – I had this book as a child and loved it – there are some good stories. I love Kate Crackernuts – although my favorite version is in Tatterhood and Other Tales (which also has the elephant story!)

    • Thanks for the Tatterhood shout-out, Karen! I saw this cover and thought immediately of my tattered copy and the story of Unanana and the elephant!

  • I teach an intro to folklore course at my university, and it’s exactly this kind of 70s-crap approach to fairy tales that makes it a painful job sometimes. Blargh. The elephant actually looks a little queasy, like he’s about to regurgitate the womenfolk–and who could blame him?

  • Other Mel, I don’t know what your flashbacks are are from, but it certainly goes with the theme. Also, sharing is caring.

  • There’s a lot of stories that involve some sort of hungry creature that eats everything it sees – including people. Maybe in this case it involves an elephant? And yeah, Rosemary, usually said creature gets sick and barfs everyone up, or in some cases a smart woman is able to cut it’s stomach open from the inside, everyone crawls out, and replaces themselves with big rocks.

    I like the term “womenfolk” but I never went in for PC stuff as most people I know find it MORE offensive. (My mom’s best friend HATES being called Africa-American, for instance. She’d rather be called black.)

    And I love Kate Crackernuts. Especially since it’s one of the few stories I read where step-siblings actually love each other.

  • That cover image reminds me of the end of Series 3 of the League of Gentlemen. On this it’s at 8.32 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkcSXXEt8zs.


  • You know, in 30 or 40 years professors of folklore will probably say the same thing about your approach to fairy tales, Rosemary. If that sounds rude, consider that in another 30 or 40 years beyond that, those professors will be outmoded, as well. The only thing that endures is the story itself.

    • Preach it, Matthew!

      • dear submitter, please tell me you didn’t weed this still-relevant, still-useful, five-star-on-amazon book because you didn’t like the front cover. or are unfamiliar with the term “womenfolk” and somehow imagined that it was offensive.

    • MSM,
      Just to point out, that 5 star rating on Amazon is based on 1 review.

  • Matthew, I couldn’t agree more: the story is what matters, not the spin anyone puts on it, now or back in the 1970s.

  • “I thought these things smell bad from the outside…..”

  • It’s a 5-star book all right…based on 1 review. Not exactly a world-beater.

  • Surely you don’t think a 5-star rating on Amazon actually means anything. It’s the author’s mother voting a million times.

  • Love the Awful Library Books blog, but I don’t know why someone would want to weed this, unless there was really no room. I seem to recall an adage about books and covers.

    • Or it’s really tattered or otherwise too damaged to repair.

      Some of the best fairy tale books in our library are the ones from the 1940s, for instance.

  • Wow, I too instantly thought of ‘The League of Gentlemen’ and will proceed to call everyone ‘Dave’ today!

  • How about readomg a book with the Kate Crackernuts story instead of the Wiki version?

  • omg… that was supposed to be “reading”.

  • That family on the cover clearly don’t know the best way to get out of an elephant’s stomach is to run around until you get all pooped out.