Call it what you will—nincompoop, knucklehead, ninnyhammer, numskull, noodlehead—stories of the fool have been around as long as people have been telling stories. Everyone has had a noodlehead day, a day when the brain takes a leave of absence and nothing but noodles seems to fill in the head space above the sinuses.
Noodlehead stories remind us that we are not alone when we hear a story in which someone else is the fool. Although they're told primarily for entertainment, much about human nature ....
can be learned by the reading and telling of stories featuring the fool. Knuckleheads come in all forms and shapes—young and old, weak and powerful, male and female. There's a ninnyhammer for everyone!
These stories are fun to read out loud to a friend, or just to read by yourself. But they are especially fun to tell. Weiss and Hamilton have included source notes and storytelling tips to encourage the budding teller's creativity, whether he or she be spinning yarns of “The Wise Fools of Gotham,” “The Knee-High Man,” “Clever Elsie,” or “The Men With Mixed-Up Feet.”
Cultural sources of the tales prove that a numskull can live any place in the world: Denmark, Uraguay, Lebanon, Algeria, Indonesia, Moldova, Poland, Iceland, Ghana, Ireland—even the good old USA! With rollicking good humor, this collection reminds us of the wise words of the French humorist François Rabelais: “If you wish to avoid seeing a fool, you must first break your mirror.”
AWARDS NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
Parents' Choice Award (Recommended Title)
Anchorage School District Book Review Rense L.
"Great fun to tie to research, different cultures; geography, silly stories."