"A veteran tale-spinner offers about 80 retold traditional tales, with an occasional original slipped in, designed to fill the bill when times or attention spans are short. As in most of her umpteen other themed collections, MacDonald draws from a world-spanning array of cultures, Aesop to contemporary camp lore, recasts each selection with frequent line breaks to indicate pauses, and closes with very careful notes on sources, tale types, and variants. Here, she even indicates telling times, though rightly cautioning readers and tellers to take them with a grain of salt. Arranged in digestible sections-"Riddle Tales." "Tales to Tell on a Museum Tour," "Very Tiny Tales! Under 30 Seconds!"--this gathering of easy-to-learn stories supplies full measures of chuckles and grins, tears, chills, wisdom, and entertainment. (bibliography, suggestions for beginning storytellers)(Folktales, 7-10, adult)"
"Easy to tell, easy to teach to children and adults, and easy to remember, the 80 very short tales in this global collection are for sharing in the classroom, library, and home and around the campfire. The stories range from chants and participation tales ("Did you feed my cow?") to scary ghost stories, and with each one, veteran storyteller and folklorist MacDonald includes a note in tiny print bout the story's origins and connections and about where to find more like it. Many stories are from Asia, where MacDonald has worked, and from the U.S.; there's only one from Africa ("How to break a bad habit") but it's one of the best. The book design is spacious, with short lines that show the rhythm and pauses of the telling. The informal, highly practical suggestions for beginners make storytelling sound easy, including how to choose and rehearse a story and where and when to tell it. The fun here is not in punch lines or climactic moments but in the lively telling and interaction."
"…The book includes suggestions about where and how to use the stories, tips for beginning storytellers, and a bibliography. The stories come from all over the world and could be used as fillers for any public speaking occasion. They are good for holding audience attention, adding interest to cultural and religious themes, conferences and in services, supplementing lessons for children or just as a fun break from routine tasks. Many can be sung or used as audience participation exercises. The teller is encouraged to use imagination and creativity in adapting the stories to specific situations and audiences. If this is a resource you need you will want to check out numerous similar collection by the same publisher."
Teaching Tolerance Spring 2005
"…a collection of small stories from around the world that can be sued to open lessons or presentations, grab students' attention or wrap up a program or lesson. Perfect for those last three minutes before the lunch bell rings."
Puget Sound Council
P. Borchert (Edmonds)
"The title of the book says it all--stories from around the world, all three minutes or less. As such this book is best used as a resource to supplement library programs or lessons. The categories are clear and well organized including humor, riddle, scary, preschool and the like. The stories are well suited for read aloud, including the famous chicken and the frog ("read-it!) tale. This book would be an excellent resource for a beginning librarian looking for tricks to put in their storytelling bag. It will probably not be of interest to the typical library patron."
School Library Journal
"MacDonald has compiled more than 70 short, easy-to-learn tales that are ideal for beginning a program or filling in short lags that may occur during a performance. Some selections take as little as 30 seconds to tell. They come mainly from Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and are subdivided by the occasions for which they are best suited: tales to tell on a walk, scary tales, humorous tales, tales for the very young, participatory tales. A few are even provided in fingerplay form. A useful addition to professional and parenting collections."