Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and other Wily Characters
McKissack, Patricia C. 2006. PORCH LIES: TALES OF SLICKSTERS, TRICKSTERS, AND OTHER WILY CHARACTERS. Ill. by Andre Carrilho. New York, NY: Schwartz & Wade Books. ISBN 9780375936197
2. Plot Summary:
Patricia McKissack’s re-telling of stories she heard in her childhood are as timeless as fairy tales. In her collection of short stories, characters like Aunt Gran, Bukka Black, Mingo Cass, and Pete Bruce use their wits and cunning to outsmart and triumph in tricky situations.
3. Critical Analysis:
McKissack uses stories passed down from many generations to compile this collection of “Porch lies”, folktales used to teach and entertain. Carrillo’s black and white illustrations add emphasis to the conflicts and hardships faced by African Americans in the early 1900’s. Carrilho’s illustrations create a surreal blend of reality and imagination. The characters are represented as larger than life in both the pictures and text. Each of McKissack’s colorful and unique characters shows cunning and intelligence. The morals of each story vary but there is an underlying theme that good will triumph over evil. The importance of quick thinking and attention to detail are passed down through these delightful, lively tales. There is a strong oral quality to McKissack’s writing and many of these stories are better suited to be read aloud. Children of all cultures will appreciate and learn from Patricia McKissack’s ‘Porch Lies”.
4. Review Excerpts:
Starred in BOOKLIST: “Great for sharing, on the porch and in the classroom.”
Starred in HORNBOOK: “Grandly melodramatic black-and-white illustrations capture the mood of the stories and the flavor of the period.”
*Ask students to deliberate on why Patricia McKissack chose to call her collection of folktales “Porch Lies”.
Other books by Patricia McKissack:
DARK-THIRTY: SOUTHERN TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL. ISBN 0679918639
AWAY WEST. ISBN 0670060127
AMISTAD: THE STORY OF A SLAVE SHIP. ISBN 044843900X
FLOSSIE AND THE FOX. ISBN 0803702507
*Have students research their own family stories and record someone telling them or write them down.
*Take one story from Porch Lies and act it out as a reader’s theater or turn it into a play to perform for others.
*Read other folktales like:
Lester, Julius. THE TALES OF UNCLE REMUS. ISBN 0141303476