Happy Big Whopper Liar Day!
American tall tales are popular stories to share around a campfire when exaggerated stories are in order. And Steven Kellogg is a master at retelling these whoppers for children. Here are three of his most popular tall tales.
Pecos Bill was just a baby when he was yanked out of his parents’ covered wagon while fishing in the Pecos River. He was found by an old coyote and raised with her cubs. It’s said that he could squeeze the poison out of giant rattlesnake and wrestle a monster who was part grizzly, part puma, part gorilla, and part tarantula. And that’s just the beginning of this tall tale!
Paul Bunyan: A Tall Tale written and illustrated by Steven Kellogg (1984)
Paul Bunyan was the biggest, strongest baby ever born. He worked in his family’s logging business before he could even talk. But when too many settlers moved into Maine, Paul left his parents’ home and moved out west where he cleared the land for future generations. It’s said that Paul Bunyon leveled the plains, shaved the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, and carved the Grand Canyon with his ax.
Mike Fink: A Tall Tale written and illustrated by Steven Kellogg (1998)
Mike Fink did not like being indoors, so when he was just two days old, he ran away from home and joined a troupe of acrobatic frogs. When his grandfather caught him and brought him home, he escaped through the roof of the house and rocketed high above the mountains. So it was decided that he would move out west with his mother, where he wrestled grizzly bears and eventually became the King Keelboatman and King of the River.