Uncle Monday and Other Florida Tales
Retold by Kristin G. Congdon
illustrated by Kitty Kitson Petterson
An elegantly illustrated collection of forty-nine traditional tales from the Sunshine State
Few states can boast the multitude of cultures that created Florida. Native American, African American, Afro-Caribbean, White, and Hispanic traditions all brought their styles of storytelling to fashion Florida's legends and lore.
Uncle Monday and Other Florida Tales captures the way the state of Florida has been shaped by its unique environment and inhabitants.
Written for adults, children, and folklorists, this gathering of forty-nine folktales comes from a wide variety of sources with many drawn from the WPA materials in Florida's Department of State archives. Kitty Kitson Petterson's detailed pen-and-ink drawings illustrate each narrative. The stories represent a cross-section of the ethnic diversity of the state.
The book is divided into five sections: "How Things Came to Be the Way They Are," "People with Special Powers," "Food, Friends and Family," "Unusual Places, Spaces, and Events," and "Ghosts and the Supernatural." Within these sections are stories with titles ranging from "How the Gopher Turtle was Made" to the improbable "The Woman Who Fed Her Husband a Leg Which She Dug Up from a Cemetery." In these tales Florida is a world full of magic, humor, and adventure. There are tall tales, old magical legends, even quirky, almost straightforward narratives about everyday living, such as one story titled, "My First Job."
Kristin G. Congdon's informative introduction discusses the origins of Florida tales and the state's storytelling tradition. A reflection accompanies each story to guide readers to a deeper understanding of historical context, morals, and issues. Although oriented towards children, Uncle Monday and Other Florida Tales is also accessible to adults, particularly scholars interested in the state's folklore and oral traditions. Whether in a classroom or home, this guide adds great value to the collection.
Kitty Kitson Petterson was a freelance artist and illustrator from Winter Park, Florida.