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Wonderful Tall Tales And Super Awesome Photos

Recognizing the power of what we already have is always useful and learning to use it when needed is (useful) as well!! So today I do a little bit of that by taking a post from the past and adding to it for a whole new serving of wonderful tall tales and super awesome photos!! Well, don’t take my word for it but go and read to decide for yourselves…

As in recent posts, I am trying to celebrate current random national days (just because) and this post celebrates some of those fun events and a few literary birthdays too!

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Wonderful Tall Tales And Super Awesome Photos

The photo below is not really super awesome; a bit grainy as I took it in fading light as we took a quick stop to see Bunyan and his ox near Klamath along Highway 101 in California. This was on our return from Oregon during a trip in summer 2017. My teens (who were 14 and 11 at the time of this pic) are visible at Bunyan’s foot (to get an idea of the size of the statues!!)!!

What are Tall Tales? and What makes a photo or a photographer super awesome? Check out today’s featured reads for now. I will be updating this post some more to add more fun to it over the week.

The Books


This book review is from years ago; to be more specific, from January 2012! The years have indeed flown. While the memories of reading this book remain pretty clear, my son has grown from being a little 9 year old then to an 18 year old young man today heading off to college in a couple of months.

Today, I am guessing I will rate this book with a 4 star rating on GoodReads compared to my 3 star one earlier (might as well go and update it in a bit). This book made its way from the archives today because a) I wanted to share a read I loved with all of you; and b) it is Paul Bunyan Day on June 28th!

Book Info

Title: Tall
Edited By: Donald Lemke
Rewritten and Illustrated By: Various
Length: 144 pages
Genre:  Children’s Graphic Novels (8 – 11 years, and up)
Publisher: Capstone (February 1st 2012)
Source: Originally, digital review copy from NetGalley + Currently, my personal copy

Description: Four larger-than-life American folktales come alive in this collection of comics from award-winning creators and rising stars! The tall tales include Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Johnny Appleseed.

Our Thoughts

I requested this for review as I grew up reading comics in India and love the way comics tell the stories –   they are after all picture books with lots more pictures and wonderful dialogs. This request was definitely worth it – this collection of graphic novels that tell tall tales is delightful while being educational as well. Since I have not read the original tall tales and/or other versions of these tall tales, I cannot attest to how true they stick to character, but then again, they are tall tales!  

How can tall tales be educational? They still need to be told – they are now part of American folklore however they might have started and each tall tale has something additional – interesting facts, reading guide, discussion questions, writing prompts, glossary.  

The collection includes the tall tales of Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry and Johnny Appleseed.  

  • Paul Bunyan – this was my favorite of the lot! And my 9 year old son’s too. The artwork is wonderful, the text humorous, the portrayal of how Paul Bunyan’s parents take care of him very sweet and funny, and overall a truly tall tale told well!  
  • Pecos Bill – cowboys! Lots of legends here too like in Paul Bunyan and the artwork complements the text perfectly here.
  • John Henry – a wonderful story of a great legend with a big heart. Loved the flowing and bright artwork here.  
  • Johnny Appleseed – My kids read about Johnny Appleseed every year at school and celebrate the day, the week also and the school overflows with apples – thanks to Johnny Appleseed. This story portrays Johnny  Appleseed’s helping nature to one and all without taking sides and strong morals very well. Again, the artwork fluidly and colorfully moves along with the text as the story moves between reality and tall tales.


I loved the comics (graphic novels) and would have fallen in love a little more (if possible) if the stories had been a tad longer. This is a great entertainer and an educational resource for kids between eight and ten years of age, well all ages, actually!

Get It Here

Amazon | | Book Depository | | BookShop | | Barnes and Noble

Disclaimer: Thank you to Stone Arch Books (a Capstone Imprint) for sending me a digital review copy via NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read this book.  

Be a Super Awesome Photographer

I love the camera, and I love taking photos, sometimes testing the patience of my family as I take countless snaps of something or the other (or of them!) And I had to pick this book to read when I saw it on NetGalley a couple of years ago. I finally read it sometime last year and loved it’s fun challenges as well as the examples used in the book. You might recognize some of the pics yourself.

Sharing this overdue review on the occasion of National Camera Day, which is celebrated on June 29.

Book Info

Title: Be a Super Awesome Photographer
Author: Henry Carroll
Rewritten and Illustrated By: Various
Length: 64 pages
Genre:  Children’s Photography Books (7 – 11 years, and up)
Publisher: Laurence King Publishing (May 7, 2019)
Source: Digital review copy from NetGalley

Description: Using real photographs for inspiration, this great book features 20 exciting and instant photo challenges to help you create your own masterpieces. All you need is a camera and your super snapping skills. Learn how to be invisible, play with your food, stop time, and much more!.

My Thoughts

A super awesome book about photography indeed! 20 photographs by famous photographers lead readers to 20 fun and “snappy” challenges.

Carroll uses simple, straightforward language to share creative tips, as well as additional information on some basic photography components like light, composition, and more. His examples as well as the the accompanying know-how and facts for each picked example are sure to help readers (photographers) think differently; and sometimes take the box (thinking outside the box, I mean) out of the equation!

Concise, compact, creative, and cool! A book that is a perfect gift for a beginner photographer of any age, and even for those who love photography and books. I know I was inspired to try to take photos differently after reading this book.


A book that both the bibliophile and the photo-crazy-geek in me wholly recommend!!

Get It Here

Amazon | | Book Depository | | BookShop | | Barnes and Noble

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for sending me a digital review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read this book.  

Back to the Future, Well, Present

From the Original Post

I linked the original post to Teach Mentor Texts years ago; and since I do have additional books (reviewed and mentioned) today, I am doing so again!

The list below has the completed reading list as of that week in 2012 . and this past week, I have done reading as well (binged on historical romance author Joanna Shupe’s books actually along with other reading from NetGalley)

  • ‘The Sari Shop’ by Rupa Bajwa (review coming soon here)
  • ‘The Twentieth Wife’ by Indu Sundaresan (review coming soon here)
  • ‘Tall’ (reviewed here – an ARC)
  • ‘Steve Jobs’ by Nick Hunter (review coming soon – an ARC here)

Currently reading (from the Jan 2012 post):

  • ‘The First Men in the Moon’ by H.G.Wells (update for 2021 post – review here)
  • ‘Mr.Popper’s Penguins’ Richard and Florence Atwater (update for 2021 post – review here)

Next to read:

  • Pride and Prejudice (update for 2021 post – finally read and reviewed here)

Those Other Celebrations Needing Books This Week

  • It is Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s birthday on the 29th of June; so celebrate it by picking up a copy of The Little Prince. In fact, I am eyeing this adorable 75th anniversary edition!!
  • I mentioned National Meteor Day earlier. This is celebrated on June 30th annually. I have some space reads for you listed in these posts here and here. And of course, while I am on the subject of comics and meteors, Krypton comes to mind! You will definitely enjoy reading The Man of Steel: Superman and the Poisoned Planet. My review for this book can be found here.
  • July 1st is William Strunk’s birthday, and I hope to get started on my copy of The Elements of Style finally! You can read it on Project Gutenberg.
  • Then July 2nd brings with it Herman Hesse’s birthday (read his Siddhartha here on Project Gutenberg) as well as Andy McDermott (read his Wilde/Chase series! I have read a few so far, reviewed one, loved them all)
  • Matt Haig (whose book, The Midnight Library, has been on my TBR for a while now, and The Comfort Book is now on my most anticipated books list coming tomorrow here) as well as Dave Barry celebrate their birthdays on July 3rd.

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of the featured/mentioned books today? Your thoughts on them if you have read them? And would love to hear about other similar books if you have any… As always, would love to hear your feedback on the post; I truly look forward to suggestions for improvement as well as any other requests you might have for posts like these.

13 thoughts on “Wonderful Tall Tales And Super Awesome Photos

  1. My youngest will be 8 this year and she is sadly not as in to books as I am. I absolutely adored reading as a kid and still do now. I hope I can instill the love of reading into her, I need to find the right series or author she will love. As a teen I fell in love with all of Dean Koontz’s books.

  2. What a great set of books! I hadn’t heard of Tall, but it sounds like a super-fun way to learn about old tall tales! And Be a Super-Awesome Photographer sounds great as well—I enjoy photography myself but don’t do it enough, so a book like that would be good for me! Thanks so much for the great post!

  3. Excellent choices! My weirdly religious parents tended to focus more on forcing and drilling Bible stories into me, but I remember as a child being quite enthralled with Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill, but John Henry made me cry – every single time. I can keenly recall the first time being exposed to these stories in grade school.

  4. Wow! This book looks so interesting will definitely get to check this out. I’m sure my kids will love it and will read it many times.

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