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'folklore'

Mar 17

Get to Know Each Other by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on March 17, 2022 at 3:16 PM by Genesis Gaule

Curiosity is probably my strongest characteristic. It shows up most strongly when I meet new people. Sometimes, I meet them in person at the library or when I’m traveling. Even more often, I meet new people in books.

There is never the awkward stumbling through an initial conversation. No wondering if I’m saying something offensive or confusing while reading. The author introduces me to someone new and away I go into finding out all about them.

warriorsMy curiosity leads me to ask questions, even when reading. “Why would he do that?,” will send me back through the pages to catch what I must have missed. Fictional characters’ actions are often well explained in a book. Then there are the historical books which sometimes give one view of a moment in our past. I especially enjoy histories of groups of people like Warriors in Uniform: the Legacy of American Indian Heroism by Herman Viola. It had personal stories and the history that put their stories into context. I enjoyed a lot of the pictures also.

Memoirs are a real person’s retelling of an event or life experience through an emotional lens. Will I learn about the person? Absolutely. Some personal stories are told through important messages they want to share as in Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley.

How many times have you asked a question like “Is Sam your oldest brother or cousin?” That’s done when in the presence of another person. No matter how many times we visit with that individual, we can’t keep those details straight. A good amount of credit needs to go to people who can remember all the details about a person they meet like Sherlock Holmes does or Detective Vale in The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. Yes, that one’s fiction but I’m connected to all the characters. I also ask why about actions or viewpoints and sometimes get answers from living and breathing people though this can be much easier in a book. When searching for an answer in a book, there is no consequence for rereading a page to find the answer like there might be by asking, “What’s your name again?”.

noorAnother way to get to know people who I can’t find in our community is to read their folklore or stories based on them. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri includes the epics of India as the background. Stories set in a real location in a different time, brings the people of those parts of the world to life. Noor by Nnedi Okorafor is another science fiction novel that uses African culture as a backdrop. In it, I met Fulani herdsman which I knew nothing about before reading this fictional story.

Our Library also has some great children’s biographical picture books. The stories are true but placed in a story format. We even have graphical biographies which are wonderful fun to read.

black leapardWith so many options, you could make new acquaintances every day at the library. It’s OK if you don’t remember the title or the author or the name of the character. Ask one of us and we’ll help you locate it. We love to be asked, “What is the name of the book that has the colorful cover with eyes looking out at me?” We’ll start asking you questions and very likely find your book. “Is it about a tracker?”

“Yes,” you say and we answer with the title or walk you over to find the book. By the way, that is Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James which gives us a look into African history and mythology through a fictional tale.

Curiosity is great. Keep asking questions and discovering who else is out there.

Aug 06

Incoming Cryptids! by Cody Rasmussen

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on August 6, 2021 at 11:09 AM by Genesis Gaule

spooky woods at night with moon and mist

“I think the human mind isn’t comfortable with mysteries. We’re always looking for answers to the unexplained. And if an answer can’t come from facts, we’ll try to cobble one together from old stories.”
-- Max Brooks, Excerpt from Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

In the forests...the skies...below the depths. Strange creatures have always been in the tales of humankind since the beginning of time. Creatures of enormous proportions, creatures with claws and wings, some that move without the fear of man, and those who race towards us with fire in their eyes. Many so-called “cryptids” keep us all intrigued.

loch-ness

Below the depths we hear tales of fantastical creatures that bear resemblance to ancient water-dwelling creatures, such as the world-renowned Loch Ness Monster and the infamous Kraken

Others reside in the skies, predicting misfortune and terrifying the local populations such as the Jersey Devil, the Mothman, and the Snallygaster.

statue of a mothman

However it is the land-based cryptids that are often some of the most recognizable around the world. The Chupacabra, a bizarre land creature that is said to feast on the blood of it’s livestock victims. 

But in truth the most well-known land cryptid would have to be the large bipedal primate-like creature: Bigfoot. Going by various names, it is said to be located on almost every continent. From the Yeti in the Himalayas to the Yeren in China. The Yowie in Australia to the bizarre Mapinguari of Brazil, that is said to be a giant cyclops with a mouth on its abdomen. The cryptid known as Sasquatch has been immortalized in the video and camera footage that have been “caught” over the decades.

bigfoot

Legends from all over the world tell of creatures that are beyond the scope of humans, they are believed to be something that can only come out of the imagination. Yet it is because of this simple fact...that cryptids are still one of the most interesting subjects that we have to this day.

“The inclination to believe in the fantastic may strike some as a failure in logic, or gullibility, but it’s really a gift. A world that might have Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster is clearly superior to one that definitely does not.”
-- Chris Van Allsburg, Caldecott and National Book Award-winning children's author and illustrator