Paul Bunyan

Author and Illustrator:  Steven Kellogg


Few things excite the imagination like the reading of a well written tall tale.  Add a bit of humor,  superbly detailed illustrations and you have a story to delight any audience.

Who couldn’t love the largest, smartest, strongest baby ever born in the state of Maine? And Paul Bunyan kept growing at an astonishing rate.  He raced with deer and wrestled with grizzly bears! At 17, Paul and his constant companion, Babe, the blue ox he had rescued from a snowdrift as a calf, took off on their own.  They headed west to join a lumbering crew.

Paul was known for his love of pancakes. It’s said that he once took a few days off from work to dig the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes so that barges could bring maple syrup into the lumberjack camp!  Another time he drug his great ax behind him, and it gouged a huge jagged trench, which today is the Grand Canyon!

After reading this delightful tall tale, there will likely be some lively fun and silly time of discussing the happenings of the story.  Perhaps you can even come up with some ideas of your own as to how certain landmarks “might” have come to be! 🙂

Critical thinking questions based on Blooms:

1.  How would you describe Paul Bunyan?
2.  Can you explain what happened when Babe put on the sunglasses?  How did this stop the blizzard?
3.  What would you choose to change if you were Paul Bunyan?

Kellogg believes that tall tale heroes are our mythology; they capture the spirit of the American imagination and American creativity and humor.