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Earth Care:  World Folktales To Talk About

Earth Care: World Folktales To Talk About

Author: Margaret Read MacDonald

When I flew over Borneo and saw the forest in flames, I knew my next book must be a sequel to Peace Tales. It won’t do us much good to learn how to live in peace, if we don’t have any air to breathe or water to drink. It was easy to find these tales. Most tribal groups tell cautionary stories designed to teach the importance of caring for their environment.

The book contains 41 stories and 41 proverbs. 53 cultures are represented. The book is an excellent source for telling or reading aloud. Many of the tales include audience-participation, several are short enough to read in a minute or less. All should provoke thought

Type Year Publisher Price Length   ISBN
Paperback  2005  August House (English)  $16.95  176 pages  0-87483-784-7 
Paperback  2005  GRAD (French)    144 pages  2-910222-21-7 
Paperback  2004  Penerbit Kanisius (Bahasa Indonesia)      979-21-0431-3 

Additional Information and Resources



Reader’s Theater Scripts
Here are reader's theater scripts for "Too Much Sky" and "Reaching for the Moon" from Gail Johnson. I thought others might enjoy using them.

Too Much Sky (PDF 121.4KB)  
Reaching for the Moon (PDF 123.4KB)  

MRM TELLS CURUPIRA Filmed in Hawaii, May, 2016 by Jeff Gere

2021 EarthUp Activity Sheet

Activity Sheet (PDF 124.3KB)  

To see Earth Care tales on Youtube use these search topics: Youtube search: Earth Care MRM You will find group 3 bi-lingual tellings. 1. GECKO GROUP: Ariyo Zidni (Indonesia); Jeeva Raghunath (Tamil); Kiran Shah (Gujarati); Birte Harksen and Ingibjörg Sveinsdóttir (Iceland); Alton Chung (Hawaii); 2. Icelandic telling; 3. FEAST (Federation of East Asian Storytellers) Roger Jenkins (Singapore); Rona Mentari (Indonesia); Ahn Sook Kim (Korea); Alla Lebedeva (Russia); Rituparna Ghosh (India-Hindustani); Cem Alfar (Turkey); Simone Sales (Philippines-Tagalog). Youtube search: Earth Care MRM Mikku and the Trees A telling by Jen and Nat Whitman. Youtube search: Earth Care MRM Frog and Locust A telling by Joe Hayes and a telling in Spanish by Paula Martín, El Sapo y el Saltamondes. Youtube search: Earth Care MRM Spider and Palm-Nut Tree Telling by Judith Black. Youtube search: Earth Care MRM Three Green Ladies Telling by Margaret Read MacDonald Youtube search: Earth Care MRM Mosquito Extermination Project Telling by Jenni Cargill-Strong Youtube search: Earth Care MRM Tailor’s Jacket Telling by Roger Jenkins and Paula Martín and an origami telling by Chuah Ai Lin.

Activities for Gecko Cannot Sleep; Mikku and the Trees; Frog and Locust; Spider and the Palm Nut Tree; Three Green Ladies; Mosquito Extermination Project; Tailor's Jacket.


"An invaluable resource for both environmental studies and general consciousness raising"  ...Booklist

" humorous, profound, deceptively simple tales"  ...Kirkus Reviews

"MacDonald is a grande dame of storytelling, and this is a grand collection."  ...School Library Journal

"In a time when conscious stewardship of the earth is so important, a welcome addition to any classroom or library"  ...Book Links

"These forty-one tales about environmental conservation represent an impressively broad array of world cultures."  ...Horn Book, 1999.

"Teachers, educators, camp directors--as well as kids-- will find these compelling storei applicable to a variety of focused contexts, since their overriding premise is of such universal urgency. "  ...NAPRA Review, Jan/Feb 2001

"Each story is basic enough for young children to enjoy, but adults will learn from its teachings a well. Families will also love reading the tales aloud."  ...E Magazine, Sept/Oct 2000

"These tales are excellent for Earth Day and other ecological events or units, and can also be used for teaching consideration, cooperation, and conservation. "  ...The Book Report, Sept/Oct 2000

"This is a book well worth having in any school or public library, whether to support the curriculum or for pleasure reading. Not only will teachers and students enjoy reading and learning the tales, they will enjoy the discussions the stories will surely inspire."  ...KLIATT March 2000 Donna Scanlon

"The majority of the tales have been retold and formatted by MacDonald for easier storytelling, and her ability to distill a story to its essence is in strong evidence here."  ...Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Feb, 2000

"These ecologically focused folktales provide wonderful stories from around the world that invite future conversation...a perfect read-aloud that will invite calls to "read another story!" "  ...World Ark, Fall 2018


Bowker Best Books for Children 7th ed.

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best

Storytelling World Award

Categories and Keywords



Other Earth Day section

Other books of interest
Cerita-Cerita Pelestarian Lingkungan: Cerita Rakyat Dari Berbagai Penjuru Dunia
Bahasa Indonesia edition
Soignons notre Terre: 41 contes et proverbes de 4 coins du monde
French/Swiss edition