Folktails: Jan Thornhill talks about animals, children, and literature

Jan Thornhill


On this week’s Animal Voices, we’ll hear from Marine Mammal Specialist Richard O’Barry about the annual Japan Dolphin Day, the international protest against the slaughter of 20,000 dolphins in Japan. This year’s protest is on Wednesday, September 20 at noon at Japanese Embassies worldwide.

Then we’ll be speaking with children’s author Jan Thornhill about her fascinating books Folktails: Animal Legends from Around the World and I Found a Dead Bird: The Kids’ Guide to the Cycle of Life and Death. In Folktails, Jan brings together playful animal trickster stories from every continent (except Antarctica!) and pairs them with distinctive illustrations that both adults and children can enjoy. Employing a direct yet sensitve approach, I Found a Dead Bird presents children with thoughtful information about death and dying, and helps them understand this perplexing phenomenon.

Thornhill teaches kids about animals without resorting to clichés and without patronizing them about more serious issues. Tune in to hear about how she approaches animal subjects in children’s literature, and how she translates those thoughts into her beautifully-illustrated and informative books.

Listen right now:

or download an mp3 of the interview.

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