Toni Morrison built a legacy on writing about women and Black people in her novels. Morrison challenged the Black experience and brought up topics that made mainstream media question and create a large discourse. With her efforts, Morrison earned the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1993. She also co-authored children’s stories with her son Slade Morrison. Morrison lived from 1931-2019.

Below are a few narratives written for children. 

Who’s Got Game? Three Fables 

A book of three stories inspired by Aesop’s Fables for Children. Morrison’s spin on using stylistic vernaculars and free verse language making this old fable more contemporary for youth. This story utilizes rhymes such as “Got to split, Foxy. The summer’s been fun. There’s a lot of work to be done.”

The colorful language and use of vocabulary shifts the moral of the story.

The Ant or Grasshopper

Ant and Grasshopper enjoy the high times of playing music. But when winter comes, Ant prepares and Grasshopper gets stuck in the snow. Morrison gives personality and timbre to each character where they cannot agree on who is right and who is wrong. 

Original Story Here http://read.gov/aesop/052.html

The Lion or Mouse 

The Lion is all talk, but once a thorn got caught in his foot he needed help. No one but a little mouse did. Morrison flips the story around where the mouse is given a voice. He believes he is a Lion and everyone laughs at him. You will see an ending that is unexpected.

Original Story Here : http://read.gov/aesop/007.html

Poppy or the Snake

In this story, a grandfather tells his grandson on how he befriended the snake. Then in the end the snake and Poppy’s relationship changes. Morrison personifies the snake as a character with rhythm and jazz. Poppy likes to stay to himself. Morrisons shift the narrative where revenge occurs over a petty attitude from the snake saying, “Why did you break your promise?” “Hey man, I’m a snake.”

Original Story Here: https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/35/aesops-fables/645/the-man-and-the-serpent/

Penny Butter Fudge

A grandmother treats her grandchildren like gold. Instead of following mom’s schedule, grandma takes them on potato sack races, dancing, storybook, and then makes a recipe called Peeny Butter Fudge. This book reminds you of the times that children spend with their grandparents and the family recipes being passed down. 

The Tortoise or the Hare

A different version on the story of the “Tortoise and the Hare.” Jimi Hare wants to win the race off of his speed. Jamey Tortoise wanted to compete because of his intelligence. Jamey Tortoise strategizes how he will win the race. Jimi Hare stretches and exercises before the race.