Paul Bunyan

by Steven Kellogg

Paperback, 2004



Call number




HarperCollins (2004), Edition: 20th Anniversary ed., 48 pages


Recounts the life of the extraordinary lumberjack whose unusual size and strength brought him many fantastic adventures.

User reviews

LibraryThing member elainevbernal
Steven Kellogg's "Paul Bunyan" is a fun and wonderful retelling of the tall tale about how Paul Bunyan and his faithful companion, Babe the blue ox, shaped the geography of the United States - from carving out the Grand Canyon, digging out The Great Lakes, and shaving the slopes of the Rocky
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Mountains. Kellogg beautifully illustrates Paul Bunyan and Babe's adventures with warmth and liveliness using soft lines and textures with a great amount of detail on every page. Paul Bunyan and Babe are depicted as lovable characters which may seem to detract from the exaggeration of a "tall tale," and character portrayals as super beings, but making Paul and Babe approachable rather than "super human, or "super animal," creates a sense of engagement for the reader and makes it easier to relate to the story. The plot is easy to follow and very easy to read for ages 6-9 as there are only a few sentences per page, and with the wonderful drawings depicting US geographical formations, the book could be implemented as a memorable tool for a geography lesson. Conveys an effective message about the ability to accomplish great things with an adventurous spirit.
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LibraryThing member chelsea.sellers
This is a tall tale of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox named Babe. It takes you on their adventure across the country, such as the Grand Canyon and the Great Lakes. This book tells you about important events in that Paul Bunyan did throughout his life and the tall tale of no one ever seeing him
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This is really neat book that takes you to historical places in the country. The pictures and the illustrations help students connect the two.

This would a cute way to connect or follow his journey on a map. This would be a great book to bring geography into the classroom.
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LibraryThing member katerch
A fun story that's been around for years, it's still a favorite to many. Paul Bunyan, born a fast growing boy soon outgrows his hometown. He heads out into the world to continue his family business of logging. Along the way, he finds his big blue companion, an ox he names Babe. They carry on a
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successful logging and flapjack business together. It's been said that you can still hear his laughter rolling through Alaska today.
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LibraryThing member cpage_07
The great American legend Paul Bunyan went throughout the United States to scout geographical feautures that we have access to today. Kellogg describes these feautures in this book such as the Great Plains and the Great Lakes. Incoporating history is a great tool to have as a writer and I believe
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readers also appreciate it!
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LibraryThing member coresonk
I loved this version of the tall tale of Paul Bunyan. Steven Kellogg's illustrations are beautiful and wonderful to look at. They're filled with chaos and movement. The re-telling of the story is a little bit off, with a few embellishments that I don't remember form other versions. But it is fun
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and exciting, and a great way to introduce children to the American Tall Tale.
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LibraryThing member conuly
Paul Bunyan. Sheesh, where do I even START?

Well, let's start in the past. Paul Bunyan was a traditional story in folklore, right? Um... maybe not.

Actually, way way waaaaay back in the past, people in jobs such as lumberjacking DID tell these sorts of tall tales. But they weren't coalesced around
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Paul Bunyan yet. Instead, they told these tales about themselves or about "you know, those anonymous lumberjacks we don't know" or "a friend of a friend". And those of you complaining that this book of Bunyan is "too sweet", well, be careful what you wish for - one notable story I recall has a group of lumberjacks trapped up a tree in winter all peeing together to make a pole to slide down! (Ew!)

Early in the 20th century, around 1910, a journalist had the bright idea to write down a few of these tall tales and pretend they were all about the same person, a Paul Bunyan. And he invented a few things too - there's no evidence, for example, of Babe prior to his invention.

And then 75 years later Steven Kellogg took the seeds from "folklore" and wrote a whole new story using some "traditional" elements (not that traditional - remember, anything that's specifically Bunyan was made up by writers, not by lumberjacks around a campfire!) and some things out of whole cloth.

And that's this book. It's not traditional or authentic - if you want that, go to google and you'll rapidly find yourself with more logging stories (and riverboat stories and mining stories and tall tales of all shapes and sizes) than you know what to do with. It *is* a funny book about the new and old adventures of Paul Bunyan, suitable for kids and classrooms and a great introduction to the wider world of these tales.

And after all - isn't making stuff up what folktales have always been about?
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LibraryThing member aezeek
This book is about Paul Bunyan, who grew incredibly fast into a giant and had to move away in the woods by himself. He found an Ox and named him Babe. Babe and Paul became companions and had many adventures and used their enormous size to help people. Eventually, Paul and Babe had to go away but
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they are sometimes still heard around the Alaskan mountain ranges. This is a great read-aloud becasue the children get very interested in the story! The pictures are hand-drawn with much detail and precision. Great book!
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LibraryThing member SummerLester
This story is a comical version of the original tall tale of Paul Bunyan. He and his big blue ox have some crazy adventures. They travel the country and take part in creating historic landmarks such as the Grande Canyon and the Great Lakes.

Very funny story. My son's favorite part was the big blue
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ox wearing sunglasses. My favorite parts are the creation of the landmarks.

This story would be great for geography. You could have the children locate the landmarks on a map. Children could research how these landmarks really came to be.
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LibraryThing member HeatherSwinford
This is a classic American folktale of Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox. Paul Bunyan is an American hero, as he represents the classic American lodger image. Big, strong and brave. Ready to help in all situations. It's a great story that children to read.
LibraryThing member EmilyPhilips
Paul Bunyan tells the old tale of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, using several exaggerations to tell the formation of many landscapes. It is a great story for young to middle elementary, as it refers to the Grand Canyon and various rivers and plains. This book is a teaching tool for telling
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stories using exaggerations to make the plot more interesting, and also for children making up stories of their own to explain the formation of things.
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LibraryThing member Jdonldsn
This tall tale will have you smiling as you search the illustrations for comical additions to this fun-loving version of one of America's best loved folk heroes.
LibraryThing member alishamcbride
This legendary tale is a delight to read. It tells about the life and accomplishments of Paul Bunyan. As the story states: "Paul Bunyan was the largest, smartest, and strongest baby ever born in the state of Maine." The tall tale depicts how Paul Bunyan formed the Grand Canyon and dug the Great
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Lakes. The illustrations are extremely busy and vibrant. There is hardly any white space on any of the pages. The energetic, detailed illustrations are visually appealing and enhance this traditional tale.
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LibraryThing member jkramer
This book was given the weekly reader seal of approval. Paul Bunyan is one of the tall tales that defines Americana. This story is age appropriate for k- 1st grade. Bunyan was a creation that illustrated the American Pioneer spirit in the form of a folk tale. In this particular writing many
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liberties are taken concerning the legend. Like most good concepts the minor changes made do not fade the memory of Bunyan and babe. The font is not very large. The illustrations are endearing and highly detailed. This is a good introduction to other tall tales that would define our nation. This could be used as a free choice during quiet reading time.
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LibraryThing member MrJPenguin
Summary: This books tells the classic American tale of the mythic and gigantic figure known as Paul Bunyan. From the moment of his birth, Paul would do big things, literally. With his trusty and faithful companion, a blue ox named Babe, Paul roamed across the United States with his own lumgerjack
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company. It was during these travels that Paul and his followers would face many hardships such as the mysterious group of creatures known as the Gumberoos and a powerful blizzard that lasted for over several years. However, Paul also managed to inadvertedly create famous spots such as the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and even the Grand Canyon.

Personal Reaction: This book has always been a favorite of mine. With its simple, straightforward plot and amazing illustrations, it's not hard to believe that not just the story but also this particular book retelling the story became classics.

Classroom Extension Ideas:

1. Have the students draw out their own forests that Paul could visit with his lumbering business.

2. Have the students draw a picture of what they think the Gumberoos might look like and where they're hiding.
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LibraryThing member jlbenson
This tall tale recounts the life of the lumberjack, Paul Bunyan. In the story, Paul Bunyan was no ordinary man. From the beginning of his life, he was the largest, strongest, and smartest baby in the state of Maine. As he grew up, his unusual size and abilities led him to do many extraordinary
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things. For instance, he rescued animals, became a mighty lumberjack, rescued his friends, dug lakes and rivers, and dug the Grand Canyon. The illustrations are intricate and colorful. However, there is sometimes too much going on for one page. This would be a fun read aloud to introduce tall tales to my students.
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LibraryThing member Schuman
The story of Paul Bunyan an over-sized, strengthened boy, with an ox named Blue. They grow up helping their father with the families lumber business. When he grew older he wanted to travel the world, so he sets off with Blue and the adventures begins. Throughout his travels there are all kinds of
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disasters but Paul helps as he can.In the end he settles down and finds a family that sells him corn. He takes the kernels and goes back across the desert and the next day he awakes to a blizzard of popcorn. Good book for all ages, a fun book to talk about tall tales.
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LibraryThing member Stephanyk
This book is appropriate for the grades kindergarten through third because it is filled with pictures and only has a couple of sentences on each page. Paul Bunyan is a smart and strong boy that never seems to stop growing. He rescues an ox calf that eventually grows as big as him and they become
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companions. Paul is helpful for his families logging business but once he becomes too much trouble for his town he leaves and builds his own camp. No matter what trouble comes his way he never gives up. He creates new inventions to feed and take care of his camp.
- I would have children write about a time they almost gave up on a difficult task. Or I would have children talk about a time when they did give up and how they would change it.
- I would have children create their own inventions and share them with the class. For example Paul Bunyan creates a giant flap jack machine to feed his whole camp.
- Volunteers can share what they believe is a negative quality about them and then the class can respond by saying a positive. For example Paul Bunyan was so large and strong that the people of his town did not like him. At the end he found people who appreciated and accepted him for who he was.
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LibraryThing member MsLangdon
Part Ca
Kellogg, S. (1984). Paul Bunyan. New York: Harper Collins.

In this tall tale, Paul Bunyan is the largest baby born in the state of Maine. He has a blue ox for a pet. He is a lumberjack and in this version he uses his size and strength for many different adventures, like wrestling bears,
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building a colossal flapjack griddle, and creating the Grand Canyon with the gouge of his ax. The unique feature of this book is the way the text and illustrations work together to create a humorous story.
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LibraryThing member AmyLu
This is the traditional tale of Paul Bunyan, but retold with a little twist by Steven Kellogg. It just adds a few more modern touches to the old story, such as skyscrapers. This would be great for comparing old stories to more modern re-writes.
LibraryThing member apetru5
Although I have frequently heard of Paul Bunyan, I have never actually known his story, so it was enjoyable to finally read this book. I would definitely use this book in my future classroom because it is comical and really engaging for young readers. The first reason I liked this book is due to
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the detailed and appealing illustrations on every page. The illustrations come off as colorful sketches done in pencil, which is a unique way to approach illustrating a book. It gives the book a more rustic feel, as it is a told and re-told folk tale. Each page has so much detail in the illustrations. For example, on one page that depicts a party to celebrate all of the holidays, you can see all of the carefully drawn ornaments on a Christmas tree in the distance if you look closely enough. The second reason I liked this book is because the plot was comical in a subtle way that children and adults would find humor in. For example, the author discusses how Paul Bunyan took a few days off from work to dig the Great Lakes, which everyone knows isn’t possible. It also mentions how The Grand Canyons were actually formed because Paul dropped his ax out of sadness and dragged it across the ground. It was really entertaining to read about Paul’s antics across America. There was no obvious moral theme of the story, but the big idea was that Paul Bunyan and his ox still roam the wilderness to this day and can be heard in the distance if you listen hard enough.
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LibraryThing member aimtroyer
This book is wonderful because of the pictures. We've all heard of the story of Paul Bunyan and this book puts quite a spin on the story with the illustrations. It's also fun to study this story because there are so many versions. Lots can be done in class just by doing comparisons to other Bunyan
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LibraryThing member amcnutt
Who was the largest baby ever born in the state of Maine? Who dug the Great Lakes? Who gouged out the Grand Canyon? Why, Paul Bunyan, of course, America's finest, fastest, funniest lumberman and favorite tall-tale hero. This book was improved with a rich and colorful vocabulary. You could read this
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in all elementary grades to introduce a famous tall tale the the students. It will keep them interested and can lead into a discussion of the real answers to all of the questions in the book depending on the age level.
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LibraryThing member cniesen22
This story is about Paul Bunyan’s life and the things he did. Tell the children about all of Paul Bunyan’s adventures and everything he did like he cleared the land of the U.S he made the now called grand canyon and the great lakes. His best friend was an ox named babe. I would say this is a
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1st grade level.
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LibraryThing member beckytillett
The classic tale of Paul Bunyan and Babe the big blue ox. Children love to hear the story of the great Paul Bunyan and how he helped carve our country.
This book is good to use in a unit on Tall Tales, and has many hyperboles as well as the great artwork of Steven Kellogg.
LibraryThing member kharri34
There are several reasons that I liked this book. First, I enjoyed the illustrations in this book because they portrayed the setting in a way that the text was not able to. For example, the book begins by saying that Paul Bunyan was born in Maine, but other than that the text just states typical
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traditional literature characteristics. Yet, the illustrations embellished the pages and expressed the type of place Paul Bunyan grew up in. Second, I enjoyed the author’s introduction of characters in the story that affected the main character’s story. For instance, the author used the character, Babe, who was an ox in order to help Paul Bunyan adjust to being so much larger than everyone else in the story. The main idea of this book is that Paul Bunyan was a giant who was able to conquer great feats that crossed his path.
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Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Children's — 1987)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — 1986)
Reading Rainbow Program Selection (Selection — 21 — 1985)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

11 inches


0688058000 / 9780688058005
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