Legends of Paul Bunyan


Harold W. Felton, editor
Foreword by James Stevens
Illustrations by Richard Bennett

The collected lore of Minnesota’s favorite lumberjack hero

It’s great entertainment.

Rochester Post-Bulletin

Paul Bunyan is a true American folk character, created in logging camp bunkhouses by men who spun exaggerated stories that combined hard work and fantasy.

While the origins of Paul Bunyan and his sidekick Babe the Blue Ox are hazy, many storytellers have over the years contributed their own takes to produce an existing body of work—a true American legend—that matches the size of the lumberjack himself.

Collected in colorful and engaging sections such as “Paul the Man,” “Paul and the Animal Kingdom,” and “The Wonderful Big Blue Ox, Babe,” Legends of Paul Bunyan features more than thirty authors celebrating the largest lumberman, including stories by such Bunyan luminaries as James Stevens and W. B. Laughead, as well as such literary icons as Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg.

Harold W. Felton (1902–1991) was the author and editor of numerous books of folklore for young readers.

It’s great entertainment.

Rochester Post-Bulletin

James Steven’s foreword to this volume is an engaging piece of writing, and he affirms that there is an actual basis for stories about Paul Bunyan in the folklore of lumberjacks. . . . There is a fine literary quality to many of the stories and poems about Bunyan, especially those written by Stevens, Carl Sandburg, and Robert Frost. The stories also are interesting reworkings of motifs, tale types, and themes that are central to oral literature, and it’s intriguing to read ways in which the lumberman is cast as an epic, even mythic, hero as well as a renowned figure within ballads and poetry. Many of the stories will continue to appeal to young readers, but this collection is more of a window into a past perspective on folklore as children’s literature.

Journal of Folklore Research