Cover Image: The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories

The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories

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Member Reviews

The Woman in the Woods is a multi-author, multi-artist anthology of Native American fables, and I love that it starts with an explicitly trans pride/two-spirit story. Even though it's the only queer story in the anthology, it sets the tone and immediately shows the reader an aspect of modern Native culture.

Additional stories include a trickster tale, "monster" stories that encourage compassion for differences, and por quoi stories (why the rabbit has a short tail, how a real location got its name, etc.)

The stories are very short and often lack a resolution that will satisfy a white/European audience, but do get the reader to think about the story long after it ends. Oftentimes the story is framed by a modern storyteller + listener, which emphasizes that Native Americans live here and now and not just in the past. I admit that I was disappointed at first by the black-and-white artwork (young readers prefer bright colors), but the art itself is gorgeous and cohesive across the different artists.

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I'm so glad I was able to get my hands on this anthology! This is a breathe of fresh air in a world saturated with different versions of the same stories. It's a treat to be able to read folklore from a new culture. The stories are tinged with hope, curiosity and sometimes a bit of darkness. While folklore is usually an oral tradition, this graphic novel is a great way to convey these rich stories to a wider audience.

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Book 189 of 200 ~ 2023


I have always been fascinated by other cultures and their folklore/fables/beliefs, etc.

This graphic novel was beautifully done - witty and an intriguing mix of stories.

Thoroughly enjoyed this.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories by Kate Ashwin, Kel McDonald, and Alina Pete is a graphic novel and the fifth volume of the “Cautionary Fables and Fairytales” anthology series. I have not seen the previous volumes, but I will be on the lookout for them. Loup Garrou, trickster rabbits, and spirits with names that can’t be spoken — the plains and forests of North America are alive with characters like these, all waiting to meet you in this collection of folklore from tribes spanning the continent retold in comics.

The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories is a lovely collection of stories. I thought the artwork was a great pairing with the stories and did a wonderful job of telling the stories. I had heard or read a few legends that touched on the same ideas, but I had never seen these exact tales before, which always makes me happy. I thought that there was much respect and honor tied into the stories, which is not always the case in folklore or legend collections. I thought the variety of tales, and the skill they were told with were fantastic. My only complaint is that I wanted more, which I can partially solve by finding the other volumes of this series.

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It was very entertaining and rich of culture. It's nice getting to know folklores from other place. The cover also looks appealing. Thank you Netgalley and Iron Circus Comics

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Fables and Fairytales? Yes please.
Indigenous stories? Even better.
Beautiful color palette? Swoon.

This lovely book checks all the boxes.

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While the art style changes, the heart of the story does not. Some folklore seems familiar, while others seem ery new.

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This is my first time with this series, and would definitely be interested in checking out more from it.

THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS AND OTHER NORTH AMERICAN STORIES is a collection of re-imagined folklore by indigenous authors and illustrators. The nations represented include: Odawa, Chickasaw, Métis, Cree, Ojibwe, Taino, Navajo, S'Kallam.

As with any short story collection, there were some I really liked and others that weren't my favorite, but I always like hearing different voices and seeing such variety of art styles. I find that Native mythology isn't really taught here in the USA unless you seek it out specifically. This would be a great introduction for a younger reader. A quick and accessible read that will hopefully a jumping off point to seeking out more.

***Thank you to Letter Better Publishing Services and Iron Circus Comics for providing me with the ePub for free via NetGalley for an unbiased review.

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It was a cute bunch of stories. Some definitely drew me in more because they hooked me from the beginning, and some of the others definitely felt like they ended too early. But other than that, I liked it and the art was nice to see too!

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These were beautiful stories and reminds me so much of my nanny telling stories of her people when I was young. I only wish they were in colour for the final release!

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I really enjoyed reading these stories and learning more about different culture. The stories were all different, but had their way of explaining things. The art for all of the stories were great. I liked learning about some things I've heard of but didn't know the origin.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

I flew right through this collection and was thoroughly entertained the whole time. The stories were informative, entertaining, representative, and interesting. Also being a reconnecting native, I enjoyed getting to read these stories and seeing this art by a collective of native people. There were even some tribes represented that I had not managed to read from yet, like Odawa, so that was nice. It’s a wonderful way for people to realize and recognize that tribes are all different and I think this collection shows that while still tying us all together.

For the content of each story, I think each holds it’s own and have a place to shine equally. With a lot of collections there will be some that dramatically outshine the others and this one feels like a fairly level playing field, where people’s favorites might just be the one they can relate to the most rather than what’s most well written or entertaining because they each have those qualities.

Each story also stays fairly on theme by being a cautionary tale or fable. Maybe not so much the first one, but I can see it for plenty of the others. It is also rich with diversity from the authors, illustrators, etc which is very exciting. It might not be represented in each story or given highlight, but knowing who these stories came from gives them a whole new life.

This is aimed for middle grade readers and I think it would be the perfect book. Each are fairly simple to follow, and with it being a quick read, I can see it holding their attention. The illustrations are also beautiful and provide some added input for more visual readers. My one complaint is that in a few of the stories it was hard to tell the order of dialogue. It’s not a major issue to get back on track but it does take you out of the story. I found this most notable in the story “The Rougarou.”

What I also liked about this for middle grade readers was that even if it does get into cautionary tales, it does so without being too heavy or dark or with tons of triggers. That leaves the door wide open for most readers and can be something on the lighter side for them to consume while also providing context into indigenous cultures and entertainment. I can see kids really enjoying this collection, and even adults, like myself.

With a wide variety of stories, there is something for everyone.

TW: guns, hints at death, death, injured animal.
Rep: two-spirit, trans, non-binary authors.
Tribes: Odawa, Chickasaw, Metis/Cree, Ojibwe, Taino, Navajo, and S’kallam.

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I read this book a few months ago and just didn't get around to writing a review on here until now, but this book still has stuck with me throughout that time. I absolutely loved all the different art styles and stories throughout this book. It was interesting to me seeing stories that I know and ones that are completely new to me portrayed in different voices.

I will say that I cannot speak on this book from an Indigenous point of view, as I am not, so I would still recommend seeking out own voices reviews if you would like better insight into that.

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An interesting collection of folklore tales from North America. The stories are some of the unheard ones. But, all the stories are not so amazing. The first and the last story were a bit exciting. Graphics are not good enough. Although, the book is a short read and perfect for children. I would only give 3 stars to the book. Had high expectations from the publisher as I have read some other books by them. Stories are not at all creepy enough like they claim. So be ready for a very light read.

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An absolutely beautiful anthology of Native/Indigenous stories told with a variety of styles. This is a book I would gladly recommend and add to my classroom book collection without hesitation.

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So...when is the next Cautionary Fables & Fairytales book out? Because I'm now caught up, with this book, and I need more. Each one is a delight, focusing on the folklore and mythology of different geographic regions and ethnic groups, and this time, we focus in on North American Indigenous stories. There's 8 tales in this volume, with stories from the Odawa, Chickasaw, Métis, Cree, Ojibwe, Navajo, and S'kallam.

Stories are often cautionary tales, so a lot of these have a light horror bent. Not much death, but more just danger. The best done is "Into the Darkness," about two men who make the mistake of bringing up a creature best not discussed (and so much NOT to be discussed that it's name is censored in the text itself)...right before spending a night alone in a camper van.

For a not-scary pick, the first tale, "As It Was Told To Me," is the Odawa creation story, as told at a Two-Spirit circle!

All stories are done in greyscale, so if you've got a black-and-white e-reader, go right on ahead! You're all set!

Advanced review copy provided by the publisher.

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Beautifully told stories and fantastic graphic novel artwork. Informative and culturally a very important contribution to young readers First Nation/Indigenous literature.

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**Disclaimer: I received a free advanced readers copy of The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this opportunity.

The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories is a graphic novel collection of short stories of First Nations myths and stories.  It was published on April 5th, 2022.  I rated it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Here's the summary from Goodreads:

Loup Garrou, trickster rabbits, and spirits with names that can’t be spoken -- the plains and forests of North America are alive with characters like these, all waiting to meet you in this collection of folklore retold in comics!
This fifth volume of the “Cautionary Fables and Fairytales” anthology series features updated takes on ancient stories from tribes spanning the continent, bursting with bedside tales that are thrilling, chilling, and most of all inspiring. Featuring the work of JORDAAN ARLEDGE, MAIJA AMBROSE PLAMONDON, MILO APPLEJOHN, and more!

I had a lot of fun reading this collection.  I really enjoyed learning about different stories from different First Nations groups.  I also liked that all of the stories were written and illustrated by Indigenous people.  That was important to me when I started to read this collection.

Each of the stories had a compelling aspect to it.  I liked that they each had different art stles and a title page to separate them.  It was very interesting to see how the stories each played out.  They were all very well done and unique.

I liked that each story had a unique approach to how the story was told.  Some were more narrated, while others made you more a part of the action through lots of dialogue.  I felt like i learned a lot about different groups, and it all felt very educational.

Overall, I highly recommend that you check out this collection!

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I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Created by Native American authors and artists, this anthology explores legends and folktales from the First Nation. I was deeply touched by all these stories. They are all beautifully written and illustrated, sharing mysterious, funny and emotional past and contemporary fictions.

The anthology opens with As It Was Told To Me, an Odawa creationist legend, and ends with By The Light Of The Moon, a S’Kallam love story between the Moon and the Octopus Queen. In total, this anthology contains 8 stories, all very different from one another’s, but all rooted in old beliefs : tricksters, monsters that were once humans and forbidden loves are among the things you will discover in this great collection.

This graphic novel is part of the Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales series and the quality of this book amazed me so much that I want to discover the other anthologies previously published !

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4 stars - It was really good

This was a wonderful anthology of Native folklore. The authors and illustrators are all from the First Nation and the stories cover a wide variety of nations. Each story was beautifully told, especially for how short they were. I really enjoyed this collection.

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