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Lyons Den Books

Diddy Wah Diddy

“The kids are really enjoying the story in both screen and hard copy formats . . . what a treasure for us!”
—Elementary school librarian, Virginia

Note to librarians, parents, and teachers:

 Zora Neale Hurston collected “Diddy Wah Diddy” and other folk tales about mythical places in 1938. A writer for the New York Times has called her version of Diddy Wah Diddy a "stunning prose poem" and a "barbecue version of Shangri-La." (Johnathan Miles, New York Times Book Review, May 26, 2009, 35.)

During Virginia's 2008-2009 Big Read for Little Readers, Mary E. Lyons rewrote these same stories for young people. Now children in grades 1-4 can travel with Zora to a magical land where nobody cooks, but the food is always ready.

In Diddy Wah Diddy readers meet Chicken, Pie and Moon Man. They wander to Zar and stroll through Bella. They amble across Amen Avenue, then fly down to West Heck with High John.

Diddy Wah Diddy: Stories Collected by Zora Neale Hurston is available as a pdf for $4.99.

To purchase a license for multiple copies, please write to Mary E. Lyons.

activity  DREAM

Pretend you could go to Diddy Wah Diddy.

What would you like to eat there?

Make a list.

activity DRAW

Draw a map of the road from Zar to Far.
What might people see on the way?
A mountain? River? Building? Monster?
Put anything you like on the map.
It is up to you!

activity EXPLORE

Real people cannot ride a bird.
But people in stories can.
High John rode a large bird to West Heck.
Find a book about birds.
What are the largest birds in the world?



More Zora books by Mary E. Lyons:

Roy Makes a Car

 “Bloody Bones” and “Uncle Monday” in Raw Head, Bloody Bones:African-American Tales of the Supernatural

 Sorrow’s Kitchen: The Life and Folklore of Zora Neale Hurston