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The Magic Orange Tree
and Other Haitian Folktales, Vol. 1

Diane Wolkstein

Diane Wolkstein - The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folktales, Volume 1

The spirit of Haiti comes alive in this long-awaited audio edition of Diane Wolkstein's beloved folktale classic!


Haiti's recent tragedy has given rise to an incredible outpouring of good will and generosity throughout the world. And yet despite recent events many people are unfamiliar with Haiti's vibrant culture and artistic traditions.

For over 30 years, Diane Wolkstein's ALA Notable book, The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folktales, has been a classic for those wanting to learn more about Haiti and their unique customs, stories, and songs.


The Magic Orange Tree
Diane Wolkstein in Haiti


Traveling throughout the Haitian countryside in the 1970's, Wolkstein, herself a well-known storyteller, harvested a rich collection of over 400 tales which she winnowed down to twenty-seven stories. These stories not only have led generations of children and adults around the globe to experience the spirit of Haiti through their magical folktales, but Diane's work has proven so relevant to Haitian culture that many of these stories have since been retranslated back into the original Creole.

Now, for the first time on CD, Diane tells five of these stories so intimately, we feel as if she is sitting directly in front of us. Interspersed with songs, and featuring delightful musical accompaniments by Shirley Keller based on recordings she made in Haiti, this long-awaited CD could not have arrived at a more appropriate time.


Horse and Toad
from The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folktales
Diane Wolkstein and Joy Kelly-Smith, Motherís Day Benefit for Haiti, 2010
Recorded by Philip David Morgan (Promenade Digital [Mediaworks])
© 2010 Diane Wolkstein / Cloudstone Productions.


With 10% of all proceeds going to Partners In Health towards the rebuilding of Haiti, Diane invites the listener not only to "stand with Haiti," but also to enjoy and learn from the resilience and wisdom of this proud culture-- a vibrant, vital culture which has enabled the Haitian people to thrive in the face of adversity.



"Diane Wolkstein will go down as someone who made Haiti known to children and adults in America and around the world."
              -- Raymond Joseph, Haitian Ambassador to the U.S.

"It is a joy to have this book, not only to read it, but to listen to it. The Magic Orange Tree is a gift."
              -- P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins

"This book is sheer delight. Grown-ups of all ages, as well as children of all ages, will revel in it."
              -- Lillian Ross, The New Yorker

"Wolkstein is a person who can bridge cultures in such a way as to bring understanding, wit, humor and moral meaning along with the words."
              -- Barre Toelken, Journal of Latin American Literature & Arts


"With her melodic voice, total command of storytelling technique, and knowledge of the folk narrative of Haiti second to none, she provides a beautiful companion piece to her classic anthology and the definitive tribute to her adopted culture."
              -- Caren S. Neile, Ph.D., Chairwoman, National Storytelling Network

"For more than 30 years, the book version of the same name has been considered a classic for those wanting to learn more about Haiti's dynamic and resilient culture, and with the recent earthquake shaking the country's core, the CD could not be arriving at a better time. Songs are embedded in the stories and, along with various phrases, repeated periodically throughout. The CD as a whole takes on a tribal feel, and its simplicity of content and language is remarkably refreshing.It reminds us that perhaps it's not so bad to go back to the basics every now and then, allowing ourselves to enjoy a good story."
              -- Bev Spritzer, Shalom Life

"When Diane Wolkstein shares Haitian folk tales and songs from The Magic Orange Tree, she is giving us a rare glimpse into the heart of Haiti. Through her skillful telling we become participants, singing and clapping along with Owl, Donkey, Horse and Toad, Tipingee and her friends. As the stories unfold, we too experience joy, sorrow, triumph, and wisdom. The stories stay with you, like the echo of a song or the warmth of the late summer sun."
              -- Naomi Baltuck, President, Seattle Storytelling Guild

1.     Cric? Crac! (Introduction)                                                     1:22
2.     The Magic Orange Tree     8:18
3.     Erzulie (Whistling)     0:28
4.     The Two Donkeys     4:16
5.     Donkey Will Jump and Bray (Song)     1:22
6.     Rosemarie's Dance (Intro to Owl)     2:10
7.     Owl     6:50
8.     Feuilles-O (Song)     0:53
9.     Tipingee     5:57
10.     Erzulie (Song)     1:16
11.     Horse and Toad     6:00
12.     Do Do Ti Ti (Song)     2:17

Performed by Diane Wolkstein and Shirley Keller.

All stories from The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folktales,
collected by Diane Wolkstein, published by Schocken, 1997.
(Hardcover edition published by Knopf, 1978.)

'Donkey Will Jump and Bray' written by Irving Burgie and William Attaway as 'The Jack-Ass Song'.

Mixing and Mastering: Robert L. Smith, Defy Recordings

Editorial Assistance: Naomi Baltuck, Phil Robinson, Jinx Roosevelt, Susan Thomas, Rachel Zucker.

Graphic Design: Rebekkah Ross, Mark Roberts.
Cover Painting: D. M. Maurice.

CD Baby
Roomful of Sky

Diane Wolkstein
Diane Wolkstein

review -
Shalom Life

notice -
NY Times


10% of CD proceeds go to PIH
for the rebuilding of Haiti:
Partners In Health.