What are Pourquoi tales?

Pourquoi means “why” in French.  These stories, usually folktales, explain why or how something is the way it is. Many Pourquoi tales originate from traditional stories told by different cultures around the world, but they can be new, freshly imagined stories. 

A great example of a Pourquoi tale is How the Finch Got His Colors,  based on a Belgian folk tale in which readers learn how the Gouldian Finch was bestowed with beautiful colors after patiently waiting for all of the other birds to receive their colors first.

Here at NoveList, we added the Pourquoi tales genre for Ages 0-8 and 9-12 to make it simple for librarians, educators, and patrons to identify these “why” and “how” stories. Now NoveList users will have an access point for these books. 
Want to check out this new heading for yourself? Here are two quick ways: 

  1. Do a field code search 
    To find Pourquoi tales using field codes, type in GN Pourquoi tales in the NoveList search box, and refine using limiters to narrow down your results.
  2. Start with a favorite title
    Navigate to your favorite Pourquoi tale in NoveList (Try either Tiptoe Tapirs or How the Squid Got Two Long Arms) and use the “search for more” checkboxes at the bottom of the page to build your search.

This new genre is just one heading that the experts at NoveList been working on; we regularly add new access points. Do you have ideas for metadata that would make it easier for you to find the books your readers are looking for? Let us know!

Brierley Ash is a Metadata Librarian at NoveList.  She is currently reading Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia.