Folk Tales, Myths and Legends

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AESOP'S FABLES. Retold by Jerry Pinkney. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. SeaStar. 96pp. Trade ISBN 1-58717-000-0, $19.95. (I) Classic tales complemented by handsome illustrations make this a volume for any library. This engaging retelling of sixty of Aesop's fables--including well known and lesser known tales--is illuminated by Pinkney's stunning illustrations. Introduction. (OTK) I, II, III, V

CALLIE ANN AND MISTAH BEAR. Robert D. SanSouci. Illustrated by Don Daily. Dial. 32 pp. Trade ISBN 0-8037-1766-0, $15.99. F (Puffin) (P,I) Brilliantly retold, this folktale is the story of a clever girl who outwits a conniving bear who is disguised as a suitor of her mother. Beautiful, flowing language melds with exquisite illustrations to bring this extraordinary tale to life. Authors Note. (DLK) I, III

THE EAGLE AND THE WREN. Retold by Jane Goodall. Illustrated by Alexander Reichstein. North-South. 40 pp. Trade ISBN 0-7358-1380-9, $15.95; Library ISBN 0-7358-1381-7, $15.88. (P,I) This fable is told by conservationist Jane Goodall, remembering one of her favorite tales from childhood. All of the earth's birds engage in a contest to see who can fly the highest. The outcome surprises them all, and carries with it the message that teamwork is best. Author's Note. (JAA) V

THE FIRST OLYMPIC GAMES: A GRUESOME GREEK MYTH WITH A HAPPY ENDING. Jean Richards. Illustrated by Kat Thacker. Millbrook. 40pp. Library ISBN 0-7613-1311-7, $22.90. (P, I) Pelops, son of Tantahs and grandson of the Greek god Zeus, wins the hand of Hippodamia in a chariot race, and then decrees that Olympic games are to be held every four years. (KET) I, IX, V

GERSHON'S MONSTER: A STORY FOR THE JEWISH NEW YEAR. Retold by Eric A. Kimmel. Illustrated by Jon J Muth. Scholastic Press. 32 pp. Trade ISBN 0439-10839-X, $16.95. (P, I) This Jewish folktale tells the story of Gershon, who regularly ignores his shortcomings and, on the new year, packs them up and tosses them into the sea. When Gershon and his wife want children, he promises the Rabbi he will change his ways, but fails to do so until the near loss of his two beautiful children causes him to repent. Striking illustrations enliven the story. Author's Note. (JAA) I, IV.

IN THE RAINFIELD: WHO IS THE GREATEST? Isaac O. Olaleye. Illustrated by Ann Grifalconi. Blue Sty. 32pp. Trade ISBN 0-590-48363-3, $16.95. (P, I) This Nigerian folktale illustrates the important message for youngsters that the fiercest and the strongest are not always the best or most loved. Here we learn why the gentle rain may be better than wind or fire. (PN) I, IV, III

THE KING AND THREE THIEVES: A PERSIAN TALE Kristen Balouch. Illustrated by the author. Viking. 32 pp. Trade ISBN 0-670-88059-0, $15.99. F (Puffin) (P, I) Disguised as a beggar, King Abbas sets out in search of hungry people to feed. He comes upon three men who are, in fact, thieves scheming to use their magical powers to rob the king. He appears to go along with their plan until he surprises them at the end. Amusing illustrations. Author's note. (NS) VI, I

LORD OF THE CRANES. Retold by Kerstin Chen. Illustrated by Jian Jiang Chen. North-South. 36pp. Trade ISBN 0-7358-1192-X, $15.95; Library ISBN 0-7358-1193-8, $15.88. (P, I) Tien, the Lord of the Cranes, comes to earth to check on the kindness of mankind. In this beautifully illustrated retelling of a Chinese wisdom tale, the kindness and generosity of an innkeeper is rewarded. Tien's lesson is, "Be kind to the poor." (OTK) I, III, V

MANU AND THE TALKING FISH. Retold by Roberta Arenson. Illustrated by the author. Barefoot. 32pp. Library ISBN 1-84148-032-0, $15.95. (P) Rich collage illustrations capture the spirit of this retelling of the Hindu version of the Great Flood. There are many similarities between this story of Manu and the biblical version of Noah. The Hindu themes of creation, time, and renewal are implicit in the tale. Artist's Note. (OTK) I, II, III, V

MARIANA AND THE MERCHILD: A FOLK TALE FROM CHILE. …