The Singing Tortoise and Other Animal Folktales: And Other Animal Folktales

John Yeoman, Author, Quentin Blake, Illustrator Tambourine Books $18 (95p) ISBN 978-0-688-13366-5
Thoughtful editing, careful pacing and animated tones make this collection of 11 folktales a worthy addition to the genre. While each story has a cautionary tone, it is neatly balanced by Yeoman's humorous, playful style and Blake's inimitably puckish art. His loose, spirited illustrations, color and black-and-white, capture the mood of the various follies described in the texts, from a jackal who outwits a hungry crocodile to a turkey incarnation of Cinderella to an ingenious rabbit who saves his burrow from greedy elephants by pretending to be the moon. The animals here are alternately greedy and boastful, wise and resourceful; not all of them earn happy endings. A final chapter supplies a brief background on each tale, explaining that most were recorded in the late 19th or early 20th century, and identifying sources as far-flung as Tibet, Ghana, Papua New Guinea and Spain. Ages 6-up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 05/01/1994
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