The Fabrics of Fairytale: Stories Spun from Far and Wide

Tanya Robyn Batt, Author, Rachel Griffin, Illustrator Barefoot Books $19.99 (80p) ISBN 978-1-84148-061-9
Elaborate fabric collages dress up this collection of stories gathered from around the world. Author and artist, respectively a New Zealander and a Brit making their American debuts, work together closely to highlight the unusual unifying theme--textiles. For the Chinese tale ""The Silk Brocade,"" for instance, Batt begins by explaining the history of silk and how it is made. Griffin's busy borders, meanwhile, stitch in Chinese stamps, map fragments, tiny skeins of silk, snippets of artwork and so on, while larger panels and a final full-page spread depict characters and scenes from the story, all picked out in a profusion of embroidery, sequins, buttons, beads and so on. The same format, with different materials selected to suit, follows for stories from Armenia (""Clever Anaeet""), where the subject is carpet weaving; East Africa (the Swahili tale ""The Cloth of the Serpent Pembe Mirui"") with its tradition of brightly patterned cottons and raffia cloth; Indonesia (""The Crocodile's Blessing"") with its Javanese batik; and more. An intriguing way to introduce lesser-known folktales and the cultures from which they derive. Ages 8-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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