cover image A Telling of the Tales: Five Stories

A Telling of the Tales: Five Stories

William J. Brooke. HarperCollins Publishers, $13.95 (132pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020688-8

These boisterous, down-to-earth ``retellings'' of familiar tales are carefully adjusted to 20th-century values and designed to capture and hold the attention of a more worldly reader. In ``The Waking of the Prince,'' Sleeping Beauty calls her security guards to arrest the amorous nobleman; Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed duke it out over the fate of the forest; and the Prince marries Cinderella even though the slipper doesn't fit. The stories are fast-paced and funny, heart-felt without slipping into sentimentality. The twists on time-honored tales redefine the spheres of good and evil to not-so-good and not-so-bad, and emphasize the importance of creative storytelling to address the problems of the modern world. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)