cover image Tortoise's Flying Lesson

Tortoise's Flying Lesson

Margaret Mayo. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $17 (76pp) ISBN 978-0-15-200332-6

This collection of eight animal stories culled from folklore brims with both vigor and cheer. Spotlighted critters range from the common (``The Very Small Tabby Cat'') to the slightly exotic (``Counting Crocodiles''), for an attractively varied mix. Mayo's (Magical Tales from Many Lands) contemporary interpretations of timeless themes adopt a friendly tone and casual phrasing. Children will also cotton to such familiar scenarios as Father Bear's search for a caretaker for his cubs, Grandmother Rabbit duping a very bossy lion, and the small cat who wants to be big. Bolam's (Oh, What a Noisy Farm!, reviewed Apr. 17) stylishly slapdash paintings exhibit a winning combination of thickly outlined bold colors and gently expressive figures, skillfully capturing the text's flavor. Ages 4-10. (Apr.)