cover image Magical Tales from Many Lands

Magical Tales from Many Lands

Margaret Mayo. Dutton Books, $22.99 (128pp) ISBN 978-0-525-45017-7

This thorough and entertaining volume offers an armchair trip around the globe. Fourteen folktales from as many cultures provide an impressively comprehensive catalogue of magic-makers, from Russia's Baba Yaga to the Native American personification of the Morning Star. Mayo's retellings are often amalgams of established versions of stories. Her lively vocabulary, fine sense of theater and carefully chosen background details make the collection a winner, either tackled in individual slices or as a whole. Ray's ( The Story of Christmas ) folk-inspired borders and flecks of shimmering gold paint highlight the full-size paintings, framed panels and smaller spot art found on nearly every page. Her wondrous, sumptuous pictures set the mystical, enchanting mood these stories require. An afterword furnishes succinct notes about the tales' origins. All ages. (Sept.)