cover image Listen to This

Listen to This

Laura Cecil. Greenwillow Books, $15 (92pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07617-7

The 13 tales in this collection are gleaned from sources as diverse as Kipling and Grimm, as well as from more contemporary ones. They range in tradition from those of the northern European countries to Italian, Polish, African and American lore. While each has a distinct voice, all offer rich language and the lively, unfettered style of oral storytelling. Lies and the results of fibbing are two themes that link several stories. In Virginia Hamilton's ""A Wolf and Little Daughter,'' a lie helps a girl to escape a wolf. But in ``Ghabru and the Little Lie'' by Partap Sharma, an innocent lie leads to trouble so big that Ghabru vows never to do it again. In a tale by the Brothers Grimm, ``The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership,'' the feline tells one story after another to his poor rodent friend. When Mouse is eaten, the story ends with ``this is the way of the world,'' and Cat licks his chops and goes free. Such tricks, foolery and mistakesthe basis for any good storyare sprinkled throughout this sparkling collection. Ages 3-up. (April)