cover image The Golden Hoard: Myths and Legends of the World

The Golden Hoard: Myths and Legends of the World

Geraldine McCaughrean. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $21 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-689-80741-1

McCaughrean (Greek Myths) could probably weave a mesmerizing tale from the copy on the back of a cereal box. Here, harvesting 22 tales from lands as diverse as Ethiopia, Estonia, and Ceylon, she has far more promising material to work with; even so, the strength of this collection emanates from her storytelling more than from the often exotic contents. Witness her deceptively casual beginning to the all-too-familiar story of King Midas: ""There was once a fool. Of course there have been far more fools than one, and fools more often than once. But this particular fool was a king, so his foolishness mattered."" First-time illustrator Willey's compelling illustrations are a superb fit, too. With their vivid, dreamlike use of color, they-like the stories-quicken the reader's own imaginings. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)