cover image The Lion Classic Wisdom Stories

The Lion Classic Wisdom Stories

Mary Joslin, illus. by Christina Balit. Lion Children’s, $19.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-7459-6369-3

Joslin (The Lion Book of Best-Loved Prayers) retells 28 stories from around the world, collected for “entertainment, inspiration, and subtle reproof.” Readers may recognize some plots and characters—such as the emperor whose new clothes were no clothes at all—and enjoy less familiar figures, such as the little rich girl from Poland, who had everything she wanted except friends to play with her. These stories are told in straightforward prose; some, such as “The Story That Grew,” feel truncated, but others, such as “The Boastful Turtle,” trust readers to discover the moral, which is pleasant work. Balit (The Adventures of Odysseus) illustrates every page; purples, greens, and yellow-golds combine in rich, textured designs, reminiscent of cloisonné jewelry or pottery and fittingly folkloric in tone. Parents will enjoy reading these stories aloud, and children will absorb lessons about wisdom, told with kindness, humor, and simplicity. Instructive but not didactic tales, fables, and legends that teach by vivid example are the rule in this collection. Ages 7–9. (May) ■