cover image Haunts: Five Hair-Raising Tales

Haunts: Five Hair-Raising Tales

Angela Shelf Medearis. Holiday House, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-1280-8

For long winter nights Those who get fed up with holiday cheer can turn to darker entertainments with the ghost stories of Haunts: Five Hair-Raising Tales by Angela Shelf Medearis, illus. by Trina Schart Hyman. The lively stories, several of them set in Texas, feature a spell-binding fiddler, a dancer who won't stop and a talking cat. The swirling, shadowy black-and-white illustrations add a mildly spooky edge. Storytelling of a more uplifting nature is offered in Wisdom Tales from Around the World by Heather Forest. Culled from such diverse traditions as Taoist parables, the Panchatantra of ancient India, the Bible and European folktales, the 50 entries, says Forest in an introduction, ""pass down homespun wisdom encased in stories."" The tales are often no more than a few paragraphs in length, and rarely more than two or three pages.