cover image The Beast with a Thousand Teeth

The Beast with a Thousand Teeth

Terry Jones. Bedrick, $9.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-87226-374-1

These two briskly told ``20th Century Fairy Tales'' have the trappings of traditional forays into fairyland, but an unmistakable glee beneath the deadpan tones of the narrative warns that all is not as it seems. A herring swims around the world and returns home smug in his new-found superiority. All it takes, however, is a fishing trawler's well-aimed net to reduce him to a fish-and-chips supper. A king offers 100 bags of gold to anyone who can rid the town of a terrifying, toothy monster. When the baker's son discovers the creature's love of pink icing, the reward is only a toothache and a pair of pliers away. Foreman's art, more expressive here than in The Long Weekend (reviewed above), has a controlled hilarity, especially apparent in facial expressions--of humans, fish and beasts alike. Dreamy watercolors, with mottled washes highlighted in shimmering violets and aquas, radiate a chimerical quality. First published in a fairy tale collection, the stories work well as picture books. Foreman and Jones are an excellent match. Ages 5-up. (May)