cover image Once Upon a Bedtime Story

Once Upon a Bedtime Story

Jane Yolen. Boyds Mills Press, $17.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-56397-484-7

Sixteen traditional stories are retold with a contemporary flair by a master storyteller with wit, humor and panache. Yolen has culled stories from all over the globe (e.g., India, Nigeria, and from the Pueblo people), but the emphasis is on the familiar. Accompanied by Councell's (What Rhymes with Moon?) whimsical paintings, they create a book that will appeal to those looking for a well-crafted collection of old favorites. Councell's pig-in-the-brick-house sits reading like a Victorian gentleman as the wolf leers through the window, Goldilocks's yellow curls dwarf the pillow in her just-right bed, and the Little Red Hen cheerfully tends her wheat in farmer's overalls. They strike just the right note for Yolen's updated text (e.g., ""`Fast talk,' [says] the Tortoise, `is not fast walk,'"" or ""`And why should I show you any particular mercy?' [says] the lion [to the mouse]. `I mean, you did wake me up, after all'""). These once-upon-a-time stories will help children sleep happily ever after. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)