cover image Quentin Blake’s Amazing Animal Stories

Quentin Blake’s Amazing Animal Stories

John Yeoman, illus. by Quentin Blake. Pavilion (IPG/Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $19.99 (124p) ISBN 978-1-84365-195-6

Fourteen old-fashioned animal tales, some of which previously appeared in the collection The Singing Tortoise, offer stories of mischief, just deserts, and happy endings—sometimes. There’s a natural storyteller’s cadence to Yeoman’s writing (“Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, though it was neither in my time nor in your time nor in anyone else’s time,” opens “The Monkey Palace”) that makes these stories ideal for readaloud (adult readers might skip the parenthetical in “The Ranee and the Cobra” that refers to the Rajah’s dog as a bitch, though). Blake’s instantly recognizable watercolor-and-ink illustrations are given plenty of breathing room and are as charming and emotive as ever. Ages 7–9. (Aug.)