These lovingly collected and beautifully presented tales take in a wide swath of history and cultures, from Spain, long a crossroads between Europe and Africa, to North America and Latin America, with their own rich heritages. Several of the tales, familiar to the authors since childhood, were actually told by their abuelitas
. Each tale is followed by an often-detailed note on its origins and the decisions the authors made in their retellings. The wonderfully varied stories range from the very short "The Castle of Chuchurumbé" from Mexico, to the elaborate "The Little Horse of Seven Colors," set in New Mexico. The gentle "The Happy Man's Tunic," retold by Ada, is given "the Arabic setting of Al Andalus." The stories are introduced by a listing of Spanish phrases traditionally used to begin a story, such as "Había una vez . . .
" (Once upon a time . . .), and conclude with a sampling of ending phrases. An unusual and worthwhile collection, beautifully illustrated. (Folktale anthology. 5-10)Read full book review >