Books by Naomi Adler

CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 1998

Music links nine stories, which include both familiar (``The Pied Piper'') and lesser-known tales (the Aboriginal ``Didgeridoo Magic'') from around the world. Adler (The Dial Book of Animal Tales, 1996, etc.) adapts the tales to her own voice, which makes them easy for modern audiences to read and understand, but which also makes this less appropriate for those seeking the spirit of the originals. For example, in ``The Singer and the Dolphin,'' the hero Arion ``sang like an angel,'' a description out of keeping with the pre-Christian-era setting of a Greek myth. However, Adler does cite her references for these stories, which use music both as a backdrop and as a focal point. ``Fairy Music'' is an Irish tale about a strange little band whose music makes all listeners dance. ``The Horse-Head Fiddle'' focuses on the musical instrument itself, explaining why Mongolian fiddles are decorated with a horse. Cencetti's gentle illustrations frame these stories in pastels and ornaments reflective of the tale's culture. Overall, the volume is pleasing, especially where issues of authenticity are not of prime concern. (Folklore. 8-12) Read full book review >
THE DIAL BOOK OF ANIMAL TALES by Naomi Adler
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

A British storyteller's collection of nine familiar tales gathered from around the world, from Australia to Thailand. ``Grandmother Spider,'' ``The Rabbit in the Moon,'' ``The Musicians of Bremen,'' ``The Monkey's Heart,'' and ``Sedna and King Gull'' are among the immediately recognizable tales. Adler acknowledges that many of the stories already exist in print (several in picture books) and credits storytellers rather than printed material as her sources. Many of the stories are origin tales, e.g., how Grandmother Spider brought light into the world. The Chinese tale, ``The Dragon and the Cockerel,'' stands out as especially fine. Spot illustrations cleanly light up crisp white backgrounds, framed with stylized border motifs and patterns. Each tale changes in tonal color rather than style. The watercolor and crayon method harkens back to classic children's book illustrations of the '50s in their simplicity and humor. Although this is a pretty package of tales, it has little to distinguish it from others already available. (Folklore. 6+) Read full book review >