Books by Neil Philip

HOT POTATO by Neil Philip
POETRY
Released: April 19, 2004

"Eating Through a Day (2000) or William Cole's classic Poem Stew (1981). (Poetry. 7-10)"
A rich, if skimpy, portion of reprinted verse, this pairs generally cheery scenes of children and grownups chowing down around tables, on a picnic blanket, in a tub, and sundry other venues, with the likes of Russell Hoban's encomium to a "Friendly Cinnamon Bun," and Lewis Carroll's to "Beautiful Soup." Read full book review >
HORSE HOOVES AND CHICKEN FEET by Neil Philip
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 22, 2003

"An interesting collection that will attract some readers because of the origin of the tales (and the usefulness of the origin notes) but the collection lacks the spice necessary to make it a first choice. (Folktales. 8+)"
These 15 tales are well-documented and authentic in terms of sources, basic plot, and so forth, but the telling is flat and stilted and the finale of each often seems forced and anti-climactic, ending rather unceremoniously. Read full book review >
IN THE HOUSE OF HAPPINESS by Neil Philip
RELIGION
Released: March 24, 2003

Philip and Brent (Noah and the Devil, 2001, etc.) collaborate again to offer a lovely collection of prayers. Read full book review >
THE FISH IS ME by Neil Philip
FICTION
Released: Sept. 23, 2002

"A truly buoyant tribute to the family tub. (Poetry. 3-7)"
A compilation of effervescent poems celebrate tub time. Read full book review >
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"For specialized collections or adult interest only. (Nonfiction. 8+)"
Using the same format as in his previous collections of Native American literature (A Braid of Lives, 2000, etc.), Philip pairs his 15 translations of various tribes' lullabies with sepia-toned historical photographs of Native Americans. Read full book review >
NOAH AND THE DEVIL by Neil Philip
RELIGION
Released: Aug. 17, 2001

"Indeed, it is the shimmering art that transforms what is a somewhat less successful text into a worthy addition to the folklore shelves. (author's source note) (Folktale/picture book. 5-8)"
Illustrated with Brent's (Celtic Fairytales, not reviewed, etc.) glorious, gold-drenched watercolors, Philip weaves a number of Romanian pourquoi tales into the biblical story of Noah and the ark. Read full book review >
A BRAID OF LIVES by Neil Philip
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Aug. 21, 2000

"Wonderful words in a museum-quality package, readers may find their way slowly to this book, but they should find the trip worthwhile. (introduction, indexes, further reading, source notes) (Nonfiction. 10+)"
Native American voices spanning a hundred years present a collective sense of childhood and a scope of individual experience. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 20, 1999

"Mair's full-color illustrations, deliberately invoking quilts and pictorial fabrics, suit the subject matter well. (further reading) (Folklore. 9-12)"
A collection of traditional folktales (from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, and Germany) that were Americanized by storytellers in the 19th century and early 20th century. Read full book review >
WAR AND THE PITY OF WAR by Neil Philip
POETRY
Released: Sept. 21, 1998

"The book makes vivid humankind's innate darkness and makes war painful again. (indexes) (Poetry. 10-14)"
This startling and honest presentation of the horrors of war from Philip and McCurdy (American Fairy Tales, 1996, etc.) uses poems to thoughtfully balance the often romanticized vision of battle as an expression of bravery and honor. Read full book review >
FAIRY TALES OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM by Neil Philip
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"For collections that need yet one more Grimm, this is a good choice to hand to middle graders who are starting to think they are too old for fairy tales. (Folklore. 9-12)"
A lovely edition of tales that hearkens back to the stories' roots in oral telling and wordplay. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Aug. 18, 1997

"In such a meticulous gathering, traditional values and beliefs emerge for contemporary readers: To live in a sacred manner is to take pleasure in being alive in the moment and in the world. (Sepia photos, bibliography, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10+)"
Carefully selected, sepia-toned archival photographs of Native Americans draw readers in with their haunting beauty, and reflect aspects of ancient stories. Read full book review >
THE ADVENTURES OF ODYSSEUS by Neil Philip
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 1, 1997

"With a beautiful map of the voyage and an illustrated guide to the principal characters, an already grand story has become a sumptuous visual feast. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Philip (American Fairy Tales, 1996, etc.) competently retells the famous Greek story of Odysseus's ten-year journey home from the Trojan War, beset by the wrath of Poseidon, various monsters, witches, and his own pride. Read full book review >
AMERICAN FAIRY TALES by Neil Philip
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 2, 1996

"With a preface by Alison Lurie. (Fiction. 10+)"
From the pair behind Singing America (1995), a gathering of a century's worth of stories that defy well-known European fairy tale conventions. Read full book review >
EARTH ALWAYS ENDURES by Neil Philip
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Timeless poems, haunting photographs—a whole world to ponder. (Poetry. 10+)"
Paired with Curtis's classic photographs, these sacred chants capture the heartbeat of a people. Read full book review >
ODIN'S FAMILY by Neil Philip
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"They make the book extraordinary. (further reading) (Folklore. 10+)"
A retelling of Norse mythology, from creation to Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods, including stories about Odin, Loki, Thor, and the giants of Jotunheim. Read full book review >
FAIRY TALES OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN by Hans Christian Andersen
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"For Philip's phrasing and presentation, this is a worthy volume; young listeners won't mind the pictures, and older readers will be too engrossed in the stories themselves to notice. (Fiction. 5+)"
Some of Andersen's best-loved tales, perceptively introduced by Philip (The Snow Queen, 1989), who treats them as high literature, never forcing them into ready-made formulas. Read full book review >
SINGING AMERICA by Neil Philip
POETRY
Released: June 1, 1995

"In art and word, the America that emerges is compelling in all its contradictions. (further reading, indices of first lines, titles, subject, and poets) (Poetry. 10-14)"
An astounding array of poems about the American identity, representing the events and attitudes that have helped shape a unique history, by the compiler of Fairy Tales from Eastern Europe (1991). Read full book review >
THE COMPLETE FAIRY TALES OF CHARLES PERRAULT by Charles Perrault
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Aug. 15, 1993

"It's grand to have the real thing in such fine new dress—an essential reference for folklore collections, in attractive format that's sure to appeal to young readers. (Folklore. 5+)"
An intelligent new translation of all 11 stories, true to the original (the three verse tales have, sensibly, been rendered as prose, but the morals are in lively verse) and doubly welcome since the only other edition of merit in print (Dover, 1969, paper only) omits three of the tales. Read full book review >
FAIRY TALES OF EASTERN EUROPE by Neil Philip
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 28, 1991

Beginning with a brisk introduction concerning the unique aspects of Eastern European folklore, Philip (a British expert in folklore and children's literature) presents 22 stories told in a lively, colloquial style and ranging from brief Serbian creation myths to such long, formal tales as the familiar ``The Flying Ship,'' from the Ukraine. Read full book review >