I don't think I have come across a collection of legends since Shen of the Sea (with which Chrisman won the Newbery Award in 1926) which held me spellbound from first page to last. These are Indian legends of South America, and they overlap no other legends I've read, they have a rest and freshness in the telling that makes each story a gem. Some are elementary racial myths, some are legends obviously grown up around extravagances of nature, some are hero tales, some are new versions of world themes (the flood in The Wonderful ama, the discipline of fire in Thunder Bird; the gift of music in The Stranger's Gift). But whatever the basic theme, the handling has a vitality that gives it new strength. Sources tapped indicate wide study of many parts of South America. An important contribution to folk literature for all ages.