A fresh and unusual collection of folktales, tied together by the rhythm of the storyteller's voice: This is Lupton's first book for children, but the oral origins of these stories from many cultures are evident in the pacing. In the Cree story, ""The Curing Fox,"" the old woman named Duck Egg effects cures of both a young girl and the she-fox she hears in the girl's rasping chest; in the West African tale, ""Blind Man and the Hunter,"" the blind man's brother-in-law learns a gentle lesson about seeing and finding goodness. The rollicking ""Peddler of Swaffham"" offers a wonderful dream that turns out to be true, but not in the way readers will expect. The illustrations are quirky explorations of ethnic themes, appearing as headpieces and tail pieces and running foots, sidling up to the text in interesting ways, as well as appearing in more conventional half-pages. Sharkey's style is as odd and eccentric, at times, as Yumi Heo's, but also falls to more traditional forms for architectural details that help convey each story's setting.
Pub Date: Aug. 20, 1998
Page Count: 80
Publisher: "Barefoot (203 Clinton St., Brooklyn, NY 11201)"