A Soyer family production: stories by grandfather Abraham, translation by daughter Rebecca S. Beagle and daughter-in-law Rebecca Soyer, illustrations by son Raphael, introduction by grandson Peter S. Beagle--who remembers the tales (originally published in Palestine) from his childhood. As a family's legacy, they inspire envy--little Yemima, who outwits both the stupid, slavering Wolf and the clever Fox--is a worthier heroine by far than dutiful Little Red Riding Hood. But once past Yemima's crafty promise to the hungry young foxes of many, many roasted chickens, ""sweeter than honey""--and Sly-Fox's further outfoxings--the stories stretch out into composites of familiar motifs and have less to commend them. An exception is the brief, bitter, brilliant ""The Diamond,"" in which a poor mother's tear turns into a precious jewel that's not to be possessed. The soft black-and-white crayon drawings have neither the wit nor the intensity of the stories, however, which put this in the class of promising projects that don't quite come off.