A retelling of eight familiar tales (along with the title story, ``Hansel and Gretel,'' ``The Tinderbox,'' ``Rapunzel,'' ``Vipers and Pearls,'' ``Bluebeard,'' ``The Girl Who Stepped on a Loaf,'' and ``Something More . . .'') in language that stays close to the original tone and timbre, with the complexities of nuance and situation intact. Neither surprising interpretations nor overriding themes inform the collection or tie the stories together. Why these eight, why this mood—the personality or mission of the selector is all but absent. The illustrations have the illusory edges of dream landscapes, with attenuated, neurasthenic figures and some very strange animal creatures. It's an elegant, but very cold, package, without a ready audience; the text is too long for young children, and the storybook format may put off older ones. (Folklore. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-670-86652-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1996

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Charmed by her new baby brother, Elizabeti decides that she wants a baby of her own; she picks up a smooth rock, names it Eva and washes, feeds, and changes her, and carries her about in her cloth kanga. Hale dresses Elizabeti and her family in modern, brightly patterned clothing that practically glows against the earth-toned, sketchily defined Tanzanian village in which this is set. Although Eva appears a bit too large for Elizabeti to handle as easily as she does, the illustrations reflect the story’s simplicity; accompanied by an attentive hen, Elizabeti follows her indulgent mother about, mimicking each nurturing activity. The object of Elizabeti’s affection may be peculiar, but the love itself is real. Later, she rescues Eva from the fire pit, tenderly cleans her, then cradles the stone until she—Elizabeti—falls asleep. Stuve-Bodeen’s debut is quirky but believable, lightly dusted with cultural detail, and features universal emotions in an unusual setting. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-880000-70-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1998

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At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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