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And Other Fables from Around the World

by Amy Zerner & illustrated by Jessie Spicer Zerner

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-8048-1807-X

Nine folktales (not fables) about animals, dragons, and humans from five continents—including an expanded version of the Egyptian "Cinderella"—constitute this well-intentioned effort. Other than country of origin, only one is even partially sourced. In the title story, the traditional sister is replaced by a cat, who diminishes Scheherazade's cleverness by suggesting her technique and supplying her with stories; and though the setting is nominally Arabian, the king drinks wine. Overall, fictionalizing and lapses into preciousness deprive these tales of their simplicity and directness; they've become short stories, with little of their original flavor. The nine illustrations ("collage paintings" of fabric and other materials) are static, fussy, and unlikely to appeal to children. Look elsewhere for multicultural materials. (Folklore. 8+)