JIM HENSON'S 'THE STORYTELLER'

Under the aegis of the late Jim Henson, here are nine stories that first appeared as The Storyteller TV series—traditional folk and fairy tales refreshed for a modern audience. Released now as an adult book, this appealing, abundantly illustrated offering is just as suitable for young readers. Minghella looks to a Tuscan proverb (``The tale is not beautiful if nothing is added to it'') for inspiration and, like Italo Calvino in Italian Folktales, adds to and alters the stories, most already available in standard collections—``Hans My Hedgehog'' and ``The Luck Child,'' for example. Some of his variations lack resonance on paper (the troll in ``The True Bride'' speaks in scrambled phrases like ``I'm founded dumb'') and distract from the prime-time themes of fear, trust, fidelity, etc. Most, however, are interesting even when they deviate from the classic story line (Hans has soft bristles and a devoted mother) and often enough Minghella's own language sets the tone: ``in a week with two Fridays,'' he writes, or ``Suddenly everyone could live forever'' or ``Beggars are never what they seem.'' Darcy May's 41 full-color paintings, rendered in a subtle palette, are elegant, expressive compositions faithful to the spirit of the stories and kin to several old favorites. Image for image, they don't quite match the spiritual quality and inner flow of, say, Nonny Hogrogian's (juvenile) The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs, and they lack the penetrating aspect of the (much longer) Segal/Sendak collaboration The Juniper Tree. Good company to these and others already on library shelves, they have a soft, distinctive look that should draw in readers of all ages.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1991

ISBN: 0-394-58256-X

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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