THE DIAMOND TREE by Howard Schwartz

THE DIAMOND TREE

Jewish Tales from Around the World
Age Range: 7 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Fifteen brief stories, some from oral tradition (Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Orient) and others transcribed as early as the fifth century (in Babylon) or as late as the nineteenth. Full notes give sources and point out parallels with more familiar stories--"The Water Witch," a variant of "Hansel and Gretel," features a Solomonic whale king; the Turkish "Katanya" is a Thumbelina-like child, gift of the prophet Elijah--who also rewards a hard-working rag-merchant in "The Magic Sandals of Abu Kassim." Many of the stories are didactic, but the instruction is always gentle. The philosophically generous tone is dramatically exemplified in "The Bear and the Children": after the mother has rescued her children from the bear's belly, she replaces them with loaves of bread so that "when the bear awoke, his belly was full, and he was perfectly happy"--an extraordinary contrast to the retributive justice in the Grimms' "The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids." Clear, well-honed language, intriguing detail, good pacing, and lots of variety make this an excellent choice for storytellers. Appealing format and Shulevitz's occasional full- page watercolors--elegantly structured, rich with the stories' flavor and wit, and painted in bright, sunny colors that perfectly reflect their lighthearted wisdom--will recommend the book to young readers. A fine collection that belongs in every library. (Folklore. 7+)
Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1991
ISBN: 0-06-025239-1
Page count: 120pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1991




MORE BY HOWARD SCHWARTZ

ChildrenGATHERING SPARKS by Howard Schwartz
by Howard Schwartz
ChildrenMORE BONES by Arielle North Olson
by Arielle North Olson
ChildrenBEFORE YOU WERE BORN by Howard Schwartz
by Howard Schwartz

MORE BY URI SHULEVITZ

ChildrenTROTO AND THE TRUCKS by Uri Shulevitz
by Uri Shulevitz
ChildrenDUSK by Uri Shulevitz
by Uri Shulevitz
ChildrenWHEN I WORE MY SAILOR SUIT by Uri Shulevitz
by Uri Shulevitz