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Traditional Tales Around the World

adapted by Judy Sierra & illustrated by Stefano Vitale

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-13328-3
Publisher: Clarion

Stories with familiar motifs from “The Three Little Pigs,” “Bremen Town Musicians,” “Rumplestiltskin,” “The Frog Prince,” and “Hansel and Gretel” are collected in five chapters of three stories each. Opening each chapter is an introduction to the motif of the section and what to expect; each tale that follows will connect to the chapter’s anchor story, some more closely than others. For example, in the “Three Little Pigs” chapter there are three tales. Obvious connections in two follow traditional story lines with variations on some of the details. “The Three Geese,” a tale from Italy substitutes geese for the pigs and includes a variation on the end, but the results are the same. The connections between tales in the other chapters aren’t always as recognizable. Oniroku, a unique variation of the Rumplestiltskin tale, is representative of the rather uninspired retellings that might have been rich in tapestry and imagery. However, a strong component of this production is the vibrant and detailed borders, designed for each story, that create a mood and complement the gloriously executed illustrations created, on wood, by Vitale (Sleepy Book, 2001, etc.). While there may be more richly textured gatherings of comparison folktales, this beautifully illustrated volume presents readable examples that just might send readers to the shelves to search for single editions of other tales that contain similar motifs. And it is simply splendid to look at. (Folktales. 7-12)