SERPENTS AND WEREWOLVES by Lari Don

SERPENTS AND WEREWOLVES

Stories of Shape-Shifters from Around the World
From the "World of Stories" series
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A storyteller puts her own stamp on 15 traditional tales from four different continents about shape-shifters, those people who turn into animals and back again.

In her afterword, Don explains, “I’ve altered all these stories as I tell them to make them work for me and for the audience I’m telling to.” She carefully states her sources and then explains her adaptations, sometimes saying that children have given her ideas. There are occasional anachronisms. “Yuck” seems to be a favorite way to express disgust, but Don wants her readers to feel comfortable. If she loses some gravity in her tellings, she quickly gains readers’ interest. A kid understands completely the boy who becomes a buzzard in a tale from Mexico and says “Yuck!” when he finds out that he must eat dead bodies. “Mom” and “dad” are used in the final story, about a child becoming a werewolf, more original than most of the others, although “inspired” by a German tale. The black vignettes (occasionally reused) and the small drawings of a branch with a caterpillar from “The Ashkelon Witches” (a Jewish folk tale) appearing as a header and the snakes from “The Snake Prince” (from the Punjab) flanking the page numbers contribute to the book’s handsome design. Two other series entries publish simultaneously: Ghosts and Goblins: Scary Stories from Around the World and Magic and Mystery: Traditional Stories from around the World, both by Maggie Pearson and illustrated by Greenwood.

Engaging stories that will hook kids, send them looking for traditional stories, and perhaps encourage some to take up the art of oral (and written) storytelling. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5124-1321-2
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Darby Creek
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2016




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