Whether intended for adults or young people, these folktales, written by the famous Russian, have a message for readers today. Stories and legends -- eight of them -- Dorothy Canfield Fisher in her introduction defines as ""bread of the spirit"" with an ever widening significance in reading and rereading, from sixteen to sixty. They are selected carefully, to build together a timeless narrative of what love can do for human beings. Tolstoy rote these stories at his prime, with a background of experience and a fullness of art. The intimate details of background have helped form an indelible memory -- albeit unconsciously -- of Russian life and settings. The stories are familiar ones, for the most part. But in this fine setting, with decorations by Alexander they should reach out to a new American public.