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and Other Goulish Tales

by Maggie Pearson & illustrated by Gavin Rowe

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-56656-377-1
Publisher: Crocodile/Interlink

“See that shadow there? Could be the bunyip coming to get you! See that thing under the water, way too big to be a fish? That’s him, all right. Better run.” Though Pearson has done a poor job of scholarship, not only skipping source notes entirely, but billing her severely abridged version of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” as anonymously “North American,” these fourteen retold tales are just right for reading late at night, under the sheets, with the bedroom door closed. Her renditions are readable, tellable, and matter of fact, taking readers from graveyard (“The Brave Little Tailor”) to fen (“The Buried Moon”), from Bluebeard’s castle to an igloo where a lonely fisherman’s tears bring a “Skeleton Woman” back to life. Amply illustrating the pages, Rowe adds gleefully atmospheric touches: rows of eyes peer out of the murky swamp; Vasilissa’s father looks on with mild surprise as she blasts her cruel stepmother to ashes with a glowing skull; the wolf grins up at viewers as a cautionary lesson to all who “cry wolf” needlessly. Ready for some chills? Don’t forget to check those flashlight batteries. (Folktales. 10-12)