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FIRE AND WINGS by Marianne Carus


Dragon Tales from East and West

edited by Marianne Carus & illustrated by Nilesh Mistry

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8126-2664-8
Publisher: Cricket

Carus’s (911: The Book of Help, p. 950, etc.) storytellers draw motifs from traditional folklore wrapped around fiery dragons that are more enchanting than menacing. Each of the 15 tales comes from Japan, China, the Ukraine, Korea, or other exotic settings. There are tales featuring an unlikely shepherd lad outwitting a fiery dragon to save a kingdom; a fair maiden nursing a dragon’s child back to health and negotiating the sacrifice of fish to appease the dragon and save a village; soldiers that gamble with a dragon for seven years of safety in return for the challenge to uncover the answer to three riddles; and a “left-over” dragon who finds a family and a name when he finds a baby in the woods. Carus chooses work (much of it first published in Cricket magazine) from notable authors such as Eric A. Kimmel, Gloria Skurzynski, and Jane Yolen, who know how to craft a story. The black-and-white illustrations, several full-page, are detailed and attempt to evoke the culture of each tale. The familiar motifs, exotic settings, and protagonists that demonstrate courage, cleverness, resourcefulness, and compassion make this collection one that will entertain and feed minds and the desire for dragons of all those who read or hear these tales. (Short stories. 9-12)