From the hearthsides of the Himalayas, where Mrs. Hitchcock spent two years with her family, comes a collection of stories so fresh in content, so effectively told, that they will divert children and delight storytellers for years to come. The author gracefully acknowledges the assistance of a young Nepali high school teacher, Hem Bahadur Thapa, and his contribution may be credited with preserving not only the attitudes of the Nepalese -- the wife who insulted her husband by not cooking him any supper -- but also some of their language and phrasing. Even where the elements of the plot are familiar, the individuality of these versions extends beyond descriptive details: Soonimaya thwarts her wicked stepmother by selflessly returning to suckle her new-born child; the question of who is more powerful -- Sun, Clouds or Wind -- is settled in favor of the Rat who destroys the Trees that hold the Mountain that the Winds cannot move. Most memorable, perhaps, is the cast of creatures, including Bundar Bahadur Poon, the mischievous monkey who had to have popcorn before he went to sleep, and the fox who ""tries to prove himself a perfect husband for a lioness."" Lillian Sader is a new artist who bears watching: her jackal pushing the bear on a giant swing, her Sun smoking his houka, her messenger bugling across the valleys, have a sprightly individuality which is both Oriental and contemporary. Notes on each of the stories, and a glossary, provide background. Read, show -- and tell.