THE THREE WISHES: A Collection of Puerto Rican Folktales by Ricardo E.--Selected and adapted by Alegria

THE THREE WISHES: A Collection of Puerto Rican Folktales

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Twenty-three stories that expose the diverse strands of Puerto Rican culture and don't duplicate the Belpre collection in any significant way: although the titular ""Tiger and the Rabbitt"" of the latter is found here, its form is quite different, while Alegria's ""Three Wishes"" and Belpre's ""Three Petitions"" are both variants of a familiar pattern. So, indeed, are several others--like ""Juanito and the Princess,"" which hinges on timely transformations--but the particulars are ingenious and intriguing (in this case, as in others, an ant figures greatly). Most distinctive are those which invoke the Devil -- ""The Witch's Skin"" is a real chiller. They give the book a harsher tone than the Belpre but there's also Juan Bobo (three times) to laugh at and ""Perez and Martina"" to weep for. Like the text, the illustrations are somewhat stronger and sterner than those in Belpre. Mr. Alegria is the long-time Director of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture; his comments on the stories would have been welcome but they are effective on their own.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1969
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World