BLACK FAIRY TALES by Terry Berger

BLACK FAIRY TALES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This book was done especially for the Black Children who have never read black fairy tales."" The Nice Teacher would have done better to get them some of the many firsthand collections of African tales and legends than to fill their heads with Fairies and la-di-da locutions originating in a 1908 British publication, Fairy Tales from South Africa. One need but glance at the opening passage to see that whatever the authenticity of the plots, the presentation is not: ""There was once a little black Princess named Kitila, and she was both pretty and nice. Her father, a great chief, had been killed when she was but a babe, and now she and her mother lived with her uncle. . . . Unlike her father, who had been loved by all for his goodness, the new chief, his blood brother, was neither kindly nor popular."" A river doesn't run, it ""courses""; nothing ends but ""ceases,"" he who is sent is ""dispatched,"" what is searched for is ""sought-out,"" etc., etc. No more than the phraseology is the sensibility African. And to call these stories ""fairy tales,"" however well-intended, is to foster a misconception.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1969
Publisher: Atheneum