This collection of favorite stories for the youngest appears as a companion to the author/illustrator's Mother Goose, which was published last year. Liberally padded with Aesop, it contains most of the expected stories: "Little Red Hen," "The Three Bears," and so forth. Also included are a few familiar verses from Stevenson and Longfellow. The retellings are the most nonviolent possible, while retaining fidelity to the story (the troll in "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" is tossed into the water, for example), which should satisfy parents, if not purists. The prose style usefully takes the stories from beginning to end in a straightforward manner, with few pauses for interesting language or description along the way. DePaola's brightly colored illustrations liberally decorate the pages and suit the nature of the text, both in their pragmatic carrying out of story themes and their lack of distinction. Enormously useful as a gift book and as an added collection for libraries. For memorable storytelling, however, it will never replace the collections done by Rockwell and Rojankovsky.