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HER STORIES by Virginia Hamilton Kirkus Star


African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales

adapted by Virginia Hamilton & illustrated by Leo Dillon & Diane Dillon

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-590-47370-0
Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

A volume with as broad appeal as Hamilton's The People Could Fly (1985). All the stories collected feature females, but there similarities end; a variety of ordinary girls and women, her-vampires, mermaids, and witches inhabit humorous and frightening folktales, accounts of life in slavery taken from oral history collections, and elaborate fairy tales incorporating elements from many traditions into solid, African-American renderings. Hamilton divides the collection into "Her Animal Tales," "Her Fairy Tales," Her Supernatural," "Her Folkways and Legends," and "Her True Tales." Comments follow each story, offering insights and assurances of authenticity; source notes appear in the back. The Dillons bring luster to an already wonderful project, with polished acrylic portraits on creamy backgrounds; the pictures envelop the mythic aspects of the tales without abandoning their roots in ordinary human experience. It's hard to envision the shelf—children's or adults'—on which this volume doesn't belong. (Folklore. 7+)