FAVORITE FAIRY TALES TOLD IN JAPAN by Virginia Haviland

FAVORITE FAIRY TALES TOLD IN JAPAN

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Younger children blocked from folklore by big words and small type have a friend in Miss Haviland; her versions work as authentic adaptations and accessible reading, with more or less vitality and individuality. The five stories here are both familiar and direct: ""One-Inch Fellow,"" ""The Good Fortune Kettle,"" ""The Tongue-Cut Sparrow,"" ""Momotaro"" ""The White Hare and the Crocodiles."" Lacking layered meaning or complex plotting, they are stories for young children to begin with, and four of them are available in Uchida, The Dancing KettLe. The two books differ very obviously in appearance (large type and large colored illustrations vs. smallish type and smaller, fewer b & w sketches), less so in readability considered either as process or pleasure. Slightly shorter sentences, simpler sentence structure and the absence of a few ""difficult"" words bring the reading level down from fourth and fifth grade to third and fourth; the stories themselves are very little shorter. A more significant accommodation to the younger child is the frequent direct or implied explanation, with a certain loss in pace and spirit, and a subtler loss: discovery. The illustrations are very Japanese both in style and composition, though not always immediately attractive. You'll want this to introduce children to Japan, but consider Uchida as a quick follow-up and the prime source for storytelling.

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1967
Publisher: Little, Brown