This promises to be a valuable book for library shelves and school libraries as well as for nursery bookcases for many years to come. Through fifty stories and verses, spanning the period of children's literature and folk lore from Aesop to the present, Walter de la Mare has succeeded in giving one a sense of following the changing pattern and yet holding the thread of continuity. The stories chosen are in only a few instances the hackneyed selection you would expect. There's a freshness to them, and yet at the same time a sense of being rooted in the lore of the countries and people from which they spring, that gives them permanent value. And individually, they are good stories. Algernon Blackwood and John Masefield represent the moderns. The illustrations are 17th century woodcuts -- a bit too ""quaint"" for appreciation by the average child, but interesting to the adult. Good material for story tellers. And the introduction makes it a real contribution to critical commentary.