Celebrate the slyest trickster tales from around the world in a lavish volume that gives a well-loved story tradition its rightful due.
Enter (carefully) the world of the tricksters, those wily creatures who lie their way out of trouble, cheat when they get a chance, and devise elaborate tricks to get what they want —- with delightfully unpredictable results. This truly diverse, elegantly illustrated collection follows such clever characters as Anansi, Coyote, Brer Rabbit, and others who play a role in a multicultural array of storytelling traditions, from African to Inuit to European, Tibetan to Native American to Japanese.
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John and Caitlín Matthews have written more than seventy books, including children’s storybooks about knights, princesses, ghosts, giants, and wizards from Celtic, Arthurian, shamanic, and other traditions. They live in Oxford, England.
Tomislav Tomic’s black-and-white engravings were featured in the national bestseller WIZARDOLOGY, and his illustrations have also appeared in books, on numerous book covers, and in magazines. He lives in Zagreb, Croatia.
Grade 3–5—Animal tricksters from many countries practice their crafty ways in this handsome volume. Each of the 20 folktales is introduced with a detailed, full-page ink drawing that resembles a fine print, and illustrations in varying sizes appear throughout. The pictures are both energetic and eloquent, and their formal tone is echoed in generally well-shaped narrative. Occasionally the telling is prolonged or wordy or falls into contemporary colloquial language that is sometimes smooth and at other times jarring: "Hey, Bright One, I've come shopping. I want to buy all of your stories." A brief note about the country of origin appears at the beginning of each story: "This Cossack tale from Russia features a whole gang of creatures—but as usual, it is Fox who comes out on top." No source notes are provided, so readers unfamiliar with any of these tales can only guess at their cultural authenticity. While the attractive animals will appeal to many children, and some of the offerings will read aloud well, the book is most likely to find use with storytellers interested in the trickster tales.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
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