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Children's LiteratureThe seven retold tales in this reprint of a collection first published in the UK reflect Hindu classical mythology rather than the numerous folk traditions of the Indian subcontinent. The tales are told with a north Indian slant on pronunciation and context. Each story is accompanied by a combination of full-color drawings and photographs. Sidebars titled "Did you know?" cover topics ranging from specific figures in mythology to festivals, customs, and sacred geography. The stories are standard fare that most children in Hindu households are likely to hear repeatedly in multiple versions--the creation tale of the cosmic egg, followed by stories of the demon princess Holika for whom the colorful spring holiday is named, the hero prince Ram, Krishna the cowherd, how the river Ganga came to earth, Ganesh the elephant god, and Durga and the buffalo demon. Ganeri retells these stories in crisp, tidy prose, with deft transitions and a quick pace. Her language is spare rather than lyrical. The collection offers a good first glimpse of the complex mythology of this major world religion. This book is part of the publisher's "Traditional Religious Tales" series, of which other titles are Buddhist Stories, Christian Stories, Islamic Stories, Jewish Stories, and Sikh Stories. A glossary and index are included in the back matter, as is a rather sparse reading list that tends to rely on bland fare rather than more literary nonfiction sources. A reference is also included to the FactHound Web site, which appears to be an Internet undertaking of the publisher. 2006 (orig. 2001), Picture Window Books, Ages 7 to 10.