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Children's LiteratureA talking bowtie, a ticklish tiger and a house with magical windows all make an appearance in this lovely collection of short stories that is extremely well suited for the eight-year old. It is filled with charming fables, folk tales and fairytales, both traditional and quirky, and even a ghost story, all of which appeal to the targeted age group. The collection, part of the "Kingfisher Treasury" series, includes contributions by well-known authors, such as Dick King-Smith (Babe: The Gallant Pig) and Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking) as well as lesser-known writers. A few of the stories, like "My Birthday" by Laurie Lee and "The Talking Bow Tie" by Morris Lurie are flat and forgettable. However, several, such as the fable about the clever raccoon who outsmarts the turtle and squirrel as they try to trick him out of his house ("Moving Day," retold by Roger Squire) and the folktale about the man who tickles a grumpy tiger, mistaking him for a tiger he raised from a cub ("The Day Grandfather Tickled a Tiger" by Ruskin Bond) are memorable and gently teach interesting truths. And those who like a good fairytale will love "The King and the K" by Emily Smith, about a young king who can't spell and who bans all items such as knives and knitting needles that begin with a silent "k." While there is something for everyone, one genre is absent—science fiction. This omission is particularly noticeable as the book's cover is a display not of wizards and tigers, but of robots, spaceships and aliens. 2004 (orig. 1995), Kingfisher/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 5 to 8.
—Moira Rose Donohue