Gr 6-10-These 13 original selections about some of the strange beings that populate world folklore are generally less terrifying than the introduction implies. Certainly readers wouldn't want to meet the ghoulish Bulgarian vurkolak or the Mongolian Sidhi-kur, a living corpse, on a dark night. But some of the other creatures are just unusual or even comical, such as the squonk from the forests of Pennsylvania or the mischievous Scottish bogle. The overall quality of the collection is mixed; among the better tales are Nancy Springer's ``Black Angel,'' Esther M. Friesner's ``A Few Good Menehune,'' and Lawrence Watt-Evans's ``The Bogle in the Basement.'' Many of the authors are well known to fantasy aficionados; Jane Yolen's offering here is a poem, ``Great Selkie.'' An appendix contains one-paragraph biographies of each contributor. This isn't a necessary addition, but libraries with strong fantasy and/or short-story collections may wish to consider it.-Mary Jo Drungil, Niles Public Library District, IL
In this collection of 11 short stories and two poems, each of the writers spins a yarn that revolves around a creature from the local folklore of places as familiar as New Jersey and as exotic as Mongolia. All but a few of the protagonists are teens, and each develops a new awareness about his or her life as a result of an encounter with the bizarre. The quality of the tales is uneven, and few, if any, are as "spine-tingling" as promised, but most are engaging. The theme will certainly appeal to young adult audiences, and the multiethnic aspect suggests some curricular opportunities. Overall, this cast of squonks and bogles and selkies provides some good entertainment.