The Story Tree: Tales to Read Aloud by Hugh Lipton offers seven retellings from around the world. Some will be familiar to youngsters, such as the Norwegian "The Three Billy Goats Gruff." Others, such as "Little Lord Feather-Frock" from Russia and India's "Monkey-See, Monkey-Do," may be new. Lipton's text winds itself through Sophie Fatus's equally narrative illustrations, each with a different mood and palette. ( Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-The seven stories included in this collection are versions of oft-told folktales from around the world. "The Magic Porridge Pot" is similar to Tomie dePaola's Strega Nona (S & S, 1979), "Monkey-See, Monkey-Do" to Esphyr Slobodkina's Caps for Sale (HarperTrophy, 1987), and "The Sweetest Song" is adapted from Virginia Hamilton's The People Could Fly (Knopf, 1985). There are also versions of "The Blue Coat" (the Jewish folktale, "The Tailor") and "The Three Billy Goats Gruff." These retellings, with their repetitions and rhythmic language, reveal Lupton's background as a storyteller, and should appeal to young readers. While the illustrations aren't large enough for large-group viewing, children will appreciate Fatus's droll, childlike art, her strong sense of design, and the easy-to-read font. Sharp-eyed viewers may spot several minor flaws in the otherwise lively and appealing artwork. For example, while the text indicates that the troll "licked his gray lips with his red tongue," the illustrations clearly depict him with red lips, and the Little Red Hen is mainly brown. This book would work in early elementary classrooms as a supplementary reader, but is not a necessity for libraries that already own outstanding versions of these classic tales illustrated by well-known artists.-Laurie Edwards, Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.