K-Gr 4-These seven tales from around the world feature brothers and sisters as the chief protagonists. Some are familiar, such as the German "Hansel and Gretel" and the Armenian "The Red Cow," but others are less well-known, such as the Sudanese "Achol and Maper." The stories explore the sibling bond from a variety of perspectives, running the gamut from all-consuming jealousy to undying devotion. Hoffman is a competent reteller and maintains a lively pace. Shaw-Smith's illustrations, done in watercolor and mixed media, have a vibrant palette and are rich in detail. Part of the action is depicted on bottom borders, and there are rounded insets on almost every page, so there is much for the eye to explore. The whole effect gives readers the impression that they are being allowed a private peek into the long ago and faraway. Brief source notes are appended.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.