Gr 3-5-Charming, if occasionally too clever for its own good, this collection of 39 minicuentos (short-short stories or flash fiction) features tales of fewer than 400 words. Most of the stories end with a reversal or surprise ending of some sort. Subjects range from retellings of fairy tales ("The Ugly Duckling," "The Seven Little Goats") to modern fables to humorous looks at "difficult" or persistent children. "(Qu es mejor, esponjas o sal?" ("What's BetterSponges or Salt?"), for example, teaches that what seems good at first may turn out to be bad, and vice versa. "El abuelo, el nieto y el caballo" ("The Grandfather, the Grandson and the Horse") shows the impossibility of pleasing everyone, and "Contra Caperucita" ("Against Little Red Riding Hood") suggests that children who refuse to obey parental instructions deserve to be eaten by wolves. Gallardo's small color illustrations are scattered profusely over the pages and resemble advertising art from the 1950s. The range of subject matter ensures that almost everyone can find something to enjoy, but especially those who appreciate the whimsical and mischievous writings of such authors as Shel Silverstein, Jon Scieszka, and Roald Dahl. This is perfect for readers with little time or short attention spans, as well as for teachers or parents looking to fill only a few minutes of reading time at one sitting. A plus for librarians is the sewn hardcover binding.Coop Renner, Paul C. Moreno Elementary, El Paso, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.