K-Gr 3-- When demigod Maui was still a child, the sun raced across the sky, making the day too short for him to fly his kite, for fishermen to catch fish, or for farmers to grow crops. When his mother sends him to best the sun, he hides in the mountain with his lasso until the sun rises. As it does, he ropes the sun's legs (rays) and asks it to promise to slow down. When it won't, he breaks its legs, one at a time, until it has no choice but to go slower for at least half the year. In Vivian Thompson's version, ``Maui Traps Sun,'' in Hawaiian Myths of Earth, Sea & Sky (Holiday, 1966; o.p.), he breaks only one leg, but other versions vary. If this seems violent, remember ``Hansel & Gretel,'' ``Bluebeard,'' and ``Ali Baba.'' Tales of Maui the child, the trickster, and the hero are at the heart of Polynesian lore. Bright watercolors with ink line outlines capture Hawaii's sun and tell the tale of Maui's strength. Good second- and third-grade readers may read this for themselves, and it has always been a tale for tellers. The second story tells of a time when Hawaii was young and no one saw or heard the birds except the demigod Maui. When a stranger from a faraway island comes to Hawaii and brags about how much more beautiful his island is than Hawaii, Maui beats his drum, and the sound of birds fluttering is heard. He beats it again and they sing. Finally, he beats it once more and they appear. The stranger agrees that there is no more beautiful place than Hawaii. This is a lovely tale of Hawaii's most famous mythical hero, unavailable elsewhere. Vivid ink outline watercolors with ornithologically correct birds bring Hawaii to readers and listeners. This is large enough to read aloud to young groups, who might stumble over the bird names on their own, and quite a nice introduction to Hawaiian folklore. --Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Public Library, Mich.