Gr 3-6-- The Greek figures on the attractive jacket may be misleading, for, as the subtitle indicates, the 14 stories within are also from the African, Native American, Pacific, Norse, Celtic, Indian, Chinese and Russian traditions. Organized topically, the tales about ``Earth, Air, Fire and Water'' include an unusual flood story from Nigeria. Among those about ``Love and Death'' is a moving Welsh tale of canine loyalty (``Bedd Gelert'') and an even more inspiring story from India, ``The Hare in the Moon.'' Four tales of ``Fools and Heroes'' include a Russian version of ``The Wishing Fish.'' Although the language is not particularly easy, a large, clear typeface makes the text accessible. Lucid, luminous watercolors enliven every page; their details are accurate and informative, but not overwhelming. Unpretentious and engaging, Denton's cheerful illustrations and vignettes contribute to the combination of ``wisdom and delight'' in this appealing, generously sized volume. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle
This wonderful collection includes not only "myths and legends from around the world" but also folktales and fables. Pilling's succinct prose is both eloquent and homey in 14 stories ranging from the humorous west African creation myth "Iyadola's Babies" ("I hope you're behaving yourselves, here on earth. I made it you know. I expect you to look after it") to the poignant Welsh legend "Bedd Gelert." The appeal is broad, with tales about fools--among them, King Midas and the giant Bennadonner--particularly enchanting for younger children, while older children will best appreciate the heroic adventures of Balder and Perseus. The spacious format has large print set against crisp white space and copious wash-and-line drawings. The illustrations reflect a range of cultures with delicate yet sprightly lines, sturdy forms, and a diverse palette. A most welcome offering for storytelling and reading aloud.