Book list
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Gr. 5-7, younger for reading aloud. Related in a confiding "back in days gone by" tone, these are fireside tales full of devils, beautiful princesses, clever peasants, and wicked relatives; high adventure, daring deeds, and lessons learned. As the noted Polish translator and author Kuniczak states in his introduction, he has written these tales "from memory with no attempt to make them literary because I know that when they are tampered with they lose all their magic." Unfortunately, the retellings would have been better with some slight polishing and considered editing. The rhythmic flow of the stories is often impeded by awkward sentence construction, and the logic of the stories is, on occasion, faulty. However, the power of these folktales is such that the collection rises above these faults and retains the wonderment that must have first sparked Kuniczak's imagination as a child. A nicely varied collection of traditional and ethnically exotic tales that will be a useful resource for storytellers. Modestly illustrated with eight full-page pen-and-ink drawings. For larger folktale collections or collections with a special interest in Polish materials. ~--Annie Ayres