Favorite Fairy Tales Told in India
. Beech Tree Books , Beech Tree Paperback . NY
PZ8.H295 Favg 1994 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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According to a note at the end of the book, the series in which this paperback is featured is a resurrection of a series done (starting in the 1950's?) by Little, Brown as the Favorite Fairy Tales series in hardback. Now they are back with new covers and new illustrations. The illustrations here are stylized and on the grotesque side, and I like them! The eight stories are funny and well told. The Valiant Chattee-maker (7) is an enjoyable story about the little guy winning. The Cat and the Parrot (29) is a fantastic tale of a cat who eats whole armies--but stupidly eats crabs, who cut a hole in his side through which everyone escapes. The Blind Man, the Deaf Man, and the Donkey (35) is a long series of enjoyable, mostly fantastic, incidents in which the blind and deaf men somehow fit together or complement each other. I think three stories rate as fables. The Little Jackals and the Lion (23) substitutes the last two jackals in a jungle for the hare who usually brings the lion to face his reflection in a well. The Alligator and the Jackal (53) is a standard Indian tale; here the latter outwits the former five times. The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal (81) is a standard tale; here the tiger inserts himself into the inquiry--and into the cage!