Greatest Animal Stories

, ed. 256p. Barron's. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781438050034.
Gr 1–5—A collection of 17 stories selected by Morpurgo, the best-selling author of over 130 books for children. Each classic tale is retold by a different author and illustrator, making this book a beautiful and diverse compendium of narrative and artistic styles. The stories also vary in length and complexity so that readers of all ages can find something suited for their reading level. Stories from all over the world are represented: Aesop's fables are included, as well as tales from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Classics such as "The Ugly Duckling" and "Peter and the Wolf" appear alongside "How the Bear Lost His Tail" and the "King of Cats." Next to each title page is a short paragraph by Morpurgo introducing the story, describing its cultural origins, and presenting the moral conflict. The shorter stories end with a summary of the moral. The book itself is a beauty to behold: the dust jacket is gorgeous, featuring silver letters and intricate design, and the interiors are bright and slick.
VERDICT This book is ideal for solo readers as well as family bedtime stories and makes for a memorable gift.

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