A World Full of Animal Stories: 50 Favorite Animal Folk Tales, Myths and Legends

illus. by Aitch. 128p. bibliog. Frances Lincoln. Oct. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781786030450.
K-Gr 3—In this handsome volume, McAllister collects 50 short animal tales. Some stories, such as "The Elephant and the Blind Men" and "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," may be familiar to readers. The majority of entries feature animal characters interacting with humans or mythological beasts. The stories are gentle rather than gory—no pigs are eaten in this version of "The Three Little Pigs"—and even villains tend to be chased away, never to be seen again. The content is organized by continent/country of origin (excluding Antarctica), and there are five to 12 tales from each area; Europe and North America are the largest sections. Some are associated with specific Indigenous nations/tribes; others are merely labeled "A Native American Indian Story" and include references to "the Great Spirit," a troubling simplification. The back matter consists of a list of sources, mostly folk and fairy-tale collections from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, though some stories are simply listed as "traditional." The pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are detailed with bright, eye-catching splashes of color. There are spot illustrations on every page, with the occasional full-page spread. Human characters, when they appear, are portrayed in costume. Overall, the style is folksy, but not cartoonish.
VERDICT A lack of consistent sourcing makes this a low-priority addition.

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