To kick off its new Folktales Around the World
series, Sterling turned to Peninnah Schram, the Director of the Jewish Storytelling Center and winner of the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network, to choose stories that represent the
values, faith, culture, and traditions” of the Jewish people. The twenty-two tales, expertly selected, draw from a wide range of traditional Sephardic and Ashkenazi lore. They include favorite fairytales, legends and trickster tales with familiar characters, such as Honi and Hershele of Ostropol, plus some reimaginings with Moroccan settings and new protagonists. A wise woman replaces the boy Solomon and King David in proving guilt by discovering gold coins left behind in a pot of honey. A Hakham replaces King Solomon as judge in
How Much Is a Smell Worth?” In three lovely tales not often found elsewhere in English, the scratch in a diamond is transformed into a rose, a prince unknowingly carries news from a free bird that teaches a caged bird how to escape, and a young man wins the contest for laziest man in the kingdom. Short introductions turn many of the tales into parables. With messages laced through each story, this is more consciously a teaching collection than Schram’s other works. Thirty-two elegant, full-color illustrations reinforce its formality. For adults to share with children, or ages 10
and up to read alone. With introduction, glossary, and sources.