The Wily Witch and All the Other Fairy Tales and Fables
This is a book of forty-five tales. I find the tales engaging. I have read five. They seem to me to be parables, engaging the values of those who read them seriously. The first story, The Wily Witch (3-8), describes a delightful competition between witch and wizard, who eventually marry each other. The Death of the Storyteller (141-21) is perhaps the shortest of these tales. The storyteller wants to see a gnome, dies, and faces judgment. When God asks what his last thought was and hears that it was to see a gnome, God smiles and lets him in. Yes! A White Christmas (174-75) is a challenging story about letting the Christmas story be now. Similarly, The Chest and the Student (193-96) depicts a situation in which a student makes a lifelong decision, and will learn to regret it. A final story that I read seems to me to be perhaps forced a bit: The Twelfth King (185-92) is true enough, but it may impose a religious solution on a reader. This story involves perhaps the most impressive of the illustrations (187-88): here are the books people produce in dealing with the crisis.
Stemmer House Publishers