Global folk: tales from everywhere

7th November 1997 at 00:00
Myths and Legends of the WorldVolume 3: The Bronze Cauldron. Retold by Geraldine McCaughrean. Illustrated by Bee Willey. Orion Pounds 14.99.

More cornucopia than cauldron, Geraldine McCaughrean's series of retellings continues to seize the imagination. "If I could I would give you all the stories in the world," she tells her dedicatee, and at the present rate she's not doing badly.

This new volume, containing 27 more, is as delightful as its predecessors, The Golden Hoard and The Silver Treasure, combining narrative momentum with vivid details which convey emotional depths while never slowing the pace merely for decorative effect. Bee Willey's luminous, haunting pictures are a perfect match. John Mole

Rama and the Demon King

By Jessica Souhami

Frances Lincoln Pounds 9.99

An action-packed chunk of the Ramayana traditionally told at Diwali, with eye-popping illustrations in the style of shadow puppets. Prince Rama and his brother Lakshman set out to save Princess Sita from the King of the Demons. An army of monkeys, an ocean full of monsters, a magic arrow - what more could you want? Geraldine Brennan

Robi Dobi By Madhur Jaffrey

Illustrated by Amanda Hall

Pavilion Pounds 12.99

Imaginative and fast-moving adventures of a kindly Indian elephant, newly-named by the author but based on an affectionately remembered character from tales her father told. The story combines all the familiar properties of folk tale, including some splendid villains, with up-to-the-minute details which seem to fit en-tirely naturally. Amanda Hall's appropriately rainbow illustrations combine tapestry-style design with evident relish for characterisation. John Mole (TES, May 16)

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