Cover image for A twist in the tail : animal stories from around the world
A twist in the tail : animal stories from around the world
Hoffman, Mary, 1945-
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 1998.
Physical Description:
69 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Retellings of ten traditional animal tales from around the world.
A birthday surprise (Anancy story from the Caribbean) -- The fox and the crab have a race (China) -- The bright blue jackal (India) -- The wolf who loved sheep (A Los Nobos story from Cape Verde) -- The magpie and the milk (Turkey) -- The pelican and the fish (Malaysia) -- The fox and the boastful brave (Iroquois story from North America) -- The tortoise who rode an elephant (Nigeria) -- The very clever rabbit (Venezuela) -- The animal who couldn't make up its mind (Australia).
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1.H6725 TW 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.H6725 TW 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PZ8.1.H6725 TW 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.H6725 TW 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PZ8.1.H6725 TW 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Read me just one more! are the words certain to be heard each night as children pore over this collection of favorite animal tales from around the world. Each story is complete in just a few pages, making the collection an ideal choice for bedtime reading.Animal tales, always beloved by young children, can be found in most cultures. Best-selling author Mary Hoffman presents ten vibrant fables that capture the humor, wisdom, and richness of the culture from which they spring, and Jan Ormerod's sun-splashed illustrations provide a perfect complement.

Author Notes

Children's author and reviewer Mary Hoffman was born in 1945. She attended Newnham College to study English literature and University College London to study linguistics. She started writing in 1970 and has written about eighty children's books including the picture book Amazing Grace, the Stravaganza series, and the anti-war anthology Lines in the Sand. She is also the editor of the children's book review magazine Armadillo, which comes out four times a year.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Two noted talents join forces to create an attractive, if not unique, collection of 10 folktales starring tricksters of land, sea and sky. The bulk of the stories, taken from Asia, Australia, North and South America and Africa, focus on bullies and braggarts who get their comeuppance (e.g., a fox who is proud of his quickness gets outsmarted by a slow but wily crab; a jackal king is overthrown after being tricked into revealing his true nature). Hoffman (Amazing Grace) departs from this theme toward the end of the volume with tales of pranksters who get away with, and even revel in, their bad behavior. The collection concludes with a pourquoi tale that seems out of sync with the rest of the stories. Although there is little in the style or substance of the retellings to evoke a sense of the tales' originating cultures, Hoffman chooses a uniformly clear, straightforward prose well-suited to capturing the attention of the target audience. Readers accustomed to Ormerod's (The Water Babies) soft watercolors may be surprised by these full-page and spot illustrations rendered with few, but sure, brushstrokes of bold, saturated color. Minimal source notes include several Internet sites, which are inaccessible or no longer in existence. A handsome volume, but one unlikely to stand out from the myriad other animal story collections. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Trickster Anancy reconsiders his mischievous past in a Caribbean tale of misunderstanding and repentance. Proud Fox is outsmarted by Crab in a brief story from China. An accidental dip in blue dye transforms Jackal from commoner to king in an Indian fable. These and seven other folktales introduce a cast of animal characters who justly receive their comeuppance or succeed in besting a braggart. This lively collection is global in scope and includes variants of familiar tales as well as a few from personal sources. Retold with clarity and brevity, they vary in length from three to five pages. Lots of dialogue sprinkled with contemporary language makes for spirited reading though some of the intriguing details of more elaborate versions are omitted in these simplified retellings. Ormerod's cheerful palette and bold brush strokes animate the personable creatures who inhabit a variety of page layouts, all made accessible to young readers by large type and lots of white space. A list of sources for all tales, including print collections and Web sites, is appended. A solid purchase where multicultural stories for young listeners and beginning chapter-book readers are popular.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.