Veronika Martenova Charles is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books include- Maiden of the Mist- A Legend of Niagara Falls; Stretch, Swallow, & Stare; The Crane Girl; and The Birdman. Veronika has studied at Ryerson University, the Ontario College or Art and Design, and recently completed her graduate studies in Folklore at York University. Veronika Martenova Charles lives in Toronto. David Parkins is the award-winning illustrator of over fifty children's books. He began his career at Dyfed College of Art in Wales, studying wildlife illustration. He then went to Lincoln College of Art for three years, and has been a freelance illustrator since his graduation in 1979. He spent several years at the beginning of his career producing illustrations for educational publishers, and has earned most of his keep drawing for the British cartoon, The Beano. David Parkins lives in England with his wife and daughter.
Gr 2-3-In this beginning reader, an unnamed narrator arrives at a vacation cottage with his friends and family. Sent to the store for ketchup and ice cream, the boys are cautioned to "Be home before dark, and don't go into the forest!" However, the children linger to watch a game near the beach, and consider taking a shortcut home through the wooded area. This prompts each boy to tell a spooky story that takes place in a forest, featuring cannibalistic Little People and the Pot Woman, as well as Berbalangs, people who turn into "heads with wings" that flap and attack. Each tale involves a brush with danger and a safe ending. When the boys have finished sharing stories they run through the forest to reach home on time, and become frightened upon encountering a woman with a large pot, who turns out to be a friendly neighbor. The large-print font and numerous illustrations will appeal to new readers. A concluding note identifies Berbalangs as Philippine in origin and Little People and the Pot Woman as "characters that appear in Native American legends," without attribution to tribes or regions.- Laura Scott, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.