This entry in a series that combines cultural and historical information with short folktales from around the world focuses on South India. The introductory section presents a brief history, an overview of South Indian states, a look at religion and the arts, and a chapter on the various storytelling styles of the area. The almost 50 stories are organized by subjects such as "Devotion and Faith," "Respect for Family and Elders," and "Hospitality and Friendship." There is an earnest quality in the accounts of devotion, of greed being punished, of achieving virtue through religious practice, doing one's duty, lessons on karma, and the importance of humility. There are also some charming and intriguing tales in the collection. The thorough appendixes briefly describe festivals and resources, including Internet and pen-pal sources. Useful for storytellers or for classroom units with older children.-Marilyn Iarusso, New York Public Library
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