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Fair is Fair


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About the Author

Stefan Czernecki Bio Stefan Czernecki was born in a refugee camp in Germany and now lives in a small glass apartment one hundred and fifty feet above the ground. For inspiration, he travels to faraway places like Tokyo, Mexico City, New York and Marrakesh. Sometimes he just takes a walk around the block. A number of his books are inspired by folk art from other countries. His creative work has been awarded the prestigious Aesop Accolade given by the American Folklore Society.


Having survived camp (or while enduring its rigors), kids may want to try out The Official Kick the Can by Sharon McKay and David MacLeod, illustrated by Marilyn Mets. The package consists of‘what else?‘a tin can (filled with such paraphernalia as a ball, marbles, chalk and a yoki rope) and a paperback guide to 25 old-fashioned street games (Andrews & McMeel/Somerville House, $10.95, ISBN 0-8362-4515-6 May).

Attorney and professional storyteller Creeden presents 30 international folktales relating to various aspects of law and justice. This collection includes myths, fables, and traditional narratives from an assortment of cultures, each contemplating circumstances of unlawful behavior and wrongful deception. The tales disclose the details of a criminal activity that is profoundly resolved through the wisdom of enlightened judges and the craftiness of clever lawyers or exposed through supernatural intervention. The book is enhanced by the author's informative commentary on contemporary legal issues, such as capital punishment, the insanity defense, women's rights, and juvenile justice, which provide an understanding of the administration of law in our society. An excellent combination of recreational and educational reading; highly recommended.‘Eloise R. Hitchcock, Tennessee Technological Univ. Lib., Cookeville

YA‘These tales from many lands, cultures, and ages show the universality of the pursuit of justice. The stories illustrate several points: good judges season justice with mercy; lessons are easier to swallow when story characters are animals rather than people; trickster tales teach by laughter rather than by lecture; and, no matter what punishment is handed down, a life taken can never be restored. Discussions of relevant legal issues or cases that follow the retellings show the parallels between traditional tales and modern legal issues. For example, ``The Lawyer's Advice,'' an old Danish tale, illustrates the insanity defense used originally by M'Naghten and in recent times by John Hinckley. ``General Moulton and the Devil,'' a story set in colonial United States, accompanies a discussion of the Salem Witch Trials and other similar events of that era. Creeden has adapted some traditional stories to heighten their appeal, and presents legal information in an interesting and easy-to-read manner. This book would be a valuable resource to social studies teachers. The sources and variant versions of the tales make it a useful reference tool for storytellers. A fine example of stories serving both to entertain and to educate.‘Judy Sokoll, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

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