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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
Old Mother West Wind Tales by Muz Murray is a revised and updated version of the classic stories by Thornton W. Burgess. The original tales featured North American animals. Murray has revised the tales for English children, so a few of the original characters have been changed to be more relevant to the intended audience. Old Mother West Wind and her children, the Merry Little Breezes, spend their days observing the woodland denizens. Each chapter stands on its own, but many of the same characters appear throughout the book. Murray has updated the stories and in between the story chapters has included nature note chapters highlighting facts about the many creatures featured in the tales.
As a former children's librarian, I am familiar with the original Burgess books. We kept them in our library until they literally fell apart. Muz Murray has done a fantastic job of rewriting these tales but keeping the essence of what makes them so delightful. These enjoyable stories make for fun bedtime reading as children can easily envision the action in their heads. I enjoyed the addition of factual chapters about the different creatures interspersed throughout the book. The nature notes on terrapins, or as we know them in America, turtles, were quite informative! Murray has included black and white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, which are delightful. The nature notes sections have colorful photos of each animal discussed. Muz Murray has brilliantly updated the Old Mother West Wind Tales to now delight many more generations of children.