Grade 5 Up-Neither the stuff of high fantasy nor low comedy, Brooke's reworked fairy tales wind around in a constant state of re-examination, breaking through the edges of conventional story framing. Readers with a certain level of literate sophistication will chuckle at the sly word play (Nobody could complain about the baker because "everyone needed what he kneaded."). Yet there is a prevailing melancholy, a questioning of the nature of truth and our tenuous grasp of it. This latest in the trilogy, which began with A Telling of the Tales (HarperCollins, 1990), takes on not only folklore but also journalism. Teller, who tries to sell the news of the emperor's clothes in the first story, is aided by an urchin as he develops his stories. The tales-of the emperor, "Rumpelstiltskin," "Gold in Lock," and "Little Well-Read Riding Hood" (who knew the wolf wouldn't eat her because she'd looked it up)-and the lives of the girl and the Teller mingle and move around one another as the two grow older and wiser. In the final tale, the girl becomes the teller in Telling of the Tales as she reads that book's opening lines. It's hard to read these tales silently. Readers will find themselves looking up and saying "listen to this." A treat.