Booklist Review
Leaves from the Garden of Eden

First published September 15, 2008 (Booklist).

Drawing heavily on his own landmark collections, including Elijah's
Violin (1983) and Miriam's Tambourine (1986), acclaimed folklorist
Schwartz has selected 100 great Jewish fairy tales, folktales,
supernatural tales, and mystical tales from many countries past and
present. In his scholarly, accessible introduction, he analyzes the
myths in the Jewish tradition in 10 primary categories, from myths of
God to myths of exile, and shows that many are interwoven in the same
tales. Making general connections to world folklore, he also talks about
"what makes a Jewish folktale Jewish" and discusses countries of origin
and the Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions. The big draw for a general
audience is the lively storytelling, including lots of quests, not just
for the sword of Moses or a lost princess, but also for justice, which
is not always found. Some of the best are the dark tales, inspired by
fears about the powers of evil, such as demons, dybbuks, and the
demoness Lilith. Great for reading aloud across generations. 
-Hazel Rochman