Gr 2-5 In this story, based on an old Catalan tale, a king gets lost in the forest and wanders upon the home of a poor charcoal maker, who explains his life to the king in the form of a riddle. Returning to his castle, the king promises a title to any member of the court who can answer the man's question: ``How can a poor charcoal maker, who earns only ten cents a day, make enough to live on, pay back a debt, save for his old age, and even have something left over to throw out the window?'' A narrow white border surrounds large pages filled with soft, warm background colors which are, in some instances, so dark or shaded that it is difficult to decipher the text. The angular shapes and narrow, elongated figures are reminiscent of medieval illuminated manuscripts with an interesting balance between reality and abstraction. At times the illustrations seem as much in tune with the artists' Russian heritage as with the story's Spanish origins. They capture the wit and humor of the tale and thus emphasize the universality of folk literature. However, they are ultimately disappointing in that rather than filling in the spaces of the story they attempt to recreate the text and, on some pages, are in contrast with the visual images suggested by language. This is a fine telling of a delightful, little-known tale, and while the visual portrayal is interesting, it provides enough distractions for young listeners that one is tempted just to tell the story and allow children to create their own visual images. Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers Univ . , New Brunswick, N.J.