Elizabeth Laird travelled widely in Somalia collecting material from a variety of people and delighting in the richness of their story-telling tradition. The eight stories in this collection are about survival and resourcefulness in the harsh landscape of mountain and desert, whether this involves royal princes or poor children, animals or birds. Some tales pose moral dilemmas or offer explanations of aspects of the world, others revel in the battle between tricksters or supernatural beings and the plucky individual. The re-tellings are direct, immediately engaging, and ideal for reading aloud. Black and white illustrations point up the humour of the stories.