The Stonecutter: A Japanese Folk Tale by Gerald McDermott tells the Japanese story of a foolish stonecutter who wishes to be all powerful. The stonecutter is granted a series of wishes by the spirit of the mountain, but none makes him all-powerful.

McDermott hand colored large sheets of white bond paper with gouache, then cut out his design forms and mounted them as collages. Green, blue, purple, red and black predominate the very stylized art. My favorite images include the title page, stonecutter, spirit in the mountain, Tasuku as Prince, people beg for water, rivers overran banks, and final image.

I enjoyed this wise tale about the folly of trying to become all powerful and how one should be careful of one's wishes. I liked the stylized collage art, though some may not care for it. The large, bold font makes this tale easy to read aloud, though it would also be effective as a told tale.

For ages 6 and up, folk-tales, stonecutters, power, mountains, spirits, wishes, and fans of Gerald McDermott.