Folktales are as old as mankind, yet as new as each sunrise. They were shaped in a time when our ancestors knew that their daily welfare depended on maintaining a balance in nature. Today the survival of the planet depends on that same balance, and Pleasant DeSpain believes "we can count on the tales of old to provide ecological explanations, lessons, warnings, and wonders." DeSpain provides eleven ancient stories that address the natural elements. The opening story, "All Things Are Connected," comes from Zaire and handily illustrates the balance of nature. The ending story, "Enough Is Enough," is a native Quinault tale explaining the formation of the Puget Sound. In between are folktales from Fiji, Central Asia, Australia, China, Portugal, and the Algonquin, Cherokee, and Tlingit native people, illustrated in scratchboard by Joe Shlichta. These ancient tales of ancestors teach readers the importance of citizenship, resourcefulness and respect.