This was actually something I read to Lucy as part of her Ambleside Online Year 1. Its one that I see quite a few mom's mentioned was as struggle for them or their child so I had planned to pre-read this to help myself out. I was only able to pre-read one story before I started with her but we read it slowly all year so I could have kept up if I had needed to. It turns out that Lucy and I both really enjoyed this one pretty much from the beginning. So much for being too weird or hard to understand!
It is different though and it does continue to grow on you though. We found it enjoyable at the start but by the time we ended the year, I think it was in Lucy's top three (Shakespeare and Viking Tales being the other big hits). She understood the story and had no issues following along but it's like a good children's movie. It has that layer of humor I think adults catch and appreciate that kinda goes over kid's head. I had to stop myself from laughing out loud during the last story, The Butterfly that Stamped, and Lucy kept saying "What mom? What?"
I do think it benefits from a strong reader, and probably being read out loud as well. I don't think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much reading it silently to myself. The word play and sounds are just as much of the fun as the stories themselves. I love reading aloud and if you do, its a great choice because it gives you so much to work with. Now that I'm out of highschool, I don't have a lot of chances to be in plays and productions, but reading aloud to my kids gives me the chance to really have a similar kinda of fun -without any stage fright. I won't claim to be the next Jim Weiss but my kids enjoy my work - and I enjoyed sharing this one with them. Which is good because I
Just So Stories is my Back to the Classics Short Stories selection.