From the Publisher
A host of anthologies gather favorites old and new...A dramatic image of the lion caught in the net as the mouse attempts to free him is especially effective. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Colorful, whimsical illustrations depict people and animals in Ancient Greece as gracious and joyful. An engaging introduction to these timeless tales.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her first book, German artist Drr uses pencil and charcoal to illustrate a particularly imaginative selection of 17 classic fables. Although many entries are familiar, Thuswaldner makes room for more unusual choices. In "A Dress for the Moon,'' for example, the moon's mother complains of the moon's ever-changing size, which makes her "the despair of the very best of dressmakers!'' The retellings are graceful and, true to Aesop, do not tack on any aphoristic morals. With its sophisticated design, however, the volume lacks child appeal. Sketchy and airy, the art is more conceptual than purely narrative; the duotone presentation may obscure the visual transitions between many of the spreads. Color remains the province of the type, printed in a distractingly bright, tomato red that seems almost to vibrate against the stark white paper. All ages.
A host of anthologies gather favorites old and new. In Aesop's Fables, Saviour Pirotta retells eight of the fables in the voice of Aesop himself ("My fables are short and simple. They are mostly about animals and simple country folk"). Richard Johnson illustrates most of the tales with one full-page, full-bleed painting and a smattering of spot art. A dramatic image of the lion caught in the net as the mouse attempts to free him is especially effective. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Eight fables are expanded and developed into short stories with settings in Ancient Greece. A fictitious Aesop introduces himself in a conversational tone at the beginning of the book. He continues his chat with the reader as he introduces each of the tales with the description of a possible incident that could have inspired the moral of the story. "The Cat's Bell" features disgruntled mice sharing grievances about the farm cat before they devise a solution that none will put into action. The familiar mouse that saves the lion is given a family of eight children to help chew through the net that encases the lion. A wolf wisely chooses freedom over the possible pleasures of being a pet dog. Of course, the farmer kills the goose that lays golden eggs, thus losing his good fortune. The stork evens the score with the fox when invited to dinner. The tortoise reminds the hare (and the reader) that "Slow and steady wins the race." The foolish frogs discover that they had been much better off without a king. And a jay learns that peacock feathers do not transform him into a fine bird. Colorful, whimsical illustrations depict people and animals in Ancient Greece as gracious and joyful. An engaging introduction to these timeless tales. 2005, Kingfisher, Ages 7 to 11.
Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Classics like "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse," "The Fox and the Grapes," "The Hare and the Tortoise," "The Crow and the Pitcher," and "The Lion and the Mouse" are included in this medley of thirteen of famous tales. Soft, detailed watercolors in muted shades are saturated with details that add to each story. The moral is clearly stated after each fable. The simplicity makes this edition perfect for teaching youngsters the tricks to constructing fables.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-Each of these eight fables is presented in a two-part format. The first part consists of a wordy introduction in which "Aesop" explains the meaning and possible context of the tale and relates it to his own life as a freed Athenian slave. Several of the selections, such as "The Frogs That Wanted a King" and "The Jay and the Peacocks," are not often anthologized. Each telling contains descriptions of the setting, extensive dialogue, and rounded-out motivation. Unfortunately, the resulting long-windedness violates the pithiness of the genre. "The Lion and the Mouse" comes in at over eight pages. The preface makes clear what advice the ensuing selection will impart; the final paragraph of the narrative emphasizes the upcoming lesson, and a neatly framed moral is appended. This triple treatment leaves nothing to chance or children's ability to interpret meaning. However, Johnson's richly toned paintings in a pleasing variety of shapes grace the pages with lively animal and human activity. Three times as many fables in a quarter of the words appear in Ver-nica Uribe's Little Book of Fables (Groundwood, 2004), while Helen Ward's grand retelling of a dozen tales in Unwitting Wisdom (Chronicle, 2004) features more subtly designed illustrations that embellish the stories' content.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.