Belling the Cat: And Other Aesop's Fables

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Paxton and Rayevsky perform a fine encore following their Aesop's Fables in these 10 tales, which include ``Town Mouse and Country Mouse,'' ``The Crow and the Pitcher,'' ``Honesty Is the Best Policy'' and, especially delectable in its whimsy, ``Who's Helping Whom?,'' a dialogue between feet and stomach. Once again, text and illustrations are a model of ingenuity and economy. The verses have a rhythmic, laconic charm that sharpens the fables' irony; they practically beg to be read aloud. The bonnets, waistcoats and spurs sported by various characters reflect an offbeat but surprisingly effective visual interpretation. Stylized yet expressive, the paintings are remarkable for the humor, flavor and the sense of motion they convey in a limited space. Readers won't fail to appreciate the wit and jauntiness that spring from these pages to deliver each moral with a sly wink. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-- The duo who produced Aesop's Fables (Morrow, 1988) team up again for another memorable reworking of the classic tales. As before, the fables are retold in Paxton's sprightly, often contagious verse. The ten new selections represent a pleasant balance of the familiar and lesser-known tales: ``Town Mouse and Country Mouse,'' ``The Crow and the Pitcher,'' ``Many Friends,'' ``The Bird Who Lost His Song,'' and ``The Milkmaid and Her Pail.'' Paxton's verses are brief but emphasize the irony and universal truths inherent in the fables. While the earlier book projected a medieval/Renaissance ambiance, Rayevsky has firmly set this book in the American West. Dressed in cowboy hats, bib overalls, Levis, and prairie bonnets, His mice, rabbits, crows, and people cavort and promenade to a purely American beat. The ink-wash and watercolor illustrations utilize an earth-tone palette of beiges, blues, and golds. The characters and settings are executed in a stylized but highly detailed manner with an overall page layout that is attractive and balanced. A lively and invigorating interpretation of Aesop that will please fans of the first collection and earn new ones as well. --Denise Anton Wright, Library Book Selection Service, Inc., Bloomington, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688081584
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1990
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 years

Meet the Author

Tom Paxton
Tom Paxton

Tom Paxton, author of The Story of the Tooth Fairy and The Story of Santa Claus, lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

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