McElderry Book of Aesop's Fables

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Overview

Ancient Aesop swings into the twenty-first century in this bright new collection of twenty-one favorite fables. Here are all the classic tales: the greedy dog who loses his bone to his own reflection in the water; the little mouse who pays back the grand lion in a big, big way; and the shepherd's son who thinks it's a good joke to cry "Wolf!" just to see the villagers come running. And, of course, there's that arrogant hare and his racing partner, the slow but steady tortoise.
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Overview

Ancient Aesop swings into the twenty-first century in this bright new collection of twenty-one favorite fables. Here are all the classic tales: the greedy dog who loses his bone to his own reflection in the water; the little mouse who pays back the grand lion in a big, big way; and the shepherd's son who thinks it's a good joke to cry "Wolf!" just to see the villagers come running. And, of course, there's that arrogant hare and his racing partner, the slow but steady tortoise.
Michael Morpurgo's lively language gives each tale a fresh feel that's perfect for reading aloud and sharing. Emma Chichester Clark's radiant illustrations are bursting with bold colors and cheerful characters. Together they have created a modern classic brimming with fun, which children will enjoy reading and laughing over again and again.

Retellings of twenty-one classic Aesop fables, including "The Hare and the Tortoise" and "Belling the Cat," in updated language.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Morpurgo begins this beautiful collection of fables with a fable—of a lion that reads stories and then eats his sleeping listeners. The moral of this first fable is "A story is as good as a feast. But watch out and make sure you don't go to sleep!" All of the fables tell easy-to-understand stories. The moral, in large print at the end of the fable, leaves readers with no doubt as to what the fable is teaching. The easy comprehension along with the multiple fables make this book ideal for reading aloud—especially for children who have attention spans that will only last for one fable at a time. Clark's illustrations beautifully match the fables. Each page has at least a small watercolor illustration while a plethora of full page illustrations are scattered throughout the fables. This is a great collection of fables that will truly be a "feast" for Aesop fans. This book was published in Great Britain as The Orchard Book of Aesop's Fables. 2004 (orig. 2004), Margaret K McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster, Ages 4 to 8.
—Joella Peterson
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-"One day in March, after a morning of carefree cavorting and capering with her friends on the hillside, Hare was haring her way home along a path when she came across Tortoise." Morpurgo is jocular and colloquial as he adds descriptive details and conversation in retelling 21 tales of the venerable Aesop. Accompanied by humorous watercolor scenes in varied sizes, some tales extend for several pages, while others are complete on two. The concluding lessons, set in larger type, tend to lack the pithiness of those in many older collections, though some are more economical than others. "Obstinacy may look like strength. It rarely is." The reteller seems undecided as to how deadly the fate of some characters should be-or at least how specifically it should be stated. In "The Rat and the Elephant," not usually found in Aesop, he says of the cat's pursuit of the rat, "Well, I won't tell you what happened. You'll just have to imagine it." However, he adds a bit of ill fate for the boy who cried "wolf." Unlike most versions, the boy, along with his sheep, is eaten. Morpurgo includes no notes on his sources or choices of tales and alterations. These cheerful, well-crafted offerings will work well for independent reading and reading aloud.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Morpurgo offers 21 old fables, plus a trenchant new one of his own by way of introduction, all written in an informal tone-" 'There you are, said Mouse.' 'I told you I'd pay you back, didn't I?' 'A tiddly thing like you helping out a king of the beasts like me,' Lion replied. 'Who'd have thought it possible?' "-and capped by traditional morals in capital letters. That tone, along with Chichester Clark's lightly humorous cartoons of wide-eyed, smiling or only faintly distressed-looking animals and people in, usually, rural settings, put this collection somewhere between Brad Sneed's broadly colloquial Aesop's Fables (2003) and Doris Orgel's weighty renditions of The Lion and the Mouse, and Other Aesop Fables (2000), majestically illustrated by Bert Kitchen. Try it one on one, or with small groups of listeners. (Folk tales. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416902904
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 780,166
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Morpurgo is the children's laureate of Britain. He has written over ninety-five books and won numerous awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Prize, and the Children's Book Award. Michael and his wife, Clare, run their own charity, Farms for City Children, from their farm in Devon, England.

Emma Chichester Clark is the award-winning illustrator of more than forty collections and picture books, including Michael Morpurgo's The McElderry Book of Aesop's Fables. She is also the author and illustrator of Follow the Leader! She lives in London, England.

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