Award-winning illustrator Christopher Wormell brings his vivid artwork to the classic Aesop’s Fables, a cornerstone of children’s literature, in a visual feast to delight both children and adults. Gorgeous linoleum block prints illustrate a key moment in the story, highlighting the moral printed in Wormell’s hand-cut typeface on the opposite page. This simple approach encourages parent-child interaction through storytelling, while an appendix provides each tale in more detail, along with a thumbnail of the ...
Award-winning illustrator Christopher Wormell brings his vivid artwork to the classic Aesop’s Fables, a cornerstone of children’s literature, in a visual feast to delight both children and adults. Gorgeous linoleum block prints illustrate a key moment in the story, highlighting the moral printed in Wormell’s hand-cut typeface on the opposite page. This simple approach encourages parent-child interaction through storytelling, while an appendix provides each tale in more detail, along with a thumbnail of the illustration. Wormell’s children’s books are so beautiful that they double as adult art and gift books.
Young readers and experienced artisans alike will find much to admire in Wormell's (Teeth, Tails, & Tentacles) richly colored showcase of linocuts, which salute Aesop and wood engraver Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Stripping down both fable and composition to the essentials, Wormell focuses on aphorisms and characters, which act as clues to help readers puzzle out the fables' plots. On the left-hand page, he provides a familiar maxim and a title in oversize type: "It is easy to propose impossible solutions./ Belling the Cat." On the right-hand side, he provides a full-page illustration framed in a sooty black line-for instance, eight honey-brown mice confer while a sinister, silhouetted cat eyes them from a distance. Most readers will recognize the mahogany ant with a stalk of gold wheat and the grasshopper on an arching green stalk ("Prepare today for the needs of tomorrow"), while neophytes have to parse the iconic image of a mouse, lion and frayed rope, captioned with "Little friends may prove great friends." If the epigrams and visual hints don't suffice, the fables appear in an appendix, next to thumbnail reproductions of the prints. Wormell's album combines pleasing design and a format ideal for group sharing. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In this handsome companion book to Teeth, Tails, and Tentacles (Running Pr, 2004), Wormell uses linocut prints to illuminate 21 of Aesop's famous life lessons. The artist cleverly conveys the morals up front and, in doing so, also provides viewers with a powerful exercise in visual literacy. Each spread consists of the fable's title and the large-type moral on the left and a full-page illustration on the right. The bold, black lines of the expertly rendered images and colorful accents primarily in earth tones create instantly recognizable figures. The subtle use of light and shadow adds clarity, expression, and often drama without extraneous detail. The brilliance of the images lies in their simplicity. The selections include many of the best-known fables as well as a few that may be less familiar. A succinct retelling of each one appears at the back of the book, along with a smaller, but equally clear version of the print; no sources are cited for the retellings but the overriding spirit seems to be one of economy in thought and word. This mighty-fine offering invites cross-curricular usage but is first and foremost a title to be enjoyed for its sheer artistry.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Relegating the actual texts of 21 fables to an appendix, Wormell presents a suite of full-page color woodcuts to illustrate them, captioned with titles and morals alone, and printed on buttery paper that really sets off the strong lines and gorgeous hues. His animal portraits are, as usual, a visual feast. The foolish camel and peacock both exude no less nobility than the stately lion or the dignified tortoise; both the wolf in sheep's clothing and the ass in the lion's skin are well-disguised enough to draw double takes from viewers; and every creature here, even the ant and the grasshopper, seems larger than life. The fables at the end, each of which comes with a thumbnail of the larger illustration, stick, with minor modifications, to the 19th-century Townsend translations, and so convey each lesson with a formality appropriate to the art. Not suited to being a child's first Aesop, but likely to be the one he or she lingers over longest. (Picture book/folktales. 5-10)
Christopher Wormell is the celebrated English wood engraver whose illustrated books are collected and loved throughout the world. His first children’s book, An Alphabet of Animals, won the prestigious Graphics Prize at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair and has been reprinted in numerous editions. His other children’s book titles include Mowgli's Brothers, Blue Rabbit and Friends, Blue Rabbit and the Runaway Wheel, Animal Train, Off to the Fair, and George and the Dragon. Wormell lives in London with his wife and three children.