"A much-loved classic that every child should have." —
"Every child should own a copy of
Aesop's Fables. And this edition will furnish not only a handy collection of familiar tales, but is a beautifully-illustrated book which will be treasured for many years." — Armadillo Magazine
"Quirky, independent heroines battle dragons and endure odds to conventional conclusions, and children familiar with classic fairy tales will enjoy revisiting characters." —
School Library Journal on Don't Kiss the Frog!
"With its many comic touches, this anthology presents once again the humor, folly, ingenuity, and wisdom that make Aesop so durable." —
School Library Journal
"Use this lovely compilation for deeper studies, or recommend it to students who would like to read further." —
School Library Journal
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.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.
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.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Gr 1–4—"Do you see that interesting little insect buzzing around my head?" Waters deftly adds a contemporary tone in description and dialogue to her smooth rendering of 60 familiar and less-well-known tales. The terse moral of each fable, concluding each one in customary style, is usually set in traditional terms. The large, rather heavy book has a spacious format; each tale, appearing on the verso, includes a small vignette and faces a full-page illustration. Testa's pen and watercolor drawings are fun, portraying all animals with the large eyes currently popular in cartoon art. This convention gives some of them a cheerful, goofy appearance while others look puzzled, frightened, or just plain blank. Humorous details punctuate some of the outdoor views-the well-known hare reads from his iPod as the tortoise strolls by. Four stories set one after the other, featuring "a foolish ass and a cunning lion," an ass in a lion's skin, another ass in a lion's skin, and a smarter ass traveling with a small restless dog, are likely to evoke perhaps unintended giggles from today's children, who are accustomed to the pejorative nature of the animal's name. With its many comic touches, this anthology presents once again the humor, folly, ingenuity, and wisdom that make Aesop so durable.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston