The Lion and the Puppy and Other Stories for Children.
. Sky Pony Press . NY
PZ8.1.T54Lio 2012 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This book is apparently identical with another in the collection published in 1988 by Henry Holt in the Seaver Books series and acknowledged here in the copyright colophon. A curious phenomenon in this republication by a new publisher is that the book is acknowledged as printed in China in 2011 but is copyrighted in 2012. As I wrote on the earlier edition, there are here twenty-five stories that present Tolstoy very well. A concern with humanity is, I would say, the common thread through these strong vignettes, which are mostly short stories rather than fables. These are thus stories of pain inflicted or remembered, of modest achievements through hard work, or of learning. The good introduction speaks about Leo Tolstoy's school at his country home ("Clear Glades"). Besides an eloquent version of the title story, there are three pieces regularly included among fables: "Two Merchants" (32) with a great illustration of the iron-eating mice working on tools, nails, pots, and pans; "The `Dead' Man and the Bear" (40) with a good illustration (but why is the man shirtless?); and "Better to Be Lean and Free Than Plump and Chained" (47) with a good two-page illustration. Among the best of the other stories are "The King and the Shirt" and "The Old Poplar." A favorite book.