Big Book of Aesop's Fables
Editorial Director: Rosie Neave
. Miles Kelly . Essex, UK
PZ8.2.A254Big 2016 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This IS a big book of Aesop's fables! It is 10½" square. The pictures are large and dynamic. I agree with the back cover: "perfect for reading aloud with your child." Each artist develops one story. It strikes me that these four -- TH, BW, GA, and TMCM -- are probably the four best known fables these days. The tortoise goes to bed the night before the race in TH, while the hare parties late with the badgers. Well into the race, the hare can look back and see how far behind the tortoise is. Then he eats lettuce and decides to take a short nap. "After all, he'd had a late night, and the tortoise was far behind" (19). "The hare had lost his own challenge. From now on perhaps he wouldn't be so boastful" (26). On the second day of alarm in BW, little George breaks into a courtroom to cry "There really is a wolf this time!" (40). The people who grumbled after the first alarm now become very cross. Soon after they leave, George notices something moving in the trees. In GA, the grasshopper does nothing in summer but sleep, eat, dance, and make music. There is no indication that others enjoy his music or profit from it. Thus he admits to the ant at the latter's door in winter "I didn't do any work at all!" (69). In this version, the ant gives him as much food as he could spare: just enough to see the grasshopper through the winter. These miserable months teach him a lesson. The following summer he works hard to store enough food for himself. He even finds time to help the ant! "There is a time for work and time for play" (75). In TMCM, the plain country food is bread and cheese and the bed is made of leaves. The point of emphasis about the town house is that it is comfortable. In town, they meet a cat in the kitchen and hide under a cup. Dogs interrupt them as they feast in the dining room. Each traveling mouse wears a backpack.