Tales from Aesop's Fables
. Parragon Publishing . Bath, England
PZ8.2.A254Tal 2000 (Fable Collection, Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library)
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Here is the 2000 printing of a book I already have with its 1999 copyright and printing. The ISBN number has changed, as has the cover design and cover picture. Stephanie Laslett is no longer acknowledged as reteller on the title-page. This copy also lacks the dust jacket of the 1999 copy. As I wrote then, this book fits between smaller and larger versions already published by Parragon. It is first a larger version of the mini classic The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse And Other Aesop's Fables, listed under "1994?" What is different? First, the page size. All the pages are blown up from 3 3/8" x 4¼" in that version to 4½" x 5¾" in this one. Second, the number of stories has increased from three to nine, the same nine that appear in the same publisher's larger Aesop's Fables of 1996. Thirdly, a T of C is added at the front. Fourthly, several other elements are added: a title-page and detailed illustrations of the main characters, all generated from illustrations offered during the story, in TMCM; larger titles in LM and FC; and a final detail illustration in FC. What was called "Aesop" at the back of the smaller book has become, with the loss of its first sentence, a "History" of fables at the front of the larger book. This larger book has lost the page-numbers that we find in the smaller one. By comparison with the larger Aesop's Fables of 1996, this book has all the same illustrations but adds many more to each story. Lorna Hussey's art may show off to best advantage in this middle-sized format. I like especially the expressions that she puts on the tortoise's face. DLS gives a great deal of attention to the killing of the lion; Hussey's several depictions of the dressed-up donkey are very good. The fox without a tail, once shamed in public, "slunk away into the deepest depths of the forest and there as the days passed he learned to live without his tail and no-one thought any the worse of him."