Usborne Aesop's Stories for Little Children
Lloyd Jones, Rob
. Usborne Publishing . London
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This book is a cousin of the 2009 book "Usborne Animal Stories for Little Children." It contains one story from there. This book is smaller in format, 8" x 8" rather than 10" x 10". Where that book had two fables among its five stories, this book has nine traditional Aesopic fables. As there, so here the stories have a leisurely quality that allow for full narrative development. FC is told as effectively as I have seen, with suitable illustrations. In TH, Harry Hare had forgotten breakfast on race day, and so he got hungry along the way. Do not miss 44-45, where Tom Tortoise's friends have all the gear for tracking him and helping out. GA ends happily with Ant inviting Grasshopper in out of the cold and Grasshopper promising that next summer he will work. In DS Dog growls at the dog in the water before he gets more desperate for the "bigger" bone and barks. Frank Endersby illustrates LM here, as there. In LM, a little tail brushed the tip of the lion's nose. He sneezed and awoke. Endersby's best illustration is that of the laughing lion on 110. In FS, we learn early that Fox is a trickster as we see him douse Stork from a trick bouquet of flowers. FS takes two pages to detail Stork's repeated attempts to eat Fox's soup from the wide, flat dish. The story ends ambivalently as Fox promises not to play more tricks "…until next time!" "The Tortoise and the Eagle" ends surprisingly. Tortoise gets dizzy and queasy in the sky and asks to be taken back down, and Eagle does just that, delivering him safely and cautioning him "Be a tortoise and be happy." The book's last two fables are WS and TMCM. The variety of artistic approaches enriches this book. The short life of Aesop at the end of the book says that he used his tales "to help people understand each other."