A Treasury of Aesop's Fables
. Igloo Books Ltd. . Cottage Farm, Sywell, Northampton, UK ,
PZ8.2.T744 2013 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This book typifies many recent children's fable books in several respects: it is colorful, heavy, and its art may have been created on a computer. Like a number of recent books, it has a puffy set of covers. This book even has a purple ribbon that ties around it! The book presents twenty-five fables on 192 pages. I find the versions and the illustrations playful and helpful. A snail travelling with the tortoise in TH is so exhausted that we can see his breath (11). A mouse rides on the tortoise's back in the same picture. There is a fine double-page (16-17) of the dramatic moment in LM. In this version of GA, the ant happens by the grasshopper in winter and helps the grasshopper on condition that he promise to change next summer (27). In GGE, the farmer and his wife demand more production from the Golden Goose (40), threatening otherwise to take her to market. This goose leaves, and the couple bickers until they get over their greed and return to their former way of life. Another happy ending comes in DS (49) when the dog's mistress gives him the bone he lost and she then found in the stream. Then again, the spider releases the gnat from his web (65). The occasion for TT is that the tortoise wants to have some fun and has envied other animals. There is a fine illustration of the larger tortoise between the two ducks just after takeoff on 84. Tortoise answers a crow I am special and tumbles to the ground but only has the wind knocked out of him. From now on I will be happy just being me! (87). The Lion and the Elephant is also well done: Everyone has something they are afraid of (105). The fox tries several approaches with the crow in FC: the cheese is too large for one bird; the cheese will make the crow fat; we need to talk closer to each other; people say you have a great singing voice (116). The donkey does a fine dance on the table (125) before the lapdog explains the donkey to the farmer. Another fine image has the farmer's wife running to help punish the crazy donkey (126). In FG, the fox tries to pole vault and to let the breeze carry him and his umbrella (145). In BW, the boy says the first two times that the shepherd's shouting scared the wolf off (151). The Hare and the Hound moralizes aptly: Winning often depends on who needs to win the most (177).