. SeaStar Books: North-South Books, Inc. . NY ,
PZ8.2.A254 2000 (Fable Collection, Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library)
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This large-format book starts with an insightful introduction by Pinkney (9). He mentions that he as an adult often recalls a moral without its corresponding story and vice versa. His point is that each stands effectively and wholly on its own, yet together their impact is even greater. This is a worthwhile book, one of the best fable books I have seen in a long time. The texts of its 61 fables are good. The size of the illustration varies, from thumbnails to part-page to full-page. LM gets a luxurious two-page spread at the middle of the book. Almost every text gets at least a thumbnail illustration. The art sometimes reminds me of Frederick Richardson. Some of the humans are black, as is Pinkney, a celebrated winner of several Caldecott Awards. BW's shepherd boy wishes that a wolf would come. At least then something would happen (11). The stag struggles free of the constraining branches--of course because of his strong legs (14). Among the most delightful of the illustrations is that of the mice's headgear on 24-25. The fox twirls around in a circle so effectively that the pheasants watching him get dizzy, lose their balance, and fall as his prey (39). The mouse in LM knows that it is a lion that she is climbing on (41). GB gets one of the most dramatic illustrations (45). DW has a fine moral: Lean freedom is better than fat slavery (49). New to me is this way of telling The Peacock's Tail (57). The peacock used to be able to fly, but prayed for beautiful feathers. Of course he got them, but could no longer fly. Grandmother Crab finishes the fable here by proclaiming that on second thought a true crab should always be very proud to walk sideways (70). This book has two crows deal with the water in the pitcher; of course, only one is successful (72). OR also gets a two-page spread (80-81). There is an AI at the back.