The Lion and The Mouse and Other Aesop's Fables
. Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. . NY
PZ8.2.O65 Li 2000 (Fable Collection, Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library)
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This is a large-format book with twelve fables illustrated, sometimes by a single picture across two pages, in watercolor and gouache. A first page asks and answers questions like How many Aesop's fables are there? Answer: No one knows exactly. Many thousands. The author does a good job of answering the truth question that has bothered the history of fable criticism: They are made up, but they mean something true. The illustrations follow a contemporary trend for combining exact detail with sentimental or romantic large patterns. A small insert offers helpful information along with each fable. With BF, e.g., we read that birds were highly respected in ancient times and that the peacock was Hera's favorite bird. My favorites among the illustrations are those for LM (8) and The Monkey and The Dolphin (26).