. Getty Publications . Los Angeles, Calif.
PZ8.2.H377 Pp 2005 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Not the same old Aesop the back cover proclaims, and it is right. This is a lively book. Actually it is not just a pop-up. There are also levers to manipulate and gates to open. Besides, there is a lift-out moral for every fable. The most dramatic pop-up presents the fox's jaws eating the crab that strayed onto the shore. Harris uses good story-telling in the same story. The crab uses a contemporary idiom to express that he is tired of living in the ocean Been there, done that. As he is attempting to scamper back to the water, Harris has him first look up to the fox and then start to speak. In mid-sentence Harris writes End of story. End of crab. Also very strong is the pop-up of the dancing camel. Harris is decidedly colloquial. Thus the moral for The Starry-Eyed Astronomer is Pay attention to the small stuff, even while you're thinking about the big stuff. The last two pages present a fascinating challenge. At the left is Aesop, urging the reader to make his or her own fable by spinning the dial on the facing page and using the two animals that the dial points to on two spins. Then the reader is to pull down Aesop's beard and find a series of morals, one of which might fit the two animal characters already chosen. Part of the fun is that lowering the beard occasions Aesop's eyes to move over to the animals on the facing page--just as the child's eyes move in the story about feeding him to the wolf. This is an ingenious and well-constructed book!