Father Koala's Fables
. Scholastic Australia . Sydney
PZ8.2.R524 Fa 1993 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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There are fourteen fables here after an introductory poem that puns on tail and tale. With considerable ingenuity, Aesopic fables are adapted to the language, animals, and customs of Australia. Thus TH becomes a race between an emu and a wombat. The bandicoot replaces the fox in getting the crow's stolen booty. Instead of a fox and a goat in well, we have a goanna and a water buffalo in a waterhole. A possum disturbs a kangaroo but later saves him when he gets caught in a net. GA is played out by a frill-necked lizard and a honeybee. This version has the former learning a lesson and promising never again to eat a honeybee. New to me is The bushranger and the blue cattle dog (16). If the latter is to save the former in a rushing river, the bushranger will need to remove the coat in which he has stored his stolen gold. Dishonestly won wealth will weigh you down. A special prize goes to the transformation in Andy O'Cleary (22). Andy is an escaped convict who comes across a wounded kangaroo. In this remake of Androcles and the Lion, the kangaroo when captured is taught to box against humans. The ingenious transformations make the book a delight. The happy and even cuddly illustrations help. The back cover rightly calls them exuberant. My favorite image is that of the Swaggie on 8. Second prize for images goes to the horse-riding boy frantically crying Bushfire! on 24-25.