Jean de La Fontaine: Fables
La Fontaine, Jean de
. Milan: Jeunesse . Toulouse, France
Language note: French
PZ24.2.L3 Fab 2000 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Language note: French
MetadataShow full item record
Copyright 2000 Editions Milan. But the depot legal at the bottom of the page facing the title-page lists 2007. This is a large-format children's book with lively colored illustrations. It is ironic: I have been trying for a year to find time to catalogue the books which I found in Germany and France a year ago. Until they are catalogued, I will not know what I have. For the last two days I have been resisting entering a bid on this very book on eBay, partly out of fear that I already had it among these catalogued books. Now I turn to the books, and here it is! Here are twenty-seven of La Fontaine's fables in their original form, accompanied by dramatic painted illustrations. The animal paintings here are strong on emotion, beginning with the scowling lion next to the Sommaire (T of C) on 6. The illustrations are generally two-page spreads. Among them some are especially dramatic: GA on 8-9; La Mort et le Bucheron on 14-15; and TT on 16-17. Some fables are spread out onto two pages, but the two illustrations are distinct, as in GGE on 18 and 19 or FC on 20 and 21. Despite good efforts, I cannot find the fly -- if he exists -- in the illustration for Le Coche et la Mouche on 24-25. Did the illustrator want me to look so long, only to be unable to find the minuscule flea? The sons' faces are impressive, I believe, in Le Laboureur et ses Enfants on 32-33. The wolf and the lamb are wonderfully contrasted in size and attitude on 38-39. The sweep of the scene in Le Petit Poisson et le Pecheur is grandiose (46-47). The chagrined fox leaving the stork's home on 53 is a classic, as is the happy shoemaker on 55, especially in contrast with the pale banker in the background. The good scowling lion illustration is repeated on 60 for Les Animaux malades de la peste. The most dramatic illustration of all is on the front cover. A wolf has his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth, while a frog perches on the F in the title-word. What big eyes you have!