Famous Fables for Little Troupers
. Good Apple, Inc. . Carthage, IL
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Here is an extra copy in slightly poorer condition. Here is a teacher's book that presents a chapter each for fifteen well-known fables. Each chapter includes a proverbial moral, an extended telling of the fable with several black-and-white illustrations, ideas to dramatize or discuss, props to use, and a skills sheet. The creative drama envisioned here is not for an audience but for the players themselves. The acting is distinctly improvisational, and the story is different with each playing. An outline of steps in the teaching process is given as a set of Guidelines for Playacting on viii. The process calls for reading and rereading the story amid discussion and analysis. Only then does one plan a dramatization, ask for volunteer actors, and brainstorm for prop ideas. The skills sheet seems more an evaluation form meant to lead viewers to reflective analysis. It asks, e.g., how the writer felt, what he or she liked best, and what he or she would change. To my surprise, CW is the second story chosen (9), and the telling does it justice. The mouse appears as the married couple drives off in a wagon. In TB, Simon turns an ankle in the moment of surprise and asks for help, which is not forthcoming (68). The proverbial morals are simple and good. New to me is that for The Sick Lion: It is easier to get into trouble than to get out (73). A new story to me is The Farmer and His Crowded House (105). A farmer has such a big family that he and his wife do not know what to do for space. A female scholar advises him to take the animals into his home one after the other. The overloaded family goes crazy, and she then finally advises him to get the animals out of the house. Now they all live there happily without complaint. The good moral for The Boy Bathing is Give help when it's needed and advice when it's asked (135). New finally to me is The Rich Woman and Her Rags (143). This woman wants attention, and the best dresses do not get it for her from the public market. The dressmaker obliges her finally by pulling out all the rags and using them to fashion a dress unlike any other. The woman is perfectly content and gets all the attention she has wanted--with plenty of laughter besides.