Reynard the Fox
. Turner Publishing, Inc. . Atlanta
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This is a second copy of the first printing of this book. I could have sworn that I already had this very expressive large-format book. The young King Harold admits to his Queen Caroline that he is not yet ready to govern his unruly subjects. She suggests that he consult a wise hermit. The hermit comes to court but refuses to remove his hood. He offers the young king a story about another king, Noble the lion king. Good parts of the Reynard tradition are used well here. Reynard sees to the maiming of Bruin and Tybalt and sends Bellyn back to the king with Lop's fur -- not his head -- in a sack. The ending is surprising and clever. Noble proves to be cleverer than Reynard in the end. While the monk never identifies himself, we see his tail as he leaves Harold and Caroline. Part of the fun here lies in dressing the animals in courtly medieval garb. Another part of the fun lies in the mice that appear out of nowhere in a number of the pictures. They also appear independent of the larger illustrations in playful designs around the text. Notice them at the foot of Tybalt's hospital bed on 36, under the gallows on 43, and painting an angelic picture of the dead Lop on 49. Beneath the duel between Isegrim and Reynard on 57, they hold their own boxing match, complete with fans and a referee. This book was previously owned by Allix Strahan.