Reviews for Aesop's Fables


Kirkus Reviews 1992 October
Fifty-eight economically retold fables, many of them relatively unfamiliar. Salter, drawing on her own eastern Mediterranean heritage, makes a major contribution with elegantly stylized art, its intricate details, jewel-like colors, and imaginatively varied borders recalling Persian miniatures. The frequent full-page illustrations sometimes amplify the stories, but the more numerous vignettes simply represent characters or serve as decoration. In strict classical tradition, the stories are so succinct that they are almost mathematical in dispensing justification for the appended morals--which are phrased as maxims, often in familiar form (``Don't jump to conclusions''). A handsome, useful edition. The publisher doesn't identify the adapter, and there's no comment on her sources. (Folklore. 6+) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1992 November #4
Salter refurbishes 58 of Aesop's fables with delicate flame-toned illustrations. Underscoring the timelessness and adaptability of the Greek storyteller's work, the British artist borrows motifs and styles from a number of the so-called cradles of civilization. In her full-page illustrations, slightly flattened perspectives recall antiquity, while the use of serial borders and of floral and geometric patterns seem specifically Middle Eastern. A fox and a stork pose with with a black-figure vase suggestive of pre-classical Athens; other pictures incorporate architectural flourishes (various types of capitals or arches) that evoke the style of an entire period. Small, color images interspersed with the text echo the facing illustrations; for spreads without full-page art, Salter produces stately framed miniatures or, alternately, abstract decorations. While the stories themselves receive perfectly satisfactory treatment, the concluding morals, unnecessarily modified, can take on a fortune-cookie flavor (``you will often be judged by the company you keep''). The moral here: judge this book by its cover full of sumptuous art. Ages 6-up. (Nov.) Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1992 October
Gr 1-5-- Fifty-eight of the fables attributed to Aesop are given a fresh and totally inviting look here. In retelling the tales, Gatti uses spare but evocative language and includes the requisite moral for each. Many of Aesop's best-loved selections are included, but quite a few equally clever, if lesser known, fables find their way into this collection. Great attention has been paid to the arrangement of type, and both text and illustrations are beautifully reproduced on a heavy white paper stock. Employing a style reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts and Persian miniatures, Salter excels in the decorative aspect of her work. Detailed borders surround the stylized animal characters and enrich each story. Executed in gouache, the paintings are most successful when occupying a full page. The smaller paintings are attractive but lack the detail found in the larger ones. The colors are a pleasing mix of earthy brown, red, and green. While many versions exist, this book's artwork sets it apart. --Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University, Normal Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information.

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