Reviews for Aesop's Fables


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
Only eight of Aesop's fables are retold here, including two that are not well known: "The Frogs That Wanted a King" and "The Jay and the Peacocks." "Aesop" himself narrates didactic introductions to each elongated tale, further inflating the volume. The combination of ancient Greek elements in the text and other time periods in the illustrations is confusing. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 December #3
A host of anthologies gather favorites old and new. In Aesop's Fables, Saviour Pirotta retells eight of the fables in the voice of Aesop himself ("My fables are short and simple. They are mostly about animals and simple country folk"). Richard Johnson illustrates most of the tales with one full-page, full-bleed painting and a smattering of spot art. A dramatic image of the lion caught in the net as the mouse attempts to free him is especially effective. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 November

Gr 1-5 -Each of these eight fables is presented in a two-part format. The first part consists of a wordy introduction in which "Aesop" explains the meaning and possible context of the tale and relates it to his own life as a freed Athenian slave. Several of the selections, such as "The Frogs That Wanted a King" and "The Jay and the Peacocks," are not often anthologized. Each telling contains descriptions of the setting, extensive dialogue, and rounded-out motivation. Unfortunately, the resulting long-windedness violates the pithiness of the genre. "The Lion and the Mouse" comes in at over eight pages. The preface makes clear what advice the ensuing selection will impart; the final paragraph of the narrative emphasizes the upcoming lesson, and a neatly framed moral is appended. This triple treatment leaves nothing to chance or children's ability to interpret meaning. However, Johnson's richly toned paintings in a pleasing variety of shapes grace the pages with lively animal and human activity. Three times as many fables in a quarter of the words appear in VerĂ³nica Uribe's Little Book of Fables (Groundwood, 2004), while Helen Ward's grand retelling of a dozen tales in Unwitting Wisdom (Chronicle, 2004) features more subtly designed illustrations that embellish the stories' content.-Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA

[Page 119]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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