1955 to 1959

1955

1955 A Masque of Aesop. By Robertson Davies. Decorations by Grant Macdonald. Hardbound. Printed in Canada. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin & Company Limited. $31.25 from Shapiro & Orlandini Books, Winnipeg, Canada, through Interloc, Jan., '98. Extra copy with some pencil marks for $6 from Twice Sold Tales, Seattle, July, '00.

This is a dramatic entertainment to be played by the boys of a Canadian high school. It presents a trial of Aesop before Apollo at Delphi. Apollo commands that Aesop, who is brought on in a sack by irate citizens, perform playlets of some of his fables. Aesop presents "The Belly and the Members," TMCM, and CJ. When the crowd is calling for Aesop's death, their leader, who claims to represent organized labour, makes a great statement: "Aesop is an unsettling influence in society, and unless society is reasonably stable my followers cannot threaten it with the horrors of instability" (15). The third playlet is done as a satire on swallowing everything without questioning. Its particular target is Reader's Digest. The cock not only rejects the pearl on which he has hurt his beak, thinking it a piece of grit. He also cannot even understand what a pearl is and goes on claiming that it is an inedible piece of grit. After each of the playlets, the humans are outraged, seeing in it criticism of themselves. After each, Apollo declares that he likes and enjoys the fable. I am not surprised when Apollo rebukes the citizens for misunderstanding a great teacher like Aesop, but I am surprised when he rebukes Aesop too for the arrogance of his wisdom. He has dared to scorn men and to suggest that beasts are wiser than people. His sentence is that his writings will be the delight of children but that only the wisest among them will remember and interpret them past childhood. "The greatest teacher is he who has passed through scorn of mankind, to love of mankind" (49). The author has fun with the footnotes, which he uses rather to ask questions of his (presumably high school) audience than to fill them in on technical matters. The illustrations are nicely done, e.g. the vase on 21, which shows the first playlet in its three levels: Apollo the judge; the "members" playing the scene; and the court audience, with two soldiers surrounding Aesop at the center. Other illustrations are on 13, 27, 45, and 51.

1955 A Harvest of World Folk Tales. Edited by Milton Rugoff. With Illustrations and Decorations by Joseph Low. NY: Viking Press. See 1949/55.

1955 Aesop's Fables for Modern Readers. Illustrated by Eric Carle. Mount Vernon: Peter Pauper Press. See 1941/55/65.

1955 Aesop's Fables for Modern Readers. No editor acknowledged. Illustrated by Aldren Watson. Mount Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press. See 1941/55.

1955 Alte deutsche Tierfabeln: vom zwölften bis zum sechzehnten Jahrhundert. Ausgewählt, in heutige Sprachform übertragen, eingeleitet und erläutert von Richard Schaeffer. Mit zahlreichen zeitgenössischen Holzschnitten. First edition. Hardbound. Berlin: Rütten & Loening. DM 12 from Antiquariat Richart Kulbach, Heidelberg, August, '94. Extra copies, one with dj for DM 12 from Dresdener Antiquariat, Dresden, August, '01, and one without dj for DM 25 from Antiquariat Friederichsen, Hamburg, June, '98. 

Here is a thick anthology offering 549 pages of fables covering six centuries. There is a short introduction to each author in contemporary script. The texts themselves are in Gothic script. I count twenty-four authors and one-hundred-eighty-five fables. The "Quellennachweise" on 537-48 indicate the sources not only of the texts but also of the illustrations, taken mostly from Steinhöwel, Boner, and Solis. The heaviest concentrations of fables come from Der Stricker, Gerhard von Minden, Steinhöwel, Pauli, Waldis, Erasmus Alberus, Sachs, Luther, and Kirchhof. Now that I have catalogued this rather small (4¾" x 7¼") book, I hope that I will not buy it again!

1955 Esopet: Een Middelnederlandse Fabelbundel. Uitgegeven, ingeleid en verklaard door Drs. W.E. Hegman. Paperbound. Amsterdam-Antwerp: Klassieke Galerij #104: Wereldbibliotheek. 25 Guilders from some bookstore in Amsterdam, Feb., '98.

There are twenty-six pages of introduction and then sixty-seven texts in this small paperbound volume. This little text may well have been superseded now by Esopet: Facsimile-Uitgave naar het Enig Bewaard Gebleven Handschrift in two volumes from 1965. The lists and comments there help clarify the fables here. In fact, this book is listed in the bibliography there (Volume 1, p. 47). I am surprised that knowing German, English, and Latin lets even a Dutch-less reader follow these well-known fables. This little volume's cover features a woodcut of one bird carrying a snail aloft and another bird giving advice.

1955 Fabler og Fortaellinger.  Jean de La Fontaine.  Udvalgte og Oversatte af Mogens Dam.  Med Illustrationer af Preben Zahle.  Paperbound.  Copenhagen: Thaning & Appel.  DKK 55 from Antikvariboghandel Pilegaard, Aalborg, Denmark, August, '14.  

This single paperback volume contains both La Fontaine's fables and his Contes.  The latter may predominate in more ways than one.  Somewhat lascivious drawings on both covers offer that suggestion.  I do, however, recognize a number of fables by their lively illustrations.  They include "The Wife of the Drunken Husband" (19); "The Angler with the Little Fish" (35); "The Man Who Was Said to Have Laid an Egg" (73); "Two Asses" (81); "The Man With Two Mistresses" (93); "The Bat and the Weasels" (137); "The Lion in Love" (147); "The Elephant and the Monkey" (161); and "The Crow and the Ram" (189).  The book has 190 pages, with a T of C at the back.  All is told in verse here.  The art may be true to La Fontaine's Contes in that its emphasis seems to be on various degrees of undress.  Those Scandinavians!

1955 Fables and Fairy Tales. Simplified by Michael West. Illustrated by Winifred Townshend and Mrs. Michael West. Pamphlet. Printed in Holland. London: Longmans, Green and Co. See 1931?/55.

1955 fables de la fontaine. Illustrées par Simonne Baudoin. Tournai: Casterman. $7.95 from Modern Language Book Store, DC, March, '85.

The first French-language version I have come upon, found in an off-the-beaten-path foreign language bookstore in Georgetown. The illustrations show a great use of color, but not as much fun as I would like. The best illustration is for FS. Catalogue 51 from St. Nicholas Books (Toronto) indicates that the book was issued without dustwrapper.

1955 Fables de la Fontaine. Pierre Leroy and André Michel. Hardbound. Paris: Collection Anémone: Editions Bias. $5 from Luc Gauvreau, Montreal, March, '03. 

I wrote of another edition of this book that I knew I had seen it before. Now I find part of the reason. Here is the 1955 (original?) edition of a book published again by Bias with a different cover in 1972. That 1972 edition is titled La Fontaine: Fables Choisies. Like that book, this edition announces sixty fables. There are simple watercolors by Pierre LeRoy; the best of them may be for "Le Chartier Embourbé" (41) and MSA (84-5). There are also perhaps a dozen black-and-whites by André Michel. There is an AI at the front, and both a T of C and a list of the watercolors at the back. The book is intended for children of age seven through eleven. Here the cover shows a collection of animals around a monkey reading from a book. The back cover lists other editions in the "Anémone" Collection.

1955 Fables de la Fontaine.  Illustrations de Matéja.  Hardbound.  Paris: Éditions  Garnier.  €49.50 from le-livre, Baron, France, Nov., '13. 

Here are twenty-one one-page or two-page fables in a large-format children's book.  Matéja's illustrations are lively and full of color.  The best of them may be WL, "The Mouse, the Rooster, and the Cat," "The Horse and the Ass," and "The Cat, the Weasel, and the Little Rabbit."  The last serves also as the front-cover picture.  I am not sure who the engaging mice are on the title-page or the back cover.  The former is reading a fable book and the latter two look like something out of Grandville's dressed animals.  This book has seen considerable wear.

1955 Fables de La Fontaine: Quarante Fables Choisies. Illustrations de Marcel Bloch. Introduction by Marie Granger. Paperbound. Les Chefs-d'Oeuvre a l'Usage de la Jeunesse. Paris: Librairie Renouard, Henri Laurens, Editeur. FF 330 from Nicolas Rémon, Livres anciens, Vernaison, St. Ouen, Clignancourt, July, '01.

Hee is an oversize volume with forty large illustrations in bright color and distinctive primitive style for the same number of La Fontaine fables. There is a T of C at the front. Among my favorites are OF; BF (here the peacock feathers form the literal tails of the crow's tuxedo coat); "Les Animaux malades de la Peste" (57); MSA with its compliant miller trying to explain (60-61); and "Le Chat, la Belette et le petit Lapin" (73). Unusual in its conception is FK (33): the log seems planted as a tree on the riverside. This book has nothing on its covers or spine. Rémon writes that this may well be the last in the series "Les Chefs-d'Oeuvre a l'Usage de la Jeunesse."

1955 Fables: Fong Siue-Fong. Woodcuts by Houang Yong-yu. Stated first edition. Hardbound. Peking: Foreign Languages Press. €50 from Librairie de l'Avenue, Saint-Ouen, July, '12.

I already have a similar book with English translations of "Feng Hsueh-Feng," now here written Fong Siue-Fong. In fact, I have it in a hardbound first edition of 1953 and a paperbound second edition of 1955. Here is the hardbound French edition of 1955. The artist in those editions was called Huang Yung-yu; here he is Houang Yong-yu. The translator is not here acknowledged. This copy adds a picture of the author at the head of two new pages devoted to him. Surprisingly, the first full-page illustration -- for "Le Paysan, les Moineaux et les Alouettes" -- is reduced in size (5). Not all of the printer's designs used in the second edition are used here, perhaps because some texts run longer on the page. The order of fables seems to differ from the respective orders in the English editions. As I mention there, the fables are often directly admonitory and/or of a highly political slant. "Un Rat Original" may have the best illustration (77). Among the most overtly political is the fable on the imperialist weasel munching a duckling (26-8); here again the illustration is reduced, this time to fit horizontally and not vertically onto its page. There is a T of C at the back. The Foreign Languages Press in 1983 also did a paperbound version in smaller format but using the same illustrations, and I have that edition too. 

1955 Favorite Stories Old and New. Revised and Enlarged Edition. Selected by Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg. Illustrated by Kurt Wiese. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co. See 1942/55.

1955 Folk Tales Children Love. Edited by Watty Piper. NY: Platt and Munk. See 1932/34/55.

1955 Heinrich Schnibble and Even More Tales Mein Grossfader Told. By David Morrah, with drawings by the author. NY: Rinehart and Co. $5 at Drusilla's, Baltimore, Nov., '91.

There is one fable in this collection: "Der Goosen mit der Golden Eggers" (27). When the man opens the goose up, he finds lots of eggs and suddenly becomes a millionaire! I also enjoyed the rendition of "Max Beth."

1955 Himmelsstier und Gletscherlöwe: Mythen, Sagen und Fabeln aus Tibet. On spine: Tibetische Dichtung: Himmelsstier. With two maps and a frontispiece photograph of "Häuptling Lo bzang (`Gutmütiger') vom Kukunor." Prof. Dr. Matthias Hermanns, SVD. Eisenach und Kassel: Erich Röth-Verlag. $5 at Moe's, Aug., '93.

This little book belongs to the "curious" section of my collection. Tibetan poetry in German! Pages 177-240 are given to Tibetan fables (with notes on 250-53). This section seems to be a long Buddhist sermon. At points it works from a proverbial promythium and launches into a fable (or legend or story). The reading was very tough for me. I found two good new fables: about finding mouse bones and hair in the excrement of a lying cat (184) and about an elephant and mouse helping each other (203). Some old friends here include stories about the lion and hare looking into the well (202), the four creatures who had fallen into a well (205), the indigo fox (211), and the frog not believing the turtle who has fallen into his well (216).

1955 I. Krōlov: Valmid (Estonian "I. Krylov: Selections"). Translated by M. Raud, J. Semper, and J. Kärner. Illustrations by A. Kanevski et al. Paperbound. Talinn: Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus. $9.99 from Raigo Kirss, Kuressaare, Estonia, through eBay, July, '05.

This 20-page pamphlet features six of Krylov's most popular fables, each illustrated in black-and-white by a different artist. The fables include FC; "The Monkey and the Spectacles"; GA; "The Elephant and the Pug"; "Quartet"; and "The Swan, the Pike, and the Lobster." The cover shows a bird on an evergreen clawing himself, perhaps because he has just lost his cheese! This illustration is black and green on gray with a white title. Pages at the stapled center are coming loose. The last page lists the translators and artists for the six fables.

1955 Jean de La Fontaine: Bajki. Edited by Maria Kindler. Z ilustracjami Grandville'a. Hardbound. Warsaw: Panstwowy: Instytut Wydawniczyi. $10 from Raphael Rivkin, Jerusalem, through eBay, May, '06. 

This is a not-quite full edition of the fables of La Fontaine in Polish, as the T of C at the back makes clear. It numbers the fables with La Fontaine's numbers. As a result, the omissions are clear. Many of Grandville's illustrations are included. They are done in shades of black (and brown?) set against a gold background. Some pages are loose. There are over forty pages of notes just before the closing T of C.

1955 Jean de la Fontaine: Fabeln. Mit bildern von Jean Effel. Nachgedichtet von Martin Remane. Dust jacket. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag. DM 35 from Kulbach, Heidelberg, Aug., '88. Extra copies with dust jacket for DM 48 from Buch und Kunst Antiquariat Dietrich Schaper, Hamburg, June, '98, and without dust jacket for DM 35 from Antiquariat Hentrich, Berlin, July, '95.

A wonderfully colorful East German edition. Best of the "humorvolle, kecke und liebenswuerdige" watercolors: GA (11), FG (cover and 67), DW (173), and "The Two Goats" (209).  My first two copies both cost 35 Marks, but the dollar weakened so much in the intervening seven years that the first cost $17.50 and the second $26.25!

1955 José Rosas Moreno: Libro de Fábulas. Felipe Sergio Ortega. Paperbound. Mexico City?: Biblioteca Minima Mexicana, Volumen 11: Libro-Mex Editores. $20 from Libros Latinos, Redlands, CA, June, '00.

There are five books here with twenty original verse fables in each (nineteen in Book IV), plus an appendix of thirteen verse fables. T of C at the end. There is a lineoleum cut initial to the prologue that presents the subject of the first fable, the monkey professor. My Spanish unfortunately barely reaches to the simple "El Maestro de Música, el Mono y el Violín" (V 5 on 125). After a maestro plays beautifully on a violin to everyone's admiration, a monkey tries it. He is confused by the discordant results. A wise unlooker tells him that there is nothing beautiful in life without good direction.

1955 La Fable et les Fabulistes. Jacques Janssens. Several photographic plates. Paperbound. Brussels: Collections Lebegue & Nationale: Office de Publicite s.a. Editeurs. €6.30 from Librairie de l'Avenue Henri Veyrier, Dec., '05.

This study tracks fable from its origin to its decline, assesses the dominant traits of fable, and notes the accomplishments of the great fabulists. Might it be meant as an overview for advanced late high-school students? Its structure and content are standard, I believe, for such a book. Its coverage of the field is even more detailed than I would have expected. My biggest question from looking over the book has to do with its supposition that fable is a genre in decline. A first chapter looks at sources: India, Aesop, and the Latin fabulists. The second chapter covers from Marie de France through La Fontaine. A third chapter follows naturally: imitators and innovators. The next two chapters deal, respectively, with transformations of fable and the decline of fable. A sixth chapter deals with fables outside France. The book closes with a bibliography and an index. It is nice to find something from Belgium. 

1955 La Fontaine Fables: Trente-cinq lithographies originales de Hans Erni. Signed by Gronin & Erni, #139 of 345 on paper of Rives. Printed specially for Dr. Bernard Wissmer. Lausanne: André Gronin: André Kundig & Auguste Griess for text; Hermann Kratz & Emile Matthieu for illustrations. $700 from Marc Ukaj, Librairie de l'Univers, Lausanne, May, '04. 

I had seen this portfolio only once before, in the home of my favorite private collector. I knew of Erni from his great illustrations for Ovid's Metamorphoses. I thought I would never have a chance at adding a copy to the collection. Hurray! It is as lovely as I remember it from my first viewing. Twenty-one fables are presented. A reader first extracts from its own box a portfolio with stiff matching covers. Inside this portfolio there is a heavy-paper inner jacket. The jacket surrounds a number of unbound four-page segments. The frontispiece is a striking portrait of La Fontaine. The other thirty-four illustrations are before, after, around, or within the text. Bodemann's comment is correct: the illustrations would need the text for clarification, for many of them represent individual characters and not fable scenes. Some favorites among the illustrations found with the fables are the hooves of the battling goats still falling into the water (20) and the personified oak and reed (48-49). In fact, these are scenes that suggest the fable rather than just the characters in the fable. When one comes to the end of the fables about halfway through the portfolio, one finds a T of C and a colophon page with the signatures of Gronin and Erni, which includes mention that this copy has been specially printed for Dr. Bernard Wissmer. There is even the numbered bookmark for this copy! Then one finds, without text, not only many of the lithographed illustrations already seen with the fables. There are also many studies which Erni apparently did in preparation. Many of these show Erni's penchant for presenting animals in human terms. Thus there is a striking illustration of a creature with a stag's head but a human body immersed in water up to his knees. There is a fine collection of acorns and pumpkins. There are fish with human faces. Studies for the lion and ass in "Les Animals malades de la Peste" give both of them human faces. And there are excellent studies for "The Man and the Flea." Again in these last images the fable's point makes it way into the illustration. This lovely portfolio is one of the stars of this collection!

1955 Mesék: Második Kiadás. Edited by Gyergyai Albert. Various artists. First edition. Hardbound. Budapest: Uj Magyar Könyvkiadó. $37.68 from Annemarie's Books, through Alibris, July, '10.

This volume is notable for several reasons. First, it is the first Hungarian book in this collection. Secondly, it presents an unusual collection of colored illustrations at its close, including Barboutau's FC and "Monkey and Dolphin," both on two facing pages; a Hindu miniature of MSA; two Persian illustrations including a fine CW; and an Abyssinian miniature. Black-and-white illustrations by Oudry, Simon-Coiny, and Johannot are listed together with these on 271, where Oudry is twice misprinted as "Ondry." The T of C on 265 lists the fable selections, apparently by book and fable number within each book. Just before that (249-64) is a dictionary of personal and mythological names. 

1955 S. Michalkow: Ausgewählte Fabeln. Autorisierte deutsche Nachdichtung von Bruno Tutenberg. W. Milaschewski, W. Gorjajew, I. Semjonow, R. Ratschew, Kukryniksy, F. Reschetnikow, S. Gerassimow, A. Gerassimow, A. Kanewski, K. Jelissejew, B. Jefimow. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Dresden. Berlin: Verlag Kultur und Fortschritt. DM 120 from Antiquariat Thomas Schmidt, Dresden, July, '01. Extra copy in slightly more used condition for DM 100 from Antiquariat Hentrich, Berlin, July, '95.

This book is a new favorite of mine. I am almost happy that I bought it twice in Germany! It seems to me an example of something I had read and heard of. Russian fabulists speak well of government problems without ever mentioning the government. The morals to the seventeen fables here frequently invite readers to apply the fables well beyond the animal territory that they describe. Each fable has one excellent colored page of art. The artists are listed, with the fables, at the back of the book. The fables are dated. Among the fables I find best are "Laufende Instandhaltung," "Der Wolf als Grasfresser," "Polkan und Schawka," und "Die vorsichtigen Vögel." Among the best illustrations are those by W. Milaschewski ("Zwei Freundinnen"), J. Ratschew ("Die Krähe und die Nachtigal"), and K. Jelissejew ("Der Löwe und die Fliege"). 1. The lion attends a concert but makes faces. The singers are fired, but people later learn that lion had a stomach-ache. His dissatisfaction had nothing to do with the singers. 2. Success comes to the tailor so massively that he no longer cuts or sews. Soon he loses all his skill, and then all his clients. 3. Elephant paints a picture and invites the animals. Each misses his or her own thing in the picture. So he paints those in. And they all say "What a mish-mash!" "Willst du gefallen jedermann,/tust du dir selber Schaden an." 4. Mouse praises friend rat's (?) apartment because everything in it comes from outside the country. What do you eat? "Bread and bacon, of course." We praise everybody else's stuff but eat only ours. 5. Fable-writer cannot get people at the zoo to tell him how long lions live. 6. Crow wonders why the young nightingale is so celebrated when the crow has sung a lot longer and louder…. 7. Knock on bureaucracy. To paint a porch needs a decision, and a decision needs a meeting, and the meeting will last hours. Want to take a walk? 8. Driver passes everybody until his car breaks down, and then he has to watch even the slowest animal-carts go past him. The person who gets forward not by ability but by getting into gaps is advancing only on luck. When luck stops, he will stop. 9. Older beaver is an easy target for a sly young fox woman. He leaves his wife for her, but soon cannot keep up with her. Goes back to wife, who refuses him. And then to the fox, but there's already another beaver with her. Watch out, old beavers! 10. The wolf in court claims that wolves are slandered and eat only grain and sometimes grass. If they once or twice take a lamb, then it is done out of necessity and so there is no blame. The court sides with the wolf, since a change is becoming evident in the whole wolf-race. That was a while ago, and no change seems to have appeared…. 11. The plump man orders the thin man around in the sauna and objects when the thin man then asks them to switch roles. But outside the sauna everybody laughed, because the thin man put on a uniform of higher rank. 12. Polkan and Schawka, two dogs, face some wolves. Polkan goes for the strongest and, though wounded, overcomes him. Schawka throws himself at the wolves' feet, declares his friendship and family ties to them, and leads them to the herd--where they tear him apart. The wolves then took some tough hits from the other dogs and the shepherds. I do not feel sorry for Schawka, but for Polkan. 13. Iwan Iwanytsch gets sick and falls apart. Nothing works to help him--until they take away his job and car. Suddenly he gets cheerful and better. No commentary needed, according to Michalkov--but I'm afraid I do not get exactly the point. 14. At the porcupine's party, the hare drinks too much. As he is ready to go home, he talks about taking on the lion should he be attacked. He makes so much noise that he wakes up the lion, who grabs him and asks how he got so drunk. The hare answers: "drinking to your health and that of your family." The lion lets him go. Apparently a little flattery goes a long way. There is a great picture here of the lion waking up in his pajamas. 15. A fly sat for a long time on a lion's ear, and the rumor went around that the lion could not live without her. After a while, the fly could do anything she wanted in the lion's office. Moral: flies ought to rein in their power…. 16. A bear has an abscess. Its worst result for him is that he cannot sleep. First one sharp-billed bird doctor is called to the scene and then another, and finally a rooster too. Again, he could not sleep. Do not lance it yet, they decide, but if we must tonight, then call in the crane. In the meantime, a bee stings him on the abscess, and that does the trick. Doctors were happy because the bee took the responsibility from them. Do not miss the cover's lovely multi-colored picture of the three doctors around a table. 17. Sick hare needs water and asks the tortoise to get some. The tortoise agrees. The hare waits impatiently all day and then hears a sound in the grass. "Are you finally returning?" "No, I'm just going."  Now see also Der Lowe und der Hase: Fabeln von Sergej Michalkow from Holz and dated "1954?" It offers contrasting translations of fifteen of these fables.

1955 Selected Fables of La Fontaine. Translated by Marianne Moore. London: Faber and Faber Limited. Dust jacket. First edition? £12 at Ulysses, London, May, '97.

Here, a year after the publication of her complete The Fables of La Fontaine, Marianne Moore selects forty-five of them and one epilogue. The editor adds her foreword from the 1954 Viking edition.

1955 Steve Allen's Bop Fables. Illustrated by George Price. NY: Simon and Schuster. $5 at Allen's, Baltimore, Nov., '91.

Four delightful stories told in bebop. Meg first gave me this book when I was a high school sophomore. She has always had great gift-giving taste! Actually, the four ("Goldilocks," "Three Little Pigs," "Little Red Riding Hood," and "Jack and the Beanstalk") are Märchen and not fables, but who cares? I am surprised in retrospect at how much the bop or beat talk of the mid-50's sounds like the hippy talk of the late 60's.

1955 Story and Verse for Children. Selected and edited by Miriam Blanton Huber. Black-and-white illustrations by various artists. NY: Macmillan. See 1940/55/65.

1955 Stories We Like. Gerald Yoakam, Kathleen Hester, and Louise Abney. Illustrations by Milo Winter. Previously copyrighted in 1947. River Forest: Laidlaw Brothers. $.75 at Silver Spring Books, Spring, '92.

Just one story from Aesop is included here: "A Foolish Man and His Donkey" (104-11). Straightforward narrative and art.

1955 Tales from Storyland. Edited by Watty Piper. Illustrated by George and Doris Hauman. NY: Platt and Munk. See 1938/41/55.

1955 The Animal Story Book. Edited by Ernest Thompson-Seton. (c)1955 by Sarah M. Knapp. Chicago: Auxiliary Educational League. See 1902/38/52/53/54/55.

1955 The Fables of India. Joseph Gaer. Illustrated by Randy Monk. First edition. Dust jacket. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. $6.50 from Louis Kiernan, Hyde Park, Nov., '94. Extra copy for $30 from Barbara and Bill Yoffee, April, '92.

I have done long work with this book, which strikes me as a very enjoyable and balanced presentation of good story material. It is divided into three major sections: Panchatantra, Hitopadesa, and Jatakas. This would be a book worth rereading before dealing with something like Kalila and Dimna. The introduction distinguishes between fablers (creators) and fabulists (retellers); Aesop turns out to be the latter, not the former. The versions here have been combined and have been--except for one example--extricated from many-layered nestings. The illustrations are quite simple, but the stories are wonderful!

1955 The Illustrated Treasury of Children's Literature..  Edited with an introduction by Margaret E. Martignoni. "With the original illustrations." NY: Grosset & Dunlap. $3.50 at the All Saints' Hunger Sale, Aug., '86.

A real steal. This is a huge collection of material, with delightful illustrations. Aesop is featured in three different sections, with illustrations from Billinghurst, Artzybasheff, and Kredel. A treasure of a book.

1955 The Illustrated Treasury of Children's Literature..  Margaret E. Martignoni.  Percy Billinghurst, Boris Artzybasheff, and Fritz Kredel.  Hardbound.  NY: Grosset & Dunlap.  $5.95 from Downtown Books, Milwaukee, Nov., '92.

A real steal.  This is a huge collection of material, with delightful illustrations.  Aesop is featured in three different sections, with illustrations from Billinghurst, Artzybasheff, and Kredel.  A treasure of a book.  This version of a blue-covered book already in the collection seems internally identical.  The cover and spine are distinctive.  This book features red cloth.  The front cover is embossed in gold in patterns like those on the endpapers, featuring nine characters from stories in the book.  The spine, of red cloth but otherwise identical with the blue-covered edition, mentions "Greystone Edition."  It is curious that there is no mention of such an edition inside the book.

1955 The Illustrated Treasury of Children's Literature..  Margaret E. Martignoni.  Percy Billinghurst, Boris Artzybasheff, and Fritz Kredel.  Second printing?  Hardbound.  NY: Grosset & Dunlap.  $6.50 from an unknown source, May, '93.

A real steal.  This is a huge collection of material, with delightful illustrations.  Aesop is featured in three different sections, with illustrations from Billinghurst, Artzybasheff, and Kredel.  A treasure of a book.  This copy of a book already in the collection is distinctive in several ways.  First, its cover design has changed from a pattern of story characters to a pattern of leaves.  Secondly and similarly, its spine no longer pictures characters at its top and bottom; instead there are gold leaves similar to the blue leaves on the cover's pattern.  The spine also reformats the elements of title, author, and publisher.  Finally, there is on the verso of the title page an expanded note.  This is the expansion: "OVER ONE MILLION COPIES NOW IN PRINT.  This printing from completely new plates."  It is curious that the book does not otherwise mention a later date or a later printing.

1955 The New Wonder World: A Library of Knowledge. Volume V: Story and Art. No editor acknowledged; introductory message by Bertha E. Mahony. Various illustrators (Heighway and Boutet de Monvel for Aesop). Chicago: Geo. L. Shuman and Co. See 1914/32/55.

1955 Tiergeschichten, Märchen, Gedichte und Fabeln aus der Deutschen Literatur. Herausgegeben und mit einem Nachwort versehen von Franz Fabian. Illustrationen von Josef Hegenbarth. 1. Auflage. Hardbound. Berlin: Alfred Holz Verlag. €9 from an unknown source, June, '02.

I had just catalogued Josef Hegenbarth's impressive 1964 fourth edition of Deutsche Tiergeschichten, Tiermärchen, Tiergedichte und Tierfabeln and turned to this volume. At first I was struck by the similarities. Then I wondered if I did not have the same book in my hand. Confirmation came when I compared the "Nachwort" here with the "Nachwort zur 1. Auflage" there and found them identical. It turns out that the book is the same, but was extended to include more authors in 1964, especially those that had died in the meantime. Hegenbarth had also died, and that edition was dedicated to him. I find it surprising that the title of a book changes as it goes from one edition to another! The printing of the drawings is sometimes not as strong here as there. Perhaps the paper has something to do with it. Hegenbarth needs good strong masses of black and firm lines! Let me mention some of my remarks from that edition. This is one of those books, I believe, that Hegenbarth worked hard on late in his life, as the Jandas write in their Insel-Bücherei account of his work. This book is abundantly illustrated, and fables get more than their share of the strong illustrations. Luther's version of WL gets one of Hegenbarth's strongest and most typical illustrations (5). Other excellent fable illustrations include "Der Wilde Schwein und der Esel" (16), MSA (21), and "Der Tugendhafte Hund" (107).

1955 Uralte Weisheit: Fabeln aus aller Welt. Ulm woodcuts. Paperbound. Bonn: Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband E.V. Gift of Robert Hetu, Munich, Nov., '98. Three extra copies. One a gift of Franz Kuhn, August, '95. Another for DM 3 from Der Bücherwurm, Heidelberg, August, '99. The third from an unknown source at an unknown time. 

This is an excellent paperback meant to help classroom work on fables throughout grade school. There are fifty-seven fables overall; they are divided into three sections, with each section meant for one of three levels in grade school (Grundstufe, Mittelstufe, and Oberstufe). The selection and approach are both excellent. Notice that this book has been printed and produced by German banks; would a bank in the USA ever produce a book of fables for use in schools? I have made a note of the fables that were new to me as I read through this booklet. They include "Der Affe und der Reisvogel" (29); "Der Pfau und der Hahn" (32); "Falke und Huhn" (35); "Der Fuchs und die Gans" (36); "Der Goldfasan" (38); "Büffel- oder Ziegenbraten" (41; a very good story from Indonesia); "Der Affe als Schiedsrichter" (42; this traditional Aesopic fable is presented as from Korea); "Die weise Krähe" (55; this story is something of a mystery to me); "Der Lockvogel" (56); "Hamster und Ameise" (59); "Der Affe und die Nuss" (59); "Der Reisende und sein Helfer" (66); "Der Arme und das Glück" (72); "Die beiden Pflugscharen" (72); "Unübertrefflicher Sparsinn" (73); "Das Testament" (74); and "Die Schnecke" (75).

1955/60 Happy Hours in Storyland. Volume 2 of The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls. Prepared under the Supervision of the Editorial Board of the University Society. NY: The University Society, Inc. $.33 at Antiquarium, Oct., '90.

See the near-identical new editions of 1963/68 and 1970/81. This publisher must enjoy bringing out the same books in slightly altered formats with new copyrights! This book is in poorer condition than the 1963/68 re-edition. The paper is different, and the covers and end papers are differently colored. Will I ever find a "first edition" of this book? Each seems to refer back to the last copyright!

1955/66 Jungle Doctor's Fables. Paul White. With Sixty-seven illustrations by Graham Wade. Dust jacket. Exeter, Devon: The Paternoster Press. $6.75 from the Yoffees, May, '92.

Clever stories heavy-handedly moralized for Christian teaching. For example, a great wall (sin) suddenly appears in the jungle and separates animals from their best feeding territory. A silly monkey chases a coconut into quicksand. Another feeds vultures (bad thoughts) but tells them to go away; of course more vultures return the next day. Yet another chops off a branch while he is perched on it! Two of the cleverest stories are II and III. In the former, a hunter makes a small opening in the top of an oil can and fills the can with rocks and a few peanuts on top of them. His monkey victim will not let go once he gets his fist around a few of the peanuts, and the heavy can becomes his trap. He is clubbed and bagged. In III, a snake has been slithering into the coop through a small hole in the wall to swallow an egg and then break it inside himself as he slithers back out. The clever owner replaces a fresh egg with a hard-boiled one, and the snake is trapped when he reaches the opening. The snake is killed.

1955/75 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Matéja. Hardbound. Paris: Éditions Garnier Frères. €1.99 from cj650 through eBay while I was in Europe, July, ‘07.

Here is the work of a very lively children's artist! It is one of the books I would not likely find in this country. Living in Europe for a summer gave me the chance to find things on French and German eBay from dealers who normally would not ship to the USA. The title-page's picture is a nice illustration of a rat in tails reading a La Fontaine book under a tree with a snail looking on. The rat's cane and top-hat lie nearby. Twenty-one fables get one or two-pages each, each with at least one highly colorful illustration. The precision of the color work varies from page to page and even within a single illustration. Among the best illustrations are FC, LS, FS, UP, and GA. The tortoise in TH is a fully clad society lady, with full skirt, cape, and bonnet. "Le Cheval et l"Ane" has a good pose for both its main characters. Cat, rabbit, and weasel are on the front cover, and a couple of society mice with a servant-mouse holding a parasol on the back cover. Are we to presume that these latter characters come from the Town Rat's world? The endpapers feature a lovely dance of characters from the fables. This book has acquired a strong old-book fragrance!

1955/77 Tomás de Iriarte: Fábulas Literarias. Ilustraciones de P. Muguruza. Quinta Edición. Colección Austral. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe. $7.95 at Schoenhof's, June, '91.

Complete with seventy-five fables (#22 and #23 are taken together). Compare with the same publisher's more scholarly Poesias (1963/76) in another series. This edition does not include a prologue, notes, acknowledgement of an editor, or other works but does have a T of C listing individual fables (my only such listing). The illustrations include title-drawings, repeated ornaments, and two full-page illustrations signed by Muguruza in 1915.

1955/84 Schöne Fabeln des Altertums. Äsop/Phädrus/Babrios. Ausgewählt und übertragen von Horst Gasse. Mit zwei Vignetten von Wolfgang Lenck. Sixth edition 1984. Sammlung Dieterich, Band 168. Leipzig: Dieterich'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. DM 8.80 at Hassbecker's in Heidelberg, Aug., '88. Extra copy of the seventh edition (1988) for DM 8 from the Dresdener Antiquariat, July, '95.

Nice titles give the point (but not the characters) of each fable. The two vignettes face the title page (FG, well done) and the beginning of the collection. The extra copy differs in having an ISBN number, a different "Bestell-Nr." and thicker paper.

1955/93 A Bestiary. Compiled by Richard Wilbur. Illustrated by Alexander Calder. Dust jacket. First printing of this edition. Originally published in 1955 in a signed, limited edition designed by Joseph Blumenthal at The Spiral Press. NY: Pantheon Books. $9.98 at Powell's, Portland, March, '96. One extra copy at the same time.

It was a delight for me to find this beautiful book--and then to find two fables in it. L'Estrange's Aesopic "A Camel at First Sight" is on 14. I cannot find any acknowledgement for the translation of La Fontaine's GA on 56. Note the "The End" symbol on 75! The collection here is ingenious!

1955/95 Aesop’s Fables (Japanese). Literally translated from original Greek texts by Yoichi Kono. #1009 in a literary paperback series. Forty-ninth edition. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten Co., Ltd. 700 yen at Sanseido, Kanda, Tokyo, July, ’96.

The series format reminds one of Penguin books in English. Twenty black-and-white illustrations decorate the text along the way. Particularly good are those for DLS (199) and for FS (31), also in color on the (Eastern) front cover. This latter design fits the best telling of the story, where a fox is salivating over his own unapproachable vase. Several illustrations raised questions for me, because they come from infrequently presented fables: "The Fishermen Who Netted Rocks" (62, Perry 13), "The Fox Riding Brambles down the River" (145), and "Cudgeling Strife" (315).

1955? Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Frederick Cockerton. Paperbound. Leeds: Bright Story Reader: E.J. Arnold & Son Ltd. $5 from an unknown source, April, '04. 

When I catch up after long periods of being behind, I find some works about which I have no idea where I found them. This is one of those works. It appears to be a British reader for beginning pupils. It is canvas-bound and contains ten fables, with questions for each on the last page. There is a T of C at the beginning. Each fable has one or two black-and-white illustrations. Generally, the fables take two or three pages each for their telling. This is the first time that I have seen the characters in MSA wearing hats (13)! This fable has four illustrations. I think that this version of MSA does not resolve itself well, by the way. First the ass "got loose and ran off." Then we learn that the ass "fell into the water and was drowned" (16).

1955? Aesop's Fables. Decorations by Joseph Greenberg. Hardbound. Printed in Australia. A Courier-Mail Classic. Melbourne, Australia: Colorgravure Publications. AUD 4 from Lucia Rockell, Brisbane, Australia, through Ebay, April, '00.

Eighty-four fables with pleasant black-and-white cartoons. Aesop, with a crutch, appears frequently in five or six repeated poses after fables. There are several good, pithy morals here, e.g. for "The Angler and the Little Fish": "A man in a tight corner makes many promises" (49) and for "The Fox and the Hedgehog": "A thief in real need steals more than one who has plenty" (95). There is a colored frontispiece and two other pages colored on both sides (96 and 128). The colored images are lively, perhaps romantic or even sentimental, e.g. "The Trees and the Axe" (96). There is also one page of better paper stock printed on both sides in black-and-white (32). The best of the black-and-white images may be that for "The Mule" (46), which shows the two faces of the truth. This may have been the book that did for Australians what Fritz Kredel did for a generation of American kids. Notice that I have exactly the same book with all the same information and plates but listed on its title-page as "A Sun Classic."

1955? Aesop's Fables. Decorations by Joseph Greenberg. Hardbound. Printed in Australia. A Sun Classic. Melbourne, Australia: Colorgravure Publications. AUD 16 from Cambria Books, Blackheath NSW, Australia, through Bibliocity, March, '99.

This book replicates a book of the same title by the same publisher in the same year in all ways except that on its title-page it here has "A Sun Classic" where it there has "A Courier-Mail Classic." The fact that I ordered two copies a year apart is testimony to my having fallen behind in cataloguing. See my comments there.

1955? Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Helen Haywood. Hardbound. Printed in Great Britain. Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. $8.00 from Neil Eamon, Kaya Books, Halifax, Nova Scotia through Ebay, May, '99.

See my comments on the softbound copy I found a few months earlier.  This hardbound copy seems identical except that the cover background is less grey and more aqua to green.  By coincidence, this copy ends up costing exactly as much as the softbound copy.

1955? Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Helen Haywood. Softbound. Printed in Great Britain. Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. £5 by mail from Stella Books, Tintern, Dec., '98.

This is a lovely little softbound book in card wrappers. I am surprised I had not seen it before. Its first nice feature comes on the endpapers. Each animal is involved with this very book in a way appropriate to one of its stories. Thus the fox looks longingly at FG, and the wolf has a torn page in his mouth. The hare wears a monocle throughout. BF (about 12) is a particularly good illustration. The frontispiece gives us a rare view of the miser loving his money while he still has it. Twenty-eight fables with very pleasing illustrations.

1955? Aisopos: Mikra Klassika Eikonographemena. M. Pechlibanides. Paperbound. Athens: Mikra Klassika Eikonographemena #214: International Productions Ltd. Vadur. $10 from S. Ritsos, Athens, through eBay (?), March, '04. 

This forty-eight page comic book looks a great deal like "Classics Illustrated Junior," and that would not be a bad translation anyway of "mikra klassika eikonographemena." I am afraid that I am mostly baffled by what I find inside this comic book. It seems to be a biographical narrative, but there is not much help from the pictures to identify it with the known histories of Aesop's life, and my ancient Greek does not go a long way towards understanding the modern slang Greek. (Still, I am presuming that "Cha, cha," is roughly our "Ha, ha!") I would have said that Aesopic fables are among the most concrete literature we have, but this comic baffles me with its lack of concrete objects in its pictures! I do find a statue of Hermes, a dog, and some coins. Have we arrived at Delphi on 43? The finale is a major conflagration. Was Aesop, thrown from the cliff by the Delphians, swept up in fire?

1955? Eight Fables by La Fontaine. Related by Ann Lewis. Illustrated by J.C. Van Hunnik. Hardbound. Printed in The Netherlands. Amsterdam: Mulder & Zoon. $3 from Robert Cross, Randolph, Massachusetts, through Ebay, June, '99.

This large-format unpaginated book in pictured boards has a special claim on being noticed. For each of its eight La Fontaine fables (WL, TMCM, OF, FC, LM, TH, FS, and GA) there is a parallel story (often a fairy tale) "based on the moral of the original French Fable." Thus for WL, there is "The King and the General." There is a repeated illustration presenting the title of each fable, and there are frequent colored illustrations for both the fables and the stories. The moral for both is delivered within the last lines of the modern story. The fables are only loosely based on La Fontaine's fables. The frog in OF "fell down deed" (sic). The modern stories seem to me labored. Thus OF is turned into a story of two friends, one a giant and one a dwarf. Suddenly the dwarf became jealous when the giant jumped from a tower during a fair; he also jumped and hurt himself. "Fairly accurate," I would say, "but not inspired." The gesture of the fox in FC and on the cover seems to me anatomically impossible. The raven becomes a rich man desperate to be known as a great singer; the tinker praises him and offers to train him into a great singer for a large fee, which he keeps exacting…. LM is told unusually in that there is no phase of catching and then freeing the errant mouse. There is only a general reference that "the rat had once done the lion a very great service."  TH is faithful to La Fontaine in having the tortoise nap before he starts the race. The parallel of TH, "The Two Painters," may be the best of the modern stories. The editor tends to forget the second pair of quotation marks. Both GA and its parallel are entirely on the side of the ant.

1955? Eight Fables by La Fontaine. Related by Ann Lewis. Illustrated by J.C. Van Hunnik. Hardbound. Amsterdam: Diamond Series: Mulder & Zoon. $10 from an unknown source, Oct., '04.

This book is a smaller-format version of another book by the same title and with the same bibliographical information, for which I have guessed the same year. This book may be the more original of the two. Besides having a smaller format--about 7" x 8" rather than about 8" x 10"--it has perhaps one colored picture fewer per story than the larger version, but adds many black-and-white smaller designs, especially for the modern stories. The cover now shows a collection of animals rather than small scenes from both the fables and the modern tales. It also has Number 2928 on the back cover, whereas the larger book has 3028 B. And now there is a series, "The Diamond Series," and a list on the back cover of eight books in the series, including this one. I will repeat the pertinent comments from those on the larger version. For each of its eight La Fontaine fables (WL, TMCM, OF, FC, LM, TH, FS, and GA) there is a parallel story (often a fairy tale) "based on the moral of the original French Fable." Thus for WL, there is "The King and the General." The standard illustration for all the titles, featuring two elves, has been dropped. There are frequent colored illustrations for both the fables and the stories. The moral for both is delivered within the last lines of the modern story. The fables are only loosely based on La Fontaine's fables. The typo in OF ("fell down deed") does not occur here. The modern stories seem to me labored. Thus OF is turned into a story of two friends, one a giant and one a dwarf. Suddenly the dwarf became jealous when the giant jumped from a tower during a fair; he also jumped and hurt himself. "Fairly accurate," I would say, "but not inspired." The gesture of the fox in the colored illustration for FC still seems to me anatomically impossible. The raven becomes a rich man desperate to be known as a great singer; the tinker praises him and offers to train him into a great singer for a large fee, which he keeps exacting. LM is told unusually in that there is no phase of catching and then freeing the errant mouse. There is only a general reference that "the rat had once done the lion a very great service." TH is faithful to La Fontaine in having the tortoise nap before he starts the race. The parallel of TH, "The Two Painters," may be the best of the modern stories. Both GA and its parallel are entirely on the side of the ant.

1955? Fables. Pop-up. Illustrations en relief de Gildas. Mulhouse: Editions Lucos. 130 Francs from Françoise Remy at the Clignancourt flea market, May, '97.

Each of six fables receives a double-page in this sideways pop-up book. At the bottom of the flat page is the text of La Fontaine's fable. The star of the book is WL at its center, very well preserved. The wolf is a real beach-bumb cad! The last of the pop-ups, TH, presents an almost total breakdown in its popping up. The other four, (GA, MM, OF, and FC) need slight repair (one or two have experienced some repair before), but are lovely as they are now. The style of the art reminds me of the cookie-box I bought along the Seine. Gildas has a special affection for yellow and pink!

1955? Fables de la Fontaine. Illustrations de Vicky Girard. Paperbound. Paris?: Livre-Disque: Microsillon Atlas. $5.50 from Marie Gervais, St-Urban-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Sept., '05. 

This large--about 10" square--pamphlet of twelve pages is meant to accompany a record, and so it is "Interpreté par La Compagnie Claude Vernick" with "Musique de Boccherini." Of course I do not have the record. The booklet was printed by Ruegger in Paris. It features Girard's lovely and clever three-colored interpretations of La Fontaine. Notice the contrast of the two weasels on 2. One of the best presentations puts the miller and his son behind the text of the fable, which covers all of the transported ass except his head and tail (5). The illustration of the milkmaid is a silhouette tour de force. One hardly notices the gold pot falling off of her head! This booklet offers one or two fables on each page. Nicely done!

1955? Fables de La Fontaine. Paraphrase de Pierre Fontaine. M(aurice) Petitdidier. Paperbound. Montreal: Fides. $0.99 from Lujan Antiques, Windsor, Quebec, through eBay, Dec., '06.

Here is a Canadian comic book. The covers are stronger than those on our comics. Two children ask grandmother to tell them fables after they discover that she knows La Fontaine's stories well. The paraphrases of La Fontaine are by Pierre Fontaine. GA misses La Fontaine's siding with the cicada. This version complicates the story by having the pretty cicada, who smokes and dances, explain that she could not work because she was taking her daughter to dance and music lessons. In OF, the frog first tries eating to get bigger. The last stroke -- pardon the pun -- comes with a bicycle pump. In "Lex Deux Mulets" the rich mule carrying money is attacked in the street by muggers. In DW, the wolf eats a dinner before he asks the dog about his collar. Part of the dog's role emphasized here is flattering the family. LS is fairly graphic about the splitting of the deer. The lion's lesson to his partners is "This will teach you to bother important people like me." He had seemed to say earlier that he would play only a formal role in the partnership, for their benefit. "Death and the Woodman" involves a fairy who is ready to set the woodman up with Death. In TMCM, Radeville has a Cadillac and a mouse-maid. Cops enter his city apartment with guns raised looking for a criminal. FS should teach us not to mock people with long necks. In TH, the tortoise takes the shady route and so is not noticed by the cocky hare. On the back page, you can join the "Club du Livre des Jeunes." Is this probably a Catholic operation, with a name like Fides?

1955? Folk Tales of Old Korea. By Tae Hung Ha. Paperbound. Volume VI, Korean Cultural Series. Seoul?: The Office of Public Information, Republic of Korea. $5 at Powell’s, Chicago, August, ’96.

This book identifies and groups six of its forty-eight offerings as fables. Several seem to me to grow beyond fables. My two favorites are "The Clam, the Stork, and the Fisherman" (254, with a monochrome illustration) and "Hunting of Pheasants in the Kitchen" (256). You will also find "The Hare Liver" (50) with one of the brightly-colored colored illustrations; this story uses the motif "Oh, let me go back and get my liver for you."

1955? Four Fables. Robert Louis Stevenson. Paperbound. Louisville, Kentucky: Caxton Brochure #2: Caxton Company. $2.50 from Jack and Susie Williams, Summerville, SC, through eBay, June, '04. 

This pamphlet features a tipped-in picture of Stevenson in front. It measures about 4½" x 6¼". Its four fables are "The Two Matches," "The Sinking Ship," "The Carthorses and the Saddlehorse," and "The Four Reformers." In the first, a traveller in California, wanting to light his pipe, discovers that he has only two matches. The first misfires. He considers the second, especially that it could start a major conflagration. After all his ruminating, he strikes the second match. When it misfires, his reaction is "Thank God!" "The Sinking Ship" is a bit Biercian. The Captain of a sinking ship trots out logic to several audiences on the ship, only to be converted at last. He then smokes his pipe in the powder magazine. The ship blows up. The saddlehorse, encountering large carthorses for the first time, thinks that they must be great chiefs. After experiencing their bickering, he comments "I was right. They are great chiefs." The four reformers go about abolishing everything. This short piece closes with their dramatic recommendation to abolish mankind.

1955? Fox Fables: Russian Folk Tales Retold by Alexei Tolstoy. Alexei Tolstoy; Translated by George Hanna. Drawings by Y. Rachev. Canvas-spined. Printed in USSR. Moscow: Progress Publishers. $41 from Kathy Stanton, Barrington, IL, through Ebay, Sept., '00.

Ten delightful tales with Rachev's remarkable work. The printing of Rachev's illustrations is exceptionally good here. I compared this edition with other copies I have of Rachev's work. The first surprise lay in how many of these stories I already have in two other works. The second surprise is that Rachev's work here is different from his work there, even for the same fables. The illustrations offer the same scene-patterns as those there, but are newly done. Thus three fables here are also found in The Little Clay Hut in either of two versions (Progress, 1975 and Raduga 1988): FC (18 here, 46 there); "The Fox and the Bear" (38 here, 54 there with the title characters inverted); and "The Fox and the Thrush" (44 here, 32 there). The English versions seem to be exactly the same as in The Little Clay Hut. In retrospect, that fact gives me a translator's name for the latter. "The Fox and the Wolf" (8) has illustrations echoing the patterns set in Fiabe Russe (90) from 1976. One can make the same contrast between "The Fox and the Cat" (22) and "Il gatto e la volpe" 102) and "The Fox and the Hare" (54) and "La casetta del leprotto" (46). Thus I now have translations in English for those three stories. Other stories here put the fox with the rooster, the grouse, the crane teaching her how to fly, and the lobster. The investment in this book, which seemed high to me at first, has paid off handsomely!

1955? Fünfzig ergötzliche Fabeln für kleine und grosse Leute. Wilhelm Hey. Otto Speckter. Hardbound. Munich: Kid Weltliteratur: Eine Sammlung für die Jugend #25: Bei Obpacher. DEM 15 from Antiquariat Hatry, Heidelberg, June, '98.

Might this have been a gift distributed by the Obpacher publishing firm? Just before the first fable we read "Unserer Generation neu geschenkt von der Offizin des Obpacher Buch- und Kunstverlages." It is labeled on the preceding page as a reproduction of the 1833 edition. So here are Speckter and Hey again. Somehow this copy seems to have come to Hatry through the Ott and Braunbarth bookstore in Bruchsal. Their bookmark is an even clearer sign of the book's age than the book itself. There is an afterword by Paul Hühnerfeld, titled "Die Tiere sprechen zu uns."

1955? Jean Effel's La Fontaine. 36 ausgewählte und vom Künstler farbig illustrierte Tierfabeln. Übertragung aus dem französischen von Rolf Mayr. Vorwort von Kurt Kusenberg. Dust jacket. First printing. Hamburg: Rowohlt Verlag. $18 from Book Stop, Alexandria, VA, Jan., '96.

A curious find, especially because there is an East German edition (Jean de la Fontaine: Fabeln), published in 1955 with exactly these thirty-six illustrations but with translations by Martin Remane and an additional 42 fables without colored illustrations. A quick comparison between the illustrations suggests that the colors are often quite different and that the East German work tends to be more careful. Here every other page is a full-page, unbacked, unpaginated color-illustration. Even if less well reproduced here than there, the illustrations are a delight. See my remarks on the East German edition. I have not checked Rolf Mayr's verse. My, what one finds when one looks under a rock!

1955? Jean Effel's La Fontaine. Rolf Mayr. Foreword by Kurt Kusenberg. Hardbound. Frankfurt am Main: Buechergilde Gutenberg. €20 from Müller und Gräff, Stuttgart, August, '07.

The curiosities surrounding this book keep coming. Apparently editions were published in both East and West Germany. Then the West German edition was picked up by the Gutenberg Book Guild in Frankfurt. This book replicates then the West German edition -- from Rowohlt in Hamburg -- with its translations by Rolf Mayr; it lacks the additional 42 fables without colored illustrations found in the East German edition. The printing here, as is appropriate for a book guild edition, may be more careful than in the Rowohlt edition in Hamburg. Every other page is a full-page, unbacked, unpaginated color-illustration. Effel's illustrations are always a delight. See my remarks on the East German edition. I have not checked Rolf Mayr's verse. My, what one finds when one looks under a rock! The colophon on the obverse of the title page recognizes Rowohlt Verlag in Hamburg.

1955? La Cigale et la Fourmi: Fable de La Fontaine. Avec un conte explicatif par Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant. Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik. Pamphlet. Printed in Holland. Albums du Gai Moulin: Mulder. $1 from Bonnie Prime, Fulton, NY, through Ebay, March, '01.

Here is the French version of a smaller and more recent English pamphlet from Grandreams that I dated "1986?" This booklet is not only larger; it takes more space for things like a title-page and a last repeated illustration (detail of Pixie Redbeard) after the story. Here Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant are acknowledged; they will not be acknowledged there. The illustrations are all larger proportionally here. Like the later, smaller reprinting, this book builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes in human terms the lesson of the fable. Here the fairy Elvira is sad over "enjoy now" Pixie Redbeard, angry with him, and deaf to his request. I could not disagree more with the philosophy of this application. I seem to have found six of the series of eight booklets. "Mulder" appears nowhere in the booklet, but it is on both the front and the back cover.

1955? La Fontaine nin Masallari. Translated by Orhan Veli Kanik. Third printing. Pamphlet. Istanbul: Dogan Kardes Basimevi. $24 from Rifat Behar, Istanbul, Jan., '01.

This 64-page pamphlet in fair condition has a simple colored cover of the rooster and the fox signed by "Sevki." There are some very simple black-and-white designs with the fables, including some (on 42-43) that seem to come from Rabier. I cannot find a T of C at either the front or the back. I paid way too much for this pamphlet, but I am glad to have some popular Turkish materials in the collection.

1955? La Fontaine: Fables. Introduction de M. Henri Guillemin. Paperbound. Geneva: Collection Classique du Milieu du Monde: Éditions du Milieu du Monde. $5 from an unknown source, perhaps sometime in 2002. 

This may be the handiest complete edition of La Fontaine's fables that I have. Besides its bendable covers, it has an AI of fables at the back and even a place-marking ribbon. I wonder where and when I found this little book..

1955? La Grenouille qui se veut faire aussi grosse que le Boeuf: Fable de La Fontaine. Avec un conte explicatif par Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant. Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik. Pamphlet. Printed in Holland. Albums du Gai Moulin: Mulder. $1 from Bonnie Prime, Fulton, NY, through Ebay, March, '01.

Like the other books in the Gai Moulin series, this book builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes the lesson of the fable. Here that story is "Le Géant et le Nain." The dwarf gets angry when his friend the giant announces that he will have something surprising to offer at the town festival. The giant jumps gracefully from a tower. The jealous dwarf tries to jump down from the roof of a house but plummets like a rock and is seriously hurt. The last illustration is a nice detail from the festival picture. The picture for the fable itself is very good: the bull cries over the exploded frog. "Mulder" appears nowhere in the booklet, but it is on both the front and the back cover.

1955? Le Corbeau et le Renard: Fable de La Fontaine. Avec un conte explicatif par Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant. Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik. Pamphlet. Printed in Holland. Albums du Gai Moulin: Mulder. $1 from Bonnie Prime, Fulton, NY, through Ebay, March, '01. Extra copy for $1.75 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, 4/03.     

Here is the French version of a smaller and more recent English pamphlet from Grandreams that I dated "1986?" This booklet is not only larger; it takes more space for things like a title-page and a last repeated illustration (detail of the fox) after the story. Here Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant are acknowledged; they will not be acknowledged there. The illustrations are all larger proportionally here. Like the later, smaller reprinting, this book builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes in human terms the lesson of the fable. A tinker exploits a rich man who wants to learn to sing; when the rich man is poor, the tinker disappears. The art is cute but sometimes anatomically off. The arm of the fox facing the actual fable seems bent in the wrong direction. I seem to have found six of the series of eight booklets. "Mulder" appears nowhere in the booklet, but it is on both the front and the back cover.

1955? Le Lion et le Rat: Fable de La Fontaine. Avec un conte explicatif par Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant. Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik. Pamphlet. Printed in Holland. Albums du Gai Moulin: Mulder. $4.50 from Pierre Cantin, Chelsea, Quebec, Canada, Nov, 00. Extra copy for $1.75 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, April, '03. 

Here is the English version of a smaller and more recent pamphlet from Grandreams that I dated "1986?" This booklet is not only larger; it takes more space for things like a title-page and a last repeated illustration (detail of the cover) after the story. Here Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant are acknowledged; they will not be acknowledged there. The illustrations are all larger proportionally here. Like the later, smaller reprinting, this book builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes in human terms the lesson of the fable. Pixie Pinky saves the Giant One-Eye. Curiously, a fairy tale explains a fable! I seem to have found six of the series of eight booklets. "Mulder" appears nowhere in the booklet, but it is on both the front and the back cover.

1955? Le Rat de Ville et le Rat des Champs: Fable de La Fontaine. Avec un conte explicatif par Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant. Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik. Pamphlet. Printed in Holland. Albums du Gai Moulin: Mulder. $1 from Bonnie Prime, Fulton, NY, through Ebay, March, '01.

Like the other books in the Gai Moulin series, this book builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes the lesson of the fable. Here that story is "Jean Pointu et le Forgeron." Jean Pointu wears a pointed cap and works as an apprentice at a pastry shop. He is good but he brags. His blacksmith friend Tapenclume is just the opposite. Pointu invites Tapenclume to dinner in the shop, using his master's utensils and food, but dinner is interrupted, so Pointu thinks, by the unexpected return of his master. It turns out to be a false alarm, but for Tapenclume the evening is already spoiled. He invites Pointu to his place the next day. There is a great last detail illustration of the two mice in fear. "Mulder" appears nowhere in the booklet, but it is on both the front and the back cover. The cover is crimped.

1955? Le Renard et la Cigogne: Fable de La Fontaine. Avec un conte explicatif par Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant. Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik. Pamphlet. Printed in Holland. Albums du Gai Moulin: Mulder. $1 from Bonnie Prime, Fulton, NY, through Ebay, March, '01.

Like the other books in the Gai Moulin series, this book builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes the lesson of the fable. Here that story is "La Mesaventure du Lutin Jaunet." The miserly elf Jaunet invites Propret to dinner, saying "Come at seven if you can." When Propret arrives, Jaunet claims to have lost the key to his house's door, and the window is barred. He recalls his invitation --"if you can"-- and explains that Propret cannot come in to dine with him at seven. Propret invites him a few days later, apparently forgetting the whole incident. He has some slices of roast meat hung up in a tree. Propret bids Jaunet to come up with him and enjoy them. Jaunet suffers from acrophobia and leaves quietly. There is a good last detail picture of Propret frustrated by being locked out. "Mulder" appears nowhere in the booklet, but it is on both the front and the back cover.

1955? Les Fables de La Fontaine. Adapté par Tante Tsylla. Illustrations par J.C. Van Hunnik. Printed in Holland. Albums du Gai Moulin: Mulder. $8.51 from Dee Ann Smith, Oley, PA, through Ebay, Sept., '99.

Here is the French original of a recent acquisition, Eight Fables by La Fontaine, published by Mulder & Zoon and listed under "1955?" See my comments there. I knew I had seen this book before, and the fox's gesture on the cover is the clue! The fables appear here in the form of La Fontaine's verse. The same fables are handled (WL, TMCM, OF, FC, LM, TH, FS, and GA), with what seem to be the same illustrations. The concept is also the same: after each verse fable, there is a parallel story (often a fairy tale) again illustrating its moral. The question remains where the English translator got the surprising adaptations of the fables, e.g., in LM. The title-page is detached. Paper boards and a deteriorating spine.

1955? The Cricket and the Ant: Fable by Jean de la Fontaine. With an explanatory Story by Ann Lewis and Paerl (sic) Peters. Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik. Paperbound. Amsterdam: Mulder & Zoon. $9.99 from David Lee, Camp Hill, PA, through eBay, Oct., '06.

Here is the English version of a booklet I already have in French from the same publisher and artist and similarly listed under "1955?" There Tante Tsylla et Frédérique Laurant were acknowledged as the writers of the "explanatory story"; here Ann Lewis and Paerl (sic) Peters get the credit. Perhaps the latter are translators of the work of the former. The polychrome illustrations are not printed as carefully here as there. The illustrations in this large pamphlet (8¾" x 9⅜") are all proportionally identical with the illustrations in the smaller Eight Fables by La Fontaine but the polychrome image for the fable GA itself is strangely not the same as the GA illustration in the larger book. That is, I have just noticed for perhaps the first time that the smaller version (which this booklet follows) and the larger version of Eight Fables by La Fontaine are not identical in their GA illustration, though they are identical in all the illustrations for the explanatory companion story. Strange! Like all of these Mulder publications, this book builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes in human terms the lesson of the fable. Here the fairy Elvira is sad over "enjoy now" Pixie Redbeard, angry with him, and deaf to his request. I could not disagree more with the philosophy of this application. This is the first English copy I have found of the eight booklets in the English series. "Mulder" on the cover of the French booklet and of this version is also "Mulder & Zoon" on the title-page here. The title-page there offered only "Albums du Gai Moulin," of which there is no mention here.

1955? The Cricket and the Ant: Fable by de la Fontaine. Story by Ann Lewis and Pearl Peters (NA). Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik (NA). Paperbound. Amsterdam: 1245 A: Brown Watson, Ltd.. $14.30 from Hoonaloon Books, Derbyshire, UK, through abe, April, '12.

Here is a smaller version of a pamphlet listed under "1955?" and published by Mulder & Zoon in Amsterdam. The dimensions here fit more with the size of Eight Fables by La Fontaine, by the same publisher, for which I have guessed the same year of publication. The larger pamphlet's title is The Cricket and the Ant: Fable by Jean de la Fontaine. Here the poet's first name has been dropped. Also there is no author mentioned here for the second story, now called not an "explanatory story" but simply a "story." Like all of the Mulder publications, this booklet builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes in human terms the lesson of the fable. Here the fairy Elvira is sad over "enjoy now" Pixie Redbeard, angry with him, and deaf to his request. I could not disagree more with the philosophy of this application.

1955? The Hare and the Tortoise: Fable by Jean de la Fontaine. With an explanatory Story by Ann Lewis and Paerl (sic) Peters. (Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik). Paperbound. Amsterdam: Mulder & Zoon. $2.50 from Mike and Linda Ladd, Midland, Ontario, through eBay, July, '08.

Here is a parallel to a number of books I have in both English and Dutch. All come from the same publisher and use the same artist. I have listed them all under "1955?" The booklets build off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes the lesson of the fable. Here the mayor commissions two painters, Speedy and Slowcoach, to paint the façade of a house each. The two painters are friends and bet on who will finish first. Speedy dawdles in bed and is amazed to get up to find Slowcoach finishing. In this version, Speedy at least is old enough to have a wife who tries to get him out of bed early enough to compete. I like particularly the pictures of Slowcoach's last client admiring his yellow wall and of Speedy seeing Slowcoach's finished façade. "Mulder" on the cover of this version is "Mulder & Zoon" on the title-page here. "Hunnik" is not mentioned, but his signature is on the title-page and each of the four full-page colored illustrations inside the booklet.

1955? The Ox and the Frog: Fable by Jean de la Fontaine. With an explanatory Story by Ann Lewis and Paerl (sic) Peters. Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik. Paperbound. Amsterdam: Mulder & Zoon. C$5 from Grace Lushman, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada, through eBay, Oct., '07.

Here is the English version of a booklet I already have in French from the same publisher and artist and similarly listed under "1955?" Like the other books in this series, this book builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes the lesson of the fable. Here that story is "The Giant and the Dwarf." The dwarf gets angry when his friend the giant announces that he will have something surprising to offer at the town festival. The giant jumps gracefully from a tower. The jealous dwarf tries to jump down from the roof of a house but plummets like a rock and is seriously hurt. The last illustration is a nice detail from the festival picture. The picture for the fable itself is very good: the bull cries over the exploded frog. The two had been walking to market. The bull himself gives the laughing advice to the frog to blow harder. This is the second English copy I have found of the eight booklets in the English series. "Mulder" on the cover of the French booklet and of this version is also "Mulder & Zoon" on the title-page here. The title-page there offered only "Albums du Gai Moulin," of which there is no mention here.

1955? The Raven and the Fox: Fable by Jean de la Fontaine. With an explanatory Story by Ann Lewis and Paerl (sic) Peters. (Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik). Paperbound. Amsterdam: Mulder & Zoon. $2.50 from Mike and Linda Ladd, Midland, Ontario, through eBay, July, '08.

Here is the English version of a booklet I already have in French from the same publisher and artist and similarly listed under "1955?" Like the other books in this series, this book builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes the lesson of the fable. A tinker exploits a rich man who wants to learn to sing. The tinker promises to teach him, but for a steep price. When the rich man is finally poor from his useless singing lessons, the tinker disappears. The art is cute but sometimes anatomically off. The arm of the fox facing the actual fable seems bent in the wrong direction. "Mulder" on the cover of this version is "Mulder & Zoon" on the title-page here. "Hunnik" is not mentioned, but his signature is on each of the four full-page colored illustrations inside the booklet.

1955? The Town-rat and the Country-rat: Fable by de la Fontaine. Illustrations by J.C. Van Hunnik (NA). Paperbound. London: 1245 A: Brown Watson, Ltd. $11.22 from Hoonaloon Books, Derbyshire, UK, through abe, April, '12.

Here is a fellow member of the Brown Watson series apparently labeled 1245 A. It seems to consist of the stories and illustrations that appeared in Eight Fables by La Fontaine, published by Mulder, perhaps in 1955. I do not have, as I do have for GA, the larger individual pamphlet from Mulder. Like all of the Mulder publications, this booklet builds off of a fascinating concept: a second, longer story echoes in human terms the lesson of the fable. Here the story seems to follow "Jean Pointu et le Forgeron" in Mulder's French version, Le Rat de Ville et le Rat des Champs: Fable de La Fontaine, for which I have also guessed a date of 1955. Sam Spikeyhat wears a pointed cap and works as an apprentice at a pastry shop. He is good but he brags. His blacksmith friend Bill Sparky is just the opposite. Sam invites Bill to dinner in the shop, using his master's utensils and food, but dinner is interrupted, so Sam thinks, by the unexpected return of his master. It turns out to be a false alarm, but for Bill the evening is already spoiled. He invites Sam to his place the next day. There is a great last detail illustration of the two mice in fear. There seem to be six booklets in the series. 

1955? 12: Fables. Kuma. Hardbound. $75 from Johanson Rare Books, Baltimore, MD, Oct., '08.

This is a typical Japanese fable book as I have come to know them. I am guessing that it is in a series of twenty-five books. They are listed on the last page, which for Western readers is where we look for the first page. This book is the twelfth in that series. A title-page is followed by two single-page colored pictures and, between them, a colored double-page. These depict "The Man Who Lost His Axe," "The Bat in the War Between Animals and Birds," and "The Lion Against Three Bulls." As Teresa Johanson notes, these are in bright glossy colors. A T of C then lists the twenty-six fables and the afterword, which includes a detail from Velasquez' portrait of Aesop. Another colored page appears suddenly at 55; it seems to portray "The Ass in a Wolf's Skin" or perhaps "The Ass in a Bear's Skin." There are mysteries here! Again there is an unusual depiction of GA in color on 83. Though the ants live in a human building, both the ants and the grasshopper are in animal rather than human form. Teresa counts 34 illustrations in black and white, all -- like the colored illustrations -- signed "KUMA." I have several questions as I look through the book. What is that giant ball on 91? Might this be the story of Hercules and the mired wagon? Bright, clean pictorial binding. Kuma is especially successful at depicting the eyes of the mice in TMCM (42-50).

To top

1956

1956 A William March Omnibus. William March. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY/Toronto: Rinehart & Company. $10 from Alwyn Books, Rosendale, NY, April, '99.

I knew nothing of William March or his work, and I have been happily surprised by this book. Born in 1893 and active in the shipping business, he had a long bout of hysterial blindness in his thirties and, by writing Company K, discovered a "wry and melancholy imagination," according to Alistair Cooke's introduction. Ten years later, he shedded his interest in shipping and turned entirely to writing. He died in 1954. Two books of his were apparently acclaimed: Company K and The Bad Seed. It fits with his life and temperament that these were the two books he cared about least! His twelve fables (133-51) are both good and strong. After reading so many "fables" that are not fables, I find these works a delight. They have more than a small touch of the sardonic Bierce in them. The parrot in "The Crow and the Parrot" explains that he duplicates what his mistress says and has reached the ripe old age of fifty without hearing a single cross word (135). The wise old tortoise discreetly suggests to the polecat that other animals who shun him are not undemocratic slobs, but rather that the polecat himself stinks a little (136). The terrier sees his one reason for living destroyed when he learns that he is not dragging his fat mistress along (139). The glib and arrogant cock who has told the capon that love is of little importance learns rather, by being penned up with a flock of geese, that "Love is of no importance so long as you can have the particular thing you want" (143). See also "The Unspeakable Words" (147) and "Aesop's Last Fable" (151), which makes a very fitting finish to the section. The Delphians, it turns out, killed Aesop because he kept answering their good questions with transparent stories.

1956 Aesop's Fables. Illustrations by Anne Sellers Leaf. Hardbound. Oversized. Printed in USA. Chicago: Rand McNally. $6.50 from Alice's Antiques, Anchorage, AK, through Ebay, July, '00.

I have worked my way back to a first edition of this extra-large-format book. The illustrations are bright! The spine is disintegrating. See my 1956/59 edition and the undersized 1952 book by the same people with the same title. This copy was inscribed in 1957.

1956 Aesop's Fables.  Brigitte Hanf.  With an Introduction by Robert B. Gates.  #3 of 6.  Hardbound.  Providence: Brigitte Hanf.  $120 from Angus Books, Sheffield, MA, through abe, Nov., '13.

Now here is a find!  Only six copies were printed!  The illustration style is indeed unusual as one can see well in the illustration for the first fable, CJ.  Hanf's moral cleverly points to Midas surrounded by precious things and hungering for simple meat and drink.  A favorite illustration, integrating red with the usual black-and-white, is for "A Fox and a Bramble."  Why seek relief from something that offends everyone?  Why ask an enemy for help?  The fourth of the seven fables here gets a single illustration in two parts on the left-hand page and then a filmy overlay fitting between the text on the right-hand page.  Might this have been a mistake corrected with a separate printing of the illustration?  The illustration for "The Countryman and the Snake" is among the most lavish; it features, as does the smaller title-page illustration, a bird in a tree and a snake at its base.  The finale for this impressive slender book is "Fishing in Trouble Waters" with delightful fish-forms and three energetic human beings.  The pages are double sided.  This book was in a musty place for too long!  Might it have been a student's project for a course?  Brigitte Hanf seems to have gone on to illustrate several books, including Beowulf.

1956 Aisopos: Sieben Berichte aus Hellas: Der Aisopos-Roman neu übersetzt und nach den Quellen ergänzt. Arnolt Bronnen. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag. €10 from Carl Adlers Buchhandlung und Antiquariat, Dresden, August, '06.

This seems an important work on a fascinating subject. The Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature says of it: "The novel Aisopos, his masterpiece, presents a life struggling for freedom and justice." I gather that Bronnen shapes his life of Aesop around seven fictional reports -- from, for example, the slave-handler Ophelion, the philosopher Xanthos, the slave Sosos, and the prostitute Rhodopis. From what I have read, Bronnen sees in Aesop a hero of the kind of humanity Bronnen came to embrace in the communism of the German Democratic Republic. Bronnen himself is a fascinating man who came from being close to Goebbels and involved in a menage-a-trois with him to being a close associate of Bertold Brecht. I tried a few pages from the report of Rhodopis. Bronnen's writing grows out of a strong perspective apt for the character, and the story is engaging. I hope to read more. I am sorry that this work has not, for all I can tell, been translated into English. Helpful to me has been Andreas Beschorner's article in Der Äsop-Roman, edited by Niklas Holzberg. Beschorner corrects Pack Carnes' presentation in his fable bibliography that the work is basically a translation. For Beschorner, Bronnen makes out of the clever slave of the ancient Aesop novel a Marxist pre-fighter for freedom, "who alone with the help of only the word protests against cruel suppression by the monocapitalistic upper class" (my translation). Several pages at the book's end offer first help on reckoning time, names of months, and offices; then textual sources and important works for interpreting them; and finally a fold-out map. 

1956 English Fables and Fairy Stories. Retold by James Reeves. Illustrated by Joan Kiddell-Monroe. Third impression. Dust jacket. London: Oxford University Press. See 1954/56.

1956 Fabeln. Christian Fürchtegott Gellert. Mit Bildern von Elizabeth Shaw. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag. DM 18 from Syndikat, Leipzig, July, '96. Extra copy for DM 4 without dj from Revers Buchladen, Berlin, Nov., '95. 

I took this book as my way to dig deeper into Gellert. I had read some eighteen of Gellert's fables with Andreas Gommermann several years ago in Omaha. Here is a small volume containing some sixty-two fables on 132 pages. I wrote up short notes on each new fable. Some of the best new fables here come early in the book. They include "Tanzbär"; "Gerachter Undank/Der Kuckuck"; "Das Land der Hinkenden"; "Inkle und Yariko"; "Das Pferd u. die Bremse"; " Ein Fuellen"; " Fuchs u. Elster"; " Das Kartenhaus"; "Der guetige Besuch"; "Die beiden Hünde"; "Bie Beiden Schwalben"; "Das Unglück der Weiber"; "Till"; "Die Missgeburt"; "Der Wuchrer"; "Das Pferd und der Esel"; and "Emil." The little drawings are a good contribution. A good example is that for "Der Arme und das Glück" (31).

1956 Fables de la Fontaine 1. Jean A. Mercier. Hardbound. Monaco: Pathé Disques-Albums: S.A.M. Editions Les Flots Bleus. $5 from Luc Gauvreau, Montreal, March, '03. 

This is a combination book that includes a 45 rpm record, with eight fables narrated by Gerard Philipe. Its first gift to me is that it shows the source for the illustrations used on the lovely menus produced for La Compagnie Générale Transatlantique in 1957. These are lovely watercolors! Each of the eight fables has a full-page (7¼" x 7¼") colored illustration: MM, "L'Ane et le petit Chien," WL, "Le Singe et le Dauphin," FC, "Le Petit Poisson et le Pêcheur," "Le Coche et la Mouche," and "Le Loup devenu Berger." My prize goes to the milkmaid! She is also on the cover. I do not know if the "1" on the cover and title-page suggests that there are other books of La Fontaine in the series, or merely that La Fontaine is the first in the disque-album series. The hunt continues!

1956 Further Fables for Our Time. James Thurber. Illustrated by the author. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Simon and Schuster. $20 at Gotham Book Mart, NY, April, '97. Extra copy without dust jacket for $6 at Constant Reader. 

Delightful stuff that deserves mention in my lecture. The best items here are "The Lion and the Foxes," FC and "Variations on the Theme" (together), and GGE. I am not sure which of the illustrations are worth taking: perhaps the title page? Perhaps taking one of the FC variations is the way to work Thurber into a lecture.

1956 Further Fables for Our Time.  James Thurber.  Special edition, boxed.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  NY: Simon and Schuster.  Beck's, Evanston, Sept., '91.

This boxed "special edition" has a woven cloth cover with imbedded designs of Thurberesque animals.  It also features red edges on the pages all around, red print on the spine, and further imbedded designs on the spine.  As I wrote of the first edition, this book contains delightful stuff that deserves mention in my lecture.  The best items here are "The Lion and the Foxes," FC and "Variations on the Theme" (together), and GGE.  I am not sure which of the illustrations are worth taking:  perhaps the title page?  Perhaps taking one of the FC variations is the way to work Thurber into a lecture.

1956 God's Voice in the Folklore: Nonsense Rhymes and Great Legends. Glenn Clark. Illustrations by Marcia Brown. Hardbound. Dust jacket. St. Paul, MN: Macalester Park Publishing Company. $2.98 from Renaissance Bookstore, Palo Alto, March, '95.

"The great tales of fairyland are symbols of our own subconscious nature--allegories of truths too profound for words." Armed with excitement about what can be found in the simplest stories, the author offers various genres and subjects of stories in some eight chapters. After two chapters on God speaking through nonsense verse and nonsense tales, there is a chapter of fables. Following chapters present legends about the world's beginning, good and evil, sex and war, and the triumph of the soul. The last chapter presents the parables of Jesus. The third chapter, "Tales with a Moral" (64-102), is a straightforward presentation of fables grouped according to lessons. The lessons cover protecting oneself from enemies within and without, holding fast to the blessilngs one already has, facing reality and avoiding sham, and getting what one gives. There is a full page of illustrations for TH on 89. The introduction to this section unfortunately says that a version of Aesop's fables was turned into Latin verse by "Phoedius" at the time of Christ. Phaedrus is probably the name intended here. There is an italicized promythium for most fables as well as an epimythium in caps and quotation marks for each.

1956 I.A. Krylov: Sochineniya v Dvuh Tomah (Works in Two Volumes). Edited by N.P. Stepanova. Illustrations from various artists. Hardbound. Moscow: Biblioteka Ogonek: Pravda. $15 from Rubux Russian and Ukrainian Books, Oct., '05. 

Here, in two volumes, are Krylov's works. Apparently all of the fables are in this first volume. (I will keep the second with it in the collection for the sake of completeness.) The fables commence, after a beginning essay by Stepanova, on 37. The fables seem to finish on 222. There are numerous black-and-white illustrations interpaginated among the fables on heavier stock. I find them facing 64, 96, 128, 160, 192, 224, and 256. The illustration for "The Cook and the Cat" facing 128 is particularly strong. Most of the illustrations tend to be photocopies of famous illustrations of important fables. There is a T of C at the back of each volume. What are not fables in this volume seem to be mostly dramas. The cover uses gold for the title and black for Krylov's profile.

1956 Ignacy Krasicki: Fabeln. Nachdichtung von Martin Remané. Illustrationen von Jan Marcin Szancer. Hardbound. Printed in Germany. Berlin: Alfred Holz Verlag. $18.25 from Elizabeth Harris through EBay, March, '03.

From the Polish original Bajki. Forty fables with very nice colored illustrations. Large format: 9¼" x almost 13". A good example of Eastern Block printing in the 50's. The German verse translations are witty and pithy. See my edition of Krasicki's work Polish Fables: Bilingual Edition from 1997 for comments on his fables. Here I find perhaps a quarter of the fables representations of Aesopic material. There are also a number of fine pithy fables after the manner of Aesop, as when the mouse tells the turtle how pitiable he is for having to live in a virtual prison; the turtle answers that it may be narrow and small but it is his (8)! I enjoy the answer of the clever man to the fool who has just asked him what use reason is: "Reason is useful for silence to stupid questions" (41). There is a T of C at the rear.

1956 Isoppu Dowa. Written by Saburo Namachi. Illustrated by Teruyo Endo, Yoshio Hayashi, Shigeki Tsuchikata, and Yasu An. Tokyo: Kodansha. ¥800 at Miwa, Kanda, July, '96.

The title of this booklet with stiff boards for pages means "Aesop's Nursery Tales." The fun starts with a lively Japanese cover featuring the fox weighing two steaks. A number of beloved fables show up here: BC, BF, "The Two Cats Asking the Fox to Be Judge," AD, TB, "The Wolf Asked by the little Goat to Pipe," GA, BW, and "The Woodsman's Lost Axe-Handle." GA and "Mercury and the Woodsman" get two full spreads apiece. Endo signs with "TER," Hayashi with "YO," and An with a chop; Tsuchikata seems not to use a signature.

1956 La Fontaine: Fables. Illustrations de André Jourcin. Hardbound. Paris: Collection Belles Lectures: Éditions Bias. See 1954/56.

1956 La Fontaine: Fables. Imagées par Romain Simon. Canvas-bound. Paris?: Les Albums Roses: Librairie de Hachette. See 1953/56.

1956 Les Fables d'Esope illustrées de gravures sur bois et ornées de titres et lettrines d'apres l'incunable de 1489: LE LIVRE des Subtilles hystoires et fables DE ESOPE. Julien (Macho). Lyon 1489. #2734 of 6000. Hardbound. Collection des Fermiers Généraux. Printed in Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo: Les Fermiers Généraux: Editions du Cap. EUR 14.87 from Etienne Grandchamps, Livres Anciens, Charleroi, Belgium, Sept., '01. Extra copy (#242 of 6000) for 100 Francs from Librairie de l'Avenue, May, '96

This is a beautifully produced book which I look forward to working with as I learn more about Julien Macho's role in bringing Steinhöwel's edition to people like Caxton. The initials are in red, as are several of the beautiful woodcuts. The woodcuts are not as beautiful, I believe, as those of Steinhöwel, from which they were copied. They are far superior to Caxton's. The edition seems to follow Julien's structure (and Steinhöwel's, therefore) exactly. Perhaps half of the fables here are illustrated. The title-page has this delightful continuation of the title: "Que toutes personnes que ce livre vouldront lire pourront apprendre et entendre par ces fables a eulx bien gouverner. Car chescune fable donne son enseignement."

1956 Les plus belles Fables de La Fontaine en relief et en musique. Editions Lucos. Pop-up. Paperbound. Mulhouse: Lucos: Le Petit Ménestral: Editions Lucien Adés. $19.98 from Claude Bru Valois, through eBay, Feb., '11.

This is a worthy combination of a 33 rpm record and six excellent pop-up scenes. The La Fontaine scenes, presented in landscape format with the fable on the flat surface closest to the reader, are about 90% intact. In several, one character or element is unhinged or otherwise defective. The scenes are GA; MM; OF; WL; FC; and TH. The best of them is WL, both for its artistic vigor and for its present condition. FC is also strong and well preserved. This is a heavy book. The small 33 rpm record is in a wrapper attached to the inside of the front cover. Its music is by Hubert Rostaing and the fables are read by François Perier. I will keep the record with the book. A lovely find! 

1956 Medieval Armenian Fables. Joseph Orbeli. Painter M.N. Moks. Paperbound. Moscow-Leningrad, USSR: Izdat. Akademii nauk USSR. $29.98 from Karo Yegyan, Yerevan, Armenia, through eBay, July, '11.

I found this book on eBay at the same time as another, a 2010 paperback by Publishing House Lusabats offering about one hundred fables in Armenian and English and using colored illustrations above and beside them. This book has the same illustrations in black and white around Russian versions of the same fables! There is a curious double title-page offering the same information in Armenian on the left page and Russian on the right page. This edition continues beyond the hundred to include, with illustrations, a total of 137. Were those black-and-white illustrations already done in color back then and only published in color in 2010? This edition goes on to comments, an AI, and a numbered T of C at the back. My, what one finds!

1956 Mes Fables de La Fontaine. Ch. Morellet. Inscribed by the author, 1956. Hardbound. Paris: Chez l'Auteur (Ch. Morellet). €21 from Chapitre.com, July, '04.

I have long delayed cataloguing this little book, and now I have the chance to do it -- and the stimulus of having acquired a new edition. I cannot read all of these "plagiarisms and pastiches," but I have enjoyed some. The book starts out with a letter from the cicada to La Fontaine. Now she is making fables! And, it appears, she has some things to say to the master.. There is a closing AI, and the book has some 147 pages. The fables are divided into two books, the first having sixty-seven numbered fables and the second sixty-four, also numbered. The very first fable tells of the cicada's winter-time fable writing and of her making a fortune. Now her fables "fourmillent" (swarm, with strong etymological and sound ties to "ants") among all the animals. The book starts in fact with eight parodies and developments of GA. I cannot say that I understand any of them perfectly. I can see that Morellet delights in playing with the concepts of a La Fontaine fable, even as it becomes something else. Morellet, like so many Frenchmen, knows his fables so well that the allusions from other fables come hot and heavy. Part of the charm of this little book is that it is not only signed by the author. It is published by him too! These are indeed his fables of La Fontaine.

1956 Mes Fables de La Fontaine. Charles Morellet. Illustrées par Joël. Hardbound. Nantes: Chantreau & Fils. €3.52 from Martine Jabaudan, Bourges, France, through Ebay, July, '07.

This is a shorter book containing fifteen fables published in the same year as its source containing some one-hundred-and-thirty-one fables. This little volume has all the earmarks of a children's book but is not such, I believe. The Morellet touch is already here in the cover picture of a miller transporting an ass in a wheelbarrow that looks a bit like a baby-buggy. The final fable in fact makes that point. This miller invented the kids' car and the stroller! There is a T of C at the end. This is one of several books that I was able to get on French and German ebay while I lived in Mannheim. Here Morellet's first name is Charles and not just "Ch." as in the self-published copy of the same year. Perhaps typical of Morellet is OR on 25. As the reed is boasting of its survival powers, a kid comes along and plucks it to make a toy. Survival, Morellet moralizes, does not require so much skill, but it certainly does not need either gifts of nature or talk. Or again, the dead laborer's sons go out and find the treasure -- in bills of 5000 (francs) that are no longer currency! Yes, work itself is a treasure, and avarice is always wrong (31). There are several nice, if not very challenging, full-page colored pictures: GA (8), TT (32), FM (44), and "Le Chat et le Renard" (52). The black-and-white illustrations are perhaps more challenging. Check particularly the first four. These are indeed Morellet's fables of La Fontaine. Is it not surprising that this volume would be published in the same year as the original?

1956 Mr. Hare. Written and illustrated by Gardell Dano Christensen. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $30 through Interloc from Elaine Woodford, Haddonfield, NJ, Sept., '97.

This is a pleasant transformation of TH. The "race" this time is to bring the most friends in a week to the old log. Hare runs around frantically making a lot of contacts. As the big day approaches, he looks forward to replacing that insidious old tale of TH. (In fact, here Christensen lapses into having the hare say "This was historical" when the word he wants is historic). The result? It would be a hare-like thing to give it away here! Pleasant black-and-white portraits of all the main characters and several black-and-white scenes besides. The book is in excellent condition.

1956 My Poetry Book of Masterpieces in Verse. (Cover: Classics To Grow On.) Selected and arranged by Grace Huffard and Laura Carlisle. Illustrated by Willy Pogany. Introduction by Booth Tarkington. Previously published as My Poetry Book. NY: Parents' Magazine Enterprises. See 1934/56/61.

1956 Myths and Legends of the Ages. By Marion N. French. With illustrations by Bette Davis. Revised edition of A Treasury of the World's Great Myths and Legends published by Hart in 1951. (Both the editors and the artist have changed.) Dust jacket. NY: Hart Book Company. $8 from Dan Behnke, March, '95.

This can seem to be the same as the 1951 book, but there are some fascinating things happening. First, the illustrations have changed. Many of Davis' illustrations seem to be modelled on Hubert Whatley's illustrations in 1951, but they are clearly new. Though pagination and texts have remained the same, the names of several fables (at least) have changed. Thus "The Man and the Boy and the Donkey" (1951) has become "The Foolish Travelers" (168 in both), "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse" has become "The City Mouse's Guest" (177), and "The Foolish Dog and his Reflection" has become "The Dog's Reflection" (178). For the fifteen fables, there are eight monochrome illustrations listed on 10. The most striking is the imitation of Weir's WC on 175. I am surprised that a book can change editors but still have all the same texts.

1956 Nouvelles Fables Humoristiques. Lucien Richard. Preface de Paul Reboux. #453 of 500. Paperbound. Paris: Les Paragraphes Litteraires de Paris. €6.10 from Galaxidion.com, Dec., '03.

Reboux starts off this pamphlet with a scorching indictment of contemporary culture. The only hope, he proclaims, is poetry. "La survivance de la poésie est notre gage de résurrection" (8). Richard offers fifteen fables. He is not in Shapiro's The Fabulists French. I have tried several. In the first, a glow-worm beckons to a snail to come down and enjoy his light (11-12). The snail does so, and the glow-worm immediately attacks, kills, and eats him. The moral says that there are humans more ferocious than the glow-worm. They devour people's goods, flesh, and skin -- and then leave the shell for another to inhabit. I find "L'Enfant et les Poissons" (37-38) curious. A father asks his son to serve himself from the fishes prepared for a meal. He takes the biggest. Mother and daughter likewise serve themselves. The father is left at the end with the smallest fish. The father says that propriety asks that in such situations one take the smallest. "Would you have acted thus?" the son asks. "Yes!" "Good. You got the piece you wanted!" The moral suggests that kids are imbued with a logic that they lose in growing up; that is the confusing part to me. "Le Savant et la Mouche" (39-40) presents a typical Streitgedicht. After the bug has bothered the scholar for a while, the scholar asks if the bug could not do something positive for him, perhaps save him time. The bug answers that the man is wasting time. If he were an athlete, he could gain some honor. As it is, he will remain nothing but a pawn. With that the bug adds a period to what the man is writing. In the moral, Richard exclaims that intellectuals will not attain the renown of athletes. But they will know the pleasure of intellectual achievement. The rest is all nothing but wind. #453 of 500 copies. 

1956 Nouvelles Fables Humoristiques. Lucien Richard. Preface de Paul Reboux. #46 of 500. Paperbound. Paris: Les Paragraphes Litteraires de Paris. FRF 40 from an unknown source, August, '98.

Here is a second copy of this work. #46 of 500. The signature from 43 through the T of C is loose. I include my remarks from the other copy. Reboux starts off this pamphlet with a scorching indictment of contemporary culture. The only hope, he proclaims, is poetry. "La survivance de la poésie est notre gage de résurrection" (8). Richard offers fifteen fables. He is not in Shapiro's The Fabulists French. I have tried several. In the first, a glow-worm beckons to a snail to come down and enjoy his light (11-12). The snail does so, and the glow-worm immediately attacks, kills, and eats him. The moral says that there are humans more ferocious than the glow-worm. They devour people's goods, flesh, and skin -- and then leave the shell for another to inhabit. I find "L'Enfant et les Poissons" (37-38) curious. A father asks his son to serve himself from the fishes prepared for a meal. He takes the biggest. Mother and daughter likewise serve themselves. The father is left at the end with the smallest fish. The father says that propriety asks that in such situations one take the smallest. "Would you have acted thus?" the son asks. "Yes!" "Good. You got the piece you wanted!" The moral suggests that kids are imbued with a logic that they lose in growing up; that is the confusing part to me. "Le Savant et la Mouche" (39-40) presents a typical Streitgedicht. After the bug has bothered the scholar for a while, the scholar asks if the bug could not do something positive for him, perhaps save him time. The bug answers that the man is wasting time. If he were an athlete, he could gain some honor. As it is, he will remain nothing but a pawn. With that the bug adds a period to what the man is writing. In the moral, Richard exclaims that intellectuals will not attain the renown of athletes. But they will know the pleasure of intellectual achievement. The rest is all nothing but wind. 

1956 Old Fables Retold.  A.W. Crown.  Illustrated by P.B. Rennison.  Paperbound.  Leeds: Bright Story Readers #196:  E.J. Arnold & Son.  $14.49 from The Guru Bookshop, Hereford, UK, through abe, July, '15.

This primary school reader offers three fables on 24 pages: "The Donkey and the Lion"; "The Horse and the Fox"; and "The Crow and the Snake."  The first is a surprise to me.  An imported donkey meets a lion in Africa and impresses him with his voice.  They become friends.  Soon the lion begins to wonder about the claimed regal qualities of his friend, who has trouble getting across a river and jumping over a wall.  To demonstrate his strength, the donkey knocks down a wall that had resisted the lion's efforts.  The lions all look up to him.  To confirm his status, he challenges them to move through a field of thistles and begins to eat them.  They gladly accept him as king, particularly because he does not want the game they kill for food.  In the second story, a farmer reluctantly drives off his old workhorse, saying that he will not feed him any more until he comes back stronger than a lion.  A friendly fox offers to help.  The horse must lie perfectly still as though dead.  Fox goes to a lion who has been plaguing local farmers to tell him of the dead horse.  The fox advises the lion to let the fox tie the horse to his tail, so that the lion can drag the dead horse back to his den.  But first the fox must supposedly test the rope by tying the lion's paws together and letting him try to get free.  This horse lives happily to the end of his days.  The third story comes straight from Kalila and Dimna.  The snake is making his home in the hollow of a tree where Mr. and Mrs. Crow are tending their six young.  Mr. Crow devises the plan himself.  That plan in this version calls for the golden anklets worn by the prince who washes in the river.  There is one black-and-white full page illustration for each story.  The covers show pictures of fairies and mushrooms.

1956 The Family Treasury of Children's Stories. Edited by Pauline Rush Evans. Illustrated by Donald Sibley. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co. $.40 at the All Saints' Cathedral Hunger Sale, Aug., '86. One extra copy.

Aesop gets a dozen pages and some rather standard illustrations for a dozen stories--along with two from LaFontaine. I do not see much value here beyond the recognition Aesop gets as a standard children's author.

1956 The Family Treasury of Children's Stories. Cover: Classics To Grow On. Edited by Pauline Rush Evans. Illustrated by Donald Sibley. Published by Doubleday and Company for Parents Institute, Inc., NY. $3.95 at Donaldson's Bookstore, San Antonio, August, '96.

Except for the cover and title-page, this book is identical with the Doubleday edition of 1956, down to the same ISBN number. The cover, newly designed in orange and black, adds the (series?) title and a sub-title ("Fun, Fables & Adventure") and drops the curious "Book Two" that is on the Doubleday cover and spine but nowhere else. The title-page adds for whom it has been published. See my comments there.

1956 The How and Why Program: Hero Unit. Edited by George W. Diemer; Contributing Editor Claude Merton Wise. Various illustrators. Cleveland: L. J. Bullard Co. See 1930/39/49/56.

1956 The How and Why Program: Story Unit. Edited by George W. Diemer; Contributing Editor Claude Merton Wise. Various illustrators. Cleveland: L. J. Bullard Co. See 1930/39/49/56.

1956 The Panchatantra. Translated from the Sanskrit by Arthur W. Ryder. Paperback. Phoenix. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. See 1925/53/56/64.

1956 The Tales of Rabbi Nachman. Martin Buber. Translated from the German by Maurice Friedman. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: Horizon Press. $28 from Joseph F. Scheetz Antiquarian Books, Boardman, OH, Jan., '99. Extra copy with different dust jacket and price for $20 from Dilworth Books, Charlotte, NC, Nov., '00.

This book disappointed me, since I was hoping for something closer to fables. There are six stories in the center of the book, flanked by an introduction to Rabbi Nachman and Jewish Mysticism before the stories and the account of Rabbi Nachman's journey to Palestine after the stories. The stories are long and complex, far too long and complex to let them be fable material. Sometimes the mystical bent seems to make the stories either preachy or contrived. The best of them for me is "The Clever Man and the Simple Man" (71). Though it labors through some twenty pages, its point is a reversal worthy of a good fable. The later dust jacket in the Dilworth copy adds pictures of Buber and raises the price from the original $3.50 to $4.95.

1956 With Uplifted Tongue: Stories, Myths and Fables of the South African Bushmen told in their manner. Arthur Markowitz. Illustrated by Arthur Goldreich. Paperbound. Johannesburg: Central News Agency South Africa. $2 from The Lantern, Washington, DC, Dec., '08.

I have read through the first half of these quaint and engaging stories and am saddened not to find what I would call a fable. There is plenty that an anthropologist would relish here, from repeated phrases like "lifted up his tongue" to cultural taboos about not handling flesh that one is going to eat and about not angering but still outwitting an unwanted suitor. "Rebirth of the Ostrich" (20-21) tells of just that: the rebirth of an ostrich and his movement into the cycles of life. He was reborn from just a bloody feather that had fallen into a pool.

1956/59 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Anne Sellers Leaf. No editor acknowledged. Chicago: Rand McNally & Company. $3 at Biermaier's, Minneapolis, July, '94.

This large-format book reproduces exactly the first version of the undersized 1952 book by the same people with the same title. The only change I can find lies in the endpapers/frontispiece. See my comments there.

1956/63? The Family Treasury of Children's Stories. Edited by Pauline Rush Evans. Illustrated by Donald Sibley. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co. $2 at the Milwaukee Public Library sidewalk sale, Aug., '86.

The title page would lead one to believe that this is the same book as that printed under the same title in 1956. But it drops the first 200 pages ("Fairy Tales, Old and New" and "Fun and Fantasy") and adds 300 pages at the end. The three central sections, including "Fables and Folk Tales," remain unchanged, though about one page off in their ordering. So the spatial relation of picture to fable sometimes changes. The history of publishing is curious!

1956/92 Aesop's Tales. For the first grade elementary school students. Written by Yukio Tsuchiya. Illustrated by Kazuo Ikeda. Tenth edition. Dust jacket. Shinjuku, Tokyo: Kaiseisha Company. ¥200 on the sixth floor at the Koshi Book Center, Tokyo, July, '96.

A sturdy book appropriate for its age group. A T of C and twenty-seven fables follow full-page colored pictures of "The Three Hatchets," BBB (a two page spread), and FS. There is also a guide (198-206) for parents and teachers on how to read the fables. The front cover of the Japanese dust jacket features a lion's head with mice and birds playing about. Among the best illustrations are those on 30-31 for GA. Another great view is of the thief running away with the miser's buried treasure (106-7). On 143-7, the belly and members all have faces! It is a real pleasure for me to recognize every story from its illustrations. And what a bargain for about $2!

1956/95 Aesop's Tales. For the second grade elementary school students. Written by Yukio Tsuchiya. Illustrated by Kei Wakana. Twentieth edition. Dust jacket. Shinjuku, Tokyo: Kaiseisha Company. Gift of Shoji Iiyama, Sept., '96.

Shoji found this (and the accompanying third grade book) for me after I left Japan. What a wonderful gift! The book is structured as is the first volume: a T of C, thirty-one fables, and a guide for parents and teachers follow full-page colored pictures of MSA, "The Lion in Love" (a two page spread), and "The Fox and the Boar." The front cover of the Japanese dust jacket features a fox holding a book and a lantern. Do not miss the muscular tree on 72! There is also a great fox stretching for the grapes on 165. In both the colored illustration at the front and the black-and-white cartoon on 198-99, the boar holds in his hand the tusk that he is sharpening. The story on 43-48 seems to me an adaptation of that of the astronomer who fell into the well: here an inattentive fox falls and gets only words and no help from the wolf. Another story hard for me to recognize at first is on 60-65: the military horse despises the ass but is hurt in war and becomes despised himself. On 66-71 we have the story of the fortune-teller who could not foresee the robbery of his own house. New to me is the story on 200-205: the ass regrets that he has no horns, and the monkey that he has no tail, but the blind mole tells them that he is content in his blindness.

1956/95 Aesop's Tales. For the third grade elementary school students. Written by Yukio Tsuchiya. Illustrated by Tsuyuji Hasegawa. Fourteenth edition. Dust jacket. Shinjuku, Tokyo: Kaiseisha Company. Gift of Shoji Iiyama, Sept., '96.

Shoji found this (and the accompanying second grade book) for me after I left Japan. What a wonderful gift! The book is structured as are the other volumes: a T of C, thirty-five fables, and a guide for parents and teachers follow full-page colored pictures of "The Horse Carrying the Money and the Horse Carrying the Wheat," "The Fox Outside the Lion's Den," and "The Hermit and the Bear." The last of these is funny, as often: the bear is about to destroy his friend by protecting him from a fly! The front cover of the Japanese dust jacket features the driver and his ass carrying a shrine. I found the first two fables difficult to pin down. The first (6-8) is "The Cock and the Jewel" with a new twist. A jewelry shop has burned down, and many seek jewels, but the roosters prefer wheat to jewels. The second (9-16) is 2B told in a long form like La Fontaine's: to the god's question about what they want, all the animals express satisfaction with the bodies they have. Only man wants more—in fact, two bodies and six hands. The god gives him two baskets for others' weaknesses and his own, respectively. On 43-7 there is a rare retelling of the fable about replanting an apple tree that had been doing very well; it of course fails in its new location. The art seems to me simpler than in the earlier books; often there is only an opening design to mark a story. I am delighted to find a rare illustration of the man who vowed a hundred cattle and then offered up little statues (49). I have never before seen the collier and fuller presented as a man and woman (78-9). On 98-99 there is a dramatic glimpse of the frog drowning the rat, with the hawk moving in to seize both. On 190-91, the two pots are pictured as having been on a swinging bridge; the poor earthen pot is only a face and some falling shards.

1956? Esopo: Fábulas Escogidas. Traducidas al Castellano y en Verso por Francisco Pelayo Briz. Reproducción de los Grabados de Noguera de la Edición Original. Paperbound. #377 of 400 copies. Barcelona: Gráficas Aymamí? $45 from Turtle Island Booksellers, June, '96.

This little paperbound book of 105 pages contains thirty-three verse fables, many of them illustrated by Noguera. I found these illustrations, most of which seem frankly derivative: on 25 a frontispiece a la Grandville with two elephants and a notation "1863-1956"; on 39 GA; on 51 "Death and the Old Man"; on 63 FC; on 75 "The Wolf Disguised As a Shepherd"; on 87 FS; and on 99 "The Rooster and the Fox." Most of the pages are still uncut. This book finally helped me to learn that "escogidas" means "selected." Formerly in the Schmulowitz Collection of the San Francisco Public Library. This book is strange in not giving its date of publication or its publisher. I have guessed at the former from the frontispiece's strange collocation of dates and at the latter from the printer's colophon.

1956? Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Raoul Auger. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Paris: Bibliothèque Rouge et Or, Souveraine: Editions G.P. See 1949/1956?

1956? Fables de La Fontaine, Tome I. Présentées par Jean Varende. Illustrées par Félix Lorioux. Hardbound. Paris: Marcus. $9.29 from Friends of Mead Public Library, Sheboygan, WI, Sept., '05.

This book has been a challenge to me! It is a cheaper copy of the Édition Enfantine of the Édition de Luxe by Marcus in 1949. It lacks that book's colophon entries on the verso of the title-page and on the very last page. It also lacks its dust jacket. The cover is differently done, illustrating FG, while the back cover replaces the seal of Beuchet and Vanden Brugge with the colored image of Mother Goose departing from her little friends with her book under her wing. (This illustration is still, as in the fancier edition, on 52.) Perhaps one-third of the fancier book's colored illustrations are here rendered in black-and-white, like the second of GA's three images. In that fancier version, everything is colored. The order of some images is also rearranged, as happens with the latter two images of GA. Some images are simply dropped, and the order of fables is changed. Thus FC appears there with the illustration on the right on 12-13. Here the illustration is on the left, and FC appears on 22-23. This book, then, contains fifteen fables. Among the prize-winning illustrations, I would say, are WL and FS. Also remarkable is the hen on 32 who is being simultaneously choked, plucked, and gutted! There is frequently a small chorus of ladybugs watching a fable's central scene. The surprises in this book continue to multiply; if one looks under the gift-seal of the Mayor of Montreal, one finds that the book was inscribed by her in 1957. It is clear to me now that there are two primary divisions of the fable-work of Lorioux: early (done in and around 1921) and late (published during the years 1949-60). In the work of the latter period, Marcus published books in three formats. The largest format includes the Édition de Luxe and this copy. Since these copies seem to be extensive and almost comprehensive, I am puzzled by the "Tome I" on the cover and spine here; it does not appear on the title-page. There is also no reference to a first or second volume in the Édition Enfantine.) A middle format seems to involve three books that each include some fables from the larger-format editions. I have Volumes I and III of this middle set. Volume I reproduces six fables from the larger-format editions and does some of the illustrations in black-and-white. Some illustrations are simply dropped from the larger editions; MM for example has only two illustrations here instead of the three there. The black-and-white illustrations in this middle-format edition are not necessarily the illustrations done in black-and-white in the cheaper large-format edition. For example, MM there has its first illustration in color, but it is in black-and-white here. Volume III of the middle format reproduces two fables from these larger versions but adds four others. The third format,dated 1960, is smallest in size. The title-page illustration of Mother Goose reading to the animals is done in blue-and-black, as are the endpapers. This volume presents ten fables, many of them in a two-page spread including a full-page colored illustration. Exceptions include MM, done on one page with one black-and-white small design, and DW, TH, and "The Heron," which take three pages each. The images in the later Lorioux, by contrast with his 1921 Hachette edition, show a new sense of texture, derived perhaps from someone like Dufy, and a great sense of play in the little creatures around the central figures.

1956? Jean de La Fontaine: Fables. Volume I. Illustrations de Pierre Monnerat. #1072 of 3000. Geneva: Pierre L'Aîné. $22.50 at Bell's, Palo Alto, Aug., '94.

There are four very nice (water-color?) illustrations in this volume: FC (48), the bird wounded with a feather (88), GGE (192), and "The Young Widow" (224). The wounded bird and the widow are the best of these four. The wounded-bird illustration is particularly poignant because the hunters are dressed as aristocrats; they are hunting at best for fun. Many pages are uncut, but the illustrations are all accessible. Not listed in Bassy.

1956? Jean de La Fontaine: Fables. Volume II. Illustrations de Pierre Monnerat. #1855 of 3000. Inscribed in June, 1957. Geneva: Pierre L'Aîné. $22.50 at Bell's, Palo Alto, Aug., '94.

There are four very nice (water-color?) illustrations in this volume: of the picky heron (16), the two friends (64), the old man and the three young men (168), and the league of rats (228). The first and third are the best of these four. Many pages are uncut, but the illustrations are all accessible. Not listed in Bassy. Note that the two volumes are not numbered the same in this limited edition.

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1957

1957 A Hundred Aesop's Fables in Verse. By A.M.P. Dawson. With illustrations by Anthony Puig. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Nr. Brighton, Sussex: A.M.P. Dawson, Rowlands. $58 from Alibris, May, '00.

I am amazed a year later that I paid $58 for a little book like this. No doubt I was following my rule: "If you have not seen it before, take it now!" The book starts with a T of C and a list of the seventeen black-and-white illustrations. Of these the dust-jacket-illustration of LM (repeated on 29) might be among the best. It is well focused. The illustration for FK (31) suggests their licentiousness well, though it is not mentioned in this version. Here there are three kings of the frogs: log, eel, and heron. "The Monkeys and Their Mother" (26) is like the original Aesopic cry of wonder at nature's surprises. "The Farmer and His Sons" (26) is tight and very effective. In "The Horse and the Stag" (34), the stag is not expelled. Another wonderfully tight little presentation is "The Hawk, the Kite and the Pigeons" (35). The same is true for "The Two Bags" (38), which takes just six lines. The boy in BW (40) has fooled the townspeople a dozen times before. "The Ass and the Grasshoppers" (47) is another paradigm of tightness. I find these texts much more readable than I had expected. Dawson is to be commended in particular for keeping his fables short. He does not indicate where he gets his Aesopic material.

1957 Alte Chinesische Fabeln. Übertragung ins Deutsche von Käthe Dschao. Fung Dse-kai. Hardbound. Peking: Verlag für Fremdsprachige Literatur. DM 18 from Buchhandlung & Antiquariat Engel, Dresden, July, '01.

This is the German version of Ancient Chinese Fables, published by the same press in the same year. Comparison yields some surprises. The illustrator is named Feng Tse-Kai there and Fung Dse-kai here. The foreword there by Chang Yu-Luan becomes a Nachwort here without attribution. The T of C also moves from the front to the back of the book. Though the sequence of stories is the same in the early pages, there is some rearrangement along the way. Most stories in German occur six pages earlier than in the English version. Some titles are not translated exactly. Thus "The Bird Killed by Kindness" becomes here "Tödliche Gastfreundschaft" (5). Let me repeat comments I made there. There are sixty-two fables with simple illustrations. The covers are speckled boards. Only fables are included here that are both ancient and still in use today. The golden age of Chinese fables was the third and fourth century B.C. Typically, these fables play off of varying perceptions of reality; they invite to a new kind of perspective, often a more comprehensive one. Some of my favorites include "Tödliche Gastfreundschaft" (5), "Der Verdacht" (10), "Kann Man auf Hasen Warten" (20), "Schild und Speer" (21), "Die Schnepfe und die Muschel" (30), "Im Schatten der Grossen" (31), "Die Falsche Richtung" (32), and "Der Göttliche Stör" (53). "Der Blinde und der Lahme" (41) corresponds exactly to our fable. There is a fascinating political twist on 56: the people reinterpreted rulers' fables and so made base metal into gold. "Die Schnepfe und die Muschel" (30) seems differently attributed here, unless "Dschan Guo Tsö" is another name for "Warring States Anecdotes"; this story also has an asterisked comment without an asterisk in the text.

1957 Ancient Chinese Fables. Translated by Yang Hsien-Yi and Gladys Yang. Illustrations by Feng Tse-Kai. Foreword by Chang Yu-Luan. Printed in the People's Republic of China. Peking: Foreign Languages Press. Gift of Linda Schlafer, June, '94. Extra copy for $16 from Barbara and Bill Yoffee, March, '94.

Sixty-two fables with simple illustrations. The cover is pictorial paper-covered boards. Only fables are included here that are both ancient and still in use today. The golden age of Chinese fables was, in their phrase, the third and fourth century B.C. There is a fascinating political twist on 4-5: the people reinterpreted rulers' fables and so made base metal into gold. Typically, these fables play off of varying perceptions of reality; they invite to a new kind of perspective, often a more comprehensive one. Some of my favorites include "The Bird Killed by Kindness" (10), "Suspicion" (16), "The Man Who Sold Spears and Shields" (27), "Waiting for a Hare to Turn Up" (29), "The Snipe and the Mussel" (37), "The Fox Who Profited by the Tiger's Might" (38), "The Wrong Direction" (39), and "The Holy Eel" (60). Note "The Blind Man and the Lame Man" (48), which exactly corresponds to our fable.

1957 Basni.  Sergei Michalkov.  Illustrated by Evgenia Racheva.  Hardbound.  Moscow: Gosydarstvennoe Izdatel'stvo Khudozhestvennoi Literatury (State Publisher of Artistic Literature).  $1 from sunalex222 on eBay, Dec., '11.  

This book spurred me on to try finding more information on Michalkov.  Wow, he was a star!  He wrote and rewrote the lyrics to the Soviet/Russian national anthem three times!  He fathered two children who were movie directors of quality.  He was decorated and redecorated by his country through epochs!  This purchase is remarkable because I bought the book on eBay for $1 and shipping from wherever cost $24!  This seems to be my earliest Michalkov.  It is hard for me to distinguish if the illustrations are two-color or three-color, but they are obviously from Rayev.  The two-page title-page spread is typical of Rayev's work: Ass, hare, and pig on the left toast two animals on the right.  I suspect that those on the left will become victims!  In addition to the full-page illustrations, there are designs next to the initials of stories.  There are also post-fable designs like the bill on 36.  Rayev's illustrations in fewer colors are a promise of the great things to come in many colors.  A good sample is the full-page illustration on 53 of two cats, one large and celebratory and the other holding a mouse with a bow on its tail.  Is this latter an offering of homage?  Oh, to know the story!

1957 Corpus Fabularum Aesopicarum. Volumen Prius. Fabulae Aesopicae soluta oratione conscriptae. Edidit August Hausrath. Fasciculus prior. Addenda et corrigenda excerpta et collecta ab H. Haas. Leipzig: Teubner. DM 20 from Antiquariat Henke, Berlin, July, '95.

Compare this book with its 1970 revision by Hunger. The "Addenda et Corrigenda" on the last six pages seem to present the material for the re-editing one finds there. There is an "Ordo Fabularum" beginning on XXXIII. This fascicle contains the first 181 fables; the division between fasciculi seems to fall between two "nukteris" fables. Might Volume II have been foreseen as poetry?

1957 Die Gans und der Fuchs: Drei Dutzend Fabeln von La Fontaine, Goethe, Heine und Andern Schülern des Aesop. Auswahl und Vorwort von N.O. Scarpi. Mit zwölf Zeichnungen von Hans Fischer. Hardbound. Zurich: Diogenes Verlag. DM 9 from Fundgrube fuer Buecherfreunde, Hamburg, July, '96. 

This is a fine, playful, well selected group of thirty-six fables on 75 pages, with a T of C at the end. Scarpi announces his criteria: he chooses rhymed animal fables that please him. Each fable gets a fresh page. There are about twenty fabulists represented. Among my favorite fables here are these: Gellert's "Der Tanzbär" (23); Pfeffel's "Die Zwei Hunde" (34); Lichtwer's "Der Esel und der Dohle" (39, with a good illustration) and "Der Löwe und der Wolf" (40); Gleim's "Der Löwe und der Fuchs" (46); and Iriarte's "Die Ente und die Schlange" (63). This small (4¾" x 6½") hardbound book has a nice fox-and-goose confrontation on its cover.

1957 Ezop & Hollar: Bajky z Ezopovych Fabuli a Brantovych Rospravek Jana Albina ze Sborniku Prostejovskeho Z R. 1557. Jiri Kolar. Hardbound. Dust jacket.  Prague: Nase Vojsko. Gift of Jaromira Rakusan, May, 2002.  Extra copy without dust jacket for $26 from Zachary Cohn, Prague, through Ebay, June, '01.

What a rich collection of images! Organized apparently in three books of Aesop according to Romulus, each containing 20 fables, then 19 "new" fables, and finally 28 fables attributed to three sources that I cannot make out. After an essay at the back on Aesop and then on Hollar, there follow an AI, a list of illustrations, and a T of C. I have trouble deciphering exactly what we have here. My best guess is that it is a reproduction of a fable text edition of 1557 with the (later) illustrations of Hollar, who seems to have been born in Prague in 1607. The structure seems to be quite similar to Steinhöwel's. Here there are 77 illustrations, listed on 275-76. Most are labelled "J.O." (John Ogilby, I presume). According to Bodemann, Hollar did 57 illustrations in Ogilby's 1665 edition; the other 24 illustrations in that edition were copies of the work already done by Cleyn for Ogilby's 1661 edition. Hollar also did 18 new illustrations for Ogilby's 1668 "second collection." Three others there were engraved after Hollar's earlier work. Seventeen others were done by Barlow, and one was done by Joshua English. Altogether in that second collection, there were 39 plates containing 41 illustrations. Only partly because I can do nothing with the Czech texts, I enjoy these marvelous full-page illustrations! To page through is to meet good old friends. Let me mention a few of the best: DS (19), TMCM (27), LM (43), "The Stag at the Pond" (105), "The Head and the Members" (117), "The Crow and the Ram" (163), "The Crab and Her Mother" (217), and CW (227). New to me and striking is the illustration for "The Tortoise and the Eagle" (213), which has the pair above the globe of the earth at satellite-like height. What a great perspective on what is happening here! And is that BC on 255? The mice seemed to have gathered a petition for the cat.

1957 Fabeln. Retold and Edited by Peter Hagboldt, with Vocabulary by Werner F. Leopold. Illustrated by Susan Perl. Pamphlet. Boston: Graded German Readers: Original Series Revised #2: D.C. Heath and Company. $2.29 from A.J. Van Andel, Binbrook, Ontario, Canada, through eBay, Feb., '03.

This edition updates Hagboldt's original second book of the series. The series has changed names from "The Heath-Chicago German Series" to "Graded German Readers: Original Series Revised." The cover has moved from a sedate blue canvas to a lively interaction of brown figures against a cream background. The script has changed from Gothic to Roman. There is a pleasant addition of simple but spirited cartoon-like designs by Susan Perl. A vocabulary has been added at the back. I see no change in the texts themselves. I notice only now that the very first fable is a variation of OF that puts the frog with a lion instead of an ox. I will include--and, where necessary, edit--my comments here from the earlier edition, especially on the unusual last four fables. The booklet contains thirty fables on some 35 pages, with footnotes along the way and vocabulary exercises at the end based on sequential groups of fables. The last few fables seem to deviate from or move beyond traditional Aesopic material. Thus the shepherd asks the nightingale to sing; she answers "Do you not hear the loud frogs?!" "Yes," he answers, "but ony because I do not hear you" (33). The life of Aesop's play on the tongue as the best and worst of things becomes a fable here to the same effect (33). Two dogs pledge true friendship and even give each other their "hand" on the matter, until a piece of meat is thrown in front of the two of them (34). One ass serves as servant of the lion and goes with him through the forest. A fellow ass greets him as brother, only to hear back "Get out of the way. I do not know you" (35). After the fables there is a set of riddles (35-37).

1957 First Fairy Tales.  Mildred L. Kerr and Frances Ross.  Illustrations by Mary Sherwood Jones and Ray Evans, Jr.  Hardbound.  Columbus: Charles E. Merrill.  See 1946/57.

1957 Fourteen Fables of Aesop.  Thomas James.  Illustrated by Dick Binzer.  #47 of 66.  Hardbound.  Cincinnati: University of Cincinnati.  $125 from Marco Panella, Brattleboro, VT, March, '16.

The title continues "From the very earliest versions of Caxton and the translations of Thomas James."  This book was designed and printed by Dick Binzer in fulfillment of the requirements set forth by the College of Applied Arts at the University of Cincinnati for a BS in Design and, as the colophon facing the early T of C says, "for the fun of it."  Good for you!  Fourteen fables are presented.  Five have full-page two-color illustrations: CJ, CP, GGE, FG, and TH.  In fact, most of these spill over onto the text page that they face.  There are two colors in fact on almost every page in the book.  The pages are folded once, and the book is very nicely produced, with an embossed A on the front cover.  This collection is a perfect place for an unique book like this!

1957 Friedrich Wolf: Fabeln.  Zeichnungen von Heinrich Strub.  Hardbound.  Berlin: Alfred Holz Verlag.  €8.40 from Antiquariat & Neubuch Blechtrommel, Jena, through zvab, July, '14. 

There are 23 fables here, ranging from a few lines to five pages in length, each with a black-and-white design.  The fables are understandable, regularly humorous, and often quite pointed.  The tree asks the wind with what right the latter strips the former of his leaves.  Then the wind asks the tree with what right the latter stands in the former's way (10).  A city man with a knife meets a farmer with a loaf of bread.  The former demands "Give me a piece of bread and I'll lend you my knife, and you can cut a piece for yourself."  "Lend?  You have to give me the knife!"  They argue till sundown and are still hungry.  "I will give you a piece of bread.  Lend me your knife."  "No!  Give me the whole loaf and you'll get the knife."  That is what they do, and again one has the bread and one has the knife (13-14).  A fox, a wolf, and a badger once fell into a trap-hole.  They got out and started to argue about whether they should fill the hole to save their comrades.  Badger and wolf fought; the fox tried to break them up and was bitten for his trouble.  Hunters came and tied all three up together (32-34).  A missionary pleads for help from his homeland for his starving flock.  Folks at home send flour and bibles, but his superiors insist that the bibles arrive first.  The flock cannot read them.  When the flour arrives, many thousands need neither the bibles nor the flour (45).  The cartoon-like illustrations are helpful.  Best of all may be the delightful cover illustration: How similar is this long-nosed man to a stork!  T of C at the back.

1957 Funny Fables. Comic book. Printed in USA. NY: Red Top Comics: Decker Publications, Inc. $7.99 from Bob Reid, Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY, through Ebay, August, '99.

I will list one number of this comic book to have an example in the collection. This issue includes "Midas," "The Boy Who Lost His Size," "The Wolf Boy," "The Princess with the Horrible Hairdo," "Rumpelstiltskin," "David and the Dragon," and of course advertisements for great stuff and for ways to gain fifty pounds of mighty muscles.

1957 Jean de la Fontaine: Selected Fables. Translated by Eunice Clark. Illustrated by Alexander Calder. Dust jacket. NY: George Braziller, Inc. $25 from Landau Books, NY, May, '93. Extras for $40 at Brattle Book, June, '91 and, without dust jacket, for $24.95 from Renaissance, Summer, '91.

A new edition, without any acknowledgement of the Quadrangle Press original of 1948. Note that one extra copy cost me as much as the original eventually would cost. I see little change from the original here. This is a lovely book in whatever edition! See further comments under the original edition.

1957 Meshalim (Fables). Bar Aba. Illustrations by Yorani. Hardbound. $65 from Meir Biezunski, Israel, Nov., '06.

This is a collection of original fables by the Jewish Russian writer Bar Aba. There are some eighty fables on 160 pages. To judge from the illustrations, the subjects include animals but also household objects. Yorani's illustrations are line drawings, roughly after the fashion of newspaper cartoons. 

1957 Neuf Fables de la Fontaine. Lars Bo. Limited edition, accompanied by the card of Dominique Wapler, Éditeur, Club du Livre Sélectionné. Paperbound. Paris: Club du Livre Sélectionné: Club du Livre Sélectionné. $30.65 from Alibris, Jan., '03. 

I enjoy this work. The cover and frontispiece of this unstapled pamphlet show La Fontaine extending out from an oval portrait and offering a book of fables. The frontispiece notes that this copy was printed for Monsieur Jean Gallut, on his birthday, and offered with the best wishes of the Club du Livre Sélectionné. I am guessing that the director of the Club, Dominique Wapler, had this book done in 1957 and then presented it to each of the members of the club during that year on his or her birthday. And the next year he had a different booklet done. In any case, this is a delightful selection of fables well illustrated. Each of the nine fables tends to have two illustrations. Compare the two illustrations for "La Jeune Veuve." There is a liveliness to the widow as she looks at a horseman (14) that we did not see as she wept before her husband's hearse (12). Again, the second illustration for DW shows the wolf romping away from the chained dog (17). I congratulate the artist on the imaginative conception of the hand reaching out from the casket for the praying priest in "Le Curé et le Mort" (18). This may be the best "flour caked" cat I have seen (23), and the old rat will not be fooled. The rear view of Raminagrobis is excellent before (28) and after (30). Before, we see the rabbit and weasel contesting; afterwards, we see their bones. The declawed, defanged lion is a sad sight (33). The artist follows La Fontaine's lead in putting together "The Heron" and "The Daughter." His first image shows the two of them; his second image shows what they end up with: an ugly old man and a snail. The only fables among the nine that I have not yet mentioned are "The Bear and the Lover of Gardens" and "The "Animals Sick from the Plague." Those illustrations are good too!

1957 Nursery Tales. A Golden Storytime Book. Edited by Elsa Jane Werner. Illustrated by Tibor Gergely. NY: Golden Press. See 1948/57.

1957 Open Doors. Ullin W. Leavell and Mary Louise Friebele. Aesop illustrated by Sheilah Beckett. Golden Rule Series #2 (The Modern McGuffey Readers). NY: American Book Co. $3 at Renaissance, March, '88.

Six fables, each ending a section of this early grade-school reader. See 40, 76, 108, 144, 179, and 216. Simple colored pictures in a mass-produced book. TH on 216 presents a good graphic illustration of what dawdling means. GA is curiously softened: the ant says nothing in winter, and the grasshopper learns he was wrong to laugh at her.

1957 Read-Aloud Nursery Tales. Retold by Caroline Kramer. Illustrated by Phoebe Erickson. NY: Random House. $6 at mad dog and the pilgrim, Denver, March, '94.

An oversized book containing some ten children's stories, the last of which is TMCM (59). Both mice are female and dressed, the city mouse elegantly. The country mouse lives under the eaves of a farmhouse. The cat and the cook attack together, and the mice rush "into their hole." There are five lively illustrations for this fable; like all the illustrations in the book, they alternate between colored and black-and-white. There is a repaired tear on 23-4 and some slight tearing on 59-62.

1957 Tell Me a Story. An Anthology. Charles Laughton. Source for Aesop not acknowledged. Dust jacket. NY: McGraw Hill. $2.50 at Georgetown University, Feb., '89.

A surprise welcomer on a visit to Georgetown. Pages 151-68 go to fables, including Thurber, Aesop, George Ade, and William Saroyan. "Fables in my view are almost the most skillful and amusing form of stories ever." Aesop is "a very funny man." Laughton would read Thurber to people first and then Aesop, and they would then laugh at him too.

1957 The Blue Dog and Other Fables. Anne Bodart, translated by Alice B. Toklas. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Great Britain. London: Chatto & Windus. $28 from Wellread Books, Northport, NY, June, '99.

This is a delightful, penetrating set of seventeen short short-stories featuring the interior of animals. They are, I suppose, a kind of fantastic fiction, but with just the right kind of truth-seeking fiction. Toklas writes that she "is completely absorbed by her desire to express the truth--her fear is the false" (7). I am surprised to learn that they were written by Bodart when she was fourteen and fifteen years old. The flyleaf talks about the title-piece having the "unabashed sentimentality of that master of the pathetic fallacy, Hans Christian Andersen," and the comment is appropriate. Besides this piece, my favorites are "The Diary of a Dog," "The Verdict," "The White Line," and "A London Night."

1957 The Fables of La Fontaine. Illustrated by Simonne Baudoin. Translated from the French by Marie Ponsot. Dust jacket. NY: Grosset & Dunlap. $6 at Constant Reader, Summer, '86. From Aberdeen in DC for $5, June, '89.

Straight copying of the original; the colors are slightly better there than here in a book I come to like more each time I look at it. Do not miss the fun of the dressed-up fish. Classy stuff!

1957 The Fables of La Fontaine. Translated by Marie Ponsot. Simonne Baudoin. Hardbound. NY: Grosset & Dunlap. $2.99 from James R. Harper, Granville, OH, through eBay, Sept., ‘07.

Here is a third copy of a book I have enjoyed since the beginning of my collecting of Aesop. This copy belonged to the public library in Newark, Ohio. Besides considerable wear, the only difference from my two earlier copies is that this has a library cover. That is, it takes the colored picture from the dust-jacket of the finer version and makes it into a simple green-and-brown design. The spine is crudely reinforced inside, and the corners are protected with masking tape. As I wrote then, this book represents a pleasant American copy of the 1955 French original. Do not miss the fun of the dressed-up fish. Classy stuff!

1957 The Giant Nursery Book. Selected and Illustrated by Tony Palazzo. Garden City, NY: Garden City Books. $2 at Renaissance, Feb., '87.

This book is in very poor shape; it contains lots of scribbling and is missing its back cover. The Aesop material included is: DLS (80), "The Cat and the Fox" (82), AD (124), "The Cat and the Hen" (126), "The Eagle and the Animals" (148), and "The Lioness" (182). The tellings are sometimes poor and overly brief. The illustrations are at least large!

1957 The Riddle of the Black Knight and Other Tales and Fables Based on the Gesta Romanorum. By Thomas B. Leekley. Illustrations by Johannes Troyer. Hardbound.  Second printing.  Dust-jacket.  NY: The Vanguard Press. $6.95 from Phoenix Books, Bowling Green, Ky, through eBay, Nov, '99.

Six fables are grouped together and introduced as such. The introduction (aptly titled "What Sort of Book Is This?") observes "very few writers who have read in the Gesta have left it without thinking, 'What fine stories! Perhaps I can tell them better!' And many have proved that they could" (x). "The Dog and the Donkey" is told at a leisurely pace, with three attempts by the donkey and an unusual conclusion to the story: the master, berated by his wife for breaking a chair, befriends the donkey! "On Just Being Yourself" is a replay of "The Tiger and the Brahmin": a tiger threatens a kind elephant, and a lion intervenes. It plays on whether a being ever does more than just act out its nature. Only "The Dog and the Donkey" works off of a familiar Aesopic subject.

1957 The Riddle of the Black Knight and Other Tales and Fables Based on the Gesta Romanorum..  Thomas B. Leekley.  Illustrations by Johannes Troyer.  Apparent first printing.  Hardbound.  NY: Vanguard.  $12 from Teresa Wilson, Bakersfield, CA, through Bibliofind, August., '97.

This is a first printing, without dust-jacket, of a book already included in the collection from its second printing.  As I wrote there, six fables are grouped together and introduced as such.  The introduction (aptly titled "What Sort of Book Is This?") observes "very few writers who have read in the Gesta have left it without thinking, 'What fine stories!  Perhaps I can tell them better!'  And many have proved that they could" (x).  "The Dog and the Donkey" is told at a leisurely pace, with three attempts by the donkey and an unusual conclusion to the story:  the master, berated by his wife for breaking a chair, befriends the donkey!  "On Just Being Yourself" is a replay of "The Tiger and the Brahmin":  a tiger threatens a kind elephant, and a lion intervenes.  It plays on whether a being ever does more than just act out its nature.  Only "The Dog and the Donkey" works off of a familiar Aesopic subject.

1957 The Scholarly Mouse and Other Tales. By Dal Stivens. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Sydney, Australia: Angus and Robertson. $8 from Ravenswood Books, Redwood City, Jan., '03. 

These eighteen stories are fun, but are mostly not fables. In the first story, for example, what is a dog to do when he and the world discover that he can talk? There are three particularly good fable developments here. In "The Dedicated Hare" (5), the title-character wants to wipe out the dishonor from the old race with the tortoise, but he ends up losing to tortoise's "big brother," a tank! "The Talkative Turtle" (34) plays with both TH and TT. Pelican and stork will fly the turtle far enough away to find a hare whom he can race. In the meantime, they hope to teach him the value of silence. The end here is not what one would expect.. "Replay" (39) plays with DLS, but this ass has trained himself to roar!

1957 Two Fables of Japan. By Suneatsu Mushakoji; translated by Jun-ichi Natori. Illustrated by Ryusei Kishida. Paperbound. Printed in Japan. Tokyo: Hokuseido. $5 from Denver Book Mall, April, '98.

A spring trip to a Creighton alumni gathering in Denver gave me a chance to look for books, and here is one that I found. The two dramas here are, I believe, extended fables: "The Man of the Flowers" and "The Rabbit's Revenge." There is a good deal of the miraculous and magical at work, but at base the first story is one of a sustained confrontation between generosity (the title-character, Mr. Righteousness) and avarice (Mr. Greed). The special take of the story is on the power of each of these to interpret the same events differently. The former can sprinkle ashes, and they turn to flowers; the latter sprinkles ashes, and they turn to worms. The second story is about tricking the wicked trickster. Wicked badger talks his way out of being served up as stew by Grandpa and Grandma. He fakes a conversion, kills Grandma, takes her form, and serves her up as badger-stew to Grandpa. Rabbit, a good friend of Grandpa and Grandma, convinces badger that he is stupid and so deceives him in turn--and so gets revenge against him for what he did to Grandma. The expressive and copious illustrations for both stories are all marked "1917." Towards the back of the book, there is a pasted-in sticker with a stamp on it. It gives the price of this book as $1.

1957 Uralte Weisheit: Fabeln aus aller Welt. Ulm woodcuts. Paperbound. Bonn: Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband E.V. DM 28 from Kunstantiquariat Joachim Lührs, Hamburg, July, '98. 

Here is a 1957 reprint of the work done originally in 1955. I see no changes except the date on the title-page and an added line on the colophon-page at the end. Here are my comments on the original: This is an excellent paperback meant to help classroom work on fables throughout grade school. There are fifty-seven fables overall; they are divided into three sections, with each section meant for one of three levels in grade school (Grundstufe, Mittelstufe, and Oberstufe). The selection and approach are both excellent. Notice that this book has been printed and produced by German banks; would a bank in the USA ever produce a book of fables for use in schools? I have made a note of the fables that were new to me as I read through this booklet. They include "Der Affe und der Reisvogel" (29); "Der Pfau und der Hahn" (32); "Falke und Huhn" (35); "Der Fuchs und die Gans" (36); "Der Goldfasan" (38); "Büffel- oder Ziegenbraten" (41; a very good story from Indonesia); "Der Affe als Schiedsrichter" (42; this traditional Aesopic fable is presented as from Korea); "Die weise Krähe" (55; this story is something of a mystery to me); "Der Lockvogel" (56); "Hamster und Ameise" (59); "Der Affe und die Nuss" (59); "Der Reisende und sein Helfer" (66); "Der Arme und das Glück" (72); "Die beiden Pflugscharen" (72); "Unübertrefflicher Sparsinn" (73); "Das Testament" (74); and "Die Schnecke" (75).

1957 25 Fabulas de Esopo. Versificadas por Antonio García Muñoz. Ilustraciones de Alfonso. Uncut pages. Paperbound. Madrid: Editorial Cultura Clasica y Moderna. £40 from Robin Greer, London, Oct., '07.

I do not know of Muñoz, but the illustrations and titles seem to indicate straightforward Aesopic fables. Among the best of these black-and-white ink drawings I find: FM (11); "The Dog and the Ass" (19); TB (45); "The Greedy Man and the Envious Man" (53); and "The Monkey and Her Children" (63). The sun is included in the story of the greedy and envious man. Jupiter sends him to earth to check up on things. This fable is seldom illustrated, in my experience. "La Mona y sus Hijos" is also rarely illustrated; the illustration here is rather gorey. Is "La Credulidad" (79) really from the Aesopic tradition? It seems to tell the tale of a faithful young wife who believes a story about a woman who has been turned into a dog because she spurned a lover's pleas. T of C at the back. Errata slip laid in.

1957/59 Jungle Doctor's Monkey Tales. Paul White. With seventy-nine illustrations by Graham Wade. (c)1957 by The Paternoster Press. Second printing of the American Edition. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. $3.50, Summer, '93.

Similar to, and in a series with, Jungle Doctor's Fables (1955/66). Nine stories present "monkey wisdom," which is the kind of foolishness that Christianity overcomes. The stories are sometimes good, sometimes belabored. To me the morals seem always forced. The first story makes the good point that the one way for a goat to become a lion is to be eaten by a lion. The second story has a monkey in a lion's skin.

1957/61 Open Doors.  Ullin W. Leavell and Mary Louise Friebele.  Illustrated by Sheila Beckett.  Fifth printing.  Hardbound.  NY: Golden Rule Series #2 (The Modern McGuffey Readers):  American Book Co.  $5 from Walnut, Iowa, June, '14.

Here is the 1961 printing of a 1957 book I first found twenty-six years ago.  As is only appropriate, this copy is in better condition than that.  Still, it has a "damp basement" odor.  It was used in Atlantic, Iowa, community schools.  From all I can tell, nothing about the book has changed.  As I wrote then, the book has six fables, each ending a section of this early grade-school reader.  See 40, 76, 108, 144, 179, and 216.  Simple colored pictures in a mass-produced book.  TH on 216 presents a good graphic illustration of what dawdling means.  GA is curiously softened:  the ant says nothing in winter, and the grasshopper learns he was wrong to laugh at her.  There is a tear on 41.

1957/63 Animal Stories. Compiled by Carol Denison. Illustrated by Frank Szasz. A Golden Storytime Book. NY: Golden Press. $2 from Maelstrom in San Francisco, June, '89. Second copy for $2.75 at Renaissance Airport, July, '89.

LM gets two pages here--and two of Szasz's poorest pictures! Otherwise a sprightly book with good colored pictures.

1957/66 Anekdoten und Erzählungen. Retold and Edited by Peter Hagboldt, with vocabulary by Werner F. Leopold. Illustrated by W.T. Mars. Pamphlet. Boston: Graded German Readers: Original Series Revised #3: D.C. Heath and Company. $2.29 from A.J. Van Andel, Binbrook, Ontario, Canada, through eBay, Feb., '03.

This third booklet of the series contains various anecdotes and narratives. The last of them, "Die Esels Schatten" (31), builds off of a fable by the same name. This five-page narrative expands with a good deal of detail and with an added phase. While the narrator and the ass-owner argue, the ass heads back to town, leaving both in the broiling sun.

1957? Grigore Alexandrescu: Fabeln. Deutsch von Lotte Berg. Illustriert von Eugen Taru. Hardbound. Bucharest?: Editura Tineretului?. DEM 20 from Dresdener Antiquariat, Dresden, July, '01.

This German version gives me a chance to understand what was going on in the identical Romanian version of the book: Grigore Alexandrescu: Fabule (1957?). I had already enjoyed the thirty-six illustrations immensely. Now I can see that Alexandrescu offers some strong social critique. 1) The fox as preacher is not listened to when he preaches morality; when he preaches fear and animals' misery, even the king respects him and asks what he wants. The answer? A turkey or two! 2) The elephant takes over as king and appoints the wolf to look after the lambs. A great picture shows him sleeping on the throne while the lambs plead their case against the violent wolf. Does the elephant command the wolf to take only skin but no hair? 3) A land without mirrors receives a sudden influx of them and has to decide to break them all on pain of death! 4) A monk-cat trusted by mice finally eats one at a Lenten ball. 5) In a typical Enlightenment fable, a blackbird asks an owl who does not like the light how he will ever get used to it if he does not come out into it. 6) A captured vulture talks the chickens into freeing him so that he can protect them. Once freed, he immediately attacks them from above. Notice the great claws extending from the vulture's boot (22). 7) The ass tells the nightingale to take him as an example of how to sing. I think the last line from the departing nightingale is loaded: "Even if I took your advice, I still could not be an ass." 8) Various waterbirds, including the goose and duck, discuss how best to prepare an unusually great and good fish for the regal swan. After much discussion, they decide that they cannot decide too hastily. By the next morning, the fish has started to spoil and has been eaten by crabs. Enjoy the excellent illustration of the rotting fish (28). 9) The fox preaches King Elephant's injustices, is invited to court to take over the chickens, and goes off the next day complaining of a chicken bone caught in his throat. 10) A court dog proclaims in enlightened fashion the equality of all beasts and promptly turns on a poor mongrel who congratulates him on his liberal views. Alexandrescu: "We promote equality, but equality with the great." 11) King Wolf once sermonizes all his nobles about their injustices. A clever old fox asks where he got the lamb's pelt he is wearing, well pictured on 35. 12) A lion locked in fierce warfare with a leopard learns from a prophetic ape that he must sacrifice his strongest in order to win. The rabbit is chosen. Alexandrescu asks if there is any land in the world where the lion is chosen in a case like this. 13) A young calf hears that uncle ox has done well and wants to ask him for some hay. On his first visit, he is not admitted. On his second, he overhears the ox declaring that he has no relatives. 14) A cat learns from a tiger that having great ancestors sheds only a bright glow on today's progeny. 15) King Bear soon learns that deeds, not words (like those from a wolf), show true friendship. Is that a wolf or a fox thumbing his nose in the last illustration (53)? I can find no indication of a publisher! As in the Romanian version, each fable is dated. The four dates are 1832, 1838, 1842, and 1862.

1957? Grigore Alexandrescu: Fabule. Ilustratii de Eugen Taru. Bucharest: Editura Tineretului. $40 from Drusilla's, Baltimore, Nov., '91.

My first Romanian fables. Alexandrescu seems to have composed in the 1830's and 1840's. The animals are delightfully humanized in the thirty-six colorful illustrations. The best of the illustrations include: a dead or expiring fish (28), a wolf with a lambskin slung around his neck (35), and a wolf thumbing his nose (53). "Mirrors" (12) offers an intriguing idea for a fable. This copy was in the Library of Congress.

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1958

1958 Aesop's Fables. Pictures by Art Seiden. Printed in USA. NY: Wonder Books Washable Covers: Wonder Books. $4.99 from Terry Grosvenor, Newport, RI, through Ebay, June, '00.

How have I missed this book until now? It seems a standard children's reading book, about 6½" x 8". The original cost in 1958 was $.25. Notice which fables are chosen; they seem a standard set for the mid-1900's: FC, MM, GA, TH, CP, AD, FS, "The Eagle and the Fox," OF, LM, and DS. Here the moral for MM is "Do not count your chickens before they hatch" and for CP "Necessity is the mother of invention." The FS moral is new to me and very good: "Many go out for wool and come home shorn." In OF, the ox does not kill any small frogs, and the father-frog knows the size of an ox.

1958 Aesop's Fables: Collection of simplified stories. Simplified by Rasim Gemici. Illustrated by Saim Onan. Paperbound. Ankara:

This little (about 4½" x 6") pamphlet contains eleven fables, as the closing T of C makes clear. Besides the fables, there are four pages of texts and a page of music and lyrics for "Au Clair de la Lune." I am not sure how the last item fits into the book. The front cover has a colored illustration of FC. Inside, there is a monochrome illustration for each of the fables. The illustration for FC inside (4) seems to present the fox in a state of levitation or lift-off like that of a rocket ship! The illustration for BC (21) puts cute trousers on a couple of the mice. This is a real ephemeral find! Why would Turkey in 1958 be publishing an English-language fable book?

1958 Alte Newe Zeitung: A Sixteenth-Century Collection of Fables. Eli Sobel. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Folklore Studies 10. Berkeley: University of California Press. $17.50 from The Book House on Grand, Dec., '95.

Here is a fascinating work on a fascinating collection by the man who was, I believe, Pack Carnes' Doktorvater. Sobel writes an excellent introduction. In it, he points out that the first problem that the Alte Newe Zeitung has had is that researchers tend to presume that it was a newspaper, whereas it is a collection of fables. Published in 1592, likely by Georg Rollenhagen, it remains today in only one known copy, in Göttingen. Each of its 54 fables has a tripartite form: Der Welt Lauf (promythic teaching), Exempel (fable), and Lehre (moral). After a straightforward presentation of the German fables, helpful notes starting on 47 have their own format for each fable, including a helpful English summary, story-type numbers, fable numbers, and bibliographical references. The English summaries make these notes the place for many of us to start with this booklet. I found one fable, #10, different from the tradition in that the argument here is about securing a house rather than a city. Eleven other fables were new to me, including #23, which Sobel says he finds nowhere else. A wolf who stole a lamb is pursued and drops the lamb, but tells his pursuers that he will report their carrying arms. In other fables new to me, a father helps his son to see that few friends are true, since only one will help him dispose of a corpse (#12). A mother swallow dissuades her daughter from marrying a bird from a different habitat (#13). A boar chooses to live with sheep, over whom he can dominate, but he finds that they are no help for protection (#15). A raven is killed by a coiled snake he attacks; his pleasure becomes his downfall (#21). A kite caught in a snare kills the mouse who chewed through the snare to free him (#25b). A lazy bee dies miserably in the cold, while the hard-working drones live through the winter from the fruits of their labors (#32). The wolf is unsuccessful in urging the porcupine to lay aside his quills (#38). A clever crow sees through a fox pretending to be dead: "My eye is probably as false as your heart" (#41). In a battle between quadrupeds and birds, the latter pact with fish and the former with worms and reptiles. But the fish will not leave the water, and the reptiles cannot follow where the animals go. A truce leads to an appeal to Jupiter to make a decision. None is ever made, the two sides go their separate ways, and as always the strong rule the weak. My favorite here is about the young man who picks up a hot piece of iron and burns himself. He is told to spit on the metal first to see if it hisses. At an inn, he spits into the hot stewed fruit. It does not hiss, but still burns his mouth. He is told to watch the vapors. He comes to a stream and almost dies of thirst waiting for the vapors to clear (#39).

1958 Chanticleer and the Fox. By Geoffrey Chaucer. Adapted and illustrated by Barbara Cooney. Translation by Robert Mayer Lumiansky. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. $1.75 at A-Z Books, North Platte, Jan., '94. Extra copy with a bright gold and white cover for $.25 from the Milwaukee Public Library Bookseller, Jan., '98.

An enjoyable large-format book for children. The whole argument about dreams is dropped from the original. The best illustrations are those introducing Chanticleer and the fox (about 12 and 20, respectively).

1958 Chanticleer and the Fox. By Geoffrey Chaucer. Adapted and illustrated by Barbara Cooney. Translation by Robert Mayer Lumiansky. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell. $0.55 from Karen Thiessen, Wheat Ridge, CO, Oct., '02.

This book reduplicates the red-covered 1958 original from the same publisher, with several slight changes. The front cover's black design against the red background has changed: the rooster is much smaller, and the fox is now pictured too. Inside, the reverse of the title-page not only gives two new ISBN numbers, but it also adds that the book is published in Canada by FitzHenry and Whiteside Limited, Toronto. As I mentioned a propos of the original, the whole argument about dreams is dropped from the Chaucer version. The best illustrations are those introducing Chanticleer and the fox (about 12 and 20, respectively). The inside illustrations here are very sharp. This copy was previously owned by Jefferson County Schools.

1958 El Libro de las Fábulas: Recopilación de las más famosas fábulas de Samaniego, La Fontaine, Iriarte, Hartzembusch, etc. Ilustraciones de Llaverías. Tercera edición. Hardbound. Barcelona: Editorial Juventud. See 1930/58.

1958 fables. La Fontaine. Collection des Cent Chefs-d'Oeuvre. Dust jacket. Printed in Belgium. Paris: Robert Laffont. $4.28 at Any Amount of Books, Charing Cross Road, July, '92.

Several unusual features mark this book, which is a handy, straightforward presentation of LaFontaine's complete fables. First, there is an excellent engraving of a lion and stork on the cover, unfortunately hidden by the matter-of-fact dust jacket. Then there is a set of fourteen judgments on LaFontaine by critics. Finally there is a coupon from the publisher which--together with ten others--will get its holder a free book in the series. Start saving now!

1958 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Maraja. Hardbound. Paris: Collection Arc-en-ciel 4: Editions de la Rue des Carmes. €20 from Madame Guibert, Bouquiniste, Quai de la Tournelle, Paris, July, '07.

There are twenty-one fables in this very large-format edition (9¾" x 12¾"). There is a T of C at the back. The book has all six full-page illustrations that I know from my two Fables de La Fontaine editions in the "Collection Contes et Couleurs" by Fratelli Fabbri of 1964 and 1965. Those repeaters are LM, TH, "Le Cheval et l'Ane," AD, TMCM, and "Les Deux Chevres." Not there but here are "Le Chat, la Belette et le Petit Lapin" (15) and TB (44). The sparkling-eyed rats of TMCM remain my favorites among the animals pictured here. The sprawled-out hunter before the bear on 44 makes a strong second-place finish. From the Japanese Aesop's Fables of 1982 I learn that Maraja's first name is Libico.

1958 Fables de La Fontaine I. Illustrations de Félix Lorioux. Hardbound. Printed in France. Paris: Marcus. $25 from Turtle Island, Berkeley, March, '98.

This book makes a selection of fables from Lorioux' larger-format and larger-volume book of the same title by the same publisher in 1949. Here he handles six fables, with a single dramatic colored image for each. In three cases he adds a black-and-white image, each of which copies a colored image from the 1949 edition. The fables here include FS, "The Heron," MM, "The Two Cocks," "The Weasel and the Little Rabbit," and TMCM. The lovely title-page illustration repeats the title-page illustration from 1949: a stork reads a La Fontaine book to a lively assortment of listening animals. These images in the later Lorioux, by contrast with his 1921 Hachette edition, show a new sense of texture, derived perhaps from someone like Dufy, and a great sense of play in the little creatures around the central figures. Notice that this book has a "I" after the title on its spine. I hope I will be finding a II and maybe even a III sometime!

1958 Fables de La Fontaine III. La Fontaine. Illustrations de Félix Lorioux. Hardbound. Paris: Marcus. $7.60 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Oct., '06.

This book offers two fables from Lorioux' larger-format and larger-volume book of the same title by the same publisher in 1949--WL and "L'Huitre et le Plaideurs." It adds four others: "Le Cochet, le Chat et le Souriceau"; "Le Coche et la Mouche"; "Les Poissons et le Cormoran"; and "Le Lièvre et les Grenouilles." Like its companion volume I, which I have, the book presents six fables, with a single dramatic colored image for each. In three of the "new" cases he adds a black-and-white image. The lovely title-page illustration repeats the title-page illustration from 1949 and from the companion volume in 1958: a stork reads a La Fontaine book to a lively assortment of listening animals. Like Volume I, this book has a final black-and-white image on the last page: Mother Stork heads home after reading to the assembled animals. In the 1949 book, that final illustration is colored. The front cover shows frogs leaping into the water as the rabbit approaches; the back cover shows a sinister cormorant and his mouthpiece, the crayfish. I find the illustrations here particularly well executed for "Le Coche et la Mouche" and "L'Huitre et le Plaideurs." These images in the later Lorioux, by contrast with his 1921 Hachette edition, show a new sense of texture, derived perhaps from someone like Dufy, and a great sense of play in the little frogs, fish, and birds around the central figures. Now I need to find the "II" in the series!

1958 Folk Tales from China: Second Series.  Illustrations by Mi Ku.  Hardbound.  Peking:  Foreign Languages Press.  $15 from West Coast, July, '15.

There are a number of fables here.  TT (9) is told as a Tibetan story, and there is a good black-and-white image to enhance it.  "Plop!" (30) is the familiar story of the end of the world.  In this case the repeated line is "Plop is coming!"  "The Rabbit's Revenge" (33) is the KD story about the lion seeing another lion in the well and attacking him.  "The Fox Who Pretended to Be King" (36) is the familiar story of the blue jackal.  "The Fox, the Monkey, the Hare and the Horse" (82), a Han story, has the age-old story turn of tying one's tail to the tail of a wild beast; here it is the fox that ties his tail to that of the horse.  Good luck, fox!  "There are black-and-white images along the way, but the best images in the book are colored images claiming a full page for themselves.  "The Tiger Finds a Teacher" (78) has perhaps the best illustration in the whole book (80).  This story has the motif of the teacher not teaching the prize student quite everything that the teacher knows.  In this case, the cat does not teach the tiger how to climb trees.  Among my favorite images is "The Hare and the Merchant" (20): friendly animals get two visiting moneymakers to attack each other.  "The Water-Buffalo and the Tiger" (85) features a fight between the two, but the former surrounds himself with a layer of straw and a layer of mud that protect him in the battle.  The buffalo then invites the tiger to three bites followed by three butts from the buffalo.  The tiger naturally accepts.  The story has a colorful illustration.

1958 Hanen og raeven fra The Canterbury Tales.  af Geoffrey Chaucer.  Oversat af Cecil Bodker.  Genfortalt og illustreret af Barbara Cooney.  Hardbound.  Copenhagen: Carlsen/Illustrationsforlaget.  95 Kroner from Paludan Bogcafe, Copenhagen, July, '14. 

Here is the Danish version of "Chanticleer and the Fox" published by Thomas Y. Crowell in 1958.  This version features the same cover picture showing the main characters, including both the rooster and the fox.  It even uses the same design for its endpapers.  As I wrote there, this is an enjoyable large-format book for children.  The whole argument about dreams is dropped from the original.  The best illustrations are those introducing Chanticleer and the fox (about 12 and 20, respectively).  How nice to meet an old friend in a new place!  A web reference seems to confirm that it was published in 1958.

1958 Haus in der Heimat: Lesebuch für die Volksschulen in Baden-Württemberg: Drittes Schuljahr. Bilder und Zeichnungen von Nikolaus Plump. Zweite Auflage. Hardbound. Karlsruhe; Offenburg; Stuttgart: Kultusministerium des Landes Baden-Württemberg. €8.50 from Richard Kulbach, Heidelberg, July, '14.

Here is a typical third-grade reader from Germany in the 1950's. It contains a wealth of stories with colored and monochrome illustrations. I find three fables grouped together. LM, TB, and FC. TB is told in the version by Wilhelm Curtmann. The other two are attributed to Aesop. Only TB gets an illustration, but that a good monochrome depiction of the friend up a tree (102). By comparison with the art in the second-grade reader, "Von Frühling zu Frühling," this art is more typical of what I found in Germany in the 60's. The publishers seem to be a consortium of three in three cities: Gemeinschaftsverag: Badenia-Verlag; Paul Christian Lehrmittelverlag; and Union Verlag.

1958 I.A. Krylov: Basni. Woodcuts by M. Choorakobov. Hardbound. Moscow: Goschdarstvennoe Izdatepbstvo. $15 from Sergei Pashin, Tallinn, Estonia, through eBay, March, '06.

The special feature of this book lies, I believe, in the strong woodcuts. The first of these is a full-page frontispiece showing Krylov himself in top hat in the midst of animals, a farmer, and a rustic. Then each of the nine books gets a woodcut of its own on that book's title-page, starting with OF on 3. These are "Dogs' Friendship" (31); "Geese" (59); "Hermit and Bear" (87); "Soup of Master John" (109); "The Industrious Bear" (139); BF (165): "Dog and Horse" (193); and "Wolves and Sheep" (215). There is both an AI and a T of C at the end. A surprising feature of this book is that it uses various kinds of paper for various sections of the book. The cloth cover pictures a scene of two peasants and a (dead?) bear.

1958 John Ploughman's Talk or Plain Advice for Plain People. By C.H. Spurgeon. London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, Ltd. See 1953/58.

1958 La Fontaine: Fables. Romain Simon. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Paris: Idéal Bibliothéque: Hachette. $10 from an unknown source, June, '09.

I have worked my way back to a first printing of this book, which I had found printed in 1961 and again in 1973. The three printings were done, in chronological order, in France, Monaco, and Belgium. This copy is in fine condition and includes a dust jacket. One young reader did not comment here, as there, on 94 in reference to the drawings of mother and children "You forgot the nose!" I will include some of my comments from the 1973 edition. This pleasant children's book handles fifty-nine fables well, with both black-and-white and colored illustrations. Among the best colored illustrations are those presenting WL (24-25), "Le Geai Pare des Plumes du Paon" (89), and the weeping hare (125). There are some strange combinations of colored and black-and-white illustrations on facing pages (e.g., 16-17, 20-21, and 60-61). The best of the black-and-white illustrations may be the nice spread given to the two rats on 180-81. There is a T of C at the end.

1958 LâFonten: Hikâyeleri. Necat Akdemir. Paperbound. Istanbul: Isil Kitap ve Basimevi. $24.99 from Canan Ertan, Ankara, Turkey, through eBay, Oct., '06.

Here are 48 pages of La Fontaine following upon a nice colored picture on the cover of several animals together, including a crow with something in his mouth, a fox, a lion, a monkey and a donkey. The illustrations seem offhand to be copied from elsewhere. On the inside back cover someone worked out some easy math problems. On the outside back cover is a list of other offerings from this Istanbul publisher. 

1958 Le Roman de Renard.  Aquarelles de Simonne Baudoin.  Hardbound.  Tournai: L'Age d'Or:  Casterman.  €5 from a Buchinist, Paris, August, '14.  

I knew and admired Baudoin for her "Fables de la Fontaine," published by Casterman in 1955.  I recognized her style immediately.  I found a 1987 reprint of the 1958 original early in an afternoon of shopping the Buchinists along the Seine.  Later in the afternoon I found this copy of the 1955 original edition.  As in her "La Fontaine," Baudoin's illustrations show a great use of color.  The cover illustration -- Renard with a fish -- gives a good sense of Renard's mischievous character.  That character continues to be a focus when Baudoin illustrates Renard himself.  She also does a good job of showing the plight of his wounded, bandaged victims.  The cover here uses an older script for the title and artist.  It also specifies that the illustrations are aquarelles.  There are green endpapers here, not to be found there.  There are some fingerprints on the title-page.  And the last page includes a "1966" that may indicate a particular printing of the 1958 edition.

1958 Lev i Yarlik. Sergei Michalkov. Illustrated by K. Romova(?). Moscow: Sovetskaya Rossiya. $5 at Gryphon, NY, March, '93.

Here is another reason to learn Russian! This magazine contains thirty-five fables (or so I presume) with delightful pictures, six colored, very reminiscent of Eugenia Rachev's work. I would swear for example that the cat showing rabbits to the table in the sixth story is Rachev's. Another great illustration features the male pig getting a physical examination from a peacock. Is that title "Lion and Label"? For more of Michalkov, see Basni B Prose (1958).

1958 Man and His World. Through Golden Windows #10. Edited by Nora Beust, Phyllis Fenner, Bernice E. Leary, Mary Katherine Reely, and Dora V. Smith. Eau Claire, WI: E.M. Hale. $1.50 at Renaissance, March, '88.

"The Rivers and the Sea" (9) and "The Moon and Her Mother" (45) are included in this upper grade reader. I think I had never heard of the latter story.

1958 Morals from the Beastly World. William Garnett. Illustrated by Angelica Garnett. Dust jacket. Hardbound. London: Rupert Hart-Davis. $15.77 from I.K. Watson, Birmingham, UK, through abe, March, '00. 

Seven short stories, presented on a total of 133 pages. A pencilled note on the front endpaper seems to suggest that this book was limited to a run of 2000. The flyleaf's proclamation is true. The protagonists of these fables "are not disguised human beings but real animals whose beastliness is all their own." They are animals looking out for themselves in a tough world. The first story, "The Little Birds who Knew too Much" (7), shows how the sparrows and other birds drive out the bullfinches who supposedly have eaten too many tree buds. The bullfinches' self-explanations, though to a reader highly plausible, only elicit more violent and suppressive reactions from the other birds. The bullfinches leave under pressure, and the rest of the birds are left to fight a losing battle against the man and his many means against them. A spirited horse tells off her accomodating uncle and spites everyone around her, until a dirty gypsy boy communicates well with her. The King of the Tigers declares all four-footed meat off limits. Feast-days, black-markets, and human villages allow them, though, plenty of good old meat, and they soon revert to their old ways. A rat outdodges the fate predicted for him by the owl, but is then eaten by a cat. "Fate can wait." The stories are remarkable for the narrator's insertion of himself into the animals. I have enjoyed the four I have read.

1958 Mostly Magic. Through Golden Windows #1. Edited by Nora Beust, Phyllis Fenner, Bernice E. Leary, Mary Katherine Reely, and Dora V. Smith. NY: Grolier. $3.50 at Second Chance, Omaha, June, '92.

Three fables--LM, SW, and TH--appear on 285-87, with an illustration for each by Artzybasheff from his 1933 Viking Aesop. The versions are from Winter's The Aesop for Children (1919); the only exception to word-for-word repetition of the model gets this text into trouble when it substitutes a comma for "when" in this moral to the second fable: "Gentleness and kind persuasion win, force and bluster fail." This is a companion volume to Man and His World (1958); how strange it is then that, despite common authors, plates, and year of publication, they are from different publishers!

1958 Mrs. Knight's Stories for Children. Alice Marie Knight. Illustrated by James E. Seward. Dust jacket. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. $.50 at Beck's, Evanston, Sept., '91.

A one-word treasure. There is one non-Aesopic fable besides TB (27). This latter has two morals: a standard Aesopic one about true friends and then an added Christian moral that begins "The Lord Jesus is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother." "Sticketh"!

1958 Once-Upon-a-Time Story Book. By Rose Dobbs. Illustrated by C. Walter Hodges. NY: Random House. $5 at Renaissance, July, '91.

Big story book with enjoyable illustrations, not least in the one Aesopic story of MSA: "Please All--Please None" (6). T of C is cleverly included on the inside covers. Also in the collection is a copy with weaker paper that has faded in color. This edition has strong white paper.

1958 Once-Upon-a-Time Story Book.  Rose Dobbs.  Illustrated by C. Walter Hodges.  Hardbound.  NY: Random House.  $1.50 from Hooked on Books, Colorado Springs, March, '94.

This book is identical with another already in the collection except that this copy has thinner paper that has faded.  Big story book with enjoyable illustrations, not least in the one Aesopic story of MSA:  "Please All--Please None" (6).  T of C is cleverly included on the inside covers. 

1958 Pinocchio, The Story of a Marionette by C. Collodi and Aesop's Fables. With introductions by Elizabeth Morton. No illustrator named. Philadelphia/Toronto: John C. Winston Co. Green covered: $7 at Bookman's Alley, Sept., '93. Extra for $.50 at the Burlington Franciscan book basement, Dec., '86. Brown covered: $4.50 at Shakespeare, Aug., '94. Extra for $3.50 from Booksellers et al, March, '88.

This edition looks with its big print and many illustrations as though it is meant as a library book for pupils in the early grades. The eighteen Aesop illustrations are detailed but uninspired engravings signed by TF or FT, perhaps borrowed from some earlier edition. There are two illustrations (of a rooster and a ring and of WC) of low quality in full-page color. New to me is "The Frog and the Hen" (236).

1958 The Fables of Aesop and La Fontaine. Illustrated by W. Cremonini. Retold by Shirley Goulden. Copyright by Fratelli Fabbri, Milano. Des Moines and NY: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, affiliate of Meredith Press. $6 at Second Chance Antiques, Omaha, Oct., '89.

A wonderful find sitting out on the table waiting for me! Excellent condition. Nineteen fables with witty and exuberant watercolors, many featuring cute insects having fun around the central action. The best illustration is of the grasshopper on 6. FS pictures are reversed. The milkmaid marries a farmer and so gets all that she had dreamed about! The grapes fall from laughter to a waiting rabbit after the fox goes away. The version of GA will not work, I think: the grasshopper has become serious and now sings for his supper! A delight.

1958 The NEW Wolf in CHEF'S Clothing. The picture cook and drink book for men. Robert H. Loeb, Jr. Illustrated by Jim Newhall. Dust jacket. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company. See 1950/58.

1958 The Poems and Fables of Robert Henryson, Schoolmaster of Dunfermline. Edited from the Earliest Manuscripts and Printed Texts by H. Harvey Wood. Second edition, revised. Hardbound. Printed in Great Britain. Edinburgh & London: Oliver and Boyd. See 1933/58.

1958 Von Frühling zu Frühling: Lesebuch für die Volksschulen in Baden-Württemberg: Zweites Schuljahr. Mit Holzschnitten von Hermann Burkhardt. Hardbound. Karlsruhe; Offenburg; Stuttgart: Kultusministerium des Landes Baden-Württemberg.8.50 from Richard Kulbach, Heidelberg, July, '14.

Here is a lovely second-grade reader from Germany in the 1950's. It contains a wealth of stories with lovely simple multi-colored illustrations. I find several fables among the stories. "Der Fuchs und der Hase" by Ludwig Bechstein (125-6) has two phases. The fox and hare work together to get the young woman's bread-basket when the hare plays dead on the road and the fox steals the basket. But the fox does not want to share. Then the hare recommends catching fish with the fox's tail. Once he is frozen in place, the hare eats all the semmels in front of him and urges the fox to wait until the spring thaw. Another fable is "Der Elefant und der Schneider" by Johann Josef Liessem (128). The tailor always treats with a piece of fruit the elephant passing by to get water. One day the tailor is in a bad mood and sticks the elephant instead with his needle. The elephant makes no response but comes back and douses the tailor with a trunk's worth of water! "Die beiden Ziegen" by Albert Ludwig Grimm has a particularly strong illustration (129). Both goats fall into the rushing mountain stream and barely survive. "Kater und Sperling" by Karl Plenzat has the caught sparrow advising the cat to clean his mouth before he eats the sparrow (132). Of course the sparrow flies away as the cat cleans its mouth. Ever since then, cats eat first and then clean their mouths. The publishers seem to be a consortium of three in three cities: Gemeinschaftsverag: Badenia-Verlag; Paul Christian Lehrmittelverlag; and Union Verlag.

1958/61 La Fontaine: Fables. Images de Romain Simon. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Monaco. Paris: Idéal Bibliothéque: Hachette. $10 from Pierre Cantin, Quebec, through Ebay, March, '00.

Now I have an earlier edition of this book from Hachette that I have already listed with its 1973 printing. See my comments under 1958/73. This printing was done in Monaco in 1961. The book had belonged to a school library in Hull, Quebec.

1958/62 The Lamb and the Wolf. Edited by Tso Wen. Drawings by Yen Keh-fan. Third edition. Printed in the People's Republic of China. Peking: Foreign Languages Press. $2.25 from Magers and Quinn, Minneapolis, March, '96.

This is not a rendition of Aesop's fable, though it does start out as an argument over whether the lamb may drink this water when the wolf says it belongs to him. When the male wolf pledges to eat the female lamb this evening, she sits disconsolate in front of her house. The cat, the puppy, the white horse, and the elephant all promise to come by and help. Their help is like that of the Bremen musicians--attacking the wolf in the dark from their various positions. The last attack comes from the elephant, who throws the wolf into the river. I like these illustrations very much, particularly the combination of soft color and sharp line.

1958/69 La Fontaine: Fables. Illustrations de Daniel Billon. Les Grands Livres Hachette. Paris: Librairie Hachette. Gift of Susan Carlson, Dec., '90.

A lively and well used children's book. Seventy-eight fables in LaFontaine's original verse, with an AI at the back. The illustrator puts the ass on top of the poles (53)! The best of the fifteen colored illustrations are FC (cover), MSA, and FM (88). Were the black-and-white illustrations originally in color? The best of them are WC (69), "The Weasel in the Granary" (75), and "The Old Woman and the Two Maids" (109).

1958/69 The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey. Retold by Katherine Evans. Illustrated by Katherine Evans. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Third printing. Chicago: Albert Whitman & Company. $.55 from Karen Thiessen, Wheat Ridge, CO, through Ebay, Oct., '02.

A red cloth cover has the title and images of a donkey and a boy. As elsewhere in her Whitman books, Katherine Evans uses a crayon-like style, alternating black-and-white and colored spreads. Young Peter is the first to ride. The critic in town stands in the doorway of a hotel marked "Hotel de l'Âne." Both Peter and Papa lean over to get the donkey onto their backs. The people refuse to buy a donkey so silly that he has to be carried. Peter and Papa walk home with the donkey and realize that, if you try to please everyone, you please no one. With these books purchased from Karen Thiessen, I now have five of Evans' books by Whitman--only to learn in their pages that the total of her fable books is now up to seven.

1958/73 La Fontaine: Fables. Images de Romain Simon. Idéal Bibliothèque. Printed in Belgium. Paris: Hachette. $12 from Kelmscott, June, '95.

This pleasant children's book handles fifty-nine fables well, with both black-and-white and colored illustrations. Among the best colored illustrations are those presenting WL (24-25), "Le Geai Paré des Plumes du Paon" (89), and the weeping hare (125). There are some strange combinations of colored and black-and-white illustrations on facing pages (e.g., 16-17, 20-21, and 60-61). The best of the black-and-white illustrations may be the nice spread given to the two rats on 180-81. One reader comments aptly on 94 in reference to the drawings of mother and children "You forgot the nose!" T of C at the end.

1958/80 The Water-Buffalo and the Tiger. Folk Tales from China (Second Series). Illustrations by Mi Gu. Third edition. Paperbound. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. $2.50 at Maelstrom, San Francisco, Aug., '94.

Twenty-two stories, including some well-known fables and a number of aetiological tales. There are simple black-and-white designs added on to text pages and lively full-page color inserts. Among known fables are TT (9), "Plop!" (30; this version is about, not the end of the world, but the simple declaration "Plop is coming!"), "The Rabbit's Revenge" (33; about showing the lion his own reflection in a well), and "The Fox Who Pretended to Be King" (37; this version adds a message to mother that first gives the indigo king away as a normal fox). "The Tiger Finds a Teacher" (78) is about the cat who keeps one trick from her dangerous pupil, namely how to climb a tree. "The Water-Buffalo and the Tiger" (85) is the well-known story of "three bites for three butts." "Why White Rabbits Have Long Ears and Pink Eyes" (93) is something of a tar-baby story. One of the best stories, new to me, is "The Chachatatutu and the Phoenix" (13).

1958/87 Le Roman de Renard.  Simonne Baudoin.  Hardbound.  Tournai: L'Age d'Or:  Casterman.  €5 from a Buchinist, Paris, August, '14.  

I knew and admired Baudoin for her "Fables de la Fontaine," published by Casterman in 1955.  I recognized her style immediately.  I found this reprint of the 1958 original early in an afternoon of shopping the Buchinists along the Seine.  Later in the afternoon I would find a copy of the 1955 original edition.  As in her "La Fontaine," Baudoin's illustrations show a great use of color.  The cover illustration -- Renard with a fish -- gives a good sense of Renard's mischievous character.  That character continues to be a focus when Baudoin illustrates Renard himself.  She also does a good job of showing the plight of his wounded, bandaged victims.

1958? The Man, The Boy, and The Donkey. Retold by Katherine Evans. Illustrated by Katherine Evans. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Chicago?: Invitations to Personal Reading: Scott, Foresman and Company. $.55 from Karen Thiessen, Wheat Ridge, CO, through Ebay, Oct., '02.

By special arrangement with Albert Whitman & Company. This edition adds to my copy from the 1969 printing a pictorial cover, pictorial end-papers reproduced from facing pages at the center of the book, and a list facing the title-page of the books in the Invitations to Personal Reading curriculum. I will repeat here my comments from there. As elsewhere in her Whitman books, Katherine Evans uses a crayon-like style, alternating black-and-white and colored spreads. Young Peter is the first to ride. The critic in town stands in the doorway of a hotel marked "Hotel de l'Âne." Both Peter and Papa lean over to get the donkey onto their backs. The people refuse to buy a donkey so silly that he has to be carried. Peter and Papa walk home with the donkey and realize that, if you try to please everyone, you please no one. With these books purchased from Karen Thiessen, I now have five of Evans' books by Whitman--only to learn in their pages that the total of her fable books is now up to seven.

To top

1959

1959 Aesopische Fabeln. Zusammengestellt und ins Deutsche übertragen von August Hausrath. Third edition. Paperbound. Munich: Tusculum Buch: Ernst Heimeran Verlag. See 1944/59.

1959 Aesopische Fabeln.  Zusammengestellt und ins Deutsche übertragen von August Hausrath.  Zweite Auflage.  Hardbound.  Munich: Tusculum Buch:  Ernst Heimeran Verlag.  See 1944/59.

1959 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Anne Sellers Leaf. No editor acknowledged. Chicago: Rand McNally & Company. See 1956/59.

1959 Anthology of Children's Literature. Third Revised Edition. Edna Johnson, Evelyn R. Sickels, and Frances Clarke Sayers. Black-and-white illustrations by Fritz Eichenberg and full color paintings by N.C. Wyeth. Dust jacket. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $7.50 at The Antiquarium, Oct., '90.

Thirteen pages of fables from eight sources in a huge book. Strangely, in an overdocumented book, the source of the Aesop's fables is not acknowledged. There are an introduction and a bibliography for the fable section. Eichenberg has a nice drawing of seven fables for the section's title-page. No colored drawings for the fables.

1959 Armenische Fabeln. William Saroyan. Berechtige Übertragung von Maria Dessauer. Zeichnungen von Rolf Lehmann. Hardbound. Zurich: Sanssouci Verlag AG. DM 12.80 from Antiquariat Richart Kulbach, Heidelberg, June, '98.

This is a German translation of Saroyan's Fables, published in English in 1941 by Harcourt Brace. Saroyan had identified them there in an opening comment as old Armenian stories. The most curious thing for me about this book, once I recognized it as a translation of Saroyan's earlier work, is that it includes twenty-six of his twenty-seven stories. My immediate question was, of course: "Which one do they leave out?" I am happy now to report that it is Story #9, with this long title: "The Tribulations of the Simple Husband Who Wanted Nothing More than to Eat Goose but was Denied this Delight by His Unfaithful Wife and Her Arrogant but Probably Handsome Lover." In fact, my comment on Saroyan's book had singled out this story as an example of the clever long titles. As I comment there, fables show up here in various ways. Sometimes a traditional fable shows up in slightly changed form. Thus TB (12) has a form of the La Fontaine version. In this form one of the two hunters has already sold a bearskin, while the other will wait to catch a bear first. The former, foolish hunter, encounters a bear, drops his gun, and falls to the ground pretending to be dead. This bear waters in his face before walking away! Asked what the bear has told him, the foolish hunter becomes less foolish and answers that the bear told him not to sell his skin before he gets it off the bear's body. The traditional fable about the traveler and satyr shows up here as the story of a man and a bear who were friends (13). New to me but like many fables is the story of the turtle who comes to the dying lion shot by hunters. The turtle curses those "who come to injure magnificent creatures of the earth like us" (14). Similarly, the rabbit tries to imitate the roaring lion, but only makes a squeak that alerts the fox to his presence. The fox comes and kills him easily (36). I do not think there is a bad story in the book. Maybe the best non-fable tells the story of the exchange between a crazy man and a king (52). The best joke might be that about the man who plays a cello with only one string and fingers the string in the same place. In response to his wife's observation that others play with four strings and move their fingers continuously, the man says that they are looking for the place and he has found it (62). The art is, I believe, typical of postwar German art. I think of the work of Ernst Barlach. The figures are large and simple; they look the viewer in the eye. 

1959 Bájky. I.A. Krylov. Illustroval Richard Bláha. Prelozil: Július Lenko. Hardbound. Bratislava: Mladé Letá. €12 from Müller & Gräff, Stuttgart, July, '09.

From a Russian original published by Detgiz in Moskow in 1953. The T of C on 80-81 shows forty fables here. There is at least one lovely colored illustration for each fable and perhaps almost one per page. A number of fine La Fontaine fables and also a number of Krylov's most famous inventions are here. In the first group I number FC (7-8); OF (9); WL (10-11); "Banker and Cobbler" (28-30); "Lion and Mosquito" (33-34); GGE (56-7); and WC (60-61 and front cover). In the second group I would include "Monkey and Spectacles" (12); "Donkey, Nightingale, and Rooster" (26-27; two of the best illustrations in this book); "Lobster, Pike, and Swan" (40); "Monkey, Bear, and Mirror" (52-3); and "Wolf and Cat" (72; another of the best illustrations in this book). There are some markings on the front cover and on 9-10. A very lucky find!

1959 Childhood Fables for Grownups.  By Irving Fine; Verses by Gertrude Norman.  Paperbound.  Milwaukee, WI: Joclem Music: Boosey & Hawkes.  $10.27 from Imagine This, Nashville, TN, through eBay, Oct., '13.  

There are six fables included in this pamphlet of some 36 large-format pages.  They include: "Polaroli"; "Tigeroo"; "Lenny the Leopard"; "The Frog and the Snake"; "Two Worms"; and "The Duck and the Yak."  The texts are at least partially whimsical; there may not even be a story told.  Thus "Polaroli" is a declaration that a polar bear named Polaroli loves to eat frozen things.  The zookeeper threatens to call the lion-doctor in to examine Tigeroo if he keeps eating so much, and  then Tigeroo threatens to eat the doctor too!  Lenny the Leopard paints over his spots and looks ridiculous, but his mother proclaims that she still loves him.  The frog tells the approaching snake that he is not a frog but a golliwogg, and that a golliwogg eaten by a snake gives the snake a tummy-ache.   A lonely worm finds another worm, they marry, and now they wiggle their way through life.  A young duckling once wanted to become a yak, and a young yak wanted to become a duck.  But it could not happen in either case.  A duckling can only become a duck.  There is a copyright date of 1959 on "The Duck and the Yak."

1959 Children's Plays from Favorite Stories: Royalty-free dramatizations of fables, fairy tales, folk tales, and legends. Edited by Sylvia E. Kamerman. Hardbound. Boston: Plays, Inc. $29 from The Old Book House, Orange, CA, through abe, August, '03.

Here are fifty dramatizations of well-known stories in a thick book of 584 pages. Among them I find three fables. TMCM by Rowena Bennett (43) is enacted in rhyming couplets. The version is well done. It is at its best at the top of 48 where the two mice are talking at cross purposes and hardly listening to each other. "The Soup Stone" (405) by Mary Nygaard Peterson has the clever traveler getting all the ingredients he needs from one family. He often does it by spying what they have and then working his way around to a suggestion that some of this ingredient would not hurt, even though his soup would already be very good without it. "The Tiger and the Brahman" (446) by Shirley Simon is especially well done in that the jackal's apparent inability to understand that the tiger was in the cage leads the tiger himself to jump into the cage to show him. Thereupon the jackal immediately closes the door. Cage closed; case closed.

1959 Corpus Fabularum Aesopicarum. Volumen Prius: Fabulae Aesopicae soluta oratione conscriptae. Edidit August Hausrath. Fasciculus alter. Indices ad Fasciculos 1 et 2 adiecit H. Haas. Editionem alteram curavit Herbert Hunger. Teubner: Leipzig. DM 45 at Antiquarian Henke, Berlin, July, '95.

This book picks up at #182 from the first fascicle (1957, revised in 1970). I searched for this volume for years, using a copy I had xeroxed from Marquette's library. Its special contribution lies in the lists--beyond the corrigenda and addenda--put together by Haas, in particular the long index verborum. These lists are not included in the revised edition of "Fasciculus Primus" in 1970. Be sure not to confuse "volume" and "fascicle" here. Volume II apparently would have been a collection of verse fables. Fascicles 1 and 2 seem simply to split up the body of prose fables into two manageable parts. There is an "Ordo Fabularum" beginning on VII. From what I can gather, Hausrath died in 1944, and Haas finished up his work, publishing it in 1946. When Haas died in 1957, Teubner asked Hunger to bring out a new edition.

1959 Das Kleine Fabel-Buch. James Thurber. Aus dem Amerikanischen übertragen von Gerda Richter. James Thurber. Hardbound. Hannover: Die Kleine Reihe: Fackelträger-Verlag: Schmidt-Küster Gmbh. DM 14 from Antiquariat C. Hoffmeister, Wolfenbüttel, June, '01.

This is a landscape-formatted book with twenty-five fables, most of them occupying one two-page spread. This time I read the first eight and the last of these fables. The beginning and ending stories match: "Vom Wasser aufs Land" and "Vom Land ins Wasser." The first is a creation story whose moral is that ahead of every man there is a woman. The last is the story of lemmings rushing from land into the sea. "Every man should be clear before his death, what he is fleeing, where he is fleeing, and why." New to me are, I believe, "Der Unternehmungslustige Wolf" (7), "Die Rose und das Unkraut" (9), " "Zwei Liebespaare" (12), and "Die Tigerin und Ihr Mann" (15)." Thurber is always fun and always insightful. I am surprised to find no reference to the various original works from which this booklet must have come. There is a copyright reference to 1956. Might Thurber have put together an English-language booklet like this then? I was lucky to find this book in the window of a bookstore in an overnight visit to Wolfenbüttel. It is strange that I had not seen it before.

1959 Fabeln der Völker aus Drei Jahrtausenden. Zusammengestellt und herausgegeben von Anni Carlsson. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Heidelberg: Verlag Lambert Schneider. DM 12 from Antiquariat Paul Hennings, Hamburg, May, '94.

Here are 191 pages of fables in a tight little book. They start on the page after the title-page. If one works in from the back of the book, there is an extensive T of C, a set of comments (mostly biographical and bibliographical), and an epilogue. One of the nice features of the work is the reproduction of the Ulm title-page on the front of the dust jacket. The book goes around the world first, visits the ancient western fable, and then follows through a history of German fables. That concentration is not exclusive, however. Don Juan Manuel, Leonardo, Alexander Pope, Krylov, and James Thurber break into the group. The international section makes this book unusual; it touches twenty groups, countries, or literatures.

1959 Fabeln von Äsop und Äsopische Fabeln des Phädrus. Ins Deutsche übertragen von Wilhelm Binder und Johannes Siebelis. Dust jacket. Goldmanns Liebhaberausgaben. München: Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag. $10 at The Bookstall, San Francisco, Aug., '94.

A very straightforward little book with a brief introduction and the texts. There are 172 fables from Aesop. T of C on 164. There are advertisements for other Goldmann books on the final pages, the back cover of the dust jacket, and both flyleaves.

1959 Fables. Illustrations de S[teve] Medvey. Pamphlet. Printed in France. Les Petits Livres d'Argent #86. Paris: Editions des Deux Coqs d'Or. FRS 30 from L'Ire de l"Etre, Marché Dauphine, Paris, August, '99.

This is the fourth form in which I have found this booklet, and this one is not simple to place. It lists itself as "Un Petit Livre d'Argent" as does a book with almost the same cover that I have listed under "1972," but this is #86 in that series, while that is #350. This has no indication on its cover of a publisher, while that has "éditions des deux coqs d'or." This back cover gives as that publisher's address "25, Boulevard des Italiens" in Paris, while that gives "28, Rue la Boétie" amid figures of animals and an Eskimo. Inside that booklet makes reference to the first "trimestre" of 1972, while this one refers to the fourth "trimestre" of 1959. Inside, that volume contains only two stories. This booklet has four stories and is much closer inside to the "1952" volume marked as #44 in the series "Un Petit Livre D'Or" published by Cocorico. Let me note the differences. That volume has decorated inside covers; these are blank. That volume offers an opening two-page spread, including a crowing rooster; this volume cuts out the left half of that spread and presents only the right side, showing a dog burrowing into a tree. Both proceed to a sunrise scene of sleeping dog and crowing rooster; this volume squeezes in an extra paragraph of the text. That volume adds then a picture of a sly fox awaking. They close with the same pair of pictures. TH is identical in the two booklets. "Le Loup et les Chevreaux" drops here the second-to-last picture and cuts the final picture, so that the text and smaller picture come together onto one page. In TMCM a beautiful two-page spread showing the city meal is cut down to one page. Again, the image on the last page is reduced--by cleverly removing the city's skyscrapers and the upper storeys of some buildings--to make room for the remaining text to fit. I promise never to buy a copy of this booklet again!

1959 Fables de La Fontaine. Maraja. Hardbound. Paris: Collection Contes et Couleurs: Editions Fabbri. €3 in Paris, July, '12.

This book is internally very similar to a 1958 edition by Editions de la Rue des Carmes, #4 in the Collection Arc-en-ciel. Pagination and type-setting are slightly different. The size is the same: 9¾" x 12¾". There are the same twenty-one fables. There is again a T of C at the back. The book has all six full-page illustrations that I know from my two Fables de La Fontaine editions in the smaller-formatted "Collection Contes et Couleurs" by Fratelli Fabbri of 1964 and 1965. Those repeaters are LM, TH, "Le Cheval et l'Ane," AD, TMCM, and "Les Deux Chevres." Not in those two but in the Rue des Carmes edition and here are "Le Chat, la Belette et le Petit Lapin" (15) and TB (44). The sparkling-eyed rats of TMCM, my favorite illustration there, is also the cover illustration here. The sprawled-out hunter before the bear on 44 makes a strong second-place finish. From the Japanese Aesop's Fables of 1982 I learn that Maraja's first name is Libico. There are seven other books in this Fabbri series "Collection Contes et Couleurs." Five of them, with slightly different names, are the other members of the Collection Arc-en-ciel from Rue des Carmes. 

1959 Fables de La Fontaine, No. 4. Paperbound. Livre-Disque: Philips. €5 from St. Ouen flea market, Paris, June, '09.

Here is Volume Four, found four years after I found Volume Two, published in 1957. Apparently I have one more livre-disque to find to have the set of four complete. This "Livre-Disque" contains six fables, pictured on the cover: DW, "The Heron"; "The Daughter"; "The Stalled Carter"; "The Merchant, the Gentleman, the Shepherd, and the King's Son"; and "The Ass Carrying Relics." Jean Davy, Michel Bouquet, Renée Faure, and Robert Manuel are readers of various of the six fables. A 45 rpm record is part of the book; it has its own little envelope inside the front cover. The booklet of fables is attached inside the overall jacket. Be careful! The record sleeve is open on the bottom. Some pages are monochrome and some polychrome. The illustrations are lively if nothing else. I enjoy particularly the disdainful pose of the young woman and then the contrasting pose of the man she ends up marrying. I will keep this specimen, including its record, with the books.

1959 Fairy Tales of India. Retold by Lucia Turnbull. Illustrated by Hazel Cook. Dust jacket. NY: Criterion Books. $3.50 from Twice Sold Tales, Nampa, March, '96.

Formerly owned by the San Bernadino Free Library. Of sixteen stories, several appear frequently in fable collections. In "The Crab, the Crocodile and the Jackal" (27), the jackal outwits the other two and so stays alive. TT (45) features a cross tortoise. "The Mouse's Bride" (103) has the first male mouse I have seen in this story. Also different is the fact that the mouse-son rejects each of the brides he is offered. Several stories are new to me and good: "A School for Crocodiles" (110), "The Judgment of the Shepherd" (117), and "The Mouse and the Wizard" (123).

1959 Faules I Moralitats. Joan Puntí I Collell, Prev.. Illustratedes amb cent dibuixos de J.G. Junceda. Quarta Edicio. Hardbound. Barcelona: Collecció Roselles: Editorial Balmes. $5 from an unknown source, June, '06.

Much about this book will remain a mystery to me, I suspect. It seems to be a collection of twenty-five fables in Catalan verse. A first surprise to me is that it has both an imprimatur and a nihil obstat. Generally, fable books do not need religious permission in order to be published. I recognize only one fable that seems to come straight out of the tradition: MSA on 13-15, here "El dir de la gent." Like most of the fables, this one receives four panels of illustration. These occur almost always in groups of "1 and then 3." Other fables seem easy to decipher from their pictures. In the first, a goat sees a goat in a mirror and rushes to butt him. The outcome is easy to predict, and is nicely pictured here. The panels exhibit quite different styles of illustration. The "moralitat" for each fable is clearly separated and thus highlighted at the end of the fable. 

1959 Gesta Romanorum. Or Entertaining Moral Stories. Translated by Rev. Charles Swan. Revised and corrected by Wynnard Hooper. Unabridged and unaltered republication of the Bohn Library Edition of 1876. NY: Dover. See 1876/1959.

1959 Indicke Bajky a Pohadky. Vypravuje Bela Tislerova. Ilustroval Cittaprasad. Hardbound. Prague: Statni Nakladatelstvi Detske Knihy. $8 from Zachary Cohn, Prague, Oct., ‘01.

There are fifteen fables in this little book of 72 pages. There is a T of C at the end, which seems to identify the source of each story. Among them I recognize the two that are labeled as from the Panchatantra. They are "Heron and Crab" (34) and "The Four Friends" (69). Each fable gets a playful full-page monochrome illustration with either a pink or an aqua background. Is the fellow on 19 chopping off the limb on which he is sitting?

1959 Italian Fables. By Italo Calvino. Translated from the Italian by Louis Brigante. Illustrated by Michael Train. Original title: Fiabe Italiane. (c)1956 by Giulio Einaudi editore. American edition (c)1959. NY: The Orion Press. $14 from Yoffees, Oct., '91.

Really a set of oral Italian folk tales, as the preface itself (x) comes close to saying. Perhaps fiabe has a different range in Italian literary criticism from fable's range in English. A perusal of the first five stories shows that they are about the tricks and scams people play on each other. The stories are sometimes curiously not successful or coherent in a traditional way. What is, for example, the upshot of "The Barber's Clock" (8)? Or why does "Giovannino the Fearless" (10) include its suprising last sentence? The first eleven lines on 21 are mixed up by the printer. "The Palace Mouse and the Field Mouse" (136) is a genuine fable but is different from the traditional TMCM. It starts with terror in the palace and ranges only as far as the garden. When they return to the palace to see that mouse's uncle, the cat captures that mouse while the field mouse has been waiting at the window sill. Hearing "Ungk!" shrieked, the field mouse surmises a hostile reception and leaves. The paperbound version by Collier is under 1961.

1959 Jean de La Fontaine: Bajky. Jean de la Fontaine, Prelozil Gustav Francl. Ilustroval Zdenek Seydl. Hardbound. Prague: Statni Nakladatelstvi Krasne Literatury, Hudby a Umeni. $15 from Zachary Cohn, Prague, March, '02.

This book represents a serious undertaking. It is a nicely bound, sturdy, large book, complete with a place-marking ribbon. It covers apparently the whole corpus of La Fontaine's fables. The large, bold black-and-white illustrations are excellent. They are especially strong when two such illustrations face each other on a pair of pages. The best examples of this phenomenon are: DW (16-17); "The Hare and the Frogs" (70-71); BF (130-31); "The Wolf, the Goat, and the Kid" (138-39); "The Mice and the Screech Owl" (396-97); and "The Cat and the Two Sparrows" (406-7).

1959 Jungle Doctor's Monkey Tales. Paul White. With Seventy-nine illustrations by Graham Wade. (c)1957 by The Paternoster Press. Second printing, American Edition. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. See 1957/59.

1959 Kol Mishle Lah-Fonten (Hebrew "The Complete Book of La Fontaine Fables"). Translated by Jonathan Ratosh. André Pec. Hardbound. Tel Aviv: S. Fridman. $65 from Meir Biezunski, Israel, Nov., '06.

This is a large book of 304 pages containing one-hundred-and-twenty fables. It is thus not the complete fables of La Fontaine but it may have been the most complete translation of La Fontaine that Israel had seen in 1959! Unfortunately, the lively colored illustrations of Pec are here rendered in black-and-white. The book's one touch of color is the red title on the title-page. 

1959 Lafonten Hikayeler. Jean de La Fontaine. Nermin Milar. Paperbound. Istanbul: Iyigün Cocuk Klasikleri: Iyigün Yayinlari/Iyigün Yayinevi. $9.99 from Alp Gencata, Istanbul, through eBay, Sept., '11.

The seller describes the book as rare. Its cover features six black-and-white illustrations from standard fables starting with MM and finishing with FS. The book is richly illustrated with full-page and partial-page black-and-white designs, often two to a fable. Here is a curiosity: the small design showing the lion's teeth being removed is a slightly different picture from the full-page presentation of the same scene on 146. I suspect the same holds true for the other five pictures on the cover. This is a sleeper of a book. I look forward to a patient walk through its illustrations. It is not difficult to recognize each La Fontaine fable from its cartoon. The cover adds red for background of text information and green for three of the fable cartoons. 

1959 Lichter des Kanopus: Dreiunddreissig Fabeln aus dem Morgenland. Von Jan Vladislav nacherzählt. Deutsch von Bedrich Schick. Teheran miniatures, photographed by W. Forman and B. Forman. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Czechoslovakia. Prague: Artia. DM 20 from Hassbecker's Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, July, '98.

Here is a German version of the English Persian Fables listed under "1950?" See my extensive comments there. See also the Czech version listed under 1966. The book has suffered some significant water damage and is stained and curled at the top. Opposite the title-page we read "Aus den Sammlungen der Kaiserlichen Bibliothek zu Teheran haben W. und B. Forman die Bilder ausgewählt, fotografiert und zu einem Buch gestaltet. Die alten persischen Fabeln werden von Jan Vladislav nacherzählt."

1959 Mishley Krilov (Hebrew "Krylov's Fables). Translated by Ben Zakai. Illustrations by Zion Zeid. Hardbound. Tel Aviv: Joshua Chachik Publishing House Ltd.. $65 from Meir Biezunski, Israel, Nov., '06.

This is a short book of some 75 pages, with a T of C at the back showing some forty-eight fables. The artist's designs are like newspaper cartoons. Is that 2P on 14? I am not sure that the fable works with barrels instead of pots. This understanding of "The Monkey and the Spectacles" has the monkey putting the glasses on a tree limb as well as on himself (31)! For all its simplicity the illustration for WC gets the wolf's attitude just right (34)! The illustration for LS takes the quartering of the stag quite literally (64). Apparently Zeid's illustrations originated with this edition. 

1959 Narayana: Hasznos Tanitasok a Hitopadesa Meseibol.  Istvan Molnar.  Illustrations by Vera Csillag.  Hardbound.  Dust-jacket.  Budapest: Europa Konyvkiado.  900 Forints in Budapest, August, '17.

One little regret in this visit to Budapest had to do with our location.  Our Airbnb happened to be on a street with multiple antiquarian bookstores.  I counted on them to be last stops before I joined the family for a last evening's entertainment.  What I did not realize is that they all closed at 5 pm!  Two had closed their doors and a third was doing so when I jumped in and, as I was asking if they might have fable books, I saw this little book lying on the counter.  Perhaps the helpful woman at the cash register was then assured that I was a real cash-paying customer because she and associates gathered several books for me.  This book, then, is not only a find in itself; it helped me find others.  Its first unusual feature is that the cellophane-like dust-jacket or slipcover carries the title both on the cover -- which otherwise would have no title -- and as an additional title on the spine.  The cover itself features a small colored illustration of the moon, an elephant, and a hare, repeated on 41.  Each story then has a similar illustration, about 2¼" x 2½" on a separate page whose obverse has no print.  Which of the bedroom stories has the scene on 13?  On 55 there is another bedroom scene with a second male under the bed.  The illustration on 67 is almost certainly for TT.  The essay on 87 seems to outline the history, relating the Hitopadesa to the Panchatantra.  As the T of C on 95 shows, there are here 14 stories.  A beautiful little fifty-year-old book for less than $4!

1959 Neuf Fables de la Fontaine.  Illustrated by Lars Bo.  Limited edition.  Paperbound.  Paris: Club du Livre Sélectionné.  $2.21 from JLG Livres Anciens et Modernes, Saint Maur des Fossés, France, through ABE, Nov., '16.

I checked quickly to make sure that I did not already have a copy of this booklet of 36 unstapled pages.  I found that I have another in the same series, dated 1957.  As I wrote then, the frontispiece has room to dedicate this copy to a particular person, here Georges Rogeau, on his birthday.  This booklet confirms my guess then that the director of the Club, Dominique Wapler, had this book done in 1959 and then presented it to each of the members of the club during that year on his or her birthday.  I guessed then that "the next year he had a different booklet done."  Well, here is the book two years later!  And it is again La Fontaine as illustrated by Lars Bo.  This is again a delightful selection of fables well illustrated.  As in the earlier volume, fables tend to have a second sardonic smaller illustration at their end.  One of the best illustrations is the first for MSA, in which the son is grown up and not at all attractive!  Both first and second illustrations for MM are delightful.  Perrette's skirt plays a role in both.  Again, both are excellent in "The Cobbler and the Banker."  The two characters are wonderfully contrasted in the first: tired shrewdy versus happy, clueless simpleton.  The second shows Grégoire running back at night with the bag of money.  "The Women and the Secret" is another star.  The man is actually holding an egg in his hand while lying in bed; his wife looks on astounded.  At the end three housewives huddle to gossip.  A final great illustration, the best of a very good lot, shows the wounded dove returning home (35).  Other fables here are OR; "The Citizen of the Danube"; and "The Fox and the Bust."  I got lucky again, and for a bargain price!

1959 Schwänke im Vivarium: Fabeln und Parabeln. Hans Zulliger. Hardbound. Bern und Stuttgart: Verlag Hans Huber. €7 from Müller und Gräff, Stuttgart, August, '09.

This beautifully produced little book of 51 pages was an "unnumerierte Sonderauflage für die Freunde des Verlages und der Buchhandlung" at Christmas, 1959. An opening T of C gathers the stories into seven categories. These are good Schwänke, I think, though some stretch a little beyond my German. Typical might be "Ideale" on 13. The jay cries out "The noblest characteristic is silence." The elster, who has just stolen a golden ring, cries out that it is rather honesty. "Nonsense," says the rabbit; "Courage is and remains noblest" -- and runs off into the woods. "Idiots!" bleats the goat. "Peacefulness is the best. Who will contradict me?" A treetrunk nearby comments "Every animal thinks that the highest and noblest is exactly what he lacks!" The goat responds by saying "I will not argue with you; you are too dumb for me to compete with!" "Avocatus diavolus" (sic) on 21 shows how the mistletoe working its way into the apple tree declared to the apple: "You are right to defend yourself against neighboring trees that try to outreach you and take away your sunshine. They even attack your roots." All this time, the mistletoe was sucking the best juice out of the apple tree, so that it ended up dying. Many of these pieces work off of contrasts of size, I think, like the fly who encounters the stag running for cover into the wheatfield (11). She asks him why he is hiding and hears that he saw a rifle fire in the nearby bushes. "Ridiculous!" answers the fly. "What would you do if you heard a fly-swatter swishing?"

1959 Shaggy Dog and other Surrealist Fables. Told by John Waller. Illlustrated by Frank Wilson. Inscribed by and with an original drawing by Waller. Second printing. Hardbound. London: Gerald Duckworth & Co. See 1953/59.

1959 The Blind Men and the Elephant. An Old Tale from the Land of India. Re-told by Lillian Quigley. Illustrated by Janice Holland. NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. $5 at the Book Shop, Burbank, Feb., '97. Extra copy with a different cover for $.25 from the Milwaukee Public Library Bookseller, Jan., '98.

"This is an old fable that children and grown-ups in India enjoy" says the first page of this book. Visually, the delight of this book lies in its lavish use of gold, I would say, and in the great dance of the six blind men, each with his hand on the shoulder of the smaller blind man walking ahead of him. The six get into a heated argument, and the shouting is enough to awaken the rajah. The library copy's cover has a blue background with light-colored figures of the elephant and the men. It was apparently printed in 1971. It adds an SBN number.

1959 The Elephant and the Pug Dog: Fables (Russian). I.A. Krylov. Illustrator A. Laptyev. Pamphlet. My First Little Books. Printed in USSR. Moscow: State Publishing House of Children's Literature. $1 from Victor Kamkin Books, NY, April, '96.

This 16-page pamphlet for children contains Krylov's poetry for six fables: "The Elephant and the Dog"; "The Swan, the Pike, and the Crab"; "The Monkey and the Spectacles"; "The Monkey and the Mirror"; FC; "Quartet." If one is limited to six of Krylov's fables, this represents a very good selection. There is a T of C at the rear of the pamphlet. See a similar pamphlet, "The Cicada and the Ant," done a year later. It uses three of the same fables.

1959 The Lion's Paw: A Tale of African Animals. By Jane Werner Watson. Pictures by Gustaf Tenggren. A Little Golden Book (#367). First edition. NY: Golden Press. $15 from Drusilla, Aug., '95.

I had originally decided that this simple tale was not a fable, even though I had bought a copy of it in a more recent edition (1987). Then Drusilla offered it to me as "derived from Aesop." The book goes through many animals, who all refuse to help remove the thorn--until the mouse volunteers and then succeeds.

1959 The Maid and Her Pail of Milk. Retold by Katherine Evans. Illustrated by the Author. Hardbound. Lithographed in USA. Chicago: Albert Whitman & Company. $5 from Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis, March, '99.

This is an earlier edition and a better copy than the one put out as a Cadmus Edition by E. M. Hale in 1967. See my comments there.

1959 Wembi, the Singer of Stories. By Alice D. Cobble. Illustrated by Doris Hallas. Hardbound. Dust jacket. St. Louis: The Bethany Press. $7.70 from Alexandra Varga, Catskill, NY, through eBay, Oct., '00.

Here are twenty-five African--apparently Congolese--tales, each with a little narrative introduction bringing Wembi to his audience. I have read the first six. The sixth would qualify as a fable: the antelope helps the spider out of compassion, and then the spider finds a surprising way to help the antelope. Others among the first six could be fables, but tend to be spun out at greater length, including a good deal of repetition. In any case, the stories are well and engagingly told. The simple, playful designs make for fun along the way.

1959/72 La Fontaine: Fables Choisies. Aquarelles de Pierre LeRoy. Illustrations de André Michel. Hardbound. Paris: Éditions Bias. $18.95 from Alibris, August, '02. 

I knew I had seen this book before. I did not realize that I had seen it in Greek. That edition was done by I.K. Papadopoulos and Son in Athens, and I guess at a date of 1975. There I speak of forty fables, but this edition announces sixty. Again there are simple colored illustrations and a few black-and-whites. The colored illustrations may be better rendered here than in the Greek edition. Like the Greek edition, this one claims that it is intended for children of age seven through eleven. The bottom of the spine shows cracking. FC is on the front cover, with TH on the back.

1959? Picture Stories. N. Radlov. Translated from the Russian by D. Rottenberg. N. Radlov. Pamphlet. Printed in USSR. Moscow: Soviet Children's Library for Tiny Tots: Foreign Languages Publishing House. $30 from Walk a Crooked Mile Books, Philadelphia, Oct., '99.

This is a beautiful landscape (rather than portrait) pamphlet 11"x 8½". Radlov presents simple stories, usually in three or four panels on one or sometimes two pages. Several are already traditional fables or reworking of traditional fable motifs, like "The Two Silly Billies" (4), "The Artful Pup" (20), "How the Cat Rapped Itself on the Nose" (25), and "The Sharp Little Frog" (27). "Harry Hedgehog Makes His Winter Stores" (23) shows ingenuity like that of the crow with the pitcher, since Harry picks up many apples at once by jumping into a pile of them. Many of the others are simply delightful visual tricks, like making turtles into wheels on 18 or mistaking a crane's legs for reeds on 19. The book is colored throughout and is in fine condition. The English rhymes are often surprisingly good. I am very glad that Greg Williams thought of me when he came across this book.

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