1980 to 1984
1980 A Fable. James Kavanaugh. Illustrations by Daniel Biamonte. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: E.P. Dutton. $4.75 at Kline, Santa Monica, Aug., '93. Extra copy for $8.95 from the Bookery, Iowa City, April, '93.
"Oudeis" leaves Prosperity and shows up as a rare stranger in the peaceful, time-forgotten town of Harmony, where everybody grows something and everybody plies some trade. The gold which Oudeis brings corrupts Harmony. I find the moralizing here heavy handed, and the work is not a fable. I am glad, though, to see a contemporary author try a work like this.
1980 A Political Fable. Robert Coover. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Viking Press. $5.95 from an unknown source, June, '00.
I have long been looking forward to reading this text because I have so loved Coover's Aesop's Forest from 1986. I am disappointed. This is an 88-page fantasy on an election in which a major candidate is the Cat in the Hat. Coover's imagination is robust throughout, and his political perception may be right on target. As much as that other work of his respects the power of the fable genre, this one does something different. This work is, I would say, appropriately frightening, and I think Coover would be happy to see that that is the work's effect.
1980 Aesop's and Other Fables: An Anthology. Introduction by Ernest Rhys. Postscript by Roger Lancelyn Green. Everyman's Library. NY: Dutton. See 1913/80.
1980 Aesopica. A series of texts relating to Aesop or ascribed to him or closely connected with the literary tradition that bears his name. Ben Edwin Perry. Volume One: Greek and Latin Texts. Urbana: University of Illinois Press/NY: Arno Press. See 1952/80.
1980 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Patricia Crampton. Illustrated by Bernadette. First English Edition. Hardbound. London/Toronto/Melbourne: J.M. Dent & Sons Limited. $12.95 from Sandra's Books, Stourport on Severn, UK, through ABE, August, '02.
I first found this book in its Japanese version, the edition published by Nishimura Shoten in 1990. Here, as there, twenty fables are presented in two styles, sometimes both used effectively on one fable: pastel full-color pages and black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings. "The Lark and the Farmer" is one such case of effective juxtaposition. The version of this fable here is unusually short and tight. It climaxes well: "A man with a scythe in his own hands means business." The hare in a beautiful scene of harvesting has escaped the pursuing dog; the dog in a bedroom has a bell around his neck because he has been bad and therefore does better staying at home; the two beavers are enjoying life after the storm that has spared the reed but blown over the tree; and the girl and the stork really do not have much to do with the argument between the rose and the amaranth. The black-and-whites, including the new set included on the back cover, are often more effective than the colored illustrations. They often include a "close-up" at their center. Would both the cock and the jewel end up on top of a large heap of hay? I am surprised I have not run into the German original, but delighted to run into such nice work now in two other languages. The original German edition is Zwanzig Fabeln des Aesop, (c)1980 Nord-Sud Verlag, Mönchaltorf.
1980 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by J. Pavlin and G. Seda. Printed in Czechoslovakia. ©Artia 1975. Octopus Pop-up Picture Stories. London: Octopus Books Limited. $5 from Barbara and Bill Yoffee, Jan., '92. Extra copy a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, May, '96.
This book uses Pavlin and Seda's nice art work from Brown and Watson's 1975 book of the same name but replaces the earlier edition's poetry with a brand new prose text, even changing the name of the first fable from "The Dog and the Rooster" to "The Fox and the Rooster." The morals are simpler. The background color of the cover has gone from green to orange. I think the paper-folding and paper-pasting technology may have improved slightly.
1980 Aesop's Fables. Hazel Shertzer. Illustrations by Percy J. Billinghurst, adapted and done in color by Martina Selway. Book Sales, Inc.: Castle Books. $3, Fall, '92. Extra copy for $5.95, '81.
I am not sure if Selway's coloring in of Billinghurst's engravings improves them. These drawings impress me as standard and even heavy. It is worth using one or two to show standard handlings of Aesop illustrations. This is one of the first books I bought in 1981 as I began tracking editions of Aesop. That copy is now a catalogued extra.
1980 Der Rangstreit der Tiere. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Mit Holzstichen von Karl Rössing. Hardbound. First edition. Berlin: Verlag der Nation. Gift of Ernst Brehm, May, '02. Extra copies for DM 35 from Antiquariat Richard Kulbach, Heidelberg, July, '01 and for €19 by mail from abooks.de, Dusseldorf, April, '02.
The front cover has simply "Lessing Fabeln." Reading through these has again been a delight. Lessing often gives us a pointed prose story with a reversal. Some of my favorites include "Der Löwe und der Hase" (8); "Der Esel und das Jagdpferd" (10); "Der Wolf und der Schäfer" (15); "Der Kriegerische Wolf" (23); and "Der Fuchs und der Storch" (38). The small wood engravings are good. "Der Rangstreit der Tiere" itself does not occur until 88-92. There is a T of C at the end. This is a hardbound book with a bendable binding.
1980 Dr. Fox's Fables: Lessons from Nature. Twenty-three fables in which animals talk about how they really feel and live. Dr. Michael W. Fox. No illustrator acknowledged. Dust jacket. Washington, DC: Acropolis Books. $7 from Eva Arond, April, '89. Second copy for $3, Santa Cruz, Aug., '89.
An unusual book, only tangentially related to Aesop. These fables are instructive about specific animals' habits and didactic about letting them live and have their own ways. Two use Aesopic background and play off of it: TH and GA. The illustrations are excellent, especially the story-opening capitals.
1980 Emblematum Libellus. Andreas Alciatus and Wolfgang Hunger. Hardbound. Paris/Darmstadt: Christian Wechel/Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. €15 from Hatry, Heidelberg, August, '14.
Here is a newly published version of a book first published by the WBG in 1967. The cover is now yellow cloth instead of tan cloth. The book is slimmer. The reproductions seem sharper. An ISBN has been added, though WBG's own Bestellnummer of 4022-8 remains. Otherwise this edition remains identical with the earlier one. I wrote then about my first chance to look more carefully into Alciato. I seem to read that the original book of his that began the whole emblem movement was published in 1531. Perhaps it was a more modest book than this 1542 edition. Here we have one hundred and fifteen emblems, beginning on 18 and ending on 253. There is no apparent index. A typical pair of pages features on the left, a page number and standard page title ("And. Alc. Emblem. Lib."); a short title phrase and emblem number; an image regularly about 2½" x 2¾"; and a Latin poem of six or eight lines. The right hand page has a regular page title ("Das buechle der verschroten werck."), a German title and emblem number; and a German poem of about eight lines. Fable motifs occur but do not dominate. Emblem XXII is about the blind carrying the lame. Emblem XXXV -- "non tibi, sed religioni" -- is the fable of the ass carrying a religious image. He thinks that the people are honoring him. Emblem XLVIII shows the fox contemplating a human face and is titled "Mentem, non formam plus pollere." Emblem LI shows an ass carrying great food but stopping to eat a thistle. Emblem LIIII presents the beetle that got revenge on the eagle by getting all his eggs broken. Emblem LV presents the captured soldier-trumpeter who claimed -- without success -- that he had hurt no one. Emblem LVIII (misnumbered on the right page as LVII) is 2P. In Emblem LXXXIII, a man aiming his bow at a flying crane is killed by a snake: "Qui alta contemplantur cadere." Emblem LXXXIIII, "Impossibile," is about washing an Ethiopian white. Emblem LXXXVI has a curious mouse caught by an oyster that has clapped shut around him. In Emblem XCI (misprinted "CXI"), a goat has to suckle a young wolf and knows that this will not end well.
1980 Fabeln des Äsop. Nach Steinhöwels "Erneuertem Esopus" ausgewählt und bearbeitet von Victor Zobel. Mit 51 Wiedergaben von Holzschnitten des Vergil Solis. Hardbound. Fünfte Auflage. Leipzig: Insel-Bücherei Nr. 272: Insel-Verlag. DM 12 from Dresdener Antiquariat, Dresdon, July, '01.
This Insel-book from 1980 offers an opportunity for comparison with the Insel Verlag publication of the same number from the 1930's or just earlier. I have it listed under "1933?". I note the following changes. The covers are still patterned boards, but the geometric pattern has changed, as has the color-combination from maroon and blue to yellow and brown. The earlier version claimed forty-nine woodcuts. This version correctly claims fifty-one. That volume numbered its fables and gave their titles and texts in Gothic script. This version has the fables unnumbered and their texts in Roman script. The texts remain Victor Zobel's reworking of Steinhöwel. A T of C is added at the end. The printing of the Solis woodcuts is darker and sometimes clearer here. The original copyright listed in both versions is 1914. As I mentioned there, this is a lovely thin book. It is especially valuable for the many good Solis illustrations. Maybe among the best are the illustrations for "Vom dem Pferd und Hirsch" (32) and "Vom Fuchs und dem Bock" (48). This is an unusual fable book in that it has almost nothing besides the fables and their illustrations. The only addition consists in a few sentences on 56 about Steinhöwel and Solis.
1980 Fabeln und Erzählungen für Kleine und Große aus der Fabelsammlung von Dr. med. Erich Strobach. Redakteurin Eva Meinerts. Hardbound. Printed in Germany. Gütersloh: Prisma Verlag GmbH. DEM 35 from List & Francke, Meersburg am Bodensee, by mail, May, '99.
What a nice surprise! I had hesitated to pay the normal new price of $125 when I first saw this book in New York in January and again when I borrowed it through interlibrary loan in February. Then I saw it on a list and got lucky. It did not even have the shrink-wrap off! So it contains the erratum reprint of 115, which had the two bottom lines of text on top. The very first entries include some of the most impressive: an old Jahrmarktsdruck, a bilingual edition from Basil (1616), and a surprising 1617 pictorial grammar from Danzig. Soon we see a 1734 Remondini that seems very close to the one I bought in Turin last year; mine is dated 1757 and shows slight differences on the title page (mentioning Venice, for example, and not giving a date). The text-positioning is slightly different in mine, and it is very hard to say whether the woodcuts are identical. They are in any case framed in mine with a little pattern that was not there in 1734. Soon we look at a 1769 Hoogstraten--a book I have, though not in the best condition. Another early delight is the 1775 bilingual French/German "Aesopus bey der Lust" done by the widow of Christian Herold. I have the 1750 edition done by Christian Herold himself! The book is of course strong on German fabulists and illustrators. A quadrilingual edition (German, French, Italian, Latin) by Heinrich Friedrich Müller in 1818 gets a prize from me (69-71). Another wonderful curiosity is "Fablier en Estampes" with beautiful colored pictures (77-79). The colored reproductions from a number of works are excellent. Gay and Bewick are represented from the English tradition. I hope to learn a lot from this book over the years.
1980 Fable. Robert Pinget. Translated by Barbara Wright. Hardbound. Dust jacket. NY: Red Dust, Inc. $5 from Strand Books, NY, March, '99.
I know enough about this book now to guess that it will not be of particular use to anyone doing fable research. I include it here to spare some future researcher the trouble of looking far into the book. Pinget himself describes it in a letter quoted on the flyleaf as "a love story, or rather the story of a betrayal. The man betrayed doesn't cry out for vengeance, he is prostrated." I made an attempt at getting into the book but was hindered by a style that prefers sentences without predicates. This book was withdrawn by its former owner, the Abington Free Library in Pennsylvania.
1980 Fables. Written and Illustrated by Arnold Lobel. Inscribed by Lobel with a cartoon. Dust jacket. Harper and Row. $10 from mad dog and the pilgrim, Denver, March, '94.
This dust-jacketed copy is inscribed by Lobel with a cartoon. A Caldecott Award winner, and rightly so. One-page tales, perhaps animal short stories rather than fables, face excellent illustrations. The best are perhaps "The Hen and the Apple Tree" and "The Elephant and the Sun," but also good are "King Lion and the Beetle," "Baboon's Umbrella," "The Ostrich in Love," "The Poor Old Dog," "The Pelican and the Crane," and "The Mouse at the Seashore." Contrast "Camel" with the Aesopic fable on the same subject. After all these years, I found a hardbound edition of Lobel--and then found another within a few weeks. This inscribed copy is not a stated first edition.
1980 Fables. Arnold Lobel. First edition. Hardbound. Harper and Row. $3.98 from Cheever Books, San Antonio, August., '96.
Here is a first edition of this book. A Caldecott Award winner, and rightly so. One-page tales, perhaps animal short stories rather than fables, face excellent illustrations. The best are perhaps "The Hen and the Apple Tree" and "The Elephant and the Sun," but also good are "King Lion and the Beetle," "Baboon's Umbrella," "The Ostrich in Love," "The Poor Old Dog," "The Pelican and the Crane," and "The Mouse at the Seashore." Contrast "Camel" with the Aesopic fable on the same subject. After all these years, I found a hardbound edition of Lobel--and then found another within a few weeks.
1980 Fables. Written and Illustrated by Arnold Lobel. NY: Scholastic Inc., by arrangement with Harper and Row. Gift of Sr. Paul Anthony Ruotolo, Dec., '92.
This Scholastic edition is slightly smaller and differently bound from the 1980/83 Harper and Row edition. Though this book carries no later date than 1980, I suspect it is later than the 1983 version. A wonderful book in every one of its forms.
1980 Fables and Fairy Tales. Leo Tolstoy. Translated by Ann Dunnigan. Illustrated by Sheila Greenwald. Paperback. A Plume Book. NY: New American Library. See 1962/80.
1980 fables choisies pour les enfants. LaFontaine. Illustrées par M.B. de Monvel. Faithful reproduction of a kids' book from the 1870's. Paris: l'école des loisirs. See 1871/1980.
1980 Fables de la Dictature/La Sicile, Son Coeur. Leonardo Sciascia; Traduit de l'Italien par Jean-Noël Schifano. Paperbound. Pandora. €7 from an unknown source, August, '00.
I have had this book for a long time and have not had the courage to try it. I am sorry now that I waited. Favole della dittatura was published in 1950 and included 27 short poems. La Sicile, Son Coeur was published in 1952. This is a bilingual French translation of the two works with the Italian on the left-hand page and the French on the right. There is a new page for each new text. "The Encyclopedia Britannica" calls the "Favole" a satire on fascism. I tried the first seventeen fables. I am particularly delighted that many of them work off of Aesopic models. The first begins "Superior stabat lupus," Phaedrus' beginning for WL. The lamb sees the image of the wolf in the water and stops drinking. "This time," the wolf says, "I don't have time to lose. And I have an argument against you stronger than the old one. I know what you think of me; don't bother to deny it." In one leap he falls on the lamb to tear him in pieces. In the second fable, monkeys are proclaiming the new era of peace. One day a mouse is playing with a cat and finds himself in the larger animal's grip. Things are taking their old course. The mouse reminds the cat of the principles of the new regime. "Yes," answers the cat, "but I am a founder of the new regime." With that he plants his teeth in the mouse's back. On 42-43, the lion eats a huge meal while the wolf watches with hunger. The lion seems to become aware of the wolf as he finishes. "I hope your seeing my eating does not disturb you. If I eat, it is only for you that I do it. Without me, you would not know how to live." The wolf answers "We will surely die of a blow, without you, but maybe we would not die of hunger." There is something a bit Biercian in these stories. Well done! I hope for the occasion to read them all -- and to get get help with the Italian and French!
1980 Fables from Africa. Collected by Jan Knappert. Illustrated by Jeroo Roy. Dust jacket. Hardbound. London: Evans Brothers Limited. $7.35 from MB Books, Derbyshire, UK, through abe, Jan. '03.
The thirty-six stories presented here on 64 pages are identified by the beginning T of C through their region or country of origin within Africa. They are short and pointed. Familiar fable motifs abound. Thus in the very first story, a proud horse suggests improvements, and God creates a camel. The jackal knows many tricks, but the hedgehog only one. The hedgehog leads the jackal through a hole in the hedge around a farmer's garden, and they gorge themselves. That was the hedgehog's one trick, and he leaves the jackal stranded. Then the jackal promises the farmer that he will return for his execution, but is never seen again (17). Again, the jackal wants to eat the lamb. The latter asks for a year to grow and receives it. By the end of the year he has grown horns (18). The lamb suggests swearing about it on an altar, but the altar he creates conceals a greyhound, who bites off one of the jackal's paws. I find again a good interchange which I have enjoyed before: a father does not want tortoise for his son-in-law and so demands a bride-price of three string-tied bundles of water. The tortoise agrees, on condition that the father make the string from the smoke of his tobacco pipe (40). Again here, the fox learns from the now dead wolf how to divide spoil, as he explains to the lion (47). Again here, too, the fox who is asked for his advice needs to have the crocodile tied up again as he had been, and only then can he give a good judgment (49). "Never trust a crocodile, nor a fox"! The dying lion remembers two instances where he did not attack, and the jackal reminds him that it was only because he had a bone stuck in his throat (55)! I am surprised to find the ass here who tells the nightingale that the rooster at home can sing louder than he (58)! Here the snail pulls on the squirrel the trick that the hedgehog generally plays on the rabbit, namely of having his brother stand at the end of the out-lap of a race to say "I am already here" (59). After all, all snails are alike to a squirrel. This book offers good fun, with pleasing black-and-white fable-specific illustrations.
1980 Fables: La Fontaine. Tome 2 annotées et commentées par Pierre Michel et Maurice Martin. Paperbound. Bordas: Univers des Lettres. See 1964/77/80.
1980 Fables (Russian). Sergei Michalkov. Illustrated by V. Vagin. Hardbound. Moscow: Contemporary Publishing House. $4.75 from Szwede Slavic Books, Palo Alto, CA, March, '96.
Here are thirty fables by Michalkov. I have commented at some length on his fables elsewhere (in German in "1954?" and 1955; and in English in 1968, 1969, and 1988). The first of two notable things about the presentation of his work here is the slanted Cyrillic script. It is crafted to resemble handwritten script and always concludes in a word slanting down right. The second feature lies in the copious illustrations. These specialize in a cross-hatched dark quality. Though cartoonlike, they have a strong impact. Some of the best include "The Elephant Artist" (11); "The Necessary Ass" (35); "Crime Without Punishment" (51); "The Sailor Turkey" (61); and "The Changed Raccoon" (67). There is a T of C at the end.
1980 Fabulas Antiguas de China. Wei Jinzhi. Ilustraciones de Feng Zikai. Segunda impresión de la segunda edición. Beijing: Ediciones en Lenguas Extranjeras. See 1961/80/84.
1980 fábulas de La Fontaine. Dibujos: B. Botia. Colleccion "mis fábulas." Madrid: Europa-Ediexport, S.A. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Sept., '95.
In this large-format, comic-like pamphlet, eight fables from La Fontaine receive two pages each, with three-quarters of a page given to a simple colored illustration. Most add a short moral in parentheses. The cover picture belongs to a fable (FM) not told here!
1980 Favole di animali: Fiabe di la Fontaine Fedro e Esopo. Illustrazione di Beniamino Bodini. Milan: AMZ. See 1960/80.
1980 Frogs. Gerald Donaldson. Illustrations from many sources. Dust jacket. A Jonathan-James Book. NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold. $7.50 from Strand, NY, May, '89.
A surprisingly lovely and whimsical book. Fables are represented by three from Aesop and one each from Phaedrus and LaFontaine. The illustrations come from many sources (like Dore and Bennett for Aesop), including one excellent old German engraving for FK. At each chapter beginning, there is a new version of a very lively multicolored picture.
1980 I.A. Krilov: Strekosa i Murabey: Basni. Illustrated by P. Basulbelov. Pamphlet. Moscow: NB No. 4239: Detsckar Literatura. $3.29 from Valentina Kudinova, Kharkiv, Ukraine, through eBay, Dec., '11.
This sixteen-page pamphlet features a delightful front cover in brown, black, and grey of the two characters of the first fable. Then seven fables are presented in black-and-white. Perhaps the best of the four illustrations for GA is the last and smallest: the ant eats hot soup while a cooking pot in front of her steams away. "The Monkey and Spectacles" features particularly glasses suspended from the monkey's tail. FC has a fine flattering fox leaning into the tree below the crow. "Elephant and Pug" finishes with a proud pug walking away. "Crane, Pike, and Crab" is presented in usual fashion in a full-page illustration, but at the end of the short fable we see a wagon leaning downhill without anyone pulling it up. FG also contrasts a full-page illustration of the fox looking up with a smaller illustration of a wasp landing easily on some grapes in a bowl. In the last fable, a pigeon is laughing at a caged bullfinch when his own legs are caught in a snare. Russian presentations of Krylov tend to come back to favorite fables like these seven.
1980 Kalila and Dimnah. An English Version of Bidpai's Fables Based upon Ancient Arabic and Spanish Manuscripts. By Thomas Ballantine Irving. Newark, Delaware: Juan de la Cuesta. $4 from the publisher, April, '93. One extra copy.
A helpful and careful edition. The introduction (xi) points out that Calila e Digna in 1591 was the first extensive piece of prose literature in Spanish. This translation from the Arabic and Spanish seems to work carefully with the sources. The introduction also notes that this version gives the Panchatantra's five books in I and III-VI. II on Dimnah's trial and VII-XV are added stories. The T of C here (v-viii) lists all the fables and notes those that are fables within fables. There are notes at the end and an extensive bibliography. The work could have used a more careful proofreader.
1980 Kalila and Dimna: Selected Fables of Bidpai. Retold by Ramsay Wood. Illustrated by Margaret Kilrenny. Introduction by Doris Lessing. ©Ramsay Wood 1980. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Alfred A. Knopf. $4 at Strand, March, '93. Extra copy for $8.50 from Jackson Street, Sept., '93.
See my listing under 1982 of the paperback edition, which strangely does not mention this edition. It was great to see this old paperback friend lying out as a hardbound edition on the tables at Strand!
1980 La Fontaine Fabeln. Nacherzählt von Eva M. Spaeth. Bilder von Eva Huelsmann. Hardbound. Bad Aibling: Fabula Verlag. DEM 8 from Historica Antiquariat, Dresden, July, '01.
This book looks like the original of the book I had already catalogued from Meisinger Verlag in Munich in 1987. Notice that the cover here has simply "La Fontaine/Fabeln/Bilder von Eva Hülsmann." The cover there has "Der Hahn/Fabeln/von Jean de La Fontaine/Bilder von Eva Hülsmann." As I mention there, the art here is contemporary and involves lavish crayon-acrylic drawings. The best are the the patient cat and the centerfold of the frogs and crane. Several stories are told unusually: the deer sees himself in a mirror (as a dog watches), and the rabbit and turtle are in a house. Did Meisinger take the book over from a smaller publisher that had done it earlier? Meisinger changed the ISBN and added a barcode on the back cover. Curiously, the Meisinger copy does not mention Fabula Verlag at all. As there, the endpapers here at the back of the book are the reverse of those at the front.
1980 Lamonosov, Derzhavian, Zhukovskiy, & Krylov: Poetry & Fables. Illustrated by Gusev. Afterword by Sovalin. Hardbound. Printed in Moscow. Moscow: Moscow Worker Publishing House. $4.80 from Victor Kamkin Books, NY, April, '96.
Only Krylov among the four writers represented here does fables. Sixty-seven of his are represented on 251-309 of this canvas-bound book. The section dedicated to Krylov's fables is introduced by a full-page of designs centered on a fox (251). There is a T of C at the back, including all of the fables.
1980 Leon Battista Alberti Fabeln. Aus dem Lateinischen neu übertragen von Bruno Nardini. Mit Bildern von Adriana Saviozzi Mazza. Hardbound. Printed in Firenze, Italy. Stuttgart: Verlag Urachhaus Johannes M. Mayer BmbH. DEM 28 from Buchhandlung & Antiquariat Engel & Co, Filiale Wolfgang Reimers, Dresden, July, '01. Extra copy for DEM 38 from Engel & Co, Stuttgart, July, '95.
Bodemann #551.1 is the Italian original for this German translation. Bodemann also mentions this German work there, which uses the work of the original visual artist. Curiously, the other three mentions of Alberti in Bodemann (#221, #296, and #347) are all of him as source for or element in a collection. Alberti was apparently something of a broad if not universal genius born in Genoa in 1404. Here are 100 of his fables. In many of them, objects like lanterns and arrows and flutes do the talking. I think it hard to sustain such fables fashioned around inanimate objects. At any rate, my attention flags here after reading about a third of them. Let me mention some typical and some unusual pieces I have seen so far. The ball and the anvil (21) are ready to be changed into each other's forms (or at least different forms) when they suddenly think better of it. The lily refuses to yield to the flooding river's rush: it would rather die than bow its head (22). The footless earthworm--who looks the same at the front and back--asks the many-legged woodlouse for a few feet. Answer: "I'll give you two feet, but you have to give me in trade one of your heads" (28). This kind of joke-fable may work best for Alberti. Let me mention two other examples. In one, the shipwrecked trader sues the sea for his losses. The sea's answer: "Come down and take back everything I took from you" (31). In "Der Narr und der Bernstein" (62), a fool asks the amber through what hole the worm got into it. The amber in response asks the fool through what hole his folly got into him. Among those fables that make me stop and think is "Der Sarkophag" (35). Typical of Alberti's unusual thought patterns might be "Das Buch und die Mäuse" (37). Library mice start eating a noble book on how to make paper. This book, outraged, calls on them to stop. If he is lost, so is papermaking! But his voice is lost as the mice eat up the book. "Der Jagdhund" (41) is unusually pointed and apt: the faithful hunting dog is chained up, while bastard dogs run around free. This is a pretty edition; it reminds one of the Leonardo edition on which Nardini and Mazza also collaborated: Die Fabeln des Leonardo da Vinci (Arena-Verlag, 1973). I had found a copy of this Alberti book six years earlier but had not yet read or catalogued it. Now I see I got it from the same firm in a different city!
1980 Poetisches Tierleben. Paperbound. Biberach an der Riss: Dr. Karl Thomae. €1 from Quadrat Buchhandlung, Mannheim, July, '14.
This little book, about 3" x 4", gives good testimony to the proximity of fable and joke. It is one of those little books that appear on counters of bookstores and used book shops. And so it appeared at Quadrat on my first afternoon in Mannheim on this trip. An illustration of a crow from Speckter/Hey is on the cover. As the T of C on 137-40 shows, there is a lovely mixture here of anecdote, joke, and fable. Illustrations are few; they include old woodcuts (e.g., 12) and simple designs (e.g., 62). There are also several advertisements for Bisolvomycin (e.g., 56), which claims to help people's breathing. Offerings range from Busch to Brecht, with Pfeffel, Gellert, and Rilke appearing along the way. Lessing's "Der Tanzbär" (35) is an example of a strong traditional fable. One Euro can still buy something worthwhile!
1980 Pointed Tales: Contemporary Parables for Children. William Caveness Dixon. Paperbound. Wilton, CT: Morehouse-Barlow Company. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Oct., '94.
The preface and back cover bring up fables when each says "The use of fables, allegories and parables is, of course, older [preface: `more ancient'] than Aesop." This is in fact a collection of pieces, in a great variety of genres, "written from a theological perspective and set within a Biblical context" (x). Only one, the first, is referred to as a fable, "Christy's Very, Very, Special Secret" (1), indeed as a "fable of the incarnation." I find it rather a parable--but, like several of the pieces here, well done. The genres include epic nursery rhyme, litany, melodrama, and parable. Examples of good parables are "O'Patrick the 'Possum That Played Alive" (19), ""Home At Last" (41), and "Mister T" (83). I am delighted to have been introduced to this book.
1980 Quatre Fables d'Esope pour Valerio Adami/Quattro Favole d'Esopo per Valerio Adami. Italo Calvino. Valerio Adami. Portfolio. Paris: Derriere le Miroir, No. 239: Maeght Editeur. $195 from The BookCellar.com, Dec., '02.
Here is a curious large-format portpholio containing a few pages of text and fifteen large, dramatic illustrations, some colored and some black-and-white. Though one refers to Aesop (#8, "Esope - epigramme" on 2), these really do not work with fable material in the stricter sense that I use. Some are mythological, like those dealing with Prometheus (#5), Oedipus (#14), Pandora's box (#15), or the Chimaera (#16). Other are less specific: "Kiss of the Moon," "Il mio studio in Italia," or "Trilogia." A four-page insert does the same text as the original French in Italian. This is "modern art." I do not know what period or school it belongs to. It mixes representational elements with evocative symbolic elements. In the colored work, the color compositions are lovely and sometimes bold. I like them. The cover's picture of a face with the crescent moon is very similar to an element in "The Kiss of the Moon." There is a T of C at the back.
1980 Secme La Fontaine Masallari [Selected Fables]. Translated by Nükte Ugurel, Seyit Kemal Karaalioglu, and Nevzat Kizilcan. Paperback. Istanbul: Inkilap ve Aka. $27 from Rifat Behar, Istanbul, Jan., '01.
This 319-page paperback in fair condition has a simple colored cover of FS and a back cover of TH, both stolen from Simonne Baudoin. There are some 122 fables here, listed in a T of C at the back. The simple black-and-white illustrations seem to be drawn from a number of different styles and sources. I paid too much for this book, but how often does one have a chance at a Turkish fable book?!
1980 The Exploding Newspaper and Other Fables. Cecil Helman. London: The Menard Press. $5 at Green Apple, San Francisco, Dec., '90.
There is nothing really Aesopic here. I like one story ("Poetry Fish") now that I have read all thirty-six. Perhaps everyone finds one story to like. Otherwise I find these prose poems or parables seldom profound, occasionally clever, often angry, and ultimately sophomoric. The best of the rest: "The Cheese Orgy," "The Square Banana," "The Exploding Newspaper," and "The Marriage in the Marsh."
1980 The Lion and the Mouse. An Aesop Fable. Pictures by Ed Young. Benn Book Collection. First edition in the USA. Second Printing 1980. Printed in England. Garden City: Doubleday and Company. See 1979/80.
1980 The Tortoise and the Hare: Peter Pan Book & Record. Illustrated by Chris Santora. Pamphlet. Printed in USA. Newark: Peter Pan Industries. $2 from Joyce Dills, Eminence, KY, through Ebay, August, '00.
This is a pamphlet about 7" x 7½" containing a 45 rpm record. As the cover proclaims, "The book follows the recording word for word." The illustration style is decidedly juvenile. A typical and revealing illustration has Toby the Tortoise dragging Hippy the Hare to the starting line. Toby decides to "take a quick nap." At the end Toby creeps "off into the woods, alone and ashamed, but much wiser for having learned an important lesson." There are sections of verse in the booklet, no doubt sung on the recording.
1980 The Unbroken Web: Stories and Fables. Richard Adams. Color plates by Yvonne Gilbert; Black and white drawings by Jennifer Campbell. Hardbound. Dust jacket. NY: Crown Publishers. $4.95 from Brookline Village Books, MA, Oct., '98.
By the author of Watership Down, this book presents first-person narration of some nineteen folktales. A specific narrator tells the story to a group of hearers in a specific time and place. As dreams express something to an indvidual, folktales express something to us; for Adams, folktales are collective dreams. The unbroken web is a sphere that "soaks up, transmutes, and is charged with human experience." The storyteller reaches up and brings down a part of that sphere and then releases it, and it springs back and continues in rotation. However, when hearing or reading the stories, we should not be preoccupied with meaning. Some meanings may have disappeared; today, subconscious and psychological meanings may be especially perceptible. But the tales will outlast their meanings. The unbroken web is impenetrable. The first of the stories, "Cat in the Sea," is a version of the "I left my liver at home" story. As Gilbert's illustration for "The Giant Eel" shows, some of the stories touch on deep issues of sexuality, conflict, and survival. I also read and enjoyed "The Mice in the Corn" and "The Iron Wolf." Adams is right: these stories touch on deep issues and experiences. The four I read move well beyond fable into well presented folktale. The colored illustration for "The Iron Wolf" (100-101) may be one of the strongest. The book was published in England as "The Iron Wolf and Other Stories."
1980 Twelve Tales from Aesop. Retold and illustrated by Eric Carle. Dust jacket. (First published by Stalling: Oldenburg, Munich and Hamburg as Der Affe und der Fuchs.) NY: Philomel Books: Putnam. $9.95 from Kieser in Omaha, 1982. Extra copy from New England Mobile Book Store.
Both art and narrative are lively and playful. FC and GA offer excellent illustrations from this fine piece of work. The crow holds a sausage in his beak, a plate with another sausage in one foot, and a knife and fork in his hands, while a wine-bottle and glass sit perched in the tree! The version of the latter transforms the traditional ending: one last ant who appreciates his music opens her home to the grasshopper. Enjoy the development of the narrative of OF as family members shout that they love the frog as he is! I like this book a great deal.
1980 Twelve Tales from Aesop. Eric Carle. Signed, with a sketch, by Eric Carle. Hardbound. NY: Philomel Books: Putnam. $25 from an unknown source, July, '01.
This copy is identical with another I have listed under the same headings and with the same information, but this copy has a delightful Eric Carle sketch on the title page, along with the message "For our friend Hank Bartlett, Happy Birthday! Barbara, Eric, Cirsten and Rolf." It is signed "Eric Carle, June 1981." I will add the comments I made on the other copy. Both art and narrative are lively and playful. FC and GA offer excellent illustrations from this fine piece of work. The crow holds a sausage in his beak, a plate with another sausage in one foot, and a knife and fork in his hands, while a wine-bottle and glass sit perched in the tree! The version of the latter transforms the traditional ending: one last ant who appreciates his music opens her home to the grasshopper. Enjoy the development of the narrative of OF as family members shout that they love the frog as he is! I like this book a great deal.
1980 Wie die Maus den Löwen rettete. Aesops Fabel. Illustriert von Ed Young. 1979 original The Lion and the Mouse: An Aesop Fable (Ernest Benn). Zürich und München: Artemis Verlag. See 1979/80.
1980 Zwanzig Fabeln des Aesop. Erzählt von Kurt Baumann. Illustrationen von Bernadette. Hardbound. Mönchaltorf und Hamburg: Ein Nord-Süd Bilderbuch: Nord-Süd Verlag. €10 from Steeler Antiquariat, Essen, Sept., '12.
Here is a large-format presentation of twenty fables, listed on the title-page across from a lovely full-page illustration titled "Fabulier-Stunde," which features a fox and a rabbit in a large field looking onto a farm home, barns, and birds. I am surprised that I have missed this book up until now. The illustrations alternate between black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings and full-colored illustrations. Each fable gets a two-page spread, except that FC and FG share a pair of pages. Each moral is given in rhymed verse. Black-and-white illustrations often include an inset-box. The quatrain for GGE gives an alternate version: people had to pay so much tax on the golden eggs that they avoided more golden eggs and preferred to eat the goose! This is a lovely book! Both text and picture are well thought through time after time! I enjoy Baumann's spirit in his preface as he asks what we should make of the morals of Aesopic fables: "Von Aesop selbst stammt mit Sicherheit keiner dieser Lehrsätze, die Moral liegt ja schon im Zweck der Fabel." He mentions, I think with proper pride, that no German language edition was the basis for his texts of the fables. See the English version, Aesop's Fables, by Dent in 1980 and the Japanese version, From Aesop's Stories, by Nishimura Shoten in 1990, both derived from this original edition.
1980/82 Eat and Be Eaten. Iela Mari. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. Woodbury, NY: Barron's Educational Series. $2.50 from an unknown source, June, '97.
Here is a fascinating book that I picked up somewhere sometime along the way. Is what it presents a fable? I do not know. It is in any case very suggestive and imaginative. Each set of pages presents a portion of an animal or of two animals, so that the story always continues onto the next set of pages. In the first pages a black cougar pursues a wolf, who in turn pursues a cat pursuing a hawk pursuing a snake pursuing a frog. The series goes on to include a dragonfly, mosquito, a hunter with a rifle, a lion, a crocodile, and…a cougar chasing a wolf's hind legs. The perceptions suggested by this all-visual tale are certainly the kind that fable invites. The bibliographical material includes "Stampa Industrie Grafiche Cattaneo S.p.A., Bergamo - 1982."
1980/82 Gli Animali Nelle Favole di ieri e di oggi. Illustrate da Attilio. Seconda ristampa. Florence: Giunti/Marzocco. 4800 lire in Rome, Fall, '83.
The last three sections are on La Fontaine, Phaedrus, and Aesop. This book contains repeats of Fedro (1976) and perhaps a few others in the same style.
1980/83 Fables. Written and Illustrated by Arnold Lobel. 1983: First Edition as a Harper Trophy Book. Harper and Row. Gift of Elizabeth Willems, Dec., '86, and of Maryanne Rouse, Nov., '91. Extra copy with slight changes a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '97.
A Caldecott Award winner, and rightly so. One-page tales, perhaps animal short stories rather than fables, face excellent illustrations. The best are perhaps "The Hen and the Apple Tree" and "The Elephant and the Sun," but also good are "King Lion and the Beetle," "Baboon's Umbrella," "The Ostrich in Love," "The Poor Old Dog," "The Pelican and the Crane," and "The Mouse at the Seashore." Contrast "Camel" with the Aesopic fable on the same subject. The Ryan copy has two curious changes. The price has gone up from $4.95 to $5.95, and there is no longer mention on the verso of the title-page of the "First Harper Trophy Edition, 1983." I will keep all three in the collection.
1980/84 Fables de la Chine Antique. Illustrations de Feng Zikai. Avant-Propos de Wei Jinzhi. 2e Tirage. Paperbound. Beijing: Editions en Langues Etrangeres. €20 from Vanderven Art Books, 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, through ZVaB, Sept.,' 05.
This seems to be, in paperback, a longer version of a book I happen to have in both English and German versions from 1957. The titles there were Ancient Chinese Fables and Alte Chinesische Fabeln. The artist, here Feng Zikai, was Feng Tse-Kai in the English version and Fung Dse-kai in the German. Though this version has one-hundred-and-twenty-one fables as opposed to the sixty-two in both of those editions, the same old favorites are present here. "The Bird Killed by Kindness" has become "Le Prince et l'Oiseau de Mer" (10); "Suspicion" has the same title (22); "The Man Who Sold Spears and Shields" becomes "Le Lance et le Bouclier" (32); "Waiting for a Hare to Turn Up" becomes "Le Paysan qui Attendait son Lievre" (37); "The Snipe and the Mussel" is now "Le Becassine et la Palourde" (48); "The Fox Who Profited by the Tiger's Might" is "Le Renard et le Tigre" (49); "The Wrong Direction" is "La Mauvaise Direction" (52); and "The Holy Eel" is "Le Poisson Surnaturel" (77). The illustrations seem identical.
1980/85 [Korean]. ("Aesop's Fables"). "Fox and Stork" on cover. Edited by Kyung Hee Yun. Illustrator not acknowledged. Seoul: Kana. $2.10 at an Eastgate shop in Seoul, June, '90.
This book is in the "thick pages" competition! The illustrations are so strong and dramatic that one needs no text! My favorite illustrations are from the bat story. The other two stories are FS and BF. This layout uses small pictures to complement one big picture per pair of pages. Apparently this book is #1 in a series of 20 pictured on the back cover.
1980/86 Iwan Krylow: Der Affe und die Brillen: Fabeln. Aus dem Russischen übersetzt von Ferdinand Löwe. Ausgewählt und bearbeitet von Helmut Grasshoff. Illustrationen von Eva Johanna Rubin. Mit einem Nachwort von Annelies Grasshoff. 2. Auflage. Hardbound. Berlin: Die Goldene Reihe: Der Kinderbuchverlag. €6 from Dresdener Antiquariat, Dresden, August, '07.
Here are eighty-one fables of Krylov on 126 pages, as the T of C contained on the last pages makes clear. That is a significant grouping of translated fables. The cover illustration of the monkey with spectacles is excellent. The black-and-white illustrations, even of the same picture, are less engaging. I tried a dozen of the fables and enjoyed them thoroughly. The German is easily intelligible, I believe. Though the paper is cheap and the illustrations could be better presented, a book like this shows what East German publishing was able to achieve.
1980/88 Fables of Aesop. The World Literature Bestseller: English-Korean Bilingualism. S.A. Handford (English). No indication of Korean translator. No illustrations. Macaw Series. 1988 reprint of a 1980 edition? Seoul?: Choun Publishing Co. $3.50 at Kyobo in Seoul, June, '90.
Now here is a fascinating book. It is a new edition (with 203 fables) based on the 1979 edition (which had 130). Apparently both used S.A. Handford's Penguin texts. This book simply photocopies them (with a few inserted footnote numbers)! Konglish mistakes add charm to the T. of C. This book has a new publisher, better paper, and a taller format.
1980? Aesop's Fables. A new translation by V.S. Vernon Jones with an introduction by G.K. Chesterton and illustrations by Arthur Rackham. Facsimile of the 1912 edition. NY: Avenel Books: Crown Publishing Co. See 1912/80?.
1980? Aesop's Fables. Paperbound. Calcutta: Script. 60 Rupees from College Road, Calcutta, Dec., '13.
This is a paperback that I picked up along College Road in Calcutta among the many booksellers. It features 153 numbered fables, each with one or two line drawings, simple in character. The back cover is no help when it describes Aesop's life in these terms: "He was probably a slave and his master was a kindhearted man who freed hip later." Hip? Kindhearted? Aesop gets around!
1980? Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Land #14 (Japanese). Tokyo?: Sekai-Bunka-Sha. 300 yen at Miwa, Tokyo, July, ’96.
An unusual music-and-story book with large, heavy pages. "Isoppu Monogatari" (Aesop’s Stories) occupies 18-40. This section includes six fables. Perhaps the best illustration is the grand spread for BF (22-23). BBB receives a great deal of space (30-37). In this section Aesop appears as a very friendly and engaging mouse with a pipe. He appears on the cover and in the other two illustrations given to fables as a group, at the beginning and end of this section. Apparently, the this section of the book is untouched by the music of the stories that precede it and the songs-with-musical-notation that follow it.
1980? Fabels. Door Alexander Pola met tekeningen van Eppo Doeve. Den Haag: Zuidgroep. 12 Guilders at Kok, Dec., '88.
A wonderful addition to the history of the political fable. Several Aesopic fables are directly alluded to: "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, OF, and "The Bear and the Bees." The drawings are lively and seem very pointed, sometimes brutal. I wish I could read Dutch!
1980? Fables from Czechoslovakia. From Fables by Mother with Pictures by Father by F.J. Andrlík and Ant. Krátky. Translated and adapted by M. Melvina Svec. Illustrations by Jean E. King. Second edition, eleventh printing. Cedar Rapids, IA: Czech Heritage Foundation. Gift of Catherine and Gerald Sazama, Sept., '93. Extra copy of the tenth printing an anonymous gift, Sept., '93.
Ten simple fairy tales, sometimes quite sentimental, with heavy morals about obeying parents, being courteous, and working before playing. "The Kids and the Wolf" (16) is closest to a standard fairy tale. In "The Good Tubing" (19), the bear is trapped in the wedge by his intended victim, Grandfather Souchek. Dwarves give Peter a cap that renders him invisible (22). He may eat all he wants, but he may not take any food with him. The best of the simple illustrations may be that of the hen with her feet up in the air (27).
1980? Fábulas de Iriarte. Illustrator not acknowledged, but BORT appears on cover illustration. ©1965 Susaeta Ediciones, Madrid (as one learns from the 1989 Suromex edition). Medellin, Colombia: Susaeta. $3 at Didactica Avance, Porlamar, Venezuela, May, '91.
Newbigging says that Las Fabulas Literarias (1782) included 67 fables, and there seem to be 66 here! T of C at the back. Great simple colored art. The moral is given in a prose parenthesis beforehand. My favorites are "El Burro Flautista" (21) and "Los Dos Tordos" (93). It is great at last to get a complete (?) original Iriarte.
1980? Famous Stories from Aesop's & Panchatantra. Hardbound. Printed in Delhi, India. Delhi, India: Dhingra Publishing House. $6.65 from Deana Kuehn, Tomball, TX, through Ebay, June, '00.
This is a strange book. The English and the bookbinding are equally suspect. Strange phrases and typos appear, even as signatures separate from each other. The "Foreword" has a fragment in its first paragraph. So it is an adventure to read! Sentences sometimes read as though written by someone learning English. One finds, for example, this sentence in "Lioness and the Bear": "Nor you feel sorry for the deer which you hunted this week" (20). This fable itself is unusual, since the mother lion loses her cubs, is chided by the bear she has often victimized, finds the cubs with the bear's help, remembers her advice for a few days, and soon returns to hunting. The extreme in mistakes comes in "Fox and the Dragon" (112) and "Trout for Tea" (138). FG (60) gets an unusual twist. A sparrow takes pity on the frustrated fox. The fox says that he is lucky not to have swallowed sour grapes not fit for foxes. The sparrow takes to heart the advice to leave alone things that are not the sparrow's concern. From then on they become fast friends. The donkey in "The Horse and the Donkey" (130) only faints, and then is put on the horse's back. New to me are "Camel's Long Neck" (62), "Gift of the River" (70), "Monkeys and the Caps" (80), "The Troubled Tortoise" (83), "The Swallows and the Spider" (87), "The Mongoose and the Snake" (88), "Donkey Playing the Sitar" (99), "The Eagle Trapped" (125), and "The Jingling of Coins" (144). The latter and "Monkeys and the Caps" are particularly well done. This book adds a second phase to the usual fable of two goats on a narrow bridge (91), in which two other goats handle the problem in wiser fashion. Unusual art can be found with "Lark and Her Young Ones" (72). The artist here does a good job of showing how a cat can hide himself in a sack of flour (134). This is an enthusiastic book, but it needs more technique.
1980? Four Confusing Tales each illustrated by six up-turnable pictures from the incredible Topsy-Turvy world of Gustave Verbeek. Pamphlet. Printed in England. St. Margaret, UK: Tobar Limited. £3 from Marcet Books, Greenwich, London, UK, June, '02.
Here is one of the strangest books I have found for this collection. I had encountered topsy-turvy books before, and they may well have come from Verbeek (once known as Verbeck). I was amazed to find what I thought was GGE among the four stories in this pamphlet found in one of the three or four bookshops I found in Greenwich. All four plots are unlikely. As the introduction points out, they pay tribute to one of the most unusual minds to offer illustrated stories. For sixty-four straight weeks starting in 1903 Verbeek produced a story in six panels that continued as the reader followed the panels again in reverse order upside down. The stories are here reproduced for the first time in their original color. The twenty-four page pamphlet includes very helpful instructions on where to go next. I need these instructions at the mid-points and endings of the stories. All the stories feature Lovekins and Muffaroo; one is the other when you turn them upside down. Actually, not much more than the title and the existence of a golden-egg laying goose relates to the traditional GGE fable. Verbeek cleverly uses the fable, though, in setting up the unlikely plot for this story. The story features a river, a log, a drowning young lady with a large feather in her hat, and a golden-egg-laying goose. Not your standard cast for a story! There is very good fun and bizarre artistry here!
1980? Freakmole's Fables. J.D. Roberts. Limited edition of 100 (signed) copies, this copy unsigned. Paperbound. £ 10 from Peter Ellis, London, through abe, May, '03.
This is a curiously minimalist typescript pamphlet of 40 pages which lists not even an author. It claims to be one of one hundred signed copies but is not signed. The texts--from one to three per page--are fables, but are decidedly surreal. A television set asks an ear of corn contemptuously what he can do and receives the answer that he is fit only to be eaten (3). On the same page, a poet demanded that a businessman justify himself. "That hardly seems necessary, thought the businessman, continuing to tread with his boots on the Poet's face." The humor can be fun. One mole tells another that television is an achievement by means of which men in Teheran can see a girl waggle her hips in Boston. The second asks if the girls in Teheran cannot waggle their hips. "Presumably" is the answer, but now they are freed for other occupations. Like what? Like making tv sets, under a license from Boston (5)! A list of kings shows Ambrose the Savage, James the Horrible, and Paul the Ferocious each reigning between sixty-eight and seventy-eight years, while Theodore the Pacific ruled for one year (10). While the rabbit is racing the tortoise, the fox picks up the former in his air claptraption. The claptraption reaches the winning post just before the tortoise, and in landing both the fox and rabbit break their necks (33)!
1980? La Fontaine, Ezop: Masallar, Secmeler. Kapak Resmi: Memik Kayaoglu. Paperback. Ankara: Genclik Klasikeri: Ergun Yayinlari. $5.00 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
La Fontaine seems to be represented on 5-95, and Aesop on 97-157. This is another simple Turkish paperbound edition, perhaps meant for schools. No illustrations. No T of C or AI.
1980? La Souris des Villes et la Souris des Champs. Raymond Lichet. Illustré par Maurice Grimaud. Paris: Hachette. $2.90 at Foreign Book Importers in DC, June, '89.
A charming kids' reader with pleasant illustrations. Different here: the whole civilization is a mouse civilization! Alice drives out to Victorine's country place in a mouse car. Victorine gets her tail caught in an elevator in town!
1980? Lafonten Hikayeleri: Karga ile Tilki. Kapak Duzeni: M. Delioglu. Ceviren: Necat Akdemir. Paperbound. Istanbul: Lafonten Hikayeleri Serisi: No 4: Isil Yayinevi. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Feb., '04.
This is a 32-page pamphlet containing four fables, each with a simple black-and-white drawing. FC is on the cover. The four fables here are FC, GA, "The Lion and the Donkey," and (perhaps) "The Stag Seeing Himself in the Water."
1980? Les Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par des enfants et interprétées par l'imitateur Jean Valton à la manière des Grandes Vedettes. Pamphlet. Printed in France. Series: Alors, Raconte… Paris: Dillard et Cie. $4 from Pierre Cantin, Chelsea, Quebec, through Ebay, Feb., '01. Extra copy (2010), which I will keep with the records, while the first copy stays with the books.
This square little presentation 7¼" square offers five delightful illustrations by children, the texts of six fables, and a 45 rpm record. The first of the illustrations is on the cover. La Fontaine writes seated under a tree, while various animals look on. Of the other four illustrations, I recommend especially FC. The other three present TH, GA, and OR. The record was produced by La Discotheque de Paris.
1980? Pohádky nasí matinky s tatínkovymi Obrázky. Czech original of Fables by Mother with Pictures by Father. By F.J. Andrlík and A. Krátkého. Sixth Printing. Cedar Rapids, IA: Czech Heritage Foundation. $3.50 from the publisher by mail, Dec., '93.
To my surprise, this book is not a virtual facsimile of the English translation. I believe it takes Krátkého's simple, dramatic art work from about 1930 and reproduces it. See my comments on the English.
1980? Tierfabeln. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Mit Original-Lithographien von Kurt Steinel. Privatdruck. Frankfurt am Main: Ludwig & Mayer. DM 75 from Ernst Hoffmann, Frankfurt, June, '95.
My first find in Germany on this trip. Of course Herr Hoffmann had said that he had nothing for me; I also found a Desbillon edition. Very large format. It is strange that so deliberate a book includes no date of publication. The large illustrations--eight on a single page, and five spreading across two--have their own style: big and strong on the texture of the brush-strokes. Perhaps the strongest include the two-page spreads of the camel and horses, the fox and the tiger, and the apes. Good and new to me: "Die Maus," "Der Stier und der Hirsch," and "Die Nachtigall und die Lerche." It can be difficult here to distinguish Lessing's poetic from his prose fables. Are those last two questions in FS directed to the reader? There are thirty-eight of Lessing's 105 fables here, including one set of two ("Die Wohltaten") and one of four ("Der Rangstreit der Tiere").
1980? Jean de la Fontaine: 60 Fabels. Vertaald door Mr. M.G.L. van Loghem. Met oude gravures van Gusave Doré. Tweede druk. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Huizen, Netherlands: B.V. Uitgeversbedrijf het Goede Boek. € 5 from a bookstore in s'-Hertogenbosch, July, '06.
This is a standard book of Doré's illustrations to La Fontaine, very similar to books I have in French, English, and German. Large format, 126 pages. I was happy to find a new fable book in my first afternoon in Holland. There is a T of C at the end. The cover has "Zestig Fabels," while both dust jacket and title-page use a number in the title. It would be easier to assess what "tweede druk" means if the book would offer a date of publication.
1980? ?????. (Thai booklet with lion and mouse in cameo on cover picturing witch and shepherdess.) All bibliographical data in Thai. $.80 at weekend market in Bangkok, June, '90.
Two fables are illustrated with eight pages of simple green monochrome each at the beginning: "Talkative Turtle" and "Frogs Desiring a King." Then lots of stories without English or illustrations. T of C at the beginning.
1981 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Heidi Holder. No indication of authorship. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Viking Press. Two copies, gifts from Maureen Hester and Thomas Lukaszewicz, S.J., '82. Extra copy of the first printing for $10 at Lanny Davidson, Santa Rosa, Dec., '96.
Lavish and well done. Worth looking at for any of the nine fables she does. Now see 1993 for a reduced-in-page-size paperbound version done by Penguin Puffin. It admits that the text "was adapted by the editors at The Viking Press from several sources, primarily those of Boris Artzybasheff and Sir Robert [sic] L'Estrange."
1981 Aesop's Fables. With Drawings by Fritz Kredel. Paperbound. NY: Illustrated Junior Library: Grosset & Dunlap. $3, Feb., '84.
Simple artwork that can be of value. The book includes several colored pages besides a number of black-and-whites. The tellings of the tales may be most helpful for the clear morals. See the original hardbound versions of 1947.
1981 An Aesop's Fable: The Man and the Lion. (Peter Thomas). (Linoleum cuts by Donna Thomas). #35 of 70 copies. Hardbound. Santa Cruz: The Good Book Press. $75 from John Michael Lang Fine Books, Seattle, WA, Sept., '08.
Here is another lovely mini-book from the Good Book Press of Peter and Donna Thomas. I already have their The Old Man and Death from 1986. The present volume came along with The Miser from 1982. There are two linoleum cuts within the sixteen pages of the book. The first is of the man and lion travelling together; the second presents the statue of a man subduing a lion. The story closes in unusually fine fashion here: "'You can see,' said the man, 'that men are indeed stronger than lions.' 'I can see,' said the other, 'that this statue was not carved by a lion.'" There is a small diamond-shaped cover design of a lion. The colophon page here makes no mention of the Thomases. This copy is not signed. The colophon page indicates only that this is copy #35 of 70.
1981 Baby's Own Aesop. Being the Fables Condensed in Rhyme with Portable Morals. Pictorially pointed by Walter Crane. Engraved and printed in colours by Edmund Evans. Rhymed version of W.J. Linton. London and NY: George Routledge and Sons. 1981 reproduction by Holp Shuppan, Tokyo. See 1887/1981.
1981 Belling the Cat. Carol Barnett. American English Readers. Original edition of same name by same author, ©1979 by National Textbook Company. Printed in Hong Kong. Tokyo: Oxford University Press. $.50, Summer, '89.
A lively version involving the personalities of the whole mouse family, particularly the hungry young Michael and his wise old grandfather. The illustrations are simple and spirited.
1981 Classical Fable (Russian). Collected and edited with notes by M.L. Gasparov and I.Y. Podgaetskiy. Hardbound. Printed in Moscow. Moscow: Moscow Worker Publishing House. $18 from Szwede Slavik Books, Palo Alto, CA, March, '96.
This is a historical anthology of fables in Russian, covering three major periods. Unfortunately, Roman numerals are used to mark both the major sections and the minor sections contained within them. In the first major section, there are especially fables from Aesop, Phaedrus, Babrius, with a scattering of authors represented by a few fables. The second segment deals with Western Europe; it includes fables from such writers as Leonardo, Martin Luther, La Fontaine, Fenelon, and Florian. The third large segment offers Russian fables. The back of the book contains a brief but dense commentary, a glossary, and a T of C. This is a serious book of texts.
1981 Der Kuckuck und der Esel: alte und neue Fabeln aus Hansens Haus. Peter-T. Schulz. Paperbound. Cologne: DuMont Taschenbücher Band 114: DuMont Buchverlag. €4 from Secondhand Buchhandel Kantstr. 92, Berlin, August, '09.
One is tempted to designate this lovely work as nonsense poetry, perhaps in the same sense as the work of Edward Lear. Illustration and verse work together nicely to raise perception and question. "Es war einmal ein Augenblick, der entwischte,/gerade, as ich nach ihm fischte!" Mother raven asks child raven if he knows what he will one day become. "Ya. Mörder!" A fine combination of text and picture features two old shoes. They came from the same piece of leather; they went the same ways; they grew old together; they ended up together on a shelf. Still many people remember that that was once a good pair of shoes. Or just a text: "At the border, words failed the language." I enjoy these. It might be that one cannot take too many at one sitting. Delightful art!
1981 Dr. Gardner's Fables for Our Times. Richard A. Gardner. Illustrations by Robert Myers. Apparent first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics. $17.50 from Alibris, Nov., '00.
Here are thirteen original fables ranging from seven to eighteen pages in length. The "Introduction for Adults" on 16 treats fable as "one of the purest forms of allegory" and adds "But the sine qua non of the fable is that its protagonists be animals." Gardner presents his stories here to show healthy ways of adapting. Children in particular can talk about their behavior better in the form of stories. In particular, Gardner likes to use a Mutual Storytelling Technique in which he creates stories modelled after one which a child has already given but showing healthier ways of adapting. His first story (21) shows that a showoff peacock loses out when it comes to forming a family, because the peahens all think that he will be more interested in himself than in their children. In the second (27), Roo stays in his mother kangaroo's pouch when his twin Koo starts going out to play with others. Roo is afraid of being hurt. After some struggle, he learns to risk the pain of the outside world for its pleasures. "The Dogs and the Thieves" (77) is a version, I would say, of BW. During a robbery, Barky barks, but he has always barked, and no one pays attention. Besides, he is afraid to bite. When Sparky, who has not always been barking, barks, people pay attention; and he bites the thieves. The stories seem to me simple and effective for children. They are followed by a few lessons in each case.
1981 El Hacha de Oro. Adaptación: Fang Yuan. Dibujos: Yang Yongqing. Primera edición. Ediciones en Lenguas Extranjeras. Beijing: Talleres Gráficos de la Editorial de Educación del Pueblo. $8.95 at Allá, Santa Fe, May, '93.
A beautifully illustrated large pamphlet matching the English The Golden Axe done at the same time by the same publishers. See my comments there on the story and the art. How nice to find an old friend in a strange new place in slightly different garb! This edition adds page numbers as paragraph markings before the text of each page.
1981 El Honrado Leñador. No author or illustrator acknowledged. Pamphlet with top and side edges cut to match the cover illustration. Printed in Spain. Puig (Valencia): europa-ediexport. 5 pesos at open market in Juarez, August, ’96.
This version centers around a "duendecillo diminuto." There is no second phase in which another person tries to repeat the honest woodman’s good luck. I think this booklet may be related to several others I have that are similarly cut, but I cannot put my finger on them.
1981 El Leon y el Raton. Por Aesop. Traducido por Virginia Barone. Ilustrado por Bob Dole. Pamphlet. Printed in USA. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates. $2 from Reecie Berry, Cordova, TN, through Ebay, August, '00.
See my comments on the English version. I feared after bidding on this booklet that I was purchasing something I already had. Surprise! I was right, but it was in a different language.
1981 Everything That Has Been Shall Be Again: The Reincarnation Fables of John Gilgun. With Nine Wood Engravings by Michael McCurdy. Paperback. St. Paul: The Bieler Press. $10 from Serendipity Books, Berkeley, June, '01.
These nine pieces surprised me. "Fables" might not be the best category for them. They are a delightful exercise in imaginative empathy. The trick is reincarnation: it gets the author inside each of the nine animals. What the reader finds in each case is not really a simple story, but a variety of genres, including fantasy, prayer, reminiscence, monologue, religious apologia, complaint, and diatribe. I found myself saying "Wow!" to piece after piece. That Michael McCurdy illustrates them is not such a surprise to me, since my reaction is much like that to the other work for which I have his illustrations, Aesop's Forest by Robert Coover (1986). Perhaps the most fascinating piece of all for me is "Cow," which turns out to be the reminiscences of Thelma R. Hodge, who lived near Joplin, Missouri. Second place for me goes to "Fox," which is the one-sided conversation of a jaded fox with a newspaper-reporter goose named Greta whom he and his brethren are preparing to devour.
1981 Fabeln von Aesop. J. Pavlin and G. Seda. Hardbound pop-up. Printed in Czechoslovakia. Bayreuth: Sonderausgabe für den Gondrom Verlag. €12 in Heidelberg, July, '14.
Here is the German version of a pop-up book the English version of which I have, published by Brown Watson in 1975. As there, the copyright here belongs to Artia from 1975. The texts here follow that Brown Watson edition rather than the Octopus edition of 1980. The cover here is the same as in the other two versions mentioned, but presents yet a third background color for its FC scene, namely white. As I mention on the Brown Watson edition, the book is a simple, standard pop-up edition. With "The Dog and the Rooster," LM, "The Wolf and the Kid," "The Raven and the Peacock," OF, and FS. I wish they also had a pop-up of the cover picture of FC. I had found this edition in inferior condition fourteen years ago. How nice now to find a copy in excellent condition!
1981 Fable Plays for Oral Reading: Teacher's Guide. By Elizabeth McCann. Illustrated by Nancy King. Paperbound. North Billerica, MA: Intensive Skills Series: Curriculum Associates. $2.95 from Jamie Sawyer, Houston, TX, through eBay, April, '04.
"Adapted from Aesop's Fables." This rather thick 8½" x 11" paperbound book is the teacher's guide. I do not yet have the book itself. The book presents twelve fables, all with multiple mimeograph master-pages. Ah, the joy of purple pages! There is plenty of purple seep-through here. There are illustrations on each of the hand-outs to be reproduced. Each fable is presented in dialogue form. As McCann's introduction indicates, the book presents a number of items for each fable: a text, a story capsule and moral, a list of characters with the appropriate reading level for each character, and comprehension questions for discussion. There are voice directions as well as illustrations with each fable. The indications of reading level point out the important vocabulary for that reader. This book takes me back to a time when the teacher who produced the most purple pages was technologically the most advanced.
1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. I. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. See 1765/1981.
1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. II. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. See 1766/1981.
1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. III. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. See 1768/1981.
1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. IV. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. See 1773/1981.
1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. V. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. See 1774/1981.
1981 Fables Choisies Mises en Vers par J. de la Fontaine: Nouvelle Edition Gravée en taille-douce, Vol. VI. Les Figures par le Sr. Fessard; Le Texte par le Sr. Montulay. Limited facsimile edition of 800, Nr. 102?. Hardbound. Paris: Valmer-Bibliophilie. See 1775/1981.
1981 Fables de la Fontaine. Marie Angel. Published together with an English translation by Sir Edward Marsh. ©1979 Hermann Schroedel Verlag. ©1981 Neugebauer Press. London: Neugebauer Press. See 1979/81.
1981 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Saint-Justh. ©1963 Éditions Bias. See 1963/81.
1981 Fables de La Fontaine. Images de André Verret. Paris: Editions G.P. 65 F at Gibert Jeune, Paris, Aug., '88.
I like this book. Its paintings for kids have an exuberant (sometimes even overexuberant) quality; they are alive with color and action. Cute mice act out comments, e.g., holding their ears near the frog about to explode. Index at the back. Here are fables enjoyed as they should be. A paper done on this book by a student at Georgetown helped me discover many of its charms.
1981 Fables from an Island. J. Stella Sonier. Paperbound. Block Island, RI: J. Stella Sonier. $3.99 from Richard Henn, Block Island, RI, through eBay, April, '08.
There are twenty-four pieces here on 148 pages. There are no illustrations. At the end of the prologue we find a good description of what is coming: "stories that come from secret sources, these tales of what might have occurred, once upon a time, on this mystical island that I love" (2). I read the first story and found it truly touching. Two old islanders sit on the porch on Saturday morning and watch the world go by. It turns out that there Jack has had a stroke and cannot speak. Evelina apologizes to him for not enjoying his clowning more. I doubt that a reader will find any fables in the stricter sense in this book. I bought it on eBay with a companion piece, "The Felix: An Island Tale."
1981 Fables Omnibus. Jean Anglade. Dessins de Jean-Gabriel Séruzier. Hardbound. Paris: Julliard. $17.96 from Encore Books, Montreal, through abe, July, '14.
A clever verse preface has the author, sitting at his typewriter, confronted by his nephew asking what he is doing. When he explains, the nephew proceeds to tell the whole neighborhood "Pere Anglade has spent the last three weeks working on composing La Fontaine's fables"! Wikipedia lists this book -- among his voluminous writings -- as one of his "divertissements." An early borrowing from La Fontaine is "L'âne élu président" (18), with, as usual, a full-page black-and-white line drawing. The ass found no way to get ahead. Without vocation, art, title, or status, he had to choose politics. To impress people in a campaign, he wore a lion's skin. He promised all the usual stuff, starting with "Fraternité and liberté," and got elected. When he appeared in his own skin, the populace turned on him, calling him a liar and deceiver. He answered that they had let themselves be deceived. They should have opened their eyes. "Now shut up and respect the President." "L'avare et le miroir" (30) is again, like most here, a one-page verse text faced by a full-page line-drawing. The greedy man uses a mirror every evening before which to double his possessions. They are not paper but gold ingots and coins. As he caresses them, he says that he will keep in his chest only what will take care of his modest needs and that the rest he will abandon to the poor. A last three-line comment notes that this money served well to pay off the humble servants of our governments! "La limace et l'obélisque" (94) tells of a slug who crawled his way up the Luxor Obelisk in Paris and watched the Sunday's doings. "Now, I know, I have left my trace upon history"! There is of course a telling variation on GA (172). The cicada returns after years to plead again but finds only one decrepit ant at home. She declares to the surprised cicada: "The other ants have left to enjoy winter sports elsewhere. There are no ants in this damned century. There are nothing but cicadas!" These are fun!
1981 Fabulas de Esopo. Adaptación: Everardo Zapata Santillana. Ilustraciones: G. Mordillo. Paperbound. Lima: Ediciones Coquito; Iberia S.A. $7.95 from Alibris, Feb., '03.
This book of 126 pages has four parts, clearly marked out in the T of C at the end. It may be in the same series as my 1989 Fabulas de Samaniego from Susaeta by way of Suromax. I have long been a fan of Mordillo's illustrations. Again here, the illustrations are lively and witty. Each page offers one fable, with a multi-colored illustration on the same page. I have tried to make a selection of some of Mordillo's most enjoyable illustrations. They might include "El león y la cabra" (17), in which the lion gestures to the goat to come across the gap between mountain ledges; CJ (30), which I have almost certainly seen in one of Mordillo's other books; "Los lobos y los corderos," in which the lambs shove forward the bound-and-gagged dogs to the friendly-looking wolves (45); "El niño ladrón y su madre" (108), which shows the moment of the first theft; and "El joven y el ladrón" (117). The milkmaid carries her jug with her hands, not on her head (123); only this fable runs over onto a second page. This is my first book printed in Peru--or having anything to do with Peru. It has a red remainder mark on the bottom edge.
1981 Fábulas Forenses de Miguel Esteves Sagui. Antonio E. Serrano Redonnet. 1000 copies. Paperbound. Buenos Aires: Colección del IV Centenario de Buenos Aires: Universidad de Buenos Aires. VEF40 from Librería Kuai-Mare, Venezuela, May, '91.
Here is something a bit exotic. I seem to have found this book of the poetry of Miguel Esteves Sagui during a Beast Fable Society conference in Venezuela in 1991. The best sense I can give of it comes from a review in The Americas, published by the Academy of American Franciscan History in 1984. I cannot establish the author of the review. "In the second volume of the series, the editor presents fables by Miguel Esteves Sagui, a poet, lawyer, and a translator of classical Greek and Latin literature whose life spanned the years from independence to the end of the nineteenth century. The present volume introduces the contemporary reader to Sagui's fables and poetry -- some published here for the first time -- dealing with the law, the courts,and life along the steets and plazas of Buenos Aires in a style reminiscent of Aesop" (264). As the closing T of C indicates, there are some fifty-six fables, besides two in an appendix.
1981 Fāgogo: Fables from Samoa in Samoan and English. Collected, arranged, and translated by Richard Moyle. First edition. Hardbound. Auckland University Press/Oxford University Press. $44 from Rare Books, Auckland, New Zealand, Oct., '98.
Here are seventeen bilingual tales on facing pages. The stories grow out of a project of careful recording of Samoan stories and songs. In fact, the musical staffs are inserted into the text to show the melodies of the songs in these stories. I have read the first five stories. They are folktales full of local color. Their subject seems often to be match-making. Frequently enough, the stories feature ogres. Usually the Samoan is on the left page and English on the right. 84 and 85 switch this approach. There is a helpful and extensive introduction (7-49). The pictures in this book are blue-colored photographs--e.g., of traditional fishing or boating--spread over two facing pages. Examples are on 59 and 75.
1981 Félix Maria Samaniego: Fábulas. Paperbound. Eighth Edition. Madrid: Colleción Austral No. 632: Espasa-Calpe, S.A. See 1946/81.
1981 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. Midland Park, NJ: The University Society, Inc. See 1970/81.
1981 Hares. Edited by D. Wyn Hughes. Various illustrators. Dust jacket. NY: Congdon and Lattes. $1.95 at New England Mobile Book Fair, July, '88.
A small book including great illustrations from throughout history. One Aesopic fable on 48-9 with an illustration from Charles Folkard.
1981 Hidden Pictures and Other Challengers. Highlights Hidden Pictures Series. No author or illustrator acknowledged. Designed by Tim Gillner. Columbus, Ohio: Highlights for Children. $1.13 at Know Knew Books, Nov., '96.
Simple hidden-picture fun. Four of the eighteen pictures are taken from fables: DM (4-5), TT (12-13), FS (22-23), and AL (28-29). TT has a happy ending, when the tortoise falls into a tree and is removed by a puzzled woodcutter.
1981 Historiettes et Fables: Fables de la Fontaine et Contes Inspirés d'Ésope. Illustré par Éric Kincaid. Hardbound. Artima. $4.99 from Chantal Roy, Sept-Iles, Canada, through eBay, Feb., '02.
This French book duplicates Kincaid's Timeless Fables: A Collection of Aesop's Fables published by Brimax in 1981. It is unfortunately lacking pages 39-42 and the stories listed on those pages in the opening T of C. Perhaps the most curious feature of the transposition from English to French is the inclusion of La Fontaine's name in the sub-title of this edition. Not one fable has changed, but for the French the same fables of Aesop become those of Aesop and La Fontaine. Artima on 61 recognizes the rights of Brimax, but does not mention the title of the work replicated here. The larger original from which both seem to come is Brimax's Treasury of Fables: A Collection of Aesop's Fables from 1981, twice the size of either of these books. Again, I am struck with the facial expressions Eric Kincaid gives to both fox and stork in their two scenes together (20-21). Even the contrasting checkered napkins help to set the two scenes against each other. Only TMCM and SW get more than two pages.
1981 Huckaby's Fables & other likely stories. Gerald Huckaby. First edition. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Port Chester, NY: Cherry Lane Books. $9 from The Prince and the Pauper, San Diego, Jan., '01.
The twenty-six fables here are, I would say, adventures in free and whimsical thinking. Mattress and blanket ended their relationship when someone came between them, and there are "still icy sheets of coldness between them." A house zooms around the world every night and disappears when the family in it finally catches it in flight. I am taken with "The Ghost Who Didn't Believe in Ghosts" (15), perhaps because this ghost with almost-hair and almost-eyes speaks in almost-sentences. "The Fox and the Fable" (43) goes through FG but then has the grapes fall before the fox to be gobbled up immediately. And they are sour! The fox screams at this injustice, and a sweet bunch of grapes falls before him. He goes home, bites his vixen, and never opens another book. My prize in the whole collection goes to "The Virtuous Piglet" (47) about the piglet who made a virtue of the necessity of eating. This funny fable approaches Thurberesque quality and includes various endings and various moralizations. The initial of this story--a pig with halo forming an "O"--is the illustration for the book's title-page and dust jacket. "Here" is either a poignant misprint for the required "hear" or a clever pun in the last sentence of 58, from "The Boulder on the Beach," which is about the joy and value of being here. Each fable has a simple initial, and there is a FG illustration at the bottom of the T of C. I find the account of Huckaby on the back flyleaf genuinely entertaining. "Gerald Huckaby was born in 1933, and has pretty much wasted every year since."
1981 I.A. Krylov: Basni: Fables for Middle School Age (Russian). A. M. Laptyev. Preface by I.V. Ilinsky. Canvas-bound. Printed in the Soviet Union. Kiev: Veselka. $1.95 from Szwede Slavic Books, Palo Alto, CA, March, '96.
Here are 192 of Krylov's fables in a canvas-bound book of 192 pages. Fourteen of Laptyev's illustrations appear here. One can find twenty-four of Laptyev's illustrations in my 1973 canvas-bound edition from the "School Library" series published by Children's Literature. See my comments there. Here there is a T of C at the back. There are no book divisions here among Krylov's fables. Why would someone go to the trouble of publishing 192 of Krylov's fables and leave either five or nine behind, depending on which editors one follows?
1981 Ich aber weiss, was Freiheit ist: Fabeln, Poesie und Prosa des Gottlieb Konrad Pfeffel. Einfuhrung und Auswahl Dr. Hermann Ebeling. Hardbound. Karlsruhe: Oberrheinische Texte: G. Braun. €8 from Antiquariat Welz, Heidelberg, August, '09.
Pfeffel is a fascinating figure. He became blind at an early age. His study of diplomacy, the career of his father, had been interrupted. He lived in French Alsace but was most at home in German-speaking culture. His brother had become a French diplomat. He was on his way to becoming a German poet. Surprisingly, he founded a military school, especially for Protestants! He experienced the French revolution and apparently lost a great deal in it. Of the book's six literary parts, the fifth and sixth present two dramas and "The Biography of a Pudel" respectively. Each of the four thematic chapters of fables here works chronologically. The first treats "despotism in either form." It starts in stark fashion with "Der tolle Hund." People in Rome run frantically from a mad dog; only a veteran waits and with one blow from his stick breaks the dog's neck. "He will not stop biting until you have smashed him." A ladybug, tied to a string, is urged to fly. "No. To experience in full flight that one is tied to a despot is the hardest slavery." The lion says to the hedgehog "I can eat you with one bite." "Yes, but you cannot digest me." After Robespierre's edict that there is a God: "Now, God, you may again exist. Be sure to thank the Shah of the Franks!" I do not yet understand the theme in the second group. A noble wants to seem a friend of the people and claims he would burn his "Adelsbrief." "You cannot do that. It is still too fresh and green." The third is titled "Das Jahrhundert der Philosophen." A major commands a cobbler to make him new boots in the English style. The latter goes off without measuring and is hailed back. His response is "You do not know the new fashion. The critical principle of pure bootlearning is that you measure up to others; only when a boot fits everyone can it become your boot." The fourth speaks of Pfeffel as "Ein Elsässischer Gellert - ein LaFontaine aus Colmar." A hamster accedes to the request of a hedgehog to stay the night but soon finds the guest wounding him and driving him out.
1981 Jean de la Fontaine: Fables Choisies. Illustrations de Gustave Doré. Hardbound. Printed in Quebec. Geneva: Éditions de l'Agora SA. $6 from Pierre Cantin, Chelsea, Quebec, through Ebay, Feb., '01.
The most notable features of this book are its superb binding and the fact that it was printed in Quebec. There are both an AI and a T of C at the back. Since the arrangement of La Fontaine's original is kept, one can see by a glance at the T of C which fables were chosen. Something like 60% of La Fontaine's fables are here. The Doré illustrations are not particularly well rendered. The book is in excellent condition.
1981 Juan Ruiz: Arcipreste de Hita: Libro de Buen Amor II. Edición, Introducción y Notas de Jacques Joset. Segunda edición. Paperbound. Printed in Spain. Clásicos Castellanos 17. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, S.A. See 1974/81.
1981 Kalila wa Dimna: Fables from a Fourteenth-Century Arabic Manuscript. Esin Atil. Dust jacket. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. $5 at Bookman's Corner, Chicago, Sept., '91. Paperback for $6 at McIntyre & Moore, June, '91.
A beautiful book. Its excellent reproductions (twenty-four in color) of the seventy-eight illustrations of the Bodleian Manuscript Pococke 400 (from the year 1354) complement well Ramsay Wood's Kalila and Dimna text (1982) and are the basis of the illustrations there. These fables are included: "The Fox and the Drum"; "The Lion and the Hare"; "The Lion, the Crow, the Wolf, the Jackal, and the Camel"; TT; "The Crow, the Mouse, the Tortoise, and the Gazelle"; "The Owls and the Crows"; "The Hare and the Elephant"; "The Monkey and the Tortoise" (here the "I forgot my heart" motif gets an excellent addition when the monkey says "it does not hurt us monkeys to lose our heart" and thus reassures the anxious tortoise); "The Mouse and the Cat"; and "The Traveler and the Jeweler." The story is followed by a careful history of it and its illustration, a detailed description of each illustration, and a bibliography. The inside covers misidentify the two jackals after whom the book is named!
1981 La Fontaine. Bruce Boone and Robert Glueck. Paperback. San Francisco: Black Star Series. $5 at Gotham Book Mart, Feb., '88.
Aesop, then la Fontaine, now Bob and Bruce. The snarling animal on the cover gives the tone of this translation/comment/reinterpretation of la Fontaine. A comment on the back cover speaks aptly of the "grisly political underside of the Fables."
1981 La Fontaine: Le laboureur et ses enfants, Le pot de terre et le pot de fer. Illustrations de Maya Filip. Paperbound. Joinville-Le-Pont: Collection "Fabliaux": Editions Lito-Paris. $5.20 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Sept., '06.
Here is one of a series of some eighteen pamphlets. I am surprised at the title "Fabliaux" since the titles listed on the last page are all fables. At any rate, my work as a collector is cut out for me! This first find from the series contains "The Laborer and His Sons" and 2P. La Fontaine's texts are presented straight, a few lines per page, with accompanying footnotes for antiquated vocabulary. The artwork is colorful and even caricatured. Unusually, I think, for this fable, one of the three "Enfants" is a young woman. She busily scatters seed. That illustration appears reversed on the back cover. The spread showing that they have learned that "work is the treasure" shows the three children enjoying a beer together! In 2P, Filip does some of her best work with the right hand of the clay pot, on the cover and in the story's first image. The pots' shoes are also a nice artistic touch. The poor clay pot is just a heap of pieces in the last image of the story!
1981 La Fontaine Masallari: Fransiz Masallari. Türkçelestirenler: Nükte Ugurel, Seyit Kemal Karaalioglu, and Nevzat Kizilcan. Paperbound. Istanbul: Yasayan Unlu Masallar B14: Inkilap ve Aka. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Feb., '04.
This 96-page paperback book is virtually identical with a copy I received as a gift from Greg Schissel five years earlier. The differences I note are two. There is no pre-title page here with a monkey illustration. And the only date given is 1981, whereas that had a publication date of 1977. Let me mention some of my comments from that listing. Forty-seven fables are listed in the T of C at the end of this paperback. The Henri Rousseau-like cover of LM is signed something like "derman." Two sets of black-and-white illustrations seem involved in the fables. One has a gray background, uneven edges, and indistinct images--like something xeroxed too often. The other is a classic set of line drawings whose provenance I cannot pin down. The bad news is that the back cover's list of volumes in the series includes as Number 6 Ezop Masallari. Though I have found a number of Turkish fable books since then, I still have not found that one. I will have to go to Turkey to get it!
1981 La Oveja negra y demás fábulas. Augusto Monterroso. Con ilustraciones de Felipe Ehrenberg. Dust jacket. Apparently out of series in a limited edition of 2810. Mexico City: Martín Casillas Editores, S.A. $12.95 at Allá, Santa Fe, May, '93.
The texts seem to be exactly those which Bradbury translated in The Black Sheep and Other Fables (1971); see my comments there. How nice to find that the one I picked as setting a tone is in fact the first in order here! The texts seem to have been published first in 1969. The special feature of this work is Ehrenberg's strong art. Of the twelve full-page color illustrations, I like best "Chameleon" (30) and "True Frog" (54). The story-opening capitals are very well done. There are also wonderful endpapers of the "Oveja Negra" itself.
1981 Le Raccolte Francesi di Favole Esopiane dal 1480 alla Fine del Secolo XVI. Gianni Mombello. Paperbound. Geneva/Paris: Centre d'Etudes Franco-Italien, Universités de Turin et de Savoie: Editions Slatkine. Gift of the author, Sept., '97.
Though I cannot read the Italian, I think I can offer these observations on the work of a master. Mombello is tracing the trail of Aesopic translations and imitations that led from Julien Macho in 1480 to Philippe Desprez in 1595. Mombello catalogues translations in his first part and imitations in his second. The work is fundamentally bibliographical, and it seems to have been done with considerable precision. I have consulted the review of this work by Christiane Lauvergnat-Gagnière in Bibliotheque d' Humanisme et Renaissance (V. 46, No. 1, 1984, 220-222), who raises good questions about what definition of fable is at work here and about the easy division into prose translations and verse imitations. Can one distinguish in this epoch translators from imitators? She also asks if this book would not have been helped by an index, especially because there is such a richness of reference in the work. I am proud to have been given a book by a scholar of Mombelli's quality!
1981 Marc Chagall et Ambroise Vollard. Catalogue Complet des Gravures exécutées par Chagall a la Demande de Ambroise Vollard. Charles Sorlier. Marc Chagall. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Paris: Éditions Galerie Matignon. $23.02 from Amazon.com, Jan., '15.
Here is a complete visual catalogue for "Les Ames Mortes," "Fables de Fontaine," and "La Bible." After long negotiations over a much more costly version of this book, I was happy to find it where I had never thought of looking, on Amazon. The book includes texts from Chagall, André Malraux, and Robert Marteau. The texts by the first two at the beginning of the book are each literally one paragraph long. Sorlier offers a longer essay on the interaction of the two men (13-20). Marteau writes the introduction to each of the three sections. Everything in this large-format book is done in black-and-white; even the dust-jacket is done black-and-white on a gray background. Marteau points out that the 1927 agreement between Vollard and Chagall for the fables was for black-and-white etchings. Marteau's view is arresting: "Mais dans ce blanc et noir de l'eau-forte, toute la couleur des gouaches est contenue" (75). Apparently Chagall would keep going over the original etchings to add layer after layer of subtlety. Vollard, through a friend, called Chagall back to Paris in 1923, and Chagall agreed then to do some 118 etchings for "Les Ames Mortes." Apparently that book was not published until 1948 by Teriade. After finishing his work on "Les Ames Mortes," Chagall proposed to Vollard that he do a book of etchings for La Fontaine's fables. That possibility apparently caused an uproar in Paris. Vollard knew what he wanted and had a sense that Chagall could provide it. Chagall did provide a hundred gouaches that Vollard found dazzling. But getting from gouache to copper etching proved difficult. Because of these difficulties, Chagall chose to do black-and-white etchings. Chagall delivered the last of the 100 plates in 1931, but they were not published until Teriade did it in 1952. With that, Chagall turned to "La Bible." The illustrations for La Fontaine's fables here occur either one or four to a page.
1981 Maya O Maya! Rambunctious Fables of Yucatan. By Howard Mitcham. Signed by Mitcham. #130 of 500. Paperbound. Printed in USA. New Orleans: The Hermit Crab Press. $20 from Serendipity Books, Berkeley, through ABE, Feb., '98.
These are humorous parodies of ancient lore about gods, statues, and rites. The first, "The World's Strongest Cocktail," presents Ixnib, the god who invented the drink balche. Besides being hallucingenic, the drink is a powerful emetic and purgative. Ixnib overdosed. Christian priests today still serve balche at Holy Communion--and services do not last long. The figures remind me of Mayan statues in museums and of Calder's line drawings. I think there is nothing here that has to do with fables. I have a queasy feeling as I read this book. Has political correctness and sensitivity changed so much in twenty years? This book seems to ridicule Mayan culture in a way we would not allow today. Amid the genial humor, there is also some that is sophomoric. The Mayans' atonal music "was said to have been invented by an ancient Mayan named Arturo Strindberg."
1981 Medieval Fables: Marie de France. Translated by Jeanette Beer. Illustrated by Jason Carter. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. Limpsfield: Dragon's World, Ltd. $8.98 at Odegard's.
Lovely, lavish illustrations--with a touch of influence from India--well worth including in a lecture, especially DS, TMCM, and "The Stag." The versions are brief; note that they are medieval but claim to be from Aesop. I find this edition inferior in color, printing, and end papers to my 1981/83 edition of the same title from Dodd and Mead.
1981 Medieval Fables: Marie de France. Jeanette Beer. Jason Carter. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Limpsfield: Dragon's World, Ltd. $13.50 from St. Croix, Stillwater, Nov., '92.
This copy is otherwise identical with another book in the collection published by Dragon's World. This copy has that book's green, gold-embossed cover and plain endpapers (not 1981/83 Dodd, Mead's plain maroon cover and marbled endpapers) but has a green dust jacket, which also does not announce itself as printed in Singapore. As I wrote there, this edition has lovely, lavish illustrations--with a touch of influence from India--well worth including in a lecture, especially DS, TMCM, and " The Stag. " The versions are brief; note that they are medieval but claim to be from Aesop. I find these copies inferior in color, printing, and end papers to my 198Jan., '83 edition of the same title from Dodd and Mead.
1981 My Gold Storybook. Various artists, including David Frankland for Aesop. Editor not acknowledged; the Aesop texts seem to be versions revised in Robert Mathias' Aesop's Fables (Silver Burdett, 1983). Printed in Italy. London: Hamlyn. $4.95 at Black Star, Chicago, Sept., '90.
Fables form the backbone of this eclectic reader: thirteen of twenty-five stories. This collection seems to be the source, in the case of Aesop and a few others, for Treasury of Literature for Children (Exeter, 1983). This book is testimony to Aesop's lasting place--and to the deals of go-getter publishers!
1981 Old Tales for New Readers: Aesop Fables. Retold by Mary Johnson. Paperbound. Winnipeg: Clarity Books. $15 from Anderbooks, Regina, Canada, through TomFolio, Jan., '03.
Twenty-five fables are told in a lively, colloquial style, with a crossword puzzle facing each fable text. The booklet seems to be meant for helping people to learn English; besides the T of C and the texts with their puzzles, there is only a final page of practice words. BC (5) is unusually specific, and the change is welcome. The other mice ask the proponent "But are you willing to put the bell on the cat?" I am surprised at the end of "The Man and the Snake" (9), when the man says that this is the last time that he will trust the snake. In almost all other versions, the statement is all too true, since the man is dying right now from the snake's venom! In TH, the hare not only naps but takes a swim (25). The two wives pull out the man's respective black and gray hairs in his sleep (35)! The vine speaks with the doe and watches sadly when she is carried away (37).
1981 Sakyamuni's One Hundred Fables. Translated and annotated by Tetcheng Liao. Paperbound. Taipei: Apparently privately published. $4.99 from Janet VanPatten, Fallbrook, CA, through eBay, Dec., '11.
Here is a paperback version of 98 Buddhist fables. The book is apparently privately published by the translator. I read the first eleven. They seem to me to be closest to the pious anecdotes we read in hagiographical Christian literature like Rodriguez' "The Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues." They tend to show the folly of mistakes in early spirituality. Typical failures are to do a little something, to find it good, and then to overdo it. Alternatively, one fails and then tries to cover the failure and so compounds the problem. The frequent negative conclusion is that one is laughed at, or as one typo has it, "laughted at" (2). There are several such typos on the early pages I read. Let me report on three of these first fables. The first fable features a man who finds a little salt helping the flavor of his food. He then eats a great deal of salt on an empty stomach. So some monks find a little fasting good and then overdo their fasting. Fable 9 finds a man praising his father for giving up sexual desires completely from his earliest youth; he is laughed at when people ask how he came to be conceived. Fable 11 presents a Brahman who predicts that his son will die in a week. To save his reputation for accurate predictions, he kills his son and people come to respect him as a prophet. The introduction claims that Aesop's fables teach moral principles, while Sakyamuni's fables illustrate a religious precept to reflect the nature of human being. These latter are thus in this opinion strictly a religious literature. After an epilogue and a list of errata, apparently all the fables are told in Chinese.
1981 Shards of Light: Fables, Essays, Sonnets, and Humor. By Neil Millar. First printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Cambridge, MA: Foursquare Press. $6.99 from Patrick Bridgman, Rome, NY, through eBay, August, '03.
This is a posthumous collection of writings from an Australian teacher and writer. He worked after World War II in England and then in Boston. The writings have been gathered by his wife Agnes. They start with a drawing of Millar and a biographical sketch. The biographical sketch has two particularly pertinent comments: "The more he wrote, the more he saw himself as an instrument, and his writing as the outcome of his listening" (x). The book's first piece is "Extended Family (Autobiographical Note)." I find it an engaging confession of the importance of his family and the challenge of viewing the rest of humanity--and even the rest of life--as extended family. This piece closes with an autobiographical note that is funny and humble (xiii). The next piece is just one step beyond fable, I believe: "On Taking Up An Art." It presents the story of a squirrel's learning to follow his passion to write. It bristles with funny lines, including this presentation of the young squirrel's discussion with his father: "It's my right to write, and my right must not be left--" (2). The father's answer includes "You'll right no wrongs if your wrong-righting is wrong. The Left isn't always right, you know." The squirrel learns eventually to stop throwing meaning and to start catching it. As for the essays in the book, I like their bearing. They invite to humanity, reconciliation, receptivity, and joy. Do not miss the clever and instructive short story "Love and Brevity" (40) about the marriage of full stop and comma. "Mice of Property" (50) includes a proclaimed fable. It is really, I believe, a good short story, in fact about the value of classical literature. Another announced fable is "Pellucid and Asphodel" (135). Again, it is more complex and heavily laden with levels of meaning than I usually find in a fable, but it is a delightful and instructive piece on the importance of doing what you are made to do. Millar can pun his way delightfully and pointedly through a good piece of literature! I have waited too long a time to catalogue this engaging book! There are, unfortunately, a few typos along the way, like "quetions" on 42, "incicsors" on 50, and "granduer" on 81. An "erratum" slip is inserted at 68. There is an enjoyable ode at the end to those who have read the book, with a smiling drawing of the author on the facing page (190-91). Originally sold by Waters in Boston.
1981 Sin City Fables. Written by Alfa-Betty Olson and Marshall Efron. Illustrated by Steven Guarnaccia. Produced by Steven Heller. NY: A and W Publishers. $2.50 at George Herget, New Orleans, Dec., '92. Extra copy for $1 earlier.
This is one of those books that I found once ten years ago sitting out in a sidewalk box somewhere at a reduced price. Now I have found it again, reexamined it, and like it much more. The three fables come early in the book: "How the Mice Solved Their Problem," FC, and my old favorite for a humorous quip "The Tortoise and his Hair." Do not overlook the beginning letter design of this last one, featuring the bald tortoise. The wit in this book is not bad, though certainly time-bound. It is nice to find an old friend with even more fun than I had remembered.
1981 St Michael Bedtime Stories. Various adapters and illustrators. First published 1979 in St Michael. Made and printed in Great Britain. No place: William Collins Sons and Co. $2 at Pasadena flea market, Aug., '93.
Strange melange of stories of all sorts and even of art of varying sorts. Four fables show up: "The Farmer and the Eagle" (42), FS (50), "The Clever Monkey" (76), and TB (82). The last has an unusual twist: one of the two travellers has a sprained ankle; this circumstance occasions his not getting up a tree as his friend does.
1981 Studies in the Text History of the Life and Fables of Aesop. B.E. Perry. Softbound. Lancaster, PA: Lancaster Press: American Philological Association. Reprint 1981: Chico, CA: Scholars Press. See 1936/81.
1981 Tales from Aesop. Written and illustrated by Harold Jones. Julia MacRae Books. NY: Franklin Watts. $7 from Eva Arond in Cambridge, April, '89.
A charming and colorful book, with illustrations done in a childlike manner. The framing of the illustrations makes for interesting perspectives. The best illustrations include AD, "The Fox and the Lion," and OF (with a chorus of three little frogs). The moral to DS is "Those who try to get what they cannot have lose more than they gain."
1981 The Book of Kalilah and Dimnah or the Fables of Bidpai Translated from Arabic into Syriac, Being the Later Syriac Version (Eleventh Century). Syriac Text, edited from a unique manuscript of Trinity College Library, Dublin, with an Introductory Preface, a Glossary, Additions and Corrections to the Text. William Wright. Hardbound. Amsterdam: APA (Academic Publishers Associated)-Philo Press. NLG 112.50 ($60.45) from Kloof Booksellers, Amsterdam, Nov., '98.
Reprint of the Oxford and London edition of 1884. What is to say about a text completely in a language I do not understand? I want to read the preface carefully when I read Kalilah and Dimnah with students this coming semester. I did not realize that the book originally appeared as part of a series of five works offering the same story in five different languages. I.G.N. Keith-Falconer did the later Syriac version in that series.
1981 The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Carol Barnett. American English Readers. Original edition of same name by same author, ©1979 by National Textbook Company. Printed in Hong Kong. Tokyo: Oxford University Press. $.50, Summer, '89.
This book and the others in the American English Readers series are nicely done. This version of the tale uses nice repetition and would work well orally. The drawings are simple but spirited. The wolf here is smarter than Peter!
1981 The Exploding Frog and Other Fables from Aesop. Retold by John McFarland. Illustrated by James Marshall. First edition. Dust jacket. Also the first edition of the paperbound. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. $58 for the hardbound from Barbara and Bill Yoffee, March, '94. $6.95 for the paperbound, 1982. One hardbound extra for $2.98 from Half-Price Books, Berkeley, Aug., '94. Three paperbound extras, including one worn and one with a tear on 25.
A delightful book, chock full of funny illustrations. The tellings are also witty, if they do depart a bit from Aesop. I could go back to this book for many illustrations and several stories. For me this book will be a perennial source of joy.
1981 The Fables of Aesop. Illustrated by Edward J. Detmold. No editor named. Bound in genuine leather. Illustrations separately printed and pasted in with protective sheets. First published in 1909 by Hodder and Stoughton. This edition ©1981 by Hodder and Stoughton. See 1909/81.
1981 The Fox turned Wolf and other stories. LaFontaine's Fables. Retold and illustrated by Harry Wingfield. Loughborough: Ladybird Books. $3.95, Spring, '89.
There is a cute astrologer-illustration on 31. The T of C page features this sentence: "This collection of La Fontaine's simple moral stories has been retold for the older reader." I wonder what LaFontaine would say to that!
1981 The Golden Axe. Adapted by Fang Yuan. Illustrations by Yang Yongqing. First edition. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. $1.75 at Peking Book House, Evanston, Dec., '92. One extra copy from the same source.
A beautifully illustrated large pamphlet. This seems to be the familiar Western story with the following changes: (1) The main characters are an orphan boy, who lives with his brother, and an old man. (2) The boy gets the iron axe back (no gold or silver) and a commendation: "You're honest. You'll be happy all your life." (3) When his older brother goes out the next day to try the routine, he gets a gold axe out of it, but when the gold axe hits water, it turns into a fish and speaks the moral: "You should learn to be honest from your younger brother." The best illustration has the old man diving. The frontispiece shows the axe in its usual place.
1981 The Hare and the Tortoise. Walt Disney Productions. Originally published as Det Store Vaeddelob by Gutenberghus Gruppen, Copenhagen. NY: Random House. $1.50 at George Herget Books, New Orleans, Aug., '88.
There is much that is different in this long account of the race, which is not itself motivated. The raccoon is the judge. Max's robe ties itself! Max plays tennis and soccer along the way--with himself! No nap! The characters resemble Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig. Compare with Words, Riddles, and Games (Disney, 1985).
1981 The Hare and the Tortoise. By Aesop. Illustrated by Arthur Friedman. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates. $2.50 through Cardijn, Spring, '85.
A lively book. The two animals live together. The tortoise has great facial expressions. A great deal of time is spent before we ever get to the idea of a race. Perhaps the best illustration is the centerfold of the angry tortoise.
1981 The Hare and the Tortoise. By Aesop. Illustrated by Arthur Friedman. Paperbound. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates. $4.49 from Cathy Jefferson, Mobile, AL, through eBay, Sept., '08.
I have had this book for twenty-three years, but there was a new addition in this eBay advertisement: story cards for a literary center. I was curious. The book remains the same, and I will include my earlier remarks on it below. In addition to the book, I received eight laminated pictures. They incude a tortoise, hare, start arrow, finish arrow, sun, tree, bush, and a collection of four smaller animals, the latter presumably as spectators. I will list this item both here as a book and under audio-visual materials. I suppose that these very light pictures might stick to a felt background. Unfortunately, these illustrations are not particularly adapted to this booklet. Aesop keeps provoking new things! As I wrote then, this is a lively book. The two animals live together. The tortoise has great facial expressions. A great deal of time is spent before we ever get to the idea of a race. Perhaps the best illustration is the centerfold of the angry tortoise.
1981 The Honeybee and the Robber. a moving/picture book by Eric Cale. Printed and bound in Colombia, S.A. NY: Philomel: Putnam. First published in Great Britain 1981 by Julia MacRae Books. $9.50 at Old Friends, Portland, March, '96.
I am not sure that this little story is a fable. One honeybee notices and attacks a bear trying to break into the hive. The moving pictures are wonderful! Perhaps the best has the bear trying the scratch the honeybee attacking his nose, as his eyes cross (11)! After the story there are two pages of long explanatory material about bees for the adults who may be reading this book to children. I am surprised that I had not seen this book sometime in the last fifteen years.
1981 The Lion and the Mouse. Carol Barnett. American English Readers. Original edition of same name by same author, ©1979 by National Textbook Company. Printed in Hong Kong. Tokyo: Oxford University Press. $.50, Summer, '89.
A simple story emphasizing Marty the Mouse's intelligence. Pages 15-18 and 27-30 are out of place. The illustrations are lively.
1981 The Lion and the Mouse. By Aesop. Illustrated by Bob Dole. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates. $2.50 through Cardijn, Spring, '85.
The watercolor illustrations are enjoyable. The best may be the one in which the lion grasps the mouse. This version stretches out the story a bit.
1981 The Milkmaid and Her Pail. Carol Barnett. American English Readers. Original edition of same name by same author, ©1979 by National Textbook Company. Printed in Hong Kong. Tokyo: Oxford University Press. $.50, Summer, '89.
Nicely done. The drawings are very lively. This version goes directly from the chickens to the dress and spends a long time on the dancing.
1981 The Painted Fox: A Fable. Translated from the Ukrainian by Wilfred Szczesny. Illustrated by Ambroz Zhukovsky. Pamphlet. Printed in USSR. Kiev: Dnipro Publishers. $1.60, Nov., '97?
An entertaining rendition of the traditional tale in this square pamphlet. Mikita boasts to the animals of the woods that he can attack the market in open daylight and steal a chicken. Dogs force him into an oil painter's barrel. The paint stiffens his tail into something of a club. When he notices the animals' reverence, he proclaims that saint Michael made him that morning of heavenly clay (apparently the "heavenly" accounts for his blue color) and sent him as Quickwit to be tsar of the animals. He is undone a year later when he starts singing with a fox cubs' chorus at his anniversary. He is torn apart by the animals. Simple traditional Ukrainian art.
1981 The Platt and Munk Treasury of Stories for Children. Edited by Nancy Christensen Hall. Various illustrators. Dust jacket. NY: Platt and Munk. $9.95 at Holmes, Oakland, Jan., '91. Extra copy for $4 from Strand, NY, May, '91.
A lovely collection of vintage Platt and Munk offerings. The two fables, TMCM and TT, are illustrated by Lucille W. and H.C. Holling from Folk Tales Children Love (1932). The colored illustrations for TMCM are only adequate; the black-and-white illustrations are excellent. One TMCM illustration is dropped; some multicolored TT illustrations become monochrome or black-and-white here. Some of the other colored illustrations in the volume are very successful.
1981 The Tortoise and the Hare. Illustrated by Roger Chouinard. For use with a (lost) accompanying cassette. Tele-Story: Superscope. $.50 at Hooked on Books, Colorado Springs, March, '94.
A small, square book that adds quite a few of its own touches to this story. Both principal characters are fully dressed. The tortoise uses a walking stick. The jokester bunny makes a practice of knocking on the tortoise's shell. The hare first suggests the race when the tortoise says that he can do anything that the hare can do. The squirrel, the gopher, and the frog all give the tortoise useless advice that grows out of each one's strengths. The lay-out of the race is excellent. The hare deliberately settles down for a nap. This book was originally meant to be used with an accompanying cassette, now lost.
1981 The Turtle and the Two Ducks: Animal Fables Retold from La Fontaine. Patricia Plante and David Bergman. Illustrated by Anne Rockwell. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell. $3.98 at New England Mobile Book Fair, July, '88. Extra copy without the dust jacket for $3.50 at Books & More Books, Santa Fe, May, '93.
Eleven witty prose fables freely retold "to capture the irreverent fun of the original verses." The broken turtle after the fall is a visual delight. There are frequent little animal spectators. I enjoy this art. The moral for FG is good: "It wasn't true, of course. But would you rather have the fox sit around all day feeling sorry for himself?"
1981 Tierisch Heiter, Tierisch Ernst. Paperbound. Biberach an der Riss: Dr. Karl Thomae. €1 from Quadrat Buchhandlung, Mannheim, July, '14.
Like its partner from 1980, "Poetisches Tierleben," this little book, about 3" x 4", gives good testimony to fable's place in the literature of animals, humorous and serious. It is one of those little books that appear on counters of bookstores and used book shops. And so it appeared at Quadrat on my first afternoon in Mannheim on this trip. The cover illustration of two animals with several in the background is Grandville's work. The dozen or so illustrations are from Grandville, as is acknowledged early in the book. There are also several advertisements for Bisolvomycin (e.g., 56), which claims to help people's breathing. As the T of C on 110-12 shows, there is a lovely mixture here of texts. The first poem is from Goethe. Silenced and imprisoned under ice, the little frogs promised that if they ever got free they would sing like nightingales. The ice thawed, the frogs crept back onto land, and croaked as they have always done. Nice touch! Claudius has a nice little fable (61) about the fox, with a rooster in his mouth, meeting a bear early one morning and greeting him "Gnäd'ger Herr," saying he has brought him the rooster. "Who says I am gnädig?" "I saw your tooth, and it is long and sharp." In this little volume, Gellert rather than Lessing is called on for his similar "Der Tanzbär" (57-58) an example of a strong traditional fable. One Euro can still buy something worthwhile!
1981 Timeless Fables: A Collection of Aesop's Fables. Retold by Lucy Kincaid. Illustrated by Eric Kincaid. Printed in Singapore. First published in Great Britain by Brimax in 1981 (as Classic Fables?). Cambridge: Brimax. $3.95 at the Book Shop, Burbank, Feb., '97.
Despite the fact that I have many Kincaid editions done by Brimax, I am apparently lacking the original from which both this book and the Spanish 1981/85 edition come. It would be delightful sometime to compare all the editions. In particular, how do the later editions on which Eric Kincaid collaborated with Graeme Kent differ from these earlier works on which he collaborated with Lucy Kincaid? Like any Brimax book, this one is immediately and superficially impressive, colorful, and strong. Was this book created to be sold perhaps outside England? AI at the front of the book. Only TMCM and SW get more than two pages.
1981 Topsell's Histories of Beasts. Malcolm South, editor. Illustrations taken generally from Dover's Curious Woodcuts of Fanciful and Real Beasts, apparently principally those by Konrad Gesner. Dust jacket. Chicago: Nelson-Hall. $5, Spring, '90.
I include this curious volume in my collection because of its use of Aesop, sometimes attributed and sometimes not, among the wide variety of material Topsell (1572-1675?) employs. Aesop is used for the descriptions of the ape, the bear, the fox, and the lion (twice). The most curious description in the book is of the lamia.
1981 Treasury of Fables: A Collection of Aesop's Fables. Retold by Lucy Kincaid. Illustrated by Eric Kincaid. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. Cambridge, England: Brimax. $2.99 from Armchair Adventures, Ontario, CA, through Ebay, Sept., '01.
With this book I have, I believe, worked my way back to the original publication from which Brimax and the Kincaids had developed so many offshoots. In particular, consult their Timeless Fables: A Collection of Aesop's Fables (1981) and Fabulas Clasicas: Seleccion de Fabulas de Esopo (1981/85). This edition, by contrast with those, has about twice the pages (125) and fables. On this trip through, I am struck with the facial expressions Eric Kincaid gives to both fox and stork in their two scenes together (22-23). Even the contrasting checkered napkins help to set the two scenes against each other. My only hesitation in declaring this the original publication is that the publishing information on the reverse of the front end-paper says "First published in Great Britain by Brimax Books, Cambridge, England 1981." Is this then that first publication? It shows no other date.
1981 Turtle and Rabbit. Valjean McLenigham. Illustrated by Vernon McKissack. Follett: Chicago. Hardbound for $4.95 at New England Mobile Book Fair, March, '89. Identical paperback found earlier for $1.20.
A lively kids' book with Turtle and Rabbit as friends in jogging outfits. I would like to use at least one illustration in a slide lecture. Both joggers are female. The last lines are "This will make a great story" and "Save it for when we are grandmothers."
1981 What I Cannot Tell My Mother Is Not Fit for Me to Know. Stories, lessons, poems, and songs our great-great-grandmothers and our great-great-grandfathers heard, read, and sang in school and at home. Chosen by Gwladys and Brian Rees-Williams. Dust jacket. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. $9.50 at McIntyre & Moore, Cambridge, April, '89.
What a title! (Its sermonette is on 179). A nostalgic collection of late nineteenth-century children's fare, from how to build a fire to prayers. Ten fables (mostly from My Book of Fables, about 1895) are among the selections, organized for the seven days of the week. The colored illustrations are very nice, though there are none for Aesop.
1981 Wolf Invites Bear. Illustrated by Mei Ying. First edition. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. $1.50 at Peking Book House, Evanston, Dec., '92.
This story seems to me offhand to be somewhere between fairy tale and fable. The clever fox outwits both the wolf and the bear. The excellent art resembles film stills. It is a fascinating blend of stylization and color.
1981 3 x 33 Fabels. Frans Verachtert. Karl Girardet. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Retie, Belgium: Kempische Boekhandel. €16 from Antiquariaat Hofman, Utrecht, July, '09.
Here is a nicely produced book by a translator/author of whom I had never heard. He is not in Bodemann. I found the book at the last bookshop on a warm and exhausting afternoon walking through Utrecht and visiting many antiquarial bookshops. Frans Verachtert, born in 1909, seems to be best known for Voorsale des Hemels. Here he offers ninety-nine rhyming verse translations of La Fontaine's fables, accompanied by illustrations taken from Karl Girardet, specifically from a Tours (presumably Mame) edition of 1858. I have Mame editions of 1890, 1901, and 1902 featuring the illustrations of the Swiss Girardet, who died in Paris in 1871. This book is printed on strong paper. Pages containing an illustration contain nothing else, and illustrations appear only on left-hand pages. The dust-jacket's front cover, slightly stained, features "Fortune and the Child at the Well." The dust-jacket's back cover has "The Ass's Confession." The book's front cover has a nice gold line-sketch of a cat's face.
1981/83 Ancient Chinese Fables. Translated by Yang Xianyi, Gladys Yang and others. Foreword by Wei Jinzhi. Illustrations by Feng Zikai. Second printing. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. $2.50 at Powell's, Portland, March, '96.
121 fables from various eras. Note the large amount of overlap with, for example, Ancient Chinese Fables (1957). This book is a parallel translation with Fabulas Antiguas de China (1961/80/84). One surprise out of the comparison of this book with that is that "El Arte" there is translated to be about slaying (matar) dragons while here the story is about a culinary artist: "The Art of Carving Dragons" (italics mine). I recommend especially "Suspicion" (4), "The Title-Deed Lost on the Road" (7), "The Bird Killed by Kindness" (11), the work of Han Fei Zi (23-30), the material from the "Warring States Anecdotes" (23-30), "A Good Man Is Easy to Bully" (76), "The Holy Eel" (49), "The Donkey of Guizhou" (55), and "The Compassionate Man" (65, the cover story). There is a "Show me how it happened" story here; in it the old man counsels the scholar to knife the wolf once he is back in the bag (66).
1981/83 Medieval Fables: Marie de France. Translated by Jeanette Beer. Illustrated by Jason Carter. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Dodd, Mead, and Co. $14.95.
This version is superior in color, printing, and end papers to my 1981 edition from Dragon's World printed in Hong Kong. Lovely, lavish illustrations--with a touch of influence from India--well worth including in a lecture, especially DS, TMCM, and "The Stag." The versions are brief. Note that they are medieval but claim to be from Aesop.
1981/84 Der Rabe und der Fuchs: 33 Fabeln. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Herausgegeben von Regina Hänsel. Illustrationen von Wolfgang Würfel. 3. Auflage 1984. Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag. DM 1 at Leipziger Antiquariat, Leipzig, July, '95.
A curious and lovely little find. The illustrations have their own fetching style, especially when they present black and reddish-brown inks together. Among the best illustrations are those of the pig (26), the fox and the tiger (36), and the ass and wolf (41). Sometimes a fable from Lessing seems to me to be almost identical with one from Aesop, like that of the fox castigating the thornbush (27, Perry #19). Much more often a Lessing fable overtrumps Aesop. For example, the miser is chagrined, whatever has happened to him, because someone else has got ahead (7). The peacocks pick out some of the crow's own pretty feathers too, arguing that they could not be hers (12). The meat that the fox gets from the crow and eats was poisoned by a gardener trying to kill a neighbor's cats (18)! The wolf finds himself conscience-bound to put the ass out of his thorn-caused misery (40)! Here and frequently, Lessing's overtrumping of Aesop takes on a Biercian tone. The lamb mocks the wolf on the other side of the river, taunting him to do the things for which Aesop made him famous; he answers that the lamb is lucky that wolves are patient (44)! Asked why he eats the frogs, the snake replies "because you asked for me." When one frog claims that he did not ask for the snake, the snake replies "So much the worse! Then I have to eat you because you did not ask for me" (50)! Two good fables here that I had overlooked in earlier encounters with Lessing are "Die Sperlinge" (23) and "Der kriegerische Wolf" (46-48).
1981/84/88 Aesop's Fables: A Collection of Aesop's Fables. Retold by Graeme Kent. Illustrated by Eric Kincaid. First published as Treasury of Fables in 1981 by Brimax. Reprinted 1982. This completely revised edition first published 1984. Fourth printing 1988. Printed in Hong Kong. Newmarket, England: Brimax. $6.98 at Crown in DC, Feb., '89.
The pictures here look to me like the same Kincaid illustrations I have seen elsewhere; see my holdings from Kincaid dated 1981, 1985, and 1987 (two). But the "completely revised edition" of 1984 may have a different text and cover. And many fables with better illustrations may have been added, like "The Bald Huntsman," FS, GA, TMCM, OF, and "The Greedy Fox."
1981/85 Fábulas Clásicas: Selección de Fábulas de Esopo. Ilustradas por Eric Kincaid. Adaptadas por Lucy Kincaid. First done in 1981 by Brimax in England as Classic Fables. Léon: Editorial Everest. $7.
An impressive book with dramatic pictures. The best of them may be of the deer caught in the tree. Despite their strong first impression, the pictures do not hold me.
1981/88 Das Leben der Thiere. Janosch (Horst Eckert). Vierte Auflage. Hardbound. Weinheim & Basel: Beltz & Gelberg. €20 from an unknown source, August, '01.
There is plenty here that is indeed, in the words of the front endpaper "fabelhaft." "Der Wolf und die Fliege" (51) is the usual story of the stronger animal hurting -- here killing -- himself as he attacks the smaller "Die Mäuse und der Uhu" (55) lasts just more than half a page. It is accompanied by a full-page illustration. Mice capture an owl in his sleep and tie his feet together in a branch. When he wakes up, he should fall out of the tree and be eaten by the fox. The owl of course is a mouse-enemy. Since the fox is an owl-enemy, he must be a mouse friend. When the owl awakens and falls out of the tree, the mice drag him to the middle of the meadow, so that the fox will find him easily. The fox appears, looks over the situation, and eats the mice first. He will have no problem eating the owl later. "Der Frosch und die Maus" (56) picks up specifically on Aesop but takes the story in a different direction. Terribly in love, these two bound themselves together with a seaman's knot. That move did not work so well; neither could go to his/her normal habitat; but love conquered everything. Now the mouse worried: she could not see the frog's other foot. So they bound their other front paws together, as firmly as iron. Next they bound their feet, somewhat against the frog's better judgment. But he gave in when the mouse asked "You love me, do you not?" They had a tough life until they soon died. A direct counterexample follows. Everybody says that it will not work when an especially small rabbit falls in love with and marries an especially large mouse. But they had a lovely, happy, long, and lively marriage together (58). "Das Schweinchen und der Wolf" (60) has concerned pig parents warning their only child constantly about the wolf. She grows up with wolf on her mind. She dreams of the wolf and dotes on him. The wolf takes her home and pampers her -- and dies. Somehow this story comes out saying "Father knows best"! The ass falls in love with the owl (63) and carries her and her stuff all over the world: as the ass proverb has it, "Süsse Last ist die Geliebte." There is something of the La Fontaine fable of the cat who protects his bird friend by eating her rough playmate in "Der Frosch und die Fliege" (81). A fly falls madly in love with a frog and claims she would love to eat him. He does not understand. He loves her and that is why he does NOT eat her. Apparently tired of arguing, the frog does eat her. We do not know what the fly thought about that. But we do know that, ever since then, frogs love to eat flies. "Der Frosch ist ein Grossmaul" (111) plays directly off of Aesop. Schnuddel meets the frog who claims he is the greatest at just about anything and everything. If not, Schnuddel should prove it. Schnuddel suggests finally that he has the biggest mouth in the world and challenges him to make it bigger than himself, so big that it swallows the frog himself. The frog takes up the challenge and is gone for ever. I do not recognize any repeaters from my earlier Janosch finds. For something a little fresh, try first the picture on 50 and then enjoy the last line with only two words: "Mit Osterhasenschweinchenwein." The back endpapers are a second treat, especially with their invitations to rate the book. The last survey question asks for a yes or no: "The money for this book was money thrown away"! I cannot tell if Janosch's signature on the front endpaper is printed or handwritten. In either case, that may have been just what he wanted! The same hand is perhaps at work in the note scribbled on the front endpapers: "This book was freed up for pasting together, painting, and smearing!"
1981/89 El Gallo, la Zorra y el Perro: Fábula de Esopo. Adaptacíon de Francesc Boada de la versión recogida por Joan Amades, versión Castellana de Asunción Lissón. Ilustraciones de Irene Bordoy. Hardbound. Printed in Spain. Barcelona: La Galera, S.A. Editorial. $5.98 from The Story Monkey, Omaha, June, '98.
Here is a bright, clean book with hard covers telling the UP story. The artist does fine work with the animals' faces here. The fox's early grins are excellent! The dog really does come in this version. There are questions for a young reader on the last page.
1981/90 Feminist Fables. Suniti Namjoshi. Drawings by Susan Trangmar. Paperbound. Apparently with five new fables in this third printing. London: Sheba Feminist Publishers. $8.95 at Holmes, Oakland, July, '94.
I have spent a long time working my way through this book. Its angry edge on women's and lesbians' issues makes it hard reading for me. "The Moon Shone On" (45) is one of the few happy pieces in the book. Stories in the stricter realms of fables or fable materials include "From the Panchatantra" (1), "The Female Swan" (18), "The Monkey and the Crocodiles" (26), "The Snake and the Mongoose" (37), "The Crocodile" (43), TH (68), FS (72), BC (74), LM (97), "The Disinterested Lover" (113), and "The Red Fox and the White Swan" (126). Many of the other tales are myths and fairy tales redeveloped. I recommend reading the stories on 8, 23, 29, 51, 55, 64, 69, 78, and 99. Only a note on the back cover makes sense of the "New Fables" announced on the special page 126.
1981/99 African Fables That teach about God (Book II). Compiled by Eudene Keidel. Illustrated by Paul D. Zehr. Paperbound. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers. $9 from Alibris, Feb., '01.
Originally published in 1981 by Herald Press of Scottdale, PA and Kitchener, Ontario, this book is now reprinted by Wipf and Stock. It contains twenty-seven folk tales gathered by a missionary who has worked extensively in Zaire. The T of C is unusual in that it, like that in Book I (1978/99), gives after each title the topic addressed in the story and the time it takes to read the story. I have read the first seven. The most interesting of these for me is "Why the Wasp Has a Small Waist" (29). It is a cumulative detective story tracing why some workers came to work at midnight. The employer questions each person in the chain of perhaps ten phases of cause and effect. Again, the illustrations are varied, simple, and not to my taste. The stories are again heavy on aetiology and moralizing, buttressed yet again with scripture references.
1981? Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations after Oudry (colored). Hardbound. Printed in Belgium. Paris: Éditions Ruyant. $5 from Francine Juneau, Montreal, through Ebay, Feb., '01.
This is a kind of book I have seen often in Europe--especially France--but seldom in the United States. Between pictorial boards are eleven fables, eight of them illustrated with large colored reproductions of Oudry. The cover illustration (also found inside) of MM may be the best. I would hope that Oudry can be colored well. Here the illustrations give a cheap impression. Watch the son in the blue coat as his rich father says that there is a treasure buried in that land!
1982 A Present of Laughter. Wit and Nonsense in Pictures and Verse. Edited by Bryan Holme. Dust jacket. A Studio Book. NY: Viking Press. $10 in Minneapolis, Spring, '90.
A well produced book with particularly fine illustrations. The texts and illustrations come from a very broad range of literature. Aesop is represented by Grandville's "The Plagiarist-Magpie" very well colored (34), Bennett's DM also well presented in color (122-3), and Thurber's "The Sheep in Wolf's Clothing" (157).
1982 A Treasury of Animal Stories. Chosen and edited by Linda Yeatman. Illustrated by Hilda Offen. Color separation in Italy; printed in Hong Kong. Little Simon. NY: Simon and Schuster. $3.88 in downtown San Francisco, Dec., '90.
Another large, inexpensive kids' book with simple art. The distinctive feature of this book is that each story is timed. Three fables: TMCM (67, with two colored pictures), FC (74), and LM (98, the latter two with black-and-white illustrations). The artist collaborated on Bedtime Tales (1989).
1982 Aboriginal Fables and Legendary Tales. By A.W. Reed. Illustrated by E.H. Papps. Paperback. Frenchs Forest, Australia: Reed Books. See 1965/82.
1982 Aesopi Fabulae I. Translated directly from original sources by Kazuo Watanabe. Published by Tetsuo Aiga. Illustrations by Gerhard Oberländer and a variety of early Aesopic book illustrators. Dust jacket. Boxed, and the box also has a dust jacket like the book's. Printed in Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan Company. ¥1000 at Miwa, Kanda, July, '96.
This pair of volumes is among the most valuable books in the collection. Together the two books present a broad study of Aesopic fable with a wealth of illustration. The boxes and dust jackets exhibit a large, vivid, comprehensive illustration by Oberländer pulling together characters from a number of fables here against a blue background (see his work, also from 1982, in my Der Fuchs und die Trauben und sieben weitere Fabeln des Aesop). The inside of the dust jacket shows a photograph of a kylix of Aesop and a fox. The endpapers show Aesopic stamps from Hungary, San Marino, Poland, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Burundi, and Syria. The book's first pages are four full-page colorful paintings by Oberländer: FG, SW, "The Wolf and the Kid," and DS. A T of C gives Western numbers and page numbers for 186 fables. Stars above twenty-four of the T of C listings apparently indicate outstanding stories. The stories are decorated with a variety of small early illustrations, among which I recognize many from Steinhöwel and Tuppo. My favorite illustration is on 216: the cook grasping a dog by the tail throws him out the window. At 225 there is a life of Aesop, decorated with Steinhöwel's woodcuts. Do not miss the libation bottle on 257, the cup on 280, and the pot on 294: they apparently make some direct reference to the life of Aesop. There is even a ribbon to mark your place!
1982 Aesopi Fabulae II. Translated directly from original sources by Kazuo Watanabe. Published by Tetsuo Aiga. Illustrations by Gerhard Oberländer and a variety of early Aesopic book illustrators. Dust jacket. Boxed, and the box also has a dust jacket like the book's. Printed in Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan Company. ¥1000 at Miwa, Kanda, July, '96.
This pair of volumes is among the most valuable books in the collection. Together the two books present a broad study of Aesopic fable with a wealth of illustration. The boxes and dust jackets exhibit a large, vivid, comprehensive illustration by Oberländer pulling together characters from a number of fables here against a yellow background (see his work, also from 1982, in my Der Fuchs und die Trauben und sieben weitere Fabeln des Aesop). The inside of the dust jacket shows a photograph of a kylix of Aesop and a fox (also found on 237). The endpapers show Aesopic stamps from Hungary, San Marino, Poland, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Burundi, and Syria. The book's first pages are four full-page colorful paintings by Oberländer: LM, TB, BW, and TH. A T of C gives Western numbers and page numbers for Fables 187 through 359. Stars above fourteen of the T of C listings apparently indicate outstanding stories. The stories are decorated with a variety of small early illustrations, among which I recognize many from Steinhöwel and Tuppo. One can compare two woodcut styles for a peacock on 186-7. My favorite illustrations are on 116 (the arrogant horse looks down on the heavily-laden ass) and 159 (the mother monkey carries her unwanted son to safety while her favorite son is devoured by those who have pursued her). On 214-236 are twelve fables from Odo of Cheriton. At 238 there is an introduction to Aesopic fable: its origin, structure, and meaning; the animals, gods, and people one finds in Aesop's fables; and the historical existence of Aesop himself. This introduction is accompanied by illustrations of such things as the original Esopono Fabulas done for and in Japan by the Jesuits, Velasquez' portrait of Aesop, statues of well known Greek figures, and the covers of famous scholarly editions. From 292-311 there is a spectacular display of the history of illustrations for fables, including some from the Orient. On 312 there is a short bibliography of scholarly editions, and on 313-24 an index. There is even a ribbon to mark your place!
1982 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Genevieve Caulfield. Edited by Wong Rok Chang. Artists not acknowledged. Junior Series #1: "Famous Stories and Spoken English for Junior Student." Seoul?: Choun Publishing Co. $1.40 at Kyobo in Seoul, June, '90.
Forty fables with simple illustrations (the same used as cover art in other Choun editions of 1980/88 and 1988). The text, the art, and the typeset differ in the first twenty and the last twenty fables. Many in the first half are presented as dramas and stories. Mrs. Bat says to her husband "I hope you never meet the two weasels together!" The second half includes errors, and #36 speaks of Mercury but shows a female angel! There are Korean notes at the back.
1982 Aesop's Fables. From translations of Thomas James and George Tyler (sic) Townsend. With the illustrations of Grandville. Franklin Center, PA: The Franklin Library. $18 at Powell's, Portland, July, '93.
A pretty but, I would say, misguided book. The thirty or so engravings from Grandville are very well presented. The putting together of Grandville, who illustrated LaFontaine, with two translators of Aesop has its problems. The problems emerge, for example, on 83-4 when the textual fable has people and then dogs interrupting the mice at dinner, but Grandville's illustration shows a cat coming through the door. What is that illustration on 43? Does it have anything to do with the facing story of the fox and lion? For all the care that goes into a book like this, someone should have checked the name of the translator! The only other translators I know who have attempted to use Grandville's work for Aesop are Rees and Zipes. T of C at the beginning, AI on 191.
1982 Aesop's Fables. Translated by Nobuo Nishimura. Dialogue by Tadashi Ozawa. Directed by Kenji Takahashi and Haruhiko Kindaichi. Commentator Kazuo Watanabe. Artists include Achille Picco, Severino Balardi, Ugo Fontana, Libico Maraja, and Sergio Rizzato. #2 in a set of 20. Boxed, with a plastic wrapper around the cover. Tokyo: Shogakukan Co. ¥500 at Miwa, Kanda, July, '96.
This is a very unusual volume—and a great bargain! (It originally sold for ¥1200.) After seventeen fables on 6-76, there are games and information at the end, including photos of police cars! Page 4 acknowledges Fabbri as holding copyrights on apparently several sources used here. I think I recognize a number of illustrations taken from Fabbri's Le Favole di Esopo (1983) with text by Rossana Guarnieri, but I do not have access now to the book so as to view them together. I will want to check particularly to see if the illustrations for TH (6), TMCM (30), BT (52), and WC (72) are not new. These all seem to be done in the same style. I recognize a TH game on 86 and activities built off of "The Lost Axe" and SW on 96.
1982 Aesop's Fables. Tempo Books. NY: Grosset & Dunlap. $1.95.
T of C. No index. No illustrations. No translator. The ultimate gem in cheap and massive Aesop! This book might be helpful for offering a variety or a specific formulation of morals.
1982 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Carol Watson. Illustrated by Nick Price. London: Usborne. $2.95. One extra copy.
Lively sequential cartoons, about six or eight to a fable in this little pamphlet. The art is good and has some spice in its characterization.
1982 Aesop's Fables: A Selection. Translated from the Greek by Ian Warren. With Engravings by Hellmuth Weissenborn. Limited edition of 200. Hardbound. Printed in Kendal, UK. London: The Acorn Press. £8.50 from Bloomsbury, London, August, ‘01.
I got very lucky as I ducked into an unlikely shop featuring mostly new books and publishers' remainders. A bookcase of older and used books included two treasures. (The other is a pamphlet from Verona by Giovanni Mardersteig in 1973). This book was among several works by Weissenborn, perhaps a collection by a fan. The verse presentations by Warren are very good. They get the fables right, as when he has the woodcutter say one thing but nod, wink, and gesture to where the fox is hiding in "The Fox and the Woodcutter." The twenty-two engravings printed directly from Weissenborn's blocks are clear and vigorous. Among the best, I believe, are "Useful Labour," "The Ass and the Ciccadas," 2P, and "The Eagle and the Terrapin." This is a very sturdy booklet.
1982 Aesop's Fables Coloring Album. Illustrated by Brad Foster. Text by George Fyler Townsend. San Francisco: Troubador Press. $3.95.
About fifteen splendiferous psychedelic pictures to color in. Generally the art has lost sight of the story here. I could use one illustration to show different reactions to stories by different artists.
1982 Als die Tiere Noch Sprechen Konnten. Iwan Franko. Aus dem Ukrainischen von Evelyn Riswanowa und Iwan Soiko. Illustrationen von Sergiy Artjuschenko1982 printing. Paperbound. Kiev: Verlag Wesselka. See 1979/82.
1982 An Aesop's Fable: The Miser. Peter Thomas. Linoleum cuts by Donna Thomas. #81 of 90 copies; signed. Hardbound. Santa Cruz: The Good Book Press. $75 from John Michael Lang Fine Books, Seattle, WA, Sept., '08.
Here is another lovely mini-book from the Good Book Press of Peter and Donna Thomas. I already have their The Old Man and Death from 1986. The present volume came along with The Man and the Lion from 1981. There are two linoleum cuts within the sixteen pages of the book: of the miser digging and of a neighbor watching as the miser admires his gold. There is a small diamond-shaped cover design of a human head. Do not miss the colophon page at the back. It is, I believe, the only indication of the work done by the Thomases.
1982 Ancient Chinese Fables (1). Adapted by Fang Yijun. Illustrated by Zhang Shiming. Part of a boxed set of six. First edition. Shanghai: Children's Press. $1.25 at Peking Book House, Evanston, Dec., '92. One extra.
A pleasant combination of simple oriental art and wise little stories. The three stories here are: "Trusting to Chance" (if a rabbit runs into a tree, should you wait by the tree for the next lucky chance?), "An Impostor in the Orchestra" (found out when the new ruler listens to each player), and "Self-Contradiction" ("My spears and shields are both unbeatable").
1982 Ancient Chinese Fables (2). Adapted by Zuo Ni. Illustrated by Tian Yan. Part of a boxed set of six. First edition. Shanghai: Children's Press. $1.25 at Peking Book House, Evanston, Dec., '92. One extra.
A pleasant combination of simple oriental art and wise little stories. The three stories here are: "Two Birds with One Stone" (let one tiger kill the other, and then kill the weakened survivor), "The Harm Wrought by Rumours" (a mother finally has to act as though her son were a murderer), and "Adding Legs to a Snake" (gilding the lily?).
1982 Ancient Chinese Fables (3). Adapted by Shen Ji. Illustrated by Hu Yongkai and Zhang Shiming. Part of a boxed set of six. First edition. Shanghai: Children's Press. $1.25 at Peking Book House, Evanston, Dec., '92. One extra.
A pleasant combination of simple oriental art and wise little stories. The three stories here are: "The Magic Fish" (a carp in a tree trunk pool can fool many but not the man who put it there), "To Suspect Someone of Stealing an Axe" (find the axe you lost and you will change the way you look at the person you suspected), and "Orangutans" (trapped by wine and tied-together sandals).
1982 Ancient Chinese Fables (4). Abridged by Liao Di. Illustrated by Chen Yongzhen. Part of a boxed set of six. First edition. Shanghai: Children's Press. $1.25 at Peking Book House, Evanston, Dec., '92. One extra.
A pleasant combination of simple oriental art and wise little stories. The two stories here are: "The Wrong Direction" (a man who wants to go south just keeps going north, disregarding advice because he has money, a good horse, and a driver) and "Not a Fake at All" (a man catches a kingfisher by dressing up as a scarecrow).
1982 Ancient Chinese Fables (5). Abridged by Ding Er. Illustrated by Zeng Youxuan. Part of a boxed set of six. First edition. Shanghai: Children's Press. $1.25 at Peking Book House, Evanston, Dec., '92. One extra.
A pleasant combination of simple oriental art and wise little stories. The two stories here are: "The Deer of Linjiang" (who had made friends with some pet dogs and expected then that wild dogs would be friendly....) and "The Donkey of Guizhou" (novel in this territory, he scared a tiger until he showed that all he could do was kick).
1982 Ancient Chinese Fables (6). Abridged by Zheng Ma. Illustrated by Ye Fei. Part of a boxed set of six. First edition. Shanghai: Children's Press. $1.25 at Peking Book House, Evanston, Dec., '92. Two extra copies.
A pleasant combination of simple oriental art and wise little stories. The two stories here are: "The Fox Borrows the Tiger's Terror" (about to be eaten by a tiger, the fox claims that he is a divine messenger; the tiger should come along and see how all animals flee; he does, and they do) and "The Battle Between the Snipe and the Clam" (gridlock until a fisherman takes both off with him).
1982 Animal Fables and Other Tales Retold. Retold by Enid F. D'Oyley. Illustrations by Larissa Kauperman. Paperbound. Printed in Canada. Toronto: Williams-Wallace International. Can$10 from Steven Temple, Toronto, June, '03.
Here is the Canadian first edition of a book I had found in its first US edition from 1988. I had long overlooked the discrepancy, and I even wondered whether it was worth including this copy in the collection. Surprise! Let me repeat some of what I wrote there. That book is a thirty-five page pamphlet containing twelve stories with six illustrations. Here I find forty pages, and the pagination is different. The stories are not fables but rather folktales brought especially by the Yoruba to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the Southern USA. The black-and-white art at least suggests a perspective different from mainline North American. The stories have plenty of standard folktale material: gods, etiology, boasting, tricking, and magic. The best of the stories is "The Tortoise and the Elephant" (23). Note "The Monkey and the Wax Doll" (34), our "Tar Baby" story. Some stories here tend to start new episodes when the story is already well done or to take it all back in the last sentence (e.g., 38). Did the 1988 US version skip the middle initial on the title-page--or did D'Oyley drop it in the intervening six years?
1982 Animal Life. Puig Rosado. First edition, apparently first printing. Published in Germany by Verlag Gerhard Stalling, which apparently published the book as Tierleben in 1978. NY: St. Martin's Press. $4 at Powell's in Chicago, May, '89. Extra copy for $4.45 at Booknook Parnassus, Evanston, Dec., '97.
Very funny watercolors, often a little off color! There is a very funny mock on FC near the end of the book: the crow has cheeses at various prices on the branches of his tree! Here is a Spanish humorist from a German publisher in English.
1982 Animal Stories. Retold by Carol Watson. Illustrated by Nick Price. Contains "Aesop's Fables" (exactly the same as Aesop's Fables, 1982), "Animal Legends," and "Magical Animals." London: Usborne. $10.95 at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
Lively sequential cartoons, about six or eight to a fable in this little pamphlet. The art is good and has some spice in its characterization.
1982 Best-loved Folktales of the World. Selected and with an introduction by Joanna Cole. Illustrated by Jill Karla Schwarz. Dust jacket. Garden City: Doubleday. $4 from Pageturners in Omaha, Jan., '89.
A great collection of stories, with interesting categories for them at the book's back. One illustration per section--none for Aesop. Four fables (#39-42) with no acknowledged source.
1982 Bouquet: Twelve Flower Fables. By Myrna Davis. Paintings by Paul Davis. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. $6.50 at Second Story Books, Portland, July, '93.
There may be a distinct and strong tradition of "flower fables," into which this recent entry would fit. The stories are not fables. They are good stories. Like the paintings, they are generally strong on the sensuous and the sentimental. Several are clearly not for kids. The acrylic paintings seem to me predictable and not overwhelming. The stories include the etymological, as when pansies are formed from pensées (16).
1982 Cinq Fables a ne pas Prendre au Sérieux. Robert Prade. Pamphlet. Limited edition of 180 copies, signed by the author. Neaufles St Martin: Les Cahiers de la Lévrière. 80 Francs from chapitre.com through abe, Feb., '00.
This pamphlet is not only signed by its author at the end; it is also inscribed by him at the beginning, to Philippe Dumaine. There are five verse fables here, each a page or two in length. The five are "Les Deux Chiens," "La Couleuvre et la Chatte," "Le Corbeau Qui Voulait Rajeunir," "L'Aigle Désabusé," and "L'Hirondelle et la Vieille Grange."
1982 Critter Chronicles: Fables for Here and Now. John Barnetson. Illustrated by Suzy-Jane Tanner. Dust jacket. A Dawne-Leigh Book. Millbrae, CA: Celestial Arts. $12.95, Oct., '90.
Thirteen pointed, very "California" animal short stories. The titles are clever. These are engaging stories with plenty of naturalist information. Typically, young animals learn their lessons. There is a good introduction: animals discuss how to help humans. "Children get the point simply by hearing the story," a "Covert Footnote" warns--and suggests stories for specific lapses. Sometimes preachy. The monochrome illustrations are inferior and done on poor paper. Good word-plays, as when a beaver swears "Not by a dam site!"
1982 Der Fuchs und die Trauben und sieben weitere Fabeln des Aesop. Neu übertragen von Rudolf Hagelstange. Illustrated by Gerhard Oberländer. München: Heinrich Ellermann Verlag. DM 18 at Weiss'sche Universitätsbuchhandlung, Heidelberg, Aug., '88.
Lively full-page colored pictures and pithy rhymed two-line morals help this book to be a fine little contemporary representative of Aesop. The best pictures are the last four. Are the morals already existing proverbs in German?
1982 Der Fuchs und die Trauben und sieben weitere Fabeln des Aesop.. Rudolf Hagelstange. Gerhard Oberländer. Hardbound. Frankfurt am Main/Vienna: Büchergilde Gutenberg. €8 from Richard Kulbach, Heidelberg, July, '14.
I already have a copy of this book from the Heinrich Ellermann Verlag. That copy has the book's colored illlustration of FG on its cover. This copy from the Büchergilde Gutenberg has instead a green and white OR image on its cover. The last printed page mentions permission from the Ellermann Verlag before a statement otherwise identical. The ISBN number is different. The back cover there repeats the colored picture of FG; the back cover here is green and blue without an image. Otherwise the books seem exactly the same. As I mention there, lively full-page colored pictures and pithy rhymed two-line morals help this book to be a fine little contemporary representative of Aesop. The best pictures are the last four. Are the morals already existing proverbs in German?
1982 Die Fabel: Theorie, Geschichte und Rezeption einer Gattung. Unter Mitarbeit zahlreicher Fachgelehrter herausgegeben von Peter Hasubek. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag. DM 48 from Antiquariat Manfred Henke, Berlin, July, '00.
This book brings together fifteen specific fable studies under a project description well laid out in Peter Hasubek's introduction. To give a sense of the book, I will offer some notes on that introduction. Fable has resisted definition and clear differentiation. It has a certain elasticity. People coming to this genre will be surprised at how hard it has been. It is easier if one picks out a fabulist, like Lessing, but even then there are differences within his carefully studied sense of fable. So the challenge for research is less to come up with a definition and more to differentiate historically different fable types and to clarify the structural result and intentional demand of fable in relation to related genres. So fable "theory" here is more an investigation of the various fable theories authors have had in the past. What needs study is the texts of fables of the 17th and 19th centuries. These two cannot keep up in quantity or quality with the 16th and 18th centuries, for sure. In the 17th fable had an important function in the spread and representation of Christian religious doctrinal content; in the 19th as a continuation of the trivializing tendencies of the Enlightenment of the 18th century as moral content especially in the schools. The 20th century also needs this kind of study. Also needing study is the impact of foreign fabulists on German fabulists. Post-war criticism tended to look down on fable. The last fifteen years have seen increased interest in the narrative structure of fable. There has been a tendency to highlight one purpose of a fable, e.g., its social-critical intention. Leibfried's four "Stilzüge" may need to be extended (belehrender, kritisierender, satirischer, fabuloser). How about the entertaining, pleasing aspect? Fable is much more than social criticism! So this book will also represent a kind of fable research that has an eye on the reception of fables. Recent history has limited the place of that reception to schools. More texts of old-time fables need to be accessible! The task of this book then is in some neglected issues to offer through individual articles impulses for further involvement with fable. The area of interest is the 16th through the 20th century. Lessing has been consciously left out because he has been so thoroughly studied. But many of the specific studies here end up relating to Lessing.
1982 Eat and Be Eaten. Iela Mari. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. Woodbury, NY: Barron's Educational Series. See 1980/82.
1982 Esopo: Favole. Traduzione di Elena Ceva Valla, testo greco a fronte. With the 1491 Venetian woodcuts. Rizzoli: Milan. Fourth edition. See 1951/76/82.
1982 Fabel und Parabel, mit Materialien. Auswahl der Texte und der Materialien von Hans Georg Müller und Jürgen Wolff. No illustrations. Editionen für den Literaturunterricht. Stuttgart: Ernst Klett. Gift of Franz Kuhn, Aug., '88.
A wonderful little book that presents texts of the same fable from various authors for comparison, and then a quick German sampler. Further into the first half on fable, there are good short secondary readings. Typical German carefulness.
1982 Fabels van La Fontaine. Naverteld voor de jeugd en ingeleid door Monica Penders. Illustraties: Gijs Mertens. Amsterdam: Van Goor jeugdboeken. $9 at Lankamp and Brinkman, Amsterdam, Dec., '88.
The pen-and-ink illustrations sometimes miss, like the cover-illustration that does not focus on the lost cheese. The best illustration is of the monkey and dolphin on 42. My first find in Amsterdam.
1982 Fables By Aesop. Adapted by Judy L. Paris and Sandra D. Tracy. Illustrated by Merry Ann McGlinn. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Beaverton, OR: Dormac, Inc. $6 from J. Miller, Broomall, PA, through eBay, Jan., '04.
This is a large-format (8½" x 11) classroom book of 65 pages. It aims at providing students with "the opportunity of sharing in the cultural heritage that Aesop's fables have provided us but without the barriers of complicated syntactical structures." It also aims to help students to apply the lessons of Aesop's morals to everyday life situations. Either of two sections offers vocabulary for five fables, study questions, five application stories, and evaluation. The cover illustration may be among the best; it is repeated on 1. It shows Aesop seated with a group and talking.
1982 fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Benvenuti. Préface de Raymond Dumay. Nearly identical with 1971 Italian Le favole di La Fontaine. Printed in Italy. Paris: Deux Coqs d'Or. See 1971/82.
1982 Fables de la Fontaine No 1. Printed in France. Epinal: Imagerie Pellerin. $25 from Michel Bossu, Paris, August, '03.
This book seems to reproduce, with several changes, a similar edition dated 1978. This book lacks any reference to Hachette and "Série Verte." Like that volume, it offers seventeen well-chosen fables of La Fontaine. The first, GA, is illustrated with a black-and-white tableau; the last, "La Guenon, le Singe & la Noix," has an inky black-and-white illustration. The fifteen in between have each a strong full-page colored illustration typical of Epinal work, with large areas of bright simple colors. Among the best of these is "Le Cerf se voyant dans l'Eau" (23), in which the stag, dressed colorfully as a human gentleman, leans over the pool. Another follows immediately: I have never seen a more active rat than the one leaping from the table here (25)! The cover is unusual in that it shows La Fontaine not out with animals but seated at a table full of pages of texts and animal illustrations. I take it that this is a reprint by Epinal of an earlier work of its own.
1982 Fables de la Fontaine No 2. Paperbound. Printed in France. Epinal: Imagerie Pellerin. $25 from Michel Bossu, Paris, August, '03.
Here is the second volume accompanying a similar Pellerin reprint from the same year. Again two black-and-white illustrations bracket fifteen full-page colored illustrations. TH (14) is not only one of the liveliest illustrations. It is also the same illustration found on a table plate in the collection produced by the Societé Francaise de Porcelaine I am also familiar with the Pellerin illustration used here for "Le Corbeau Voulant Imiter l'Aigle" (17). The special attraction of Pellerin illustrations has something to do, I believe, with large areas of strong, bright, simple colors. The cover presents GA in the human fashion so frequent in the French tradition, but I do not think I have seen this rendition before.
1982 Fables de La Fontaine: Tome Premier. Avec les figures d'Oudry dans l'édition Desaint et Saillant de 1755. Paris: Chez Jean de Bonnot. See 1755/1982.
1982 Fables from Old French: Aesop's Beasts and Bumpkins. Translated by Norman R. Shapiro. Introduction by Howard Needler. Dust jacket. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. $24.95. Also for $14.95 an identical paperbound version from Georgetown, Dec., '87. Two extra paperback copies.
Not much help here for what I am after. Most helpful is the Needler introduction, with some good comments on the fables and morals. Also a good bibliography and comments on the character of fable literature. Finally a history of older and recent editions of the fables. The illustrations are taken from Les Subtiles Fables D' Esope (1484), with several touched up.
1982 Fables of La Fontaine. Translated into English verse by Walter Thornbury with 320 illustrations by Gustave Doré. Dust jacket. ©1982 Ebeling Publishing Co. Seacaucus, NJ: Chartwell Books. $14.98 at Schwartz.
Doré's illustrations were done in 1868 with a translation from the French by Thornbury. A beautiful book. AI at the back. The full-page illustrations are really grand. Only a few of them make the kind of shift I enjoy in FG. I have not investigated much the worthwhile source this book represents. I think the small but lovely engravings at the top of each story are too small to come out as a slide on a screen. Worth patient reading.
1982 Fables par Jean de La Fontaine. Illustrée par un anonyme du XVIIème siècle. Hardbound. Geneva: Éditions de l'Éventail. Canadian $47 from Roxane Chapdelaine, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Oct., '14.
Here is a large-format (9½" x 11½") book with 105 of La Fontaine's fables. Almost every fable has a colored illustration derived from Jean-Baptiste Oudry. One of the few fables I have found that is not illustrated is "Against Those with Difficult Taste" on 16. The illustrations are about a quarter-page in size, just wide enough to fit half of one of the double-columns here. The illustrations are unfortunately not well inked. They give the sort of garish impression I still associate with "transfers" seventy years after transfers probably ceased to exist. The illustrations follow Oudry's patterns quite closely. This fact makes their attribution to "un anonyme du XVIIème siècle" more than questionable. The book is sturdy, and its cover presents a melange of various images.
1982 Fábulas Completas de Esopo. No translator or illustrator mentioned. Colección Literaria Universal. Mexico City: Editores Mexicanos Unidos. $1.88 at a flea market in Salamanca, Summer, '86.
The only Mexican edition I have. It came to me from a South American book dealer working at the Salamanca flea market (the book is marked for distribution in Venezuela). T of C at the end. Primitive but engaging "dot" drawings--not necessarily with their stories.
1982 Félix María Samaniego: Fábulas. Edición, apéndice y notas: Emilio Pascual. Ilustración: J.J. Grandville. Hardbound. Madrid/Buenos Aires: Mis Libros: Hyspamerica: Ediciones Generales Anaya. $28 from Christian Tottino, Buenos Aires, Argentina, through eBay, Jan., '12.
Samaniego published five books of his fables in Valencia in 1781 and four further books in Madrid in 1784. Their title seems curious to us: Fábulas en verso castellano para el uso del Real Seminario Vascongado, in which the last word is "Basques." The first five books include twenty or twenty-five fables each. The later books include twelve, twelve, nine, and nineteen, respectively. The Grandville illustrations are taken from his 1838 "La Fontaine." They are done here in gray rather than black; like the book as a whole, they are well rendered. That they can be used for Samaniego's work gives testimony to the basically Aesopic character of his fables. There is Grandville's WC done in lively color on the front cover. The outer edge of both covers is dented about an inch from the top.
1982 Folk Tales from Korea. Third Edition, fourth printing. Collected and translated by Zong In-Sob. No illustrations. Elizabeth, NJ, and Seoul: Hollym International Corp. See 1952/70/82/86.
1982 Forty Fabulous Fables of Aesop. Richard M. Krill. Illustrated by Peggy Grant. Toledo: Promethean Arts. Sent to me by Francka (?) Povsic, mother of incoming Marquette freshman Maria Povsic, July, '85.
Indifferent drawings in black-and-white. The tales seem well told. They are done by a Bowling Green classicist. I am glad people are doing Aesops like this!
1982 Forty-four Fun Fables. By Bernie L. Calaway. Wilton, CT: Morehouse-Barlow Co., Inc. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Jan., '95.
A curious paperback. Religious and spiritual stories about named animals by a U.S. Navy Chaplain. The book includes an index of relevant scripture texts for each fable. In the foreword, Calaway says that fable "never quite succeeds like, say, the New Testament parables." He recommends that we let each fable "be friendly...illustrate its theme, not dominate it." We should feel free to amend the moral or change it. A sprinkling of storytelling can help our complex theology and ponderous religion. The work-up to "Fall goeth before a pride" (14) is worthy of the worst of dry humorists! To use the narrator's word in "Emmerson Beaver" (20), the fables are often "corny." I enjoy "Albert Pig" (10), "Tyron Tiger" (12), and "Claymore Dog" (25). Aesop is not far from these stories. Thus "Petulance Donkey" (31) is the Aesopic DLS, and Garfield Goat eats his cover (38) just as Aesop's ate its grape leaves. Maybe the best moral here is "Not to decide is to decide. Or is it?" (36). Language gets dated fast, as when one fable speaks of a hi-fi and a swing set (39).
1982 Gli Animali Nelle Favole di ieri e di oggi. Illustrate da Attilio. Seconda ristampa. Florence: Giunti/Marzocco. See 1980/82.
1982 Grasshopper Green and the Meadow-Mice. Written and illustrated by John Rae. Paperbound facsimile by Merrimack Publishing Corporation, NY. See 1922/82.
1982 Il Topo di Campagna e il Topo di Citta e Altre Storie. Anne-Marie Dalmais. Illustrazioni di Doris Smith. Milan: Mondadori. $5 in Rome, Sept., '83.
Six fine illustrations, of which I already have slides of two.
1982 Isoppu No Ohanashi (Aesop’s Tales: Japanese). Apparently #1 in a series. Printed in Japan. Shogakukan Co., Ltd. See 1966/82.
1982 It's Not Easy to Marry an Elephant and Other Fables. By Beatrice Schuman. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First printing. NY: Frederick Fell Publishers. $15 from barnesandnoble.com, Dec., '98.
This is a book of forty-three satirical and humorous short stories. They play with animals in human situations. Very frequently the social situations concern marriage, family and especially mothers-in-law, and social standing. Some readers may find the stories "cute." The characters are generally named. "Crow" (27-32) may be typical. Clarissa the crow harps regularly at Calvin, her husband. He takes it for only so long. Actually, it is his kindness to Clarissa that finally leads him to stand on his head to please her. He gets giddy, tells the truth to her, and she explodes into sapodilla trees and exists today in little licorice gumballs. Calvin flies off free. Moral: "Even a crow doesn't have to eat crow." Most of the stories have a full-page black-and-white portrait.
1982 Kalila and Dimna: Selected Fables of Bidpai. Retold by Ramsay Wood. Illustrated by Margaret Kilrenny. Introduction by Doris Lessing. A Paladin Book. ©Ramsay Wood 1980. London: Granada Paperback. $3 at Moe's, Jan., '91. Extra copy for $4.50 from Hooked on Books, Colorado Springs, March, '94. And an extra work copy.
Some of the most delightful reading I have done in a while. Wood has skillfully arranged "Friendship" stories from Bidpai in a delightful contemporary "story within story" compendium: "racy, vigorous, full of zest, funny" as Lessing declares. The outer layer of the story concerns Bidpai and the King; the next level deals with "The Lion and Schanzibah" and "Zirac the Rat." Other stories are folded in, chiefly around the jackal brothers Kalila and Iago-like Dimna at the lion's court. The T of C lists most of the fables, including the Aesopic TT (148). Other excellent cycles and stories include: "The Monkey Carpenter" (49), "The Dervish" (63), and "The Poisoned Madam" (68). Pleasing little drawings, often based on Bodleian Pococke 400. The first English Bidpai since 1888. It is unfortunate that Wood relied only on English versions.
1982 La Fontaine Fables, and Other Poems. John Cairncross. Paperbound. Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe. Inscribed and initialed by the author. $7.50 from Selected Works, Chicago, March, '93.
Thirteen good translations of LaFontaine make up some forty of the 140 pages here. The fables and other translations from French, Italian, Spanish, and German are presented bilingually, with the original and the translation facing each other. I am surprised that Cairncross can bring off the rhymed translations of LaFontaine as well as he does. The best include "The Vicar and the Corpse" (57-9) and "The Cobbler and the Millionaire" (65-7). There are plentiful handwritten corrections in the text, apparently from the hand of the author.
1982 La Fontaine Fables, and Other Poems. John Cairncross. Paperbound. Gerrards Cross: Colin Smyth. $7.50 from an unknown source, June, '05.
I already have in the collection a copy of this book in good condition. Though this copy is in less good condition, it is signed and inscribed by the translator. The inscription is made to Bill Weaver. Something difficult to decipher follows, and then Cairncross signs his name. As I mentioned there, thirteen good translations of LaFontaine make up some forty of the 140 pages here. The fables and other translations from French, Italian, Spanish, and German are presented bilingually, with the original and the translation facing each other. I am surprised that Cairncross can bring off the rhymed translations of LaFontaine as well as he does. The best include "The Vicar and the Corpse" (57-9) and "The Cobbler and the Millionaire" (65-7).
1982 La Fontaine: L'Ane et le Roi. René Pillot. Illustrations et Maquette Anton Avram. Hardbound. Paris: Dessain et Tolra. $5.50 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Oct., '06.
This is a whimsical book of 80 pages, about 8½" x 10". With colored illustrations of a donkey-king and a vulture (?) on its front cover and of a frog on its back cover, it has two-color art inside. From my understanding of it, it is a play with four acts. Characters of La Fontaine's fables act out their parts in various ways as they encounter La Fontaine and a book of his fables. The beginning characters include a lion, a frog, a country rat, a crow, and others. There is a list of characters opposite the title-page. The three fables that may be most directly replayed here are GA, OF, and MSA. The art inside ranges from smaller images of La Fontaine to full-page illustrations involving several animals, like that picturing the lion, crow, and frog on 12. The best of these may be the full-page parody illustration of MSA on 41. It is great to see people having this much fun with La Fontaine!
1982 Labyrinte de Versailles 1677. Présenté par Charles Perrault. Avec des gravures de Sébastian Le Clerc. Postface de Michel Conan. Hardbound. Paris: Le Temps des jardins: Editions du Moniteur. See 1677/1982.
1982 LaFontaine: Selected Fables. Translated by James Michie. Introduction by Geoffrey Grigson. Middlesex/NY: Penguin Books. See 1979/82.
1982 Lafonten' den Masallar. Ceviren: Betul Oztoprak. Paperbound. Istanbul: Cocuk Kitaplari: Nil Yayinevi Cocuk Kitaplari. $4 from Ugur Yurttutan, Istanbul, Feb., '05.
This children's booklet contains forty-eight pages of fables with five faint full-page black-and-white illustrations. The best of these (6) is similar to the colored picture of FC on the front cover.
1982 Le favole di La Fontaine. Versione di Emilio De Marchi. Illustrazioni di Benvenuti. Apparently published simultaneously in Paris by Editions des Deux Coqs d'Or. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori. See 1971/82.
1982 Le Piú Belle Favole di La Fontaine. I Libri di Gulliver. Prima edizione. Milan: Carrocio. 24,000 lire in Rome, Fall, '83.
Cheap watercolors. Maybe the fox of FG is worth using in a slide lecture in one of the three scenes they give him here. He has a good grimace when he leaves, and he uses a table to get at the grapes!
1982 Les Plus Belles Fables d'Animaux. Par Giuseppe Pozzoli et Pierangela Fiorani; Texte Français de Janine C. Pieroni. Illustrations de Sergio Cavina. Hardbound. Paris?: Deux Coqs d'Or Éditeur. $10 from Colette Durand through eBay, March, '09.
This book looked very familiar. A little investigation has shown why. The illustrations are also used in El arca de las Fabulas by Sigmar in 1983. The source for both that work and this was done in 1979 by Falcon Books in the USA. Fables get around! This French book presents prose stories but then offers three pages of La Fontaine's original texts at the beginning and end of the book. As I compare the two editions, French and Spanish, I find this French edition's rendering of the illustrations brighter. Cavina's illustrations are lively if anything, and they come off the page much stronger here. There are fewer fables and fewer illustrations here: twenty-four fables to the thirty in the Spanish edition. And not all of the illustrations there appear here; GA here has two illustrations whereas there it has three. I miss the story that appeared there without words on the title-page: two asses learning to feed with each other instead of starving in struggle against each other. The best illustrations are again of TMCM (7), the wolf with a bandage (12), the wolf as a shepherd (24), and the exploding frog (31). Again a lion reads a story book to other animals on the front cover.
1982 Let's Find The Big Idea. Bernice Wells Carlson. Illustrated by Bettye Beach. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Nashville: Abingdon Press. $13 from Dixon Kidsbooks Plus, Mount Vernon, WA, by mail, July, '99.
The book presents seven skits, six playlets, and six plays--all for the purpose of helping audiences find the big idea or point. I find this a good way to go at the centrality of moral in a fable. The introduction talks wisely about the plurality of "big ideas" that an audience can legitimately find in a single skit. "Every answer related to the play is accepted as correct" (8). Unfortunately, the same introduction introduces Aesop as a "Greek slave who was engaged to teach Roman boys more than two thousand years ago" (7). Is the writer thinking of Phaedrus? Even within the plays, the script regularly asks the actors to decide how their characters react in the last phase of the presentation. Among the skits are CJ (turned to illustrate the moral "Think before you crow"), BC, "The Whole Truth" (on King Lion's bad breath), BS, SW, and "Rain or Shine" (about the prayers of the potter and the gardener). The playlets include "So Proud" (on two horses carrying differently valued commodities); "Lion, Sick and Dying?"; TMCM (where the city visit is at Christmas time); and "The Heart of a Monkey" (with two morals). The plays include "The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal" and "Half of the Reward" about a peasant asking for lashes as his reward, in order to expose the corrupt servant who has bargained for half his reward. In "Lion, Sick and Dying?" the fox actually sees several characters enter the cave; he tells the lion that he will wait to see them come out before he will go in. There are several simple but effective illustrations; among the best is that of the deer's severed head on 22. Appendices present various kinds of puppets.
1982 Märchen vom Frieden: Wie man Kriege vermeidet oder anfängt--Alte deutsche Tierfabeln. Erzählt von Nick Barkow. Miniaturen von Henning Riediger. Hardbound. Hamburg: Verlag Hanseatische Edition. €11 from Worpsweder Antiquariat, Worpswede, Germany, through abe, May, '04.
Here are eleven fables that appeared in German between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. Several, like the fable of the large animals against the insects by Gerhard von Minden, came originally from the Romulus collection. Other authors include Ulrich Boner, Heinrich der Teichner, Burckhard Waldis, Hans Wilhelm Kirchof, and Erasmus Alberus. To my surprise, Heinrich Steinhöwel is not so much as mentioned. An excellent introduction, "Fabeln für Erwachsene und Kinder," gives a biography for each fabulist and characterizes fables as "Warnlieder." In them, the common people could vent their anger and ridicule the authorities, whether civil or ecclesiastical. Each fable has a double-title: first a catchy phrase like "Ein lächerlicher Anlass" ("A Ridiculous Provocation") and then an indication of the characters involved. Thus the first fable's sub-title is "How war broke out between the four-legged animals and the birds." I am impressed by the good way in which fables are told at greater length than I am accustomed to in fables. Most fables here take up about five full pages of two columns. Of course, the pages are only 5½" square. The fable of the horse and stag (21) has the man bring his horse-riding implements only after he has dispatched the stag and returned the meadow to the horse. Customarily in this fable he already has the horse harnessed as part of the battle. Some of the texts, especially "Die Grossen gegen die Kleinen" (26), are colorful, colloquial, and even scatological. For me, one of the most impressive of the fables is "Der arrangierte Krieg" (31). A stork and a fox share their disappointment at catching fewer frogs and mice, respectively, for food. Together they plot to give reports, stork to mice and fox to frogs, of an impending armed attack. When the mice and frogs do advance against each other in battle, there are plenty of storks and foxes on hand to eat the victims! The six simple colored illustrations fit in perfectly.
1982 Minor Latin Poets, Volume II. With an English Translation by J. Wight Duff and Arnold M. Duff. The Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. See 1934/35/82.
1982 More Short Plays for the Classroom-Primary. Juanita Bryson. Dominguez Hills, CA: Educational Insights. $6.95 at Stephenson's, Omaha, July, '91.
Three Aesopic plays among thirteen. "The Lion and the Fox" is well done. The crow is the messenger. The cow, the horse, and the pig enter and do not exit. Moral: "Beware. A friend may not be a friend even when he or she says so." LM seems more rudimentary. GA has the ant carrying food, fixing the roof with a hammer, and gathering firewood. The grasshopper wants to spend the whole winter with the ant! The audience has to tell the actors what to do when the grasshopper makes his request.
1982 Mousekin's Fables. Story and pictures by Edna Miller. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. $4.95 at Looking Glass Bookstore, Portland, Aug., '87. Extra for $2.95 at Birdsong, Albuquerque, May, '93.
Twelve fables are recast with other characters and matched to the months, with pleasing art in the contemporary vein. For example, January has a cat leaping onto--and through--ice to catch a mouse: "Look before you leap." Mousekin himself runs up the tree in November: he knows the one trick that works. A different approach to fables.
1982 New Tales from Aesop (for reading aloud). Paul Roche. Illustrated by Pandora Smith. University of Notre Dame Press. Inscribed and signed by the author. Dust jacket. Gift of Donna Eddy, March, '92. Extra copy for $7.20 from Black Oak, Berkeley, Dec., '86.
A find at last! The selection of fables is good. The fables are fun here. I like especially those that are brief. Roche puts the moral first in each case. There is a good introduction on the history of the manuscript tradition and on the life of Aesop. I find the illustrations poor. Probably a helpful source for up-the-middle morals. One good example would be "The Fly and the Broth" (31).
1982 One Hundred Allegorical Tales from Traditional China. Rewritten by Wei Jinzhi; Translated by Jan and Yvonne Walls. Illustrated by Cheng Shifa. Paperbound. Hongkong: Joint Publishing Company. $5 from Cummings Books, Minneapolis, Dec., '99.
This is a good collection of "yuyan" or allegorical tales. The Walls' introduction points out that "yuyan" has sometimes been translated as fable, as by Gladys Yang in Ancient Chinese Fables (1957), but since these are not all animal tales, they are hesitant to use that term. "Yuyan," according to Wolfram Eberhard, include "tales, allegories, metaphors, and sometimes even.anecdotes" (v). I have enjoyed the hundred collected here, presented bilingually, with Chinese on the left-page and English on the right-page. Among the best are "Asking for a Snub I" (9: it is not where people come from but where they are that may make them criminal); "Asking for a Snub II" (11: the quality of an ambassador sent depends on the quality of the state to which he is sent, so that only incompetent people are sent to you!); "The Suspect" (19: a man's manner is that of a thief when one looks like at him as a thief); "Presenting Turtledoves" (27: you damage many turtledoves when you catch a few to release in order to show your kindness); "Waiting for More Rabbits to Bump into the Tree" (61: though the farmer waited a long time, no rabbit ever bumped into that tree again); "The Greedy King" (89: the king of A sends a bell to the king of B, who widens all his roads to get the bell to the capital; the king of A soon marches through those widened roads to defeat the king of B); "Marking the Boat Where the Sword Was Lost" (101: when we dock at the shore, I'll use this mark on the boat to fetch the lost sword); "A Holy Fish" (175: a man drops a fish into a hole in a tree trunk and returns later to find it venerated as a holy fish); "Breaking Arrows" (177: breaking one versus breaking a bundle); "Money More Important Than Life" (179: a man sinks in a rushing river because of the 1000 coins he is carrying); "The Donkey of Guizhou" (181: a tiger becomes only gradually familiar with a donkey and then attacks and devours it); "A Compassionate Gentleman" (207: wants to eat a turtle but does not want to kill it himself, and so he creates an elaborate test of walking a pole over the boiling water); and "Guarding the Willow Trees" (233: a child guards the young willows by pulling them up every night and replanting them the next morning). At the end are notes, a type index, a list of sources, and references.
1982 One-Minute Bedtime Stories. By Shari Lewis with Lan O'Kun. Illustrated by Art Cumings. Garden City: Doubleday. $5.95.
Short versions with lively watercolors. Twenty stories ranging from Rumpelstiltskin to Sinbad. Aesop's fables included are: MSA ("That's No Way to Do It"), BW, LM (verse), BC, MM ("Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched"). The brevity of the fable versions makes them attractive, while some of the fairy tales seem rushed. BW has a shepherds' pact and a joke by night that only happens once before a pack of wolves arrives. The milkmaid does not get beyond eggs. Cumings' illustrations show some wit; the best may be of the "Mass Mouse Meeting." The mouse takes off his jacket to save the lion.
1982 One-Minute Bedtime Stories. By Shari Lewis with Lan O'Kun. Illustrated by Art Cumings. Pamphlet. Garden City: Doubleday. $1.50 from Carousel Books, Charlottesville, VA, April, '95.
I think it unusual that a publisher puts out two different books with the same title in the same year, but here is a reduced version of the book of the same title, authors and artist, and publisher. It is reduced in two senses. It retains twelve of the twenty stories there. And it presents its art proportionally smaller in this smaller booklet. The fables remaining are BW, LM, "A Mouse's Wedding, BC, and MM. See my comments on the larger hardback version.
1982 Recueil Général des Isopets, Tome Troisième: L'Esope de Julien Macho. Publiée par Pierre Ruelle. Paperbound. Paris: Société des Anciens Textes Français: A. et J. Picard et Cie. Fr.208 from Librairie Picard, Paris, August, '99.
Here is a fine copy of a book I remember well. I went to Hamburg and spent a week in the university library there preparing comparisons reaching from Romulus to Steinhöwel through Macho to Caxton. This was my very helpful source for Macho. I feel very lucky to have found this book at Librairie Picard. I was done with my shopping and noticed this book as I was on my way out. There is a full apparatus of textual variants at the bottom of each page and copious notes at the back, followed by an AI of proper names, a glossary, and a table of contents. The text itself is preceded by eight introductory sections on Macho; incunable Aesops; Steinhöwel and Macho; the illustrations; Macho as a translator; the establishment of the text; the language of the text; and a table of proverbs. There are still some uncut pages.
1982 Samaniego: fábulas. Dibujos: B. Botia. Colleccion "mis fábulas." Madrid: Europa-Ediexport, S.A. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Sept., '95.
In this large-format, comic-like pamphlet, eight fables from Samaniego are rendered in varying lengths. The verse texts are from Samaniego verbatim, as are the occasional prose morals. The illustrations are even more Disneyesque here than Botia's in the parallel La Fontaine booklet in this series (1980). This booklet happens to be in terrible condition: some moisture seems to have started a mold.
1982 Selected Poems and Verse Fables, 1784-1793. William Hill Brown. Edited by Richard Walser. Dust jacket. Printed in the USA. Newark: University of Delaware Press. $20 from Yoffees, April, '92.
Brown wrote the first American novel, The Power of Sympathy, in 1789. He also wrote twenty-six verse fables, thirteen of which are printed here. He seems to have written particularly for young women. Brown put himself in the tradition of Gay; some of the fables refer to and parallel Gay's. The fables are really sermons, heavy on talk. Most seem to work off of the formula "What would the x and the y say to each other?" Reading them is something of a chore. For me the best are "The Sailor and the Brahmin" (59), "The Two Hares and the Monkey" (77), and "The Lion and the Tarapen" (81) because something happens. Try "The Educated Indians" (75) for both racism and sexism! There is one drawing (81) reproduced from the Baltimore Evening Post. This book went overseas, was sold by Skoob Books, and came back again.
1982 Short Plays for the Classroom-Primary. Juanita Bryson. Dominguez Hills, CA: Educational Insights. $6.95 at Stephenson's, Omaha, May, '91.
Seven good Aesopic plays among nineteen. BW has three men approach individually; for the first time in my experience of Aesop, they relent and give the boy another chance! TMCM is Horatian. TH works with moving scenery that brings the sun, a tree, and the finish-line. FG includes a dog on the scene; I think that changes the story's dynamic. Also "Three Sticks"; "The Birds, the Bat, and the Beasts"; and "The Body against the Stomach."
1982 Stories from Aesop. Retold by Gwendoline Dun. Illustrated by Frank C. Pape. Uni-Phone Language Institute. Oxford English Picture Readers: Grade One. London: Oxford University Press. $1.50 at Kyobo in Seoul, June, '90.
A good paperback with a clever concept. Pages 1-80 fit anywhere; pages 81ff. give Korean notes and translations (and identify Uni-Phone Korea's publication date). There are nine fables with simple illustrations often set in the third world. The best picture is of a laughing hare. TMCM adds family to the joys of the country home. The leaping fox's nose touches one grape. Angry sheepowners beat the joker shepherd.
1982 Stories from Panchatantra, Book IV. Retold by Shivkumar. Illustrated by Pulak Biswas. Hardbound. New Delhi: The Children's Book Trust. See 1969/82.
1982 Storytime: Adventures in Reading for Young People. Seventy Stories selected by the editors of Reader's Digest Condensed Books. Various illustrators, including Leslie Morrill for Aesop. Second printing. Pleasantville, NY: The Reader's Digest Association. $6 at Book Cellar, Bethesda, Sept., '91.
A good story book with a pleasing variety of illustration styles. Besides de la Mare's "The Hare and the Hedgehog," there are four Aesopic fables. The mouse frees the lion tied to a tree. The ant is carrying an ear of corn when the grasshopper asks him to stop and talk. No killing incites the frog's swelling. CP has this moral: "Little by little does the trick."
1982 The Cobbler's Song. A fable adapted and illustrated by Marcia Sewall. Dust jacket. First printing. Printed and bound in Hong Kong. NY: A Unicorn Book: E.P. Dutton. $8.95 at Bell's Books, Palo Alto, Nov., '96.
A lovely sidways book with wonderful illustrations. La Fontaine's "Le Savetier et le Financier" is here set on two floors of one house in Paris. There are two worlds in this one large house. The title-page illustration of the rich man holding his ears in bed is a prize! The rich man rightly understands that the cobbler will worry if he has too much money, and so he gives him a bagful. The cobbler suffers for a month and then finally tells his wife, who advises him to give it back. A great final line: "I can live without your money, but I cannot live without my song."
1982 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse; The Fox and the Crow; The Dog and His Bone. Three Aesop Fables Told by Patricia Scarry. Pictures by Richard Scarry. Printed in USA. NY: Little Golden Books: Golden Press. See 1961/82.
1982 The Grasshopper and the Ants. An Aesop Fable. Illustrated by Eve Tharlet. Retold by Paula Franklin. Stories From Around the World. Originally ©Gakken Co. in Tokyo. Printed in Spain. Morristown, NJ and Agincourt, Ontario: Silver Burdett Co. $3.95 from the Milwaukee Public Museum, Dec., '86.
A delightfully illustrated large-sized book. Almost Anno-like in its care for detail. This story can be hard to tell well. This teller has the grasshopper realize the folly of his ways at the end and resolve to act differently next summer. I guess I do not find the story very uplifting or in fact suitable for kids. But the harshness of the moral reflects Aesop well.
1982 The Grasshopper and the Ants. Japanese. Translated by Misako Madokoro. Illustrated by Eve Tharlet. World Picture Book. Printed in Japan. Other bibliographical information is in Oriental characters. $6.95 from Midway, July, '89.
Fascinating comparisons of this Japanese version with the English-language version listed previously begin with the color of the covers. The inside front cover of this version has small reproductions of Grandville and Ulm, along with repeated small grasshoppers and ants.
1982 The Hedgehog and the Rabbit/The Vixen and the Crab. Ivan Franko. Translated from the Ukrainian by Mary Skrypnyk. Illustrated by Valentin Hordiychuk. Printed in the USSR. Kiev: Dnipro Publishers. $2.50 from The Book House on Grand, Nov., '94.
The versions in this pamphlet are exactly the same as those by Skrypnyk in When the Animals Could Talk (1984). Here two bet/race stories are put together. Though the art here seems to me generally inferior, there is a great first picture of the tall rabbit, who ends up running back and forth seventy-four times--and then dies! Good moral: "Never try to make a fool of anyone weaker than yourself." In the second story, the crab cleverly gets the vixen to turn around at the goal, a stump, so that the crab can jump off there and claim that he ran past the stump and has returned. See also my 1986 booklet "The Vixen and the Crane."
1982 The Kingdom Lost and Found. A fable for everyone. Mary Terese Donze, ASC. Illustrations by Robert Masheris. Paperbound. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press. $6.69 from Desert Princess Books, Middletown, CT, Feb., '03.
This book is the written version of an audio cassette I had already obtained from the author. Prince Leif of Fylke in Norway in an emotion-laden tale is commanded by his father, in peril of his life, to find a person who can make unbreakable bubbles. Leif finds the woodcutter/magician who can do it. King Olav, sullen since he lost Queen Ingebord, tries to break them and soon becomes obsessed with them as they double in number every day. He smashes, heats, and buries them--to no avail. When Leif revisits the woodcutter to ask him to stop the bubble menace, the woodcutter first tempts him with the chance to settle elsewhere as a prince. When Leif insists on helping his father, the woodcutter gives him the solution. Saying "I love you" sincerely breaks the bubbles and rekindles humane feelings in the kingdom. The art here is simple two-color work, present on almost every page.
1982 The Proverbial Bestiary. No editor acknowledged. Calligraphy by Rick Cusick. Drawings by Warren Chappell. Dust jacket. Woolwich, Maine: TBW Books. Gift of Diann Greener, July, '91. Extra copy for $2.50 at Beckham's Bookshop, New Orleans, June, '89.
A pleasing little book with calligraphy that is sometimes difficult to read. Page 38 has "The Lioness has but one cub, but it is a Lion" and acknowledges it as Serbian!
1982 The Rabbit & the Hare. Barbara Purchase. Dust jacket. A Nicholson Press Book. Toronto: John Wiley and Sons. $6.75 at Odegard's, March, '88.
Here is a fascinating example of how Aesop shows up in a book on an apparently different subject. This book is beautifully produced, with a wide selection of material and an excellent variety of good illustrations. Two straight Aesop's fables (one with a colored Rackham illustration of the TH bet), and one each from Thurber and LaFontaine (with an illustration from Doré for each).
1982 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Illustrated by Rene Cloke. NY: Exeter Books. Printed in Belgium. British copy. Gift of Lois Carlson and Margaret Carlson Lytton from Korea in '88.
A cute big-format book with charmingly dressed mice. The expansions of the story do not all work well: the country mouse really is a boy scout, and do cars fit in a fable? The cover pictures may be the best of all in this charming kids' book. This British copy has fascinating differences from the U.S. copy: "corn" vs. "wheat," "skirting board" vs. "wall," and, best of all, a different date for when "first published in USA."
1982 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Illustrated by Rene Cloke. NY: Exeter Books. Printed in Belgium. United States copy. $1.98 at Odegard's in St. Paul, July, '85.
A cute big-format book with charmingly dressed mice. The expansions of the story do not all work well: the country mouse really is a boy scout, and do cars fit in a fable? The cover pictures may be the best of all in this charming kids' book. This U.S. copy has fascinating differences from the British copy: "wheat" vs. "corn," "wall" vs. "skirting board," and, best of all, a different date for when "first published in USA."
1982 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold for easy reading by Anne McKie. Illustrated by Ken McKie. Printed in England. Leicestershire UK/Lewiston, Maine: Ladybird Books: Well-Loved Tales. $2.50 at Kroch's & Brentano's, Chicago, Jan., '87. Extra copy of the first edition for $1.50 at Renaissance, Palo Alto, Nov., '96.
Cute. Interesting added elements: a hawk's attack is thwarted by the city-mouse's cigar; there is a mouse family in the city; and the mice face a vacuum-cleaner. In both country and city, various offenses make the visiting mouse pine for home. The back cover and the reverse of the title-page is slightly different in the two copies.
1982 Two Epigrams. Rachel Barahal; Greek Anthology. #10 of 50, signed by Rachel Barahal. Paperbound. San Rafael, CA: Quail Hill Press. $55 from Oak Knoll Books, New Castle, DE, July, '13.
The title-pages of this miniature continue: "To a Mockingbird Singing, The Swallow and The Grasshopper, From the Greek Anthology." A curiosity of this book is that, after that title-page, the first offering is titled "To a Blackbird Singing." That epigram warns the blackbird not to sit on the oak, which has mistletoe to trap it. Sit rather on the vine, for "the Wine-god cherishes singers." The second offering urges the swallow not to give the grasshopper as food to its young. A singer should not be destroyed by a singer! Is this a fable? There is at least green and red coloring on the various printer's designs offered along the way. OCLC's WorldCat indicates that the translation is by J.W. Mackail. The same listing makes clear that some four US university libraries have this book. Apparently Barahal did a separate book titled "Greek Epigrams" in 1983 in a run of 125 copies. The brown paper cover features gold title lettering and two silver birds. There is also one golden bird on the back cover.
1982 Young Life Magazine, December, 1982. Ann Marie Peckham. Paperbound. Yonkers, NY: Orthodox Christian Education Commission, Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America. Gift of Jim Stangas, South Bend, IN, Sept., '13.
This is Volume 18, Number 4 of this magazine "For Orthodox Christian Children." The back cover is a full-page black-and-white sketch by Ann Marie Peckham of DS. How nice of Mr. Stangas to think of me! His researches have not turned up similar fables in the magazine's other volumes and numbers.
1982 Zen Inklings: Some Stories, Fables, Parables, Sermons, and Prints, with Notes and Commentaries. Donald Richie. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First edition. NY/Tokho: Weatherhill. $10 from an unknown source, Dec., '97.
These are provocative stories to awaken insight, I would say. The first is about a monk who achieved satori when he finally gave way completely to doubt and had sex with a prostitute. "The Need for Begging" (15-17) tells the story of some novices who were embarrassed at the prospect of begging. Their master, after various attempts to persuade them, gave them a particular help to embrace begging: he told the kitchen to stop preparing food for them! "The Bones of Buddha" (23-24) tells of a wise priest who visited another temple during a very cold spell. After waiting for the priest for hours, he took an axe to the wooden Buddha, and began feeding the broken off wood into the flames to warm himself and the temple. Wise men called his action praiseworthy. "The Koan" (25-27) describes the successful experience of enduring a koan. Enlightenment seems to come with understanding that "the meaning of the koan is not in the koan." I do not think that there are Aesopic fables here. The full-page woodblocks are, as the flyleaf says, "their own visual koans."
1982/83/84/87 Animal Fairy Tales. Various authors and illustrators. NY: Exeter Books. $1.98 at Odegard's, March, '88.
The inky drawings here are cheap but dramatic. TMCM by Malcolm Livingstone is identical with that in My Book of Favorite Animal Stories (1982/83/84/87); two other stories here are also repeats from there. TH by the same is also a repeat, but I do not know from where.
1982/83/84/87 My Book of Favorite Animal Stories. Various authors and illustrators. NY: Exeter Books. $3.98 at Dalton, Jan., '88.
The inky drawings here are cheap but dramatic. TMCM (37) is illustrated well by Malcolm Livingstone. There is a strong contrast between the two mice, and a good cat with a patch over one eye.
1982/85 Animal Fairy Stories: More Than 100 Enchanting Tales. Retold by Alena Benesová. Translated by Ruth Shepherd. Illustrations by Karel Franta. Hardbound. Printed in Czechoslovakia. London: Cathay Books Limited. $10 from an unknown source, July, '00.
©Artia, Prague 1982. A wonderful book with many fables and other stories. The T of C at the beginning gives categories for the stories by author and geography. There are three main groups of fables: ten identified as by Aesop, nine as by La Fontaine, and twelve as from Bidpai. I find other fables in groups like "American Negro" (e.g., "The Cock and the Fox" on 111); "Arabian" (e.g., "The Jackal and His Gratitude" on 64, "The Jackal, the Hyena and the Well" on 138, and "The Lion, the Mosquito and the Spider" on 166); and "African" (e.g., "The Lion and the Three Bulls" on 156). The book gives a curious title to "The Fox and the Lion Cub" (44), since this is an old lion! New to me is the Bidpai fable "The Monkey Who Was Too Clever" (46). The turtle proves to him how much worse a lie is than a wound by hanging roast meat from a tree and alerting the monkey to it. This version substitutes a jackal for a rabbit in "The Lion and the Jackal" (91), the story about the competitor in the well. New to me is the fable labeled as Aesopic "How the Cat and the Mouse Danced Together" (150). Also represented are Algeria, Australia, China, Czechoslovakia, England, Europe, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Persia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Siberia, Slovenia, and Spain. The art is what I have come to expect from Artia: detailed, pleasant, colorful but seldom highly insightful.
1982/85 La Oveja negra y demás fábulas. Augusto Monterroso. Con ilustraciones de Felipe Ehrenberg. Paperbound. Apparently out of series in a limited edition of 5000. Secunda edición nicaragüense. Impreso y hecho en Nicaragua. Ediciones Monimbó. Managua: Editorial Nueva Nicaragua. $20 from Greg Williams, June, '97.
This softbound version is identical with the hardbound I have from Martin Casillas from 1981. See my comments there. The first Nicaraguan edition was done in 1982. What a great surprise to find this favorite in yet another form!
1982/85 The Hare and the Tortoise. Based on the fable by La Fontaine. Brian Wildsmith. Printed in Hong Kong. Hardbound first published 1966. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. $3.95 at Books 'N Things, Southgate, Milwaukee, May, '85.
Lively pictures in the Wildsmith style. The story is much expanded (from La Fontaine even?): the fox and the owl debate, and the rooster starts the race. I could well use a picture or two from this edition in a lecture.
1982/86 Cajun Fables. Justin Wilson with Jay Hadley. Illustrated by Errol Troxclair. Second printing. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company. $5 at Waldenbooks, CB, June, '93.
A mixture of Mother Goose rhymes and fairy tales with pleasant substitutions for the original characters and objects. So "Little Jacques Horner" and "Three Blind Possums." Half of the simple illustrations are colored in.
1982? Fables de la Fontaine N°2. Paperbound. Épinal: Imagerie Pellerin. $10 from Tackett's Trinkets, Statesville, NC, through eBay, April, '10.
This lovely little stapled booklet of 32 pages seems identical with another that I have except that this copy features an image of the wolf and the goat in the well on its cover, whereas that copy has GA in human fashion on its cover. I got that copy from Michell Bossu in Paris for $25. This one was much cheaper! Let me repeat my remarks from there. Here is the second volume accompanying a similar Pellerin reprint from the same year. Again two black-and-white illustrations bracket fifteen full-page colored illustrations. TH (14) is not only one of the liveliest illustrations. It is also the same illustration found on a Pellerin table plate in the collection. I am also familiar with the Pellerin illustration used here for "Le Corbeau Voulant Imiter l'Aigle" (17). The special attraction of Pellerin illustrations has something to do, I believe, with large areas of strong, bright, simple colors.
1983 A Child's First Book of Nursery Tales. Illustrated by Cyndy Szekeres. Selected and adapted by Selma G. Lanes. NY: Golden Book/Racine: Western Publishing. $3.50 at Rummage-o-rama, Dec., '87.
TMCM (43) has two pleasant pictures. The telling has a nice ending: "Neither...ever felt the need to visit each other again."
1983 A Hundred Fables of LaFontaine. Pictures by Percy J. Billinghurst. Dust jacket. NY: Greenwich House: Crown Publishers. $4.98.
Alphabetical list of fables at the front. Each of the hundred fables has a striking black-and-white illustration by Billinghurst. The translations seem short and to the point.
1983 Aesop's Fables. Fritz Kredel. Paperbound. NY: Illustrated Junior Library: Grosset & Dunlap. See 1941/83
1983 Aesop’s Fables (Japanese). Dialogue: Hisako Madokoro. Illustrations: Yasuji Mori and Syukei (or perhaps Kazue) Ito. Printed in Japan. Tokyo: Kodansha Company. 300 yen at Miwa, Kanda, Tokyo, July, ‘96.
With one addition, these seem to be the fables and illustrations chosen for the Kodansha edition Animal Fables of 1993. See my comments there. This edition adds OF to that book’s ten fables. This book may have the stiffest, thickest pages I have seen. It also counts the cover as Page 1! Maybe the best of the illustrations here is AD (4-5). Rafael Sakurai tells me that the form of the second illustrator’s name depends in whether it is a male (Syukei) or female (Kazue).
1983 Animal Crackers: A Bestial Lexicon. Robert Hendrickson. NY: Viking Press: Penguin Books. $3.50, Spring, '90. One extra copy.
A delightful and well researched reference work that is exhaustive--though often inconclusive--in chasing animal phrases back to their origins. Perfect for reading a few pages a day. The "Animal Name Index" promised in the Introduction seems to be lacking, at least in the paperback. Inclusions from fables that I have noticed include: "bell the cat" (23), "bull and bear markets" (36), "a cock and bull story" (53), "cook your goose" (60), "cry wolf" (64), "the lion's share" +(139), "a serpent in one's bosom" (190), "slow and steady wins the race" (194), and "sour grapes" (196). Aesop is not mentioned where he might be as a source for "one swallow does not a summer make" (162).
1983 Animal Fables: Eight pull-out storyboards. By Radomir Putnikovich. Illustrated by Roberta Carabelli, and Ermes Miceli. (Only seven storyboards are present: missing is "The Piglet and the Crocodile.") Second impression. Boxed. St. Michael. Printed in Holland. London: Porthill Publishers. £1 through Bibliofind from Abbey Antiquarian Books, August, '97.
The box advertises that "the charming stories, in the tradition of Aesop, use animals to make their point." Each storyboard folds out into a tryptich. The moral is on the last leaf one sees. See further work that this trio (in that case with Michelle Ross) did in their 1990 The Globe Trotting Flea. See my comments there. As there, my experience here is that these fables end up skillfully reproducing features of classic fables. The art here is quite psychedelic.
1983 Animal Fairy Tales. Various authors and illustrators. NY: Exeter Books. See 1982/83/84/87.
1983 Animal Stories. Retold by Mae Broadley. Storytime Series. No illustrator acknowledged. Printed in Belgium. Manchester, England: World International Publishing. $2 at Sebastopol flea market, Aug., '93.
Two Aesopic and two African fables with simple, lively colored illustrations. The best of these may be the weeping tortoise on the first page of the last story. In LM, the mouse suggests how, if released, he might be helpful to the lion, namely by swatting flies or telling stories. MSA is the other Aesopic offering. "The end of a friendship" has the musk deer helping the elephant, who lost a bet with the tiger and needs to pay with his life. The musk deer outwits the tiger and sets the tiger against the ape, as they are still today. "The Tortoise and his Friends" has the tortoise becoming a friend of the elephant and hippo by outwitting them. He ties a tug-of-war rope respectively to a rock and to a tree.
1983 Animal Tales. No author or illustrator acknowledged. Colorado Springs: Current. $5 at Bandana Square, March, '87. Second copy for $1.50 at Goodwill Book Fair, DC, Nov., '91.
TMCM has two nice bold illustrations in art deco style (30). Is "The Hare and the Hedgehog" Aesopic? Those are the only two Aesopic fables in this slick recent tall-book edition. The second copy is taller, has more vivid color on the TMCM first illustration, and lacks wording on its spine.
1983 Basni. I.A. Krylov. Illustrated by Ye. M. Rachyeva. Moscow: Detskaya Literatura. $9 from Fairy Tales and Dreams, DC, Dec., '91.
A selection of fables and illustrations in magazine format from the book Basni (1965) by the same people. Seven full-page illustrations and three vignettes. Only the cover illustration seems new, a nice adaptation of the critical cock from 86 of the earlier edition. The illustrations lose some of their sharpness here. I knocked over a small Christmas tree full of ornaments in this all-Russian shop!
1983 Basni B Prose. Sergei Mikhalkov. Illustrations by Evgenia Racheva. Hardbound. Moscow: Izdatelstvo "Detskaya Literatura." $15 from Valentina Kudinova, August, '12.
Strange things keep happening. I have a book with identical bibliographical information, including author, artist, and publisher, but it was published in 1968 and had some 48 pages. This book totally transforms that one in its 58 pages. The dust jacket is gone. The front cover was, on the dust-jacket, a dog and a rabbit strolling, and, on the cover itself, a two-colored mask. Now the cover features a hilarious cat and an artist rabbit. The mask has moved onto the inside front-cover. The title-page and frontispiece are identical in the two versions. The bibliographical material on the verso of the title-page has been drastically reduced here, and there seems to be no reference to 1968. From there on, direct comparison becomes difficult. There are common pages, like 11 here matching 7 there. Frequently, the gray background of 1968 yields to a black background here, as on 23 here as against 19 there. This printing includes orange dots or partial dots at the bottom of text pages; they were not in the 1968 version. Mikhalkov lives! I have no doubt that I will soon find an updated version of this very book.
1983 Bleib zu Haus, süße Maus! Gemalt von Adelki. First printing. Paperbound. Ravensburg: Die schönsten Fabeln der Welt: Ravensburger Taschenbüchern: Otto Maier Verlag. €1 from Günter Sever, Drei Gleichen, Germany, through eBay, August, '09.
Originally a free gift of Danone Yoghurt and FruchtZwerge. Bleib zu Haus is one of ten booklets in the series "Die schönsten Fabeln der Welt." My work is cut out for me! Each of the ten booklets features two stories. The two stories here are TMCM and "Die Gänse, der Schwan und der Bauer." The illustrations look as though they were taken from an animated film, and I notice that the copyright belongs to Blue Lion Film Chiasso. In TMCM, the mice in the town cellar are suddenly disturbed by the clumsy Bauer, who puts a heavy vat onto the table and makes it wobble. A moment later, he throws a heavy sack on the floor that makes the whole cellar wobble. Feldmaus is so frightened that she runs to the door and then runs home. "Ein paar Körner gewöhnlicher Mais, in Ruhe verzehrt, sind köstlicher als der köstlichste Käse der Welt" (29). In the second story, the local geese in the farmer's pond attack a visiting swan and drive him away. Soon the farmer comes lurking, hungry today for Gänsebraten. He is trying to grab a goose in a bag, but gets the swan, who has returned and does not know enough to get away from the farmer. Out of the bag, the swan slowly realizes his fate -- and begins his crying swan-song. Soon the swan, back outside the farmer's house, is saying to himself that he never knew that a kick in the pants could feel so good!
1983 Briefe und Aesop-Fabeln: Codex Ottobonianus Latinus 3029: Kommentarband. Martin Luther; Manfred Schulze u. Walter Simon. Illustrations from the Zainer Steinhöwel edition from Ulm. Boxed facsimile. Hardbound. Zurich: Belser Faksimile Edition aus der Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana: Belser. €36 from Antiquariat Hagena & Schulte, Grafschaft-Ringen, Germany, June, '12.
I had read of this edition many times when I first started consciously collecting fables, but it was then prohibitively expensive. I was surprised to find this one copy after a rather exhaustive web search. This first volume contains commentary, boxed together with a folder of reproduced facsimile sheets of Luther's letters and fables. Walter Simon is responsible for the fable portion of this oversized (over 9" wide and almost 13" tall) 125 + 5 page book. He offers an introduction on 55. Luther had Steinhöwel's 1477/78 edition from Zainer in Ulm before him as he wrote; critics debate whether he also had some (other) form of Romulus as an explicit source. "Der Entwurf" (62) presents a critical edition of Luther's texts as they are reworked on Luther's first set of sheets. Interspersed among these pages here and throughout this commentary volume are illustrations from Steinhöwel's 1477/78 edition, published by Zainer in Ulm. The fables Luther presents are these: CJ, WL, FM, "Vom hund vnd schaff," DS, LS, LS again, FG, "Vom diebe," WC, "Vom hund vnd der hundin," Von D Mogenhofer," "Vom Esel vnd lewen," and TMCM. There are several page-numbering orders imposed by various owners of the sheets over the centuries. "Die Reinschrift" then presents the clean copy Luther himself prepared, with an epimythial vice above each fable. "Torheit," "Hass," and "Untrew" are the first three. "Die Drucke" then presents the version printed in 1557 after Luther's death, including the "Vorrede" that is not contained in the Vatican pages facsimiled here. The book goes on then (88) to offer seven fables told by Luther according to contemporary "Nachschriften," which I take to be various reports and memoirs of Luther's acts. Extensive comments are on 91-103. The appendix on 105 presents first the Romulus Latin version of Aesop for those fables that Luther presented, then Steinhöwel's German for the same fables, and finally Martin Dorpius' versions in Latin of the same fables. One line of thinking is that it was Dorpius' versions -- and not Romulus -- that was his other source besides Steinhöwel. It is all large and lovely!
1983 Briefe und Aesop-Fabeln: Codex Ottobonianus Latinus 3029. Martin Luther. Boxed facsimile. Hardbound. Zurich: Belser Faksimile Edition aus der Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana: Belser. €36 from Antiquariat Hagena & Schulte, Grafschaft-Ringen, Germany, June, '12.
Here is the folder containing the reproduced facsimile sheets of Luther's letters and fables in Codex Ottobonianus Latinus 3029. It has the attestation of Prof. Dr. Alfons M. Stickler, Prefect of the "Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana." The codex is described as "Entstanden in der 1. Hälfte des 16. Jahrhunderts." The two sets of fables in Luther's hand are bookended by a set of his letters beforehand and some Latin materials I do not recognize afterwards; I presume that they are further letters. The two sets of fables in Luther's own hand are, in the language of the accompanying Kommentarband, "Der Entwurf" and "Die Reinschrift." The former is full of additions, corrections, and crossouts. True enough, there are no corrections that I notice in "Die Reinschrift." This is the clean copy Luther himself prepared, with an epimythial vice above each fable. "Torheit," "Hass," and "Untrew" are the first three. As I mentioned of the accompanying volume of commentary, I had read of this edition many times when I first started consciously collecting fables, but it was then prohibitively expensive. I was surprised to find this one copy after a rather exhaustive web search. The fables Luther presents are these: CJ, WL, FM, "Vom hund vnd schaff," DS, LS, LS again, FG, "Vom diebe," WC, "Vom hund vnd der hundin," Von D Mogenhofer," "Vom Esel vnd lewen," and TMCM. There are several page-numbering orders imposed by various owners of the sheets over the centuries. The story of how this codex got into the Vatican Library is fascinating and incomplete!
1983 Chansons de France pour les Petits Enfants. M.Boutet de Monvel. Hardbound. Paris: Gautier-Langereau. $20 from Second Story Warehouse, Rockville, MD, Oct., '12.
This large format book (11¾" x 10½") surprises me. I thought it a reprint of the Plon-Nourrit edition of about 1870, a landscape-formatted book titled Chansons de France pour les Petits Français, with songs including a musical version of La Fontaine's "Le rat de ville et le rat des champs." It has that text on 74-75 but this book is no copy of that earlier edition whose title has a different final word. This version does not mention J.B. Weckerlin, who did the arrangements. And the selection of songs is different. Some are repeaters from that earlier edition, and their illustrations follow the same patterns, but those illustrations are differently colored here and differently finished. Compare the wine-caraffe on the city table or the dresses for "Mon per' m'a donné un mari" (60-61). Now I am curious to see if this book is a reproduction of another early edition. Gautier-Langereau's copyright for this edition is 1971. As in that earlier edition, Boutet de Monvel's illustrations are superb throughout. They profit from the larger format and fresh coloring.
1983 Chwedlau Aesop: Aesop's Fables. Originally retold by Carol Watson; Welsh version by Roger Boore (?). Illustrated by Nick Price. Hardbound. Caerdydd (Cardiff): Animal Story Series: Gwasg y Dref Wen. $12.33 from Gordon Evans, Aberdare, UK, June, '04.
Welsh transposition of the lively Usborne pamphlet, Aesop's Fables, of 1982. While I know of that publication only in pamphlet form, this book is hardbound. It features ten fables. Roger Boore and Victor John played roles in creating the book, but I cannot tell what those roles are! This copy is inscribed in 1984. The book features the same lively sequential cartoons, about six or eight to a fable, as the original. The art is good and has some spice in its characterization. About eight words per page are defined in English at the bottom of each page. Nick Price remains a favorite of mine. Maybe his best work here is on FS.
1983 Cornelius, a fable. Leo Lionni. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Pantheon Books. $24 from Greg Williams, June, '95.
A delightful quick story about a crocodile who walks out of his egg upright. He sees things that other crocodiles do not see, but they answer "So what!" With hard work, he even learns from a monkey how to stand on his head and to swing from his tail, but the crocodiles still ask "So what!" As Cornelius walks away discouraged, he looks back and notices that they are all trying to stand on their heads and to swing from their tails--and life is never again the same....
1983 De Twee Duiven/Les Deux Pigeons: La Fontaine. Translated by M. Nijhoff. Illustrated by Paul Overhaus. One of 1200 copies. Paperbound. Amsterdam: Grafische MTS. €7 from JOOT Just Out Of Time Boeken & Kunst, Amsterdam, June, '07.
This is a 24-page pamphlet, perhaps done as a final project for a degree in printing or design. It presents La Fontaine's "Les Deux Pigeons" in Dutch and then in French, each with two lovely large blockprints. Though the two prints with the Dutch translation are like the two with the French original, they show clear differences. There is also a strong print on the cover. The paper is printed on only one side; each page is made up of two folded pages. I am delighted to snag a copy of this limited edition for the collection.
1983 Die Stadtmaus und die Feldmaus. Text by Gisela Fischer. Illustrations by Debbie Allwright. Hardbound. Printed in E.C. Erlangen: Pertalozzi Verlag. $5.44 (DM 9,80) from SF Spiel + Freizeit, Heidelberg, July, '98.
This sturdy, bright little book has twelve pages for small children. It made the perfect source of illustrations for the class presentation on fables that I made to Ursula Kuhn's English class. Allwright seems to me not to resolve the question of scale, since the mice in the city house seem to have furniture and food in a scale that would be appropriate to humans their size. A great image has the cat on top of the table while the mice climb down (or up?) the tablecloth. The cat comes back again after a good image of a paw probing their hiding place. The best image has a mole waving a handkerchief to the pair as they walk off with suitcase and valise into town.
1983 Donkey Wisdom. Story by Paul White. Illustrations by Peter Oram. Paperbound. A Jungle Doctor Picture Fable. Jointly published by Anzea Publishers, Homebush West, Australia, and The Paternoster Press, Exeter, Devon, UK. $2.18 from Julies Bookshop, Durham, UK, March, '12.
This pamphlet may be in the same series as the original Paternoster Press version behind the version of "Monkey in a Lion's Skin" that I have from Moody Press, even though this booklet was printed ten years after that booklet. The story appears in our 1997 book Jungle Doctor Picture Fables Collection, also illustrated by Peter Oram. As I write there, "Donkey Wisdom" has Punda the donkey unable to decide whether he wants to be black or white and ending up a zebra! "Now you know what a zebra is -- a donkey who can't make up his mind." The accompanying zebra illustration may be the strongest in this booklet. A forced Christian admonition follows: decide to ask Jesus to forgive your sin.
1983 Ein junger Kater wünscht sich Mäuse: Gedichte, Fabeln und Geschichten von Katze und Maus. Zusammengestellt von Gottfried Herold. Illustriert von Eva Natus-Šalamoun. 1. Auflage. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag Berlin. €4 from Antiquariat Traumfährte, Dresden, August, '09.
Here is a great cat-and-mouse book! The literary form of the title comes from German newspaper "want ads." The book has a playful cast to it from the start, and that cast comes to strong expression in Natus- Šalamoun's colored art work, including the the dancing cat on the cover and that same dancing cat with a walking mouse on the endpapers. Among the collected works here, fables tend to be most concentrated at the book's beginning. The good selection starts with Aesop's LM; Stricker's "Fuchs und Katze"; Pauli's "Die Katze, die Man mit einem Orden Schmückte"; Kirchhof's "Die Katze in der Speisekammer"; de La Fontaine's TMCM; Lichtwer's "Die Katzen und der Hausherr" and two other fables; and Lessing's "Die Maus." This last fable is delightful and seems new to me. A mouse who worried about cats making mice extinct consoled herself that bats, who are mice, can breed new mice. She was unaware that there are also winged cats! Our pride usually is based on our ignorance. The list goes on and includes people like Wilhelm Busch and Leo Tolstoy. The stories get longer as the volume goes on. The T of C on 117-119 gives sources. This book is fun!
1983 El arca de las Fabulas. Adaptación de Giuseppe Pozzoli y Pierangela Fiorani. Traducción Ania Ingster. Ilustraciones Sergio Cavina. Segunda Edicion. Printed in Argentina. ©1979 Falcon Books, U.S.A. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sigmar. $8.95 at Dalton in Mayaguez, April, '90.
Delightful illustrations, starting with the Monvel-like title page story told without words in five pictures. The illustrations are unusually clear for a contemporary kids' book. The best illustrations are of the mice (11), the wolf with a bandage (12), the exploding frog (31), and the wolf as a shepherd (56). Page 18's story is missing a title and maybe a page or two. I think I have seen this book in English, but I cannot find it.
1983 Elephant and Pug: Fables (Russian). I.A. Krylov. E. Gorochovskogo. Hardbound. Moscow: Detsckar Literatura. €20 from Paris, July, '09.
Some 28 fables are here given two pages each. A large illustration shares space with the fable's title, and there is a continuation or echo on the right page with the text. There are some of the best Krylov illustrations I have seen. There are some borrowed fables particularly well illustrated, e.g. FC (4-5) and FG (42-43). Among his own original fables, I recommend here: "The Little Box" (6-7); "The Wolf in the Kennels" (10-11); "Wayfarers and Hounds" (12-13); "Pike and Cat" (16-17); "Old Mat and His Man and a Bear" (18-19); "The Sightseer and the Elephant in the Museum" (26-27); "The Soup of Master John" (28-29); "Ass and Nightingale" (30-31); "The Monkey, the Mirror, and the Bear" (32-33); "Lion and Fox" (36-37); "The Cat and the Cook" (52-53); and "Trishkin's Kaftan" (56-57). One of my prizes goes to "The Soup of Master John" (28-29) for its fine illustration. The stuffed eater looks ready to kill! The other prize goes to "The Cat and the Cook" (52-53). The expressions of both are excellent! Taped spine.
1983 Everyday Chinese: 60 Fables and Anecdotes. Zhong Qin. Illustrated by Bi Keguan. Paperbound. Printed in the People's Republic of China. Beijing: New World Press. $15 from Michael Netzer, Mannheim, through EBay, Nov., '03.
The introduction explains that the author has tried to tell these sixty stories in a vocabulary of about two thousand words. There are grammar notes and vocabulary lists. The English translations are on 239-62. The stories are simple enough. I read the first fifteen. Two myopic men boast of their eyesight--and prove it by "reading" a plaque which, as they then learn, has not been hung yet (#3). A man cannot interest anyone in the horse he wants to sell--until he asks a horse-expert just to look at his horse and pass on. When he does so, a crowd flocks to buy the horse--at ten times the price for which no one would look at him (#9). The new magistrate swears an oath asking that whichever of his hands takes a bribe should rot; when the first gift of silver coins arrives, a clever servant suggests that he take it not in his hand but in his sleeve (#12). A clever doctor cures a hunchback, as promised, by sandwiching him between two boards and so killing him (#13). An envoy who is insulted as incompetent by people in the country to which he is sent explains that his country selects envoys according to the character of the people to whom they are to be sent (#15).
1983 Ezop Masallari. Kapak Duzeni: Mustafa Delioglu. Paperbound. Istanbul: Cocuk Klasikeri Dizisi: 26: Serhat A.S. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
This is an unassuming Turkish paperback edition of Aesop's fables without illustrations. Fables are offered on 5 through 95. There is neither a T of C nor an AI. Is the fox in the front cover's illustration smoking a pipe? The back cover lists the forty numbers in the series; this volume is #26.
1983 Fabels van La Fontaine. Nagevolgd door J.J.L. Ten Kate. Geillustreerd met Platen en Vignetten door Gustave Doré. Small format. Alphen an den Rijn: ICOB. 5 Guilders in Amsterdam, Dec., '88.
A small gift booklet. For their size both the full-page reproductions and the vignettes come out surprisingly well. Sixty pages, with sixteen fables.
1983 Fables. Written and Illustrated by Arnold Lobel. 1983: First Edition as a Harper Trophy Book. Harper and Row. See 1980/83.
1983 Fables. Feng Xuefeng, translated by Gladys Yang. Woodcuts by Huang Yongyu. First edition. Paperbound. Peking: Modern Chinese Literature: Foreign Languages Press. $11.94 from Powell's Hawthorne, Portland, OR, July, '11.
I have from the same press earlier editions of this work, in 1953 and 1955, presenting the poet as Hsueh-Feng. The translator remains the same, as does the woodcut artist, formerly called Huang Yung-yu. What was a "Publisher's Note" has been developed into a "Preface." The book's format is smaller and its production better. I will include remarks from those earlier editions. This softbound booklet contains fifty-one fables, often directly admonitory and/or of a highly political slant. Thus the author writes of skylarks "Poets like these are the true friends of the people" (5). The best of the fables, I believe, are "The Snake and the Rabbit" (42) and "The Original Rat" (87), which may also have the best illustration. Among the most overtly political are those on the imperialist weasel munching a duckling (38) and the imperialist snake against the collective bees (41). Other good fables include "The Hunter and His Wife" (16), "The Lion and the Setting Sun" (21), "The Lion and the Lamb" (49), "The Fox and the Rabbits' Farm" (56), "The Curious Crow" (64), "The Cow and Her Rope" (76), and "The Cow and Her Calf" (77). This edition seems to follow the order of the 1955 rather than the 1953 edition.
1983 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par André Pec. Paris: Flammarion. See 1952/83.
1983 Fables d'Ésope. Adaption Nouvelle de Claude Pistache. Illustrations de Heidi Holder. Hardbound. Paris: Fernand Nathan Éditeur. €14 at Antiquariat Richart Kulbach, Heidelberg, August, '12.
Here is the French version of the 1981 original by Viking Penguin. Of course I found it in Germany! As I wrote of the English original, this book is lavish and well done. Holder's illustrations catch each of the nine fables she does. Right down to the last page's specification of the print type and to explanation of the method used in creating the illustrations, this book is a remarkably exact copy of the original in another language. The biggest change is that this copy has no dust jacket; it puts the English dust-jacket picture onto its cover.
1983 Fables/Fabeln. Robert Lax. Illustrations: Emil Antonucci. Dust-jacket. Paperbound. Printed in Switzerland. Zurich: Pendo Verlag. CHF 14 from Comenius-Antiquariat, Bern, Switzerland, Sept., '98.
Thirteen texts, mostly in sense-lines, each with an introductory half-page black-and-white illustration and a German version facing on the right-hand page. One of the closest to fable is the first selection, "The Man with the Big General Notions" (9). Several of the selections here are Dimelloesque, like "Japanese Lesson" (63) and "Old Magician" (69). My favorites are "Therapist" (93) and "Old Fable" (97).
1983 Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated. James Thurber. Paperback from the 1939 hardbound edition. NY: Harper. See 1939/83.
1983 Fabula docet: Illustrierte Fabelbücher aus sechs Jahrhunderten. Ausstellung aus Beständen der Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel und der Sammlung Dr. Ulrich von Kritter. Konzeption der Ausstellung u. Katalog: Ulrike Bodemann. Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliothek. DEM 45 from Kunstantiquariat Joachim Lührs, Hamburg, by mail, Sept., '99. Extra copy for $35 from Gregory Gellert at Antiquarian Booksellers International, NY, May, '91.
An absolute treasure! Strong essays by Hasubek and Grubmüller lead the way on the definition and the history of fable. Excellent documentation and illustration of major points in the tradition. Unfortunately limited mostly to German, Swiss, and French territory and materials.
1983 Hang On To Your Hats. Scott, Foresman Reading. Various authors and consultants. Glenview: Scott, Foresman and Company. $3.95 at The Book Den, San Antonio, August, ’96.
This reading textbook from the 80’s shows the place fables have had in education recently. Two fables appear. TT (156), adapted by Arthur Yorinks and illustrated by Ronald LeHew, uses simple cartoon figures and presents the turtle’s talkativeness as a conscious stance. Flying "was so much fun. The turtle had to say something. So he began to talk." He fell into water, said that he thought he talked too much, and did not go anywhere after that. If I was a child, I think I would not be eager to read many more stupid and childish stories of this sort. In WS (178), adapted by Regina Neuman and illustrated by John Wallner, the wind, an arrogant bully, picks out a little girl and asks if the sun can make her take off her green coat. The wind of course claims to be able to do it.
1983 Hesitant Wolf and Scrupulous Fox: Fables Selected from World Literature. Edited and with an introduction by Karen Kennerly. Paperbound. NY: Schocken Books. See 1973/83.
1983 I.A. Krylov: Basni. Paperbound. Moscow: Khudozhestvennaya Literatura Publishing. $15 from Victor Romanchenko through eBay, Feb., '05.
I could have sworn that I already had this book, once I saw it up close. I cannot find it in the collection. The colors of the cover are the colors that predominate in the duo-tone illustrations inside, that is, browns and reds. The frequent illustrations and designs are witty, e.g., the worshipping frogs with their hands up in the air on 39. There is a full-page illustration at the start of each book or section. There are notes on 278-95, followed by a T of C. There are 304 pages in all.
1983 Jede Maus braucht ein Zuhaus: Nach einer Fabel von Martin Luther. Erzählt von A.M. Reinhard. Mit Bildern von Hanne Türk. Erste Auflage. Hardbound. Frankfurt am Main: Ein Insel-Bilderbuch: Insel Verlag. €3 from Buchhandlung Karamanlidis, Berlin, August, '07.
This expansion of TMCM is engaging for, I believe, two particular reasons. It is indeed an expansion. The fable here takes thirty-two pages to tell! There are lots of adventures in both country and city. The first engaging element consists of the lively illustrations by Türk. The visiting city mouse, Schnuppeck aus Schmatzstadt, sweats for example on 4 just after he escapes the farm cat, whom Jeremias, the country mouse, knows how to handle. Again, on 12-13, Schnuppeck needs almost to drag Jeremias to the city to enjoy its pleasures. Jeremias on 19 stands stupefied looking at the city boots around him. Finally, on 32, he wends his way home with a pilgrim's staff. The second engaging feature consists of the clever rhyming headers for each section. The book's title is of course the first of these. Here is a sampling of the others. "Eine fremde Maus/kennt sich nicht aus." In einer Räucherei/frisst eine Maus für drei." "Eine träumende Maus/lebt in Saus und Braus." "Eine Maus mit krankem Magen/mag nicht baden." In the city, Jeremias eats too much and needs help from the Mäusehilfsdienst. I think Luther would have been delighted with this playful presentation of the fable. A young hand has drawn some crayon pictures on the front endpapers.
1983 Koty i Mysli: Basni. Sergei Mikhalkov. Illustrations by E. Racheva. Afterword by Irakly Andronykov. Hardbound. Moscow: Sovetskaya Rossiya. $15 from Valentina Kudinova, Kharkiv, Ukraine, through eBay, June, '12.
Mikhalkov and Racheva are at it again, and here -- as far as I can tell -- better than ever. The title is translated "Cats and Thoughts: Fables." The illustrations are nicely done here. The rhythm of this book, with the exception of a few longer fables, is "text left and full-page colored illustration right." As the closing T of C (79) shows, there are here thirty-two fables, with an afterword by Irakly Andronykov. I now have something like ten books of Mikhalkov and Racheva. Soon it will be time to check for repeats among the fables that they present.
1983 La cigarra y la hormiga y otros cuentos. No author or artist acknowledged. Sueños infantiles. Barcelona: Editorial Ramon Sopena. $19.65 at International Bookstore, Georgetown, Aug., '91.
Three fables and two stories with big, good art. The title story is fine. The ant carries a basket of grains. The grasshopper (Jiminy Cricket?) plays the violin. He acts like a rude, crazy child. Lovely illustrations, e.g., of the home interior of the ants in winter. The ant relents and serves a meal. Samaniego's BW story has the joke twice, workers who want to punish the boy, and a nice rhyming moral. Samaniego's stork gives the fox a counter-invitation before the first meal. The art is cute, e.g., when the fox combs his tail.
1983 La Fontaine Fables. Illustrations d'Evalisa Agathon. Hardbound. Champigny-s/M: Éditions Lito. $9 from Marie Gervais, St.-U -Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Sept., '09.
I have some twelve editions published by Lito over the years. They are illustrated by five differente artists: Christian Aubron, Corderoc'h, Maya Filip, Monique Gorde, and Sophie Toussaint. Now here is a thirteenth by a sixth artist! 8¾" x 10½", it seems like so many other French La Fontaine books for children! There are twenty fables on some 77 pages. The emphasis is on cuteness in these illustrations. A family of ducks comments on the tortoise's fall as the victim is falling (30). The singing cobbler has a mandolin and a jug of wine (32); I had never pictured him that way. Is he not singing while he works? The cuteness serves a good person when it comes to picturing the donkey who will become the unfortunate scapegoat for the pestilence (50). The ants in GA have skis, ski-poles, and a sled just outside their hut (56). There are several footnotes per fable explaining difficult vocabulary.
1983 La Fontaine Fables. Images de Romain Simon. Hardbound. Paris?: Le Jardin des Rêves: Hachette. See 1953/83.
1983 La gallina de los huevos de oro y otros cuentos. No author or artist acknowledged. Sueños infantiles. Barcelona: Editorial Ramon Sopena. $11 at Librería El Grupo, Caracas, May, '91.
Five fables (two attributed to LaFontaine, one each to Aesop and Samaniego, and one anonymous) with big, well produced art. Samaniego's GGE story includes many eggs and a wife who sides with the animal against her greedy husband. LaFontaine's WL has the shepherd showing up in the nick of time to save the lamb. Aesop's FG is the longest and most complex I have seen. The heavy anonymous story teaches that adventures are fun in books but difficult in real life.
1983 Le Favole di Esopo. Text by Rossana Guarnieri. Illustrations by several people. Milan: Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri. 10,000 lire in Rome, Fall, '83.
The pictures are indeed in several styles, and often cover two pages and move into and around the text. I like the guitar-playing grasshopper on the very last page of illustrations. Some of the others seem to tend to a kind of cheaply realistic style.
1983 Libro de Buen Amor. Juan Ruiz, Arcipreste de Hita. Edición modernizada de Nicasio Salvador Miguel. Hardbound. Printed in Colombia. Bogota: Historia Universal de la Literatura: Editorial Oveja Negra. $5 in Caracas, Venezuela, May, '91.
I have had this book sitting on the shelf, I believe, for ten years. I think I got it because Pack Carnes picked it up in a bookstore in Caracas and told me "You ought to read this." It has taken me a while! The edition adds only two things to Ruiz' text: good footnotes and a good T of C. The footnotes offer literary parallels and sources, particularly biblical phrases that are echoed in the text. The T of C is helpful because it lists each of the fables and exempla. Good tip, Pack!
1983 Lieb' Vaterland, magst baden gehen: Fabeln und Märchen aus Politik und Wirtschaft. Karl Darscheid. Illustrationen Wolfgang Rost. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Koblenz: Rhenania-Verlag. DM 24 from Antiquariat Richart Kulbach, Heidelberg, August, '01.
As the T of C at the front declares, there are here seventeen stories on 44 pages, some of which are surprisingly blank. "Die Armen Schweine" (7) is about children fed by their parents. The latter need to travel and give their children all sorts of instructions along with a great deal of prepared food. They return home to find the children dead, since no one had fed them. "Der Kuckuck" (8) is perhaps Kafkaesque. The jay upbraids the cuckoo for laying her eggs in other birds' nests. The cuckoo defends herself rather eloquently, saying that she saves herself for other important jobs, like announcing spring. Her argument convinces the birds. The next spring they are flying around, with no one attending to her own nest. But everyone is shocked come summer, since there are no young. The eggs lie untouched in their nests. The parents all had wanted to live like the cuckoo. One year later things are even quieter, in fact dead quiet. This year not even the cuckoo announces spring.. That the first command of justice is "Work!" is the upshot of "Wie aus dem Sumpf ein Acker wurde" (10). The fox uses the geese to overwhelm the other fowl in argument on 12; within two days all the fowl are dead. The final story, "Das Pferderennen" (43), represents well the cynical tone of many of these stories. The horses arrange a race; the animal who predicts the winner gets free food for a week. The event is a big hit. A big black horse wins, and a goose wins the food. The next week the horse's stable figures out this plan: a goose should ride the horse and spur him on to victory with her wings. The horse wins again, but by less of a margin. Over succeeding weeks more and more "supporters" are on the back of the horse, who does progressively worse despite their collective urgings. At last he barely makes it across the finish-line and comes in last. His friends abuse him, and the animals finally call off the horse-racing and give in to boredom.
1983 L.N. Tolstoy: Rasskazy i Basni. Paperbound. Moscow: Citaem Sami: Detskaya Literatura. $4.99 from Creative Master, Ukraine, through eBay, Sept., '10.
Here is a pamphlet of some 32 pages. In it I can recognize a number of Aesopic fables, like "Fox and Goat" (8-9); DS (10); "Peacock and Crane" (11); and DW (27-28). Is that "Mother Lark and Her Chicks" on 28-29. There may well be more fables here. Perhaps "The Wolf and the Squirrel" on 22-23? The inside covers have strong multi-colored illustrations; I am not sure of their connections with the stories here. The internal illustrations all add one color to black. This pamphlet has finally got me in touch with Detskaya Literatura on the web. Who knows where that contact may lead?!
1983 Loudmouth George and the Big Race. Nancy Carlson. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, Inc.. $5 from Lonnie Parsons at Readme Books & Manuscripts, Thomasville, Georgia, through ABE, Oct., '02.
George is a rabbit who thinks he has a race won when he first decides to race it a week beforehand. But he does not get out of bed on time the next morning, and in fact fritters away the whole next day. Whenever George is about to train, he finds a temptation, like his mother's pancakes, or an excuse, like rain. When the race starts, George finds himself at first out ahead of everyone, but after two blocks people begin to pass him. Soon everyone has passed him. After the race, which ends disastrously for George, he tells people that his shoes were too tight. The last picture has him saying that he will start training tomorrow. Simple but effective colored art work. Withdrawn from the Middle Georgia Regional Library in Macon.
1983 Macmillan Fairy Tale Alphabet Book. Words by Nancy Christensen Hall. Pictures by John O'Brien. First printing (all three copies). Dust jacket (all three copies). NY: Macmillan Publishing Co. $16 at Bibelots & Books, Seattle, July, '93. Extra copies for $3 at Bookman's Corner, Chicago, Sept., '91 and for $5 at In and Out of Print Books, San Francisco, Aug., '88.
This book wins the grand prize for ingenuity. Each letter of the alphabet gets a two-page spread devoted to one category of children's literature. A key at the end gives the genres. TMCM gets C and Aesop gets D. Note the glamorous lounging dog in the latter. The overall prize winner is P with its "painful pea" identified.
1983 Medieval Fables: Marie de France. Translated by Jeanette Beer. Illustrated by Jason Carter. Printed in Singapore. NY: Dodd, Mead, and Co. See 1981/83.
1983 My Big Book of Favourite Tales. Illustrated by Rene Cloke. Storytime Library. Printed in Hungary. Third impression. London: Award Publications. Gift of Wendy Wright purchased for $3 at Crossroad Antique Mall in Siren, WI, Aug., '94. Two extra copies, one a gift of Margaret Lytton, Nov., '96, the other for $1.98 at Odegard's (?), Spring, '87.
One of a seeming glut of large, "sweet" Aesops being printed in English around the world. I find no particular wit or fetching illustrations here.
1983 My Big FunThinker Book of Fun with Fables. Created by Terry Garnholz and Marcia Shank. Illustrated by Nan Iwasaki. Compton, CA: Educational Insights. Gift of Kathryn Thomas, May, '91.
An activities book to accompany the tape and Ten Best-Loved Aesop's Fables (1983). Color, connect the dots, escape the maze, color by numbers, and find the hidden pictures. The art is simple.
1983 My Book of Favorite Animal Stories. Various authors and illustrators. NY: Exeter Books. See 1982/83/84/87.
1983 Once Upon a Time... Political Fables. Claudius. Paperbound. Geneva: Risk Book Series #17: World Council of Churches. $3.95 from A Reader's Corner, Louisville, KY, through choosebooks.com, March, '03.
Apparently originally done (in German?) by Laetare Verlag, Nürnberg. Claudius is a Brazilian of Italian extraction who began drawing cartoons for Jornal do Brasil. In the 1970's he created audiovisual resources for the Institute of Cultural Action. This paperback book turns out to be a find. With strong two-color cartoon drawings, Claudius develops three traditional fables and three other stories. In WL, the wolf wants to avoid the risks of hunting sheep, and so he trains a lamb as a hunter. Success! The lamb brings back a lamb, but now this hunter lamb has tasted blood and loves it! In "The King," the autocratic lion dismisses first parliament and then advisers and finally ends up with technocrats and computers and everything running smoothly--until he falls into a hunter's pit. In "Progress," a happy, healthy town decides that they need progress, and a learned man tells them that the one sure sign of progress is pollution. The people of this town die happy! "The Message" is about a king who decides that he can cross the desert he has created out of what was once lovely forest. The moral: "You can make lovely country into a desert by degrees, but you cannot change it back by decrees." LM turns into a story about the mice forcing the netted lion to agree to elections. A peace candidate wins and enforces the peace against the old guard with African bees. In FC, the fox gets not only the crow's cheese but, as his agent, all his feathers--for sale. He advises the crow to dress up in traditional costumes. "The tourists will love it!" Good witty fun. Formerly owned by Lousville Presbyterian Seminary.
1983 Peeps at Our Pets. Pamphlet. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Merrimack Publishing Corporation. $8.95 from Cliff's Books, Pasadena, CA, August, '00.
Here is a reproduction of a children's book of verse about animals. The original must have come from sometime in the 1890's or so. There are sixteen pages in all, including the stiff covers. Some pages feature colored and others black-and-white illustrations. On 10 we find a parody of BC titled "Belling the Cat." This verse-story has to do, not with putting a bell around a cat's neck, but with ringing the doorbell of Tommy Mouser, the cat. The illustration shows a little mouse ringing the doorbell (marked "Visitors") and Tommy looking through the door, which is open just a bit. Here is the last half of the poem: "They ring it once, they ring it twice,/Alas, the truth to tell,/For once too often, these six mice/Ring Tommy Mouser's bell./Tom hid behind the door, they say,/The Mother mouse looks glum,/She knows that never from their play/Those little mice will come."
1983 Poesías recitables y fábulas para niños. Paperbound. Mexico City: Coleccion Poesía: Editores Mexicanos Unidos. $4 from Powell's, Portland, July, '01.
Forty-one selections on 94 pages in this simple paperback. There are multiple selections from Rosas Moreno, Samaniego, la Fontaine, Iriarte, Trueba, Fernández, Aesop, and Harzentebusch (sic). There are then individual selections from thirteen artists, including "Scchiller," and two final selections from Berdiales. There is a T of C at the end. This is a simple book showing how fables get around.
1983 Realms of Childhood. A Selection of 200 Important Historical Children's Books, Manuscripts and Related Drawings. Catalogue 41. With price-list, errata-slip, and note from Schiller "With Compliments." NY: Justin G. Schiller, Ltd. Gift of Jon Lindseth, April, '95. Extra copy with price-list for $35 from St. Nicholas Books, Toronto, Feb., '95.
When it rains, it pours. After ten years of trying, I have two copies of this wonderful catalogue. The St. Nicholas copy was offered as an afterthought of the dealer after we had talked about sending a copy of my bibliography. It pays to keep in touch! Among the two hundred featured items are ten dealing with fables: Faerno's 1572 Venice Centum Fabulae (#7); the 1664 Augsburg Esopische Fabeln with fifty-five copperplate engravings by Simon Grimm (#19); a Hoole bilingual edition from 1676 (#25; mine is from 1731); LaMotte's 1721 One Hundred New Court Fables (#42); the Gay edition from 1727-38, illustrated by Kent, Wooton, and Gravelot (#45); a LaFontaine edition from 1765-75 illustrated with engravings by Fessard (#65); Bewick's 1784 Select Fables (#75; identical with mine?); Baldwin's 1805 Fables Ancient and Modern with with copperplate engravings by Mulready (#92); the original 1867 Doré LaFontaine (#149; mine is from 1868); and eight watercolor designs by Ernest Griset for a children's Reynard, possibly unpublished (#152). Great stuff! The errata slip still gets Hoole's item number wrong, "92" instead of "25."
1983 Stories for Children Everywhere. Hardbound. Oversized. Printed in Hungary. Manchester, England: Cliveden Press. £2.50 from The Children's Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, June, '98.
I have one other book from Cliveden Press: A Storytime Treasury (1985). The formula is roughly the same: large format, cute and sentimentalized art. Fables are mixed with other stories. Here there are nine fables mixed with nine other stories. One of the fables is given longer treatment: TMCM (21-36). All others receive one page, with several illustrations brought together on that page: GA, LM, TH, FS, BW, FC, FG, and BC. The LM rendition here is not the same as the one there. Perhaps the best of the simple children's illustrations is that of the cocky cat for BC on 128.
1983 Renard the Fox. Translated from the Old French by Patricia Terry. With manuscript illuminations from the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. Boston: Northeastern University Press. $5 at Parnassus\Downstairs, Albuquerque, May, '93.
This book came recommended by Gerd van Dijk as we hunted books together. It is not exactly what I expected. It is not a contemporary overview of the medieval epic on Renard. It is a good rhymed translation of four of the fifteen branches of that epic tradition, with helpful notes. The other branches are summarized on 175-8. The plentiful black-and-white manuscript illumination reproductions would be even more helpful with some identification.
1983 Tall Tales Told & Retold in Biblical Hebrew. By Joseph Anderson & Debora Lipshitz. Illustrated by Margareta Bergman-Slutzkin. Paperbound. Oakland, CA: Classical Hebrew Educational Materials: EKS Publishing Company. $4.50 from Book Ark, NY, July, '98.
This 90-page paperback contains sixteen stories, followed by a grammatical index and a glossary. Before the stories one finds an introduction and a three-page word-bank of frequently used words. The stories include BW as the first story and an assortment of legends and fairy tales. The accompanying line-drawings are simple.
1983 Ten Best-Loved Aesop's Fables. For today's reader. Adapted by Terry Garnholz and Marcia Shank. Illustrated by Nan Iwasaki. Printed in Hong Kong. Compton, CA: Educational Insights. Gift of Kathryn Thomas, May, '91.
For use with an excellent tape. The stories are well told, each with one simple colored picture. There are many changes from traditional stories: How can the crow hold an apple in his beak and eat it at the same time? "The Cat and the Mouse" does not include the usual chicken. Mrs. Mouse investigates and is eaten! The stag gets away; its horns do not get caught. The country mouse is bored and receives an invitation; traffic and commotion, not an attack, convert her back to the country. The presentation softens GA: "sometimes you have to work"; "I can't play with you for a while." The grasshopper does not sing, but just eats and lies in the sun; the ant takes the grasshopper in.
1983 The Birds the Beasts, and the Bat. Text by Thomas James. Designed, handset, printed, and bound by Rachel Barahal. Signed, #12 of 120. Hardbound. San Rafael, CA: The Quail Hill Press. $40 from Ursula Davidson, San Rafael, Feb., '04.
Here is a beautifully bound miniature almost 2" square. There are printer's designs rather than illustrations along the way, including geometric designs on the endpapers. With the red title there is a lovely little black bat. Then there is a lovely crane at the start of the story. At its end there is a design of the bat against a sliver of moon. This design is just below James' comment that the shamed bat now never dares to show his face except in the duskiness of twilight. Good job, Rachel!
1983 The Bundle of Sticks. By Kevin Sullivan. Illustrated by Hiew Hua Ping. Aesop's Fables for Young Readers (fifth of a set of ten). Singapore: FEP International. $2.90 in Singapore, June, '90.
A Singapore find! This version develops the story with abundant detail, including names and jobs for each of the five sons. It is meant, the back cover tells us, for children seven to nine years old.
1983 The City Worm and the Country Worm. By Linda Hayward. Illustrated by Carol Nicklaus. Featuring Jim Henson's Sesame Street Muppets. No place indicated: Sesame Street/Golden Press/Western Publishing Company. $2.50 at Bookworks, Chicago, Sept., '93.
Female Squirmy visits Slimy near Oscar's. From there on the whole book is a mirror-reverse of the traditional TMCM tale. Many of the same factors are operative. The climax comes when a robin attacks in the country, and Slimy heads home. There are delightful moments in story and picture, like the good worm embrace at the first meeting. In the city, the two visit the "Earthworm Museum" complete with a worm mobile. In the country Squirmy's house is a big apple in contrast to Slimy's shoebox in the "Big Apple."
1983 The Cricket and the Mole and other stories. Janosch. Translated by Anthea Bell. Hardbound. Printed in West Germany. London: Andersen Press Ltd. $22 from Jeryl Metz Books, NY, through ABE, August, '00.
Original edition ©1982 by Beltz Verlag, Weinheim, West Germany. The original title was Liebe Grille, spiel mir was. Here again in this little book (4½" x 6½") Janosch plays with stories. The first works directly off of a fable motif from GA. The cricket, having played her fiddle all summer, goes to several animals in winter to ask if she can stay for a while. They refuse. The mole accepts her, and they work out a very happy life together--even, apparently, in bed! "The Goose Opera" shows the geese getting the better of the fox. To the cold geese he proclaims that he will warm them up so well that they will never feel the cold again. They lead him on a chase and then dance with him until he dies exhausted. They even skin him and use the skin to make fur coats and scarves. They thus make his promise come true! "Jack the Lion" in rhyme is very simple and really not a story. Is he relieving himself behind the house on 38? "Robinson Hare" tells of a young hare who leaves his father, becomes a seaman, escapes pirates, and lives alone on an island until he meets a black "Hare Friday." Sailors come to the island, capture him, and then recognize that he is a hare like them and so take him back to his father. The cover illustration, which also serves as the first in the first story, is excellent. I do not know what kind of bugs or beasts are dancing, but they are into it!
1983 The Sun and the Wind: An Aesop Fable. Retold by Cornelia Lehn. Illustrated by Robert W. Regier. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Newton, Kansas: Faith and Life Press. $24.95 from Harvest Book Company, Ft. Washington, PA, Sept., '01.
Here the wind and the sun start by laying out their philosophies. The wind insists that nothing is stronger than force and that he can make people do anything he wants if he blows hard enough. The sun smiles and speaks of people wanting to cooperate when he shines warmly. Later the sun will wink and grin. The two are presented in bright design fashion, with a smile at the center of the sun's rings, while the wind is a set of blue and purple waves and swirls. The bet is then set up by the sun--alas, in unfortunate terms. "I bet I can persuade him to take it off but you can't make him do it." Later we read: "There was no way that the wind could make the man take off his coat." I want to scream "Of course! The wind would never make that bet!" The image of the flattened winds as they give up is excellent; the sun at this point is laughing. The book's last two spreads include multi-colored pastel hills and these two lines: "The sun smiled warmly.and is still smiling today." The man's reaction to both wind and sun is presented in terms of good increments of buttoning and unbuttoning the coat, respectively. This book, in excellent condition, was printed by Mennonite Press, Inc.
1983 The Turtle and the Monkey: A Philippine Tale. Paul Galdone. Paperbound. Apparently seventh printing. NY: Clarion Books. $6.95 from The Story Monkey, Sept., ’96.
This pleasant tale with "expressive, large-scale illustrations" (back cover) seems to draw together two common folktales. From the first comes the monkey’s choice of one half of the tree (the top half) because he insists that they must share the tree immediately. From the second comes the Brer Rabbit trick. When the monkey is ready to destroy the turtle, the turtle says "Please, oh please, don’t throw me into the water!" Of course the monkey does, and that is the turtle’s home. I enjoy Galdone’s work.
1983 The World's Best Fairy Tales. Belle Becker Sideman. Illustrated by Fritz Kredel. Third printing. Pleasantville: Reader's Digest Association. See 1967/83.
1983 Thomas Bewick & the Fables of Aesop. Biographical Sketch by John W. Borden; History of the Fables by Janet S. Krueger. Limited edition of 518 copies. Hardbound. San Francisco: The Book Club of California Publication #175: The Book Club of California. $75 from Serendipity, Berkeley, August, '08.
"With an original leaf from the first edition (1818) of The Fables of Aesop and a new impression from one of Bewick's original wood engravings." I had looked for an inexpensive copy of this book for a long time. This copy includes not only a very nice printing of one of my favorite woodcuts from Bewick, "Industry and Sloth" from page 9 of the 1818 version, but also the introduction to that edition, pages ix to xvi. Borden writes a helpful biographical sketch. Bewick was a natural-born drawer and fell in love with drawing on wood. His "tail-pieces" (he called them "tale-pieces") in particular express his love for English countryside and his keen eye for a scene. The Fables of Aesop and Others was not as well received as Bewick's previous books on quadrupeds (1790), land birds (1797), and ocean birds (1804). Borden mentions twice that Bewick wrote that this fable book "was not so well printed as I expected and wished" (24). The woodblock printed anew in this publication is the last of the fables, "The Boys and the Frogs." Krueger mentions England's love for fables in the eighteenth century -- Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1823 would be one cause of a change in that predilection -- and claims that it would be hard "to find another illustrator of books, either before or after Bewick's time, who devoted so much of his working life to this literary genre" (34). Bewick was both designer and engraver; neither Dürer nor Holbein had cut his own blocks. Bewick brought the woodcut to a level beyond what people had assigned it to, namely crude chapbooks. Bewick followed Locke in trying to make education pleasant. He balanced the heavy learning of his books with the wit and fun of the tail-pieces. His "Fables of Aesop and Others" was an attempt to improve upon Croxall's illustrations, and he did that. Krueger, who may overquote experts in art history, fortunately follows the fate of the blocks themselves and has good things to say about Bewick's transformation of Croxall's texts and about his tail-pieces.
1983 Three Fables. Mary Barnard. First printing. Dust jacket. Portland, OR: Breitenbush. Hardbound for $5 at Second Story, Portland, July, '93. Softbound for $3 at Green Apple, March, '97.
Three stories that originally appeared in the Kenyon Review. It may be hard to know what makes these three stories fables. The first is a surrealist encounter with decision. The second uses rock-climbing as the setting and the analog for the relationship between a man and a woman. The third is a meditation on the necessity of fire in human life.
1983 Treasury of Literature for Children. Many illustrators. No compiler/editor mentioned. Dust jacket. NY: Exeter Books. $8.98 for the last copy on sale at Schwartz, Dec., '86.
This book takes an original approach to presenting its thirty-one Aesopic fables, giving sets of three or four or six fables in the midst of the other literature. The translation is standard and not acknowledged. David Frankland does all of the Aesop illustrations in the nostalgic style he used in Aesop's Fables by Robert Mathias (1983). They are satisfactory.
1983 Two Donkeys and a Bridge. Ralph Steadman. First edition. Hardbound. London: Andersen Press. £28 from Stella and Rose's Books, Hay-on-Wye, UK, Dec., '12.
Originally copyrighted by Nord-Süd Verlag in 1972. "This revised edition first published in Great Britain in 1983 by Andersen Press Ltd." The back cover speaks of "this revised edition of one of Ralph Steadman's early children's books, a timely and wry fable." Two boys, each with a donkey, meet each other at the large river that has separated their peoples for a long time. The two conceive the idea of building a bridge, and their respective villages take up the idea vigorously. After the bridge is built, a quarrel arises, and now the bridge is covered in barbed wire. The two boys meet elsewhere along the river and maintain a good relationship. They promise, when they grow up, to tear away the barbed wire and avoid petty quarrels. Steadman's delightful cartoon style animates the book. Not the worst of his offerings is on the cover: the two donkeys kiss, and there is a big red heart between them.
1983 Ukrainska Bayka (Ukrainian Fables). Borus A. Derkacha and Victor T. Kosychenka. Illustrated by Yliy Krigi. Hardbound. Kiev: Dnipro. $20 from N. Chornobrov, Ukrainka, Ukraine, May, '11.
This book, with 464 thin pages, contains a high number of texts. The illustrations are a curious set of black-and-white line-drawn cartoons, often in quadrangles framed with double-lines. I find them quite pleasing. Good examples are on the front cover, 81, 91, 141, 157, 191, and 269. Does the unframed image of a not-pleased cat on 162 reappear elsewhere? The same lion is on 30 and 186. Unfortunately, I have not found any matching fables that I know. I would not have thought that there are so many Ukrainian fabulists! The T of C on 451 runs for thirteen pages. There is an introduction to Ukrainian fable by the editors at the book's beginning.
1983 What Do You Call a Dumb Bunny? and Other Rabbit Riddles, Games, Jokes, and Cartoons. Marc Brown. Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press: Little, Brown and Co. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan for Easter, '86.
This booklet includes a cute little hare and tortoise race across the top of its pages, with the bunny stopping for a carrot-burger along the way. Otherwise there are no fables here, but many bad jokes!
1983/84 Fairy Tale Time. Illustrated by Gerry Embleton and Gill Embleton. Second printing. Printed in Belgium. Newmarket: Brimax Books. $2.50 from Constant Reader, June, '96.
This large-format book with sharply detailed illustrations has six stories, of which the first, TH, is a fable. The story is well told. The illustration features a tortoise with pince-nez, a hare with sweatband and bow-tie, and dancing hedgehogs at the end of its four pages.
1983/85 Basni. Ivan Krylov. Illustrations by Ye. M. Rachyeva. Paperbound. Moscow: Detskaya Literatura. $3 from Sergei Hvostov, Sumy, Ukraine, through eBay, April, '06.
Here is a 1985 printing of a magazine I already have listed under its original printing date of 1983. As I mention there, it is a selection of fables and illustrations in magazine format from the book Basni (1965) by the same people. Seven full-page illustrations and three vignettes. Only the cover illustration seems new, a nice adaptation of the critical cock from 86 of the earlier edition. The illustrations lose some of their sharpness here. This copy is rather well worn.
1983/86 Ein junger Kater wünscht sich mäuse: Gedichte, Fabeln und Geschichten von Katze und Maus. Zusammengestellt von Gottfried Herold. Illustriert von Eva Natus-Salamoun. Hardbound. Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag. DM 8 in Germany, August, '01.
Here is a DDR book that gathers many resources on the theme of cat and mouse, in fact 116 pages worth of good material, with simple colored illustrations. A T of C at the end gives the overall picture. The organization of the book is, at least chiefly, chronological. The first dozen or so of the entries are fables, from Aesop and Der Stricker to Meissner. In fact, the book is far more heavily made up of fables than I would have thought. Lichtwer's "Die Katzen und der Hausherr" (14) is here, as funny as ever. The title line of the book comes from Lichtwer's "Der Junge Kater" (17). Lessing's "Die Maus" (20) is still fun, too. A philosophical mouse praises nature, since the winged Fledermäuse could always replenish the regular mice population, if necessary. Lessing's narrator mentions then that the good mouse did not know that there are also winged cats! The art may become most outrageous on pages like 31. Is this Picasso or the first grade?! BC here comes from Tolstoy (51). I enjoy Gerhard Branstner's "Rede Nicht von Sonnenschein, Regnet Es zum Fenster Rein" (103). The raven teacher flunks a mouse who looks out the window and sees rain while the raven is declaring that everything is beautiful. Do not miss "Eine Fabel, in der Sich Zwei Unterhalten" by Gundula Sell (113). It is one last great bit of fun here.
1983/86 In der Sonne Steht der Hahn: Fabeln aus aller Welt. Ausgesucht von Alice und Karl Heinz Berger. Illustriert von Dieter Heidenreich. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Zweite Auflage. Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag Berlin. DM 15 from Dresdener Antiquariat, Dresden, August, '01.
This is a large-format book of 199 + 9 pages. It has an extensive T of C at the back, just after a complete listing of authors represented. There are some ninety-two authors! Besides occasional printer's devices, there are twelve full-page colored illustrations. Since I cannot find a list in the book, I mention them here: "Die beiden Hammel" (9), "Fuchs und Gans" (33), WC (37), "Der Hase und sein Schatten" (55), "Fink und Frosch" (75), "Die Ente und die Schlange" (89), "Vater und Sohn" (101), "Der Hund und das Krokodil" (114), "Rote Pantoffeln" (125), "Der Tiger und der Fuchs" (143), "Die Schnepfe und die Muschel" (153), and "Der Adler und die Kaninchen" (173). Perhaps typical of these is "Die Schnepfe und die Muschel" (153). Colorful, they present animals clothed and in unusual positions and situations. A foreword notes that fable brings together two things, the stimulating, unusual, often fantastic scene and the serious pleasure of discovering or rediscovering human attributes. The fables are grouped into some twelve chapters. The first chapter, including some nineteen fables, is titled "Was ist das für ein Unverstand?" The very first fable is MSA as told by Hebel, followed by Aesop's story of flies dying in honey, Gesta Romanorum's fable of the ass who imitated the dog, and Michalkov's version of the two rams meeting on a narrow bridge. There is another nice illustration for this last story, including an astolished mouse looking up at the two battling rams (9). Soon we read Grillparzer's delightful "Die Rose" (11). A boy is enchanted by the aroma from a rose and takes some of its petals into his mouth. Soon he curses it for its bitter taste. "Not I deceived you, but you yourself did," answers the rose. "Who told you to ask for more than aroma from me?" The second group is titled "Komm, Fuchs, wir wollen Friede schliessen." This is a lovely and highly useful book! One new favorite needs mentioning: Johannes Trojan writes of the dance of the fox and goose, which climaxes in a quick whirl of feathers--and the disappearance of the goose, except for some little feathers that the fox licks away from his Schnauze!
1983/87 Cyndy Szekeres' Book of Nursery Tales. Illustrated by Cyndy Szekeres. Selected and adapted by Selma G. Lanes. Published in 1983 as A Child's Book of Nursery Tales. NY: Golden Book/Racine: Western Publishing. $2 at Strand, May, '91.
Only the cover, copyright date, and title have changed. TMCM (43) has two pleasant pictures. The telling has a nice ending: "Neither...ever felt the need to visit each other again."
1983/96 Aesop's Fables (Japanese) Vol. I. Ulm woodcuts. Paperbound. #2072: kaisei-sha bunko: Fusa Ninomiya. $9 from Kinokuniya Bookstore, San Jose, July, '98.
This is the first of a pair of beautifully printed paperbound volumes I discovered among my books now in 2005. When and how did I get them? I can only guess. There is a $9 price tag on each from Kinokuniya with a San Jose telephone number. Were they perhaps a gift of Rafael Sakurai? As for the book itself, its dust-jacket has beautifully colored Ulm woodcuts of "The Hawk and the Pigeons" and of the man chopping down a tree (to get an axe-handle, I presume), with half of a beautiful peacock on the spine. Inside, the book moves from what we would call the back to the front with a succession of beautiful Ulm images, starting with FG on 11 and recurring every four to eight pages. The beginning T of C indicates that there are one-hundred-and-eighty-four fables on 221 pages. What a lovely pair of books!
1983/96 Aesop's Fables (Japanese) Vol. II. Ulm woodcuts. Paperbound. #2073: kaisei-sha bunko: Fusa Ninomiya. $9 from Kinokuniya Bookstore, San Jose, July, '98.
This is the second of a pair of beautifully printed paperbound volumes I discovered among my books now in 2005. When and how did I get them? I can only guess. There is a $9 price tag on each from Kinokuniya with a San Jose telephone number. Were they perhaps a gift of Rafael Sakurai? As for the book itself, its dust-jacket has beautifully colored Ulm woodcuts of the eagle carrying the tortoise and the wolves asking the shepherd to get rid of the dogs, with the second half of a beautiful peacock on the spine. Inside, the book moves from what we would call the back to the front with a succession of beautiful Ulm images, starting with LM on 11 and recurring every four to twelve pages. The beginning T of C seems to indicate that there are one-hundred-and-seventy-two fables on 223 pages, followed by an essay on Aesop on 224, complete with both Ulm's title-picture and Velasquez' painting of Aesop. On 229, there is an indication of Chambry's 1960 edition, and that may well be what is translated here. What a lovely pair of books! Were they perhaps a gift of Rafael Sakurai?
1983? La Fonten Masallari. Ceviri: Mustafa Yalciner. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Istanbul: Dost Kitaplar. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
Here among many paperbacks from Turkey is a hardbound book with a dj. In fact, it could not easily be identified without the dj, since its cover and spine are unmarked white heavy paper. The cover has several colored animal designs which I recognize immediately as borrowed from some larger (French?) publication which actually then used colored illustrations. This edition has black-and-white designs that seldom rise above the level of simply picturing an animal or two. Among the more interesting are the illustrations showing the fox whispering into the lion's ear (81) and the frog about to burst (92). On 137 a section of Perrault begins. The book closes with a verse rendition of FG on 160. It has a red ribbon for marking the spot. The dj has only "Masallar" as opposed to the title-page's "Masallari." There is neither T of C nor AI.
1983? The Hare and the Hedgehog. No author or illustrator acknowledged. My Friendly Animal Board Books. Printed in the Federal Republic of Germany. NY: Derrydale Books. $1 at Half Price Books, Berkeley, June, '89.
Great stiff pages. The hedgehog looks as though Steiff made him! The race seems to involve just one furrow each time, and it seems to be the same furrow each time! The cover picture gives the sense of a race better than the inside story or pictures do.
1984 A Hundred Fables of Aesop. From the English version of Sir Roger L'Estrange with pictures by Percy J. Billinghurst and an introduction by Kenneth Grahame. Dust jacket. NY: Gallery Books. $6.95 at Turnaround Books, Seaside, Oregon, Aug., '87.
This book puts together two people I have seen extensively elsewhere. The reproductions of Billinghurst are good. He shows occasional touches of imagination, but seems generally to provide a standard "picture" for a tale. Billinghurst has also been published with illustrations of LaFontaine. I wonder what he really made. These stories do not match with the Hundred Fables of LaFontaine (1983) for which B's illustrations are also used.
1984 A Hundred Fables of Aesop. Sir Roger L'Estrange. Percy J. Billinghurst. Introduction by Kenneth Grahame. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Ware, Hertferdshire: Omega Books. £19 from Internet Bookshop UK Limited, Cambridge, Gloucestershire, through abe, March, '03.
This book is almost perfectly identical with one published by Gallery Books in the same year. My suspicion is that Gallery had the American contract and Omega the British contract. As I wrote then, this book puts together two people I have seen extensively elsewhere. The reproductions of Billinghurst are good. He shows occasional touches of imagination, but seems generally to provide a standard "picture" for a tale. Billinghurst has also been published with illustrations of LaFontaine. I wonder what he really made. These stories do not match with the Hundred Fables of LaFontaine (1983) for which Binnlinghurst's illustrations are also used.
1984 A Selection of Aesop's Fables. Translated by Boris Artzybasheff. Wood Engravings by Sarah Chamberlain. Signed, #22 of 150. Hardbound. Portland, OR: The Chamberlain Press. $99 from Books on Main, Sacramento, Oct., '04.
I have hoped to find a copy of this book for a long time, in fact since I purchased prints of the ten fables from Ms. Chamberlain herself in 1989. Though I knew that they had been collected into a book, I thought it had happened only once or twice, for particular friends. So I thought that a copy would be impossible to find and prohibitively expensive. Eureka! The book is beautifully done. As then, I still enjoy particularly DLS, FK, and LM. The book adds a lovely little printer's design on the back of each wood engraving. There is, for example, a broken egg on the back of GGE! Well done, Sarah Chamberlain!
1984 Aesop: Fables. From translations of Thomas James and George Tyler (sic) Townsend. With the illustrations of Charles H. Bennett. Limited edition published exclusively for subscribers to the Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers. Franklin Center, PA: The Franklin Library. $35 at The Iliad Bookshop, Burbank, Feb., '97.
A curious, pretty, expensively-bound book with leather and gilt and a sewn-in place-mark. I will be interested to compare it to the edition that Franklin did two years earlier with the same authors (and the same translations?) but with the illustrations of Grandville. Here there is a a new title-page illustration and frontispiece by Kevin King. The title-page makes the same mistake with Townsend's name as the earlier edition did. There are only eight of Bennett's individual illustrations here (out of a possible twenty-two) and the frontispiece of Man at the Court of the Lion.
1984 Aesop's Fables: A Collection of Aesop's Fables. Retold by Graeme Kent. Illustrated by Eric Kincaid. Printed in Hong Kong. Newmarket, England: Brimax. See 1981/84/88.
1984 Aesop's Fables in William Caxton's Original Illustrated Edition. Edited by Bamber and Christina Gascoigne. Printed in Belgium. For sale in U.K. only. London: Hamish Hamilton Ltd. See 1484/1984.
1984 Aesop's Fables: Selected and Told Anew by Joseph Jacobs. Illustrated by David Levine. Hardbound. NY: The Library of Favorite Children's Classics: Capricorn Press. $11.13 from Tuckerstomes, Colchester, VT, through abe, Feb., '11.
This is a fresh rendition of MacMillan's 1964 edition of Jacobs and Levine. Clifton Fadiman's essay from that edition has dropped. So has the portion of the title that claimed a tracing of the fables' history. Added are a lovely colored cover and frontispiece: crocodiles frame a lion apparently holding a pig and a lamb. A turtle swims beneath. As I mentioned of the original MacMillan edition, some of the illustrations here seem warm-ups for his 1975 edition. The resemblance may be clearest in 2W. Great capitals start off each story. This is a firm book and a surprising find. How have I missed this book until now?
1984 Aesop's Fables: The Ant and the Grasshopper and other favorite fables. Retold by Vernon Goldsmith. Illustrated by Bob Beckett. Printed in Brazil. Boxed set of four volumes. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. $.74 at Kay Bee or Toys-R-Us, Dec., '86.
Good pictures for GA. Beckett is again lively, but somehow the color work here comes off looking cheap. "The Fox and the Lion," "The Wolf and the Goat," and "The Vain Crow."
1984 Aesop's Fables: The Hare and the Tortoise and other favorite fables. Retold by Vernon Goldsmith. Illustrated by Bob Beckett. Printed in Brazil. Boxed set of four volumes. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. $.74 at Kay Bee or Toys-R-Us, Dec., '86.
The hare wants to tease the tortoise at the end and so rests right there. A good picture catches him there. Afterwards, he quietly creeps away. Soft-colored pictures. FG includes a mocking crow and a reference in the moral to poor losers. The other two fables here are DW and "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing."
1984 Aesop's Fables: The Lion and the Mouse and other favorite fables. Retold by Vernon Goldsmith. Illustrated by Bob Beckett. Printed in Brazil. Boxed set of four volumes. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. $.74 at Kay Bee or Toys-R-Us, Dec., '86.
The volume includes perhaps the best illustrations of the four-book set, especially for LM. The others ("The Monkey and the Camel," "The Cat and the Mice," and "The Birds, the Beasts, and the Bat") are cute but a bit primitive. The sleeping lion has a pillow and pajamas, while the negligent mouse has a nice top hat.
1984 Aesop's Fables: The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and other favorite fables. Retold by Vernon Goldsmith. Illustrated by Bob Beckett. Printed in Brazil. Boxed set of four volumes. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. $.74 at Kay Bee or Toys-R-Us, Dec., '86.
The eagle and the fox make friends in this version! And there is a story of two frogs I never saw before. Also "The Lion and the Goat" and the title story. The "Two Frogs" title picture is cute. An inexpensive surprise find.
1984 Animal Fairy Tales. Various authors and illustrators. NY: Exeter Books. See 1982/83/84/87.
1984 Babrius and Phaedrus. Ben Edwin Perry. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Cambridge: The Loeb Classical Library: Harvard University Press. See 1965/84.
1984 Basil Ratzki: Eine Fabel. Tomi Ungerer; Aus dem Amerikanischen von Otto Jägersberg. Paperbound. Zurich: Diogenes Taschenbuch 21132: Diogenes Verlag. €5 from Antiquariat Ihring, Berlin, August, '09.
Since Ungerer calls this a fable, I include it in the collection. As always, it is a pleasure to watch Ungerer at work. The summation on the back cover is accurate. "The rat leader Basil Ratzki challenges his fellow rats to clean themselves up and to make themselves loved by people -- with unexpected results." My favorite illustration comes near the middle as a formally clad gentleman walks his pet rat, using its long tail as a leash. Another provocative little story from a great liberal artist.
1984 Basni. I.A. Krilov. Artist: V. Chizhikov. Commentary by N.L. Stepanova. Moscow: Artistic Literature. $3.95 at Schoenhof's in Cambridge, MA, June, '85.
The illustrations are delightful. Those that are immediately clear as Aesopic for fables I know come on pages 4-5, 11, 38-9, 55, 177, and 183. Valuable for including to show Aesop's international influence. Here is a book to start with when I learn Russian!
1984 Classics to Read Aloud to Your Children. William F. Russell. Dust jacket. NY: Crown Publishers. $14.95, Summer, '88. Extra copy for $7 from Second Story, Bethesda, Sept., '91.
An excellent selection of good stories for kids, sorted by age. This is the book to recommend to someone asking for one good kids' reader. Contains one fable: AL (19). Cheap xeroxish printing is the book's only flaw. No illustrations. Here is a good tip before the fable: if you read fables to your child, let them be entertaining stories. There will be ample chance later to draw on their wisdom. The fourth printing (the extra copy) was $1 cheaper than the fifth! Not everything gets more expensive!
1984. Der Löwe mit der besonders schönen langen Mähne. Kurt David. Bilder von Horst Bartsch. 4. Auflage. Hardbound. Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag Berlin. See 1978/84.
1984 Die Augen des Büffels und andere Fabeln. Illustriert von Werner Klemke. Fifth edition. Hardbound. Printed in GDR. Berlin, German Democratic Republic: Verlag Junge Welt. DM 7 from Revers, Berlin, Nov., '95.
Here are twenty-one stories identified as coming from various peoples and writers. Some are identified rightly as "Märchen." Some, e.g. "Als die Drossel den Storch heiraten wollte" (9), seem to be new efforts by recent story-tellers. WC is presented as a Czech folktale. New to me: "Die Füchsin und die Kranichfrau" (20). The crane discovers by a feather on her mouth that the fox has been the eater of her children. She takes her up in the air and then drops her. The text seems to have her carry the fox in her beak, while the image has her in the crane's claws. Other new fables for me include "Die Biene und die Spinne" (22), "Der Tiger und der Fuchs" (24), "Die Maus und die Gurke" (26), "Wer das Mehl mahlt" (30), and "Die beiden Jäger" (36). If he is not yet dead, the greedy man is still chasing the hen that laid a golden egg (32). The brothers break one arrow into halves, and those two halves into quarters. They keep dividing one arrow until one brother cannot do it (44). The art is strong, delightful, and well presented. Among the best: the wolf dressed as shepherd (19) and SW (35). Klemke seems to sign these with his name and either "66" or "67." On 79 is a T of C. The last third of this book comprises sections of translations in, respectively, English, French, and Russian of the German stories presented on 6-47. I am delighted now in 2001 to find this book saved on my shelf after six years!
1984 Die Schiffbrüchigen oder Die Fabelinsel. James Krüss. Illustrationen von Eberhard Binder. Erste Auflage. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag. €10 in Dresden, August, '06.
This is a delightful book. I am happy to see that it is dedicated to Klaus Doderer. He deserves it! The supposition here is a shipwreck leaving people stranded on an island. To pass the time, they decide to tell fables. The book becomes a tour de force of variations on the fable theme, often organized by time measurements. Thus there are seven fable for seven days of the week, ten fables for our ten fingers, twenty-six fables for the letters of the alphabet, and fifty-two fables for the weeks of the year. The T of C on 143-44 shows these groups of fables, the first a set of seven from a dove cornered by an eagle. She tries a Scheherezade stratagem: she will tell him stories while she uses her tail-feathers to widen an opening behind her to freedom. Her first fable is good: 112 spiders should not have written a thank-you letter to the artist that had let his house get overrun. "Spinnendank macht Menschen keine Ehre" (15). Next comes "Der Sängerkrieg der Heidehasen," an allegedly old fable presented here in ten cantos. Next is a group of twelve fables. Still to come are a "Fable-Abc" and a "Fable-Calendar." For those wanting a fast start in the book, try a few entries from the last portion. "Door and Window" (133) is a good example. Proud window says to door "People can see through me." The door slams shut, and the window shatters. Now people can also go through the window! Take that, proud window! The colored illustrations show spirit and delight. Do not miss the decoration in the book's cloth cover underneath the dust jacket. It is lovely too!
1984 Die unsterbliche Eintagsfliege: Aphorismen, Fabeln und andere Frechheiten. Werner Ehrenforth. Illustrations by Thomas Schleusing. Hardbound. Halle/Leipzig: Mitteldeutscher Verlag. €6 from an unknown source, Sept., '08.
Werner Ehrenforth (1939-2002) worked at several different employments in his life in the DDR. Since the end of the 1950's he wrote especially aphorisms but also short stories, poems, and fables. The 90 pages here are predominantly sarcastic aphorisms in which the author criticizes the socialist government and society of the DDR. The book also includes twelve prose fables. Neither the aphorisms nor the fables are titled. The actors in the fables are mostly animals, but there are unusual animals here: hamsters, sharks, hering, and chameleons. The moral is usually at the end and usually has to do with justice, freedom, and human dignity. A favorite here is this fable: A dog hunted a rabbit. A hamster noticed and said "That is the way it is. One is exercising a sport, and the other is running for his life" (17). The wild cat to the house cat: "In contrast to you, we fulfill our duty every day." The house cat answers: "It is a higher step in freedom to be able to fulfill one's right" (19). "I cannot hurt a fly," the swallow asserts. "What about those you eat?" "In this case I am destroying vermin" (66). "I have had a lot of trips," the rock asserts. "But someone had to throw you up!" "Yes, but the trip down was all my doing" (68). A fishing bird asks the eel in his beak: "What do you do when you experience injustice?" The eel says nothing. "That means that you increase the injustice by that portion of justice that you do not exercise" (87). Thus the victimizer puts the blame on the victim. The lion asks the dove to be defense minister. The wolf claims that they will lose all their wars. The lion answers: "We cannot lose the war that we have not begone" (88). Other fables are on 18, 20, 44, 45, 67, 86, and 89.
1984 El Maravilloso Mundo de las Fábulas. No author or illustrator mentioned. Valencia: Editorial Alfredo Ortells. $6.14 in Madrid, June, '86.
Very lively illustrations for about eight stories. The best are of the turtle's expression at the finish, of the proud lion dealing with the girl's father, and of the lion laughing at the mouse.
1984 Esopo: Favole. Traduzione di Elena Ceva Valla, testo greco a fronte. With the 1491 Venetian woodcuts. Rizzoli: Milan. Fifth edition, brought back by Pat Donnelly. See 1951/76/84.
1984 Ezop Masallari. Tarik Dursun K. Paperbound. Altin Kitaplar Yayinevi. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
This is an unassuming Turkish paperback edition of Aesop's fables without illustrations. After an introduction (5-12) by Tarik Dursun K., fables are offered--one to a page--on 13 through 126. There is neither a T of C nor an AI. The verso of the title-page offers both "Gokkusagi Dizisi" and "Matbaasi."
1984 Fabel. Erwin Leibfried, unter Mitarbeit von Bernd-Ulrich Dietz. Erste Auflage. Hardbound. Bamberg: themen text interpretationen: C.C. Buchners Verlag. DM 37 from an unknown source, June, '98.
This is a helpful resource book for the study of fable. As the back cover declares, "Der Band ermöglicht eine umfassende Beschäftigung mit dem Komplex Fabel anhand primärer Texte." It has three major sections. The first deals with "Themen der Fabelforschung." This section includes some eleven different definitions of fable, the literature-sociological place of fable, the "Death of the Fable," animal metaphor in fable, the history and teaching of fable, fable's readership -- children or adults?, significant writers of fable (Aesop, Phaedrus, La Fontaine, and Lessing), and this book's own critical method. A second major section takes five major subjects and offers comparative chronological texts on those five: WL, FC, OR, LS, and "Magen und Glieder." Up to fourteen different texts are given for each of those five. By the way, I noticed in this section a nice redoing of OR by Jean Anouihl. The dead oak says to the smug reed "Ich bin immer noch eine Eiche" (94). The third section moves chronologically through nine historical periods and a fabulist in that period: Boner, Steinhowel, Luther, Ertl, von Kronau, Willamov, Braun, Pfeffel and Fischer, Hey and Heine. Last sections here deal with Kafka and contemporary fables. Do not confuse this book with Leibfried's other book of the same title, published by Metzler; of it I have a second edition from 1973. I had to check Wikipedia to make sure that a man wrote two books with the same name in different publishing houses! My question of this fine book is about its intended audience. Could this be a textbook for an Oberstufe class in the Gymnasium?
1984 Fabeln und Bilder. Nach Holzschnitten von Lothar Sell. Translations by Johannes Irmscher, Ferdinand Löwe, and Martin Remané. First edition. Dust jacket. Kinder-Kunstbuch. Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag Berlin. DM 22 at Historica Antiquariat, Dresden, July, '95. Extra copy for DEM 7 from Dresdener Antiquariat, Dresden, July, '01.
A really lovely book. Eleven fables, including two from Aesop (FG and "Die Katze und die Hühner") and from Krylov ("Der Hahn und die Perle" and "Der Schwan, der Hecht und der Krebs"). Others: "Der Löwe und der Hase" from Lessing, "Ein Bauer sucht zweihundert Eier in einem Huhn" from Johannes Pauli, "Der Herr und der Hund" from Ignacy Krasicki, CP (but here Avianus' urna has become a Gefäß), "Die Hammel und der Metzger" from Romulus, "Die Mahnung des Vaters" from Babrios, and "Bewaffneter Friede" (featuring a fox and a porcupine) from Wilhelm Busch. The illustrations are strong, perhaps best for the two Krylov fables; they always add two colors to the basic black. To what do the cover and dust jacket illustrations of a lobster and a crow with a broom refer? Some of the best of the East German tradition here, not too long before it came to an end. The lack of direct reference to Phaedrus and LaFontaine is surprising.
1984 Fables de la Chine Antique. Illustrations de Feng Zikai. Avant-Propos de Wei Jinzhi. 2e Tirage. Paperbound. Beijing: Editions en Langues Etrangeres. See 1980/84.
1984 Fables de La Fontaine en bandes dessinées. Par Anouk. Hardbound. Printed in Switzerland. Editions Calmann-Lévy et Editions de Blonay. $2.75 from Josée Lemire, Lemoyne, Quebec, through EBay, Sept., '03.
Here is a much-used treasure-house of cartoon strips formerly in a library. Its binding is taped and its corners well bumped. In the interior, some pages are starting to separate from the binding. A T of C at the beginning indicates thirty-seven fables on 11-89, followed by two pages containing a few glossary items for each fable. The cartoons are delightful and perceptive. Because the gorged, choking wolf cannot cry out, he hoists an SOS sign and gestures to a passing stork (12). Anouk exercises the cartoonist's craft well. Gestures are portrayed dramatically. The disgorging of the wolf's bone from his throat is like an explosion (13); the ant's bite of the dove-hunter's foot is dramatic (25); the hermit rat is ridiculously rotund, while the other rats are skin and bones (34-35); the crow about to seize a ram flies like a dive-bomber (60). This dramatic and even violent approach to the stories may reach its apex in "Les deux coqs" (68-69). The pot of clay ends up sporting several bandages (79). The phrases of the cartoon's texts are taken often verbatim from La Fontaine.
1984 Fables de La Fontaine: Texte intégral et preface avec 358 Illustrations de Grandville. Hardbound. Munich: Hasso Ebeling. $9.50 from Doug Alcala, Vista, CA, through eBay, Oct., '11.
This is a huge book in large format (about 9" x 12") running to 640 pages and many pounds! All for under $10! The paper is foxing around the edges. The advantage of this book by comparison with almost all other Grandville books I have is that the illustrations are enlarged to fit this large format. It is all there! I had to look up the place of publication: Radolfzell.
1984 Fabulas Antiguas de China. Wei Jinzhi. Ilustraciones de Feng Zikai. Segunda impresión de la segunda edición. Beijing: Ediciones en Lenguas Extranjeras. See 1961/80/84.
1984 Famous Fables for Little Troupers. Retold by Greta Barclay Lipson. Illustrated by Susan Kropa. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Carthage, IL: Good Apple, Inc. $21 from Alibris, July, '00. Extra copy in slightly poorer condition for $8 from Varga Gladhart, Highland, KS, through Ebay, August, '01.
Here is a teacher's book that presents a chapter each for fifteen well-known fables. Each chapter includes a proverbial moral, an extended telling of the fable with several black-and-white illustrations, ideas to dramatize or discuss, props to use, and a "skills sheet." The "creative drama" envisioned here is not for an audience but for the players themselves. The acting is distinctly improvisational, and the story is different with each playing. An outline of steps in the teaching process is given as a set of "Guidelines for Playacting" on viii. The process calls for reading and rereading the story amid discussion and analysis. Only then does one plan a dramatization, ask for volunteer actors, and brainstorm for prop ideas. The "skills sheet" seems more an evaluation form meant to lead viewers to reflective analysis. It asks, e.g., how the writer felt, what he or she liked best, and what he or she would change. To my surprise, CW is the second story chosen (9), and the telling does it justice. The mouse appears as the married couple drives off in a wagon. In TB, Simon turns an ankle in the moment of surprise and asks for help, which is not forthcoming (68). The proverbial morals are simple and good. New to me is that for "The Sick Lion": "It is easier to get into trouble than to get out" (73). A new story to me is "The Farmer and His Crowded House" (105). A farmer has such a big family that he and his wife do not know what to do for space. A female scholar advises him to take the animals into his home one after the other. The overloaded family goes crazy, and she then finally advises him to get the animals out of the house. Now they all live there happily without complaint. The good moral for "The Boy Bathing" is "Give help when it's needed and advice when it's asked" (135). New finally to me is "The Rich Woman and Her Rags" (143). This woman wants attention, and the best dresses do not get it for her from the public market. The dressmaker obliges her finally by pulling out all the rags and using them to fashion a dress unlike any other. The woman is perfectly content and gets all the attention she has wanted--with plenty of laughter besides.
1984 Favorite Animal Fables. Illustrated by Betty Fraser. Paper engineering by David Rosendale. LA: Intervisual Communications. $5.95.
A nice popup on the inside cover of TH. Then a pull-out book of seven standard fables, with an inset picture behind it of the fox and the grapes. Worth showing off!
1984 folksy fables. Harry Milostan. With illustrations to color. Mt. Clemens, MI: Masspac Publishing Co. $4 from Dundee Books, April, '91.
One of the most curious books in my collection. Though the preface starts with the dictionary's seven definitions of fable and claims to satisfy all seven to some degree, what we have here is mostly weird legends of Polish immigrants to the Great Lakes. In an English that is not very correct, we get everything from animal tales to Paul Bunyan-like whoppers, plus recipes and illustrations in French and Polish to color! My! Nothing close to Aesop here.
1984 Fox Tales. M.J. Wheeler. Pictures by Dana Gustafson. Hardbound. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books. $11.99 from Sunday Thompson, Cotati, CA, through eBay, Dec., '11.
The three tales here , though on the long side, are similar to well known fables. "Whose Horse Is It?" uses the motif of the story of "The Iron-Eating Mice." In a place where a fox can light water on fire with his pipe, a barn can give birth to a horse overnight. In "The Bone Garden," fox and peacock end up competing over the growth of their "seeds," which for the fox are bones. Though he cannot eat plums like the peacock, he can eat the peacock -- and almost does! "The Stupid Fox" replays a very old story. Caged tiger asks man to let him free. Man, afraid, says "No. You will only eat me." Tiger pleads, denying that he would hurt the man. Man relents and tiger is free. His first act then is to try to eat the man. Fox is put forward as a judge of the deservedness of this violent act. Fox plays dumb about how it could have happened until tiger puts himself back in the cage and gets the door locked behind him! Besides the numerous line drawings, there is a two-page colored combination for each story.
1984 Freaky Fables. J.B. Handelsman. Foreword by John Cleese. NY: St. Martin's Press. $7.95.
Despite the claims on the back cover of this large softbound book, there is no Aesop among these cartoon strips that appeared weekly in Punch from 1977 on. But there are lots of funny parodies. The classicist will find the stories of Callisto, Hercules, the Trojan Horse (complete with Ajax as a fighting can of cleanser!), and Cleopatra, while the scripture scholar will find the commandments, Jonah, and Samson. The book exemplifies the wide range of meanings associated with "fable."
1984 Funny Fables of Fundy and Other Poems for Children. Written and Illustrated by Grace Helen Mowat. Third printing. Paperbound. St. Stephen, New Brunswick: Print 'N Press Ltd. See 1977/84.
1984 Geschichten von Onkel Remus. Joel Chandler Harris. Herausgegeben, aus dem Amerikanischen übersetzt und bearbeitet von Hans Petersen. Illustrationen von Rolf F. Müller. Berlin: Der Kinderbuchverlag. DM 2 at Zentralantiquariat, Leipzig, July, '95.
Forty-four stories and an afterword, with perhaps a dozen indifferent black-and-white line sketches and perhaps a dozen good colored pictures, generally a full page in size. The afterword goes out of its way twice to mention that the successors of the white masters still repress the Blacks today. It opens with a great quotation from Uncle Remus: if these stories were nothing but fun, the stuff of laughter, he would not have troubled himself with them. The binding and covers of this book are curiously flexible.
1984 Gusi-Lebedi (Russian "Geese and Swans"). L.N. Vlasinko. Art by M.V. Tabachnikova. Hardbound. Moscow: Russkii Iazyk. $10 from Szwede Slavic Books, Palo Alto, March, '97.
This is an oversized pamphlet of 56 + 8 pages for English readers and speakers to learn Russian. The last eight pages are a Russian-English vocabulary list. Accents are inserted in the texts to help foreigners pronounce the Russian words. The T of C on the inside-front-cover and first page are a winding journey around a village. I recognize FS on 7-10. The art tends toward the kind of colorful, expressive psychodelic style that Russians seem to have cultivated. Is that Baba Yaga I see on 33? Apparently Galina Aleksandrovna Gladkova is the overall editor. V. Provalov also seems to have had a hand in producing the book. The choice of "Geese and Swans" as the subject of a book is unusual, I think.
1984 Henry and Theresa's Race. By Ronne Peltzman. Illustrated by John Nez. Hardbound. Racine: A First Little Golden Book: Western Publishing Company. $15 from Ventura Pacific Ltd., Ventura, CA, through abe, March, '03.
The title-page proclaims "Story based on the Aesop's Fable 'The Hare and the Tortoise.'" This little (5¾" x 6¼") booklet has seen a great deal of use and wear! The seller's description aptly calls it a "feel good" book. Whenever Henry Hare starts praising himself, his friend Theresa Tortoise just says "That's nice." When, however, he boasts once too often, she is tired of it and challenges him to a race. Old Samuel Owl comments early "Fast is not always best." The race plays out in traditional fashion.
1984 I.A. Krilov: Selected Works. Volume One: Satirical Prose. Volume Two: Comedies and Fables. Introductory article, composition, preparation of text and commentary by S.A. Phomicheva. Design artist: O. Volodinoy. Moscow: Artistic Literature. $13.95 for the two-volume set at Schoenhof's, Dec., '89.
The fables run from 455 to 657 of Volume Two. There are some excellent full-page illustrations ("The Fox, the Lion, and the Wolf" on 495; WC on 547; and FG on 561). Others of the illustrations are simple, lively, and delightful.
1984 I.A. Krylov: Sochineniya v Dvuh Tomah (Works in Two Volumes), Vol. II. Edited by N.M. Lubimova. Illustrated by various artists. Hardbound. Moscow: Otyechyestvyennayah Klassika: Biblioteka Ogonek: Pravda. $15 from Victor Romanchenko, Ukraine, through eBay, Sept., '05.
Here, in two volumes, are Krylov's works. This edition seems to work off of the earlier Pravda edition of 1956. There are several changes. Exteriorly, the books drop the black profile of Krylov embossed on the front covers. Now, on green cloth, there is a golden title "I.A. Krylov" and a volume number. Secondly, the fables are now in the second volume. Thirdly, the series, Otyechyestvyennayah Klassika, is now more copiously and specifically named. Fourthly, there are now at least three colored illustrations, facing 129, 160 and 289, respectively. Otherwise, illustrations seem more sparse here than in the 1956 edition. I find only a few, like the two facing 128. N.P. Stepanova still does the very first item in the first volume, presumably an introduction to Krylov and his works. As I did with the earlier pair of volumes, I will here keep the first volume in the collection, so that it stays with its companion volume. The fables commence immediately here on 5 and seem to finish on 200. This book maintains the 1956 tradition of a commentary on each piece at the back. There is a T of C at the back of each volume. What are not fables in this volume seem to be mostly dramas.
1984 Juan Ruiz: Arcipreste de Hita: Libro de Buen Amor I. Edición, Introducción y Notas de Jacques Joset. Tercera edición. Paperbound. Printed in Spain. Clásicos Castellanos 14. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, S.A. See 1974/84.
1984 Junior Great Books. Series Two. A Program of Interpretive Reading and Discussion. Various authors and illustrators. Chicago: The Great Books Foundation. $2 at Avol's in Madison, Aug., '90.
This volume includes "The Rich Man and the Shoemaker" from LaFontaine and LM adapted from James Reeves' 1958 Aesop. Leo and Diane Dillon illustrate both, the former with excellent woodcuts, the latter with simple contemporary drawings. Junior Great Books is wise enough to give a moral for neither!
1984 Junior Great Books. Series Five, Volume One. Paperbound. Chicago: Series Five, Volume One: The Great Books Foundation. Gift of the Education Department, Creighton University, March, '07.
This little volume contains two excellent fables by Leo Tolstoy. If I knew them at all before, I know them better now. Both took me by surprise. In the first, an ailing king promises half his kingdom to the person who can cure him. The only man at court to dare an answer gives this solution: "Find a happy man, take his shirt, and put it on the king. Then he will be cured." Of course finding a happy man proves an impossible task--until the king's son passes by a poor little hut and hears a man say that God should be praised, since he finished his work, ate his fill, and could lie down and sleep. "What more," this poor man asks," could I want?" The king's son gives orders to carry the man's shirt back to the king--for whatever amount of money the poor man wants. When the prince's lackeys go in, they find that this happy man is so poor that he has no shirt! In the second fable, two brothers find an inscribed stone challenging them to go into the woods, cross a river, take a she-bear's cubs, and climb the mountain. One declines the challenge, but the other accepts and completes it. He becomes royalty but, after five years of ruling, he loses a war and is driven out. He comes as a wanderer to his older brother's house. They rejoice to see each other. "I was right," the elder brother declares. "You have seen a great deal of trouble." The younger brother answers that he has no regrets. "I may have nothing now, but I shall always have something to remember, while you have no memories at all."
1984 La Cigale et la Fourmi: Collection Fables. Paperbound. Montreal: Albo Delmar Import-Export. $2.45 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Dec., '10.
This die-cut pamphlet of eight pages, which starts very abruptly without a title-page, continues a saga of things coming together from different times and places. In 2002 I found a French die-cut presentation of LM. In 2007 I found another simple die-cut French presentation of DW from the same publisher and collection. Now I find a third in the series. Like both of those, this fable is told in French prose and evidences several changes in the story from its best-known traditional versions. This ant carries his acorns in a sack. The nattily-dressed grasshopper plays a violin and manages to talk without pausing in his playing. The ant rescues the dying grasshopper, takes him home, and serves him a hot meal. The grasshopper promises henceforth to be more careful about the future, since one does not always have a friend to help him. Like the other two pamphlets mentioned, this booklet is printed in Spain and copyrighted in 1984 by Ediciones Al Saldaña.
1984 La Fable: Huit Exposés Suivis de Discussions. Francisco R. Adrados et al. Hardbound. Vandoevres, Geneva: Fondation Hardt pour l'Étude de l'Antiquité Classique Entretiens Tome XXX: Fondation Hardt. €30 from J. Kitzinger Antiquariat, Munich, August, '07.
Here is the Fondation Hardt's presentation of the eight papers and discussions held August 22-27, 1983 on fable. Participants were Robert S. Falkowitz, G.U. Thite, François Lasserre, M.L. West, Francisco R. Adrados, John Vaio, Morten Nojgaard, and Fritz Peter Knapp. Adrados prepared the discussions, which were presided over by Olivier Reverdin. This is a typical Fondation Hardt volume: lots of different viewpoints in varying languages. I am surprised at how well the discussions probe -- they cannot cover -- various important areas and epoques of ancient fable. I was so happy when I could include a copy of these discussions in the collection! I will be particularly interested in reading Nojgaard's essay on getting from Aesop to Romulus.
1984 La Fontaine'den Secmeler. Paperbound. Istanbul: Gendas A.S. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
La Fontaine is #12 in the series represented by this paperback, out of a total of forty volumes listed on the back cover. This is among the simplest and most unassuming books that I have. Its front cover shows, in full color, a wolf dressed up as a shepherd advancing on the flock while the shepherd sleeps. The paper is of a poor quality. The full-page design given to GA on 7 is surprising. I count eight such designs along the way. There is neither a T of C nor an AI.
1984 La Fontaine: Fables: Texte intégral. Hardbound. Bibliothèque Hachette: Hachette S.A.. $3 from Kathy Battson, Goleta, CA, through eBay, Sept., '02.
This is as straightforward a text of La Fontaine as can be found. There are no notes, no illustrations, and no commentary. There is an AI at the back. The red cloth cover, with a crease across the upper right corner, has an inlaid colored picture of Granville's LM.
1984 La Fontaine: Le Loup Devenu Berger et Autres Fables. Jean de LaFontaine. André Verret. Hardbound. Paris: Editions G.P. Rouge et Or. $11.50 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Feb., '14.
I had already acquired Verret's "Fables de La Fontaine" in the same series, and I am just as delighted with this book published three years later. Verret's work again has an exuberant quality, starting from the cover's image of a wolf shepherd playing striped bagpipes for the sheep. The two weasels stick their heads out of the same tree to hold the captured bat -- in contrasting poses and with contrasting "bubbles" telling how the weasels are asked to view the bat (9). In the next fable, two frogs carry a dead frog on a stretcher, and then we view an angry bull stomping through the swamp, while another bull and a cow nestle in the distance (10-11). The "children" of the bitch that took over the dog's house are wonderfully pictured on 19. One can understand why we see only the hind quarters of the retreating dog! In "La Besace," Verret does a fine job of having each animal point an accusing digit at another animal (34-35). The oaf who already wears a bandage on his nose from the falling pumpkin is knocking a flower pot off a ledge while he thinks about it all (55)! There is a T of C at the back. This book once belonged to the Candiac Municipal Library in Canada. Now I need to find the third fable book in the series, "Le Singe et le Léopard et Autres Fables de La Fontaine."
1984 La Fontaine Masallari. Paperbound. Istanbul: Serdar Yayinlari. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
One of the simplest Turkish fable books I have found. Fables are on 3 through 80. No illustrations. No T of C or AI. No advertisements for other books in a series. The colored front cover features a stampede of animals, with one girl in their midst.
1984 La Fontaine Masallari. Paperbound. Bahar: Cocuk Klasikleri. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
Here is a well-worn paperback of some 207 pages. Mechanically, the printing is less refined than we are accustomed to. Each page has a butterfly and a wavy rendition of the book's title running down the margin under the page number. There are some very simple black-and-white full-page illustrations, as of the lion and the frog on 14 or the wolf and goat on 24. Perhaps the best of these simple renditions is that of the cock, the fox, and the dog on 34. There is neither a T of C nor an AI.
1984 La Fontaine: Masallari. Orhan Veli. Resimler: Esat Tekand. Paperbound. Can Yayinlari Cocuk Dizisi. Istanbul: Can Yayinlari Ltd., Sti. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
This paperback contains fifty fables on 68 pages. It adds a T of C and a short essay at the end. There are frequent whimsical designs in a frazzled style along the way. My favorite is what I take to be the drunk reaching his bottle out to his wife as he lies in an almost-closed old trunk (34). BF on 54 is also well done. The book's spine is beginning to give out.
1984 La Fontaine Masallari: Karga Ile Tilki. Sabahattin Eyuboglu. Resimleyen: Ferruh Dogan. Paperbound. Cem Yayinem Masal-Destan Dizisi: Guvercin Cocuk Kitaplari. $4 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Feb., '05.
This is a very inexpensively produced small paperback of 64 pages. It is notable for the simple caricature designs that accompany the fables. There are nice colored renditions of FC and "Two Goats" on the front and back covers, respectively.
1984 LaFontaine Seçme Masallar [Cover: LaFontaine'den Massallar]. Erenler Matbaasi. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Istanbul: Serhat YSD. $9.99 from Ugur Yurttutan, Istanbul, through EBay, Sept., '03.
About this Turkish book I will not be able to write much. Its dust jacket cover features a composite picture of animals involved in La Fontaine's fables. Inside, there is a life of La Fontaine, followed by fables without illustration on 7-124. At the end, before advertisements for the publisher's series of thirty classics and of one hundred fairytale books, there is an alphabetical index. My purchase of this book from Ugur has led us to several transactions, as he keeps finding me more Turkish fable books.
1984 La Fontaine's Fables. English version by Diana Athill. Illustrated by Romain Simon. First published by Gautier-Languereau in 1982. London: André Deutsch. $7.95 by mail from Edward Hamilton, Falls Village, CT, Fall, '87.
This book snuck up on me. The pictures are adequate. The poetic renditions of LaFontaine are good, brief enough, and sometimes quite witty. Surprises: the frogs and rabbits are both cowards; the crow is flattered for its body but mocked in its voice; the fox and the goat go into the well together; and the wolf knows the lamb password but still does not get in. New to me: "The Animals with the Plague" and "Two Rats and an Egg."
1984 La Liebre y la Tortuga. Colección Pop. San Sebastian: Ediciones A. Saldaña. $1 in Salamanca, July, '86.
Simple three-page pop-up from one of those little shops in Salamanca that sell everything.
1984 Le Corbeau et le Renard: Collection Fables. Paperbound. Montreal: Albo Delmar Import-Export. $5.50 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, May, '12.
This die-cut pamphlet of eight pages, which starts very abruptly without a title-page, seems to be the fourth in a series I am finding. Others from the same year and publisher include Le Lion et le Rat, Le Loup et le Chien, and La Cigale et la Fourmi. As in those other three, this fable is told in French prose and evidences several changes in the story from its best-known traditional versions. Here the crow attacks a rat for the cheese. The crow inadvertently knocks a pine cone onto the head of the fox below him! Only that surprise alerts the fox to the crow's presence and treasure. This version misses La Fontaine's great observation that flatterers live at the expense of those who listen to them. Like the other three pamphlets mentioned, this booklet is printed in Spain and copyrighted in 1984 by Ediciones A. Saldaña.
1984 Le Lion et le Rat: Collection Fables. Pamphlet. Printed in Spain. Montreal: Albo Delmar Import-Export. $3 from Pierre Cantin, Montreal, Feb., '02.
Copyright 1984 Ediciones A. Saldaña. This is a die-cut pamphlet of eight pages. It starts very abruptly without a title-page. The aggressive little rat hits the sleeping lion in the head with a pea-shooter! The rat sees the lion fall into the pit not far away from nor long after their first encounter. The booklet is reminiscent of the die-cut Cobas booklets I have listed under 1987. It is in only fair condition.
1984 Le Loup et le Chien. Paperbound. Montreal: Collection Fables: Ediciones A. Saldaña; Albo Delmar Import-Export. $3.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Feb., '07.
Here is an interesting case of things coming together from different times and places. In Salamanca in 1986, I found a simple pop-up from a publisher I did not know. Sixteen years later I found a French die-cut presentation of LM done by the same publisher or at least copyrighted by that publisher. Now here is a another simple die-cut presentation of a fable from the same publisher and collection. The fable is told in French prose and evidences several changes in the story. Here the famished wolf is traveling with an ant. The wolf lapses into a dream of better times, and the ant disappears. After meeting a dog, this wolf finds two eggs and is about to eat them when a crow attacks him. The perception of the dog's collar (not just a rubbed neck), the wolf's realization of the value of his freedom, and the end of the fable all come quickly on the sixth page.
1984 L-ewwel ktieb ta Hreijjef Esopu. Versi ta Brother Henry, F.S.C. Stampi ta Robert Ayton. Hardbound. Malta: Serje 740 (M): Ladybird Library: Merlin Books. See 1975/84.
1984 Los Animales y la Peste: Fábula de La Fontaine. Adaptación de Renada Mathieu; Versión Castellana de José A. Pastor. Ilustraciones de Jesús Gabán. Hardbound. Barcelona: Fábulas, #15: La Galera, S.A. Editorial. $22 from Christian Tottino, Buenos Aires, through eBay, July, '12.
This is the second book I have found in what seems to be a series of sixteen fables by La Galera; the other is El Gallo, la Zorra y el Perro: Fábula de Esopo, listed here as #9 in the series, while this book is #15. Lively art! The best illustrations are, I believe, the group depictions and the introductory picture of the ass with one fly on his nose and others buzzing around him. Also well portrayed is the snarling of the animals as they turn on the ass. This book's last page has a surprise for those familiar with La Fontaine's fables. The burro eats through his rope and escapes! Good for him! This book spent too long in someone's basement!
1984 Mi primer libro de los 100 cuentos para leer antes de dormir. Cuentos e ilustraciones de Huub Slabbers; Traducción de Maria Laura Serrano. Hardbound. Buenos Aires: Coleccion 100 Cuentos: Editorial Sigmar. $24.75 from Christian Tottino through bidStart, Sept., '14.
This book was first produced by Mulder Holland in Amsterdam and then done in Spanish by Sigmar in Buenos Aires. Fables are interspersed with other stories regularly, starting with MM as the second story: "Camino del Mercado" (6). I also notice DLS (13); TH (24); OF (29); DS (33); CP (44); FS (50); LM (56); and WSC (59). I would not have expected "Haciendo Panqueques" (23)! Each of the hundred stories has its own colored illustration in this oversized book.
1984 My Book of Favorite Animal Stories. Various authors and illustrators. NY: Exeter Books. See 1982/83/84/87.
1984 Myths and Fables: Skill-Oriented Language Arts Activities. Written by Judith B. Steffens and Judy F. Carr. Illustrated by Beverly Armstrong. Oversized. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Santa Barbara, CA: The Learning Works, Inc. $1.79 from Somewhere in Time Antiques, WI, through Ebay, Feb., '01.
This is a classroom workbook for language arts work with adolescents. It seems intended for junior and senior high school students. The section given to fables is brief but well done. There is a short introduction to fable and Aesop, followed by three well told fables: "The Two Frogs," SW, and LS (74-5). The last of these chooses a jackal, a fox, and a wolf as associates of the lion in their partnership. The following page introduces the concept of writing not to inform or to persuade, but only to entertain. It then offers a delightful story, "The Unhappy Lovers," with the moral: "Leap twice before you think!" The book moves on next (77) to "Fable Figures" to discuss simile, metaphor, and personification, and we are back into a more general discussion with no particular focus on fables. This book looks like fun!
1984 Roaring Lion Tales Pop-Up Book. Retold by Alain Presencer. Printed in Singapore. Designed and produced by Ron Van Cermeer Paper Design, England. $10.95.
Four delightful large pop-up figures. I think only the first two of the four tales are from Aesop: about the fox noticing the hoofprints going in, and the mosquito and the spider. This book is perfect for opening to the mosquito in "show and tell" time.
1984 Round-the-Clock Stories. Kenneth Gray. Illustrated by Colin Hawkins. ©1983 Octopus Books Limited. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Gallery Books: W.H. Smith Publishers. $3.15 at Books, Campbell, CA, Aug., '94.
This book's particular charm lies in the steady commentary offered by figures in its illustrations. The first of the twelve stories in the book is MSA. This version has unusual features: the donkey comes along to carry home their purchases, the father dives into the river to cut the donkey's forefeet free, and the son gets a black eye where the donkey kicks him. I find a problem in this fable that seems to me typical for the texts here: they tend to mock themselves, as when the man tells his son to listen only when people advise constructively. "What does `constructively' mean?" asks the son. "It means that next time we go to market we take your mother with us to carry our purchases, and leave the donkey at home." "The Honest Woodcutter" (46) is a version of the old fable about the man in a hole with a lion, monkey, and snake.
1984 Schöne Fabeln des Altertums. Äsop/Phädrus/Babrios. Ausgewählt und übertragen von Horst Gasse. Mit zwei Vignetten von Wolfgang Lenck. Leipzig: Dieterich'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. See 1955/84.
1984 Ten Fables by Aesop. With linocuts by Richard Floethe. Signed by Floethe; #15 of 20 handprinted hardbound copies; boxed. Hardbound. Sarasota, FL: Poor Richard Press. $75.75 from abe, Nov., '12.
This is a small octavo with papered boards. Signed by the illustrator. #15 of 20 handprinted and handbound copies, by the artist. This book is whimsically bound in rose, with white flowers. Unpaginated. Delightful fables with adorable linocuts in blue. The last fable, FS, gets two illustrations. All others get one: TB, WC, DS, LM, GGE, TH, DLS, "The Fox and the Goat." There is an irony here. I believe that there are ten illustrations but only nine fables. The box is in gray papered boards with a linocut LM in blue and white affixed -- the same LM linocut that is on the title-page. The LM illustration with the fable is more expansive. Signed by the artist on the limitations page. What a rare find! Floethe was born in Germany, worked in New York, and died in 1988.
1984 The Aesop for Children. Pictures by Milo Winter. No editor named. Chicago: Rand McNally. See 1919/47/84.
1984 The Aesop for Children. Pictures by Milo Winter. No editor named. Mattituck, Long Island: Jedediah Clauss and Sons: An Amereon Company. See 1919/84.
1984 The Aesop for Children. Milo Winter. Hardbound. Mattituck, Long Island: Jedediah Clauss and Sons: An Amereon Company. See 1919/84.
1984 The Book of Good Counsels from the Sanskrit of the "Hitopadesa". Sir Edwin Arnold. Illustrations by Gordon Brown. Hardbound. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services. $6 from Books Do Furnish a Room, Durham, NC, through TomFolio, Sept., '06.
Here is a modern Indian reprint of a book I have as it was published by W.H. Allen in London in 1896, also with illustrations by Gordon Brown. Let me repeat some comments I made on that book. This seems to be a good standard telling of the Hitopadesa. The opening T of C lists individual fables. A list of illustrations follows immediately on xv; the pictures are named after their stories rather than the characters pictured. In this version the merchant brings his wife on the second evening of the month of arranged assignations (52); it takes him only one viewing to be greedy to get the gifts that the king gave the woman of the first evening. The crow and the rat walk to the tortoise's pond. At the beginning of the second chapter, "Lusty-Life" the bull breaks a foreleg. In the story of the monkey and wedge, his tail and lower parts dangle down between the pieces of wood (59). The scene is well pictured in the facing insert. Lusty-Life is put in charge of provisions when the jackals are discovered to be consuming and disposing of more than their share of the kill. This second chapter ends with the killing of the bull. What happens to the jackals is not addressed. In this version, the wheelwright duped by his wife, hidden in his wife's chamber, hears her praise of him and rushes out of hiding to ask her lover if he has ever seen a truer wife than this (97)! In the third chapter, "War," the swan ("Silversides") has as his main minister a goose, and the inciting incident is that a crane from his kingdom happens to fly in peacock territory. This crane is sent back as a spy, and a paddy-bird, a form of crane, is commissioned to fortify the fortress. The peacock has a vulture for a minister, a cock for a general, and a parrot for an ambassador. A crow also shows up as a guest at the swan's court. The parrot commands obeisance or withdrawal from Camphor-island. King Swan refuses. The peacock advances rashly against the swan-people, contrary to the vulture's advice. The crane and his fellows wreak havoc on the peacock's realm. The crows are indeed traitors and burn the besieged citadel of the swan-king. The paddy-bird defends the king in the last hour and helps him escape but dies himself. The peacock captures the fortress. In the fourth book, the swan king first ascertains whose treason had cost him the loss of his fort, namely that of the crows. The two kings end up creating a good peace. The inserted verses are done in rhyme. The twenty illustrations here include seven full-page inserts. One of the more dramatic of these--the lion's killing of the bull in front of the jackals--appears here as indicated in the list of illustrations, namely as a frontispiece. In the earlier edition it was listed as frontispiece but offered at 55. The other illustrations are integrated with print on text-pages. A strong example shows the crane with the crab in his mouth (124). This edition does a nice job with the names of individual animals and towns. There are notes at the back.
1984 The Fables of Aesop. Selected and Illustrated by David Levine. Translated by Patrick and Justina Gregory. Paperback. Fourth Printing. Harvard and Boston: The Harvard Common Press: A Gambit Book. See 1975/84.
1984 The Fountain and Other Fables. Frederick Morgan. 1 of 200. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Cumberland, Iowa: The Pterodactyl Press. $30.00 from William Reese Company, New Haven, CT, Jan., '99.
There are eleven short, provocative pieces here. I have read the first eight. I find them not to be fables but rather a kind of evocative, probing mystical writing. Thus in the first few pieces a child with magic shoes flies from Denmark to Africa; villagers of a very wise village adhere completely to the strict rules, and one of them laughs at a passerby who wonders if she is happy; a shipwrecked man on what appears to be an uninhabited island wakes up to find "Be wary" written at his feet. There is a short list of errata at the end of the book. This book was printed letterpress in an edition of 1000 copies: 800 softcover and 200 casebound. Besides this hardbound copy, I have one of the 800 softcover copies.
1984 The Fountain and Other Fables. Frederick Morgan. 1 of 800. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Cumberland, Iowa: The Pterodactyl Press. $7.45 from Booknook Parnassus, Evanston, IL, March, '00.
There are eleven short, provocative pieces here. I have read the first eight. I find them not to be fables but rather a kind of evocative, probing mystical writing. Thus in the first few pieces a child with magic shoes flies from Denmark to Africa; villagers of a very wise village adhere completely to the strict rules, and one of them laughs at a passerby who wonders if she is happy; a shipwrecked man on what appears to be an uninhabited island wakes up to find "Be wary" written at his feet. There is a short list of errata at the end of the book. This book was printed letterpress in an edition of 1000 copies: 800 softcover and 200 casebound. Besides this softcover copy, I have one of the 200 casebound copies.
1984 The Hour Glass: Sixty Fables for This Moment in Time. By Carl Japikse. Illustrated by Mark Peyton. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Columbus, OH: Ariel Press: The Publishing House of Light. $15 from Candy Books, Worthington, OH, through Bibliofind, August, '97. Extra copy without dust jacket for $7.95 from Archives Books, Edmond, OK, through Bibliocity, Nov., '99
It is not easy to create fables. Japikse does a creditable job of it here. Some of his stories are forced and some are perhaps best termed "mystical." Try, e.g., "An Ordinary Man" (16) or "Amazing Grace" (52). Still, a number of the fables are good; Japikse's batting average is way above most people's! He is at his best, I believe, when the resolution of the story is open-ended or polyvalent. Among the best are these: "The Fish of God" (9); "A la Carte" (13); "The Great Scheme" (20); "Open Sesame" (63-4); "A Taste of Divinity" (75); "The Panic" (85); "Snakebitten" (89); "Tales of Long Ago" (95); and "The Masterpiece" (97). The twenty-one full-page black-and-white illustrations are simple. Typical of them are "The Fish of God" (8) and "The Hour Glass" (105). My copy from Candy Books came containing a clipping of an article on the author from the Upper Arlington News (apparently near Columbus, since there are references to OSU) of February 27, 1985.
1984 The Miller, His Son and Their Donkey. Pictures by Eugen Sopko. Dust jacket. Printed in Germany. NY: North-South Books. $9.85 at Hungry Mind, St. Paul, Spring, '86. Identical paperbound for $1.45 at Half-Price, Berkeley, Aug., '94 and for $2.49 at Ben Franklin Bookstore, Worcester, Nov., '97.
The big-format pictures are satisfactory. The order of elements is slightly changed: the episode in which both miller and son walk comes late, when a traveller says "One could ride." Then they carry the donkey, who kicks free and romps off. Note that there is no motive for the travels (e.g., to sell the donkey). Both paperbacks are less then perfect: the Berkeley copy has a slightly bent cover, and the Worcester copy has a scuffed back cover and corners.
1984 The Miller, the Boy and the Donkey. Brian Wildsmith. Hardbound. Toronto: Oxford University Press. See 1969/84.
1984 The Other Bone. Ed Young. Without text. First edition, apparent first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Harper & Row, Publishers. $15 from Willow Creek Books, Englewood, CO, July, '99.
This book has two great claims to fame. First, it is done entirely without text. Secondly, it has Ed Young's delightful wit. The artist's skill in observing and his sense of fun have him including phases of the story often left out or done quickly. Thus we start with the dog sleeping and dreaming. In his dreams he goes wild with a bone. He wakes up to scratch…and sniff. His sniffing leads him to a garbage can, the contents of which he strews about as he finds the bone of which he had had a whiff. After running like crazy, he slows down as he sees something in the water. One of Young's best images has the dog growling fiercely as the bone flies from his mouth. In a human rather than doggy gesture, he stands back in amazement as the bone sinks through the water. Another of Young's best moments comes in the underwater view of the dog's plunge. After the unsuccessful dive, there is the obligatory shake-off of the water. The last image shows the bone resting at the bottom of the river. Do not miss the nice design on the cover that both shows a dog and spells "Young." This book is a treasure. It took me some time to learn of it and then longer to find it.
1984 The Three Bears & 15 other stories. Selected and Illustrated by Anne Rockwell. Hardbound. NY: A Harper Trophy Book: Thomas Y. Crowell. $6.95 from Black Star, Chicago, Sept., '92.
See the original of this book, done by Thomas Y. Crowell in 1975. This edition seems identical to that except for the new line added to the title-page mentioning that it is a Harper Trophy Book. As I wrote there, this is a cute, clever, lively book. The illustrations are done with imagination. Unfortunately, the two Aesop's fables (LM and DS) do not receive drawings as good as the rest. Compare Rockwell's later work on LaFontaine, The Turtle and the Two Ducks (1981). The stories here are well told.
1984 The Three Bears & 15 other stories. Anne Rockwell. Hardbound. NY: A Harper Trophy Book: Harper Trophy: Thomas Y. Crowell. $0.25 from Milwaukee Public Library, June, '08.
This book represents the fifth form in which this publication appears in the collection. Two hardbound and one paperbound edition came out from Crowell in 1975. In 1984 a new edition came out with the sole change, apparently, that it is a Harper Trophy Book. This is that edition done in a green library binding. As I wrote earlier, this is a cute, clever, lively book. The illustrations are done with imagination. Unfortunately, the two Aesop's fables (LM and DS) do not receive drawings as good as the rest. Compare Rockwell's later work on LaFontaine, "The Turtle and the Two Ducks" (1981). The stories here are well told.
1984 The Tortoise and the Hare. Adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens. Reading Rainbow Book. Weekly Reader Children's Book Club. Hardbound. NY: Holiday House. Gift of Wendy Wright, June, '92.
Somewhere between McLenighan and McKissack's Turtle and Rabbit (1981) and Castle and Weever's The Hare and the Tortoise (1985). A lively pop rendition, with a number of changes from Aesop. The rooster, for example, (not the fox) sets the course and explains the rules. The story turns out to be like "The Little Engine that Could": the tortoise works out and trains beforehand; the hare passes him twice after stops along the course before sleeping (those changes may not help the fable much!). Sometime it would be worthwhile analyzing books on just this fable alone.
1984 The Tortoise and the Hare. Adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens. Paperback. Printed in USA. NY: Reading Rainbow Book: Holiday House. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Feb., '98. Extra copy for $5.95, March, '87.
Slightly larger than the identical hardbound copy from the Weekly Reader Children's Book Club.
1984 The Tortoise and the Hare. Adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens. Paperbound. NY: Scholastic Inc. $.95 at Downtown Books, June, '93.
Identical with the adjacent entry except for the change in publisher. That change is also responsible for taking away the "Reading Rainbow" designation. Otherwise the book seems exactly the same as the Holiday House edition of the same year.
1984 The Tortoise and the Hare. A Favorite Pop-up Book. Distributed by Crown Publishers. ©1984 Ottenheimer Publishers. Printed in Spain. NY: Derrydale Books. $1.79 at Dalton, Great Falls, June, '85.
Three simplistic but enjoyable scenes. The choice of these three scenes means that the whole race has to happen on the middle page. The hare eats carrots; the villagers are happy to see him put down.
1984 The Tortoise and the Hare and other favorite Rhymes, Songs and Tales. Pamphlet. Printed in USA. A Musictime Classic Coloring Book & Cassette. Dyersville, Iowa: The Ertl Company. $0.36 from The Prince and the Pauper, San Diego, CA, Jan., '01.
This 32-page little pamphlet, almost 4¼" x 5¼", is meant to accompany a cassette that has, alas, gone its own way. Its left-hand pages announce a title and give part of the text of a story, while its right-hand pages each present an illustration from that story in black-and-white, suitable for coloring. Among the stories represented are three fables. TH has two illustrations, one of them colored in by a young hand; this illustration repeats the colored design from the pamphlet's cover. This version speaks of a five-mile race. The rather rare fable, "Mischievous Dog," represents the dog with his wooden clog, which he has mistaken for a medal. "Two Frogs" has one illustration, which is colored in; one of the frogs is ready to jump into the newly discovered well.
1984 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold and illustrated by Lorinda Bryan Cauley. NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons. Identical paperbound ($4.95) and hardbound editions, the latter with dust jacket for $5 from Second Story, April, '92.
Valuable for showing a full booklet made of one fable. Many good, recent illustrations. I do not feel the need of them now, but they would be a good addition to the showing of the tale. The version here follows Horace quite closely.
1984 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold and illustrated by Lorinda Bryan Cauley. Children's Choice Book Club Edition: Macmillan Book Clubs. NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons. $2 from Moe's, Aug., '93.
Reduced proportionally from the larger Putnam's hardbound and softbound books of the same year and title. See my comments there.
1984 The World Treasury of Children's Literature. Two volumes. Selected and with commentary by Clifton Fadiman. With additional illustrations by Leslie Morrill. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. Two-volume hardbound set for $8 at Alameda flea market, June, '89. One-volume paperback for $8.50 at Idle Time Books, Sept., '91.
One of the loveliest and most comprehensive kids' books I know. Early in the first volume, eight Aesop's fables are presented and one Russian fable, "The Fox and the Crane." The versions are from Jacobs and Daly. The somewhat indistinct black-and-white illustrations, probably from Morrill, show some wit, e.g., in the oak tree's face. Aesop appears, often in humorous fashion, in each picture. The art work in other sections is outstanding.
1984 Tina la Tortuga y Carlos el Conejo/Tina the Turtle and Carlos the Rabbit. Dorothy Sword Bishop. Fabulas Bilingües. The Bilingual Series. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company. See 1972/84/90.
1984 Vom Löwen, Fuchs und Esel: Martin Luther Erzählt. Hans-Dieter Meister. Hans Wiegandt. Hardbound. Zweite Auflage. Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt. DM 9,90 from Hassbecker's Galerie und Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, July, '01.
Here is a small (4¼" x 5¾") edition of thirty-four of Luther's fables, along with short comments, a list of sources, and a T of C. The texts and morals are faithful to Luther. New to me are "Vom Esel im Kahn" (49), a good conundrum-fable, and "Vom Marcolf und König Salomon" (55). The woodcuts are lively. My favorites include FM (19) and "Vom Ichneumon und dem Krokodil" (45). I do not think that I have any other books by religious groups in the DDR!
1984 When the Animals Could Talk: Fables. Ivan Franko. Illustrated by Yuli Kryha. Translated from the Ukrainian by Mary Skrypnyk. Kiev: Dnipro Publishers. $7.95 from Red Balloon, St. Paul, July, '89. Extra copy for $7.50 from Parnassus Books, Boise, March, '96.
A good book with delightful Ukrainian illustrations. "The Vixen and the Crane" (14, with the same Skrypnyk version as the 1986 booklet of that title) is straight Aesop. "The Hedgehog and the Rabbit" (24) uses furrows to tell the story well; the rabbit dies on the seventy-fourth try at beating the hedgehog! Others, heavy on vixen-stories, have lots of common folktale motifs: the donkey invites a look at his hoof. The bear sees himself in the well and gets scared. "Show me how you got him into the bag." "I hate my own tail." The donkey catches birds on his nose by playing dead (6). "The Wolf As a Reeve" (32) is excellent. The closing fable about fables has a nationalistic note about preserving the Ukrainian language.
1984 Wolf! Wolf! Elizabeth and Gerald Rose. London: Faber and Faber. First published in 1974; first published in paperback in 1984. See 1974/84.
1984/85 Der Müller, sein Sohn und ihr Esel: Eine Fabel des Äsop, frei nach Johann Peter Hebel. Textbearbeitung Konrad Richter. Eugen Sopko. Zweite Auflage. Hardbound. Mönchaltdorf, Switzerland/Hamburg, Germany: Nord-Süd Verlag. €7.30 from Antiquariat Bücherfreund im Jura, July, '14.
Here is the original after which "The Miller, His Son and Their Donkey" was published in English. I will repeat my comments made there, but I want to make some further comments too. I wrote then "The big-format pictures are satisfactory. The order of elements is slightly changed: the episode in which both miller and son walk comes late, and then a traveler says that one of the three could ride. They interpret that remark to suggest that the donkey should ride. Note that there is no motive for the travels (e.g., to sell the donkey)." Looking at this original has given me a chance to notice some of the better turns in this version, written and illustrated. The German is clearer than the English that the ass kicks both father and son "in den Hintern." The father lands, in English, "face down in a heap of straw." In German he lands "auf den Mist." While manure is sometimes mixed with straw, he lands in the manure. Where the English moral is simply "You can never please everyone," the German has a pointed little quatrain: "Alle wollen dich belehren, der du selber weise bist, wollen dir das Glück bescheren, und du landest auf dem Mist." There is that "Mist" again!
1984/85 Ein Ding mag noch so närrisch sein...Fabeln und Erzählungen. Christian Fürchtegott Gellert; Ausgewählt und mit einem Nachwort von Karl Wolfgang Becker. Mit zehn Reproductionen nach Radierungen von Günter Hofmann. Second edition. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Berlin: Verlag der Nation. DM 15 from Syndikat, Leipzig, July, '96.
This is a small book (3¾" x 6"). A T of C finishes the book on 117-18. There are forty-one stories here. I have seen most of these texts in either Alverdes or the 1956 Aufbau edition. New to me in this book are "Der betrübte Witwer" (56); "Cotill" (61); "Der Lügner" (65); "Hanns Nord" (73); "Der Polyhistor" (79); "Der junge Krebs und der Seemuschel" (94); "Der Tod der Fliege und der Mücke" (97); "Der Leichtsinn" (98); and especially "Der grüne Esel" (37). From the latter comes the title, which is worth quoting even more fully: "Ein Ding mag noch so närrisch sein,/es sei nur neu: so nimmt's den Pöbel ein." The full-page pen-and-ink illustrations lose something by being so small. I find those I can recognize engaging, e.g., "Der Polyhistor" (77). I enjoyed making my way through the new fables.
1984/85 The Miller, His Son and Their Donkey. Pictures by Eugen Sopko. Printed in Germany. NY: North-South Books. Paperbound for $1.45 at Half-Price, Berkeley, Aug., '94. Extra copy for $2.49 at Ben Franklin Bookstore, Worcester, Nov., '97.
See my comments on the identical hardbound version. Both paperbacks are less than perfect: the Berkeley copy has a slightly bent cover, and the Worcester copy has a scuffed back cover and corners.
1984/86 The Hare and the Tortoise. Retold by Caroline Castle. Illustrated by Peter Weevers. Piccolo Picture Classics. (First published in 1984 by Hutchinson Children's Books Ltd.) London: Pan Books. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton from Korea, Nov., '87.
A smaller replica of the same title in 1985 by Dutton, with watercolors slightly less well done. Meg calls attention to the lovely pun near the end: "By a hair's breadth." This is indeed an enchanting book, with lovely colored plates matched on opposite pages by sketches. If I had to choose one of my books for some bedside reading with kids looking on, this might well be the book.
1984/88 The Fables of Marie de France. An English Translation by Mary Lou Martin with a foreword by Norris J. Lacy. Second Printing. Birmingham, Alabama: Summa Publications, Inc. $25.95 from the publisher, Summer, '91.
A good straightforward bilingual translation giving English prose for Marie's French verse. This work got me going to do a careful reading of all of Marie's fables for the first time. Use it with Spiegel's 1987 verse translation. The good introduction emphasizes Marie's sympathy with the plight of the poor. She has a strong sense of justice generally. I notice a frequent return to questions of the use of power by the powerful and of faithfulness to the lord by those without power. She seems determined to find the meaning of many fables in their application to the poor, e.g., in #38. Most fables get about an eight-line moral/application; some get none. I find Marie rather preachy. I continue to have some problems with the aptness of her morals. AI on 257.
1984/90 The Last Bit-Bear: A Fable. By Sandra Chisholm Robinson. Drawings by Ellen Ditzler. Seventh printing. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart, Inc. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Sept., '91.
An engaging story. Clover, a bit-bear, munches on moak leaves. The fish, the rat, the wolf, Numa the whale, and the scientist's son help Clover search for a mate. This ecological tale is heavy against the "other animal," humans, and ends sadly: Clover is the last bit-bear and never finds a mate. Clover is very well drawn; he resembles Chewbacca from Star Wars. A good example of the contemporary fashionable sense of "fable."
1984/90 The Last Bit-Bear: A Fable. Sandra Chisholm Robinson. Drawings by Ellen Ditzler Meloy. Eighth printing. Paperbound. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart, Inc. Gift of Elaine Ribeiro, March, '95.
There is already a copy of the seventh printing -- also from 1990 -- in the collection. I am glad to include this copy of the eighth printing because the book's covers have changed. The circle containing the picture of the last bit-bear on the front cover is larger and includes a blue background. It may even have been recreated. Instead of a brown background for the rest of the covers, there is a mixed white and blue, suggesting clouds and sky. The back cover drops the detail of a monochrome sign pointing to a national park and offers instead in color a picture of the bit-bear moving among the trees. The back cover celebrates that there are over 60,000 copies of this book in print: "this ecological fable has become something of a classic." Ellen Ditzler has become Ellen Ditzler Meloy. As I wrote there, this is an engaging story. Clover, a bit-bear, munches on moak leaves. The fish, the rat, the wolf, Numa the whale, and the scientist's son help Clover search for a mate. This ecological tale is heavy against the "other animal," humans, and ends sadly: Clover is the last bit-bear and never finds a mate. Clover is very well drawn; he resembles Chewbacca from Star Wars. A good example of the contemporary fashionable sense of "fable. "
1984/90 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Lorinda Bryan Cauley. Third printing. Paperbound. NY: Sandcastle Books: G.P. Putnam's Sons. $3 from Shakespeare, Berkeley, June, '13.
This book is identical with another paperback in the collection except that now "Sandcastle Books" is added on the back cover and on the book's spine. The back cover has other additions too: a bar code and commendations of the book from Booklist and the New York Times. The first Sandcastle Edition was in 1990. This copy is a third printing. The price went up a dollar to $5.95 in the transition from Putnam's Sons to Sandcastle as a division of Putnam's Sons. The earlier edition was printed in the USA; this edition is printed in Hong Kong. Valuable for showing a full booklet made of one fable. Many good, recent illustrations. I do not feel the need of them now, but they would be a good addition to the showing of the tale. The version here follows Horace quite closely.
1984/2000 19 fables de roi lion. Jean Muzi. Illustrations intérieures de Gérard Franquin. Paperbound. Paris: Castor Poche #90: Castor Poche Flammarion. $16.53 from Chapitre, com, through amazon.com, August, '05.
Muzi introduces this book as following upon his book of nineteen fables of Renard. He remarks that the fables collected here do not follow the traditional image of the lion as successful tyrant. In fact, he hopes that these fables help overcome the abuse of power, while entertaining their readers. Several of these fables are familiar, including four from Kalila and Dimna, one from Aesop, and one from La Fontaine. This collection represents a broad spectrum of countries of origin. There is a T of C at the back, on 105. Several fables are new to me. In the first, a famished hyena challenges the lion and says that she is stronger than he. They go out and hunt together. Three times the lion kills, and both feed. The lion asks the hyena now to back up her claim. She admits that hunger made her say senseless things. Now that she has eaten, she has become sensible again, and she acknowledges that the lion is the strongest. In the second fable, a lion tries to set three water buffaloes against each other, as in a standard Aesop fable about bulls. But in this case, the three recover their friendship in time and ambush the lion that had threatened their friendship. The black-and-white illustrations of this handy little volume, one to a fable, are simple and well done.
1984? Fábulas: Tomo 1. Adaptación de Maria Luisa Vela. Ilustraciones de Rosa Vela. Cubierta Manuel Brea. Barcelona: Zip Editora. $2.50 on the street in Spain, July, '86.
A little kids' edition, with big-eyed watercolors. The first of a four-volume set. "La Lechera"; "El Zorro y las Uvas"; "El Leñador que Perdio el Hacha"; "Los Dos Amigos y el Oso"; and "El Gato, el Gallo y el Ratoncillo." The stories are elaborated and extensively transformed. The two friends who meet the bear are an eskimo and his dog! The bird eating a sweet grape announces the moral. A mouse takes the place of Hermes offering the golden hatchet.
1984? We Need Aesop. The Society for the Preservation of Aesop in Textbooks and Readers. ©Dorothy H. MacLaren. Gift of Dorothy MacLaren, Feb., '95.
A curious nine-page plea to publishers not to exclude Aesop from contemporary textbooks. "The Argument" is followed by an early illustration of Aesop, a sample fable (FG), a 1982 Los Angeles Times column on the exclusion of Aesop from textbooks, two pages of sample morals from Aesop's fables, and two helpful pages of tributes to Aesop from England and the United States.