1990 to 1994
1990 A Christmas Fable. Mark Karlins. Illustrated by Maureen Hyde. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First edition, apparently first printing. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Atheneum: Macmillan Publishing Company. $6.98 from The Book Market, Santa Clara, Nov., '96.
A disappointing attempt, I would say, at a contemporary mythology. A good old country Christmas is interrupted when Old Grimble comes to Grandma's house with a wounded deer and a prophecy: there will be no Christmas, since on this night animals are to be blessed, not hurt. Mama, a herb woman, stays up with the deer. Christmas has in fact not come. On the third day, all sorts of neighbors show up with gifts of food for the deer. Grimble comes back and compliments Mama. The deer starts to recover. Grimble leaves, and the sky grows brighter for the first time in the three days. The next morning Christmas has arrived. Grimble is near, and the animals are stirring. Sorry, but I think traditional Christian "mythology" can do much better!
1990 Adventures in the Big Thicket. Written by Ken Gire. Illustrated by Elizabeth Miles. Dust jacket. Pomona, CA: Focus on the Family. $12.95 at Powell's, Portland, July, '93.
Fourteen simple animal tales told in Bayou dialect. Each is followed by an excellent citation from Solomon, which often picks up particulars from the story as well as the story's point. The stories center most around Hamhock the bobcat and his friend Bean, the field mouse. I like the art, but have to admit that some illustrations seem one step short of sharp definition. Among the best stories is "The Badger's Wife" (37).
1990 Aesop: A Fable Collection. Rev. Gregory I. Carlson, S.J. Second edition. Paperbound. Omaha: Creighton University. July, '90.
Here is second edition of the printed catalogue for this collection. It encompasses 175 pages. It contains 856 books, and the average cost of them was under $7.50. This version dropped the illustrations included from the Ulm Aesop in the first edition. This book has a green cover with black printing.
1990 Aesopia. VI Phaedri Fabellae Cantatae et Saltatae, mcmlxxxi. Versio cum binis clavibus accinentibus. Jan Novák. Klavierauszug. Musikedition Nymphenburg 2001. Munich: Filmkunst-Musikverlag. $46 from the publisher, Nov., '93.
This is a valuable addition to the collection about which I cannot say much! See my program Iani Novák Aesopia/Jan Novák Aesopia (1989) for some background comments.
1990 Aesop's Fables. With an Introductory Essay by Dan Celani. Pamphlet. Printed in USA. Mt. Clemens, MI: Dan Celani. $12.27 from Anthony Grace, Hemet, CA, through Ebay, July, '01.
Here is a sixteen-page pamphlet about 5" x 7" offering sixteen fables in a nicely printed little version. The texts are taken "from 19th century publications." SW (6) is told in the poorer version. An inserted note tells the curious history of the booklet from the distinct viewpoint of a printer: "This is a reprint of a booklet that I have never distributed through any Association previously. Before I dump these slugs back into the Ludlow pot, I am going to give them one more chance. As you can see, I hate to remelt."
1990 Aesop's Fables. (Korean). GA on the cover. Edited by Chun Ho Na and Chang Yau You. Art apparently by the publisher's staff. Apparently fifth in a series of forty-three children's books. Seoul: Yearimdang. $2.10 at Kyobo, Seoul, June, '90.
I like this book, principally for its vivid color reproductions. Four stories: TMCM, GA (maybe the best art), "The Bat and the Birds and the Animals" (a Korean favorite), and LM (the poorest art). The back cover reverses 15.
1990 Aesop's Fables. Illustrations by Rodney McRae. Dust jacket. Sydney: Margaret Hamilton. $22 from the publisher, Nov., '93.
A very strong contribution to the recent history of illustration of Aesopic fables. As the publisher's note on the back of the title page points out, the book is an artistic tour de force of techniques, styles, and innovations. The AI (96) mentions the techniques or styles of many of the sixty-four fables. One of the more innovative illustration techniques involves using a second finish with clear varnish. Many of the illustrations done this way come out indistinct, but several succeed, like "The Dancing Monkeys" (68-9) and WC (76-7). Many of the colored illustrations spread across two pages; the book controls the juncture of the two pages exceptionally well. The book presents many fables rarely seen and even less rarely illustrated these days. "The Mole" (88) is a good example of a fable handled differently.
1990 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Harry Rountree. After the version of Blanche Winder (unacknowledged). (c)Ward Lock. Printed and bound in Norway. NY: Gallery Books. See 1920?/90.
1990 Aesop's Fables. Miniature. Retold by Steven Zorn. Illustrations (colored versions of Oudry and Grandville) only on the dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. Philadelphia: Running Press. Gifts of Kathryn Thomas, Margaret Carlson Lytton, Deborah Ruck, Terry Maguire, Maryanne Rouse, Dan Gatti, Mary Pat Ryan, Maureen Hester, Linda Schlafer, Madonna Braun, and Pack Carnes.
Excellent versions of fourteen well chosen fables. TMCM includes bothersome cricket noise, bubble gum on the sidewalk, and seafood restaurants. Overspending because of the eggs drives the owner of the golden goose to need quick cash. The crow assesses the pitcher problem thoughtfully. "The Bull and the Bullfrog" -- how clever! The dog wants to scare the other, "stupid-looking" dog into dropping his meat, which looks almost as good as his own. I have four different versions of this book. The first version -- Copy A -- has no line of printing numbers (9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1) on the verso of the title-page. The same page invites purchases of books from the publisher with an additional $1 for shipping and handling. The flaps of the dust-jacket have texts on Aesop and fables. The enlarged back flap is all white. Copy B presents itself as a first printing on the verso of the title-page. The same page invites requests for books from the publisher with an additional $2.50 for shipping and handling. The outside portions of the flaps of the dust-jacket are blank and olive green. Copy C is identical but presents itself as a second printing. Copy D is identical but presents itself as a fifth printing.
1990 Aesop's Fables: A Classic Illustrated Edition. Compiled by Russell Ash and Bernard Higton. Dust jacket. First printing. SF: Chronicle Books. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Christmas, '90. Extra copy of this first printing for $15.95 from Key Book Shop, Georgetown, March, '92.
A truly magnificent book--not that different from a book I would have liked to publish someday! Excellent black-and-white and color illustrations. The five-page introduction gives a good overview of the history of Aesop illustration. Fully thirteen of the twenty-nine artists sampled here are new to me. Perhaps the range is broader than in other surveys because the selection is not limited to one library. However, the range of selection raises questions: why begin in 1857 and stop at 1944 (except for one set of unpublished 1970 lithographs)? One German calendar is the only non-English contribution. The introduction speaks of "the many hundreds of editions of Aesop's Fables published in Great Britain, Europe and the United States during the past 150 years" and the dust jacket of "the finest illustrations from the last one hundred years." What of Thurber or Frasconi? Why not stretch to include Gorey (1971), Levine (1975), Eichenberg (1979), and Carle (1980)? Despite these questions (and a sentence beginning not capitalized on 8), this is one of the most recommendable of Aesop books.
1990 Aesop's Fables: A Classic Illustrated Edition. Russell Ash and Bernard Higton. Various. Hardbound. Dust jacket. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. $2.77 from Res1anum, Sultan, WA, through eBay, April, '04.
Chronicle has put a new cover and identical dust jacket on this printing, taken from Milo Winter's "The Rose and the Butterfly." They have moved within San Francisco and given themselves, on both spine and title-page, a new symbol: a pair of eyeglasses with two eyes inside. Now the book is printed in China. This copy seems to be in the nnth printing. Otherwise the book and its bibliographical data seem the same as in my first printing by Chronicle in 1990. See my comments there.
1990 Aesop's Fables: A Classic Illustrated Edition. Compiled by Russell Ash and Bernard Higton. First printing. Dust jacket. London: Pavilion Books. Gift of Maureen Hester from the Dorothy Butler Bookshop in New Zealand, March, '92.
This is the (simultaneous?) UK edition mentioned by the Chronicle edition, though this edition does not mention that one. Internally the books are the same, including the high quality reproductions of the art. Here the front and back covers (and the matching dust jacket) are backgrounded in blue. Chronicle's back-cover picture from Crane is put on the front cover here, and Detmold's vain jackdaw is on the back. The inside flaps of the dust jacket feature Agnes Miller Parker and Celia Fiennes. A beautiful book!
1990 Aesop's Fables/Greek Myths/Bible Stories. No editors or artists acknowledged. Sisa Choice Reading Companions. Seoul?: Si-Sa-Mun-Hwa-Sa. See 1978/90.
1990 Aesop's Frog Fables. Peter and Donna Thomas. Nine line drawings by Donna Thomas printed from relief engravings. Boxed. Santa Cruz. $125 from Truepenny Books, Tucson, June, '92.
A beautifully executed book. I like the letterpress printing. The print and the versions are very attractive; I find the nine illustrations somewhat disappointing: they lack the wit or characterization one might have expected in a volume of this sophistication. Though the edition is allegedly limited to fifty, this copy does not admit which number it is. The book is worth exhibiting to show how Aesop continues to be one of the classic authors to whom great bookmakers turn.
1990 Aisopoksen Tarinoita. Kuvittanut Val Biro. Hardbound. Tampere, Helsinki, Finland: Satukustannus. $10 from In trade from Clare Leeper, July, '96.
This book reproduces almost exactly a book I have in English: Collected Tales from Aesop's Fables (1986), a Gallery book from W.H. Smith Publishers. This edition skips the foreword, but its T of C, which borrows the foreword's illustration and spreads over two pages, then indicates exactly the same stories and page numbers as are in the English T of C and edition. As I write there, this is one of the best renditions I have seen lately. The pictures are excellent, well produced, and witty. That illustration with the foreword or T of C, respectively, reappears meaningfully later with WC; it pictures a lion, hedgehog, and crow who are smart enough to have nothing to do with the wolf's pained throat (38). Earlier the wolf here is a hunter with a rifle pointing an ominous finger at the victim lamb (24-25). There is a great facial expression on the cat hanging from a peg while the mice discuss nearby (33). The approach of the envious donkey to sitting on his master's lap is a fine scene of commotion (56). The few words that I can recognize presumably come from borrowings for things that do not exist in Finland, like tyrants ("tyranni" on 25), apes ("apina" on 28), dolphins ("delfiini" on 28), and lions ("leijona" on 30). This is my first book in Finnish.
1990 Animal Tales and Fables. A Hide-and-Seek Book. By Katy Keck Arnsteen. First edition. NY: Derrydale Books. Gift of Eleanor Webster, Aug., '92. Extras for $3.99 at Kettersons', April, '91 and for $4 at Aspidistra, Sept., '91.
Three fables appear among the ten stories, in each of which the reader is challenged to find the hidden object, like the fork that the town mouse should be using at the city dinner. The other fables are TH and BW. Except for the search for the hidden object, the illustrations are rather routine.
1990 Babrius and Phaedrus. Ben Edwin Perry. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Cambridge: The Loeb Classical Library: Harvard University Press. See 1965/90.
1990 Belling the Cat and Other Aesop's Fables. Retold in Verse by Tom Paxton. Illustrated by Robert Rayevsky. First edition. Signed by Paxton. Dust jacket. NY: Morrow Junior Books. $13.95 from Books of Wonder, Dec., '90. Extra copy for $13.95 at Red Balloon in St. Paul, May, '90.
A wonderful sequel to this pair's Aesop's Fables (1988). The verse for the ten fables is sometimes only adequate, but the illustrations are delightful. My favorites are BC, "Many Friends," "Honesty is the Best Policy," and MM.
1990 Can Cats Purr in Urdu? And Other Grownup Tales and Fables. Eugene Kaellis. Paperbound. Burnaby, BC: Next Century Books: Finster Industries. $7.94 from Hidden Treasures Bookstore, Roberts Creek, BC, Canada, Nov., '05.
Kaellis' definition of fable is slippery, but his sense of morality and his sense of whimsy are both alive and well. "What I want to do is spread holy insecurity, promote festering doubt, and inculcate a pervasive sense of gnawing agony" (preface). I read two of these "essories" (a hybrid of "essay" and "story") and enjoyed them both, though they are a long way from fable. Both "Leaving Things Behind" (1) and "A Giant's Robe Upon a Dwarfish Thief" (45) are thought-provoking reflective reveries.
1990 Das Hausbuch der Fabeln: Fabeln der Welt. Paul Alverdes. 55 Abildungen nach Holzstichen von J.J. Grandville. Hardbound. Munich: Ehrenwirth Verlag. DM 12 from an unknown source, August, '01.
I have been cataloguing German fable collections. I picked this book up after looking at perhaps a dozen others, and was immediately struck that it was by the same author who had edited an earlier collection, namely Rabe Fuchs und Löwe: Fabeln der Welt (1962) by the same publisher. A little examination showed that the plates from that edition were simply magnified to fill a slightly larger page with smaller margins. The pagination is thus exactly the same in the two editions. There is a reference to the earlier work on the back of the title-page. It is a lovely book, however they dress it up or change it! What I had written there includes this: There are three hundred and fifty-four fables here, beginning with Aesop and ranging across the world. The main group consists of German fables. They are all rendered in contemporary German idiom. This is a worthy and wide-ranging collection! T of C on 393.
1990 Der einsame Frosch: Sechs fabelhafte Geschichten. Erwin Moser. Paperbound. Weinheim, Germany: Gulliver Taschenbuch 90: Beltz & Gelberg. €2 from Secondhand Buchhandel Kantstr. 92, Berlin, August, '09.
Touching little stories. As the back cover proclaims, "Die fabelhaften Geschichten und Zeichnungen dieses Buches verbinden alte Fabelart mit neuen, abenteuerlich-komischen Ereignissen." I have read three of the six. The frog who does not even know how lonesome he is encounters the storm one day and is blasted into frog society, where he lives happily. Osko the mouse is captured by a stork and thus starts a sixteen-page adventure centered around a cherry that invades many different animals' lives, only to turn out to be an artificial cherry that fell from a woman's hat! One of five woodworms argues with the others about whether there is a world outside of their beam. He decides to gnaw straight south to find what is "out there." He dies six years later without having found that "outside world," but he dies contented.
1990 Der Löwe in uns allen. Thomas Poppe. Paperbound. Reinbek bei Hamburg, Germany: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag. €3 from Secondhand Buchhandel Kantstr. 92, Berlin, August, '09.
This book is an explicit invitation to wisdom. Its author encounters a cat in the night bringing a message of awakening to human beings. The cat announces four lessons. The first is a wake-up. The second is about improving the probability of finding the right way. The third is instruction about how to read the stories that make up the fourth. What follows then is a fine collection of fable texts. I plan to use it when I am planning my fable lectures later this summer. Many come straight from Kalila and Dimna. I hope even to try a few a day during that time. It is an impressive effort!
1990 Die Fabel: Das Vergnügen der Erkenntnis. Wilfried Liebchen. Erste Auflage. Paperbound. Rhön-Grabfeld/Kilianshof: Primaer 1: Fabel-Verlag Gudrun Liebchen. Gift of Wilfried Liebchen, June, '98.
As the opening T of C shows, this book's 202 pages split near the middle. After a short inroduction the first half of the book presents texts, organized into these groups: Parabeln, Epische Fabeln, Gleichnisse, Rhetorische Fabeln, Rhetorische Fabelketten, and Epigramme. In the second half of the book, Liebchen presents his criteria for these categories. Here he presents three principles of the fable, and then in several sections shows the errors and confusions he believes people get into by not using these principles. In the introduction, Liebchen points out that fables give pleasure, that fables introduce the "Aha!" moment, that adults do not feel themselves addressed by fable today and that people are confused about exactly what fable is. We need, then, to attend to the form of fable. My question about Liebchen's good fable texts is: Did he create them all? In the second half of the book, before offering his three principles of fables, Liebchen disagrees with the oft-stated theory that fables are indirect, self-protective speech. Fabulists suffer for what they say/write. Here are the three principles: First is das Prinzip des Mittels: fables' actors are lower creatures. Their characters are already known: So fable depends on three Verfremdungseffekte: 1.The effect of quick characterization. Brevity is important: fable makes a complex case comprehensible. 2. The second effect is reduction of feelings by creating a distance between us and the characters. We are not taken with pity and fear over the characters; we rather understand the consequences they have prepared for themselves. We have the feeling of being superior to them. 3. Everyday stuff is pushed into the realm of the special (des Besonderen). So we get unusual characters in an unusual place dealing with our everyday issues. Second is das Prinzip des Zweck, which is Verstehen. A good example is Liebchen's fable about good advice. A clever fox gives a naïve dog this advice: "Never accept advice." Now, should the dog accept that advice? Third is das Prinzip des Ziels, which is Erkenntnis, in deren Folgschaft ein verändertes Verhalten steht. Fable goes beyond simile in wanting not just understanding but also a change in behavior. Fable changes nothing, but for one who is willing to think, it can help change. Fable has suffered through its misuse for moral doctrine. Simile does not have the Ziel of either fable or parable. It is not there to change behavior. Parable uses only one of the three Effekts: des besonderen. It does not try to create distance by using animals or try to create a sense of superiority. Liebchen uses "The Prodigal Son" as a favorite example of parable. The book uses four illustrations from various sources, listed on 201.
1990 Die Grille und die Ameisen. Nach einer Fabel von Aesop. Text von Käthe und Günther Leupold. Bilder von Eve Tharlet. Zweite Auflage. Paperbound. Hanau: Peters Bilderbuch: Dr. Hans Peters Verlag. DM 6.95 from Hassbecker's Galerie & Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, August, '01.
This delightfully illustrated large-sized book represents the third language for the same publication. See both the English and Japanese editions in 1982. As I wrote of the English edition, Tharlet's work is 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 her ways at the end and resolve to act differently next summer. At this point a number of versions, like Disney's, soften and provide for the starving grasshopper. Here the ants send her back out into the cold and remind her that she had made fun of their work during the summer. The harshness of the moral reflects Aesop well. The booklet is again beautifully published.
1990 Diecisiete Fábulas del Zorro. Jean Muzi. Translated from 1983 Castor Poche Flammarion Dix-neuf fables de Renard by Margarita Contreras. Illustrated by Triunfo Arciniegas. Colección Torre de Papel. Bogotá, Colombia: Editorial Norma. $4 at Librería Kuai-Mare, Caracas, May, '91.
A very nice pocket edition heavy on Roman de Renart material but including entries from Persia, Spain, Africa, and Turkey. The one Aesopic fable is FG, well told. Enjoyable modern drawings.
1990 Esopete ystoriado (Toulouse 1488). Edition, Study and Notes by Victoria A. Burrus and Harriet Goldberg. Spanish Series Number 61. Madison, WI: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, Ltd. $30 from the publisher, Jan., '92.
This is a singularly economical comprehensive large-format presentation of the first of the three Spanish incunabula derived from Steinhöwel's Ulm edition of 1476-77. The scholarly apparatus is helpful and impressive. T of C of the fables on 172. Then variants and emendations, and a glossary (where I learned that ystoriado means "illustrated"). Appendix A includes tables matching this Esopete with Romulus and other early collections. B and C are motif indices, while D is a comprehensive fable index by words. Besides a final bibliography, there are included in a pocket inside the back cover microfiches of a computer-generated concordance. The front of the book offers a good history of the Life of Aesop and an accurate short overview of the history of the tales. The illustrations, generally from the 1489 Zaragosa edition, are always labelled. They seem to be close to Steinhöwel in motif and quality, as I think an examination of a sample like FG on 68 would show. Two illustrations from this 1488 edition are on xxxi-xxxii.
1990 Esopovi Baiky (Ukrainian "Aesop's Fables"). Volodymyra Zabashtans and Anatolia Cherdakli. Illustrations by Pipina Tsimikale. Hardbound. Kiev: Veselka. $4.99 from Victor Romanchenko, Rubux Ukrainian Books, Ukraine, Dec., '06.
This is a small book, about 5" x 6¾", with 247 pages of Aesop's fables followed by a T of C. The brown silhouette on the cloth cover -- of two mounted Greek horsemen and one soldier with a kneeling horse -- gives a sense of the creative blockprints that grace this book. A simple example is FC on 15. Two pages later is a more complex rendition of the fable pitting the bear and the lion, from both of whom the fox slinks off with the prey. I do not think that I have seen BF done in monochrome presentation in as lively a fashion as it is done here on 21. The cover illustration appears again on 71; I imagine that this is the fable in which the horse says "You have made me a civilian; now please do not ask me to go back to war!" FG on 233 is particularly expressive. I wish I were sure of which of the names above, if any, is the artist. He or she should be congratulated!
1990 Esopus Hodie: Aesop Today. A Reader Workbook for Latin Students. Volume II. Latin and English Texts by Dorothy MacLaren. Poetry by Constance Carrier. Illustrated from various classical illustrators (mostly unacknowledged). Miami University. Oxford, Ohio: American Classical League. $6.95. One extra copy.
Another lovely book! As in the first volume (1985), the selection and presentation are both first class. The range of illustrators has broadened to include Kredel and Billinghurst. The format follows that of the previous volume: (1) witty English, (2) Latin with running vocabulary, (3) a literal translation, (4) vocabulary and questions. A beautiful peacock graces the cover!
1990 Ezop Masallari. Pamphlet. Istanbul. $3 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Feb., '05.
Here is an 80-page children's paperback in very poor condition. Just enough remains of the title-page to know that it was published in Istanbul in 1990. There are no internal illustrations. If there was a T of C, it exists no more! And 19-52 are missing! The cover shows a happy congregation of animals and a young girl.
1990 Fabeln: Lehrerbegleitband. Günter Lachawitz & Kurt Smolak. Reprinting of the 1989 first edition. Paperbound. Vienna: Orbis Latinus: Verlag Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky. See 1989/90.
1990 Fabeln und Parabeln der Weltliteratur. Theodor Etzel. Mit 101 Originalillustrationen von Thomas Bech, Heinz-Holger Erb, Robert Miltenburger, Ursula Stauffer, und Stefanie Stegbauer. First edition? Dust jacket. Printed in Yugoslavia. Eltville am Rhein: Bechtermünz Verlag. Gift of Anne Pierro, Christmas, '91.
What a wonderful gift! This book is a library in itself. I have kept separate notes on the sampling of fables I enjoyed in going through the book and on its good illustrations. Parable does not get the representation one might expect from the title; a few items are included that are labelled as parables. The translations wisely follow the original's choice of prose or verse. The heart of this book is, appropriately, German fable: 274 pages from fifty-three fabulists. The ancients get fifty-seven pages before the Germans, and five other literatures and two continents get seventy-two pages after them. Fables labelled "Aesop" here do not always have the texts which one would find in, say, Perry's Aesopica. I am not sure of Etzel's source for them.
1990 Fabeln von Äsop. Deutsch von Heinz Fischer. Illustrationen von Fulvio Testa. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Dusseldorf: Patmos. €6.40 from Antiquariat Rump, Muenster, Sept., '12.
This book, like the English, is derived from the Italian original. The illustrations seem identical with those in the English version. Do not confuse this book with Testa's more recent book of Aesop's fables, done in a German version from Boje Verlag in 2011 and a year earlier in English by Andersen Press. The brightly colored end papers of the English 1989 version are not here, but the corresponding picture borders are. As I mentioned a propos of that English version, the hare plays solitaire before falling asleep (27). Lions and cats here have big eyes. This remains a good example of a book well put together. The information on the verso of the title-page confuses me here, since it seems to claim 1990 for the first printing (erste Auflage) for Patmos and also to list 1989 as the time of the first printing. I will go with the 1990 year but leave blank whether this copy is from the first printing.
1990 Fables. Written and illustrated by Paul David Holman. First edition. Flagstaff: Northland Publishing. $11.95 at Dundee, April, '91. Extra copies for $7.50 at Horizon, Seattle, Aug., '93, and for $4 at Powell's, Hyde Park, Oct., '94.
A good and engaging little book of forty-seven fables featuring contemporary animals and raising contemporary questions. The visuals are well done. At their best, these fables invite reflection; often, their rhythm is that of the thought-provoking joke. One of the best specimens is "The Singer" (13) about a frog; its moral: "Just because one does, doesn't mean one can!" "Top ledge" (19) tells of an iguana who uses education to climb to the top only to find a dozen other iguanas already there! I like this book.
1990 Fables choisies de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Jiri Trnka. Dust jacket. Imprimé en République slovaque. Première édition 1974 par Artia, Prague. (c)1974 Librairie Gründ pour l'édition française. (c)1990 Aventinum Nakladatelství s.r.o., Prague. Vingtième édition 1996 par Aventinum, Prague. See 1974/90/96.
1990 Fables of Aesop. Bilingual edition using (but not acknowledging?) S.A. Handford's Penguin translation. No illustrations. Seoul: Che Sa Yang Aw Sa Company. $3.40 at Kyobo in Seoul, June, '90.
This edition resets Handford's translations in apparently excellent English: I cannot find any Konglish goofs! Like the 1980/88 Choun edition, it drops the last four of Handford's 207 fables. Line numbers make for easy reference to the notes.
1990 Fábulas de América. Selected and edited by Hernando Garcia Mejia. Interior designs by José Roberto Agudelo Z. Coleccion los mejores. Edilux: Escogidos por Maestros. Medellin: Susaeta Ediciones: Edilux. Gift of Bob and Emilia Riccio from Cali, Nov., '96.
An excellent paperback collection of Spanish fables grouped by the authors' countries. The T of C is presented in running form on 8-10 after a brief "Presentacion" on 5. Rafael Pombo, Augusto Monterroso, and José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi lead a list of some twenty-four fabulists. There are perhaps a dozen simple full-page line drawings to complement the fables. This is a stellar gift, the kind one can look forward to enjoying over weeks to come!
1990 Fábulas de la Independencia. Luis de Mendizábal. Paperbound. San Luis Potosí, Mexico: Colección 400: Consejo Estatal Para la Cultura y las Artes. $10 from Libros Latinos, Redlands, CA, August, '00.
This tall thin paperback of eighty-three pages offers early sections on the man, the writer, and the fabulist. Mendizábal seems to have been born in 1783. A central section here then offers seventeen political and military fables in verse, introduced by Mendizábal's "Advertencia" (39). They seem to present new plots rather than reproductions of traditional Aesopic fables. The last of them seems to involve Aesop himself as a character (76). There is a short final section of some other of Mendizábal's poetry.
1990 fábulas de Samaniego. No editor or illustrator acknowledged. Primera edición de Editorial Diana, 1953. Primera edición en la collección Cuentos y Fabulas de Editorial Origen, 1990. Colonia del Valle, México: Editorial Origen. Printed in Mexico. $4.70 at Librería El Grupo, Caracas, May, '91.
A straightforward presentation of seventy of Samaniego's 157 fables, with some simple line illustrations. A short life of Samaniego precedes the fables. No notes. T of C on 122. The order of fables here seems to bear no relation to the original order.
1990 Fabulas Ganadoras Certamen Fabula Bestiaria. Departamento de Estudios Hispanicos/Departamento de Ingles. 3er. Congreso Fábula Bestiaria. Introduction by Ana M. Rodríguez Vivaldi. Mayaguez, PR: Recinto Universitario de Mayaguez. Gift of the University of Mayaguez, April, '90.
Five Spanish stories (which I have not read) and six English (which I have). The latter represent a nice spread of imaginative animal tales. "Gaarbon the Poet" (21) features a frog who wants to see the world and does. "Fable from the North Woods" (30) is an authentic Aesopic fable. "The Owl and Others" (32) is cynical in a Thurberesque vein. "Nor Does She Spin" (36) is a good verse play on GA. What a nice gift for the Beast Fable Society!
1990 Fábulas: La Fontaine. "Juvenil." Paperback. Segonda edición 1985. Tercera reimpresión 1990. Col. Sifón: Editores Mexicanos Unidos. See 1985/90.
1990 Faules d'Isop. Il-lustrations de Lisbeth Zwerger. (Hans Gärtner, NA.) Traducció: Albert Pla. Hardbound. Barcelona: Editions Destino. $21.94 from Alibris, Jan., '03.
This book comes straight from the original Michael Neugebauer Verlag publication in German language of 1989. It has the same format and the same art work. That -- at least my copy of the third edition in 1993 -- was printed in Italy; this book was printed in Spain. From the dancing camel on the cover to the laughing monkey on the back cover, the artistry here is lovely -- and only grows lovelier with time. This seems to be my first book in Catalan.
1990 Friedman's Fables. Edwin H. Friedman. Illustrations by Joseph Cavalieri and Stephen Wilder. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. NY/London: The Guilford Press. $11.50 from Harold's Book Shop, St. Paul, June, '97.
This book contains twenty-four case studies, stories meant to provoke questions, discussion, and reflection. They are not fables in the traditional sense I urge. But they are excellent stories for raising questions. Friedman's prologue describes the four illusions these fables aim to shatter: first, that communication is a cerebral phenomenon rather than emotional process; second, that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change; third, that resistance to your message can be overcome by trying harder; and fourth, that seriousness is deeper than playfulness. The first two sections are dedicated, respectively, I believe, to #2 and #3. The third section, "Bonds and Binds," has to do with commitment and tolerance for ambiguity, as far as I can tell. The fourth seems to focus on #4. I find the stories good. Among the best are "The Bridge," "'Round in Circles," "The Power of Belief," "An American Holly," "Soaring," "Net Results," "Metamorphosis," "Attachment," "Jean and Jane," "The Magic Ring," "Caught in Her Own Web," "The Wallflower," "Burnout," and "Narcissus." Three of the literature-based studies seem to me tedious: "Raising Cain" (on the Adam and Eve family); "Interlude" (featuring Oedipus, Faust, and Cassandra); and "Tradition" (featuring Moses, Freud, and Marx). "Cinderella" does much better. The book comes with a pamphlet of discussion questions. Its introduction begins "This is a paean for ambiguity. I have long believed that questions are more important than answers…" (1). The pamphlet gives a helpful moral for each fable, though that moral too is up for discussion….
1990 From Aesop’s Stories (Japanese). Illustrations by Bernadette. (c)1989 by Nishimura Co., Ltd. Translated from Zwanzig Fabeln des Aesop, (c)1980 Nord-Sud Verlag, M` nchaltorf, Switzerland. Niigata City: Nishimura Shoten. 1800 Yen at Sanseido, Tokyo, July, ’96.
Twenty fables presented in two styles, sometimes both used effectively on one fable: pastel full-color pages and black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings. "The Larks and the Farmer" is one such case of effective juxtaposition. This book turned out to be a kind of "Anno’s Aesop" for me. I took four of the stories to my neighbor, Rafael Sakurai. It turns out that I focussed on the wrong elements of the art in all four: 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. Boy, was I off! The black-and-whites, including the new set included on the back cover, are often more effective than the colored illustrations. 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 here at last!
1990 I. Krylov: Fables. Compiler and writer of endnotes Paula Tkacheva. Illustrator O.B. Ulanovskaya. Hardbound. Golden Little Key Series/Belorussian Edition. Minsk: Yo/Dunatswa. $15 from International Books, Bainbridge Is., WA, by mail, Feb., '00.
Here is a good contemporary collection of 203 of Krylov's verse fables in Belorussian, listed in a long T of C at the back. This is preceded by three pages of short notes. Perhaps surprisingly, there is no introduction of any sort before or after the fables. After the blank front endpaper, we face these elements: a title-page, the usual colophonic material on the reverse of the title, page, and an oval portrait of a cheese-eating fox in the foreground with a crow in the background. What follows next is the two-page spread of a FC image on the left and the FC text on the right. The fables are in Krylov's order, but books and individual numbrs are not marked. There is a nice scattering of simple colored art throughout, varying from full-page illustrations to two-inch headpieces to simple designs, especially as tailpieces. There are several repeat illustrations among the smaller ones, especially weeping pikes and weeping birds. It is worth searching for the full-page illustrations, since there is so much going on in them. For a starter, enjoy the full-page "Cat and Cook" illustration on 69. Other good full-page illustrations include "Lion and Leopard" (35), "Gadfly and Ant" (49), Sammy's Coat" (93), "Fox as Architect" (132), "Mice in Council" (163), BF (189), "Wild Goats" (213), and "A Great Lord" (223). It is not easy to find the full-page illustrations here, because they are done on the same cheap paper that is used for the texts. Among the better headpieces are "The Village Band" (7), "The Flowers" (98), "The Elephant in Favor" (126), and WC (146). The best among the small colored symbols at the end of a fable are the "soup" design at the end of "Crow and Fowl" (9); the horn-blowing gnat (71); wood, saw, nails and axe (133); and "Kitten and Starling" (186). The artist works hard to get the two eyes of almost every creature illustrated. Cheap paper hurts the quality of the illustrations.
1990 Krylov's Birds & Beasts. A Selection of the Fables. E.E. Ralphs. Various illustrators. First edition? Dust jacket. Printed in Great Britain. London: Howard Baker. £7.50 at Children's Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, July, '98. Extra copy for $5.60 at The Book House, St. Louis, March, '95.
A curious book by a translator who is pictured standing with a bear! Forty-five verse fables in rhyming couplets, with the last of them, "Dancing Fish" (77) in two versions, the first of which was originally suppressed by the Censor. An italicized statement after a fable often points out its political implications. Many of these fables are straight Aesop. Some are slightly modified; e.g. "The Lion and the Gnat" (51) has only one phase, in which the gnat wins. Several are new to me: "The Monkey" (19), "The Squirrel" (26), "Ass and Peasant" (54), "The Wolf and the Young Mouse" (57), "The Hare Goes Hunting" (59), "The Cuckoo and the Cock" (63), "The Spirit of Inquiry" (71), and "The Fox" (and the wolf, 74). The illustrations look like cheap xeroxes. The best is of a sweating monkey (18). There is a photo of Krylov on the back dust jacket and a photo of the Leningrad Krylov monument on 10. Several typographical mistakes, e.g., missing quotation marks at the beginning of line 10 on 39 and they's for they'd on 65. This book helps me get ready to teach fable the next time. Some "musts" to be included from Krylov's work include: "The Geese" (15), "A Pike" (20), "The Kitten and the Starling" (32), "The Donkey and the Nightingale" (47), "The Cuckoo and the Cock" (63), "Monkey and Glasses" (65), and "Dancing Fish" (77).
1990 La Fontaine: Der Rabe und der Fuchs. Die schönsten Fabeln. Aus dem Französischen von Thomas Keck. Mit Illustrationen von Rolf Köhler und einem Nachwort von Jürgen Stackelberg. Erste Auflage. Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag. DM 15 at Büchertruhe, Heidelberg, July, '95.
My first find on this trip to Heidelberg, and a wonderful one it is! I actually got this book cheaper than I got the paperback copy (1992). The translation is, as the dust jacket proclaims, "ein wenig frech wirkend." It is well rhymed. It transposes the setting of FG to Bavaria or Hessen, for example. The color work of the illustrations is outstanding! And there is humor everywhere in the illustrations, starting with the grasshopper-baby's pacifier in GA (6). Other clever moments include the lion boss at his desk (16: he is in a "GmbH" with the other three animals); torn-up photos of the two women (2W, 27); the boy hanging onto branches in a rushing river (30); the uprooted, personified oak with a rootlike penis (35); the clever king frog, who half becomes a log (45); the supposedly dead-drunk man (46); and the fox who has urinated on a human bust (59). I have never seen mice-commanders so wonderfully decked out (61)! "Less Is More!" makes a great graffito-slogan for FWT (69). It would be easy to go on citing one great illustration after another. One of the best contemporary sets of illustrations I know.
1990 La Fontaine Masallari. Kapak Duzeni: M. Delioglu. Paperbound. Istanbul: Cocuk Klasikleri Dizisi #2: Serhat A.S. $5.00 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
See my 1983 Aesop in the same series, now given the number 26. This paperback Turkish book has 93 pages. One or two pages of the AI at the back are missing. On the colored cover, we find a lion, a fox (?), a crow, and two birds. Like several other Turkish paperback renditions of the fables, this little book has "Masallar" on its title-page but "Masallari" on its cover.
1990 La Fontaine Secme Masallar. Paperbound. Ankara: Cocuk Klasikleri #11: Kurtulus Yayinlari. $5.00 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
Copyrighted not only by Kurtulus Yayinlari in Ankara but by Editions Bias in Paris. This book has seen serious use! It has a strong colored depiction of FC by Pierre Leroy on the front cover and TH on the back. I have seldom seen a book cover as creased as this cover is. The same carrot-eating hare as appears on the back cover is on the title-page. There are a number of full-page colored illustrations along the way in this edition, including an excellent depiction of MSA on 24-25. Also strong are the two depictions of OF on 84 and 85. A final favorite presents the guitar-playing grasshopper on 48. There are 86 pages in all. The cover is separating. There is neither a T of C nor an AI. There must be a law about the size of books in Turkey. Almost all of the Aesop and La Fontaine books I have received are the same size, about 5 3/8" x 7½".
1990 La lechera y su cubeta/The milkmaid and her pail. Eugenia De Hoogh. Fábulas Bilingües. The Bilingual Series. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company. See 1977/87/90.
1990 La Tortue et le lièvre/The Tortoise and the Hare. Dorothy Sword Bishop. Fables Bilingues. The Bilingual Series. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company. See 1978/90.
1990 Le Petit Perret des Fables d'après Jean de la Fontaine: Les Fables Geometriques. Pierre Perret. Illustrations et images de synthèse: Christian Hoffman, Marilyn Talarn, Anne Brotot, Philippe Marty, Xavier Duval, Fabien Robert, Claudia Pippi. Hardbound. Printed in France. Paris?: Fantôme: Editions Jean-Claude Lattès. FF 60 from a bouquiniste along the Seine, Paris, August, '01.
This is exactly the kind of "weird" book I was looking for on a rainy day with the bouquinistes in Paris. I am still not sure what we have here. I think it is a book made from or parallel to a TV series. There is an ad for a coming video cassette at the back of the book. I presume that the series, managed by Pierre Perret, presented various stories, and these would have been "The Petite Perret" of this or that or the other thing. Here is their encounter with La Fontaine's fables. Immediately after the preface we meet, on a two-page spread, a set of geometric figures. These are presumably the sorts of characters Perret uses for his presentations. First, then, we meet "L'Orchestre Fou," a musical crowd of geometric shapes introduced in rhyming verse. Are Perret's texts done in a kind of argot? At any rate we soon meet his first poetry, a recasting of La Fontaine's text along with a clever presentation of the fable by figures made out of geometric shapes. The crow in FC, for example, is a black box with two circular eyes (10). When he perches on a shelf and holds a circle-shaped slice, it is very easy to see the crow with a piece of cheese in his mouth. The moral of this fable is that, thanks to La Fontaine, very few opera singers today sing with their mouths full! Next come tips on how to make the figures and a "lexique." So it goes through ten fables, whose La Fontaine texts are at the back. Sometimes there are also recipes connected with particular fables. The milkmaid in MM becomes a black child with short braids riding a tricycle with a colorful pitcher balanced on her head (22-23). This fable, with its geometric representations of eggs, checks, hens, a rooster, a pig, cows, and a tricycle may be the wildest visually. Also very clever are the skiing figures of tortoise and hare (30-31). The two ducks in TT become in shape fighter planes based on an aircraft carrier (64-65), and the tortoise grabs onto the landing-gear. The back cover aptly says that Fantôme marries humor and the computer. This is wonderful stuff!
1990 Leonardo el León y Ramon el Ratón/Leonard the Lion and Raymond the Mouse. Dorothy Sword Bishop. Fábulas Bilingües. The Bilingual Series. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company. See 1978/86/90.
1990 Literature Activities for Young Children: Art Projects, Skill Building Activities, Plot Summaries: Book 6. Written by Dianna Sullivan. Illustrated by Nedra L. Pence. Large-format paperback. Printed in USA. Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials: Teacher Created Materials, Inc. $5.01 from Pam Klemm, Clinton, MD, through Ebay, May, '00.
This is an 8½" x 11" paperbound book based upon twelve fables, nine by Aesop and three by Arnold Lobel. For each of these fables there are several activities: LM, GGE, TMCM, TH, FG, GA, "The Bee and the Dove," TT, CP, "The Pelican and the Crane," "The Camel Dances," and "The Baboon's Umbrella." I never knew that so many games and activities could be dreamed up that relate somehow to these fables! In TH, "the rabbit decides to take a nap…." There are many grasshoppers involved in GA. In this version of AD, a bee stings a boy's hand before he can throw a rock at the dove. The stick is the turtle's idea in TT, and he answers the question in the air "Who thought of such a clever idea?" The crow tries to tip the pitcher over and to peck a hole in it before he hits on the pebble idea. "The Pelican and the Crane" is a lesson in good manners: behave when you are a guest or you will not be invited back. The camel rejects friends' advice that she give up ballet--and gives herself many years of dancing enjoyment. A friend advises the baboon to cut holes in his umbrella to let the sun shine through; some advice of friends is good, and some bad. My favorite pictures are of the dancing camel, e.g., on 85.
1990 Literature: Fables and Tall Tales. No editor or artist acknowledged. Blackline Reproducibles. Palos Verdes: Frank Schaffer Publications. $4.98 in Council Bluffs, March, '91.
A clever book for the second and third grades. An excellent variety of activities uses nine fables for such tasks as map reading, comparing with Native American folklore, and distinguishing fact from conclusion. 2P has a great moral: "Strong people sometimes hurt you without meaning to."
1990 Literature: Fables, Tall Tales, Myths. No editor or artist acknowledged. Blackline Reproducibles. Palos Verdes: Frank Schaffer Publications. $4.98 at Stephenson's, Omaha, May, '91.
A good book for the fourth through the sixth grades. An excellent variety of activities uses six fables for such tasks as relating animal to human behavior, distinguishing fable from other stories, and comparing fable versions. The illustrations are simple. The book includes a birth certificate and letter of recommendation for Aesop! The task for MM, which has a good illustration, is to write a fable about a boy with his first paper route.
1990 Longing for Darkness: Kamante's Tales from Out of Africa. With original photographs (January 1914-July 1931) and quotations from Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). Collected by Peter Beard. With Photographs and Captions by Isak Dinesen. Afterword by Jacqueline Bouvier Onassis. Paperbound. First edition, apparently first printing. Printed in Japan. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. $25 from Damon Morgan, Knoxville, TN, August, '99.
I was very surprised to see this out-of-print book available again! See my comments on the original hardbound edition done by Harcourt in 1975. This edition sports heavy covers, with folded back flyleaves. The renditions of the colored fable illustrations are excellent! This book is a treasure!
1990 Longing for Darkness: Kamante's Tales from Out of Africa. With original photographs (January 1914-July 1931) and quotations from Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). Collected by Peter Beard. Afterword by Jacqueline Bouvier Onassis. First edition, apparently first printing of the Chronicle hardbound version. Dust jacket. Hardbound. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. $8 from Santa Rosa Flea Market, July, '04.
Earlier I was very surprised to see this out-of-print book available as a paperback. Now I have been surprised to find it also available hardbound. And the price was right! Let me repeat soime of my comments from the 1975 Harcourt original. A weird and wonderful find! What we have here is the product of a complex process. Kamante Gatura related the tales to Beard, who transcribed them and gave them to Kamante's sons to translate and then to write out by hand. The final chapter claims to be Kamante's versions of some twenty-one fables that Dinesen told. Several, like FG and OF, seem to be heavily dependent on Caxton, but then OF here ends with a bursting frog, whereas Caxton had the ox step on the frog. Are the charming, simple watercolors illustrating them really Kamante's own? The best of the illustrations for me are OF, GA, FK, "The Antelope, the Monkey, and the Leopard," and TH. Two things are especially charming here: the "scriptos" (or whatever handwritten typos are), and the transposition of animals; thus Piraeus becomes Mombasa, and "The Fox and the Eagle" becomes "The Jackal and the Vulture." A real favorite of mine! Again, the renditions of the colored fable illustrations are excellent! This book remains a treasure!
1990 Marc Chagall: My Life--My Dream. Berlin and Paris, 1922-40. Susan Compton. Dust jacket. Munich: Prestel Verlag. $35 at Amaranth Books, Evanston, Sept., '91.
At last I have found a full presentation of Chagall's Fables cycle, at least in black-and-white. Excellent coverage of fables here in four parts of this fine work: biographical essay (20-24), plates (#55-71, and 75-85 odd numbers), catalogue (203-5) and small plates (236-50). The book covers each of the cycles from this period of Chagall, the "foremost exponent of etching in this century." My favorites among the eight colored reproductions are of the transformed cat (Pl 58), the drunkard and his wife (60), the satyr and the wanderer (grand prize, 64), and the bear and the schemers (70). This beautiful book was first done as an exhibit catalogue for a show in Ludwigshafen.
1990 Medieval Beasts. Ann Payne. Dust jacket. Printed in Italy. London: The British Library. $10, 1992.
This is a pretty book offering Payne's sense of typical patterns of presentation in bestiaries, with good supporting photographs and illustrations. Aesop is touched on in a number of ways. In the section on "Antelope" (24-5) there is no reference to Aesop but plenty to drinking and having horns locked in trees. "Beaver" (32) presents the Aesopic nature-lore story of severed testes. "Ape" (36-7) mentions Aesop and conflates Babrius' and Avianus' stories about the monkey mother with an illustration; see also the back cover of the dust jacket. "Fox" (45) tells the story (from the Reynard cycle?) of playing dead and attracting birds and then devouring them. "Dog" (50-1) grabs at the meat reflected in the water. Not from Aesop but too good to pass up is this comment on "Parrot" (65): an occasional blow with an iron bar will improve its understanding!
1990 Mishley Chayot (Hebrew "Fables of Animals"). Edited by Y. Ornstein. Illustrations by Shaul Schatz. Hardbound. Tel Aviv: Mesorah la-'am Miskal. $37.50 from Meir Biezunski, Israel, Nov., '06.
Here are seventy-two stories on some 109 pages. The stories are taken from various ancient sources, including the bible and Jewish tradition. The stories are arranged by subjects. Schatz' original illustrations are lovely. The extended illustration on front and back cover gives a good sense of the book's strong sense of color. My favorite illustrations are the cat on 53, the school of fish on 59, and the walking bird on 71. The designs repeat.
1990 More Stories to Solve. Fifteen Folktales from Around the World. Told by George Shannon. Illustrated (and signed) by Peter Sis. Sequel to Stories to Solve (1985/1991). Dust jacket. NY: Greenwillow Books. $12.95 at Books of Wonder, NY, May, '91.
Another delight, including a last bonus conundrum. Aesop is represented here in #8 by a folktale from his life: King Nactanabo of Egypt challenges Aesop to come up with something he has never seen or heard before. If Aesop wins, he will carry $1000 in tribute to Lycurgus. Well told, solvable riddles.
1990 New York Fables. By Andrzej Czeczot; Translated by Michael Kott. Foreword by Paul Davis. Hardbound. Poland: Verba. $3 from Radoslaw Balkowski, Warsaw, Poland, through eBay, August, '05.
This is a strange, weird, captivating book. I read it all the way through. It is a cartoon parody-history of New York City. The cartoons are full-page landscape black-and-white illustrations; these are large, since the book is 12" x 9". Paul Davis' foreword rightly speaks of a "slyly surreal, overwhelmingly humane imagination." The first chapter, "Indian Summer," presents the first two inhabitants. They built the Hut of Man, and ever since then this island has been known as Manhattan. "Where Are You From?" is a favorite chapter of mine. Its first illustration uses maps as the background design from which the chests and heads of two people are formed. I find it very clever! Czeczot gives a delightful chapter to the birth of the subway. Here one can see a shark using the subway going through the East River. "Uptown" is another favorite. Do not miss the cartoon of the new Adam and Eve in their penthouse. Eve, older but in a bikini, is about to accept the apple from the serpent. These are not fables, but they are fun! This copy includes a small yellow pamphlet with the original Polish texts for each of the chapters.
1990 Oi Mythoi Tou Aisopou Se Komiks. Volume 3. Tasos Apostolides and Kostas Boutsas. Illustrated by Bana Lagopoulou. Thessalonike: ASÉ. $15.30 from Zeno, London, Jan., '92.
Nine fables rendered well in comics. The cover illustrations seem to be various out-takes from "The Lion and the Foxes." The last page does Aesop's version of the one shipwrecked man chiding another "Don't just pray. Swim!" This volume may be the liveliest of the four in exploiting comics as a vehicle for Aesop: good detailing, reactions, violence, and sound effects! There are significant differences from traditional versions in three fables: the bear, not the wolf, hears the mother threaten to throw the child out; the fox who fears the lion at first is a mama with cubs; the shepherd who cries "Wolf!" occasions an attack of one shepherd on another as they come to help, and this jokester suffers finally in winter when many wolves come. Included: "The Swallow and Nightingale" (= Perry #39?), "The Bear and the Woman," "The Fox and the Lion," "The Two Dogs" (= Perry #92?), BW, "The Owl and the Boar," AD, WC, and "The Merchant and the Statue." Fun!
1990 Oi Mythoi Tou Aisopou Se Komiks. Volume 4. Tasos Apostolides and Kostas Boutsas. Illustrated by Bana Lagopoulou. Thessalonike: ASE. $15.30 from Zeno, London, Jan., '92.
Nine fables rendered well in comics. This volume is unusual for the settings it gives traditional fables: the astronomer works in a space-station; both "The Miser" and "The Three Sons" are also put into a future space-age; the lion in love works for the circus; the fox without a tail seems to live in a junkyard. The cover illustrations seem to be various out-takes from "Astronomer." In the fable, the astronomer walks over a cat, bumps into a lamppost, and sees stars. The country mouse is apparently a grandpa. The last page presents a nice lion-man sculpture. The sound effects are again delightful: whispering (16) is "RRRR" and dogs' barking (21) is "gav, gav." Included: "The Astronomer," "The Peacock and the Jackdaw," TMCM, "The Hen and the Snake's Eggs," "The Lion in Love," "The Goat and the Wolf," "The Miser," "The Father and His Three Sons," and FWT. Fun!
1990 Once Upon Another: The Tortoise and the Hare/The Lion and the Mouse. Retold and illustrated by Suse MacDonald and Bill Oakes. First edition, first printing. Dust jacket. NY: Dial Books for Young Readers. $12.95 at The Children's Bookstore, Chicago, Sept., '90. Extra copy for $3 from The Book Exchange, Spokane, March, '96.
A wonderfully imaginative book! Simple shapes and colors suggest TH, which is well told. Arrive at the end of the book and you are ready to turn around/over and find LM in the same pictures. The hare dawdles twice, the first time to enjoy his own reflection in a pond. The mouse thinks it would be fun to hide in the lion's mane and is treated at the end to a ride from that perch.
1990 Ooooogy Green & Other Fables. By Page H. Hearn, based on a short story by Brooke Hearn. Chicago: Chicago Plays Inc. $3 at Act I, Chicago, Dec., '93.
This is the script for a play for children, with the play actually being called "Fables" once the show starts. A good lively presentation of FG, "The Peacock and the Crane," and FS. Then the actors break the mold and offer a new fable, "Ooooogy Green." This is a good story about growing processes and people's expectations. Ooooogy is a caterpillar son born to surprised butterfly parents.
1990 Parables and Fables for Modern Man: 30 texts for teachers or just for the pleasure of readers fond of "flights of fancy". Peter Ribes, S.J. Cover and Illustrations by Sr Solange SMMI. Paperbound. Printed in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England. Middlegreen, Slough, England: St Paul Publications. £.99 from Edward Porter, Rhyddings, UK, through eBay, Jan., '04.
Originally published in 1988 by St Paul Publications, India. In the foreword, Ribes mentions that the book was prepared at the National Vocation Service Centre in Pune, India, where parables were used during training sessions for teachers and students from seminaries and religious formation houses. The parables here are grouped as religious, personal, and social. Each of thirty chapters contains a parable text, messages of the parable, ideas and application of the parable, and references to biblical texts in keeping with the parable. The best of the first five is "Brother, Let Me Teach You" (15). At their best, these parables overturn expectations. Here the novice monk who has been chanting the wrong mantra is about to be corrected by a more experienced monk. The more experienced monk turns to row across the water to the novice, when he finds the latter walking across the water to him to ask how to pronounce the mantra correctly! If the parables have a weakness, it may lie in too much transparency. These probably are more parables than fables. Ribes mentions fables only in passing in the foreword, together with allegories and fairy tales. I am surprised that I have gone all these years and not heard of this Jesuit writer of stories.
1990 Phaedrus: "Stark-Schwach" Fabeln: Text und Arbeitsheft. Ausgewählt, bearbeitet und illustriert von Wulf Mißfeldt. Pamphlet. Erste Ausgabe, Erster Druck. Printed in Stuttgart. Stuttgart: Altsprachliche Textausgaben Sammlung Klett: Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag. Gift of Martin Kölle, August, '07.
Here is an excellent piece of work! Eleven fables and a prolog are presented in the body of this pamphlet, with five more fables in an appendix. Two at least (FC and WL) include among their materials later developments by LaFontaine and Lessing. Various approaches to the fables work on contrasts and poetic compositional techniques. Good simple illustrations along the way allow the student to work, even before analyzing language, from a concrete picture. Phaedrus' Latin seems to be slightly simplified. I wish we had something like this in English!
1990 Phaedrus: "Stark-Schwach" Fabeln: Lehrerheft. Ausgewählt, bearbeitet und illustriert von Wulf Mißfeldt. Erste Auflage, Erster Druck. Paperbound. Stuttgart: Altsprachliche Textausgabung Sammlung Klett: Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag. Gift of Martin Kölle, August, '07.
Here is the 22-page teacher's handbook to a booklet I have listed in two different printings, i.e., in 1990 and 2001. I noticed several things about it. First, this work is directed at the "Mittelstufe." That characterization helps with placing the level of development and difficulty envisaged by this booklet. Secondly, the author reckons with a beginning and ending lesson and with twenty hours in between (8). The booklet offers methodological and didactic reflections and specific material for the various lessons. I notice that the first page of advertisements after 22, though it has nothing to do with fables, has the title "Fabulam agamus! Stücke für das lateinische Schultheater."
1990 Poniendo el cascabel al gato/Belling the cat. Eugenia De Hoogh. Fábulas Bilingües. The Bilingual Series. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company. See 1977/89/90.
1990 Reading Comprehension: Fables (Cover: Grades 4-5-6 Reproducible/Workbook: The Tortoise and the Hare). By Virgina Slachman. Paperbound. St. Louis, MO: McDonald Publishing Company. $1.99 from Stephanie McKee, East Rutherford, NJ, through eBay, June, '08.
This is a 24-page pamphlet, 8½" x 11", with pages that can be torn out and reproduced. The first four pages, paginated separately, are the teacher's guide, with answers to questions asked along the way. The very first page also lists the "concepts and skills" engaged by each of the sixteen fables presented here. These include such things as "Information Recall," "Drawing Conclusions," and "Expressing Your Own Opinion." Fables begin on the second Page 1. The first two are fairly obvious Aesopic fables: "The Wolf and the Horse" and "Hercules and the Wagoner." (Would children in the USA today speak of a "wagoner"?) The next choice is a surprise: Gesta Romanorum's "The Archer and the Nightingale" (2). Next is "The Young Mouse" by John Arkin, followed by "The Stag and the Lion" from The Hitopadesha. This latter story is sometimes told with a rabbit rather than a stag. The next surprise is Kriloff's "Fortune's Visit" (6), followed by Florian's "The Husbandman and The Rats." "Husbandman"? There follow a number of Aesop's fables, interspersed with several more surprises: John Aikin (oops! Might this be the same man who was Arkin earlier?) with "The Little Dog," Tolstoy with "The Load," La Fontaine with "The Cobbler and the Banker," and John Akin --a third spelling -- with "The Goose and the Horse." I hope that proofreading is not one of the "concepts and skills" that this unit is supposed to teach! The tortoise on the cover raises a wonderful clenched fist in victory!
1990 Rhyme Stew. Roald Dahl. Illustrated by Quentin Blake. Paperbound. Printed in England. London: Penguin Books. $9.98 from Amazon.com, July, '02.
The cover, apparently on a trash can, displays this: "Warning: Unsuitable for Small People." The fifteen rhymes are typical of Dahl: iconoclastic, lively, and risqué. Blake's illustrations live up to the challenge of the verse. For a short sample, try "A Hand in the Bird" on 17. TH (18-29) is the one fable parodied here. The race here grows out of a plot by the tortoise to get rid of the hare that has been eating in his favorite field. The tortoise has a rat mechanic install an engine inside his shell. But the rat is of course a rat and immediately informs the hare of the tortoise's scheme. First published by Jonathan Cape in 1989.
1990 Roseberry's Great Escape. By Kate Duke. First edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Dutton Children's Books. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Christmas, '93.
The dust jacket describes the book as a "droll updating of a story from Aesop," and Duke herself dedicates the book "With special thanks to Aesop." I believe that the fable in question is that of the pig, the lamb, and the cow. There the pig points out to the other two, when upbraided for complaining, that the farmer is after the pig's life, not his products. Here the pig Roseberry is a great adventurer who decides at last to settle down with some sheep, expecting the same care from the shepherd that they receive. Soon he is put into a cooking pot and makes a narrow escape, learning that home is where you are among friends.
1990 Scrooge and the Golden Eggs. Mickey’s Young Readers Library, Volume 5. First printing. NY: Bantam. $.25 at the Sebastopol flea market, Sept., ’96. Extra copy for $1 from Half-Price Books, San Antonio, August, ’96.
The first surprise as I examined this book is that it does not belong to the "Walt Disney Fun-To-Read Library," though the book matches in format and approach the three volumes I have in that series (1986), also done by Bantam. The second surprise is that Huey, Louie, and Dewey refer back to the golden eggs not in Aesop’s fables but in Jack and the Beanstalk. Scrooge overhears and immediately pays Donald twice the purchase price of the goose. The joke of the book is "Why would Scrooge ever think that this goose would produce golden eggs?" Scrooge knows nothing about raising geese, so slavishly follows Grandma’s advice "not too cold, not too hot, not too hungry, not too little exercise." Still he gets no eggs, much less golden ones.He shows him the picture in Jack. He acts like a mean giant. Finally the goose flies away. The best picture may be that of the goose’s beak turning blue. There are exercises and games at the end.
1990 Six Blind Men and the Elephant: A Pop-Up Storybook. Illustrations by Ron Husband and Karin Williams. Hardbound. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates. $6 from Crowes' Nest Books and Collectibles, Texarkana, TX, through ABE, Oct., '02.
Design and Paper Engineering by Wayne Kalama. There is good paper-engineering in this book, and it is in very good condition. My favorites include the second page, which has one man swaying while he holds onto the elephant's ear, which seems to him to be like a fan. The other is the man who moves up and down as he touches the elephant's leg and finds it like a tree. Snake, wall, rope, and spear are the other conjectures. This book is in the same series with the fine MSA book from the same year.
1990 Songs & Fables. Written and Illustrated by Vincent Torre. Signed; #73 of 150. Hardbound. NY: The Inkwell Press. $75 from Scottsbooks, Milford, NH, through eBay, Feb., '09.
This is one of three Torre books identical in format that I was able to get in a group from Scottsbooks. Might it mean that I now have all of Torre's fable books? Like the other Torre books I have found, it is beautifully produced, set by hand and bound by hand. This book has twenty-one offerings on 118 pages. Each of the writings has at least one accompanying full-page colored illustration cut from wood, and these seem to me to be again the strength of the book. Many of the verses here are directed at specific sites in New York City. "The Electronic Toyshop" (38) finishes detailing the wild video, robot, and other battery-driven, noise-making toys with an accolade to simple quiet toys like a Pulcinello marionette: you "can thank your stars for these quiet clowns/Who will soon be your truest friends in town,/Who will lift you up when you're falling down,/When the rest of the world is frantic" (42) After a good description of various importunate clods, we read at the end of "The Trumpeter Swans & the Canada Geese" (43) that maybe somebody has done similar unthinking things. "If so, you're acquainted with Canada geese/In human form, who imagine they please,/Who, as they unthinkingly riot and shout,/Wear your patience thin and their welcome out." Among the clearer fables here are "The Cricket & the Frog" (87) and "The Swallow & the Wren" (109), both with good illustrations. I am particularly taken with "Why Cats Like to Eat Mice" (93) and "The Months" (102), in which the author distributes the days of the hated month of August to all the other months and thus creates an eleven-month calendar. Torre marks his moral frequently by using parentheses to surround it.
1990 Sto Basni I. Krilova. (100 Fables of I. Krilov.) Illustrated by N.E. Popov. Dust jacket. Moscow: Sobremennik. $9.95 at Schoenhof's, June, '91.
Wonderful illustrations grace these fables. Some are strange repeaters, like the crazy farmer (72) or the wily fox (142), often set around pillars. Others play around the book numbers. The best, though often printed too dark, are the full-page illustrations, for example: regal chickens (31), the cock and the pearl (57), the mouse and the rat (107), the monkey and the mirror (117), the praying frog (119), WC (135), the strong ant (139), the dog and the horse (165), and the cock and the cuckoo (173). At the end you will find a life (?) and chronology of Krilov, a proper-name appendix, and T of C.
1990 The Art of the Turkish Tale, Volume One. Barbara K. Walter. Illustrated by Helen Siegl. First printing. Hardbound. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press. $15 from an unknown source, June, '97.
It has taken me many years to finally attend to this book. I suspect I believed that it really did not contain fables. I have been pleasantly surprised. There is more fairy tale in here than fable, with lots of jinns escaping from bottles. But there are fables. I will describe the first few I have found. "The Uncontrollable Desire and the Irresistible Urge" (44) exists in some form in some traditional fable collections. Two caravans meet, and there is quiet time for the camel drivers of one caravan to sleep and their camels to rest. A donkey insists on braying -- and thus waking up the drivers and initiating the next leg of the trip -- because, as he says, he has an uncontrollable desire to bray, and when he has one of those he pays no need to the consequences. The donkey comes along with that caravan but soon falls behind and is loaded onto a camel. At a narrow pass with a steep cliff, the overloaded camel tells the donkey that he has an irresistible urge to dance. The donkey knows he will fall off and tries to persuade him not to dance. The camel says that when he has an irresistible urge he never pays heed to the consequences. That is the end of the donkey! Nasreddin Hoca likes to say what he will do without adding "if Allah wills" (51). His wife admonishes him that those who fail to add that are punished. So it happens. Beat up and exhausted, he returns and knocks. When she asks who is there, he answers "It is Nasreddin Hoca, if Allah wills." A new barber shaves Hasreddin Hoca and keeps cutting chunks of his cheek and sticking cotton into the cut. Halfway through the shave, Hoca stops him. "I believe I'll plant wheat on the other side!" A fisherman catches only a jar and opens it (60). A huge jinn escapes and says "I shall eat you." The fisherman answers that, if he must, he must, but he wonders how anyone so large could be put into so small a jar. When the jinn shows him him, he closes the jar. A military leader reads all of his men's mail (69). Dursun receives no letters for a long time. Then he receives a wordless letter: very suspicious! Dursun says it is from his older brother. "But why is it blank?" Dursun explains that he and his brother had a serious quarrel and are not talking to each other. A brother is a brother, and so they remember each other with letters, but they still do not speak to each other! Good fun!
1990 The Best of Aesop's Fables. Retold by Margaret Clark. Illustrated by Charlotte Voake. Dust jacket. Joy Street Books. Boston: Little, Brown and Co. $16.95 at The Children's Bookstore, Sept., '90.
A pleasing and tasteful book. The versions are brief and often leave the last phase to the reader; there are no morals. The illustrations are in a contemporary New Yorker cartoon style. LM is different and good: simple ropes bind the lion, who says nothing after his rescue. MSA features a nice repeated line ("How silly you are") and ends with the miller never seeing his ass again. TMCM has the cook intrude twice, but no animals intrude.
1990 The Book of Well-Loved Animal Stories. Retold by Leonard J. Matthews. Illustrated by W.F. Phillips. First published in Great Britain in 1980 by Purnell Books as The Purnell Book of Famous Animal Stories. Printed in Yugoslavia. London: Treasure Press. $1.99 at Outlet Books, Berkeley, July, '94.
Among seven fairy tales in this large-format book there is a version of LM which has the mouse mistaking the lion's mane for dried grass, which it needs to build its nest. The front endpaper makes the first picture for this fable, which occurs about mid-book. The book closes with TH. "Mr Hare" strings a finishing tape from the plow to a bush and runs back to the starting line before the race starts. He deliberately takes a nap. The back endpaper is the final picture for this last story in the book. The list of stories on the book's back cover misses LM!
1990 The Boy and the Donkey. Carol Barnett. First edition thus. Dust jacket. Originally published in 1981. Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books: NTC Publishing Group. $4.50 at Powell's, Portland, July, '93.
This is a progressive story. The donkey will not go home, so the little boy cries. All try to help and end up crying: the rabbit, the fox, and the wolf. Then a little bee stings the donkey and stirs him home. This volume, unlike two others by Barnett, was apparently not published in the Oxford series of 1981.
1990 The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Carol Barnett. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books: NTC Publishing Group. $3, June, '98.
See the Oxford edition of 1981, a smaller pamphlet with poorer runs of the illustrations. See my comments there. Originally published in 1979. The series is also identified as Passport StoryLand Books.
1990 The Boy Who Had an Elephant for a Pet and Other Fables. James F. Fargher. Paperbound. Lincoln, NE: Midgard Press. $3.79 from Coas Bookstore, Las Cruces, NM, through eBay, April, '09.
The book has four parts: "The Man Who Believed in Autumn"; "Fables from Hasin -- The Laughing Man"; "First Gifts From Goshawk, The Wind-Walker"; and "Legends From Long Ago." I read and enjoyed the first three fables in Part II. All three had something clear to teach. If I could ask for something, it would that they be shorter and leave more to the reader. In "He Wanted To Protect Them," a guest suggests to a host that giving his family security and goods may be less than giving them the courage and hope to deal with whatever comes. "He Was Afraid To Dream" tells a sad story of a teacher who crushed his student's every dream with limitations and "realism," as the teacher saw it. The man had given up dreaming and made his stolid way through life. A second teacher fortunately renews the gift of dreaming and helps the student make his way through the realities. Fargher closes the story by adding "because I was he-who-was-afraid-to-dream. (But no longer, as you can see)" (48). "The Cobbler's Son" tells of an excellent shoemaker who, without knowing it, helped a painter to be a better painter. When the latter has become world famous, he comes back to thank the cobbler for the great shoes and to get a new pair. The cobbler has died, but the painter can tell his son, also now a cobbler, "If I could paint as well as your father could make shoes, or if my paintings were as helpful to others as your father's work was to me, I would be a very happy man, indeed" (51). I hope to delve into more of the book at another time.
1990 The Clever Moth and Other Animal Fables. Radimir Putnikovich. Illustrations by Roberta Carabelli, Ermes Miceli and Sarah Harwood. Hardbound. Printed in Singapore. NY: Bernie Bear Books: Book Essentials. See 1987/90.
1990 The Felix: An Island Tale. J. Stella Sonier. Signed by J. Stella Sonier. Paperbound. Block Island, RI: J. Stella Sonier. $3.99 from Richard Henn, Block Island, RI, through eBay, April, '08.
This paperback book of 149 pages is in the same format as "Fables from an Island" by the same author from 1981. It was available on eBay at the same time and promoted as "fables from an island." I have read the prologue and first chapter and found them involving. I want to go on with this book about a handsome young islander who went off to World War II and came back mentally and physically damaged. The title page is signed by J. Stella Sonier. While there are no fables here, this book is a valuable complement to the earlier book by Sonier. And I hope it will find another reader--like me--sometime in the future.
1990 The Fox and the Donkey Told by Neophytos Elia. Editor: Jennie Ingham. Illustrated by Charles Front. Paperbound. Printed in Great Britain. London: André Deutsch Storytellers: André Deutsch. Gift of Magus Books, Seattle, June, '03.
I am still sure that I already have this book! It is a landscape-formatted pamphlet of 32 pages with a map of Cyprus on its pre-title-page. The Punjabi and English are nicely ordered and separated, either on opposing pages, or one above or beside the other on the same page. This is a progressive story. Cockerel finds a note on a dung heap saying that he must become a monk, and hen must become a nun. Others are "invited" into the group along their way: Quail, Partridge, Fox, Skylark, and Donkey. In the rain, they take shelter in the fox's cave. Fox leaves, and several of the others (Hen, Quail, and Partridge) go to seek after him. Each is eaten up by the fox lying in wait outside the cave. Skylark, likewise apprehended, promises to fly into fox's mouth but instead drops a stone. Donkey promises fox a piece of paper supposedly full of treasure under his horseshoe, but then kicks Fox when he looks for it. There is a glossary of twelve words at the end.
1990 The Globe Trotting Flea and Other Animal Fables. Radomir Putnikovich. Illustrations by Michelle Ross, Roberta Carabelli, and Ermes Miceli. Illustrations, text, and design (c)1989 by Porthill Publishers. Printed in Singapore. Bernie Bear Books. NY: USA Book Essentials. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '95.
Leave it to Meg to find an unusual book like this! The nine fables here tend to confirm the hypothesis that most good new fables end up reproducing features of classic fables. Thus "The Skylark and The Hawk" has features of the Aesopic "The Wolf and the Horse" and "The Wolf and the Sheep" fable with the flute music that brings the dogs. "The Dragonfly" has connections with MM. One of the best here, "The Piglet and The Crocodile," is about crying so much over something insubstantial that your predator can find you. "The Two Sparrows" reminds one of Aesop's two goats on the bridge, though this version adds insightfully that the issue was not bravery but obstinacy. "The Golfish" replays TMCM. The art alternates between primitive and psychedelic. The best specimens are, I believe, the primitive ones, particularly all the renditions of the travelling flea and those of the piglet in tears. See my 1983 Animal Fables: Eight pull-out storyboards for an earlier effort of the same persons (minus Ross). "The Hippopotamus and The Antelope" from there is newly illustrated. "The Two Sparrows" uses all of the earlier illustrations but needs to drop one for lack of space. "The Goldfish" has to drop two illustrations for lack of space.
1990 The Gospel According to the Quarterly and Sunday School Fables. By Ed Watson. Marshall, IN: Witness Productions. $8 from Dundee, Nov., '92. One extra copy.
Here is a crazy addition to the collection. This book has nothing to do with my subject, except to show how people use the word fable. This book is written against the non-scriptural teaching that Christians have received, that is from the "Quarterly" (any secondary literature?) or in Sunday school. Quoting 2 Timothy 4, the author urges people not to succumb to the danger described there: "They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." The bulk of the book is an analysis of scripture passages especially by the fundamentalist method of quoting other passages; the effect is to expose the non-scriptural stories (fables) that people end up believing. These fables are nicely listed in a true/false test in the foreword (5). The first word of the T of C misses an apostrophe ("Authors Notes"), and the first sentence of text splits an infinitive.
1990 The Last Bit-Bear: A Fable. By Sandra Chisholm Robinson. Seventh printing. Drawings by Ellen Ditzler. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart, Inc. See 1984/90.
1990 The Last Bit-Bear: A Fable. By Sandra Chisholm Robinson. Eighth printing. Drawings by Ellen Ditzler Meloy. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart, Inc. See 1984/90.
1990 The Lion and the Mouse. Carol Barnett. First edition thus. Dust jacket. Originally published in 1979. Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books: NTC Publishing Group. $6.25 at Powell's, Portland, July, '93.
See the Oxford edition of 1981, a smaller pamphlet with poorer runs of the illustrations. See my comments there.
1990 The Milkmaid and Her Pail. Carol Barnett. First edition thus. Dust jacket. Originally published in 1979. Lincolnwood, IL: Passport Books: NTC Publishing Group. $4.50 at Powell's, Portland, July, '93.
See the Oxford edition of 1981, a smaller pamphlet with much poorer runs of the illustrations. This book is a fine example of amplification; it takes forty-five pages to tell one fable! Ironically, there is only one step in the money-making process here, which is the amplified part in other versions. The step here is from the rooster and two hens which she will buy to the chickens which she will sell at the summer fair. The goal in her mind throughout is one particular dress for the Christmas dance. There she will dance with only one of her admirers. In the best illustration, the cat covers its eyes on 38.
1990 The Miller, His Son, and The Donkey: A Pop-Up Storybook. Design and paper Engineering by Wayne Kalama, Illustrations by Ron Husband and Karin Williams. Hardbound. Printed in Colombia. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates: Compass Productions (Long Beach, CA). $15 from Joseph F. Scheetz, Antiquarian Books, Boardman, OH, May, '00.
A fine pop-up, of the quality I have come to expect from Troll. There are five nicely animated designs. The only phase not represented by a picture is that in which both humans sit on the donkey. Here the crowd's noise frightens the donkey so much that he breaks free and runs away. The miller says to his son: "Well, we have lost the donkey, but we've learned that when one tries to please everybody, he pleases none--not even himself." Some of the best movements in the book are secondary, especially of the miller's arm in the first scene and of the donkey's head in the next three.
1990 The story of the Hare and the Tortoise and other tales. Illustrated by Tony Wolf. Text by Peter Holeinone. (c)Dami Editore, Italy. Printed in Milan. NY: Gallery Books: W.H. Smith Publishers. $3.50 at Sebastopol flea market, Aug., '93.
It is remarkable how much this book echoes La storia della Lepre et la Tartaruga e tante altre (1989/92)--or is the echoing the other way around?--in both its illustration and its text. See my comments there. That book I got by asking a courteous publisher. This one I would never have expected to find in Sebastopol! And now in August of 1994, I have found the book done in 1988 in England under the same title.
1990 The World's Best Fairy Tales. Belle Becker Sideman. Illustrated by Fritz Kredel. Ninth printing. Hardbound. Pleasantville: Reader's Digest Association. See 1967/90.
1990 Tina la Tortuga y Carlos el Conejo/Tina the Turtle and Carlos the Rabbit. Dorothy Sword Bishop. Fábulas Bilingües. The Bilingual Series. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company. See 1972/84/90.
1990 Will Weng's Literary Crossword Puzzles. Edited by Will Weng and Wayne Williams. 45 puzzles containing clues from the world of literature: book titles, authors, famous quotations, characters, poems. First edition. NY: Times Books: Random House. $6.95 from Dundee, Sept., 92. Extra copy at the same time.
Will Weng is the former crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times. Puzzle #21 is "Man of Morals" by Alfio Micci--"Some words of wisdom from the master fabulist Aesop." Where does Aesop not show up?! Diann Greener put me on to this little treasure.
1990 Zable's Fables. Jeffrey A.Z. Zable. Cover drawing by Jeffrey Zable. San Francisco: Androgyne Books. $3 at Green Apple Bookstore, May, '92.
Forty-two fables, most from earlier appearances in an array of literary journals. Comparison with Kafka is apt. People show up in the weirdest forms; the strangest things happen to them. This book is not for kids! There is something wild and destructive here. See Hirschman's comment on the back cover. I would ask: does he exorcize our insanity? I do not sense the world put back together after its surprising wrenchings and flying-aparts. Norse's introduction is accurate: Zable is witty, savage, sophisticated. There is a nice twist on Aesop's WS (36). Close to the Aesopic tradition: "Hypocrite" (22), in which a mouse prefers being victim of the chasing cat to being victim of the devouring bird. My favorite story here is "The Experiment" (49). Another good one is "The Remedy" (16).
1990 [Korean]. (Aesop's Fables). Volume 1 of two Aesop volumes boxed with a tape. TMCM on cover. Edited by Jae Chon Song. Illustrator not acknowledged. Volume 11 of an overall series of twenty. Seoul: Mun Gong Sa. $2.10 on street near Eastgate in Seoul, June, '90. One extra copy.
This book is typical of recent Korean work. One design echoes the facing full page. The art is bright, sometimes strong and lively, sometimes only cute. There are four fables here: TMCM, GA, "The Axe-Loser," and "The Bat, the Birds, and the Animals." The first two are the best. Would the cover's scene--a happy departing country mouse--make sense in this book's version? Volume II is listed under 1989 with the same title.
1990 [Korean]. (Aesop's Fables). Lion, crow, frogs, and mouse on cover. Edited by Sang Chul Shin. Illustrated by Yang Chan Haw. Seoul: Yearimdang Publishing Co. See 1987/90.
1990 [Korean]. (Stories of Wisdom). CP on cover. Edited by Won Hee Kang. Illustrated by Chun Gee Productions. Volume 1 of a two-volume set. #901 on spine. Seoul: Youn Gin. $4.20 at Kyobo in Seoul, June, '90.
Sixteen fables done with strong art (typical of the recent spate of Korean editions of Aesop) that ranges from lively to cute. There is an excellent composite picture with T of C. The best in this volume are WS (48), FM (59), and TT (102). Several of the fables in this volume are hard for me to identify. CP from the cover is in Volume 2!
1990 [Korean]. (Stories of Wisdom). "Two Wolves" on cover. Edited by Won Hee Kang. Illustrated by Chun Gee Productions. Volume 2 of a two-volume set. #902 on spine. Seoul: Youn Gin. $4.20 at Kyobo in Seoul, June, '90.
Eighteen fables done with strong art (typical of recent spate of Korean editions of Aesop) that ranges from lively to cute. There is an excellent composite picture with T of C. The best in this volume are "The Big Fish and the Little Fish," (18), "The Donkey and the Lapdog" (37), and MSA (102). Are the two wolves pictured on the cover in a story in this volume?
1990/91 Oi Mythoi Tou Aisopou Se Komiks. Volume 2. Tasos Apostolides and Kostas Boutsas. Illustrated Bana Lagopoulou. Second edition. Thessalonike: ASE. $15.30 from Zeno, London, Jan., '92.
Nine fables rendered well in comics. Each fable gets between two and four pages and is clearly marked "telos" at its end. The cover illustrations seem to be various out-takes from GA. The characters on the back of the title page are appropriate to each volume, but say the same things in all four volumes. The title page here has a grasshopper operating a fan-machine made of a leaf, and the last page has the fox lamenting the mask's lack of brains. All the fables in this volume seem to follow standard Aesopic versions. Included: "The Bat and the Cats," "The Mother and Daughter Crab," FC, "The Peacock and the Crane," "The Wolf and the Shepherd," GA, "The Eagle and the Rustic," "The Donkey and the Wolf," and "The Lion and the Boar." Fun!
1990/92 Fábulas de Samaniego. Mexico City: Editorial Época, S.A. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Jan., '95.
Eighty-three of Samaniego's 157 fables, with primitive but lively full-page black-and-white cartoons. Paperback with inexpensive paper. T of C at the end. Very many of these fables seem to be from Aesop.
1990/93 The Best of Aesop's Fables. Retold by Margaret Clark. Illustrated by Charlotte Voake. Dust jacket. Reprinted in 1993. Printed and bound in Hong Kong. London: Walker Books Ltd. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '93.
See my comments on the first US edition from Little, Brown and Company in 1990. A wonderful book!
1990/94 Esopo: Favole. Introduzione di Giorgio Manganelli. Traduzione di Elena Ceva Valla. Frontispiece: woodcut from Venice 1491. Quinta edizione. Paperback. Superclassici. Printed in Italy. Milan: Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli. Lire 12000 from Libreria Internazionale Treves, Naples, July, '98.
Here is a straightforward paperback text of 358 fables, preceded by two introductions and three pages of critical testimony to Aesop, and followed by indices first of fable characters and then of historical personages. At the end there is a T of C. I am disappointed not to learn whose text was used as the basis for these translations; a little detective work suggests strongly that it is from Chambry, whose texts offer either 358 or 359, depending on the edition. It looks to me like the main audience aimed at here would be a school audience.
1990/94 The Lion and the Mouse. Told and illustrated by Val Biro. Paperbound. Bothell, WA: Fables from Aesop #13: The Wright Group. $0.01 from Dale Hawkins, Charleston, SC, through eBay, Nov., '13.
I have this little booklet already as it was produced in 1988 by Ginn and Company. Now here is the Wright Group's edition. It set or tied a record for my dealings on eBay, since I got the booklet for one cent! It once belonged to an elementary school in South Carolina. It is #13 of a set of eighteen. I now have seven of the eighteen in the Wright Group edition. As I wrote of the Ginn copy, this is a sympathetic and engaging eight-page pamphlet with stiff covers. Biro's great work with facial expressions starts here with the title-page. This lion is not happy with this mouse! Pique shifts to wonder to smiling and musing--and then to desperation. All this development leads up to the fine two-page spread on which the lion is astounded by the mouse's ability to bite through his net.
1990/2001 Phaedrus: "Stark-Schwach" Fabeln: Text und Arbeitsheft. Ausgewählt, bearbeitet und illustriert von Wulf Mißfeldt. Erste Auflage, Neunter Druck. Paperbound. Leipzig: Blaue Reihe: Altsprachliche Texte: Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag. DEM 10,80 from Hassbecker's Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, July, '01.
Though I had this copy first, it is a later printing of a work whose first printing I received six years later. That earlier printing is listed under 1990. I find no change in the booklet except in the outside covers and the bibliographic data. The publishing house seems to have moved to Leipzig in the intermediate time. The series has taken on a new name: Blaue Reihe. The covers have taken on some orange color. In the meantime, I have seen two other German-language series using Phaedrus. They both dig in deeper and presumably take longer than this series. They may be meant for older students, while this is for younger students. See also the "Lehrerheft" for this student book, listed under 1990. I will repeat here the comments I made when I first encountered the booklet. Here is an excellent piece of work! Eleven fables and a prolog are presented in the body of this pamphlet, with five more fables in an appendix. Two at least (FC and WL) include among their materials later developments by LaFontaine and Lessing. Various approaches to the fables work on contrasts and poetic compositional techniques. Good simple illustrations along the way allow the student to work, even before analyzing language, from a concrete picture. Phaedrus' Latin seems to be slightly simplified. I wish we had something like this in English!
1990/2003 101 Moral Stories of Grandpa. Retold by Reinu Bhanot. Illustrated by Ram-Lakshman. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. New Delhi: Arora Book Company. 135 Rupees from Children Book Centre, Kolkata, Dec., '13.
Each of the 101 stories gets one page, with a numbered title above, a colored picture in the middle of the text, and an italicized moral at the end. There is a T of C on 4-8. The cover pictures a bespectacled older man reading to three children, with animals scattered around. Those animals suggest largely Aesopic stories. That impression is confirmed as one pages through the stories. #8, for example, is FG, titled "People Hate What They Can't Get" (16). GA is curiously titled "Work Is Real Worship" (18). The pleasing little colored illustrations are often divided into two panels, as in LM (12), SW (24), and FS (99). DS (108) may be one of the best illustrations in a good crop. Close examination of this book shows that it is entirely made up of Aesopic fables without mentioning Aesop once! The dust-jacket is glued to the covers.
1990? 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. Dust jacket. NY: Gramercy Books: Outlet Book Company: Random House. See 1912/90?.
1990? Favole di La Fontaine. Pop-up. Hardbound. Favole Animate: Auguri di Mondadori. $12 from Rocco Pellegrino, Rochester, NY, through eBay, Oct., '13.
I cannot believe that this book is not already in the collection. Six simple pop-up spreads of two pages facing each other present "Il Topo e l'Elefante"; "Le Due Capre"'; FC; TH; "L'Aquila e il Gufo"; and "La Volpe, la Scimia e gli Animali." The book is in good condition, and all the pop-ups work well. This book sets a record for the least bibliographical information. One learns little more than that it cost 1000 Lire.
1990? Ghuk va Rasu. Jahanshah Nasir. Muhsin Nuri Najafi. Paperbound. Teheran?: Kalilah and Dimnah 1: Miri Ma'sum. £ 1.99 from Al Hoda Ltd., Charing Cross Road, London, June, '97.
Here is an episode from the Kalila and Dimnah cycle presented in an oversized pamphlet of some 20 pages. My best guess is that the story involves getting a weasel to attack a dangerous snake. Does the crab suggest leaving a trail of fish so that the weasel finds the snake? I happen to have one other book in this series, on the loud-sounding but not nourishing drum. The guess at 1990 as the year of publication is a total shot in the dark. This is a strange find from a bookstore I had not expected to visit!
1990? La Fontaine: Renkli Masallar (Cover: La Fonten Masallari). Kapak Duzeni: M. Delioglu. Paperbound. Istanbul: Unlu Klasik Kitaplar #36: Kurtulus Yayinlari. $5.00 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
Here is a Turkish paperback narrower than most I have seen, about 4" x 7½". Its 55 pages include a number of black-and-white illustrations, many of them cut off at the top of the page. Many of the same colored illustrations are here as appeared in the Kurtulus Yayinlari paperback La Fontaine Secme Masallar of 1990, only here just a portion of the picture is included. This procedure works fine for TH on 5, except perhaps that the tortoise's head is cut off at the side of the page. It works less well on 32, where it can be difficult for a viewer to get enough gestalt to make out a horse and a donkey. Many are the solutions to the problems of publishing inexpensive fable books! On the colored cover, we find FC. There is no T of C or AI. Like several other Turkish paperback renditions of the fables, this little book has "Masallar" on its title-page but "Masallari" on its cover. This one also changes the spelling of La Fontaine from one place to the other.
1990? Le favole di La Fontaine. No editor or illustrator acknowledged. Milano: (c) I.G.O. Editore SRL. 15000 Lire in Turin, Sept., '97.
Reduced from 36000 Lire! One more big book of fables with mostly undistinguished, cute, harmless art! About 1/3 of the fables have full-page illustrations. A typical one (91) shows a not very ferocious wolf dressed up as a shepherd. A curious illustration on 83 shows a fox trying out a wolf-disguise. The fables are in prose. The bottom of many pages has a snail-and-ladybug border. The animals here regularly have names. How could this book originally have cost $23? T of C at the back.
1990? Polnoe Sobranie Basni. (Full Collection of Fables.) Krylov. Paris: YMCA-Press. $14.95 at Schoenhof's, June, '91.
Touted to me as the only full edition of Krylov's fables. The nine books are here, with about two hundred fables. This is an utterly unadorned book, without editor, date, prologue, or illustration. AI at the back.
1990? Rubah va Tabl. Jahanshah Nasir. Illustrations by Muhsin Nuri Najafi. Paperbound. Teheran?: Kalilah and Dimnah 6: Miri Ma'sum. Gift of Fr. Greg Schissel, S.J., May, '01.
Here is an episode from the Kalila and Dimnah cycle presented in an oversized pamphlet of some 16 pages. It is clearly the story of the drum that frightened people only because it was hollow. From the sequence of simple colored pictures here, it is hard for me to understand what happens after the eager fox (or jackal?) bites into the drum.
1990? The Blind Men and the Elephant. John Godfrey Saxe. Book Art, Design, and Hand Colored Illustrations by Carol Schwartzott. Signed by Carol Schwartzott. Limited edition of 500? Paperbound. Niagara Falls, NY: Lilliput Press? $10 from Vamp & Tramp Booksellers, Birmingham, AL, May, '06.
This is a curious little book. It has green cardstock folded twice to form the two covers and a spine. The book thus formed is about 3" square. A salmon-colored ribbon winds into each of the covers and corresponding end pages from the opening of the book and out again at the covers' back to loop around the outside of the spine. The illustrations are rather ordinary clip-art views of elephants. The most engaging of them puts one elephant simply on top of another. The first pair of pages introduces us to the six sages, and then each of the next six pairs of pages presents one blind man's finding, i.e., that the elephant is really a wall, a spear, a snake, a tree, a fan, or a rope. After they are all summed up as partly right but in the wrong, the point is applied to "theologic wars" in which the disputants rail on about something which they have never seen. The only illustration that may live up to the claim of being hand-colored is the cover's salmon, green, red, and white picture of an elephant with a surrounding border. Though there seems to be no mechanism for numbering copies, I doubt that many copies of this little book were produced! I am lucky to have found this copy. The bookseller says that this is an edition of 500 by New York Lilliput Press, though I see no mention of those things within the book.
1990? The story of the Hare and the Tortoise and other tales. Illustrated by Tony Wolf. Text by Peter Holeinone. (c)Dami Editore, Italy. Printed in Italy. Montreal: Tormont Publications Inc. $12.50 from Greg Williams, June, '95. Extra copies for $2.95 from Downtown Books, Milwaukee, Nov., '95, and as a gift from Mary Pat Ryan, May, '96.
Earlier I had found the American (1988) and British (1990) versions of this book originally published in Italian (1989/92). Now here is the Canadian version! See my comments on the other three. The only change I note is that the endpapers are blue here. The cover cellophane of my good copy is blistering near the spine, and the top edges of some pages of the Downtown Books copy became stuck to each other. This book has a T of C before the title page! Notice that this Canadian version has a banner, both on its cover and over the T of C, that reads not "Golden Fairy Tale Collection" but rather "Great Fairy Tale Classics."
1991 A Pact with Silence: Art and Thought in the "Fables" of Jean de La Fontaine. David Lee Rubin. First printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. $15 from The Avid Reader, Chapel Hill, NC, June, '97.
It has been almost exactly fifteen years since I found this book. Well, I am glad to get to it now! Rubin writes in his introduction that he sets out to assess the revolution occurring since the early 1960's in the study of La Fontaine's "Fables." The new wave was pioneered by Couton's "La Poétique de La Fontaine." The introduction goes on to review the steps in the revolution through the critical literature both French and English. From the many issues raised, Rubin selects three problems for treatment here. First, what is fable? What are the constants and the variables in this genre? Secondly, how does La Fontaine stand in relation to Lucretius, his Epicurean source? "My second essay will argue that La Fontaine was by turns orthodox, elaborative, and revisionist in his lucretian epicureanism" (xv). And thirdly, "what is the underlying principle of structure in the individual books of La Fontaine's 'Fables'?" (xv). The author sets out to do the kind of tracking that can establish a contour for each individual book. A final essay asks the question "What place does this masterpiece occupy in the history of the seventeenth-century French lyric?" (xvi). His answer includes the assertion that the fables "may be best understood as a final elaboration of the baroque poetic, as well as a companion piece to Boileau's 'Satires'" (xvi). His trust is that a reading of La Fontaine "invariably begins in delight and ends in wisdom" (xvi). I am eager to jump into those four essays the next time I have the opportunity to teach La Fontaine's fables!
1991 Aesop: A Fable Collection. Rev. Gregory I. Carlson, S.J. Fourth edition. Paperbound. Omaha: Creighton University. April, 1991.
Here is the fourth edition of the printed catalogue for this collection, printed in April, 1991. At this time I cannot find a copy of the third or fifth. They may not have been actual printings. This catalogue thus stands poised between the second edition and the sixth. The second in 1990 had encompassed 175 pages and contained 856 books, with an average cost under $7.50. This edition has 195 pages and 957 books, with an average cost of "about $7.50." The sixth edition later in 1991 will number 258 pages and 1107 books, with an average cost of $9.03. This book has a blue cover with black printing.
1991 Aesop: A Fable Collection. Rev. Gregory I. Carlson, S.J. Sixth edition. Paperbound. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University.
Here is the second-to-last last of my printed catalogues for this collection. It encompasses 258 pages. At this point there were 1107 books in the collection, and the average cost of the books was $9.03. The book, spiral bound, was produced with the generous help of Georgetown University in conjunction with the lecture I gave as the holder of the Jesuit Chair. This was the last version to include the database of the collection at the book's end. It has a blue cover with black printing and a white background for the woodcut of Aesop.
1991 Aesop and Company. With Scenes from His Legendary Life. Prepared by Barbara Bader. Pictured by Arthur Geisert. First edition. Dust jacket. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. $15.95 from Cheshire Cat, DC, Nov., '91. Extra copy for $8 from Second Story, April, '92.
The most reflective Aesop to appear for some time. An excellent introduction offers the results of careful scholarship. One question there lies in the statement that "the life accompanied the fables throughout the middle ages" (10). Her history of Aesopic fable reaches out to Locke, Lincoln, the Japanese, and native Americans. Working from Perry, Daly, and others, Bader is careful in telling the fables and drawing morals. The moral of TH is "Steady effort gains more than talent that isn't used" (18). FG begins "Back in the days when foxes ate grapes...." (22). The moral to BC is "Easier said than done" (28). The ant's last line to grasshopper is "Sing now and see what it will get you" (30). Also well told: FK (38) and "The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass" (54). With such a good text, the art is disappointing. Though working from good ideas (e.g., on 35 and 41) and nicely juxtaposing town and country, people and animals, Geisert chooses a style and a color that seem to take the life out of the fables. The book's subtitle may mislead: the appendix tells Aesop's life but repeats illustrations of fables from earlier in the book.
1991 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Fiona Black. Illustrated by Richard Bernal. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. Kansas City: Ariel Books: Andrews and McMeel. $6.95 at Georgetown University Book Store, Nov., '91. Extra copy as a gift, Fall, '92.
Pleasing, lively acrylics in a small-format book that was ordered as part of a promotion in conjunction with a lecture I gave here. Eleven fables. Differently told: Androcles and the lion are caught together. In the best illustrations, the hare's eyelids are drooping (cover), the wolf finds a sheepskin (frontispiece), the mice hide (18), and the boy sees the wolf (32).
1991 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by John Hejduk. Fables first published in somewhat different form by Joseph Jacobs. Dust jacket. NY: Rizzoli. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan from Zwemmer/Somerset House, London, Aug., '93. Extra copies for $17.95 at Platypus in Evanston, Sept., '91, and for $7.50 from Imagination, April, '92.
Lively tempera paintings with fourteen fables, first done by Hejduk in 1947. Beautiful color, imaginative designs, and confusing figures. The best illustration may be for FC. Some part of the large design is cleverly repeated with the moral. Different from Jacobs and almost all others: the fox finally finds the lion boring! The cover is imprinted. Editorial care is unfortunately lacking: the bibliographical information speaks of a 1934 edition and fifteen fables; the last page claims that "Babicus" wrote down Aesop.
1991 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Graeme Kent. Illustrated by Tessa Hamilton. Printed in Hong Kong. Newmarket: Brimax. Gift of Linda Schlafer, April, '92.
Brimax keeps producing! This time the effort is well worth it. Kent's text (identical with that in Aesop's Fables from Brimax [1981/88] and that in Aesop's Fables from Checkerboard ) is careful and thoughtful. The sun and the wind bet on which can "separate a traveller from his cloak." "Slow and steady can win the race." The visual approach is unusual. The backgrounds are varied, the borders clever, and the illustrations lively (single or double paged). They are echoed in each case by at least one Bewick reproduction (mostly generic, a few showing fables themselves) and sometimes by a small repetition of a detail from the larger picture. The morals are nicely captioned within the borders. The grand prize goes to "The Eagle and the Beetle" (92-3). Other good illustrations feature the mouse thumbing his nose at the bull (10-11), a face on the back of a groaning wagon (18), an exhausted town mouse back home (37), an astronomer at the bottom of a well (44), a chagrined fox (65), the tortoise's shell-like house (77), tree-faces (90-1), a knight on a broken-down horse in the farmyard (98), a freezing spendthrift sitting over a bunny-hole (111), and a mangy crow that has tried to be a swan (121). AI at the beginning.
1991 Aesop's Fables. Classics Illustrated #26. Adapted and illustrated by Eric Vincent. Lettering by Patrick Owsley. First edition, apparently first printing Printed in USA. Chicago: Classics Illustrated #26: First Publishing Inc. $2.91 from Mark Gordon, San Antonio, through Ebay, June, '99. Extra for $5 from the collection of Clare Leeper, June, '96.
I have searched in vain for a first edition of this comic book and have had to content myself with a copy of the second edition. How nice to find a first edition--and apparently a first printing at that--among Clare Leeper's books. Notice that the publisher changed from one edition to the other. There are slight changes in the inside front-cover: apparently the Literary Volunteers of American no longer support the goals of Classics Illustrated! There are also changes on the back of the title-page, since the people involved in the two publishers are different. The logo for CI has changed to include two colors. The fables here seem to be unchanged. See my comments in the write-up of the second printing. The lettering on the title-page here has "Patrick" for Owsley's name. Earlier I had listed this book under 1990, following the (apparently false) information in the second edition that the first edition had appeared in June, 1990. This edition is clear in stating "June, 1991," and I will follow that from now on.
1991 Aesop's Fables #1. Comic book. Adapted, scripted, and edited by Charles Santino. Illustrated by Hilary Barta, John Caldwell, Shary Flenniken, Rick Geary, Steve Haynie, Fred Hembeck, Stanley Goldstein, Randy Jones, Peter Kuper, Jay Rath, Val Semeiks, and George Trosley. Spring, 1991. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books. $2.50 from the publisher, Nov., '92. One extra copy.
Twelve fables. A letter on the inside front cover explains the choice of Aesop's fables: Santino wanted to adapt an overlooked classic in the public domain. This introduction has good and bad moments. Some of the good is his plan as he describes it: play up the humor and write the fables for both adults and children. "Like the best Warner Bros. cartoons, the fables are sharply-pointed satirical tales aimed at skeptics of all ages." Other portions of the introduction are less happy, like Santino's claim that Aesop was an orator, "like Homer before him." The best art in this comic occurs in the first story ("The Wolf at the Cottage"). "The Cat and Aphrodite" (15) is told a bit differently here. Glaucon and his cat love each other. Together they go to Aphrodite's temple to ask for her transformation; Aphrodite admonishes the cat to act like a woman. The woman spots a mouse in the temple and eats it; a good illustration has a tail hanging out of her mouth. New to me: "The Bear, the Beetle, and the Crow." Differently told, I think: "The Wasp and the Snake." Here the wasp gets physically caught in the snake's head and sees his doom coming, The cover illustration of a lion and an African dancer has nothing to do with any fable I can find here.
1991 Aesop's Fables #2. Comic book. Adapted, scripted, and edited by Charles Santino. Illustrated by Stanley Goldstein, Roberta Gregory, Peter Kuper, Jay Rath, James Sturm, George Trosley, and Werner Wejp-Olsen. Fall, 1991. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books. $2.50 from the publisher, Nov., '92. One extra copy.
Seven fables presented in weird but enjoyable fashion. "The Camel" is surprising and strange to me. WS, "The Ape and the Fisherman," and "The Crow and the Mussel" seem to me simply and deftly done. In "The Locust and the Fox," the fox is established as near-blind from the beginning of the story. The miller's son is hit on the head with the donkey's pole when the latter gets nervous. The mouse sneezes in the vicinity of the lion, and the lion eats him. He later regurgitates him when he is captured and held upside down. The inside front cover comments on comic book editions of fables.
1991 Aesop's Fables #3. Comic book. Adapted, scripted, and edited by Charles Santino. Illustrated by Gary Fields, Stanley Goldstein, Roberta Gregory, Randy Jones, Peter Kuper, Pat Moriarity, and Werner Wejp-Olsen. Winter, 1991. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books. Gift of Roseanne Fitzgerald, Nov., '92. Two extra copies from the publisher for $2.50 apiece, Nov., '92.
A weird and wonderful comic book experience. Seven fables are told with many twists not in earlier versions. "The Two Mistresses" is really about two-timing. The women both refuse a kiss and eventually collaborate on humiliating him. The "Wolf" crier is asked to take over by shepherds who go off to drink beer. "The Lion and the Weasel" (and deer) may be the best story in the group. "Mercury and the Sculptor" is about a Mercury who is a beer drinking, cigar smoking construction worker. The central character of OF brags, is squished, blows himself up bigger than the ox, hits a thorn, flies around like a balloon letting out air, and lands on the ox's horn muttering. "The Snake and the Crab" features a graphic display of "straightening out." TH features a $100 bet over the best two out of three races. The hare lets the tortoise win the first. In the third race, the tortoise bribes a female bunny with $50 to distract the hare. The cover of the comic has nothing to do with the particular fables inside. Santino reports on 2 that this will be the last in the series and reveals some information on Aesop in comics: Aesop's fables were backup stories in forty editions of Junior Classics Illustrated, namely between #509 and 572. Recently Classics Illustrated #26 by Eric Vincent was Aesop's Fables.
1991 Aisopou Mythoi: Aesop's Fables and His Life. Presented by George D. Rangaves. #243 of 1000. Signed by Rangaves. Dust jacket. Walnut Creek: George Rangaves, Artisan. $6.95 at Powell's, Portland, March, '96. Extra copy (#237) for the same price at the same time at the same place.
This has to be one of the more curious books in this collection. First of all, the book breaks between Aesop's life and his fables for a brief presentation, with two pasted-in colored photographs, of Holy Week celebrations on Patmos! There is a nice set of fable illustrations in brown-and-white on the end-papers. The black-and-white illustrations in the book itself are taken unattributed from Rackham. The first full-page illustration in red-and-white copies a colored illustration from about 1900. The text presents modern Greek and English, usually for one fable per page. The English here is very poor. Misspellings like "thier" and "dumb fouwnded" abound. The braggart seems to be telling his story on Rhodes rather than about it (48). "The Eagle and the Fox" (49) misses the Greek "as much" when it says that the fox was not troubled at the death of her child. Did the crab pick up a "large pair of scissors" to kill the snake (61)? The city mouse takes the field mouse to a storage-space, where humans interrupt them (87). The very last line of the book claims that these are just a few of "Asope's" fables (94). I am sorry to see the spirit of Greek pride that is behind this book express itself in so many errors.
1991 Aisopou Mythoi: Aesop's Fables and His Life. George Rangaves. Rackham NA. #273 of 1000; signed by Rangaves. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Walnut Creek: George Rangaves, Artisan. $40 from Dharma Books, May, '08.
Here is a second copy, numbered #273 and not #243. My checking against previous holdings should have kept me from spending another $40 on a book I had! As I wrote of the first copy, this has to be one of the more curious books in this collection. First of all, the book breaks between Aesop's life and his fables for a brief presentation, with two pasted-in colored photographs, of Holy Week celebrations on Patmos! There is a nice set of fable illustrations in brown-and-white on the end-papers. The black-and-white illustrations in the book itself are taken unattributed from Rackham. The first full-page illustration in red-and-white copies a colored illustration from about 1900. The text presents modern Greek and English, usually for one fable per page. The English here is very poor. Misspellings like "thier" and "dumb fouwnded" abound. The braggart seems to be telling his story on Rhodes rather than about it (48). "The Eagle and the Fox" (49) misses the Greek "as much" when it says that the fox was not troubled at the death of her child. Did the crab pick up a "large pair of scissors" to kill the snake (61)? The city mouse takes the field mouse to a storage-space, where humans interrupt them (87). The very last line of the book claims that these are just a few of "Asope's" fables (94). I am sorry to see the spirit of Greek pride that is behind this book express itself in so many errors.
1991 Androcles and the Lion and Other Aesop's Fables. Retold in verse by Tom Paxton. Illustrated by Robert Rayevsky. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Morrow Junior Books. $13.95 at Politics & Prose, DC, Sept., '91. Extra copies for $4.98 at Tattered Cover, Denver, March, '94, and for $3.98 at the Creighton Bookstore, Dec., '94.
Their third and the best yet. Paxton's lyrics continue to be lively. Rayevsky's art is less stylized and still very witty. The wolf in sheep's clothing serenades a monk on the frontispiece! "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" and BF are told differently. The best illustrations feature a dead (from sponges) donkey, an ant biting a leg to save the dove, and the king of the barnyard swept away. Add to those two good illustrations for WC. The dust jacket comments well that readers "will hardly know they're learning something useful!"
1991 Animal Fables from Aesop. Adapted and illustrated by Barbara McClintock. First edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Spain. Boston: David R. Godine. $17.95 at Cheshire Cat, DC, Nov., '91. Extra copy for $9 in DC, Spring, '92. Also an extra copy of the second printing, a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, March, '95.
A serious entry into the classic Aesopic tradition. Exceptional color illustrations in the anthropomorphic tradition of Grandville. The only flaw I see in the presentation of the nine fables (besides the cost of the book) is some softening of realism in both story and picture. Several pictures try to be cute while telling, and "telling" loses in the bargain; the fox and lamb are only carried away, not killed, when they are caught. WL is situated on a road, not by a river. TMCM is closely modelled after Jacobs' version. In an excellent last illustration, the humans who make up the cast take off their animal masks. Other excellent pictures show the crow losing his cheese; the crow frustrated over the loss; the fox winking over his soup; the wolf pointing a finger down at the lamb; the crow at the peacock ball (note the peacock statue!); the fox's fall; and the fox buying grapes from a mouse. A real treat.
1991 Anno's Aesop. A Book of Fables by Aesop and Mr. Fox. Retold and illustrated by Mitsumasa Anno. Paperbound. First edition. Printed in Italy. London: Picture Puffins: Penguin Books. See 1989/91.
1991 Antike Fabeln. Herausgegeben von Johannes Irmscher. Third edition. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Berlin & Weimar: Bibliothek der Antike: Aufbau-Verlag. See 1978/91.
1991 Asian Folktales. Retold by Asian Bilingual Students from Room #17, Wisconsin Avenue School; James Sayavong, Teacher. Illustrations by the students themselves. Paperbound. Milwaukee, WI: Milwaukee Public Schools. $0.25 from Milwaukee Public Library Book Cellar, June, '10.
This book comes out of work done with Lao and Hmong children at Wisconsin Avenue School in Milwaukee. Their teacher, James Sayavong, gave his students a homework assignment: ask older relatives to tell folktales from their native lands. It is suprising how many of their stories go back to traditional fables and fable themes. Twenty-two stories are presented here with illustrations added by the pupils themselves. "Trusting to Chance and Windfalls" is the funny story of the peasant who saw a hare accidentally dash itself against a stump and die (1). The peasant spent the rest of his life waiting for another hare to smash against the stump! "The King Fish and the Bird" (3) seems to be a take-off on the Kalila and Dimna story of the crane who lied about ferrying fish to safety. "The Dog and the Piece of Meat" (6) is vintage Aesop except for the detail that this dog "ran down to the river to get the bigger piece of meat." "The Fox and the Forest Cock" (9) seems simpler than most Aesopic fables but uses their techniques; in this case the fox calls the cock and his voice both ugly but promises to make the cock beautiful if he will come down to the ground.. Some stories are bilingual: English and Lao. Fables get around!
1991 Big Book Magazine: Fables. Edited by Mary Pearce. Illustrations by Yoko Mitsuhashi, Carol Way Wood, Paul O. Zelinsky, Rick Brown, Victoria Chess, Jürg Obrist, and Rosekrans Hoffman. Integrated learning for grades K-2. No place indicated: Scholastic, Inc. $4.49 by mail from Book Express Online, August, '97.
This may be the largest book I have. Its authors include Tom Paxton (CP), Verna Aardema ("The Hen and the Dove"), and James Thurber (TH). Also included are "The Fox and the Goat," BC, a traditional version of TH, and WS (in the poorer version). Further, there is a new fable, "Max Learns a Lesson," about asking those whom we envy to show us how they do it. The Aardema selection is a good Ashanti fable about being a person of importance. Among the various illustrators, I am probably most a fan of Chess' hare. This huge book is a natural for exhibits.
1991 Birds, Beasts, and Fishes. A Selection of Animal Poems. Poems selected by Anne Carter. Illustrated by Reg Cartwright. First American Edition. Dust jacket. Printed and bound in Hong Kong. NY: Macmillan Publishing Company. $8.50 at Booklegger's, Chicago, March, '93. Extra copy for $7.50 from Midway, St. Paul, April, '96.
An excellent collection of animal poetry, with bright and colorful art, oil paint on hardwood. There is one fable: William Ellery Leonard's version of DLS (47). There is also Hopkins' "Windhover" and "The Captive Bird" by the "Roman poet Boethius"! A beautiful book.
1991 Chanticleer and the Fox. A Chaucerian tale retold by Fulton Roberts. Illustrated by Marc Davis. Apparently first impression. Dust jacket. NY: Disney Press. $4.95 at Recycle Book Store, San Jose, Aug., '92.
This book represents quite a departure from Chaucer's version of the tale. Chanticleer here becomes the mayor of the village and has a voice teacher. Reynard campaigns against him on the slogan "No Work, All Play." Soon Chanticleer is involved in a duel at daybreak. Chanticleer and the village learn that the sun literally does rise without him, but they need him as their alarm clock.
1991 Chinese Fables. Compiled by Ma Da. NA. First edition. Paperback. Printed in China. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. $4 from (more) Moe's, Berkeley, June, '01.
Here are 118 fables, both enjoyable and--as I have come to know it so far--representative of the Chinese tradition in fables. The illustrations are simple. Perhaps the best of them occurs on the very last page (96) as a young man who hates flies is about to murder his father because there is a fly settling on his father's head. Here are some of the fables that I found most engaging as I made my way through this paperback's collection. "Tiger Versus Tiger" (3) presents two tigers fighting. The fable's wisdom is to let them fight; the weaker will be killed and the stronger injured. Then all one has to do is to overcome the injured tiger. "The Bears in Yangdu Mountains" (14) has a strange image. These bears detest blood. If pricked, they scratch the wound to stop the bleeding. They end up making a hole in their skin and then cutting off that part of the skin. Finally they cut out their kidney and guts and die! There is something here akin to the beast who destroys his own tongue licking the file. "The Musk Deer Casts Away Its Musk in an Emergency" (26) is exactly like the Aesopic nature-lore on beavers. "The Vegetarian Cat" (40) probably says it all in its title. Do not trust this cat! "Lion Cat and Huge Rat" (40) is a story of great strategy. The large cat dodges and runs from the large rat until the rat is tired out. Then in one move, the cat grapples with the rat and eventually wins. In "One Can Gnaw and the Other Can Sting" (45), a human being witnesses a ceremony involving a rat and wasp and gives them the places of honor. Why? The title gives the answer. "The Vulture Feeds Its Young" (52) has the stupid vulture bring a live cat to feed to her nestlings. The feeding goes on in the other direction! "Falcon" (53) is another story of the strategy of the great. This falcon does nothing while other falcons chase all sorts of prey. Then something white flashes in the sky, and the falcon soars up to overcome a roc fledgling. "The Marquis of Lu Greets a Sea Bird" (58) has the marquis feting the bird in human fashion; the bird dies. "A Bird Startled by the Mere Twang of a Bowstring" (60) presents a Sherlock-like detective's deduction. "The Myna Imitates Human Speech" (67) is a good education/formation story. The cicada answers the imitative myna saying "You can speak like a human being but what you say is not what you want to say. I can express what I feel." "Lord Ye's Love for Dragons" (74) shows that Ye loved dragon images, not dragons.
1991 Classic Animal Stories. Compiled by Lesley O'Mara. Illustrated by Angel Dominguez. First U.S. edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Arcade Publishing: Little, Brown and Co. $18.95 at Cheshire Cat, DC, Nov., '91. Extra copy from Kettersons', Omaha, July, '92.
Eighteen stories, including five fables, with sixteen good full-page colored illustrations gathered in four places and over fifty black-and-white illustrations mixed in with the text. Do not miss the great frog band on the end papers! All fables but one are retold by Anne Forsyth; Catherine Taylor retells DW. The colored illustrations, colorful, detailed, and bold, recall Rackham and Detmold. The best of the colored fable illustrations is "The Cat and the Fox" (81); the best of the rest is "Chanticleer and Pertelotte." "Bertrand and Ratto" (29), BC (71), and "The Cat and the Fox" (107) follow LaFontaine closely, down to the moral of the first: "Princes do the work of kings--and get burnt fingers." In the rats' council, the oldest suggests the bell. Aesop is represented by DW (135) and TMCM (149). The fables may be expanded a bit too much, presumably for children's understanding.
1991 Classics Papercrafts. Jerome C. Brown. Paperbound. Carthage, IL: Fearon Teacher Aids: Simon & Schuster Supplementary Education Group. $4 from an unknown source, August, '12.
This book is quite similar to Legends and Fables Papercrafts and Tales from Many Lands Papercrafts by the same writer and illustrator. It contains "Stone Soup" on 34-38. The activity connected with this story is hat-making. This book contains eight stories in all. Like the books mentioned, it presents a full page to be colored for each story. Then there are clever opportunities for making sculptures, puppets, and masks. Strangely, the book seems never to tell the stories.
1991 Collection J. Landwehr: Livres d'Emblèmes & Recueils de Fables Illustrés, Principalement du Dix-septième Siecle. Paperbound catalogue. Paris: Nouveau Drouot, Claude Boisgirard, Pierre Berès. FFR 80 from Librairie Courant d'Art, Paris, through Bibliocity, Oct., '99. Extra copy for 20 Euros from the same source, June, '03.
Here is a catalogue for the selling or auctioning of the collection of the greatest recent scholar on emblem-books. The sale was to take place on April 24, 1991. The catalogue itself of the 141 items is nicely done. It contains some thirty-six black-and-white photographs. What a lovely collection! There are the works one would expect from Abraham of Santa Clara (#1-2), Alciat (#6-12), and Cats (#29-30). But there are also works on the Sacred Heart (#48, 99) and on the first hundred years of the Jesuits (#5). There are unusual fable books, like l'Estrange in French, with Barlow's plates (#73). And there are well-known fable books like those of Heinsius (#4), Baudoin (#18), Faerne (#39), Gellert (#41), La Fontaine (#64-67), La Motte (#68), and Phaedrus (#90-93). All of this, and tennis too (#86)! The only shame here is that this great collection is being broken up.
1991 Deutsche Fabeln aus neun Jahrhunderten. Herausgegeben von Karl Wolfgang Becker; Übertragung Ältester Fabeln: Anneliese Becker. Mit Farbzeichnungen von Rolf Münzner. First edition. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Leipzig: Reclam-Verlag. Gift of Anne Marie Piero, Nov, '02. Extra copy a gift of Franz Kuhn, July, '01.
This is an imposing edition. The art is first of all a major contribution. The flyleaf calls these colorful additions "ironic commentary, thoroughly opinionated readings of many fable materials." The pacing wolf just after the title-page is a good example. For another good example, try the full-page illustration to Steinhöwel's "The Ass and the Little Dog" (55). Among the slightly strange illustrations, one might examine LM on 45. One more visual delight is the full-page illustration to Lessing's "The Crow and the Fox" (230). Working from the back gives a good sense of the gifts of this edition. The T of C begins on 549 and lists authors. I count eighty-seven of them. Becker's Nachwort (533-48) offers thoughts on the nature of fable, world literature and national tradition, and the history of German fable. On 475-531 there is an extended Autorenverzeichnis, with basic biographical data and sources for the texts represented here. One more helpful section precedes this: "Wort- und Sacherklärungen" (457-74). This is a beautifully conceived and crafted book!
1991 Dimiter Inkiow erzaehlt: Die Katze laesst das Mausen nicht und andere Fabeln des Aesop. Dimiter Inkiow. Mit Illustrationen von Thomas Buttkus. Hardbound. Munich: Franz Schneider Verlag. $4 from Vedes, Heidelberg, July, '05.
This book turns out to be an earlier edition of a book I have from Lentz Verlag in 1999: Aesops Fabeln. This edition is larger, includes colored art (by Thomas Buttkus) and differs slightly in its selection of fables. It seems to add about six fables to those in the later edition and to lack about four that appear there. I will repeat my extensive comments from there. This is a refreshing edition with new fables and good twists on old ones. There are two surprising elements in the opening presentation of Aesop's life, which is carefully declared to be quite uncertain. First, Aesop is supposed to have made the declaration of what is worst and what is noblest in the world to his "Master" Croesus by sticking his tongue out--and so to have won his freedom. Buttkus illustrates this story nicely with two mirror-opposite colored images of Aesop sticking out his tongue on 14 and 15. And Croesus is supposed to have falsely accused Aesop of having stolen a golden cup--in order to force him back to being a slave, since the death penalty for robbery for a free man is death but for a slave is at the discretion of his master. Aesop is supposed to have refused and climbed up a peak to throw himself down voluntarily, and many friends and admirers accompanied him (in the climb or in the suicide?). T of C at the front. Athene, not Aphrodite, is the goddess involved in "Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht" (18) and the retransformation is announced beforehand as the punishment if she pursues mice after the change. Buttkus gives a very dramatic image of a pouncing cat in nightgown ready to fall on the mouse just before us on the full-page illustration (19). A very nice eagle tries to dissuade the tortoise from "flying" but cannot do it (24). New to me: "Ein Fisch, eine Amsel, ein Krebs und ein Geldbeutel" (31); the fable works generally like Krylov's story of three like creatures trying to haul a wagon. Exhausted by trying to pull the wallet or bag away from each other, they decide to divide it up, but then cannot decide where to divide it--until the man who lost it comes and puts it back into his pocket. The fox here asks the crow to sing the beautiful song that he sang yesterday (38), and the crow opens his mouth to ask "Which?" Two crows put stones into a half-filled milk pitcher (41). An older and a younger fox try to get the grapes (53); when they cannot, the older one convinces the younger that they are sour. The fox in FS (57) is miserly and so immediately regrets his invitation. After considering many possibilities for avoiding feeding the stork, he decides to spread his "Haferbrei" very thinly on the plates but then to offer himself the same time after time when he has licked his plate clean. The lion's share (64) comes when the group robs all the patrons in a Gasthaus. TH (73) is about the difference between enjoying things along the way as the tortoise does and getting there fast as the hare does; there is no race. The hen lays a golden egg every Sunday (87). The Rhodes-jumper (92) has related a whole series of hard-to-believe experiences before he gets to his record-setting leap.
1991 Erotic Fables & Fairy Tales, No. 1. Written and illustrated by Stephen Sullivan & Parker Zinder. Paperbound. Seattle, WA: Eros Comix. $2.50 from Greatgazzoo through eBay, Nov., '07.
I took a chance on two numbers of this comic book, and I think I am striking out. Like #2 in the series, this #1 offers two stories: "The Little Mermaid" and "The Hunter and the Cat Princess." Both are explicitly erotic. Not much of the fairytale qualities remains in either. A clue to the tone of this volume comes on the first page of narration: "Freely adapted from the original fairy tale by Has Christian Andersen -- so y'all can forget any of that happy ending sh**!'" I will keep these in the collection, but I will put a blank piece of cardboard in the envelope in front of the comic book!
1992 Erotic Fables & Fairy Tales, No. 2. Written and illustrated by Stephen Sullivan, Chuck Spiers & Parker Zinder. Paperbound. Seattle, WA: Eros Comix. $2.50 from Greatgazzoo through eBay, Nov., '07.
I took a chance on two numbers of this comic book, and I think I am striking out. This #2 in the series offers three stories: "The Song of Solomon," "The Gingerbread Man," and "The Hunter and the Cat Princess, Part 2." They are explicitly erotic. Not much of the fairytale quality remains in them. There are all sorts of warnings that these two comix are for adults only. I will keep them in the collection, but I will put a blank piece of cardboard in the envelope in front of the comic book!
1991 Ezop: Hain Kurt. Turkcesi: Olcay Gocmen. Resimleyen: Ali Cindemir. Paperbound. Istanbul: Cocuk Bahcesi. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
This is an unassuming paperback edition of Aesop's fables. Fables are offered on 5 to 69, followed by a list of the classic works published by these people. The black-and-white designs are decidedly simple. Where did they get that camel on 17? A young hand had a lot of trouble multiplying 60 times 24 in pencil on the inside front cover!
1991 Ezopo Pasakos. (Lithuanian.) Based on Jacobs and on Jones. Translated by Karolis Vairas. Illustrations of Heighway (acknowledged), Billinghurst, and "ETF" (?), the latter two unacknowledged. Vilnius: UAB "Algita." Gift of Ann Ramagos, CSJ, July, '93.
Now here is something unique! What a treat to see old friends like the illustrations of Heighway and Billinghurst with something new like prose from Lithuania! The fables are arranged alphabetically. There is a T of C at the end. Annie was even nice enough to supply some pages on the rudiments of Lithuanian for beginners.
1991 Fables--A Short Anthology. Retold by Janeen Brian. Illustrated by Lisa Herriman and Lesley Scholes. Oversized. Magic Bean Classics. Printed in Hong Kong. South Australia: Martin International Pty Ltd. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '92.
The biggest fable book I have, maybe bigger than the children who read it! Once again Meg is a great shopper; she found it at an educational meeting and pleaded with the representative to sell her just one book outside of the expensive set. Good, accurate introduction. There are thirteen fables, all illustrated on the cover; the cover's illustrator may be different from the inside's illustrator. Different: the mother crab (10) realizes that she is walking sideways as she tries to model walking forward. The moral for WC is "Don't expect a reward for a good deed" (12). The milkmaid (19) is a black African. The best illustrations are "The Monkey on the Dolphin" (21) and especially "The Frog About to Burst" (27).
1991 Fables--A Short Anthology. Retold by Janeen Brian. Illustrated by Lisa Herriman and Lesley Scholes. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. South Australia: Keystone Picture Books: Martin International Pty Ltd. $4 from Oakley's Gently Used Books, Charlottesville, VA, April, '99.
This book reproduces exactly the hugely oversized book of the same year, title, and publisher. This book is only 7¾" x10½". See my comments there.
1991 Fables and Tales Papercrafts. Jerome C. Brown. Paperbound. Carthage, IL: Fearon Teacher Aids: Simon & Schuster Supplementary Education Group. $4 from Cup & Chaucer Books, Slate Hill, NY, through ABE, August, '03. Extra copy for $6.50 from Liz Taranda, Pasaic, NJ, through Ebay, August, '03.
This book seems to follow upon but not to duplicate the materials in Fables and Tales Papercrafts in the same series from 1989. The publisher and place have changed to Simon & Schuster and Carthage, IL, from David S. Lake Publishers in Belmont, CA. This book contains ten stories. Like the earlier book, it presents a full page to be colored for each story. Then there are clever opportunities for making sculptures, puppets, and masks. It contains three Aesopic fables at its end: TMCM, FS, and GA. The jointed puppets for FS look particularly attractive. Strangely, the book seems never to tell the stories.
1991 Fables de Florian. Illustrées par Bertall. Paperbound. Étoile-sur-Rhône: Nigel Gauvin, Éditeur. €5 from a Buchinist along the Seine, August, '14.
Here is an inexpensive presentation of all five books of Florian's fables along with his epilogue. This edition contains twelve illustrations by Bertall. Bertall is a nom de plume for Charles-Albert d'Arnoux (1820-82). This collection has his La Fontaine edition from about 1850, published by Barba. French Wikipedia describes him as an illustrator, caricaturist, and engraver -- one of the most productive illustrators of the nineteenth century. He was also one of the pioneers of photography. His illustrations here include: "Fable and Truth" (18); "The Cat and the Telescope" (35); "The Young Man and the Old Man" (37); "The Blind Man and the Lame" (40); "The Wild Boar and the Nightingales" (74); "The Nightingale and the Peacock" (78); "The Miser and His Son" (110); "The Rabbit and the Teal" (114); "The Two Bald Men" (118); "The Little Dog" (136); "The Crocodile and the Sturgeon" (140); and "The Wasp and the Bee" (146). It is good to see them enlarged, but they are not well rendered.
1991 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Serge Hochain. Hardbound. Champigny-sur-Marne: La bibliothèque des 8-12 ans #5: Editions Lito. $0.98 from Jason Herne, Endicott, NY, through eBay, Sept., '10.
Some fifty-six fables on 123 pages, with a T of C at the back. The seventeen illustrations, all black-and-white and taking a full page, show some good imagination. True to La Fontaine's version, the hare is playing a musical instrument as the tortoise goes forward; in La Fontaine's telling, this must be the start of the race (29). LM's illustration is good; the net serves as a checkerboard prison in front of the lion's face until we recognize the small rodent at the lower right breaking open one cord (39). Is that laborer who is about to outwit his lazy sons winking at us on 45? FK (119) presents a grasping heron king -- or perhaps better queen? -- who mysteriously has a hand with which to grasp a now defenseless frog. The cover shows a large crow with a large piece of cheese. A small red fox stands over the title at the upper right and reappears in larger form on the back cover. That cover, in a form of minimalism I guess, lists the titles of several fables.
1991 Fables for God's People. John R. Aurelio. Paperback. NY: Crossroad. See 1988/91.
1991 Fables, For the Instruction and Amusement of Little Misses and Masters: Beauties of Fables. Catalogue of an exhibition of fables by Aesop, LaFontaine and other fabulists from the fourteenth century to the present day at the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books. October 15, 1991 - January 4, 1992. Toronto: Toronto Public Library. Gift of Kathleen Lazare, Aug., '92.
A ten-page handout of ninety-one listings. I am sorry I missed the show and did not even know of it. How nice of Kathleen to think of me and send the catalogue! One can find further information on most of the individual items by consulting 1-8 and 563-571, respectively, of Volumes I and II of The Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books.
1991 Fables from the Fox: Seven Original Fables in Verse. By Francis Schwanauer. Illustrated by Johanna M. Schwanauer. Paperback. Printed in USA. ©1991 Francis Schwanauer. $2.95 from an unknown source, July, '96?
The seven fables are told in rhymed verse, often in aacbbc sestets. The rhythm is sometimes forced. "The Fox and the Ox" (8) turns into a discussion on sex. The last three lines have one not-so-clever ("sex" rhymes with "relax") and one clever breakdown ("he/she" gets one syllable). "The Incompetent Mole" (25) may be the best fable of the booklet. A mole trying to prepare an eel for dinner realizes that the eel must be dead first. Unable to kill it, he asks it to commit suicide! The eel slithers off and gives him a piece of its mind. The art includes a nice comparison and contrast between 10 and 11. The visualized transformations of the pig are delightful in "Porker of Majorca" (13). And the capture of the stand-up frog on 38 is very nicely done, since we see nothing of the capturer but the tip of his beak squeezing the frog.
1991 Fables: Jean de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Sophie Toussaint. Champigny-sur-Marne: Editions Lito. $8.95 Canadian at Coles, Montreal, Oct., '95.
This book of five fables emphasizes fun and movement. The hare in TH has earphones and and a book, while the tortoise wears an aviator's cap and goggles. The frog uses a pump to blow itself up towards ox-size. The reader can see the whites of the mosquito's eyes inside the dark of the lion's nose. Also FC and FS.
1991 Fables of Power: Aesopian Writing and Political History. Annabel Patterson. Paperbound. Durham & London: Post-Contemporary Interventions: Duke University Press. $7.50 from an unknown source, June, '96.
This book was my on-the-train reading on a trip across the country to start a Santa Clara sabbatical in August of 1996. As the back cover indicates, "She shows how the fable worked as a medium of political analysis and communication, especially from or on behalf of the politically powerless." In a good review in "Modern Philology" (Vol. 91, No. 4, May, 1994, 546-49), Anne Lake Prescott of Barnard finds much to praise and a few things to criticize in this short book of some 177 pages. She highlights one of Patterson's achieved purposes, "to show the conflicting ways in which the Aesopian fable served intellectually interesting political analysis" (549). Patterson works through Caxton, Lydgate, and Henryson and focusses on literary figures like Spenser, Sidney, Lyly, Shakespeare, and Milton. She pays attention to Ogilby, L'Estrange, and Croxall. Some of her most revealing work may be on "The Belly and the Members." As Prescott writes, Patterson studies how this one fable "is turned, twisted, retroped, and turned belly-up or belly-down as political pressures reform and revive it" (547).
1991 Fables You Shouldn't Pay Any Attention To. Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Worth Van Clief. Pictures by Victoria Chess. A Yearling Book. Text and illustrations (c)1978. NY: Dell Publishing. $2.99 at Barnes and Noble, Evanston, Dec., '92.
Fun. Typically the stories end up proclaiming that it pays to be careless, lazy, or selfish. It was apparently first published in 1978, but I suspect that this edition is different. Might the earlier edition, for example, have had the pictures colored? As it is, they are washed out and disappointing. There are seven enjoyable fables.
1991 Fábulas de Iriarte. 2a. Impresión. Paperbound. Colonia del Valle, México: Cuentos y Fábulas de Editorial Origen: Editorial Origen. See 1989/91.
1991 Fábulas Galegas. Xosé Maria García Rodríguez. Illustrations by Xosé Quiñoy. Paperbound. Santiago de Compostela: Soteblan, S.A. $30 from Libros Latinos, Redlands, CA, Nov., '99.
This is a paperback book containing some sixty-eight fables in Galego, the language of Galicia. They seem to be a mix of the traditional and the creative. I can make out enough to recognize two foxes with a crow (60-61), MM (70-71), FK (88-89), FS (110-111), and WL (130-131). Quiñoy's duochrome illustrations are simple but fetching. Favorites of mine include a girl in a flood (69) and the two foxes on the front cover. There is a dictionary of Galego for those unfamiliar with some of its terms (137-145). There I could confirm my suspicion that "raposo" means "a fox."
1991 Fábulas para Siempre: Fables Are Forever, Volume 1. Juan Sauvageau. Illustrated by Johnny Jett. First Printing. LA: Pan American Publishing Co. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '91.
This book presents a fascinating experience of the "melting pot" of fables as they are spun out and updated. Sauvageau mentions that he cannot remember where he got changes from the fables he read as a child. CP adds a snake, and "Oak and Reeds" a mesquite. The crane flies away after tricking the fox. The cricket gets married and has twelve kids, but gets some food from the ant. (Note the illustration on 33 of the ant facing a cop with a gun!) The milkmaid carries two heavy buckets, speeds up downhill, and trips. Mr. Hikes' family carries the mule first because the latter is stubborn; later the mule carries dad and the three sons at once. The stubborn mule stands stiff and comes home later on his own. The two "sacks" become pockets in the front and back of a suit, and the animals argued on Noah's ark. The coyote (not the wolf) tries a collar and leash but breaks away for freedom. The best story is "The Eagle and the Owl" (33). There are some orthographic problems: fragil, strenght, "dozen of little ones." I hope the other three volumes become available.
1991 Fabulous Fables: Using Fables with Children. Linda K. Garrity. Illustrated by Jackie Moore. First printing? Glenview, IL: GoodYearBooks: Scott Foresman: Harper Collins. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '95. Extra copy for $6.50 from Carousel Books, Charlottesville, VA, April, '99.
A very helpful book for second through fourth grades. The introduction mixes up two important things: the number of lessons and the sequence of parts in the book. There are twelve lessons. There is first an overview of all the lessons. Then comes a set of activities for use with the various lessons. All the fable texts appear next, followed by "culminating" activities, characterized evidently by the need that the fables be understood before the activities can make sense. A very good bibliography (I find four books that I do not have) and an AI (87) close out the book. Meg can find the most wonderful things!
1991 Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables. Rani. Paperbound. Chicago: Contemporary Books. $5.48 from Better World Books, April, '10.
Getting this book represents a mistake, but I will put it into the collection to protect from the next mistake in its regard. The recipes are inviting. The "fables" are thirty-two pages on Hindu astrology. As a scorpio, maybe I should know better!
1991 First Bedtime Stories. Jenny Wood. Illustrated by Carol Lawson. NY: Gallery Books. $4.98 at Creighton Bookstore, June, '91. Extra copy with slightly damaged cover for $4.50 from Ansari and Jung, Georgetown, Jan., '96.
Short tales, suitable in size and theme for bedtime, e.g., "One at a Time" (44). It is curious to see which Aesopic fables are chosen for this genre. The three Aesopic fables are SW (6, with a bet over who can make the man take off his coat), LM (19), and CP (45, with only one drop in the jug!). An ostrich replaces the hare in "The Hare and the Hedgehog" (13).
1991 Fox Tale. By Yossi Abolafia. First edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Greenwillow Books. $3.18 at Creighton Bookstore, Dec., '94. One extra copy at the same time.
The flyleaf announces a "funny, frisky fable in true folktale tradition." Fox offers ownership of his tail to Bear for some honey. Of course there are a number of attempts at various swindles by the fox. Other animals remember his dirty dealings; the crow, for examples, remembers losing his cheese. The animals get together to teach fox a lesson. This book went from $13.95 to $5.97 to $3.98 to $3.18: there is a fable in there somewhere too!
1991 Fun with Aesop: Activity Edition, Volume I. Retold by Paul Tell. Illustrated by Connie Ross. Activities by Dianna Williams. Mogadore, Ohio: (c)Telcraft, a division of Tell Publications. $2.25 from Dundee, Dec., '92.
Six Aesopic fables well told for children. Some of the animals get specific names. There is a moral at the end of each fable, and then two or three brief comments. The fable is then retold in verse in a fashion that seems to presume knowledge of the fable. Finally, there is a page given to some activity based on the fable. The edition provides a good text for use with children. And there is some good psychology at work in the stories. Sam Bunny looked up startled when he woke up; he stood frozen as he watched Jimmy Turtle cross the finish line (5). The fox looked around to make sure that no one was watching as he missed the grapes (26). The brief comments after the moral can be helpful. But sometimes the authors need to fudge on the comments. Thus after the moral of BC--"It's easy to think of ideas you cannot do"--we are told (13) to learn another lesson quickly: "Try to be wise like Mr. Bishop, but also keep thinking of new ideas like Jeremy!" Soon enough the comment is telling us "Don't worry about suggesting an idea that won't work." Oh? I fear that the activities in particular may border on the condescending. Do children four to ten years old need activities to get the point of fables? There is a simple "Land of Aesop" centerfold featuring the characters of this volume's stories. Aesop is certainly alive and well!
1991 Fun with Aesop: Activity Edition, Volume II. Retold by Paul Tell. Illustrated by Connie Ross. Activities by Dianna Williams. Mogadore, Ohio: (c)Telcraft, a division of Tell Publications. $2.25 from Dundee, Dec., '92.
Six Aesopic fables again well told for children. The pattern continues: fable, moral, comments, retelling, activity. Again, the texts are very suitable for telling the fables to children. There is a nice stroke in having the goose's first egg be golden (3). I think the activities here are better than those in Volume I: golden goose bank, thank you cards after FC, division of tasks for kids and grown-ups after LM. The author is again forced to fudge, this time on the moral and comment of GB: "We sometimes think we are more important than others think we are. SOMETIMES we think we are more important than we are. THEN sometimes we don't feel as important as we should. BUT we are all important and worthy of respect" (24). If I were a kid, I think I would be lost at this point! Again, there is a simple "Land of Aesop" centerfold featuring the characters of this volume's stories.
1991 Fun with Aesop: Activity Edition, Volume III. Retold by Paul Tell. Illustrated by Connie Ross. Activities by Dianna Williams. Mogadore, Ohio: (c)Telcraft, a division of Tell Publications. $2.25 from Dundee, Dec., '92.
Six Aesopic fables again well told for children. The pattern continues: fable, moral, comments, retelling, activity. Again, the texts are very suitable for telling the fables to children. Generally, the fable itself ends with a question that leads directly into the moral. I continue to see problems in the author's handling of morals and comments. The moral of FS is "Some people think one good trick deserves another" (10). 2P leads to "Those with much in common make best friends.... Remember also, that you may be friendly to everyone, no matter how different each may be. Every person has a purpose and all may live and work in the same world" (14). What? "The Young Goat and the Wolf" leads to "Don't say anything you wouldn't say anywhere at any time" (20). I am not sure of the value of that advice. Again, there is a simple "Land of Aesop" centerfold featuring the characters of this volume's stories.
1991 Fun with Aesop: Reader. Retold by Paul Tell. Illustrated by Connie Ross. Mogadore, Ohio: (c)Telcraft, a division of Tell Publications. $9.95 from Dundee, Dec., '92.
This volume reproduces all that is in the three larger-format books--which this volume calls "the original Fun With Aesop 3-volume set" (reverse of title page)--except the activities. Each volume becomes one "part" here. The pattern remains: fable, moral, comments, retelling. The texts are very suitable for telling the fables to children. Generally, the fable itself ends with a question that leads directly into the moral. As my notes under the individual volumes show, I think there are some problems in the author's handling of morals and comments. Each "Land of Aesop" centerfold panorama appears after the six fables of that part.
1991 Giant Treasury of Brer Rabbit. Retold from the Stories of Joel Chandler Harris by Anne Hessey. Illustrated by Harry Rountree and René Bull. Second printing. NY: Derrydale Books. $7 somewhere, April, '94.
Twenty-four stories from Uncle Remus, His Songs and Sayings. For me the illustrations are the strong feature of this book. Rountree's full-page colored illustrations are good; Bull's smaller black-and-white line-drawings are even better. Half of them here are very well colored and sharply reproduced. The two artists are coordinated in their approach, e.g., to dress, so that their respective illustrations fit together. The final illustration on 89 cleverly blows up and colors a detail from that on 75. From the versions, a reader will miss not only the original dialect but also the figures of both Uncle Remus and the boy. The stories are regularly well tied in to those just preceding. The introduction notes that these stories "deal with tricks for the sake of trickery, with outsmarting the other fellow, and with what happens when a creature succumbs to temptation too greedily for his own good. You'll learn strategies for winning both fairly and foully; you won't find a moral at the end of each story, but you can find plenty to discuss and think about" (5). The TH race here is between Brer Rabbit and five terrapins (mother, father, and three children) located at the start, the finish, and the mile-posts.
1991 It's Greek to Me! Brush Up Your Classics. Michael Macrone. Illustrated by Tom Lulevitch. Dust jacket. Cader Books. NY: HarperCollins Publishers. Gift of Kathryn Thomas, Oct., '91. Extra copy for $17 from Politics and Prose, DC, Oct., '91.
This book offers in delightful fashion the background of phrases commonly heard in English. Aesop takes his place right after Homer with eight fables: "blowing hot and cold," "counting chickens," "fascist," "golden eggs," "lion's share" (illustrated; misplaced from "The Lion, the Donkey, and the Fox"?), "shoulder to the wheel," "sour grapes," and "wolf in sheep's clothing" (illustrated). Later sections cover TH, the bald man and the fly, the fox and the lion, and the mountain and the mouse.
1991 Korean Folk & Fairy Tales. Retold by Suzanne Crowder Han. Illustrated by Mi-on Kim. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Seoul/Elizabeth, NJ: Hollym. $20 from Longfellow's Books & Magazines, Portland, OR, July, '97.
Among six chapters here, the first concerns "Animal Tales" (15-63). Four of the fourteen tales here seem to me to be fables; each of the first three is illustrated with one black-and-white design. "The Rabbit's Judgment" (28) is the familiar story about a tiger in a pit pitied by a man. A pine tree and an ox offer judgments against the man. The rabbit gets the tiger to show the original situation; that is, he gets him back into the pit--and then leaves him there. "The Hare's Liver" is also familiar. The dragon king needs a hare's liver; when the hare arrives and comprehends that he is about to be sacrificed, he claims to have left his liver at home. The claim is cleverly developed here by the hare, who says that his liver is in such great demand that he frequently hides it, especially during the day. He even offers the unusual shape of his mouth and his split lip as a proof that he frequently takes his liver out. "The Vanity of the Rat" (59) is about finding a suitable husband for daughter rat. Again, it is a familiar tale. "Two Frogs" (62) has two frogs coming a long distance and meeting each other on a mountain top; there they get confused and each sees his terminus a quo when he means to see his terminus ad quem. I do not understand the physical "joke" behind this traditional tale. How do two frogs standing up end up looking backwards?
1991 Kurbaga Ile Korkak Tavsan. Ayten Gürer. Resimleyen: Faruk Kutlu. Pamphlet. Istanbul: La Fontaine Masallari Dizisi #6: Bu Yayinevi. $4 from Ugur Yurttutan, Istanbul, Feb., '05.
Here is an engaging visual presentation of "The Hare and the Frogs." In this version, the hare seems not to be under attack and so fleeing to the water but rather thirsty and going to get a drink. He does, however, seem to be afraid of attack and maybe even a bit of a hypochondriac. When he approaches the water to fill his cup, the frogs scatter into the water in fear. I have never seen this version before. This pamphlet has sixteen pages. There is a colored illustration on each page of the story. Now I have two of the ten La Fontaine fables in this series!
1991 Lafontaine' den Masallar: Tilki ile Leylek. Pamphlet. Ankara: Iri Harfli Dunya Masallari #5: Kurtulus Yayinlari. $5 from Ugur Yurttutan, Istanbul, Feb., '05.
This well-preserved pamphlet of 32 pages announces itself well with a fine colored picture on the cover of FS. The colored illustrations continue inside: FS (4); DLS (5); MM (8); FC (12); TH (16); WL (20); MSA (21); TT (25), and GGE (29). DLS and MM are particularly well executed. The best of the interspersed black-and-white designs may be FG on 15: the fox's mouth is watering. The morals are set off with yellow backgrounds. This pamphlet stands out among the many Turkish materials I have seen.
1991 La Fontaine Fables: Livres 1 a 6. Édition présentée, annotée, et expliquée par Claudine Nédélec. Paperbound. Paris: Classiques Larousse: Textes Intégraux: Larousse. $2.50 from Marie Gervais, through eBay, July, '96.
Here is a standard Larousse pocket book text for French secondary students. About two-thirds of the fables of Books I-VI appear here. There is a T of C on 142-44. It is preceded by good sample questions on five particular fables. It is succeeded by good sections on life under the Sun-King and talking beasts. Then come good appendices covering material like the fable before La Fontaine; a galant esthetic; thematic indices; La Fontaine and other writers; before and after reading La Fontaine; and a bibliography and discography. The pages here are thin enough to let all that material get into the 192 pages of a very compact book. The cover picture features a wolf in courtier's clothing and wig. There is a wide selection of black-and-white reproductions of fable illustrations; they run through the course of the book.
1991 Les Fables de Mon Père. Marcia Rose (Marcia Kamien and Rose Novak). Traduit de l'américain par Guy Maheux. Paperbound. Super Sellers. $10 from Librairie Mini-Prix, Inc., May, '03.
I read enough to find that this very large French paperback is a translation of the American Songs My Father Taught Me. I read no more. I include this book in the collection purely defensively, that is, to keep me or some other fable-researcher or fable-collector from buying this book again!
1991 Morgen in Lanzarote. Artur Schütt. Mit Zeichnungen von Armin Hott. Hardbound. Landau, Germany: Pfälzische Verlagsanstalt. €12 from LiteraturBuro Mainz, August, '09.
As well as I can make out, this is a collection of nonsense pieces. Some may approach being fables. I tried a number of shorter ones. In "Glück gehabt" (27) a man fell out of a bus right in front a woman's feet. She picked him up, took him home, and cleaned him up. All this pleased the man and he stayed forever in her hands. "Nüchterner Befund" (66) describes a twelve-person surgical team that, one by one, got into the stomach of a patient. A nurse served coffee, but there was no kuchen. They had to keep moving, because they wanted to do some skating in a lung. "Morgen in Lanzarote" (88) -- that is, "Tomorrow in the Canary Islands" -- presents a daily encounter with a stranger about whom the writer has the sense that she or he has been waiting for him his whole life long. The writer cannot get him out of his or her mind. Finally this is a person who understands me! The phrase "Morgen in Lanzarote" occurs to the writer though the writer does not know what the phrase means or what it advertises. But it does not advertise what he or she so much looks forward to. For some of the pieces, the visual art may well be providing the lead. There are some highly complex illustrations, e.g., on 41, 61, and 85. T of C at the end.
1991 My Fun with Learning 1: Great Stories from World Literature. Illustrated by Jo Polseno, Patricia J. Wynne et al. Hardbound. Nashville: Southwestern. $4 from an unknown source, Dec., '03.
Here is a book almost identical with another that I have listed under 1993 and that has been catalogued under 1994. The latest copyright mentioned here is not 1993, as there, but rather 1991. Otherwise the books seem fully identical. Let me repeat my comments from there. There are five fables on 12-16. Polseno does the art for them. GGE has an unusual approach: the killing happens because the husband wants to find out which goose has the golden eggs inside, so ends up killing all the geese. In WS, the sun tries to decline competition. In GA, the grasshopper does not approach the ant in winter; he just dies. Also MSA and CP. Wynne illustrates "The Blind Men and the Elephant" (109). This latter piece is done in verse by John Godfrey Saxe and concludes by pointing at "theologic wars."
1991 Oi Mythoi Tou Aisopou Se Komiks. Volume 1. Tasos Apostolides and Kostas Boutsas. Illustrated by Bana Lagopoulou. Second edition. Thessalonike: ASÉ. See 1989/91.
1991 Oi Mythoi Tou Aisopou Se Komiks. Volume 2. Tasos Apostolides and Kostas Boutsas. Illustrated by Bana Lagopoulou. Second edition. Thessalonike: ASÉ. See 1990/91.
1991 One-Minute Bedtime Stories. By Shari Lewis with Lan O'Kun. Illustrated by Art Cumings. Paperbound. Reprinted from 1982 by arrangement with Doubleday. First printing. A Dell Yearling Book. NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell. $2.45 from Booknook Parnassus, Evanston, Dec., '97.
See my comments under the 1982 original. I see little change here except that O'Kun and Cumings do not get short biographies as they did in the original version's last page. Shari Lewis still gets hers.
1991 Pimporello. Written and illustrated by Marcel Marceau. Adapted and edited by Robert Hammond. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. London and Chester Springs, PA: Peter Owen. £20 from R.F.G. Hollett and Son, Sedbergh, Cumbria, UK, June, '10.
The dust-jacket exclaims "A Fable for All Ages By the Modern Master of Mime." This is an 88-page fantasy about Pimporello, a street-mime. Marceau writes an introduction covering his own history of mime. Pimporello meets young Nina and with her encounters the circus of his dreams.
1991 Read Me a Story: A Child's Book of Favorite Tales. Sophie Windham (illustrator). Second printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Scholastic Hardcover: Scholastic Inc. $6.50 from Bluestem, Lincoln, NE, Jan., '01.
First published in Great Britain as The Orchard Book of Nursery Stories in 1991. Among the fifteen fables are TMCM (46) and "The Hedgehog and the Hare" (72). Country mouse is male, while his cousin town mouse is female. They spend a night in the country, with the country mouse dreaming of the delights of the city, particularly a feather bed. Surprisingly, a weasel presents a threat to the two mice as they tour the countryside. They spend a second night in the country. Country mouse does spend a night on the city featherbed, but gets no sleep because he cannot stop thinking about the cat meowing outside the mousehole. The rabbit in the latter story has a flask from which to drink. In fact, it and a golden coin become the promised prize for the hedgehog if he can beat the proud hare. The last illustration shows the hedgehog holding the flask and the coin. The art is done in a deliberately naïve, highly colorful style. There is an illustration on about every second page.
1991 Reynard the Fox. Retold by Selina Hastings. Illustrated by Graham Percy. First US edition. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: Tambourine Books. $15.94 from Curio Corner Corner Books, Austin, TX, through TomFolio, May, '08.
The introduction opines that the Reynard story "descends from Roman times, from Aesop's 'Fable of the Sick Lion.'" I had not read or heard that opinion before. Hastings' introduction also notes that the first complete translation of the Reynard stories into English was Caxton's from the Dutch in 1481. She bases this presentation on that version. The enjoyable illustrations are unmistakable Percy as I have come to know his style from various fable books. The story begins with a series of complaints to the lion king by various beleaguered animals in a group: the fox is a thief and a murderer. The various summonses to Reynard ensue, with the usual results. Tibert bites the priest on the hand when Tibert is trapped in the priest's barn. Malepardus is a very impressive medieval castle here! The dress of the various animals is medieval. King Lion calls Reynard to trial, and he is condemned to death. Just before his hanging, he mentions supposed riches that he has from supposedly stopping his rebellious father. King Lion is interested in the money and pardons him. Bruin and Isegrim are so outraged that they complain--and are soon thrown into jail for treason. At a major feast honoring Reynard--although in absentia--Laprell and Corbaut show up complaining of fresh outrages they have suffered from Reynard. King Lion turns again and prepares to lay seige to Malepardus. Grimbard runs to warn Reynard. Reynard first brings himself before the king and declares his innocence. Laprell and Corbaut are old enemies, he says, who have slandered him. He challenges any accuser to fight. Isegrim steps up. They prepare to meet in single combat. Reynard has himself clipped and oiled by his aunt, Ape Dame Rukenaw. Reynard tires out the larger Isegrim and finally hits him hard on the back of the neck. King Lion declares Reynard victorious and innocent. People turn quickly to congratulate Reynard. He gets home and resolves to better his life until his glance falls on two unwary edible travellers.
1991 Something Nasty in the Cabbages: A tale from Roman de Renard written in the 12th century. by Pierre de Saint-Cloud and retold for this edition by the artist. Illustrated by Diz Wallis. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. Ragged Appleshaw, Andover, Hampshire: Ragged Bears, Limited. £2.99 from a bookstore on the Market, Beverly, England, August, '01.
In general, this is the kind of high-definition, large-format, brightly colored book that is produced a great deal for children today. Several things make it stand out for me. The first is the excellent visual presentation of the dream of "Chantecler" about halfway through the unpaginated book. All the elements are there, including the bone collar made of teeth. A second excellent feature is the lettering by Paul Stickland. Finally, I enjoy the images of Constant, his wife, and the fox making off with Chantecler. A lovely find in five minutes before the group had to go further!
1991 Stories to Solve. Folktales from Around the World. Told by George Shannon. Illustrated by Peter Sis. NY: Beech Tree Books. See 1985/91.
1991 Tales from Many Lands Papercrafts. Jerome C. Brown. Paperbound. Carthage, IL: Fearon Teacher Aids: Simon & Schuster Supplementary Education Group. $4 from an unknown source, August, '12.
This book is quite similar to Legends and Fables Papercrafts by the same writer and illustrator. It contains "The Monkey and the Crocodile" on 34-38. The monkey-Hampelmann for this story looks like fun. This book contains ten stories in all. Like the book mentioned, it presents a full page to be colored for each story. Then there are clever opportunities for making sculptures, puppets, and masks. Strangely, the book seems never to tell the stories.
1991 The Animal Story Book. Edited by Ernest Thompson-Seton. Reprint of 1902 Volume VI of "Young Folks' Library." First edition. Distributed by Outlet Book, a Random House Company. NY: Derrydale Books. See 1902/91.
1991 The Baboon's Umbrella: An African Folktale. Donna Lanette Washington. Illustrated by Mary "Ching" Walters. First printing. Paperbound. Chicago: Adventures in Storytelling: Childrens Press. Gift of Margaret and Michael Lytton, Dec., '95.
The text rightly identifies this story as an African fable. And it is a good fable! For those who want to consult a text, it is on the second-to-last page. Baboon always takes his umbrella with him. One morning he cannot close his umbrella. A friendly chimpanzee suggests cutting holes in the umbrella so that he can enjoy the sun. Baboon follows the foolish advice. Of course it soon rains, and the baboon gets soaking wet. The advice of friends is like the weather: sometimes good, sometimes bad. The book's great value, though, is that it is almost entirely pictures. The story is told wordlessly on some 19 pages. Perhaps the last picture is the best: the dry chimpanzee in a tree looks down through his fingers at the baboon getting wet. There are two pages of print at the front on storytelling and wordless picture-books. It would be fun to "read" this book with a child who has not yet learned to read. There is a lot for him or her to find in the pictures.
1991 The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Tony Ross. Paperbound. Printed in Hong Kong. Second printing. (c)1985 by Tony Ross. Puffin Pied Piper: Dial Books: Penguin. $4.99 at The Red Balloon, St. Paul, Dec., '96. Extra copy of the third printing for $4.99 at Dundee, June, '94.
Ross continues to be a wonderful storyteller and illustrator. The wolf puts salt on the man as he is chasing him. Willy yelled "Wolf" whenever he had to do something he did not want to, like to take a bath. The mice and bugs dance to the kind of music Willy likes after he drives off his music teacher by yelling "Wolf." Willy is riding his bicycle when he meets the wolf. The wolf catches Willy and is ready to eat him when the adults say "You shouldn't have told so many lies!" The wolf eats them instead! And then...another surprise!
1991 The Chase: A Kutenai Indian Tale. Told by Béatrice Tanaka. Illustrated by Michel Gay. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Crown Publishers. $8 from Feldman's Used Books, Menlo Park, Jan., '13.
The flyleaf rightly declares "The Chase is bound to be a runaway favorite." This is a fine runaway story. A first strong feature of the story's telling here is the great use of "must" explanations by characters who see something but do not know why it is happening. Coyote sees Rabbit run past and says to himself "If Rabbit's running that fast, there must be hunters after him." Moose sees the two of them running and says to herself "If Coyote's running that fast, the river must be flooding." Part of the fun of these "must" statements is that each is different, well suited to the speaker. The book's artistry features an excellent central two-page panel showing five animals at a distance from each other. Another fine two-page panel shows three large animals glowering at Coyote as they ask him why he has been running. The surprise ending is excellent. Most fables of this structure have rabbit hearing a thump and thinking that it is the end of the world. Here the grouped animals ask rabbit why they have all been running. Rabbit responds "Why were you running? I have no idea. But me--I was late for dinner!&qu
1991 The City Mouse and the Country Mouse. Illustrated by Ruth Flood. Text adapted by Judy Nayer. 19" x 9.4". Printed in Germany. NY: McClanahan Book Company, Inc. $2.98 at Half Price Books, Des Moines, Sept., '93.
A tall, stiff-paged book of five boards. The city pages (4-5 if the cover is 1) show a good deal of interesting action going on. Unfortunately, their last sentence also features a badly dangling modifier. Note the cat-handles on the chairs in the city's dining room.
1991 The Coyote Rings the Wrong Bell: A Mexican Folktale. Anamarie Garcia. Illustrated by Francisco X. Mora. First printing. Paperbound. Chicago: Adventures in Storytelling: Childrens Press. Gift of Margaret and Michael Lytton, Dec., '95.
This is a good fable that I do not remembering seeing before. For those who want to consult a text, it is on the second-to-last page. Señor Coyote surprises Señor Rabbit during a siesta, jumps on him, and is ready to eat him. Señor Rabbit asks for a last favor, to do his normal task of ringing the recess bell for "all the juicy, tender, little hares in the schoolhouse over there." Señor Coyote is eager to ring that bell and bring out all those edible little hares! The bell is really a hornets' nest. He shakes the tree so hard that the nest falls on him, and hundreds of angry hornets attack him. He runs to a nearby pond and jumps in. Upon examining himself, he thinks that he looks like a porcupine, with all the long hornet-stingers protruding from his body. The visual presentation of the story may confuse things by presenting what looks like a real bell. There are two pages of print at the front on storytelling and wordless picture-books. It would be fun to "read" this book with a child who has not yet learned to read. There is a lot for him or her to find in the pictures.
1991 The Easter Wolf: an Easter Fable. Adela Bishop. Illustrations by Carole Czapla. Hardbound. Oakland: A Garnet Company Imaginimals Story Book: Dot Garnet Company. $3.98 from Better World Books, May, '12.
Every spring, White Hen and Rabbit prepare and hide eggs for children in Green Grass Meadow. One year they are running late in preparation and hurrying when they encounter a wolf, who soon has them pinned down inside a house. They escape. While crossing a frozen river, they help a rainbow fish lying on the ice get back into the water. The wolf pursues, and the rainbow fish yells "Stop!" The wolf cannot stop but slides into the freezing water. Rabbit and White Hen save the wolf from the freezing water, prepare him a breakfast, and give him eggs for his children. At a key point, the wolf asks the rainbow fish how he can repay his new friends. The next thing we know the wolf has showed up to help prepare the Easter Egg Hunt. They work fast and soon have everything ready for the hunt. Now the wolf shows up three days before every Easter to help. He has become the Easter Wolf. This is a nicely illustrated book about the converting power of sharing and of helping those in need.
1991 The Eight Immortals of Taoism: Legends and Fables of Popular Taoism. Translated and Edited by Kwok Man Ho and Joanne O'Brien. Various artists. Paperbound. NY: Meridian: New American Library: Penguin. $6 from Odyssey Books, Sacramento, through Bibliocity, June, '99.
What we have here is mostly myth or legend. The book presents a long introduction to Taoism and then twenty-eight stories. Let me report on a couple that were more accessible to me. "The Dream of Lu Tung Pin" (72) presents a young Tao devotee on the verge of becoming an immortal. He is still seeking power and has a dream of what power brings, namely fifty years of success and then total disfavor and death for him and his family. He gives up the quest for power and, after many years of practice, becomes an immortal. "The Oil Seller" (74) tells the story of a search for an honest person. "A Matchmaker for Kuan Yin" (82) is a heart-warming tale of a good poor man who is lucky enough to win a goddess' hand in marriage. The stories remind me of Rodriguez' pious tales of saints. The art consists in eight or ten woodcuts or designs from the tradition of Taoism.
1991 The Greatest of All: A Japanese Folktale. Retold by Eric A. Kimmel. Illustrated by Giora Carmi. First edition. NY: Holiday House. $4.95 at Powell's, Portland, March, '96.
This large-format paperbound book presents the fable carefully. The daughter wants a particular mouse, Ko Nezumi, for her husband. Her status-conscious father goes first to the emperor and then to the sun, the cloud, the wind, the wall, and finally Ko Nezumi. The art work gives good faces to each of these, particularly the wall. The father learns nothing from the whole series of events, for he tells his wife on the last page "I knew it all along. We mice are the greatest of all!"
1991 The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals. Jeff Rovin. First edition. Paperbound. NY: Prentice Hall Press. $8.50 at Reader's Harvest, Santa Fe, May, '93. Extra for $5.95 from Downtown, Milwaukee, June, '94.
A real goldmine! I found this as I was about to leave a suburban bookstore that had yielded nothing. Aesop is mentioned near the top of the back cover. The introduction starts by asking what he would do if he were living today and of course soon suggests that he would be a cartoonist. Soon they have the stories of Grimm, Anderson, and "the French anthologist" LaFontaine inspired by Aesop. One of the great features of this book is the appendix listing individual animals' names under their animal types. Another consists in the two fine color sections. Max Hare and Toby Tortoise (1934) is mentioned under "Big Bad Wolf."
1991 The Lion and the Stoat. Based in Part on Natural History by Pliny the Elder. By Paul O. Zelinsky. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $1.14 at The Yesteryear Shoppe, Nampa, March, '96.
The first of these is a delightful story that I judge to be a fable. The lion and the stoat agree on a contest of their paintings, to be unveiled in the public square. The lion unveils his still life, and suddenly some sparrows fly down and begin to peck at the grapes in it. The lion is thus confident of victory and challenges the stoat to show what is behind his curtain. The stoat proudly proclaims that there is no curtain, only a painting of one, and that thus the lion has fooled the birds but the stoat has fooled the lion. The second story centers on successive splittings of each other's painted lines. In the third, both are commissioned for paintings in the city hall, and both paint self-portraits. Though they agree to give up contests, the last scene shows them playing tic-tac-toe on their checkered tablecloth. Delightful art work to match spirited stories!
1991 The Man and His Line. A Fable of Friendship. Yoram Ever-Hadani. Translated by Bertha Urdang. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Fawcett Columbine. $1 at Constant Reader, Jan., '94.
A clever combination of drawing and simple text to tell a good story of relationship, including concern, struggle, separation, and the refinding of each other. Part of the book's delight lies in the expressive shapes that this reddish-brown line takes. I am glad to have found this book. The price is hard to beat!
1991 The Puffin Book of Fabulous Fables. Mark Cohen. Illustrated by Mark Southgate. Text (c)Mark Cohen, 1989. Illustrations (c)Mark Southgate, 1989. First published as Don't Count your Chickens and other Fabulous Fables by Viking Kestrel in 1989. First Puffin edition. Paperbound. London: Penguin Books. $4.75 at Waterstone, Glasgow, July, '92.
Forty-one fables well told for children and others by a variety of tellers from around the world, ancient and modern. A new favorite of mine here is Idries Shah. The black-and-white illustrations are small, spirited, and perfectly appropriate. The front cover is bent. I suspect that this book is not available in this country.
1991 The Rabbit, the Fox, and the Wolf. (c)1990 by Sara. Cut paper printed in full color. First published in France as Dans la gueule du loup by Éditions Épigones. First American Edition. Dust jacket. NY: Orchard Books. $5 at Jackson Street, Nov., '92. Extra copy for $4 from The Book Exchange, Spokane, March, '96.
A delightful story without words. Through the woods, a fox chases a rabbit. The wolf goes after the fox. When the wolf comes after the rabbit, the rabbit stands up to him. The two become friends. Pictures do this simple, evocative, primal story much better than words could.
1991 The World's Best Short Stories: Anthology and Criticism: Volume IV: Fables and Tales. Editorial Board of Roth Publishing. With a Critical Introduction by Jerrilyn Szelle. Hardbound. Great Neck, NY: Volume 4 of 10: Roth Publishing. $9.48 from Better World Books, March, '12.
Here is an anthology of which I had not known. The book contains a large collection of stories and story-types. First comes a section of fables and tales from oral traditions. A brief overview of this section suggests to me that there are far more non-fables than fables here. A second section contains fables and tales from Great Collections, starting with Aesop and Panchatantra. A third section is devoted to modern writers, from Hans Christian Andersen to Isaac Bashevis Singer. Except for the works of Joel Chandler Harris, I again suspect that there are few fables here. In the introduction to the fables of Aesop, there is a sentence that either presents new information of which I was unaware or else gets some Aesopic history terribly wrong: "During the fifth century B.C., the Greek philosopher Phaedrus was a particular devotee of the collection, and used the stories to illustrate his principles." I wonder if the last six volumes of the series ever got published.
1991 Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children's Literature. Donna E. Norton. Third edition. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: Merrill, an imprint of Macmillan; Toronto: Collier Macmillan Canada; NY, Oxford, Singapore, and Sydney: Maxwell Macmillan International Publishing Group. $8.50 from Bluestem Books, Lincoln, NE, Dec., '95.
In this mammoth, nicely-colored book, Norton addresses the subject of fables several times. Early (47) she points out that his book of Aesop's fables was probably Caxton's most important among many important contributions. She mentions Harvey Darton's opinion that, with a little modernizing, Caxton's is still the best text for children today. On 228-29, she offers some not very helpful definition material that may limit fables unfortunately to animals and explain their meaning as allegorical. On 257-9, she offers some more refined characteristics of fable taken from Lenaghan's Caxton's Aesop. She then gives a good survey of recent fable books, including Caldecott, L'Estange (sic), Stevens, Cauley, White, Paxton, Holder, Hague, Santore, Testa, and Bierhorst (with bibliographical data on 290). She returns to using fables to provide examples of allegory on 329. Two of Paxton and Rayevsky's books are recommended for promoting group responses and choral singing (390 and 401). Previous editions of this book were published in 1983 and 1987.
1991 Tilki Ile Leylek. Ayten Gürer. Resimleyen: Faruk Kutlu. Pamphlet. Istanbul: La Fontaine Masallari Dizisi #10: Bu Yayinevi. $4 from Ugur Yurttutan, Istanbul, Feb., '05.
Here is a straightforward presentation of FS in a pamphlet of sixteen pages. There is a colored illustration on each page of the story. Will I ever be able to find the other nine La Fontaine fables in this series?
1991 Timeless Tales: Fables. Retold by Tana Reiff. Illustrated by Catherine Chauvin. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Syracuse: New Readers Press. $5.60 from Amazon.com, April, '98
This is an elementary booklet containing sixteen fables, with strong woodcuts and a proverbial moral under the woodcut. Other than a short introduction, there is nothing here but these fables and their illustrations. The book is at its best when it formulates the morals of fables. Moral of CP: "When you have a problem, use your head" (11). For FG: "Finding fault with what you can't have is only pretending that you never wanted it" (18). "The Fox and the Goat" gets as its moral "Look before you leap" (20). The cover illustration (FS) is perhaps the strongest (also on 22). The monkey jumps onto a "fish's" back, not a dolphin's (26); the monkey from "the big city" simply lies that he knows the king, and there is no wordplay about whom he knows. In "The Three Bulls and the Lion" the bulls fight over grass on their own, and, angered, retreat to three different corners of the field. At the end of BW, the boy "was never seen again" (33). BC has an apt moral: "Talking is one thing; doing is something else" (41).
1991 Tommy Traveler in the World of Black History. Written and illustrated by Tom Feelings. First edition. Dust jacket. Manufactured in Singapore. NY: Black Butterfly Children's Books. $13.95 at Children's Bookstore, Chicago, Sept., '91. One extra copy for $6.50 from Jackson Street, Oct., '94. Another extra copy new but without dust jacket for $5 at Powell's on Wabash, June, '94.
An exasperated store-owner had run through all his fable books and then remembered this book, which he did not have in stock but ordered for me. Tommy dreams after reading books--about Phoebe Fraunces, Emmet Till, Aesop (10-17), Frederick Douglass, Crispus Attucks, and Joe Louis. The Aesop material is heavy on the vita. The text is marred by a few orthographic errors (e.g., "Samosans"). Two fables are mentioned: the wolves offer peace with the sheep for dog-hostages, and a boy is about to kill a locust. Aesop is of course black. The style is lively and comics-like.
1991 Town Mouse and Country Mouse. Lucy Kincaid. Illustrated by Eric Kincaid. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. Newmarket, England: Now You Can Read Series: Brimax. See 1985/91.
1991 Troll Treasury of Animal Stories. Edited by John C. Miles. Illustrated by Mary Oak-Rhind and Graham Dennison. First printing. Printed in Belgium. Paperbound. Mahwah: Troll Associates. $6.95 at Bookhouse, Omaha, July, '91. Extra copy for $3.47 at Second Story, Bethesda, Jan., '96.
Fifteen fables among forty-five stories, each two pages long with lively illustrations. The fables show some surprises and soft endings. The eagle drops the turtle and then catches him. The dog returns to the butcher shop and learns to be happy with what he gets. The crow paints himself as gray as a pigeon. The hare offers a race to any comer. The ant serves a nice meal to the grasshopper. The town mouse is male, the country mouse female. The traveller suffers a sprained ankle before the bear appears. There is wit here: a crocodile wanting to brush his teeth dreams of peppermint toothpaste!
1991 Twenty Jataka Tales. Retold by Noor Inayat Khan. Illustrated by H. Willebeek LeMair. (c)1975, 1985 East-West Publications. Illustrations (c)1966, 1975, 1983 Soefi Stichting Inayat Fundatie Sirdar, The Hague. First edition. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International. $9.95 from Platypus, Evanston, Oct., '91.
The tales focus on ingenuity, love, and self-sacrifice. There is a good deal of magic beyond the talking of beasts. All tales end "happily ever after." The word order is archaic. In the first tale, the monkey king makes himself the last link in a bridge to save his people at the cost of his life. On 94, the buffalo says of the monkey "Why should I make him suffer so that I may be happy?" Three fables known to me are TT (41), where the geese initiate the trip and children laugh at the tortoise; "The Quarrelsome Quails" (115) with its motif of the common lift-off; and "The End of the World" (125) where the hare hears a fruit fall and manages to stampede all the other animals. The colored cover illustration is more engaging than the black-and-whites for each fable. Now see the audio cassette Jataka Tales (1992) that presents eighteen of these twenty tales.
1991 Uncle Noel's Fun Fables. By S. Noel Rideau. Illustrated by Harrel Gray. Oversize pamphlet. Printed in USA. Covington, LA: Aesop Systems Publishing Company. $1 from Donna Kramer, Pace, FL, though Ebay, Feb., '01.
This 8½" x 11" pamphlet contains twenty-four contemporary stories for reflection and discussion. I have read four or five. They seem well geared to provoking discussion and reflection on various issues. The most surprising story for me is "Don Quixote Lives Again" (33). Slim Coyote rides Rocksie and has a friend named Poncho. He attacks not windmills but oil rigs in the Southwest. The story develops as an act of homage to Cervantes, I think, but then has a strange way of finishing.
1991 Wie das Kamel seinen Buckel bekam: Vorlesegeschichten von Boccaccio bis Biermann. Herausgegeben von Stephanie Thieme. Illustrationen von Ingred Engmann. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Berlin: Verlag Neues Leben. €8 from Antiquariat Richard Kulbach, Heidelberg, August, '09.
This book is a pleasant, creative surprise. It contains all sorts of stories for parents to read to children. That there are fifty-three seems no accident: one a week can take a listener through a whole year. After "Liest du mir was vor?," -- "Statt eines Vorworts" -- we start with Leonardo's delightful story of the tongue which had eventually to be punished by the teeth for thinking that it could lie. Luther's letter follows soon after to his son telling of the garden in which children who pray can play (13). Before long we have arrived at Lessing's "Die Geschichten des alten Wolfes" with its seven parts (28). A touching story I read here for the first time is Löhr's "Die Jahrmarktspuppen" (67). I find it most curious that in Kipling's good title-story "Wie das Kamel seinen Buckel bekam" (163), the lazy camel's repeated line in English is simply "Humph!" but in German becomes "Rutsch mir den Buckel." The phrasing works well in English when the story comes to its key point: "no sooner had he said it ["Humph!"] than he saw his back, that he was so proud of, puffing up and puffing up into a great big lolloping humph." The camel had been lazy for three days; now he can work for three days without eating. By the way, the camel, the story says, still has not learned to behave himself! Hesse's "Der befreite Vogel" (168) is new to me and lovely! Kafka's "Kleine Fabel" is here (176) with a fine little design at its end. I enjoyed Roda Roda's "Der Ochs, der Esel, das Kamel" (195). Almost at the end come Monterroso's "Die Grille als Lehrer" and "Der Frosch, der ein richtiger Frosch sein wollte" (246-7). There are both full-page colored illustrations along the way and lovely little colored designs after specific works. Two of the best of the latter accompany Monterosso's two fables.
1991/92 Fox Tale. Yossi Abolafia. Yossi Abolafia. Second printing. Paperbound. NY: A Picture Yearling Book: Dell. $2.50 from Bluestem Books, Lincoln, NE, Jan., '13.
Here is a paperbound copy of a book which I had found earlier in hardbound form and listed under "1991." This seems to be a second printing of the paperbound version. Dell seems to have taken over the book from Greenwillow. As I wrote there, Fox offers ownership of his tail to Bear for some honey. Of course there are a number of attempts at various swindles by the fox. Other animals remember his dirty dealings; the crow, for example, remembers losing his cheese. The animals get together to teach fox a lesson.
1991/93 The Ant and the Grasshopper. Aesop. Illustrated by Bari Weissman. 1993 impression. Hardbound. Boston: Working Together Read Alone Book: Houghton Mifflin Company. $8.86 from Barbara Rykaczewski, Chicago, IL, through eBay, June, '10.
This is a full-sized 16-page pamphlet. The illustrations are double-page spreads with simple lines, like "The Ant worked. The grasshopper didn't" (3). Pages 4-5 show delight in the multi-limbed character of both insects. Changes in colors, clothing, leaves, and weather express the progress of seasons well. When the grasshopper in winter looks into the ant's house, he sees him "singing and dancing and playing. And eating, too" (13). This book cleverly finishes with a single page that has the ant meet the grasshopper at his front door. The book simply asks "What do you think the Ant did?" Well done!
1991/93 100 Ancient Chinese Fables. Chinese-English. K.L. Kiu. Gift of Jorge Ayala from Taiwan, Nov., '94.
A delightful gift from an old friend. The plates seem to be identical to those used for the fables in the 1985/89 edition of the same name by the same editor. See my comments there. The bibliography seems to have been revised. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to find bibliographical information in this edition.
1991/94 Aesop's Fables. Classics Illustrated #26. Adapted and illustrated by Eric Vincent. Lettering by Partick (sic) Owsley. Apparently the first printing of the first revised edition, April, '94. Chicago: Classics International Entertainment. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '95.
I really like this book. I had searched for it since I heard it came out several years ago, and dealers reported that they had had it, but that it had sold out. There are twenty-five fables told in this comic-book format, generally receiving one or two pages. Only "The Quack Frog" (26) and TMCM (40) get more pages, a total of three and four respectively. Among the best-told and best-illustrated are FC (4), "The Quack Frog," WS (33), and "The Soldier and His Horse" (35). Often fables told with humans as characters elsewhere in the Aesopic tradition are pictured with animals here, like the monkey astronomer (6) and the spendthrift (23; sorry, I cannot tell what animal this is!). There are some curious differences here from the tradition. In FM, the frog fails to note that he is drowning the mouse (7). A dog-barber sharpens the boar's tusks with a steel file in his shop (12). The monkey who dances before the camel tries to dance is a voluptuous female (24). The moral for "The Tortoise and the Eagle" is "envy is the strength of fools" (10) and for "The Viper and the File" it is "The covetous are poor givers" (20).
1991/94 Aesop’s Fables (Chinese). Fifth edition. Peking. 280 yen in Chinatown, Yokohama, July, ’96.
This small pamphlet appeared during a wonderful occasion. Shoji Iiyama was showing me Yokohama, and we had a little time left before I needed to head back to Tokyo. He suggested Chinatown, and I was delighted. By stopping in the crazy shops that sell everything, I told him, we would find something. We walked in one such shop and I found six-sided Chinese story-blocks of TH. As I was looking them over, he looked through the books and amazed himself to find this Chinese book of fables. There are five fables in it, with pictures and text printed on opposite sides of the same thin page of paper. Thus all the pictures are on the right. Some printings do not align well (e.g., 9). In MSA, an old woman strikes the child on the donkey with a stick (7)! Other stories include "The Donkey Drinking Dew," GA, "The Fox and the Monkey King," and DS. What a delightful find!
1991/94 Buddhist Parables. Translated from the original Pali by Eugene Watson Burlingame. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Delhi: Buddhist Tradition Series #13: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. $15 from Alibris, July, '99.
First published by Yale University Press in 1922. The first Indian edition was done in 1991. This is a 1994 reprint. Here on 348 pages are some two hundred and twenty Buddhist parables. Some, particularly early parables, have both a canonical and an uncanonical version. I read several to get their flavor. One finds, again particularly among the early materials, several stories that are commonly told, even among Western fables. "The Grateful Elephant" (1) has several phases but is built on the basic concept of generosity, I would say. "Blind Men and Elephant" (75) is the story we know well. "How Not to Hit an Insect" (82) has the common fable theme "Better an enemy with sense than a friend without it." The story is like our "Bear and the Gardener" but uses instead a father and son. "The Snake" (185) starts from the difference between grasping a snake by its head and grasping it elsewhere. So there is a way to grasp the scriptures aright and way to miss their meaning. "Boar and Lion" (297) has the key command "Eat me, O lion!" More than one character in this story offers himself as food for others.
1991/95 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Graeme Kent. Illustrated by Tessa Hamilton. Reprinted 1995. Printed in Hong Kong. Newmarket: Brimax. $10 at Book Warehouse, Gretna, Nov., '95. Extra copy a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '97.
See my copy of the 1991 printing for comment. The only difference I can discern is that the paper here is thinner and shinier. Bewick continues to be represented with at least one engraving per fable. Brimax keeps producing!
1991/95 Tesoro de Fábulas: Esopo, La Fontaine, Samaniego, Iriarte y Otros. Paperbound. Primera reimpresión de la primera edición. Mexico City: Clasicos Auriga: Fernández Editores. $10 from The Story Monkey, Omaha, July, '96.
As the T of C at the back shows, this paperback includes thirty fables from Aesop, eight from the Panchatantra, three from Phaedrus, thirty-two from La Fontaine, fourteen from Samaniego, twenty from Iriarte, six from Fernández de Lizardi, three from Hartzenbusch, nine from Campoamor, two from Concepción Arenal, twenty-four from Rosas Moreno, and two from Zúñiga. Among the frequent full-page black-and-white illustrations, several stand out: WC (25); FS (compare the background of the black-and-white version on 51 with the colored version on the front cover); and the leopard and the monkeys (129).
1991/98 La Ratoncita-Niña y Otros Cuentos. Leon Tolstoi; Traducción de Luz Amorocho. Ilustraciones de Alekos. Paperbound. Barcelona: Torre de Papel: Grupo Editorial Norma. $4.99 from Roxanne Warren, Charleston, SC, through eBay, July, '10.
This 83-page paperback contains thirteen stories by Tolstoy. Two are listed as fables; a third is usually seen as a fable. First among these is the title-story. A man saves a mouse and wishes she would become his daughter. It happens. When she grows up, he asks whom she wants to marry. "The strongest." This answer starts a series of requests that includes the sun, clouds, the wind, the mountains, and finally a male mouse. When he brings his daughter that final answer that a mouse is the strongest, she says that she cannot marry a mouse. Just as he had once wished that the mouse turn into a daughter, he now successfully wishes that his daughter would turn into a mouse. She does, and she marries the male mouse. "The Tail and the Head" (19) comes from La Fontaine. The two disagree and separate. The tail falls into a crevice and disappears. "El abuelo anciano y su nieto" (25) tells of parents who treat their parent poorly by leaving food in a wooden bucket rather than on the table for him. The grandson starts making a bucket. Asked why, he tells his parents that he is getting it ready for them when they grow old. They repent and serve grandfather better. The illustrations are nicely done, particularly those -- including the colored cover illustration -- for the first story. The illustrations come in a variety of formats.
1991/2001 Parables and Fables for Modern Man, Vol. IV. Peter Ribes, S.J. Cover and Illustrations by Sr Solange SMMI. Paperbound. Printed in Allahabad. Bandra, Mumbai: St Paul Publications. Gift of John Cunningham, Justin Daffron, and Seil Oh from India, Jan., '04.
Encouraged by the success of his 1988 book of the same title (see my 1990 copy published in England), Ribes prepared "a few volumes more." Here in the fourth volume, he writes, we will find parables and stories bearing mainly on "social and justice values." The more elaborate format of the first volume has been reduced here. Now a story text, regularly shorter here than those there, is followed by a set of discussion questions and perhaps a set of ideas helpful for discussion. There are again thirty stories. The length of the book has been reduced from the 168 pages in Volume 1 to 128 pages here. Among the first five stories, I appreciate "Be Kind to the Cows" (17), borrowed from Tolstoy. A man fences cattle in and has to supply them with grass and water, which are plentiful outside the fence. Many of the cows die. He is asked why he does not just let them go free outside the fence. His answer: "But then I would not be able to milk them!"
1991? Fables of Aesop. Translated by S.A. Handford with illustrations by Brian Robb. London: Penguin. New Edition (but the error still remains in the Latin heading of Story #96: for expelles we still have expells). See 1954/64/91?.
1991? Kalila y Dimna (Arabic). Paperbound. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah. 20 Dirhams from Librairie Elkasr, Casablanca, July, '01.
This must be my first book published by a firm in Lebanon. The cover shows a beautiful diamond of animals at peace with one another. Inside there is nothing but text. There seems to be a T of C at the end, which is of course where the beginning would be for us.
1991? Kalila y Dimna (Arabic). Paperback. 30 Dirhams from a bookshop in Habous, Casablanca, July, '01.
Of the fable books I was able to find in Casablanca, this paperback offers the least cataloguing help. It has on its front cover a lovely colored reproduction of a manuscript illumination of a crane, a lobster, and fishes. The illustration helps to identify the book as in the Kalila and Dimna tradition. I believe that there is a T of C at the front of the book. There are no further illustrations. I cannot even identify the bookshop beyond giving its neighborhood. Sorry!
1991? La Cigale et la Fourmi. Oversized pamphlet. Mantes-la-Jolie, France: Collection Super Fables: Éditions Ronde du Tournesol. $1.50 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, August, '99.
Large (12.25" x 11") pamphlet of six pages, die cut to fit the outlines of the flowers around the cicada and ant. A simple prose version with images heavy on pastel colors. The ant takes pity on the cicada in the end and feeds her for the rest of the winter! Both characters here wear a hat or cap in every season. c1991 by Susaeta Ediciones, Madrid.
1991? La Renarde et la Cigogne. Printed in Spain. Mantes-la-Jolie, France: Collection Super Fables: Éditions Ronde du Tournesol. 10 Francs from Maxi-Livres, Poitiers, August, '99. Extra copy for $8 from Marie Gervais, Quebec, through eBay, Jan., '05.
Large (12.25" x 11") pamphlet of six pages, die cut to fit the outlines of the stork and lady fox on the cover. A simple prose version with images heavy on pastel colors, butterflies, birds, flowers, and mushrooms. Notice that we have two females in this version. Both wear headgear throughout the story. This lady stork uses a parasol. I notice nothing unusual in the telling. ©1991 by Susaeta Ediciones, Madrid.
1991? Le Conseil tenu par les Rats. Printed in Spain. Mantes-la-Jolie, France: Collection Super Fables: Éditions Ronde du Tournesol. 10 Francs from Maxi-Livres, Poitiers, August, '99. Extra copy for $8 from Marie Gervais, Quebec, through eBay, Jan., '05.
Large (12.25" x 11") pamphlet of six pages, die cut to fit the outlines of the cover's scene of the council. A simple prose version with images heavy on pastel colors and hats for all the characters. The bell is visible when one rat, not further specified or described, presents the idea of using it. I find nothing unusual in the telling of this story. ©1991 by Susaeta Ediciones, Madrid.
1991? Le Corbeau et le Renard. Printed in Spain. Mantes-la-Jolie, France: Collection Super Fables: Éditions Ronde du Tournesol. 10 Francs from Maxi-Livres, Poitiers, August, '99.
Large (12.25" x 11") pamphlet of six pages, die cut to fit the outlines of the crow and fox on the cover. A simple prose version with images heavy on pastel colors, butterflies, flowers, and mushrooms. A little mouse appears early in the story with a piece of cheese, which the crow immediately takes. This surprising move serves, I guess, to put the crow in the wrong from the start. The fox, as he departs, thanks the crow, advises him not to be so proud, and urges him to let this experience be a lesson. Everybody in this story wears a hat or cap! ©1991 by Susaeta Ediciones, Madrid.
1991? Le Lion et le Rat. Printed in Spain. Mantes-la-Jolie, France: Collection Super Fables: Éditions Ronde du Tournesol. 10 Francs from Maxi-Livres, Poitiers, August, '99.
Large (12.25" x 11") pamphlet of six pages, die cut to fit the outlines of the lion and rat on the cover. A simple prose version with images heavy on pastel colors, flowers, and mushrooms. The rat, making his usual daily walk, clearly sees the lion sleeping. In a breathtaking move, this rat uses his slingshot to wake up the sleeping lion! The rat, when captured, asks only for pardon--and receives it. ©1991 by Susaeta Ediciones, Madrid.
1991? Le Loup et le Chien. Printed in Spain. Mantes-la-Jolie, France: Collection Super Fables: Éditions Ronde du Tournesol. 10 Francs from Maxi-Livres, Poitiers, August, '99.
Large (12.25" x 11") pamphlet of six pages, die cut to fit the outlines of the wolf and dog on the cover. A simple prose version with images heavy on pastel colors, birds, and mushrooms. While the dog explained that he guarded his master's house, the famished wolf was busy robbing a nest of its eggs. Mama crow then attacked him on the head with her beak! The dog's collar is obvious in the art from the beginning. When asked about it, he explained that his master chained him up during the day so that he would sleep during the day and thus could guard the house at night. The wolf left saying that he preferred dying of hunger to losing his freedom. ©1991 by Susaeta Ediciones, Madrid.
1991? Le Rat de Ville et le Rat des Champs. Printed in Spain. Mantes-la-Jolie, France: Collection Super Fables: Éditions Ronde du Tournesol. 10 Francs from Maxi-Livres, Poitiers, August, '99.
Large (12.25" x 11") pamphlet of six pages, die cut to fit the outlines of the two rats on the cover. A simple prose version with images heavy on pastel colors and hats for the characters. The city rat has no problem with the country meal; they ate "abondamment et paisiblement." In the city home, numerous rat-traps are mentioned and one is shown dramatically. The rats came to a well-laden table of food apparently within the rat's own quarters when the cat interrupted them, wanting to chase them. It takes only that one encounter to send the country rat back home. ©1991 by Susaeta Ediciones, Madrid.
1991? Merveilleuses Fables de La Fontaine. Jean de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Jean-François Beurtheret. Hardbound. Printed in Barcelona. Paris: Henri Veyrier. 75 Francs from Librairie de l'avenue Henry Veyrier, Clignancourt, July, '98.
This may be the first time that I am aware of in which the bookseller was also the publisher! (And yes, the book spells his first name with an I, while the bookstore's blurb has "Henry.") Beurtheret's numerous full-page illustrations are all signed in 1990. They are done in crayon or chalk or some other form of pastel. Among the best are FS (25), DLS (28), "The Mountain Giving Birth" (33), "The Peacock Complaining to Juno" (66), and "The Hare and the Frogs" (97). The reader finds a big surprise on 120 when there is a section of fables of Aesop! These present generally thumbnail-size reproductions of the earlier illustrations alongside the Aesopic texts, though there are also some new, full-page illustrations as well. Beurtheret does not hide his dependence on earlier French illustrators like Grandville.
1992 A Treasury of Animal Stories. Chosen by Jane Olliver. Illustrated by Annabel Spenceley. Printed in Spain. NY: Kingfisher Books. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Christmas, '93. Extra copies for $5.95 at Barnes & Noble, Evanston, Nov., '92, and a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '95.
The three fables in this moderately sized paperback are presented by the same teller and artist as in The Animal Tale Treasury (1986). In fact, six stories out of the other seven there come over here to join ten additional stories. The illustrations that had been very nice in color in the earlier book become only okay in black-and-white here; several are cropped, split, or just dropped. The three Aesop fables are retold by Robin Lister: TH turns out to be a huge surprise. The girl feels bad for the hare; Aesop comes in a dream and reveals that the hare was asked to instigate and throw the race to improve the tortoise's self-concept! LM is the second fable. FC has different elements: stolen strawberry cheesecake and comments from the raven with it in his mouth before he sings and loses it.
1992 A Treasury of Children's Literature. Edited by Armand Eisen; Fables Retold by Sheila Black. Fables Illustrated by Richard Bernal. Twenty-seventh printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Boston: Ariel Books: Houghton Mifflin. $17.46 from Amazon, Oct., '13.
I am surprised that I had not found this book earlier. It came up on Amazon after I had found a new fable book to order and was looking for other books to boost the total high enough for free shipping. "Aesop's Fables" form the second section of this book (70-77). Four fables are told by Sheila Black and illustrated by Richard Bernal from their 1991 book. Those four are FC, GA, FG, and TH. The dust jacket's cover-painting includes a number of characters gathered around a winged horse. A tortoise just makes it into the corner of the picture. The book's cover has an embossed winged horse in gold. Other sections are "Traditional Stories"; "Grimms' Fairy Tales"; "Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes"; "Children's Classics"; "A Child's Garden of Verses"; "American Tales" (including Brer Rabbit on 214); "The Night Before Christmas"; and "Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales."
1992 Aesop: Fables. Translated by Sir Roger L'Estrange. With illustrations by Stephen Gooden. Everyman's Library Children's Classics. Printed & bound in Germany. NY: Alfred A. Knopf. Gift of Vera Ruotolo, Feb., '97. Extra copy for $12.95 at Beaucoup Books, New Orleans, Dec., '92.
I have wanted a Gooden Aesop since I found his La Fontaine edition (1931) four months ago. This book does not seem to mention Gooden's 1936 limited edition of 525 copies done by George Harrap using L'Estrange's version. Are this edition's twelve full plates (listed on 16) only a selection of the plates found there? The best of them are of the camel praying for horns while kneeling at a predieu (160) and of the bag-piping wolf and dancing kid (272). But the initial letters are even more fun, I think. In these Gooden shows an excellent eye for the ironic moment or detail of a story. No T of C, but there is an AI of the more-than-two-hundred fables on 311. True to L'Estrange, the versions include his long reflections after the short morals. And of course there is the life of Aesop at the beginning. This book is very nicely done, especially for the price.
1992 Aesop: Fables. Translated by Sir Roger L'Estrange. With illustrations by Stephen Gooden. Everyman's Library Children's Classics. Printed & bound in Germany. London: David Campbell Publishers Ltd. Gift of Paul Wackers, Jan., '97.
Identical with the adjacent book published as a Borzoi Book by Alfred A. Knopf. This British/European version is published by David Campbell and distrubted by Random House (UK) Ltd. Thus the only difference in the book lies, as far as I can tell, on the reverse of the title-page. How nice of Paul to notice this book and get it sent to me!
1992 Aesop: Tales of Aethiop the African, Volume II. By Jamal Koram the StoryMan. Illustrated by Thandiwe Muhammad. Signed, inscribed first edition, first printing. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Beltsville, MD: Sea Island Information Group. $2.50 from Donald Smith, Taylorsville, KY, through Ebay, Feb., '01.
I got this signed copy of Volume II along with a signed copy of Volume I (1989) on Ebay. See my comments there and on the first printing of the first edition in the same year. Here are twenty-five fables with an introduction before and a glossary after the stories. There are ten black-and-white illustrations, ranging from over half-a-page to a full-page in size. Perhaps the best of them is a fine silhouette presentation of MSA (53). The introduction reproduces the introduction of the latest version of the first volume, but drops references to a once-planned third volume and to the illustrations of the text. It highlights the characters about to appear in this volume. The dialect makes for enjoyable reading, right down to the surprising "copastetic" (7). AL becomes "Nehuti and the Bear" (9), though it is still set in the time of the "Greeks and Romans." The source of the voice telling the traveler to move his wagon himself is never identified (19). Instead of a dolphin, we get a camel carrying a monkey (25). Kolobahn is Dakar's market. Does the story work if the camel asks "Have you seen Kolobahn there lately? Do you know him?" The jump at Rhodes has become a slam-dunk in Kano (27)! "The Lion in Love" is transformed into "Juma Loses His Locks" (36), in which Juma gets new clothes, removes his beard and moustache, and gives up his dred locks for love, only to come up unsatisfactory in the eyes of his sweetheart's father because he is a storyteller. "Br'er Wolf and His Cousin" (42) combines DW and TMCM. The rooster who finds a diamond ring rejects it partly for a new reason: "Every time I'd look at it, I'd be thinking about the pain and suffering African people are going through to pull precious baubles from deep within the earth" (48). The glossary is on 56-70. We still get Jamal Koram's name after almost every individual fable.
1992 Aesop's Fables. Susan Cornell Poskanzer. Pictures by Delana Bettoli. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Press: Silver Burdett: Simon & Schuster. $12.95 from Amazon.com, Jan., '98.
Thirty fables. Moral of the bat fable is good and unusual: "Choose Sides for What You Believe in, Not for What You Might Win" (9). So is that for DS (19): "If You Are Not Grateful for What You Have, You May Lose It." To my surprise, the "jumping fish" fable that I have panned in Aesop is repeated here (21). The grapes in FG that are usually not ripe yet are here "moldy and full of worms" (25). GB is particularly well told (29). I do not think I have ever before seen CJ trace the history of the lost diamond ring (47). SW is told in the poorer version (59). The full-page colored illustrations seem to me derivative.
1992 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Cheryl Mitchell and Elyse Thierry, Mitchell & Associates. Illustrated by José Ortega. Painted by Catherine Kim. Printed in NY by Dubin and Dubin. NY: Mitsui Fudosan (NY), Inc. Gift of Mitsui Fudosan asked for by Roseann Fitzgerald, April, '93. Two extra copies, gifts of Mitsui Fudosan, May, '93.
These eleven colorful banners were hung in the lobby of 1251 Avenue of the Americas during renovations. Now this volume is dedicated to the tenants, guests, and friends for their patience and understanding during the renovation. The banners, even on these 6" x 11" pages, come off as strong, with lively color and simple movement. Some color schemes come close to those used on native American wooden animals from the southwest or those on wooden fish from Indonesia. The versions are good; they run into editorial problems in the late fable "The Monkey and the Dolphin" (specifically Athen's and Pireaus).
1992 Aesop's Fables. Book design and illustration by Triska Paul. Pamphlet. Printed in USA. San Diego: Jostens Learning Corporation. $.59 from Andree Swanson, Highlands Ranch, CO, through Ebay, July, '99.
This book is in an unusual almost-square format (8¼" x 8"). It contains three fables (BW, CP, and TH) with pleasant and lively colored illustrations. The covers and borders offer a pleasing synthesis of green, gold, and grape. The illustrations include good statements coming out of characters' mouths and written on their banners. There are two holes punched along the left border. Text ©1965 Western Publishing Company. It is surprising that I had not come across this book earlier, and even more surprising that I could get it so economically.
1992 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Safaya Salter. Retold by Anne Gatti. First edition. Dust jacket. Printed and bound in Spain. London: Pavilion Books. $20.90 at Blackwells Children's Bookshop, Oxford, July, '92.
A very pleasing book available from this publisher only in the United Kingdom. See the adjacent listing for the first U.S. edition. Salter was born in Cairo, and her art here is in a primitive style after that of Persian miniatures. I like it. It reminds me at times of the work of Jason Carter. The art is nicely varied, including sometimes a small repeater from the major illustration to mark off a fable's moral. The large illustrations sometimes present several different phases of the story. The best illustrations include "The Beetle's Revenge" (9) and DM with a zebra (39). The frontispiece has Aesop showing a book to a fox. The fifty-eight fables are generally well told. Some morals are unsatisfactory, like that for the too fat fox: "Time is a great healer" (11). Others hit closer to the mark, like that for "The Exiled Jackdaw" (49): "Don't expect those you have insulted to welcome you back." Gatti helps the story of the transformed cat by adding the cat's promises to give up feline ways (49), but she follows the poor version of SW (73).
1992 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Safaya Salter. Retold by Anne Gatti. First U.S. edition. First published 1992 by Pavilion Books. Dust jacket. Printed in Spain. San Diego: Gulliver Books: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan from Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY, Dec., '94.
This beautiful first U.S. edition varies little from the Pavilion original; see my comments there. The flyleaves, title pages, and colophon pages seem to contain the only differences.
1992 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Walt Sturrock. Printed in U.S.A. Morris Plains, NJ: Unicorn Publishing House. First printing for $3 at the Sebastopol flea market, Dec., '96.
This book makes a curious study in the movement from an original to a cheaper children's book. The sharp acrylics of Sturrock's 1988 edition have lost something here. The thirty fables there have become nineteen here. There is no T of C here. "About the illustrator" is gone. Other changes have been made: TH appeared as both frontispiece and last illustration in 1988. Here the picture of the dolphin and ape is first frontispiece and then a particular illustration. Text and picture have changed places throughout, and there is a new colored border for the text pages. The dedication has moved to the back. There are new covers and endpapers. The front cover here has a collage of five illustrations. See also under separate ID numbers my copies of the second and third printing.
1992 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Walt Sturrock. Second printing. Hardbound. Morris Plains, NJ: Unicorn Publishing House. $4 from an unknown source, June, '11.
Here is the second printing of Unicorn's 1992 book using Sturrock's illustrations that first appeared in 1988. This second printing differs from the first particularly in its front cover. Now the front cover is the full picture of TH; it had been a composite of five pictures. The back cover still has its composite of five different pictures; it adds a price ($6.95). As I wrote of the first printing, this book makes a curious study in the movement from an original to a cheaper children's book. The sharp acrylics of Sturrock's 1988 edition have lost something here. The thirty fables there have become nineteen here. There is no T of C here. "About the illustrator" is gone. Other changes have been made: TH appeared as both frontispiece and last illustration in 1988. Here the picture of the dolphin and ape is first frontispiece and then a particular illustration. Text and picture have changed places throughout, and there is a new colored border for the text pages. The dedication has moved to the back. There are new covers and endpapers. See also under separate ID numbers my copy of the third printing.
1992 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Walt Sturrock. Third printing. Hardbound. Morris Plains, NJ: Unicorn Publishing House. $3.50 from Books & More Books, Santa Fe, May, '93.
Here is the third printing of Unicorn's 1992 book using Sturrock's illustrations that first appeared in 1988. I can find no difference between the third printing and the second. The second printing differed from the first particularly in its front cover. In the second and third printings, the front cover is the full picture of TH; it had been a composite of five pictures. The back cover of all three printings has its own composite of five different pictures. This third printing follows the second in adding a price, and that price -- $6.95 -- has not changed. As I wrote of the first printing, this book makes a curious study in the movement from an original to a cheaper children's book. The sharp acrylics of Sturrock's 1988 edition have lost something here. The thirty fables there have become nineteen here. There is no T of C here. "About the illustrator" is gone.
1992 Aesop's Fables. Selected and adapted by Jack Zipes. Illustrations from J.J. Grandville. Paperback. First Printing. NY: Signet Classic: New American Library: Penguin Books. $4.95, Spring, '93. Extra copy of the third printing a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '95. Extra work copy of the first printing for $2.95 from Booksellers' Row, March, '93.
This version redoes the 203 fables presented by James in his 1848 edition. A random check suggests that the changes go beyond mere substituting of one more modern word for an archaic one. Zipes says in his opening "Note" (xiii) that he consulted numerous other nineteenth-century translations. He admits to taking a good deal of poetic license. He has occasionally conceived new morals. The order of fables does not match that in the 1848 James/Tenniel edition. Grandville's illustrations do not have much chance to come off their gray background in this inexpensive printing. There is a thoughtful afterword (276) and a good short bibliography.
1992 Aesop's Tales. For the first grade elementary school students. Written by Yukio Tsuchiya. Illustrated by Kazuo Ikeda. Tenth edition. Dust jacket. Shinjuku, Tokyo: Kaiseisha Company. See 1956/92.
1992 Aesop’s Tales (Japanese). Third edition. Tokyo: Ondori Company: Kyozai Syuppan Co., Ltd. See 1987/92.
1992 Aesopus: Vita et Fabulae Ulm 1476 (Faksimile). Heinrich Steinhöwel. #128 of 800; boxed, with commentary booklet. Hardbound. Ludwigsburg: Edition Libri Illustri Verlag. See 1476/1992.
1992 Beastly Tales from Here and There. Vikram Seth. Illustrations by Ravi Shankar. Second printing?. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. New Delhi: Viking Penguin Books India. $18.37 from Christine Volk & Shep Iiams, Ione, CA, through abe, Nov., '12.
Here is an earlier version of a book I had already found in a different hardbound and paperback format. Those later versions came from Phoenix House in 1993 and 1994, whereas this comes from Viking in India in 1992. The format is larger and the illustrations are not only larger but more distinct. As I wrote there, the book offers ten well told, witty tales in verse that include two slightly expanded from Aesop but with different contemporary twists. The eagle dies of grief over the beetle's continual destruction of his eggs wrought out of vengeance for the beetle's old friend, the hare. And the female hare ends up losing the race but winning all the press acclaim. The other tales come two each from India, China, the Ukraine, and "the Land of Gup." "The Mouse and the Snake" from China is a good fable with an ironic ending comment. "The Cat and the Cock" from the Ukraine uses repeated lines very well but has the misspelling "seranade" (70). In #9, the frog manager ruins the nightingale and never knows it. One black-and-white line sketch with each story, two with the last. The dust-jacket here offers a colored version of the first fable's sexy crocodile and the back cover a colored version of the frog manager and his stringed instrument, with a nightingale in the background. The bookseller describes it as a second printing, but I can find no indication of that in the book itself.
1992 Classic Fables. ©Astrid Anand. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Ottawa: API Limited. $2.27 from Sylvia and Kevin DesRoches, Ontario, Canada, through Ebay, May, '01.
Here is, I think, a first for my collection. A book that I had already had in French appears here in English. Of course, this is perfectly natural for a book from Ottawa. Even things like the price and the typeface are the same. I will repeat most of what I offered by way of comment on the French version. There are just two fables in this large hardbound children's book: WS and TT. The texts are simplified prose versions of La Fontaine. The text pages are surrounded by animals, and in the illustrations the main characters are surrounded by onlooking birds and animals. The stork is dressed up as a nurse, and the two ducks are dressed in vests. Perhaps the most unusual feature of this rather standard children's book is the way it hides information about itself. Besides the person who owns the copyright (Is Astrid Anand perhaps the artist?), the only tracking information we are given is a phone number. My presumption of the meaning of "Imprimé aux É.-U." is confirmed here; it does mean "Printed in the USA."
1992 Conjunctions 18: Fables, Yarns, Fairy Tales. Edited by Bradford Morrow. Paperbound. Annandale on Hudson: Bard College. $3.98 from Better World Books, April, '10.
I had not been aware of Conjunctions, which I notice is now at its Number 54, since it is published twice a year by Bard. This particular issue is a lively gathering of various short forms of literature. It is not easy, of course, to find the fables, but there are some here! A good one is "A Friend in Need" by A.K. Ramanujan (133). It uses the traditional motif of giving apparently friendly advice to a conquering but not succeeding animal. Here the fox recommends to the leopard that he throw the tortoise into the water, and his shell will soften up. Another is "Story of the Fool and the Cakes" by James Laughlin (174). A fool buys eight cakes and eats six without being satisfied. The seventh cake satisfies his hunger. "I have been cheated," he cries. "Why didn't I eat the last cake first? I wasted my money on those other cakes that did not satisfy me!" For a scary experience, try Forrest Gander's "Kuzma and the Worm" (140). For a quick treat, read Bradford Morrow's "Numb" on 362. I trust I will find more fables here on my next trip through.
1992 Der Äsop-Roman: Motivgeschichte und Erzählstruktur. Herausgegeben von Niklas Holzberg unter Mitarbeit von Andreas Beschorner und Stefan Merkle. Paperbound. Tübingen: Classica Monacensia Band 6: Gunter Narr Verlag. $20 from William Allen, Philadelphia, Feb., '96.
Holzberg starts his "Vorwort" by noting that interest in the ancient novel had developed but that this text was strangely neglected while critics attended to Petronius and Apuleius. He mentions that the "Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes" has in its first chapter an episode very like the first episode in the Aesop-novel. The main character cleverly outtricks his tricker by making him regurgitate stolen food. One of the most fascinating parts of this collection of contributions from various authors is the long English-language bibliography, divided into a number of parts. Apparently the portion of the "Life of Aesop" in Babylon and Egypt goes back to the fifth century before Christ, namely to the "Achikar-Roman." The Greek vita Aesopi was translated into Latin in 1448 by Rinuccio da Castiglione, and Steinhöwel edited it and added his own German translation in 1477/78 and added excellent woodcuts. These elements helped to make Steinhöwel's "Aesopus" into a bestseller. Maximos Planudes in the thirteenth century was not the author of this vita. The two views that lie at the basis of this work came out of a seminar Holzberg did in Munich in 1991-92. The author of the imperial period original version of the Aesop-Roman did not string episodes together arbitrarily but rather had a single narrative concept, inspired in great part by the Achikar-Roman. In short, he created a new literary work from material he himself created. Secondly, the logoi are used in the work not for their own sake but to highlight a meaning for the particular biographical context. This book brings together the papers written for that colloquium with the bibliography prepared before the colloquium for scholars around the world. This latter was thus prepared in English. I cannot get into the book further now. I look forward to that pleasure!
1992 Dial-A-Story Instant Guide to Aesop's Fables. Retold by Gina Phillips. Illustrated by F.S. Persico. Paperbound. NY: Dial-A-Story Instant Guides: Fantail: Puffin. $4 from Jim Burns, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, March, '06.
This eight-inch-square book seems to be internally identical with 3 Minute Aesop's Fables, edited by Gina Phillips and illustrated by F.S. Persico. That booklet was published by Smithmark Publishers in 1992. This booklet's unusual addition is the cover inviting a young reader to dial a story. The open window on the dial shows a picture of the central characters of each fable and the page it is on. Let me include some of my comments from 3 Minute Aesop's Fables. This is a simple book of eleven fables without an index or T of C. The illustrations tend to be simple. The tortoise wears glasses, a scarf, and a derby (13). All the stories except the last get two pages. Some of the morals are cautious, like "For some a safe, simple life is better than a rich life full of danger" (7) and "Slow and steady can win the race" (12). Other morals are perceptive: "Before accepting advice, it is wise to consider the source" (9) and "It is easier to talk about doing great deeds than it is to accomplish them" (20). Someone has written "Abraham" in marker on the lower left corner of the cover.
1992 Die Fabel Heute: Realität und Argument. Wilfried Liebchen. Illustrationen: Klaus-Jürgen Prohl. Erste Auflage. Paperbound. Rhön-Grabfeld/Kilianshof: Primaer 2: Fabel-Verlag Gudrun Liebchen. Gift of Wilfried Liebchen, June, '98.
Here is Liebchen's second volume, following upon his Die Fabel: Das Vergnügen der Erkenntnis (1990). It is made up of two major parts. First there are some ninety-four fables. Then there is a section on writing of fables and the stylistic qualities of fables. Some of the ninety-four fables seem to me to be those I already encountered in Liebchen's first book. Fable asks Joke why she seems so old and he seems so young. He is beloved, and she is avoided, even though he is quickly forgotten. Joke answers "I learned from the Fable" (8). A wolf all bloodied encounters a fox, who asks what is up. "I had a fight with a rabbit." A rabbit? "I gave him free choice of weapons." And? "He chose the bear" (16). A parrot surprises a fox in the garden, because the parrot uses the voice of his master. "You call yourself clever when a foreign language can frighten you?" The fox acknowledges the parrot's talent. "Come down here and I will show you my skill." She does, and he eats her on the spot. "She should have paid more attention to thinking and less to foreign languages" (16). The thirty black-and-white full-page illustrations are creative multi-media compositions in the general category of "modern art." Liebchen begins his section on fable-writing by distinguishing the "rhetorical fable" that he is dealing with. "Rhetorical" refers to its use. A rhetorical fable functions in the context of a speech and offers its convincing contribution to that speech. Rhetorical fable is a logical structure that serves this function. Rhetorical fable does not serve to edify and it takes no account of the sensitivity of its hearer. Its relation is to reality and its argument appeals to reason. Hence the sub-title of this work: Realität und Argument. Fable uses a kind of distancing effect to present a human problem through lower actors and in this way to bring old situations into a new perspective. The paradoxical element of fable is an artistic attempt to overcome blockage of thought; it is meant to allow new thoughts. The stylistic elements of fable grow out of this function and purpose. Rhetorical fable is not children's literature!
1992 D'un conte à l'autre: Récits d'après des fables, Vol. 1. Ben Abdessadek Abdelmajid. Pamphlet. Printed in Casablanca. Casablanca: Dar Attakafa. 6 Dirhams from Dar Attakafa Bookstore, Casablanca, July, '01.
Three fables are presented here in prose adaptations of La Fontaine for schoolchildren: OF, "L'âne et le chien," and WL. The cover and title-page have the correction "Récits d'après des fables" pasted over the hilarious misprint "Récits d'après des faibles." Little parentheses point to explanatory notes at the end of each fable. Full-page black-and-white illustrations alternate with text-pages. There is a great expression on the about-to-explode frog's face on 11. The second fable is that of the hungry dog who asks the ass for help in getting food out of the basket while the master sleeps. I found this booklet, along with the other two fable books in the series, on my own during my first afternoon in "Casa."
1992 D'un conte à l'autre: Récits d'après des fables, Vol. 3. Ben Abdessadek Abdelmajid. Pamphlet. Printed in Casablanca. Casablanca: Dar Attakafa. 6 Dirhams from Dar Attakafa Bookstore, Casablanca, July, '01.
Three fables are presented here in prose adaptations of La Fontaine for schoolchildren: MM, "L'argent ne fait pas le bonheur," and FC. The cover and title-page have the correction "Récits d'après des fables" pasted over the hilarious misprint "Récits d'après des faibles." Little parentheses point to explanatory notes at the end of each fable. Full-page black-and-white illustrations alternate with text-pages. MM is told in the first person by the milkmaid. In the second fable, we read a discussion between the shoemaker Gregoire and his wife after he has returned the hundred ecus to his rich neighbor Argyre. Similarly, in the third story, the crow tells her friend the stork her experience with the fox and the cheese; the stork helps her face up to her gullibility. I found this booklet, along with the other two fable books in the series, on my own during my first afternoon in "Casa."
1992 Exploring Themes in Aesop's Fables and Picture Books. Nancy Polette. Illustrated by Paul Dillon. O'Fallon, MO: Book Lures, Inc. $5.95 from Dundee, Nov., '92.
The book works in the direction of helping children to know animals. There are five Aesopic fables: LM, "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing," GA, "The Fox and the Goat," and DS. The mouse is tickling the lion's nose. LM is followed by a verse version, a good exercise on cause and effect, and Leo Lionni's "Swimmy" for comparison. The wolf rolls on the ground among the flock to pick up wool. Soon he becomes fat and so cannot run as fast as the other wolves. The wolf is caught, cooked, and eaten. This fable and "The Fox and the Goat" are both followed by antiphonal adaptations for classroom presentation. "Flossie and the Fox" is offered here for comparison. The moral of "The Fox and the Goat" is "Don't expect a person to whom you have done a kindness to be kind to you." The moral of GA is "He who plays all the time may have to suffer for it." DS is followed by a good tune, sung to "London Bridges." A little gold mine.
1992 Fables. Jean de la Fontaine. Illustrations de Félix Lorioux. Paris: Hachette Jeunesse. See 1921/92.
1992 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustré par Léopold Chauveau. Préface par Pierre Chauveau. Hardbound. Aux Couleurs du Temps: Circonflexe. €13 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05.
There are twenty-six two-page spreads in this very pleasant landscape-formatted book. In each spread there is a fine piece of watercolor work by Chauveau on the right-hand page. These are simple and surprisingly attractive. Chauveau is at his best, I believe, when he touches, like Edward Gorey, on the slightly threatening or weird. I think here, for example, of "Le Savetier et le Financier" and "La Vieille et les deux Servantes." Other good illustrations include "Le Curé et le Mort" and "Le Loup, la Mère, et l'Enfant." Chauveau is also a master of large areas of simple colors. Almost each of the illustrations is signed by Chauveau in 1921. His grandson writes the preface here. I am delighted to have found this reprint. Chauveau was a caricaturist, sculptor, and writer. He died in 1940.
1992 Fables du Nouvel Age. Jean-Louis Victor. Marie-Chantal Langevin. Paperbound. Montreal: Louise Courtreau. $10 from Librairie Mini-Prix, Laval, Canada, through abe, May, '03.
I have done my best to get a handle on this book. It seems to me to be a series of some nineteen short writings of a humorous and perhaps satiric sort, not without some clever plays on words. Several touch at least on traditional fables. I had my best luck with "La crevette et le crab" (29). The crab changes his behavior--that is, he walks straight--to please his future mother-in-law, but changes back to his normal behavior once the huge ocean-floor wedding is over. There is also a continuation of GA, in which the rejected cicada teams up with a drone and is welcomed by an art-loving squirrel (85- 90). The three live out the winter in good style and return then in spring to their lives. The squirrel reminds the other two that when destiny closes a door, it opens a window.
1992 Fables Mise en Verse, Jean de La Fontaine; Estampes Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Peintre du Roi, Tome Premier. Diane de Selliers. Boxed. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. Paris: Diane de Selliers. $175.00 from Ursus Books, NY, August, '02. Extra copy for $25 from Gary Schwartz, Tiburon, CA, through Ebay, April, '03.
Here is an impressive two-volume work presenting all (?) of the illustrations of the Desaint & Saillant et Durand four-volumes of La Fontaine that appeared between 1755 to 1759. The 1755 edition stands out as one of the highpoints of illustration of La Fontaine's fables. The present pair of books is quite simple, consisting almost entirely of the texts and illustrations. I was happy to find these books because they offer Oudry in a format only slightly smaller than that in the original edition. De Selliers' informative Avant-propos points out that the publication of this book began in 1751, and that the first volume was published three days before Oudry's death in 1755. Etienne Wolff's essay praises Oudry above all for his command of animals, of landscape, and of buildings. He admits that Oudry may not have done as well with lions as with other animals. I am surprised to find de Selliers and Wolff saying little about the colored character of these illustrations. A note on the verso of the title-page indicates that the present illustrations are from a contemporary hand doing gouache and that this exemplar stems from Brussels. De Selliers speaks of Oudry's original black-crayon sketches being washed with China ink and having gouache highlights before being committed to copper. For me, the choice of a colored exemplar for this edition defines it and weakens it. Colored renditions define this edition because they have a distinctive impact different from the impact of Oudry's work in black and white. The choice weakens this edition by cheapening the effect of Oudry's illustrations. Some illustrations take on a garish quality. Many obscure the details of Oudry's careful work by their coloration. If I compare, for example, the original and the colored versions of XXXVII (UP), I find the black-and-white cock better defined than his colored counterpart. The varied colors suggest something clown-like. Perhaps the very movement into color often suggests something of the cartoon. I gather that Oudry was drawing sketches for tapestries. Perhaps color was integral to his conception, but I find it hard to presume that color is integral to the 1755 edition. That said, many of these pictures are simply beautiful, like SS (105) and the fourth plate for MSA (133). Wolves and other animals tend to be red-eyed here (e.g. 91, 177, and 241). Are elephants' ears really that red inside (263 and 279)? Bachelier's woodcut fleurons profit from the addition of color here. Beware! Six illustrations are pulled out of sequence and offered between pages 10 and 38 of Volume One: XVIII 2 (FC); CCXXVIII 2 ("Le Corbeau, la Gazelle, la Tortue et le Rat"); LV 2 ("Les Loups et les Brebis"); XII 2 ("Le Dragon A Plusieurs Queues"); CLXXXII 2 ("Jupiter et le Passager"); and CLXXII 2 ("Le Singe et le Léopard"). I am afraid that I still cannot find one beloved illustration: CLXXXIX 2 ("Les Deux Rats, le Renard et l'Oeuf"). There is a T of C at the back and a ribbon. The covers are plain red cloth but the box features two colored illustrations. I had to think hard about whether a derivative edition like this was worth $350. Two months after deciding "yes," I was able, to my immense surprise, to obtain an original 1755-1759 edition. Six months after that I was able to purchase a second copy of de Selliers' work for just $50 on eBay. This subsequent copy has numerous pencil marks below illustrations, perhaps referring to a catalogue of the plates.
1992 Fables Mise en Verse, Jean de La Fontaine; Estampes Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Peintre du Roi, Tome Second. Diane de Selliers. Boxed. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. Paris: Diane de Selliers. $175 from Ursus Books, NY, August, '02. Extra copy for $25 from Gary Schwartz, Tiburon, CA, through Ebay, April, '03.
Here is Volume Two of an impressive two-volume work presenting all (?) of the illustrations of the Desaint & Saillant et Durand four-volumes of La Fontaine that appeared between 1755 to 1759. See my comments on Volume One for reactions to the project as a whole. Among illustrations that may have lost detail through the use of color, one might want to look at CXXXII (27), CLI (71), CLXIII (97), and CLXXXI (139). Are elephants' ears really that red inside (82 and 271)? Particularly lovely illustrations are CXLIV (55), CLXXXII (141), CCX (206), CCXXIII (245), and CCXLIII 2 (301). This volume confused me at several points. First, I cannot find one beloved illustration: CLXXXIX 2 ("Les Deux Rats, le Renard et l'Oeuf"). Further, two distinct fables titled "Le Loup et le Renard" are pictured together on 206 and 207, namely CCX (Book 11, Fable 6) and CCXXII (Book 12, Fable 9). Finally, several illustrations that would normally occur here have been pulled out of sequence and are offered between pages 10 and 38 of Volume One: CCXXVIII 2 ("Le Corbeau, la Gazelle, la Tortue et le Rat"); CLXXXII 2 ("Jupiter et le Passager"); and CLXXII 2 ("Le Singe et le Léopard"). There is a T of C at the back and a ribbon. The covers are plain red cloth but the box features two colored illustrations. I had to think hard about whether a derivative edition like this was worth $350. Two months after deciding "yes," I was able, to my immense surprise, to obtain an original 1755-1759 edition. Six months after that I was able to purchase a second copy of de Selliers' work for just $50 on eBay. This subsequent copy has numerous pencil marks below illustrations, perhaps referring to a catalogue of the plates.
1992 Fábulas. Selección y Notas de Maria de Pina. "Sepan Cuentos..." Num. 16. Decimosexta edición. Paperbound. Apparently a first edition, with an introduction by de Pina, was done in 1963. Mexico City: Editorial Porrua, S.A. $11.95 at Moe's, Aug., '94. Extra copy of the seventeenth edition of 1994 for 29 Pesos at Libreria Panamericana, Juarez, August, '96.
An unusual anthology for presenting a first part consisting of two Mexican fabulists, José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi--otherwise known as "El Pensador Mexicano"--and José Rosas Moreno, before a second part of "Otros Fabulistas" beginning on 89. This second part includes Aesop, Phaedrus, La Fontaine, Arcipreste de Hita, Iriarte, Samaniego, Arenal, Hartzenbusch, and Campoamor. There is a vocabulary and a T of C at the back (277). A veritable wealth of texts!
1992 Fábulas: Esopo. "Juvenil." Paperback. Cuarta edición 1985. Cuarta reimpresión 1992. Santa Clara: Editores Mexicanos Unidos. See 1985/92.
1992 Fábulas: Iriarte. "Juvenil." Paperback. Tercera edición 1985. Tercera reimpresión 1992. Santa Clara: Editores Mexicanos Unidos. See 1985/92.
1992 Fábulas: Samaniego. "Juvenil." Paperback. Tercera edición 1985. Cuarta reimpresión 1992. Santa Clara: Editores Mexicanos Unidos. See 1985/92.
1992 Fairy Tales, Fables, Legends, and Myths: Using Folk Literature in Your Classroom. Second Edition. Bette Bosma. NY: Teachers College Press: Teachers College, Columbia University. $15.95 at Dundee, Summer, '93.
Helpful material for grade school teachers. The fable, with trickster and pourquoi tales, is one of three forms of animal tales. Bosma shows a good sense (41) of the figurative patterns in which children think. She recommends (80-1) that pupils above the third grade level write fables. Versions of fables which she recommends include those of Hague, Holder, and Zwerger along with Marianne Moore's translations of LaFontaine and Nardini's of Leonardo. She is also high on Janet Stevens' version of TMCM and Marcia Brown's Once a Mouse. I will have to find Nancy DeRoin's Jataka Tales: Fables from the Buddha (1975).
1992 Feathers and Tails. Animal Fables from Around the World. Retold by David Kherdian. Illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian. First impression. Dust jacket. Signed by the narrator and the artist. Printed in Mexico. NY: Philomel Books. $19.95 from the Old Book Corner, Racine, Oct., '94. Extra copy of the first impression for $19.95 at Kettersons', May, '93.
Eighteen fables, two proverbs, and one riddle in a selection of wonderful variety and freshness. Besides old friends from La Fontaine (2), India, and Aesop (including two labelled "Babrius" and "Armenia"), there are good stories that are new to me: "The Camel and the Mouse" (24), "The Heron Woos the Crane" (26), "Anansi Rides the Tiger" (30), "The Pig and the Bear" (34), and "The Heron and the Hummingbird" (76, like TH). This version of OF (88), though labelled as from La Fontaine, has the frog trying to get the ox's attention. Of course he does so only when he pops and thus disappears! Similarly, the story of "The Peacock and the Jackdaw" here (39) is not the usual one about the jackdaw's dressing up but rather the Aesopic story about the peacock's inability to be a good ruler. Two stories are long: "Four Friends" (11-23) from Kalila and Dimna and "The Monkey" (Chinese, 64-73). The art is enjoyable. The artist has fun getting animals and borders interacting.
1992 Feed Me! An Aesop Fable. Retold by William H. Hooks. Illustrated by Doug Cushman. Bank Street Ready-to-Read. A Byron Preiss Book. A Bantam Little Rooster Book. Apparently second printing. NY: Bantam: Doubleday Dell. $3.99 by mail from The Story Monkey, Sept., ‘96. Extra copy of the third printing a gift from the Carlsons, Sebastopol, April, '97.
See The Boy Who Cried "Wolf" (1995) and The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (1994) in the same series. This booklet presents "The Mother Lark, Her Children, and the Farmer" in lively fashion. Though the story runs longer than an average fable, the author and artist respect its integrity, I think. Nothing extraneous intrudes. One of the four baby larks is scruffier than the others, usually answers differently, and admits easily to fear. The third printing shows curious changes, on both on its cover and title-page. The Book is apparently no longer A "Bantam Little Rooster Book." Its ISBN number remains unchanged on the page facing the title, but is listed differently on the back cover.
1992 Fox Tale. Yossi Abolafia. Second printing. Paperbound. NY: A Picture Yearling Book: Dell. See 1991/92.
1992 Hey! Listen to This. Stories to Read Aloud. Edited by Jim Trelease. First edition. NY: Penguin Books. $11 paperback given (via gift certificate) by the Lytton girls and Parker and Rose Harrington, Christmas, '91.
A wonderful book, right from the dedication by Trelease to his high-school teaching nuns and to librarians. The book outspokenly advocates reading for pleasure. The short introductions to the authors' lives (with photographs; there are no other illustrations) and the follow-up bibliographies are excellent. The book includes one fable, TH, apparently in Trelease's own version. The selections and comments show great sense throughout. The selections are most appropriate for kindergarten through the fourth grade.
1992 Highlights for Children. November 1992. Volume 47, Number 10, Issue No. 494. $1 at Schroeder, August, '96. Extra copy a gift of Linda Ohri, April, '96.
This edition of this popular children's magazine contains "The Crow at the Well" (21). The telling is good and traditional, except, I think, for the placement at a well. The story is identified as based on a fable by Aesop, retold by Jean K. Potratz, and illustrated by Jan Pyk. I had checked this magazine in used-book stores frequently and given up on the possibility that it would ever contain a fable. I will write to ask them if they have done others. (They did not answer.)
1992 Igel und Agel/Stickly and Stackly: Galgen- und Kinderlieder/Gallows and Children's Songs. Christian Morgenstern/Max Knight. Mit elf Aquarellzeichnungen von Reinhard Michl. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Munich: Piper. €10 from Antiquariat Delibrium, Muenster, August, '06.
This is a delightful book of poems that I am eager to get into the collection. Only a few of its items might be considered fables. The book is bilingual on facing pages. The "gallows" poems run from 9 to 93 and the children's poems from 95 to 143. The spirit of the book is well expressed on the back of the dust-jacket: "Don't ask, there's no replying./No comments, we declare./We just like versifying." There is an evident love here for the short poem. Both writers are fascinating, but there is no room to say more about that here. "Goat and Slithard" (55) reports an encounter between a snake and a goat. The title poem (65) is a true Galgenlied. Stickly "blew off every single quill" and drowned, while Stackly (referred to as a hedgehag in another translation) was eyeing a handsome neighbor. "The Pike" (81) tells of a fish that got religion, became a vegetarian, but what he ate came out behind and polluted the pond so badly that 500 fish were executed. Saint Anthony, who had converted him, could only say "Holy, holy, holy!" "The Liondeer" (91) tells of a "Mexican standoff." A forster has a gun that vaporizes his prey. He shoots the liondeer who eats him up and then is vaporized. "Since then the couple has lived on,/a mythical phenomenon." "The Fox and the Chickens" (125) gets one of the book's eleven delightful colored illustrations. The fox lures his food with his flute. "Mr. Spoon and Mrs. Fork" (139) shows Mr. Spoon getting smart when he has to face both knife and fork. Here is another book of sheer fun! Was it Adele Filbry or perhaps Franz or Ursula Kuhn who first put me on to Morgenstern?
1992 Jataka Tales Teacher Resource Guide for Grades 1-6. Researched and compiled by Abbe Blum and Lyn Dremalas. Paperbound. Berkeley: Dharma Publishing. $12.75 from the publisher, Dec., '04.
This is a set of 140 three-hole-punched pages meant to help a teacher in working with some of Dharma's best published Jataka Tales. The first chapters deal with introducing the Jatakas and dealing with them in the classroom. A middle section offers general cultural background, activities, a format for "webbing" a character, and a format for reporting on a tale. The final twelve chapters are devoted to one tale apiece. These chapters seem to be quite extensive and helpful.
1992 Jean de la Fontaine: Favole. Testo a cura di S. Milù. Illustrazioni by Maggiolino: Andrea Astuto, Adelaide Crivellaro, and Daniela Rota Stabelli. Hardbound. Bergamo: Edizioni Larus. £ 1.95 from Brian and Carolyn Hollins, Wimborne, Dorset, UK, through eBay, March, '06.
This sturdy book with a colorful set of dancing animals on its Disneyesque cover contains thirty fables on 114 pages. Most of the fables receive four pages. The art work--acrylics?--is colorful and lively. One of my favorites is "La Donna et il Segreto." This fable is seldom illustrated. On 60-61, we can see the secret being passed from one person to another through five people. The artists also have fun with "L'Astrologo." He who has been seeing stars crawls out of the hole "seeing stars" in a different sense.
1992 Jean de la Fontaine: Sämtliche Fabeln. Illustriert von Grandville. Übersetzungen von Ernst Dohm und Gustav Fabricius. Anmerkungen, Zeittafel und Nachwort von Hermann Lindner. Zweite Auflage. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Germany. Munich: Artemis & Winkler Verlag. See 1978/92.
1992 Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi: Fabeln. Ausgewählt und mit einem Nachwort von Heinz Weder. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Zurich: Manesse Bücherei 48: Manesse Verlag. €7 in Germany, July, '09.
This is a typical little Manesse volume: beautifully constructed, with literature well selected. I have found Weder's "Afterword" helpful. He emphasizes the way that Pestalozzi moralizes: directly, unpoetically, practically. Tips, suggestions, clarifications are everywhere. "Fabeln als deutliche Marginalien der aufklärerischen Erziehung zu einem verträglichen Menschengeschlecht" (93). The fables show more what he wanted than what he accomplished. He was never a man of the average or mediocre. Here are a several examples from this trip through. A fool tells an artist working with stone that it is a shame that his stone does not polish (61). The artist says that artists working with stone are different from those who work with people. The latter polish before they even think of working on the material. The fool persists "That is the way you should do it too!" One shepherd-dog did not bark when there was no emergency, but was strong and would pursue an attacking wolf or fox to its hole. The other danced when his shepherd piped; when the shepherd slept, the dog ran all over the place. The result: the herd took him for the devil, and the wolf and fox were delighted and saw him as their best ally (47). A dwarf said to a giant "I have the same rights as you." "That is true, but you cannot walk in my shoes" (82).
1992 Kabbit™ Fables: Tales of Kabbit™ Collectibles. Written by Jennifer Maxfield & Judith Woodland. Illustrated by Dale Kilbourn. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Publisher and place not acknowledged; privately published? $5 from Lavendar Path Antiques, Harwinton, CT, through Ebay, Nov., '99.
Shirley Hock is the creator of Kabbits, playful dolls. These are versified accounts of the dolls, their coming to be, and their adventures. The characters include Kubby Kabbit, Kabby Rabbit, Mr. And Mrs. Kowbit, and the Tittlefitz family. The illustrations are heavy on pastels.
1992 La Fontaine: Die schönsten Fabeln. Aus dem Französischen von Thomas Keck. Mit Illustrationen von Rolf Köhler und einem Nachwort von Jürgen Stackelberg. Erste Auflage. insel taschenbuch 1451. (c)1990 Insel Verlag. Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag. DM 16 at Autorenbuchhandlung, Frankfurt, June, '95.
This wonderful paperback reproduces the 1990 hardbound of a slightly different name: La Fontaine: Der Rabe und der Fuchs. See my comments there. When looking here for pages cited there, add two pages to that number to find this one.
1992 La Fontaine: Fables: Choix de Fables intégrales. Various artists. Paperbound. Paris: Classiques Hachette: Hachette S.A. 51 Morocco Dirhams from Le Carrefour des Livres, Casablanca, July, '01.
This Hachette paperback differs from many others in offering not only a good selection of the fables but a wide variety of black-and-white illustration from the history of La Fontaine's fables. It also has the usual battery of helpful Hachette questions along the way and essays at the back, meant no doubt to get French students through their literature exams. Artists included here include Grandville, Lorioux, Chauveau, Sauvage, Oudry, Job, Picart le Doux, Rabier, Bertall, and Meit. This tight little book of 224 pages was a great find in Casablanca!
1992 La Fontaine: Kurbaga-Fare Dostlugu. Pamphlet. Istanbul: Secme Hikayeler #7: Unlu Kitabevi. $4 from Ugur Yurttutan, Istanbul, Feb., '05.
There seem to be six stories here. I can recognize "The Hare and the Lion" from the illustration on 10; at least, I presume that we are dealing here with the Kalila and Dimna story of tricking the tyrant with the image at the bottom of the well. The illustrations also show a frog with a scorpion on his back, a lion in the midst of foxes, a boy sneaking off with a frog and a fishing pole (front cover), and two happy children (back cover).
1992 La storia della Lepre et la Tartaruga e tante altre. Liberamente tratte da La Fontaine. Illustrazioni di Tony Wolf. Testi di Peter Holeinone. Enciclopedia della fiabe d'oro. Milan: Dami Editore. See 1989/92.
1992 Las Fábulas de Esopo. Traducidas directamente del Griego y de las versiones Latinas de Fedro, Aviano, Aulo Gellio, etc. Precedidas de un ensayo histórico-critico sobre la fábula, y de noticias biográficas de los autores citados por Eduardo de Mier. Paperback. (On cover: Esopo: fábulas. On spine: fábulas completas: Esopo.) Edesa. Mexico City: Editorial Epoca, S.A. See 1971/92.
1992 Le Lion et la souris/The Lion and the Mouse. Dorothy Sword Bishop. Fables Bilingues. The Bilingual Series. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Company. See 1978/88/92.
1992 Le Monde Selon Jean De.... Choix des fables et commentaires: André Vandal. Illustrations: Stéphane Jorisch. Paperbound. Montreal, CA: DV Editeurs. $3.50 from Marie Gervais, St-Urbain-Premier, Canada, April, '06.
This is a 48-page booklet created to accompany an audio cassette, "vendue séparatement." LaFontaine introduced to France the "only moral genre that had popular success: the fables." The booklet starts with impressionistic watercolors of figures contemporary with La Fontaine, including royalty, patrons, and other writers. Then the fables begin, and we realize that this booklet offers seriously creative illustrations of La Fontaine's fables. The illustration for the first fable, MSA, starts off with a bang. Father and son are contemporary with us, riding scooter and roller-horse respectively, wearing earphones and listening to their music players. The houses which they pass have TV screens laughing at the two humans. In the illustration for the following fable, "Le Savetier et le Financier," the banker hugs huge piggy banks behind the bars of his temple/bank/prison (12). I enjoy this volume not least for illustrating, in its typically biting way, several lesser-known fables, like "Le Milan, le Roi, et le Chasseur" (15) and "Le Loup et le Renard" (25). TH here is excellent: a trudging man (the tortoise) climbs stairs while a harried fellow (the hare) runs to the broken elevator (27). In "The Monkey and the Cat" (31), one set of robbers steals the full truck of another set of robbers! OR contrasts a muscular trapeze-artist with a more willowy tightrope walker using a balancing pole (33). This is a delightful, thought-provoking book! At the end there is a French-to-French dictionary of some terms (44-47).
1992 Les fables de la Fontaine. Cover illustration by Eleonore. Hardbound. Varese, Italy: Editrice La Lucciola: Picciola. $9.50 from Marie Gervais, St-Urbain, Quebec, through eBay, Nov., '09.
Last night I catalogued a large French book of La Fontaine's fables and opined that it may have had an Italian source. This morning I happened to be looking over a big box of uncatalogued books and noticed a large La Fontaine book. Bingo! It is a year earlier, interiorly exactly the same, and done in Italy! The differences I notice are these: the 1992 year of publication instead of 1993; thinner and shinier paper; a canvas binding; a cover illustration featuring various animals in and near a pond; and a different publisher, Editrice La Lucciola instead of "L'Etoile." The back cover again lists the fables, but now they are more appropriately labeled "Fables Choisies." The cover illustration is again signed "Eleonore" or "Eleonora" in 1992. The verso of the first page and the back cover both refer this time to "County Studio." Let me repeat some comments from there. Here is a very large-format book (almost 9½" x 12") with connections to several European countries. There is an AI at the back covering the book's 150 pages. The same design of snail and flowers recurs frequently at the bottom of text pages. The animals are regularly dressed. WC exhibits a typical illustration on 35. TMCM on 103 shows a big black boot ready to come through the door and interrupt the two rats, both of whom are holding hunks of cheese. For large portions of the book there seems to be a rhythm at work: a fable text on a left-hand page is balanced by a full-page illustration on the right-hand page. Then there are two pages with only texts and the repeated bottom decoration. Then the rhythm starts over.
1992 Les Fables de la Fontaine. ©Astrid Anand. Hardbound. Imprimé aux É.-U." Ottawa: Les Belles Fables: API Limited. $5.29 from Pierre Cantin, Chelsea, Quebec, through Ebay, April, '00. Extra copy for $5 from Chantal Piton, Quebec, through eBay, Sept., '06.
There are just two fables in this large hardbound children's book: WC and TT. The texts are simplified prose versions of La Fontaine. The text pages are surrounded by animals, and in the illustrations the main characters are surrounded by onlooking birds and animals. The stork is dressed up as a nurse, and the two ducks are dressed in vests. Perhaps the most unusual feature of this rather standard children's book is the way it hides information about itself. Besides the person who owns the copyright (Is Astrid Anand perhaps the artist?), the only tracking information we are given is a phone number. Do I understand correctly "Imprimé aux É.-U." to mean "Printed in the USA"? That would be surprising for a French book!
1992 Les Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Corderoc'h. Printed in Italy. Champigny-sur-Marne: Editions Lito. $15.95 Canadian at Coles, Montreal, Oct., '95.
This book of forty-one fables emphasizes cuteness and childlike fun. The characters all have round little eyes with black beads inside them. The dress of animals receives particular attention. One can spend a long time enjoying the "stuff" around in a picture, e.g., the junk in the cellar on 46. There is also an unusual interest in light slanting through windows (apparently correct on 54 but less apt on 46 and 58). The "cute" factor comes in, e.g., when ant-children make a snow-ant (22-23). The best of the illustrations have the fox holding his backside on 39 and the stork enjoying its nest on 86. I am surprised by the relative positions of the turtle and geese on 53 and of the cat and monkey on 62.
1992 Martin Luther: Etliche Fabeln aus Aesopo. Herausgegeben von Detlef Ignasiak. Hardbound. Jena: Wartburg Verlag. DM 14,80 from Hassbecker's Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, July, '01.
This handly little volume of 53 pages contains the whole kernel from which Luther proposed to do a major publication of fables. In fact, there are thirteen fables numbered 1-10, 12-13, and 16. I had always feared that the German of Luther's fables would be difficult and that the collection would be overwhelming. Neither fear fits the reality. Luther put together this collection in 1530 in the Burg Coburg. They were first published posthumously. Melanchton's high respect for fable may have helped to shape Luther's respect. The fables appear here in a photographic facsimile and a modern transliteration. An "Editorischer Bericht" precedes the fables, with valuable information on their origin in Luther's life. Even more helpful is the longer "Nachwort" (37-53). Luther gives a good sense of the importance of fable in a few paragraphs before the texts, and especially in his moralizations after each. He bases his work on Steinhoewel's edition, which he finds shamefully lacking, since for him it makes fable into sheer and even immoral entertainment. Fables for Luther show you how the world works, and what you see is that the world is cruel and threatening. This is a very helpful little book!
1992 Mein Erstes Vorlesebuch der Schönsten Tierfabeln. Sieben mal sieben Fabeln ausgewählt und neu erzählt von Max Bolliger. Mit Bildern von Andreas Röckener. First edition, first printing. Paperbound. Ravensburg: Ravensburger Taschenbücher Band 6100: Ravensburger Buchverlag Otto Maier GmbH. DEM 3 from Hamburg Saturday Flea Market, June, '98.
It has taken me ten years to catalogue this little book. It was worth waiting for! The "seven times seven" formula works here for grouping the fables. Bolliger brings a good storyteller's eye and ear to the fables. They are well told, especially for reading aloud. I find several new ones along the way. "Von einer Mücke, die sich bei einem Stier entschuldigt" (8) has a new twist for me: the flea thinks "What a cocky fellow!" about the bull, and then flies away. In FC (60), the fox tries a new ploy: "What a shame, that you cannot speak." The fox's open arms for receiving the cheese might be Röckener's best visual ploy. Fables new to me include "The Hare and the Shotgun" (11); "The Lion and the Cat" (97); "The Hunter, the Chicken, the Fox, and the Eagle" (110); and "The Nightingale and the Siskin" (112). WL (45) is told with the river between the two. The wolf recognizes that he cannot catch the lamb but says "You are lucky that I feel gentle today. I will treat you well today." The horse who has refused to help the donkey now has to carry him -- alive -- as well as all his burdens (76). The T of C at the end (121-7) gives each group of seven its own page.
1992 Mes Premieres Fables. Jean de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Sylvie Rainaud. Collection "La ronde des chansons." Printed in Belgium. No place named: Editions Hemma. $7.95 at Powell's, Portland, March, '96.
The presentation of the nineteen fables in this little book for young children serves only to indicate that Europeans can make the same mistake we do of making fables cute. Here characters that are about to attack and eat each other smile first in cuddly fashion. I think La Fontaine himself would be disappointed at the false impression which such illustrations give children. Perhaps the best of the illustrations are those for "The Oak and the Reed" near the middle of the book.
1992 Nonsense & Common Sense. A child's book of Victorian verse. John Grossman & Priscilla Dunhill. First Printing. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Workman Publishing Company. $9.99 at Ketterson's, Aug., '93.
A great book that starts off with a bang with a two-page animal parade. Both the verse texts and the colorful illustrations are a delight. Page 26 refers to Aesop in an introduction to animal verse used to point out human foibles. The only standard Aesop is GA on 112-13.
1992 Phaedrus Libertus Augusti: Fabulae/Die Fabeln. Lateinischer Text mit Einleitung, Übersetzung im Versmaß des Originals, kurzen Erläuterungen und Nachwort. Von Hermann Rupprecht. Mitterfels: Reinhard Stolz. $12 from Adolph Hakkert, Sept., '93.
A very nice paperbound translation with short notes at the bottom of the bilingual (facing) pages. The introduction and final comment are both very short. I will enjoy checking the translation when we start Phaedrus in two weeks.
1992 Pocket Change: Five Small Fables. Dawn L. Watkins. Illustrated by Tim Davis. Apparent sixth printing. Paperbound. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press. $5.88 from Anna Agee, Greenville, SC, through eBay, July, '11.
I was surprised to note the publisher here. These are good Christian fables. The first puts a bobcat and his natural prey, a rabbit, in a tough scene together. Moral? "Sometimes if you expect enough of someone, you get it." Good! The second story frames a question well about two young beavers and guilt. "Plain Riches" dramatizes wealth and poverty in the persons of a greedy cheetah and a gracious elephant. "Give Us a Riddle" is less defined at its end, I would say. A monkey and lion riddle against each other and from different perspectives. The final fable is "Old Stories." It suggests nicely that the boring old stories people reject have something important to offer. The art includes monochromes, silhouettes, and multi-colored full pages -- including a strong two-page spread at the center of the book.
1992 Scholastic Scope. January 24, 1992. Volume 40, Number 1. NY: Scholastic, Inc. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Spring, '92.
Page 1 invites you "to write you (sic) own fable." Pages 2-6 present fables as stuff for games. DS is missing 10 words that need to be inserted. FC is the basis of a crossword puzzle. Thurber's "The Moth and the Star" presents another word hunt, and his "The Fairly Intelligent Fly" leads into another crossword puzzle. FS is the background for a humorous exercise playing with the parts of speech. As Meg wrote, you never know where Aesop will crop up!
1992 Siren Songs & Classical Illusions. Jascha Kessler. First edition. Inscribed by "Jascha" 26 April 1993. Paperback. Printed in USA. Kingston, NY: McPherson & Company. $6 from McIntyre and Moore, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, Nov., '97.
The flyleaf has it right: "Each of these fifty delightfully wicked 'modern fables' contains a shard of mythology at its core, overlaid with the experiences of contemporary life, like an oyster pearling a grain of sand." Yes, these are a contemporary experience of mythology more than they are fables. This book would make a fine supplementary text in a mythology course. The individual stories are from two to ten pages in length and touch well on contemporary experiences of the dynamics and struggles expressed in classical myths. I enjoyed the first three, entitled "Orfeos," "A Prophecy," and "Afrodite."
1992 The Animal Parade. A Collection of Stories and Poems. Selected and written by Dick King-Smith. Illustrated by Jocelyn Wild. First US edition. Dust jacket. Printed and bound in Hong Kong. NY: Tambourine Books. $16 from Powell's, Portland, July, '93. Extra copy for $9 from Green Apple, Aug., '94.
A lovely and whimsical book, begun and finished with pictures of animals entering and leaving the ark. The contents include a surprising number of witty verse pieces by the author himself. There are five Aesop's fables in King-Smith's own words, each with an illustration (TMCM has three) and with fresh morals. The moral of TMCM is, for example, "Be satisfied with what you've got; trying for better things may leave you worse off in the end" (15). TB has fat and thin men (67). "The Donkey, the Ape, and the Mole" (77) is new to me as an Aesopic fable.
1992 The Ant and the Dove. Aesop's Fable Retold by Jane Parker Resnick. Illustrated by Heidi Lindy. Norwalk: The C.R. Gibson Company. $2.11 at Read All About It, Southroads, Dec., '93.
A stiff-board book of six two-sided pages, with the cover as title page and the back giving the moral. Apparently one of a series of four. An extra comma after the subject "dove" mars a sentence on 4. The hunter here appears even as the ant is being saved; the hunter stalks the dove while she is watching the ant. The ant thus races to the hunter's leg to bite him.
1992 The Bird Who Cleans the World and Other Mayan Fables. Victor Montejo, translated by Wallace Kaufman. Allan Burns. Paperback. Printed in USA. Willimantic: Curbstone Press. $9 from Second Story Books, Rockville, MD, Dec., '00.
Paperback edition of a clothbound edition of 1991. There is an author's preface by Montejo and introduction by Allan Burns. The book presents 32 Mayan folktales as heard by Montejo growing up in Guatemala. The title fable is aetiological and grows out of the Mayan flood story. In the next fable, we learn that bats are the mice that made good on their envy of the birds but still remain discontented. A talkative dog revealed secrets, and now dogs speak with their tails (51). There is plenty of magic and plenty of metamorphosis in these stories, and some are filled out beyond what I would expect for fables in a strict sense. The stories are generally one to four pages long. Some stories seem so close to traditional European fables that they look like direct descendants. Thus "The Ungrateful Alligator" (64) involves a rabbit asking the dog, the horse, and the deer whether a human boy deserves some appreciation and should thus be spared. The alligator can make his case against the boy only by letting himself get tied into a net as he was when the boy was good to him years earlier. I like the story of the rabbit who borrowed from all sorts of creatures and promises to pay them back on a given day (44). As each comes--cockroach, hen, coyote, jaguar, hunter--the rabbit sends him under the bed to avoid the coming predator. Of course each is eaten by the next in the series, and the rabbit no longer owes anyone. I also enjoy "The Man and the Buzzard" (89), in which a man learns to like what he has. There are twelve curious three-color illustrations, most of which are taken from ceramic vessels of the Late Classic Maya Period (8th century). There are notes (122-3) on each of them. They seem to be only indirectly related to the fables by being directly related to some animals pictured in them.
1992 The Blind Man & the Cripple/Orchard Village. Edited by Emily Ching, Dr. Theresa Austin, and Nguyen Ngoc Ngan. Hardbound. Cerritos, CA: Wonder Kids Publications. $0.25 from Milwaukee Public Library, June, '07.
The first of two stories here is an extension/application of Florian's story of the blind man and the cripple. Here they live in a temple and bicker with each other regularly. When a fire breaks out in the temple, they need to work together and they find a good apportionment of the work: the blind man carries the lame man and follows his directions. One of the best illustrations is on 11-12: the blind man carries the lame man out of the flames, and two mice echo the two humans in their escape. "Orchard Village" is a pleasing story. A man who has bought a field finds a clump of gold. He tries to return it to the man who sold him the field -- unsuccessfully. Together they try to give it to their two children who are marrying, but their offer is rejected. Finally, they decide to use the money for something that can benefit everyone in the village, namely an irrigation canal for their fruit-trees. After each story there is a "Parental Guide" pointing out the things that can be learned from the story. The book is unusually well constructed. The illustrations meet, for example, perfectly at the center of a pagespread.
1992 The Blind Man & the Cripple/Orchard Village. Edited by Emily Ching, Dr. Theresa Austin, and Sonnarith Chan. Hardbound. Cerritos, CA: Wonder Kids Publications. $0.25 from Milwaukee Public Library, June, '14.
Note that this is the Cambodian bilingual as opposed to the Vietnamese bilingual version. The first of two stories here is an extension/application of Florian's story of the blind man and the cripple. Here they live in a temple and bicker with each other regularly. When a fire breaks out in the temple, they need to work together and they find a good apportionment of the work: the blind man carries the lame man and follows his directions. One of the best illustrations is on 10-11: the blind man carries the lame man out of the flames, and two mice echo the two humans in their escape. "Orchard Village" is a pleasing story. A man who has bought a field finds a clump of gold. He tries to return it to the man who sold him the field -- unsuccessfully. Together they try to give it to their two children who are marrying, but their offer is rejected. Finally, they decide to use the money for something that can benefit everyone in the village, namely an irrigation canal for their fruit-trees. After each story there is a "Parental Guide" pointing out the things that can be learned from the story. The book is unusually well constructed. The illustrations meet, for example, perfectly at the center of a pagespread. I bought the Vietnamese-English version of this same book from the same library eight years earlier! It is listed under the same title and year, but notice that one of the editors has changed. This is my first book containing Cambodian.
1992 The Blind Men and the Elephant. Retold by Karen Backstein. Illustrated by Annie Mitra. Third printing. Paperback. Printed in USA. NY: Cartwheel Books. Hello Reader! Level 3: Scholastic Inc. $1.75 from Sweet Union Books, Stanfield, NC, through ABE, Nov., ‘01.
This is a pleasing presentation of a popular and delightful story. The six blind men liken what they feel to various things, specifically a wall, snake, spear, tree, fan, and rope. The prince who owns the elephant enlightens them--after they wake him up from his nap--that each has been touching only a part. They need to put the parts together. He then adds that the elephant is also very good to ride on, and they agree that this is the best part. Colorful and engaging drawings, climaxing in the last picture of the six, marked with their differently colored turbans, being carried home.
1992 The Blue Jackal. Written and illustrated by Rashmi Sharma. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Berkeley, CA: Vidya Books. $4.99 from Victoria Kier, Loveland, OH, through eBay, April, '08.
How surprising that I lived in Berkeley for four years and never ran across this book or this publisher while I was there! A Google search shows that Vidya Books still exists in Berkeley, though apparently with a post office box number, not a street address. This twenty-two page large-format children's book often combines text and colored illustrations on its paired pages. Sharma narrates the traditional story as an expanded fable, with pleasing development of the situation (drought and heat), scene (a small village near the jungle), and time of day (siesta). About the middle of the story, a "has" needs to be a "had" in the phrase "He has finished dyeing a load of muslin blue that morning." Perhaps the strongest illustration in the book is that of the blue jackal after he emerges from the tub. This same illustration is used on the book's dust-jacket and cover. The dust jacket is pasted down on this library-owned copy, with clear plastic covering added. In this telling, the jackal goes too far when he tells the other animals "Lord Krishna has made me blue in his image. He has also given me some of his special powers." This version then nicely brings the story to its climax with the long-awaited monsoon rains, which of course wash off the jackal's blue dye. "The free ride was over." When the other animals pursue the fleeing jackal, he lets out the "yowl" that is the usual give-away as to his true identity. There is an afterword on Punchtuntra stories. To my surprise, Sharma dates Dabshalim to the fourth century BCE; she says that Dabshalim "defeated the Greek Governor left behind by Alexander." There is also this statement to consider: "Some scholars connect these tales to the African Aesop.." She comments pointedly on the meaning of this story: "The story of The Blue Jackal is told in India to instill the idea of a color-blind society, as opposed to superiority of one race based on skin color." Discontinued sometime after 1994 from the "Main Childrens Room" of the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, presumably in Ohio.
1992 The Chickens, The Crow, and the Fox: A Fable. Lisa Eisenberg. Illustrated by Jack Desrocher. First printing. Paperbound. World of Reading: Barksbee Books: Silver Burdett & Ginn. $3.98 from Better World Books, June, '11.
This is a 16-page landscape pamphlet telling a story that is new to me but fits well in the fable world. The chickens were letting their coop get messy. They trusted that Aunt Hen would take care of it. "Aunt Hen takes care of everything!" A crow warned them twice that a fox was making a hole in their fence. They made the same response each time. Then the fox announced that Aunt Hen had won a blue ribbon and was off to the State Fair. "The chickens decided not to wait for Aunt Hen after all." "If you have a little problem, take care of it fast.before it becomes a BIG problem!"
1992 The Children's Aesop. Selected Fables. Retold by Stephanie Calmenson. Illustrated by Robert Byrd. Dust jacket. Originally published by Doubleday in 1988. Printed in Hong Kong. Honesdale, PA: Caroline House/Boyds Mills Press. $11.95 at Olsson's, DC, Spring, '92.
Well done! Twenty-eight fables generally given two pages apiece for the tale and the picture, with a moral clearly boxed in a different color at the end. Well told, especially for children, with morals that make sense, and razzle-dazzle illustrations. The fables with the best tellings are FC, "The Fox and the Goat," GB, and MSA. The best illustrations include the great fox pictured on the cover with the humanoid arm reaching for the grapes, FC, and the first picture for MSA. Several stories are differently told: the picky heron becomes a flamingo; the father using a bundle of sticks is going on a trip; the boy shouting "Wolf" wants company, not a laugh; the gnat kicks the bull's horn--without effect--before he leaves; the mother cat between the sow and the eagle dies, and they discover her deceit and are reconciled; and the endangered traveler, asked what the bear said, tells the other traveller "Next time you see him, ask him yourself." One example of a good moral is that for WL: "Those who are out to hurt you will use any excuse." A fine book.
1992 The Children's Aesop. Stephanie Calmenson. Robert Byrd. Second printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Honesdale, PA: Caroline House/Boyds Mills Press. $19.94 from The Mind's Eye Bookstore, Jan., '95.
This printing of a delightful book is almost exactly the same as a book already in the collection in the same year. The differences include these: not "Caroline House" but "Boyds Mills Press" is on the title-page; the list price is not $11.95 but $14.95 (in less than a year!); it lists printings on the verso of its title-page and announces this as the second printing; it adds "Distributed by St. Martin's Press" on the same verso; and it came packaged with an audio cassette. As I wrote of the first printing, this book is well done! Twenty-eight fables generally given two pages apiece for the tale and the picture, with a moral clearly boxed in a different color at the end. Well told, especially for children, with morals that make sense, and razzle-dazzle illustrations. The fables with the best tellings are FC, "The Fox and the Goat," GB, and MSA. The best illustrations include the great fox pictured on the cover with the humanoid arm reaching for the grapes, FC, and the first picture for MSA. Several stories are differently told: the picky heron becomes a flamingo; the father using a bundle of sticks is going on a trip; the boy shouting "Wolf" wants company, not a laugh; the gnat kicks the bull's horn--without effect--before he leaves; the mother cat between the sow and the eagle dies, and they discover her deceit and are reconciled; and the endangered traveler, asked what the bear said, tells the other traveller "Next time you see him, ask him yourself." One example of a good moral is that for WL: "Those who are out to hurt you will use any excuse." A fine book.
1992 The Fables of Phaedrus. Translated by P.F. Widdows. Paperbound. First edition. Occasional woodcuts from the 1477 Augsburg edition. Austin: The University of Texas Press. $12.95 from Olsson's, Spring, '92. Extra copy for $12.95 from the publisher, Jan., '92.
This translation represents a major contribution to fable study today, particularly since the last verse translation of Phaedrus into English was Christopher Smart's in 1764! This book offers first a good, short introduction including Phaedrus' life, some sense of the materials in this collection that are not fables (xvii), a sketch of Phaedrus' philosophy, an account of his artistry, and a word on this translation's four-stress-to-the-line meter. The translations, adorned with few notes, move along with a strong rhythm. I have read the first fifteen with some care. The four-stress line works well, but readers of longer portions of the work may find the alliteration burdensome. If Widdows has a fault as a translator, it is that he overinterprets poetry that is deliberately succinct. Thus in I.2 a "conservative element" concludes that they need a king, in I.3 a "moralist" lectures the jackdaw, in I.10 a monkey "made himself a magistrate," and I.11 adds qualification to the lion's simple put-down of the ass. In I.12 the stag vidit and mirans laudat his horns; Widdows has amazed and admired extravagantly. In I.15 Phaedrus' ten lines become Widdows' sixteen. The footnote to I.10 may miss the point, which is, I believe, that one can in general be sure that both the fox and the wolf are guilty even if that judgment lacks internal logic in this case. In I.13 Widdows has the crow "begin to bellow"; I think Phaedrus is careful not to allow for any song before the cheese is lost and the lesson learned. In I.4 Widdows improves on Perry's triple use of "another" for the Latin's alienum, aliam, and altero. Similarly, he plays wonderfully with load and loot in #18 of Perotti's appendix. I would love to use this book in class!
1992 The Fabulists French: Verse Fables of Nine Centuries. Translated, with Prologue and Notes, by Norman R. Shapiro. Illustrations by David Schorr. First edition. Dust jacket. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. $35.96 from the publisher, May, '92. Extra copy for $39.96 from the publisher at Kalamazoo, courtesy of Wendy Wright, April, '93.
Reading this massive and excellent work has been quite a project! The 250 fables or so from seventy fabulists represent of course only a sampling of the French tradition. An excellent prologue conveys Shapiro's good understanding of fable. Fables are not for children. They are not overall successful in reforming people; the coating keeps getting in the way of the pill. They are unpretentious, persistent, indomitable. They are meant to be read aloud. La Fontaine is clearly the measure of all French fable-writing. What comes before him is generally inferior to what comes after. The spread that Shapiro offers is truly amazing, including great geographic diversity: Switzerland, Canada, Louisiana, Algeria, Senegal, Togo, Mauritius, Haiti, and several dialect-areas within France are all here. For each of the seventy fabulists a half-page to a page of careful introduction gives biography, bibliography, and a refreshingly frank critical assessment. For me the collection perks up appreciably in the twentieth century. I cannot understand his statement that "Babrius...composed his versions in the pithy four-line form" (46). I took copious notes. The book has introduced me to several delightful fabulists of whose very existence I had been unaware, including Kaddour (186) and Franc-Nohain (188). Among the best of the twenty-nine woodcuts are "The Mule Who Boasted of the Family Tree" (110), "Leda and the Turkey" (126), and "The Olive and the Watermelon" (187). Ordering this book has put me in touch with David Schorr, who just sent a catalogue of his latest show, and Liz Dulaney, who works for the publisher and collects fable editions.
1992 The Fox and the Crow. Aesop's Fable Retold by Jane Parker Resnick. Illustrated by Heidi Lindy. Norwalk: The C.R. Gibson Company. $2.11 at Read All About It, Southroads, Dec., '93.
A stiff-board book of six two-sided pages, with the cover as title page and the back giving the moral. Apparently one of a series of four. The fox is less successful than Lindy's other animal characters.
1992 The Gold Key in the Mahogany Box & Other Fables to Live by. Vara Kamin. First printing. Inscribed by Kamin. NY: Berkley Books. $4.50 at The Book House on Grand, Dec., '95.
Eleven fables heavy on sentiment, dream, desire, and transformation. I had trouble connecting with the stories. For me the book says more about search than about discovery. I find the stories of an Anthony de Mello stronger and more engaging. The first story, "The Mirror Without a Wall," asks well what the sense of self is of a person who has never experienced a mirror. Typical of the stories is "The Garden in the Maiden's Heart" (47). Typical of the book's approach is this line from the last story: "Two of the six tin soldiers endlessly searched for life's secrets while pushing past their feelings that held the wisdom they desperately sought" (76).
1992 The Golden Deer. Retold by Margaret Hodges. Pictures by Daniel San Souci. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First edition, apparently first printing. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Charles Scribner's Sons Books for Young Readers: Scribner's, Macmillan Publishing Company. $7.50 from Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis, March, '99.
The publisher's summary says well: Buddha comes to the city of Benares in the form of a golden deer and persuades the king to stop killing all the deer in the area. After the overworked people drive two herds of deer into the king's own park so that he will stop distracting them and hurting their fields with his hunts, the king spares the two golden stags that lead the respective herds. Many deer are wounded before the king or his cook makes the routine kill of one per day. The Banyan Deer calls the herds together and proposes that one deer chosen by lot die each day. When the lot falls one day to a pregnant young doe, the Banyan Deer offers to take her place. When the king still refuses to kill this stag, the latter speaks up. Soon, in Abrahamic fashion, he asks step by step if the king will not spare all the deer within the walls, and deer outside the walls, and other four-footed creatures, and birds, and fish. The king even protects the deer later when people complain that they are eating their crops. The Banyan Deer, upon hearing this, instructs the herds to refrain from eating crops. Henceforth, deer never trespassed on a marked field. In the further lifetimes of the Buddha, he kept becoming more kind and wise. When he finally came as a human, he preached his first sermon in the deer park near Benares. The story is #12 in E.B. Cowell's The Jataka, Stories of the Buddha's Former Births (London: Luzac and Company, 1895). Pleasing (acrylic?) illustrations, strong on browns and blues.
1992 The Lion and the Mouse. Aesop's Fable Retold by Jane Parker Resnick. Illustrated by Heidi Lindy. Norwalk: The C.R. Gibson Company. $2.11 at Read All About It, Southroads, Dec., '93.
A stiff-board book of six two-sided pages, with the cover as title page and the back giving the moral. Apparently one of a series of four. The lion's eyes are wonderful! The lion, who is crowned throughout the book, is Lindy's most successful animal in the four books.
1992 The Mouse Bride. Retold and Illustrated by Linda Allen. First impression. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: Philomel Books: Putnam and Grosset Book Group. $1.53 from GreatBuyBooks, Lakewood, WA, March, '05.
I list this book because the title makes it sound like a fable book. In fact, I have another book with the same title that is a fable book. This is a pleasant Finnish fairy tale of Jukka, the youngest of three brothers, who seeks his wife in the woods. He finds a neat little cabin but only a diminutive gray mouse inside. She promises him that, if he marries her, he will never be sorry for having done so. He agrees but regrets it as soon as he leaves the cabin. He tells his family that his bride has blue eyes and a white nose. When the father asks for a loaf of bread from the future brides of his sons, Jukka expects that he will get nothing from his new fiancée. In fact, she calls out a small army of mice, who deliver to her, one grain each, the finest wheat and help her make delicious bread. The next request is for cloth. The drill is the same. This time the mouse bride folds her woven cloth into a nutshell. To everyone's surprise when the shell is opened, out come yards of the finest material. Finally, the father asks to see the brides; now Jukka is really apprehensive. She repeats her promise, tells him not to be afraid, and drives along with him in a diminutive coach drawn by five mice. On the trip home, the whole entourage is transformed after a brash boy kicks them off a bridge into water. Now the mouse bride is a delicate young girl. She had been captured by a Lapland witch, who cast a spell that could be broken only if one young man asked to marry her and another tried to kill her by casting her into water. Her name is Olga. After they are married, they return to find, not the cabin, but a great stone castle. They live happily ever after. The best illustrations may be those of the mouse dancing, on the dedication page and again when she first meets Jukka.
1992 The Parade to Paradise. By Charles van Sandwyk. Dust jacket. Printed in Canada. Vancouver: SummerWild Productions. $4.95 at Powell's, Portland, March, '96.
The pre-title-page calls this "An Illustrated Fable." Birds largely given to complaining about each other take off together for paradise. On the way they learn that when they think of each other and take compassion, they have found their paradise. One of the fascinating points of the book is the use, sometimes, of (extra) arms and hands for birds. On me at least, this practice has a disquieting and alienating effect (e.g., on 13 and 21). The style of the illustrations is deliberately archaic, set, I would say, somewhere late in the nineteenth century. The two-page spread on 28-29 is typical of the strength and simplicity of this art work.
1992 The Tiger and the Brahmin. Written by Brian Gleeson. Illustrated by Kurt Vargö. First printing. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. Boxed with an accompanying audio cassette done in 1991. Rowayton, CT: Rabbit Ears Productions. $20 by mail from Elaine Woodford, Haddonfield, NJ, Oct., '97.
A brightly colored book with dramatic illustrations. The story founds the Brahmin's dilemma well by pointing out his duty to practice charity to all things. The book has already stressed the role of duty in India and in this man. The tiger, once freed, tells the Brahmin that it is his duty to eat him. The elephant's submissiveness is moving, as are the stiff upper lip of the pipal tree and the cynicism of the water buffalo. The elephant does not answer the Brahmin's question directly at first. The tiger here does not come along to meet the three men. The jackal is (untypically for the tradition) beyond the three creatures questioned; he accosts the brahmin as the latter is returning to be eaten. Both the book and the tape are very well done.
1992 The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales. Text by Jon Scieszka. Illustrations by Lane Smith. First edition. Dust jacket. NY: Penguin Books USA: Viking. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Christmas, '92. Extra copy a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Summer, '95.
Great fun! Its LC summary is apt: "Madcap revisions of familiar fairy tales." The book dares one to take it seriously, as when the last page's credits prosaically claim that "The illustrations are rendered in oil and vinegar." Later in the credits: "Anyone caught telling these fairly stupid tales will be visited, in person, by the Stinky Cheese Man." Zipper-mouthed Jack, the narrator, has trouble with the little red hen even before the title page. Jack interrupts the first story because he forgot the T of C. It, not the sky, falls on Chicken Licken and everyone else in the first story. The one fable is TH, in which the hare's growing hair is still racing the slow tortoise! T of C promises a second fable that the book does not get to: "The Boy Who Cried `Cow Patty.'" Delightful modern art. I keep the second copy in the collection (twelfth printing?) because its dust jacket contains the Caldecott Honor seal.
1992 The Tortoise and the Hare. Aesop's Fable Retold by Jane Parker Resnick. Illustrated by Heidi Lindy. Norwalk: The C.R. Gibson Company. $2.11 at Read All About It, Southroads, Dec., '93.
A stiff-board book of six two-sided pages, with the cover as title page and the back giving the moral. Apparently one of a series of four. Lindy pictures fetchingly the tortoise's candy-striped shirt under the shell. The illustrator may hurt the presentation somewhat when she pictures the goal as within sight from the very start of the bet. Note the text's statement "The hare leapt out of sight." The best illustrations may be the second and third full spreads: the bunny is jolly and the tortoise engaging.
1992 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold and illustrated by Helen Craig. First U.S. edition. Dust jacket. Printed and Bound in Belgium. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. $13.95 from Powell's, Portland, July, '93.
An excellent book. Though it seems to exploit every possibility the story offers, it does so with good art and good sensibility. Ink-and-watercolor combine for lively art of varying sizes. Craig's presentation develops many new possibilities. Tyler from town finds Charlie's food boring but allows "I suppose it's good for you." Tyler asks for evening entertainment and gets the sunset; his reaction: "Too slow." Tyler cannot sleep because it is too dark and quiet. A carrier pigeon gives the two a lift to town, where they run into a huge growling cat...on the screen of a movie theater! Charlie is hit by a runaway pineapple. Craig offers a great visual of one table made up of multiple sections across two pages. Charlie has to hide in the springs of a sofa. Overnight, he has nightmares, and soon returns home on a milk-truck. Craig creates strong contrasting full-page nightlife scenes from town and country, just as she gives a good contrast on the end papers and facing pages. See Candlewick's paperbound version in 1995.
1992 The Wind and the Sun: An Aesop Fable. Retold and Illustrated by Bernadette Watts. First printing? Dust jacket. (c)Nord-Süd Verlag AG, Gossau Zürich. First published in Switzerland under the title Sonne und Wind: Wer ist der Stärkste? NY: North-South Books. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '95. Extra copies for $14.95 from Dundee, Nov., '92; for $8.10 from Midway, Nov., '94; and for $7.50 from Laurie, Oct., '95.
Very pleasing art to present a cogent story. Among the best illustrations is the first for the wind's storm. The sun itself announces the moral in proclaiming victory over the wind: "As you can see, it is easier to influence people with gentleness than with force." Notice that the ISBN summary on the back of the title page gives the misguided version of the fable, which the book itself and the flyleaf both avoid! For them, the bet is rather about who "can tear the cloak from the back of that man."
1992 The Yellow Slicker: A Fable for Women. Story and Original Art by Pegi Clark Pearson. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Printed in Mexico. Manchester, CT: Knowledge, Ideas & Trends, Inc. $8 from Readers' Books, Sonoma, CA, July, '03.
Each of eleven pages of text in this large-format book is matched with a full-page black-and-white line illustration, almost always of a nude woman. The story starts when a man asks a woman why she is wearing a yellow slicker on a sunny day. The answer is "Well, I'd rather wear nothing, but since that is not the custom, I wear this raincoat." He gets her lovely clothes and throws away her yellow slicker. At his invitation, she follows him to his country to be his wife. After some time of difficult loneliness and efforts to please him--and to hide the yellow slicker that she surreptitiously recovered--she leaves him and his gifts, writing that she cannot please him any more. The back of the dj reminds us that "A fable is a cautionary tale. It offers the reader a bit of information from which a lesson can be drawn." I think one of the most easily perceived lessons here is about pleasing other people at the cost of giving away oneself. I will need some time to appreciate how the nudes enhance the story. I had seen this book mentioned a number of times, and am glad to have put my hands on it.
1992 Tortoise and the Hare: Great Big Graphs. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Big Sandy, TX: True Colors: Annie's Attic. $5 from Ilene Beasley, Mesa, AZ, through Ebay, August, '03. Extra copy for $1.84 from The Cat's Corner, Iowa City, Iowa, through Ebay, Dec., '03
"Easy Reading Counted Cross Stitch" is the line just beneath the cover's "Great Big Graphs." This is a large (8½" x 11") twelve-page pamphlet (including covers) with large designs for making both smaller and larger cross-stitch presentations of TH. The designs might be called contemporary romantic. The characters use cars, hot air balloons, bicycles, boats, and planes against each other. When I wrote this pamphlet up in January of 2004, I wrote "I could have sworn that I already had this pamphlet…." Now, in February of 2004, I have found that I was right!
1992 Treasury of Children's Classics in Spanish and English. William T. Tardy. Paperbound. Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Co. See 1985/92.
1992 Walt Disney's Uncle Remus Stories. Retold by Marion Palmer. From the Original "Uncle Remus" Stories by Joel Chandler Harris. Adapted from the characters and backgrounds created for the Walt Disney motion picture Song of the South and other Walt Disney adaptations of the original "Uncle Remus" stories. Hardbound. Racine, WI: A Golden Book: NY: Western Publishing Company, Inc.. $6 from Feldman's Books, Menlo Park, CA, August, '08.
Here is a republication of the 1947 original by Simon and Schuster, printed in the USA. Let me include my comments from there. This Golden Book has ninety-two pages for twenty-three stories taken from Disney materials, especially Song of the South. The dialect is strong but easily handled. The art is vintage Disney. Stories I enjoyed and/or found new on this trip through included "Brer Bear an de Bag Full of Turkeys" (17), "Doctor Rabbit Cures de King" (19), "Why de Cricket Fambly Lives in Chimbleys" (23), "How Craney-Crow Kept His Head" (33), and "Brer Rabbit's Money Machine" (39). The observation of the crane in his new territory that all the birds here take off their heads at night is spectacular! This copy is new and in much better condition than my 1947 original. Uncle Remus stories are always fun!
1992 3 Minute Aesop's Fables. Retold by Gina Phillips. Illustrated by F.S. Persico. (c)1992 Kidsbooks, Inc. NY: Smithmark Publishers. Gift of Vera Ruotolo, Jan., '97. Extra copy for $2.98 from Dundee, Nov., '92.
A cute cover illustration introduces a simple book of eleven fables without an index or T of C. The other illustrations tend to be simple. The tortoise wears glasses, a scarf, and a derby (13). All the stories except the last get two pages. Some of the morals are cautious, like "For some a safe, simple life is better than a rich life full of danger" (7) and "Slow and steady can win the race" (12). Other morals are perceptive: "Before accepting advice, it is wise to consider the source" (9) and "It is easier to talk about doing great deeds than it is to accomplish them" (20).
1992 5-Minute Tales for Bedtime. Linda Jennings. Illustrated by Hilda Offen. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. London: Hamlyn Children's Books: Reed International Books. $3 from Constant Reader, Milwaukee, June, '99.
This book represents a curiosity from the publishing world. The book is a shorter version of Bedtime Tales done by the same author and illustrator in 1989 for Cathay Books of Octopus Press. There it had 144 pages, whereas here it has 112. Fourteen of the fifteen fables presented there are again offered here, with the same plates. They are now on differently numbered pages. Only GA has been cut. As I wrote there, the colorful, soft illustrations are pleasing and fun. Sometimes the end of a fable is softened. For example, the tortoise is only bruised when the eagle drops him from the sky.
1992 50 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Danièle Bour. Préface de Marc Soriano. Hardbound. Grasset Jeunesse: Grasset. 150 Francs from La Procure, Paris, August, '99.
The finely detailed primitive paintings recommend this book highly. They range from full page illustrations down to single figures taking part of a page. Among the best are those of the two old men asking for death, le Malheureux and le Bûcheron (12-13); I think these figures may help readers contrast the two versions as La Fontaine hoped they would. Bour helps one to picture how a cat could have passed for a heap of flour (21). Do not miss "Le Lion amoureux" (26). The title picture (FM) may be the best of all (31); the frog drags a dripping lily pod up into the air with him. The next page comes back with a nice look at this strange threesome moving into the distance. Among other fine work: "L'Alouette et ses Petites, avec le Maître d'un champ" (37) and "Le Cerf et la Vigne" (43). T of C at the end.
1992/95 Paramythia Tou Aisopou, Pemptos Tomos. Nestoras Chounos. Nikos Neiros and M(ichales) Benetoulias. Third edition. Hardbound. Athens: Agkura D.A. Papademetriou. $9.98 from Greek Video Rec's & Tapes, Inc., Astoria, NY, Feb., '98.
This is the fifth of six volumes in a series that I found in Greek Video's catalogue. The first two volumes are under 1978/97, while the third and fourth are under 1986/96. Three stories: "The Monkey and the Fox," BW, and "The Lobster and the Fox." Nikos Neiros illustrates the first two stories and Michales Benetoulias the last. The animals' feats in competing for kingship in the first fable offer perhaps the best illustrations in this series. Many wolves attack the flock in the second fable. This volume returns to the format of the first two, with a small picture and a promythium on the title-page of each story. The monkey king, the fox, and other animals are pictured by Benetoulias on the cover. The back cover of all six volumes is the same.
1992/95 19 fables de singes. Jean Muzi. Illustrations de Gérard Franquin. Paperbound. Paris: Castor Poche #387: Castor Poche Flammarion. $2.99 from Carmody Investment, Granby, CO, Oct., '05.
I had already had a larger and thinner copy of this paperback book with a 1998 copyright. I figured that this was simply an earlier version. Upon closer inspection, I find that the texts are the same, but that the same artist seems to have done two different sets of illustrations for the two different editions. That is surprising! This smaller, thicker book has for its cover picture a mouse on an elephant with a banana in his trunk. The back cover includes a picture of a monkey with a fez. If those illustrations tend to be simple, strong sketches, these tend to be full scenes, with plenty of shades. I liked those; I like these even more. They are much more suggestive. A good example may be the cow stuck in the tree, whose milk the monkeys can enjoy (17). One problem with this edition is clear in the T of C at the end. The last two chapters, after Chapter 17, are labelled "16." I will include some of my comments on the later edition. The nineteen fables here are really fables. What a delight! A few are familiar, including one from La Fontaine. It is done in verse, while the others are in prose. This collection represents a very broad spectrum of countries of origin. I also have from Castor Poche Flammarion, Dix-Neuf Fables du mechant Loup, Dix-Neuf Fables d'Oiseaux, 19 Fables de renard, and Diecisiete Fábulas del Zorro. Several fables are new to me. The monkey gets the cow with full udders to charge an apple tree so hard that her horn sticks in the tree. Then the monkey and his children milk the cow dry. A monkey worries about crossing a river and so asks two locals--a giraffe and a lizard--if it is a good idea. They give quite different answers! A monkey offers to help build homes for a succession of other animals, but is always interrupted; it turns out that he has no home of his own. "Le Singe et les hommes" (55-73) is so long that I think it can no longer function as a fable, even though it is well done. The king of the monkeys actually learns the secret of immortality from a Grand Sage, but then shows it off out of pride and anger when he is mocked by fellow students. The Grand Sage cannot take back the secret of immortality, but he can forbid the monkey from ever seeing his people again. In "Le Singe et le Python," a monkey wants to get rid of a python who has moved into his tree. He stages an argument with a fellow monkey about whether the python would fit into a sack that he has..
1992/96 Paramythia Tou Aisopou, Ektos Tomos. Nestoras Chounos and Anastasia Papademetriou-Birbily. Michales Benetoulias. Third edition. Hardbound. Athens: Agkura D.A. Papademetriou. $9.98 from Greek Video Rec's & Tapes, Inc., Astoria, NY, Feb., '98.
This is the sixth of six volumes in a series that I found in Greek Video's catalogue. The first two volumes are under 1978/97, the third and fourth under 1986/96, and the fifth under 1992/95. Three stories: "The Cowardly Hunter," "The Miser," and "The Ass and the Goat." The latter is new to me. The goat apparently advises the ass to fall into a ditch to avoid work. The result is that the goat has to carry the ass's burdens. The format of the stories' title-pages changes slightly here from that in earlier volumes of the series: now there is a large picture above the names of the editor and illustrator for the individual story. Nestoras Chounos edits the first story and Anastasia Papademetriou-Birbily the other two. Benetoulias does the artwork for the cover and all three fables. The miser and his gold are on the cover. The back cover of all six volumes is the same.
1992/98 D'un conte à l'autre: Récits d'après des fables, Vol. 2. Ben Abdessadek Abdelmajid? Ben Abdessadek Abdelmajid? "Edition 1998." Pamphlet. Printed in Casablanca. Casablanca: Dar Attakafa. 6 Dirhams from Dar Attakafa Bookstore, Casablanca, July, '01.
Three fables are presented here in prose adaptations of La Fontaine for schoolchildren: TMCM, AD, and FS. The title-page has this hilarious misprint "Récits d'après des faibles." Little parentheses point to explanatory notes at the end of each fable. Full-page black-and-white illustrations alternate with text-pages. The first fable is told in the first person by the country mouse, who wears a nice jellaba on the cover. Somehow the title "Le corbeau et le renard" stands before AD! This fable is told in the first person by the dove. Mistress Goat asks Mistress Stork about her encounter with the fox, and the stork tells her the story. I found this booklet, along with the other two fable books in the series, on my own during my first afternoon in "Casa."
1992/98 Fedro: Favole. Introduzione, Traduzione e Note di Fernando Solinas. Fourth printing. Paperback. Classici Greci e Latini. Printed in Italy. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Lire 12000 from Mel Bookstore, Rome, August, '98.
Here is a slick-covered paperback--it actually looks like a Penguin paperback--offering Phaedrus' five books and Perotti's Appendix with matching Italian prose translations. Of the several bilingual translations of Aesop and Phaedrus that I found on this trip to Italy, those from Mondadori are the sturdiest and best-made books. Among the Phaedrus editions, this also has by far the most extensive introduction, bibliography, and notes. The T of C at the back lists only books, not fables, and there is no AI. One can locate fables faster in other volumes, but then I think this edition will have more to offer once the fable is located.
1992/2000 That's a Laugh! Four Funny Fables. Edited by Philip Bryan. Illustrated by David Pearson. Paperbound. Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia: Literacy 2000: Mimosa Publications. $5.99 from Buy.com, June, '08.
Here is an unusual 8¼" x 6" landscape pamphlet with four stories. The title-page also serves as T of C. The first of the four stories is "Seven Smart Brothers" (2). Seven not-so-smart brothers think that they have lost a brother while fishing, since each brother counts only the other six. A very pleasing panorama shows the brothers fishing (2-3); orange and green elements enhance a basic black silhouette. "Don't Be Ridiculous" (8) has a mule, a dog, and a cat each surprising people with their ability to speak. Of course those who do not hear the animal speaking promptly deny it with the title's expression. "What's In a Name?" starts with another breathtaking panorama, this time with just two colors (12-13). A clever short-term worker at a castle gives three different names for himself. The names serve him well by confusing people when he leaves. "Aunt Teresa's Turnip" is a fine tall tale with a surprising ending. The back cover seems to indicate that this booklet belongs to "Set D" of "Stage 8." Might these indications refer to "Literacy 2000"?
1992? The Aesop for Children. Pictures by Milo Winter. No editor named. (c)1919, 1947 Checkerboard Press, a division of Macmillan, Inc. Printed in Korea. NY: Checkerboard Press. See 1919/47/92?.
1992? Peter Parley's Book of Fables Illustrated by Numerous Engravings. Hardbound. Hartford: R. White/Pleasant Company. $12.50 from stonepaths through eBay, April, '13.
This is a 32-page miniature book reproduced in the early 1990s from the original by Pleasant Company as an accessory for the American Girl Doll Kirsten. 2½" x 3". Excellent condition. To judge by the copyright, the book was first published in 1834. This edition was published in 1841. My own copy comes from 1836. Apparently, what had been in 1836 White, Dwier and Conpany by 1841 had become R. White. The T of C used here is accurate for the original edition; that is, it refers to forty-seven fables spread over some 130 pages. As I mention there, Parley's fables, taken or derived from Ingram Cobb, are full of explicitated lessons about what little children should do. His fables are heavy on animals learning too late what they should have done and very light on risk and adventure. The principal lesson is overwhelming: obey your parents! Nine fables are reproduced here with their charming rectangular engravings.
1993 A Bestiary. Compiled by Richard Wilbur. Illustrated by Alexander Calder. Dust jacket. First printing of this edition. Originally published in 1955 in a signed, limited edition designed by Joseph Blumenthal at The Spiral Press. NY: Pantheon Books. See 1955/93.
1993 A Sample of Aesop. By Helen and Rex Whistler, recalled by Laurence Whistler. #29 of 150. Dust jacket. Paperbound. Bertram Rota. $50 from Fokas Holthuis - Paulbooks, Bemmel, Netherlands, August, '02.
The introduction to this twelve-page booklet offers the touching story of a very poor family in the 1920's, when mother Helen and son Rex collaborated on a book of two fables. Here, sixty years later, the booklet sees the light of day through the services of their respective son and brother Laurence. "The Satyr and the Traveller" and "The Two Springs" are offered, each with a very strong black-and-white full-page illustration. The illustration for the former is especially strong, I think. The facial expression of the satyr is that of one perplexed. The texts are made up of rhyming couplets. The latter fable is unknown to me in this form. It is about the slow, quiet river triumphing over the fast and splashy one. The illustration has both rivers spewing from a mountain cave, which is the mouth of a human face. The printing was done in Marlborough for the text and in Charlbury for the drawings. This is a rare find!
1993 Aesop The Story Teller. A new version by Dorothy Hamblen MacLaren. With illustrations by Blaker Herod. Couplets courtesy of Constance Carrier and the American Classical League. Pasadena: Aesopica. Gift, along with two extras, of Dorothy MacLaren, Feb., '94.
Seven well-chosen fables in a sideways form, with comic-book cartoons. For each, a moral (most often a couplet), is followed by a page of cartoon sketches. The golden egg printed in gold is back--from MacLaren's Esopus Hodie--on the reverse of the title-page. The town mouse in TMCM says "Me too!" when the country mouse announces the intent to leave for the country. SW is told in the weaker form. I would not have known of this book if Dorothy had not mentioned it to me in passing.
1993 Aesop: 12 Fabeln. Neu erzählt von Hans Gärtner. Illustriert von Lisbeth Zwerger. Hardbound. Gossau Zurich: Bilder-Buch-Sternchen #32: Michael Neugebauer Verlag. DEM 9,80 from Antiquariat Richart Kulbach, Heidelberg, July, '01.
This is the fifth book I have found illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger. Two are large English versions. A third is a large German version. The last is a small English version. Put together the latter two and you come close to this small-format book. Only its size is different from the small English version. Whereas that book is 4¾" x 4⅜", this is 6" x 5¾". The cover picture here, as in the small English version, is of TMCM and not the dancing camel, which is on the cover of the larger German version. It is curious that I found the larger and the smaller German versions in the same bookstore in Heidelberg, several years apart. It is surprising that the large version's title-page has "neuerzählt," while this smaller version, otherwise identical, has "neu erzählt." I still find Zwerger's artistry enchanting.
1993 Aesop: 12 Fabeln. Illustriert von Lisbeth Zwerger. Neuerzählt von Hans Gärtner. Dritte Auflage. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. Zurich: Michael Neugebauer Verlag. See 1989/93.
1993 Aesop's Desecrated Morals #1. Classics Desecrated Special, Volume 2, #1. Doug Wheeler. No place named: Magnecom, Rip Off Press, Inc. $2.95 through Garrett Sims, Omaha, Jan., '94.
A wonderful find with the help of a student of "Fable Literature" just a year ago. The front cover is a first gem: the grasshopper comes from the welfare office with food stamps, cash, and liquor in his four hands and says "suckers" of the trudging Antco ants with their attache cases. Some of the fables lapse into questionable taste, gratuitous violence, and outright sexism. In one of the best, the grasshopper inherits all the possessions of the overworked ant after the latter's heart attack (8). Others include "The Elephant and Aphrodite" (16), AD (23), and CP (inside the back cover).
1993 Aesop's Fable: The Tortoise and the Hare. For use with a computer disc of the same title. Retold by Mark Schlichting. Illustrated by Michael Dashow & Barbara Lawrence-Webster. Living Books. Novato, CA: Random House/Broderbund Company. $9.99 at Office Max, Santa Clara, Jan., '97. Extra copy with minor writing for $2.50 from Copperfield's, Sebastopol, Dec., '03.
See my comments on the disc itself, basis for one of the most delightful experiences I have had in a long time. This book's right-hand pages are the twelve scenes from the story with an introductory and concluding scene from the storyteller; the left hand pages consist of text and a few symbols. By comparison with the exciting interactive program, the book is only okay.
1993 Aesop's Fable: The Tortoise and the Hare. Mark Schlichting. Michael Dashow & Barbara Lawrence-Webster. Paperbound. Novato, CA: Living Books: Random House/Broderbund Company. $2 from Bluestem Books, Lincoln, Jan., '13.
This book is almost identical with another in the collection. Perhaps it represents a later printing when it was placed in a series with other books. The front cover adds "Living Books Presents" in the upper left corner, and the back cover lists three other "Living Books." I will include here what I wrote on the edition without those two additions. See my comments on the disc itself, basis for one of the most delightful experiences I have had in a long time. This book's right-hand pages are the twelve scenes from the story with an introductory and concluding scene from the storyteller; the left hand pages consist of text and a few symbols. By comparison with the exciting interactive program, the book is only okay.
1993 Aesop's Fables. No editor acknowledged. Illustrated by Lindsay Duff. (c)Text and illustrations: Geddes & Grosset Ltd. Dust jacket. Printed in Slovenia. London: Tiger Books International. $13 at Stillwater Book Center, Oct., '95.
This is a curious book, apparently in the category of "mass produced classics made to look old and fancy." The versions of its 150 fables seem sometimes long. The illustrator is mentioned only on the cover and dust jacket, not within the book itself. There are ten simple full-page colored illustrations (listed just after the beginning T of C). Some are printed on front and back of their inserted pages. One repeats the cover and another the frontispiece. The best of the illustrations may be the frontispiece, "The Donkey's Shadow," with its cool, classic lines. On the repeat of this illustration (112) the paper-cutter missed by a little, and one can still see the printer's markings at the top of the page.
1993 Aesop's Fables. Illustrations (c)Heidi Holder, 1981. Text, (c)Viking Penguin Inc., 1981, "adapted by the editors at The Viking Press from several sources, primarily those of Boris Artzybasheff and Sir Robert [sic] L'Estrange." Puffin Books. NY: Penguin Books USA. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Aug., '95. Extra copy a gift of Vera Ruotolo, Feb., '97.
A reprint in reduced dimensions of the lavish, beautiful first edition of 1981. Though the big format suits Holder's art better, the illustrations here are surprisingly sharp for a smaller work that is a reprint. Worth looking at for any of the nine fables she does.
1993 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Eric Kincaid. Texts by Graeme Kent, but not acknowledged. Classics for Young Readers. Printed in Hong Kong. Newmarket: Brimax. $5.98 at Dalton, Omaha, May, '93. Extra copy, inscribed 1993, a gift of Marion Adamski, Nov., '95.
This edition was discovered by Mark Anderson, a student in my "Fable Literature" course. It includes twenty-five of the sixty-three fables found in Kincaid's volume of the same title from Checkerboard in 1989. There are some curiosities here. BW is out of order--between H and J--in the alphabetical index at the front. "The Boasting Traveler" illustration is the frontispiece, but the fable does not appear here! Two fables get two illustrations and four pages each: SW (12) and "The Eagle and the Beetle" (58). Otherwise each fable gets two pages, one of them given entirely to a strong Kincaid illustration. The second, smaller illustration under each text in 1989 is missing here.
1993 Aesop's Fables: Plays for Young Children. Albert Cullum. Cover illustrator Khanh Lee; inside illustrator Janet Skiles. Paperbound, large format. Printed in USA. Carthage, IL: Fearon Teacher Aids: A Paramount Communications Company. $10 from Alibris, Feb., '00.
This 8½" x 11" book reworks in larger format with illustrations the plays that Cullum first presented in "Aesop in the Afternoon" (1972). See my comments there. The only changes I can perceive touch gender-inclusive language and the dropping of some fables. Thus, as to the first point, "The Child and the Nuts" and "The Child Who Went into the River" have substituted "child" for "boy." "The Shepherd and the Wolf" used to have "boy" in its title defining the shepherd. "Bowman" has become "Archer." These fables--and others?--make the appropriate changes also within the fable texts. As to the second point, a number of fables have been dropped: "The Donkey and the Wolf," "The Serpent and the Eagle," "The Lion, the Wolf, and the Fox," "The Mouse and the Frog," "The Donkey, the Rooster and the Lion," "The Doe and the Lion," "The Mother and the Wolf," "The Dogs and the Fox," and "The Hawk and the Pigeons." This edition adds illustrations for each fable. They take up the major portion of an 8½" x 11" page. They seem sentimental and almost childish to me. The two travelers in TB are pictured as rabbits (50). See also my second copy, also listed under 1993, but apparently from the sixth printing and listed as from a different publisher.
1993 Aesop's Fables: Plays for Young Children. Albert Cullum. Cover illustrator Khanh Lee; inside illustrator Janet Skiles. Paperbound, large format. Printed in USA. Torrance, CA: Fearon Teacher Aids: Frank Schaffer Publications, Inc. $10 from an unknown source, perhaps in Washington, DC, Dec., '99.
This book is identical with that listed under the same title and year; this is not only a different printing but it is now published by a different parent corporation. Thus one reads on the back of the title-page "This Fearon Teacher Aids product was formerly manufactured and distributed by American Teaching Aids, Inc., a subsidiary of Silver Burdett Ginn, and is now manufactured and distributed by Frank Schaffer Publications, Inc." This is apparently the first edition and the sixth printing. See my comments under the "Paramount Communications Company" listing.
1993 Aesop's Fables With a Life of Aesop. Translated from the Spanish with an Introduction by John E. Keller and L. Clark Keating. Based on Jan Hurus' 1489 Saragossa edition. First edition? Dust jacket. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press. $45 from the publishers, Aug., '93.
An excellent book and a valuable resource. A good introduction leads up to placing Hurus' book in history. Good comments on the history and traditions. Rinuccio translated Planudes from Greek into Latin in about 1450. Steinhöwel followed Rinuccio's order (eight books with about twenty fables in each book). So did this edition follow Rinuccio, and so it is not a translation of Steinhöwel's German; it is a translation of Rinuccio's Latin. This may be the most helpful resource I have on Planudes' and Steinhöwel's work. The illustrations are copies of the Ulm/Augsburg woodcuts. Books 5 and 8 are largely new to me. Some differences from traditional fable versions: the jewel in the first fable is this book (53), as it will be in Caxton's interpretation. The fox finds not a mask but a statue (83); the hands and feet starved the belly too long, and the man died (103); the vulture invites birds to his birthday party (117); the lion takes the man to the amphitheater and shows him who wins by fighting him; and the wolf separates and destroys four oxen (184). T of C at the beginning and an AI on 237.
1993 African-American Folktales for Young Readers. Including Favorite Stories from African and African-American Storytellers Collected and edited by Richard Alan Young and Judy Dockrey Young. Illustrations by Kenneth Harris. First edition, first printing. Little Rock: August House Publishers. $5.50 from Harold's Book Shop, St. Paul, Dec., '96.
A rich book whose stories are easy to like. One section (49-73) is given to animal fables, mysteriously called "Animal Tales" in the section's headers. "Python and Lizard" (50) is about friendship betrayed. "Mr. Frog Rides Mr. Elephant" (55) is known from Br'er Rabbit's ride of Br'er Fox. In "Brother Lion and Brother Man" (59), the former learns the truth that the latter is the king of the forest. An illustration of the rabbit and bear cheating each other at checkers (48) goes with this tale. In "How Br'er Rabbit Outsmarted the Frogs" (66, with an illustration on 73), the former gets the latter to dig a supposed grave for Br'er Coon, but really it is just a hole they can no longer get out of. There are good trickster tales and "Parables about People." Two good selections among the former are "Clever Mollie" (101) and "Why Brother Alligator Has a Rough Back" (103). Perhaps the best of the parables is "Meat of the Tongue" (111). At the end there are two final Br'er Rabbit fables including"Show me how," this time with a snake under a brick and Brother Rabbit as the clever questioner. I am glad to have found this book. It celebrates Afro-American storytelling well.
1993 Amoralische Fabeln. Christoph Bauer. Hardbound. Zurich: Verena Stettler im Eco-Verlag. €15 from an unknown source, August, '07.
This is an unusual book. Almost square with sides of about 7½", it presents some eighteen stories in 215 pages. I read the first. It is a good study of two unhappy relationships, an unexciting relationship between a crocodile that loves and a guinea pig that does not love passionately in return. Soon enough the guinea pig does fall in love with a rakish hamster with no depth or morals. The crocodile tracks them on a lascivious evening together and interrupts their love-making, only to break into tears. The two passionate lovers split up soon anyway, and the two "friends" return to watching TV together. The back cover lays out author Bauer's philosophy. He wants to put dear animals into the midst of our reality, to let hardcore results emerge. "Aesop and La Fontaine would roll over in their graves," he writes. Relationships are a frequent theme, he writes, since partners are for many the only source of meaning. He wants to investigate relationships not in terms of tenderness and adventure, but as mutual stapler-strangleholds. The first story carries out that philosophy. The title here seems to me metaphorical. And I am not so sure that Aesop and La Fontaine would not recognize what is going on here. One might even hazard that they got deeper into the mystery of it all than Bauer does.
1993 An Aesop's Fable: The Donkey & the Thistle. Retold by Tanya and Peter Thomas. Illustrations by Suzanne and Donna Thomas. #70 of 150 regular and 25 special copies, boxed. Hardbound. Santa Cruz, CA: Just for Fun Press. $50 from George Robert Kane Fine Books, Santa Cruz, through ILAB, May, '04.
This is a miniature (2½" x 3") book that I have sought for many years. By luck I found it through ILAB. It includes two nice black-and-white illustrations. It has just sixteen pages in all, and nine of those have nothing on them! But, oh, the joy of taking one more item off of my "Search List"!
1993 Animal Fables. General Editor: Hiroko C. Quackenbush. Illustrations: Yasuji Mori and Kazue Ito. Kana Readers. Kodansha Nihongo Folktales Series #4. First edition. Printed in Japan. Tokyo: Kodansha International. $7 at Powell's, Portland, March, '96.
This is a very well organized booklet. There are ten fables (BC, AD, LM, FG, SW, DLS, BW, TB, DS, and TH). Each has two or three illustrations. There are notes at the end for English-reading learners of Japanese, and there are translations of the stories. The book runs backwards from our point of view. The best illustration may be that for TB. My attention is caught by three textual decisions. SW is told in the poorer version. The moral for BW is "You mustn't fool people by telling lies all the time." In TB, the bear says "Good gracious, he's pretending to be dead"! (I do not think the story works if the bear knows that the man is pretending.)
1993 Animal Tales and Fables: Volume 2 of Collier's Junior Classics. Editorial Consultant: Margaret E. Martignoni; Aesop editor: Joseph Jacobs; Jataka Tales retold by Ellen C. Babbitt. Irwin Greenberg, Robert Reed Macguire. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: P.F. Collier, L.P. $3 from Cathy Roggio, Folcroft, PA, througth Ebay, June, '00.
This edition takes fable material directly from the 1962 edition of Once Upon a Time: Volume 2 of Collier's Junior Classics Series and reproduces it unaltered. Thus we have eight fables edited by Joseph Jacobs with Irwin Greenberg's unimpressive black-and-white illustrations. They are followed by five Jataka Tales, retold by Ellen C. Babbitt. These are illustrated, in one or two colors, by Robert Reed Macguire. The rest of the volume presents folktales in a different format from the predecessor series. The folktales there were arranged by region and era. Here there is no organization. Many from the former volume have dropped, and there are about seven new folktales. Pages marking the book's divisions have either been dropped or have lost their titles. Thus the page before Aesop's Fables retains the same design of two mice but now has no words. And the book now moves from the Jataka Tales (26) to the folktales (27) without a page to mark the transition.
1993 Another Tortoise And A Different Hare. By Judith Cole. Illustrated by Anke Van Dun. First printing; signed by Cole and Van Dun. Hardbound. Tucson: Treasure Chest Publications. $1.99 from William McLeod, Tucson, through eBay, Dec., '05.
This is a 32-page large-format (slightly more than 8½" x 11") book presenting an updated version of TH. A reader notices immediately that unusual desert fauna and flora are labelled here. A tortoise and a hare meet in the desert. Soon both tortoise and hare are mentioning that their grandfathers had a race with, respectively, a hare and a tortoise. The hare proposes to run the race again. Along the way in the race, the hare visits, snacks, and rests. When she awakens, she hurts herself trying to look at the finish-line from some rocks a long way away. Afraid as she faces night, the hare cries out. The tortoise hears her cries and turns back to help her. In the end, the hare rides on the tortoise's back and then limps along beside him. When a menacing coyote appears, the hare runs away--but then hops back to help the tortoise by distracting the coyote. The two go down together to the stream. The two look back on the day, and each says "You would have won if you had not come back for me." Unlike their grandfathers, these two are both winners and now friends. While the desert fauna and flora are vividly presented in caring watercolors, the story-illustrations seem predictable.
1993 Armenian Folk-tales and Fables. Translated by Charles Downing. Illustrated by William Papas. Paperbound. The hardbound was first published in 1972. Oxford: Oxford University Press. $10.95 from The Story Monkey, Sept., ’96.
The introduction shows a surprising sensitivity to fable as a distinct genre. The book presents thirty-five fables (193-205), a large proportion of them the work of either Vardan of Aygek or Mekhithar Gosh. At least seven are straight Aesopic fables, including those ascribed to Olompianos, probably just another name for Aesop. Two fables improve on Aesop: In "Fair Shares" (198), there are three victims of the hunting group. After the lion hits the wolf so hard that an eye pops out, the fox apportions one of the spoils for each of the lion’s three daily meals. In "The Fox and the Partridge" (202), the captured partridge recommends thanking God for the good catch. My recommended sampler of fables from this book includes "Priests and Princes," "The Bargain," "The Wolf’s ABC," "The Peacock and the Eagle," and "The Price of Dignity." None of the fables is illustrated.
1993 Beastly Tales. From Here and There. Vikram Seth. Illustrations by Ravi Shankar. London: Phoenix House. $10 at Lichtman's, Toronto, Jan., '94. Extra copy without dust jacket for $4.95 from Booksellers' Row, Chicago, March, '95.
A strange find. This book was staring at me on the counter of a new book store that "had nothing for me" where I had stopped to ask about a reported (but non-existent) used book store in the neighborhood. Is that Ravi Shankar the Beatles' old friend or maybe someone named after him? Ten well told, witty tales in verse include two slightly expanded from Aesop but with different contemporary twists. The eagle dies of grief over the beetle's continual destruction of his eggs wrought out of vengeance for the beetle's old friend, the hare. And the female hare ends up losing the race but winning all the press acclaim. The other tales come two each from India, China, the Ukraine, and "the Land of Gup." "The Mouse and the Snake" from China is a good fable with an ironic ending comment. "The Cat and the Cock" from the Ukraine uses repeated lines very well but has the misspelling "seranade" (70). In #9, the frog manager ruins the nightingale and never knows it. One black-and-white line sketch with each story, two with the last.
1993 Birds of a Feather and Other Aesop's Fables. Retold in verse by Tom Paxton. Illustrated by Robert Rayevsky. First printing? Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Morrow Junior Books. Gift of Kathryn Thomas, April, '93. Extra copy by mail for $3.98 from Daedalus Books, May, '96.
Another fine book from Paxton and Rayevsky, their fourth together. I find Rayevsky's art improving. His best work here includes the wonderful cover illustration, the last illustration for "Birds of a Feather" (four human beings), and the picture for "The Pot Calls the Kettle Black." SW is told in the poorer version, but otherwise Paxton's lyrics continue to be lively. The dust jacket rightly says that there is nothing forced about them. The extra copy has "Morrow Eagle Library Edition" on its back cover.
1993 Clever Foxes & Lucky Klutzes: A Book of Fables. William J. O'Malley, S.J. Illustrations by John McDearmon. Apparently first printing. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Allen, Texas: Tabor Publishing. $10.36 from Barnes & Noble on line, Oct., '99.
At last I have had an opportunity to read some of the stories here. As one would expect from Bill O'Malley, they are lively and pointed. They are probably much more fairy tales than fables. At least the three I have read are such. Heavy on magic, the stories are good at suggesting what O'Malley's introduction refers to as the "great truths." "Some truths are simply too enormous to capture in ironclad treatises: love, honor, passion, freedom, heart-weariness." These his stories get at. I particularly enjoy "Give Heed to the Clever Fox" (135). It offers a good sense of how slow we are to learn.
1993 Crow & Fox and Other Animal Legends. Jan Thornhill. Dust jacket. First edition. Manufactured in Hong Kong. NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. $15 at Auntie's, Spokane, March, '94. Extra copy for $4.98 at Half-Price in Richardson, TX, Sept., '94.
A beautiful large-format book with strong colors in its illustrations, borders, and designs. The nine stories are linked as each fable takes up one character from the preceding. I find four that are Aesopic fables: "The Elephant and the Hare" from the Panchatantra tradition; TT from the same tradition, but with the tortoise only cracking his shell and needing months to get healed; "The Crow and the Fox," a version of FS in which the crow drops dates onto thorns, where the fox cannot get at them; and "The Fox and the Bear," who ends up without his tail after fishing. For especially good illustrations, check the flying tortoise (13) and the coyote laughing out water (25). I like this book.
1993 Dame Renard et Dame Cigogne. Adapted by Emanuel Calamaro. Illustrated by Edward Nofziger. (c)1970 McKeon Publishing, Inc. Cincinnati: Another Language Press. See 1970/93.
1993 Det svarta fåret och andra fabler. Augusto Monterroso; Översättning och efterord: Lars Bjurman. Various simple illustrations. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Stehag, Sweden: Brutus Östlings Bokforlag Symposion. 75 Swedish Kroner from Antikvariat Nordkalotten, Boden, Sweden, August, '14.
This is a strong edition of Monterroso's work, starting from the front dust-jacket's "The General on a Horse" painting. Are the frequent black-and-white illustrations here from Santillana Ediciones Generales (2011)? I wrote there "The standard -- wonderful! -- fables are here illustrated with generic clip-art illustrations of animals. There is something either very right or very wrong about that mode of illustration!" One other possible source for the images is Doubleday's "The Black Sheep and Other Fables" (1971). The illustrations there are taken from "Dover's 1800 Woodcuts by Thomas Bewick and His School" (1962). The verso of the title-page here seems to point to a 1983 "La Oveja Negra" source. There is an index of proper and geographical names and then Bjurman's afterword, apparently on Monterroso as a fabulist. There is also a T of C at the beginning of the book. I am always happy to pay homage to Monterroso! I now have Monterroso's fables in English, Spanish, Latin, and Swedish.
1993 Die kluge Krähe: Nach einer Fabel von Flavius Avianus. Hans Gerhard Berge. Hardbound. Hildesheim: Gerstenberg Verlag. DM 12.80 from LeseZeichen Modernes Antiquariat, Muenster, August, '01.
This is a well pictured children's book. The story is set around a rural hut in a "southern" country desert. The animals are suffering from thirst. The crow joins the scene searching herself for water. An ass tips the crow off that there is water in a pot nearby, but that the local animals are not able to get at the water. Chickens mock the crow, and a grasshopper offers advice that the crow should fly into the pot. The crow responds that they would do better to tip the pot. Attempts to break it with a hammer and to tip it with a rope also fail. Once the crow gets his idea, other animals make their own contributions of things to throw in, like the pig with potatoes and a sheep with a shoe. The chickens bring leaves to throw in. The crow and grasshopper make a plan to free the ass from his rope; they do it by getting the grasshopper into the ass' ear, tickling him and forcing him to a quick movement that rips his cord. Once they have raised the water level, the ass brings a saddle to the pot so that the small animals can drink too. Perhaps somewhat unbelievably, all the animals are able to satisfy their thirst from the one pot.
1993 Dramatizing Aesop's Fables: Creative Scripts for the Elementary Classroom. Louise Thistle. Illustrations by Rachel Gage. Paperbound. Apparently third printing Printed in USA. Palo Alto, CA: Dale Seymour Publications. $12.76 from amazon.com, Feb., '98.
After several chapters on acting, with good discriminations between the youngest grades and those in third grade and beyond, eight fables are scripted for narrative-mime presentation. The first example, done very thoroughly, is LM. Others include TH, CP (the crow kicks the pitcher in one of the best little designs!), DS, SW ("Let's see who can make them take their coats off"), FS, AD, and TMCM. Twenty-seven additional fables are presented with instructions for adapting them to drama. There are questions for each story and an annotated bibliography. Thistle makes the fables work well as stories to dramatize.
1993 El Asno y el Buey. Contado por Moisés Leija Leija. Ilustrado por Katya Judith Rice. Pamphlet. Celebremos la Literatura. Printed in USA. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. $2.98 from an unknown source, July, '96.
This landscape pamphlet of sixteen pages is a delightful telling of the story from the fable tradition. The ass asks the bull why he works so hard. The bull lies down and is taken for sick. The farmer then makes the ass do all the bull's work, and the ass is dead tired! After the bull says that he likes this arrangement very much, the ass tells him that if he does not work, he will be sold to the butcher. The bull goes right back to work, and the ass enjoys doing as little as he originally did. The illustrations are playful. One fine scene is the over-the-fence conversation that gets the whole plot going while a chicken family parades under the fence (7). The several images of the exhausted ass are particularly good. Do not miss the ass's wink on the last page or the worker's approach with the harness on the back cover.
1993 Esop Masallari. Hazirlayan: Melih Ergun. Resimleyen: Nese Ozkok. Paperbound. Arkara: Ergun Yayinlari. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec., '03.
Is Aesop the old wizard-like figure on the cover handling a snake? This book is #44 of the series of 50 listed on the back cover. The lively illustrations are puzzling to me, since I do not immediately recognize the fables which they illustrate, like that picturing a lion, snake, and fawn on 13 or a monkey and crocodile on 24. Further illustrations occur on 35, 44, and 51. Fables are offered on 5 through 71. There is neither a T of C nor an AI. There must be a law about the size of books in Turkey. Almost all of the Aesop and La Fontaine books I have received are the same size, about 5 3/8" x 7½".
1993 Fabelhafte Tiergeschichten. Neu erzählt von Dirk Walbrecker. Mit Bildern von Józef Wilkon. Hardbound. Düsseldorf: Patmos Verlag. DM 29,80 from Bücher Braun, Heidelberg, August, '01.
This is a pleasing, well-made book. The T of C at the end lists twenty-seven stories. The illustrations range from full two-page spreads to single-pages to parts of pages. Their style is playful, ironic, satiric, even subtle. Do not miss the illustration of the stag, the rabbit and the ass on 20; the bunny has established that he has a "rack" like the stag. The ass ends up agreeing with the bunny that all three are alike. The fables are well-told representatives of traditional Aesopic stories. There are some touches in the telling of the stories that are new to me. When the wolf demands three honest answers and gets them, he leaves the lamb alone. The lamb goes about sayng "It is worth it to tell the truth in the face of your bitterest enemy" (8). The cormorant (12) does not eat the transported fish on a mountain plateau, but rather carries them to his personal pond and eats them there when he gets hungry. There is a nice bit of Gay between the dog and the wolf; the wolf ends up saying that an open enemy like a wolf is bad enough, but a false friend--like a man--is much worse (32). Dirk Walbrecker has a good fable about putting people in the zoo and letting the animals visit them on weekends (36). I had feared that this was not a book of fables at all. What a lovely surprise to find it a genial, alert fable book!
1993 Fables. Theodore Francis Powys. Paperbound. Sussex: Hieroglyph. £8 from Steven Ferdinando, Somerset, May, '97.
I bought this paperback of a local author as June Clinton and I visited Steven in his home, which also serves as his store. I thought it would be a paperback reproduction of my 1929 first edition of Powys' fables, done by Viking. See my comments there. This edition adds one story "The Hill and the Book" (277) to the nineteen there, three illustrations by an unacknowledged artist (facing the T of C and on 76 and 276), a biographical note by Frank A. Kibblewhite, and a list of Powys' works.
1993 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations: Frédéric Mathieu. Conception et réalisation graphique: Philippe Ferran. Fleurus Jeunesse. Paris: Editions Fleurus. $18.95 Canadian at Coles, Montreal, Oct., '95.
A lovely book of nineteen fables presented with liveliness and ingenuity, starting with the engaging image of La Fontaine leaning out from his framed picture on the title page. The best illustrations include the underwater view of the heron with a worm (11), three combined images for TMCM (15), and a telling vignette of the wolf carrying off the lamb (21). The book has great facial expressions, e.g., of the oak looking down on the reed (28) and of both characters in FS (34-35).
1993 Fables from Around the World. Paperbound. Glenview, IL: ScottForesman: HarperCollins. $0.90 from rcrobconnie, Beaumont, CA, through eBay, Jan., '06. One extra copy at the same time from the same seller.
Here is a student reader. Printed on the inside of the front cover is a standard school form proclaiming that the book is school district (or state or county or parish) property and leaving spaces for those who borrow the booklet. The 32 inside pages are on a different paper stock. They present five fables and a short bibliography. The first of the fables is "The Moon in the Well" (Tibet, 4). A leader leads a whole group of monkeys into a well to get back the moon that he sees in there. "Señora Hen" from Uruguay is a version of UP, well told. "The Foolish Donkey" is a form of DLS that unites Tom Paxton's verse with Fulvio Testa's illustrations. It is described as from Aesop. "Turtle's Race with Bear" is a Native American fable that employs an old fairy-tale motif: bear is supposed to run along the bank of a frozen pond, while turtle swims under the layer of ice and pops up in various holes along the bear's way. Of course it is a different turtle popping up in each hole, but the bear does not know that! "The Ape, the Cats, and the Cheese" is described as an Arabic fable. The ape divides the cheese and nibbles away at both pieces, supposedly to make them equal. It helps in this version that the cats had stolen the cheese from a mouse! The last page recommends Paul Galdone's The Monkey and the Crocodile; Lorinda Bryan Cauley's The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse; M.J. Wheeler's Fox Tales; and Demi's Reflective Fables. This is a worthwhile booklet. Each of five copies that I got through eBay in one lot is marked "K. Jones" on the inside front-cover.
1993 Fabulierbuch: Geschichten und Bilder. Erwin Moser. Paperbound. Weinheim: Gulliver Taschenbuch 153: Beltz & Gelberg. €4 from Antiquariat Stange, Heidelberg, August, '06.
Having read Moser's Der einsame Frosch: Sechs fabelhafte Geschichten, I was eager for more. This book turns out to be a selection of short materials published over some years. The materials are quite various. An engaging first story tells of a day in Moser's youth where he discovered and cherished and lost a millipede (7). "Die fünf Holzwürmer" (20) I already knew and liked from Der einsame Frosch. Some materials here seem to me to spring from the good colored illustrations and to be concentrated on them, like "Das Kukuruzer Tagblatt" (24) with its full-page colored illustration. In another case, twelve cartoons carry the story of "Die Erdmaus und der Regenschirm" (28). Sometimes the cartoons build something of a visual joke, as when the bowed legs of a crane are explained by his nightly ride of a moor-pig through the bog (74). More like a fable, it seems to me, is "Der Gott der Ameisen" (75). Against the single command of their tradition and its god Mu, the queen of the flourishing ants leads them out of the valley into the heights, where they are terribly punished by Mu; that is, a cow stepped on them as she was mooing on her way home. My prize goes to "Gespräch in einer Schublade" (98) with its black-and-white full-page illustration. After a fountain pen and a ballpoint pen made lying statements about their past accomplishments in writing novels and laws, respectively, a pen-knife spoke up to say that it once wrote "I love Irene" in tree bark. That was no lie, and the other two were reduced to silence.
1993 Fabulous Beasts: Renaissance Animal Lore: An Exhibition. Rachel Doggett, Jean Dunnington, Jean Miller. Paperbound. Washington, D.C.: The Folger Shakespeare Library. $1 from Second Story Books, Rockville, MD, Jan., '08.
This is an exhibition catalogue from an exhibit done by and at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., June 24 to October 16, 1993. It is a large-format pamphlet of twenty-age pages, with slightly less stiff paper covers. I am surprised to see how frequently fable materials show up in these pages. The cover and title-page illustration of the lion's court, e.g., comes from Bidpai's "The Morall Philosophie of Doni" done in 1570. The key to the exhibit may come in these sentences from the introduction: "To the average man and woman of the 16th or 17th century, everything in the natural world was part of a web of knowledge connected through visual and verbal images. Animals, like the rest of nature, had hidden meanings and qualities that people were meant to comprehend and learn from." Because of the exhibit's chosen time frame, emblem books assume a particular importance in the exhibit. "This exhibition explores an 'emblematic' view of the animal world and the Renaissance language of symbol and metaphor that portrayed that world as a 'mirror of our life.'" Early pages present animal examples in scripture, animal history, Egyptian religion, classical mythology, and ancient allegory. In "Case 6," we first encounter fable in the form of "Juno and the Peacock." Cases 7 and 8 then focus directly on fables, with contributions from Ogilby, Barlow, Faerno, Bidpai, and Reynard. Case 9 begins the presentation of emblem books, which include many fables. Case 13 focuses on Shakespeare's use of emblem, fable, and proverb. Here I learned that Shakespeare himself was attacked by Robert Greene as an "upstart crow beautified with our feathers" in a reference to BF. The pamphlet's last pages focus on the lion--from Androcles to Bert Lahr--and on three emblems for readers to decipher on their own. There is a closing bibliography that includes Handford, Hodnett, and Varty. I am pleased to have found this catalogue. Ex libris Patrick Garabedian.
1993 Favourite Fables of La Fontaine. Illustrations by Zdenka Krej… ová. Adapted in English by Alena Linhartová. Dust jacket. Printed in Slovakia. Designed and produced by Aventinum, Prague. (c)1993 Aventinum Nakladatelstvi. London: Sunburst Books. $5.95 at Strand, April, '97.
Large-format, colorful book containing forty-six fables. The art is big, colorful, and dramatic. BF (#1) has the smallest bird I have ever seen trying to wear these peacock feathers! OF (#3) starts with a great image of a horned frog; the ox is his only interlocuter, and there is no other frog around. TMCM (#5) does show a Turkish rug, but the setting seems to be more the country meal than the city meal, and there is no country meal in La Fontaine! Great chagrined lion (#12), overcome by the gnat. Sometimes the images of two fables are merged on one two-page spread, e.g. 14-15 (GA and FC) and 20-21 (WC and FG). The storytelling is good in WC: the wolf "was not even able to cry for help" and thus made no promise of a reward. Notice the ending of this version of FG: "I suppose this verdict made him feel better than complaining about not being able to reach the grapes." Appropriately, a gravedigger steals the miser's buried gold (#24). In 2P (#25) the iron pot has a good moustache. The illustration for "The Mountain that Gave Birth" (#27) is strange: a man in the foreground raises a golden egg in his hand, while the mountain in the background looks sad. In TB (#28), the bear says the man is a corpse. "I'm sure. It smells horrible." In "The Torrent and the River" (#40), a hat floating on the calm surface tells the whole story. In TT (#42), the crowd was admiring the tortoise when she felt the need to answer back. Great job for an inexpensive book! T of C at the front, listing stories by number, not page. The texts are centered prose.
1993 French Quarter Fables. By Dalt Wonk. Inscribed "To Joe and Ruth Best Wishes - Dalt". Paperbound. Printed in USA. Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans: Temperance Hall, Ltd. $48.02 from Barnes & Noble.com, Sept., '01. Extra copy without inscription for $4 from Heartwood Used and Rare Books, Charlottesville, VA, April, '95
I loved Wonk's New Fables (1997) and so ordered this book immediately--only to find a few days later that I had had an unread copy for six years! For me, the illustrations and emotions take the lead in Wonk, and the text follows. These are again genuine fables, even if they are localized in New Orleans. There are fourteen fables, each taking one or two pages. Text and illustration are combined. Only right-hand pages are used. I enjoy particularly "The Impulsive Swallow," "The Egret & the Catfish," "The Butterfly & the Storm," "The Goldfish and the Tadpole," and "The Weed and the Hummingbird." The weakest part of Wonk's work is the rhythm of his texts.
1993 God's Kiss: Mrs. Seebo's Classic Fables. Donna Seebo. Illustrator Ed Gedrose. First edition, first printing. Signed by Donna Seebo. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. Tacoma, WA: Mrs. Seebo's Classic Fables. $10 from Know Knew Books, Palo Alto, CA, July, '00.
This is a story of a dream experienced by young Johnny while riding home from church late on Christmas Eve. He dreams that he is taken to a land where animals talk and gather to receive God's kiss in the form of snowflakes falling on their faces. The "real life" illustrations are monochromatic in a special metallic way, while the dream illustrations are lavish in color.
1993 Hans Christian Andersen's Fables & Fairy Tales. Illustrated by Michael Adams. First printing. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Morris Plains, NJ: The Unicorn Publishing House, Inc. $2.25 from J.J., Camp Verde, AZ through Ebay, July, '00.
I was attracted to this book because of the mention of fables in the title. After looking at it, I am surprised to say that two of the stories here may actually qualify as fables. I am referring not to the first three Andersen stories: "Thumbelina," "The Little Mermaid," and "The Wild Swans." In these magic and sentiment predominate, I believe. "The Nightingale" strikes me differently. Though there is strong sentiment here, I think we have a simple narrative that invites perception. The natural nightingale is disregarded when the mechanical nightingale makes its appearance. Even the second phase of the story, in which the nightingale later returns to revive the dying emperor, fits into this simple narrative. Perhaps that phase of the story is overdeveloped here, with Death taking away and then, at the nightingale's sung bequest, returning the emperor's crown and sword. "The Ugly Duckling" now also seems to me to qualify as a fable. This simple story plays, as fables often do, with questions of time, appearance, rejection, and contentment. The illustrations seem to me strong on sentiment and immediate impact. The best might be the simple views of a natural scene, like the first for "The Nightingale" and the last for "The Ugly Duckling."
1993 Honi The Circlemaker: Eco-Fables from Ancient Israel. Barry L. Schwartz. Illustrated by Stewart J. Thomas. Paperback. Printed in USA. NY: The Friendship Press. $8.95 from The Book House in Dinkytown, Minneapolis, Dec., '00.
Here are nine stories on 32 pages after an introduction to the story-teller and an introduction to the character of Honi. The introduction to the story-teller comments well on the dimensions of these stories relating to the annual cycle of holidays, the geography and history of Israel, and central Jewish ethical qualities like reverence, justice, and compassion. The time setting for the stories is the first century B.C.E. There are three stories about Honi in the Talmud. The rest here is straight from Schwartz's imagination. Kids know Honi for his associations with carob trees, rain-making, and falling asleep for a long time. The first story, "The Carob Tree," is simple and touching. In it Honi asks an old man why he would plant a carob tree that will take seventy years to bear fruit. The man replies: "Just as my ancestors planted for me, so I will plant for my children" (15). The second story associates Honi with circles--the circles of his body, the hoops of the barrels he makes, and the circles he talks in. The third story is the basis, I take it, of his fame. In a drought, Honi made a circle and promised he would not move from it before God brought rain on the land. In fact, the downpour that came threatened to become a flood. The fourth story has Honi going out on a beautiful day and dreaming. He recalls the word of the prophet: "Speak to the earth, and it will teach you." The earth speaks to him of blossoming, and he forms his purpose to plant carobs all over Israel. He does just that, for example, when he is told by a Roman to stay put until he returns. Honi goes to a nearby carob, blesses it with a wish that its offspring be just like it, and soon there are seven trees where there had been one. One story tells of Honi's gifts as a reconciling matchmaker, who persuades a father to let his daughter marry the man who loves her. He is rescued from certain death by some Nabatean traders whom he had befriended along his way. They ask him in return only to help some other person find his way--and to keep planting carobs. His family and townsfolk pledge to finish the circle he has started. There are simple illustrations along the way.
1993 Im Land der Märchen und Fabeln. Titel der Originalausgabe: Au pays des Contes. Textbearbeitung: Monique Lanssade, Stéphanie Rhodes, Marie-Paul Armand, Liliane Philip-Travert. Illustrationen: Marlène Weiner, Tony Hutchings, Monique Gorde, Jean Giannini. Übertragung aus dem Französischen: Victoria Barberà. Redaktion: Dieter Krumbach. (c)Lito Editrice s.p.A. (c)der deutschsprachigen Ausgabe: Karl Müller Verlag. Printed in Czechoslovakia. Erlangen: Karl Müller Verlag. DM 7,95 at Karstadt, Leipzig, July, '95.
A big, inexpensive, mass-produced book for popular consumption. There are fifteen fables from La Fontaine, starting on 150 at the end. Their illustrations are lively, colorful, and sentimental. I had the impression that I have seen them before, and was lucky enough to track down where: a number of these illustrations appeared in Fables de la Fontaine, illustrated by Monique Gorde (1975?). The best illustration may be that of the overblown frog on 165. The animal characters tend to wear caps and scarves. The German prose is set as though it were in verse. T of C at the rear.
1993 Jean de La Fontaine: Fables. Texte Intégral. Classique Français. Paris: Bookking International. $5 at Powell's, Chicago, Sept., '93.
This is one of the few editions of La Fontaine's fables which I have that does not add some notes. There is a two-page life at the beginning and an AI at the back. The French will, thank God, keep on publishing their greats for a long time to come.
1993 Jean de La Fontaine: Oh! les belles fables! Dit par Albert Millaire. Illustrations de Olivier Lasser. Grand Auteurs/petits lecteurs. Stanké livre & cassette. Canada: Les éditions internationales Alain Stanké. Tape and booklet for $15.95 Canadian at Coles, Montreal, Oct., '95.
A very nice set. Sixteen fables. The illustrative style is distinctly contemporary. I find the tape's reading and sound-effects stronger than the book's illustrations. Many of the animal characters wear hats. Several times ("The Lion and the Mosquito," MM, and "The Cobbler and the Financier") the match between the left page and the right page seems off to me. See also my comment on the tape and the that seem to have come out at the same time.
1993 Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi: Fabeln. Paperbound. Munich: dtv klassik: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag. €1 from Sven Bernheiden, Munich, through eBay, July, '09.
A person picking up this book will find a shock: pages 329 to 360 are missing. Let me pass over that lamentable fact as I give a sense of the book. From 13 to 302 one encounters 237 numbered fables under the title "Figuren zu meinem ABC-Buch oder zu den Anfangsgründen meines Denkens." Then, after a "Nachschrift," there is a "Nachlese" of some other forty-two fables found in Pestalozzi's writings. I tried several more Pestalozzi fables on this occasion. #46 is called "Was der Affe bei der Schlange Gelernt Hat" (46). The young ape thinks he learns at last what humility is when he sees a snake crawl. We who know snakes -- including their hidden poison and their leaping attacks -- know that theirs is not humility! In #51, a fool wakes up in the night to find that a piece of coal has fallen among the straw outside the fireplace. He steps on the coal to extinguish it. In an hour the coal breaks out in flames and burns down the whole house (49). In #110, a child asks his father why a cat plays with a caught mouse. The father guesses that the urge to play with blood comes with the first experience of blood-guilt. Pestalozzi theorizes that the experience of considerable butchering and slaughtering of animals gets a person used to killing. One loses one's sensitivity. In ignoble, passionate people the equanimity about killing soon turns to bloodthirstiness. That example may be a clue to what I have read online: Pestalozzi's fables are not for children and they are often difficult. They are indeed his basic thinking but they are often in need of contextualization and explanation. They may be figures of thought more than they are fables.
1993 La Fontaine: Valmid; Aisopose Elu (Estonian: "La Fontaine: Fables; Life of Aesop"). Leesi, Lauri. Illustrations by Maie Helm. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Talinn: Eesti Raamat. $19.98 from Raigo Kirss, Kuressaare, Estonia, through Ebay, August, '06.
La Fontaine's "Life of Aesop" runs from 65 to 93 in this little (4½" x 6¾") book. Twenty-six of La Fontaine's fables are on 7-62. Helm's art is curious. As the dust-jacket's cover shows, her art tends to slivers, small lines that line up like magnetic particles. They also give almost any actor a hirsute character. Her art also tends towards dividing up bodies and dissociating their parts. The title illustration for "Valmid" (5) is a good example. The fox in several parts on 13 is another. A further example of this creative tendency is the lion's head on 16 that is divided into four quarters. A more extreme example is the fox that is divided into a head and a jug with a tail on 23. Is that GGE on 41 that has a hen turning coins into eggs?
1993 Lamb Chop's Fables: The Boat Contest, Featuring Aesop's The Lion and the Mouse. Shari Lewis. Illustrations by Manny Campana and Jean Pidgeon. First edition. Time-Life Inc. $8.95 from the publisher, Oct., '93.
Part of a set (for $39.95) including a Lamb Chop puppet, wrapping paper, greeting card, Lamb Chop's "Sing-Along, Play-Along" cassette, and Lamb Chop's "Jump into the Story" videotape. The LM story fits well into the situation portrayed here. It is well illustrated. Lamb Chop's shoestring idea wins Charlie Horse a prize. The publisher graciously sent an extra copy when I called to say that the original had arrived damaged.
1993 Lamb Chop's Fables: The Boat Contest, Featuring Aesop's The Lion and the Mouse.. Shari Lewis. Manny Campana and Jean Pidgeon. First edition, second printing. Hardbound. Time-Life Inc. $3.98 from Toys 'R Us, Dec., '94.
Here is a copy of the second printing of this book. It seems otherwise identical with the first printing already in the collection. Part of a set (for $39.95) including a Lamb Chop puppet, wrapping paper, greeting card, Lamb Chop's "Sing-Along, Play-Along" cassette, and Lamb Chop's "Jump into the Story" videotape. The LM story fits well into the situation portrayed here. It is well illustrated. Lamb Chop's shoestring idea wins Charlie Horse a prize.
1993 Leonardo da Vinci: Fabeln. Nacherzählt und gemalt von Eva Hülsmann. Hardbound. Munich: Meisinger Verlag. DEM 16,80 from Wort und Werk an der Nikolaikirche, Leipzig, July, '95.
I am happy to see that Hülsmann has done yet another book of fables. She had already done volumes of La Fontaine for Meisinger in 1987 and 1989. This book follows their format. Here again the T of C faces the title-page. There are fourteen fables. "The Bluebirds and the Screechowl" is excellent. The latter is tied to a pole. The former come by to mock him--and are caught in the fowler's lime. The falcon dives underwater to catch the duck, but the duck leaves the water to go flying off as the falcon drowns. In a reverse of many fables, a millet seed attacked by an ant pleads to be allowed to develop. "I will thank you a hundredfold." And it does! The rat is trapped in her hole by a weasel waiting just outside it, but a cat eats the weasel. The rat comes forth to offer thanks and enjoy freedom, but is immediately eaten by the same cat. The style of the art is the same as that in the other Hülsmann books: contemporary, lavish, crayon-acrylic drawings. The best of the art may be "The Ape and the Little Birds," "The Falcon and the Duck," and "The Rat, the Weasel, and the Cat."
1993 Les fables de la Fontaine. Hardbound. Strasbourg: L'Etoile Éditions. $9.50 from Marie Gervais, St-Urbain, Quebec, through eBay, Nov., '09.
Here is a very large-format book (almost 9½" x 12") with connections to several European countries. Apparently the illustrations were first done for a group in England. Its name is listed twice: "County Studio" and "Contry Studio." Somehow a firm named Piccolia is also involved in this French edition. I suspect that the book was first done in Italy, where it is printed. There is an AI at the back covering the book's 150 pages. The same design of snail and flowers recurs frequently at the bottom of text pages. The cover's illustration of TH seems to show a signature of "Leonore 92" on a flower. The animals are regularly dressed. WC exhibits a typical illustration on 35. TMCM on 103 shows a big black boot ready to come through the door and interrupt the two rats, both of whom are holding hunks of cheese. For large portions of the book there seems to be a rhythm at work: a fable text on a left-hand page is balanced by a full-page illustration on the right-hand page. Then there are two pages with only texts and the repeated bottom decoration. Then the rhythm starts over.
1993 (Mrs. Fox and Mrs. Stork: Chinese). Adapted by Emanuel Calamaro. Illustrated by Edward Nofziger. Translated by May Shen Wang. (c)1970 McKeon Publishing, Inc. Cincinnati: Another Language Press in cooperation with Shen's Books and Supplies. See 1970/93.
1993 (Mrs. Fox and Mrs. Stork: Japanese). Adapted by Emanuel Calamaro. Illustrated by Edward Nofziger. Translated by Tanya Hyonhye Ko. (c)1970 McKeon Publishing, Inc. Cincinnati: Another Language Press in cooperation with Shen's Books and Supplies. See 1970/93.
1993 (Mrs. Fox and Mrs. Stork: Korean). Adapted by Emanuel Calamaro. Illustrated by Edward Nofziger. Translated by Naomi Suwa. (c)1970 McKeon Publishing, Inc. Cincinnati: Another Language Press in cooperation with Shen's Books and Supplies. See 1970/93.
1993 Multicultural Fables and Fairy Tales. Stories and Activities to Promote Literacy and Cultural Awareness. By Tara McCarthy. Interior illustration by Joanna Roy. NY: Scholastic Professional Books. $11.65 at Green Apple, Aug., '94.
This large-format paperbound book, meant for the first through the fourth grades, does a good job of presenting a significant and well-chosen body of material. After some good tips on how to teach the material and involve students, there are four sections on trickster tales, fables, "why" stories and legends, and fairy tales. Twenty-four tales are told in all, and the author stresses that the categories allow for overlap. There are six fables in the fable section on 35-53 (BC, LM, MM, BW from Aesop and "The Fox and the Drum" and TT from India) and one in the "trickster" section, "Hare Tricks Lion" (18). The latter is told somewhat differently: Little Hare volunteered first and destroyed Lion in a river that day. Lion never agreed to a contract. The mouse in LM ran "right over the lion's nose" but explained that she was looking for seeds for her hungry children. The talkative tortoise simply fell to Earth.
1993 My Fun with Learning 1: Great Stories from World Literature. Various artists, including Jo Polseno and Patricia J. Wynne. Nashville: The Southwestern Company. $3 at The Book Exchange, Spokane, March, '96.
There are five fables on 12-16. Polseno does the art for them. GGE has an unusual approach: the killing happens because the husband wants to find out which goose has the golden eggs inside, so ends up killing all the geese. In WS, the sun tries to decline competition. In GA, the grasshopper does not approach the ant in winter; he just dies. Also MSA and CP. Wynne illustrates "The Blind Men and the Elephant" (109). This latter piece is done in verse by John Godfrey Saxe and concludes by pointing at "theologic wars."
1993 Once in a Wood: Ten Tales from Aesop. Adapted and illustrated by Eve Rice. Paperback. Printed in USA. NY: A Mulberry Paperback Book: Greenwillow Books. $4.45 from Prince and the Pauper, San Diego, Jan., '01.
Here is the paperback version of a hardbound book published in 1979, which I had found in 1985. Only the binding seems to have changed. See my comments there.
1993 Read to Me, Grandpa. Edited by Glorya Hale. Illustrations by various artists. Apparently first printing. Hardbound. NY/Avenel, NJ: JellyBean Press. $1.99 from Ms. Sherri Michaelson, Oklahoma, through eBay, Feb., '06.
The eighteen stories here include FG, WC, and DS. As the introduction points out, the illustrations are by well-known artists, including Jessie Willcox Smith, Anne Anderson, and Margaret Tarrant. I believe that Rackham illustrates all three fables here and that the texts for all three come from V.S. Vernon Jones. Borrowing from Jones is a sign of good taste! These three fables are on 19, 42, and 43.
1993 Rusés comme un renard. Tony Ross. Traduction de l'anglais par Elisabeth Motsch. Tony Ross. Hardbound. Imprimé en Slovénie. Les Animoches: Circonflexe. 30 Francs from prix malin, Poitiers, August, '99.
How nice to find a French edition of a real favorite of mine. See my comments on the original, Foxy Fables, in 1986. All six fables from there are reproduced here: FC, "The Fox and the Goat," FS, "The Cat and the Fox," "The Stag and the Mirrors," and TH. Published by arrangement with Andersen Press, Ltd., London.
1993 Scheherazade's Cat & Other Fables from Around the World. Retold & Illustrated by Amy Zerner & Jessie Spicer Zerner. First edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. Rutland: Charles E. Tuttle Company. $16.95 at Auntie's, Spokane, March, '94.
This book consists of nine folk tales highlighted by photographs of collages of cloth, photographs, and other materials; the fabric borders of each story's collage are then repeated on each page of the story. Among the nine is "Red Dragon/Blue Dragon," a version of the old "Monkey's Heart" story from India. This version shows some new twists: the nightingale suggests the ploy, a plum is substituted for the monkey's heart, the dragon and his wife both accept the plum as a heart, the two dragons bore themselves to extinction, and the monkey learns to be satisfied with his regular old life.
1993 Seven Blind Mice. Ed Young. Paperback. Printed in USA. NY: Scholastic Inc. $3.95 from Sweet Union Books, Stanfield, NC, through ABE, Nov., ‘01.
I enjoy anything that Ed Young does. This large 10"x 11" paperback book is no exception. Here he starts with an all-black background and then adds elements in cut-out paper and other materials. Seven differently-colored mice, marked as blind by their blank white eyes, find a "strange Something by their pond." Each day one mouse goes to the something and brings back a report, and no one believes the reporter. Their reports are, respectively, that it is a pillar, snake, spear, cliff, fan, and rope. On Sunday, White Mouse goes to the pond. She runs up one side and down the other and then across the top from end to end. She repeats all the specific similarities but adds "altogether the Something is . . . an elephant." The others try her method and concur. "The Mouse Moral: Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole." This book won a 1993 Caldecott Honor Award, as the back cover declares. The publication information also indicates a Scholastic first printing date of 1993, despite the copyright of 1992.
1993 Talking Animals: Medieval Latin Beast Poetry, 750-1150. Jan M. Ziolkowski. Hardbound. Philadelphia: Middle Ages Series: University of Pennsylvania Press. $18.50 from an unknown source, June, '00.
I had the pleasure of hearing Jan Ziolkowski as keynote speaker at a meeting of The Beast Fable Society. This book underscores the strong impression I received then of an inquisitive mind, readiness to learn, and comprehensive study of a given subject. This book, in my impression, deals more with story content -- specifically talking animals -- and so does not focus specifically on fables. In fact, its purpose seems to be to track what happens when writers move beyond the well-known fable form. The book thus tracks their creative engagement of new and more expansive genres presenting talking animals. One of the few general rules Ziolkowski can establish is that these writers avoid having their new creations look like the old fables. Thus expressed morals are suppressed as we move into bestiary, beast epic, dialogue and other larger genres. Fable, it seems, was the carrier of a great deal of content through the middle ages and remains that. Latin writers, in particular, could count on their readers knowing a substantial body of fable literature. But fables, like other popular oral genres, were also much in people's mouths in the vernacular. Thirty-two helpful appendices here give translations of stories Ziolkowski refers to along the way. The earliest pages of this book raise the most engaging questions for me. Ziolkowski rightly distinguishes that the moral identifies a fable (18), but I fear he presumes that the moral must be stated. Secondly, I wonder if Perry would agree concerning the "importance of animals in fable" (19). Of course, Ziolkowski does not need to bother with non-animal-fables -- including the so-called "Sybaritic" human fables -- but I wonder whether one understands this genre correctly when one believes with John of Garland and Isidore "that animals are paramount in fable" (19). Particularly helpful to me is the subsequent section on the history of fables in the Middle Ages (19-32). Ziolkowski there brings together and makes sense of a great deal of information I have seen otherwise only in scattered and partial contexts.
1993 Teach Your Children Well: A Parents' Guide to the Stories, Poems, Fables, and Tales That Instill Traditional Values. Edited by Christine Allison. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: Delacorte Press. $2.99 from Kelly 5858, Atlanta, through EBay, April, '03.
See the author's earlier I'll Tell You a Story, I'll Sing You a Song (1987) by the same publisher. The author makes an emphatic statement for giving children good and worthwhile literature to read. The fables included here are BW (37) and SW (72). In the former, the boy gets away with his ruse twice but pays for it the third time. SW is told in the poorer version. William Bennett has a short, positive review comment on the back of the dust-jacket. This book fits with his program of value-laden reading.
1993 Tête à Queue d'après une fable de La Fontaine. Bénédicte Guettier. Hardbound. Paris: L'école des loisirs. €9.64 from Amazon.fr, May, '08.
There is some good reflective fun going on here, starting from the naming -- as Zeno -- of La Fontaine's nameless snake in the seventh fable of Book 7. Zeno tells himself "Let's go for a digestive walk" after a first picture that shows him swallowing a rabbit. The tail says "Stop" and wants to take the lead. This book's art is up to the task of having serious fun with the possibilities of a snake's head and tail talking to each other. The cover picture has the snake tied up in a knot. The tail's blind leading has the same repeated bad results as in La Fontaine. When the tail bumps into a fox, it responds "I'll break your head." The head responds. "No, just kill my tail." Whereas La Fontaine's beast, led by the tail, finally plunges into the Styx, this tail plunges the snake into a river and there gets sense. The key line in this version is "'Je crois que j'ai fait une bêtise', avoue enfin la queue toute piteuse, tandis que les poissons se moquent d'elle."The story's last phrase,repeated on the back cover, is "Une histoire qu n'est pas sans queue ni tête." This is a story that is not without head or tail, beginning or end. Good stuff! I had seen this book advertised and looked hard for it in France while I was there. Back home, I finally gave up the search and ordered it from Amazon in France.
1993 The Aesop for Children. Milo Winter. Third impression. Hardbound. NY: Barnes & Noble Books. See 1919/93.
1993 The Aesop for Children. Milo Winter. Third impression. Hardbound. NY: Barnes & Noble Books. See 1919/93.
1993 The Ant and the Grasshopper. Aesop. Illustrated by Bari Weissman. 1993 impression. Hardbound. Boston: Working Together Read Alone Book: Houghton Mifflin Company. See 1991/93.
1993 The Bee And Jupiter. From Aesop's Fables. Limited edition of fifty copies printed for Mrs. Ruth Miner-Kessel at Jubilee Press. Whitewater, WI: Picasshaw Press. Gift of Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., Bookbuilder, Oct., '94.
A beautiful little treasure! A single sheet of fine paper is folded twice to create eight uncut pages, four of which are used for this fable. Besides black text there are gold images on the title page of a bee hive and on other pages of a bee, and a red capital and moral. The binding is tied, and the endpapers are a kind of gossamer. Beautifully covered in green, fuchsia, and red cloth.
1993 The Best of Aesop's Fables. Retold by Margaret Clark. Illustrated by Charlotte Voake. Dust jacket. Reprinted in 1993. Printed and bound in Hong Kong. London: Walker Books Ltd. See 1990/93.
1993 The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories. Edited, with Commentary, by William J. Bennett. Paperbound. Thirteenth printing. NY: Simon & Schuster. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Sept., '94.
This is a good and noble book. I applaud Bennett's effort to bring together the stories of our heritage that can help people to moral literacy. I read the first chapter thoroughly and enjoyed it. I was stirred to get to the book finally when Fr. Tom Halley a few days ago mentioned how many of Aesop's fables he had found in this book. (I also wanted some background for reading The Book of Bad Virtues !) There is no acknowledged translation or version of Aesop used here, who contributes fifteen fables to the book--something to all chapters except those on "Responsibility," "Loyalty," and "Faith." Two other stories are really fables: "The King and His Hawk" (37) and "The Honest Woodman" (602). The T of C at the beginning is generic. There is more help in the AI on 823.
1993 The Cat and the Mice. Retold and illustrated by Graham Percy. 3.5" x 4.25". One of a boxed set of four. First American edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $3.25 at Libros, Bazaar del Mundo, San Diego, Aug., '93.
Good, lively art in a well-told story. The book starts the story with a wonderful picture of the large family of mice not "peaceful and happy." There is a wealth of anthropomorphic detail here in the description of the mouse family's life. They eat eggs for breakfast, the children practice the piano, and the father smokes a pipe. Mother mouse gets the bright idea. Grandmother mouse puts it down. The moral: "Great ideas aren't great unless you think them through." Little black-and-white designs set off the text pages that alternate with full-page colored art. Fine work!
1993 The City Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold and illustrated by Graham Percy. 3.5" x 4.25". One of a boxed set of four. First American edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $3.25 at Ketterson's, Sept., '93.
Good, lively art in a well-told story. The city mouse stays "a few days" in the country before he starts complaining. In the city, he reclines wonderfully in a cake stand. At the end there is a clever introduction to the moral: "Write something for me to remember you by." What the country mouse writes is "Pleasure that comes at such a cost is no pleasure at all." Little black-and-white designs set off the text pages that alternate with full-page colored art. Fine work!
1993 The Fables of Avianus. Translated by David R. Slavitt. With a Foreword by Jack Zipes. Illustrations by Neil Welliver. Dust jacket. First edition? Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Dec., '94. Extra copy for $19.95 from Tattered Cover, March, '94.
A delightful set of Avianus' forty-two fables. Slavitt has no hesitation in going further than Avianus. He feels free to develop the fable beyond Avianus' words. He finds Avianus playful, ornate, hyperbolic, grotesque, even "camp." If Slavitt can use contemporary phrases to help this interpretation of Avianus, he will do so. So the wolf in I waits weeks for the nurse to toss the baby. The fox says to the quack frog in VI "Following your advice, we'd all croak"! Slavitt adds to XIV a new, strong finish: Laughter at the doting monkey mother's prejudice gives way to awe-struck silence at her "blind passion's truth." Charlie the Tuna with good taste is mentioned (XXXVIII), and a lion exhorts a goat (XXVI) to come down and "enjoy the thyme of your life!" XVII, XVIII, and XXV are among the best of these fables. Four strong two-colored illustrations on ii, 8, 28, and 42. Is it standard that a paperback book has the same ISBN number as the hardbound version?
1993 The Fables of Avianus. Translated by David R. Slavitt. With a Foreword by Jack Zipes. Illustrations by Neil Welliver. Dust jacket. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Paperbound (apparently first edition) for $8 from Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis, March, '96. Extra paperbound with chipped spine for $6 from Second Story, Bethesda, Jan., '96.
A delightful set of Avianus' forty-two fables. Slavitt has no hesitation in going further than Avianus. He feels free to develop the fable beyond Avianus' words. He finds Avianus playful, ornate, hyperbolic, grotesque, even "camp." If Slavitt can use contemporary phrases to help this interpretation of Avianus, he will do so. So the wolf in I waits weeks for the nurse to toss the baby. The fox says to the quack frog in VI "Following your advice, we'd all croak"! Slavitt adds to XIV a new, strong finish: Laughter at the doting monkey mother's prejudice gives way to awe-struck silence at her "blind passion's truth." Charlie the Tuna with good taste is mentioned (XXXVIII), and a lion exhorts a goat (XXVI) to come down and "enjoy the thyme of your life!" XVII, XVIII, and XXV are among the best of these fables. Four strong two-colored illustrations on ii, 8, 28, and 42. Is it standard that a paperback book has the same ISBN number as the hardbound version?
1993 The Fabulist. John Vornholt. Cover illustration by Daniel Horne. First Avonova printing. Paperbound. NY: Avon Books. $4.50 from W. Fraser Sandercombe, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, Sept., '02.
Here is a biographical paperback novel with a rather racy pair of covers. On the front cover we see pictured a dragon, a soldier, a sexy sphinx, some rapacious animal, and an ape with a sword. On the back cover we learn that Aesop was "a poet, journeyer, actor, lover, acrobat, riddler, and teller of truths." Wow! Sorry, but I did not read further, and the book is listed here so that I am not tempted to pay for it again!
1993 The Farm. Press & Lift. Create-A-Picture. Illustrations by Graham Percy. Made in Italy. (c) 1993 Happy Books, Milan. Miami: Safari, Ltd. Gift of the Carlson Family from "got book?" in San Francisco, June, '97.
The book features sixty-four vinyl figures that can be moved many times. After such scenes as "Winter on the farm," "Harvest time," and "Market day," there is one titled "Country tales." It includes FC and TH as well as "The Ugly Duckling." Figures of the fox, the crow, the tortoise, and the hare come, of course, ready to press and lift. The inside back cover has a quiz-question on FC. What a lovely idea this book is!
1993 The Fox and the Crow. Retold and illustrated by Graham Percy. 3.5" x 4.25". One of a boxed set of four. First American edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $3.25 at Ketterson's, Sept., '93.
Particularly good, lively art. The best illustrations may be those of the crow singing and of the fox ready to catch the cheese with open jaws. The crow here is vain and conceited from the first line on. He goes right into the kitchen to get the cheese. The moral is delivered by one watching sparrow to another: "If you believe those who flatter you, you may be sorry." Little black-and-white designs set off the text pages that alternate with full-page colored art. Fine work!
1993 The Grasshopper and the Ant. Retold and illustrated by Graham Percy. 3.5" x 4.25". One of a boxed set of four. First American edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $3.25 at Libros, Bazaar del Mundo, San Diego, Aug., '93.
Good, lively art in a dramatic story. Lots of sympathy goes here to the ant, apparently a single parent, who works hard for her children. Her home is a cozy paradise in winter, stocked with the food she has gathered and the blankets she has woven. The lazy grasshopper is turned away completely, and the ant teaches her children a strange moral, I would say: "Always save for a rainy day." The tone of the story is not resolved to my satisfaction. Little black-and-white designs set off the text pages that alternate with full-page colored art.
1993 The Grasshopper and the Ants. Retold by Margaret Wise Brown. Illustrated by Larry Moore. First edition. Dust jacket. Text originally appeared in Little Pig's Picnic and Other Stories (1939). NY: Disney Press. $12.95 by mail from Books of Wonder, Jan., '94.
The dust jacket and author page mistakenly claim that the text was found in the Disney archives; the back of the title page correctly identifies the published source. The same text also appeared in Walt Disney's Story Land (1962), there apparently with illustrations adapted from Disney's animated film. There are some slight changes in the text from the 1939 version. Larry Moore's illustrations are in the spirit of Disney, but with softer edges. There is a fold-out of the climactic ant-and-grasshopper banquet.
1993 The greedy fox and other stories by Aesop. Paperbound. HMSO. $4 from Horse Books Plus, Boston, VA, through abe, Nov., '02. Extra copy for £1 from Sheila Alldridge, Dover, Kent, England, through Ebay, Sept., '02.
This is a pleasant 20-page pamphlet 7½" x 8¼" containing three fables and a short life of Aesop including GGE and FK. The title-story puts the fox into a hollow tree trunk. There is a graphic illustration of the greedy fox at work eating on 5. The next two pages give good front and back looks at his plight as he is stuck half-way in the entrance. FG is offered in good rhyming verse. Aesop is pictured as black. CP is unusually carefully told, in that it describes the pot as "nearly full of water" (18). Other versions may ask too much of their rocks in raising an inch of water to the top of a pot! I wonder if this booklet does not belong to some kind of a (British?) school reading set. It includes this information on the back cover: "©Copyright controller HMSO 1993, KS1 Reading Test, J0661."
1993 The Heron and the Fish. Retold and illustrated by Graham Percy. 3.5" x 4.25". One of a boxed set of four. First American edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $3.25 at Ketterson's, Sept., '93.
Good, lively art. The version follows La Fontaine quite faithfully and uses the late afternoon hours to mark the progress from perch to trout to carp to minnows to a snail. The fish point their fins and giggle and gurgle at the heron's pathetic supper. There is a good moral from a wise frog bystander: "Folks who want too much usually end up with nothing." Little black-and-white designs set off the text pages that alternate with full-page colored art. Fine work!
1993 The Lion and the Mouse. Retold and illustrated by Graham Percy. 3.5" x 4.25". One of a boxed set of four. First American edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $3.25 at Ketterson's, Sept., '93.
One of Percy's best. The good, lively art starts with a great picture of the mouse in babushka hurrying home with a stalk of wheat for her children. The children make a good factor for her appeal. There is good realism in her remark after being released "I might be able to help you someday." To get the lion free, she has to gnaw all night and half the next day. Little black-and-white designs set off the text pages that alternate with full-page colored art. Fine work!
1993 The Mouse Bride: A Mayan Folk Tale. By Judith Dupré. Illustrated by Fabricio Vanden Broeck. First printing. Hardbound. NY: An Umbrella Book: Alfred A. Knopf. $7.50 from Old Editions Book Shop, Buffalo, NY, Sept., '09.
This good telling of the familiar tale starts with the mouse parents who dote on their perfect daughter. One night they make a plan to find her a perfect husband. They ask the moon who is most powerful. "The Sun." They wrap their daughter in a fern and go to the Sun and ask him to marry her. "Why should I?" Told that she is perfect and he is the most powerful in the universe, he disagrees with the latter statement. "Cloud blocks my light; Cloud is most powerful." Cloud laughs until teardrops run down his cheeks. The Wind can chase him away; Wind is the most powerful. The Wind shows by blowing against a stone wall that Wall is stronger than he. But Wall says "I crumble when a mouse burrows through me. A mouse is the most powerful." the mouse parents smile -- and find a fine mouse groom waiting for them when they return home. Perhaps the wedding picture at the end is the most charming in the book. The mouse bride wears a veil, and individual mice dance by holding another's paw or tail. The illustrations include lovely touches of Mayan temple art. This is not the first time that I have encountered a world-famous story touted as the product of a particular culture. I wonder which culture can claim to have originated this tale.
1993 The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. Told by Virginia Hamilton. Illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. Third printing. Paperbound. NY: Alfred A. Knopf. $11.69 from Curio Corner Books, Austin, TX, through TomFolio, May, '08.
This book first appeared hardbound in 1985. The book has four sections. The first is made up of seven Bruh Rabbit tales, i.e., fables. The first is the great story of acquainting the arrogant lion king with man. He Lion is scaring all the little animals by roaring "Me and Myself." Bruh Bear and Bruh Rabbit bring He Lion to three characters in their day's travel. "Will Be" and "Once Was" are, respectively, a boy and an old man. When they meet the third, a twenty-one year old with a gun, Bruh Bear and Bruh Rabbit take cover. He Lion, after taking a couple of shots from the man's gun, proclaims, with a softer voice, "Me and Myself and Man." The second fable is a good version of "Tar Baby." The third is "Tappin, the Land Turtle." It is an aetiological tale about the turtle's back. "Bruh Alligator and Bruh Deer" is a story I have not known before. Alligator and Deer agree that in the future, Deer will bring beagles and other dogs chasing him to the river for Alligator to eat. But if he cannot provide dogs, Deer will have to watch out! "Bruh Lizard and Bruh Rabbit" has the former besting the latter. Rabbit steals Lizard's magic sword but does not know how to stop its work. Rabbit ends up appealing to Lizard to stop the sword, which has cut down everything of Rabbit's. "Bruh Alligator Meets Trouble" through the machinations of Rabbit. Alligator thinks that "Trouble" is a person, and Alligator wants to meet him. Rabbit sets fire to the field in which Alligator, his sister, and her children have fallen asleep. This was the day when alligators stopped having white skin! And now the alligators never venture too far from the river. They know trouble! "Wolf and Birds and the Fish-Horse" is a revenge story. Wolf loses all his friends and even steals from Mama Fish-Horse, a walrus. But she knows how to get revenge. A prize story is the first in the last section, consisting of freedom stories: "Carrying the Running-Aways" (141-6). Any reader of this book should not miss the title-story on 166-73. The stories are accompanied by large black-and-white illustrations. I do not find anything special going on in them. The single colored illustration spanning the covers is, well, uplifting.
1993 The Stork and the Fox. Retold and illustrated by Graham Percy. 3.5" x 4.25". One of a boxed set of four. First American edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $3.25 at Libros, Bazaar del Mundo, San Diego, Aug., '93.
Good, lively art in a well-told story. The fox is a practical joker. Ms. Stork buys a new dress for the occasion and shows off her long neck with the strands of a pearl necklace. Invited in turn, Mr. Fox answers "I'm not particular about where I dine." She brings him out to the kitchen so that he can see his favorite vegetables going into a soup that turns out surprisingly clear. Little black-and-white designs set off the text pages that alternate with full-page colored art. Fine work!
1993 The Tortoise and the Hare. Adapted by Jenny Lang. Illustrated by Darrell Baker. Golden Sound Story: Touch 'n' Listen. Racine: Whitman Publishing. Gift of the John Carlson Family, Aug., '94. Extra copy a gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, April, '97.
I think this may be the first book I have that makes noises! And the noises are great, particularly that of the plodding tortoise. In this version, the hare goes to sleep twice. Talk about dumb bunnies! There is a nice touch here in making the tortoise a reader. The book he is reading? Never Give Up by Sydney Shell. The story works around to the traditional moral: "Slow and steady often wins the race."
1993 The Tortoise and the Hare. Retold and illustrated by Graham Percy. 3.5" x 4.25". One of a boxed set of four. First American edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $3.25 at Libros, Bazaar del Mundo, San Diego, Aug., '93.
Good, lively art in a well-told story. The hare is a perpetual boaster who picks out the tortoise as someone to sneer at. The course here is a lake, and a field mouse the referee. Little black-and-white designs set off the text pages that alternate with full-page colored art. Good work!
1993 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold by Molly Perham. Illustrated by Ken McKie. Hardbound. London: Favourite Tales: Ladybird Books. 145 Kenyan Shillings from Nakumatt, Nairobi, Jan., '05.
This booklet is redone from an earlier offering of Ladybird with the same title. That version appeared in 1982 in the "Well-Loved Tales" series and was printed in England. It was narrated by Anne McKie rather than this book's Molly Perham. I found it and three other books from the series on sale at the only supermarket we found in our first four stops in Africa, namely Nakumatt in Nairobi. The presentation of the tale seems to have changed. Gone is the city-mouse's earlier cigar and the city's vacuum cleaner. The trip back home happens in a hamper that happens to be shipped. The country mouse arrives home in time for Christmas. At least some of McKie's art seems to have remained the same.
1993 Travestien über Fuchs und Rabe. Gerhard Grümmer. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Nidderau: Verlag Michaela Naumann. DM 29,80 from Hassbecker's Galerie und Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, August, '01.
Here are seventy-five German presentations of FC, starting from Martin Luther's. They are fun! They certainly go in different directions. I have not read the commentary from Freud, but I have enjoyed the "Notarikon" from Friedrich Logau (12), a puzzling version from an unknown poet (19), Joseph von Eichendorff's akrostichon (25), Wagner's alliterative version "Füchse fressen fröhlich" (33), Wilhelm Busch's verse (36), Arthur Conan-Doyle's "Geheimnisse eines Schlossparks" (42), five German limericks (60), "Knäbli und Räbli" for first-grade schoolchildren (78), and a script for a television presentation for children (94). Just as she returns home from shopping, Herr Fuchs asks Frau Rabe if he might borrow her newspaper. She goes into the house to get it for him, and returns of course to find that the cheese is gone from her shopping bag. There is a short essay on the meaning of "Travestie" by the author at the very end.
1993 Treasury of Literature for Children. Illustrated by Hilda Offen. Stories Retold by Linda Yeatman. First published in 1991 by Kingfisher Books. First Barnes and Noble printing? Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Barnes & Noble. $10 at Abbey Road, Boulder, March, '94.
This book seems to have been compiled from five earlier books. In particular, six of the seven fables presented here were presented by Offen and Yeatman in A Treasury of Animal Stories (1982). Many of the black-and-white illustrations there are colored in this version; some (124-5 and 283) have been reversed. Only TH (60) among the fables here seems not to have come from that book. The texts are almost identical, but there is evidence of editing. This copy has the curious feature of some blank pages (97, 100-1, 104-5, 108-9, 112). The fables included are "The Little Jackal" (77), TMCM (123), "The Rats' Daughter" (202), "The Great Flood" (283, identified as "Traditional Bible and Fable"), "The Dragon and the Monkey" (301), and "Anansi and Common Sense" (307). (My one other book by Offen, Bedtime Tales with Linda Jennings , seems to have no relation to this book).
1993 Van Gogh bulletin. Volume 8, Number 3. Ineke Middag, editor. Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum. Gift of June Clinton, Oct., '93.
The first article is "Philippe Rousseau, 1816-1887" by Ronald de Leeuw. It takes up Rousseau's extensive attention to and comfort with the fables of La Fontaine. Figure 4 is a fine reproduction of his Le rat qui s'est retiré du monde (4). This canvas won a prize and was displayed at the Exposition universelle of 1867.
1993 Verse & Fables. Written and Illustrated by Vincent Torre. Signed. #28 of 150. NY: The Inkwell Press. $70 from Anthony Garnett, St. Louis, March, '95.
A beautifully produced book, set by hand and bound by hand. It contains five fables, the first three of them labelled as Aesop's fables. "The Country Mouse & the Subway Mouse" (1) is a strong starter for this collection. Its moral: "To know your mind, you ought to hear/Two sides to every story." "The Cat and the Mice" (8), like the previously mentioned fable, has a strong illustration. LM (43) has a different ending: The mouse goes away from the lion unbefriended and unthanked. "The Rabbit and the Rat" (55) is new to me and engaging. "The Old Man and the Sparrows" (75) plays on the borders of fable. Its sparrows not only talk; they are polite. Torre's silkscreens are much better than his (or most other people's) verse. The best non-Aesopic illustrations are of the mockingbird (65) and the mock turtle (95).
1993 Vorlese-Geschichten. Illustrationen von Isabella Roth. Paperbound. Filderstadt, Germany: Remus. €.50 from Maxi-Markt, Mannheim, August, '09.
This is a nice set of stories to read children four years old and older. It contains one fable, well told with a colored picture: "Kürbis und Eichel" (17). It is labeled simply "Fabel." Neither La Fontaine nor another source is mentioned. Fables get around! I found this in a second-hand department store that had been recommended to me; I got to it only in my last days in Mannheim.
1993 World of Enchantment: Legends & Myths: An International Collection of Children's Art. Paperbound. San Francisco: Foghorn Press. $5 from Aardvark Books, San Francisco, May, '97.
"Completely Produced by Kids!" proclaims the cover of this landscape-formatted art book featuring children's art that accompanies stories from various cultures. I am surprised to find how much material in it is familiar to me. First, there are fables. They include BS done by a child in India on vi; "A Hare's Devotion" (24), also from India; "Too Much Greed Leads to Death" (27, otherwise known as "The Heron and the Crab"), again from India; and FG (46) from Portugal. Other material I recognize includes the Trojan Horse (13); various Greek myths (18-20); "Three Greedy Men" (26, Chaucer's exemplum about finding death); and Sisyphus (48). What a delight to come across this book!
1993 11 Fables de La Fontaine. Miniature. Illustrations: Olivier Le Pahun. Paperbound. Printed in France. Paris: Editions Biotop. $25 from Bromer Booksellers, Inc., Boston, July, '99.
Miniature, measuring about 1" x 1¼". The front cover presents "The Monkey Painter" and the back "The Monkey Antiquarian," both by Chardin. I found five full-page black-and-white cartoons. At this size, they are easy to miss! My favorite is of the lion as painter on 30.
1993/94 Aesop's Fables. Translated by S.A. Handford. Illustrated by Brian Robb. Printed in England. Paperbound. This translation first published by Penguin Books in 1954, with a new edition in 1964. Published in Puffin Books in 1993 and reissued in this edition in 1994. London: Puffin: Penguin. $3.99 at A Likely Story, Alexandria, May, '96.
This book is the same page-size as the most recent Penguin (1954/64/91). From that edition this one drops the frontispiece, the introduction (all six parts), the note on critical editions, the title/illustration page just before the fables, and the notes on individual fables at the back. The result is that an individual fable here will be on a page lower by 2 than the page there. The book has been newly typeset. The typo in #96 remains. The back cover speaks accurately of "The Essential Collection." There is now a colorful cover-painting featuring some of the animal "stars" of fables. See my comments on the translation and basic layout under 1954.
1993/94 Fedro: Favole. Introduzione, Traduzione e Note di Enzo Mandruzzato. Seconda edizione. Paperback. Superclassici. Printed in Italy. Milan: Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli. Lire 10000 from Libreria Internazionale Treves, Naples, July, '98.
Here is a straightforward paperback text of 163 Phaedrian fables, grouped in the usual five books followed by Perotti's Appendix and medieval paraphrases. These Italian translations (prose for the paraphrases, verse for the others) are numbered consecutively from 1 to 163, but a schema on 183 gives the correspondence to the usual numbering by book and order within each book. Mandruzzato's introduction is followed by a short set of testimonials, by a note on the translation (including identification of the codices), and by a good bibliography. There is also a set of poorly reproduced photographs of various materials, including a bust of Aesop, a relief of Kairos, "La Vecchia" of the Via Nomentana, and the frontispiece of a Burmann edition. The notes start on 147, with something offered for each fable, including its sources. This volume seems more carefully done than the companion volume of Aesop's fables.
1993/96 The Fables of Aesop. Illustrated by Jagdish Sharma. Third impression. Paperback. Printed in India. Calcutta: Rupa & Co. $6.75 from The India Club, Inc., Vorhees, NJ, Sept., '99.
This is a Penguin-like paperback containing 313 fables. There is a T of C at the front. I can find no particular source for the texts. There is a problem on 219-220: the story is abbreviated on 219, while 220 presents a middle-section of the story without connection to the preceding or following page. "The Farmer and the Snake" (12) has a good moral: "The greatest benefits will not bind the ungrateful." To render the "kid" for "The Kid and the Wolf" (53), the artist puts a child standing on the roof! The frequent illustrations are perhaps too packed with data for the small space they occupy. The artist likes movement-lines around characters, and frequently there are swirling leaves in outdoor scenes. Among the best and most typical illustrations are those for DM (27), "The Old Woman and the Wine Jar" (79), and "The Bald Man and the Fly" (248).
1993/97 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Zdenka Krejcová. Sixieme tirage. Hardbound. Paris: Contes et Fables de Toujours: Gründ. $2.75 from Scubasteve 175, Clearlake Oaks, CA, through eBay, Feb., '07.
Here is the French version of a book I had already found in German and English. Let me include some of my comments from there. This colorful large-format book contains forty-six fables. The art is big, colorful, and dramatic. BF (#1) has the smallest bird I have ever seen trying to wear these peacock feathers! OF (#3) starts with a great image of a horned frog; there is no other frog around. For TMCM (#5) the setting seems to be more the country meal than the city meal, and there is no country meal in La Fontaine! There is a great chagrined lion (#12), overcome by the gnat. Sometimes the images of two fables are merged on one two-page spread, e.g. 14-15 (GA and FC) and 20-21 (WC and FG). In 2P (#25) the iron pot has a good moustache. The illustration for "The Mountain that Gave Birth" (#27) is strange: a man in the foreground raises a golden egg in his hand, while the mountain in the background looks sad. In "The Torrent and the River" (#40), a hat floating on the calm surface tells the whole story. Great job for an inexpensive book! T of C at the front, listing stories in order without page numbers.
1993/97 Jean de la Fontaine: Favole. Presentazione di Marc Soriano. Illustrazioni di Danièle Bour. Terza ristampa. Paperback. Storie e rime 16. Einaudi Ragazzi. Lire 14000 from Mel, Rome, August, '98.
Like the Testa book on Aesop in this series (1994/97), this book does a splendid job of offering good colored illustrations for its fables in a paperback of moderate price. Among the best of the illustrations are these: "The Wolf as Shepherd" (55 and cover), TB (80), MM (104), and "The Bear and the Gardener" (110). There is at least one illustration per fable, and as the T of C at the end shows, there are forty-nine fables. Like the Testa edition, this book has an unusual size: 4¼" x 7¼".
1993/99 Father Koala's Fables. Kel Richards. Illustrated by Glen Singleton. Fourth printing. Paperbound. Sydney: Scholastic Australia. AUD 4.25 from Jason Geer, Australia, through eBay, Oct., '06.
There are fourteen fables here after an introductory poem that puns on "tail" and "tale." With considerable ingenuity, Aesopic fables are adapted to the language, animals, and customs of Australia. Thus TH becomes a race between an emu and a wombat. The bandicoot replaces the fox in getting the crow's stolen booty. Instead of a fox and a goat in well, we have a "goanna" and a water buffalo in a waterhole. A possum disturbs a kangaroo but later saves him when he gets caught in a net. GA is played out by a frill-necked lizard and a honeybee. This version has the former learning a lesson and promising never again to eat a honeybee. New to me is "The bushranger and the blue cattle dog" (16). If the latter is to save the former in a rushing river, the bushranger will need to remove the coat in which he has stored his stolen gold. "Dishonestly won wealth will weigh you down." A special prize goes to the transformation in "Andy O'Cleary" (22). Andy is an escaped convict who comes across a wounded kangaroo. In this remake of "Androcles and the Lion," the kangaroo when captured is taught to box against humans. The ingenious transformations make the book a delight. The happy and even cuddly illustrations help. The back cover rightly calls them "exuberant." My favorite image is that of the "Swaggie" on 8. Second prize for images goes to the horse-riding boy frantically crying "Bushfire!" on 24-25.
1993? Kalila wa Dimna (Arabic). Paperbound. 50 Dirhams from the Souks, Casablanca, July, '01.
This paperbound edition of Kalila and Dimna is noteworthy for its many simple sketches of familiar scenes from the stories. My favorite among them has the monk in bed whacking the rat with a pole! Many of the sketches are copies of famous manuscript illustrations. There is a T of C at the back. The cover shows two men in conference, with a woman moving in the background.
1994 A Tale Told Twice. Neil Connelly. Illustrated by Carolyn Bracken. Stiff-paged pamphlet. Printed in Hong Kong. Baltimore: Tales from the Carrot Patch: Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. $0.60 from Constant Reader, Dec., '98.
This stiff-paper twelve-page mid-sized booklet takes a novel approach. Grandfather Bunny is just finishing telling three children-bunnies the story of TH. Young Blaze says "That's crazy!" Tommy Turtle pokes his head out to say "Don't be so sure." Soon they are racing; the cover picture presents the moment before the take-off. Soon Blaze is sweating and puffing. His sister gives him some strawberries, and they both fall asleep. Talk about déjà vu! The book's last scene has the bunny family at evening inside by the fireplace to hear another tale. Blaze gets the last word: "But, Grandfather, no more racing stories!"
1994 Aesop: A Fable Collection. Rev. Gregory I. Carlson, S.J. Paperbound. Omaha: Creighton University. Oct., '94.
Here is the last of my printed catalogues for this collection. It encompasses 434 pages and expands the sixth edition from November, 1991. At this point there were 1907 books in the collection, and the average cost of the books was $11.39. The book, spiral bound, was produced with the generous help of the Graduate School of Creighton University and its dean, Michael G. Lawler. It has a gray cover with blue printing.
1994 Aesopische Fabeln. Illustriert von Gisela Dürr. Nacherzählt von Werner Thuswaldner. Dust jacket. Printed in Italy. Zürich: Michael Neugebauer Verlag. DM 39,80 at Bücher Braun, Heidelberg, July, '95.
A beautiful book, right from the cover that has an embossed stripe for the title. There are seventeen fables, each getting an integrated two page spread including Dürr's fine black-and-white work. Of her illustrations, the back cover well says "Diese verbinden Phantasie und Detailgenauigkeit mit scharfer Charakterisierungskunst." Note that in all cases except four, the right edge of the right-hand page moves into the left edge of the next left-hand page; the exceptions seem to me the pages moving from "Ein Kleid für den Mond," MSA, BW, and TMCM. Dürr's best work includes FK, WS (in which the illustration shows the older man just starting to remove his coat), and BC, which shows the cat hypothetically being belled. Several fables are particularly well told, including "Eine Einladung der Katze" and FK. WS is told in the poorer version.
1994 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Werner Thuswaldner. Translated by Anthea Bell. Illustrated by Gisela Dürr. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Italy. NY: A Michael Neugebauer Book: North-South Books. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, April, '96. Two extra copies: a gift of Maryanne Rouse, June, '05, and for $8.50 from Georgetown Book Shop, Bethesda, MD, Dec., '98.
A beautiful transposition into English of a beautiful book, right from the cover that still has an embossed stripe for the title. See my comments under Aesopische Fabeln from Neugebauer in the same year. Note the challenge of translation. TH is told identically here, but the tortoise, which had been feminine in German, has become masculine in English. There is a difference in the story's resulting suggestions! (The hare is masculine in both.) A treasure of a book!
1994 Aesop's Fables. Tell Tale Theater Pop-Up Book and Audiocassette. Design and paper engineering by Roger Culbertson. Retold by Steven Zorn and Roger Culbertson. Illustrated by Peter de Sève. First printing. Printed in Singapore. Produced by Designimation, Philadelphia. Phladelphia: Running Press. Gift of Elizabeth Willems, Christmas, '94. Extra copy a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Aug., '95.
An ingenious set. The fun starts with the excellent match of the book's cover with the surrounding package's picture. It continues with the insertion of a tape into the back of the book. The tape's renditions are much more expansive than those in this book. (In fact, they are adaptations--for all but SW--of versions from Zorn's Aesop's Fables from Running Press in 1990.) The six pop-outs are excellent. BW is expanded and now includes some hyperbole; the wolf now eats the boy in one gulp! The tortoise has become female, and TMCM's dog has become a cat. See the comments on the 1994 tape.
1994 Aesop's Fables. 2 in 1 Tales. "The Hare and the Tortoise"/"The Travelers and the Bear." Illustrations by Shogo Hirata. Pamphlet. Printed in USA. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. $0.75 from Valuebin.com, through Ebay, August, '00.
Here is the first printing of a pamphlet whose republication I have listed under 1995 from the same publisher. Books in this edition and this year cost $2.50. When reprinted a year later, they cost $2.95. See my comments there.
1994 Aesop's Fables. 2 in 1 Tales. "The Lion and the Mouse"/"The Wind and the Sun.". Illustrations by Shogo Hirata. Pamphlet. Printed in USA. Honey Bear Books. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. $1 from Valuebin.com through Ebay, August, '00.
Here is a new presentation of the same art that Hirata used in 1989 for his Joie set. The art here is certainly superior in presentation to the Peter Haddock series (1989?). It is darker than Joie's art, sometimes stronger and sometimes less exact. This series is advertised to contain four booklets, and this is the fourth one. They came from four different sources. This series does not pair the same stories together as Joie or Haddock. The text of SW (called "The North Wind and the Sun" in other Hirata versions) is different from the text in other Hirata versions. It tells this story in the poorer way: "I'm so strong, I'll bet that I can get him to take off his hat and jacket," the wind boasts. The text of LM ("A Mouse's Gratitude" in other Hirata versions) is also different from that in Joie or Haddock. Here the story is traditional. There it involved the mouse's seven children. Here the same images depict the mice's friends. It is so nice to be able to complete the set!
1994 Aesop's Fables. 2 in 1 Tales. "The Miller and His Donkey"/"The Greedy Dog." Illustrations by Shogo Hirata. Pamphlet. 2 in 1 Tales. Printed in USA. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. $0.75 from Valuebin.com, through Ebay, August, '00.
Here is the first printing of a pamphlet whose republication I have listed under 1995 from the same publisher. Books in this edition and this year cost $2.50. When reprinted a year later, they cost $2.95. See my comments there.
1994 Aesop's Fables. 2 in 1 Tales. "The Town Mouse & the Country Mouse"/"The Boy Who Cried Wolf." Illustrations by Shogo Hirata. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. Gift of Mabel Leider, Dec., '96.
Here is a new presentation of the same art that Hirata used in 1989 for his Joie set. The art here is certainly superior in presentation to the Peter Haddock series (1989?). It is darker than Joie's art, sometimes stronger and sometimes less exact. This series, advertised to contain four booklets, does not pair the same stories together as Joie or Haddock. It also arranges the small symbols differently, sometimes grouping them together on a pair of facing pages. The texts are not the same as in Joie or Haddock. In TMCM, the town mouse came to the country intending to stay a week. The next week the country mouse travelled to visit him. In BW, the workers walked away from the boy and laughed the third time that he tried to fool them.
1994 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Pat Stewart. Editor: Candace Ward. Text adapted from Aesop's Fables, Cassell & Company, n.d. Paperbound. Children's Thrift Classics. NY: Dover Publications, Inc. $.80 at Olsson's, Alexandria, April, '97.
I presume that the text is largely Rundell's. 92 fables with plentiful but simple illustrations. DS has the most obvious reflection-dog I have seen yet. MSA (19) has the donkey perched on the pole the way he is for Harrison Weir. The vain jackdaw wears band-aids on his wounds (25)! This may be the most inexpensive extensive Aesop version I have seen. Bravo, Dover!
1994 Aesop's Fables. Paperbound. London: Children's Classics: Bloomsbury Books. $5.99 from Brit Books, Buckingham, UK, through eBay, Dec., '10.
Here are 143 fables, each starting on a new page, in a simple paperback claimed by no author. A quick test of the texts does not reveal a standard source. A long T of C at the beginning lists each fable. There are no other materials either before or after the texts. The back cover says "According to Herodotus, Aesop lived in the region of Amasis, Egypt, in the mid-sixth century BC." Amasis is a ruler, not a region, and Herodotus puts Aesop in Asia Minor, not Egypt! My! The cover features a simple illustration of FG against a blue background.
1994 Aesop's Fables [Korean]. Moon-Hyun Cho. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Seoul: Hyun-Am-Sa. 18,000 Won from Si-Gong-Moon-Hwa Bookstore, Seoul, July, '04.
Twenty fables are presented in this large-format book with FM on the cover and dust-jacket. Though the visual styles vary from fable to fable, almost all are strong in their use of color. The first fable presents a new variation for me on an old fable. The moon announces a music concert after the rainy season to console the various creatures. The snail does not come despite a repeated invitation from the moon. He claims that he wants to stay home. So the moon has him stay home forever by being stuck to his house. This story seems a variation on Zeus' angry fixing of the turtle's shell on his back as the home that he must take with him, since he would not leave home for Zeus' celebration. One of the strongest visual styles appears in "The Horse and the Wolf." Do not miss the caved-in jaw of the wolf on 41. It seems as though the milkmaid curtsies to an imagined beau and so loses her pail of milk (65). There is a T of C with visual artists on 5 and an account of their careers on 126-7.
1994 Aesop's Fables 1 [Japanese]. Hardbound. Dust jacket. 234 #1: Gakken. Gift of Rafael Sakurai from Kinokuniya Bookstore, San Jose, March, '96.
The front cover (for us, the back) shows five of the seven Aesopic fables that are presented in very lively color here. The illustration style imitates a blown-up computer graphic, where the image almost begins to lose its definition, and lines and forms are resolved into individual pixels. As the cover shows, the stories included here on 48 pages are: DS (2-5); BW (6-11); SW (12-19); "The Woodcutter and His Axe" (20-29); GA (30-37); OF (38-43); and FG (44-48). The strongest images might be for BW and GA. After these full-color pages, there are seven pages of black-and-white exercises and games. Both covers leave out FG and SW from their representations.
1994 Aesop's Fables 2 [Japanese]. Hardbound. Dust jacket. 234 #2: Gakken. Gift of Rafael Sakurai from Kinokuniya Bookstore, San Jose, March, '96.
The front cover (for us, the back) shows five of the seven Aesopic fables that are presented in very lively color here. The illustration style imitates a blown-up computer graphic, where the image almost begins to lose its definition, and lines and forms are resolved into individual pixels. As the cover shows, the stories included here on 48 pages are: TH (2-9); TB (10-15); LM (16-21); GGE (22-27); FS (28-31); TMCM (32-43); and DLS (44-48). LM and DLS seem to be left off of the front cover's images, while TB seems to be left off of the back cover's images. There are various art styles, mostly Disneyesque, at work in the illustrations. I like best the more defined style in FS. After these full-color pages, there are seven pages of black-and-white exercises and games.
1994 Aesop’s Fables (Chinese). Fifth edition. Peking. See 1991/94.
1994 Aesop's Fables. Classics Illustrated #26. Adapted and illustrated by Eric Vincent. Lettering by Partick (sic) Owsley. Apparently the first printing of the first revised edition, April, '94. Chicago: Classics International Entertainment. See 1990/94.
1994 Agua, Agua, Agua: An Aesop's Fable. Retold by Pat Mora. Illustrated by José Ortega. Hardbound. Glenview, IL: Let Me Read: Level 2: GoodYearBooks: Scott, Foresman and Company. $0.99 from Wilt, Bellefontaine, OH, through eBay, Oct., '06.
"Level 2" in Scott, Foresman's designation means that this sturdy, colorful, squarish little book is meant for children ages three to five. The art on the sixteen pages here presents large masses of strong colors, The composite of colors seems Southwestern. I find one serious flaw as we move through the book. There is no pitcher or container mentioned or pictured here. One pair of pages asks about water on this hot day "Is it on the mountain?" and answers " No, no. no." On the next pair of pages we hear of and see "water hiding." It seems to be hiding between and under two large stone masses, like rocks on a lakeshore. Three pebbles may not move this water's level up much! The very last page gives the most complete picture of the lifted water. I think that this booklet's attempt does not do justice to the fable. It does a good job of teaching children the Spanish for "water" and for "one, two, three." If I were a three-year old reading this book, I would ask for my $2.95 back.
1994 Animal Conversations: A Collection of Fables. By Nicholas Rescher. With Illustrations by Uri and Elena Kissel. Paperbound. Verona, PA: NAP Publications. $8 from Center of the Sun Bookstore, May, '04.
There are forty-four fables here, and they occur in a standard format. On the left is a full-page detailed black-and-white illustration that grows out of this original fable. On the right is a prose and a verse rendition of the same fable. The stories are those of a self-confessed moral philosopher; where others write their great novel, he writes his fables. This book is encouraging for me, because the fables are real fables. Not all are equally engaging, but they try to do what fables do, and more than a few succeed. I like particularly "The Lion and the Unicorn" (3), in which the lion takes power but not money and so yields all his gold to the unicorn. The latter soon points out that the golden crown now belongs to him. "The Cat and the Mouse" is another good traditional, though original, fable. The cat asks the mouse what he finds most striking about his elegant form. The mouse answers "That it's too big to fit through my mousehole" (59)! The morals are perceptive, e.g., "We generally believe our own contribution to a conversation to be by far the best part" (5), "Rare indeed are those to whose ears praise is not music" (17), and "Usually, it is smarter to keep out of somebody's way than to try to persuade him to be mindful of your interests" (31). Among the best illustrations might be "The Crow and the Chickadee" (24), "A Historic Conference" (38), and "The Cardinal and the Pigeon" (48). I am surprised to find "K&B" signed on a number of the illustrations. Who are they?
1994 Averse to Beasts:Twenty-Three Reasonless Rhymes. Written, Illustrated, and Read by Nick Bantock. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. $5 from Sebastopol Antique Mall, June, '99.
This book comes together with a tape, which presents the twenty-three poems well in a live performance (at "The Trough" no less!) with introductory comments and sound effects. Bantock is well known for the "Griffin & Sabine" series, and this book is worthy of him. There are perhaps four fables here. In "Bad Manners," a turkey vulture schooled to culture still eats the waiter along with the meal! "Harvest Mouse" is something of an answer to Beatrix Potter, but it only reinforces the old fable wisdom that a mouse out in a field will be eaten by a hawk. "The Warrior's Way" is a satire on contemporary yuppie samurai. This one uses a sword to defeat a warrior-fly but cuts off his own nose in the process! "Old School Ties" has fun with "allege" and "alligator" but in the process shows--as I understand it--that judges might follow old school loyalties rather than process or evidence. One item ("The Wolf at the Door") parodies WL in applying it to urban human wolves. The other pieces have fun with words (e.g., "Hitch" and "Aero Dynamics"), with shapes (e.g., "Appendages"), and with fantasies (e.g., "Rabbit's Revenge"). Each poem is done on a left-page with an illustration facing on the right-page. Among the best illustrations are "Bad Manners," "Thick Soup," "Carnivorous," "Appendages," "Preparing My Giraffe for a Formal Occasion," and especially "Harvest Mouse."
1994 Basni. (Fables). (I.A. Krylov). Paperbound. Paris: ©1994 Bookking International. $8.95 from Europa Books, Evanston, Dec., '95.
This Penguin-like book might be my most complete and organized edition of Krylov's fables. Compare it with Pares' translation (1926). Book VII here seems to have one more fable than Pares' edition has; note also that this edition has two texts for VII.25. This edition has only eleven fables in Book IX but then adds many in six other groups. Pares' note describes IX.12 (and all those following?) as omitted by Krylov in later editions.
1994 Best of Aesop's Fables (Hebrew). Bina Ophek (translator). Arthur Rackham. Paperbound. $7.99 from Book N Sefer, Sunnyvale, CA, through eBay, Nov., '11.
This is a large-format paperback, about 8½" x 10½", with yellow covers offering designs from Arthur Rackham's 1912 edition of Aesop's fables. The second and third pages from beginning and end are full-page renditions of Rackham's WC. Though there is no attempt to reproduce the colored illustrations in Rackham's edition, there are many of his black-and-white and silhouette designs here. There is a T of C at the beginning.
1994 Book of Fables: The Yiddish Fable Collection of Reb Moshe Wallich, Frankfurt am Main, 1697. Translated and Edited by Eli Katz. woodcuts from Sefer Meshalim. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Detroit: Jewish Folklore and Anthropology Series: Wayne State University Press. $24 from (more) Moe's, Berkeley, CA, June, '96.
This is a bilingual edition of the thirty-four fables of Sefer Meshalim, published in Yiddish in 1695. It presents a facsimile of the Yiddish edition, including its woodcuts, along with a translation done now. The translator's introduction (9) helps to establish the background of the text. The main known work behind Sefer Meshalim is the Ku-Bukh (1595, perhaps even 1555). Of the thirty-four fables, sixteen are from the Aesopian canon through Berechian ben Natronai ha-Nakdan's Mishlei Shu'alim; nine are from Boner's Edelstein; and eight (XXVI-XXXIII) are from Arabic maqama tradition's Meshal ha-Kadmoni. One (VIII) has no known predecessors. There are regularly two or more illustrations for one fable. There is often a line intended as a caption for the woodcut. The morals tend to be very long. What Katz calls a critical apparatus often contains valuable information on the given fable within its family. Some Aesopic fables are told differently. Thus in FC (II), the crow is already eating the cheese. The fox addresses him, and the crow is able to talk back without dropping the cheese! The cheese weighs 20 pounds. In the story of the monkey father, all three run for a while. The father sees the lion catching up and tells the unloved child to jump onto his back, thinking that he can cast him off to the lion. As the lion gets still closer, the father says to the child on his back "You're getting too heavy for me" and bends over, trying to throw him off. The child will not get off! There is never any mention of the front, nor does the illustration show the loved child clinging to the father-monkey's chest. The Androcles figure in AL (VII) becomes a nasty thief after the thorn removal. In XI, the old lion roughed up by the animals surprisingly recovered! The mice in BC (XIV) actually buy a bell to put on the cat! The wolf flayed to cure the sick lion in XV goes away alive. Among the best illustrations are those for DS (III) and MSA (XVI). There is a great final woodcut showing the wife and guard hoisting the dead husband up onto the gallows with a rope. In "The Cow and the Dog" (XXVIII), the dog lured the cow into deep water, and helped to push her under. There is a good image of this scene on 173. A new favorite for me is VI. A singing man reminded a girl of her beloved lost donkey. Everyone thereupon said that he has a voice like an ass. He learned never to sing again! Many of the late Arabic stories (XXVI-XXXIII) get so long that I would not count them as fables.
1994 Brer Rabbit and His Tricks. Ennis Rees. Drawings by Edward Gorey. First Hyperion Paperback edition, apparently first printing. Paperbound. NY: Hyperion Paperbacks for Children. $12 from Serendipity, Berkeley, July, '10.
Of a piece with More of Brer Rabbit's Tricks from the same publisher in the same year. Originally copyrighted 1967 by Young Scott. Published in 1988 by Hopscotch Books. This verse rendition of Brer Rabbit's adventures is delightful. The stories here include "Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby"; "Hello, House!"; and "Winnianimus Grass and Whipmewhopme Cake." As to the illustrations, one would not have thought that yellow, red, and black could yield so much! A tar baby is just what the doctor ordered for an Edward Gorey series of illustrations! We never do find out in this version how Brer Rabbit got unstuck from that tar baby. The second story has this fine couplet from Brer Rabbit as he looks at his house, which he suspects has been invaded: "There're more ways of telling who fell in the drink/Than falling in there yourself, I think." Gorey's perplexed wolf in this story's illustrations is a masterpiece! In the third story, Brer Rabbit fills a sack with the heap of feathers left over from chickens he has stolen to feed his children. When Brer Fox wants to know what is in the sack, Brer Rabbit tells him that it is highly valuable Winnianimus grass, used to make Whipmewhopme cake. Brer Rabbit then lets Brer Fox carry it, hoping he will steal it. Soon Brer Fox has indeed made off with the sack, and Brer Rabbit tips off Mr. Man that the sack seems to contain chicken feathers. In the end, Mr. Man whips and whops Brer Fox.
1994. Buddhist Parables. Translated from the original Pali by Eugene Watson Burlingame. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Delhi: Buddhist Tradition Series #13: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. See 1991/94.
1994 Christian Fables. Michael J. Matt. Illustrated by Dominic Bourbeau. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Long Prairie, MN: The Neumann Press. $15 from Junebug Books, Winterville, GA, through Bibliofind, Oct., '98.
Here are five inspirational religious short-stories. I read most of the first exciting story about the escape of two English-speaking Catholic priests from the Gestapo in Nazi Germany. I think there is really nothing for fable research here.
1994 Chwedlau Ffestiniog Fables. Peter Jarvis. With illustrations by David Charlesworth. Hardbound. Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, Wales: Rheilffordd Ffestiniog Railway. $2 from World of Books through eBay, Nov., '12.
Here is a genuine curiosity! This book brings together Welsh legends and trains. It has nothing to do with fables. I will keep it in the collection to stop me or another from ordering it again, even though the book is charming and the price was right. The book mixes illustrations black and white and colored with tales and poems. It also mixes trains with wizards, mermaids, and dragons. Even Shakespeare shows up pictured with a train. The anachronisms are delightful! An enchanting last illustration shows some right of way that has long been unused and leads off into the distance; it accompanies an "Envoi" poem that asks repeatedly "What was that?" and answers "Nothing." The poem speaks wistfully of a "long gone train."
1994 City Mouse and Country Mouse. Retold by Rozanne Lanczak Williams. Illustrations by Nan Brooks. Pamphlet. Learn to Read, Read to Learn. Printed in USA. Cypress, CA: Creative Teaching Press, Inc. $2.99 from Hammett's Toy Shop, Vienna, VA, Jan., '02.
A short stop on the way to celebrate twin nieces at Christmas time yielded this book in a toy store that had suffered the ravages of Christmas shoppers. 9" x 6¼". The book's approach makes the story suitable for very young readers. Each pair of pages contrasts the two mice: what they eat, where they sleep, what they run away from. They trade. Then they do not like what they find in the other place. (This segment is untrue to the traditional TMCM tale, in which the country mouse enjoys the city food.) The prize picture has the city mouse spitting out a country seed (11). The country mouse's expression eating cheese on the facing page is also excellent (10). On the last page they again exclaim "Let's trade places!"
1994 Co sie stalo z nasza bajka (Where Have All the Fables Gone?). Hanna Krall. Rysunki Marii Ekier. Broschure, paperbound pamphlet, and individual artworks. Limited to 1000 copies; unnumbered. Warsaw: Twoj Styl. $14.40 from Swede Slavic Books, Palo Alto, March, '95.
This is a broschure including a booklet of text and twelve individual colored scenes, each with a line or two of text on the back. Do I see something of a story of a wolf or dog approaching a home and being taken in by the family? I cannot follow the story from there. Perhaps the most dramatic illustration is the last, of a pale, hooded and caped figure flying down from the sky towards the land. Strange and lovely!
1994 Das Schaf im Wolfspelz. Rafik Schami. 4. Auflage. Paperbound. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag. See 1989/94.
1994 De Krekel en de Mier/De Eland en de Wolf. LaFontaine. Illustraties: Rogério Borges. Hardbound. : Jurjen de Vries bv. €2.95 from Utrecht, July, '09.
I have three other books in similar format. I have two out of the eight that make up the French set. I have one out of the six that make up the German set. This set is different in that it includes two fables in one booklet. This book's back-cover advertises three other "Titels van de Collectie." I have my work cut out to complete all three sets! The first story seems a rather conventional telling of GA. The latter story uses an "Eland" rather than a stag, and has him somehow surviving -- and of course learning. There is a recognition of the copyright by Melhoramentos de Sao Paolo, who published the French booklets in 1988. The German version seems to have come from 1989.
1994 Der Froschmäusekrieg: Aus dem Griechischen des Homer. In altdeutschen Kinderreimen nachgedichtet von Victor Blüthgen. Mit zwölf Farbtafeln von Fedor Flinzer. Hardbound. Munich: Im Verlag von Rainer Schmitz. €8 from Antiquariat Wirthwein, Mannheim, July, '07. Extra copy for €3.95 from Texxtbücher Anders, Munich, August, '07.
This telling of the Batrachomyomachia, the battle of the frogs and mice, includes several elements that touch on fables. That fact, along with the fine illustrations, led me to include this book in the collection. The first bookstore in which I found it was actually closed for vacation during my early days in Mannheim. Both I and they were glad when we connected after they returned, and I found a number of lovely books. In this rhymed version, the German poet hears a frog intone the song. The first parts are about the happy and peaceful reign of the king of frogs. My prize goes to the three naiad-frogs who swim grace-like near the bottom of 7. Then two guardsmen bring a mouse (Prince "Bröseldieb," "Crumbthief") who drank some of their territorial water. The first allusion to a fable comes when this mouse mentions that his ancestor, "Quiker der Gerechte" ("Squeaker the Just"?), freed the lion from his net. When the mouse makes an inappropriate remark at the end of the feast about waterlife, the frog-king invites him to get on the frog-king's back and come take a look at their palace. He agrees, and soon they are off. Here comes a second fable allusion: we are at the story of the mouse and frog, and we have the often failing motivation for the trip. A third fable allusion occurs promptly when a stork attacks the frogs, as happens in FK. The king frog carrying the prince mouse dives for cover, and Bröseldieb is left to drown, but not before invoking mouse-wrath against the frogs for thus leaving him defenseless. Another great image is that of the mourning among mice on 14. His father proclaims revenge. Both sides prepare for war. Here we are at a final fable allusion, for there is a fable about the battle between the mouse and the frog (e.g. Croxall 168; the winner of the battle is the hawk). The mice have the upper hand in this battle. In some versions, Zeus sends the crabs to limit the mice. In this version, the crabs bargain with the frogs for their freedom by offering to fight against the mice. The ending here is ironic, I believe. Frogs and crabs celebrate victory with a Te Deum. Mice are in mourning. A "Nachbemerkung" asks us to look at the poem as "Spaß," fun. Good idea!
1994 El Libro de las Fabulas. Carmen Bravo-Villasante. Ilustraciones y maqueta de Carmen Andrada. Hardbound. Printed in Spain. Madrid: Colección La Pompa de Jabón: Susaeta Ediciones S.A. $23.95 from Schoenhof's, Cambridge, Nov., '03.
Ten countries are represented here, and in fact the fables are grouped by their country of origin. Spain leads with fifteen authors presenting thirty-nine fables. Other Spanish-speaking countries then provide from one to five fables each. Bravo-Villasante writes a "Presentación" at the beginning, and there is a T of C at the end. MSA comes first, with an excellent illustration, colored and displaying four people in the corners of the quadrangle but outside the picture's oval. I presume that these are the "advisors" that the miller and his son meet along the way. The "naïve" style of the illustrations is quite attractive. Perhaps a quarter of the fables are familiar from the tradition. For the rest, and even for these, I wish I knew Spanish!
1994 Esopo: Favole. Introduzione di Giorgio Manganelli. Traduzione di Elena Ceva Valla. Frontispiece: woodcut from Venice 1491. Quinta edizione. Paperback. Superclassici. Printed in Italy. Milan: Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli. See 1990/94.
1994 Fables Aesop Never Wrote, but Robert Kraus did. First edition. Dust jacket. Printed in China. NY: Viking: Penguin. $14.99 at The Book Store, Des Moines, Oct., '94. Extra copy of the first edition a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '95.
An amusing book that tries to do with traditional fables roughly what Bierce and Thurber did. Though I salute a fellow Milwaukean, I think the effort falls short. The best of the thirteen stories are "Lobster, Crab, and Shrimp Step Out" (16), "The Fox in Chicken Feathers" (18), and "The North Wind, the Sun, and the Cyclone" (22). Word-play works well in "Sour Crêpes" (24) and "The Wolf Who Cried `Boy'" (26). The last offering is "Morals Without Fables" (32), which includes this: "If it looks like a duck,/ walks like a duck,/ quacks like a duck,/ it's probably/ an ugly chicken." The illustrations are accurately described on the flyleaf as "truly collage on the cutting edge."
1994 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustré par Léopold Chauveau. Préface de Pierre Chauveau. Aux Couleurs du Temps. Printed in Slovenia. (c)Circonflexe, 1992. 98 Francs at the Musée d' Orsay, May, '97.
A beautiful sideways book. Chauveau was a sculptor and writer who did these works in the 20's; they were never published. His grandson writes perceptively in the introduction: "Precision du trait, sobriété et apparente naïveté de la forme, choix des couleurs, tout concourt à rendre immédiatement accessible la fable ainsi mise en image." Among the best of the twenty-six are these five: FC (#1); "Le Singe et le Dauphin" (#5); "Le Savetier et le Financier" (#8); "Le Loup, la Mère et l"Enfant" (#16), and "La Vieille et les deux Servantes" (#21). Do not miss the touching back-cover scene of a fox at the statue of La Fontaine.
1994 Fables de la Fontaine. Illustrations de Gustave Doré, colored by Denis Trajkovic. Hardbound. Lausanne: Edita. $30 from Michelle de la Roche, Quebec-Sillery, Canada, August, '05.
This is a heavy large-format book of 383 pages. There is no T of C or AI. The unusual feature of this presentation of Doré's illustrations is that all are colored, both the smaller title-illustrations and the full-page illustrations. This is the first time that I can remember paying attention to the full-page illustration for "La jeune Veuve" (191). Cupids play around the casket of the deceased husband, apparently spreading tree-limbs over it to hide it, while the young widow stands in the moonlight with a man. Other strong full-page renditions include "L'Avare qui a perdu son trésor" (35); "Le Lièvre et les Grenouilles" (207); "Le Mort et le Bûcheron" (269); "Le petit Poisson et le Pêcheur" (301); TMCM (319); FG (332); and "Le Singe et le Chat" (345). When a fable here moves onto a second page, that page reiterates the fable's title. I find it curious that, while the fables are not in any apparent order, each is marked, at the bottom of the page, with its book and number. The front cover gives an overview of twelve of the full-page colored illustrations. I have enjoyed this book!
1994 Fables de La Fontaine. J. Pavlin and G. Seda. Hardbound. PML Editions. €9 from a Buchinist, Paris, July, '14.
Here is a third country heard from, as I already have this book in two British and one German versions -- from respectively, Brown Watson, Octopus, and Gondrom. The Buchinist who sold it to me said "Incroyable" when I found it among her things. The cover here has the same background color as the Octopus version but proclaims "Maxi-Relief," apparently the French expression for a pop-up. As I mention about the other editions, 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. In this copy, the folds for "The Wolf and the Kid" have been harmed slightly. Otherwise the book is in fine condition. The texts are prose, not poetry.
1994 Fables en Deux Langues et Divertissements de Ce Genre/Fables in Two Languages and Similar Diversions. Poems by Charles W. Pratt. Pictures by Marian Parry. Dust jacket. Softbound. 1500 copies. Printed in New England. Brentwood, NY: Pomme Press. $18.50 from Story Monkey, Jan., '98. Extra copy from barnesandnoble.com, Sept, '98?
This book starts off with a wonderful word from William Blake that concludes "But he who kisses the joy as it flies/Lives in eternity's sun rise." Of eighteen pieces overall, I count eight as fables (on 9, 11, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, and 38). They and the other works are complemented very well with enjoyable designs all over the page. There is lovely whimsy in both text and illustration. Among the best fables is "The Bird, the Mouse, and the Cat" (9). The cat eats the carefree bird and then the cautious mouse. "The lesson you'll learn, if you're clever?/If you don't ever sing, you won't ever." The zen sow in "The Zen Sow" waits patiently for a nut to fall from the oak (21)--but does a zen sow wait for anything? "Story" (23) is also strong: the clouds came out to play, but the little children went away. The clouds cried. The flowers were glad to get a drink. "The Butterfly and the Computer" (25) expresses a nice tension. The butterfly needs the computer's brain for help, and the computer needs the butterfly's wings to fly. There is a strong adaptation of La Fontaine's OR on 38. Among the poems and stories, I like especially "The Romantic Yankee" (28). I am very glad to have found this book.
1994 Fables goulues. Nicolas Vatimbella. Illustrations de David Carpentier. Paperbound. Paris: Collection Zanzibar: Éditions Milan. $23.76 from le-livre, Baron, France, through abe, July, '14.
This is a paperbound book of 86 pages containing sixteen short stories. My dictionaries tell me that the title translates into something like "Greedy Fables" or "Gluttonous Fables." The back cover advertises "Where one discovers the drama of the dog who pretended to read; how the queen of England made a fish blush; why salads restrain themselves from learning mathematics . . . ." I tried the story about the dog who learned to read and found it amusing. This dog faces a problem and his problem gets a surprising answer. I doubt that what is offered here really consists of fables. So far I think this book offers good fun.
1994 Fables: Jean de La Fontaine. Trente fables illustrées par trente artistes. (c)Albin Michel Jeunesse 1994. France: Albin Michel. $43.95 Canadian at Coles, Montreal, Oct., '95.
It would be hard to exaggerate the merits of this beautiful book. The fun starts with the cover picture of bookshelves with figurines of two pots, a tortoise and a hare, and a fox and a crow around a pensive La Fontaine wearing a scarf made of a page of his own printed fable text. Each of the thirty artists has contributed four elements: a full-page colored illustration in one of many different styles (the right-hand page in each fable's set of two pages), a matching colored initial letter, a black-and-white design that appears below the text on the left-hand page, and a self-portrait. The latter are collected at the end of the volume. My favorites among the illustrations include FG (8-9), "The Lion in Love" (16-17), 2P (18-19), "The Rat Who Retired from the World" (40-41), "The Fisherman and the Little Fish" (52-3), "The Cat, the Weasel, and the Young Rabbit" (58-9), and WL by Tony Ross (60-61). T of C at the front. A real treasure!
1994 Fábula de Fábulas. Alfonso Chase. Ilustraciones de Félix Arburola. 1 of 5000. Paperbound. San José, Costa Rica: Editorial Costa Rica. $12.5 from Libros Centroamericanos, Redlands, CA, August, '00.
This booklet is just under 8½" x 11". It has 97 pages plus a bibliography and T of C. The first portion (10-30) is titled "Fábula de Fábulas" and given over to short works with "Fábula" in the title. After a fable with the same title as the whole portion, there are thus ten other pieces marked as "fábula." The former seems to serve as an introduction. The young king asks to hear stories from the old counselor. In the first of the following fables, a companion accurately tells a blind man that he is picking up a snake, but the blind man believes that it is a staff and doubts the motivation of the advice-giver. Soon enough the snake devours the fool. The other fables are a mix of some I have not seen before and some traditional, including those in which a rabbit lures a lion to his death in water and in which three fish react differently to a threat. The full-page monochrome illustrations add a playful cartoon-like character. I think that this is my first fable book from Costa Rica.
1994 Fábulas. Maria de Pina. Decimoseptima Edición. Paperbound. Mexico City: "Sepan Cuantos.." #16: Editorial Porrua, S.A. 29 Mexican Pesos from Libreria Panamericana, Juarez, August, '96.
I am delighted to make a separate entry in the collection for this book. It repeats, almost verbatim, the 16th edition of 1992. It has been a learning experience for me to note the changes that this change of "Edición" -- I think we would call it a printing -- makes in a book. There are simple changes of date on the cover, the title-page, the verso of the title-page giving the year of copyright, and the back cover. The last of these is a "signature" of the publisher/bookstore, with a picture of their shop and their years in existence. On the former book it was 1990-92 and now it is 1990-94. There is one last change that I note. In the former book, the inside back cover advertised the fifth edition of "Dictionario Porrúa." The inside back cover of this printing proclaims "Sexta Edición en Preparación." The book remains #16 in the series "Sepan Cuantos.." As I wrote of that former printing, this is an unusual anthology for presenting a first part consisting of two Mexican fabulists, José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi--otherwise known as "El Pensador Mexicano"--and José Rosas Moreno, before a second part of "Otros Fabulistas" beginning on 89. This second part includes Aesop, Phaedrus, La Fontaine, Arcipreste de Hita, Iriarte, Samaniego, Arenal, Hartzenbusch, and Campoamor. There is a vocabulary and a T of C at the back (277). A veritable wealth of texts!
1994 Fairy Tales. Illustrated by Eric Kincaid. Classics for Young Readers. Printed in China. Newmarket: Brimax. $5.08 at Santa Clara University Bookstore, Aug., '94.
TMCM is one of nine stories in this collection. The version seems to reduplicate that in Kincaid's Town Mouse and Country Mouse (1985), and the illustrations are selected from those there. Curiously, an illustration of the country mouse admiring fruit is switched in order from the city (where it belongs) to a position before the two mice leave the country. Apparently the editor was keeping to a plan to alternate small and large illustrations. Notice the illustration of the town mouse in ascot on the title page. This book is in the same series as Kincaid's Aesop's Fables (1993). As with several of the other cover pictures here, the TMCM illustration on this book's cover is not used with the story itself inside the book.
1994 Famous Fables: A new children's musical based upon four traditional famous fables: Pupil's Play Part. Words by Sheila Wainwright. Music by Alison Hedger. Pamphlet. Printed in Great Britain. London: Golden Apple Productions: Chester Music Limited. $4.95 from Shawnee Press, Inc. Delaware Water Gap, PA, May, '01.
See the Teacher's Book listed under the same title and dated "1994?" (since I can find no date mentioned in it). Read my comments there. Among my comments there I mentioned that I would be trying to get the play-book. I got it! TMCM may ask us to believe quite a bit when it gives the dapper town mouse Kensington his own butler, maid, and cook. The script recommends a balloon underneath the costume of the frog in OF. In OF frogs sing of river bubbles popping, and the star frog claims that he is "on top-pop-pop of the world" (14). The script gives the fox in FS some good slips of the tongue, as when he says that he has a "sudden urge to be entertained . . . Oh, how silly of me . . . I mean of course TO ENTERTAIN" (19). He continues "I asked myself . . . Who would be the most likely . . . er, likeable guest . . . ." They do indeed, as I suspect, finish as friends, but their reconciliation may strain our credulity a bit (23). In TH, the hare crosses the finish-line not knowing that the tortoise has preceded him. The race is set in the first day of spring's emerging. I am delighted to have found this script, not least of all because it helps to make sense of the teacher's book I already had.
1994 Favorite Children's Fables. Fables in Action Coloring Book. Cover Design and Illustrations by Jill Venish. Paperbound. Zenda, WI: Pyramid Publishing. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '96.
This large-format floppy coloring book gives each of thirty-one fables four pages of line drawings. The versions tend to soften traditional fables and to present cute animals for children to color. Thus the wolf only chases the lamb out of the water and threatens to eat him, and the lion punches the ass on the nose for dividing the spoils equally. The lioness' answer about her small litter is not that the one is a lion but that the one is always a king or a queen. The monkey was apparently sailing alone; he is rejected by the dolphin not because he misunderstands something like "Piraeus" but because he has boasted that the royal carriage would be sent to fetch him. The dolphin sees there are no people on this island! CP involves a watering can. The best of these simple illustrations might be that of the ass on the farmer's lap.
1994 Favorite Fairy Tales Told in India. Retold by Virginia Haviland. Illustrated by Vera Rosenberry. First printing. NY: A Beech Tree Paperback Book. $4.95 from Barnes & Noble, Omaha, May, '96.
According to a note at the end of the book, the series in which this paperback is featured is a resurrection of a series done (starting in the 1950's?) by Little, Brown as the "Favorite Fairy Tales" series in hardback. Now they are back with new covers and new illustrations. The illustrations here are stylized and on the grotesque side, and I like them! The eight stories are funny and well told. "The Valiant Chattee-maker" (7) is an enjoyable story about the little guy winning. "The Cat and the Parrot" (29) is a fantastic tale of a cat who eats whole armies--but stupidly eats crabs, who cut a hole in his side through which everyone escapes. "The Blind Man, the Deaf Man, and the Donkey" (35) is a long series of enjoyable, mostly fantastic, incidents in which the blind and deaf men somehow fit together or complement each other. I think three stories rate as fables. "The Little Jackals and the Lion" (23) substitutes the last two jackals in a jungle for the hare who usually brings the lion to face his reflection in a well. "The Alligator and the Jackal" (53) is a standard Indian tale; here the latter outwits the former five times. "The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal" (81) is a standard tale; here the tiger inserts himself into the inquiry--and into the cage!
1994 Favorite Folktales & Fabulous Fables: Reader's Theatre Scripts & Extended Activities for the Primary Classroom. Written and Developed by Lisa Blau. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Bellevue, WA: One from the Heart Educational Resources. $8.76 from amazon.com, Jan., '98.
This is an 8½" x 11" resource booklet for primary students. The heart of the book is nine scripts. There is a good traditional script for TH (41). The "teaching strategies" after it include a good short bibliography of six versions of Aesop's fables. There are also five masks for the characters involved in this reader's theater. "The Lion's Share" (71) has two phases. In the first, the lion gives to his hyena partners only one of the many guinea hens which they had caught together. In the second, the hyenas' father comes to upbraid the lion and ends up giving him even the one guinea hen that he had allowed them! "The Rabbit and the Turtle" (83) is built on the pattern of "The Hare and the Hedgehog." As the rabbit gets to the top of each ridge, he sees "the turtle" just going over the next ridge. Of course, these are different turtles. Hilltops provide a good way to tell this story, which usually works with multiple rows in a field. One activity frequently suggested here for the classroom is multi-cultural food from the places of stories or involving foods mentioned in the stories.
1994 Fedro: Favole. Introduzione, Traduzione e Note di Enzo Mandruzzato. Seconda edizione. Paperback. Superclassici. Printed in Italy. Milan: Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli. See 1993/94.
1994 Folk Tales & Fables of Europe. Robert Ingpen (the flyleaf identifies him as illustrator) and Barbara Hayes. First printing. Printed in Italy. Dust jacket. NY: Chelsea House Publishers. $16 from Chanticleer, Los Gatos, Aug., '94.
This is a curious book. It seems at first glance to reproduce a section of Folk Tales and Fables of the World done by the same author and illustrator for two different publishers in 1987. In fact the seventeen selections are the same as the seventeen there. But this edition apparently changes the text of each one in minor ways. Each fable is differently told, but so close that it seems as though the changes were made just so that the text would be different. "The Apples of Iduna" has become "The Apples of Youth." I would love to know why these changes were made. Here the six Aesopic fables are presented on 34-39, together with the lovely "fable mural" from the earlier volume. All the colored illustrations from the earlier volume seem to be reproduced here; they are complemented by new black-and-white engravings. Five of the fables have engravings.
1994 Great Illustrated Aesop's Fables. The Tortoise and the Hare, The Fox and the Grapes, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and Other Stories. Adapted by Rochelle Larkin. Illustrated by Lorna Tomei. NY: Baronet Books. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '94. Extra copy at the Book Market, San Jose, Nov., '96.
Does the fact that the cover and title page need to give examples indicate something? This seems to me to be an ultimate "formula book." The two-page formula involves a story on the left, with a moral beneath it, and a full-page illustration on the right with a key phrase beneath it. The formula is repeated 118 times! (The first story inverts the two pages.) The art, produced in a quantity unusual in contemporary books, seems to me inferior. No T of C or AI. The grasshopper saw many grasshopper wings strewn about the entrance to a fox's hole (138). The ubiquity of morals gives an unusual contemporary chance to test them. I find the following very good: 6, 20, 22, 28, 32, 114, 156, 172, and 220. The following seem curious: 14, 46, 96, 190, and 202.
1994 Heinrich Steinhöwels "Esopus" und seine Fortzetzer: Untersuchungen zu einem Bucherfolg der Frühdruckzeit. Gerd Dicke. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Tübingen: Münchener Texte und Untersuchungen zur Deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters Band 103: Max Niemeyer Verlag. €64 from AHA-Buch, Einbeck, Germany, Oct., '06.
This is Dicke's dissertation done under Klaus Grubmüller in Münster. It deals most specifically with Steinhöwel as translator and with his book as parent and grandparent of so many editions. The perhaps surprising second part of this (x+) 564-page work deals with fascinating questions of the book market of Steinhöwel's time. Appendices deal with the children and grandchildren of Steinhöwel's book, with the owners of the book, and a stemma of this tradition. The thirteen illustrations, listed on 501-2, are photographs of title-pages and other pages from Steinhöwel's and others' editions. Especially helpful may be the first part of the Literaturverzeichnis on 503-507. It gives the present resources for the early works Dicke treats here. Oh, will I ever have a chance to make my way carefully through this book? Since I have returned to Steinhöwel so often and enjoyed his book so much, I would love the chance! I would have loved to discuss this work with Pack Carnes.
1994 Highlights for Children. August 1994. Volume 49, Number 8, Issue No. 514. $1 at Schroeder’s, Milwaukee, August, '96.
This edition of this magazine contains FC (25), retold (as was "The Crow at the Well" in 1992) by Jean K. Potratz. The telling is good and traditional; it makes effective use of a jar for the crane’s offering. Highlights has still not responded to my letter, so I am very happy to have found this fable—and one other from 1971—on my own. The illustration by Susanne DeMarco nicely contrasts the two invitations, both of which mention soup.
1994 I. A. Krylov: Basni. Various artists, including Eug. Lambert. Moscow? ©1994. ¥3192 at a Russian bookstore in Tokyo, July, '96. Extra copy for $13.50 at Szwede Slavic Bookstore, Palo Alto, March, '97.
Imagine my surprise first at finding a Russian bookstore in my wanderings around Kanda, and then my surprise at finding a lovely Krylov edition, and finally my surprise--after lots of deliberation over a stiff price--at finding all books were going for 30% off! And now the surprise continues as I have found the same book at less than half that discounted price in Palo Alto! The green-and-blue cover is nicely embossed. Inside are 202 fables, listed in an AI in the back; this figure is curious because the best count I have had so far is that Krylov wrote 201 fables! There are twenty-two full-page black-and-white illustrations, starting with a frontispiece of Krylov. There are also a few partial-page illustrations. I am surprised that I can identify all the illustrations as picturing fables of Aesop or La Fontaine with just a few exceptions: a partial-page illustration for "The Monkey and the Spectacles" (31) and full-page illustrations presenting an animal caught in an uprooted tree (29); a cock (63); a cook, a cat, and a cock" (79; see Lobel 1995); a dinner scene" (117); and a dead duck, a dead cock, a dog, and a fox" (139). I am surprised not to see "Quartet" (96) illustrated. For me, perhaps the best of the illustrations is FC (11). Do not miss the piggy-back frog in FK (41). The woman in Szwede Slavic remembered this book only while we were talking and presented it proudly as an example of what Soviet book-publishing was like at its best. It is, e.g., a very sturdy and well-bound book.
1994 Jean de La Fontaine: Fables Choisies. Illustrations de Gauthier Dosimont. Hardbound. Printed in EC. Fables et chansons. Chevron, Belgium: Editions Hemma. $13.95 from Powell's, Portland, June, '00.
This is a twenty-page oversized book with lively contemporary illustrations, starting with two critters (who look much like the city and country rats) reading a propped-up old book on the lawn. Fables included are TMCM, FC, GGE (perhaps the strongest illustration), WL, LM, "Le Héron," TH, GA, OF, and FG. Each except the last has a two-page spread. Do not miss the back cover's sardonic depiction of how the grasshopper's summertime music affected the ant.
1994 Jean de La Fontaine: Fables choisies. Illustré avec les tableaux de Franz Marc. Paperbound. Un Ecrivain, Un Peintre: Circonflexe. $7.50 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, June, '11.
This is not the ordinary French pocketbook of some of La Fontaine's fables. The eight illustrations from Franz Marc make this book what it is. Marc has a great sense of color. Here he shows an equal sense of emotion, I believe. Among the best of the colored illustrations are those matched with BF (I) and with "The Horse Wanting to Get Revenge on the Stag" (II). The credits on the final page suggest, if one did not suspect it already, that the pictures were not painted for these fables. Apparently this series of books rather brings together a painter and a writer without looking for a one-to-one correspondence in their subjects.
1994 Jean de La Fontaine: Favole. Nella versione di Emilio De Marchi. Con sessantadue incisioni di Grandville e trentadue tavole di Gustave Doré. Introduzione di Davide Monda. Paperbound. Edizione integrale. Roma: Grandi Tascabili Economici Newton: Newton Compton editori. 4900 lire in Turin, Sept., '97.
The combination of Grandville and Doré is excellent, and the reproduction of them is surprisingly good for so economical a book. This book was found for me in a new-book shop on the main street from downtown towards the residence used by the Renard Colloquium. They tried to find me fables in several places and finally came up with this—proudly! T of C at the back. Is that colored painting on the front cover after Oudry?
1994 Jean de la Fontaine: Le Fiabe degli Animali. Paperbound. Classici Ragazzi: Edizioni Polaris. 14000 Lire from Turin, Sept., '97.
Here are 133 pages of prose translations of La Fontaine, generally one to a page. There is a T of C at the back, followed by three "Scheda di Lavoro" pages with questions like, "Did you read attentively?"
1994 Jumper Fables: Strange-But-True Devotions to Jump-Start Your Day. Ken Davis and Dave Lambert. Paperbound. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House: HarperCollins Publishers. $2.25 from Dampa, Houston, TX, through eBay, August, '05.
After reading the first two of the many offerings in this 224-page paperback, I think I can safely say that what it offers is rather lively homilies, usually started with a good story. Each entry finishes with three particular items: "Verse of the Day"; "Hey!"; and "Just Do It."
1994 La Oveja negra y demas fabulas. Augusto Monterroso. Ilustraciones de Francisco Meléndez. Edition of 2000. Paperback. Juvenil Alfaguara. Printed in Mexico. Col. Del Valle, Mexico: Alfaguara. $15 from Libros Centroamericanos, Redlands, CA, Oct., '00.
Meléndez proves here, I believe, to be the perfect artist for Monterroso's work. Among the best black-and-white illustrations here are "La Oveja negra" (23 and front cover); "El espejo que no podía dormir" (27); "El Búho que quería salvar a la Humanidad" (30); "La Rana que quería ser una Rana auténtica" (50); "El Burro y la Flauta" (71); and "El Fabulista y sus críticos" (90). Every fable gets an illustration, and they are fun! See my remarks on the English translation done by Bradbury in 1971.
1994 Lamb Chop's Fables: You Can Do It, Lamb Chop! Featuring Aesop's The Tortoise & The Hare. Shari Lewis. Illustrations by Manny Campana and Jean Pidgeon. Softbound. First printing. NY: Time-Life Inc. $5.37 from CheapyBooks.com, April, '99.
As with the other volume in the same series, a Lamb Chop puppet came along with this book. TH is narrated by Shari to a dejected Lamb Chop and her dog Huxley when Charley Horse and Hush Puppy will not let them play frisbee with them on the beach. Then Lamb Chop practices and gets Huxley interested in catching the frisbee by smearing some dog food onto it. Sure enough, during the next trip to the beach, Charlie and Hush are asking if they can join in!
1994 Le Favole di Fedro. Hardbound. Collana Favole Preziose. Milan: I.G.O. (Industria Grafica Offset?) Editore, s.r.l. Lire 20000 from Scripta Manent, Rome, July, '98.
Here is another bright, splashy oversized Italian book of fables. It has an "Indice" (T of C) on 153, followed by a page that replicates the front endpaper. Then comes a series of twenty-seven pictures ready to be colored! They reproduce many of the full-page colored illustrations from the first segment of the book. The simple art of this book is not to my taste. Two of the full-page illustrations caught my eye on the way through: the writing chicken (39) and the owl and the cicada (63).
1994 Le Héron suivi de Le Rat des villes et le Rat des champs: Pierre Perret: Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine d'Apres les Fables Géométriques de Fantome. Maquette et mise en page: Atelier Michel Ganne. Paperbound. La Compagnie du Livre. $5 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Jan., '05.
This sixteen-page pamphlet reproduces two of the eight stories from Pierre Perret: Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine d'Apres les Fables Géométriques de Fantome from the same publisher in the same year. As I mentioned there, the texts here, transformed from those of La Fontaine, accent the funny and poetic. After the four or five pages of presentation of either story in its updated and visually geometric form, La Fontaine's text follows. My reaction to these individual pairs of stories is much the same reaction I had to the larger book. I love the images and wish I could understand more of Perret's versions of these fables! I have not yet had any luck in tracking down the cassettes and toys, mentioned on the back cover here as they are in the hardbound book. There are four pamphlets in this set. I still have one pamphlet to find.
1994 Le Lièvre et la Tortue suivi de Le Coq et le Renard: Pierre Perret: Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine d'Apres les Fables Géométriques de Fantome. Maquette et mise en page: Atelier Michel Ganne. Paperbound. La Compagnie du Livre. $5 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Jan., '05.
This sixteen-page pamphlet reproduces two of the eight stories from Pierre Perret: Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine d'Apres les Fables Géométriques de Fantome from the same publisher in the same year. As I mentioned there, the texts here, transformed from those of La Fontaine, accent the funny and poetic. Here TH turns into a skiing race. The second fable here is a delightful transformation of La Fontaine's fable in which the cock directs the visit-hungry fox to the doorkeeper, a fierce dog. Here the fox is a dapper cabaret-goer, the cock is the cabaret singer, and the dog is a formidable doorman. Nicely done! After the four or five pages of presentation of either story in its updated and visually geometric form, La Fontaine's text follows. My reaction to these individual pairs of stories is much the same reaction I had to the larger book. I love the images and wish I could understand more of Perret's versions of these fables! I have not yet had any luck in tracking down the cassettes and toys, mentioned on the back cover here as they are in the hardbound book. There are four pamphlets in this set. I still have one pamphlet to find.
1994 Le Loup et l'agneau suivi de Le Paon se plaignant à Junon: Pierre Perret: Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine d'Apres les Fables Géométriques de Fantome. Maquette et mise en page: Atelier Michel Ganne. Paperbound. La Compagnie du Livre. $3.75 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Feb., '07.
This sixteen-page pamphlet reproduces two of the eight stories from Pierre Perret: Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine d'Apres les Fables Géométriques de Fantome from the same publisher in the same year. At last I have found all four books produced from that larger work! As I mentioned there, the texts here, transformed from those of La Fontaine, accent the funny and poetic. The wolf and lamb are here presented as chess figures on a large board with a prominent castle in the foreground. At the end of the fable, the king and queen get mentioned, and the chess metaphor works brilliantly for Perret's critique. In the second fable, the courtly peacock is getting music lessons from animals dressed like Mozart. One such animal is a little bird, while the other is an ass. Hm... After the four or five pages of presentation of either story in its updated and visually geometric form, La Fontaine's text follows. My reaction to these individual pairs of stories is much the same reaction I had to the larger book. I love the images and wish I could understand more of Perret's versions of these fables! I have now found one of the toys, and will look for more. I am delighted to complete the set of the pamphlets.
1994 Le Renard et la Cigogne suivi de Le Lion et le Moucheron: Pierre Perret: Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine d'Apres les Fables Géométriques de Fantome. Maquette et mise en page: Atelier Michel Ganne. Paperbound. La Compagnie du Livre. $5 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Jan., '05.
This sixteen-page pamphlet reproduces two of the eight stories from Pierre Perret: Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine d'Apres les Fables Géométriques de Fantome from the same publisher in the same year. As I mentioned there, the texts here, transformed from those of La Fontaine, accent the funny and poetic. FS is a great choice for this geometric visualization. The principal actors and the objects in the fable lend themselves to this presentation. The visual contrast between bowl and tall glass is carried out well. Here "Le Lion et le Moucheron" uses suggestions of both a military and a theatrical mis-en-scene. After the four or five pages of presentation of either story in its updated and visually geometric form, La Fontaine's text follows. My reaction to these individual pairs of stories is much the same reaction I had to the larger book. I love the images and wish I could understand more of Perret's versions of these fables! I have not yet had any luck in tracking down the cassettes and toys, mentioned on the back cover here as they are in the hardbound book. There are four pamphlets in this set. I still have one pamphlet to find.
1994 Listen to the Animals. Shobita Punja (As told to her by her grandfather, S.G. Pothan). Illustrations by Mario de Miranda. First printing. Paperbound. New Delhi: Puffin Books: Penguin Books of India. $5 from Powell's, Portland, OR, Dec., '02.
Here are ten stories averaging six to eight pages in length. They are elaborated moral and aetiological stories. Thus the young bee learns that the lotus wants the bee to be kind and polite before she, the lotus, will give up her honey to the bee. A grateful king rewards the brown kingfisher by giving him his royal blue with a pearly necklace. The "Let me go if I tell you three truths" story is set between a young mountain goat and a tiger. "Worried Cockroaches" uses the traditional motif of searching through multiple levels to find a worthy spouse for a pretty daughter; here the cockroaches decide, after learning from each animal in a chain that it is afraid of the next one up, that they should simply be proud to be cockroaches. Man at the top of the chain is actually afraid of cockroaches! "The Ungrateful Cobra" uses the traditional motif of asking three judges. This story also has its own version of "repeating the rescue"--here it would be that a man rescues a cobra trapped in a burning house--but instead of repeating the scene, the intelligent cobra says that the man is too clever for him, and he departs. "The Tiger and the Farmer's Wife" uses traditional trickery, especially when the wife thanks the jackal for bringing the tiger. These have their tails tied together, and both suffer in the end. This book saves money by using very small margins around the text.
1994 Liverpool Printed Tiles. Anthony Ray. Hardbound. London: Jonathan Horne Publications. $48.96 from amazon.com, March, '98.
I first saw this book while examining the great private collection in Cleveland. When I saw that Amazon offered over a $20 saving on the book, I went for it! Fable tiles have their own prose section on 12. Fable subjects became popular on English ceramics in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. Barlow was a chief inspiration for the artistry, and Kirkall was an imitator of Barlow. This section mentions a pack of fable cards of 1759, copied after Barlow, and muses over whether they might have prompted Guy Green to issue a series of fable tiles. Apparently Wedgwood plates were also printed from the same copper plates as the tiles. In the catalogue portion of the book, fable materials appear on 35 (Dodsley's version of "The Blind Carries the Lame"), 38 ("The Sticks" and another version of the former), and especially on 47-51, an impressive set of forty-five tiles patterned after Kirkall. A cut of Kirkall's is shown on 51 for comparison.
1994 Marie de France: Fables. Edited and translated by Harriet Spiegel. Illustrations taken from manuscripts. Paperback. Printed in Canada. Toronto: Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching 32: University of Toronto Press. $5 from Ron Frazier, Summerfield, FL, through Ebay, May, '00.
Here is a new reprint of the 1987 University of Toronto edition. See my comments there. By contrast with that copy, this one is unmarked.
1994 Mishle Yeladim. Manyah Herman. Hardbound. Tel Aviv: Yaron Golan. $37.50 from Meir Beizunski, Haifa, Israel, Nov., '06.
Here is a collection of original Hebrew rhyming verse fables by Holocaust survivor Manyah Herman. I count forty-five fables on 68 pages. The cover presents a collection of animals, some with features in yellow, green, red, and blue. The illustrations are unmistakably those of a particular artist. They move from the concrete -- like the bird and the chick emerging from the egg on 8 -- to the abstract. The abstract designs have a strong sense of organic lines working together, almost as in a nautilus or other sea shell. Outstanding examples occur on 10, 19, 30, 42, and 68.
1994 Misoso: Once Upon a Time Tales from Africa. Retold by Verna Aardema. Illustrated by Reynold Ruffins. Apparent first printing. Hardbound. NY: An Apple Soup Book: Alfred A. Knopf. $0.25 from Milwaukee Public Library, Jan., '07.
There are twelve stories in this almost square (10¼" x 9¾") book of some viii plus 88 pages. Three of them are called fables. Eight of the rest are called "tales," while one is labeled "A Swahili Narrative Poem." At the beginning one finds a foreword and an introduction including a map, and at the end a bibliography. The foreword describes these "Once upon a time" stories as mostly for entertainment. If the stories collected here "teach a lesson, or illuminate the culture of a people, that is a plus" (iv). In the introduction, Aardema points out that she has retold tales from early sources, e.g., from the 1850's and 1860's. The stories are taken from the perimeter of sub-Saharan Africa, beginning on the West Coast and travelling southward, then moving up the East Coast, and finally moving across the continent from East to West. The book's first tale, "Leelee Goro," is an aetiological tale that gives the reason for eight different things, including the leopard's spots. It is unusual in explaining the origin of tears and the remedy for them, which is that people stop crying when they are hugged. The third tale, "The Boogey Man's Wife," has a delightful ending. Just when the Boogey Man has had enough of his new wife and commands her to go back to her father, she obeys him! As he says, "That was foolish of me. I let her go just when she started to obey me!" (22). Alas, the first two fables, "The Hen and the Dove" (33-34) and "The Cock and the Jackal" (47-8), have been ripped out of the book! The third fable, "Toad's Trick: A Kanuri Fable" (59) has survived the slasher! A toad shows a rat that there is something he can do that the rat cannot: walk through a group of men. The men allow it because the toad eats bugs. When the rat tries to do the same, he is attacked and beaten. The fable ends with the stock closing "That is it. Put it on top of the granary" (60). That is, "add this to your store of stories." The exciting illustrations, strong in warm African colors, are done in pencil and acrylic paints. A good sample is the full page village scene on 26 of Fly carrying a sleeping-mat into a village for his then-friend, Leopard. Another good example on 51 shows a family in a king's palace. Besides the two missing fables, there is a 2½" tear at the bottom of 6. Now, some weeks later, consult the 1996 paperback version from Scholastic to see my comments on the two missing fables.
1994 More of Brer Rabbit's Tricks. Ennis Rees. Drawings by Edward Gorey. First Hyperion Paperback edition, apparently first printing. Paperbound. NY: Hyperion Paperbacks for Children. $2.49, August, '03.
Originally copyrighted 1968 by Young Scott. Published in 1989 by Hopscotch Books. This verse rendition of Brer Rabbit's further adventures is delightful. My hat is off to Rees for writing intelligible verse. The stories here include "Brer Fox Bags a Lesson"; "Fishing for Suckers"; and "Brer Rabbit's Visit to Aunt Mammy-Bammy." The first story has Brer Rabbit playing dead twice in order to get Brer Fox to lay down his bag of cheese. Of course Brer Rabbit succeeds in walking away with Brer Fox's prize cheese. The second story's title is meant, I think, to suggest two ironically different understandings. Brer Rabbit is indeed "fishing for suckers," as he tells Brer Fox. The latter is the chief sucker for whom he fishes! The plot is actually the story of the buckets in the well. Brer Rabbit is clever enough to get the fox to lift up Brer Rabbit's bucket by getting into the second, counterweight bucket. The third story is less a simple trickster tale. Brer Rabbit is depressed. He takes off on a journey "to see his attorney." In fact, he visits the witch, Aunt Mammy-Bammy Big-Money. She wants the nearby squirrel. Brer Rabbit catches her by a strange trick. Now Aunt Mammy-Bammy wants a nearby snake. Brer Rabbit tricks him into stretching out his full length along the ground. Pretending to measure him, Brer Rabbit gets a noose around his neck and brings him to Aunt Mammy-Bammy. She complements him, and he has his spirits back about him. As to the illustrations, one would not have thought that orange, brown, and green could yield so much! Do not miss the frog who has hoisted himself onto the rim of Brer Rabbit's bucket in the well in the second story. A tour de force is the double-page showing Brer Rabbit's travels to get to Aunt Mammy-Bammy.
1994 Mr. Monkey and other Sumerian Fables. By Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Illustrations by Carla Goll. Miniature. Apparently out of series in a limited edition of 200. Hardbound. Seattle: Tabula Rasa Press. $45 from Jessica Salmonson at Violet Books, Seattle, Sept., '98.
"As far as is known, these are the world's oldest animal fables" (5-6). About 2" x 2¾". This is a fine handbound miniature. Marbled papers over boards. Designed and bound by John & Gizella Lathourakis. This is one of the few times that I have bought a book from its author. I have found six favorite fables among the thirty-nine here on 100 pages. "The Donkey and the Wolf" (24) has the wolf riding on the donkey in a flood and thinking "I will ride him to the river bank and then I will eat him." In "Why the Dog Is Subservient to Man" (52), the dog barks at the lion and is hit with its paw, while the fox shivers with fright and is smiled at. "Be humble and show terror, and even the lion will like you," the fox says. In "The Horse and the Mule" (63), the two are yoked together to a cart. The horse complaining asks why he is pulling beside a mule and hauling reeds and stubble, and the mule answers "Count your blessings! Imagine if you had to spend your days with a snob!" The show dog (65) has puppies and complains that, because of their sire's lineage, they will never win a prize. The mongrel says "Whether my three puppies have long legs or short, I love them." The rich ram will neither go for a walk with the she-goat nor play with her. "The rich do nothing but guard their treasure" (77). "A fox pissed in the ocean. 'The ocean is my piss,' said the fox" (93). Good stuff packed into a very small package.
1994 Narodni Baski (Folk Fables). Mikola.K. Dmitrenko. Paperbound. Kiev, Ukraine: Narodoznavstvo Magazine Library: Narodoznavstvo Magazine Editors. $10 from Victor Romanchenko, Ukraine, through eBay, July, '04.
This is a 40-page pamphlet containing some forty-three unillustrated stories. There is a T of C at the back. I can hope that I would read it someday.
1994 Nürnberger Prosa-Äsop. Herausgegeben von Klaus Grubmüller. Paperbound. Tübingen: Altdeutsche Textbibliothek: Max Niemeyer Verlag. Gift of Sabine Obermaier, Dec., '00.
This is a very helpful little volume. It contains a text with apparatus criticus for the sixty-three fables in the Nurnberg Prose Aesop from Vienna from sometime before 1412. The notes after each fable also indicate the source. Two major sources are at play here: thirty-nine fables from Avianus (his collection normally seems to include forty-two) and twenty-four from Romulus. I gather from a hasty reading of Grubmüller's careful introduction that this work represents not only an assertion of the prose tradition that will culminate in Steinhoewel but also a strong statement within the fable genre of the medieval tradition of commentary and allegory. Grubmüller sketches a standard format on XI that includes a statement of the moral ("Lehrzeil," usually through "Hic auctor docet"), a prose paraphrase of the fable's story, and an allegorical analysis. There is also careful comment on the manuscript tradition. I look forward to sitting down with texts like this. I tried the first, "Wolf u. Weib," and found it surprisingly legible despite all the linquistic shifts that have gone on since it was written.
1994 Of Tails and Teams: A Fable for Children and CEOs. H. James Harrington. Michael Villareal. First printing. Paperbound. Milwaukee, WI: ASQC Quality Press. $6.87 from GreatBuyBooks2 through eBay, May, '10.
This 40-page pamphlet 7" square presents two experiences of three mice dealing with a maze to find the cheese. Three American mice make it into a competitive match each day; each of them eats only about a third of the 120 days of the experiment. They end up emaciated and bruised from their efforts. The three Japanese mice sniff together the first day. The second day they get on each other's shoulders and look over the maze. They then make maps. The third day they use their maps and all arrive at the cheese at the same time. At the end of the 120 days of experiment, they all arrive at the cheese 118 times. They even add tea, saki, and stools and make the cheese hunt into a pleasant common diversion each day. "The moral of the story is quite simple. Plan for success, or rush into failure: a cooperative team with cmmon goals and plans will beat the competition. Working together, we can all have the cheese."
1994 Pierre Perret: Les Fables de Jean de la Fontaine d'Apres les Fables Géométriques de Fantome. Pierre Perret. Maquette et mise en page: Atelier Michel Ganne. Hardbound. La Compagnie du Livre. $5.75 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Jan., '05.
This book is in some fashion a follow up to Le Petit Perret from 1990. Again we have geometric fables from Fantome. Again we have very creative approaches to fables organized according to a kind of geometric conception for presentation on TV. Everything else seems to have changed, including publisher and fables selected. Here we have eight fables. The transformed texts accent the funny and poetic. After the four or five pages of presentation of each story in its updated and visually geometric form, La Fontaine's text follows. Do the texts include a kind of specific language, an argot? In any case, key expressions are defined and exemplified. WL is played out on a chessboard. The texts escape me, but I love the illustrations! It looks as though TH turns into a skiing race. Now I wonder: can I get the tapes (Cassettes vidéo Hollywood Boulevard) and find the toys (Jouets en bois démontables: Andines)?
1994 Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. Modern Tales for Our Life & Times. James Finn Garner. Illustrations by Lisa Amoroso. Twelfth Printing. Dust jacket. NY: MacMillan Publishing Company. Gift, Dec., '94. Extra copy of the ninth printing, a gift from Rev. Perry Roets, S.J., Nov., '95.
I include this enjoyable little volume of reworked fairy-tales for two reasons. First, it quotes Aesop on the back cover as saying "These stories are fables for our times." Second, it leads to a sequel that does include fables, Once Upon a More Enlightened Time (1995).
1994 Reynard the Fox. Adapted From a Classic Folk Tale and Illustrated by Alain Vaës. First edition, first printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Atlanta: Turner Publishing, Inc. $10.94 from Powell's, Portland, August, '08.
I could have sworn that I already had this very expressive large-format book. The young King Harold admits to his Queen Caroline that he is not yet ready to govern his unruly subjects. She suggests that he consult a wise hermit. The hermit comes to court but refuses to remove his hood. He offers the young king a story about another king, Noble the lion king. Good parts of the Reynard tradition are used well here. Reynard sees to the maiming of Bruin and Tybalt and sends Bellyn back to the king with Lop's fur -- not his head -- in a sack. The ending is surprising and clever. Noble proves to be cleverer than Reynard in the end. While the monk never identifies himself, we see his tail as he leaves Harold and Caroline. Part of the fun here lies in dressing the animals in courtly medieval garb. Another part of the fun lies in the mice that appear out of nowhere in a number of the pictures. They also appear independent of the larger illustrations in playful designs around the text. Notice them at the foot of Tybalt's hospital bed on 36, under the gallows on 43, and painting an angelic picture of the dead Lop on 49. Beneath the duel between Isegrim and Reynard on 57, they hold their own boxing match, complete with fans and a referee. This book was previously owned by Allix Strahan.
1994 Robert Louis Stevenson: The Complete Short Stories: The Centenary Edition, Volume One. Edited and Introduced by Ian Bell. First American edition, first printing. Hardbound. Printed in Great Britain. NY: Henry Holt and Company, Inc. $3.99 from Shakespeare and Co. Books, Berkeley, August, '97.
This is the first volume of a two-volume set, in which the second volume presents Stevenson's fables. I include it as a silent partner to that volume.
1994 Robert Louis Stevenson: The Complete Short Stories: The Centenary Edition, Volume Two. Edited and Introduced by Ian Bell. First American edition, first printing. Hardbound. Printed in Great Britain. NY: Henry Holt and Company, Inc. $3.99 from Shakespeare and Co. Books, Berkeley, August, '97.
As a bargain-hunter, I could not pass up this very nice two-volume set at the price of $7.98! This second volume includes Stevenson's fables on 407-445. There are nineteen "chapters" of fables here, whereas I find twenty in the other three editions I have of Stevenson's fables. The title for each of those books is Fables and they are found under 1902, 1914, and 1923. The missing piece here is "The Persons of the Tale."
1994 Russian Folk Tales (Bilingual). Translated by Igor Covin. Illustrated by Nataliya Piskunova and Vitalie Romanenko. Hardbound. Printed in Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg: Ex Libris. ¥1596 from a Russian bookstore in Tokyo, August, '97.
This lively hard-covered book has a typical selection of thirteen Russian folk-tales, listed in the T of C at the back. I include it in the collection for two reasons. First, it includes the Aesopic fable FS as its third story, "She-Fox and Crane." To its credit, this version keeps the fable suitably brief and pointed. Secondly, one finds here a--sometimes crude--translation of other folk-tales included in books in this collection. Bilingual books are very helpful! It is, I think, a testimony to both Aesop and this collection that I found a bilingual English/Russian fable book in Tokyo!
1994 Still More Stories to Solve. Fourteen Folktales from Around the World. Told by George Shannon. Illustrated by Peter Sis. First printing. Sequel to Stories to Solve (1985/1991) and Still More Stories to Solve (1990). Dust jacket. NY: Greenwillow Books. $15 at Red Balloon, St. Paul, Dec., '96.
Yet another delight. Of the fourteen stories, I solved five (#2, 3, 5, 10, and 12) besides the two Aesopic fables. "Hen's Observation" (21) is the Aesopic story about the rooster's reaction to the fox's report of universal peace. "Lion's Advisors" (35) is about bad breath. Perhaps the best illustration is on 62; this tale, "A Handful of Mustard Seed," may also reach deeper than any of the others.
1994 Tante Favole: Jean de la Fontaine. Traduzione: Renato Caporali. Illustrazioni di Massimo Sardi. Paperback. Giunti Ragazzi Universale Under 10. Florence: Giunti Gruppo Editoriale. Lire 8000 from Mel Bookstore, Rome, August, '98.
The original, published by Giunti-Bemporad Marzocco in 1974, was titled Fables choisies. Forty-three of La Fontaine's fables are presented here in prose for children under ten years of age. There are ten full-page black-and-white illustrations. Perhaps the best of them is "La Rana e il Topo" on 35. This is a sturdy little book.
1994 The Aesop for Children. Pictures by Milo Winter. No editor named. First Scholastic Printing. NY: Scholastic Inc. See 1919/94.
1994 The Animals Could Talk. Aesop's Fables Musically Retold by Heather Forest. Full text with illustrations by Kitty Harvill. Accompanies audio cassette tape of the same title. Paperbound. Little Rock: August House Audio. $12.95 with tape from The Story Monkey, April, '96.
A beautiful tape, to which I was first alerted by Linda Ohri. Excellent music and story-telling. The music sometimes moves easily into and out of normal speech. The booklet features simple line-drawings; its stories are very well told. TB is particularly well told; this story takes a good turn when it has the quick tree-occupier explain to the second man that there is room for only one in the tree. Nineteen stories are included in both the tape and the booklet. The last song/tale transforms BF into a fine story proclaiming "You're beautiful as you are."
1994 The 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, not acknowledged.) Bath: (c)Robert Frederick Ltd. $3.99 at Book Warehouse, Gretna, Nov., '95.
An unacknowledged reprint of the Routledge edition of 1887. This edition has a nice puffy cover. Unfortunately, it leaves out nine pages of fables. The missing fables include "The Lazy Housemaids," "The Snake and the File," FC, "The Hart and the Vine," "The Man and the Snake," "The Fox and the Mask," DLS, "The Geese and the Cranes," "The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner," "The Fisherman and the Fish," and "The Ungrateful Wolf." There are some strong color-shifts from my my copy of the Routledge, e.g., on FG (1). The introductory pages and their simple line-etchings are not included, nor are the end-papers.
1994 The Bird, the Frog, and the Light. A Fable by Avi. Paintings by Matthew Henry. First printing? Dust jacket. NY: Orchard Books. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Sept., '94.
A curious fairytale about self-knowledge. The insufferably proud frog asks the bird to get a ray of sunshine so that he can see his kingdom. The bird flies to the sun, who gives her one ray. The art is done with colored pencil on airbrushed backgrounds.
1994 The Book of Bad Virtues: A Treasury of Immorality. A Parody by Tony Hendra. Paperbound. First printing. Printed in the U.S.A. NY: Pocket Books: Simon & Schuster. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Jan., '95.
Three fable-parodies find their way into this answer to William Bennett's The Book of Virtues (1993). GGE (59) offers three different endings. TH (114) has the judge fox, a male, turning on to the winning hare, a female. For the tortoise, the fox holds special olympics the next day. LM (174) lays out a more probable scenario than the one Aesop gives us. "The Great Wives of France" (116) may be one of the funniest and best-sustained parodies in the book.
1994 The Boy Who Cried "Wolf!". Retold by Ellen Schecter. Illustrated by Gary Chalk. Bank Street Ready-to-Read. A Byron Preiss Book. Apparently seventh printing. NY: Bantam: Doubleday Dell. $3.99 by mail from the Red Balloon, St. Paul, Dec., '95.
A lively rebus pamphlet. Here each rebus icon introduces its word but never takes its place. The boy played his joke on the townsfolk twice successfully and laughed hard. Then he tried it a third time. An amazing twist in this version is that, when the wolf was done, there was nothing left of the boy but his flute! I have one other booklet, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, in the same series and by the same author.
1994 The Collection of Otto Schäfer. Part I: Italian Books. Sotheby's Catalogue. Sale 6649. NY: Sotheby's. $23.50 by mail from Sotheby's, Jan., '95.
Items 3-7 of this beautiful catalogue are books of Aesopic fables with asking prices that start with $300,000 for del Tuppo's 1485 version (#3, also illustrated in the frontispiece). Each edition receives an extensive historical comment, an illustration, and a half-page of technical data. #4 is from Boninus de Boninis, third edition, 1487, with Accio Zucco as translator and editor; it is also pictured on the book's cover. #5 and #6 are both Venetian, both based at least in part on the original Venetian woodcuts of Bernardino Benalio (1487). #7 is an 1800 Bodoni that has an asking price of only $2000-3000. I ordered the book on a good tip from June Clinton. It is the 2000th book in my collection.
1994 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse. By Maxine P. Fisher. Illustrated by Jerry Smath. Apparently first printing. Dust jacket. NY: Random House. $7 from Fontana in the Stillwater Book Center, Stillwater, Oct., '95.
This printed version is true to the animated video tape, which is listed under the same title in 1993. The story is synopsized there. As sentimental as it is, I enjoy this story.
1994 The Fables of Aesop. Retold by Frances Barnes-Murphy. Collected and illustrated by Rowan Barnes-Murphy. First edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Italy. NY: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. $19.95 at The Book Store, Des Moines, Oct., '94. Extra copy of the first edition a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '95.
One hundred and three fables with thirty full-color paintings and many pen-and-ink drawings. The former are unusually well defined. In her first note, Rowan says that the morals "have been so over-quoted that they have become cliches. I have elected to tell the stories as Aesop would have, leaving readers to discover for themselves the universal truths they contain." (Her next page refers unfortunately to the "Augustina.") There are some very nice touches in this lovely book. The crow with cheese shows up in the leaves above the grape-seeking fox on 16. In MSA (32), the ass simply breaks free and disappears into the crowd. Pairs of pages are often grouped by subject. On 90 and 91, there are matching mice illustrations for BC and "The Cat in Disguise." In the latter, the cat wraps herself in some old sacking. Among the best colored illustrations are "The Oak and the Reed" (37), "The Cocks and the Hens" (41), "The Bald Knight" (54), "The Lion in Love" (75), and--my grand prize--"The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" (88). T of C at the front, AI at the back.
1994 The Fables of Aesop and La Fontaine (Hebrew). Cremonini. Paperbound. Fratelli Fabbri Editori. Gift of Danielle Gurevitch, Petach Tikva, Israel, Oct., '03.
Here an oversized (9¼" x 13") paperbound version of nineteen of La Fontaine's fables with the delightful art work of Cremonini very well rendered. As in earlier English version from 1958 The Fables of Aesop and La Fontaine using the same material copyrighted by Fratelli Fabbri, this edition has witty and exuberant watercolors. Many feature cute insects having fun around the central action. As I mention there, the milkmaid marries a farmer and so gets all that she had dreamed about! The grapes fall from laughter to a waiting rabbit after the fox goes away. What a delightful gift!
1994 The Island of Animals. Adapted from an Arabic Fable by Denys Johnson-Davies. Illustrated by Sabiha Khemir. Paperbound. Printed in Great Britain. Austin: University of Texas Press. $6.99 from John Finneman, Fairfax, VA, through Ebay, August, '02.
This landscape-formatted paperback book of some xx+76 pages seems to be called a fable because it is a moral tale with some animal actors. It is an adaptation of "The Dispute Between Animals and Man," one of the Islamic Epistles of the Brethren of Purity, written in the tenth century AD. It is a strong statement of Islam's respect for animal rights. The long introduction argues this Islamic position. Muslims, for example, have apparently never--except possibly under European influence--supported hunting for sport or killing animals except for self-defense or food. The argument here is that humans have mastery over animals not because of some superiority but because they alone are answerable for their deeds at death, with an afterlife depending on their conduct. A storm at sea brings humans to the island of the animals, where the latter have been living in utter peace. Seventy of the passengers decide to stay on this beautiful island. Soon the humans are trapping, riding, killing, and eating the animals for work, food, and clothing--or even hunting them for sport. The animals take their case to the king of the Djinn, devout spirit-beings. This king questions men and animals. To men's claim of superiority, the animals answer that they were made to help humans, not to be their slaves. The mule is already the spokesman for the farm animals. The king of each of the other six animal groups sends the best spokesman for the group: lion sends jackal for the beasts of prey, simurg sends the nightingale for the birds, the bee is both king and spokesman for the swarming insects, the griffin sends the falcon for the birds of prey, the sea-serpent sends the frog for the water animals, and the dragon sends the cricket for the crawling creatures. The frog argues before the king of the Djinn that man has deceived himself into thinking that he is superior; the reason for his illusion is that he has subdued the harmless farm animals. In fact, all animals are mortal and different. The humans turn out to be different first in needing many kings and secondly in being cruel to the animals around them. Men have developed sciences, but the animals have all the knowledge that they need, e.g., to organize themselves. Men claim accomplishments in food, clothing, and furniture, but the nightingale argues that men's luxuries only cause worry and distress. And men always want more. Animals by contrast are satisfied with what they receive. Man argues that he alone has religion, and the nightingale answers that men need religious rules because they behave so wickedly. Lust, envy, and greed like men's are unknown among the animals. Finally, a man from Mecca and Medina mentions that men alone will have a Day of Judgment. The nightingale reminds him that the judgment can send people to either Paradise or Hell. The man from Mecca and Medina has an apparent trump-card argument: the prophets and especially Muhammad may plead for men to be rescued from Hell and to enjoy Paradise. The king of Djinn considers and renders his verdict that men are superior, but that animals are not men's slaves. Men are accountable to the Almighty for, among other things, their treatment of animals. It is of course interesting that a woman is not mentioned once in this long book. The black-and-white art, well integrated in supple form with the accompanying text, seems to be a throwback to the psychedelic art of the sixties and seventies. Designs sometimes repeat. First published 1994 by Quartet Books Limited.
1994 The Lion and the Mouse. Told and illustrated by Val Biro. Paperbound. Bothell, WA: Fables from Aesop #13: The Wright Group. See 1990/94.
1994 The Magazine Antiques. June, 1994. Vol. CXLV, No. 6. Printed in the U.S.A. NY: Brant Publications. $10.50 from the publisher.
This issue has an article "Aesop's fables on English ceramics," by Leslie B. Grigsby (868-77). Grigsby works especially with illustrations from Barlow, Kirkall (illustrating Croxall), and Hollar to show the sources of illustrations appearing on plates, tiles, and pitchers. The footnotes include such as Hoogstraten, Faerni, and Gay. The article was recommended to me by Thomas Beckman. Two pages before 816, the magazine advertises its next issue with Oudry's TMCM (or someone's copy of Oudry on that fable.) Six pages after 818, an advertisement for Jonathan Horne Gallery shows Aesopic tiles ("The Frog and the Lion" and "The Old Hound") that are later mentioned in this article.
1994 The Monkey and the Crab. Retold by Ralph F. McCarthy. Illustrations by Sengai Ikawa. First printing. Hardbound. Tokyo: Kodansha Children's Classics: Kodansha International. $5 from Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, Tucson, August, '10.
This revenge story is on the borderline of fable. Thoughtless and cruel monkey hurts crab, but friends of crab gang up on monkey in his hut and teach him a lesson. He ends up saying that he would give the world for friends like these. Sengai Ikawa depicts these friends -- chestnut, hornet, and mortar -- by placing the full animal or object where a human head would be. The result is carnivalesque; it suggests perhaps a puppet or marionette show. An earlier owner of this book used some tape or glue, especially on the front endpapers. It still keeps the pages together more than one would want!
1994 The Rabbit's Judgment. Suzanne Crowder Han. Illustrated by Yumi Heo. Apparent first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $7.50 from Wessex Used Books & Records, Menlo Park, July, '03.
A tiger has fallen into a pit and cannot get out. His cries attract a man. Though he feels sorry for the tiger, the man fears getting hurt by the tiger after he gets him out. The tiger assures him that he will not hurt him. The man uses a log to let the tiger get out. Then the tiger starts circling him with his mouth watering. The circling illustration may be the best: it puts the lion all the way around the man. They ask first the pine tree about gratitude, and then the ox. Both respond that men know no gratitude. There is another fine illustration here showing the ox's face as he answers that the tiger should eat the man up. A rabbit hops by and the desperate man pleads with the tiger to ask the rabbit. The rabbit says he needs to see the pit and then to see their original positions. Once the tiger is back in the pit, the rabbit declares that the problem started when the man helped the tiger out of the pit. If the man had not shown kindness, there would be no problem. So the man should go on, and the tiger should stay in the pit. One sees this story with different characters, but I am not sure I have ever seen the particular logic of this solution. That is, the rabbit brings the characters back to a supposed pre-problematic stage, and so eliminates the problem.
1994 The Singing Tortoise And Other Animal Folktales. By John Yeoman. Pictures by Quentin Blake. First US edition, apparently first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Tambourine Books: William Morrow & Company. $10.95 from Powell's, Portland, June, '00.
Blake's illustrations are always fun. Here they accompany eleven lively stories, several of which use fable motifs. Thus the jackal in the first story uses the "talking house" gambit to get the crocodile to declare himself. The ram in the second story uses the "thank you for bringing food for my child" maneuver to frighten the leopard into running off with the jackal tied to him. The Nigerian title-story is strangely evocative. A man promises a singing tortoise that he will have to sing for this man alone if he takes him along out of the jungle, but the man is soon overcome with the desire to tell others the secret that this tortoise speaks. He sets the tortoise up for a public performance, and the tortoise does not speak. As soon as the man is beheaded, the tortoise speaks up to tell people that they were wrong to behead him, as the man had been wrong to make his speaking ability public. "The Rabbit and the Elephants" (89) is straight from the Panchatantra. The last chapter, "A World of Folktales," gives the provenance of each tale. Alternating pairs of pages have, respectively, colored and brown-and-white illustrations. First published, apparently in 1993, in Great Britain by Victor Gollancz.
1994 The Tiger, the Brahmin & the Jackal. Retold by Kath Lock. Illustrated by David Kennett. Hardbound. Keystone Picture Books. Printed in Hong Kong. Flinders Park, Australia: Martin International in association with Era Publications. From an unknown source, June, '97.
Here is a bright hardbound children's book. It tells the story particularly well. Thus the tiger declares that the Brahmin deserves to be eaten for being so foolish as to trust a hungry tiger (9); again he believes that he will be able to eat not only the Brahmin but all three judges (11). The first judge, a tree, refuses to help because neither people nor animals have ever been good to it (12). The buffalo thinks that the Brahmin deserves to be eaten for trusting a tiger (14). The river philosophizes that those who help others cannot expect kindness in return (16). The Brahmin is then ready to be eaten, no matter how unjustly, when a jackal happens by…. The hungry tiger is even ready by this time to share eating the Brahmin with the clever jackal. Dramatic full-page colored pictures join with black-and-white text pages to make a pair in each case except on 18-19 and 26-27, all black-and-white, and 22-23, a magnificent color spread showing the three walking to the scene of the event. The cover-picture, repeated from 28, shows the tiger getting annoyed at the delay. The creeping tiger two pages later is also excellent. The frames are as revealing as the pictures within them. Notice, e.g., the many different faces of the Brahmin that surround the caged tiger on 7 and the many expressions of the jackal around the tiger on 28.
1994 The Tortoise and the Jackrabbit. By Susan Lowell. Illustrated by Jim Harris. Second printing. Dust jacket. Flagstaff: Northland Publishing Company. $14.95 at Red Balloon, St. Paul, Dec., '95. Extra copy of the third printing a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, July, '97.
This beautiful sideways-book does the traditional story wonderfully "with a Southwestern flair." The animals are given character and attitude. Among the best illustrations is that reproduced as the cover. The tortoise has a wonderfully laconic way about her with her dowdy umbrella and older woman's hat. Her first simple reaction is "Let's race." She soon follows it up with "Prove it." Harris brings a wonderful collection of critters to the starting-line. The mayor does some politicking both there and at the finish. The tortoise is given a winner's bouquet of flowers--and then she eats it! A great find.
1994 Town Mouse/Country Mouse. Jan Brett. Inscribed "To Greg the Aesop Collector, Love, Jan Brett, 1994." First impression. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons. Gift (with four promotional masks from Putnam designed by Jan Brett) of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '94. Extra copy of the first impression, a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '94, and a signed extra of the second impression for $15.95 from Books of Wonder, Oct., '94. And a copy of the third impression, printed in Mexico, a gift of Maryanne Rouse, Dec., '94.
I love this book! It is lavishly and carefully done. Do not miss the silks and jewels in the city and the woven patterns frequent in the country (even those depicted on the book's cover underneath the dust jacket). The borders of the illustrations are a treat in themselves, depicting things like tassels, buttons, cones, pasta shells, and postage stamps. The story has two couples discovering that there is no place like home. The enemies are parallel: the cat in the city and the owl in the country. The two mice couples meet and decide to trade houses. There are some wonderful touches of observation and imagination here. The town woman mistakes rain for a leaking bathtub. Her husband's colorful jacket attracts a predator bird. The two wipe soot from the city window to see the blue sky that reminds them of their country home. The cat falls from a stack of piled-up dishes. To the frightened country mice, the cat is an "owl with teeth," and the owl is, to their counterparts, "a cat with wings." The two predators collide as they are chasing the mice on the way back to their homes. As he comes to, the cat suggests to the owl that they trade places....
1994 Why Bear Has a Short Tail: A Traditional Tale. Retold by Cass Hollander. Illustrated by Cathy Pavia. Pamphlet. Beginning Literacy. Printed in USA. NY: Scholastic Inc. $2.25 from Powell's, Portland, August, '00.
This is a landscape-formatted pamphlet of sixteen pages telling the traditional tale sometimes associated with wolf and sometimes with bear. Long ago, fox got sick of bear showing off his long tail. In this version, fox cut a hole in the ice and then put some fish on the ice around the hole. Bear was curious and even found a fish on the tail of fox. He wanted to start right in fishing out of the same hole. Fox told him that all the fish were already fished out in this hole, and he brought him to a new hole where he knew there were no fish. "How will I know when I have caught a fish?" "I'll shout 'now.' Then pull your tail as hard as you can." Fox went home to bed. The next morning fox came back and yelled "Now!" Bear jumped. The hole had frozen during the night. From that day on, bears have had short tails--and have never made friends with a fox. Lively simple colored illustrations.
1994 [Japanese]. (Aesop's Fables). Volume 28 of a series of 90 small square paperback pamphlets. Numbered #2 of 3 volumes of Aesop's fables within this series (with #3 and #41). TH on cover. (c) 1986 Anime Kikaku. Tokyo: Nagaoka Shoten. ¥360 at Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96.
I thought I had recognized this art work. A bit of probing, and I found my 1989 Korean "Aesop's Fables, Volume 2," edited by Jae Chon Son; (his first volume was done in 1990). If we compare the present book with that Korean book, we find that that book is hard-covered and this soft; that book is slightly larger; it is in Korean, and works from left to right, while this book is in Japanese, and works from right to left. Otherwise they are indentical! The five fables ("The Fox, the Rooster, and the Dog"; TH; "The Cat and the Dog over the Steak with the Fox" (the best); "Borrowed Feathers"; and DS) and the format are thus the same: one design echoes the facing full page. See my comments under that Korean edition.
1994/95 My Treasury of Stories and Rhymes. Edited by Nicola Baxter. Illustrations by twelve artists listed on reverse of title page. Dust jacket. Reprinted 1995. (c)1994 Bookmart Limited. Printed in Great Britain. NY: Blitz Editions: Bookmart Limited: Barnes & Noble. $14.98 at Barnes & Noble, Omaha, Nov., '95.
Six fables appear as part of "Animal Tales and Rhymes" (130-92) in this very large children's compendium. There are some unusual turns in the versions presented. Thus in TH the "hare felt a little out of breath," and his nap lasted for an hour. In "The Fox and the Goat," the fox tumbled into the well by mistake; the appropriateness of the moral given here is questionable: "Look before you leap." In TMCM, the TM woke up the CM because his straw mattress tickled, and there were noises outside. And the CM did not like to work. The kind of food was not a negative factor in the country. The CM got sick on the rich town food. The moral here is "There's no place like home." In GA, there is a nice visual contrast between summer and winter; its last words are "the music of the grasshopper was heard no more." "The Elephant and the Mouse" is a verse presentation of LM. In AL, it is a Roman governor who sets Androcles free, and there is no word about what happens to the lion. The art is simple throughout the book and sometimes (as in TH) confusing.
1994/97 Favole di Esopo. Illustrazioni di Fulvio Testa. Prima ristampa. Paperback. Storie e rime 33. Einaudi Ragazzi. 12000 Lire rom Mel, Rome, August, '98.
This book reproduces in smaller paperback form the 1989 large hardbound book published by Barron. The paperback's size is 4¼" x 7¼"; these proportions make for a narrow portrait format, and so the original images are regularly cropped at the sides. The design that had appeared under the title now appears under the illustration. The order of stories is exactly the same except that OF and TH are reversed. The glossy paper of the original hardbound does better with Testa's good, lively images than does this paper. See my comments there.
1994/2000 Beastly Tales From Here and There. Vikram Seth. Illustrations by Ravi Shankar. Paperbound. Printed in Great Britain. London: Phoenix House: Orion. Malta Liri 3.75 from Books Plus, Sliema, Malta, June, '02.
Here is a paperback reprinting of a book I found in hardback eight years earlier. It is one of three fable books I found in my first hour on Malta. The illustrations are enlarged in keeping with the larger format of the book. I will repeat pertinent comments from there. Ten well told, witty tales in verse include two slightly expanded from Aesop but with different contemporary twists. The eagle dies of grief over the beetle's continual destruction of his eggs wrought out of vengeance for the beetle's old friend, the hare. And the female hare ends up losing the race but winning all the press acclaim. The other tales come two each from India, China, the Ukraine, and "the Land of Gup." "The Mouse and the Snake" from China is a good fable with an ironic ending comment. "The Cat and the Cock" from the Ukraine uses repeated lines very well but has the misspelling "seranade" (70). In #9, the frog manager ruins the nightingale and never knows it. One black-and-white line sketch with each story, two with the last.
1994? Brer Rabbit and the Bramble Patch And Other Stories. Retold by Stephanie Laslett. Illustrated by Stephen Holmes. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Mini Classics Series III: Shooting Star Press. $3.95 from an unknown source, Nov., '95.
This is a small book measuring just over 3" x4". It contains three stories: "Brer Rabbit and the Bramble Patch," "Brer Rabbit and the Well," and "Brer Rabbit and the Peanut Patch." The illustrations are simple and clever. One of my favorites shows Brer Fox laughing over the interaction of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby on 16. There is of course a fine play on being "stuck up" in this story! In the second story, a great illustration comes on 43: the rabbit in his bucket hits the water. The third story involves the trick by Brer Rabbit of talking Brer Bear into taking his place in Brer Fox's trap -- supposedly to earn a dollar a minute as a scarecrow. Good fun, well done!
1994? Fabeln über Tiere und Menschen. Illustrations from Grandville (NA). Hardbound. Herrsching, Germany: Albatross: Manfred Pawlak Verlagsgesellschaft. Gift of Paula Schrode, student at the Rafaelschule, Heidelberg, through Ursula Kuhn, July, '95.
This sturdy little volume is straightforward. It begins its fables with WS on the page after the title-page. There is no T of C or list of sources. Often a fabulist is cited after a particular fable: the most frequently cited seem to be Aesop, La Fontaine, Pfeffel, Gellert, Lessing, and Hagedorn. Also occasionally there are reproductions of illustrations from Grandville. Almost all the fables are in verse. For fun I tried "Die Beratschlagung der Pferde" by Gleim (21). A young horse gives an impassioned speech calling his horse brothers to rise up and claim their supremacy over the weak being that is humanity. A wise older horse points out that all the rational organization of horses' lives--their protection, their food, their rest--comes from humans. The horses return to their stalls. How nice of Fräulein Schrode to think of me with this gift!
1994? Famous Fables: A New Children's Musical Based upon four traditional famous fables. Words by Sheila Wainwright. Music by Alison Hedger. Oversize pamphlet. Printed in Great Britain. London: Golden Apple Productions: Chester Music Limited. £5.95 from York Minster Shop, England, July, '98.
Finding fable books is often a strange adventure. In connection with attending a medieval conference in Leeds, I took a day at York. My main activity, of course, was visiting bookstores. Still, I wanted also to enjoy some of the other local culture, and so I visited the famous Minster. This church had a shop, and I stopped in. There I found this large (9" x 12") pamphlet with the music for a short children's musical. The booklet includes one link song and six individual songs for use in four playlets based, respectively, on TMCM, OF, FS, and TH. The second song for TH looks like a rousing finish to it all: "You Can Win" (34). Perhaps the best of the lyrics are those for the second song in TMCM, "Come with Me" (14). Kensington and Jethro sing, for example, these respective lines to each other: "Dine with me on canapés, cakes and champagne every day" and "Though it's tempting I agree, it's not quite the life for me" (16). It seems that the fox and stork get together as friends at the end, as they sing "Let's make amends, and let's be friends for evermore!" (31). I have made an attempt at ordering the play-book. My, the things one finds--and then the things for which one needs to look further!
1994? Kalila wa Dimna (Arabic). Paperback. £ 6.50 from Al Kashkool Bookshop, London, May, '96.
Here is a finer edition of a book I found in Casablanca and have listed under "1993?" It uses the same plates, including the many simple sketches of familiar scenes, but seems to have slightly different bibliographical material. It uses thinner, better paper. Its blue cover shows a composite picture of three pairs: Bidpai and the king, a snake and a bird, and Kalila and Dimna. The style of this cover illustration seems to be that of the sketches inside. As I have said in commenting on that other edition, my favorite among the sketches has the monk in bed whacking the rat with a pole! Many of the sketches are copies of famous manuscript illustrations. There is a T of C at the back.
1994? Kalila and Dimna 1 (Arabic). Pamphlet. #16 of 22 in the series. 5 Dirhams from Librairie des Sciences, Casablanca, July, '01.
This is one of two pamphlets that I found at the Librairie des Sciences. They seem meant to be schoolbooks. There are simple full-page black-and-white illustrations alternating with text passages, with some exercises at the back. The back cover presents a panoply of animals, while the front cover seems to show a ruler consulting. Inside scenes show more high-level consultations and a night-scene. Might this be about King Dabschelim's dream that starts his quest and brings him to listen to Bidpai?
1994? Kalila and Dimna 2 (Arabic). Pamphlet. #17 of 22 in the series. 5 Dirhams from Librairie des Sciences, Casablanca, July, '01.
This is one of two pamphlets that I found at the Librairie des Sciences. They seem meant to be schoolbooks. There are simple full-page black-and-white illustrations alternating with text passages, with some exercises at the back. The back cover presents a panoply of animals, while the front cover seems to show a ruler with a sword and a snake.
1994? Les Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Michèle Poirier. Paperbound. Evry, France: M.F.G. Creations. $4.24 from dawt, Salinas, CA, through eBay, Oct., '07.
Here is a 17-page stapled pamphlet with exceptionally stiff paper. The book gives a two-page spread to each of the eight fables listed on the back cover: GA, MM, OF, WL, FC, TH, TMCM, and "Le Cheval et l'Âne." La Fontaine's text appears in a box or two somewhere in each of the illustrations. While none of the illustrations strikes me as outstanding, the big-bellied frog, the menacing wolf, and the chipper crow are good creations.
1994? The Hare and the Tortoise And Other Aesop's Fables.. Stephanie Laslett. Illustrated by Lorna Hussey. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Mini Classics: Shooting Star Press. $1.67 from Book Warehouse, Gretna, NE, June, '12.
This is a small book measuring just over 3" x4" It contains three fables. Both characters in TH are talkative. The animals are well costumed here and in each of the stories. FS is also well done. 56 deserves a special prize for the excellent rendition of both characters' eyes. DLS goes into length in the story of the killing of the lion that eventually yields his skin for the donkey to get into. It also develops the donkey's previous unhappiness. Others in the jungle made fun of him. Hussey again does a great job with eyes on 81 and 83. Pairs of pages tend to alternate between pictures and text. Hussey's brushstrokes love to accentuate hair and its individual strands.
1994? The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse And Other Aesop's Fables. Retold by Stephanie Laslett. Illustrated by Lorna Hussey. Dust jacket. Mini Classics. (c)Parragon Book Service. NY: Shooting Star Press. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '95.
This is a small book measuring just over 3"x4". It contains three fables. From the first page on, this version of TMCM identifies the two mice as different. The town mouse complains and criticizes as soon as he arrives. There are good contrasting borders on 16 and 17 and then the same ones come back on 36 and 37. They also come back in LM (62-63)! In this story, the mouse realizes her mistake while on the lion's back. This story may have several of the best illustrations in the book: 60-61 and 65. The lion announces a moral, and then the editor adds her own. In FC, one reads (on 82) that the fox "had an clever idea."