1995 to 1999

1995

1995 A Call to Character: A Family Treasury of stories, poems, plays, proverbs, and fables to guide the development of values for you and your children. Colin Greer & Herbert Kohl, editors. Hardbound. First edition, apparently first printing. Printed in USA. NY: HarperCollins Publishers. $5 from Bookworks, Chicago, Dec., '97

This book has four sections, dealing with values relating to 1) oneself, 2) known others, 3) unknown others and nature, and 4) love. Fables are scattered about. They include morals from student fables collected by Kohl (34; e.g. "Better to be old than bold!"); eighth-grader Mark Vecchoise's parody "The Head Man" (72); Brian Patten's delightful "You'd Better Believe Him: A Fable" (102); Leo Lionni's "Frederick" (109); Aesop, "The Lion and the Boar" (269) retold by Ann McGovern; "Fable" reported as anonymous (333; really Perry #36 with an oracle instead of the old man here asked whether what two young people hold in their hands is dead or alive); Aesop's OF (360) retold by William Caxton; and Leonard Jenkin's "Birds, Beasts, and Bat" (382; a very nice updating of Aesop). The book represents a noble effort to engage parents and their children in the discussion of values well depicted in classic literature. See the pair of audio cassettes of the same title.

1995 A Country Mouse in the Town House. By Henrietta. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. NY: DK Publishing, Inc. (Dorling Kindersley). Gift of Margaret Lytton, Dec., '98.

A small army of DK people have put together one of my favorite books. It is an oversized book (10½" x 13½") made up of twelve double-page spreads of photography. The book tells the tale of TMCM in clever quatrains, one to each spread, all ending with "peas." The verse is adapted from Richard Scrafton Sharpe (1759-1835). The beautiful photography plays a delightful game with the reader, who needs to find the mice hiding in each photograph, along with five carefully placed green peas. Along the way, the photographs involve lovely textures and colors. The pictures offer a lavish tour through nostalgic items from toys to clothes and then out into the garden. There are several spreads in which I still come up one pea short!

1995 A Modern Fable. Jim Schembri. Illustrations by Liz Dixon. First edition. Paperback. Printed in Hong Kong. Sydney: Angus & Robertson: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia). £5 from Any Amount of Books, Charing Cross Road, July, '96.

Here are fifty-two thought provoking one-page or two-page contemporary stories. I am not sure whether they qualify as fables. They are short past-tense narratives inviting perception. As against traditional fables, these stories tend to involve a kind of particularity and a kind of magic. The particularity comes, e.g., in naming. Even a cruise missile has a proper name (Kevin). The magic comes in cruise missiles talking to each other, or in the devil sending a person back to life. There is something here that is uneasy with contemporary technology. Among the best that I have seen in the first half are "The Urban Terrorist" (13), "The Editing Suite" (19), and "Glass of Water" (31). Each story gets a black-and-white headpiece. I enjoy reading these! There is some real wit here, and it often provokes thinking.

1995 A Richt Cuddy and ither fables. By William J. Rae. Illustrated by Norman Glen. Paperbound. Aberdeen, Scotland: Scottish Children's Press. £5 from Byre Books, Wigtown, UK, through abe, July, '02.

According to the verso of the title-page, "Scottish Children's Press concentrates on works in the Scots language, and books written in English but with an identifiably Scottish content." I am not sure which category this book falls into. I read and enjoyed the first two stories, namely the title-story and "The Cock and the Fox (Wi apologies tae Chaucer and his Nun's priest)." The latter story is cleverly done. It employs television-watching, by chickens and humans, as a main motif. The fox thus introduces himself as a talent scout and he auditions Chanterkie by having him perform in front of a water-pump as though it were a microphone. Rennie suggests that Chanterkie close his eyes: "It'll mak you aa the mair romantic." Chanterkie escapes Rennie's mouth by asking that Rennie use his television connections to get his death onto the tv news that evening. Rennie starts to mock Chanterkie's stupidity for believing the talent-scout story. But of course he cannot finish the statement before Chanterkie is free. The other stories seem to me to be original. The last story, "Polis Puss," is done in dramatic form. Each story gets one black-and-white illustration.

1995 A Sip of Aesop. By Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Karen Barbour. First printing. Dust jacket. NY: The Blue Sky Press: Scholastic, Inc. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '95.

"About Aesop" on the last pages mentions that "over two hundred fables are attributed to Aesop, so a book of thirteen is a `sip' indeed." Each fable receives two pages with full-page artwork on each, one accompanied by the story and the other by the four-line moral. The texts of both are made up of simple rhymes. The morals' rhymes are particularly (and deliberately?) off. The best texts are probably FC (including the moral's play on words) and OF. The art may be modelled on Central American art; it is typified by bright colors, a primitive lack of perspective, and frequent butterflies. Perhaps the best illustrations are GA and OF. There are some inconsistencies and differences here. As to the former, the fox in FG finds the grapes both "old" and "under-ripe." As to the latter, the fox does not give thought to the crane's inability to slurp soup, and the farm girl has not milk on her head but eggs in a basket.

1995 A Sip of Aesop. By Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Karen Barbour. Second printing. Paperbound. NY: Scholastic, Inc. Gift of Vera Ruotolo, Feb., '97.

See my comments on the hardbound edition. This paperbound edition seems larger than that one. The back cover says "This Scholastic edition is only available for distribution through the school market."

1995 A Tale of Tails: Animal Reflections: A Collection of Modern, "Alternative" Fables. Vitthal Anthony Mills. Pamphlet. Forres, Scotland: Findhorn Press. $3 from S Phipps Books, Northampton, England, through ABE, Feb., '00. 

Thirty stimulating, category-breaking pieces for reflection. They are perhaps more like Buddhist conundrums than like Aesopic fables. Among the best are "A Tale of Tails," "Baba Turtle," "The Mouse and the Mountain" (which starts with the Aesopic fable), "Three Vultures," "Brain Fever Bird," and "The Frog." The typos (23, 23, 24, and 28) are disturbing.

1995 A Treasury of Bedtime Stories. Retold by Linda Jennings. Illustrations by Leo Hartas, Pauline King, Jane Launchbury, Frances Stevens, and Kareen Taylerson. Hardbound. Apparently first edition. Printed in Spain. London: Award Publications Limited. $8.98 from Renaissance Bookshop, Mitchell Airport, Milwaukee, Dec., '99.

Here is a large, colorful collection of eighty-two stories for children, including legends, fairy tales, and fables. The fables include "One Good Turn Deserves Another" (34, about the farmer's cap and the eagle), FC (48), "The Foolish Wolf" (54, new to me), GA (63), WC (88), TH (110), and GGE (110). The foolish wolf makes three mistakes: instead of eating a ram, he lets the ram run into his mouth; instead of eating a donkey as he is, he lets him lie down and is promptly kicked; thirsty, he drinks half a barrel without knowing that it is brandy. The art, with at least one illustration per story, seems to me to be harmless.

1995 Aesop Through the Ages: A Coloring Book of Aesop Images in The Pierpont Morgan Library. Anna Lou Ashby. NY: The Pierpont Morgan Library. Gift of Eleanor Webster, July, '95. Extra copy for $2 from Second Story, April, '97.

Thirty-two pages of well chosen images. The main sources include Ulm, Faerno, Manfredus de Bonellis, Ogilby, Bennett, Janot (Paris, 1544), Plantin (1593), Jacob Wolff de Pforzheim, and the Besutios Fratres from Milan in 1586. A lovely gift!

1995 Aesop's Fables. Vernon Thomas. Reboti Bhushan. Hardbound. Printed in India. New Delhi: Hemkunt Press.  See 1979/95.

1995 Aesop's Fables. V.S. Vernon Jones. Penguin 60s. NY: Penguin Books. Gift of Maryanne Rouse, Sept., '95.

A lovely little paperbound booklet with Rackham's TH illustration on its cover and sixty-six well-chosen fables inside.

1995 Aesop’s Fables (Japanese). Translated by Yoichi Kono. #1009 in a literary paperback series. Forty-ninth edition. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten Co., Ltd. See 1955/95.

1995 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Charles Santore. Edited by Nina Rosenstein. Illustrations ©1988 by Charles Santore. Introduction and compilation ©1995 by Random House Value Publishing. Apparently first printing. NY: Random House. $8 from Hungry Mind, St. Paul, Dec., '95.

This edition is smaller in page-size than Santore's 1988 edition. It presents not the twenty-four fables that each received a lavish illustration there, but rather eighty-two fables. Some of these are not illustrated at all. Others use details from the large TH foldout of 1988 or other large illustrations then. Some of these are repeated (11 and 58, e.g., and 52 and 61) and one is even reversed (27 and 46). This edition's illustration for TH is a cut-and-paste job from the last edition's large foldout. Two of the three pages of the old foldout are used respectively for the front and rear end-papers and their facing pages here. The color-work here is surprisingly good for an inexpensive edition. The text seems to be a modification of the same text used then. Morals are now added. The editor's note on the text, the foreword, the acknowledgement, and the dedication are all dropped. Nina Rosenstein has written a new introduction including the remark that "in 300 B.C., the fables of Aesop were written down for the first time, by a Greek politician" (10). My, Santore has got himself good mileage out of his 1988 illustrations!

1995 Aesop's Fables. Miniature. Retold by Steven Zorn. Illustrated by Debbie Pinkney. Printed in China. Dust jacket. Philadelphia: Running Press. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '95.

This little book includes the same versions of the fourteen well chosen fables as the 1990 edition done in the same format by Running Press. See my comments there. This edition adds some recent creative art in the form of three images per fable. Small images precede the fable and accompany the moral, respectively. They are in fact details excerpted from the one full-page illustration in the midst of each fable. I find the final images particularly well chosen. The best of the illustrations might be the first, TMCM (11). I notice this time the fine moral to GGE: "Greed destroys the source of good" (25). The introduction begins with a bold sentence: "If there is a common thread in the experience of chldren everywhere, it is Aesop's fables."

1995 Aesop's Fables. 2 in 1 Tales. "The Hare and the Tortoise"/"The Travelers and the Bear." Illustrations by Shogo Hirata. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. $1.50 at Book Warehouse, Petaluma, Nov., '97.

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 I now have three. (See the others under 1994 and 1995, respectively). The series does not pair the same stories together as Joie or Haddock. It also arranges the small symbols slightly differently. The texts are not the same as in Joie or Haddock. In TH, What had been the cover picture in both the Joie and Haddock series takes its place as the start of the race on 6. The second story, which has in every edition only four full-page illustrations, changes even its name from the previous series' "The Bear and the Travelers."

1995 Aesop's Fables. 2 in 1 Tales. "The Miller and His Donkey"/"The Greedy Dog." Illustrations by Shogo Hirata. NY: Modern Publishing: Unisystems, Inc. $2.95 from The Story Monkey, Feb., '97.

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 DS, the dog has taken this piece of meat away from a smaller puppy by growling and barking at him; he thinks he can do the same with the dog in the water.

1995 Aesop's Fables: A Collection of Tales for Children. Retold by Andrea Stacy Leach. Illustrated by Holly Hannon. Printed in China. © 1995 Ottemheimer Publishers. Leicester: Blitz Editions: Bookmart Limited. £5.95 at Bookends, London, May, '97.

Large-format book presenting sixteen fables in strong colors in a variety of sizes and shapes. The frontispiece of FG gives a sense of the artist's flair for color and delight in minute rendering of elements like fur. Sometimes, as in GA (6) the animals are not only fully dressed; they are bundled up! Another of the artist's interests is the depiction of human disappointment, as in MM (27) and GGE (30-31). The donkey in MSA simply kicks free of the pole and runs away (37); there is no city, no bridge, and no death. The mouse in LM apparently runs deliberately up the lion's nose, since he is "feeling playful" (44). The boy in BW is lonely and wants company (51). Clouds in this artist's work tend to gather in many of the colors of the rainbow.

1995 Aesop's Fables: A New Version from Original Sources. By Thomas James. With illustrations by Sir John Tenniel. Hand-colored. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Bristol, England. Bristol: Lilliput Press. £15 from Abbey Antiquarian, August, '99. Extra copy from an unknown source.

Here is the smallest and perhaps the finest of the miniature books in this collection. It has a hand-colored frontispiece and a lovely colored dust-jacket. I count about twenty-five fables here, each with an illustration. My biggest challenge with this book will be to make sure that it does not get lost! It measures about ¾" x 1". It is a little treasure! Having written the above about one week ago, I now have found the extra copy, which I had in fact lost!

1995 Aesop's Fables for Young Readers. Laurel Hicks, Editor. Illustrated by Stan Shimmin. Third edition. Paperbound. Pensacola, FL: A Beka Book: A Ministry of Pensacola Christian College. $10.05 from Marian Combs, Flagstaff, AZ, through Ebay, April, '99.

This edition enhances the edition I have listed under 1979/86. This edition calls itself the third and lists earlier copyrights in 1976 and 1989. While it has followed the structure of the earlier work, it here uses a more sophisticated cover and shinier interior paper. The same illustrations appear inside the book, but now all are colored. Some are reversed as the format around them changes. It seems as though most of the work has been newly typeset. A few exercises have been dropped. The same fables are handled, as the opening T of C shows. The inside front cover still has a guide to story themes under headings like "Ambition," "Aspirations," Beauty," and "Character." This book is in excellent condition.

1995 Aesop's Fables Poster Book. Pamphlet. Printed in USA. American Teaching Aids #2215. Simon & Schuster. $22.28 from Tim Harrelson, Jonesboro, AR, through Ebay, Sept., '01.

Here are twelve posters, each measuring 14¼" x 22½". On each there is a brightly colored picture along with text on one side and a number of varied activities on the other side. Part of the activity side comprises reproducible sheets for use by members of the class. These are cleverly placed in corners for easy xeroxing. The twelve fables are FG, LM, DS, GGE, TMCM, WSC, TH, BW, GA, "The Peacock and the Crane," BS, and "Mercury and the Woodsman." I am surprised that I was not aware of this lovely resource sooner. I hated to take the staples out, but I had to in order to see the posters.

1995 Aesop's Tales. For the second grade elementary school students. Written by Yukio Tsuchiya. Illustrated by Kei Wakana. Twentieth edition. Dust jacket. Shinjuku, Tokyo: Kaiseisha Company. See 1956/95.

1995 Aesop's Tales. For the third grade elementary school students. Written by Yukio Tsuchiya. Illustrated by Tsuyuji Hasegawa. Fourteenth edition. Dust jacket. Shinjuku, Tokyo: Kaiseisha Company. See 1956/95.

1995 Aesop's Tales 30. Published by Mitsuo Tabei. Printed in Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. See 1989/95

1995 African Fables. Helen D. Palmer. Illustrated by Carol Cardin. Signed by Helen D. Palmer. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: A Bookland Juvenile: Carlton Press Corp.. $30 from LJ's Books, Florence, KY, through choosebooks.com, Feb., '03. 

Thirty-seven fables on 72 pages, gathered from the author's twenty-eight years in Cameroon. These are fables: short and pointed. The tortoise and leopard are frequent characters. Once the leopard and the python each ask the tortoise to catch the other. He digs one pit, lures both into it, and then tells them to work it out! There are simple black-and-white illustrations for perhaps a dozen of the fables. Let me give some highlights here of these tales that are new to me. In "The Parrot and the Elephant," the visitor elephant finds the parrot standing on one foot. Asked why, the parrot answers that he has given his foot to his children for luck in their hunting. They bring back lots of game, and everyone eats well. The elephant, having returned home and hosting the parrot as guest, has his children saw off his foot to use it for good luck in hunting. He bleeds so heavily that he dies. Cuique suum! In "The Story of a Tortoise Who Fell in a Pitfall," a tortoise falls into a pit. When antelope comes by, tortoise tells him that there are a lot of beautiful girls in the pit. Antelope jumps in. Tortoise: "You can never throw me out." Antelope throws tortoise out. Tortoise asks the antelope in the pit: "Was the pit made for animals with claws or for animals with split hooves?" When antelope says "Split hooves," tortoise says that antelope better stay where he is. Tortoise goes his way. In "The Leopard, the Tortoise, and the Antelope," leopard hides in tortoise's home. Tipped off, the latter does the traditional fable maneuver, inviting the hut to welcome him. In "Zambe Nyamebe'e," tortoise is challenged to carry a basketfull of water and cleverly responds that he will need some ropes of smoke to do it. In "How the Tortoise Married the Daughter of Zambe Nyamebe'e," a father challenges any suitor of his daughter to commit to dying when he dies. The tortoise accepts the condition and marries the daughter. He proclaims with everything he does that he never does the same thing twice. When the father dies, the tortoise manages to fall into his grave before it is completely dug. When the grave is finished and people want to throw him in, he proclaims that he will not do this thing twice either. In "How the Bat Threw the Elephant in a Wrestling Match," the bat gets inside the elephant's trunk. The elephant tries to dislodge him by thrashing about. When that technique fails, the elephant falls down to the ground--perhaps to smash the trunk's contents against the ground. But by getting onto the ground he is already being "thrown." In "The Otter, the Leopard and the Turtledove," the turtledove overhears the father leopard's advice to his son to kill his playmate, a young otter, the next day. The turtledove goes to both children. To the otter he says "When you hear my voice be on your guard." To the young leopard he says "The otter may fear you. Listen to my voice and be ready." The next day, when the young leopard approaches the young otter, the turtledove cries out "Creep up now." The statement satisfies his promise to both playmates.

1995 Animal Tales from the Arab World. By Denys Johnson-Davies. Illustrated by Eda S. Ghali. Pamphlet. Printed in Egypt. Cairo: Hoopoe Books. £4.95 from London, May, '96.

Here are fourteen fables, each containing between one and three illustrations. Pairs of pages alternate between colored and black-and-white. Well-known stories appear, like TT (9), "The Lion and the Rabbit" (22), LS (34), and "The Heron, the Fishes and the Crab" (40). There are also several stories that are new to me and good. Let me give two examples. "The Man without a Brain" (6) features a traveler stupid enough to walk along a route where lion's tracks have been seen. A lion comes upon him and says he has been ill and needs to eat human brains. The man declares that he is brainless, or else he would not have walked on a road with lion's tracks. "Who Is the Stronger?" (12) shows that man's wit ends up conquering the lion's strength and so makes man--"in his own way"--stronger. This may be my first book from Egypt, found by chance as I walked past a new-books bookstore in London.

1995 Basni. I.A. Krilov. Paperbound. St. Petersburg: School Library: Lenisdam. $2.24 from Schoenhof's, Jan., '03. 

Here is a standard paperback presentation of the nine books of Krilov's fables. Other than the somewhat forbidding bust of Krilov photographed on the cover, there are no illustrations. There is a T of C at the back. I could not pass up a "75% off" sale at Schoenhof's!

1995 Bo Rabbit Smart for True: Tall Tales from the Gullah. Retold by Priscilla Jaquith. Drawings by Ed Young. First Impression. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Philomel Books: Putnam & Grosset Group. $17.05 from The Prince and the Pauper, San Diego, Jan., '01.

Original edition published in 1981. The pleasant surprises in this book begin with the orientation. Both the dust jacket and the title-page orient the reader to put the binding up and to flip the pages. The Gullah is the territory of the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina. The introduction tells us that these tales are based on the work of Albert H. Stoddard, recorded by the Library of Congress in 1949. Six stories are offered, followed by notes (missing the roots of these tales in ancient versions) and bibliography. "Bo Rabbit" beats both the elephant and the whale by pitting them against each other. He traps the white-bodied alligator family in the midst of a field by promising them an experience of trouble. The result is that their bodies are burned black-green and become rough and bumpy. Cooter the turtle has his smooth white shell turned yellow-and-black and cracked after crow lets him fall from the heavens; Cooter had begged to be taken to a party in heaven thrown by "the Father" for all birds. Partridge, by hiding so cleverly as not to be found, teaches a lesson that Bo Rabbit sums up by saying "You got the feather to hide. I got the long leg to run" (49). FS is told in standard fashion; here Jaquith and Young combine effectively to show fox watching food travel down the stork's long throat and again to show fox literally smoking with anger before he laughs at the end. This is the only story in which Bo Rabbit does not appear. In the last story, Bo Rabbit talks the rattlesnake to going back under the log that had fallen on him, supposedly to see how bear rescued him. The illustrations come four to a page in a column on the left, with text on the right. Young continues the great black-and-white work I first admired in "Wie die Maus den Loewen rettete." Do not overlook the shadowy illustrations that precede and often end the stories. The dialect is delightful--just different enough from standard English to make a reader perk up and take notice. The imitations of animal sounds are also well done.

1995 Chantefables et Chantefleurs de Robert Desnos. Illustrations de Zdenka Krejcová. Hardbound. Paris: Contes et Fables de Toujours: Editions Gründ. $7.75 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Feb., '09.

This book represents an expansion of an earlier find, 30 Chantefables pour les enfants sages from Gründ in 1944. Let me include some of my comment from that book: "The title here is unfortunately creative, at least for our sense of 'fable.' These are indeed rounds to be sung to and with little children. They are all about animals, one to a page. Perhaps the most fascinating question about this book concerns how we are to picture a French publishing firm with a German name in 1944." The chantefables were combined with a set of chantefleurs and published in 1955. The story of the genesis of these rounds is fascinating. During the German occupation of France, René Poirier suggested to Desnos that he write some poems for children. He had already written some things for children but never expected that they would interest a publisher. He did write these poems and gave them to Poirier. They were his last poems; the Gestapo came for him shortly after. He had been active in the resistance. Michel Gründ hurried the publication of the poems to surprise Desnos. His companion Youki writes of him that he was so alive that no one doubted his return. He died just after the war of typhus in Czechoslovakia. His last concentration camp had been there. Youki writes in 1955 that she is pleased that these pretty flowers and peaceful animals are something left behind by that sinister age. This book then combines the earlier published rounds about animals with those about flowers. There is a T of C at the beginning but unfortunately no pagination. The new illustrations are as enchanting and as suggestion-laden as the rounds. This book was published exactly fifty years after Desnos' death. Witold Lutoslawski has set these poems to music.

1995 Cil horoz ile kurnaz tilki. Uysal, Ahmet. Illustrations by Ajans, Norm. Hardbound. Istanbul: Cil horoz masallari dizisi: Aritas yayinlari. $5 from an unknown source, June, '10.

Here is a sixteen-page pamphlet apparently presenting a fable. The rooster talks to the goat, walks away, crows at him, and soon thinks of the fox. Does he send a letter then to the fox? The fox comes to the rooster with letter in hand; the latter has a rope ready for hanging the fox. Soon enough, the fox runs away with the noose still around his neck. 

1995 Classic Animal Stories. Compiled by Lesley O'Mara. Illustrated by Angel Dominguez. First printing of this Longmeadow Press edition. Dust jacket. Printed and bound in Hong Kong. Stamford, CT: Longmeadow Press. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, May, '96.

This book reproduces almost exactly the 1991 Little, Brown original. See my comments there. I find only the cover (now reproducing the dust jacket illustration) and the endpapers (plain now; I lament the loss of the frog band!) different.

1995 Creative Storytelling: Building Community, Changing Lives. Jack Zipes. Paperbound. NY/London: Routledge. $6 from Academy, New York, Jan., '99.

This is a helpful, passionate, lively, experience-based book from one of the livelier tellers of tales in our day. The book is a plea and a how-to-do-it for creative storytelling. Zipes takes a clear stand in his introduction against two dangers. The first is a tendency to standardize what is to be learned by children in the name of cultural literacy. His enemy here is achievement for achievement's sake. No thought is given, according to Zipes, to what values the children are to learn as we strive to outperform the children of Europe or Japan. The second danger is the commercialization of storytelling. Storytellers become stars who have secrets. Children are for Zipes not consumers of the storytellers' product. Rather teachers and students need to set their own standards in storytelling. "The process of learning how to tell a story is a process of empowerment" (4). This view leads directly to the stress in Zipes' subtitle on building community and changing lives. After a first section on setting the scene with fairy tales, a second section explores genres, the first of them being "The Wisdom of the Beasts: Animal Tales and Fables" (95-117). Zipes has a good sense of fable (99-100) and uses several fables well in the chapter, including TH, BW, and his own "The Elephant and the Mouse." Further chapters explore other genres. A final section treats the use and abuse of storytelling. I learned early in this book that Zipes has strong ties to Milwaukee.

1995 Dessine-Moi une Fable: 10 Fables de La Fontaine Vues par 10 Illustrateurs. Various artists. Paperbound. Kid Pocket junior: La Collection de Poche pour les 3-15 Ans: Pocket. $12.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, July, '12.

Here is a delightful little paperback! Only Puig Rosado was known to me before. Ten contemporary illustrators take a crack at a La Fontaine fable. Introducing each story is a colored blank page, then a page containing a portrait of La Fontaine by this artist and some information by or about the artist. Turn the page, and the fable begins. TMCM by Pef presents two great conga-lines, of city and country people respectively. Philippe Chauvet presents FS in one of the best presentations here. Look for the small, beady eyes of the fox. Serge Bloch presents La Fontaine himself as the wolf before his depiction of WL. Véronique Boiry in OF has these words to equivalate the sound of the exploding frog: "Paf. Flop!" The best part of Nony's presentation of TH lies, I believe, in the eyelashes of the female tortoise. Pierre-Olivier Templier has a great picture of the weasel breaking and entering. Christophe Rouil has a fine expression on the face of each of the two pots. How different these ten artists are in their approaches to the fables of La Fontaine! The last three are Puig Rosado for "The Animals Going to War," Catherine Reiser for MM, and Rosy for DW. The last of these presents a great last picture, as the wolf runs off into the sunset. What a lovely little book! The cover presents the ten portraits of La Fontaine by the ten artists. I learned on the back cover of this book that 1995 was the year of La Fontaine. The back cover also says "Tirage limité: Édition hors commerce." 

1995 Deux Fables de La Fontaine: Petites Suites: La Cigale et la Fourmi, Le Rat de Ville et le Rat des Champs. Bernadette Costa. Illustrations Véronique Deiss, Couleurs Christine Couturier. Hardbound. Paris: Syros. $10 from Rosa Flores, Richmond, VA, through eBay, Dec., '05. 

Originally purchased from Gibert Jeune for 75 Francs. GA is told first in traditional form, using La Fontaine's text. Then follows a contemporary sequel, referred to, I believe, in the "Suites" of the subtitle. Rejected by the ant, the cicada goes to the cricket. The cricket, hearing of the ant's command that the cicada dance, suggests that the two open up a dance hall, with a little food as the price of admission. It works splendidly, so well that the neighbor ant is angry over all the noise and the fun going on! The visual style is colorful, cartoonlike in the style of "The Far Side," and creative, as when a three-eyed, eight-armed insect plays the drums, cymbal, and tambourines on 14. As for TMCM, the sequel has the two rats each dressing up in the other's style for their encounter in the country--and looking ridiculous to each other as a result. Among the best illustrations is that of the rusticated city-rat getting off the train and meeting the courtly-clad country-rat. The city-rat is grossed out by the life of the country, including dunging cows and sausage-heavy dinners. A threshing-machine comes close to killing the two while they are out for a country walk. They return to their natural places, either convinced that his is the best place in the world. This is a lively and engaging book!

1995 Dix-Neuf Fables d'Oiseaux. Jean Muzi. Illustrations de Florence McKenzie. Paperbound. Paris: Castor Poche #287: Castor Poche Flammarion. $12 from Alibris, March, '00. 

The nineteen prose fables here are really fables. What a delight! Half are familiar. The illustration work is successful here. I also have from Castor Poche Flammarion, "Dix-Neuf Fables du mechant Loup" and "Diecisiete Fábulas del Zorro." T of C at the back, on 147. About half of the fables here are familiar to me. The black-and-white illustrations of this handy little volume, one to a fable, are nice. Several fables that are new to me are "Le Corbeau et le Cochon" (47), "Le Roitelet et l'Ours" (83), "Les deux Cormorans et la Cane" (101), "Le Coq et le roi" (109), and "Les Oiseaux et le menuisier" (133).

1995 Dokumentation: Heinrich Steinhöwel's "Aesopus: Vita et Fabulae Ulm 1476". Peter Teicher, Verleger. Paperbound. Ludwigsburg: Edition Libri Illustri Verlag. From Erasmus Haus, Basel, Sept., '05.

The brochure advertising the facsimile edition of Steinhöwel's Aesopus: Vita et Fabulae Ulm 1476 from Edition Libri Illustri Verlag mentioned a 16-page set of documentation available for DM 75. Here it is! Contents include a two-sided loose sample page (Book III, Fable XI, "The Father and Wild Son" and the beginning of "De Thaide et iuvene"); a black-and-white rendition of the title-page woodcut of Aesop surrounded by the symbols of his life; a letter from Peter Teicher, the publisher, describing the original copy worked from and the overall project; sections on the history of fable, Aesop's fables, Aesop, Heinrich Steinhöwel, Johannes Zainer, Ulm, the Ulm Woodcutter, Otto Schäfer's private collection, and facsimile-creation with the most modern technology. A window-page follows with five rectangles cut open for viewing of the next page. Each of these quandrangles highlights a feature of the publication: the Latin title; all damaged portions, bruised, and marks faithfully represented; the woodcuts faithfully reproduced; frequent initials; and the readable type that Steinhöwel used. The inside of the back cover is then what we have been viewing through these windows, in this case Fable XII of Book Four, featuring "The Lion and the Foxes." The cover's illustration is the signature illustration for this whole project, the lovely image from Fable XVI of Book II, "The Fly and the Mule."

1995 Donkey Trouble. Ed Young. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First edition, signed, apparently first printing Printed in USA. NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. $35.00 from Elaine Woodford, Haddonfield, NJ, April, '98.

A "kind and simple" man and his grandson take his last possession to market across the desert. "Grandfather" and "desert" are nice adaptations of the traditional fable. Another great adaptation takes a moment to show itself, as we see first the townspeople looking at them with wonder, for--we learn by turning the page--they are carrying the donkey upside down! The excellent illustrations are done in paper collage with pastel. The donkey tumbles down into the river and runs off, leaving man and grandson with "nothing at all, except for the wisdom that . . . to prosper, they must follow their own hearts." A treasure of a book!

1995 Edition Libri Illustri: Exclusive Faksimile-Editionen. Paperbound. Ludwigsburg: Edition Libri Illustri Verlag. From an unknown source, Sept., '02.

I do not remember where I picked up this triptych 4" x 8¼" pamphlet. I dreamed about someday getting the first edition that it advertises, Heinrich Steinhöwel's Aesopus: Vita et Fabulae Ulm 1476 for the collection but figured that that was a pipedream. I notice that the price is still in 2010 some €2800. This pamphlet mentions that that is a one-time limited edition of 800 individually numbered copies. The first interior page gives more description. It mentions too that there is a 16-page set of documentation available for DM 75, which sum is then later taken off of the sale price of the book. I have laid my hands on a copy of that documentation. Also advertised here are Hartmann Schedel Weltchronik - Nürnberg 1493 and Eyn Warhafftig Erschröcklich Histori von der Bewrischen Uffrur. As our librarian at Creighton, Michael LaCroix, has said to me, "Prayers do get answered!"

1995 Eine Geschichte zweimal erzählt. Von Neil Connelly. Illustriert von Carolyn Bracken. Hardbound. Baltimore: Geschichten aus dem Karottenbeet: Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. €6.50 from Antiquariat Stange, Heidelberg, August, '06.

Here is a rather exact reproduction in German of A Tale Told Twice, published by the same publisher in 1994. What a surprise to find this book out of nowhere in Heidelberg on a beastly hot day with little success! What I wrote of the English edition fits for this German edition: 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 Berni says "Das ist doch verrückt!" Ulla the Turtle pokes her head out to say "Don't be so sure." Soon they are racing; the cover picture presents the moment before the take-off. Soon Berni 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. Berni gets the last word: "But, Grandfather, no more racing stories!"

1995 Esope: Fables: Edition bilingue. Traduction, introduction et notes par Daniel Loayza. Paperback. Printed in France. Paris: GF-Flammarion. $10.95 from Schoenhof's, Cambridge, MA, Sept., '98.

This is an important little volume. Loayza offers an excellent and extensive introduction, using the best of Adrados and Perry. He takes Perry as his basic source for the Greek texts. He also follows Perry's numbering system, but also gives a Chambry number for each fable. So the first 231 fables here are from the Augustana. Those numbered 232 through 244 are from Recension Ia. Those numbered 245 through 273 are taken from various sources that attribute them to Aesop. These groupings come straight out of Perry's Aesopica. There are no verse originals or translations and no paraphrases of Babrius. There are also no fables taken from the "Life of Aesop." The fables are followed by over thirty pages of notes beginning on 255. The AI at the back is divided into proper names; animals; vegetables; occupations and the like; and varia.

1995 Esopo: Favole. Cura e traduzione di Mario Giammarco. Prima edizione. Paperback. Classici Greci: Grandi Tascabili Economici Newton 339. Rome: Newton Compton editori s.r.l. Lire 5900 from Libreria Antica e Moderna Neapolis, Naples, August, '98.

Here is a large bilingual paperback text of 358 fables in Greek and Italian prose. The fables themselves are preceded by an introduction, a translator's preface, and a moderate bibliography. The bibliography mentions Chambry and Hausrath (with side references to Perry and Thiele). I have no doubt that the 358 fables are exactly those of Chambry. The reference to Perry is surprising: "B.E. Perry, Haveford, 1936." There is no mention of Aesopica, which was published in 1952, or of Babrius and Phaedrus from 1965. The Perry text in question is Studies in the Text History of the Life and Fables of Aesop, published in Haverford, PA, by the APA. There are only twenty-six notes for the whole corpus; they come just before the helpful T of C (276), which lists both the page and the number of every fable. This book is a bargain!

1995 Fabeln. Herausgegeben von Almut Gaugler. Grandville. Hardbound. Guetersloh: Edition Deutsche Hausbuecher: Bertelsmann Club GmbH. DM 30 from Antiquariat Stenderhoff, Muenster, July, '01. 

This is an excellent anthology of German fable. I have read the first one-third, and find it delightful. The fables are far more accessible than I would have thought. Let me mention some of my favorites from this section. Boner's "Der Treffliche Saenger" (9) presents a singer who thinks he is excellent. He brings a woman to tears and asks her why. She answers that he reminds her of her dear dead ass! In Knonau's "Die Kuh und der Fuchs" each character wishes the other what she herself really wants (45). Gellert's "Der Guetige Besuch" is my old-time favorite about the visitor to a writer who asks how he can stand to be alone so much (77). The poet answers that he had never been so alone as he has been since his visitor arrived! "Geraechter Undank" on the same page tells of the cuckoo who wants to hear what people are saying about him. When he hears the answer "Nothing," he promises to get revenge on their ingratitude by speaking eternally about himself. I find Lichtwer particularly strong with fables like "Die Beraubte Fabel" (84) and "Wer Sich Entschuldigt, Klagt Sich An" (93). Gleim turns out to be heavily Aesopic in his fables. The stag who sees himself in the water escapes in Gleim's version (98). The Grandville illustrations, made for La Fontaine's fables, do not always fit perfectly the German fables with which they are matched here. Thus Grandville's ass carrying a religious image illustrates Gellert's story of a green ass who was the talk of the town for one day (60). Grandville's rich ass plundered by robbers serves as the image for Lichtwer's ass who finds one devoted follower who thinks that his voice is lovely (83). Buch-Nr. 032/02476 0.

1995 Fabeln von La Fontaine. Deutsch von Ulla Präkelt. Illustrationen von Zdenka Krejcová. Erste Auflage. Hardbound. Hanau/Main: Dausien. DM 14.80 from Leander, Heidelberg, August, '01. 

Here is the German version of a book I had already found in English, "Favourite Fables of La Fontaine," listed under 1993, though I suspect that its LOC listing is in 1995. Let me repeat my description from there. 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 in order without page numbers. The texts are prose.

1995 Fabels van La Fontaine.  Renske de Boer.  Illustrations: Zdenka Krejcová.  Hardbound.  Lisse, Netherlands: Rebo Productions.  €4.50 from Antiquariaat Klikspaan, Leiden, through Abe, July, '16.

Here is a Dutch copy of a book I have already in English, German, and French.  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 seems his only interlocuter, since 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. GA and FC and again 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 sequentially.  Unpaginated.  The texts are centered verse. Copyright 1993 by Aventinum Nakladdatelstvi: apparently the Slovak version.

1995 Fables d'Ésope 1: Les Animaux. Illustrations de Arthur Rackham. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Éditions Corentin. FFR 35 from Henry Veyrier, Librairie de l'Avenue, St. Ouen, Paris, May, '96.

This is a tight little book, 6" x 7¾". It contains ninety-six of Aesop's fables in a version done by Hachette in 1913 without attribution to an author. To go with those texts there are seventeen full-page illustrations noted on 99 and a number of other designs along the way. Six of the full-page illustrations are colored. For an inexpensive edition, this book does a good job with the art! There are two pages of notes on 97-98. I am not sure that I have ever seen Aesop's work divided into "animals" and "people" before this! See the companion volume on "people."

1995 Fables d'Ésope 2: Les Hommes. Illustrations de Arthur Rackham. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Éditions Corentin. FFR 35 from Henry Veyrier, Librairie de l'Avenue, St. Ouen, Paris, May, '96.

This is a tight little book, 6" x 7¾". It contains eighty-six of Aesop's fables drawn from either Chambry's 1927 translation or a version done by Hachette in 1913 without attribution to an author. To go with those texts there are eleven full-page illustrations noted on 85 and a number of other designs along the way. Six of the full-page illustrations are colored. For an inexpensive edition, this book does a good job with the art! There is a T of C at the back. I am not sure that I have ever seen Aesop's work divided into "animals" and "people" before this! See the companion volume on "animals."

1995 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Corderoc'h. Champigny-sur-Marne: Editions Lito. $5 from Pierre Cantin, Chelsea, Quebec, through Ebay, Oct., '95.

This book of eight fables is an abbreviated version of the 1992 edition from the same publisher and illustrator, Les Fables de la Fontaine. As there, the illustrations emphasize cuteness and childlike fun. The characters all have round little eyes with black beads inside them. The dress of animals receives particular attention.  See my comments there.

1995 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations: Ivan Lammerant. Hardbound. Montreal: Éditions Phidal Inc.. $10 from Colette Durand, through eBay, March, '09.

This may be the first French La Fontaine printed in the USA for many years! It is a large-format (8½" x 11½") book for children containing some forty-seven "most popular" fables, according to the back cover. Several illustrations stand out for me. The feathers on 7 show what is left of the owlets which the eagle had promised never to harm. The oncoming owl will learn that he had described them in misleading terms. I have, I think, never seen so dominating a winter landscape as Lammerant presents for GA on 28-29. In FK, the crane is grasping a victim frog by the crane's claw-feet (43). One of Lammerant's most successful images for presenting facial features presents the wolf become a shepherd (65). The publisher is wise to use this illustration on the book's cover. The wolf being operated on by the crane (67) has a pile of bones nearby. As the concluding T of C shows, the sequence of the fables presented in this book is alphabetical. This is one of the rare times that a T of C therefore is identical with an AI.

1995 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Philippe Mignon. Paris: Éditions Nathan. 85 Francs at Gibert Joseph, Paris, April, '97.

Another lovely large-format French presentation, this one with a special twist. Each of the twenty fables' illustrations has some classic as its background. It will take a better person than me to pin them down! The art is often heavy on browns and greens. The illustrations have strong nostalgic power. My favorites so far are "Le Coche et la Mouche" (33) and OF (39). "L'Huitre et les Plaideurs" (29) is impressive for its painstaking detail. From start to finish, this is a classy book!

1995 Fables de La Fontaine. 19 Fables. Peintures de Michel Potier. Imprimé en France. Edition Mango: Album Dada. Gift of Wendy Wright, Feb., '97.  Extra copy for 99 Francs at La Procure, Paris, August, '99.

This is a beautiful, large, hardbound book, remarkable for its sensual and lavish illustrations. Each fable, including the doublet of "The Heron" and "The Girl," is allotted two pages for text and illustration. The texts themselves are playfully calligraphed; the print grows, for example, just as the frog does (10). The artist's approach seems to me to be surrealist, and the effect is strong. For good starters among the images, try the cover-image of La Fontaine, the frog about to burst (11), the bird in borrowed feathers (20), and "The Monkey and the Leopard" (34). There is a T of C at the back. Do not miss the artist's photo facing it.

1995 Fables de la Fontaine. Vignettes Joëlle Jolivet; Illustrations Armand Rapeño. Hardbound. Albin Michel Jeunesse. €13 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05.

There are eighteen fables in this oversize book. The first and last of the eighteen have three pages. All others have two, and the layout of these two pages is formulaic. On the left page is a title, La Fontaine's text, and a clever design. The right page is a full page of color illustration without border signed "Rapeño." The style of these seems to me quite retro, suggesting the illustrations of someone like Milo Winter. Perhaps the most interesting of them has the reflection of the stag growing right out of the small point of land on which he stands. The cover (but nothing inside) has the interesting note in small print just below the illustration: "D'après l'édition originale de 1947."

1995 Fables de La Fontaine. Benjamin Rabier. Hardbound. Paris: Jules Tallandier. See 1906/95.

1995 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Benjamin Rabier. Hardbound. Paris: Tallandier: Éditions Tallandier. See 1906/95.

1995 Fables de La Fontaine en Images. Imprimé á Singapour. Éditions du Vieux Colombier. 30 Francs at an open-air market near Les Invalides, May, '97.

I sure did not expect the book-handler at this market to have any fables, but he pointed me right to this edition. Each of the eight fables has a full-page or near-full-page nostalgic colored illustration, together with the standard text of LaFontaine. The T of C at the beginning might make a great short check-list for someone wanting LaFontaine's most popular fables: TH, FK, DS, LM, "The Peacock Complaining to Juno," "The Two Goats," "The Rooster, the Cat, and the Mouse," and FG.

1995 Fables for All Ages. Frieda Clark Hyman. Illustrated by Judith Cohen Margolis. Hardbound. Printed in Israel. Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House. $14.95 from The Story Monkey, Omaha, Oct., '96.

Here are twelve stories of twenty pages each. They are children's stories that bring together animal stories and the Hebrew scriptures. I read only the first, "Secrets of Creation." The wise Gaffer Robin (every animal here has a given name and then his/her generic animal name) hears the complaints of many against Jo Jay. His solution is to ask all the hawks of Eden Forest to harass all the other birds for seven days. Jo Jay is the alarm signal for the birds when the hawks attack. After a week, the birds are again grateful to Jo Jay and understand that he too has a place in God's creation. Gaffer goes on to tell the assembled birds first the story of David saved by a spider's web. And David had asked God why God had ever created spiders! And David, who also had despised wasps, was saved by a wasp when he had approach Saul asleep in his camp, for there Abner in his sleep had David between his legs until a wasp stung Abner. This may be the first book in this collection published in Israel. It has nothing to do with fables, as far as I can see, in the sense in which I want to pursue fables.

1995 Fables from the Raffles Hotel Arcade: A Collection of Short Stories. Paperbound. Singapore: Angsana Books. $6.16 from Brit Books, Buckingham, UK, Nov., '10.

These are eleven stories somehow pertinent to the Raffles Hotel. I have tried two of them and find them charming."The Envy Letters" by Jan Pryor (74-81) tells of childhood days at the hotel. Relatives and friends would send postcards that the family came to know as "envy letters." Now around the world the writer writes her own envy letters back to the Raffles Hotel. "She Was a Lady" by Rebecca Bilbao (118-27) presents views of a group of outsiders and then an insider's account of a young widow in black at the Raffles. The guesses and hints of others set readers up nicely for learning what the reality of this woman's life is. Unfortunately, several pages of this paperback book came separated even as I was reading it for this comment. 

1995 Fables: Jean de La Fontaine. Un choix de quarante-deux fables. Illustrées par Roland et Claudine Sabatier. Paperbound. Imprimé en Italie. Folio Cadet Rouge: Gallimard Jeunesse: Éditions Gallimard. Gift of Wendy Wright from Librarie Vieil Annecy, Annecy, Feb., '97.

The fables are followed by very good tests and games. I have not seen this much wit expended on fable illustrations in a while! The grasshopper in GA is a one-animal band (5). The fox plays the violin beneath the crow (6). The wolf meeting the lamb carries a gun and wears an ammunition belt (15). The weasel measures her own waist (37). While the race goes on, the hare is flying a kite (55). In successive stages of her walk, a hen and chicks, a pig, and a cow take the place of the jug on the milkmaid's head (57). AI at the back.

1995 Fabulous Fables: The Flip Side of Bermuda. Illustrated and written by Elizabeth A Mulderig. Illustrated and written by Elizabeth A Mulderig. Stated first edition. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. Hamilton HM AX, Bermuda: The Bermudian Publishing Company Limited. $20 from Doney's Bookshelves, Severn, MD, through ABE, Oct., '99.

"Flip" here has two meanings, I think: the "other" side and the "not so serious" side of Bermuda. In fact, the book's fifteen fables are not only "fanciful," as the flyleaf proclaims, but often a bit surrealistic. What happens here is not only unexpected but weird. "The Cocktail Party" tells of an encounter with a lizard who turns into one guest after another at the party. "Electric Priests" presents three golfing priests who were struck by lightning, became sources of electricity, and founded their own power company. The glossy art is essential to these stories. Do not miss the illustration or the story of "The Plimptons," which features this headline about a henpecked husband who did chores on Saturdays until the broom stuck to his hand: "Brad and Broom Welded for Life." I like this wacky book!

1995 Favole dopo le favole. Ljudmila Petruševskaja, a cura di Bruno Mozzone e Claudia Sugliano. Paperbound. Genoa: nugae #73: Il Melangelo. 6000 Lire from Mel Bookstore, Rome, August, '98. Extra copy for 12000 Lire at La Casa del Libro, Turin, Sept., '97.

Claudia Sugliano apparently translated this work from the original Russian. It seems to consist of four short stories, from the very short "Barbie sorride" to the very long "Le due sorelle."

1995 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. Copyright 1993 by Aventinum Nakladdatelstvi: apparently the Slovak version.

1995 Fedro: Favole. Introduzione di Alberto Cavarzere. Cura e traduzione di Sebastiano Saglimbeni. Prima edizione. Paperback. Classici Greci: Grandi Tascabili Economici Newton 315. Rome: Newton Compton editori s.r.l. Lire 4900 from Libreria Antica e Moderna Neapolis, Naples, August, '98.

Here is a large paperback offering Phaedrus' five books and Perotti's Appendix with matching Italian verse translations. After Cavarzere's introduction, there is a helpful bibliographical note. I was not aware that there is not a satisfactory scholarly text of Phaedrus. This edition works from Brenot's Paris edition of 1921. There are only four pages of notes, following the fables. They are followed by a bilingual T of C (146). Like its partner volume on Aesop--in fact, even more so--this volume is a bargain!

1995 Folk Tales and Fables of the World. Retold by Barbara Hayes. Illustrated by Robert Ingpen. Dust jacket. Apparently first printing. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Barnes & Noble. $12.98 at Barnes & Noble, Omaha, Nov., '95.

This edition is almost identical with that published under the same title by Portland House in 1987. The only differences I can find are that this edition includes a general geographic T of C on the title page and that its paper is thinner. This edition cost me eight cents more than that one! See my comments there. Apparently the original was the Bateman edition of 1987, with its different cover picture. All three were printed in Hong Kong. See also the Chelsea book, Folk Tales & Fables of Europe, done in 1994. I would still love to get the composite fable picture reproduced!

1995 Fröhliche Tiergeschichten für Kinder. Illustrationen: Shogo Hirata. Übersetzung: Christine Kästner. Textbearbeitung und Vorwort: Vera Bruns. Niedernhausen/Ts: Bassermann'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung. DM 10 at Buch Kaiser in Pforzheim, July, '95.

This German edition collects all but one of the twenty-five stories done in ten pamphlets in 1989 for Joie by Shogo Hirata. The one missing story seems to be "The Gold Ax and the Silver Ax." The colors there are much brighter than they are here. This edition is wise to keep the small symbols that accompany each larger illustration. The morals here are much more brief and pointed than those in the 1989 edition; they take up one line of a closing couplet in each case. Thus, for example, the German moral for WL has seven words to twenty-seven in the English! "Der Gierige Hund" may set a record for brevity: three pages.

1995 He Alepou kai ta Staphylia. Illustrated by Carlos Busquets. Paperbound. Thessalonike, Greece: Ekdoseis Rekos: 8 Mythoi tou Aisopou: Rekos, EPE. Gift of Kathryn Thomas, March, '06.

Here is a sixteen-page pamphlet reproducing the story as I have known it from Mamma Ti Racconta from Edizioni Cartedit. My copy of that work is dated 1999, and the illustrator there is acknowledged as C. Busquets. The back cover here credits a 1994 copyright to that publisher. The fox in this version is pursing two hares when a badger trips him. He then seeks grapes for refreshment. He falls from a tree trying to get them. He only hurts himself further by trying to vault himself to get the grapes. Busquets' art is noteworthy for its "dynamic lines," like those on the cover illustration showing that the fox has just fallen straight down from a tree. There are seven other fables in this series, as the back cover indicates. It is unusual to find utterly blank inside covers like these.

1995 Hvordan man taeller krokodiller. Margaret Mayo; Pa dansk ved Tom Havemann. Emily Bolam. Hardbound. Copenhagen: Gyldendal. $5.95 from Powell's, Portland, OR, July, '11.

Harcourt Brace published Tortoise's Flying Lesson in 1994; my copy seems to be from 1995. Here is a Danish version. As I wrote then, it contains eight children's stories very colorfully illustrated. The monkey gets the crocodiles to form a bridge across the river to the mango tree. Father Bear selects gentle hare to take care of his cubs. "Tortoise's Flying Lesson," well told, is identified as an Aesop's fable. In it, a good eagle gives the tortoise rides for a week, and then the tortoise claims that he is ready to fly. The result is only that the tortoise "feels a bit of a wreck." The tortoise blames the eagle for not teaching him how to land! "Grandmother Rabbit and the Bossy Lion" is the old fable about the rabbit who leads the lion to face his competitor in the well; here the offerings are to begin with the smallest, and Grandmother Rabbit thus volunteers first. "The Very Small Tabby Cat" has the cat learning that there is another way than being big to have people look up to her. When the bluebird changed to its blue, so did the coyote, but he forgot to let the color dry, picked up a lot of dust, and ever since has been dusty gray. In "The Friendly Lion," a mouse (not the usual hare) thinks the world is ending when a coconut falls near him. The last story is the traditional fable in which the hare gets the elephant and hippo into a tug-of-war with each other while thinking they are battling with her. Both the texts and the art are well done in this book.

1995 Jean de La Fontaine.  Claire LeSage, editor.  Hardbound.  Dust-jacket.  Paris:  Bibliothèque national de France/Seuil.  €25 from Librairie de l'Avenue, St. Ouen, August, '17. 

Here is an excellent resource!  I am so fortunate to be able to return every two or three years to the Librairie de l'Avenue in St. Ouen to find books like this!  The cover picture gets it right: Jean de La Fontaine himself peers at us through an Oudry painting of FS, slit open for the author.  One of my learnings already from this book is of the excellence of Oudry's oil paintings.  One finds Oudry paintings on 122-23, 155, 158, 171, and 173.  I had previously limited him to the black-and-white renditions of his four-volume magnum opus.  About half of this large-format (about 10" x 12") book is given to La Fontaine as fabulist.  Lovely illustrations are there throughout, presumably arrange to relate to the focus of the ten essays making up the "fabulist" portion.  I rejoice as much in meeting old friends among the illustrators as seeing new things.  Among the new friends are the fabrics and dishware on 166-67; the cards on 168; the screen and the pedestal on 169; and the paintings of Moreau on 193 and 194.  Towards the end of the fable section, it is a pleasure to find more recent friends like Gaston Barret, Moss and Collot, and Jean Effel -- and even a Pulmoll blotter.  I learned finally that "Les Bambous" was indeed the title of the Creole La Fontaine published in 1846.  That work was one source for the La Fontaine in Creole that I catalogued just recently: "Fables de La Fontaine avec adaptations créoles et sources" by Suzanne Dracius (Desnel, 2006).  If this book is based on an exhibit, I sure am sorry to have missed it!

1995 Jean de la Fontaine: Fables. Introduction et chronologie par Alain-Marie Bassy; Bibliographie et notes par Yves le Pestipon. Paperbound. Printed in France. Paris: GF-Flammarion. $5 from A. Capella Books, Atlanta, through ABE, Feb., '03.

I am surprised that I had missed this sturdy 538-page paperback. I am glad to find it now. Besides providing a full text of the fables, it offers more copious notes--ninety pages worth--than the usual paperback edition. The introduction to this edition is also lengthy, running to thirty pages. There are no illustrations. There is both an AI and a T of C at the back. There are occasional written notes in the book, which is otherwise in good condition.

1995 Jean de La Fontaine: Fables (extraits). Illustrations de Pierre-Olivier Leclercq. Boxed, sold with Les Animaux et leur légendes ('95). Paris: Hachette Jeunesse Tresors. 30 Francs for the boxed pair at Mona Lisait, Paris, May, '97.

A sturdy edition of eighty fables with good silhouettes (set off by small white fleck-marks within them) by Leclercq. The best of them for me are WL (29), "The Ass and the Thieves" (31), SS (47), SM (71) and "The Cat, the Weasel, and the Rabbit" (151). The last of these appears on the spine of both the book and the box.

1995 Jean de la Fontaine: Fables, Livres I à VI. Illustrations by François Chauveau. Préface de Roger Duchêne. Hardbound. Paris & Geneva: Fleuron 52: Editions Slatkine. €7.50 from Celler Versandantiquariat Thomas Ehbrecht, Eicklingen, April, '03. 

This is a very attractive little book, with a colored version of Oudry's "The Monkey and the Dolphin" in two different color-intensities on its cover. The book offers the integral text of La Fontaine's first six books with all of François Chauveau's illustrations. Alas, these are even smaller than they were originally--1½" across instead of 2½". There is also a handy bookmark-ribbon.

1995 Jean de la Fontaine: Fables, Livres VII à XII. Illustrated by François Chauveau. Préface de Patrick Dandrey. Hardbound. Paris & Geneva: Fleuron 53: Editions Slatkine. €7.50 from Celler Versandantiquariat Thomas Ehbrecht, Eicklingen, April, '03. 

This is a very attractive little book, with a colored version of Oudry's "The Coach and the Fly" in two different color-intensities on its cover. The book offers the integral text of La Fontaine's last six books with all of François Chauveau's illustrations from the first edition of each part, the last appearing in 1694. Alas, these are even smaller than they were originally--1½" across instead of 2½". There is also a handy bookmark-ribbon.

1995 Jean de La Fontaine: Selected Fables. Translated by Christopher Wood. With an Introduction by Maya Slater. Paperback. Apparently first printing. Printed in Great Britain. Oxford/NY: The World's Classics: Oxford University Press. $8.95 from Creighton University Bookstore, June, '97. One extra copy at the same time.

I was happy to find this text available when I needed a La Fontaine text for an undergraduate course in fable literature. It had advantages that I liked: an broad selection of fables with explanatory notes in an inexpensive format. Thought it is not a high priority, I also like students to be able to see what the French actually says. I am sorry to report that my experience with the book was largely negative in two ways. First, my recollection is that I too often found the translation saying things that I did not find in the original, and so I had the bad experience of telling students that the original did not really mean what the translation said that it meant. Ouch! Now a year later, I check through my text for some examples. In WD (I 5), La Fontaine stresses the wolf's abhorrence of servitude by saying that he fled and is running still. Wood translates "He's running still, I'm told." Why add the possibly damaging phrase "I'm told" except to fill out a rhyme with the prior line's "for gold"? For me, that kind of price for buying a rhyme is too high. Again, La Fontaine finishes FS (I 18) by mentioning his audience ("Tricksters, it's for you I write") and commanding them to expect the same ("Attendez-vous à la pareille"). Woods translates the latter "biters will be bit: don't bite." We have both a new image and a new command. In "The Master's Eye" (IV 21), La Fontaine writes that each servant struck the beast, and the tears he shed in vain appeal were not able to save him. Here is Wood's rendering: "They all stabbed the Stag, and though he couldn't talk,/his tears spoke most eloquently, but in vain…." Why bring up in a fable the point that this stag could not talk when the poet himself did not raise it? At the end of "The Lark and Her Young" (IV 22), we do not even learn from Wood whether the little family flew! Instead we get "flittering, fluttering,/skittering, scuttering,/hush!/shush!/all in a row…" What?! Secondly, there were many fables needing to be read that I did not find included in this selection. Some of the fables I miss here are: "The Lion's Partnership" (I 6), "The Double Sack" (I 7), "The Middle-Aged Man and His Two Would-Be Wives" (I 17), and "The Cock and the Pearl" (I 20). And this is only within Book I! One hates finally to come across a typo--I assume it must be such--like that in these lines on 311: "the smallest Merchant is too fly/to sigh, because he has to hide/his losses if he is to keep/his creditors at bay." Should that "fly" be "sly"?

1995 Jump Up And Say! A Collection of Black Storytelling. Linda Goss and Clay Goss. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Simon & Schuster. $9.77 from Curio Corner Books, Austin, TX, through TomFolio, May, '08.

Of the eight parts of this collection of Black storytelling, the first section is titled "The Breaking Day Has Wisdom, the Falling Day Experience: Moral Tales." I read a half dozen. Most are not fables in the most traditional sense, but two are. "The Young Lion" (28) by Teju the Storyteller is an expanded fable placed into a human situation. A young man discovers on his fourteenth birthday that he is bigger than his mother. He will not face another whipping from her! When he acts on and then announces this program to her, he gets hit in the chest with a pot and put into his place. She tells him the story of the lion who uses physical force to assert his kingship with every animal until he meets Ms. Elephant. Provoked, Ms. Elephant slams him around a few times and dangles him in the air. "Now, boy, I know that you think you a young lion. But I'm an old elephant" (32). This story works just the way a fable is supposed to work. She does not have to spell out a moral for him! Another fable is "How the Leopard Got His Claws" (36) by Chinua Achebe and John Iroaganachi. Originally the animals lived together in peace. King Leopard had only small teeth and no claws. Only the dog had teeth. King Leopard rallied the community to build a village hall as shelter in the rain. The dog and the duck said that they did not need it and left. Others built well. When the rain came, it filled the dog's cave. He came and took over the hall and chased others out with his teeth. He even beat and wounded the leopard; now the dog was hailed as king. The leopard went to the blacksmith to get himself teeth and claws and went to thunder to get his roar. He came back and retook his kingship and sent the dog packing, but then he told them to take down the hall. Since then all the anmals live in enmity and depend on their teeth and claws. Good story! 

1995 Kommentar: Heinrich Steinhöwel's "Aesopus: Vita et Fabulae Ulm 1476". Peter Amelung. Paperbound. Ludwigsburg: Edition Libri Illustri Verlag. From Erasmus Haus, Basel, Sept., '05.

This commentary comes boxed with the impressive facsimile edition of Steinhöwel's Aesopus: Vita et Fabulae Ulm 1476 from Edition Libri Illustri Verlag. It is a paperbound large-format (8¾" x 12¼") book of 84 pages. Its sections include an introduction; Steinhöwel; his choice, formation, and translation of texts; the illustrations; Zainer and the printing of the book; ten pages of full-page black-and-white illustrations; a description of the book used for the facsimile and a comparison of it with other extant copies; a bibliography; and an index. I have perused the first ten or fifteen pages and found them well researched. This commentary, by gathering all secondary information in one place outside of the facsimile edition itself, makes the glorious facsimile edition possible.

1995 La Fontaine: Fabeln: Gesamtausgabe mit 320 Illustrationen von Gustave Doré. Translated by Ernst Dohm. Hardbound. Munich: Sonderausgabe für Parkland Verlag GmbH: International Publishing GmbH. DM 19,80 from Hassbecker's, Heidelberg, July, '98.

One of the "pretty" La Fontaine/Doré editions that have been coming out frequently lately. A special feature of this edition lies in the frequent tail-pieces. I do not believe that they are from Doré. The small Doré engravings become so small here! It is curious that Dohm is acknowledged only on the dust jacket. This is a verse translation.

1995 La Fontaine: The Power of Fables. Exhibition guide. Paul LeClerc, Christina von Koehler, and Holland Goss, co-curators. NY: The New York Public Library. Gift of Eleanor Webster, March, '95. One extra copy.

A fine exhibition guide. The guide is divided into two-page segments, each segment covering a place, period, or aspect of the fables. Each segment contains a page of history or comment and a page of source citations for exhibits in the exhibition. Eleven illustrations, including those used as background or on the cover. The commentary is excellent, for example in asking "What serves to keep these fables uncomfortably timely?" (16) or in cautioning readers not to take depictions of misery as a call for radical change (18). Though I have many of the materials used in the exhibition, the resources on which these curators can call make me drool with envy!

1995 La Fontaine: The Power of Fables: Educator's Guide to the Exhibition. Text by Holland Goss, Polly Hubbard, Susan Rabbiner, and Christina von Koehler. Design by Partners in Design. NY: The New York Public Library. Gift of Eleanor Webster, March, '95.

This educator's guide follows the sections of the exhibition. Its main contribution is to add questions which teachers can put to students about the fables, French life then, and American life now. The only visuals added to those in the other guides are Billinghurst's "The Animals Sick of the Plague," Rabier's FS, and Doré's GA. This latter chapter, like that in the overall guide, presents the dilemma of La Fontaine's version of GA well. With whom is one to sympathise here? What a lovely gift from Eleanor!

1995 La Fontaine: The Power of Fables: Student Guide to the Exhibition. Text by Polly Hubbard and Susan Rabbiner. Design by Partners in Design. NY: The New York Public Library. Gift of Eleanor Webster, March, '95.

A young student's guide to the exhibition, I would say. This booklet puts together many of the materials from the regular guide to the exhibit, but presents them in a way which those can understand who have not had a great deal of acquaintance with fables. One of its most creative touches is to have two fables running through the booklet in a wandering line--"The Hornets and the Honeybees" and then "The Bird Wounded with an Arrow." One fable and interpretation (outside the twelve books of La Fontaine) is new to me: "The Sun and the Frogs" has to do with the Dutch (frogs) and the Sun King, Louis XIV. The silly frogs insult their protector, who "will cause them regret/If angered."

1995 Las manchas del sapo: How the Toad Got His Spots. Marjorie E. Herrmann. Paperbound. Lincolnwood, IL. Fábulas Bilingües. The Bilingual Series. National Textbook Company. See 1987/95.

1995 Le Corbeau et le Renard et autres Fables [Cover: Jean de La Fontaine: Fables]. La Fontaine. Illustrations de Gustave Doré, Covers by Roland Sabatier. Paperbound. Gallimard Jeunesse: Gallimard. £ .99 from Fiona Gustard, Liverpool, UK, through eBay, Sept., '05. 

Fiona was good enough to substitute this book when I had bid upon and won a video tape in SECAM format not playable on American video players. Though the in-book illustrations are from Doré, the cover illustrations come from Roland Sabatier, who designed the stamp series on La Fontaine in 1995. There are twenty-four fables in this paperback, followed by games playing with the fables. Particularly effective here are the full-page Doré illustrations done without margins. Belin, a manufacturer of biscuits, has two pages of advertising late in the book and a bit of advertising on the back cover.

1995 Le Lièvre et la Tortue. Suivi de "Le Rat des villes et le Rat des champs" et "Le Loup, la Chèvre et le Chevreau." Illustré par Van Gool. Texte: Anaël Dena, d'après les Fables de La Fontaine. Produit par Twin Books, London. Imprimé par Print Centrum, Zlín, Czech Republic. Publié en France par les Éditions Nathan pour Melodia, Paris. 30 Francs at Libria, Paris, May, '97.

This large hardbound colorful book is unusual for a French book in presenting prose adaptations of La Fontaine. But then it is already unusual in being produced by a firm in London, printed by one in the Czech Republic, and published by a third in Paris! In TH, the hare sleeps apparently within sight of the goal, in fact a few steps from it. The wager is for the hare's weight in carrots against the tortoise's weight in salad. TMCM follows not La Fontaine but the more traditional tale, since it starts with a meal in the country. One of the best illustrations of the book shows the town mouse reacting vigorously as the country mouse approaches with his plate of food. In the city, they go immediately to the kitchen. At the end there is no mention of another meal together soon in the country, as there is in La Fontaine. The wolf in "The Goat, the Kid, and the Wolf" is dressed in a rakish outfit (35). In this version, the "Show me your white paw" demand works to ward off the wolf and prove the true mother.

1995 Le Pancha Tantra ou Les cinq livres de fables indiennes.  Traduit par l'abbé J.-A. Dubois; Présentation et notes par Guy Deleury.  Cover and frontispiece illustrations from Imam Bakhsh Lahori.  Paperbound.  Paris: Imprimerie Nationale Éditions.  €10 from Librairie de l'Avénue, St. Ouen, Paris, August, '14.  

Here is a full Panchatantra nicely executed.  Notes and commentary begin on 228, followed on 245 by a T of C and a helpful table of nine fables taken from the Panchatantra by La Fontaine, and advertisements for other books by Deleury and by the Imprimerie Nationale.  The two miniature illustrations, colored on the cover of the mouse transformed into a girl and black-and-white facing the title-page of the husband, wife, and thief, are taken from "Songe d'un habitant du Mogol" by the same publisher in 1989.  This paperbound copy has a band around its covers, like a partial dust-jacket, proclaiming "Un La Fontaine indien."  The nine fables from La Fontaine include: "The Fish and the Cormorant" (98); "The Animals Sick of the Plague" (119); TT (126); "The Unfaithful Deposit-Keeper" (139); "The Crow, the Gazelle, the Tortoise, and the Rat" 152); "The Cat, the Weasel, and the Little Rabbit" (166); "The Mouse Transformed into a Girl" (176); "The Husband, Wife, and Thief" (186); and MM (212).

1995 Les Animaux et leur légendes. Jean-Paul Brighelli. Boxed, sold with Jean de La Fontaine: Fables (extraits) ('95). Paris: Hachette Jeunesse Tresors. 30 Francs for the boxed pair at Mona Lisait, Paris, May, '97.

A curious hardbound little book of some 47 pages. Twenty-two little chapters (each starting with a quotation from La Fontaine) examine, superficially and eclectically, such topics as Aesop, La Fontaine, and "woman" along with cat, frog, fox, and turtle. La Fontaine's fables are also a main source of evidence for the portrayal of the animals presented here. The book contains a surprisingly broad and well reproduced survey of art connected with the depiction of animals in fable, myth, scripture, and legend. From the fable tradition, I would love to see more of the art especially of Vimar (18 and 20), Bouillon (24), and Rapeno (29).

1995 Les Contes bleus du chat perché. Marcel Aymé. Illustrations de Philippe Dumas. Paperbound. Paris?: Collection Folio Junior 433: Gallimard. Fr32,50 from Librairie Michele Ignazi, Paris, August, '01.

This paperback contains eight animal stories about twenty to thirty pages in length. The book has an unusual feature: Turn it over and start from the back towards the middle and you will find a series of questions and exercises on each story, paginated in continuation from the end of the book itself. That the stories here have some contact with fables is clear in the exercises on the first story, "Le Loup." The exercise mentions that the character Delphine has a sense of the wolf from La Fontaine's WL, and it quotes the fable in its entirety (196).

1995 Les Fables de La Fontaine. Scénario: Dugomier. Dessins: Carrere. Hardbound. Toulon: Soleil. $20 from BDEC, Mukarov, Czechoslovakia, through eBay, May, '13.

This is a fine "bande dessinée" or comic book featuring nine fables. The actual text of La Fontaine is given, generally two lines by two, at the top of panels of the comic book, in which lively action and more colloquial comment abound. The stag who has admired himself in a fountain gets away and saws off his antlers (VI 9)! The monkey does acrobatic tricks with the crown as though it were a hula hoop or other circus prop (VI 6). Particularly funny is "The Coach and the Fly," especially when the fly gesticulates self-importantly and proclaims "Je fais un travail formidable!" (VII 8). In the end, one of the passengers sprays him with bug spray! The visual artist carries out the moral of "The Hare and the Frogs" by showing a hunter frightened by a mosquito. At the end of GA, the grasshopper dances so vigorously that one ant suggests that they give him some grain to quiet him down! The bat finally runs into a weasel that eats both birds and mice! The rooster in UP comments to himself "Il me prend vraiment pour un idiot!" Using this comic book, I must say, is one of the most effective ways I have experienced for learning La Fontaine's fables well! Perhaps the best illustration of the whole book is on the lower right of 42: the city rat has immersed himself head first in a glass of wine.

1995 Les Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Danièle Bour. Préface de Marc Soriano. Nouvelle Tirage. Hardbound. Paris: France Loisirs. See 1988/95.

1995 Les plus belles fables de La Fontaine. Illustrée par Natacha. Printed in Belgium. Place Furstemberg, éditeurs. 45 Francs at Mona Lisait, Paris, May, '97.

A large format book with strong watercolors for each of 44 fables. The artist seems to sign many illustrations "Molenes 94". Each fable (except four) gets a two-page spread. The four exceptions are "Les animaux malades de la peste" (60), "Le chat, la belette et le petit lapin" (76, with a particularly strong depiction of Raminograbis), "Le chat et le rat" (92), and "Les deux pigeons" (96). The visual artist in picturing "Le cochet, le chat et le souriceau (56) surprisingly interprets "le cochet" as a stagecoach instead of a chicken! Was this creativity planned? Some good images include the pedant ("L'enfant et le maître d'école," 20); FK's first, insulted king (30); the sniffing bear in TB (54); the savetier clutching his money (80); and the monologuing rat about to learn something about size from the cat whom the elephant has been carrying (88). The artist takes an unsual perspective in "Le laboureur et ses enfants" (50) and also includes a daughter besides. Sometimes the two pages are well integrated with each other, as when they present summer and winter in GA (6). It is surprising that so many "selections" select the same basic set of La Fontaine fables.

1995 Martin Luthers Fabeln und Sprichwörter. Mit Einleitung und Kommentar, herausgegeben von Reinhard Dithmar. Mit zahlreichen Abbildungen und Holzschnitten aus der Werkstatt von Lukas Cranach. Hardbound. Dust jacket. 2., korrigierte Auflage. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. DM 30 from Hassbecker's Galerie und Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, July, '01.

This is a hardbound reprint of the 1989 Insel Taschenbuch of the same title. Apparently the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft picked up the book from Insel in Frankfurt and made it a hardbound edition with dust jacket. It seems to me that the new editors make one howling error. The Insel paperback had on its title-page only "Mit zahlreichen Abbildungen." This edition expands that phrase to "Mit zahlreichen Abbildungen und Holzschnitten aus der Werkstatt von Lukas Cranach." Only two paintings come from the studio of Kranach, but there are many woodcuts from Steinhöwel's Ulm Aesop. I think one of the editors read too hastily what is written on 11: "Die Holzschnitte zu einzelnen Fabeln und zur Vita Esopi aus dem Ulmer Aesop und die Illustrationen aus der Werkstatt von Lukas Cranach wurden so ausgewählt, dass sie nicht nur dem Schmuck dieses Bandes, sondern auch dem Verständnis der Texte dienen." On the book more broadly, let me include comments from the Insel edition. Dithmar lays out important texts in careful fashion, starting from Luther's thirteen fables of 1530 and their antecedents in Steinhöwel's Liber Primus. I take Dithmar's thesis to be that many commentators pounce on these thirteen fables as though they were Luther's word on the subject. Dithmar says rather that fable was important to Luther's thinking at a very basic level throughout his life. Dithmar goes on to present Luther's old-testament fables and then a set of fables labeled simply "Luthers Fabeln." These seem to be individual stories for individual purposes; that is, Luther created them for individual literary creations. Such is, e.g., "Vom Reichstag der Dohlen und Krähen," which Dithmar subtitles "Luthers Brief an die Wittenberger Tischgesellen." New to me here, among Steinhöwel's woodcuts, is the image of "Papstesel" (87), an ass that incorporates in a rather voluptuous body the features of many different animals. There follow sections "Aus Luthers Tischreden" (119) and "Luthers Theorie und Urteile über die Fabel" (155). Next we find the collection of Luther's proverbs; these are of course all over whatever of his writings I have seen, including the fables. Dithmar does very good work, as far as I have checked, in the fifty-page section on sources and commentary. What a rich volume!

1995 M.C. Turtle and the Hip Hop Hare: A Nursery Rap. David Vozar. Illustrated by Betsy Lewin. First printing? Dust jacket. A Doubleday Book for Young Readers. NY: Delacorte Press: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group. $10 at Georgetown Book Shop, Bethesda, Jan., '96.

My first rap fables! I feel old-fashioned as I find myself wondering about the verbal filler in this medium. Here is an early morsel: "Saying, "Why don't you race? That will decide it./The winner will be the fastest, the loser must abide it./We'll all come out and you can race tomorrow./One will be happy, the other in sorrow." The dust jacket proclaims "It's a new-for-the-nineties spin on the favorite tale...." The visual art is bold and colorful. Despite the poetic looseness, there is some very creative humor here. The rabbit is slowed up first by some chicks who flirt and tease. His next stop is at a "Little Bo Peep and The Sheep" band concert. The best picture occurs here: M.C. crawls by as his fans and friends are asleep on a bench! M.C. then hits a crest, starts rolling, and blows right past the dancing Hip Hop. After he has won, it takes M.C. so long to climb the stairs to get his prize that the crowds go home before he gets there!

1995 Marc Chagall: Les Fables de La Fontaine. Paperbound. Printed in Paris. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux. 18.30 Euros from Bouquinerie l'Ex-Libris, Paris, Dec., '03. Extra copy for $4.75 from Simple Green Is People Booksellers, Conway, AR, through eBay, August, '05.

Here is a beautiful 144-page second edition of the catalogue prepared for the great showing of the forty-three located gouaches done by Marc Chagall. See, under 1997, my comments on Marc Chagall: The Fables of La Fontaine. Those comments give something of the history of these gouaches and mention this exhibit. Now I have found the paperback published to catalogue the exhibit. The reproductions of Chagall's work here are exquisite! Each is paired with and faces its La Fontaine text. There is a T of C of the gouaches on 142. At the front of the book, following a short preface by Joséphine Matamoros and Sylvie Forestier, are two essays: "Les gouaches de Chagall pour les Fables jugées par la critique des années 1920-30" and "Chagall illustrateur des Fables de La Fontaine ou Comment quitter la Russie et devenir français." The exhibits were held at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Céret from October 28, 1995 until January 8, 1996 and at the Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall in Nice from January 13 until March 25, 1996. My favorites among the illustrations are "La Chatte métamorphosée en femme" (53); "Le Loup, la Mère et l'Enfant" (77); "La Vieille et les deux Servantes" (85); and "Le Satyre et le Passant" (87).

1995 My Book of Favourite Fables Adapted from Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Rene Cloke. Hardbound. London: Award Publications. £.10 from Sarah Kay, UK, through eBay, Dec., '03.

This is a smaller presentation of My Big Book of Favourite Tales by the same publisher in the same year. The plates are exactly the same but reduced proportionally. In fact, these illustrations are sharper. Might the other edition have been an enlarged--and so less distinct--copy of this one? The colorful illustrated endpapers there are not reproduced here. The place of publication has changed from Hungary to Belgium. Of course, my first impression on receiving the book was that I had mistakenly bought another copy of a work I already had. Wrong again! My $.18 went for a new book. What good luck!

1995 My Treasured Tales: Classic Stories, Fables, and Nursery Rhymes for the Whole Family. Compiled by Barbara Simons and Ruth Rooney. Illustrated by Anne Sellers Leaf et al. Hardbound. Nashville: Southwestern Company. $3 from Anthony LaParo, Wyomissing, PA, through eBay, Sept., '11.

This book seems an expansion of Treasured Tales of Childhood: Fables & Nursery Rhymes, published by Southwestern in 1974 and again around 1985. There "Aesop's Fables" formed the seventh of eight sections reproducing -- with some omissions -- Anne Sellers Leaf's Aesop's Fables from Rand McNally in 1952. The omissions from her earlier work included "The Cat, the Cock, and the Young Mouse," GGE, and WS. By contrast with her original work, the larger page format there allowed illustrations and stories to be spread out further. The editor cleverly cut the boy going to shout "Wolf!" in half; the reader has to turn the page to see the other half. Now "Aesop's Fables" forms the seventh of fifteen numbered sections in this book. The section comprises 100-117. The same selection is made from Leaf's original work, and the same cut is made in the illustration of the boy going to shout "Wolf!" (111-112). The book's title has changed slightly.

1995 My Treasury of Stories and Rhymes. Edited by Nicola Baxter. Illustrations by twelve artists listed on reverse of title page. Dust jacket. Reprinted 1995. ©1994 Bookmart Limited. Printed in Great Britain. NY: Blitz Editions: Bookmart Limited: Barnes & Noble. See 1994/95.

1995 Once Upon a More Enlightened Time. More Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. James Finn Garner. Illustrations by Lisa Amoroso. First printing. Dust jacket. NY: MacMillan Publishing Company. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, June, '95. Extra copy for $9.95 at Ketterson's, June, '95.

I enjoy this little sequel to Politically Correct Bedtime Stories (1994). Its three fables have several virtues, including a gift for surprising turns and a constant effort to see the circumstances of a given story through mockably correct political lenses. The reader knows that there will be a major "switch" in each story but does not know from what direction the switch will come. Garner begins cleverly with an apology for the success of his last book. GA (115) has the ant subjected to a surprise audit. TH (41) features a great quotation from the tortoise: "I'll win, just to prove to you that winning isn't everything" (44). A media interview, not a nap, slows the hare down. In TMCM (77), the suburban mouse "comes out of the wainscoting" and stays in town!

1995 Pérez y Martina/Pérez y Martina. Marjorie E. Herrmann. Paperbound. Lincolnwood, IL. Fábulas Bilingües: The Bilingual Series: National Textbook Company. See 1988/95.

1995 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.  See 1992/95.

1995 Public Programs at The New York Public Library. The Celeste Bartos Forum, Spring 1995. NY: The New York Public Library. Gift of Thomas Beckman, March, '95. Extra copy a gift of Roseann Fitzgerald, March, '95.

Among the varied programs offered by the Library during the Spring, a series of lectures, "Fables: From Aesop to La Fontaine," gets a page of recognition. The series is done by Marcel M. Gutwirth. It is meant to support and coincide with the Library's "La Fontaine: The Power of Fables" exhibition, co-curated by Paul LeClerc. The booklet features eight outstandingly-reproduced engravings by J.J. Grandville, including the cover engraving of the two high-society goats unable to pass through the doorway at the same time.

1995 Sefer Ha-Meshalim shel Rikah. Rikah Berkovitz. Illustrations by Ze'ev. Hardbound. Rishon le-Tsiyon: Be'er. $35 from Meir Beizunski, Haifa, Israel, Nov., '06.

This is a book of some twenty-four original Hebrew rhyming verse fables, meant perhaps most of all for children. Ze'ev's line drawings are strong illustrations. Among the illustrations one should not miss the many variations on the theme of bees. There is for example the bee showing up at the hive in rain on 12; another bee seems to sneak through the layers of wax to hear her story of woe. Often enough the bee is carrying a burden on a pole. A dramatic illustration on 55 shows a learned man whose hair and beard have turned to manuscripts or deeds. I look forward to the time when some Jewish friend can read me these fables! Is the woman pictured on 3 the same woman pictured on 61? 

1995 Selected Fables by La Fontaine. Translated by Maureen Charlton. Illustrations by Graham Knuttel. Signed by Maureen Charlton. Paperbound. Dublin, Ireland: Duke Press: A Martello Publication. €135 from Dublin Bookbrowsers, April, '11.

I am surprised that I had not heard earlier of this publication. I note that Maureen Charlton died in Dublin in 2007. A second surprise is the price of this book. One reason for its expense is Charlton's signature. Are there other reasons? I have seldom seen society divided as clearly as Charlton divides it in her introduction. Louis XIV is the lion. The most prominent courtiers are the fox and the wolf. "The bourgeoisie is represented by cats and dogs, ants and weasels, a hard-working, thrifty and unimaginative lot. The peasants -- the goats, the lambs and donkeys of the fables -- are nature's eternal victims attacked, mocked and often sacrificed" (iii). The twenty fables offered here are grouped in five sections of four fables each: "Mockery and Trickery"; "The Trickster Tricked"; Freedom"; "Human Nature"; and "Power." There are eight full-page colored illustrations by Knuttel: FC; "The Wolf and the Goat"'; FS; BF; TMCM; "The Swallow and the Little Birds"; CW; and OR. FS (8) does a good job of showing the stork's contortions to get at the fox's offering, while the tricky fox looks the viewer right in the eye. The jay of BF (11) ends up looking quite weird. CW (24) has the man enveloping the cat in his arms, who looks like she uses mascara. A quick reading of several of the fables suggests that Charlton abbreviated them, sometimes leaving out elements that some of us might find important. This copy has been in a musty place for some time. 

1995 Six fables en timbres: Timbres émis pour le tricentennaire de la mort de Jean de La Fontaine. La Poste. Claudine and Roland Sabatier. Paperbound. Paris: La Poste. $8.50 from John Plouffé, The Stamp Doctor, San Juan Capistrano, CA, through eBay, Dec., '06.

This sixteen-page pamphlet seems to have been issued at the same time as the stamps commemorating the three hundredth anniversary of Jean de la Fontaine's death. Each of six pages contains a clever little transparent holder holding the appropriate stamp for one of six fables. On the same page as the stamp is La Fontaine's text. Facing the page is a full-page reproduction of the stamp itself. I scanned these pages for future use. Before these six pairs of pages presenting stamps and fables, there are three introductory pages. The first has a preface, surrounding which is the only original piece of art in the booklet, a three-sided frame presenting faces of the characters found on the stamps. The verso presents the first of two non-stamp "vignettes" issued with the stamps, namely a portrait of La Fontaine. One lovely feature of this portrait is that his neck-kerchief opens out to become the curtain of a small theater, with the town and country mice playing upon the stage. This page gives the basic dates and events of La Fontaine's life. Facing it is a "Sommaire" or T of C, accompanied by the second vignette, a list of the six fables presented on the stamps: GA, OF, WL, FC, "Le Chat, la Belette et le petit Lapin," and TH. The second-to-last fable has a longer text; its stamp-illustration is thus reduced to less than full-page size to accommodate the extra text. More on other materials issued along with the stamps can be found here.

1995 Souris des Villes, Souris des Champs. Texte et illustrations de Jan Brett. Adaptation française de Brigitte Delpech. Hardbound. Printed in Maxeville. Gautier-Languereau. 35 Francs from prix malin, Poitiers, August, '99.

See my comments on the original English edition in 1994 under the title "Town Mouse, Country Mouse." How nice to find a book I have thoroughly enjoyed now in a different language! The book is still wonderfully lavish.

1995 Story Cards: Aesop's Fables. Compiled by Raymond C. Clark. With Illustrations by Hannah Bonner. Large-format pamphlet. First printing. Printed in USA. Brattleboro, Vermont: Pro Lingua Associates. $14.50 from Pro Lingua Associates, June, '97. Extra copy at the same price from the publisher at the same time.

Here are forty-eight fable cards, four to a page, to tear from the 8½" x 11" book. On the back of each card is the appropriate title and story. The color cartoon work is well done. The whole dead donkey is loaded onto the uncooperative horse (#3). "The Lion and the Fox" (#7) is done in terms of written invitation and written response. I am not sure I remember ever seeing "The Men and the Chameleon" (#38) before. "The Donkey's Brains" (#47) shows the hole in the donkey's head quite graphically! Human dress is ancient. I will also list this under "Fable Cards." I will also include with each copy a copy of the Pro Lingua catalogue for 1997, featuring WC on its cover.

1995 Storybook Cross-Stitch. By The Vanessa-Ann Collection. Apparently first printing. Printed in USA. NY: Meredith Press. $11.51 from Lorri Roush Shaver, Hummelstown, PA, through Ebay, Dec., '99.

This book gives patterns for 26 nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and fables, with step-by-step directions, colored photographs, and charts. It includes eight fables in its third section (114): GGE, SW, WSC, TH, TMCM, AL, "The Fisherman and His Wife" (sic), and "The Leopard and the Fox." Each fable has either four or six pages for text, photo, and patterns. The fable about the fisherman is really about the small fish wanting to be thrown back in. Several of the photographs include partial pages of contemporary fable books, like Anno's Aesop. My, the things fable-hunting has me getting into!

1995 Tales of Planning and Growth. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund. Gift of Annie Cahill, June, '00.

This promotional brochure in landscape format uses fables to convince readers to invest in TIAA/CREF SRAs now. On the cover is an illustration of TH, and the inside front-cover tells the tale, emphasizing that the hare could not make up for lost time. The first paragraph of text claims: "The stories you read in childhood are filled with financial wisdom." GA shows up on 4-5 with the moral explicitated: "Prepare today for tomorrow." On the last page we find GGE and this message: "Think about your needs for the long term; don't give up tomorrow's security for immediate gain." Also used along the way are "Johnny Appleseed," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and "The Three Little Pigs." Cute art! Great gift!

1995 Tesoro de Fábulas: Esopo, La Fontaine, Samaniego, Iriarte y Otros. Paperbound. Primera reimpresión de la primera edición. Mexico City: Clasicos Auriga: Fernández Editores. See 1991/95.

1995 The Arabian Nights or Tales Told by Sheherezade During a Thousand Nights and One Night. Retold by Brian Alderson. Illustrated by Michael Foreman. First printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Books of Wonder: Morrow Junior Books. $10.95 from Powell's on Hawthorne, July, '11.

First published in Great Britain in 1992 by Victor Gollancz Ltd. First published in the USA in 1995 by Morrow junior Books. This is the first time I have heard some of the tales included in The Arabian Nights classified as fables. Because that collection of tales is so loose, it is not surprising. I am surprised at the three good fables I read here! "The Fable of the Birds and the Beasts and the Carpenter" (43) tells of a lion who is gathering anti-human forces -- all those somehow dominated by the "sons of Adam" -- and finally meets an old man with some boards on his shoulder. The man claims that he is a carpenter on his way to make a house for a high-ranking official. The lion immediately demands that the carpenter make a house for him. The carpenter does, invites him in, and promptly nails a roof on, making this "house" into a prison box. The lion's anti-human allies scatter for fear of this "son of Adam." "The Fable of the Wolf and the Fox" (48) has the pair going through several phases. The last phase is the story usually associated in Aesopic circles with a goat and a fox. The fox leaps out of a pit over the wolf -- and then alerts people working the vineyard that a wolf has fallen into their trap-pit. He himself goes off and eats grapes! "The Fable of the Mongoose and the Mouse" (51) has a clever mongoose first stealing sesame seeds, then replacing some to get into the good graces of the victim housewife, and then alerting a mouse to the treasure of sesame seeds he could supposedly reap. In the end, the housewife catches the mouse and cares for the mongoose, who needs to share with no one.

1995 The Cat and the Cook and Other Fables of Krylov. Retold by Ethel Heins. Pictures by Anita Lobel. First printing. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. NY: Greenwillow Books. $9.50 at Powell's, Portland, March, '96.

A large-format, brightly-pictured book of twelve fables. Some of Krylov's best are included, like "The Swan, the Pike, and the Crab" (11), "The Quartet" (16), and "The Wolf and the Cat" (26). Two new favorites here are the title fable (14) and "The Miser" (18), which also has perhaps the best illustration. Generally there are two pages and two illustrations per fable, one thinner and/or L-shaped. Krylov began fable work by translating La Fontaine. He wrote 150 fables on his own. His original collection appeared in 1809 and was a big success. From then on he wrote nothing but fables. From 1812 on, he lived in the St. Petersburg Imperial Public Library. The "sources" page (32) is encouraging: this collection now includes everything they mention except an old Penguin paperback apparently taken from Pares' translation.

1995 The Children's Book of Virtues. Edited by William J. Bennett. Illustrated and signed by Michael Hague. Apparently first printing. Dust jacket. NY: Simon & Schuster. $20 from Books of Wonder, Nov., '95. Extra copy, not signed, for $14 from Barnes & Noble, Minneapolis, Oct., '95.

As Bennett's introduction notes, this book adds pictures to selected texts from his The Book of Virtues (1993). The ten categories of the former are boiled down to four composite groups here. Six fables appear, all with the same text as in the 1993 book, but all with new proemia: TH (19), "The King and His Hawk" (44), "Hercules and the Wagoner" (52), LM (76), BW (100), and "The Honest Woodman" (101). Again, the latter stops with the woodman getting all three axes. The illustrations are the brightest and most colorful of Hague's work that I have seen; I think that he is at his best when he pictures elves, dragons, and water-fairies.

1995 The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit: From the Collected Stories of Joel Chandler Harris. Retold by David Borgenicht. Illustrated by Don Daily. First printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Philadelphia and London: Courage Books: Running Press. $19.98 from Curio Corner Books, Austin, TX, through TomFolio, May, '08.

Seven tales in a large-format book of 56 pages. I have enjoyed Daily's work on Aesop, and so I am happy to find his book of Brer Rabbit tales. The introduction mentions that the language has been modernized from Harris' 1880 version "but care has been taken to retain the humor, the music and the truth of these wonderful stories" (2). Brer Rabbit's first trick is to get Brer Bear to take his place in Brer Fox's trap in his peanut patch. The second story is a version of the traditional "Caught in a well? Get someone to ride down" fable. Brer Rabbit tries to persuade Brer Fox that there are suckers in the well. Actually, Brer Fox knows that there are not suckers, but he thinks that Brer Rabbit is hiding a treasure in the well, and so down he goes . . . and stays. In the third, Brer Rabbit tricks the trickster by telling the wolf in front of the supposedly dead fox that dead foxes raise their legs and yell "Yahoo" when visitors come. In this version of TH, the turtle actually misunderstands the rabbit's challenge to a running race after the turtle has claimed that he is mentally faster than the rabbit when he gets going. Turtle then uses his sons, who look very much like their father, at the bends in the race. The center pair of illustrations is a great illustration of the race's beginning (28-29). Brer Rabbit has to dance on his ears for losing. On the stories go. Good stuff! The tar baby illustration on 44-45 is another prize-winner! Borgenicht helps the story by having Brer Rabbit find the tar baby "stuck up." Brer Rabbit threatens to "unstick" him if he does not answer. Good language for this sticky story! The pair of pages illustrating the heave of Brer Rabbit into the tar patch (54-55) is another prize-winner. The book includes a fold-out poster reproducing in larger format the front-cover illustration of many animals and other characters together.

1995 The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit: From the Collected Stories of Joel Chandler Harris.  Joel Chandler Harris.  Retold by David Borgenicht.  Illustrated by Don Daily.  Eighth printing.  Hardbound.  Philadelphia and London: Courage Books: Running Press.  $8 from Feldman's Books, Menlo Park, CA, July, '15.

There is already in the collection a copy of the first printing, including a poster.  I am surprised at how many little things have changed in this eighth printing.  The front and back covers have new illustrations.  David Borgenicht, highlighted as the re-teller on the dust jacket, cover, and title-page of the first printing, is banished here to the last page of the book among the bibliographical information.  The title-page is reformatted to add "The Classic Tales" as part of the title and to drop mention of Borgenicht.  The bibliographical page adds mention of the new cover designer Frances J. Soo Ping Chow, a web address, a changed street address for Running Press, and two new ISBN numbers.  As I wrote about the first printing, there are seven tales here in a large-format book of 56 pages.  I have enjoyed Daily's work on Aesop, and so I am happy to find his book of Brer Rabbit tales.  The introduction mentions that the language has been modernized from Harris' 1880 version "but care has been taken to retain the humor, the music and the truth of these wonderful stories" (2).  Brer Rabbit's first trick is to get Brer Bear to take his place in Brer Fox's trap in his peanut patch.  The second story is a version of the traditional "Caught in a well?  Get someone to ride down" fable.  Brer Rabbit tries to persuade Brer Fox that there are suckers in the well.  Actually, Brer Fox knows that there are not suckers, but he thinks that Brer Rabbit is hiding a treasure in the well, and so down he goes . . . and stays.  In the third, Brer Rabbit tricks the trickster by telling the wolf in front of the supposedly dead fox that dead foxes raise their legs and yell "Yahoo" when visitors come.  In this version of TH, the turtle actually misunderstands the rabbit's challenge to a running race after the turtle has claimed that he is mentally faster than the rabbit when he gets going.  Turtle then uses his sons, who look very much like their father, at the bends in the race.  The center pair of illustrations is a great illustration of the race's beginning (28-29).  Brer Rabbit has to dance on his ears for losing.  On the stories go.  Good stuff!  The tar baby illustration on 44-45 is another prize-winner!  Borgenicht helps the story by having Brer Rabbit find the tar baby "stuck up."  Brer Rabbit threatens to "unstick" him if he does not answer.  Good language for this sticky story!  The pair of pages illustrating the heave of Brer Rabbit into the tar patch (54-55) is another prize-winner.

1995 The Donkey in the Lion's Skin.  Val Biro.  Tenth impression.  Paperbound.  Bothell, WA: The Wright Enrichment Reading #3:  The Wright Group.  See See "The Wright Group Fables from Aesop" in Series Books.

1995 The Fables of Aesop. Selected and edited by Ruth Spriggs. Illustrated by Maggie Downer. Hardbound. Peter Lowe: Eurobook Limited. $4.09 from Awesome Books, Wallingford, UK, April, '12.

Here is a large-format (9" x 11½") book I would describe as like a recent British Milo Winter. It offers some "108 classic fables with 72 new illustrations, all in colour," as the back cover proclaims. The illustrations, in various partial-page sizes, are classic: revealing, helpful, consonant with the tellings of the stories. Are the versions the same ones that Ruth Spriggs published with Frank Baber's illustrations twenty years earlier? The title-page illustration looks quite similar to things I remember from Baber. There are a T of C and two pages of "background" at the book's beginning. Particularly pleasant or revealing illustrations include "The mountain" (in labor, 8-9); WS, with the man taking a nap under a tree (15); "The wolf and his shadow" (26); and DLS (41). Here it is a grandson that joins a miller and his donkey (70-71). Less known -- and well illustrated with three pictures -- is "The wolf and the donkey" (58-59).

1995 The Fables of Aesop. Engravings by John Tenniel (and Joseph Wolf, unacknowledged). Cover design by Monica Elias. Author of this text "reworked into modern English," unacknowledged. Dust jacket. NY: Book-of-the-Month Club. Gift from an anonymous donor, '96-'97.

Identical with the adjacent listing from QPBC except that there is here no color in the cover. The book changes the publisher on the title-page and its reverse, moves the back-cover paragraph to the front flyleaf, adds a paragraph on Aesop to the back flyleaf, and adds a back-cover selection of twenty morals. As in the paperback, do not miss the index to morals. Otherwise see my comments there.

1995 The Fables of Aesop. Engravings by John Tenniel (and Joseph Wolf, unacknowledged). Cover design by Monica Elias. Hand-coloring by Steve Weintraub. Author of this text "reworked into modern English," unacknowledged. NY: Quality Paperback Book Club. Gift of Linda Schlafer, March, '95.

This is a curious little treasure. It starts with a nostalgic cover of a fox looking up at a crow, a rooster strutting among hens, and a deer looking at his reflection in the water. But what is a mouse doing under another cheese-holding crow? This edition has the curious feature of an index of morals (139), a good source for proverbial sayings attached to fables. The edition in my collection with which to compare this reproduction is my 1867/74 Aesop's Fables. In fact, some of the illustrations in this QPBC edition can help one to read better the details of illustrations in that edition, like artist's signatures on the engravings. The QPBC engravings unfortunately vary, some of them being too dark. The illustrations here are somewhat larger than those there--and than those in the original 1848 Tenniel edition. Of these three editions, 1848 (Tenniel) and 1867/74 (Tenniel and Wolf) both had 203 fables, while this edition has 182. "The Blackamoor" (#181 in the 1867/74 edition) seems to be one of those dropped. This edition follows the order of the 1867/74 edition quite closely. I did some careful study of the authorship of the illustrations here, with the help of Percy Muir's Victorian Illustrated Books (111), to which my favorite private collector made reference. The fact that this was the first book in which Tenniel signed illustrations with his particular mark makes it easier to find those illustrations which he himself reworked from his supposedly inferior 1848 edition. They include: "The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf" (29), TB (33), "Hercules and the Waggoner" (46), "The Man and the Lion" (54), "The Herdsman and the Lost Bull" (59, highly praised by Muir), "The Old Man and Death" (93), "The Ass Carying the Image" (106), 2W (189), "The Charger and the Ass" (125, praised by Muir as one of Tenniel's best), "The Wolf and the Shepherds" (129), and "Venus and the Cat" (133). Most of these are clearly improvements over Tenniel's earlier efforts. For me, Wolf's renditions of "The Lion, the Bear, and the Fox" (97), "The Birds, the Beasts, and the Bat" (85), and DLS (108) lack the excellence of Tenniel's shaded dimensionality, and so represent a step down from the 1848 edition. Who redid some others is unclear, like "The Old Woman and the Jar of Wine" (24). I wish I knew who did this illustration, because I like it! This edition gives mirror images of several of the 1867/74 illustrations, including the cat as a bag (68), MM (70), and "The Boy Bathing" (132). I do not recognize this text of the fables.

1995 The Fox and the Grapes: Aesop Through the Ages. A Checklist of Aesopic Fables in the Pierpont Morgan Library. Anna Lou Ashby. NY: The Pierpont Morgan Library. Gift of Eleanor Webster, July, '95. Two extra copies for $4.95 each, Aug., '95.

This is another fine bibliographical tool to go along with Hobbs, McKendry, and Quinnam. Very strong early holdings. Surprisingly little is listed in the nineteenth and twentieth century: Levine is the only edition mentioned since 1932! A truly excellent introduction precedes the chronological bibliography. I had not known that the Pierpont Morgan owned the Codex Pithoeanus, the ninth-century manuscript that is our original source for Phaedrus. Four pages of lovely colored reproductions at the center, including the playing cards for the Grand jeu des fables d'Ésope. There is also a black-and-white page (27) given to the fable fountains at Versailles. A lovely little treasure!

1995 The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs.  Val Biro.  Tenth impression.  Paperbound.  Bothell, WA: The Wright Enrichment Reading #2:  The Wright Group.  See "The Wright Group Fables from Aesop" in Series Books.

1995 The Hidden Picture Book of Aesop's Fables. Retold by Christine San José. Illustrated by Charles Jordan. First printing. Honesdale, PA: Bell Books: Boyds Mills Press. Printed in the USA. $3.95 at read all about it, Omaha, Sept., '95.

It is high time that a good hidden-picture book of the fables appear. This one is good! Thirteen well-told fables, each with a full-page illustration cleverly hiding perhaps a dozen objects. I find the art well done. I find all the objects now once I am told what I am looking for. The mice actually bring a bell and a ribbon to where the cat is sleeping in BC! The dog in DS "always thought the biggest and the best was his by right" (21) Good moral to "The Cat and the Mice": "Don't be deceived when your enemy pretends to be harmless" (23). This one copy was hidden between other books; I had already given up on finding fables in that store! It paid off to persevere.

1995 The Lion and the Mouse: An Aesop's Fable. Retold by A.J. Wood. Illustrated by Ian Andrew. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, June, '97. Extra copy for $14.95 at Powell's, Portland, March, '96.

A very nice sideways book with the thickest pages I have encountered in a book in a long time. The art work is all black-and-white--perhaps charcoal? The story is told with dignity and sensitivity throughout. Some elements appear different here from the traditional tale. The mouse hears the lion's roar early in the day and stays out of the lion's way. There is a great presentation of the approach and capture by the hunters later the same day. The concluding moral is good: "It holds throughout the whole scale of Creation,/that the Great and the Little have need, one of another."

1995 The Lion and the Mouse: An Aesop's Fable. Retold by A.J. Wood. Illustrated by Ian Andrew. Hardbound. Signed by Ian Andrew. Printed in Italy. Surrey: Templar Publishing. Gift of June Clinton, Dec., '97.

What a delightful gift! See my comments under the same year for the edition published in the USA by Milbrook Press. A special feature of this copy is of course the signature of the artist.

1995 The Little Red Ant and the Great Big Crumb: A Mexican Fable. Retold by Shirley Climo. Illustrated by Francisco X. Mora. Hardbound. Dust jacket. NY: Clarion Books. $10.84 from Curio Corner Books, Austin, TX, through TomFolio, May, 2008.

This pleasant children's book tells a fable whose dynamics are like those in the story of the mouse daughter who should be married to the strongest in the world. Here the issue of "strength" is done more analogically. An ant smaller than her 999 cousins finds a cake crumb and wants to find someone strong enough to carry it home for her. Each one she asks ends up revealing someone stronger. The lizard has to wait for the sun to warm him up. The sun seems to be caught in a spider's web. The spider informs the ant that the rooster wakes the sun every morning. The rooster runs away from the "chicken-chaser," the coyote. The coyote is afraid of the hombre. The ant, trying to ask the hombre for help, climbs up into his ear. The man shakes the ant off, shouting "Ticklebugs!" On 33, the ant realizes "I frighten El Hombre.who scares El Coyote.who chases El Gallo.who wakes El Sol.who warms El Lagarto.who can blow down an anthill. So.I AM THE STRONGEST OF ALL!" She carries the crumb home, lives off of it all winter, and the next year is as big as all of her cousins. The final page offers a moral: "You can do it if you think you can." The version is presented as based on a Spanish tale, with a "distinctly Mexican flavor." Nicely done!

1995 The Monkey and the Panda.  Antonia Barber.  Illustrated by Meilo So.  First printing.  Hardbound.  Dust jacket.  NY: Macmillan Books for Young Readers:  Macmillan Publishing.  $5.59 from kbooks, Niagara Falls, through ebay, Feb., '16.

The dust jacket describes this as a "beautifully written fable that cleverly addresses a common issue: jealousy."  I agree.  Children of the village love both Monkey and Panda.  The former is noisy and naughty and makes the children laugh.  Panda is quiet and comfortable and soft to sleep upon.  Monkey becomes jealous, and his tricks get wilder.  The villagers long to get rid of him.  They come to a wise old man at a ruined temple for advice.  He asks Monkey why he has grown so troublesome.  Monkey claims that it is all Panda's fault, since Monkey is "better in every way."  The monk asks if Monkey wants a judgment.  Must one be better and the other worse?  He brings Monkey to Panda.  "Each shall speak in turn."  Monkey speaks up.  "There is nowhere that is not mine.  I can climb, swing, leap.  Panda just sits all day long."  Panda says nothing.  Monkey then claims to be more cunning than Panda.  Panda says nothing. Monkey features his tricks.  "Compared to me, Panda is boring."  Panda says nothing.  In fact, she has fallen asleep!  Monkey starts making outrageous claims of having fought with dragons and rescued princesses.  The children gather round him and Monkey tells an enthralling tale of "brave deeds and bold rescues."  These are really Monkey's dreams, and they prod the children to remember their dreams.  He "gave their dreams back to them."  Challenged to speak, Panda comes out with some poetry about the bamboo grove.  The children look up and see the grove truly for the first time.  The wise old man judges "How rich our lives have become!  Monkey has taken us the ends of the world and Panda has shown us into the heart of it.  Who am I to judge between them?  Cherish Monkey the storyteller and honor Panda the poet!"  The art fits perfectly with the story's tone.

1995 The Moral Compass: Stories for a Life's Journey: A Companion to The Book of Virtues. Edited, with Commentary, by William J. Bennett. First printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. NY: Simon & Schuster. $15 from Ichabod's Books, Denver, April, '98.

Bennett used especially readers for children from around the turn of the century and found material that surprised him with its quality. By comparison with his first volume, The Book of Virtues (1993), the stories here are for him "more intriguing and imaginative…more stories of the spirit" (14). The fables here include: "The Wounded Pine Tree" (Babrius, 86); "The Fox and the Cat" (148); TT (150); "Fortune and the Beggar" (Krylov, 169); "The Miser" (176); DM (176); TMCM (177); "The Blind Men and the Elephant" (192); "The Man and His Piece of Cloth" (195); "Industry and Sloth" (204); "The Ingratitude and Injustice of Men Towards Fortune" (La Fontaine, 209); "The Stag at the Pool" (218); MSA (221); WL (224); "The Camel's Nose" (237); "The Two Travelers and the Oyster" (238); "The Crab and His Mother" (522); "The Old Man and Death" (616); and "Bat" (643). Not a bad showing for the genre! As for non-fables, my favorite here may be "The Friend of a Friend of a Friend" (166). It is so enticing just to pick up this book and start reading…. See my comments on The Book of Virtues.

1995 The Mouse Bride. Story by Joy Cowley. Paintings by David Christiana. First printing. Paperbound. NY: Scholastic Inc. $2 from Reno Friends of Library Book Sale, Oct., '04. 

This version starts differently from other versions I know of the "Mouse Bride" story. Here it is about "a mouse who hated being a mouse." Marrying someone strong is a way to overcome her being "small and weak." At least she will have strong children. She--not her parents--sets out to find the strongest husband in the world--after she has donned her wedding veil. First she comes to a mountaintop close to the sun and asks the sun to marry her. The sun refers her to the stronger cloud. The illustrations personify each of these characters nicely. The sequence of references moves along from the cloud to the wind and to a tall wooden house. The latter is for me a new and added element. The house, once he wakes up, mentions a creature who nibbles and gnaws at his timbers. Of course this final creature is a mouse. Text and picture make the mouse into a plucky little creature with a lot of spirit.

1995 The Oxford Book of Story Poems. Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark. Many artists. Paperbound. This selection and arrangement ©Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark 1990. First published 1990; reprinted 1991, 1995. First published in paperback 1995. Printed in Italy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. $12.95 at Green Apple, March, '97.

A delightful range of poems and illustrations. Among them is "The Complacent Tortoise" by Brian Patten. In it the hare read a fable by Aesop along the way in the race and decided to "put that fable aright." "The hare, having decided on saving face,/Quite easily managed to win the race." The tortoise felt deceived. The hare answered "Some fables are things you ought to contest--/Dear tortoise, in mine, I'm afraid you've come last." The good water-color illustration of the hare leaping over the tortoise is by Lydia Evans.

1995 The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote.  Tony Johnston.  Illustrated by Tomie dePaola.  Paperbound.  NY: Scholastic.  $2 from the West Coast, July, '15.

The back cover is right: "Rabbit keeps tricking Coyote again and again."  Several of those trickster moves are the stuff of fable.  In the first trick, a farmer gets rabbit stuck to a wax scarecrow that is like the tar baby in the Brer Rabbit cycle.  The farmer puts him into a sack next to a boiling pot readied to cook him.  Coyote comes by and from the sack, rabbit convinces coyote that he is waiting to marry the farmer's daughter and that hot chocolate is brewing.  Coyote takes his place and gets a scalding for his trouble.  Rabbit next substitutes hard jicara for soft and sweet zapote and hits coyote on the head and knocks him out.  Then he gets him to sit against a huge boulder allegedly ready to roll down and crush the world.  Next he gets coyote to tend the "little children in this little school."  The school is really a wasps' nest, and coyote is to give a knock if a pupil tries to leave.  Lots of ugly stinging for poor coyote!  Finally rabbit gets coyote to try to drink up the pond to get at the cheese in it.  The following chase leads rabbit to climb a ladder to the moon, where he now lives.  He is the Mexican equivalent of our "man in the moon."  The dePaola illustrations are engaging as always.  The first page declares "Tony y Tomie son muy buenos amigos."  It appears that there was a 1994 Putnam and Grosset edition.  This Scholastic edition from 1995 "is only available for distribution through the school market."

1995 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold and illustrated by Helen Craig. ©1992. First U.S. paperback edition 1995. Apparently first printing. Printed in Hong Kong. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. $5.99 at Red Balloon, St. Paul, Dec., '95. Extra copy a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '98.

See my comments on the 1992 hardbound edition. I notice that this edition adds a pleasant cream-colored background to the text portions of the pages. Note that the hardbound book had been printed in Belgium.

1995 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold by Ellen Scheckter. Illustrated by Holly Hannon. Bank Street Ready-to-Read. A Byron Preiss Book. First printing. NY: Bantam: Doubleday Dell. $3.99 at Red Balloon, St. Paul, Dec., '95. Extra copy of the third printing for $3.99 at Waldenbooks, DC, April, '97.

This is a delightful, short, softbound version perhaps most notable for its great rendition of the mice's heads and for the elaboration of mouse-life in both places. For the former, see, e.g., the embrace of the two on 10. The latter may be clear in some of the early details about the country mouse, who "wove curtains of spider-silk" and "slept beneath a quilt of rose petals stitched neatly together with cobweb." The town mouse had problems with bug bites, freckles, and rain. The first encounter with town was apparently a carnival. When the cat attacked, the town mouse ran for her hole, but the country mouse ran straight home. The final line is "And they each knew exactly where they belonged."

1995 The Wind and the Sun. Retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. ©1985, 1972 by Ginn and Company. Printed in Mexico. Apparently second printing. Parsippany: The Silver Press. $4.95 by mail from The Story Monkey, August, ’96.

It is easy to like dePaola’s simple work. He follows a good version of the story that has the wind dive right in even before a formal bet: "‘I will show you I am stronger,’ said the wind. ‘I will blow the cape from that man.’" Softbound pamphlet.

1995 Tops & Bottoms. Adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company. Gift of Tom and Diann Greener, April, '98.

Here is a delightful presentation of the age-old story of outwitting a partner by offering--at the right time--tops or bottoms or both. One of the exceptional things about this book is that it positions itself so that the book opens from the bottom to the top, not from side to side. The victim here is the lazy bear who has land but no energy. Hare and his family have lost their land and now offer the bear a partnership, with all the work on their side. Bear has only to choose whether he will take tops or bottoms. When he has made his choice, the hares go about planting and watering and weeding. At harvest time, the hares dig up the carrots, radishes, and beets that they have planted, and they give all the useless tops to Bear. Bear, angered, demands the bottoms in the next crop--and gets them--the bottoms of lettuce, broccoli, and celery. Come the next season, Bear demands both tops and bottoms--and gets the roots and tassels of corn stalks, while Hare collects all the ears of corn in the middle in his own pile. Bear gets mad enough to work during the season, and Hare buys land with his profits. He and Mrs. Hare open a vegetable stand. They live happily as neighbors, but they will never be business partners again! Stevens' work with the younger rabbits playing tricks and having fun is especially good. I am delighted that she has continued with fables over the years.

1995 Tortoise's Flying Lesson. Margaret Mayo. Illustrated by Emily Bolam. First published in Great Britain in 1994 by Orion Children's Books. First U.S. edition. Apparently first printing. Printed in Italy. Dust jacket. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company. $15.30 at Hungry Mind, St. Paul, Dec., '95.

Eight children's stories very colorfully illustrated. The monkey gets the crocodiles to form a bridge across the river to the mango tree. Father Bear selects gentle hare to take care of his cubs. "Tortoise's Flying Lesson," well told, is identified as an Aesop's fable. In it, a good eagle gives the tortoise rides for a week, and then the tortoise claims that he is ready to fly. The result is only that the tortoise "feels a bit of a wreck." The tortoise blames the eagle for not teaching him how to land! "Grandmother Rabbit and the Bossy Lion" is the old fable about the rabbit who leads the lion to face his competitor in the well; here the offerings are to begin with the smallest, and Grandmother Rabbit thus volunteers first. "The Very Small Tabby Cat" has the cat learning that there is another way than being big to have people look up to her. When the bluebird changed to its blue, so did the coyote, but he forgot to let the color dry, picked up a lot of dust, and ever since has been dusty gray. In "The Friendly Lion," a mouse (not the usual hare) thinks the world is ending when a coconut falls near him. The last story is the traditional fable in which the hare gets the elephant and hippo into a tug-of-war with each other while thinking they are battling with her. Both the texts and the art are well done in this book.

1995 Town Mouse, Country Mouse. Carol Jones. First American edition. ©1994 by Carol Jones. Originally published in Australia in 1994 by CollinsAngus & Robertson. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $14.95 at HMS Toys, Omaha, Feb., '95. Extra copy from Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '97.

An engaging version, whose special approach to the story lies in cut-out peep-holes that give an advance image of what is coming next. As in Jan Brett's version, the owl and the cat are the strongest threats in country and city. The emphasis here is on all that it would take getting used to in the home of the other. Correspondingly, the moral here is "There's no place like home."

1995 Two Mice in Three Fables. Lynn Reiser. First edition. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Greenwillow Books. $7 at Book Discoveries, Nashville, April, '96.

"Two Mice" is a lively variation of TMCM. When the outdoors mouse visited the caged mouse, "One mouse was content. One mouse was ready for more" (7). After being attacked frequently outside, "One mouse was ready for more. One mouse was ready for a nap" (9). The moral is "What thrills one tires another." "The Owl and the Raccoon" makes a strong case for sharing by using a good formulaic line for these two: "It was the same hole" that they wanted to live in; "It was the same branch" that they wanted to walk on; "It was the same two mice" that they both attacked. The moral is "Take turns or tempt trouble." "The Quick Slick Snake" features an aggressive snake who is too quick; the two mice elude him by standing still! The moral is "Today's trick is tomorrow's tangle." A clever set of introductory pictures--and one final one--shows more and more people, and even animals, joining in on the fun of reading this book.

1995 Visnu Sarma: The Pancatantra. Translated from the Sanskrit with an introduction by Chandra Rajan. First Great Britain/USA printing. Paperback. Printed in England. London: Penguin Classics: Penguin Group. AUS $10 from N & A Smiles, Leeming, West Australia, July, '98. Extra copy for $10.36 from Olsson's Books & Records, Alexandria, VA, May, '96.

First published in India in 1993, this is a very attractive Panchatantra. It is the first I know of that has been translated by a woman. I would like to make it my text the next time I go through the poem. For now I note that it is a full version, stretching over 435 pages before the notes. By contrast Olivelle's version in similar format finishes its text on 159. The introduction here is extensive and intelligent. "Wily" and "Wary" serve very well as names for Dimna and Kalila. The T of C at the beginning is detailed in its presentation of individual stories. The notes at the end are simple and pleasantly terse.

1995 Von Vergnügen der Erkenntnis: Fabeln von Kindern für Kinder. Gedichtet und gezeichnet von Schülern und Schülerinnen der Hauptschulen I und II in Gmünd. Ein Projekt der Kulturinitiative Gmünd. Gmünd: Eigenverlag-Herausgeberin Kulturinitiative Gmünd. DM 15 at Renard Society meeting in Düsseldorf, July, '95.

Twenty enjoyable little stories, seven of them nicely illustrated with crayons. I am surprised at the number of fables that use household objects, like the opener about a mailbox that rusts out of unrequited love for a picture-postcard. Other good fables have a bulb convincing a light-switch that if he wears out the bulb, he too will be out of business; a fox tricking a bear out of his small hole; and a fire attacking a bucket for wood ("Zudringlich"). Wilfried Liebchen's afterword, "Zum Fabel Workshop," praises the power and appropriateness of "epic" rather than Aesopic "rhetorical" fables as the object of children's fable-creating.

1995 Walt Disney's Treasury of Cartoon Classics. Edited by Darlene Geis. Illustrations from Walt Disney. First printing. Hardbound. NY: Disney Press. $9.99 from Nancy's Fancy Store, Raytown, MO, through eBay, May, '08.

Copyright 1981 by Walt Disney Productions. This volume includes sections devoted to Tales, Fables, Animal Stories, Nature Stories, and Poems and Rhymes. The fables section includes GA, TH, TMCM, and "The Wise Little Hen." There are opening and finishing sections on how Silly Symphonies came to be and a filmography of them. Seventy-six Silly Symphonies appeared between 1929 and 1939. After twenty-eight in black and white, the rest were in full color. Seven, including "The Tortoise and the Hare," won Academy Awards. This book offers a good combination of narrative and visuals taken from the films. The latter are not outstanding for their visual definition. Around each pair of pages is the same frame of a musical score, infrequently broken by a picture that extends beyond the usual margin. I see in reading GA carefully that, though Disney bypasses the traditional fable's harshness, he has his own teaching to offer. The ants do play now, and the grasshopper's play is also work, since he is playing for the ants. TH is "Toby Tortoise vs. Max Hare." It features Toby's exasperation with Max's boasting, the wager in an attempt to stop his boasting, Max's training quarters, and Toby's modest attempt to shake hands before the race. "Straight and steady does it. Just keep going" is Toby's mantra. Some snails pass him on the road. Max actually wants to nap. Once Toby passes him, Max takes off but stops to chat with the girls at the school. Toby plods by and turns down the girls' offer to stop and chat. Toby shows off by being both the shooter and apple-carrier in a bow-and-arrow trick and by playing tennis with himself. There is no baseball in this version. Toby extends his neck to win. "Country Cousin" is Disney's version of TMCM. The first move here is an invitation to Abner in the country to join Monte in the city. Monte has to warn Abner four times not to make so much noise, e.g., by crunching celery. Abner gets into mustard and champagne. The tipsy Abner is ready to fight the sleeping cat on the way to the mousehole. Abner kicks the cat's backside, and Monte runs to his mousehole and shuts the door. The fables section also includes "The Wise Little Hen." Peter Pig and Donald Duck beg off, supposedly sick, when it is time to plant and to harvest the corn. When it comes times to eat the goodies, they get castor oil! These fables are enjoyably presented.

1995 Wise & Otherwise: Fables, Myths, Fairy Tales and Other Jolly Nonsense. Elmer Otte. First edition. Paperbound. Appleton, WI: Folklore House. $8.48 from Better World Books, March, '10.

The title continues "Fun To Be A Kid Again." The back cover aptly describes the eleven stories here as "Delightful, Whimsical Award-Winning Fairy Tales To Charm Any Kid Of Any Lively Age." Of Otte it says "He sees and writes this silly and sweet, all mixed up with the naughty and neat." I read the first two stories. Otte's special gift, I believe, lies in playing with words. His first tale -- "Walter Walter From Fiddle, D.D." -- is a good one of unexpected reversal in a small town in Switzerland. The town lazybones is snookered by a clever grandpa into leading the great parade of local fiddlers with his fifenflute. The fun for me comes in expressions along the way, like "Cousin George across the gorge," "Uncle Dunkel with his yellow cello," and "dimple dumplings popular throughout Dinkelhorn." The story's last sentence climaxes with the hero, "Walter Walter, playing ever-so-joyfully, on his what-does-it-matter horn" (6). The second, "A Golden Zipper For A Kangaroo's Pouch," climaxes, I believe, when the kangaroos learn that Christopher, who had wiggled out of a baby-sitting kangaroo's too-loose pouch, "had since become the top kangaroo at the Kalamazoo Zoo" (11).

1995 19 fables de singes. Jean Muzi. Illustrations de Gérard Franquin. Paperbound. Paris: Castor Poche #387: Castor Poche Flammarion. See 1992/95.

1995 100 World's Great Fables. Bilingual English-Chinese. Translated by Chen Deyun, Li Zhong, and Zhou Guozhen. Paperback. Printed in Hong Kong. $22.50 from Eastwind Books, Berkeley, June, '99.

This paperback offers an excellent selection of one hundred Western fables. I am surprised not to find some Chinese fables included! A glance at the T of C near the book's beginning shows that Aesop gets fully 41 texts; Lessing 13; Phaedrus, Kriloff, and Tolstoi each 8; and La Fontaine 4. I am surprised to see Pignotti, Aikin, and Bierce included at all. Some stories that are new to me and good include the Talmud's story about getting the cow to move by putting the calf in front of her (86) and Pignotti's "The Mouse and the Elephant" (174, different from La Fontaine's). Among the fables included from Phaedrus is "The Camel and the Fly" (90). I do not think that there is such a fable in Phaedrus' corpus! The prose Phaedrus seems to have the more usual "Bull and Fly." Similarly, I am unaware of a Phaedrian fable like #51 here, in which an ox and an ass, who have been pulling a wagon together, both end up dying. Because La Fontaine is represented by only four fables here, it is especially surprising for me that one of them is "The Treasure and the Two Men" (112). I like Lessing's fables more every time I read them. On this trip through, his "The Lion with the Ass" (152) strikes me particularly. Asked if he is ashamed to walk with an ass, the lion responds that he can allow to walk at his side whomever he can make use of. Lessing comments that this is the way "great" people think when they honor a common person with their company. I am delighted to have found this book in an Eastern store in Berkeley.

1995 366 and more Animal Fables. Translated from the Italian and re-told by Maureen Spurgeon. Hardbound. England: Brown Watson. $2 from Kevin Brown, Bailey, NC, through eBay, Nov., '05. 

Copyright 1993 by Happy Books in Milan. This large-format book is unusual among such "fable for everyday" books in that it is almost entirely fables. There are some fairy-tales mixed in, but they are relatively few. There is a spirited colored illustration for each story, and there are two or three stories per page. One frequent source is new to me: Melegari. There is a complete list of the stories at the end. The book's Italian origin is clear when, as on January 17th, the story comes from "Fedro." Trilussa and Leonardo also appear here. Each month has a featured story. Since these are longer, they tend not to be fables. Some of these are "The Three Little Pigs," "Pinocchio and the Parrot," "The Hare and the Tar Baby," and "The Musicians of Bremen." I am delighted to have found this book! It is a rich resource for fable versions and illustrations.

1995 [Japanese]. (Aesop's Fables). Volume 3 of a series of 90 small square paperback pamphlets. Numbered #1 of 3 volumes of Aesop's fables within this series (with #28 and #41). TMCM on cover. © 1984 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 1990 Korean "Aesop's Fables, Volume 1," edited by Jae Chon Son. 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 four fables (TMCM, GA, "The Axe-Loser," and "The Bat, the Birds, and the Animals") and the format are thus the same: one design echoes the facing full page. See my comments there.

1995 [Japanese]. (Aesop's Fables). Volume 41 of a series of 90 small square paperback pamphlets. Numbered #3 of 3 volumes of Aesop's fables within this series (with #3 and #28). BW on cover. © 1987 Anime Kikaku. Tokyo: Nagaoka Shoten. ¥360 at Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96. Extra copy a gift of Rafael Sakurai from Kinokuniya, San Jose, May, '97.

I cannot tie this book, as I had tied the first two "Aesop's Fables" books in this series, to a Korean parallel or source. Five fables: BW, TB, WS, MSA, and "The Horse That Tried to Survive on Dew." The format uses one smaller design from the fable's principal page to echo the facing full page.

1995/97 Aisopou Mythoi. Epimeleia Zoe Balase. Illustrations from Ulm and from Desandré and Freeman. Second edition. Hardbound. Athens: Mikre Anthologia 1: Hellenika Grammata. Gift of Kathryn Thomas, Nov., '07.

Here is a beautifully produced little book. It is almost square, about 5¾" on a side, and is 129 pages long. After a short section on Aesop and his fables, there are forty-seven fables, illustrated by the Ulm woodcuts or by engravings from Desandré and Freeman in the late nineteenth century. After the fables, there are specimens of the Greek script in which Aesop would have been first written down and two Aesopic enigmas with their solutions. Finally one finds a T of C and a colophon page. The colophon page is unusual for getting down to the address of the publisher's bookstore, with fax and telephone numbers. The book is solidly constructed and beautifully printed.

1995/98 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Jacqueline Morley. Illustrated by Giovanni Caselli. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Portugal. Hove, East Sussex: Macdonald Young Books: Wayland Publishers Limited. £8 from Elmfield Books, Birmingham, UK, Dec., '99.

I like this book. I suspect that a lack of publication rights for it in this country has kept me from being aware of it, so I was lucky to find it from Elmfield Books in England. The introduction is a careful and accurate presentation of the history of fables, including the offhand surmise that Herodotus recorded little about the details of Aesop's life "because he assumed that his readers knew all about such a famous man as Aesop" (9). Two other structural features of the book are immediately attractive. The first is "A Guide to Aesop's Beasts" (93), which is a good shorthand presentation of each fable starting with one main character (e.g., "Gnat, self-important 47"). The second is a two page "Index of Themes" (94), which I plan to use. The illustrations are spirited, and the texts are very careful. Do not miss the illustration of the mosquito planted solidly on the exposed flesh of the lion's nose (15). The art here not only spills beyond the usual borders; it often runs to the very bottom, top, or side of the page. SW is particularly well told (18); the North Wind opens the conversation with "Watch me tear off his cloak." The sun replies "I think I could take it off him quicker than you." The moral to "The Hare Has an Idea" (23) is "The rich will not share willingly with the poor, and who can make them?" Caselli's donkey in the lion's skin is one of the best I have seen (27), but his cat-become-a-bride (32) may be less successful. "The Farmer and the Snake" (33) has a great but sad moral: "There are some injuries it is impossible to forgive." LS has just the lion and ass as partners and three portions (44). SS is well told: that the third load comprises sponges is revealed only after the third "slip" into the water (48). The mice generals wear walnut helmets against the weasels, as the illustration shows well (50). "The Donkey Who Wanted to be Loved" has a great illustration of the donkey embracing his master (56). The illustration for FS (66) dramatizes the inability of the fox to get deeply enough into the vase. Perhaps the most dramatic picture is that of the wolf piping for the kid (78). Morley's interpretation of "The Eagle Whose Wings were Clipped" (81) is both fresh and attractive; she turns the fable against the cynical fox by moralizing "Only the mean-spirited count the cost of doing good or the benefits it may bring them." The book is strong on visual representation of the ancient Greek world, e.g., in the vase painting on 59. If asked for a good, reliable, enjoyable fable book these days, I would certainly think of recommending this one!

1995/99 Fables de La Fontaine. Peintures de Michel Potier. Hardbound. Album Dada: Edition Mango. 99 Francs from La Procure, Paris, August, '99.

This is a later printing of a book I have in an apparent first printing from 1995. What has changed includes the back endpapers and the two covers. The back endpapers indicate the 1999 printing and other books in the same series. The front cover expands the design of the smaller earlier cover picture: a profile of La Fontaine wearing a donkey's head. The back cover adds busts of a whimsical crow and fox with tiny breasts. The full fox -- a male? -- is on 9. As I wrote of the first copy, this is a beautiful, large, hardbound book, remarkable for its sensual and lavish illustrations. Each fable, including the doublet of "The Heron" and "The Girl," is allotted two pages for text and illustration. The texts themselves are playfully calligraphed; the print grows, for example, just as the frog does (10). The artist's approach seems to me to be surrealist, and the effect is strong. For good starters among the images, try the cover-image of La Fontaine, the frog about to burst (11), the bird in borrowed feathers (20), and "The Monkey and the Leopard" (34). There is a T of C at the back. Do not miss the artist's photo facing it. 

1995/2000 A Sip of Aesop. By Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Karen Barbour. Paperbound. Printed in USA. NY: Scholastic, Inc. $5.99 from Powell's, Portland, July, '00.

This printing is marked as different from the 1995 second printing I received as a gift from Vera Ruotolo. On the back of the title-page one reads "First Scholastic Trade paperback printing, August, 2000." That page has been newly typeset. This printing also seems to lack the announcement on the back cover that formerly read "This Scholastic edition is only available for distribution through the school market." Further, Scholastic has added three offices on the title-page since the earlier printing. Otherwise this book seems identical with that paperback printing. See also my comments on the hardbound original from The Blue Sky Press in 1995.

1995/2000 A Sip of Aesop. By Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Karen Barbour. Paperbound. Printed in USA. NY: Scholastic, Inc. Gift of Tom and Diann Greener, May, '08.

Here is a later version of a book I found at Powell's in July, 2000. Though it still has "First Scholastic Trade paperback printing, August, 2000" on the verso of its title-page, both sets of numbers just above that show that it is a later printing. Both of those sets have removed the "1" and "2." Might that fact suggest that this is the third printing? Or a third run of the first printing? I will include my comment on that copy. This printing is marked as different from the 1995 second printing I received as a gift from Vera Ruotolo. On the back of the title-page one reads That page has been newly typeset. This printing also seems to lack the announcement on the back cover that formerly read "This Scholastic edition is only available for distribution through the school market." Further, Scholastic has added three offices on the title-page since the earlier printing. Otherwise this book seems identical with that paperback printing. See also my comments on the hardbound original from The Blue Sky Press in 1995.

1995/2000 Trilussa: Cento Favole. Illustrated by Gulielmo Wohlgemuth. Paperbound. Milan: Piccola Biblioteca Oscar: Oscar Mondadori. 9000 Lire from Libreria Manassero Savio, Turin, July, '97.

This is a beautiful little paperback found in a break in the Renard Society's Congress in Turin. I have enjoyed Trilussa's fables before. A new favorite is quoted on the back cover, but appears and is illustrated on 159: a turtle happens to flip onto his back. Someone is urging him to get up, but the turtle resists, saying that for the first time he is seeing the stars. For me, the particular pleasure of this volume lies in Wohlgemuth's (woodcut, I suppose) illustrations for each of the fables. These seem without close inspection to be like old woodcuts. Look closer, and they contain elements of cartoons and of the bizarre. I think the style is very apt for Trilussa's political and satirical fables. Let me mention three favorite illustrations that give an impression of Wohlgemuth's strength and range: "Er Leone Riconoscente" (3); "La Libbertà" (6); and the cover picture of the horse towing the automobile (70). This would be a great book to have along sometime when I am learning more Italian!

1995/2004 Marc Chagall: Les Fables de La Fontaine.  3e edition revue et corrigée.  Hardbound.  Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux.  $27.19 from Amazon, Oct., '14.    

Some routine follow-up revealed that there is also a hard-bound version of this book, which I have had for some time in paperback form.  In fact, the paperback was a second edition from 1995, the year of publication, while this third edition is from 2004.  As I wrote of the paperback, here is a beautiful 144-page catalogue prepared for the great showing of the forty-three located gouaches done by Marc Chagall.  See, under 1997, my comments on "Marc Chagall: The Fables of La Fontaine."  Those comments give something of the history of these gouaches and mention this exhibit.  Now I have found the book published to catalogue the exhibit.  The reproductions of Chagall's work here are exquisite!  Each is paired with and faces its La Fontaine text.  There is a T of C of the gouaches on 142.  At the front of the book, following a short preface by Joséphine Matamoros and Sylvie Forestier, are two essays: "Les gouaches de Chagall pour les Fables jugées par la critique des années 1920-30" and "Chagall illustrateur des Fables de La Fontaine ou Comment quitter la Russie et devenir français."  The exhibits were held at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Céret from October 28, 1995 until January 8, 1996 and at the Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall in Nice from January 13 until March 25, 1996.

1995? Aesop's Fables Felt Activity Book. Made in the USA. Salem, Utah: The Story Teller. $17.95 from The Story Teller Felt, Healdsburg CA, Nov., '97.

I found and ordered this curiosity at a craft fair in Sonoma County. The materials are here to construct a felt book with five pages. Each page is the scene for three different fables. Fifty-seven characters are supplied, ready to be stuck onto the scene in the appropriate places and otherwise to be stored in a pocket on the back of the page. The pocket lists a handy moral for each fable. The village scene includes BW, "A Man and His Sons," and "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing." The river scene has "Mercury and the Woodsman," "The Hares and the Frogs," and DS. The path is the scene for TH; "The Birds, the Beasts and the Bat"; and "The Boasting Traveller." Into the cave one can put LM, "The Sick Lion," and SW. Finally among the trees we find OF, "The Miser," and "The Trees and the Ax." 

1995? Classics Desecrated. By Doug Wheeler & many artists. First printing. NY: Nantier, Beal Minoustchine Publishing Inc. $8.95 from Books Do Furnish a Room, Durham, NC, June, '97.

This slick comic uses and adds to the 1993 Aesop's Desecrated Morals #1. In fact thirteen of its sections are from there. This volume adds several fairy tales and ten new fable-parodies. One work from the first magazine, "The NRA in Sheep's Clothing," shows redone lettering and shading. Perhaps the best of the new work here are "Aesop's Departure of Truth" and "Aesop's Quickies #1." Heavy social and political critique, tending at times to the weird.

1995? Fabelbüchlein.  Reproductions of Zainer 1476 from Ulm.  Limited edition of 100.  Paperbound.  Mannheim: Quadrate Buchhandlung und Antiquariat.  €25 from Quadrate Buchhandlung und Antiquariat, Mannheim, July, '14.  

Here was a very lucky find on this visit's first day in Mannheim.  I had found some things in this store on various previous visits.  Many of the other used book shops in Mannheim have ceased to exist, so I was happy to get to this one and to chat with the dealer on the second floor.  He was disappointed that he could offer me little by way of new or unusual books.  And then he had a moment of enlightenment!  He remembered and moved quickly to the archival drawers, saying "This you do not have!"  He almost apologized then for having to charge me ?25 as he explained that this was a limited edition of 100 booklets prepared for good clients some twenty years ago.  We both were proud of the hand-painting of the Ulm illustration on the cover of the sons digging up their vineyard to find the treasure.  I count about twelve fables taken from Aesop, Luther, Lessing, and others, many of them facing an Ulm illustration.  The title is printed on a slipsheet protecting the hand-painted cover illustration.  I am so happy to have found this booklet!

1995? Kalila wa Dimna (Arabic). Hardbound. 30 Dirhams from Bookshop in Habous, Casablanca, July, '01.

This edition of Kalila and Dimna has the two jackals, colored lavender, facing each other on a cover otherwise executed in white, blue, and brown. There are no internal illustrations. There is a T of C at the back, and there seem to be several breaks, with either tables or tables of contents dividing the sections. Unfortunately, since the page numbers are in numerals I cannot understand or reproduce, I cannot point a reader to them! The back cover presents a smaller, non-colored reproduction of the front cover's image of the two jackals.

1995? La Fontaine Masallari. Ceviri Yilmaz Sen. Renk Ayrimi. Paperbound. Istanbul: Secme Cocuk Klasikleri #17: Egitim Yayinlari. $9.99 from Rifat Bihar, Istanbul, through eBay, August, '03.

This is one of the nicest Turkish fable books I have. Small in format (about 5" x 8"), it contains 64 pages. There are good full-page colored illustrations of WL, CJ, BF, "The Lion and the Mosquito," and GA. It also has two pictures that baffle me. On 12 there is a queen or princess of the birds. On 16 a woodcutter seems to return home to a child. To my surprise, all of these illustrations occur in the first half of the booklet.

1995? La Fonten: Dhelpra gë humbi bishtin. Përshtati: Jani Malo. Paperbound. Tiranë, Albania: Neraida. $9.99 from Rifat Behar, Istanbul, Turkey, through eBay, Feb., '03.

This is my first publication in the collection in Albanian. It is a 24-page landscape-formatted pamphlet. The text is generally restricted to a few lines per page. The illustrations, unfortunately, are not well executed. It is as though a nervous, jittery printer executed them! The story seems to be FWT, but this version seems to be extensively embellished. For example, this fox wins a prize for her tail in an apparent tail-contest before the trap leaves her without her prized ornament. She wears a dress throughout, and other animals (except the chickens she was trying to catch!) are also dressed in human clothes.

1995? Oi Mythoi Tou Aisopos Se Komiks, Album 1. Tasos Apostolides and Kostas Boutsas. Illustrated by Bana Lagopoulou. Hardbound. Athens: Grammata. Gift of Kathryn Thomas, August, '98.

This volume reproduces the first two volumes of the same series published by ASE in 1989 and 1990. Even the covers are exactly the same except for the graphics of the titles and the publishers' information. Thus there are eighteen fables here. See my comments on them under 1989/91 and 1990/91. I add here that the exhausted mule does not die in his travels with the horse. Even the last pages are included with the "Make haste slowly!" comment from a reclining bunny and the fox's comment on the empty-headed mask. "The Rabbits and the Frogs," FG, "The Two Roosters," "The Frightened Hunter," TH, GB, "The Woodsman" (the ax-finding helper seems to be unidentified), "The Bat and the Nightingale," and "The Horse and the Mule" are in the first section. The second section includes "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!

1995? Oi Mythoi Tou Aisopos Se Komiks, Album 2. Tasos Apostolides and Kostas Boutsas. Illustrated by Bana Lagopoulou. Hardbound. Athens: Grammata. Gift of Kathryn Thomas, August, '98.

This volume reproduces the third and fourth of the series published by ASE in 1989 and 1990. By a curious kind of logic, the cover here is the very one used for the second of four volumes there. It presents out-takes from GA, which does not appear in this book, but rather in "Album 1." It saves work for the printer of this volume, however, since it has "Album 2" on the cover! See my comments on the fables under 1990. The closing of the first half has a lively picture with one shipwrecked man chiding another "Don't just pray. Swim!" The vignette after the second half presents a lion-man sculpture. 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, "The Merchant and the Statue," "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!

1995? 30 Fables Choisies de Jean de la Fontaine. Philippe Game & Danielle Michaud. Hardbound. Paris: Editions Morena. 75 Dirhams from the Souks, Casablanca, July, '01.

This book is especially dear to me because it was found in the Souks or flea market of Casablanca. Though we argued for some time, I could not get the seller to take much off the price of this book. Its approach to its thirty fables is to put them on parchment scripts in the midst of bright, slick, fully colored pages that remind one of Disney. Each new line of verse begins with a red letter. Though these pictures will appeal more to the young than to adults, there is much to enjoy. I enjoy the way "Doctor" Wolf is propelled through the picture by the savvy horse (26-27). Notice the monkey ready to use his slingshot on 32. I like very much the opening two-page picture for BC (72-73): While Rodilard is watching the moon with his arm around his cat-sweetheart, the rats meet in a flimsy treehouse. The fish underwater in the foreground of "Le Héron" are beautiful bathing beauties in bikinis blowing him kisses (90-91)! The sick stag is surrounded by doctors, nurses, fire trucks, and ambulances (108-9)! It is of course strange to have missed this book in France and to have found it in Morocco! There is an AI at the back.

 

To top

1996

1996 A Dog's View of the World and Other Fables in Rhyme. Don George. Illustrated by Rommel Morales. First edition. Paperbound. Huntington, West Virginia: University Editions. $9 from Dennis Baker, Ann Arbor, MI, through eBay, June, '09.

The title-story is sustained from 5 to 22. Twenty shorter stories follow. The title-story does a creditable job of explaining the world as a dog would see it, particularly in describing how human beings came to be and what their purpose is. What the great god Canus does sounds at several points very much like what God does in Genesis. "The Source" (24) is then a kind of preface to the further stories. "To Live a Life of Ease" (29) describes the dog who believed those who told him to go to the city to find real life; he gave up his free life in the woods, and it was a mistake. "The Success" (37) tells how Bobo learned to pee higher on trees than the higher-ups, and so became a dog of high standing. "The Usurer" (47) tells of a dog who cornered the market on bones; smart dogs learned that they did not need to gnaw on bones, especially if it got them into terrible debt. We all need to learn to distinguish what we want from what we need. The urge to rhyme is very strong in all of the quatrains here. I object to repeated sentence-subjects.

1996 A Holló és a Róka: La Fontaine és Más Mesék.  Hardbound.  Debrecen, Hungary: Don Wismey:  Tóth Könyvkereskedés.  1200 Forints.  Budapest, August, ‘17.  

This is a quite straightforward book of Hungarian verse renditions of some 38 fables on 95 pages.  The only illustration in the book is the colored illustration of FC on the front cover.  There is a curious panel on both covers that looks suspiciously like "Walt Disney," but is rather "Don Wismey."  Curious!

1996A Sap's Fables: The Lion at the Pond and Other Tales.  Philip "Pete" Moss.  Art director Sylvia Rose. Paperback. Review copy. Printed in USA. Memphis: Castle Books. $6.47 from Strand Book Store, NY, Jan., '98.

This book is a homey, folksy combination of all sorts of stories related in one way or another to Aesop's fables. The author submits his work "humbly, but with faith in the fable as lesson and as entertainment" (5). The animals are regularly named, like Cameron Camel and Armand Armadillo. Perhaps the strongest story is indeed the first, "The Lion at the Pond" (11). The jackals come up with a scheme to keep the old lion who will go the next day to the pond to see himself as if in a mirror. They succeed in making him think that he is still young and thus in making him benevolent with all the animals, but…. There are plenty of original fables. Two lively examples would be "The Penguin Who Didn't" (54) and "A Mare's Nest" (57). There is straight Aesop in "The Bees, the Drones and the Wasp" (29), but then immediately parodied. There is word-play in "The Dogs, the Lamb and the Wolf" (34) and reversal in "The Wolf Who Cried Boy" (91). Sometimes Aesop is made over into something fresh, as when LM becomes "The Giraffe and the Terrier" (67). A new story of the lion's death makes the old point well: "The largest part"/Is not what's meant:/"The Lion's Share"?/One hundred percent! My biggest question about a laudable effort to present some fresh stories and to do homage to Aesop would be: "Why talk of a sap?" T of C at the beginning.

1996 Aesop (Selected Tales from Europe). Dialogue by Keisuke Nishimoto. Illustrations by Yosuke Inoue, Seiko Kamiwaki, Yoko Kiyoshima, Koji Suzuki and others. Published by Mitsuo Tabei. Dust jacket. Tokyo: Shogakukan Co. ¥1000 at Books Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96.

Here is a shiny, thick-paged children's book with bright pictures, including a photograph of an ark full of animals and objects on its Japanese front-cover and "Aesop" on its end-papers. There are colorful, lively (generally two-page) spreads for SW, TMCM, GA (where the ants live inside gaily festooned apples), DS, FK, FG, "The Crab and Her Mother," LM, TH, TB, "The Wolf Trusted by the Shepherd," OF, BF, "The Lost Hatchet," "The Fat Weasel," "The Peacock as a Poor King," BW, CP, "The Donkey and the Grasshopper," and MSA. The art shows a very nice variety of styles.

1996 Aesops Fabelwelt. Zusammenstellung und Bearbeitung: Heidrun Redecke. Illustrationen: Yann Wehrling. Hardbound. Printed in Germany. Kaltenkirchen, Germany: Elatus Verlag. DEM 29,80 from Hassbecker's Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, July, '01.

One can recognize this book because the Aesopic figure with a cane on the cover looks a good deal like Marty Feldman, the actor in Young Frankenstein. The large eye of this character will return on many figures in the book. Twenty-eight fables are handled in uniform fashion, with text on the left-hand page and a large illustration on the right-hand page. There is a T of C at the back. The young lamb believes the wolf's claim that he likes to eat grass (6). Wehrling's art has fun with the fables, as in the illustration of LM (9), in which the mouse may actually be tickling the lion's huge paw. SW, well told, is also well illustrated: the sun shines down on a jacket cast aside (19). The jewel-problem is well illustrated in GGE as the cock has a huge bulge in his long neck (31). Do not miss the angry crane with a bone in his bill and a wolf walking away in the distance (37). DS presents a curious image (45): the dog is floating on a log. He has no meat in his mouth, but there seem to be two pieces of meat in the water…. The illustration for TMCM (47) shows a scene not mentioned in the story: the country mouse laughs as the city mouse is frightened by a rooster. FG's picture (51) suggests that the fox declares the grapes overripe ("Verdorben"). In the narrative he grumbles "These sour grapes are not good food for me." The moral recommends that we console ourselves by believing that what we cannot reach is not worth it. The boy cries "Wolf!" only once in jest; the second cry is for real (50).

1996 Aesops Fabler.  På dansk ved Alex Schumacher.  Illustreret af Arthur Rackham.  Hardbound.  Copenhagen: Sesam.  DK 150 from Vansgaards Antikvariat, Copenhagen, July, '14.  

Here is a good printing of Rackham's black-and-white art after a T of C.  154 pages.  I now have Rackham's work published in the following languages: English, Swedish, Modern Greek, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Hebrew, and Chinese.  This edition puts the "outside the bar argument" of TH on the cover.

1996 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Lorna Hussey. Children's Storytime Treasury. First printing. ©Parragon Book Service. NY: Smithmark: U.S. Media Holdings, Inc. $4.95 at Green Apple Books, San Francisco, March, '97. One extra copy at the same time.

Nine fables in a book notable perhaps chiefly for its soft thick cover. Hussey did the illustrations for a "Mini Classics" edition, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse And Other Aesop's Fables (1994?), also copyrighted by Parragon. This version selects two or three of those for each of the three fables presented there. It takes the colorful borders used there to surround text; now they surround all pages but remain the same throughout each fable. This edition also works off the versions presented there by Stephanie Laslett but edits them heavily. For those three fables, see my comments there. (The typo there in FC is corrected here.) This may be the first time that I have heard the beginning of the TH race done as a "five…four…three" countdown! In the home of the fox in FS, a fox is chasing dogs and mounted hunters! At the end of FS, the stork "dipped her slender beak inside the jug and drank her soup" (italics mine); is not the point in this fable that the stork cannot drink soup? The lion-clad donkey laughs after he scares the fox, and so gives himself away. The fox tucks his lost tail into his hatband! He claims that they should all wear their tails high up, where they can be admired. The paper seems cheap to me; it is unable to stand up to the ink on it.

1996 Aesop's Fables. By Cindy Karwowski. Cover and Illustrations by Kathy Rogers. Oversize pamphlet. Printed in USA. Grand Rapids, MI: Instructional Fair: TS Denison. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Easter, '00. Extra copy for $4.75 from Cynthia Strickland, Middleville, MI, through Ebay, May, '01.  

This is an 8½" x 11" teacher resource with pages to be duplicated for students. The booklet proposes a variety of activities to be used with twelve fables. The activities include puppet production, comparison of city and country life, songs, rhyming contests, games, map-drawing, experiments with mirrors, dramatizations, science experiments with things put into a fishbowl, water-displacement relay-races, and math puzzles.

1996 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Ronne Randall, edited by Juli Barbato. Illustrated by David Frankland, Line illustrations by John Lawrence, Cover illustration by James Bernardin. Hardbound. Apparently first printing. Printed in Great Britain. NY: Ladybird Picture Classics: Ladybird Books USA: Penguin USA. Gift of Michelle Lytton, Dec., '99.

Ladybird has come up with a new edition; see their two old Stuart/Ayton volumes under 1974. This is a small-format stiff-covered presentation of 17 fables. I find Frankland's work here reminiscent of Milo Winter. In "The Gnat and the Bull" (30), I would be tempted to say that Frankland is outright copying. GA (27) may be one of the strongest illustrations. All we see of the ant's home is a hole in the midst of a huge plain of snow, with purple mountains in the background. The whole effect is appropriately stark. In BC (12), the other mice actually scurried off, found a bell, and brought it to the old mouse who had made the suggestion. "It was your idea," they said, "so you should bell the cat." The last line of FG (15) is "He knew it wasn't true--but he wanted to believe it!" The dog in DS (23) thought "That bone looks even tastier than mine!" and jumped into the river to grab it. He saw himself wet afterwards and realized what he had done. LM (36) has a nice moral: "Friends come in all shapes and sizes." What the fox serves the stork in the picture is actually a shish-ka-bob on a flat plate (42)! Does that approach not undermine the effectiveness of the story? The dog in the manger explains "If I can't eat, I don't want anyone else to eat either!" (47).

1996 Aesop's Fables. Illustrations by Kazuyoshi Iino. Retold by Ralph F. McCarthy. Kodansha English Library #39. Tenth printing. Tokyo: Kodansha International, Ltd. See 1988/96.

1996 Aesop's Fables. Selected and adapted by Jack Zipes. Paperback. Printed in Great Britain. NY: Penguin Popular Classics: Penguin Books. £2 from Bloomsbury, London, August, '01.

This inexpensive version takes over the text from Zipes' Signet Classic for the New American Library. This use of his text is not surprising, since NAL belongs to Penguin Books. This edition strips away the illustrations; the opening note on the text and illustrations; the afterword; the bibliography; and the AI. We are left with one fable per page, with just a few spilling over onto a second page. There continue to be 203 fables. In all, there are only 212 pages after the opening T of C. As I mention there, the texts are based ultimately on James' 1848 edition. See my comments there.

1996 Aesop’s Fables. A Ladder edition at the 1,000-Word Level. Adapted by David Olivier. Illustrated by Mayumi Abe (cover) and Taro Horie. Paperback. Fifth printing. Tokyo: Yohan Publications, Inc. See 1989/96.

1996 Aesop's Fables (Japanese) Vol. I. Ulm woodcuts. Paperbound. #2072: kaisei-sha bunko: Fusa Ninomiya. See 1983/96.

1996 Aesop's Fables (Japanese) Vol. II. Ulm woodcuts. Paperbound. #2073: kaisei-sha bunko: Fusa Ninomiya. See 1983/96.

1996 Aesop’s Stories #1 (Japanese). Tokyo: Shufu to Seikatsu Co., Ltd. Gift of Shoji Iiyama, Sept., ’96.

A lovely, large-format, stiff-paged book of eight stories: 8 stories: TH, BF, SW, BC, GA, WL, BBB, and FG. The best artistry goes into prettifying the crow of BF and then showing his dejection (10-15). On 16 there is a sign saying "Easop." Does the wolf capture the lamb on 40? I bet there are various artists at work here, since there are quite various styles. The media include at least watercolors, crayons, and acrylics.

1996 Animal Rap and Far-Out Fables. Written by Gwen Molnar. Illustrated by Jeff Wiebe. Stated first edition. Paperbound. Printed in Canada. Victoria, BC: Beach Holme Publishing Limited. $4.70 from buy.com, June, '02.

Fifty pages of animal rap poems. What they have in common is animal subjects treated with an attitude of whimsy. Most are not stories. Several are stories, and come at least close to being fables. "The Bumbling Bear" (12) presents a bear who gets the hibernation cycle wrong until he eats some donuts and wants to go back to sleep for the winter instead of his usual summer. "The House Mouse" (37) bustles around preparing a party, invites kittens, and ends up being part of the menu. "Temptation" (45) presents a bear who steals honey-buns, leaves them outside his door to cool off, and is then enraged that someone steals them from him. One of the best of the other poems is "The Snowbird and the Bear" (37). Perhaps the best of the black-and-white illustrations is "Camouflage" (18).

1996 Antología de Fábulas Esópicas en los Autores Castellanos (Hasta el Siglo XVIII). Francisco Martín García. Paperbound. Cuenca: Ediciones de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. $35 from Libros Latinos through abe, Sept., '00.

This book may be worth its high price. One hundred and fifty-five texts are presented, with notes in an appendix. The texts are divided into four parts. "Fábulas en Verso" features Arcipreste de Hita, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, and nine others, including Juan Ruiz. "Fábulas en Prosa" includes two sections, the first including ten authors, including Juan Luis Vives and Cervantes. The second section covers the picaresque novel and features particularly Baltasar Gracián. The third part presents emblems and refrains. The fourth features "Fábulas Nuevas" and features again Lope de Vega and two others. There is an extensive table of correspondences and a numerical list of Aesopic fables represented here. I cannot be sure where the numbering of the Aesopic fables comes from; is it perhaps from Róspide's Madrid edition of 1989? There is also extensive introductory material on the history of ancient and Spanish fable editions. T of C at the very back. Now all I need to do is to learn Spanish!

1996 Antología Infantil: Selección de versos canciones y fábulas. Fiume Gómez. First printing, 1 of 5000. Paperbound. Santo Domingo, DR: Amigo del Hogar. $6.95 from Powell's, Portland, OR, July, '11.

The fable section of this children's book begins just after the Dominican national humn on 80. As the opening T of C indicates, there are twelve fables, well chosen from these authors: Samaniego, Iriarte, Pombo, Hartzenbusch, Emerson, Dávila, and Mónica. Emerson is here Rodolfo Ubaldo Emerson. The maker of the T of C listed him, not as Emerson, but as Rodolfo Ubaldo. His fable, "To Each His Own," is still just as good! This is a book that not every fable collector will have found! There are a few line-drawings along the way, three of them among the fables. 

1996 American Fables for the Politically Incorrect. Carl Charbonnet. Illustrations by Jeff Gregory. Signed apparent first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Birmingham, Alabama: American de Tocqueville Press. $11.49 from Mark Schaffer, Madison, AL, through Ebay, Nov., '00.

Reading this book makes me angry! These are stories aimed, according to their author, at the "tiny minority of men and women who understand, believe in and stand up for the Constitution" (iii). The constitution in his view primarily limits government in American lives. The stories are aimed generally against those who believe that the government should control life. Thus "The Ants and the Grasshopper" (23) has government agents coming into the ant home to seize the "contraband" food they have hoarded for the winter, but the grasshopper who provoked their raid cannot get any of the seized food from the welfare office because the wrong form was given him to fill out. The famished grasshopper dies on his way to try to fill out the right form. I cannot find any other stories that are based on known fables. One very short selection is titled "The Good Abortionist" (59). It has two paragraphs, each one sentence long: "He saved the lives of nine babies. One Morning [sic] he woke up sick with a virus and didn't go to work." There are four full-page illustrations.

1996 Be Always Little: Christian Fables for Young and Old. By Jude Fischer. Illustrations: Jude Fischer, Daniel Fischer, Fr. Ron Cafeo. Paperbound. Combermere, Ontario, Canada: Madonna House Publications. $15.94 from kbooks, Niagara Falls, NY, through eBay, Sept., '08.

This is a collection of some twenty-three Christian stories by Fischer, with several others by Elizabeth York and Daniel Fischer. I read the first three: "The Boy and His Song," "The Orphaned Moment," and "The Chair and the Furniture Doctor." My sense is that all three function more as parables than as fables, inviting deep ongoing questioning about our values. I like the second and third stories particularly. The moment, after many failed attempts to get noticed by people who are busy and preoccupied, is enjoyed by each member of a family. The chair, painted over six times, is lovingly cared for by someone who knows chairs. Through removal of paint and painful sanding, the furniture doctor reveals the loveliness down deep in the chair. He then enhances that loveliness with stain. The chair's last realization is that it will always need the help of the furniture doctor.

1996 Brani Umoristici di Leonardo da Vinci/Humorous Writings of Leonardo da Vinci. Compiled and edited from the original manuscripts by Jean Paul Richter, London, 1883. Printed for the Guild of Bookworkers, Potomac Chapter, Washington D.C. Bound by Cita Wheeler-Sullivan at A Snail's Pace Press & Bindery, Welcome, Maryland. $150 by mail from Ms. Wheeler-Sullivan, Nov., '96.

Now here is a book! Its forty-nine siblings will go on exhibit at the Corcoran in D.C. in November of '97. They were given to various D.C. binders for creative binding. Cita's specs are a tale in themselves: "hollow back construction, sewn on three linen tapes, hand sewn silk head bands, marbled end sheets, full tan oasis goatskin cover, gold stamped calf title onlays." I had asked her to make me a nice book of one of the copies still left, and she certainly has done that! After eleven bestiary items presented bilingually on facing pages, there are seven fables, "The Oyster," "The Flea," "The Butterfly," "The Monkey," "The Mouse," "The Spider," and "The Falcon." I find the last three the strongest. They are followed by three good drolleries.

1996 City Mouse and Country Mouse. Story retold by Lesley Young. Illustrated by Elsa Godfrey. Pamphlet. A Thomas Dunne Book. London: Quarto Publishing. $2.25 from Caravancass 1, through Ebay, Sept., '01. One extra copy

First published in the USA by St. Martin's Press. This book comes with a kit for making the two mice. It can be viewed here. The soft-sculpture mice appear several times in this twenty-four page pamphlet. Godfrey and Young work together to make this a very lively booklet. I have enjoyed it thoroughly. The illustrations are frequent, fun, and well integrated with the text. Enjoy, for example, the country mouse skipping through the countryside in spring with a carrot in his paw (4). In fact, it is his desire to share the resulting carrot cake that leads him to write a postcard inviting his city cousin. The city mouse's first request in the country is for a shower, and he gets a cold one in the spring gurgling up at the back of the country house (9). Country mouse notices a live caterpillar on his guest's spoon while they eat field soup. He shouts "Lucky you! Are you going to save it till last?" The next day, the two are almost hit by a nut thrown in fun by the squirrel. They travel to town in a crate of eggs. When they arrive at home in the city, many mice appear from holes in the baseboard. Together they throw a lavish welcome party with various courses for the country mouse, who falls asleep during it and must be carried off to bed. The morning brings encounters with a vacuum cleaner and a mouse trap, both new to the visitor. In the pantry, they encounter a cat. That frightening experience is enough to send the country mouse back home. Both declare that night "There's no place like home." I will shelve one booklet with the kit and one among the books.

1996 Compair Lapin and Piti Bonhomme Godron (The Tar Baby).  As written by Alcée Fortier 1894; edited by Sand Warren Marmillion.  Illustrated by Laura Fiedler-Ates.  Paperbound.  Louisiana Folk-Tales:  Zoe Company.  $3.50 from Powell's, Portland, August, '15.

The version of Creole encountered here is its own mixture of French and Wolof.  This 36-page large-format pamphlet may come from a specific place: Laura Plantation, which is described on 34-35.  The booklet is currently available on Amazon.  The story starts here with a drought, for which Mr. Fox counsels digging a well, while Dr. Monkey invites prayers for rain.  King Lion sides with the fox.  Lion orders all the animals to come together and help dig a well.  Only Compair Lapin dares to disobey.  Lapin claims to messenger Donkey that rabbits need no water.  King Lion sends Bear and Tiger to arrest Lapin and bring him in.  Tiger urges Lapin to come willingly, or he will be eaten.  He lets himself be tied up and led toward the king.  On the way, he and Dr. Monkey fall to accusing and threatening each other.  Mr. Fox is identified as Lapin's counselor and friend.  He gives Lapin clever advice, which Lapin follows.  When accused, Lapin defends himself carefully with elaborate stories pointing the finger at others, beginning with the donkey.  He also gives Lion a golden chain.  He claims Mr. Fox as a witness to the lying account he gives of donkey's mission, and Mr. Fox testifies to that effect on Lapin's behalf.  Fox goes on to accuse Monkey of being in cahoots with Donkey to supplant the king.  Fox and Lapin win the case, and Monkey and Donkey have to flee.  After an amnesty, Monkey wants to pay Lapin and Fox back for the harm they did him.  The well has turned into something of a fountain of youth.  Monkey wants to catch Lapin with Ti Bonhomme Godron, the "man made of tar," which he places on Lapin's path to the well.  It takes some days before Lapin physically encounters the tarbaby, whom he has perceived in the dark as "something black."  He is condemned at his trial and accepts the prospect of execution, pleading only that he not be thrown into the briar patch.  The background of the story turns out to be a love affair between Lapin and the king's lovely daughter.  She, for his sake, supports the briar patch execution.  Black-and-white drawings on the internal pages and colored illustrations on the outside covers.  The best of them might be that showing Lapin stuck on the tarbaby (25).

1996 Count Your Way through Greece.  Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson.  Illustrations by Janice Lee Porter.  First printing.  Paperbound.  Minneapolis:  Carolrhoda Books, Inc.  $4.99 from Awesome Books, August, '12.

This book counts to ten in Greek and highlights an element of Greek culture on a two-page spread for each of the numbers.  "Ten" here is devoted to Aesop.  The two pages illustrate ten animals featured in Aesop's fables.  Behind them all, a Black Aesop sits with two listeners on a bench.  It's fun to pick out the fables suggested by the animals.  The fox sits beneath a vine laden with grapes.  A stork puts his beak down a tall vase.  A dog holds a piece of meat above a puddle.  The write-up features TH as a sample story of Aesop.  He gets around!

1996 Creighton University Window: Volume 12, Number 3, Spring, 1996. Creighton University. Various artists. Paperbound. Omaha, NE: Creighton University. Gift of Creighton University, April, '96.

This issue of Creighton's magazine includes a five-page article by me and a single-page sidebar by Pam Vaughn. The article, "Fabulous Gift" (4-8) describes the collection at the time and several typical "finds." Pam's sidebar takes up several fables and is gorgeously illustrated by FG from Pierre Barboutau. At the point of publication of the magazine, the collection included some 2400 books, whereas at this writing in 2012, the number is over 7100. Then I had been collecting for some seventeen years. Now it is more like thirty-two years! The article is complemented by lovely photographs of engaging volumes. The magazine's cover is a spectacular composite showing several fable characters arising from the pages of an old book. I am still delighted with the job that Window did! 

1996 Der Kuckuck und die Nachtigall. Hans Joachim Schädlich. Mit Radierungen von Annegret Bleisteiner. Hardbound. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag. €6 from Antiquariat Canicio, Heidelberg, August, '12.

Here is the impressive first edition publication of Schädlich's piece which won the Kleist Prize in 1996; the prize names this edition. The etchings are impressive. The story gets to be longer than would be appropriate for a fable and concludes by giving an occasion on which Händel might have composed his famous organ concert of this name. Schädlich was a strong DDR writer with a history of writings apparently criticizing the Communist regime. This is an impressive publication, which I found at a surprisingly low price. 

1996 Der Magdeburger Prosa-Äsop: Eine mittelniededeutsche Bearbeitung von Heinrich Steinhöwels 'Esopus' und Niklas von Wyles 'Guiscard und Sigismunda': Text und Unersuchungen. Von Brigitte Derendorf. Hardbound. Cologne, Weimar, Vienna: Niederdeutsche Studien 35: Böhlau Verlag. €29.40 from Fundus, Berlin, through eBay, Oct., '06. Extra copy for €28 from Antiquariat Bergische Bücherstube, June, '07.

The sub-title tells the most important information, for me, about this book. It deals -- in part -- with one of the many offshoots of Steinhöwels Esopus. Like so many of the others, this one is in a particular language group. From my acquaintance with the book, it is a worthy dissertation, dealing with the background and contents of the Ulmer Äsop, with the tradition that came out of this edition in Cologne, France, and Holland, and with the understanding of the Magdeburg text itself, which is given here. I have a second copy of the book out of a mistake. There is a "Magdeburg Aesop" just before or around 1400 that is an important predecessor or part of the "Romulus" that Steinhöwel may have used. I thought I was ordering that. This is a hefty dissertation, running 10 plus 568 pages.

1996 Die Fabeln von Jean Anouilh: Texte und Kommentar: Band I: Texte. Hugo Blank. Paperbound. Wilhelmsfeld, Germany: Studia Litteraria Band 6: Gottfried Egert Verlag. €13 from Hassbecker's, Heidelberg, August, '06.

This pair of volumes is a valuable resource for those of us who want to understand Anouilh's fables. I had worked through them alone and with some help but always with a sense that I or we had not arrived at a full sense of what his French is saying. Having a German commentary and translation will be an invaluable help! I look forward to the next chance to work on them. Maybe I can understand him better now that I can see the German! A particular help in this first volume devoted to the text is the AI of the forty-seven fables on X-XI. 

1996 Die Fabeln von Jean Anouilh: Texte und Kommentar: Band II: Kommentar. Hugo Blank. Paperbound. Wilhelmsfeld, Germany: Studia Litteraria Band 6: Gottfried Egert Verlag. €13 from Hassbecker's, Heidelberg, August, '06.

This pair of volumes is a valuable resource for those of us who want to understand Anouilh's fables. I had worked through them alone and with some help but always with a feeling that I or we had not arrived at a full sense of what his French is saying. Having a German commentary will be an invaluable help! I look forward to the next chance to work on them. Early work in this second volume includes sections on structure, genre, themes. They should provide helpful approaches to the work as a whole and to the most helpful questions to consider for each individual fable. Comments on individual fables then can run up to twenty pages long. In at least one case -- OR -- the comment includes an "Übersetzungsversuch" (133). The vocabulary section of each comment should prove particularly helpful to some of us.

1996 Doctor Coyote: A Native American Aesop's Fables. Retold by John Bierhorst. Pictures by Wendy Watson. Printed and bound in China. First Aladdin Paperbacks edition, first printing. NY: Aladdin Paperbacks: Simon & Schuster. $5.99 at Black Oak, Berkeley, Feb., '97. Extra copy at the same time from the same store.

As beautifully done as the original hardbound in 1987. See my comments there.

1996 El pájaro Cú/The Cú Bird. Marjorie E. Herrmann. Paperbound. Lincolnwood, IL: Fábulas Bilingües. The Bilingual Series: National Textbook Company. See 1987/96.

1996 Esopo: Le Storie dell' Asino. Oversize pamphlet. Collana Classica Mondiale #35. Naples: Emmerre Libri, s.r.l. Lire 5000 from a shop in Paestum, Italy, July, '98.

Here is a very large pamphlet of sixteen pages remarkable for its slick bright illustrations. Included are: "The Ass Who Drank Nothing But Dew"; "The Ass and the Wolf"; "The Ass, the Rooster, and the Lion"; and "The Goat and the Ass." The ass of the first story gets medical attention from the other animals and recovers but has to renounce singing. The second is the traditional story of a kick prompted by medical needs. There is a classic view, as the wolf is getting ready to take care of the "sick" ass's paw, of some mushroom houses and a bench on which some insect is reading a newspaper. The illustration of the ass overwhelmed by the lion is another strong effort. The whole animal world turns out, including several ambulance mice with oxygen for the half-dead ass. Every scene has a lively contingent of small animals somehow involved. This pamphlet is in a series, from which I have four other volumes. Like them, it has simple questions on the inside of the back cover. The back cover itself lists the fifty books in the series. By contrast with the "dog" volume, in which only one of the four stories has anything to do with a dog, all four of this book's stories are about asses.

1996 Esopo: Le Storie del Cane. Oversize pamphlet. Collana Classica Mondiale #36. Naples: Emmerre Libri, s.r.l. Lire 5000 from a shop in Paestum, Italy, July, '98.

Here is a very large pamphlet of sixteen pages remarkable for its slick bright illustrations. Included are: "The Dog, the Fox, and the Squirrel"; "A Proud Rooster"; "A Horse and His Father"; "The Cricket." In the first of these, a chicken usually plays the role of the dog's friend in the branches, here played by the squirrel. The dog acts as doorman or, here, "brother" at the base of the tree in which the squirrel sleeps. The title of the second story is my guess; I cannot recognize this fable of a proud cock humbled by losing to an outsider. In the third, a horse tells his father that he needs to see the big world. They go out together and starve. Then the father shows the son a great place, and the son falls in love with it. It is, he learns, the place where he was born. In the fourth, a cricket envies a beautiful butterfly--and then sees her destroyed by kids. The name "Pescador" (or something similar) appears on at least one of the illustrations. This artist delights in colorful horizontally-striped t-shirts on various animals. I have never seen a butterfly made out of a human being before! The art work is lively and colorful, but has trouble sustaining a single style. This pamphlet is in a series, from which I have four other volumes. Like them, it has simple questions on the inside of the back cover. The back cover itself lists the fifty books in the series. Only one of the four stories has anything to do with a dog.

1996 Esopo No Fabulas. Photographic facsimile of the original edition owned by the British Library. Explained by Kunimichi Fukushima. Ninth edition. Tokyo: Benseisha Co. See 1593/1976/96.

1996 Fabeln von Äsop. Text von Ulla Präkelt, auf der Grundlage von Heinrich Steinhöwels Äsop. Illustrationen von Hedvika Vilgusova. Hardbound. Hanau/Main: Verlag Werner Dausien. DM 14.80 from Max Wiedebusch, Hamburg, July, '98. 

German equivalent of Aesop's Fables adapted into English by Leonard Matthews and published by Blitz Editions in 1998 and found as I wandered around Malta. Designed by Aventinum Publishing House, Prague. As I wrote there, the book belongs in the genre of very large format books (here 9¼" x almost 13") with excellent color printing. The book contains forty-two fables. The book numbers fables rather than pages. The dying lion in #9 laments his general situation, not the particular attack from the donkey. The Lion kills the man who uses the stone as a "proof" as to who is stronger (#37). The two most engaging illustrations are those for "The Sick Donkey and the Wolf" (#35) and "The Old Lion and the Fox" (#36). This text is true to Steinhöwel and to Aesop. It makes for interesting comparisons with the English. The English versions are not always what one would expect; often they lose some of the tradition's subtlety.

1996 Fablenchti: Fables et Contes en Patois du Nord. Jo Tanghe. Paperbound. Rennes: Collection L'Amateur Averti: La Découvrance. €15.78 from Chapitre, Paris, April, '05.

There are twenty-six texts offered here first in the Patois of Lille and then in the original French. The first twenty are fables of La Fontaine. There is no comment, but there are three pages of helpful grammar, particularly the forms of helping verbs. Then there is a long dictionary. Vocabulary items are asterisked in the patois texts. What a nice offering! 

1996 Fables. A Collection by Brian Potrafka. Illustrated by Michael Werner. Pamphlet. Chicago?: Rienstquienth International. $5 from Powell's, Portland, OR, April, '99.

Here we find twenty-three lively joke fables, each with an appropriate simple illustration, apparently woodcuts. All twenty-four illustrations, including the cover illustration, appear in miniature on the back cover. The cover illustration of "The Lion Who Feathered His Hair" is among the best. As is true of other joke fabulists, Potrafka often works toward a delightfully absurd moral--or, as in the case of "The Crazy Monkey and the Snakes," seven of them. Among the best fables, I believe, are "The Cat and the Ass" (7) and "The Unique Moth" (27). The closest touch with Aesop comes in "The Toucan and the Open Stage" (31), which re-enacts and refers to "The Monkey and the Camel." It is hard to find a "place" for this book's publication. There is no address given for Rienstquienth International; there is a street address given for Potrafka on the back cover. One finds more than one or two typos on the way through this book, like "not to long afterwards" (21). This material is not meant for children! Potrafka's taste can move toward the weird, disquieting, violent, and grotesque. I am afraid that the overall upshot of the experience of reading these fables for me is that I appreciate Ambrose Bierce's handling of the genre more.

1996 Fables (Polish). Edited by Irena Lossowska. Illustrations by Gustave Doré. Hardbound. Warsaw: Unia Wydawnicza "Verum". $22 from Szwede Slavic Books, Palo Alto, CA, March, '96.

This very sturdy and attractive book offers an excellent collection of fables from across history, with a good eye for those closest to Poles. The book works chronologically. While most of the illustrations, even for early material, are from Doré, there is also the first picture I have noticed of Phaedrus being freed (21). After relatively few fables from Aesop, Phaedrus, La Fontaine, and Lessing, there are heavy concentrations of Krasicki, Trembecki, Krylov, Mickiewicz, and Fredro. In other words, the list on the cover is not just a sampling! At the back there is a commentary and a detailed T of C. This is my first monolingual Polish scholarly edition.

1996 Fables a l'Usage des Medecins de Leurs Patients et des bien portants. Bernard Duburque. Paperbound. Paris: Nouvelles Editions Debresse. FRF 25 from an unknown source, August, '98.

The last part of that title for those whose French is as weak as mine means something like "and of those in good health." As the back cover mentions, these twenty-three fables treat of all sorts of things from health to mustard to evolution to miracles. For those, the cover goes on, who find here a touch of skepticism, it might be good to remember Hippocrates: "The art of wisdom and the art of medicine are very close; all that the first gives, the second puts into practice." The first fable is "Reflexions sur les Causes de Toutes Choses" (7-8). It does a fine job of showing how the same accident gets analysed differently by different persons. Everyone thinks his solution is right and everyone downplays the causality that others think central. The ambulance that is saving someone's life is also adding to the agglomeration of interruptions of our sleep that is killing us (9)! A little man gets a cold (10-12). The virus who is enjoying inhabiting this fellow does not want to go back out into the cruel world! The fable goes on, I believe, into all the complexities of what modern medicine does next to the little man's body -- all of it unintentionally giving the virus more chance to stay alive in the man. The author even offers a comment. The symptoms that make us suffer are often the body's counter-measures against the invasion. To fight these symptoms on the pretext of making ourselves more comfortable sabotages our bodies' means of combatting the disease. 

1996 Fables choisies de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Jiri Trnka. Dust jacket. Imprimé en République slovaque. Première édition 1974 par Artia, Prague. ©1974 Librairie Gründ pour l'édition française. ©1990 Aventinum Nakladatelství s.r.o., Prague. Vingtième édition 1996 par Aventinum, Prague. See 1974/90/96.

1996 Fables de La Fontaine en dialecte alsacien. Frère Denis Joseph Sibler. Illustrations de Charly Barat. Réédition. Hardbound. Matzenheim, France: Amicale des anciens élèves du Collège de Matzenheim et Le Verger Editeur. Gift of Hugo Stoll, S.J., July, '07.

This is a very sturdy and well-built book of 112 pages. It contains about thirty-six fables in Alsacian. I can make out about three-quarters of what is being communicated, because the language is so close to colloquial German. I have the sense that the author and especially illustrator take liberties with La Fontaine's fables. Which animals are involved how in the startling illustration of "The Lion and the Mosquito" on 19? The illustrations are hilarious! Among the best are TMCM (29), FC (34), BC (49), UP (63), DW (81), "Acorn and Pumpkin" (95), and WL (107). Most of the French texts are gathered in several groups. This was a wonderful gift! I doubt that I would ever have found it on my own. Is this really a book put together by a high-school alumni group? The colophon near the end says "Réédition," but does not seem to indicate when it was first published.

1996 Fables de La Fontaine Illustrées par Poussin. Geneva: Éditions Zoé/Paris: Archimbaud. 149 Francs at Librairie Compagnie, Paris, May, '97.

One of the most busy and turbulent books I have seen lately. What a contrast with, say, the work of Philippe Mignon (1995)! Is this art in the style of Maus Magazine? Each of twenty-eight fables gets a full-page, splashy, bright, angular illustration in the style of contemporary naïve cartoon comic art. (Just about thirty fables seems to be the unspoken norm for contemporary French illustrated editions of La Fontaine). Some illustrations here I simply could not understand. Those I could understand were often fun. The best of them is MM (51), which pictures all the things she has lost streaming in a river milk out of her dropped jug. FC (7) manages to unite basketball and fondue with this fable! I never thought of the country mouse showing up driving a tractor (13). The monkey wears a saddle and stirrups on the dolphin (33). Peacocks throw tomatoes at the peacock-feathered jay as a bad rock singer (35). The little fish says to the fisherman (37): "Eat me if you're on a diet, or buy a telescope so that you can see me on the plate!" T of C at the end.

1996 Fables Françaises du Moyen Age: Les Isopets: Edition Bilingue. Traduction, presentation et notes de Jeanne-Marie Boivin et Laurence Harf-Lancner. Paperbound. Paris?: GF Flammarion. 37 Fr from Le Coupe-Papier, Paris, August, '01.

This paperback is bilingual except for Macho's lengthy life of Aesop, which is presented here only in translation. There are twelve fables here from Marie de France, nine from the Isopet de Lyon, two from the Isopet de Chartres, six from the Isopet II de Paris, ten from Isopet I, four from Avionnet, and nine from Macho. Appendices offer notes on the fables, an AI, a table of fables of La Fontaine for which there is a medieval version, and a bibliography. The T of C is at the very back. I am surprised at how simple and direct the fables of Marie are here. I am glad to find her version of "The Priest and the Wolf" (118-19), in which the priest tries to teach the wolf to read. All the wolf can say is "Lamb"! Her "Mitred Cat" (128-29) is new to me: the offer of an episcopal blessing represents another of the cat's ploys to entice the mice, and they are smart to run away. The Isopet II de Paris presents a new viewpoint on the hares and frogs even in the title it gives the fable: "Les Lièvres qui croyaient que les Grenouilles s'étaient noyées" (189-92). One of the hares here says to his comrades: "Let us not kill ourselves like these beasts who had no other recourse." The same hare goes on to persuade that generally good times follow the bad and that they can hope for better. Isopet I's "Muleteer and Mule" (238-41) has the mule telling an insect that he fears his rider more than the bombastic insect. Macho's "Fishing Wolf and Lion" (272-79) involves a clever fox tying a basket to the wolf's tail and having him run along the river. As he does so, the fox puts rocks into the basket but tells the wolf that the basket is catching fish. When the wolf is sufficiently weighted down, the fox runs to the town to announce that the villagers can take vengeance on the wolf that has plagued them. The story goes on through two answering phases of the wolf and then the fox advising the sick lion to use his enemy's skin as a poultice. The fox wins out. Otherwise the fables here seem to be the standard ones in the tradition.

1996 Fábulas: Esopo, Fedro, Iriarte, Samaniego y Hartzenbusch.  Ilustraciones de Felipe Ruiz.  Sexta edición.  Paperbound.  Barcelona: Editorial Andrés Bello.  See 1983/96.

1996 Fábulas: León Sigüenza.  Ilustraciones de Francisco Reyes.  Paperbound.  Santa Tecla, El Salvador: Biblioteca Alejandrina #2601: Clásicos Roxsil.   $10 from an unknown source, August, '99. 

The back cover says that the seventy verse fables here are highly ironic and political.  Some of the fables announce that they are taking up Aesopic themes.  Reyes' full-page black-and-white designs enhance the book.

1996 Fedro: Le Storie del Gatto. Oversize pamphlet. Collana Classica Mondiale #38. Printed in Naples: Emmerre Libri, s.r.l. Lire 5000 from a shop in Paestum, Italy, July, '98.

Here is a very large pamphlet of sixteen pages remarkable for its slick bright illustrations. Included are two traditional cat stories and two into which cats are brought who were not involved in Phaedrus' version. The two traditional stories are "The Cat, the Eagle, and the Sow" and "The Cats Carrying a Rooster on a Litter." The two further stories are "The Mother Cat and Her Young" and "The Tortoise Who Wanted to Fly." The cat enters the third story as the pleading mother who needs a place to have her young. Usually, as in Phaedrus, a dog asks a dog for her home; here a cat asks a dog. The cat enters the fourth story as a friend of the tortoise. The story ends with the cat weeping big tears over her dead friend. Not only is there no cat in any version of this fable that I know, but also Phaedrus does not even have this fable about the tortoise and the eagle! The cat on the cover is a hippie girl with a short skirt dancing to a rock band of mice. And do not miss the baby boar at the base of the tree in the first story shooting a missile at his sibling's leaf boat. The illustrations for the last story have a strong Swiss or German character. The eagle dresses like a Swiss or Bavarian, and mice in German or Swiss clothing offer the cat a glass of wine as the cat weeps. This pamphlet is in a series, from which I have four other volumes. Like them, it has simple questions on the inside of the back cover. The back cover itself lists the fifty books in the series.

1996 Flowers & Fables. John Gruen. Paintings by Rafal Olbinski. First edition, apparent first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Italy. Mankato: Creative Editions/San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company. $9 from Strand, NY, May, '98.

This is a book of strong fantasy and surrealist art. Would it be taboo to call it "feminine" fantasy, even though it is here expressed by two men? Fourteen flowers give rise to Magritte-like paintings and lush, imaginative prose heavy on image and feeling. For typical paintings, I recommend "Marsh Mallow," "Poppy," and "Tulip." Though there is nothing here of fable in the sense I am pursuing, I appreciate this book much more than I thought I would.

1996 Geoffrey Chaucer: The Nun's Priest's Tale. Edited by Dr. Peter Mack and Andy Hawkins. Paperbound. Oxford: Oxford Student Texts: Oxford University Press. $5 from an unknown source at an unknown time.

This is an excellent study edition of this expanded fable. After a good text, there are fine sections of commentary, including a number of questions. For each section of text, containing say ten to thirty lines, there is first a prose paragraph of summary and comment. Then there is line by line translation and clarification of words, phrases, and images. I want to keep this edition close for the next time that I work my way through the Nun's Priest's Tale. It is the best help I have encountered for this work.

1996 Grierul Si Furnica: Fabule. Alexandru Donici. Paperbound. Tiraspol: Cartier. $3 from The Armadillo's Pillow, Chicago, April, '05. 

Apparently this edition--or at least its illustrations--were done originally in Bucharest in 1956. This large paperback book for children is very nicely illustrated. The T of C at the end indicates that there are thirty-four fables after an introduction. Now I only wish I could read this book! It represents a major stroke of luck. I had fifteen minutes between sessions for a quick stop at this bookstore. I would say that this store is not a likely place to find Romanian fable books. Some of the best of the illustrations are FG (27); "The Mouse, the Weasel, and the Cat" (37); "The Monkey and the Mirror" (40); and "The Bull and the Fly" (57). There are about nineteen illustrations in all, all full-page with nice color.

1996 Kalila und Dimna: Fabeln aus dem klassischen Persien. Herausgegeben und Übersetzt von Seyfeddin Najmabadi und Siegfried Weber. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Munich: Neue Orientalische Bibliothek: Verlag C.H. Beck. Gift of Anne Pierro, Dec., '04.

Here is a fine book! I did some reading in several stories, and I look forward to the time when I can read through all fourteen chapters. This version is talkative and expansive. There is lots of quoting. I looked into this version's account in Chapter II of what happens to Dimna after the death of Schanzaba. The first step to establishing Dimna's guilt comes from a leopard overhearing a conversation between Kalila and Dimna. Kalila is accusing Dimna and saying that he wants nothing more to do with him. The leopard goes to the lion king's mother. She tells the lion king immediately but cannot reveal her source. Dimna makes eloquent defense remarks. The lion king orders a court trial. His mother pushes the case against Dimna. Kalila feels pity for a jailed Dimna. There is a companion in Dimna's cell who overhears Kalila's conversation with Dimna. Ruzbeh, a friend of Kalila's, brings Dimna in jail a trumped-up story of Kalila's death. Dimna reveals where Kalila and Dimna have had a treasure buried. In the end, both the leopard -- encouraged by the lion king's mother -- and the cell-partner testify against Dimna, who is judged guilty because of the two witnesses. Dimna is left without food and water and dies. I also read Chapter Nine, "Lion and Jackal." Despite resistance, the jackal is given the #1 position in the lion's government. His enemies deceitfully set up evidence -- possession of meat stolen from the lion -- against him and falsely accuse him. The lion believes them and imprisons the jackal. The lion's mother intervenes, stops his execution, and speaks with her son on the jackal's behalf. The jackal had given up eating meat when he took on the top position. Convinced by the jackal, the king tries at length to persuade the jackal to serve him again. The jackal makes clear to the king that such accusations are likely again. Finally, he reenters the lion king's service. The story underscores the wisdom developed so nicely in the first chapter of "Kalila and Dimna": putting one minister above others makes for badly competitive government. 

1996 La Fontaine: Fables. Présentation, chronologie, notes, et dossier-jeu par Alain Delormes. Étonnants Classiques. Paris: Flammarion. 15 Francs at Librairie Fontaine, Paris, May, '97.

A quick find at a little neighborhood bookstore that I happened to pass while wandering in Paris. There are illustrations from Oudry (frontispiece of La Fontaine), Grandville, and Doré. The special offering of this paperback is the section near the end containing all sorts of games, puzzles, and tests based on the fables in the book. The T of C at the very end of the book gives a good sense of what many people would think are La Fontaine's best fables, twenty-nine of which are here.

1996 La Oveja negra y demás fábulas/Ovis nigra atque caeterae fabulae: Edición español - latín. Augusto Monterroso. Primera edición. Paperbound. Colección: Canción Compartida #4. Editorial Universitaria: Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. $15 from Libros Centroamericanos, July, '99.

What a riot! Latin is perfect for some of Monterroso's wonderful fables! This paperback edition starts with three essays on Monterroso--in Spanish. From there on to the finish, the book is doggedly bilingual on facing pages. Thus we go through forty Monterroso fables, including such wonderful pieces as: "La Oveja negra/Ovis nigra" (22-23); "El Búho que quería salvar a la humanidad/Bvbo qui hvmanvm genvs salvare volebat" (30-31); "El rayo que cayo dos veces en el mismo sitio/Fvlmen bis ibidem collapsvs" (42-43; should that not be "collapsum"?); and my favorite "La Rana que quería ser una rana auténtica/Rana qvae volebat rana authentica esse" (56-57). Are there a few other people in the world who can enjoy this book as I can? It is not clear to me who did the Latin here.

1996 Le Favole di Esopo. Oversize pamphlet. Collana Classica Mondiale #33. Naples: Emmerre Libri, s.r.l. Gift of Cheryl Spillane, Nov., '98. Extra copy for 5000 lire from a store in Paestum, July, '98.

Here is a very large pamphlet of sixteen pages remarkable for its slick bright illustrations. Jupiter on the cover looks as though he has just kicked a field-goal! Included are "The Fox and the Monkey," "The Ass and the Dog," "The Shepherd and the Wild Goats," FK, "The Fox and the Woodsman," and "The Dog and the Wolf." The latter, I believe, is the story in which the dog is able to tell the wolf that he will be fatter after his master's upcoming banquet. The art work is lively and colorful, but has trouble sustaining a single style. At least one work is signed something like "Pescador." I enjoy the nice touches away from the focus of a given illustration, as when a bird reads something in the tree above the man favoring his dog over his donkey. Many of the trees have faces. There are questions on the inside of the back cover, like "Who wrote these fables?" The back cover itself lists the fifty books in the series.

1996 Le Favole di La Fontaine. Oversize pamphlet. Collana Classica Mondiale #34. Naples: Emmerre Libri, s.r.l. Gift of Cheryl Spillane, Nov., '98. Extra copy for 5000 lire from a store in Paestum, July, '98.

Here is a very large pamphlet of sixteen pages remarkable for its slick bright illustrations. Included are "The Proud Mule," "The Wolf Versus the Fox Before Judge Monkey," "The Larks and Their Mother," DLS, and "The Ass, the Dog, and the Wolf." Again the artist plays with scenes nicely, as when the fleeing mother lark carries a bright red parasol. The best of the images has the ass admiring himself in the mirror. Sometimes, even in this illustration, the color-separation is poor. Again, as in the companion volume Le Favole di Esopo, the art work is lively and colorful, but has trouble sustaining a single style. There are questions on the inside of the back cover. The back cover itself lists the fifty books in the series.

1996 Le più Belle Favole di Animali. Testi di Cristiana Giraudi. Illustrato da Matthew Wolf. Edizione n. 3. Hardbound. Oversized. Printed in Prato, Italy. Milan: Dami Editore. 16,000 Lire from Scripta Manent, Rome, July, '98.

For each of fifteen fables, there is here a two-page spread with a glossy full-page illustration. The book is about 10½" x 14". In FG, the fox has to come up with an excuse because a bird is laughing at him. I think that the decoration of the "other" page is a special feature of this book. Sometimes there is a small design, like that of the seated cicada on 6. Sometimes, the full-page illustration spills over onto the text page (e.g., "Il Cervo alla Fonte" on 22-23). Sometimes there is a pleasant border around the text matching the theme of the illustration (e.g., 2). In the wildest image of all, the ass runs out from under his lion's skin as other asses approach him (12-13); this image spreads across the full width of two pages. BF on 16-17 shows another clever disposition of the available space. The attitudes in both the peacock and the crow on the right are well portrayed. There is a T of C at the back. This was a nice find on a very hot Saturday afternoon in Rome.

1996 Life's Fables or Don't Leave Cats in the Oven When You Know Your Mama's Comin' Home From Work. Intermediate West Students, Starms Discovery Learning Center, (Milwaukee?). "Forward" by faculty member Doug Smith. $7 by mail from Schwartz, Milwaukee, Feb., '96.

Here is an impressive collection of a large number of real-life anecdotes by ten-year-olds. The cover story (20) is good and typical. So is "Don't Leave Your Fable on the Table" near the end. The forward gives the rationale: "A book of fables taken from lessons they'd learned would be accessible to any of them. We learn lessons every day of our lives. And who to better teach us a lesson than a child?" The forward also describes how the book comes by its delightful first-grade illustrations.

1996 Little Mouse & Elephant: A Tale from Turkey. Retold by Jane Yolen. Illustrated by John Segal. First edition, apparent first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. $5.98 from Half-Price Books, Dallas, Dec., '99.

Here is a story of a little mouse who thinks that he is the strongest animal around. The first few creatures whom he meets, like lizard and beetle, happen to be frightened by a coming storm at exactly the same time when mouse makes threatening noises, so mouse naturally thinks that they are afraid of him. He next encounters dog, who similarly denies that he is elephant. When the mouse does encounter elephant--by literally bumping into him--he gets a trunkful of water splashed on him, but comes away saying that it was lucky for elephant that this storm struck, or mouse would have shown him who is the strongest. "If Elephant has not come by since to dispute it, Little Mouse is still telling that same tale…."

1996 Lost Tales: Stories for the Tsar's Children. Gleb Botkin. © 1996 by Marina Botkin Schweitzer. Foreword by Greg King. First edition, second printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. NY: Villard Books: Random House. $28.00 from Olsson's in Alexandria, June, '97. Extra copy for $3.95 from Strand, Jan., '99.

What one finds in this fascinating book is the albums, done as gifts for the tsar's children, of the son Gleb of the tsar's personal physician Dr. Eugene Botkin. For extended periods, young Gleb apparently entertained the royal children with his sketches and stories. Gleb's father stayed loyal to the tsar after he was deposed and sent to Tobolsk, and Gleb and his sister came along. The pictures and stories in this book were created during this time of the "Provisional Government" (March to October, 1917) while the royal family was still at Tobolsk. When the royal family was sent by the Bolsheviks to Ekaterinburg, Dr. Botkin went with them, leaving his own children behind. He was killed with the tsar's family in July, 1918. Fleeing from the Bolsheviks, Gleb was forced to entrust the albums to a friend, who later returned them to him. What interests me in the book is not the historical parodies, well summarized on XIV-XV, but the several fable-watercolors, done in 1914-15 and appearing in Book III: Krylov's "Quartet," LS, and Krylov's "The Monkey and the Looking Glass." There is also an unidentified fable that I would love to pin down!

1996 Mga Alamat, Pabula, at Marami Pang Kuwento (Tulong sa Mag-aaral) Ikalawang Aklat. Edited and illustrated by Ramon Nepomuceno Orbeta. Paperbound. Printed in Makati, Philippines. Philippines: Zeus Publishing. 60 Phil. Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

Three storytellers or storytelling groups seem to be represented here. Aesop has fourteen, Alamat has three, and Kuwento has three stories. Four stories (51, 53, 73, and 75) seem not to be included in the index. 100 pages. There is apparently an AI at the front. I am surprised to see the Society of St. Paul involved in a venture such as this. Each fable has a simple black-and-white illustration. Sometimes there is a curious blending of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, as in the image for TB on 45. I found this book in my first hours in Manila on a torrentially rainy day where the bookstore provided a haven from the storm. Lucky me!

1996 Misoso: Once Upon a Time Tales from Africa. Retold by Verna Aardema. Illustrated by Reynold Ruffins. First Scholastic printing. Paperbound. NY: Scholastic Inc. $1 from OwlsBooks, Hammond, IN, Feb., '07.

I first found this book in its 1994 hardbound form from Alfred Knopf. I was disappointed then because two of the stories labeled "fables" were torn out of the book! I went online and found this paperback copy waiting for me. Let me include my comments from there and add a word about the fables. 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). "The Hen and the Dove" (33-34) is an effective Ashanti fable. Each goes off to find food. The hen goes to the village, is caught and tied to a tree. When the dove visits her and tells how hard it is to find food in the grass country, the hen speaks proudly that she is a "person of some importance" (34). The dove returns as planned at dusk to see how important the hen is, but learns that she has been put into a pot. It is better to be free! The comment on this fable mentions that the fable was recorded during British colonial times. For the Ashanti, the hen was a metaphor for themselves under British rule. "The Cock and the Jackal" (47-8) is a good Khoikhoi fable. The cock, having been caught by the jackal, is about to be eaten. He advises the jackal to do what men do before eating: to pray. After the jackal's first attempt, the cock chides him for not closing his eyes. The comment notes that this European fable may have seen the substitution of jackal for Reynard the fox. The basic trick is the same as in the Chanticleer story. In the third fable, "Toad's Trick: A Kanuri Fable" (59), 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.

1996 Mongolian Folktales. Hilary Roe Metternich. Original Papercut Illustrations by Norov Sambuugiin Baatartsog. Introduction by Pureviin Khorloo. Inscribed by the Author. Paperbound. Boulder, CO: Avery Press in Association with the University of Washington Press. $4 from Second Story Warehouse, Rockville, MD, Oct., '12.

This book of twenty-five Mongolian folktales includes a number of fables. Many fable motifs are slightly transformed here. "The Clever Little Hedgehog" (43-44) combines two fable motifs: outdoing other competitors' claims of how easily they get drunk and then outrunning a faster opponent by riding on him till near the end. "The Fox and the Lion" (54-55) has the fox outfoxing the lion by the way he sets up their communal task of carrying a deer. "The Wise Judge" (60-63) has a judge catching a greedy man who has lost his wallet; the judge is able to punish him cleverly for his greed. "Why the Bat Lives in the Dark" (64-67) is the standard fable of changing sides in a war. "How a Small Rabbit Saved a Large Horse" (68-71) employs the familiar motif "Show me how it happened." In "The Two Good Brothers" (72-75), the brothers are so solicitous for each other that it proves impossible for either to give something to the other. "The Flying Frog" (88-91) is TT with a frog substituting for the usual turtle. "The Fox, the Wolf, and the Bag of Butter" (92-95) has the two animals trying to outfox each other for the treat that they find. "The Old Man and the Lion" (96-101) shows the former tricking the latter several times over, especially through the cleverness of his wife. "The Turtle and the Monkey" (106-9) is the usual story about forgetting one's heart. "The Faithful Little Fox" (110-13) substitutes a fox for the Panchatantra's usual mongoose. The quick-judging parent here believes that the fox has harmed her child, when in fact the fox saved the child. The silhouettes are strong and dramatic. 

1996 Mrs. Aesop's Fables. By Lisa Cofield and Debbie Dingerson. Paperbound. Printed in Hong Kong. Glendale Heights, IL: Great Quotations Publishing Co. $5.95 from Santa Clara University Book Store, Feb., '97.

Here is a strange event. I found this postcard-sized sideways paperback booklet by chance in the Santa Clara Book Store and have never seen it elsewhere! Many of this book's good stories have the feminist edge suggested in the introduction (4-5). Some of the booklet's best stories are FG (20), BW (24), "The Stag and the Pool" (48), FC (50), "The Eagles, the Wildcats and the Sows" (62), "Venus and the Cat" (70), "The Fox and the Woodcutter" (102), "The Monkey and the Dolphin" (152), and "The Father and his Two Daughters" (162). Enjoy the satire on contemporary figures like Senator Packwood (32), a preacher's wife whose mascara runs (42), and Ross Perot (142). The man with both a wife and a mistress finds the former removing his black hairs while he is asleep (69). "The Old Woman and the Physician" (86) is Biercian in its sardonic surprise. There are some strong plays on words (40, 54, 113, and 166) which will have some readers groaning. One also finds a clever proverb on 129.

1996 Mythomania: Fantasies, Fables, and Sheer Lies in Contemporary American Popular Art. Bernard Welt. Paperback. Los Angeles: Art Issues Press. $6 from Minneapolis, Dec., '00.

This is a curious book. One might pick it up thinking that it will be a diatribe against popular art in the USA today. It is rather a sympathetic look at what that art is saying. "...in America, the vulgarity inevitably associated with commercial success is not a dangerous opiate, distracting us from eternal truths. In America, vulgarity is the vehicle for the expression of eternal truths" (7). Welt means here to involve both senses of the word "myth." One sense involves "narratives that tell us where and how a people find meaning in the world." "And, second, a still-more common meanng deprecates myth as a widely held, patently false belief." He goes on to say explicitly "I invoke both senses of myth intentionally" (10). Though "fable" shows up here in the book's subtitle, I find only one use of the word in the first few essays, and it is not very discriminating. Welt is writing about Schindler's List. "It is not the legend of the beneficent industrialist that appeals to Spielberg's fans, in and outside Hollywood, so much as the fable of the purveyor of enormously popular schlock who has finally found the higher, harder path to Art" (37). I put this book into the collection to save me or others from seeing its subtitle and thinking it might relate more specifically to Aesopic fable.

1996 Oi Oraioteroi Mythoi Tou Aisopou, A Tomos. Nestoras Chounos. Illustrated by Eric Kincaid. Hardbound. Athens: Agkura D.A. Papademetriou. $9.98 from Greek Video Rec's & Tapes, Inc, Astoria, NY, Feb., '98.

Together with the second volume, this work reproduces Eric Kincaid's Aesop's Fables of 1993 from Brimax. This book lists the Brimax copyright in 1995. As there, "The Boasting Traveler" illustration is the frontispiece in both volumes, but the fable does not appear in either volume! See my comments under the 1993 Brimax edition. Here we have a full-page illustration and one page of text for each of the twelve fables. One fable, SW (14), gets two illustrations and four pages. The illustrations seem to me to lack some of Kincaid's typical brash sparkle. Both volumes also feature a title-page illustration of a dog with a hare; one could ask again with justice what fable here the picture might refer to. On the back of the title-page is an introductory paragraph followed by a half-page picture of a fox. The same fox (a detail of FG on 11) dominates the lower cover here. The back cover of both volumes is identical except for color (green here); it advertises the two books of the set.

1996 Oi Oraioteroi Mythoi Tou Aisopou, B Tomos. Nestoras Chounos. Illustrated by Eric Kincaid. Hardbound. Athens: Agkura D.A. Papademetriou. $9.98 from Greek Video Rec's & Tapes, Inc, Astoria, NY, Feb., '98.

Together with the first volume, this work reproduces Eric Kincaid's Aesop's Fables of 1993 from Brimax. This book lists the Brimax copyright in 1995. As there, "The Boasting Traveler" illustration is the frontispiece in both volumes, but the fable does not appear in either volume! See my comments under the 1993 Brimax edition. Here we have a full-page illustration and one page of text for each of the thirteen fables. One fable, "The Eagle and the Beetle" (34), gets two illustrations and four pages. The illustrations seem to me to lack some of Kincaid's typical brash sparkle. Both volumes also feature a title-page illustration of a dog with a hare; one could ask again with justice what fable here the picture might refer to. On the back of the title-page is an introductory paragraph followed by a half-page picture of a fox from FG in the first volume. TH dominates the lower cover here; the story is in the first volume. The back cover of both volumes is identical except for color (tan here); it advertises the two books of the set.

1996 Paramythia Tou Aisopou, Tritos Tomos. Nestoras Chounos. Michales Benetoulias. Hardbound. Athens: Agkura D.A. Papademetriou. See 1986/96.

1996 Paramythia Tou Aisopou, Tetartos Tomos. Nestoras Chounos. Michales Benetoulias. Hardbound. Athens: Agkura D.A. Papademetriou. See 1986/96.

1996 Paramythia Tou Aisopou, Ektos Tomos. Nestoras Chounos and Anastasia Papdemetriou-Bibrily. Michales Benetoulias. Hardbound. Third edition. Athens: Agkura D.A. Papademetriou. See 1992/96.

1996 Rhymes & Fables. Written and Illustrated by Vincent Torre. Signed; #130 of 150. Hardbound. NY: The Inkwell Press. $49.99 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 a beautifully produced book, set by hand and bound by hand. This book has seventeen offerings on 114 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. It is easy here to distinguish the fables from the "rhymes," though all offerings here are in verse. Several fables are labeled as "From Aesop's Fables": "The Monkey & the Dolphin" (1), "The Fox & the Goat" (7), "The Hares & the Frogs" (37, with a fine illustration), FS (68), and FK (80). FK seems not to get beyond the moment of discussion about the qualities wanted in any king. Two are described as "adapted form La Fontaine's Fables" MSA (91 and "Death & the Woodman" (98). The MSA version here is closer to other versions than La Fontaine's! It has a great illustration of the two yokels! Here the donkey, sick of all the changes, stands still until father and son carry him. There is one unlikely fable: clams ask a strolling fisherman not to let the gulls eat them, but to put them rather into a chowder. He does just that! My prize in this volume goes to a non-fable, "A Fish Named 'Pesky'" (44), including its two fine illustrations. An honorable mention goes to the silkscreen of the auk on the cliffs of Dover (77). A number of the sextets here seem to have the pattern xbybzb where there may be a rhyme in two or three of x, y, and z.

1996 Sheep in Wolves' Clothing. Satoshi Kitamura. Hardbound. First American Edition. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. $6 from Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis, Dec., '01.

This is a delightful story whose title parodies that of an Aesopic fable. The fable connections tend to stop there, I believe, but the fun does not stop. The LC information lists this book under mystery and detective stories, and it is correct. Three sheep go off for some fun at the beach. The trip is not easy, but with help of a car and then a boat they arrive. On the beach, they meet some golfling wolves who stop them from running straight into the salt water and ruining their beautiful coats. The wolves generously offer to watch their coats while they swim. Of course, at the end of the swim there is nothing to be found of either the coats or the wolves. The sheep track the wolves into town. One of them has a cousin who is a detective, and he agrees to help them. He happens to notice some cats playing rugby with an unusual ball, namely a ball of wool. The group follows the string of wool back to its source, which is of course the wolves' knitting shop. When the wolves start to attack the sheep, the detective throws a basket of wool into the air and shouts "At 'em, cats!" After a free-for-all, the wolves admit that they have unraveled the coats. One of the sheep picks up a bag instead. The bag, as the last picture shows, contains striped shirts for these coatless sheep to wear with their friends back in the meadow. Fun! Copyright 1995 by Satoshi Kitamura. First published in Great Britain by Andersen Press in 1995.

1996 The Animal Fable In Modern Literature. Marie Fernandes. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Delhi: New World Literature Series: 98: B.R. Publishing Corporation: D.K. Publishers Distributors. $11.35 from Oscar Publications, Delhi, through abe, June, '05.

As the introduction and dust-jacket both indicate, "The book examines the animal stories of five modern writers: Kipling's Jungle Books, De La Mare's The Three Royal Monkeys, Orwell's Animal Farm, James Thurber's Fables and Further Fables for Our Times and Richard Adams' Watership Down, The Plague Dogs and Traveller. There are three appendices, offering materials from Kipling, De La Mare, and Adams, as well as a bibliography and alphabetical index. I will be curious when I get a chance to examine the book to see what definition of fable is at work here. 

1996 The Answer. Philip Wylie. First Dove Printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Los Angeles: Dove Books. $7.47 from Strand Books, NY, April, '97.

Billed by the dust jacket as "A Fable for Our Times." Originally copyrighted and published in 1955 by Curtis Publishing Company, with a copyright renewed in 1983 by Karen Pryor. This is a nuclear novella. Right after powerful nuclear tests, both the US and Russia find dead angels. The finding is kept secret and shakes the leaders of both sides. In both cases, the body is destroyed or disappears. Want to know what happens? Read on! There is nothing here to do with fables in the sense in which I want to pursue them.

1996 The Ant and the Grasshopper: An Aesop's Fable.  Retold by Tom Paxton.  Philip Webb.  Paperbound.  Parsippany, NJ: Little Celebrations:  Celebration Press: Pearson Learning.  $8.75 from Amazon, August, '15.  

This is a 24-page pamphlet almost 8½" x 6".  Each two-page spread gets a three-line stanza that rhymes with a partner.  The telling is unusual and careful, I believe.  The story ends with the grasshopper shivering in the snow.  There is no last episode where the two characters confront each other.  The last page's statement is clear: "While the grasshopper shivered/with nothing to eat./We work before we play."  The message is modulated enough to be helpful, I think.  The ant's repeated message plays on the theme that "Summer will certainly pass" (12).  This may be one of the best ways of telling the story to contemporary children.  Bravo to Tom Paxton!  The illustrations are well suited to this good telling.

1996 The Anthropology of Wisdom Literature. Wanda Ostrowska Kaufmann. Foreword by Madeline Sutherland. First edition, first printing. Hardbound. Westport, CT, and London: Bergin & Garvey. $.99 from 99 Cent Book Shop, Blaine, WA, through eBay, August, '05.

This book is an attempt to bridge the gap between literary criticism and anthropology in dealing with wisdom literature like the "exemplum," a term used here to cover fables as well as apologues, parables, biblical and religious tales, anecdotes, moral tales, jokes, proverbs, and a multitude of other narrative genres. Kaufmann works here with the medieval, classical, and Indic traditions up to about 1400, hoping that three traditions will give her study objectivity and six hundred years will give the necessary distance. Kaufmann finds exempla presenting a uniform tripartite morphology: promythium, nucleus, and epimythium. "Sometimes the promythium or the epimythium may be omitted, but never both" (9). Deprived of both, "the nucleus reverts to what it originally was, a bawdy tale, a joke, an animal tale, and so on" (9). There is, I fear, a world of assumption behind that simple sample assertion. At this point, I wondered if I was reading a highly superficial work that would yield less insight than I hoped. I turned to a review of the book in "The Journal of Folklore Research" (Vol. 35, No. 2, May - August, 1998, Pages 172-74) by William Hansen from Indiana University. My hunch seems confirmed. Hansen writes that he cannot recommend the book. "There are difficulties with Kaufmann's definition of her prey. First, it describes not a kind of story but a common way of using narratives of different kinds. It thus captures a species of rhetoric than a genre of story. Second, since either the promythium or the epimythium is optional, the alleged tripartite structure of the exemplum is so slippery that it does not offer the investigator much to hold on to" (173). Hansen goes on to catalogue a plethora of errors. There may be individual spots of help here, like the good pointed summary of Nojgaard's sense of structure in fables, but I cannot trust this book. 

1996 The Book Cupboard: Six Children's Classics in Miniature from the Bodleian Library, Oxford.. Including Baby's Own Aesop by Walter Crane. L.J. Linton et al. First edition, and apparently first printing. Printed in Colombia. NY: Dial Books, a Division of Penguin Books. Walter Crane et al. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Sept., '98. Extra copy for $13.99 from Books & Co., NY, April, '97.

See the adjoining entry for a description of the same collection published in England.

1996 The Book Cupboard: Six Children's Classics in Miniature from the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Including Baby's Own Aesop by Walter Crane. Designed by Ian Butterworth. Printed in Colombia. London: Orion Children's Books. £7.95 at Bookends, London, May, '97.

The lovely little Aesop booklet includes thirty-nine of Crane's classic fables in very small format. The booklet and its five mates measure slightly more than 3.5" by 3". Each of the six booklets has a particular slot in the heavy-board triptych that unfolds as the cupboard. The colors in Crane's work are surprisingly well reproduced. I used this booklet for comparison as I made my way through L.J. Linton at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

1996 The Dragon's Tale and Other Animal Fables of the Chinese Zodiac. Demi. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $16.95 from an unknown source, Nov., '98.

This book is like all those I have known from Demi: it is delightfully and playfully illustrated. For each of the twelve spreads in this book, there is a tale plus a moral within a circle on the left and a circular animal painting on the right. "The Rat's Tale" is a variant of "The Marriage of the Rat's Daughter." Only here there is no marriage and no daughter. The rat himself becomes the sun and then wishes to be a cloud and then successively the wind and the rock and…a rat! "The Ox's Tale" is about the oxen who were safe as long as they stayed together but were devoured as soon as gossip broke them apart. "The Tiger's Tale" is about the fox's claim to be king of animals. He demonstrates it by approaching animals together with the tiger; they run, but not from him. "The Rabbit's Tale" is the tale about the thump of a falling piece of fruit misinterpreted as the end of the world. "The Dragon's Tale" is about the smallness of any river compared to the sea. "The Snake's Tale" is about the suspicious appearance of the behavior of one snake when his friend snake has started to suspect him. "The Horse's Tale" is the old "The Bull and the Gnat" story. "The Goat's Tale" condemns those who see the world as if from the bottom of a well. Their view, like their experience, is narrow. A dramatic illustration shows the narrowness of the frog's view from the well's bottom. "The Monkey's Tale" is new to me. A chain of monkeys allows the last of them to try to fetch the moon from the bottom of a well. When they finally notice the moon in the sky, they get out of the well rejoicing. "The Rooster's Tale" is a good "cart and horse" conundrum. The sun tells the rooster that he waits for the rooster to crow before rising. The rooster answers that he waits for the sun's rising before he crows. "The Dog's Tale" is probably in the genre of joke. The dog asks the pup conundrum-like questions, especially on whether the sun or the city is closer. "The Boar's Tale" is about the boar who got stuck smashing against a tree. The title-page, "The Dragon's Tale," and "The Boar's Tale" are my favorite illustrations here.

1996 The Emperor's Birthday Suit.  Cindy Wheeler.  Illustrated by R.W. Alley.  Second printing.  Paperbound.  NY: A Step 2 Book: Step into Reading:  Random House.  $1.95 from Milwaukee, May, '14.  

This colorfully pictured emperor never wears the same clothes twice.  Though he spends so much time trying to impress people with his clothes, he is never happy.  One morning two strangers are passing by the palace when they hear the emperor shouting at his helpers that he has nothing to wear for his birthday.  He wants something "extra special."  These Messrs. Bobbin and Thread proclaim to the interested emperor that their extra special garments for him will come from very fine thread that comes from gold and silver coins.  Into each piece of cloth they weave a little magic: "Wise people can see the cloth, but fools cannot!"  The emperor declares a parade to show off his great new royal birthday suit.  There is a bit of Sendak in Alley's illustrations.  The facial expressions are especially good.  A good sample picture would be on 28-29 as Bobbin and Thread hold up the non-existing clothes for the emperor to admire for the first time.  The emperor, by the way, is wearing a t-shirt that proclaims "I (heart) me."  How apt!  The "small voice" here cries out "Look, he's not wearing any clothes!"  In this version, somebody gives the emperor an old coat and old pants, and the crowd cheers.  The emperor smiles and then begins to laugh.  He admits before the honest little girl "We were all fools!  Except this wise little girl."  He makes her his head helper.  As head helper, she decides the punishment for Bobbin and Thread, caught making their getaway with the bags of coins.  "Make them sew new clothes for all the people in the land!"  The play on words in the title is nice!

1996 The Empty Pot. Demi. Paperback. Third printing. Printed in USA. NY: An Owlet Book: Henry Holt and Company. $6.95, Nov., '97?

I am sorry that I cannot remember where or when I got this book. I am not even sure that it should be called a fable. I love the story and the artist, and those loves may influence my decision. Ping is great at raising flowers. The emperor needs a successor and gives each child a flower seed. He promises to take as successor the child who can show him his or her best in a year. Despite his best efforts, Ping's seed does not bloom, and he has to bring an empty pot to the final show. You will have to read the book to find out what happens then! Demi's work is enchanting. Originally published in hardback by Holt in 1990.

1996 The Fables of Aesop. Illustrated by Jagdish Sharma. Third impression. Paperback. Printed in India. Calcutta: Rupa & Co. See 1993/96.

1996 The Fables of Aesop (Hebrew). Selected and Retold by Joseph Jacobs; edited by Hannah Livnat. Illustrations by Richard Heighway. First edition. Hardbound. Tel-Aviv: Mehaverot Lesifrut. Gift of Danielle Gurevitch, Petach Tikva, Israel, Oct., '03. 

This large-format (8¼" x 11") book not only reproduces Jacobs' edition, with its eighty-two numbered fables. It expands the size of each of Heighway's illustrations, and so makes an excellent source for photographing them. A number of Heighway's illustrations are colored. They appear in twos and fours. TMCM and FC follow 33; FS, OF, "The Fisher," and "The Tortoise and the Birds" follow 48; CP and GGE follow 64. The title-page uses Heighway's clever separation of the two characters of FC. Steinhöwel's frontispiece of Aesop serves as the frontispiece here. What a great gift! The statement opposite the T of C, "Printed in Israel, 1966," is apparently a typo.

1996 The Farmer's Journey: A Greek Fable. Retold by Diana Noonan. Illustrated by Vivi Escrivá. Apparent fifth printing. Paperbound. Parsipanny, NJ: Little Celebrations, Stage 3B: Celebration Press: Pearson Learning. $3.48 from Better World Books, March, '12.

This is a charming 24-page version of MSA. Niko sets out with his son to sell two bags of wheat. He puts his son on the donkey because it is a hot day. Soon, because of criticism, they exchange places. "Maybe we had both better ride the donkey. Then no one will complain" (12). Their next ploy is to carry the wheat themselves. They do not, as the story often goes, carry the donkey. "What are we to do, Father? Whatever we do seems to be the wrong thing." "We will do whatever we please. Today we have learned a very important lesson" (23). "We have learned that no matter what you do, you can never hope to please everyone!" (24). The Greek island background serves the telling of the fable here well.

1996 The Fox and the Crow.  Deb Eaton.  Illustrated by Fabricio Vandenbroeck.  First printing.  Paperbound.  Needham Heights, MA: Silver Burdett Ginn Readables Level 2, Book 33:  Silver Burdett Ginn: Simon & Schuster.  $1.03 from Amazon, Oct., '17. 

This highly readable children's landscape pamphlet version of 24 pages offers several particular developments.  The crow steals his piece of cheese from a family picnic.  The fox makes compliment after compliment and says "You're welcome" after the crow acknowledges each.  The story begins and ends with the crow "trot, trot, trotting" along.  When the crow at first does not show off his great voice, the fox begins to trot away.  "So watch out for people who say nice things just to trick you!"

1996 The Hare and the Tortoise. Carol Jones. First printing. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '96.

What a treasure! This sideways book is an enchanting expansion of TH, with Jones' special feature of a peep hole in the text pages between full-page illustrations. The peep hole works very effectively spotlighting elements in the pages both coming and going. The telling is traditional but well amplified. Thus, e.g., a hedgehog accompanies the tortoise. The hare awakens so frantic that he carries his new running shoes with him across the finish line! The story early establishes that hare is proud, competitive, and selfishly insensitive. He tells spectators just before his nap that this race is really beneath his dignity. It is ten miles long and lasts from noon until early evening. A wonderful gift!

1996 The Little Book of Values: Moral Fables by Laura E. Richards and Rhymes for Kindly Children by Fairmont Snyder. Laura E. Richards and Fairmont Snyder. John B. Gruelle. Apparently first edition and first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Malaysia. NY: Glorya Hale Books. $22.50 from Broad Ripple Bookshop, Indianapolis, through ABE, March, '00.

The fables here are taken from "The House with the Golden Windows" and the poems from "Rhymes for Kindly Children." Gruelle is the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy. The Richards stories are rather moral stories and not fables. They feature many angels, including, e.g., a "Play Angel" and a "Tidy Angel" in charge of tidying up. Some may be so sentimental and nostalgic and proper that they are just too much to take, like "The Apron String" (58), in which a large teenager is saved by his mother's apron string! The whole book has a strongly nostalgic cast to it. As the flyleaf says, this anthology "will make today's boys and girls, and their mothers and fathers, aware of the family values that were instilled in everyone when the world was a better place in which to live." "The Golden Windows" (10) remains a moving story. For me the best are "The Two Ways" (18) and "The Coming of the King" (28).

1996 The Little Swineherd and Other Tales. Paula Fox. Illustrated by Robert Byrd. First edition, first printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Dutton Children's Books. $16.98 from The Story Monkey, Omaha, May, '02.

Here is a frame story followed by five shorter tales, called fables by the flyleaf. The stories were originally published in 1978 but are here newly illustrated. The stories are meaningful and well-crafted. I read the first four. The frame story concerns a frustrated duck who wants to manage talent. His circus has just collapsed when a juggling cat apparently ate the mice audience in the midst of her act. The duck encounters a goose finishing telling a tale to some frogs, and he immediately wants to become her manager. The first story comes as a sort of trial: "The Little Swineherd." It is considerably longer than the other four stories. The foundling swineheard finds himself alone but soon learns from Ira Winks and makes his way in the world. After this story, the goose, asked by the duck for a shorter story, offers her version of GA, which centers on one ant who is touched by the grasshopper's imagination and takes care of him through the winter. "They lived in quite a happy way for some time" (57). "Not forever?" the duck asks. "There's no such thing," one of the frogs answers. The little story is graced by an excellent illustration. In her next offering, a rooster sees himself in a mirror, becomes even more enamored with himself, and eventually gets to the roof of the barnyard, only to find himself afraid to get back down. After some tough days up there, he returns to earth chastened. A millstone pony goes off to see the world in a straight line but finds himself first gathering a troop of fellow travelers and then circling right back to his usual round. It is a shame, I believe, that the interior illustrations are black-and-white. The cover's colored illustration of the swineherd boy is so charming, and the interior illustrations are carefully done. 

1996 The Ocean of Story: Fairy Tales from India. Chosen with an Introduction and Notes by Neil Philip. Retold by Caroline Ness. Illustrated by Jacqueline Mair. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Lothrop, Lee & Shephard Books. $17 from A Likely Story: Children's Bookstore, Old Town Alexandria, VA, August, '98.

Philip sees two great folktale traditions in India, classical and popular. The former, in Sanskrit, includes the Jatakas, the Panchatantra, Katha Sarit Sagara ("The Ocean of the Streams of Story"), and the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The popular tradition consists of the tales which old women recite to children in the evening. For Philip the two traditions are the same, since all the stories of India seem to flow into one another. And so he borrows the particular title to refer to this selection from the whole. There are eighteen stories here, most illustrated with at least one lively full-page colored illustration and many also with an endpiece. At least seven of them qualify as fables: SW (20), "The King and his Daughters" (22), "A Likely Story!" (32), "The Thirsty Fool" (62), "The Mouse-Girl" (77), "The Brahman, the Tiger, and the Six Judges" (78), and "The Tiger and the Cat" (97). A helpful feature of the book is the T of C's sub-title for each story (9-10); these are not to be taken for granted! They often suggest a good perspective on or question about the story not found on the story's own pages. Notice that the bookshop' has the same name, "A Likely Story," as one of the best tales in the book. If you are in a contest or bet challenging the other to doubt your story, tell him one about his father's unpaid debt to you! "The Thirsty Fool" has a main character who finally arrives at a river but just looks at it, asking "How could I drink all this?" I think that the total of six judges approached by the Brahman (78) sets a record. The last of the stories is the fine one about the teacher who hides one trick from his pupil so that the teacher can escape the well-taught pupil after all the lessons are finished! There is a comment on each story's sources at the end of the book.

1996 The Tortoise and the Hare: Coloring and Activity Book. Large pamphlet. No author or illustrator acknowledged. Printed in USA. Ashland, OH: Landoll, Inc. $1. Dec., ‘99.

Here is the simplest of cheap coloring books. Besides simple pictures to color, there are activities like connecting the dots, completing the picture, identifying the one image that is not like others, and getting through a maze. Ironically, in a book that pushes being perceptive, there is the typo "Tortise" on the maze page. A text of the story is never presented; it is presumed that we know the story, including even the fact that the fox serves as judge. I have no idea where in my travels I found this book!

1996 The Tortoise and the Hare/Friends at the End. Dr. Alvin Granowsky. Illustrations by Delana Bettoli and Normand Chartier. Printed in USA. Austin: Another Point of View: Flip Me Over: Steck-Vaughn Company. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Feb., '98. Extra copy with loosening cover for $4 from Powell's, Portland, June, '06.

Two stories, 23 pages long one way and 25 the other. In the first, traditional tale, when the tortoise challenged him to a race, the hare laughed so hard that he cried. After the lion-judge urged the competitors to get a good night's sleep, the tortoise did, but the hare played until morning and came to the starting line yawning. The hare rested at the halfway mark. The best illustration may be the last, featuring the hare's chagrin while other animals dance around the victorious tortoise. The second story ("Friends at the End"), narrated by the same person but illustrated by Chartier, runs from the back of the book to the middle. It opens with a portrait of the victorious tortoise and a first-person set of comments from the hare. "It felt great to be the winner. I'm afraid I just didn't think about how the other animals felt about losing" (7). His arrogant behavior made him alone and lonely, and that led to his challenge to the tortoise. It turns out that the hare stayed up all night thinking about what he overheard the raccoon say to the tortoise and other friends: "Don't worry about that hare. All he cares about is winning. He only thinks of himself." The hare actually felt bad about the race as it was unfolding; in fact, he felt sorry for the tortoise. Not sure what to do, he tried to think--and so fell asleep. When he awoke, he was sure that everyone would think him a loser and that he still would not have friends. "I can lose and still have friends."

1996 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold by Dandi. False. True. Printed in USA. Ashland, OH: Fairy Tale Classics: Landoll, Inc.. $1.25 from K B Toys, Westroads, Omaha, April, '98.

Here is a 24-page colorful book about 8¼" square with very stiff covers. It offers the simplest of colored art in telling TMCM in the simplest and most direct form. For both Pam Mouse in the country and Hot Rod Mouse in the city, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence until each tries living there. They trade back saying "Nice place to visit. We wouldn't live there!"

1996 The Very Hungry Lion: A Folktale. Adapted by Gita Wolf. Art by Indrapramit Roy. Hardbound. Printed in India, bound in Canada. Toronto:Annick Press Ltd. $4.78 from Half Price Books, Milwaukee, Dec., '98.

This book presents a story made of three fables. The hungry lion leaves behind his first catch, a sparrow, who claims that he is about to make rice cakes and suggests that the lion let him make the cakes. Then the lion can eat the sparrow with the cakes. Off the lion goes to market for the cakes' ingredients--sugar, bananas, milk, and butter--along with pots, pans, and firewood. He tries unsuccessfully to take a train. At the market he finds a lamb and is about to eat him, when the lamb says that the lion's subjects will object to his eating lamb raw. He needs to light a fire and roast the lamb. The lion tries unsuccessfully to take a bus to the village to get what he needs for a fire. The villagers, who had run from him at the market, attack him and drive him off. At home, he finds a deer, who says he has been waiting for him all day with a message another lion wrote on his hoof…. Delightful bright art work adapted from Warli folk painting from western India and silk-screened onto paper of rice husks and cotton fibres. Originally published, apparently in 1995, by Tara Publishing in Madras. A lovely book!

1996 When Birds Could Talk & Bats Could Sing: The Adventures of Bruh Sparrow, Sis Wren, and Their Friends. Told by Virginia Hamilton. Illustrated by Barry Moser. NY: The Blue Sky Press: Scholastic. Bookplate signed by Virginia Hamilton and Barry Moser. First printing, first edition. Dust jacket. $17.95 by mail from Books of Wonder, March, '96. Extra copy of the first printing for $7.20 from Second Story Books, Jan., '02.

This is a lovely, charming book. The red cover is embossed with gilt feathers. Its frontispiece is a spectacular view of four birds with personality and strong attitudes. Its eight stories are told in mild dialect and have an etiological approach. Really cante fables containing some verse, they were first written down--and sometimes even created--by Martha Young. The stories touch on good traditional themes, as when wrens squabble over who owns a pumpkin too large for either of them to budge or when a young man wants to keep his dear, dying old horse from the buzzards. Moser's work is very strong. His birds all wear elegant hats! Beside the frontispiece, two of his best illustrations feature the bat with seven coats of feathers (10) and the conversation of Cardinal Red and Scarlet Red on a limb (52). An unsuspected treasure!

1996 Wisdom Tales from Around the World. Fifty gems of story and wisdom from such diverse traditions as Sufi, Zen, Taoist, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, African, and Ntive American. Heather Forest. Paperbound. First printing. Little Rock: August House Publishers. $16.15 at the Santa Clara Bookstore, March, '97.

This book represents the kind of effort I would like to make sometime in my life, to collect a limited number of excellent stories. The sweep is broad here, and that breadth is probably both the book's strength and weakness. One nice feature of the book is that it does not avoid values. A story like that of John Newton (83) is explicitly about a conversion with a huge impact on the lives of many Blacks, both slaves and those who would have become slaves. On the shadow side, some stories may be too overt or obvious. Among my favorites are "The Tiger's Whisker" (103), "A Dispute in Sign Language" (42), and "Paca and Beetle" (131). Several traditional tales are told differently. Thus the talkative turtle (13) was lonesome, as the geese learned when they visited him. This turtle's downfall was that he answered the people "It was my idea." A clever old rabbit was the first victim to be offered to the lion according to the "one victim a day" contract (23). "Whose Dream Is This?" (33) appears also in Demi's Reflective Fables (1988). The stag with the spindly legs got free before the hunters arrived (47). In BC (49), the oldest mouse congratulates the clever inventor of the belling idea and asks "Are you brave enough to put the bell on the cat?" Also included from the fable tradition are two other Jataka tales, two other Panchatantra stories, and UP (48). I recommend this book to story-tellers and story-lovers.

1996 25 Doré Romantic Engravings (11 x 15 detachable Parchment Prints, suitable for framing). ©1996 Dan Malan. Gustave Doré. Softbound. Printed in USA. St. Louis: MCE Publishing Co. $10.00 from Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis, March, '99.

A strange find. Two fables from Doré's La Fontaine edition are included among the twenty-five large engravings: "The Lion in Love" (4.1) and "The Two Pigeons" (9.2, titled here "The two Love-Birds"). They are #21 and #22 of the 25 here. Whereas Doré's original engravings were about 7.5" x 9.5", these reproductions are about 9.5" x 12". Enlarged "to bring out the detail" according to the introduction, I find rather that they have lost in vigor. The introduction calls Doré the most prolific and popular illustrator of all time, with 10,000 engravings and 1500 full-page folio prints. But then it also says that he was doing art for "Aesop's Fables"! They are done here on aged French Parchtone paper.

1996/97 Esopo: Favole. Introduzione di Antonio La Penna. A cura di Cecilia Benedetti. First re-printing. Paperback. Classici Greci e Latini. Printed in Italy. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Lire 15000 from Mel Bookstore, Rome, August, '98.

Here is a slick-covered paperback--it actually looks like a Penguin paperback--offering the 358 Greek prose fables of Chambry's 1927 edition together with Italian prose translations on the facing page. Like its partner edition on Phaedrus, this Mondadori edition of Aesop is sturdy and well made. Among the Aesop editions I found on this trip, this edition also has by far the most extensive introduction, bibliography, and notes. It is wonderful that they got La Penna to do the introduction for it. The AI at the back works from the Italian titles and gives both the Chambry number and page number for each listing.

1996/98 Favourite Fables: A Collection of Favourite Fables and Fairytales. After Stephanie Laslett (not acknowledged). Illustrated by Lorna Hussey, John James, Annabel Spenceley, Claire Mumford, Andrew Geeson, Helen Smith, Roger Langton and Helen Cockburn. Paperbound. Printed in Italy. Clifton, Bristol: Parragon. £4.99 from Oxfam, York, August, ‘01.

The nine fables here are taken directly from the Parragon 1996 edition, Aesop's Fables. They are proportionally larger. The color work here is stronger than there. The illustrations are thus by Lorna Hussey. As I have mentioned there, Hussey did the illustrations for a "Mini Classics" edition, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse And Other Aesop's Fables (1994?), also copyrighted by Parragon. This version selects two or three of those for each of the three fables presented there. It takes the colorful borders used there to surround text; now they surround all pages but remain the same throughout each fable. This edition also works off the versions presented there by Stephanie Laslett but edits them heavily. For those three fables, see my comments there. This may be the first time that I have heard the beginning of the TH race done as a "five..four..three" countdown! In the home of the fox in FS, pictures show a fox chasing dogs and mounted hunters! At the end of FS, the stork "dipped her slender beak inside the jug and drank her soup" (italics mine); is not the point in this fable that the stork cannot drink soup? The lion-clad donkey laughs after he scares the fox, and so gives himself away. The fox tucks his lost tail into his hatband! He claims that they should all wear their tails high up, where they can be admired. I presume that I found here a British production not for sale in the USA. Once again, I got lucky. The volume also includes Grimm's Fairytales, Hans Andersen's Fairytales, and Tales from the Arabian Nights.

1996/98 Favourite Fables: A Collection of Favourite Fables and Fairytales.  After Stephanie Laslett, NA.  Illustrated by Lorna Hussey, John James, Annabel Spenceley, Claire Mumford, Andrew Geeson, Helen Smith, Roger Langton and Helen Cockburn.  Hardbound.  Clifton, Bristol: Parragon.  $4.48 from Slategray Ventures, Red Lion, PA, through eBay, April, '14.  

Seldom are the hardbound and paperback versions of a given book as exactly similar in details as this book is with the paperbound version I found thirteen years ago. I will repeat my comments from there.  The nine fables here are taken directly from the Parragon 1996 edition, "Aesop's Fables."  They are proportionally larger.  The color work here is stronger than there.  The illustrations are thus by Lorna Hussey.  As I have mentioned there, Hussey did the illustrations for a "Mini Classics" edition, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse And Other Aesop's Fables (1994?), also copyrighted by Parragon.  This version selects two or three of those for each of the three fables presented there.  It takes the colorful borders used there to surround text; now they surround all pages but remain the same throughout each fable.  This edition also works off the versions presented there by Stephanie Laslett but edits them heavily.  For those three fables, see my comments there.  This may be the first time that I have heard the beginning of the TH race done as a "five.four.three" countdown!  In the home of the fox in FS, pictures show a fox chasing dogs and mounted hunters!  At the end of FS, the stork "dipped her slender beak inside the jug and drank her soup" (italics mine); is not the point in this fable that the stork cannot drink soup?  The lion-clad donkey laughs after he scares the fox, and so gives himself away.  The fox tucks his lost tail into his hatband!  He claims that they should all wear their tails high up, where they can be admired.  I presume that I found here a British production not for sale in the USA.  Once again, I got lucky.  The volume also includes Grimm's Fairytales, Hans Andersen's Fairytales, and Tales from the Arabian Nights.

1996/2000 Vikas Treasure of Stories: Tulip Book.  Compiled and Edited by Dr.S.D. Mulgaonkar.  Illustrated by John Fernandes.  Paperbound.  Mumbai: Vikas Treasure of Stories:  Navneet Publications.  $3.95 from Powell's, Portland, July, '15.  

There are six stories here and they come from various sources.  I took the book without further search because I noticed the blue jackal on the cover and the story listed as fifth among the six.  The stories are meant for children ages 5 to 8.  Other well-known stories retold here include "Pandora's Box," "Sleeping Beauty," and the story of Damon and Pythias.  "Strange Punishment" has an emperor reward the clever counselor who answered his question correctly "How should I punish someone who pulls my moustache?"  After predictably forceful suggestions from other ministers, Birbal suggests giving the perpetrator candy.  For only the emperor's son would dare to pull his moustache.  "Ekalavya" tells of a native boy who becomes a skilled archer under the god's tutelage and is ready to sacrifrice himself to have a great teacher.  "The Blue Jackal" is nicely, if simply and graphically, illustrated.  "Tulip" marks this as one of five books identified by flowers.  Next time in India, I must find the other four!

1996/2004 Fábulas de Esopo. Seleccionadas e ilustradas por Michael Hague. Quinta edición. Hardbound. Leon, Spain: Editorial Everest, S.A.. $8.47 from Paperbackshop, UK, through abe, April, '05.

Oops! I did not research carefully enough when ordering, and so I did not realize that I already had a first edition of this Spanish version. I will mention what I wrote there. Does that also have a padded cover? I have several different editions of this book in English. I am surprised that it took so long for this popular edition to get into Spanish. My favorite images are still FG and the untitled last image of the fox on 32. Others worthy of a longer look are, I think, "El Lobo y el Cabrito" (23) and DLS (27). See my comments on the original 1985 Holt edition.

1996? Die schönsten Fabeln. Ausgewählt von Sybil Gräfin Schönfeldt. Mit Bildern von Nikolai Ustinov. Hardbound. Vienna: Österreichischer Bundesverlag. DM 18,80 from Leanders Leseladen, Heidelberg, July, '98. 

The two covers of this book give us the two crucial scenes of FG, tastefully done. The book goes on to present a good selection of fables from various sources with helpful colored illustrations. This is one of the few contemporary fable books I know to use promythia. Perhaps the most dramatic visual contribution comes with the two-page spread for GGE. Another, a few pages later, is "Das sind nur kleine Fische." For me one of the excellent contributions of this book is that it presents Luther's "Mit Herren ist nicht gut Kirschen essen," and complements it with two sets of illustrations. The first is the predictable presentation of animals. The second has three servants bowing while the lord eats cherries off of a tree. The contrasting illustration styles for wind and sun near the end are also very effective. Though Aesop and Luther are frequent here, we find also Tolstoy, Hey, Busch, La Fontaine, Novalis, Michaelis, Herder, and Storm.

 

To top

1997

1997 A Ring of Tricksters: Animal Tales from America, the West Indies, and Africa.  Virginia Hamilton.  Illustrated by Barry Moser.  First printing, first edition; signed by Barry Moser.  Hardbound.  Dust jacket.  NY: The Blue Sky Press: Scholastic.  $33.75 from BookFever through abe, Dec., '15.

The trio of Hamilton, Moser, and Blue Sky Press have again fashioned a very impressive book.  Unusually tall (over 8"x12") and heavy, the book is made to stand out.  We are offered four American, three West Indian, and four African trickster tales, all with splendid illustrations.  Among the best of these may be the illustrations of spider and lizard riding on chameleon as a river-raft (86-87 and 88-89).  Some will recognize familiar fable material, like the wren besting the buzzard in a match of high-flight (15) or the cat and rat visiting fox to help divide the cheese they have captured (33), or the turtle riding the leopard -- for only a while (91)!  The West Indian and African tales tend, I believe, to get into more and more magic that makes the stories longer and less like fables.  Rabbit and spider are among the chief tricksters.  The introduction gives a good sense of the criterion of this collection: "All of these new tales kept the pattern of the African trickster tales in which a resourceful animal hero having human traits used deceit and sly trickery, and often magic, to get what it needed from bigger and stronger animals" (10).

1997  Aesop's Fables. Adapted by Lucy Kincaid. Illustrated by Gill Guile. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Spain. Newmarket, England: Brimax Books Ltd. $5(?) from an unremembered source, June, '99?.

Nineteen fables done in typical Brimax style: the book is almost 9" x 12" and is characterized by lively, colorful art--though here regularly in panels at the top and bottom of the page in the typical two-page layout given to each fable. Further, there are good border designs specific to each fable at the top and bottom of each page. BW (8) has the boy shouting three times, and the third time the wolf kills all the sheep. Then the boy confronts the villagers and gets the answer that they could not know when he meant what he said. In LM (16), the mouse has run over the lion's tail, and the lion has caught the mouse by the tail. WSC (18) is among the most successful visually: there really is little wolf to see here except his large nose and teeth! The fox stuck inside the tree (21) has been able to worm his legs out but cannot get further. "The Birds, the Beasts and the Bat" (22) offers good descriptions of both sides' tactics in the war; the bat changes sides many times and is always on the winning side. At the end he claims that he should be king, but they chase him from their kingdom. The beetle lays mud in the lap of Jupiter while he holds the eagle's eggs (33). At the end of the baby contest, Jupiter awards no prize at all because seeing the monkey has taught him that every baby is beautiful to its mother (35). The mother frog in OF gets to be as big as a pumpkin before she bursts (42). A signature ladybug gets into almost every illustration; when she does not appear, look for her instead in the border design. I like this book!

1997 Aesop's Fables. Adapted by Betty Lou Kratoville. Cover Design and Interior Illustrations by Damon Rarey. Softbound. Apparently first printing. Printed in USA. Novato, CA: High Noon Books. $11.20 from barnesandnoble.com, Jan., '99.

Twenty-one fables for use with small school children. The pages are ready to be xeroxed for classroom use. Each fable is provided with some good exercises, and there is a key for these at the end of the book. The author is careful to work especially with each story's "tricky words." T of C at the front. The illustrations are black-and-white and look almost as though they had already come through a xerox machine. SS (7) is told about as well as I have seen it anywhere. The dog in DS (37) is so far above the water on the bridge that it is hard to believe that he was trying to grab the bone he saw in the water. SW (46) is told in the poorer form.

1997 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Jacob Lawrence. Several stories now retold by Laura Iwasaki. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Easter, '00. Extra copy with dust jacket for $35.45 from Greg Williams, Sept., '97.

Windmill Books originally published Lawrence's ink-on-paper illustrations for eighteen fables in 1970 (see my comments there), but he had done twenty-three. Now they are all presented here. Do not miss the fine frog engraved into the cover. Actually, I miss the "repeat and enlarge" technique that characterized the earlier edition. New here: "The Birds, the Beasts," and the Bat," "The Lion and the Three Bulls," "The Porcupine and the Snakes," "The Raven and the Swan," and "The Two Frogs."

1997 Aesop's Fables [Japanese].  Apparently third in a series of ten books.  See 1985/97.

1997 Aesop's Fables 2. Edited by Sang-Yool Park. Illustrated by Mi Nye Choo. Hardbound. Seoul, Korea: Samsung Publishing. 3,500 Won from a street market in Seoul, June, '04. 

This is a twenty-eight page landscape-formatted children's book presenting two fables: BW and LM. The best of the illustrations for BW may be that which is repeated on the cover; it takes up 16-17. The wolf's open jaws seem to entrap both boy and sheep. The art work is vivid, colorful, and simple.

1997 Aesop's Fables: The Fox and the Grapes and Other Fables. Retold by Andrea Stacy Leach. Illustrated by Holly Hannon. Hardbound. Printed in China. Paradise Press, Inc. By arrangement with Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. ©1995, 1997 Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. $2.40 from Patricia Owen, Grayslake, IL, through Ebay, August, '99.

The endpapers for all four volumes in this set contain the same four designs, one for each book's title-story. This volume contains FG, GA, DS, and WSC. This may be the first fox I have heard saying that the grapes are both sour and tough (11). The grasshopper wears great flower-petal-clothes (12)! This medium-sized book slightly over 5" x 8" varies between smaller and full-page illustrations, perhaps done with acrylics. The primitive approach to fable art may be least successful in this book. Its best illustration may be that for DS on 16-17. The artist also takes a plausible approach to picturing the wolf in sheep's clothing (19).

1997 Aesop's Fables: The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs & Other Fables. Retold by Andrea Stacy Leach. Illustrated by Holly Hannon. Hardbound. Printed in China. Paradise Press, Inc. By arrangement with Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. ©1995, 1997 Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. $2.40 from Patricia Owen, Grayslake, IL, through Ebay, Aug., '99.

The endpapers for all four volumes in this set contain the same four designs, one for each book's title-story. This volume contains GGE, BC, MSA, and BF. The couple in GGE spend all their profits immediately after getting each egg; as a result, they are poor again as soon as they kill the goose. In MSA there is no "Miller rides" section; the donkey kicks free of the pole and runs away. There is no reference to a bridge or river. Colorful full-page illustrations in this medium-sized book (slightly over 5" x 8"), perhaps done with acrylics. There is something primitive in the illustrations. The best include the angry, disappointed wife in GGE and the pince-nezed elder mouse in BC.

1997 Aesop's Fables: The Hare and the Tortoise and Other Fables. Retold by Andrea Stacy Leach. Illustrated by Holly Hannon. Hardbound. Printed in China. Paradise Press, Inc. By arrangement with Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. ©1995, 1997 Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. $2.40 from Patricia Owen, Grayslake, IL, through Ebay, August, '99.

The endpapers for all four volumes in this set contain the same four designs, one for each book's title-story. This volume contains TH, TMCM, "The Farmer's Daughter" (MM), and FC. The hare plans to take a nap. TMCM at least seems to be closely patterned on Jacobs' telling. In the beginning of her reverie, the milkmaid steps around a ditch in the road. This medium-sized book slightly over 5" x 8" varies between smaller and full-page illustrations, perhaps done with acrylics. Perhaps the best of the images is the two-page spread of the milkmaid crying over her spilling milk (16-17).

1997 Aesop's Fables: The Lion and the Mouse & Other Fables. Retold by Andrea Stacy Leach. Illustrated by Holly Hannon. Hardbound. Printed in China. Paradise Press, Inc. By arrangement with Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. ©1995, 1997 Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. $2.40 from Patricia Owen, Grayslake, IL, through Ebay, August, '99.

The endpapers for all four volumes in this set contain the same four designs, one for each book's title-story. This volume contains LM, FK, BW, and DM. The mouse is playful and apparently knows what he is doing when running up the sleeping lion's nose. The frogs in FK cried "to the frog god" (12). The story ends with his sending a stork to the pond. The lonely shepherd boy cries "Wolf!" in order to get company. The dog in the manger could not fall asleep on the itchy straw, but was too lazy to move. Here the ox says "You cannot eat the hay or use it for a bed, but still you will not let me enjoy it. You're mean and selfish" (20). This medium-sized book slightly over 5" x 8" varies between smaller and full-page illustrations, perhaps done with acrylics. Among the best illustrations is that showing the lion's facial hairs in exquisite detail (9).

1997 Aesop's Management Fables. Dick McCann and Jan Stewart. Illustrations by Sarah Ward. Paperback. Printed in Great Britain. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann: Reed Educational and Professional Publishing. $17.95 from Story Monkey, Omaha, Jan., '98. Extra copy at the same time from the same source.

The first section of this book for managers is "Teaching with Tales." It includes some good stories like "The three deaf men and the dumb dervish" (8). The second part is "Animal Stories." In each of its twelve chapters, there is an animal story, a management case study story, and discussion guidelines for learning from the two stories. The animal story is not really a fable, but it is a pointed fictional story, usually about two pages in length. In the first of these twelve chapters, an inquisitive frog finds a brand new pond and brings his family and friends there--only to die in its polluted waters. The case study story is about an operations manager who makes a bid on restoring a bridge before doing a survey on it. Cost overruns because of the lack of the survey made the company lose money on the project. This manager did not look before he leapt! The third section of the book follows the same format but deals with team rather than individual stories in its five chapters. I will keep in the collection under the same ID number a second copy, which is the reprint of the original printing.  I bought the two copies at the same time from the same place!

1997 Ainoi, Logoi, Mythoi: Fables in Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Greek Literature with a Study of the Theory and Terminology of the Genre. Gert-Jan van Dijk. Gert-Jan van Dijk. Hardbound. Leiden, New York, Cologne: Mnemosyne Supplements, Vol. 166: Brill. Gift of Gert-Jan van Dijk, Feb., '98.

This is a wonderful gift from a good friend. The book represents a marvelous achievement. It is an essential resource book for anyone working with ancient Greek and Latin fable. Let me quote at some length the beginning of Laura Gibbs' review of the book in "Bryn Mawr Classical Review" (98.5.18): "Van Dijk's new book on the Aesopic fables in Greek literary sources is a notable achievement, surely the most important book to be published in Aesopic scholarship since Perry's Aesopica in 1952. Unlike this century's other major effort in Aesopic research (Rodriguez-Adrados's rambling and chaotic Historia de la fabula greco-latina), van Dijk has set himself a very specific and clear task: to inventory and analyze the evidence for Aesopic fables in extant Greek literature of the archaic, classical and Hellenistic periods, together with a survey of the terminology associated with the fable over a much longer period of time, extending through late antiquity. As a resource book, van Dijk's book is invaluable, providing copious primary texts and translations, a thorough bibliography and useful review of the literature, along with indexes and cross-reference tables linking his materials to the numeration system in Perry's Aesopica. Approximately half of the book's considerable bulk is devoted to this collection of primary sources and reference materials. The book is an essential starting point for the study of any Aesopic fable that is cited or alluded to in a work of Greek literature (although it must be noted, there are somewhat less than 100 such fables, only a fraction of the corpus of ancient Aesopica). In terms of his coverage of individual fables, van Dijk is meticulous in reporting primary sources for the fable, along with all relevant ancient testimony. But while van Dijk devotes careful attention to each and every one of these literary sources and ancient testimonies, his coverage of the Aesopic fable as a genre is less comprehensive. By focusing exclusively on the literary aspects of the Aesopic fable, van Dijk neglects to make any observations on the Aesopic fable as a folkloristic or extra-literary phenomenon. This is a considerable limitation on the theoretical portion of his argument, and it hampers any conclusions he would offer about the genre as a whole." Amen to the praise and to the acknowledgement that van Dijk does not set out here to reconcile his sense of the classical Greek and Roman fable with what contemporary folklore studies might show. This is a treasured gift! 

1997 Aisopou Mythoi. Epimeleia Zoe Balase. Illustrations from Ulm and from Desandré and Freeman. Second edition. Hardbound. Athens: Mikre Anthologia 1: Hellenika Grammata. See 1995/97.

1997 Androcles and the Lion. Retold and illustrated by Dennis Nolan. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Singapore. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company. $8 from Half-Price Books, Dallas, Dec., '99.

A very nice book. There is a great illustration of Androcles encountering the lion for the first time and seeing his huge teeth. With eyes wide open he reels backward. Another great illustration comes soon afterwards, when the lion sleeps with Androcles likewise asleep against the lion's side and back. The two live together peacefully for three years. When Androcles is captured, the lion is nowhere to be seen. Androcles' master rejects him and lets him be taken to Rome to be thrown to the beasts in the Circus Maximus. Tiberius surprises me twice when he first lets the people decide Androcles' fate and again when he then has Tiberius' story written on tablets and carried about the circus. An author's note traces the story from Apion through Aulus Gellius into print.

1997 Basne: Antologija. Priredila I odabrala dr. Dubravka Tezak. Ilustrirala Nevenka Macolic. Second edition. Hardbound. Biblioteka DIV. Zagreb: Divic. $10 from Zachary Cohn, Prague, March, '02.

This colorful book has flashy blue and red lettering on its shiny orange cover. In fact, each of the letters in "Basne" is an animal. The book presents a curious combination of world and local fabulists: Aesop (perhaps 125 fables), Panchatantra (9), La Fontaine (19), Lessing (25), and Krylov (15) are here joined by Ivana Brlic-Mazuranic (6), Gustav Krklec (11), and Vlado Halovanic (11). A final three pages before the T of C at the end of the book clarifies necessary terms in each author; I find it fascinating to see what terms in Aesop's fables, for example, this editor thinks needs explanation. The simple black-and-white illustrations seem cheaply done. Try TMCM on 53 as a sample.

1997 Chinese Fables and Cultural Stories. Compiled by Zhu Yifei, She Changmao, and Zhu Ying. Translated by Tang Dunyan and Cai Wenqian. Paperback. Stories of Chinese Culture--A Bilingual Series. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press. $19.95 from China Guide Corporation, Fresh Meadows, NY, through amazon.com, August, '01.

This is a helpful and representative little book. It is helpful because it brings together a number of excellent Chinese stories in a sturdy, compact, readable form also presenting the Chinese text and language helps to those who can use them. It is representative in this sense: I have read the first half of the 150 items here, and they are, apparently without exception, anecdotes rather than fables. From my experience, such stories are more representative of the Chinese than fables would be. They present especially the wise sayings of great people of the past. In some ways, reading a book like this is not that different an experience from reading Confucius' Analects. Among the best stories in the first half are these: "The Crucian Carp Calls for Help" (81), "Cao Shang Acquires Carriages" (84), "The King of Chu Beats the Drum" (116), "A Man of Zheng Buys Shoes" (133), "Striving to Be the First and Fearing to Lag Behind" (149), and especially "Waiting for Hares by the Tree" (180). Perhaps a third of the stories have simple black-and-white illustrations.

1997 Chinese Fables & Wisdom: Insights for Better Living. By Tom Te-Wu Ma. First printing. Paperback. Printed in USA. NY: Barricade Books Inc. $10 from Green Apples, San Francisco, Nov., ‘98. Extra copy of the first printing for $5 from Fahrenheit's Books, Denver, April, '98

This is a curious book. It does contain a number of fables after the Chinese fashion: that is, they are anecdotes from the lives of virtuous or important people in history, often joined here with a contemporary application. The author's approach is chatty and personal. He is almost a homilist or a benign columnist. Anything from news items to Chinese history is grist for his mill. Each story begins on a right-hand page. The book finally helped me to find a good understanding for the traditional story "A Snake Has No Feet" (85). It has to do with gilding the lilly, with overperfecting a good work. There are a number of good stories here. The fisherman wins when the clam and the snipe get into a deadlock (13). "The Eagle and the Donkey" (17) is a variation on the fable of the eagle and tortoise. Here the eagle leads the eager donkey to a precipice and urges him to jump as the way to learn to fly; the eagle soon enjoys donkey-meat for lunch. "The Monkey and the Elephant" (25) represents a thought-provoking case. A monkey saves a mantis from an attacking bird, and then finds four small birds who are starving. Their mother returns to say that a monkey just kept her from bringing back some good mantis food for them. This author's moral: even the best actions may include some negative side-effects and will get the disapproval of some. Be sure to catch both parts of "Chinese Child Figures Weight of Elephant" (87). I first heard in a Greg Schissel homily the second story contained in "We Sometimes Cross Solid Lines" (131). "A Chinese Man Who Had Two Wives" (109) is challenging. When the man dies, the neighbor who had had a long-lasting affair with the younger wife married the older wife!

1997 Das Grosse Fabelbuch für Kinder. Herausgegeben von Sybil Gräfin Schönfeldt. Mit Bildern von Monika Laimgruber. First printing. Hardbound. Vienna & Munich: Annette Betz Verlag. DM 39.80 from Leander, Heidelberg, August, '01. 

This impressive, well-crafted, well-illustrated, heavy book is divided into ten sections. Some of them are "Was ist Weistheit?", "Das Recht des Stärkeren," and "Der Schlaue überlebt." The contents are not what I expected. These stories are developed beyond the usual limits of traditional fables. There is for example an early (6) story by Manfred Kyber of a fight between two roosters. This is the typical stuff of traditional fables. And a hen with her chicks urges the two to stop fighting over nothing. This useless intervention is still true enough to the tradition. But when the hawk comes down to seize one of the hen's chicks, she lays into him with fury until he must leave the scene, defeated by the hen and the human help she occasioned. Traditional authors are well represented here, including Aesop, Busch, Gay, Grimm, Hey, La Fontaine, and Lessing. There is a treasurehouse of good material here! Notice this little gem from Novalis (41). A wolf asks a fox if he has read the lion's satire against the fox and will answer him. "Yes, I have read it," says the fox, "but I will not follow your advice. For the lion could answer me in a powerful way!" Here is a bit from Kafka (51): a mouse was complaining that the world has become narrower, for she has run far and finally met a wall and a corner. "Just change your direction," the cat said and ate her up. Günther Anders (98) tells of the gnat who hears a lion roar for the first time and tells the chicken "He buzzes in funny fashion." She answers "Buzzing is good. Rather he cackles, but he cackles in funny fashion." The illustrations are colorful. Though meant for children, they focus well on what the story has to offer or teach, and they help to keep a playful tone alive. At the end there is both a T of C and a list of sources. This book is a tasteful treasure!

1997 De fabels van Aisopos. Geselecteerd en ingeleid door Hein L. van Dolen. Vertaald door Hein L. van Dolen en Jo Fiedeldij Dop. Met een nawoord van Gert-Jan van Dijk. Paperbound. Printed in Holland. Nijmegen: Uitgeverij SUN. Gift of Gert-Jan van Dijk, Dec., '97.

This is a beautiful little book! How nice of Gert-Jan to inscribe it "For Greg, as a souvenir of our fabulous meetings and discussions on Aesop's genre" and to send it. Now I only wish I could read it! There is one fable on each page from 13 through 93, and each has a separately articulated moral.

1997 Deutsche Fabeln des 18. Jahrhunderts. Ausgewählt und mit einem Nachwort von Manfred Windfuhr. Paperbound. Stuttgart: Universal-Bibliothek #8429: Philipp Reclam Jun.. DM 6 from an unknown source, July, '01.

Copyright 1960. Here is a typical Reclam edition. It includes nineteen fabulists. Those appearing here who appear less frequently elsewhere include Triller, Stoppe, Meyer von Knonau, Kästner, Schlegel, Zachariae, Moser, Nicolay, Claudius, Merck, Pestalozzi, Bürger, and Heinse. There is a T of C at the back. I tried one fable each from five of these lesser known fabulists. First came Triller's "Day and Night." The two argue over which is greater. Triller's own conclusion is that God made all things to praise Him and to serve us. I tried Stoppe's "The Valley and the Mountains." The two mountains hate the valley and decide to overwhelm it with water in the next rainstorm. Alas, the valley comes out deeper and larger! Those who try to hurt us often help us. From Von Knonau comes the best so far, "The Cow and the Fox." Each wishes things for the other for the coming year. Thus the cow wishes the fox things like grass, cabbage, salt, and hay. The fox wishes the cow good things like ducks, chickens, rabbits, and fish. Kästner's "The Gardener and the Butterfly" has the former--apparently wisely--punish the butterfly for the caterpillar's sins. Schlegel's WL seems to follow traditional patterns closely.

1997 Dramatizing The Lion and the Mouse: An Aesop Fable to Say and Act.  Louise Thistle.  Illustrated by Louise Thistle and Emily Packer.  Paperbound.  San Diego, CA: Literature Dramatization Press.  $4.50 from Steve Fleming, PGB Books, Spring Valley, CA, Nov., '13.  

This oversized paperback book of 32 pages recognizes, on its back cover, Thistle's earlier "Dramatizing Aesop's Fables: Creative Scripts for the Elementary Classroom," published by Dale Seymour in 1993.  This book's subtitle is important: this book tells young actors what to say and what to do.  Trees are asked to sway, the lion is asked to lick up water from a pond, and the hunter sneaks up on the lion, saying all the time "Sneak, sneak!"  In fact, this version has the hunter close enough to have to flee when the mouse frees the lion.  The artist for this single-fable book has changed.  There are plenty of questions to discuss after the performance.  Thistle here again does what she did there: she makes this fable work well as a story to act out.

1997 El ratón de ciudad y el ratón de campo. Ilustraciones de Elena Staiano. Paperbound. Recanati, Italy: Mis Primeros Cuentos: European Language Institute. $5 from eCampus.com through abe, Dec., '04.

This is a clever little 24-page pamphlet dealing with language concepts like antinomies, modes of transport, dining rooms, and neighborhoods. Foldout pages help to offer resources for reflections in these directions. Thus, just after we are introduced to Pico and Paco, we meet friends of theirs who are large and small, young and old, rich and poor. A city-scene forms the next foldout, with trucks, ambulances, motorcycles, taxis, and planes all illustrated. The centerfold is a double-foldout showing a dining room, complete with tableware, television, window, easy-chair, and rug. When the cat approaches, the two rats hide five different places before hurrying to a crack in the wall. There is a surprising ending here when the two are interrupted at their rural picnic by a cat again! There are some good activities at the end, including a crossword puzzle and some matching and pairing exercises. See the parallel French version from the same publisher in the same year.

1997 Esopo: Favole. Introduzione di Antonio La Penna. A cura di Cecilia Benedetti. First re-printing. Paperback. Classici Greci e Latini. Printed in Italy. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. See 1996/97.

1997 Fables (Japanese). Arnold Lobel. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Bunka Publishing Bureau. $7.95 from Powell's, Portland, July, '11.

Here is a Japanese hardbound version of Lobel's prize-winner. There is a reference to 1981, perhaps a first edition in Japanese. Let me repeat comments I made on the original English edition. A Caldecott Award winner, and rightly so. One-page tales, perhaps animal short stories rather than fables, face excellent illustrations. The best are perhaps "The Hen and the Apple Tree" and "The Elephant and the Sun," but also good are "King Lion and the Beetle," "Baboon's Umbrella," "The Ostrich in Love," "The Poor Old Dog," "The Pelican and the Crane," and "The Mouse at the Seashore." Contrast "Camel" with the Aesopic fable on the same subject. This copy has minimal scratchings on the pre-title-page; they also leave an impression on the title-page itself.

1997 Fables Aesop Never Wrote, but Robert Kraus did. Robert Kraus. Robert Kraus. First printing. Paperbound. Printed in China. NY: Puffin Books: Penguin. $4.79 from Amazon.com, Jan., '98.

See my comments on the 1994 hardbound edition, of which this seems an exact copy.

1997 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Zdenka Krejcová. Sixieme tirage. Hardbound. Paris: Contes et Fables de Toujours: Gründ. See 1993/97.

1997 Fables de La Fontaine 1. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Montreal: Les Éditions Tormont. $2.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, August, '04. 

First in a boxed series of five little books, parallel with the Tormont English series done in 1998. In fact, I had found the other four books in the series, without the box, earlier. Thus I am particularly delighted to have found a full set. Six fables are told here in a small format, hard-covered book: GA, FC, OF, WD, TMCM, and WL. The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. The box for all five books itself has a nice set of five illustrations taken from the books. An enjoyable project would involve tracking the change from French to quite different English texts, while the illustrations remained the same.

1997 Fables de La Fontaine 2. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Montreal: Les Éditions Tormont. $2.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, August, '04. Extra copy for $4.64 from Chantal Roy, Quebec, through eBay, Oct., '02. 

Second in a boxed series of five little books, parallel with the Tormont English series done in 1998. The stories here include FS, OR, "Le Lion et le Moucheron," BC, LM, and GA. Pusztai's art work may be at its best when it gives faces to objects like the tree and reed on 9. She also enjoys investing little creatures--like the mosquito on 13 and the ant on 21--with personality and even attitude. 

1997 Fables de La Fontaine 3. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Montreal: Les Éditions Tormont. $2.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, August, '04. Extra copy for $4.64 from Chantal Roy, Quebec, through eBay, Oct., '02. 

Third in a boxed series of five little books, parallel with the Tormont English series done in 1998. Seven fables are told here in a small format, hard-covered book: "Le Loup et la Cigogne," "La Belette entrée dans un Grenier," FG, WSC, SS, "Le Renard et le Bouc," and "Le Loup, la Chèvre et le Chevreau." The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. For cuteness taken to an extreme, consult the last illustration (21). 

1997 Fables de La Fontaine 4. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Montreal: Les Éditions Tormont. $2.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, August, '04. Extra copy for $4.64 from Chantal Roy, Quebec, through eBay, Oct., '02. 

Fourth in a boxed series of five little books, parallel with the Tormont English series done in 1998. Six fables are told here in a small format, hard-covered book: 2P, FWT, GGE, TH, "Le Cheval et l'Âne," and "Le Héron." By contrast with the English version mentioned above, La Fontaine's donkey dies after the horse refuses to share some of his burdens (17). The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. Both facial expressions in GGE are excellent (10-11). 

1997 Fables de La Fontaine 5. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Montreal: Les Éditions Tormont. $2.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, August, '04. Extra copy for $4.64 from Chantal Roy, Quebec, through eBay, Oct., '02. 

Fifth in a boxed series of five little books, parallel with the Tormont English series done in 1998. Five fables are told here in a small format, hard-covered book: "Le Chat, la Belette et le petit Lapin," MM, "Le Singe et le Léopard," "Le Singe et le Chat," and "Les Deux Chèvres." One of the book's best illustrations is of Raminagrobis in the first fable (8). The illustration for "The Monkey and the Cat" is striking. It also forms the cover of this book. The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. The padded cover on the extra copy is curiously pock-marked.

1997 Fables in Frames: La Fontaine and Visual Culture in Nineteenth-Century France.  Kirsten H. Powell.  Hardbound.  NY: Literature and the Visual Arts: New Foundations, Vol. 10:  Peter Lang.  $15 from an unknown source, July, '15.

I wish I could take the time to read through this study!  Powell argues, I believe, that increased interest in La Fontaine in the nineteenth century arose largely from the visual artists who interpreted the fabulist in the new post-revolutionary age.  The fables thus became for them a means of commenting on contemporary issues.  The visual appendix (141-180) is extensive and provocative.  To well known materials it adds for me a number of ephemeral political applications of La Fontaine.  Kirsten Powell was a sometime contributor to "Bestia" and presenter at Beast Fable Society meetings.  This study looks fascinating!

1997 Fables Less and Less Fabulous: English Fables and Parables of the Nineteenth Century and Their Illustrations. Horst Dölvers. Illustrations by various artists. Hardbound. Newark/London: University of Delaware Press/Associated University Presses. $36.50 from an unknown source, March, '08.

Here is a second copy of a book I just recently brought into the collection. This copy has a dust-jacket that notes on its back that Dölvers "collected fables and their illustrations for many years." A kindred spirit! As I wrote of the other copy, here is a book I want to come back to. Dölvers contends that Nineteenth Century England did have and use its fables. And something happened to the fable along the way. As Catherine Golden writes in her review in "Victorian Studies" of Autumn, 1998-99, "Evident in religious writing, philosophical texts, and children's books, the nineteenth-century fable and its cousin the parable soften the wit of Aesop and become vehicles for edifying causes. In their ambiguity, realism, and presentation of painful truths, Victorian fables complicate the playful wit and moral groundwork on which the traditional fable rests." Three leads I want to follow with Dölvers' help concern Lytton's "Fables in Song," which may be much more centered on traditional fable -- and much more nuanced in its handling of it -- than I had realized. I would like secondly to watch with his help the interaction between Walter Crane and William Linton in "Baby's Own Aesop." Dölvers sees strong commentary in the pictorial presentations of Crane. I have often wondered about the match of text and picture in this combination, and have been critical of Linton's texts, which seem to presume the fable. Perhaps that is some of Dölvers' message. In the Nineteenth Century, the traditional fable is presumed, and then something is made of it. Finally, this book stimulates a reader to think more about Robert Louis Stevenson's handling of fables. Like Dölvers, I have tended to dismiss Stevenson's fables. It is rare to see a scholarly book as lavishly illustrated as this book is. Pages 9-10 list the thirty-six illustrations. Nobody ever took this book out of Rutgers' Library! 

1997 Fables Less and Less Fabulous: English Fables and Parables of the Nineteenth Century and Their Illustrations. Horst Dölvers. Hardbound. Newark/London: University of Delaware Press/Associated University Presses. $10 from Better World Books, Mishawaka, IN, Jan., '11.

Here is a book I want to come back to. Dölvers contends that Nineteenth Century England did have and use its fables. And something happened to the fable along the way. As Catherine Golden writes in her review in Victorian Studies of Autumn, 1998-99, "Evident in religious writing, philosophical texts, and children's books, the nineteenth-century fable and its cousin the parable soften the wit of Aesop and become vehicles for edifying causes. In their ambiguity, realism, and presentation of painful truths, Victorian fables complicate the playful wit and moral groundwork on which the traditional fable rests." Three leads I want to follow with Dölvers' help concern Lytton's Fables in Song, which may be much more centered on traditional fable -- and much more nuanced in its handling of it -- than I had realized. I would like secondly to watch with his help the interaction between Walter Crane and William Linton in Baby's Own Aesop. Dölvers sees strong commentary in the pictorial presentations of Crane. I have often wondered about the match of text and picture in this combination, and have been critical of Linton's texts, which seem to presume the fable. Perhaps that is some of Dölvers' message. In the Nineteenth Century, the traditional fable is presumed, and then something is made of it. Finally, this book stimulates a reader to think more about Robert Louis Stevenson's handling of fables. Like Dölvers, I have tended to dismiss Stevenson's fables. It is rare to see a scholarly book as lavishly illustrated as this book is. Pages 9-10 list the thirty-six illustrations. Nobody ever took this book out of Rutgers' Library! 

1997 Fables of Krylov: Full Collection (Russian). With 75 drawings by I.V. Denisov. Hardbound. Printed in Moscow. Moscow: Ripol. Gift of Semyon Mogilevsky, June, '01.

It is so nice to see the Russians making a sturdy and beautiful book! Here is a small, tight hardbound book of 320 pages. It arranges the fables chronologically and notes the year at the beginning of each segment, starting with 1806. The designs are often small and sometimes dark, but better than much of the other Russian work I have seen. Among my favorite illustrations are "The Fastidious Spinster" (15), FK (60), "The Monkey and the Spectacles" (82), "Damien's Soup" (113), "Quartet" (160), "Fortune and the Beggar" (189), "The Industrious Bear" (225), and "The Three Townies" (292). There is a T of C at the end.

1997 Fábulas de Esopo. Seleccionadas e ilustradas por Michael Hague. Primera edición, primera reimpresión. Hardbound. Printed in Spain. Leon, Spain: Editorial Everest, S.A. $11.95 from amazon.com, Jan., '98.

I have several different editions of this book in English. I am surprised that it took so long for this popular edition to get into Spanish. My favorite images are still FG and the untitled last image of the fox on 32. Others worthy of a longer look are, I think, "El Lobo y el Cabrito" (23) and DLS (27). See my comments on the original 1985 Holt edition.

1997 Fábulas Esopo. Primera Edicion. Hardbound. Lima: Los Libros Mas Pequeños del Mundo: Alberto Briceño Polo/Sairam Editores. $4.95 from Sonia Allende, Boca Raton, through eBay, May, '13.

Here is a miniature book in Spanish about an inch by an inch-and-a-half. It is attached to a key chain. 221 pages of fables are followed by a T of C and advertisements for other publications. The titles of fables are well presented by reversing the color scheme: a white title is surrounded by a large ground of blue. There are appropriate small designs along the way. The covers display an owl and a frog in brilliant colors. What a wonderful find! I believe it is the smallest book in the collection.

1997 Fábulas Insolitas, Tomo I. Francisco Javier Santos Valle. Paperbound. Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico: Hojas Literarias Serie Cuento #28: Secretaría de Cultura Gobierno de Jalisco. $10 from Libros Latinos, Redlands, CA, March, '00.

This is a tall 49-page pamphlet. It promises to be heady stuff. The prologue places Santos Valle's work between Hoffmann and Poe. I think from what I have seen that it is fair to say that there is not much connected with Aesopic fable here, despite the title. I am confused by the structure of this work. The prologue speaks of three present narrations, but I find only two: "El método paranoico-crítico" (1) and "Jonás" (26). I cannot find "El acompañante de la señorita Tamiz" apparently promised on 5. "Jonás" seems to contain several graphical or logical charts that are surprising. Turn over a rock, and you will find some interesting things!

1997 Fábulas Mexicanas. Jose J. Fernandez de Lizardi. Paperbound. Edition of 2000 copies. Colonia del Valle, Mexico: Colección cuentos y fábulas: Edivisión Compañía Editorial, S.A. $15 from Libros Latinos, Redlands, CA, through abe, March, '00.

There are actually two sections to this book, the first offering thirty-seven fables of Fernandez de Lizardi, and the second presenting seventy-four fables of José Rosas Moreno. The presence of the latter is surprising because he is mentioned on neither the title-page nor the front cover, both of which mention Fernandez de Lizardi. There is a T of C at the beginning, and there are seventeen full-page black-and-white illustrations along the way, as well as some smaller designs. A short biography on 4 indicates that Fernandez de Lizardi is known as the first Mexican fabulist. His fables are on the long side, running often to two pages of prose. I tried "Aesop and the Animals" (51-53); after hearing all their complaints, Aesop points out the negative sides of the lives of those they respectively envy but offers to make any exchanges they desire. After hearing him, no animal wants to change. Rosas Moreno writes shorter verse fables. Some of them seem to follow traditional Aesopic stories quite closely, like "El milano, el cazador y la hormiga" (114-16) and the very short "El león y el mosquito" (129). The conflict between progress and routine--and the victory of the former--is presented by a competition between a train and a horse (166-68).

1997 Fairytales and Other. R.S. Harding. Illustrated by Sasha Magan. Hardbound. London: Monster Books. £4 from Any Amount of Books, London, July, '01. 

Eight wistful stories, full of romance, broken hearts, forests, and mists. The back cover speaks rightly of a "dreamlike landscape." Towards the end of the book there are two explicit ties to Aesopic fables. A parody of OR (XXI) has the toppled oak crush the proud reed. "The Lion and the Gnat" (XXXIII) has the lion gashing himself to death before the gnat is eaten by a spider half his size. This is a stiff-bound book of only 48 pages with an illustration, most colored, for each story. The typos and fragments are distracting, like "by such as busy Monarch" (XL) or "she took cooked whilst he chopped wood" (XLVI). This volume comes complete with a publisher's letter to a potential reviewer. The letter aptly describes the book as "sharp and sentimental by turns."

1997 Favole Fedro: e tu che animale sei?  Testi: Anastasia Zanoncelli. Illustrazioni: Costantina Fiorini. Hardbound. Printed in Prato, Italy. Colognola ai Colli, Italy: Demetra S.r.l. 14,000 Lire from Mel Bookstore, Rome, June, '98.

Here is a large-format book (8½" x 12") with a page on Phaedrus, a two-page spread on each of twenty-nine fables, and a T of C. The format for each spread includes a text, an image, and usually a comment on a scroll held by a bird. The book includes some lesser known of Phaedrus' fables, like "L'asino e l'orzo del maiale" (6) and "L'orso affamato" (16). Perhaps the most dramatic illustration is that for "Il calvo e la mosca" (10). The lively comments include quotations from and references to Ogden Nash, Thomas Edison, Jean de la Fontaine, Simon Bolivar, Edgar Lee Masters, the Bible, and Italian proverbs. I wish the title's question were taken even more seriously in the book itself!

1997 Favole Fedro: e tu che animale sei? Traduzione e presentazione di Angela Cerinotti. Illustrazioni: Costantina Fiorini. First edition. Paperbound. Bussolengo: Acquarelli Raccolta di classici #150: Demetra S.r.l.. € 2 from Giunti Libreria, Florence, August, '06.

This seems to be a smaller paperbound version of a large-format hardbound book I found in Rome in 1998. It was also printed by Demetra in 1997. This version seems to have changed translator from that version. By contrast with that book, this smaller paperbound version seems to present texts for all of Phaedrus' fables. There is a T of C at the back. The thirty-one illustrations here are nicely colored pictures always less than a full page, and they are placed right with their texts. Perhaps the most dramatic illustration is still that for "Il calvo e la mosca" (107). Does the book ever follow up on the title's engaging question? This copy may be unusual in that it has first a price in both Lire and Euros (12,000 and 6.20, respectively). Then it has a sticker on its cover proclaiming in English "Special Price € 2."

1997 Fiabe degli Allegri Animali. Hardbound. Monte Cremasco, Cremona, Italy: Libritalia: Edizioni Cartedit. 15,000 Lire from Mel Bookstore, Rome, June, '98.

This large-format (about 9" x 12") book has four fables--TH, FC, FS, and LM--on 64 pages, followed by 32 pages to color. The first eight pages of coloring materials are further pictures for TH. (The other pictures to color seem to be from "Puss 'n' Boots," "Rumpelstiltskin," and "Aladdin.") The brightly colored illustrations feature clothed animals. There are some very good turns to the stories. Thus the last image for TH shows an animal paying off a bet and looking askance at the rabbit who has made him lose money! In FC, a mouse starts the story by taking some cheese. The crow steals it from him. At the end, the fox divides the dropped cheese with the victimized mouse. In FS, both characters are female. The expression of the famished departing fox at the end of the story is very well done. In LM, three animals are moving through the woods with their pea-shooters. Against the others' advice, Michael the mouse shoots at Leone Poldo and hits him in the eye, awakening him. At the end, Michael rides on Poldo's hat.

1997 Fifty Fabulous Fables: Beginning Readers Theatre. Suzanne I. Barchers. Softbound. Printed in USA. Englewood, CO: Teacher Ideas Press: Libraries Unlimited, Inc. $24.95 from Story Monkey, Omaha, May, '98.

This is a straightforward collection of fifty fables divided up according to their suitability for the first through the fourth grades, respectively. In "readers theatre" the focus "is on effective reading of the script rather than on a dramatic, memorized presentation" (vii). Each fable here gets a two-page spread including a summary, presentation suggestions, props, delivery suggestions, a list of characters, a copyright-free illustration repeated in two different sizes, and a full script of the fable. Each page is ready for xeroxing, with copyright information at its bottom. I notice that WS is done in the poorer form (115).

1997 Frederick's Fables. A Treasury of 16 Favorite Leo Lionni Stories, with an introduction by the author. First printing. Dust jacket. NY: Alfred A. Knopf. $23.20 at Borders, Omaha, Oct., '97.

See the original, which was published by Pantheon in 1985. This edition adds three stories, uses a new illustration for the dust-jacket and cover, offers an introduction not by Bruno Bettelheim but by Lionni himself, and uses a different publisher. Lionni's new introduction is most engaging. Lionni did not start creating children's books until he was fifty years old! The three new stories include "Matthew's Dream" (133), which seems strongly aubobiographical; "Six Crows" (143) about reconciliation; and "An Extraordinary Egg" (153), an excellent story which shows what might happen when a frog finds an alligator egg.

1997 From Ur to Uncle Remus: 5000 Years of Animal Fable Illustrations. Clay Lancaster. Limited edition of 1000. Dust jacket. Hardbound. University of Kentucky Librairies. $25 from Willis Monie Books, through ILAB-LILA, July, '02. 

I am still trying to find the focus in this book. It goes at a huge subject in snippets. Without that focus, I find too much that is scattered, partial, and misleading. Did the book perhaps grow out of a lecture or series of lectures? Frequently the text seems to be a commentary on the visuals. After the frontispiece, all of these appear on right-hand pages without print or image on the verso. There are fascinating glimpses at important moments in the history of art. Thus Sumerian harp figures are "imbued with fable essence" (11) even though there are no known texts associated with the figures. Lancaster finds fable in Greece by the eighth century BC. Be careful: the image of the fox and the crow on 23 is really from the story of Chanticleer, not the usual FC story of dropping a morsel of cheese or meat. The Jataka tales took their present form in the fifth century AD, but the first illustrations of them occurred in the second century BC. China's great contribution to fable history comes with the creation of paper in 100 AD, when prints became possible. There is a sizeable chapter (III) on Buddhism's spread of the Jatakas. For Lancaster, Buddhism developed the fable and gave it sanctity and popularity as it moved from India eastward throughout Asia. Why am I impatient with the book? There is too much here that is either erroneous or seems to invite to error. The story of the lion and the hare is about the lion plunging not at the perceived hare but rather at the perceived lion (70). Lancaster speaks on 85 as though Oudry's were the first edition of La Fontaine's fables. The only representatives of modern European fable discussed here are Oudry's La Fontaine and Bewick. Croxall did not publish his fable book in Philadelphia in 1777; he published it in England in 1722. Because of the misrepresentations, I do not know whether I can trust some of Lancaster's most engaging observations, e.g. that the first exclusively fable book published in the USA came in 1762 (100) or that the tar-baby story became the most popular of the Uncle Remus stories (111). Note the typo "expressd" on 70. I had hoped for more from this kindred spirit!

1997 Hare and Turtle (Liver of Hare). Edited by Seung Ja Park. Illustrated by Mi-Sook Yoon. Hardbound. Samsung Publishing. 3,500 Won from a street market in Seoul, June, '04. 

This is a thirty-page landscape-formatted children's book presenting one story, the Korean folktale about the liver of a clever hare. The underwater king needs a liver to recuperate. The tortoise gets his acquaintance the hare to ride on his back. This event may be the source of a representation I have often puzzled over: the hare rides on the back of the tortoise. That representation does not fit the Aesopic TH story. The hare, here delivered to the underwater kingdom and bound up, tells the creatures that he left his liver at home. The turtle brings him back. Once the turtle releases the hare, purportedly to get his liver, the hare mocks the turtle, who now can do nothing. The art work is vivid, colorful, and simple. It looks as though it were done with fingerpaints, with subsequent lines scratched into the surface of the paint.

1997 "Hilf mir ins Paradies hinein..": 30 Tierfabel-Predigten. Udo Körner. Paperbound. Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet. Gift of Udo Körner, Nov., '97.

Each of these chapters of four-pages starts with a story. They may be fables or other literary forms. They come from various sources. This text is followed then by a reflection of some three pages or so. The final part of each chapter is a portion of a psalm. The "Vorwort" makes clear that the author has sought out fables, short narratives, and parables that have immediately spoken to him and challenged him to interpret them out of his faith. He does that here. The first example, "Umschlossen" ("Surrounded," 9-13) has fish confronting each other and then a wise elder fish with what they have heard: that they live from water. But they do not even know what water is. Naturally, I find the book most engaging when the beginning text is a classic fable, like those on 29 and 45. I enjoy this development of fables and treasure the gift! This dedication is on the first page: "Herrn P. Greg Carlson herzlich zugeignet! Udo Körner, 16.11.97." Is it some of the fun of this book that the sub-title promises thirty chapters and the book gives thirty-one of them? 

1997 Jean de La Fontaine: Jolies fables en musique. Illustrations de Gauthier Dosimont. Hardbound. Chevron, Belgium: Fables et chansons en musique: Editions Hemma. $7.50 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Oct., '06.

This twenty-page oversized book is identical in almost all ways with a 1994 edition from Hemma, Jean de La Fontaine: Fables Choisies. The big addition of this book, lacking in this copy, is a disc that apparently presents the fables in musical--or perhaps read--form. The title-page here adds "Contées par Gibus." The front cover now shows, not a collection of characters from the various fables, but rather the fox driving a car with several animals as passengers and waving to the crow in the tree. The back cover offers in detail the crow doffing his high hat. As I mention there, the illustrations are contemporary and lively, starting with the title-page's 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.

1997 Jean de la Fontaine: Fables illustrées par Willy Aractingi, Tome 1. Préfaces de Tahar Ben Jelloun et Joël Guiraud. Paperbound. Printed in Italy. Nice: Z'editions. FRF 142.50 from Alapage.com, Feb., '01. Extra copy for 5 Euros from Librairie de l'Avenue, Clignancourt, June, '07. 

A tip over the web put me on to this book. Aractingi did the menus for Air France that I have had for some ten years. This is a beatiful landscape-formatted paperback book. This volume covers the first three books of La Fontaine, with a full-page illustration for each of the sixty fables. My favorites so far include TMCM (27), which shows only the mice and some food. Their eyes are very alert: have they just heard the approach of an intruder? Aractingi's approach to salt-and-pepper hair for 2W on 43 is genial. OR on 53 is a strong presentation. Again, he offers an impressive display of the puppies' teeth in "La lice et sa compagne" on 67. "Le lion et l'âne chassant" (91) is typical Aractingi and deserves to be put on the cover. "La femme noyée" (127) is spectacular! A note on the painter on the last page says "Séduit par l'univers des fables de La Fontaine, il a imaginé de toutes les illustrer" (133).

1997 Jean de la Fontaine: Fables illustrées par Willy Aractingi, Tome 2. Préfaces de Paul Guth et de Jean-Noël Pancrazi. Paperbound. Nice: Z'editions. €5 from Librairie de l'Avenue, Clignancourt, July, ‘07.

Earlier, a tip over the web put me on to the first volume. Now I am delighted to find the second volume for only €5, along with a second copy of the first volume. As I wrote about the first volume, Aractingi did the menus for Air France that I have had for some years. This is a beautiful landscape-formatted paperback book. This volume covers Books 4-6 of La Fontaine, with a full-page illustration for each of the sixty-five fables. The introduction seems to indicate that he painted all 246 fables. I need to look for the two volumes covering the last six books; the introduction says that they were to appear in 1998. They seem unavailable now. My favorites here include "Le berger et la mer" (13); FM (31); "L'oracle et l'impie" (46); "Le serpent et la lime" (85); "L'aigle et le hibou" (89); DLS (94); "Le cheval et l'âne" (126); and "La jeune veuve" (136).

1997 Jean de la Fontaine: Favole. Presentazione di Marc Soriano. Illustrazioni di Danièle Bour. Terza ristampa. Paperback. Storie e rime 16. Einaudi Ragazzi. See 1993/97.

1997 Jungle Doctor Picture Fables Collection. Paul White. Illustrations by Peter Oram. First printing. Hardbound. Cumbria, UK: OM Publishing: Paternoster. $2 from World Books through Amazon, March, '12.

Just a week ago I had found Monkey in a Lion's Skin in this version illustrated by Peter Oram. I promptly started a search for more of these "Jungle Doctor Fables" illustrated by Oram. Here is a quick and lucky find, and the price is right! This book of some 179 pages (plus a few pages of advertising) contains eight "Jungle Doctor Picture Fables" listed on the title-page with strange numbers of two sizes to show the opening page of each. "Donkey Wisdom" has Punda the donkey unable to decide whether he wants to be black or white and ending up a zebra! "Now you know what a zebra is -- a donkey who can't make up his mind" (25). A forced Christian admonition follows: decide to ask Jesus to forgive your sin. "Famous Monkey Last Words" finds Toto, the monkey, violating two of the three rules given by his teacher Twiga, the giraffe. Toto as a result gets kicked by a zebra and almost killed by a snake. "Monkey in a Lion's Skin" is the only one of these eight stories to work from a traditional fable. It is an adaptation of DLS in which Toto finds out for himself that he is still a monkey even in a lion's skin. In the fourth story, Boohoo the hippopotamus wants to see himself but dislikes what he sees in a mirror. Again the Christian application seems forced to me: "The Bible is God's wonderful mirror" (91). Jungle Doctor's work represents, I believe, one more fascinating but failed attempt to bring together the worlds of fable and religion.

1997 Karganin Dostlugu. Sadiye Akay. Illustrations by Mustafa Delioglu. Paperbound. Istanbul: Konusan Hayvanlar Dizisi 4: Yuva Yayinlari. $5 from an unknown source, Jan., '99.

As the bibliographer writes of this 16-page pamphlet, "Retelling of a fable about a crow and some deer." I wish I could decipher more about that fable! The colored illustration on the cover shows the crow with the lion. The back cover gives ten titles in the series. 

1997 La liebre y la tortuga.  Sarah Keane; Adaptación de Yanitzia Canetti.  Ilustrado por Anne Sulzer.  Paperbound.  Boston: Invitaciones:  Houghton Mifflin.  $1.59 from Better World Books through eBay, August, '16.

Here is a sixteen-page pamphlet, apparently from an English-language original of 1996.  It comes ready with an inside front-cover with blanks to be filled in indicating that the book belongs to a specific state and, e.g., school district.  The booklet was to be issued to a specific student in a specific year.  Nothing there is filled in.  The two characters are dramatically contrasted from the title-page, which presents the tortoise's slippers and the hare's running shoes.  The two faces are contrasted well on 4-5, adapted to become the cover illustration.  A fine illustration (13) shows the tortoise beyond the hare, who is sleeping against a tree with the setting sun making him a silhouette.  This tortoise is "lenta pero constante."

1997 Le grand livre des fables: Jean de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Gauthier Dosimont. Hardbound. Chevron, Belgium: Editions Hemma. $12.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Oct., '06.

This is a "grand livre"! It is about 10½" x 14" in size, and it has thirty-five fables on 147 pages, followed by a T of C. It includes the illustrations I already knew from two of Dosimont's books for Hemma: Jean de La Fontaine: Fables Choisies (1994) and Jean de La Fontaine: Jolies fables en musique (1997). Those individual fable illustrations are supplemented by others here, and now there are some twenty-five other fables illustrated. Dosimont's work is again lively. He takes a great perspective on "Le petit Poisson et le Pêcheur" (22) by looking up from the depths of the lake to see the bottom of the fisherman's boat. For DS (79), the prey is not the usual piece of meat but a live duck, whose image in the water haunts the dog as the duck flies away. The book comes back many times to a lovely little design of paper, inkwell, feather, and book--the last time on the two-page spread given to La Fontaine himself on 146-7.

1997 Le più Belle Fiabe di La Fontaine. Hardbound. EuroLibri: Libritalia. € 8 in Venice, August, '06.

This large-format children's book includes a great number of fables in its 195 pages. It pushes the limits of the "no frills" book. There are forty-three full-page illustrations featuring loud and even garish colors. All the characters have dreamy eyes. All the illustrations are found on the right-hand pages. The simple character of the art may sometimes lead to humor, perhaps not intended. Such is the case with the turtle suspended in mid air after he has talked and so let go of the stick on 107. He looks almost like a rocket taking off. The back of the title-page gives this very limited bibliographical information: "c1993 FME; c1997 Editoriale Zeus; c1997 Libritalia." The cover adds "EuroLibri," and the last page declares "Stampato in Italia." Otherwise there are only texts, almost all on one page each, with an italicized moral at the page bottom. On 193-95 is "Come e nata una favola." FS is on the front cover, and a list of fables on the back cover. The endpapers feature a dreamy castle's towers in the midst of a starlit night. I found it on my first night in Venice in the back room of a pension that declared itself the best bookshop in Venice. The back room let out directly onto a canal.

1997 Le Rat de Ville et le Rat des Champs. Texte: Robyn Bryant. Illustrations: Stéphane Turgeon. Hardbound. Montreal: Tormont. $2.45 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Dec., '10.

Here is the French version of The Country Mouse and the City Mouse from the same year. This French version did not come associated with a cheese wedge. Here are my remarks on the English equivalent. This book has padded covers. The city mouse falls asleep inside a picnic basket, and so makes the trip to the country. The country mouse whom he meets when he goes out to explore is unknown to him. After a country meal, the city mouse invites his new friend to take the return trip to the city with him in the picnic basket. They are interrupted by a human being as they reconnoiter the delights left in the kitchen. This woman carries through on her threat to borrow the neighbor's cat. After one attack and the rush to safety, the two mice decide to go their separate ways.

1997 Le rat de ville et le rat des champs. Illustré par Elena Staiano. Paperbound. Recanati, Italy: Plaisir de Lire: European Language Institute. $6.68 from TotalCampus.com through abe, April, '05. 

This is a clever little 24-page pamphlet dealing with language concepts like antinomies, modes of transport, dining rooms, and neighborhoods. Foldout pages help to offer resources for reflections in these directions. Thus, just after we are introduced to Cric and Crac, we meet friends of theirs who are large and small, young and old, rich and poor. A city-scene forms the next foldout, with trucks, ambulances, motorcycles, taxis, and planes all illustrated. The centerfold is a double-foldout showing a dining room, complete with tableware, television, window, easy-chair, and rug. When the cat approaches, the two rats hide five different places before hurrying to a crack in the wall. There is a surprising ending here when the two are interrupted at their rural picnic by a cat again! There are some good activities at the end, including a crossword puzzle and some matching and pairing exercises. See the parallel Spanish version from the same publisher in the same year.

1997 Les fables d'Ésope.  Racontée par Vivian French.  Illustrée par Korky Paul.  Hardbound.  Toulouse: Milan.  $16 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, April, '18.

French version of "Aesop's Funky Fables" from Viking Penguin in 1998 and from Hamish Hamilton in 1997, with the same page count, cover design, and endpapers.  Colored illustrations and black-and-white alternate in presenting ten fables in this slick, large-format hip book.  I take it that the French texts are, like their English source, rap songs.  BW involves three simulated wolf attacks.  The boy says that there was a wolf (1) that he drove away, (2) that must have slipped away, and (3) that he drove away.  He gets diminishing accolades and attention.  The wolf devours all the sheep while the boy sits perched afraid in a tree; later he is sent by the other shepherds to do menial work in town.  In FS, Mr. Fox invites Mrs. Stork in order to have someone admire his great cooking.  He comes up with the "wide flat dish" idea at the last minute fearing that she might eat too long and too well.  Mrs. Stork invites him for that evening.  Note her toothy grin (38) as she welcomes him to a meal served in twelve vases!  The jackdaw in clay-gray feathers among the pigeons is a great visual creation (50).  "The Bat, the Bramble and the Cormorant" (56) is infrequently presented, I believe.  It handles the etiology well and includes a great colored image of the three shipwrecked on the beach (62).  The wolf promises Madame Crane (who had been masculine in English) not silver, gold, and a wife, but all the gold she might want!  And he will take care of her when she is old.  New to me is "The Traveller and the Bear" (74):  the traveller looks up and falls down.  The illustrations are indeed funky, and I like them!

1997 Libellus Fabularum Latinarum. Sarah F. Roach. Hardbound. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. $30.50 from Daedalus Books, Portland, OR, July, '11.

This book is written to accompany Jenny's First Year Latin in its 1987 edition. It may serve well also, with some adaptation, with Wheelock. There is little here except sixty well-chosen and well-told Latin stories and vocabulary for them. Fables include "Lupus et Canis" (19); "Lupus! Lupus!" (59); "Mus Urbanus et Mus Rusticus" (61); and "Potestas Verborum" (147; a form of "Death and the Woodman"). As the stories take on more and more complexity, the choice tends to go to more and more selections from Roman history. I am surprised that I have not encountered this book until now. 

1997 Lo zoo delle favole. Paola Rodari. Illustrazioni di Nicoletta Costa. Paperbound. Rome: Ragazzi: Editori Riuniti. 6,5000 Lire from Mel Bookstore, Turin, Sept., '01.

Here we see one of the crazy things about collecting. I am cataloguing this book almost exactly ten years after I found it! A 3½" computer cassette comes with the book, and time has moved on so rapidly that I no longer have a computer that can play a 3½" computer cassette! This mid-sized paperbound booklet (about 5" x 7½") presents ten fables on 48 pages. The first 23 pages are given to tips on how to use the computer cassette and on the nature of fable. The fables are identified by the cultures from which they come. Thus WC is told as a fable from Tajikistan (29). Each gets a page of illustration, typically through simple and colorful figures, not arranged in a scene. Thus the first has a fox and a laughing stork (26). This book mixes the known, like FG, with several fables that are otherwise unknown to me. 

1997 Marc Chagall: The Fables of La Fontaine. Jean de La Fontaine. Translated by Elizur Wright. Marc Chagall. Preface by Josephine Matamoros and Sylvie Forestier, translated by Esther Allen. Introductory essay by Didier Schulmann. Hardbound. Boxed. Apparently first printing. Printed in USA. NY: The New Press. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '97. One extra copy unopened for $10 from Feder, NY, Dec., '97.

This is one of the most delightful and beautiful books I have found! Three things impress me particularly about the book. First, it helps to clear up the difficult history of Chagall's involvement with La Fontaine's fables. In 1995, two French museums--the Musée d'Art Moderne de Céret and the Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall in Nice--jointly mounted a show displaying the forty-three available gouaches of the one hundred which Chagall created in 1926-7. They were shown in three cities (Paris, Brussels, and Berlin) in 1930 and sold thereafter to a broad spectrum of collectors. Ambroise Vollard, who had commissioned the series, failed to publish the series in color, as he had planned to, and abandoned the project in 1928. Chagall then created plates from which to make engravings. In the late 40's and early 50's, Chagall set out to recover the hundred plates he had engraved in 1929-30. In 1952 André Tériade published them in two volumes. That edition came to obscure the gouaches themselves. Some thirty of the gouaches have never been heard of again since their purchase in Berlin in 1930. Here we get the forty-three gouaches shown in the 1995 exhibit. Second, the editor has fun with the presentation of Elizur Wright's good translation of La Fontaine, curving and bending it around on the left (text) side of each two-page opening. Only MSA (110-13) violates this rule; it uses four pages. A particular tour de force offers the text as a tree on 66! Thirdly and best of all, these illustrations are just spectacular! Some of my favorites among them are: SS (45), "The Old Woman and Her Two Servants" (89), "The Satyr and the Traveller" (91), "The Rat and the Elephant" (97), "The Lion and the Gnat" (103), "The Raven Wishing to Imitate the Eagle" (117), and "The Bear and the Amateur Gardener" (123). In an introductory essay, Didier Schulmann points out that Chagall often chooses not to depict small creatures. In "The Two Bulls and the Frogs" (53), the frogs are not even pictured. "The Cat Metamorphosed Into a Woman" (57) continues to haunt me; Schulmann says of it: "In a single case, the illustration shifts away from the meaning of the fable…nothing in La Fontaine's text indicates the state of profound nostalgia in which Chagall's hybrid, pensively seated with her elbows on a small table, seems to be plunged" (30). At the end there is an alphabetical list tracking the gouaches to their last known site.

1997 Milly and Tilly: The Story of a Town Mouse and a Country Mouse. By Kate Summers. Illustrated by Maggie Kneen. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Italy. NY: Dutton Children's Books. $14.99 from Powell's, Portland, July, '00. Extra copy for $10.95 by mail from Powell's, April, '99

This is an engaging and playful retelling of TMCM. Tilly does her "mousework" every morning before breakfast in a human-like home inside a tree. Forewarned by a letter that Milly will visit, she begins cooking and cleans again and then worries when Milly does not show up until 6 P.M. They kiss noses, and Milly explains that a snail has carried her bags. Milly eats a great deal but misses cheese. She has trouble sleeping. She stays for several days and is frightened by bees and sheep. She invites Tilly to come back with her. Milly lives inside a dollhouse, but does no cooking there. The treats offered include, of course, cheese, but the cat arrives before they can eat anything. The cat chases them all the way back to the dollhouse. Each mouse likes her own way of life. Tilly runs all the way back home and settles in comfortably "to think about her adventures." The picturing is done with lavish and loving detail. Perhaps the single most impressive illustration is that of the dollhouse.

1997 Milly and Tilly: The Story of a Town Mouse and a Country Mouse. By Kate Summers. Illustrated by Maggie Kneen. Hardbound. NY: Dutton Children's Books. $3.95 from Powell's, Portland, July, '11.

I had presumed that this inexpensive copy I picked up in Powell's was a repeat, but there are differences from the edition by the same publisher in the same year that I had catalogued earlier -- after also finding it at Powell's. That edition was printed in Italy, advertised itself as the "First American Edition," and had a slightly larger format. This one says, on the verso of the title-page, that it is "reprinted by permission of Dutton Children's Books" but does not mention any other publisher. The price went up from $14.99 for that edition to $15.99 for this. That edition has a dust jacket, while this one does not. Pagination is identical, but the format of any given page tends to shrink open spaces. Let me include comments I made then. This is an engaging and playful retelling of TMCM. Tilly does her "mousework" every morning before breakfast in a human-like home inside a tree. Forewarned by a letter that Milly will visit, she begins cooking and cleans again and then worries when Milly does not show up until 6 P.M. They kiss noses, and Milly explains that a snail has carried her bags. Milly eats a great deal but misses cheese. She has trouble sleeping. She stays for several days and is frightened by bees and sheep. She invites Tilly to come back with her. Milly lives inside a dollhouse, but does no cooking there. The treats offered include, of course, cheese, but the cat arrives before they can eat anything. The cat chases them all the way back to the dollhouse. Each mouse likes her own way of life. Tilly runs all the way back home and settles in comfortably "to think about her adventures." The picturing is done with lavish and loving detail. Perhaps the single most impressive illustration is that of the dollhouse.

1997 Mouse Match: A Chinese Folktale. Ed Young. Hardbound. Printed in Singapore. San Diego: Silver Whistle: Harcourt Brace & Company. $7.98 from Half-Price Books, Dallas, Dec., '99.

One finds here both an excellent telling and an excellent presentation of this age-old tale of finding the greatest groom for the mouse maiden. The father goes, respectively, to sun, cloud, wind, and mountain before the latter tells him that the mice who dig in him are greater than he is. A great touch occurs when the father comes home to tell his wife what he has learned: "And their daughter cheered." Ed Young's medium here is "collage, with pastel and watercolor on a variety of papers." The beautiful collages are on stiff cardboard pages. Each illustration continues onto the next accordioned page, and on the back of the whole fold-out is the Chinese story told with traditional characters in white on black. There are finally two straw tassels to tie the book shut. Lovely!

1997 My First Book of Animal Stories. Retold by Carol Watson. Illustrated by Nick Price. Hardbound. Twickenham: Tiger Books International. $8 from an unknown eBay seller in Calgary, Canada., June, '09.

This book seems a hardbound reprint by Tiger Books International of Usborne's 1982 book Animal Stories. It thus includes -- as did that book -- the 1982 Usborne pamphlet Aesop's Fables. Like its original, the Aesop section here contains lively sequential cartoons, about six or eight to a fable. I have used Price's illustrations with delight in visual presentations of Aesop. The art is good and has some spice in its characterization.

1997 My First Pop-Up Book of Fables: The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Carla Dijs. Printed in Colombia, S.A.. NY: Little Simon: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. $6.25 from Kate Sterling, Pop-up Paradise, Corte Madera, CA, Jan., '99.

A very nice inexpensive pop-up. Here the boy loses all his sheep after he has fooled people twice. Among the best pop-up scenes are those of the boy "hooting with laughter" and of the wolf stealing two sheep. One of a set of four from an unusual dealer specializing in pop-ups.

1997 My First Pop-Up Book of Fables: The Lion and the Mouse. Carla Dijs. Printed in Colombia, S.A.. NY: Little Simon: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. $6.25 from Kate Sterling, Pop-up Paradise, Corte Madera, CA, Jan., '99.

I find the text in this nice little pop-up particularly succinct and pithy. My favorite pop-up shows one arm and one leg of the lion moving outside the net that is holding him in. One of a set of four from an unusual dealer specializing in pop-ups.

1997 My First Pop-Up Book of Fables: The Little Red Hen. Carla Dijs. Printed in Colombia, S.A.. NY: Little Simon: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. $6.25 from Kate Sterling, Pop-up Paradise, Corte Madera, CA, Jan., '99.

This may represent the first time that I have seen "The Little Red Hen" called a fable. Each of the three housemates--dog, pig, and turkey--is given one pop-up. My favorite shows the turkey fanning herself with a bored look on her face. One of a set of four from an unusual dealer specializing in pop-ups.

1997 My First Pop-Up Book of Fables: The Tortoise and the Hare. Carla Dijs. Printed in Colombia, S.A.. NY: Little Simon: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. $6.25 from Kate Sterling, Pop-up Paradise, Corte Madera, CA, Jan., '99.

A very nice inexpensive pop-up. I cannot find a particular source for the textual version. The two best pop-up scenes feature the hare yawning and then dashing off when he wakes up. The fox tells the hare the moral. One of a set of four from an unusual dealer specializing in pop-ups.

1997 New Fables Written and Illustrated by Dalt Wonk. Signed, #63 of 600. New Orleans: Copyright by the author. $50 from Great Acquisitions Books, New Orleans, LA, by mail, Jan., '98.

This book is a real surprise to me. I bought it over two years ago and have not had the chance to read and catalogue it. It is wonderful! The whole is done with care. The care starts with the cover of hand-made cotton paper from Guatemala, graced with a smaller image of "The Swan and the Rooster" and sewn together on the outside. There is an almost Biercian ultra-realism about the fables, well expressed in their morals. These ten animal/vegetable fables follow a standard formula on the four pages dedicated to each. A pasted-in painting and the title are on the first page in each case. There follow two pages of verse, nicely calligraphed. The last page finishes the verse narrative and adds a small painting and, beneath it, a moral. The first fable, "The Root and the Flower," represents the group well. The former, the old cleaning-lady with a mop-head that looks like tree roots, cleans up in the brothel in which the latter, "Jasmine," is the high-priced star. One night a moth comes and destroys the latter. The former rejoices to learn of it and makes a comment that I cannot write here. The moral: "The misfortune of those we envy seems like justice." Touché! Among the best starting images are "The Pig and the Vulture" and "The Minnow and the Pike." Only right-hand pages are used. Enjoying this work makes me want to find Wonk's "French Quarter Fables."

1997 Paramythia Tou Aisopou, Protos Tomos. Nestoras Chounos. Nikos Neiros. Hardbound. Athens: Agkura D.A. Papademetriou. See 1978/97.

1997 Paramythia Tou Aisopou, Deuteros Tomos. Nestoras Chounos. Nikos Neiros. Hardbound. Athens: Agkura D.A. Papademetriou. See 1978/97.

1997 Polish Fables: Bilingual Edition. Ignacy Krasicki. Translated by Gerard T. Kapolka. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: Hippocrene Books. $10 from Astoria Books, NY, through ABE, Feb., '00.

Krasicki (1735-1801) was, as the "Introduction" tells us, both courtier and clergyman. "Fables and Parables" (1779) and "New Fables" (1803) are the sources for these fables. The latter shows more of the influence of La Fontaine; the fables are, e.g., longer and more elaborate. Though reason is valued over sentiment, there are also still the basic Aesopic lessons that the strong will take advantage of the weak and instinct is not easily overcome with reasons. The fables should be read for their political implications; many were written after Russia, Prussia, and Austria took their first bites of their weaker Polish neighbor. I count sixty-three fables here. The translator does a good job with his rhyming verse. Many of the fables are good replays of traditional stories, like "Children and Frogs" (71) from Aesop; "Friends" (81) from Gay on the hare whom no one would help; and "The Heron, the Fish, and the Crab" (84) from Bidpai. Others present variations of traditional material, like "Gluttony and Envy" (25), in which gluttony takes the part usually played by greed. Most show one or other preoccupation that fables have often had. Be sure to take a look at "The Block of Ice and the Crystal" (14), "The Little Fish and the Pike" (20), "The Child and the Father" (31), "The Ox Minister" (37), "The Humble Lion" (a great fable, 40), "The Lamb and the Wolves" (62), and "The Oak and the Saplings" (89). Simple black-and-white illustrations. There is a T of C at the beginning.

1997 Propeller One-Way Night Coach: A Fable for All Ages. John Travolta. Illustrations by John Travolta and Anson Downes. First printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. NY: Warner Books: A Time Warner Company. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Dec., '97.

Travolta writes in his introduction: "I thought if perhaps I could create a fictitious situation mixed with some true personality types and stories I remembered over the years, I could create a fable that would be entertaining" (xi). This is no fable, but it is a charming and entertaining story of the first experience of aviation by a boy who was entranced by it before, during, and after. He had saved his pennies, scoured flight schedules, and found in 1962 this old United milk-run with a DC-6 propeller plane that flew across the United States in short hops: Newark-Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Chicago-Des Moines-Denver-Las Vegas-Los Angeles. The title was the schedule's description of this flight; it cost $95, and children flew for half-fare. On the way we read delightful experiences of airports, airplane food (chicken cordon bleu too often!), an old bunk, a cockpit visit, a broken toy airplane, a beautiful stewardess, and even a surprise flight on an all-first-class Caravelle. Only the right-hand pages are printed.

1997 Red Fox Dances. Alan Baron. Pamphlet. The Giggle Club. Printed in Hong Kong. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, August, '00.

This twenty-four-page booklet is fun for all of us who are two years old or older. Red Fox, hungry and wearing red sneakers and plaid smoking jacket, sees a variety of living meals--pig, duck, hen. They are all dancing to Dan Dog's violin playing. Others join the dance. Red Fox behind his bush starts twitching. Soon he jumps out and promises to show them how to dance. Dan Dog keeps playing, and everyone keeps dancing. Red Fox really gets into the dance. He is so busy showing off, in fact, that he does not notice everyone dancing away from him or the music growing fainter. He finally howls "Where's my dinner?" and bounces around alone. Delightful art for a good story.

1997 Selected Fables/Fables Choisies: Jean de La Fontaine. Edited and translated by Stanley Appelbaum. Paperback. Printed in USA. Mineola, NY: A Dual-Language Book: Dover Publications, Inc. Examination copy from the publisher, Nov., '97. One extra copy at the same time

This is as simple and straightforward as an inexpensive dual-language text can be. The T of C lists La Fontaine's sources for the seventy-five fables that are presented, and a helpful key follows. The introduction might be just about the size that one would want for an undergraduate class that will read six or seven classes of fables. There is only one or two notes per fable on average. I look forward to giving this text a try in a course soon.

1997 Stone Soup. Marcia Brown. Marcia Brown. Second Aladdin edition. Paperbound. NY: Aladdin Paperbacks: Simon & Schuster. $6.99 from Daedalus Books, Portland, OR, July, '11.

I know Marcia Brown from her lovely Once a Mouse. This book has some of the same charm. She first published Stone Soup in 1947. This telling gives color to the common story. Three soldiers are making their way home from war through foreign territory. The townsfolk see them coming and hide their food. Family after family, when asked by the soldiers, claims to have no food to offer. So the three proclaim that they will have to make stone soup. This claim makes the people curious, and they readily supply a large pot, lots of water, a fire to boil the water, and then three large smooth stones. After salt and pepper are asked for and provided, the soldiers say "Stones like these generally make good soup. But oh, if there were carrots, it would be much better." Françoise thinks she has a carrot or two and brings an apron full. "A good stone soup should have cabbage. But no use asking for what you don't have." Marie thinks she could find a cabbage somewhere and comes back with three. So it goes through sides of beef, potatoes, barley, milk. Soon there are tables in the square and torches, and the peasants ask themselves if a feast like this does not require bread and a roast and cider. They eat and drink and dance and sing far into the night. They even get to sleep in the priest's, baker's, and major's houses! "Such men do not grow on bushes" indeed! Art of two or three colors -- brown, orange, and red -- make for pleasant illustrations balanced with text all along the way. 

1997 The Big Race. A retelling by Nancy Hechinger. Illustrated by Renée Andriani. Paperbound pamphlet. Printed in USA. NY: Scholastic Phonics Readers #37: Scholastic Inc. $0.25 from a street vendor in NY, May, '97. Extra copy at the same time.

A street vendor had a pack of seven little books, including these two. When he wanted to sell all of them to me because of my interest in two, I balked. I think he ended up throwing in the rest for an extra $.50. This is a highly unusual telling of the fable, presenting five races: cross-country, lake, downhill, bug-catching, and up a tree! Baby T, the tortoise, wins the second and fourth and jumps on the back of Pat, the rabbit, for the third. Both refuse to do #5 and both are given first prize by the crow referee. Moral: "All is well that ends well." I think word recognition may have been more operative here than story sense! Black-and-purple art throughout this small pamphlet.

1997 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse. Text: Robyn Bryant. Illustrations: Stephane Turgeon. Hardbound. Printed in China. Montreal: Tormont. £3.99 from The Original Banana Bookshop, Covent Garden, London, July, '98.

This little landscape-formatted booklet, 7¼" x 4¾", fits inside the cheese wedge described under "Book-Related Toys." This book has padded covers. The city mouse falls asleep inside a picnic basket, and so makes the trip to the country. The country mouse whom he meets when he goes out to explore is unknown to him. After a country meal, the city mouse invites his new friend to take the return trip to the city with him in the picnic basket. They are interrupted by a human being as they reconnoiter the delights left in the kitchen. This woman carries through on her threat to borrow the neighbor's cat. After one attack and the rush to safety, the two mice decide to go their separate ways. I will keep the book with the cheese wedge.

1997 The Emperor's New Clothes.  Retold by Anthea Bell.  Illustrated by Dorothée Duntze.  First paperback edition.  Paperbound.  Gossau Zurich, Switzerland: North-South Paperbacks:  North-South Books.  $3 from Bluestem Books, Lincoln, NE, Dec., '14.  

This version is remarkable first for its size:  9½" x 12½".  This is a tall book for a tall tale!  The  two tricksters in this version claimed that their cloth was the finest ever seen.  Its special quality was "being invisible to anyone who was either not good enough for his job or shockingly stupid."  Each pair of pages has one with several lines of text and some intriguing black-and-white designs while the other is a full page of color; that rhythm is broken only by the two-page colored spread of the town square at the book's center.  One of the best of the colored illustrations shows the emperor's wardrobe, which needs ladders and long poles to get at all the clothes.  In this version, everyone in the city knew about the cloth, "and all the people were eager to discover how stupid or unfit for their jobs their neighbors might be."  There is another fine storytelling touch when the tricksters told the emperor as they put the clothes on him "They are all as light as cobwebs; you might think you had nothing on at all, but that's the whole beauty of it!"  This emperor is shown in his undergarments, which are of course more elaborate than today's might be.  This emperor, once the procession started and all the people could see, "never had so successful a suit of new clothes before."  This version ends abruptly with all the people laughing and shouting, but the emperor and his chamberlains keeping up appearances as they march to the procession's end.  Delightful!

1997 The Fable of the Hot Dog Vendor. No author, illustrator, or publisher acknowledged. Hardbound. Signed by Dino and Giovanna Cortopassi and also at the end by just the latter. Stanislaus Food Products. $2.25 from Pat Olson, Arkdale, WI, through Ebay, Oct., '99.

Here is a Christmas tribute to hard work, "to our many wonderful Stanislaus customers and their families who share our commitment to excellence." It is signed as a gift from Dino and Giovanna Cortopassi, owners of Stanislaus Food Products. The story tells of a poor immigrant setting up a hot dog stand selling the best hot dogs on the best buns with the best condiments--six of them on the first day of business, with the profits reinvested the next day in twelve hot dogs…. The business did well, and after years his son went off to college. He came back and talked the father in a time of recession into selling less than the best, but sales only slumped as a result. The son went on to work for a big chain, and the father finally sold the hot dog stand--to a hard-working young immigrant with the bright idea of selling the best hot dogs. Two things strike me as curious about the book: the self-congratulatory praise of hard work and good taste as appropriate for Christmas, and the negative character of the fable in the light of the lesson that Dino Cortopassi formulates this way at the end: "Fortunately, long before I went to college, my immigrant father taught me 'You can't make good wine from bad grapes.'" I believe that this book marks the first mention of hot dogs in this collection!

1997 The Fables of 'Walter of England'. Edited by Aaron E. Wright. Paperbound. Toronto: Toronto Medieval Latin Texts: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. £5 from Renard Society Meeting, Hull, August, '2001.

Edited from Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Codex Guelferbytanus 185 Helmstadiensis. Here is a very helpful book giving the sixty fables of "Walter of England." These sixty fables are seemingly contrived to exhibit as many of the tricks of Latin verse as a set of poems can. Added to the text of the fables here is Wright's typical area of research, commentary on the vocabulary, grammar, and meaning. This involves a difficult printing job of adding superscript glosses to the verse texts, as well as a prose narrative after each text. This book was something of a bible of mine during the summer of 2009 as I worked my way through the texts that Ulrich Boner transformed for his "Edelstein" in the 1300's. Wright's introduction offers a helpful road into this text. Avianus' fables were a favorite school text in the early middle ages, but there was increasing -- and well grounded -- dissatisfaction with this text for teaching Latin. A number of "Novi Aviani" -- the best known that of Alexander Neckam -- competed for teachers' use, but none became very popular. What did take the field was the verse text of "Gualterus Anglicus." This took as its base "Romulus," a prose paraphrase of Phaedrus' first four books from shortly after the time of Avianus. In the fourteenth and fifteenth century, "Walter" was by far the most widely transmitted of all fable collections. It was reprinted up until 1610, when Neveleti's "Mythologia Aesopica" gave it its alternative name of "Anonymous Neveleti." Walter's immediate source was the Recensio Gallicana of Romulus, unsophisticated prose from the fifth or sixth century. Walter's collection comes a step closer to Avianus and has the same elegiac distichs. "The most distinctive aspect of Walter's collection, in which the Englishman exceeds even Avianus, is its unrelenting demonstration of verbal brilliance; every fable is ornamented by a different, and often outlandish, combination of rhetorical figures" (3). The codex Wright chooses to present is an excellent example of a good presentation of the texts themselves along with glosses and a prose commentary. The glosses are lexical and grammatical but almost never rhetorical. Apparently they were meant for fairly elementary students of Latin. Wright's thesis, developed in later work like "Hie Lehrt Uns der Meister," is that subsequent adaptations like Boner's depended heavily on the commentaries rather than the fables themselves for their intepretations.

1997 The Fox and the Rooster & Other Tales.  Maggie Pearson.  Illustrations by Joanne Moss.  First American Edition.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Waukesha, WI: Little Tiger Press.  $4.95 from Downtown Books, Milwaukee, June, '14.  

A book published in Waukesha!  What a find!  Originally published in 1997 by Magi Publications in London.  There are, I believe, two fables among the fourteen stories here.  The only other story that I happen to recognize is "Pied Piper."  The two I know as fables are "Stone Soup" (53) and the title-story, "The Fox and the Rooster" (69).  A nice visual feature of the book is the pictorial headers and footers that change with each story.  The illustration for "Pied Piper" (24) is excellent: the mice swarm together before viewer's eyes!  The maker of stone soup is a storyteller, and he finds the right stone in the village itself.  At the end of it all, he fishes out the stone and throws it away and declares "I don't need that and I never did."  When they ask what story he told, he tells them "Stone soup"!  The title-story begins with Partlet, not Chanticleer, having nightmares about Chanticleer's being eaten by a fox.  Does not the strong illustration on 71 get the spatial relationship between Renard and Chanticleer wrong?  Reynard here appeals to the pride of Chanticleer: "But best of all I love the song you sing to wake the world each morning."  The temptation by Renard here does not to include standing on tiptoe and closing one's eyes until it comes to comparing Chanticleer to his father.  Once Chanticleer is taken by Renard, it is here a farmer that takes after the thief.  Chanticleer tries various ways to get Renard to open his mouth, including asking if this is the way that Renard killed Chanticleer's father, but they fail.  In the end, the traditional appeal works, for Chanticleer advises Renard to tell the old farmer to give up because he has been beaten.  "Never close your eyes when they should be open, and never open your mouth when it should be shut!"

1997 The King of the Birds. Written & Illustrated by Helen Ward. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Ontario, CA: Fenn Publishing Company: Templar Books. $5 from Proquo Books through Amazon.com, Feb., '10.

I have enjoyed several fable books by Helen Ward, and this earlier creation certainly fits the pattern. Though the story is identified only as "adapted from a traditional tale," it is Aesop's old story of the wren who bests the eagle by flying higher than the eagle does in a test of supremacy (Perry #434). Of course, the wren does it by flying hidden in the eagle's back until the eagle reaches his zenith. Ward's particular contributions to this tale are, I believe, two. First, she develops the fable nicely, for example listing opinions until "there were as many answers as there were birds." Secondly, she has a section at the back in which she identifies each of the many species of birds depicted in the illustrations. This is another classy product from Ward!

1997 The Lion and the Mouse. Carol Jones. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First printing. Printed in Hong Kong. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '97. Extra copy a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '98.

A very pleasing sideways book. Like Jones' other two fable books (TMCM, '94, and TH, '96), the special feature of this book is the peep-hole at the center of the page showing the highlight of a coming or past scene, respectively. This book also presents an unusual expanded version of LM. In the beginning, Mouse, who has been living in the hold of the ship Indiana, falls overboard and lands on the shore of a jungle island. Here Lion roars before his nap. Monkey saves Mouse from the jaws of Crocodile. Mouse then falls from Monkey's back right onto Lion's nose. Later he almost falls into Hippopotamus' mouth and wakes up facing Python, who is about to swallow him. After releasing Lion, he rides back to the Indiana on the back of Turtle. Delightful art, with charming little side-pieces on the text pages.

1997 The Mole and the Owl. Written and illustrated by Charles Duffie. Written and illustrated by Charles Duffie. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in USA. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company. $4 from Strand Books, NY, April, '98.

Though the dust jacket identifies this oversized 107-page story as a novel, it may be more a novella. The cover also offers this subtitle: "a romantic fable about braving the wide world for love." Though this is not a fable in any sense I would want to pursue, it is a strong romantic story, and that subtitle depicts the quest well. A mole has fallen in love with an owl and has lost her. He breaks out of many traditional binds to search for her. The illustrations include photographs, some of them retouched or enhanced. Maybe it would be best to call this "photography-based art." I made it through the first quarter of the book, and I am certainly cheering for the mole!

1997 The Pancatantra: The Book of India's Folk Wisdom. A new translation by Patrick Olivelle. First printing. Paperback. Printed in Great Britain. Oxford: World's Classics: Oxford University Press. £4 from an unknown source, July, '98.

Here is a recent Penguin-like paperback version of the Panchatantra. True to the format, it wastes very little space. There are no illustrations. The text seems sparse. If I have not noted it before, the Panchatantra's presentation of individual tales is much leaner than that of, say, "Kalila and Dimna." The translation here seems straightforward and helpful. The heavy quoting of verse remains difficult for contemporary readers, I believe, even in this well-presented version. The best features of this book include its introduction, its handling of names, and its notes. The introduction makes an excellent case that this work is for ministers. I am convinced. Ministers are the key players in story after story here. Kings are mostly fools. Apparently we are meant to see the unscrupulous jackal of the first book as a positive example for ourselves. Kings, Brahmins, and women are seen very negatively in the Panchatantra. Ministers, merchants, and male friends/allies are seen positively. The "moral" stories are all told by losers! Craft and deception constitute the major art of government. Learn to trust more in pedigree and nature than in virtue. That is, do not change your mind about your natural or traditional enemy because of a few deeds or words. Do not give in to "fate" thinking. Rather take action! Hertel thought that the Panchatantra teaches Machiavellian deceit. Falk answered that it shows both sides. For him, it shows the negative so that we will know not to be like those negative characters. The characters' names are pointed, like "Damanaka" ("daring") and "Karataka" ("prudent") for the two jackals in the first book. Olivelle defines each name the first time it occurs. The notes at the end of the book, marked with asterisks, are helpful. Within the first book, the ox is learned and can teach the lion a great deal when they become friends. During his friendship with the ox, the lion kills less, and the jackals and others are getting hungry.

1997 The Tortoise and the Hare: A Tale of Perseverance. Adapted by Mary Rowitz. Illustrated by Krista Brauckmann-Towns, With Other Illustrations by Marty Noble. First printing. Hardbound. Printed in China. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, Ltd. $9.50 from Book 'Em, through Advanced Book Exchange, Feb., '02.

Here is a small, almost 5" x 5¾", hard-covered book of twenty pages stressing the power of perseverance. Full-page cameo-shaped illustrations occupy one of every pair of pages. The story is carefully told. For example, the fox and squirrel mention that they will take a shortcut to the finish line, while the two contestants must stay on the dirt path. Perhaps the best illustration is that of the sleepy hare yawning. He decides to take a nap. The tortoise walks by him very quietly. A last page of moralizing is nicely restrained. "As you grow, you will learn that things don't always come easily. But if you work hard and don't give up, wonderful things can happen."

1997 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Retold by Dandi. Hardbound. Fairy Tale Classics Storybook: Little Landoll Books. Printed in USA. Ashland, OH: Landoll, Inc. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Sept., '01.

This little 28-page book almost 5" x 6" is derived from a larger (8¼" square) 24-page book by the same publisher and author published one year earlier with the same title in the series "Fairy Tale Classics." This book splits up some of the longer text sections to create extra two-page spreads with them. For those spreads, it tends to use smaller designs taken from the larger designs already used in the earlier book. Again the book tells TMCM in the simplest and most direct form. For both Pam Mouse in the country and Hot Rod Mouse in the city, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence until each tries living there. They trade back saying "Nice place to visit. We wouldn't live there!"

1997 Tutte le Fiabe degli Animali. Paperbound. Monte Cremasco, Cremona, Italy: Libritalia. Lire 10000 from Scripta Manent Trading, Rome, July, '98.

This large paperbound book is almost 12" x 8¾". As the back cover proclaims, it has 192 pages to read and 64 pages to color. The back cover also lists the twelve stories. Among them are eight familiar fables: TH, FC, FS, LM, GA, FG, TMCM, and BC. This is splashy big children's art as I have come to know it from Italian publications, full of clothed, playful animals. Each fable lasts sixteen pages. All but the first and last pages are given to two-page spreads with lively scenes and bright colors. As I began to review the book's fables, I thought I recognized something. It turns out that the first four repeat the presentation given them in Fiabe degli Allegri Animali by the same publisher in the same year. I will repeat my comments on them from that book. There are some very good turns to the stories. Thus the last image for TH shows an animal paying off a bet and looking askance at the rabbit who has made him lose money! In FC, a mouse starts the story by taking some cheese. The crow steals it from him. At the end, the fox divides the dropped cheese with the victimized mouse. In FS, both characters are female. The expression of the famished departing fox at the end of the story is very well done. In LM, three animals are moving through the woods with their pea-shooters. Against the others' advice, Michael the mouse shoots at Leone Poldo and hits him in the eye, awakening him. At the end, Michael rides on Poldo's hat. The cicada in GA is a wonderful sleaze-ball! The ants bring the frozen cicada into their home, and he plays the violin for their dancing. Disney unfortunately lives! The fox in FG is a violent rascal. He tries catapulting himself up to the grapes but only hurts himself in the process. The mice in BC try whacking the cat with a log from the fire before their great bell idea. In the end they have to leave their city. As in Fiabe degli Allegri Animali the first half of the pages to color seem to be from TH, "Puss 'n' Boots," "Rumpelstiltskin," and "Aladdin." The rest are most likely from GA, "Three Little Pigs," "The Ugly Duckling," and "Bambi."

1997 Two Frogs in Trouble: Based on a Fable Told by Paramahansa Yogananda.  Natalie Hale.  Illustrated by Susie Richards.  First edition.  Paperbound.  Los Angeles, CA:  Self-Realization Fellowship.  $2 from Green Apple, San Francisco, July, '15.

Earlier I had found a 2005 printing of this booklet.  Here is a first edition without any such notation.  As I wrote there, this story is indeed, in the words of the back cover, an "old fable."  It is well told here.  Two frogs land in a pail of milk.  Big Frog eventually gives up trying and drowns.  Little Frog goes on, proclaiming "While there is life, there's hope."  Eventually the milk turns to cream and then to butter, and he can jump free.  Simple colored illustrations in a twenty-eight page pamphlet.  Among the best illustrations are the view from above when the frogs are first swimming in the milk (also pictured on the back cover), the "I can't swim another stroke" illustration for Little Frog, and the facing pictures of the leap to and celebration of freedom.  Yogananda died in 1952.

1997 Wild Lion and the Mice: A Fable about Kindness. A retelling by Adrienne Betz. Illustrated by Jane Manning. Paperbound. Scholastic Phonics Readers #71: NY: Scholastic. $3.98 from Better World Books, June, '11.

This is a square 16-page pamphlet 5½" on a side. The colored cover has a lion looking down positively on two mice who are running away from him. The title-page reproduces the same illustration in black-and-white. From there on the booklet's illustrations are either black-and-white or duochrome: black and orange. In this version it is a mother mouse and her child that run by the sleeping lion. Illustrations from the story itself are interspersed with those of a Black storyteller narrating to a small audience of Black children. The timing here has the lion release the mice during the day, get caught at night, and experience help in the morning from the two mice. These two seem to come by by chance. Perhaps the best illustration in the booklet is the two-page illustration of the mice freeing the lion (12-13). The moral is a bit surprising: "No one is too big or too little to be kind!"

1997/99 Fun Fables! Traditional Stories. General Editors: Wendy Body, Pat Edwards, Margarette Thomas-Cochran. Illustrators: Peter Foster, Rebecca Pannell, Rachel Legge, Linda Forss, Maria Yeap. Paperbound. Third impression. Printed in Malaysia. Harlow, Essex: Genre Library: Pearson Education Ltd: Addison Wesley Longman Australia. £5.5 from SBW Book Sales, Sept., '02.

This is a large-formatted 32-page pamphlet offering six traditional fables. "A Note to the Reader" at the beginning makes clear that the fables have been retold here in a "very fun way," using comic strips. The shepherd boy in BW thinks that it would be exciting if a wolf were to come. He does not reveal the trick to the people, but rather laughs alone. By the third time, the villagers are angry and suspicious. The fox in FG tries climbing a ladder, throwing stones, hitting the grapes with a stick, lassoing them, hitting them with a slingshot, and jumping at them with car seat springs. "Look Before You Leap" is Aesop's "The Fox in the Well and the Goat." The fox here gives the goat no foreknowledge of his leap. "Worst Friend or Best Enemy" is Aesop's TB. One of the two travelers pushes the other to the ground before he climbs the tree. AL is identified as having come from Aulus Gellius. The moral here is a bit surprising: "Always take time to do a good deed, even when in a tight corner yourself." In AG, as the ant family gathers around the dinner table, mother ant closes the discussion about the grasshopper's death (his tombstone is clear outside the window) by saying "Well, we gave him a nice funeral!" Little animal characters make good comments around the action throughout the comic strips. There is a one-page glossary on the inside back cover.

1997/2005 Two Frogs in Trouble: Based on a Fable Told by Paramahansa Yogananda. Written by Natalie Hale. Illustrated by Susie Richards. First edition, 1997. This printing, 2005. Paperbound. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship. $5.99 from Buy.com through eBay, May, '08.

This story is indeed, in the words of the back cover, an "old fable." It is well told here. Two frogs land in a pail of milk. Big Frog eventually gives up trying and drowns. Little Frog goes on, proclaiming "While there is life, there's hope." Eventually the milk turns to cream and then to butter, and he can jump free. Simple colored illustrations in a twenty-eight page pamphlet. Among the best illustrations are the view from above when the frogs are first swimming in the milk (also pictured on the back cover), the "I can't swim another stroke" illustration for Little Frog, and the facing pictures of the leap to and celebration of freedom. Yogananda died in 1952.

1997/2005 Velut in speculum inspicere: Der Mensch im Spiegel der Fabel: Phaedrus. Bearbeitet von Maria Ausserhofer und Martina Adami. Various artists. First edition. Paperbound. Bamberg: Antike und Gegenwart: C.C. Buchner. Gift of Martin Kölle, August, '07.

Martin was just retiring from teaching and so gave me a set of teaching materials dealing with fables. Here is a very strong piece done for German schoolchildren. Fifteen good units mix Latin, literary analysis, comparative texts, and fascinating illustrations. I find in here several editions and particularly several artists that I want to seek out now, including Manfred Unterholzner. Introductory chapters acquaint the students with the genus and with this author, with some of his rhetorical and metrical proclivities, and with various fable authors in the tradition. The units here seem to include considerably more material than those in the comparable Austrian booklet, Phaedrus: Fabeln, listed under "2000/2003." For example, Unit 14, "Alles hat seinen Preis," starts with a fine colored image that contrasts a wolf and a curiously pig-like dog with a thorny collar and obvious chain. Next comes Phaedrus' fable of the wolf and the dog, followed by several questions along with images from Grandville and Doré. The next part of this unit is a fable from Anouilh, "Le chien pelé," along with a translation and some pointed questions. Two fables from Schnurre come next, accompanied by a sixteenth-century emblem illustration. The range of visual art presented in this booklet is particularly impressive. Lucky German students of Latin!

 

To top

1998

1998 A History of Augustan Fable. Mark Loveridge. Thirteen sample historical illustrations. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. $24 from The Compleat Scholar, Rochester, NY, Oct., '01.

This is a daunting book. I have not had the opportunity yet -- eleven years after finding it -- to take it on. I will give a short sketch here of what other readers -- and I, as I hope -- will find in its pages. Loveridge declares on Page 1: "This study will explore relationships between different aspects and manifestations of the term 'fable', in particular in the period between the English Civil Wars of the mid-seventeenth century and the start of the French revolutionary wars near the end of the eighteenth century." He goes on to say that his evidence will show that fable "exhibits interesting stable, epochal, or transhistorical qualities as a genre" but also that many individual fable writers used fable in a way that was "always highly responsive to its historical and cultural moment." He closes his packed first paragraph by saying that "The intention is, then, to present something between a history and a poetics of fable." He notes that most people studying fable in English stop with Gay in either 1727 or 1738. I have read with interest Karina Williamson's spirited critique of the book, "Double-Handed," in "Essays in Criticism," 1999; XLIX: 353 - 361. She criticizes the "something between" approach announced just above. She also questions the literary-critical method here, which she finds haphazard and even lazy. For her, Loveridge's real interest is in the strategic uses -- the Augustans would have called it "the Application" -- of fables and of fable. For Loveridge, she urges as she quotes him, fable dissolved outward after 1800 into "the novel, philosophy, ethical teaching, nature-poem, sentimental elegy, hymn, lyric, epitaph, literature for children." Augustan fable was particularly adept at the "exploitation for subversive purposes of its capacity for open or at least equivocal application." Her title comes from his use of the expression "double-handed" to describe Augustan fable's power to speak "at once for and against structures of power." This reading will certainly make me more sensitive to Gay and to the difference between the thinking in his first and in his second sets of fables: 1727 versus 1738. And I look forward to getting into more of this book, in Williamson's words, "challenging rather than satisfying." 

1998 A Twist in the Tail: Animal Stories from Around the World. Mary Hoffman. Illustrated by Jan Ormerod. First American edition, apparent first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $18.95 from Powell's, Portland, June, '00.

Here are ten animal stories with bright contemporary artwork. Several of them play with traditional fable themes. "About the Stories" on 68-69 gives the background of each story after commenting on the frequent twists which they involve. The first tale is an Anancy story that ends with everyone happy. Then, in what Hoffman calls a variant of TH, the crab gets the fox to accept a tail-weight for their race together. Of course he is the weight and is right with the fox when the fox stops out of breath. The version here of "The Bright Blue Jackal" is different from those I have known. This jackal maintains before his fellow jackals that he is the same jackal as before but transformed by the Goddess of the forest to be its king. He goes on to tell all the other animals that he is a new kind of animal. Eventually his fellow jackals deliberately trick him into revealing himself. I am not sure that this version works, but its water image is wonderful! The art may be at its best in "The Magpie and the Milk," which features ground-level views of all the interactions and a very bedraggled magpie. "The Pelican and the Fish" does a variation on this story from Kalila and Dimna as I know it. Here the crab chokes the fish still alive out of the pelican. "The Fox and the Boastful Brave" redoes the Renard story of playing dead and then tossing food all along the road. This version develops the story nicely into a comment on the folly of boasting. Creatures seem not to die in these stories; Hoffman can find happy endings. Note the pun in the book's title.

1998 Aesop and Abolition: Some materials concerning the death penalty, with particular reference to northern Ohio. Peter Linebaugh. Paperbound. $7.95 from John Alexander, San Diego, through eBay, May, '07.

The cover gives a particular day--March 5, 1998--and comments "on this day in 1770, Crispus Attucks was killed, the first casualty of the American Revolution." The cover also has Steinhöwel's illustration of the shepherd cutting the throat of one sheep a day. This is a twenty-six page pamphlet, much of the material for which was gathered by students in a course on "History of the Death Penalty" at the University of Toledo. Linebaugh was their instructor in the spring of 1997. For him, the message of that fable on the cover has to do with the last sheep, who deserves to die because he never helped his fellows. The author's claim is that there is a connection between the death penalty and slavery. He finds a basis for that connection even in the common name of those opposed to them, "abolitionist." There follows an interesting anecdotal history of the abolitionist (that is, of capital punishment) movement. The back page is a flyer on Wilford Berry, a "poor deranged murderer who wants to die." This pamphlet is one of the most curious appearances of Aesop I have experienced! There seem to be no bibliographical details in the pamphlet except the date of publication.

1998 Aesop and You! By Barbara Hailey. Illustrations by Linda Koehler Messina. Hardbound. Printed in USA. Hunt, TX: The Southwest Theatre for Young People: The Magic Unicorn Press. $9.50 from Stan Hunsaker, American Fork, UT, through EBay, March, '03.

This lively book starts with an "I Am Aesop" introduction that builds upon the standard life of Aesop. He proclaims himself "the champion of the underdog." I am surprised at the 1998 date of this book; it seems in ways a throwback to hippy days and works at being politically correct. Aesop once wears a Greek chiton, cloak, and sneakers! Later he is in bare feet and wearing coveralls. There are eight fables, brought up to date with named characters. Animals are often clothed. The first story is "Sarah, The Girl Who Cried Wolf." The story is interspersed with questions like "Do you sometimes feel angry about the chores you've been given to do?" (5). Sarah's dad punished her for crying "Wolf!" by making her watch the sheep the whole following week. She cried out "Wolf!" again and got another week's punishment. I find "Chester Cat and the Bird Family" (27) one of the most successful contemporary adaptations. It becomes a story about children detecting imposters, like Doctor Chester here. Another is "Ashlin Ant and Gilbert Grasshopper" (38). The former is vice-president of a bank, while the latter is a drop-out guitarist. There is a non-Aesopic happy ending here. At the end of the book, there are six postcards for ordering more copies of this book for friends. There is a note from the author about the purpose of the book on the back cover.

1998 Aesop's Airline Tales. Captain Jester. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Euless, TX: Home Made Books. $5.59 from barnesandnoble.com, Jan., '99.

"The Book the Airlines do not want you to read!" exclaims the back cover. These are short stories of funny doings in and around airplanes. What they have to do with Aesop is never made clear to me. Oh, well….

1998 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Anne Gatti. Illustrated by Safaya Salter. Paperbound. Printed in Spain. London: Pavilion Classics: Pavilion Books. Gift of Anne Pierro, March, '00.

This is a longer (106 as opposed to 79 pages) but smaller paperback publication of the book Pavilion copyrighted and first published in 1992. See my extensive comments there on the book's engaging art. The 92 fables here are nicely arranged and delightfully illustrated.

1998 Aesop's Fables. Adapted into English by Leonard Matthews. Illustrations by Hedvika Vilgusova. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in the Czech Republic. Leicester, England: Blitz Editions: Bookmart, Ltd. Maltese Liri 3.25 from Morris Stationery & Bookshop, Sliema, Malta, June, '02.

Designed and produced by Aventinum Publishing House, Prague. I found this book as I was wandering around Sliema. This was a tiny bookshop. For some reason I gave it a try and got very lucky. The book belongs in the genre of very large format books (here 9¼" x almost 13") with excellent color printing. The book contains forty-two fables. The book numbers fables rather than pages. The versions are not always what one would expect; often they lose some of the tradition's subtlety. Thus the frog hates the mouse from the start of the fable in #2. The third fable, "The Wolf, the Dog and the Sheep" resolves its conflict in a way much different from the tradition's when the wolf judge condemns the dog for being unfair to the sheep. Eagle and crow may reverse their traditional roles in stealing a nut dropped from high above; here it is the eagle that steals from the crow. #7 is new to me: a vulture's mother tells him that he has made too many enemies and that she cannot protect him. The dying lion in #9 laments his general situation, not the particular attack from the donkey. "The Goats and the Lamb" (#13) is new to me. The hunter who dismisses his old hunting dog never finds another good hunting dog (#15). The Lion kills the man who uses the stone as a "proof" as to who is stronger (#37). The fox is so busy boasting to the cat that he does not hear the approaching hunters (#42). The two most engaging illustrations are those for "The Sick Donkey and the Wolf" (#35) and "The Old Lion and the Fox" (#36). The publisher was wise to put these two onto the cover and dust-jacket.

1998 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Malorie Blackman. Illustrated by Patrice Aggs. First printing. Paperbound. London: Scholastic Children's Books. £1.29 from Bowbridgepublishing,com, Bowbridge Lock, UK, through eBay, March, '04. 

The cover claims "Stories to read or tell for just £1." I presume that this British edition is not available in the USA. Twenty-four fables on 64 pages. All the double-pages have the same banners across the top and bottom. Each fable concludes with a small recurring illustration of either fox, lion, or mouse pronouncing a bubbled moral. In fact, those are the only illustrations. The goat caught by the wolf invites him to play the flute on the pretext that more goats would willingly follow him (25). Notice the British idiom in "The Fox and the Corn" (38); I think this story is clearly about wheat.

1998 Aesop's Fables 1 (Chinese). Hai Yin Lin. Illustrated by Stefano Tartarotti. Hardbound. Taipei, Taiwan: Grimm. $4.95 from Used Books, Paperbacks, and More, South Pasadena, CA, April, '06. 

Finding this book was one of the happy little miracles I have experienced in developing this collection. On a visit to South Pasadena, I stopped at a neighborhood used book shop that I remembered from a previous visit. The attendant said that she unfortunately had no fables. I did find a small LaFontaine illustrated by Girardet, but it was too expensive for a book of which I already have multiple editions. I figured that I had exhausted my possibilities, but I checked foreign language. As I came to the end of the last shelf, I noticed two Asian books and started to page through. The first story is WSC, and the second FG. I soon found Aesop's picture on the last page. I was holding a needle found in a haystack! Tartarotti's illustrations are creative and lively, right from the DS illustration on the title page. This illustration puts the dog at the crest of an arching bridge over a long canal. The reflection of the meat is crystal clear. A T of C at the front includes six images along with twenty-five titles presented on some 67 pages. The pagination seems to begin with the front cover! Most fables take two or three pages. Text is placed at the center of each page, with a row of illustrations above and one below. The horse that invites the man onto his back does not even get to attack the stag that first irritated him (23)! One cartoon on 47 depicts graphically how a lion-made statue would depict a struggle between a man and a lion. The illustrations are so simple and pointed that one does not need to be able to read the text. The cover shows many of the book's characters standing at a low farm wall. A great find!

1998 Aesop's Fables 2 (Chinese). Hai Yin Lin. Illustrated by Pia Valentinis. Hardbound. Taipei, Taiwan: Grimm. $4.95 from Used Books, Paperbacks, and More, South Pasadena, CA, April, '06. 

Finding this book was one of the happy little miracles I have experienced in developing this collection. On a visit to South Pasadena, I stopped at a neighborhood used book shop that I remembered from a previous visit. The attendant said that she unfortunately had no fables. I did find a small LaFontaine illustrated by Girardet, but it was too expensive for a book of which I already have multiple editions. I figured that I had exhausted my possibilities, but I checked foreign language. As I came to the end of the last shelf, I noticed two Asian books and started to page through. The first story is WSC, and the second FG. I soon found Aesop's picture on the last page. I was holding a needle found in a haystack! The illustrator here, Pia Valentinis, has a different style from Stefano Tartarotti's in the first volume. The cover puts several wild animals into a jungle scene. It is repeated on 10-11. There seems to be some Modigliani in her style of illustration for 2W on 29. Turn the page, and there is a massive ox crushing a frog. As the book starts with a two-page spread on 10-11, it finishes with a striking red two-page spread on 66-67. This second volume again has 67 pages, and again the pagination seems to begin from and to include the front cover. Again there is a T of C at the beginning listing twenty-five stories.

1998 Aesop's Fables, Volume IV. My Book About: Reading, Writing, Thinking. Large-format oblong pamphlet. Printed in USA. Creative Approaches to Language by Dr. Kathryn T. Hegeman. Unionville, NY:  Royal Fireworks Press. $5.00 from KAV Books, Unionville, NY, Jan., '99.

See the original printing by Trillium Press under 1985/88. Apparently nothing is changed here except the publisher, copyright date, and cover. The cover is now a bright yellow with a colored picture of CJ.

1998 Aesop's Fables, Volume IV.  Dr. Kathryn T. Hegeman.  Paperbound.  Unionville, NY: Creative Approaches to Language:  Royal Fireworks Press.  $4.98 from mtnbhiker through eBay, Jan., '16.

Here is an almost exact duplicate of an item in the collection.  A cursory look over the booklet reveals that Royal Fireworks Press has dropped its address in Downsview, Ontario and has only the Unionville address.  They have also added an email address.  The price seems to have changed from $5.99 to $7.99.  I presume that the year of publication has changed, but there seems no indication of that change in the booklet itself.  As I mention concerning the earlier printing of this booklet, see the original printing by Trillium Press under 1985/88.  Apparently nothing is changed from there except the publisher, copyright date, and cover.  The cover is now a bright yellow with a colored picture of CJ.  Royal Fireworks Press shows on their website a portrait rather than landscape book, dates the latest edition in 2015 and gives the price as $9.99.

1998 Aesop's Funky Fables.  Retold by Vivian French. Illustrated by Korky Paul. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First printing. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Viking Penguin. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '98. Extra copy for $11.19 from amazon.com, March, '98.

Colored illustrations and black-and-white alternate in presenting ten fables in the slick, large-format hip book. As might be expected from the "Funky" in the title and from the sleazy fox on the title-page's couch, there are several rap presentations here. The best of these song approaches is LM. BW involves three simulated wolf attacks. The boy says that there was a wolf (1) that he drove away, (2) that must have slipped away, and (3) that has vanished. He gets diminishing accolades and attention. The wolf devours all the sheep while the boy sits perched afraid in a tree; later he is sent by the other shepherds to do menial work in town. In FS, Mr. Fox invites Mrs. Stork in order to have someone admire his great cooking. He comes up with the "wide flat dish" idea at the last minute fearing that she might eat too long and too well. Mrs. Stork invites him for that evening. Note her toothy grin (38) as she welcomes him to a meal served in twelve vases! The text unfortunately refers to these in terms of "dish" and "bowl," albeit tall and narrow. The jackdaw in clay-gray feathers among the pigeons is a great visual creation (50). "The Bat, the Bramble and the Cormorant" (56) is infrequently presented, I believe. It handles the etiology well and includes a great colored image of the three shipwrecked on the beach (62). The wolf promises the crane silver, gold, and a wife! New to me is "The Traveller and the Bear" (74): the traveller looks up and falls down. The illustrations are indeed funky, and I like them! First published 1997 by Viking Penguin in Great Britain.

1998 Aesop's (Oh So Slightly) Updated Fables. By Kim Esop Wylie. Pamphlet. Printed in USA. Boston: Baker's Plays. $4 from Barnes and Noble, Feb., '99.

Here are six fables as engaging contemporary plays. In each case the drama takes a playful approach to the fable. Thus DS can engage in good irony when it has the narrator speak of the butcher trying to have a sincere and calm conversation with the dog while both run across the stage (9). In fact the narrator's introduction to this dog had run through a list of negative qualities--including dirty fingernails and unbrushed teeth--but then pronounced him a great dog. This piece is especially strong on narrator-audience interaction as the latter must pronounce the dog's name each time the narrator comes to it. TH revolves around love (the narrator becomes infatuated with both tortoise and hare) and aerobics; the race emerges as a possibility only in the last few paragraphs and comes to a conclusion only at the end of the last playlet, MM. LM is about the mouse's notoriety and humor, FG about seduction and Olympics-like games. MSA deals with political correctness and activists; it features a butcher, who seems to have wandered into the story from nowhere, and the coffee-guzzling hare from TH. The protagonist in MM has not milk but two perfect eggs. As with all comedy, some of the elements of parody are time-bound. How long will "Mission Impossible" themes be recognized by audiences?

1998 Aisopos: Ho Lagos kai he Chelona. Anna Papastaurou. Illustrations by Leaf Art. Paperbound. Athens: Ekdoseis Papadopoulos. AU $12 from Greek Toys and Books, Flinders Pk, South Australia, Dec., '06.

Rhyming quatrains tell the story in this slick, 24-page oversized pamphlet of TH. The computer-generated art does a simple and adequate job, I would say. One of the best illustrations is the early two-page spread with the hare standing proud on a rock at the center of everyone's attention. A special feature of this book lies in the human mushrooms watching the scenes along the way -- or even acting as a pillow for the carrot-munching rabbit as he rests. Are those two quatrains of rhyming morals on the last page? There seem to be three other books in the series, listed on the back cover. This volume seems to be #1 of 4.

1998 Aisopos Mythoi Protos Tomos. Athanasios Kyriazopoulos. First edition. Paperbound. Athens: Archaia Ellenike Grammateia: Oi Ellenes 477: Cactus Editions: Odysseas Hatzopoulos. $22 from Geor Marlantis, Athens, through eBay, Sept., '11.

As the T of C at the end of this volume indicates, there are here 121 fables on 271 pages. Left-hand pages are given to the ancient Greek, while right-hand pages show contemporary Greek. The page facing the title-page mentions Oxford Classical Texts, Teubner editions, Loeb, Budé, Tusculum, and others, but I cannot find an indication of whose collection and numbering system is followed here. A short discussion of Aesop and his work and a list of popular Aesopic proverbs come before the fables. Scholia follow the parallel texts on 265. I thought I was getting the full set of this publication when I ordered two volumes at once on eBay, but the foldover portion of the back cover indicates that there is also a third volume. That will be my next challenge! For some reason, the eBay seller indicates a publication date of 2002.

1998 Aisopos Mythoi Deuteros Tomos. Athanasios Kyriazopoulos. First edition. Paperbound. Athens: Archaia Ellenike Grammateia: Oi Ellenes 478: Cactus Editions: Odysseas Hatzopoulos. $27.89 from Geor Marlantis, Athens, through eBay, Sept., '11.

As the T of C at the end of this volume indicates, there are here 208 fables (numbered 122-329) on 319 pages. Left-hand pages are given to the ancient Greek, while right-hand pages show contemporary Greek. The page facing the title-page mentions Oxford Classical Texts, Teubner editions, Loeb, Budé, Tusculum, and others, but I cannot find an indication of whose collection and numbering system is followed here. Scholia follow the parallel texts on 317. I thought I was getting the full set of this publication when I ordered two volumes at once on eBay, but the foldover portion of the back cover indicates that there is also a third volume. That will be my next challenge! For some reason, the eBay seller indicates a publication date of 2002.

1998 Ambrose Bierce: Fantastische Fabeln.  Neu übersetzt von Viola Eigenberz und Trautchen Neetix.  1. Auflage.  Paperbound.  Munich: BTB: Bertelsmann Taschenbücher:  Goldmann Verlag.  €14 from Lausitzer Buchversand, July, '14.  

I already have English and French presentations of Bierce.  Now here is an extensive presentation of his fable work in German.  The back cover quotes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung well: "Stets aufs neue zu bestätigen: der Meister der Kurzform."  There are four sections here: "Fantastische Fabeln"; "Fabeln aus 'Fun'"; "Aesopus Emendatus"; and "Alte Spruche mit neuen Klopfern."  Other than the covers' illustration of an insect reading (or devouring?) a book, there are no illustrations.  The German copyright for the works of Bierce, as is acknowledged here, belongs to Haffmann Verlag, and they have a page of advertisements at the end.  Just before that there is a page-long editorial notice explaining the few fables not included in this volume, and the sources of those that are included.

1998 Annales Phaedriani 1596-1996. R.W. Lamb. Paperbound. Lowestoft, Suffolk, England: Privately printed. Gift of the author, June, '99.

Here is a labor of love! Lamb offers entries for 1128 editions of Phaedrus. (Pack Carnes' unpublished work at exactly the same time had included, in one form or another, 2196 entries.) The ordering is chronological, and there are helpful indices at the back for finding both editors and places of publication. An extensive introduction groups the publications into eight periods and discusses each period in terms of its dominant texts and editors. I only wish that I had had this book at hand earlier!

1998 Arthur's Really Helpful Bedtime Stories. Stories adapted by Stephen Krensky. Illustrated by Marc Brown. Large-format hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: Random House. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '98.

Among the book's ten stories are TH (26) and LM (40). In the former, Buster is always in a hurry; he does not stop to smell the flowers. If Buster wins, he will train the tortoise into a world-class runner. If the tortoise wins, the two will have a long, slow breakfast every day, and the tortoise will teach Buster all about the flowers. After the race, the two of them become good friends, and Buster stops to smell the flowers. Even though some of them make him sneeze, he is too polite to mention it. In the latter, Binky the lion, as the mouse points out, does not look much like a lion. The moral here is cleverly inserted into the story in the mouth of the mouse when he answers the lion's snarl: "After all, one good turn deserves another." Marc Brown's faces are often delightful. Do not miss his spirited illustrations for "The Frog Prince." The girl who meets the three bears is named "D.W."

1998 Arthur's Really Helpful Bedtime Stories. Stories adapted by Stephen Krensky. Illustrations by Marc Brown. First printing. Hardbound. NY: Random House. $7.50 from Idle Time Books, Washington, D.C., Dec., '99.

The difference of this book from another copy, also a first printing, is small but worth noting. The surprise is that both are numbered as first printings on the page facing the title-page. The differences occur on the back cover. First, this copy includes no price, while the other copy had both USA and Canadian prices printed as part of the back cover. Secondly, the symbol for Random House has changed from a house to an elephant, with mention of "Gibraltar Library Binding." Thirdly, the ISBN has changed from 0-679-88468-8 to 0-679-98468-2. Fourthly, the number on the second bar code has changed from 51499 to 90000. Might that first number have something to do with the stated price of $14.99? My, the mysteries of publishing! On neither of the copies does the last digit of the bar code match the last digit printed next to it. As I wrote there, among the book's ten stories are TH (26) and LM (40). In the former, Buster is always in a hurry; he does not stop to smell the flowers. If Buster wins, he will train the tortoise into a world-class runner. If the tortoise wins, the two will have a long, slow breakfast every day, and the tortoise will teach Buster all about the flowers. After the race, the two of them become good friends, and Buster stops to smell the flowers. Even though some of them make him sneeze, he is too polite to mention it. In the latter, Binky the lion, as the mouse points out, does not look much like a lion. The moral here is cleverly inserted into the story in the mouth of the mouse when he answers the lion's snarl: "After all, one good turn deserves another." Marc Brown's faces are often delightful. Do not miss his spirited illustrations for "The Frog Prince." The girl who meets the three bears is named "D.W." 

1998 Book of 101 Fables: Quick Reference Guide. Retold and Illustrated by Johnny C. Young. English Literature Series. Paperbound. Printed in Manila. Metro Manila, Philippines: Pharoah Enterprises. $12 from Shirley Fish, Metro Manila, Philippines, Sept., '00.

Here is a curious little paperback book offering just what the title says. The fables are arranged alphabetically, with a full-page black-and-white illustration (albeit crude) for each. There is a "moral lesson" for each and a comment besides for a few. There is a T of C at the front and an index of lessons and qualities at the back. I find eight new fables (#1, 14, 16, 29, 44, 46, 68, 81) and another four that are Aesopic fables transformed (#21, 23, 41, 100). There are some delightful surprises here. Thus OF (119) is wonderfully adapted to use a water buffalo, who only frightens the young frog so that he runs home to his father. The merchant wishes that Hercules, the strongest man on earth, were there to help, and Hercules happens to be in a shop nearby (142)! The woodman here lies to the hunter that there is a lion coming at him (153). The wind not only blows out the light; it also knocks the oil-lamp off of the table (165)! "A Mouse Wedding" (221) is listed as from Aesop. In WL (302), the lamb is saved! This book brought me back to Perry 132 (here on 150). I note that this fable appears in English only in V.S. Vernon Jones, as far as I can trace it now. The book has quite a few typographical and grammatical errors. Examples include the first line of 255, the title on 275, and the fourth-to-last line of 275. The bottom of 290 is riddled with errors.

1998 Bookforum: The Book Review for Art, Fiction & Culture: Summer 1998. Marina Warner. Magazine. NY: ARTFORUM International. $9.50 from Gutenberg Holdings, New Hampton, NY, April, '99.

Marina Warner's review of Aesop: The Complete Fables, translated by Olivia and Robert Temple, occupies 17-18. Warner puts the Aesop of the old Penguin by Handford "firmly on juvenile territory" and finds the Temples "taking the fables out of the nursery and putting them back into history." Warner spends a great deal of time on the life of Aesop, commenting aptly "The fabulist's arsenal mines the inherently ludic properties of language itself, as do much more recent exponents of the genre like Lewis Carroll and Salman Rushdie." (Do Carroll and Rushdie write fables?) Again, "Aesop is the earliest figure in classical Western culture to use stories and language as defensive weapons in the struggle for survival." I never knew that the bucket at Aesop's feet in Velázquez's famous portrait is a nightsoil bucket with a toilet rag--to allude to the famous event in which "Aesop scoffs at his master for worrying that when he defecates, his brains leave him with his stools." (Is that really how the life constructs this incident?) When we arrive halfway through the review at more specific discussion of the Temples' version, we learn that it "attempts to bring out this ribald, adults-only, shameless side of Aesop's Fables…." For the Temples, "the fables are patently cynical…." Warner argues well--with or against the Temples?--that the story of the ant and the cricket "lines us up with the cricket, against common sense, against natural selection, against the law of the jungle…." Warner criticizes the Temples' diction, their adoption of Chambry's arrangement, and their loss of gaiety and liveliness. Even the Temples themselves declared Aesop "essentially a joke collection" for adults. This is a thought-provoking review, not always careful with its details but probing well into the product the Temples have produced.

1998 Chagall: Watercolors and Gouaches.  Alfred Werner.  First printing.  Paperbound.  NY: The Watson-Guptill Famous Artists Series:  Watson-Guptill Publications. $4.98 from the Spectator Bookstore, Alameda, CA, July, '15.

Apparently some for of the large-format (10¼" x 11") paperback art book was published in 1977.  For fable lovers, there are two very well rendered illustrations here from Chagall's "Fables of La Fontaine": #9 is "Monkey Acting as Judge over the Dispute Between Wolf and Fox" and #10 is "The Satyr and the Wayfarer."  Both are very well done and consume almost a full page.

1998 Classic Animal Tales. Individual Stories Adapted by Lisa Harkrader, Catherine McCafferty, Megan Musgrave, Sarah Toast, and Pegeen Hopkins. Illustrated by Richard Bernal, Dominic Catalano, Jason Wolff, Rusty Fletcher, Yuri Salzman, and Jon Goodell. First printing. Hardbound. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International Ltd.. $4 from Aardvark Books, San Francisco, Dec., '01.

Among the six stories in this book are TMCM, GA, and AL. The other stories are "Brer Rabbit Outfoxes Brer Fox," "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," and "The Cat That Walked by Himself." The tellings are lively and traditional. Full-page colored illustrations occur about every other page. Among the best illustrations here are those showing Alistair, the city mouse, pulling the pillow over his ears in the early country morning. In GA, the grasshopper seems more interested in sleeping than in singing. He also steals food from the ants in summer. The ants promptly let the grasshopper in during the first snowfall, but they require that he work. His work is to sing for the ants, since winter is their time to play. The grasshopper's song the next summer is "Summer work is slow and steady. But when winter comes, I'll be ready!" The Brer Rabbit story includes the key lines of Brer Rabbit--"Please throw me into the briar patch"--and of Brer Fox--"Come with me and I will carry you." The picture of the proud, prancing cat at the end of the last tale (87) tells the whole story. Even when a cat is domesticated, it does what it wants to do!

1998 City Mouse--Country Mouse and Two More Mouse Tales from Aesop. After Joseph Jacobs. John Wallner. Paperbound. NY: Scholastic, Inc.. $1.50 from an unknown source, Oct., '12.

This is a reproduction in reduced format -- 5½" square -- of a booklet published by Scholastic in 1987. Except for its size, it seems an exact replica of the original. As I wrote there, it is a charming booklet, especially the lead story, in which the two best paintings are those of the upturned nose and the conference inside the city mouse's hole with the dogs visible outside. The last picture and line of BC are also very nice. The text looks like an adaptation of Jacobs'. This copy is in only fair condition. Part of its front cover is scraped and torn, and the cover is creased. There is some writing blotted out on the inside front-cover. Aesop lives! 

1998 Cyrillus-Fables in Ulrich von Pottenstein's version, Das Buch der natürlichen Weisheit. Paperbound. MS 't Goy-Houten, Netherlands/Paris: Antiquariaat Forum & Les Enluminures. $16 from Antiquariaat de Kloof, Amsterdam, August, '02.

This twenty-six page pamphlet offers an excellent introduction covering the early history of fables and published fable literature. There are descriptions of various manuscripts in the Cyrillus tradition. The pamphlet features a number of fine watercolor wash fable illustrations, including "The Monkey and the Donkey" (6); "The Horse and the Mule" (11); "The Lion, the Fox, and the Mouse" (13); "The Monkey, the Raven, the Ship, and the Wolf" (15); and "The Tomcat and the Swine" (21). Pages 16-17 present a list of fables found in the work.

1998 Das illustrierte Fabelbuch, Band I: Spiegel kultureller Wandlungen. Herausgegeben von Wolfgang Metzner und Paul Raabe; Volume I by Regine Timm. Boxed. Hardbound. Hamburg; Frankfurt am Main/Berlin: Maximilian-Gesellschaft; Wolfgang Metzner Verlag. €50 from Antiquariaat der Rabe, Frankfurt, June, '05.

This pair of volumes was a major surprise when I started out visiting used book stores in Hamburg in July, 1998. Dietrich Schaper was one of the first book dealers I visited. When I asked about fable books, he answered by pulling out this boxed pair of volumes: "You mean things like this?" I think he had received it through a book club or perhaps the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. Since that time, this pair of volumes, especially the second, has been a constant companion and help to me. Three years ago in 2009 I had the privilege of visiting the Metzner fable collection in the family's quarters. The family was gracious enough to let me see and enjoy it. What a pleasure! This first volume is largely still a pleasure waiting for me. The flier distributed at the time of publication mentions that this volume "features 363 illustrations from over 100 different editions." It offers a comparative history of the illustrated fable book. It examines, the flier notes, "the various functions of fable illustrations, motif traditions, and the representation of animals in the fable, as well as their graphic and visual design." Timm finds a tension between the perenniel story and the "message contained in the image, which is shaped by currents in architecture, fashion, and society." I was not aware that this two-volume work had won an award for "being among the most beautiful books in Germany." It certainly would have got my vote! Six years later I found a cleaner copy available from Antiquariaat der Rabe and had it sent straight to Omaha. It is the good copy, and I will continue to work with the one I found in Hamburg. The original price was DM 485 or $260. 

1998 Das illustrierte Fabelbuch, Band II: Katalog illustrierter Fabelausgaben 1461-1990. Herausgegeben von Wolfgang Metzner und Paul Raabe; Volume II by Ulrike Bodemann. Barbeitet von Birgitta vom Lehn und Maria Platte. Boxed. Hardbound. Hamburg; Frankfurt am Main/Berlin: Maximilian-Gesellschaft; Wolfgang Metzner Verlag. €50 from Antiquariaat der Rabe, Frankfurt, June, '05.

Especially this second volume has been a constant companion and help to me. Three years ago in 2009 I had the privilege of visiting the Metzner fable collection in the family's quarters. The family was gracious enough to let me see and enjoy it. What a pleasure! There I saw many of these books and many that I had come to love in our own collection. The bibliographical work here is meticulous and thus very helpful. It is a regular joy to see how exactly a volume of mine matches up with the description, and it is a challenge when I find things in my volumes that seem to veer from the description here. I have made a few corrections in my extra copy, but I doubt that there will ever be a revised or new edition. There are about 900 editions presented here. The three indices -- writer, artist, and publisher -- make finding a book easy. I was not aware that this two-volume work had won an award for "being among the most beautiful books in Germany." It certainly would have got my vote! Six years later I found a cleaner copy available from Antiquariaat der Rabe and had it sent straight to Omaha. It is the good copy, and I will continue to work with the one I found in Hamburg. The original price was DM 485 or $260. 

1998 Des Kaisers Neue Kleider.  Hans Christian Andersen; übersetzt von Rolf Inhauser.  Illustriert von Angela Barrett.  Mit einem Vorwort von Naomi Lewis.  Hardbound.  Aarau/Frankfurt am Main/Salzburg: Verlag Sauerländer.  €7 from the Heidelberg flea market?  July, '14.  

From the original "The Emperor's New Clothes," apparently by Walker in London.  The clothes that the betrayers offer in this version have this wonderful quality, "dass sie für jeden Menschen unsichtbar wären, der nicht für sein Amt tauge oder der unverzeihlich dumm sei."  The artist has fun with the story here, filling the pages with related images, offering paper dolls of the emperor's overly large clothes collection, or putting small images around the borders of his pages.  This version saves the naked emperor for the last page, and then we see him, with his regal staff, only from behind.  In this version, it is a little girl sitting on her father's shoulders who says "Aber er hat ja nichts an!"

1998 Die Maus und der Löwe. Translation: Olaf Hille. Illustrations: Krista Brauckmann-Towns. Hardbound. Kling-Klang Bücher. Printed in China. Hamburg: Xenos Verlagsgesellschaft. DM 8 from E Center, Wolfenbüttel, July, '01.

A stop in Wolfenbüttel to find a banana across from the train stop yielded this booklet and a parallel little volume. The lion here, once roused from his nap, has to chase the mouse down, and he is not easy to catch. The best sounds here belong to the mouse. One has him berry-hunting, begging, or playing; and the other suggests his running.

1998 Die Schildkröte und der Hase. Translation: Olaf Hille. Illustrations: Krista Brauckmann-Towns. Hardbound. Kling-Klang Bücher. Printed in China. Hamburg: Xenos Verlagsgesellschaft. DM 8 from E Center, Wolfenbüttel, July, '01.

A stop in Wolfenbüttel to find a banana across from the train stop yielded this booklet and a parallel little volume! It seems not to be related to the one other sound-making fable book I am aware of having, The Tortoise and the Hare (1993) from Whitman. This race goes around a lake. This version takes an unusual stance towards the hare: "But he has run too fast. He is tired and his feet hurt." In keeping with this approach, the tortoise declares after the race that he won because he took his time. The sounds include the rabbit snoring and a cheerleading group comprising a skunk and a squirrel.

1998 Disney's Family Story Collection: 75 Fables for Living, Loving, & Learning. Adapted by Sheryl Kahn, Ann Braybrooks, Vanessa Elder, and Rita Walsh-Balducci. Foreword by Reverend Michael Catlett. First edition, Second printing. Hardbound. NY: Disney Press. $10.50 from Dodie Fritz, Hampstead, NC, through eBay, Sept., '08.

The stories here are generally three or four pages in length, with plenty of typical Disney illustrations. They are in six groups: stories about family, about honesty and integrity, about love and friendship, about courage and responsibility, about fairness and judgment, and about happiness. To my surprise, the several things Disney has done that actually are fables are not represented here! I refer especially to GA and TH. Of the first stories that I read, many are excerpts from longer Disney stories and movies. These certainly are moral tales. One could get a good view of American values from reading these stories. They are introduced by a minister who mentions faith but not God or Jesus.

1998 Donkey Trouble. Ed Young. Paperback. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Aladdin Picture Books: Aladdin Paperbacks: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. $4.95 in Oakland, July, '00.

See my comments on the hardbound version published by Simon & Schuster in 1995. This edition adds "Caldecott Medalist" underneath Ed Young's name on the cover. The back cover is no longer just the donkey's tail, but rather a detail of the scene in which the grandfather and boy are admonished while on the donkey's back, together with the obligatory commendations from critics.

1998 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. See 1992/98.

1998 Encyclopedia of Fable. Mary Ellen Snodgrass. Various illustrations. First edition, apparent first printing. Hardbound. Santa Barbara/Denver/Oxford: ABC-CLIO Literary Companion: ABC-CLIO. $35 from Book Alley, Pasadena, CA, March, '06.

This book has been a disappointment. I rejoiced to find it and have probably tried consulting it six or eight times, never to find helpful information. I have tried some experiments here in an attempt to keep an open mind. "Ade" does not show up in the offerings but has one reference in the index. "Steinhöwel" likewise does not have his own section but has two references in the index. Jean Anouilh gets no mention at all. I notice a nice collection of Aesopic images and aphorisms on 12-13. Babrius has a section of his own, but Avianus does not; he does get several references in the index and is included on 236-8 under "Latin Fable." There is a helpful list on 381-92 of major authors of fable and fable-based literature. That is followed, however, by a page of "Films of Fable" headed by "Alice in Wonderland," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "A Christmas Carol," and "Fastasia." Are those fables? I am glad to see Robert Louis Stevenson included, but wonder about the full-page illustration from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." My feeling is that I cannot rely on this book. 451 pages. 

1998 Fabeln. Herausgegeben von Almut Gaugler. Grandville. Hardbound. Guetersloh: Edition Deutsche Hausbuecher: Bertelsmann Club GmbH. Gift of Anne Pierro, July, '01. 

This edition very nearly reproduces another with the same title from 1995. It substitutes a composition cover including print and image for the earlier cloth cover with embossed print and a tipped-on picture. Its book number is not 032/02476 0 but rather 00879 7. Its paper stock is considerably thinner. Otherwise I find the books identical, and so I will repeat here my comments from there. This is an excellent anthology of German fable. I have read the first one-third, and find it delightful. The fables are far more accessible than I would have thought. Let me mention some of my favorites from this section. Boner's "Der Treffliche Saenger" (9) presents a singer who thinks he is excellent. He brings a woman to tears and asks her why. She answers that he reminds her of her dear dead ass! In Knonau's "Die Kuh und der Fuchs" each character wishes the other what she herself really wants (45). Gellert's "Der Guetige Besuch" is my old-time favorite about the visitor to a writer who asks how he can stand to be alone so much (77). The poet answers that he had never been so alone as he has been since his visitor arrived! "Geraechter Undank" on the same page tells of the cuckoo who wants to hear what people are saying about him. When he hears the answer "Nothing," he promises to get revenge on their ingratitude by speaking eternally about himself. I find Lichtwer particularly strong with fables like "Die Beraubte Fabel" (84) and "Wer Sich Entschuldigt, Klagt Sich An" (93). Gleim turns out to be heavily Aesopic in his fables. The stag who sees himself in the water escapes in Gleim's version (98). The Grandville illustrations, made for La Fontaine's fables, do not always fit perfectly the German fables with which they are matched here. Thus Grandville's ass carrying a religious image illustrates Gellert's story of a green ass who was the talk of the town for one day (60). Grandville's rich ass plundered by robbers serves as the image for Lichtwer's ass who finds one devoted follower who thinks that his voice is lovely (83).

1998 Fables Choisies de Jean de La Fontaine. Sylvie Charton. Paperbound. Miniature. Paris: Collection Le Trois-Demi: Editions Biotop. $3.50 from Louise Gauthier, Canada, through eBay, Sept., '03.

This miniature book follows upon Biotop's earlier miniature 11 Fables de La Fontaine (1993), featuring the illustrations of Olivier Le Pahun. Here there is only the cover illustration, repeated in black-and-white as frontispiece, by Sylvie Charton. It shows an owl, apparently suspended among reeds, reading a book. The cover presents a pleasing combination of purple, tan, and green. There are ten fables inside, with a beginning T of C, labeled "Sommaire." The book measures about 1" x 1¼". There are 75 pages plus advertisements at the back. Though the spine reads "Fables Tome 2," there is no indication in the book that it is a second volume of a set. 

1998 Fables de La Fontaine: Fables adaptées pour les petits à partir de 3 ans avec images adhésives. Traduction: Lucie Mollof. Illustrations: Stefania Piazza. Large eight-page pamphlet. Printed in Italy. "Colle et décolle les jolies images adhésives." PML Éditions: Éditions d'Olympe. 15 Francs from Maxi-Livres, Poitiers, August, '99.

Originally done, apparently in Italian, by Gruppo EdiCART in Legnano in 1997. There are four verse stories here (though not La Fontaine's own text), for the first of which, FC, there are two pages of text and two almost identical scenes. For each of the other three (OF, "The Weasel in a Granary," and "The Lion in War") there is one page of text and one full page of an empty scene. There are twenty-nine different stickers which one can place on the scenes. The overly plump weasel makes a great little sticker, and one can have fun trying to hang the monkey onto one of the vines near King Lion's headquarters. Alas, there is no sticker for the post-explosion frog that has burst! Nice color work, and a great simple idea!

1998 Fables de Phèdre: Fables adaptées pour les petits à partir de 3 ans avec images adhésives. Traduction: Lucie Mollof. Illustratiions: Stefania Piazza. Large eight-page pamphlet. Printed in Italy. "Colle et décolle les jolies images adhésives." PML Éditions: Éditions d'Olympe. 15 Francs from Maxi-Livres, Poitiers, August, '99. Extra copy from the same source at the same time.

Originally done, apparently in Italian, by Gruppo EdiCART in Legnano in 1997. Four stories here, for the first of which, FS, there are two pages of text and two scenes. For each of the other three (WL, "The Cat and the Mouse," and "The Cock on a Litter") there is one page of text and one full page of an empty scene. "The Cat and the Mouse" presents the cat who has been so successful that he needs a ruse to capture more mice. He plays dead, and one mouse says "Even if you are dead, it is not us who will go to confirm it!" The irony is that Phaedrus' version of this fable (IV 2) has the cat disguising himself in flour, not as a corpse! There are thirty-nine different stickers which one can place on the scenes. Nice color work, and a great simple idea!

1998 Fables d'Esope: Fables adaptées pour les petits à partir de 3 ans avec images adhésives. Illustrations: Stefania Piazza. Traduction: Lucie Mollof. Large eight-page pamphlet. Printed in Italy. "Colle et décolle les jolies images adhésives." PML Éditions: Éditions d'Olympe. 15 Francs from Maxi-Livres, Poitiers, August, '99. Extra copy from the same source at the same time.

Originally done, apparently in Italian, by Gruppo EdiCART in Legnano in 1997. It is a delight to see the French presenting Aesop, because it happens so rarely. Four stories here, for the first three of which (TH, GA, FK) there is one page of text and one full page of an empty scene. The fourth story, TMCM, gets two pages of text and two different scenes. There are twenty-nine different stickers which one can place on the scenes. Nice color work, and a great simple idea!

1998 Fables from the Garden. Leslie Ann Hayashi. Illustrated by Kathleen Wong Bishop. Apparently first printing. Signed by Bishop. Hardbound. Printed in Singapore. A Kolowalu Book. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. $2.98 from Steve Downs, Lewes, DE, through eBay, Feb., '08. Extra copy, unsigned, for $12.95 from Powell's, Portland, July, '99.

Here are ten new fables, with clear didactic lessons popular today. So the first fable, "The Orchid and the Roses" (6), teaches that "Friends respect, appreciate, and even celebrate each other's differences." There is a moving moment in "The Dragonfly's Heart" (12) when a turtle first calls a dragonfly nymph a dragonfly. "Suddenly, somewhere in her heart, she knew it was true!" The book uses and presents visually Hawaiian fauna and flora. There are notes on 36-39 on the fauna, flora, and creatures presented in this book. Hayashi is a district court judge in Honolulu. The author and illustrator were childhood friends. I also have another of their books, "Fables from the Sea," done in 2000.

1998 Fables: Jean de La Fontaine.  Roland et Claudine Sabatier.  Paperbound.  Folio Cadet Rouge: Gallimard Jeunesse:  Gallimard.  $5 from an unknown source, July, '15.

This book puts a new cover on a book I had found previously in its 1995 form.  The bibliographical information facing the title-page gives the date of 1998 for this edition and mentions "Supplément réalisé avec la collaboration de Dominique Boutel et Anne Panzani."  It has not been easy for me to find what that "supplément" is. The front cover makes several changes: it removes the quotation of La Fontaine about his fables.  It adds "Folio Cadet" along a brown and yellow stripe that includes the spine and part of the back cover.  It colors peach the formerly white background of the WL scene.  It adds finally the two phrases near the bottom "Folio Cadet Rouge" and "Gallimard Jenuesse."  The back cover makes similar changes, including changing the ISBN number.  It mentions a "supplément illustré."  Might that be an additional item sold with this paperback book?  From the title-page to the last page, I do not find any differences.  Of course one will want to compare these illustrations with those done for the 1995 stamps issued by France.  They were done at the same time by the same artists.  I will include what I wrote about the 1995 version.  The fables are followed by very good tests and games.  I have not seen this much wit expended on fable illustrations in a while!  The grasshopper in GA is a one-animal band (5).  The fox plays the violin beneath the crow (6).  The wolf meeting the lamb carries a gun and wears an ammunition belt (15).  The weasel measures her own waist (37).  While the race goes on, the hare is flying a kite (55).  In successive stages of her walk, a hen and chicks, a pig, and a cow take the place of the jug on the milkmaid's head (57).  AI at the back.

1998 Fables of Spiritual Wisdom From Around the World. Retold by Ben Alex. Illustrated by Ruth Imhoff. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Copenhagen: Scandinavia Publishing House. 94.50 Philippine Pesos from Powerbooks, Manila, August, '03.

"Go to the animals and be wise" proclaims the introduction. There are twenty-five fables on some 68 pages here, chosen especially for their power to release people's potential rather than to deal with the realities and limitations of human life. This good introduction points to "two of the most peculiar human follies: that we notice weaknesses more readily in others than in ourselves; and that we like to accept a truth especially when we think we have discovered this truth ourselves" (3). Here the fables reveal less the "beast in me" and more "the best in me," less the instructional and more the inspirational. Generally each fable receives two pages, one of them a full-page colored illustration. New to me and very strong is Kierkegaard's "The Religious Geese" (10). Perhaps the most engaging of the pleasant illustrations here puts goggles on the flying geese as they ferry the turtle (20). Visually, the cruel thornbush on 29 is a delight! Both the illustration and the story are strong in "The Roar of Awakening" (45). "We are all tigers living here as goats. And the roar--that first roar we all must make--is called the roar of awakening" (47). "The Big Oven" (50) is a Tolstoy fable about a couple that dismantles their home to feed the oven with firewood. "The Wise Father" (56) is the basic story of the father, the many sons, and the bundle of reeds. But now the story hinges upon one arrow, and that arrow is broken into successively smaller pieces.

1998 Fábulas Metafísicas. Ricardo Radulovich. Paperbound. San José, Costa Rica: Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica. $20 from Libros Latinos, Redlands, CA, Nov., '99.

From what I can tell, what we encounter here is more "cuentos" than "fábulas." Eleven stories occupy 213 pages, as the beginning T of C makes clear. The back cover's blurb speaks of the honesty and iconoclastic character of this Costa Rican writing. I hope someday to make my way through it!

1998 Famous Aesop's Fables. Compiled and Edited by A.M. Batubalani. Paperbound. Loacan Publishing House. 50 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

The subtitles here are "With Moral Lessons" and "A Supplementary for the Students." Twenty-nine fables. Most follow a pattern of having one page each for text, illustration, and moral lessons. Errors and typos abound, as when the introduction speaks of the "many fables told by aesops, a greek." Not long after there is reference to "Hesoid." The illustrations are eclectic, to say the least. Many of them are photographs of the appropriate animal, without any reference to this story. "The Four Oxen and the Lion" shows photographs of a lion and of some deer.

1998 Famous Fables Treasury #1. Adaptation: Jane Brierley. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Printed in China. Montreal: Tormont Publications Inc. $0.97 from Kevin & Gina Reeves, Windsor, PA, through Ebay, August, '00. Extra copy, boxed with the other four booklets, all for $4.49 from Amy Snyder, Milton, PA, through Ebay, July, '00

Six fables are told here in a small format, hard-covered book: GA, FC, OF, WD, TMCM, and WL. The versions have a tendency to soften harsh endings. Thus the ant hands the grasshopper a broom and tells him that he will have to work for his supper. The ox himself is the interlocuter with the about-to-burst frog. The lamb at the end of WL "had to run for her life." This may mark the first time I have seen the lamb get out of this fable alive! The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. This booklet comes in a square box with four other fable booklets. The box itself has a nice set of five illustrations taken from the books.

1998 Famous Fables Treasury #2. Adaptation: Jane Brierley. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Printed in China. Montreal: Tormont Publications Inc. $0.97 from Kevin & Gina Reeves, Windsor, PA, through Ebay, August, '00. Extra copy, boxed with the other four booklets, all for $4.49 from Amy Snyder, Milton, PA, through Ebay, July, '00

Six fables are told here in a small format, hard-covered book: FS, OR, "The Lion and the Gnat," BC, LM, and AD. The oak of OR is very sympatico. The moral to BC seems to me very good: "We often think some plan is a wonderful idea--as long as we don't have [to] carry it out ourselves!" The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. This booklet comes in a square box with four other fable booklets. The box itself has a nice set of five illustrations taken from the books.

1998 Famous Fables Treasury #3. Adaptation: Jane Brierley. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Printed in China. Montreal: Tormont Publications Inc. $0.97 from Kevin & Gina Reeves, Windsor, PA, through Ebay, August, '00. Extra copy, boxed with the other four booklets, all for $4.49 from Amy Snyder, Milton, PA, through Ebay, July, '00

Seven fables are told here in a small format, hard-covered book: "The Wolf and the Stork," "The Greedy Weasel," FG, WSC, SS, "The Fox and the Billy-Goat," and "The Wolf, the Nanny-Goat, and the Kid." The moral of the last may be the best: "It never hurts to check twice!" The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. This booklet comes in a square box with four other fable booklets. The box itself has a nice set of five illustrations taken from the books.

1998 Famous Fables Treasury #4. Adaptation: Jane Brierley. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Printed in China. Montreal: Tormont Publications Inc. $0.97 from Kevin & Gina Reeves, Windsor, PA, through Ebay, August, '00. Extra copy, boxed with the other four booklets, all for $4.49 from Amy Snyder, Milton, PA, through Ebay, July, '00

Six fables are told here in a small format, hard-covered book: 2P, FWT, GGE, TH, "The Horse and the Donkey," and "The Heron and the Fish." Elsewhere in this series, I noted a tendency to soften harsh events in the fables. So here the donkey merely collapses after the horse refuses to share some of his burdens. The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. This booklet comes in a square box with four other fable booklets. The box itself has a nice set of five illustrations taken from the books.

1998 Famous Fables Treasury #5. Adaptation: Jane Brierley. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Printed in China. Montreal: Tormont Publications Inc. $0.97 from Kevin & Gina Reeves, Windsor, PA, through Ebay, August, '00. Extra copy, boxed with the other four booklets, all for $4.49 from Amy Snyder, Milton, PA, through Ebay, July, '00

Five fables are told here in a small format, hard-covered book: "The Weasel and the Bunny-Rabbit," MM, "The Monkey and the Leopard," "The Monkey and the Cat," and "The Two Stubborn Goats." Perrette runs into problems when she skips because she is thinking about having so much money. Her husband admonishes her later. The illustration for "The Monkey and the Cat" is striking. It also forms the cover of this book. The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. This booklet comes in a square box with four other fable booklets. The box itself has a nice set of five illustrations taken from the books.

1998 Favourite Fables: A Collection of Favourite Fables and Fairytales. After Stephanie Laslett (not acknowledged). Illustrated by Lorna Hussey, John James, Annabel Spenceley, Claire Mumford, Andrew Geeson, Helen Smith, Roger Langton and Helen Cockburn. Paperbound. Printed in Italy. Clifton, Briston: Parragon. See 1996/98.

1998 Fedro: Favole. Introduzione, Traduzione e Note di Fernando Solinas. Fourth printing. Paperback. Classici Greci e Latini. Printed in Italy. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. See 1992/98.

1998 Fiabe et Filastrocche. Autore A.A. and V.V. Paperbound. Printed in Caleppio Settala. Santarcangelo di Romagna: Gulliver: Opportunity Books, s.r.l. Lire 6000 from Scripta Manent, Rome, July, '98.

This forty-eight page book offers twenty-eight pieces, about twenty of which are fables. There is a T of C on 48 with two curiosities. First, it lists itself ("Sommario") at the end. Secondly, it gives page numbers for the works, but there are no page numbers in the book! The clue to finding the fables is to seek out the "Fiabe" in this T of C as opposed to the "Filastrocche" or nursery rhymes. The full-page colored art work is splashy and psychedelic: birds are pink and ducks purple. The animals are generally meant to be cute. They are often smiling and playing. I do not think that I have seen "The Cow on Ice" before (22). Fables not only live on; they get reproduced!

1998 Fifty More Fables of La Fontaine. Translated by Norman R. Shapiro. Illustrations by David Schorr. Hardbound. First printing Printed in USA. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. $25 from Capitol Hill Books, Denver, Sept., '98.

I like this book. The translations are lively, informed, occasionally arch. There are good notes at the back. Illustrations appear for perhaps half of the fifty fables, and they are frequently pairs of illustrations strategically located to highlight the fable and translation facing each other. Among the best of the illustrations are those for FK (30, 32), "The Deer and the Vine" (44-45), "The Mule Boasting of His Family Tree" (60-61), "The Sick Lion and the Fox" (74, 75, 77), and "The Matron of Ephesus" (146, 147, 154, 155). Schorr knows how to play with the fables. Do not miss his illustrations on the pages of notes on the translator and illustrator (168-9); he shows each at work. Did the two widows use scissors on the unsuspecting man (8-9)? Or did they perhaps pluck hairs imperceptibly while visibly scissoring? This fine book is a tribute to the fable tradition.

1998 Fifty More Fables of La Fontaine. Translated by Norman R. Shapiro. Illustrations by David Schorr. Paperback. First printing Printed in USA. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. $7.50 from The Avid Reader through Bibliofind, Sept., '98. Extra copy for $12.50 from The Book Stop, Tucson, AZ, Nov., '01.

See my comments under the hardbound version of the book.

1998 Forest Fables. Yuriko Nichols. Illustrated by Michelle Mallard. Paperbound. Melrose FL: Successful Reading Series: Common Sense Press. $6.40 from Adoremus Books, Omaha, July, '11.

Not to be confused with Forest Fables by Norm Lynch, published in 1973 by the Standard Publishing Company. That was a 16-page landscape-formatted Christian Comic book. This is a 36-page pamphlet offering five fables with line drawings covering part or all of some of the pages. These original fables make their points well. Badger puts off resewing a button onto her coat; eventually she has to replace all nine buttons because she has lost the loose one. A deer tests the grass on the other side of the river and finds that it is not greener. It is as though the author started in each story from a well-known proverb and then worked out a story to exemplify it. Raccoon helps beaver out with a book on dams: two heads are better than one. The printer of this book seems to have had trouble leaving margins and/or centering print on the pages.

1998 Four Fables. By Do She-Sun, translated collaboratively with David Cornberg. Paperbound. Printed in Taiwan. Anchorage, Alaska: Todd Communications. $11.95 from an unknown source, June, '99.

This paperbound work consists of two stories and two plays. I read the first story, "Birth." The narrator, an abortionist doctor, finds himself losing sexual desire and envying his successful colleague. A sexual episode with his nurse assistant seems to lead him to a dreamlike wandering search inside her body, from which he--with his rival colleague--can escape again only by being born. I do not find anything here that relates particularly to fables as I pursue them. The front and back covers of this work are cleverly paired: not only does the back cover's photograph show the back of the author, but the colored letters of the back cover are seen from the back in just the positions that they had on the front cover. Photographs before and a life after the four works introduce the reader to the author.

1998 Hans Christian Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes: An All-Star Retelling of the Classic Fairy Tale.  Karen Kushell.  Various.  First edition, first printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  NY: Harcourt Brace & Company/Starlight Foundation.  $9.19 from California, July, '13.

This large-format book is a fascinating tour de force!  Complete with an excellent CD read by outstanding actors and famous celebrities, it delves deeply into the story of the clothes that are not.  Anchorman among the narrators is a moth, played by Jay Leno.  Everybody and everything get into the act: advisors of every sort, the court wise man, holy man, and jester, the spinning wheel, spectacles, and mirror, and even the emperor's underwear!  In one of the best lines in the book, the boy's mother tries to silence him by saying "The clothes are flesh colored -- can't you see the pretty blue lines in the Empress's stockings?" (59).  Among the best illustrators are "The Imperial Mirror" (44) by Kinuko Y. Craft and "The Honest Boy's Mother" (58) by Fred Marcellino.  General Norman Schwarzkopf is the narrator for "The Imperial General" (65), who turns the plot against the evil Prime Minister and his scoundrel "weavers."  The parade becomes a charade to expose them.  I suspect that I am bending my definition of fable a bit to include this story.  This lovely book is one of the reasons why I am bending.  I will keep the CD with the book.

1998 Im Zauberreich der Tiere: Lieder, Gedichte und Erzählungen aus alter Zeit. Ausgewählt und zusammengestellt von Almut Gaugler für Jan Paul. Hardbound. Stuttgart: Verlagsgruppe Bertelsmann. Gift of Anne Pierro, Nov., '98. 

As the opening T of C shows, this book collects perhaps seventy old children's pieces, from simple rhymes for young children to extended fairytales. Grimm, Hey, Hoffmann von Fallersleben, and Trojan are among the most frequent contributors. Many of the pieces seem to be illustrated by the original or at least old-time black-and-white illustrations, including Doré and Grandville. Fables appear often enough along the way. I note that Hey's story of the fox and the goose is closer than many of his pieces to being an Aesopic fable (32). "Der Hahn und der Fuchs" by Ludwig Bechstein (111) has the fox declaring that the rooster is a prophet and that he would love to kiss the head of a prophet. The silly rooster believes him and loses more than his head! Bechstein also tells the story of the race between the hedgehog and the hare (114). Gleim's version of GA is on 181 with Grandville's illustration. At the end there is an AI including both titles and first lines, and then there is an AI of poets. There is a beautiful colored picture on the front cover that seems to me to depict "Musicians of Bremen."

1998 It Could Have Happened This Way: 15 Fables for the Young of Heart or Mind: 15 Picture-Stories Coloring Book: Fables with Morals, Suitable for Framing. By R. Stevens. Metairie, LA: Atometrics. $7 from Noal Shoemaker, New Orleans, through Ebay, Jan., '00.

The fifteen fables here are all etiological. The first few are "How the Turtle Got Its Shell," "Why the Snake Has No Legs," and "How Birds Got Their Feathers." The fables are assembled roughly in the format of a contemporary calendar, 8½" x 11" in landscape position. The simple illustrations take up about a quarter of each page (printed on one side), and thus the fables are told at some length. The snake lost his legs by getting too fat on woodpecker eggs; he was trapped at the entrance to the birds' nest, and the woodpeckers pecked off his legs! I enjoy the whimsy and imagination in "How Birds Got Their Feathers."

1998 Ivan Andreevich Krylov: Basni. Editor M.E. Phrid. Illustrations by A.M. Kanari. Hardbound. Moscow: Piligrim. $14.99 from Victor Romanchenko, Protek Trading Company, Ukraine, Feb., '06. 

Perhaps the first thing one notices when opening this children's book for the first time is the florid borders of two types, one favoring leaves and the other grapevines. Even the page-number is surrounded by a floral design. The illustrations are simple and playful. Among them, one of those I like best is for "Quartet" on 31. There is an illustration, usually a full page, about every four pages. The less known fable, "Mouse and Rat" (V 2), is pictured on 47, with the cat carrying away the lion! There is a T of C on 111-112 listing the fifty-three fables here.

1998 Josef Lada: Ezopské Bajky. Hardbound. Prague: SVU Manes/Vydala Gallery: Litografie Studio Franklin: Tisk Gema Art. SwF100 from Buchantiquariat Am Rhein, Basel, Sept., '05. 

Apparently this lovely book is a 1998 reprint of a work first done by Josef Lada in 1931. I believe that it was published then by SVU Manes in Prague. It is a large-format work with texts on left-hand pages and strong colored full-page illustrations on right-hand pages. The paper is very heavy; the pages support the heavily inked illustrations well. Besides the colored title-page of a smiling fox, there are twenty-one full-page illustrations. There is a pair of blank pages before the last text and illustration. Most of the fables are easily recognizable. Among the loveliest of these lovely illustrations is the early pair of pictures of the piping and then pipe-smoking fisherman. Several pages combine illustrations of two--apparently unrelated--fables. The style is very simple and appealing; the images remind me of those in Steinhöwel's Ulm version. Another favorite includes two panels to illustrate "The Nurse, the Child, and the Wolf." Perhaps the single most dramatic images are those of the fox bidding farewell to the unattainable grapes and the donkey licking his master's nose. Only the last pair of images is somewhat poorly executed by the printer. This is a lovely book!

1998 La Ratoncita-Niña y Otros Cuentos.  Leon Tolstoi; Traducción de Luz Amorocho.  Ilustraciones de Alekos.  Paperbound.  Barcelona: Torre de Papel: Grupo Editorial Norma.  See 1991/98.

1998 Le Piú Belle Fiabe di Esopo. Paperbound. Edizioni Gienne. Editoriale Zeus. Lire 12000 from Scripta Manent Trading, Rome, July, '98.

This is a 9¼" x 13¼" book of simple two-page fable spreads between cardboard covers. Each left-hand page has the same colored floral frame around its text. The nineteen fables include a number that are not on editors' usual short lists. I do not know if I have ever before seen an illustration for "The Bat, the Blackberry Bush, and the Seagull in Maritime Partnership." The art is very simple. Maybe the best illustration puts a great face on the ass about to hunt with the lion.

1998 Le Roman de Renart. Édition Publiée sous la Direction d'Armand Strubel, avec la Collaboration de Roger Bellon, Dominique Boutet et Sylvie Lefèvre. Hardbound. Paris: Bibliothèque de la Pléiade: Gallimard. $20 from an unknown source, Dec., '01.

Here is a fat, hefty little Pléiade volume of 1515 pages. The heart of the volume are the twenty-six "branches" of Le Roman de Renart, followed by "Autres Écrits Renardiens," and then notes on each of the above thirty-four items. Each of the note sets includes a general notice, a bibliography, and a discussion of variants. The branch texts are bilingual on single pages, with the contemporary prose translation above and the older verse original below. This is an excellent resource that sold originally for 470 Francs.

1998 Monkey Tales. Retold by Laurel Dee Gugler.  Illustrations by Vlasta van Kampen.  Paperbound.  Printed in Hong Kong.  Toronto/NY: Annick Press.  Can$3 from Contact Editions, Toronto, June, '03.

This large paperback edition has three stories.  The first is "The Pedlar's Caps."  The peddler loses his fifty caps to monkeys.  He gets more and more outraged in demanding them back--until he throws his cap on the ground in disgust.  The monkeys, who have been mimicking him, do the same, and he has his caps back.  "Big Monkey's Banana Trouble" is a version of "Tar-Baby."  "Big Monkey" gets stuck limb by limb to a wax effigy of a man with real bananas on his head.  He is released when all the monkeys beg the sun to melt the wax man.  The lesson, I believe, is that there are enough bananas for everyone.  "Cat, Dog and Monkey" has cat and dog fighting over food (here a lobster) and then agreeing to have monkey divide the food.  I think you know what happens from there…. 

1998 Narayana: The Hitopadesa. Translated from the Sanskrit with an introduction by A.N.D. Haksar. Apparently third printing. Paperback. Printed in Delhi. New Delhi: Penguin Classics: Penguin Books. $18 from Khazana: India Arts Online, Minneapolis, through ABE, Feb., '01.

See my comments on the Hitopadesa under the edition Animal Fables of India: Narayana's Hitopadesha or Friendly Counsel translated by Francis G. Hutchins (1985). The introduction here is good on the relationship to the Panchatantra. The four books here are "Gaining Friends," "Splitting Partners," "War," and "Peace." The frame stories here are skimpier than in the versions of "Kalila and Dimna" with which I am best acquainted. I again experienced the overwhelming retarding influence of the verse quotations. I was surprised at how misogynistic some of the texts are (e.g., Stanzas 114-122) and how graphic some of those and others are (e.g., Stanza 116). The bull here breaks a leg and is replaced at the beginning of the story of the friendship with the lion king. The bull is put in charge of the treasury (of meat?), and the jackals get less. There is a great deal of irony in this version, particularly in Bossy's (Dimna's) statements about some who gain favor by doing injury to the king (127). In this version, Bossy ends up victorious and happy. I am surprised at the number of stories I find here beyond those I know from either "Kalila and Dimna" or from the Panchatantra. One of the best is "The Merchant's Bride" (65), in which an unscrupulous ruler lusts after a young wife. He appoints her husband to a high position and commands him to bring young women to him night after night. He never touches a woman until the wife is brought…. Another is "The Intrusive Ass" (85) about an ass who wakes up his master because a burglary is going on; for this he receives a thrashing. The main character in "The Woman with Two Lovers" (112) cleverly gets one problem to solve the other. In "The Swan and the Crow" (146), a traveler is hosted by the title's pair of birds. When the sun comes up, the swan spreads his wings to give the guest shade. The traveler yawns, and the crow defecates into his mouth and flies off. The guest wakes up angry and shoots the swan. The main character in "The Quick-Witted Wife" (193), when caught kissing a servant, makes up a good story of smelling his mouth for the camphor he has allegedly been stealing. There is at the front of the book a detailed T of C listing all the stories. There are many typos in the book, e.g., "minster" (162, 224); "their" (192); "off" (194); and "upto" (196).

1998 One Hundred and One African-American Read-Aloud Stories. By Susan Kantor. Design by Liz Trovato. Paperbound. NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. $12.94 from Lisa Landry, Burke, VA through eBay, May, '09.

This hefty paperback -- about 8" x 9" and 416 pages long -- is divided by good categories: Myths and Fables; Fairy Tales; Folk Tales; Friends and Helpers; Hawk and Chicken Tales; Rabbit Stories; Liar, Fool, and Tall Tales; Biography; History; Slavery; Growing Up; and Songs and Poetry. The first section is predictably broad. Among the good fables I find here are "Anansi Gets What He Deserves" (20); "Why the Chameleon Shakes His Head" (22-23); "Nine Wild Dogs and One Lion" (a version of LS); and "A Quarrel Between Friends" (54-55). There is a whole lot of material beyond these fables!

1998 Phaedrus: Fabels. Vertaald en toegelicht door John Nagelkerken. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Amsterdam: Athenaeum: Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep. Gift of Gert-Jan van Dijk, June, '07.

Here is a lovely gift! I am happy first of all to see Gert-Jan mentioned in the bibliography at the end of the introduction, along with Ben Edwin Perry. It is challenging to try to hear Dutch by listening with one German and one English ear. That subtitle ends up meaning "Translated and explained by John Nagelkerken." "Toelichten" was not easy to pin down! The book is nicely set up. Each fable gets a new page. The commentary takes up some ten pages. There is an index then of proper names and then an index of "naamloze hoofdrolspelers." Might that be "major role players"? Gert-Jan was good enough to inscribe it for me.

1998 Prayers and Fables: Meditating on Aesop's Wisdom. William Cleary. Illustrations by Maureen Noonan. Paperbound. Kansas City: Sheed & Ward. Gift of the author, Jan., '05. One extra copy, from an unknown source.

This is one of the most fascinating books of fables I have seen in a long time. Each of the forty chapters here has six elements: a title, an illustration, a verse fable text, a moral, a prayer, and a psalm. I have some things to say about each element. The illustrations are pleasantly suggestive accompaniment to the more important word-presentations. Thus "The Canny Dog Out-Smarts the Thief" is illustrated by a picture showing the only the feet and mask of the thief (34). Among the best are those for "A Farmer Kills the Goose Who Lays Golden Eggs" (60), "A Gluttonous Mouse Gets Trapped in a Box" (68), "The Lion and the Mouse Exchange Favors" (94), and "The Deer Misjudges His Talents" (132). One can see from the titles I just presented that the helpful titles give the gist of the plot. The verse texts are generally well done. Thus, though SW is told in the poorer version (15), "The Wise Wasp Uncovers the Truth" (23) is told pointedly in eight lines. Cleary wisely makes the crow's pitcher half-full with water (31), and he has the crow consider breaking it (but he would lose all the water) and tipping it over (it is too substantial for him to tip it). The reed announces and even lays out his whole strategy to the foolish oak floating down the river (91). I do not find that it helps the story of the lioness' offspring to make her the judge in an argument among other animals (103). On the other hand, "The Tricky Donkey Gets Tricked" (123) is very well told. The bane of verse versions of fables is "poetic filler," and I find Cleary offending seldom. Both the morals and the prayers are surprising. The morals are creative and insightful. Thus the moral to GGE is "Don't let the perfect destroy the good" (61). The moral to OR is "It's better to bend the rules a little when they begin to stifle life" (91). After "The Deer Misjudges His Talents" we read "Embarrassing things about ourselves may be our greatest strength" (133). After "The Pigeons Choose a King" Cleary writes "Some solutions are worse than the original problem" (145). I believe that the prayers are the heart of this book. They are fresh, personal, and whimsical. In them Cleary can laugh at himself. These are prayers for today. Thus after reading about the bald knight who laughed over losing his wig, we find a "Prayer to Take One's Self Lightly" (8). Other prayers are prayers "Not to Be Narrow-Minded" (36), "to Win the Lottery" (62), "Not to Shame Others" (82), and "to Fear God Less" (92). There is a "Prayer in Defeat" (54), a "Prayer Before Dancing" (96), and a "Prayer for People I Dislike" (142). Those who find these prayers moving away from the fable may want to compare the most classic of English fable texts, Croxall's, to see the distance which his homily-like "applications" travel from the starting-point of the simple fable narrative. These prayers are not frivolous. As the culmination of considering what it would be like to be another Mother Teresa, Cleary asks God if God observes "How much fun it would be to have a mountain of spectacular accomplishments in my resume?" He then prays with remarkable honesty: "No, don't answer these unspoken prayers/from my false heart./Instead, Holy Wisdom, keep doing what you're doing:/creating me,/caring about me,/enjoying me./Amen." The last prayer typifies the spirituality of this profound little book: "Grant me a lightheartedness that defeats vanity,/loving compassion based in healthy self-esteem,/and an honest humility without pretense" (166). This is material I can pray with. For me, the psalms are the least successful and important part of the book. Often I have trouble seeing their pertinence, but that may be the effect of seeing plenty of pertinence in the preceding morals and prayers. The book is divided into four sections of ten fables each. The second of them has a fine title: "The Heart Makes More Decisions Than the Head" (43). This book is light-hearted from its beginning. In the introduction, Cleary prays "Grant, Holy Wisdom, that it be as much fun and as useful to the reader as writing it has been to its author" (ix). Cleary asks then for an "Amen," and this reader has no trouble supplying it. One can hope that the editors will catch the typos on 25, 83, 96, 115, and 146 before the next printing.

1998 Punchtantra: Parables for the 21st Century. Gautam Bhatia. Morals by Mohit Saryanand. Illustrations by Aditi Raychaudhury. Third printing. Paperback. New Delhi: Penguin Books: Penguin Books India. Aus$24.95 from India Ink (South Asia Books), Coburg, Australia, through ABE, May, '01.

"A wacky take-off on Vishnu Sharma's "Panchatantra," as the back cover proclaims. I am glad to see that the same back cover finds this work inspired by James Finn Garner's Politically Correct Bedtime Stories because the comparison is apt. This work presents in short form one story after another from the Panchatantra and then adds to each a parallel contemporary work heavy on social satire, perhaps five to eight pages in length. The flavor might come through best if we dive into the story of the two crows who could not have children because the eagle kept stealing their eggs. They were friends with a jackal. Over drinks and snacks "the crows revealed to him everything about their life: their desire for a normal two-parent-two-children household, their wish to live with dignity in a neighbourhood of their choice, their abhorrence of urban violence and religious fundamentalism, their hatred of hatred, their fears about racial discrimination, even their worries about the fluctuating stock market" (30). The social satire here, I believe, has less to do with India than with cutting-edge trend setters anywhere in the first world today. I read half of the book and enjoyed it thoroughly. There is a T of C for the twenty-six stories at the beginning.

1998 Puppet Play: The Tortoise and the Hare. Moira Butterfield. Hardbound. Des Plaines, IL: Heinemann Library: Reed Educational and Professional Publishing. $14.49 from B-Logistics, Denver, through eBay, Feb., '09.

This book helps children start from scratch on presenting TH as a puppet show. Chapters deal with making puppets, making props, and making a theater. The book gives plenty of help on who is speaking and what the puppets should be doing at any given time. Several developments of the story catch my attention. The hare, for example, says on 18 "I think I'll sit down and wait for Tortoise. I'll still win easily." A page later he says "I think I'll have a nap before winning." I am not so sure that the storyteller wants the hare to say either of these things! This may be the first time that I have seen the moon used to mark time in this story. I am intrigued to see the book's final illustration, since I have seen it often before and it does not seem to me to fit this story. Hare sits on top of tortoise's back. I suspect that that image comes from some other story. This book, according to the sticker on its back, once belonged to the "Mid-Continent Ublic Library"! This may also be the first time that I have seen a library use multiple stickers -- like those used as price tags in stores -- to mark the date due on the back of the
book.

1998 Reading Appreciation & Comprehension: Aesop's Fables. Adapted by Peter Howard. Illustrated by Penelope Wilson. Paperbound. Basic Skills: Junior Reading Series #152. Rose Bay, New South Wales: A Jim Coroneos Publication. $16.95 from Paladin Comics, Melbourne, Australia, through eBay, April, '04. 

"This book contains 20 Aesop's Fables adapted by the author to give reading practice at a reading age of approximately 6-8 years." The book is about 8: x 11". The twenty fables are handled according to a formula that involves a two-page text, set off by a simple black-and-white illustration or two. A page of questions follows. Here it is a woman who brings a snake in from the cold (31). In DS here, the kind butcher gives this dog one bone a day (49); when the dog loses the bone, he comes back but finds the butcher not willing to give him another one today. The clothing contrast of the mice in TMCM (7) is nicely done. Also good is the illustration of the horse who has to carry not only the donkey's load but the dead donkey's whole body (20)! The answers are placed conveniently in one double-page at the center of this pamphlet. A teacher can simply remove them from the booklet. The back cover, inside and out, presents a huge list of other study books.

1998 Reading to Learn About Fables and Tall Tales. Author: Kathleen Knoblock. Illustrator: Renée Yates. Oversize pamphlet. Printed in USA. Duncanville, TX: Bryan House Publishers, Inc. $2.87 from Kim Douglas, Baytown, TX, through Ebay, July, '00.

Here is a set of reproducibles, ready to be torn out and duplicated, for the third and fourth grades. The booklet offers quick distinctions among fairy tale, fable, folk tale, and tall tale. There is a quick introduction to Aesop. Then each of twenty fables gets a page for a design, a narrative, and some questions. Eight pages of "Comprehension Check-Ups" follow. The design for BC shows four of the five mice dancing for joy (4). One of two designs for WSC (5) shows the wolf in the cooking pot with flames underneath. A very contemplative lion has the pleading mouse by its tail (10). Yates does a good job with the reflection in DS (18). WS (20) is told in the poorer form. The questions initiate exercises involving sequencing, analysis, interpretation, vocabulary, and other phases of reading.

1998 Reineke Fuchs: Die Geschichte von Reineke Fuchs nach J.W. von Goethe. Janosch. Hardbound. Cologne: Serges Medien. $10 from an unknown source, July, '01.

This is a delightful, playful Reynard done with Janosch's own light-hearted artwork. The original is of course developed or slanted somewhat here. It all starts in that golden age when King Nobel and his queen ruled over absolute peace, except of course for that bastard Reynard! In the midst of one of their monthly moon-feasts, the cat breaks into the fun and announces that Reynard has--again--stolen his wife. The accusations pile up, though the badger objects to every accusation and points out its flaws. The fox owes him some debts, and he wants the fox alive and able to pay them! Other great stories come to the light, like the throwing of fish off the cart, the trapping of a bear in a tree, and the freezing of a wolf's tail in ice. Of course Reynard gets free in the end and even becomes a minister of the dim-witted Nobel. Fun!

1998 Scenes from Animal Life: Nine Pairs of Fables for the Enneagram Types. Waltraud Kirschke; Translated by Sister Isabel Mary SLG. Illustrations by Dee Lane. Paperbound. Oxford: SLG Press: Convent of the Incarnation. $5.70 from Pima, Shropshire, UK, through abe, April, '05.

Copyrighted in German by Claudius Verlag Munich as Enneagramms Tierleben: 2 x 9 Fabeln. This is one of those books that cost twice as much to have sent as to buy. It is worth it on both counts! I have read the first four fables--on enneagram types 1 and 2--as well as the two fables on type 8. The stories are perhaps more finely worked, more layered, and more complex than fables usually are, but they are instructive. My favorite is the sad tale of the cat, a type 2, who has helped everybody in the household and farm and then feels forsaken and leaves when she finds another cat in the kitchen. Actually, the family was just taking care of someone else's cat for a week. There may be many of us who can learn the enneagram types better through stories than we can through long descriptions or lists of characteristics. In any case, I found that the stories have even more effect if one reads them first and then consults a standard description of the particular type represented there. This promises to be a helpful book. It also makes me want to consult more of the work of Manfred Kyber.

1998 Squids will be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables. Jon Scieszka. Illustrated by Lane Smith. Designed by Molly Smith. Printed in USA. First printing of first edition. NY: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers: Viking. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '98. Extra of the first printing for $12.59 from Amazon.com, Sept., '98.

A thoroughly delightful book squarely in the Aesopic tradition and great for young people. This is a book I would think of giving to Sonja. Eighteen fables, more or less, illustrated in the tradition I love from their earlier "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales." Elephant comes back three times with mosquito, flea, and gnat respectively. The title fable may be one of the best. "gee … I wonder" is very close to Aesop in its bearing. "straw & matches" is downright Thurberesque in moving the story around to fit the proverbial moral. My favorite: "little walrus." "hand, foot, & tongue" starts out looking very close to Aesop, but then…. The "very serious historical afterword" points out that Aesop was thrown off a cliff for his fables; moral: "If you are planning to write fables, don't forget to change the people into animals and avoid places with high cliffs."

1998 Tales from Aesop's Fables.  Retold by Stephanie Laslett.  Illustrated by Lorna Hussey.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Bristol, England: Nursery Classics:  Parragon Publishing.  $5 from an unknown source, June, '99.

This book is identical in many ways with a book already in the collection but dated 1999.  The publisher, title, series, and author remain the same.  The illustrator is now acknowledged: Lorna Hussey.  She was not mentioned in the 1999 version.  The dust-jacket and cover have both changed their format and image, from TMCM there to TH here.  In either case, the dust-jacket replicates the format and image of the cover.  The location of the publisher has changed, as has the book's ISBN number.  Formatting of elements like the title-page and its verso have changed slightly.  My!  As I wrote there, this book fits between smaller and larger versions already published by Parragon.  It is first a larger version of the mini classic The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse And Other Aesop's Fables, listed under "1994?"  What is different?  First, the page size.  All the pages are blown up from 3 March, '8" x 4¼" in that version to 4½" x 5_" in this one.  Second, the number of stories has increased from three to nine, the same nine that appear in the same publisher's larger Aesop's Fables of 1996.  Thirdly, a T of C is added at the front.  Fourthly, several other elements are added: a title-page and detailed illustrations of the main characters, all generated from illustrations offered during the story, in TMCM; larger titles in LM and FC; and a final detail illustration in FC.  What was called "Aesop" at the back of the smaller book has become, with the loss of its first sentence, a "History" of fables at the front of the larger book.  This larger book has lost the page-numbers that we find in the smaller one.  By comparison with the larger Aesop's Fables of 1996, this book has all the same illustrations but adds many more to each story.  More of Laslett's text appears than had appeared in that book, and she is acknowledged here.  Hussey, by contrast, is not acknowledged here.  Hussey's art may show off to best advantage in this middle-sized format.  I like especially the expressions that she puts on the tortoise's face.  DLS gives a great deal of attention to the killing of the lion; Hussey's several depictions of the dressed-up donkey are very good.  The fox without a tail, once shamed in public, "slunk away into the deepest depths of the forest and there as the days passed he learned to live without his tail and no-one thought any the worse of him."

1998 The Ant and the Grasshopper. Adapted by Maissa Bessada. Illustrated by Denis Gagné. False. False. Printed in China. Four Fantastic Fables by Aesop. Irvine, CA: DS-Max; ©1997 Bessada Gagné. $0.99 from Victoria Kadische, Costa Mesa, CA, through Ebay, Sept., '01.

This is one of a set of four books that come in a carrying-case with a matched green and maroon pattern. Each booklet has a stiff cover and sixteen slick pages. The same pattern occurs across the page-tops inside each book. There are some fascinating compromises and liberties in Bessada's version of the story. Good-time Grasshopper spends every day playing his miniature guitar and singing. Agatha Ant actually picks up the grasshopper's suggestion to notice the new robin baby and talk to the family. She takes small breaks and enjoys the summer more than any she can remember. Then things happen quickly. The grasshopper waves to some birds flying south, takes a nap, and wakes up covered in snow! His guitar is lost under the snow. Agatha gives him one meal in her one-person home, and then he has to go right back out into the cold. In the end, I am not sure that the compromises work. It is nice to see the ant learn to enjoy things but strange to see her alone. Does the fable have its proper punch when it closes with the grasshopper's statement that he will change his ways next year?

1998 The Ark in the Garden: Fables for Our Times. Collected by Alberto Manguel. Illustrations by Barry Blitt, Shelagh Armstrong-Hodgson, Jeff Jackson, Jamie Bennett, Gary Clement, and Sandra Dionisi. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Canada. Toronto: Macfarlane Walter & Ross. $22.00 from Purpora Books, Burnaby, BC, Jan., '99.

There are six fine satirical works in this collection. "A Christmas Lorac" by Margaret Atwood stands Dickens on his head in a chilling reversal. "The Ark in the Garden" by Timothy Findley is a fine redoing of James Thurber's "The Unicorn in the Garden." "Come, Said the Eagle" by Neil Bissoondath is a strong feminist story about a family's incomprehension of its one woman. "The Axe and the Trees" by Jane Urquhart may be closest to a fable. The axe destroys the forest for profit, and ultimately destroys itself. "From Plus-Fours to Minus-Fours" by Rohinton Mistry I found whimsical but alienating. A society of kite-flyers and mountain-climbers becomes dominated by golfers. "The Banana Wars" by Yves Beauchemin (translated by Alberto Manguel) takes us through several phases of domination by Big Foot monkeys over Long Hand monkeys, complete with two successive dictators. The writing and art are both lively. I am happy to have another book that is specifically Canadian in the collection.

1998 The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Retold by Jenny Giles. Illustrated by Naomi C. Lewis. Paperbound. Austin TX: Rigby PM Traditional Tales and Plays: Harcourt Achieve Corporation. $8.30 from Amazon.com, May, '11.

This booklet seems related to The Donkey in the Lion's Skin: An Aesop's Fable though this booklet is in a slightly different format and seems to be from Rigby PM and not Rigby PM Plus. The date and artist are also different: 1998 and Naomi Lewis here versus 2001 and Pat Reynolds there. Like that booklet, this was originally published in Australia by Nelson Thomson Learning. This is a small (6¾" x 8¼") portrait-formatted pamphlet of 32 pages. In this version, young Josef is helped by his father and other village men when he calls for help. When they see no wolf, he says that the wolf went away when it heard them coming. The pattern repeats on a second day. By the third day, they grow angry with Josef. They assure him that they will not respond again. On the fourth day, a whole pack of wolves shows up. Though the rest of the town simply ignores Josef as he runs among them, his father goes up to the flock with him. There they see that most of the sheep have been killed. Josef feels sad and sorry. The illustrations here may be especially helpful for showing the townsfolk, their occupations, and their reactions to Josef before, during, and after his lying episode. The text is followed by the same story in the form of a drama, with nine parts to be played. I had asked of the DLS reader whether there might be other fables in the series. Here is something of an answer.

1998 The Crow's Fine Feathers. Adapted by Maissa Bessada. Illustrated by Denis Gagné. Pamphlet. Printed in China. Four Fantastic Fables by Aesop. Irvine, CA: DS-Max. ©1997 Bessada Gagné. $0.99 from Victoria Kadische, Costa Mesa, CA, through Ebay, Sept., '01.

This is one of a set of four books that come in a carrying-case with a matched green and maroon pattern. Each booklet has a stiff cover and sixteen slick pages. The same pattern occurs across the page-tops inside each book. Here Cornelius the crow looks in the mirror each morning and finds himself handsome. He even keeps a mirror in his pocket. The assemblage of peacock feathers he puts together looks like a fur coat, as one sees on 9 and on the cover. It takes just one round of laughter and taunting from the other crows to convince Cornelius that his black suit really was dignified. When he returns to the other crows the next day to play with them, they all fly away. He learns not to care when he loses his mirror. He starts to think of others and becomes a revered crow.

1998 The Emperor's New Clothes.  Hans Christian Andersen; Retold by Christine San José.  Illustrated by Anastassija Archipowa.  First printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Honesdale, PA: Caroline House: Boyds Mills Press.  $8 from Milwaukee, May, '14.  

Copyright Esslinger Verlag J.F. Schreiber, Vienna.  Who knows if I have crossed a border into something other than fable in including this book and this story.  The story keeps growing on me, and this book is part of the reason.  The story sets up the emperor as interested only in clothes, especially new clothes that he could show off.  The faithful old prime minister is the first asked by the king to view the cloth that the two swindlers are weaving, cloth that cannot be seen by anyone who is stupid.  "Well at least I'll not be so stupid as to let anyone know I am."  The empty loom figures in illustration after illustration in this large-format book.  Next is the Master of the Imperial Wardrobe.  Third of all is the Emperor himself, with all his lords and ladies.  Thereupon he even names the swindlers "Master Crafters of the Emperor's Empire."  One of the book's best pictures is the Emperor's first look at himself in the mirror as he is clad in his new robes.  Equally good is the next pair of pages showing him marching under the canopy as trumpeters play.  As we open the final two pages, we see on the right page the two swindlers lurking away with huge bags of gold over their shoulders.  On the left we see a child, who says "He's got nothing on!"  This repeated sentence soon grows to a roar among the crowd.  The lords and ladies, however, follow the emperor's lead: "The procession must go on."  They "kept their eyes on the cloth that was not there."  The exiting swindlers' picture turns out to be the end of the story.  Well done!  Reinforced trade edition.

1998 The Fox & the Rooster: A Fable from Aesop. Illustrated by Charles Santore. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First printing. Printed in USA. NY: A Little Dipper Book: Random House. $7.99 from Jabberwocky Children's Book Store, Fredericksburg, VA, Dec., '98.

This small volume adds a phase to the story of UP: The fox tries to get to the rooster first by climbing the fortress wall and then by climbing a staircase. There is a second oddity here: there really are dogs coming! The fox is sure that the rooster is trying to trick him until he hears them coming. Santore's best illustration has the fox looking off left out of the corner of his eye as he hears them. I am not sure how this telling justifies the observation that the rooster "had outfoxed the fox." Two other fine illustrations include that of the fawning fox inviting the rooster down to begin their friendship--and the cover picture, best presented in the dust jacket's full spread.

1998 The Hare and the Tortoise: A Fable from Aesop Retold & Illustrated by Helen Ward.  Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Belgium. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press. $15.95 from Half Price Books, Dallas, Dec., '00.

This is a sideways (landscape) book of considerable artistic appeal. The color work is excellent. A new emphasis in this work lies on all the other animals involved. The inciting incident happens when the careless hare trips over the tortoise and tumbles into a thorny bush. The noise attracts a crowd. The hare insults the tortoise, who says nothing in return except to challenge him to a race. It is when the hare is leaping from stone to stone across the river that he finds the tortoise rowing across more easily. Next the hare finds himself moving through a "forest" (of larger animals' legs) that leaves him scratched and tired when he reaches its other side. So he decides to take a nap. The hare awakens, checks for the tortoise (who is not in sight), and takes time for a long lunch. The hare crosses the finish line too late but is running too fast to stop and falls into an even thornier bush than before. "But this time he said nothing." The last few pages are a key to the various animals pictured along the way. Well done!

1998 The Hare and the Tortoise: Teeny Tiny Pop-Up. Story adapted by Robyn Bryant. Illustrated by Eric Plouffe. Hardbound pop-up. Printed in China. Tormont Publications Inc. $1.37 from Downtown Walk-In Book Sale, Cleveland, April, '99.

A humane little book with stiff covers and five pop-up scenes. My favorite scene is at the middle. In it the rabbit stops by a roadside stand for a snack. The tortoise is female. She learns to stick to her plans and to head straight for her goal. This version adds a final lesson, "that boasting might make you look very silly in the end!" It was of course a delight to find this book first on an afternoon of playing hooky from the CAMWS Annual Meeting!

1998 The King with Dirty Feet and Other Stories from Around the World.  Compiled by Mary Medlicott.  Illustrated by Sue Williams.  First printing.  Paperbound.  NY: Kingfisher.  $4.95 from Powell's on Burnside, Portland, August., '13.  

Of the six stories here, I think the first two qualify as fables.  "The King with Dirty Feet" is really an etiological story (11).  A king who never takes baths finally bathes in the river but then finds that he cannot keep his feet clean.  The solution tends to be laying down leather over the whole surface of the earth until a clever man shows him how to cut sandals out of the leather.  "Clever Rabbit and King Lion" by Amoafi Kwapong is listed as a story from Ghana (11).  It is the old Panchatantra story about leading an angry lion to water, but this version does not involve "regulated sacrifice.  Clever Rabbit first asks for a week to fatten herself up for the devouring King Lion.  Clever Rabbit speaks of a bigger lion competing with King Lion.  On the way to confronting him, Clever Rabbit sings, dances, and skips.  The water here is a lake.  This oversized paperback has colorful illustrations.  The best in these two sections may show the land covered with leather (8).

1998 The Lion and the Mouse. Retold by Gare Thompson. Illustrated by Thomas Boll. Apparent third printing. Paperbound. Austin: Pair-It Books, Stage 3: Steck-Vaughn Company. $5.94 from Barb's People Builders, Templeton, CA, through TomFolio, May, '08.

This is a large-format, sixteen-page pamphlet. Its version of the story brings several novelties. First, the mouse does not stumble across the sleeping lion; rather, he is in the lion's path after the lion has roared. He has not run away in fear like the other animals. When the lion asks why he should not eat the mouse, he hears "I could be your friend" (6). The lion answers that he does not need a tiny thing like the mouse as his friend. He even adds "I don't need friends!" (8). Other animals tell the mouse how lucky he has been not to be eaten. The mouse sees the trap as it is being made and wonders what to do, but just then the lion gets caught. The other animals do not want to help the lion because they fear being eaten. The lion first tells the mouse to go get help, but the mouse answers that he himself can help. And he does. Moral: "A true friend is a friend that helps you" (16). The cover repeats the final picture: the lion is licking the mouse.

1998 The Lion and the Mouse. Adapted by Maissa Bessada. Illustrated by Denis Gagné. Printed in China. Four Fantastic Fables by Aesop. Irvine, CA: DS-Max; ©1997 Bessada Gagné. $0.99 from Victoria Kadische, Costa Mesa, CA, through Ebay, Sept., '01.

This is one of a set of four books that come in a carrying-case with a matched green and maroon pattern. Each booklet has a stiff cover and sixteen slick pages. The same pattern occurs across the page-tops inside each book. Mini Marvin Mouse is bringing home a big piece of cheese for his family--so big that he cannot see in front of him as he trips over the lion's toes. There are a couple of unusual touches here. For example, Leo comes crashing down when Mini Marvin has gnawed through the cords of the net suspended from a tree. The lion opens his mouth and lifts Mini Marvin up--to lick him with a big kiss! As Mini Marvin rides off on Leo's back, we read that a little patience will sometimes accomplish more than a lot of roaring. Is that really the point of the story, even as it is told here?

1998 The Lion and the Mouse. Gail Herman. Illustrated by Lisa McCue. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: Early Step into Reading: Random House. $2.50 from Idle Time Books, Washington, DC, Jan., '99.

Part 1, "Little Mouse," opens with two great two-page spreads: "Big Lion" and "Big Trouble." There is a good laughing lion on 11. Part 2 starts with "Big Lion. Big net." When you turn the page, you find "Big, big trouble!" The final two-page spread of the lion carrying the mouse on his head into the sunset is splendid. This little book has perhaps the boldest moral I have seen for this fable: "Always help others." Perhaps the poorest illustration is the squinting one on the cover! I found this hardbound version shortly after I had ordered the paperbound version from Barnes and Noble.

1998 The Lion and the Mouse. Gail Herman. Illustrated by Lisa McCue. Paperbound. Printed in USA. NY: Early Step into Reading: Random House. $3.19 from Barnes and Noble, Dec., '98.

See my comment on the hardbound version, which I found just after I had ordered this book from Barnes and Noble on the web.

1998 The Lion and the Mouse.  Gail Herman.  Illustrated by Lisa McCue.  11th printing.  Paperbound.  NY: Step into Reading:  Random House.  $3.50 from A1Books, Netcong, NJ, April, '05.

Here is a later printing, and indeed a later version, of a book already in the collection, though I can find no acknowledgement that this later printing came at a later date.  The format of both covers has changed, inside and out, as has the "Note to Parents."  Now this book is identified as "Step 1" on its cover and title-page.  The series seems to have changed from "Early Step into Reading" to "Step into Reading."  The interior of the presentation seems the same.  Here is what I wrote back then: Part 1, "Little Mouse," opens with two great two-page spreads: "Big Lion" and "Big Trouble." There is a good laughing lion on 11. Part 2 starts with "Big Lion. Big net." When you turn the page, you find "Big, big trouble!" The final two-page spread of the lion carrying the mouse on his head into the sunset is splendid. This little book has perhaps the boldest moral I have seen for this fable: "Always help others." Perhaps the poorest illustration is the squinting one on the cover! I found this hardbound version shortly after I had ordered the paperbound version from Barnes and Noble.

1998 The Monkeys and the Mango Tree: Teaching Stories of the Saints and Sadhus of India. Harish Johari. Illustrations by Pieter Weltevrede. Paperbound. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions. $7 from an unknown source, August, '02.

This book lies on the very edge, I would say, of a fable collection. It focuses on saints and saintliness. The back cover claims that the book "can be read as an exotic Aesop's Fables, as a source of classic wisdom, or as a simple and memorable introduction to the stories of the most spiritual civilization on earth." The sampling of stories I have read suggests that some stories at least may have a fable quality to them. The title story may come closest to being a fable among those I read. Monkeys eat mango but are assaulted by the tree owners. They meet and decide to create their own mango tree. So they get one piece of fruit intact and plant it. After watching for a few minutes, and then a few hours, and finally a few days and finding no tree coming up, they dig up the mango and learn that they do not have the patience to grow trees. The first story, "The Bird of Prosperity" (7), has elements of a fable but becomes too complex for a fable, I believe. A family from a starving town leaves but soon finds itself in the forest with no food. However, they work together to prepare the necessities for dinner and even capture a bird. The bird pleads for his life and promises food. He shows them to a mango tree and then gives them a huge treasure. The family returns to the town. The next day, the neighbors try the same approach, but they do not work together, and the bird of prosperity refuses them.

1998 The Tortoise and the Hare. Adapted by Maissa Bessada. Illustrated by Denis Gagné. Pamphlet. Printed in China. Four Fantastic Fables by Aesop. Irvine, CA: DS-Max; ©1997 Bessada Gagné. $0.99 from Victoria Kadische, Costa Mesa, CA, through Ebay, Sept., '01.

This is one of a set of four books that come in a carrying-case with a matched green and maroon pattern. Each booklet has a stiff cover and sixteen slick pages. The same pattern occurs across the page-tops inside each book. The hare trips over the tortoise. Perhaps he had been running backwards. He does that, claiming that even backwards he is the fastest runner around. At the race's starting-point vendors are selling all sorts of things, from peanuts to t-shirts. During the race, the hare returns to see where the tortoise is and runs around him taunting. The hare tells the crowd near the finish line that finishing the race would be boring. He plans to take a nap and fly past the tortoise when he gets close. When the tortoise approaches the finish line, everyone is quiet. A bunny holding a "Hare Power" sign faints with a loud thud. That thud wakes up the hare. The tortoise proclaims in his victory speech "It doesn't matter how slow or fast you are, as long as you do your best" (15). The frustrated hare keeps running back and forth on the race path to show how fast he is, but no one pays attention to him.

1998 The Tortoise and the Hare. Betty Miles. Illustrated by Paul Meisel. Paperbound. Printed in USA. NY: Ready-to-Read Aladdin Paperbacks: Simon & Schuster. $3.99 from Story Monkey, Omaha, Oct., '98.

This is a fine little reader for those beginning to read. Both Miles and Meisel put plenty of good helps into the story, down to the initial letters on each of the competitors' shirts. Cheering insects hold encouraging signs for the tortoise, who trudges through a full day and a night. The hare changes postures several times in his all-night sleep-through. The tortoise has spectacles, and in the final ceremony is crowned with becoming laurel. Among too many fable books appearing every year, here is a good one!

1998 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse: An Aesop Fable Retold & Illustrated by Bernadette Watts. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Belgium. NY/London: North-South Books. $15.95 from Jabberwocky Children's Book Store, Fredericksburg, VA, Dec., '98.

©1998 by Nord-Süd Verlag AG, Gossau Zürich and first published in Switzerland under the title Stadtmaus und Landmaus. This lovely edition has lots in it that is different from the traditional story, starting with the CM's ability to look across the meadow to the town. She thus goes to town not because she is invited but because she is curious about what city mice eat. The TM rescues her as she finds herself scurrying around distraught. A great illustration shows the underground passage through which she is led. Finally she is led to a kitchen where many mice are devouring all sorts of food. The CM eats so much cheese that she gets a stomachache. She sleeps in town, but soon asks--without any attacks previously or now--to go back home. A few days later the TM visits her with a gift of some cheese. The CM's home seems so small to the TM. She likes the berries which she is fed, but prefers her own home. At the end, "each went her own way, back to the home she loved." This is probably the least violent TMCM that I have read.

1998 Tomás de Iriarte: Fábulas literarias. Edición de Angel L. Prieto de Paula. Segunda Edición. Paperbound. Madrid: Letras Hispanicas: Catedra. $8 from Norman Miller, Corozal, PR, through eBay, Sept., 10.

This seems a very careful edition of the seventy-six fables of Iriarte, with helpful notes. Few illustrations grace this paperback: a portrait of Iriarte on 12, and facsimiles of the title-pages of his published fables on 59, 102, and 110. On 115, one finds a facsimile of the beginning of his prologue. I cannot find any list of these additions. The book came to me with the receipt from its purchase at Borders in San Juan still in the book. 

1998 Two Greedy Bears. Adapted from a Hungarian Folk Tale by Mirra Ginsburg. Pictures by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey. First printing. Pamphlet. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Aladdin Paperbacks: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. $2.99 from Strand Books, NY, Jan., '99.

This story uses a popular fable motif. Two competitive bear cubs keep trying to outdo one another. After several rounds of their vying, they come across a large cheese but do not know how to divide it fairly. They immediately shout that one portion is bigger than the other. A clever fox offers to adjudicate their dispute. She does so by biting off a chunk of the cheese proclaimed larger by the two. Of course that makes the other piece now larger, and she needs to bite off a chunk of that. The fox divides until she can eat no more and then tosses what is left to the cubs, wishing them good appetite. What is left is two crumbs of cheese, tiny but equal.

1998 Von Tieren und Menschen. Eugen Drewermann. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Zurich: Walter Verlag. Gift of Frau Dr. Luge Frese, Heidelberg, August, '07.

This book of 128 pages contains twenty-seven "modern fables" after the sense of fable Drewermann espouses. There is a preface and there are sixteen colored photographs. Drewermann's "Vorwort" gives his sense of fable. "It is impossible, therefore, to want to tell fables after the fashion of Aesop, Leonardo, La Fontaine, or Lessing.. Instead of falsely humanizing animals and animalizing humans, it seems more appropriate to observe both in their specificity and differences.. When we observe animals, a good deal occurs to us that can help us to shape our lives. So there is still a "fabula docet," but no longer in the sense of the raised pointing finger but rather in the sense of psychotherapeutic wisdom, no longer in the caricature of a wink of the eye, but much more in the perception of a world in which we both, men and animals, inseparably belong" (8). He closes the introduction this way: "Fable is dead. But: long live fable" (9). His fables are thus stories of animals whom he has experienced personally and through which he, openly or otherwise, finds his beliefs announced. Some of these agree or disagree with Catholic beliefs. He thus reflects on the organization of a flock of crows and finds them not following a hierarchical leader but rather organizing themselves very effectively by following such simple rules as keeping distance from others, following the speed of those around you, and going where most of them go. I personally found the first few stories, which I read, engaging but far from fables. Almost all the Germans I talked with were amazed that Drewermann wrote fables.

1998 Von Tieren und Menschen. Eugen Drewermann. Fotos: Eugen Drewermann. 2. Auflage. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Zurich: Walter Verlag. €8 from Antiquariat Rohde, July, '07.

I knew I had a second copy of this book, and now that I see that it is the second edition, though still in the publication year of 1998. For this copy, let me write what I wrote last summer. I have read the first two pieces and the introduction. That is enough for me to know that Drewermann is offering something quite different from fables in the traditional sense. He seems to think that this genre, by the way, is dead -- but that fables, in his new and especially psychological sense, are quite alive. These are highly reflective personal experiences of animals which allow valuable reflection on human reactions that are just like those of the animals in question: a parakeet and a pet dog, in the first two stories.

1998 Words of Wisdom: Russian Folk Tales from Alexander Afanasiev's Collection. Illustrated by Alexander Kurkin. Hardbound. Moscow: Raduga Publishers. Gift of Tim and Maryanne Rouse, Oct., '00.

The forty-two stories in this lovely book move quickly from the simpler fable-like stories into longer, more complex, magical fairy tales. They also move to more and more specific names. Seven of the first eight qualify for consideration as fables, including "The Peasant, the Bear, and the Fox"; "The Crane and the Heron" (new to me and delightful); "The Sheep, the Fox and the Wolf"; "Silly Old Grey Wolf"; "Mistress Fox the Confessor"; "Mistress Fox the Midwife"; "A Hen for a Shoe, a Goose for a Hen"; and "The Bubble, the Straw and the Bast Shoe." The black-background Russian art is lovely; a good sample shows the fox and wolf together in two different scenes on 20.

1998 Yo, Aesop! Get a Load of These Fables. Paul Rosenthal. Illustrated by Marc Rosenthal. First printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Simon & Schuster. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, June, '98.

The liveliness of this book begins from the front cover's pictures of the traditional fox, grasshopper, and lion with these comments respectively: "Won't find him here…not in this book…nope." It continues through "Meet Mr. Aesop," which includes the comment that Aesop and Croesus "used to wander the countryside challenging people to spell their names" (viii). The nine fables handle traditional fable themes in highly contemporary ways. For their subjects they take such as "Feathers, Frisbees, & Flying Salami" (1). After each fable there is a note of protest or comment from Aesop. Of course, these parodies end up teaching an Aesopic kind of wisdom. An example is "A Dog's Life" (13), in which a flea turns out to be a big friend. A touch of "The Stinky Cheese Man" comes when a sheep wanders into "Of Mice and Boys" (25). The tortoise ends up running against a wolf in tortoise's clothing in "Bad Hare Day" (38). The book's worst of several puns forms the climax of "Sticky Situations" (43): "The fly was un-Zipped." The book is full of delightful wit!

1998 Zen Fables for Today: Stories Inspired by the Zen Masters. Richard McLean. Paperbound. Printed in USA. NY:Avon Books: Hearst Corporation. $8.00 from amazon.com, March, '98.  Extra copy for $12 from Alibris, Dec., '98.

This is a humane little book. McLean gives a good short introduction to Zen Buddhism and then offers almost 100 fine short fables. The illustrations are not very helpful, but the texts are well done. Several fables are Aesopic: Aesop's story of the greedy and envious men shows up in a new form on 38, and his OR is included on 43. "The Boy with the Filberts in a Jar" shows up on 54, but now it has to do with a monkey grasping rice inside a gourd. He is eaten by a leopard! Another old friend, not Aesopic, shows up on 55 where a monk in a flood expects an angel's promised protection and so rejects offers from neighbors, local officials in a cart, and a rescue team in a boat. You can guess what the angel says to him when he meets him after death! I will list by page number some of the best fables and then single our four for special mention. Among the very good fables are those on 29, 34, 82, 92, 94, 98, 108, and 112. A fable that dramatizes an event in the genesis of the book is on 45; its key line is "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." The next story (46) is excellent on the desire to change places with someone else; it makes a great companion piece to Monterroso's fable about the frog with great legs! Maybe the best of all the stories is about a Catholic bishop meeting with a Zen teacher. A typical fable is on 70 about two artists (Mr. Glad and Mr. Sad) in a nursing home. I enjoyed this book!

1998 15 Fables Célèbres Racontées en Argot, Recueil No. 1. Par Marcus. Pamphlet. Paris: Editions Théâtrales Art & Comedie; Ex-Editions Jean Picot #81: Edicom Direct S.A. 30 Francs from Henri Veyrier, St. Ouen, Paris, July, '01.

Here are fifteen traditional French fables, one to a page, presented in slang. This first volume (I have a second volume, dated "1988") contains some perennial favorites from La Fontaine: TH, GA, WL, OF, FG, and AD. Others here from Florian include "La guenon, le singe et la noix"; "L'aveugle et le paralytique"; and "Le singe et la lanterne magique." The cover cartoon reminds one of Rabier. What a delightful little booklet! I suspect from the format and date of Volume II that this version of Volume I is reduced from its earlier format to a handier size. Maybe someday I can find an earlier and larger copy of this volume! The series seems to have picked up a new second title: Editions Théâtrales Art & Comedie. I cannot find this name for the series on the earlier Volume II.

1998 19 fables de singes. Jean Muzi. Illustrations de Gérard Franquin. Paperbound. Paris: Castor Poche #387: Castor Poche Flammarion. $8.95 from Powell's, March, '05. 

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. There is a T of C at the back, on 103. 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 (13). 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 (35). 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 (43). "Le Singe et les hommes" (47-62) 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" (69), 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.... The black-and-white illustrations of this handy little volume, one to a fable, are simple and well done.

1998 101 Classic Chinese Fables. Translator Howard Zhai, General Editor Ruth Martin, Source Editor Xuejun Wang. Illustrated by Victor Naval and Bobby Canlas. Paperback. Newark, CA: A Dragon Fly Book: Dragon Fly Publications Inc. $5.50 from Tyler Evans, Northport, AL, through Ebay, August, '00.

This is physically an unusually well made paperback. Unfortunately, having read the whole work, I find the contents uneven and thus often not up to the quality of the material book. These are real fables, but they seem to lose something in translation. Often they seem obvious or harmless. Try Fables 81 through 84 as a sample. The first presents a man who wants shade, even from the moon; he seeks it so desperately that he gets wet and cold. The second describes a blind man being told that the sun is like a candle. Presented with a flute, he thinks it is the sun. The third has a traveler who gets tired and wants to take a boat. The boat owner demands twice what he knows the traveler has, but then is willing to make a deal to have the traveler pull the boat for half price. The last has a courageous man learn all the written rules for swimming, jump in, and drown. By contrast, here are the most engaging stories I found. "The Contentious Bat" (32) does things differently from standard Western bat-fables. Here he is invited to two different parties, one for birds and one for animals. He skips both, but the hosts meet each other and talk--and disown the bat from both kingdoms. "The Poor Night-watch Goose" (42) has a sentinel who rightly raises the alarm, but the hunters grow quiet and blow out their torches right after each alarm. Soon she is attacked by the other geese and leaves them to the hunters. In fact, she watches them as they are captured. "A Fawn's Hard Lesson" (51) has a fawn who lives with dogs think that he is a dog. He learns that he is not a dog only in his quick death at the hands of outraged dogs. "The Hunter Who Blew a Bamboo Whistle" (55) is a good serial story about which animal fears which. Unfortunately for the hunter in this story, bears fear no one! "The Burdened Rider" (60) is an old story about the horse-rider who, while he rides, carries the load on his head in order to spare the horse having to carry it. "Requesting a Sick Leave for the Donkey" (62) presents the funny story of a man who rides on a donkey to play chess. His host welcomes him lavishly and keeps him for long hours, but only so that he can use the donkey for millwork! "The Blind Man on the Bridge" (126) presents the great situation of a blind person hanging from a dilapidated bridge but not knowing how far he will fall or onto what. "The Two Stupid Sons" (135) wins a prize. The rich business man cannot believe that his good-looking sons are stupid and so agrees to a test. They are to say where rice comes from. They exasperate him by answering respectively "from the kitchen" and "from the rice bag." He sets them straight: it comes from their rice warehouse! In "The Prime Minister's Calligraphy" (138), the title-character wrongly thinks himself a great calligrapher and poet. One morning he writes some typical verse and gives it to his nephew to copy out. The latter can make no sense of it and gives it back. The premier peers long at it and then crumples up the paper and throws it at the nephew. "Why didn't you bring this to me right away when the words were fresh in my mind? Now my brilliant composition is lost forever." There is a T of C at the beginning. The fables are organized into four categories: divine/ghost, animal anthropomorphic, animal non-anthropomorphic, and social. I am not sure that I understand those categories.

1998/99 Aesop's Fables. Geraldine McCaughrean. Illustrated by Jonathan Hateley. Third impression. Paperbound. London: Pelican Big Books: Pearson Education Limited: Longman. $4.10 from Awesome Books, Wallingford, UK, April, '12.

The cover illustration for this little (5¾" x 8") 48-page pamphlet is simply superb. A wolf in bursting sheep's clothing lies napping contentedly in the pen with a meaty leg on a plate next to him. There is even a jar of mint sauce next to the plate! "Speedy Hare" is a woman in TH, and a pretty one at that! Her illustration has her lingering to sign an autograph for a squirrel. The gray crow contrasts nicely with his peacock feathers in BF on 11. His de-feathered look two pages later is impressive! Tom fools the townsfolk "time after time" in BW. In another great illustration, the wolf presses a wet nose to the ear of the sleeping Tom (17). From the look of this version, the wolf kills Tom. "They did not miss him till bedtime. And by then, of course, it was much, much too late" (19). The moral of GA is "Thrift and hard work: the secret of success!" (23). The story of the dying lion and the cautious fox is called "Get Well Soon" (24). The final image of WSC has the shepherd chasing the found-out wolf as his sewn sheepskin is half off (31). "Thin In, Stout Out" has this simple moral: "Greedyguts" (32-33). In FK, Jupiter sends down "a legs-like-reeds, feet-like-crabs, beak-like-a-rapier, hunger-like-a-wolf sort of stork, who ate and ate and ate" (38). WS is well told. Sun asks about a man walking far below "Could you strip him stitchless?" The man eventually dances naked in the spray of his garden hose. DW is moralized this way: "Freedom is better than the most luxurious prison" (48). A very nice little booklet!

1998/99 Fabulosas Fábulas. Heriberto Feraudy Espino, Compilador. Eduardo Rocha. Paperbound. Cuarta reimpresión. Mexico City: Colección Literaria Infantil y Juvenil: Selector Actualidad Editorial. $15 from Libros Latinos, Redlands, CA, April, '00.

There are twenty-two original stories, each with a full-page line drawing, following a short introduction. The stories are, according to the burb on the back cover, as lovely as the classic stories of Aesop and La Fontaine, but different in that they come from the marvelous country of Cuba. I tried one story on for size and found it good. It seems to me to use a traditional motif. In "El Conejo y el León" (101-4), the rabbit comes by each day after the lion does something to construct his house. For example, after the lion collects all the building materials, the rabbit makes the walls. After several days, the rabbit and his wife move into the house. They begin deceiving the lion, for example, by creating a scene with a crying child rabbit about having eaten lion liver. Afraid, the lion goes to the monkey for advice. The monkey tries to reassure him and offers to go and see who is living in the lion's new home. He returns to say that it is only rabbits. The monkey offers to tie his tail to the lion's and they will go together to see the harmless creatures who inhabit his home. The same trick works again, and both lion and monkey flee. Intelligence can outwit force.

1998/2000 La Fontaine Masallari: 10 Masal. Yayina Hdazirlayan: Esra Goksen. Resimleyen: Serdar Canaslan. Hardbound. Istanbul: Masal Demeti Dizisi 3: Erdem Yayinlari. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Feb., '04. 

This hardbound book contains, apparently, ten sixteen-page pamphlets that may also have been published independently. Each has a title-page with "La Fontaine Masallari" and a number from "1" to "10" across the top of the page. After a circle containing one colored picture, there is a specific title. Then Goksen and Canaslan are recognized, with "Erdem Yayinlari" at the bottom. Each story's pages are numbered independently. The stories include AD, WC, TMCM, GA, CJ, "The Lion and the Mosquito," "The Birds, the Beasts, and the Bat," FC, "The Lapdog and the Ass," and "The Cat and the Mice." The ant here bites the hunter on the ear. TMCM may have the liveliest illustrations. My prize for the best illustration goes to the ass that has flattened his owner to the ground with his playful leap (on 13 of the ninth story).

1998/2000 Stories from the Panchatantra. Editor: Anant Pai; Scriptwriters: G.L. Chandiramani, Shyamala Kutty, K. Chandrakant, Luis Fernandes, and Kamala Chandrakant. Illustrators: Jeffrey Fowler, Ashok Dongre, Ram Waeerkar, M. Mohandas, and Pradeep Sathe. Hardbound. Mumbai: Pancharatna Series, No. 1004: India Book House Limited. $16.98 from Claire's Bargain Republic, Oxon Hill, MD, through eBay, March, '09.

The book is apparently divided into the five tantras, or systems, and each tantra has a writer and illustrator. The five are: "The Jackal and the War Drum," "The Brahmin and the Goat," "How the Jackal ate the Elephant," "Crows and Owls," and "The Dullard and Other Stories." These are very much the stories I have come to know in the Panchatantra tradition. There are some good specific touches here. In TT, the tortoise's utterance to the townsfolk is "What is all the excitement about? Me?" The monkey catches his leg, not his genitals, in the tree trunk when the wedge falls out. Here he dies over the incident. Many animals cook their prey over fires. The donkey that stupidly comes back to the lion a second time has, according to the jackal, neither ears nor heart, or he would not have been so stupid. The last three divisions between books are marked by advertisements for India Book House publications. New to me is "The Noble Enemy" in the "Crows and Owls" section. There are not three different kinds of fish (wise, clever, and stupid) but only wise frogs and stupid fish. The colored covers are shrivelling up. Reprinted in 2000.

1998/2002 Fabulario Nazional. Joaquin Meza. Paperbound. First reimpression, 500 copies. Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada: Nekepú Editores. $12.50 from Libros Centroamericanos, Redlands, CA, April, '03.

This paperback seems to contain ten highly political short-stories with a strong folkloric flavor. It seems to celebrate El Salvador and even presents a glossary, apparently of Salvadoran expressions. It is thus surprising that the publishing firm has its offices in suburban Montreal! The cover has, I believe, a nice detail from Hieronymus Bosch.

1998/2006 The Hare and the Tortoise Sticker Storybook. Text: Jonathan Stroud. Illustrations: Caroline Jayne Church. Paperbound. London: Walker Books. From Downtown Books, Milwaukee, June, '10.

"Ask a grown-up to help you remove the sticker pages from the middle of this book. As you read, match the stickers to the story." So says the title-page. The stickers in this case add to each page's picture. The version comes back to Hare's key statement, repeated four times: "What fun! Let me join in!" The four distractions involve baby rabbits playing hide-and-seek; the Bear family having a picnic; two frogs fishing in the lake; and squirrels and badgers playing "football" (soccer). After each distraction, "then Hare remembered the race again." At the race's end, Hare says "Well, I may not have won, but I had a lot of fun on the way! Let's have another race soon!" The final sticker to put in place is Hare's silver medal.

1998? De fabels van Jean de La Fontaine.  Dutch by Ingrid Buthod-Girard.  Illustrations by Gauthier Dosimont.  Hardbound.  Chevron, Belgium: Editions Hemma.  €4.50 from Antiquariaat Klikspaan, Leiden, through Abe, July, '16.

This book is apparently a derivative of "Le grand livre des fables: Jean de La Fontaine," published by Hemma in 1997.  The same illustrations are used, in smaller format, and the same 35 fables appear.  A curiosity is that that book used a different cover picture of FC than the illustrations inside the book.  So does this book, and the cover picture here is not only different from the FC illustrations inside this book.  It is also different from the cover illustration there.  Dosimont's style is immediately clear as the same in the two cover illustrations.  The pagination on the final T of C is curious because there are no page numbers in the book!  This book, like that, sneaks in a fable by Iriarte (68) about two rabbits who argue over what kind of animals are pursuing them -- right up to the point where those animals devour them!  Arguing about details but forgetting essentials is not a good plan!  As I wrote there, this book includes the illustrations I already knew from two of Dosimont's books for Hemma:  "Jean de La Fontaine: Fables Choisies" (1994) and "Jean de La Fontaine: Jolies fables en musique" (1997).  Those individual fable illustrations are supplemented by others here, as in the 1997 book.  Dosimont's work is lively.  He takes a great perspective on "Le petit Poisson et le Pêcheur" (87) by looking up from the depths of the lake to see the bottom of the fisherman's boat.  For DS (80), the prey is not the usual piece of meat but a live duck, whose image in the water haunts the dog as the duck flies away.

1998? H Alepou ki o Xulokopos. Illustrated by Chr. Pierroutsakov. Paperbound. Athens: Paramythia tou Aisopou #8 of 12: Ekdoseis "Alma." Gift of Kathryn Thomas, Oct., '04.

This is a sixteen-page oversized pamphlet with a large picture on each page with about nine lines of prose text. The fox apparently spends the first half of the story talking with the wolf and with his own children. The woodman sends the fox to his home. When the hunters come, he points (to the fox?) and speaks. The fox and wolf shake hands at the end of the story. The art is, I would say, comfortable. I would love to find the whole set.

1998? Pabula: May Ginintuang Aral. A.M. Batubalani. Paperbound. Manila: Loacan Publishing House. 50 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

Batubalani is also the editor of the English-language Famous Aesop Fables by the same publisher in 1998. There are about twenty-five Tagalog fables here, as the opening T of C shows. There are many among the twenty-five that I do not recognize from just the picture. Notice "Pabula" rather than "Fabula" here.

 

To top

1999

1999 A Guide for Teaching Aesop's Fables: Lessons in Life for Students of All Ages.  Lynn M. Meier.  Paperbound.  Reeseville, WI: Lynn M. Meier.  $5 from Mark and Chris Harper, Eustis, FL, through eBay, July, '16.

This is a manual for educators from preschool to junior high school.  It contains pages that may be reproduced.  Sections are devoted to various age levels.  A good group of starting fables is identified on 10 for preschool and kindergarten, including TH, CP, TMCM, LM, and BW.  For primary grades, Meier recommends approaching fables as studies of character, with fables like AD, WS, GGE, DS, as well as those recommended for preschool children.  In the middle elementary grades, she recommends contrasting the themes of fables with those of scriptural parables.  Upper elementary grades are a time to reflect on liberty and on union and unity.  In junior high school, it is time to reflect on "Aesop's Fables in the Christian and Pagan Ideas of Man and Government Revealed Through Literature."  Her history of fables tends to be sketchy and not up-to-date.  As will be clear, she makes free use of and shows respect for sacred scripture.  Plastic bound.  The few illustrations seem to be copyright free material from the internet.  There are lesson plans, charts, and suitable fable texts.

 1999 Aesops Fabeln. Dimiter Inkiow. Umschlagillustration und Vignetten: Reinhold Prandl. Hardbound. Printed in the Czech Republic. Munich: Lentz Verlag. DEM 19,90 from Heinr. Stephanus Buchhandlung, Trier, July, '01.

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. 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?). Two small black-and-white designs per fable, and thirty-seven fables. T of C at the front. Athene, not Aphrodite, is the goddess involved in "Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht" (11) and the retransformation is announced beforehand as the punishment if she pursues mice after the change. A very nice eagle tries to dissuade the tortoise from "flying" but cannot do it (15). New to me: "Ein Fisch, eine Amsel, ein Krebs und ein Geldbeutel" (22); 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 (28), and the crow opens his mouth to ask "Which?" Two crows put stones into a half-filled milk pitcher (30). An older and a younger fox try to get the grapes (38); when they cannot, the older one convinces the younger that they are sour. The fox in FS (41) 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 (46) comes when the group robs all the patrons in a Gasthaus. TH (53) 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 (66). There is a touching picture of the dove and ant shaking hands on 70. The Rhodes-jumper (61) has related a whole series of hard-to-believe experiences before he gets to his record-setting leap. Another good illustration shows the dung-beetle straining both arms to push an eagle egg out of the nest (102). New to me, finally, is "Der Wolf und der Löwe" (108). A wolf, invited to dine with the lion, runs away when he sees the latter's cave, for it is entirely furnished with wolf pelts.

1999 Aesop's Fables. Enid Blyton. Illustrated by Peter Kavanagh. Paperback. Printed in Great Britain. Shaftesbury, Dorset, England: Element Children's Books: Element. $22 from Alibris, Nov., '00.

I had searched for this book for a long time and lost out once in bidding on it on Ebay. I am delighted now to have found an excellent copy. The book has occasioned my learning something about Enid Blyton, who was born in London in 1897 and wrote over seven hundred books for children. The texts of this little paperback come from an edition she did for Nelson in 1925. There are twenty-two fables on 92 pages. I find the stories good but not spectacular. The whole ass along with his load is loaded onto the horse in "The Horse and the Loaded Ass" on 87. There are typos on 18 "One day and ass found…." and on 23 "You make think it nice…." There is a black-and-white illustration for almost every fable. They are unfortunately not as witty as I had expected for work connected with Blyton. Maybe the best illustration is the bonus drawing of the dog's bone bubbling its way to the bottom of the stream on 27. The illustration on 67 shows well how a woodman could lose his axe into the river. The design before each title is of a child holding an animal mask in front of his or her face; there seem to be four such designs in all.

1999 Aesop's Fables. Selected and illustrated by Michael Hague. Apparent first printing, first Owlet paperback edition. Printed in USA. NY: Henry Holt and Company. $6.95 from Powell's, Portland, July, '00.

See my comments on the original hardbound edition in 1985. This paperbound book reproduces it very well. I notice a much different color resolution in the first fable illustration, TMCM (1). The picture has become darker and perhaps stronger. As I commented there, FG (21) and DLS (23) may be the best for my use. Do not miss the final story-less illustration of the fox looking out at the reader on 28!

1999 Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Patricia Ludlow. Hardbound. Leicestershire, England: Brown Watson. $8.49 from Gary Brice, Beaumont, TX, through eBay, Feb., '05. 

This is a large-format book of thirty fables occuring two to each pair of pages. Often one smaller fable is presented in a box inserted into the two-page illustration for a larger fable. The illustrations are colorful, splashy, dramatic, and up-to-date. Among my favorites in a book I am coming to like a great deal are both the stuck wagon and the old woman on 6-7; BW on 12; the cat dressed up as a nurse on 14; CW on 25; and the old woman overseeing her early-rising maids on 31. Ludlow shows a good gift for realism in depicting human beings. A panther is the attacker who interrupts the stag at the pool (18). The chase in CW is wisely set in the garden rather than in the bedroom (25).

1999 Aesop's Fables.  Geraldine McCaughrean.  Illustrated by Jonathan Hateley.  Third impression.  Paperbound.  London: Pelican Big Books:  Pearson Education Limited: Longman.  See 1998/99.

1999 Aesop's Fables. Edited by Nina Rosenstein. Illustrated by Charles Santore. First printing. Hardbound. Printed in Singapore. NY: Illustrated Stories for Children Series: Derrydale. $7 from Moe's Books, Berkeley, Dec., '00.

Here is yet another edition of Santore's work. This one largely reproduces the Random House edition of 1995 with smaller margins and a different cover. This cover is red and displays a picture of the fox and the boar, whereas that edition had a green cover with an illustration of the heron on its cover. This edition lacks the pictorial end-papers found there. I will revise and repeat my comments from there. This edition presents not the twenty-four fables that each received a lavish illustration in the 1988 edition, but rather eighty-two fables. Some of these are not illustrated at all. Others use details from the large TH foldout of 1988 or other large illustrations then. Some of these are repeated (11 and 58, e.g., and 52 and 61) and one is even reversed (27 and 46). This edition's illustration for TH is a cut-and-paste job from the large edition's foldout. The color-work here remains surprisingly good for an inexpensive edition. The text seems to be a modification of the same text used then. Morals are now added. The editor's note on the text, the foreword, the acknowledgement, and the dedication are all dropped. Nina Rosenstein has written an introduction including the remark that "in 300 B.C., the fables of Aesop were written down for the first time, by a Greek politician" (10). My, Santore has got great mileage out of his 1988 illustrations!

1999 Aesop's Fox. Retold and illustrated by Aki Sogabe. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. San Diego: Browndeer Press: Harcourt Brace & Company. $9 from Berkeley?, Dec., '99.

"Each picture in this book was made from paper, cut freehand. The color was applied using airbrush or watercolor." The color combinations are very pleasing and restful. The fox starts out in search of breakfast, and with the rooster on the fencepost we are off into the Chanticleer story. As the hungry fox walks away from his loss he says to himself "Think before you speak." He soon meets the boar sharpening his tusks against on a tree. After their conversation, the fox comes to a vineyard. Boar watches the fox's unsuccessful efforts to get the grapes and says "We often pretend to dislike what we can't have." By now it is lunchtime, and the fox sees the crow sitting on a branch with a piece of cheese in her beak. Since he then needs a drink, he heads for the river, where he meets leopard admiring his own beautiful fur. Fox then remembers that he needs to visit the sick old lion. (The leopard had just mentioned that he would take over when his cousin the lion dies.) Rabbit and deer come running by, and the fox soon discovers why when he finds a donkey in a lion's skin--but he can see his ears and he recognizes his bray. By now it is late and the fox is hungry again. He crawls into a tree-hole where he has found a woodcutter's lunch of bread and fruit, which he now devours. Trapped in the hole, he consoles himself by saying "Time fixes everything." He then sleeps soundly, as do the other characters we have met. A good sweep of fox fables well integrated in a single story. The best of the illustrations may be the first two, and the editor is wise to put the second one on the cover and dust-jacket.

1999 Aesop's Fox. Retold and illustrated by Aki Sogabe. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company. Gift of Vera Ruotolo, July, '11.

A routine check of this supposed duplicate unearthed a curious fact. The book is a duplicate of a first printing published in the same year by Browndeer Press, a subsidiary of Harcourt Brace. What differs here is that mention of a first printing and of Browndeer Press is eliminated in both the book and the dust-jacket. How curious! Let me include comments from that edition. "Each picture in this book was made from paper, cut freehand. The color was applied using airbrush or watercolor." The color combinations are very pleasing and restful. The fox starts out in search of breakfast, and with the rooster on the fencepost we are off into the Chanticleer story. As the hungry fox walks away from his loss he says to himself "Think before you speak." He soon meets the boar sharpening his tusks against on a tree. After their conversation, the fox comes to a vineyard. Boar watches the fox's unsuccessful efforts to get the grapes and says "We often pretend to dislike what we can't have." By now it is lunchtime, and the fox sees the crow sitting on a branch with a piece of cheese in her beak. Since he now needs a drink, he heads for the river, where he meets leopard admiring his own beautiful fur. Fox then remembers that he needs to visit the sick old lion. (The leopard had just mentioned that he would take over when his cousin the lion dies.) Rabbit and deer come running by, and the fox soon discovers why when he finds donkey in a lion's skin--but he can see his ears and he recognizes his bray. By now it is late and fox is hungry again. He crawls into a tree-hole where he has found a woodcutter's lunch of bread and fruit, which he now devours. Trapped in the hole, he consoles himself by saying "Time fixes everything." He then sleeps soundly, as do the other characters we have met with him. A good sweep of fox fables well integrated in a single story. The best of the illustrations may be the first two, and the editor is wise to put the second one on the cover and dust-jacket.

1999 Aesop's Funky Fables. Retold by Vivian French. Illustrated by Korky Paul. Paperbound. Printed in China. NY: Hamilton Hamish/Puffin. Canadian $12.99 from World's Biggest Bookstore, Toronto, Nov., '03.

I made these extensive remarks on the hardbound version published by Viking Penguin in 1997: "Colored illustrations and black-and-white alternate in presenting ten fables in the slick, large-format hip book. As might be expected from the 'Funky' in the title and from the sleazy fox on the title-page's couch, there are several rap presentations here. The best of these song approaches is LM. BW involves three simulated wolf attacks. The boy says that there was a wolf (1) that he drove away, (2) that must have slipped away, and (3) that has vanished. He gets diminishing accolades and attention. The wolf devours all the sheep while the boy sits perched afraid in a tree; later he is sent by the other shepherds to do menial work in town. In FS, Mr. Fox invites Mrs. Stork in order to have someone admire his great cooking. He comes up with the 'wide flat dish' idea at the last minute fearing that she might eat too long and too well. Mrs. Stork invites him for that evening. Note her toothy grin (38) as she welcomes him to a meal served in twelve vases! The text unfortunately refers to these in terms of 'dish' and 'bowl,' albeit tall and narrow. The jackdaw in clay-gray feathers among the pigeons is a great visual creation (50). 'The Bat, the Bramble and the Cormorant' (56) is infrequently presented, I believe. It handles the etiology well and includes a great colored image of the three shipwrecked on the beach (62). The wolf promises the crane silver, gold, and a wife! New to me is 'The Traveller and the Bear' (74): the traveller looks up and falls down. The illustrations are indeed funky, and I like them!"

1999 Aisopose Valmid. T. Kuusik. Paperbound. Tartu, Estonia: Härmametsa talu kirjastus. $19.99 from Raigo Kirss, Estonia, through eBay, Dec., '06.

Here is a 75-page paperback with a T of C taking up the last two pages. There are fifty-eight fables here. The Naples Museum mosaic of street musicians is on the cover with a supposed Greek name underneath it consisting of the capital letters alpha, epsilon, sigma, omicron, and pi. ΑΕΣΟΠ! Someone knew a little Greek, but only a little! On the title-page is the Greek vase painting of Aesop facing a fox. The start of a fable always brings a new page. Raigo's description of it calls this "a rare private edition ." Kuusik seems to have dated his preface in 1918. It appears from the copyright page that Kuusik's original edition with the same title was published in Tallinn in 1918. Aivar Täpsi seems to have edited this edition.

1999 Beastly Tales.  Vikram Seth.  Illustrations by Ravi Shankar.  Paperbound.  London:  Phoenix House.  See 1994/99.

1999 Calmar un Jour Calmar Toujours: Fables  Bestiales Nouvelles Morales.  Jon Scieszka; Traduit de l'Américain par Jean-Luc Fromental.  Illustrations: Lane Smith.  Hardbound.  Paris: Seuil Jeunesse:  Éditions du Seuil.  $15.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, June, '11. 

Squids will be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables was originally published by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers in 1998. Here is the French version, published a year later.  The book seems to be reinforced between both covers and the end papers.  Those endpapers have dutifully translated the names of each of the animals represented by small simple early figures.  There is a curious second color around the outside edges of the endpapers from, apparently, a thin covering put over the whole cover and wrapped around onto the endpapers.  The book carries a small library label at the bottom of the spine.  Let me include comments I made on the original publication.  This is a thoroughly delightful book squarely in the Aesopic tradition and great for young people.  Eighteen fables, more or less, illustrated in the tradition I love from their earlier The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.  Elephant comes back three times with mosquito, flea, and gnat respectively.  The "very serious historical afterword" points out that Aesop was thrown off a cliff for his fables; moral: "If you are planning to write fables, don't forget to change the people into animals and avoid places with high cliffs."

1999 City Mouse & Country Mouse: A Classic Fairy Tale.  Translated by Molly Stevens.  Illustrated by Isabelle Chatellard.  First edition, apparently first printing.  Printed in France.  NY: Abbeville Kids: The Little Pebbles: Abbeville Publishing Group.  $6.95 from Shakespeare Beethoven & Company, The Dallas Galleria, Feb., '99. Extra copy for $4.95 from Powells on the web, June, '99. 

First published in 1998 in French by Editions Nathan in Paris.  Delightful and imaginative art work, starting from the lawn chairs in which we first see the mice, lawn chairs apparently growing out of the tops of stalks of wheat.  The city visit is a week later and takes place in the house of a rich shopkeeper.  The mice are doing their feasting on the bottom shelf of the kitchen cupboard when they are interrupted by the cook.  Soon they are on the top shelf when the cat interrupts them.  Next they head for the basement where the country mouse almost falls for a mouse trap.  That trap is the last straw, and the country mouse heads politely for home.  He lived happily ever after in the fields.  Eight small versions of the illustrations are presented at the end with the challenge to put them back in the right order.  A very nice little book with very stiff covers.

1999 Cuéntame: Folklore y fábulas. Lori Langer de Ramírez. Illustrations by Tony D'Adamo. Apparent fourth printing. Paperbound. NY: Amsco School Publications, Inc. $1 from Better World Books Warehouse, Mishawaka, IN, Jan., '11.

My investigation of this book suggests that its twelve stories are more folklore than fable, even though they are brief. Each story is given a home country. The first may be the closest to a traditional fable: "Tío Zorro" from Colombia. Rooster leaves hen at home alone with some trepidation, but he must go shopping. He tells her to be careful. Uncle Fox shows up and says to hen that she should not be alone. He will accompany her. Soon he tells her she is pretty and asks to kiss her. But he does not kiss brides without eating.. Rooster comes home suddenly, sees Uncle Fox and threatens to kill him. Soon Rooster is pursuing Uncle Fox through the whole woods, over mountains and across prairies. Uncle Fox gets into a hole and hides. He then quickly disguises himself by covering himself with honey and feathers. Rooster comes by and asks this "bird" if he has seen a fox. Uncle Fox points to a hole and then uses a big rock to cover it with Rooster inside. Then Uncle Fox returns to the hen. What happens next? Well, Uncle Fox certainly was hungry.. There are lots of vocabulary-help pictures, and various questions: some to talk through with fellow students, some with the teacher, and some to answer alone. 

1999 Die Fiedelgrille und der Maulwurf/Der alte Mann und der Bär. Janosch. Janosch. Hardbound. Zurich: Diogenes Verlag. €1 from MarktHaus, Mannheim, August, '09.

The first story here, "Die Fiedelgrille und der Maulwurf," seems identical with Die Grille und der Maulwurf, a 1979 mini-book done by Beltz Verlag. It is a delightful replaying of the Aesopic story. Again, I doubted whether this book presented fables, but I took a chance on buying it and examining it more closely, and I am glad I did! Does Janosch change the title of the main character -- from Grille to Fiedelgrille -- for a reason? In any case, the grasshopper goes to two ugly characters, the Hirschkaefer and the Maus before the mole delights in taking her in to his warm little home. In fact, she does not even have to ask. He is eager for her to make music. They end up in bed together and enjoy this winter as the loveliest time of their lives. The second story, "Der alte Mann und der Bär," is no fable. It is a romantic story of a man and a bear who care for birds. It is not clear to me what happens to the man, but an angel takes the exhausted bear to the stars. The inside front cover proclaims that this is a genehmigte Sonderausgabe. It does not seem to be part of a Janosch series of Aesopic fables, which I would welcome!

1999 El Cuervo y la Zorra.  Paperbound.  San Sebastian: Colecion Fabulas:  Ediciones A. Saldaña.  $4 from an unknown source, April, '15.

Once again, things come together from different times and places.  In Salamanca in 1986, I found a simple pop-up from a publisher I did not know.  Sixteen years later I found a French die-cut presentation of LM done by the same publisher or at least copyrighted by that publisher.   At another time I found another French die-cut presentation by the same company of DW.  Now here is another simple die-cut presentation of a fable from the same publisher, only this time in Spanish and belonging not to "Collection Fables" but to "Coleccion Fabulas."  The fable is told in Spanish prose and follows FC's traditional form, with an added moment of the crow's having stolen the cheese from a mouse.  There is a tear in the upper corner of the first interior page.  Saldaña always provides highly colorful pictures.

1999 El Maravilloso Mundo de las Fábulas (Tomo 2). Hardbound. Valencia: Editorial Alfredo Ortells. $18.65 from Schoenhof's, Cambridge, MA, April, '05.

This oversized hardbound volume picks right up where the first volume left off, which appeared in 1984. Times change! In 1986, I bought the first volume for one-third the price of this book. The style of the art is the same: the illustrations are large and dramatic. All the fables except the first one ("The Laborer and His Sons") have two pages; that first one has three. There are fourteen fables in this book.

1999 Esop Basni: Mythoi Aisopeioi.  M(ikhail) Gasparov.  Hardbound.  Kaliningrad, Russia: Jantarniy Skaz.  $11 from Alexander Romanov, Ukraine, through eBay, Sept., '15.

It has been fun digging into this very small (3½" x 4") but sturdy book.  Gasparov's translations have already found a place once in this collection, in a 2003 edition by Eksmo with the illustrations of Rackham.  Here the life of Aesop takes up 5-165.  There are some excellent accompanying line-drawings, starting with various views of Aesop (6) and showing him carrying the oversized breadbasket (29) and tongues (79).  His master berates him for leaving his wife's buttocks uncovered (109).  Fables start then on 169.  Good illustrations here include the traveler and satyr (193), WC (269), and DLS (289).  A little treasure!

1999 Eureka!  Discovering American English and Culture through Proverbs, Fables, Myths, and Legends.  Planaria J. Price.  First printing.  Paperbound.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.  $3.25 from Cash Money Texts, Maryland Heights, MO, July, '13.

This book for high-intermediate to advanced ESL students has four parts.  Students learn to "build their own language burger" (xxi) by learning English in the contextual way allowed by studying proverbs, fables, myiths, and legends.  The first of the four parts centers on fables, seven of which are presented: FG, TH, GGE, GA, FC, and BW.  They are preceded by "A Brief History of Aesop, Fables, and Proverbs."  I find this a clever and engaging approach to learning American culture and language.  Each fable's presentation begins with an element of popular culture using the fable and its proverbial phrases idiomatically.  Clever!  This copy is heavily marked.

1999 Fabeln von Christian Fürchtegott Gellert.  Illustrationen von Christine Salzmann.  Paperbound.  Radebeul: Edition Reintzsch.  €3.50 from Bücherpanorama Marienberg, Jan., '16.

I enjoy Gellert thoroughly, and the black-and-white illustrations here make it all the easier to get into his fables.  "Der Tanzbär" (10) comes together well in one line of the moral: "Sei nicht geschickt, man wird dich wenig hassen, weil dir dann jeder ähnlich ist."  Similarly, 'Der Fuchs und die Elster" (14) goes a long way to prove a good point: "Je minder sie verstehn, um desto mehr beweisen sie."  The magpie had just proven that the fox has five feet.  "Das Land der Hinkenden" (26) offers a simple view of a gentleman looking up and away.  "Gewohnheit macht den Fehler schön, den wir von Jugend auf gesehn."  The clever man will tell us in vain that we are stupid.  We think he is stupid--simply because he is cleverer than we are.  "Das Kartenhaus" (52) is a good reflective piece, with a telling image of a little girl playing with a teddy bear perilously near her fragile house of cards.  The text tells of the pain of a house of cards brought down.  The child rebuilds it but, soon enough, smashes it down.  How would we know new pleasures if we did not grow tired of the old ones?  "Die glückliche Ehe" (74), complete with a standard wedding photo, was a big surprise to me.  Gellert describes a perfect partnership that died with their last kiss.  They died together eight days after the wedding!  "Sonst würden dies nur Fabeln sein."  There's a T of C at the end of this 77-page paperback.

1999 fablanimo de la ferme. Auteure: Roxane Lapointe. Illustrations: Paule Cloutier. Paperbound. Montreal: GSI Musique. $5 from Chantal Piton, St-Luc, Quebec, Canada through eBay, August, '06.

This is a tall, carefully crafted pamphlet of 28 pages enclosed in stiff covers, the front cover with a nice see-through window to view the characters in the farmyard. The booklet and an audio CD-ROM work together well. The booklet catalogues the lyrics of the strong CD-ROM. I listened to the first three of the twelve selections. The first introduces us to the characters of the farmyard. In the second, the ass Firmin is afraid of the long trip he will have to take to deliver the farm's children to a festival. The cat Mistigri lets him know that the festival is close by. He has little to fear. In "Elle s'appelle Bergamotte," Bergamotte the turkey insults Firmin. Soon enough a fox is ready to attack and eat Bergamotte. Firmin becomes aware of it, struggles with his hurt feelings, and finally helps Bergamotte. The illustrations are good, and the vocal renderings are excellent. The voices, animal adaptations, and articulations are all very well done! I will leave the CD-ROM in the pamphlet. The inside front-cover promises more fablanimo editions for the forest, sea, jungle and other venues.

1999 Fablargo: Fables de La Fontaine en argot suivi d'un glossaire de la langue verte. Jo Tanghe. Paperbound. Saint-Jean de Valériscle: Editions GabriAndre. €12 from Librairie Yves Deprins, Redu, Belgium, through abe, Dec., '04. 

Bilingual on facing pages, with La Fontaine's text on the left and something very hard for me to understand on the right. Is this the everyday talk of Parisiens today? I can say that it is in rhyming verse. Twenty-one fables are represented here. They are supplemented by two novelles not translated into anything else. The glossary that follows is almost sixty pages long (83-141). Now I need to look for the author's earlier Fablenchti. I am sure that Fablargo is a little treasure. I did not have more luck finding the meaning of "langue verte" than I did understanding the argot!

1999 Fables & Their Morals Volume 1: Androcles and the Lion to The Field of Treasure. By Bruce and Becky Durost Fish. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. First printing. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers. $16.97 from Flickswap.com, Philadelphia, through ABE, Dec., '03.

Here is Volume 1 of a four-volume set, also collected into one volume. Twenty-five fables appear, along with their illustrations. These are enlarged from Gallaher's cigarette cards published in 1912 and 1922. What a clever way to avoid paying an artist! Gallaher had included a title and "Gallaher's Cigarettes" on each card, and these are nicely removed here. The fables included here are the first segment of the collection of a hundred in alphabetical order. An introduction botches the subject of fable, I would say, by taking fable as an animal story. It is no surprise then that it goes on to provide a short history more of animal stories than of fables. Similarly, "Further Readings" (60) are really about animal literature, not fable literature. The various literatures mentioned in the introduction are not represented in the collection, which is controlled by the hundred cards produced by Gallaher. GA is told with many grasshoppers rather than the usual one (12). "Bowman" on the cards is changed to "Archer" here (16). The texts are generally slightly longer than one would expect for fables.

1999 Fables & Their Morals Volume 2: The Fighting Roosters and the Eagle to The Lion in Love. By Bruce and Becky Durost Fish. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers. $17.15 from Flickswap.com, Philadelphia, through ABE, Dec., '03.

Here is Volume 2 of a four-volume set, also collected into one volume. Twenty-five fables appear, along with their illustrations. These are enlarged from Gallaher's cigarette cards published in 1912 and 1922. What a clever way to avoid paying an artist! Gallaher had included a title and "Gallaher's Cigarettes" on each card, and these are nicely removed here. The fables included here are the second segment of the collection of a hundred in alphabetical order. As in the first volume, an introduction botches the subject of fable, I would say, by taking fable as an animal story. It is no surprise then that it goes on to provide a short history more of animal stories than of fables. Similarly, "Further Readings" (60) are really about animal literature, not fable literature. The various literatures mentioned in the introduction are not represented in the collection, which is controlled by the hundred cards produced by Gallaher. As in Volume 1, there is an index at the end. The enlargement of the cards' illustration to perhaps four times their original size has a curious effect, perhaps similar to the effect created by Roy Lichtenstein's art.

1999 Fables & Their Morals Volume 3: The Lion and the Mouse to the Redbreast and the Sparrow. By Bruce and Becky Durost Fish. Gallaher cigarette cards. First printing. Hardbound. Philadelphia: Fables & Their Morals: Chelsea House Publishers. $11.68 from ACSBooks, Strongsville, OH, through Alibris, May, '07.

For four years I have been missing one of the four volumes in this set. Now I have found it! As in the other volumes, twenty-five fables appear, along with their illustrations. These are enlarged from Gallaher's cigarette cards published in 1912 and 1922. What a clever way to avoid paying an artist! Gallaher had included a title and "Gallaher's Cigarettes" on each card, and these are nicely removed here. The fables included here are the third segment of the collection of a hundred in alphabetical order. An introduction botches the subject of fable, I would say, by taking fable as an animal story. It is no surprise then that it goes on to provide a short history more of animal stories than of fables. Similarly, "Further Readings" (60) are really about animal literature, not fable literature. The various literatures mentioned in the introduction are not represented in the collection, which is controlled by the hundred cards produced by Gallaher. The book was formerly in the public library in Euclid, OH. The presentation of each fable makes a portion of the original card into background for an initial. For a sample illustration, one might want to follow the publisher's choice and view "The Miser" on 25. A detail of this illustration is on the cover of the book.

1999 Fables & Their Morals Volume 4: The Rooster and the Fox to The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. By Bruce and Becky Durost Fish. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers. $16.03 from Flickswap.com, Philadelphia, through ABE, Dec., '03.

Here is Volume 4 of a four-volume set, also collected into one volume. Twenty-five fables appear, along with their illustrations. These are enlarged from Gallaher's cigarette cards published in 1912 and 1922. What a clever way to avoid paying an artist! Gallaher had included a title and "Gallaher's Cigarettes" on each card, and these are nicely removed here. The fables included here are the last quarter of the collection of a hundred in alphabetical order. As in the other volumes, an introduction botches the subject of fable, I would say, by taking fable as an animal story. It is no surprise then that it goes on to provide a short history more of animal stories than of fables. Similarly, "Further Readings" (60) are really about animal literature, not fable literature. The various literatures mentioned in the introduction are not represented in the collection, which is controlled by the hundred cards produced by Gallaher. As in the other volumes, there is an index at the end. The enlargement of the cards' illustration to perhaps four times their original size has a curious effect, perhaps similar to the effect created by Roy Lichtenstein's art. As in the other volumes, an initial is created from the card for each of the stories.

1999 Fables de La Fontaine.  Peintures de Michel Potier.  Hardbound. Album Dada:  Edition Mango.  See 1995/99. 

1999 Fables d'Esope. Adaptées et illustrées par Barbara McClintock. Traduction de l'américain par Catherine Bonhomme. Hardbound. Albums Circonflexe. $17 from Mary Bender, Philadelphia, through amazon.com, Dec., '04.

Here is the French version of the 1991 Godine publication, Animal Fables from Aesop. The transposition into a French book is well done, though the page format seems to have shrunk. Let me quote from my comments on the original. This book is 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 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. 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; the fox's fall; and the fox buying grapes from a mouse. A real treat.

1999 Fables juives du Moyen Âge. Traduit du yiddish par Paul et Catherine Fogel. Paperbound. Paris: Seuil. $37.11 from Alibris, April, '07.

This book presents French translations of twenty-six Yiddish "histoires édifiantes." I would have put them into the category of chreiai, lively anecdotes. They all seem to concern Rabbi Schmuel hassid or Rabbi Yuda hassid. Do I remember reading some stories like these in The Tales of the Hasidim by Martin Buber? The back cover likens these stories to fabliaux. I am surprised at that comparison. 

1999 Fables, Sermonettes, and Parables by The Stricker, 13th Century German Poet, in English Translation. Translated by J.W. Thomas. Hardbound. Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter: Studies in German Language and Literature, Volume 21: The Edwin Mellen Press. $100.98 from abe, Nov., '10.

I have wanted to enjoy work by Der Stricker since I first read of his place in the history of fable literature perhaps two decades ago. This volume gathers seventeen works labeled "fables," seven sermonettes, and twenty-one works labeled "parables." I deliberately use "labeled" because what he calls "parables" are what we would call "fables." Some of them are standard Aesopic fables -- like BF (85-86), CJ (91), and "The Wolf and the Woman" (96). The works he calls "fables" are slightly longer human stories usually involving a deception or a duping. There is plenty of unfaithfulness and cleverness by one spouse against another, as in "The Clever Farm Hand" (42). Here a clever farmhand cunningly exposes the affair a wife is having with the local priest. Each of the parables has a paragraph-length reflective moral. Several are new to me, like "The Watchdog" (86) about asking a dog to do a trick too often. "House Dog and Hunting Dogs" (88-89) offers a telling negative commment on social climbers. "The Stray Falcon" (89-91) is similarly a comment on the honest man among the dishonest. "The Monkey and the Nut" (93-94) seems close to the fable on the same subject early in Boner's "Edelstein." "The Wolf and the Geese" is a sad tale about a wolf that wants to reform; the geese harass and mistrust him so thoroughly that he has to destroy them to stay alive (96-98). "The Wolf and His Son" (98-100) takes several surprising turns. In "The Fly and the Bald Man" (86), should not the phrase be about the "poor man who wants the favor of a powerful man"? The negative in here -- "doesn't want" -- makes no sense to me. Strangely, pages 23 and 24 are both repeated. Why should we have to pay $100 for a 109-page book like this?

1999 Fabulae Aesopicae (Japanese). Various artists. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Shogakukan. $15 from Jeremy Weiss, Sleepy Hollow, NY, through eBay, March, '12.

This is a fine recent Aesop book! Some eighteen artists contribute two to four illustrations for each of the fables here. The styles are various and lively. The good illustrations start with what I believe is a whimsical presentation of MM on the first T of C page. Among the earliest larger illustrations are two dramatic renditions of scenes from BW (6-7 and 8-9). Also very strong are the three illustrations for TMCM (14-17); the two for "The Roosters and the Eagle" (28-29); and the two for "The Nurse, the Child, and the Wolf" (56-57). The cover picture is well chosen from LM (64-47). W. Janse does a good job with the often neglected story of the "Wolf's Shadow" (80-81). Do not miss "The Lion and the Mosquito" on 94-95. A thoroughly delightful book. Most of the artists are Japanese. Was this book published in some other languages as well?

1999 Favorite Medieval Tales.  Retold by Mary Pope Osborne.  Illustrated by Troy Howell.  Paperbound.  NY: Scholastic, Inc.  $4 from Magus Scholarly and General Used Books, Seattle, August, '13.  

This large-format paperback collection of nine stories from medieval tradition includes "Chanticleer and the Fox" (67).  The version is enhanced by a colored title-page and a full-page colored illustration of Chanticleer and the fox.  The version is true to Chaucer except for a couple of specifics.  For one, Chanticleer's conversation with Pertelote happens one day, and it is only on the next day that he encounters the fox just after his morning singing.  In this version, Chanticleer recognizes the fox and is "overcome with terror" because of his dream.  Next, the fox does not specify the things that made Chanticleer's father so great a singer, namely, that he stood on tiptoe, extended his neck, and shut his eyes.  Next, this version has Chanticleer beat his wings with pelasure over the fox's flattery and adds "Alas, many a lord prefers a false flatterer to one who speaks the truth" (71).  Chanticleer then does those three things on his own initiative.  Finally, this version gives the fox the last word: "And he who jabbers should hold his peace."  The other stories include "Finn MacCoul"; "Beowulf", "The Sword in the Stone"; "Island of the Lost Children"; "The Song of Roland"; "The Werewolf"; "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"; and "Robin Hood and His Merry Men."

1999 Father Koala's Fables. Kel Richards. Illustrated by Glen Singleton. Fourth printing. Paperbound. Sydney: Scholastic Australia. See 1993/99.

1999 Fun Fables! Traditional Stories. General Editors: Wendy Body, Pat Edwards, Margarette Thomas-Cochran. Illustrators: Peter Foster, Rebecca Pannell, Rachel Legge, Linda Forss, Maria Yeap. Paperbound. Third impression. Printed in Malaysia. Harlow, Essex: Genre Library: Pearson Education Ltd: Addison Wesley Longman Australia. See 1997/99.

1999 Goha and His Donkey: An Egyptian Folktale.  Retold by Amany Hassanein.  Pictures by Valeri Gorbachev.  Fourth printing.  Paperbound.  Katonah, NY: Books for Young Learners:  Richard C. Owen Publishers.  $0.95 from Downtown Books, Milwaukee, June, '14.  

The story of MSA gets around!  Here it is an Egyptian folktale!  It is a pleasure to see the story inculturated in Egypt, with palm trees and Arab garb.  The story here starts with Goha walking down the street leading a donkey which his son is riding.  A key repeated line here is "Goha heard someone say."  "Look how Goha spoils his son."  "Goha is unkind.  He makes his son walk."  When both ride, he hears "Goha is unkind to the donkey."  Walking beside the donkey is the fourth stage here, with men openly laughing at Goha.  The two or three commentators at each turn are pictured as nicely similar to each other. "And then Goha knew that he could not please all the people all the time.  So Goha said.'Whoever gets tired shall ride.'"  Then the donkey gets tired!  In the last phase, Goha is carrying the donkey himself.  The donkey seems pleased enough!  That is a lovely surprise ending!  The art fits the text well.  A mini-lecture on the versions and supposed origins of this story would be fun!

1999 History of the Graeco-Latin Fable, Vol. One: Introduction and from the Origins to the Hellenistic Age. Francisco Rodríguez Adrados, Translated by Leslie A. Ray; revised and updated by the author and Gert-Jan van Dijk. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Leiden, Boston, Cologne: Brill. From Bryn Mawr Classical Review for review, March, '00.

Where should one begin with a tome like this? My desperate attempt to review it for BMCR took eleven full pages! Let me just say here that Adrados sweeps across a great swath of territory and attempts to employ a method that follows the data rather than a formula fashioned according to our current understanding of fable. There is a wealth of insight here. I find his arguments often not easy to follow or to agree with, but it is a delight to watch him working with what evidence we do have. There are, I believe, two or three more volumes, all as expensive as this one! The book seems to be selling for $375 on Amazon. Is it also available on GoogleBooks? Volume II now costs $425! Volume III $492! I notice that Helen Morales in "The Classical Review" is much more harsh with the book than I was. "The book is sructured poorly; it is repetitive, rambling, and incoherent, all of which makes it difficult to extrapolate the worthy from the dross.. It is to be hoped that in the future Brill take better advice about which 'classic' texts are worth reissuing" (Vol. 52, No. 1, 2002, p. 169). 

1999 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Reineke Fuchs in zwölf Gesängen.  Mit Bildern von Michael Mathias Prechtl.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Frankfurt am Main/Vienna: Büchergilde Gutenberg.  €38 from Richard Kulbach, Heidelberg, July, '14.  

This book is a treasure!  It starts with one line, "Pfingsten, das liebliche Fest, war gekommen" and a portrait of animals in a circle under and around a dove.  The principal animal missing is a fox.  When one turns the page, one reads "Im Anfang war Aesop" with a text on the image of Aesop on a Vatican cup juxtaposed with "Reinekes antiker Vorahn," a fox.  The full-page colored illustrations here are wonderful; a citation on the back of each only sharpens their engagement.  We see a cat, a dog, and a paw holding a sausage: "Wo zwei sich streiten, freut sich der dritte" (13-14).  We see a fox and a baked chicken and we read ""Gestern froh im Wiener Wald, heute ist das Hähnchen kalt" (23-24).  The most provocative of the provocative pictures may be that of Renard with a naked human body but a fox's head and tail (73).  Is there something bisexual about the picture?  Are there hints of shyness and seduction?  Do not trust this animal!  "Der Zankapfel" is similar (163-64).  Also explicit is "Pas de deux" (173-74): Renard has sex with Frau Wolf.  FK gets a great illustration on 83 with the comment on 84: "Ein Laich, ein Teich, ein Führer."  "Weird" may be the word for the image of a wolf who has just received a horse's hoof full in his face (133).  I can remember Kenneth Varty giving a talk at a fable conference on a recent provocatively illustrated "Renard" edition; I think now that this must have been that book.  The dust-jacket shows Renard draped around the neck of Goethe, and the front red cloth cover itself has delicate pawprints of a fox down its left edge.  What an engaging book!

1999 La Fontaine'den Secmeler. Hazirlayan: Melih Ergun. Resimleyen: Nese Ozkok. Paperbound. Ankara: Bu Dizinin Kitaplari 2: Ergun Yayinlari. $5 from Ugur Yurtuttan, Istanbul, Turkey, Feb., '04.

The cover of this 96-page paperback sports a colored picture of lion, tiger, monkeys, and mouse enjoying themselves. Morals, which appear frequently, seem to be offset and printed in bold. I find five full-page illustrations in black-and-white, including GA on 45, FC on 51, and LM on 84. The other two I am unable to assign to a fable I know. They are on 25 and 69.

1999 Learning for Life: Aesop's Fables Part 1. Retold by Pratibha Nath. First edition. Paperbound. New Delhi: Reader's World. 76.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03. 

This is an energetic large-format pamphlet 24 pages long and presenting five fables. Part 1 of four parts. The fables presented are FG, DS, LM, BW, and Chanticleer. The plunge of the dog into the water in DS on 9 is well done.

1999 Learning for Life: Aesop's Fables Part 2. Retold by Pratibha Nath. First edition. Paperbound. New Delhi: Reader's World. 76.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03.

This is an energetic large-format pamphlet 24 pages long and presenting five fables. Part 2 of four parts. The fables presented are "Too Late" (which features a mouse caught in the narrow crack of a cellar wall); WSC; "The Clever Horse" (with his name supposedly on his hoof); "It's a Donkey's Life" (as opposed to a dog's); and TB. The encounter between the horse and the wolf not only occasions the excellent hostile glance of the horse pictured on the cover (and on 13). It also seems to be conceived differently in the text, which has only a final crushing of the wolf's head by the horse's hoof, and in the pictures, which suggest both a kick and a crushing blow. TB features not only the pre-sale of the bear's skin but a fixation on a particular-sized bear which has these hunters passing up many other bears. As soon as they meet the perfect bear, they throw away their spears and run. After a long run, one gets up the tree and the other asks in vain for help in getting up the tree.

1999 Learning for Life: Aesop's Fables Part 3. Retold by Pratibha Nath. First edition. Paperbound. New Delhi: Reader's World. 76.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03.

This is an energetic large-format pamphlet 24 pages long and presenting five fables. Part 3 of four parts. The fables presented are WC; FC; "Acorn or Pumpkin?"; "The Fox and the Goat"; and MSA. The supposed "well" of the text in FC looks like a lake or river in the illustration. The young character in "Acorn or Pumpkin?" is a known complainer called "Grumblestiltskin." He responds to being struck by the acorn by muttering "What a nuisance! A fellow can't even get a moment's rest here!" (12). "The Fox and the Goat" includes a final episode not usually mentioned but here pictured, even on the cover: the goat's owner comes to the well and rescues him. There had been no discussion between fox and goat within the well; the fox immediately jumped out and only talked later. There are proofreading problems in this booklet. The word "more" seems to be missing in line 7 of page 8, and on 12 an extra period creates two fragments in line 3.

1999 Learning for Life: Aesop's Fables Part 4. Retold by Pratibha Nath. First edition. Paperbound. New Delhi: Reader's World. 76.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03.

This is an energetic large-format pamphlet 24 pages long and presenting five fables. Part 4 of four parts. The fables presented are "Hot Headed Goats"; "The Foolish Donkey" (with the lion and the rooster); BC; DW; and TH. In BC, many ideas have been proposed; belling the cat is hailed by all the mice as a great solution, but no mouse is willing to do it. In DW, talk about the gift of the collar which the dog is wearing leads to talk of chaining. There are proofreading problems in this booklet, e.g. in the word "comig" on 11.

1999 Les Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Corderoc'h. Hardbound. Champigny-sur-Marne: Editions Lito. $7.90 from Marie Gervais, St-Urbain-Premier, Canada, through eBay, Oct., ‘07.

This book is identical with another that I have listed under 2003. Apparently it is an earlier printing. This copy has three sparkly little insects pasted on the inside front-cover. I will repeat my comments from that later printing. This book seems intermediate between the one presenting forty-one fables in 1992 and one presenting eight fables in 1995--both by Corderoc'h and both published by Lito. This edition presents thirty-three fables on 75 pages, with a following T of C. Let me include some of my comments from the larger 1992 edition, with updated pagination. Corderoc'h's illustrations emphasize 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 45. There is also an unusual interest in light slanting through windows on pages like 9 and 56. The "cute" factor comes in, e.g., when ant-children make a snow-ant (20-21). The best of the illustrations have the fox holding his backside on 37 and the stork enjoying its nest on 70. I am surprised by the relative positions of the turtle and geese on 51 and of the cat and monkey on 61.

1999 Life's Little Fable. Patricia Daniels Cornwell. Illustrated by Barbara Leonard Gibson. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons. $5.24 from BookCloseOuts.com, March, '05. 

This landscape-formatted book presents Jarrod, who lives in the land of the pond and flies through the air, since this land does not know gravity or shadows. Jarrod is curious about the pond, and his mother warns him to stay away from it. Jarrod's father, it turns out, listened to the seductive whispers of the pond and entered it, never to return. One Saturday, the god of the pond makes promises to entice Jarrod to jump in. The pond eventually promises Jarrod that he will be like him, a god. As Jarrod approaches the water, crocodile jaws emerge from it. Jarrod jams his walking-stick between the jaws to save himself. Jarrod rejects him, and the crocodile never emerges again from the pond. Rather people are able to swim in it. The birds that had egged Jarrod on become friends with people. This is the Garden of Eden and Jesus' temptations in the desert all over again.

1999 Loon Laughter: Ecological Fables & Nature Tales. Paul Leet Aird. Edited by Celina Owen. Drawings by Thoreau MacDonald. Paperbound. Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside. $11.95 from amazon.com, Dec., '02.

The preface gives a good overview of the tradition of fables but makes three points clear about the thirty-three stories that follow. First, Aird claims that here the animals represent not humans but themselves. Secondly, the plants and animals here are Canadian plants and animals. Thirdly, the book's perspective is ecological. MacDonald died in 1989, and so his line-drawings are used here to complement Aird's stories. I am pleasantly surprised by the fable-quality of these fables, starting with the very first (1). A blow-fly arrogantly analyses what parts of pollution can harm it and finally mentions to the inquiring and respectful frog that he is far enough away and so cannot harm it. The frog takes one jump, sticks out his tongue, and eats it! A good fable like this may reach well beyond its animal characters, pace Aird's claim above that the animals represent only themselves. "Concrete Thinking" (37-39) is another good case in point. A highway cuts across the trek frogs need to make from breeding to living ground. The median between traffic directions blocks their passage, and they eventually cause a huge accident. The human response is to build a wall around the pond so that the frogs cannot again endanger the highway. Some holes in the concrete median would have done the trick nicely. In "Mountain King" (41) a hunter finally finds the largest bighorn sheep on the mountain and is ready to shoot him. The sheep moves back into a crevice. The hunter shouts for him to come out and even fires a shot to scare him out. The shot causes an avalanche that sweeps past the sheep but engulfs the hunter. "The Ploughers" (53) is a short and conclusive discussion between horse and farmer on whether their relationship is that of slave and master or two equals. The horse effectively establishes the latter. Some of the non-fable items here have a haunting sadness about them, as when the lead bison jump over the cliff to their death (3). In "The Trilliums and the Bear" (69), the bear over a few years depletes the field of trilliums; he creates his own disappointment. There is also frequently a touch of hope for the future, as when a dying oak loses all its acorns into water but one, and that one lands eventually on a small island (31). MacDonald's drawings are worthy of the book: strong and evocative. Among the best are: the woods and fields on 4 and the geese on 34. At the end are a set of loon laughter activities and biographies of the fabulist, artist, and editor. Good book!

1999 Mamma ti racconta. C. Busquets. Paperbound. Monte Cremasco, Cremona, Italy: Fiabe piccole animali: Edizioni Cartedit. € 2 from Libreria Miracoli, Venice, August, '06.

This large-format paperback has 48 colored pages and 16 black-and-white pages to color in. Some of these have been colored in. Surprisingly, the pages to color in have nothing to do with the book's three stories. The first of these three stories is TH. Large two-page sets present the story across sixteen pages. I do not think I have ever seen this turn of events: the resting hare watches the tortoise pass him. In fact, he ridicules the tortoise for sweating and asks if he is tired. The second story is FG. The fox here is pursing two hares when a badger trips him. He then seeks grapes for refreshment. He falls from a tree trying to get them. He only hurts himself further by trying to leap to get the grapes. Many of the illustrations throughout the book are signed "C. Busquets." The third story is "Uno Strano Villagio Musicale." I know (Carlos) Busquets from a number of works he has done for Suromex. He has also done work in recent Litor and Peter Haddock editions. The illustrations here are lively! A young hand has drawn a free-form rendition of "Supermen" (sic) on the inside back cover. I searched for an hour in an overloaded and very warm book repository, and this book was the single fruit of my labors.

1999 Marc Chagall. Paperbound. Philadelphia, PA: Martin Lawrence Limited Editions: Jenkintown Press. $16.50 from David Womack, San Francisco, CA, through eBay, Dec., '11.

Here are, nicely presented, the 102 illustrations from Chagall's 1952 "Les Fables de La Fontaine," published by Ambroise Vollard. There are two title-pages, one for each volume. Most of these black-and-white reproductions are about 3" x 3¾" and arranged four to a page. A few are larger, including the full-page title-pages (7 and 22); WL (8); SS (13); "The Wolf, the Goat, and the Kid" (20); "The Young Widow" (28); "The Dog Who Carried His Master's Dinner" (31); and The Shepherd and His Sheep" (32). Other portions of the book cover "The Psalms of David"; "Maternity"; The Odyssey; maquettes of stained glass windows for Jerusalem; the exodus; "Nice and the Cote d'Azur"; and various Chagall paintings. The last five sections of these eight sections are in full color. The cover represents "The Preparation for the Candidate's Feast" from The Odyssey. This is a lovely book!

1999 Sebastian Brant: Fabeln: Carminum et fabularum additiones Sebastiani Brant--Sebastian Brants Ergänzungen zur Aesop-Ausgabe von 1501. Mit den Holzschnitten der Ausgabe von 1501. Herausgegeben und übersetzt von Bernd Schneider. Hardbound. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Arbeiten und Editionen zur Mittleren Deutschen Literature. Neue Folge Band 4: Frommann-Holzboog. DEM 345 from Hassbecker's Galerie und Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, August, '01.

I have anticipated looking into this book for a long time. Then in the summer of 2007, I used Mannheim University's website extensively, including its presentation in word and image of Brant's Esopus of 1501. Brant's edition often clarifies and emends Steinhöwel's Latin, and the woodcuts follow Steinhöwel generally quite carefully. Brant also supplies Latin texts where Steinhöwel had left them out. An edition I did not have at hand then is Gerd Dicke's 1994 book, Heinrich Steinhöwels "Esopus" und seine Fortzetzer: Untersuchungen zu einem Bucherfolg der Frühdruckzeit. The present edition by Schneider picks up on the second portion of Brant's Esopus of 1501, well described on the Mannheim website: "Im 2. Teil präsentiert Brant eine von ihm selbst zusammengestellte, bunte Sammlung von Fabeln und moralischen Sentenzen, Schwänken und Anekdoten, Rätseln und Nachrichten von Wundern der Natur. Auch in diesen 140 Kapiteln wird das dreiteilige Schema von Illustration, Vers und Prosa durchgeführt." The reproduction of Brant's images is excellent! A cursory overview of the stories suggests that fables are rarer than the other forms mentioned above. Most of these texts seem new to me. I looked more carefully into #24, "De lupo comedente porcum pro pisce." This is the funny story of the wolf who has committed to fast from animals. He discovers a pig in water drinking and then washing himself. The wolf declares him a fish and eats him. Brant adds the story of a bishop who did the same with two partridges on a Friday. When a servant challenged him, he answered that if he could change bread into Christ's body, could he not change partridges into fish?! There is a detailed T of C at the beginning. This is a nicely constructed, if expensive, book.

1999 Small Tales Great Wisdom: Macedonian Sayings and Fables, Exercises in the Art of Astonishment. Jim Thomev. Apparently first printing. Paperbound. Queenscliff, Australia: Black on White Publications. AU $6.50 from robinjj180 on eBay, Oct., '07.

"This is a book of wit and wisdom," proclaims the back cover -- rightly. It is a personal book with even a last few pages of sponsors and advertisers. The central section among its three great sections -- after Macedonian sayings and before "Ancestral Voices" -- contains sixteen fables on some forty pages (93-132). They range from the day that truth and falsehood forever severed ways to a woman who wisely -- and successfully -- proclaimed her husband a priest, to a man who was ready to sacrifice himself for his friend, to a spider who turned into a savior for some hunted victims. One wise fable recommends that a man praying for a cow ask that his neighbor get two cows and give him one. The praying man is not up to that challenge (104-5). An anticlerical fable tells of a drunken priest who refuses a hand up out of the ditch. "One should never say 'give me your hand' to them, but rather one should say 'take my hand'!" If priests do give someone their hand, it will always be empty and ready to be filled or kissed (113). To my surprise, the only traditional fable that shows up in this group concerns the marriage of the mouse-daughter (125). 

1999 Tales from Aesop's Fables. Retold by Stephanie Laslett. Illustrated by Lorna Hussey (NA). Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in China. Bath, England: Nursery Classics: Parragon Publishing. $6 from Renaissance Book Shop, Milwaukee, June, '01.

This book fits between smaller and larger versions already published by Parragon. It is first a larger version of the mini classic The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse And Other Aesop's Fables, listed under "1994?" What is different? First, the page size. All the pages are blown up from 3 3/8" x 4¼" in that version to 4½" x 5¾" in this one. Second, the number of stories has increased from three to nine, the same nine that appear in the same publisher's larger Aesop's Fables of 1996. Thirdly, a T of C is added at the front. Fourthly, several other elements are added: a title-page and detailed illustrations of the main characters, all generated from illustrations offered during the story, in TMCM; larger titles in LM and FC; and a final detail illustration in FC. What was called "Aesop" at the back of the smaller book has become, with the loss of its first sentence, a "History" of fables at the front of the larger book. This larger book has lost the page-numbers that we find in the smaller one. By comparison with the larger Aesop's Fables of 1996, this book has all the same illustrations but adds many more to each story. More of Laslett's text appears than had appeared in that book, and she is acknowledged here. Hussey, by contrast, is not acknowledged here. Hussey's art may show off to best advantage in this middle-sized format. I like especially the expressions that she puts on the tortoise's face. DLS gives a great deal of attention to the killing of the lion; Hussey's several depictions of the dressed-up donkey are very good. The fox without a tail, once shamed in public, "slunk away into the deepest depths of the forest and there as the days passed he learned to live without his tail and no-one thought any the worse of him."

1999 Tales of Silliness: Retold Timeless Classics.  Retold by Janice Kuharski.  Illustrated by Michael A. Aspergren.  Paperbound.  Logan, Iowa: Cover-to-Cover Books: Perfection Learning.  $4.61 from Amazon.com, April, '16.

This 63-page pamphlet offers "The Six Sillies"; "Blockhead Hans"; "Lazy Jack"; and two versions of "The Emperor's New Clothes."  The first version is a standard narration of the story, which avoids giving the emperor reasons for wanting the cloth other than "It's just what I need.  No one else will have anything like it."   This version cleverly gets the second advisor to the emperor to react to the "cloth" by saying "I have no words to describe it."  Exuberance over the quality of the cloth leads in this version to the idea of a procession so that more townsfolk can see the cloth.  The small boy in this version speaks up after the emperor's speech at the end of the procession.  All has gone well until then.  The child moved up to the emperor and touched his clothes.  As he thought, they were not there.  After people listen to the child's revelation, the emperor thinks "I am still the emperor after all.  And people must not think that their emperor is a fool."  The story is followed by a play of 15 pages that sets the story at the Chinese court.

1999 The American Spelling Book.  Noah Webster, Esq.  Hardbound.  Brattleborough, VT/Bedford, MA: Holbrook and Fessenden/Applewood Books.  $14.95 at Sutter's Fort, Sacramento, CA, June, '13.

This is my fourth version of a Webster spelling book.  It is a facsimile of the 1824 version and seems identical with that which I have listed under 1817/1823.  The two work well together, since that book was worn and this book is fresh.  As I wrote there, amid all the book's good things are eight fables on 83-98.  New to me are "The Boy That Stole Apples" (83) and "The Fox and the Bramble" (92).  "The Cat and the Rat" (90) is told in an unusual fashion that puts together hanging and rolling in flour, which are usually alternative ways of telling the story.  Further, the cat is hanging to suggest that it has committed some misdemeanor.  TB (94) adds an unusual agreement beforehand that the two would help each other if assaulted.  Further stories:  MM (85), "The Fox and the Swallow" (and flies, 87), "The Two Dogs" (96), and "The Partial Judge" (98).  My favorite illustration is that of the apple-stealing boy sitting in the tree and refusing to come down (83).  These fables are followed shortly by a history of the creation of the world.  The grand total of the U.S. population (114) is given as 9.6 million.

1999 The Boy Who Cried Wolf: An Aesop Fable. Adapted by Martha Stamps. Illustrated by Jeff Fuqua. Hardbound. Franklin, TN: Puppy Tale: Dalmation Press. $1 from b2books.com, Denver, through abe, Oct., '06.

This little book, 5¾" x 6", belongs to the same series as The Tortoise & the Hare from the same year and publisher. Like that book, it has twenty-eight pages, stiff covers, and very thin pages. A paragraph of text appears on each left-hand page under a simple colored design of one or two sheep, while each right-hand page has a full-page colored illustration. The good text includes this comment: "The shepherd boy had been lucky and had never seen a wolf, but he didn't think he was so lucky." His victims here are his father and brothers. His response when they come running the first time is to fib "I must have made a mistake." His father warns him to be sure that there is a problem before he blows his horn. He blows the horn as soon as they have returned down the hill. The boy fibs again. He tries the trick again as soon as they have gone back down the hill, and his father insists with the brothers that they have to go because he might be in trouble. The fourth time gets no response, but this is a real alarm. Perhaps the best picture of the book shows the wolf carrying off a distraught lamb under each arm. The kind father forgives the son. Losing the sheep is a "stiff price to pay," but "this is a lesson well learned."

1999 The Classic Treasury of Aesop's Fables. Illustrated by Don Daily. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Apparently first edition and first printing. Printed in China. Philadelphia: Courage Books: Running Press. $9.98 from Amazon.com, Sept., '99.  Extra copy a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '00.

This very large format book (over 13" x 10") contains detailed and bright art for a selection of twenty fables. I can find no traditional source for the texts, which show a good eye for lively detail and engaging turns of phrase. The art reminds me of Santore's work. Perhaps its best feature lies for me in the little designs that face the full-page pictures from the text-page of each fable. Here Daily can select, and it seems to me that his comment is even stronger in these. My favorites include the full-page illustrations for "The Gnat and the Bull" (23) and "The Monkey and the Camel" (28) and the smaller designs for GGE (24) and OF (35). The latter plays on words in its title, "The Bull and the Bullfrog." In "The Stag and His Antlers" (36) the stag gets away from the entangling trees and the pursuing dogs for the first time in my recollection of this fable! There is a T of C at the beginning.

1999 The Elephant's Peaceable Kingdom and Other Salty Fables. By Nathan Cabot Hale. With Illustrations by the Author. Inscribed by Nathan Cabot Hale. Foreword by Gerard Piel. An Appreciation by Donald Holden. Paperbound. NY: White Whale Press. $12.50 from Nicholas Certo Books, Newburgh, NY, through abe, May, '04. 

I am delighted to have come upon this book. The first words of the foreword make it clear that the animals we meet here are not Aesop's. But they are a bit of Thurber's and Bierce's. There are thirty-one fables on 119 pages, with a T of C on vii. Each fable has a full-page black-and-white illustration. One of my favorite fables is "The Case of the Fat Fox" (7). An overeating fox goes to an owl for psychiatric help and is charged twenty mice per session. The fox has to work to catch the mice and loses some weight. Success leads the fox to acquiesce when the owl doubles his rate, and the fox loses still more weight. By the time the rate is up to sixty mice per session, the fox is back to normal weight, but the now overweight owl dies, and is lamented not only by the scientific and medical community but also by the fox, who found him a great therapist. Another is "The King of the Baboons" (51), which features a pissing contest to determine the new king every five years. A wily old baboon finds a clever way to win the contest after his prime. A final favorite is "The Camel Who Became a Prophet of Love" (55). This camel puts together his two fixations--singing and humping--to keep himself happy and even to form a new religious sect, "The Pathway of the True Humpers." "Moral: Allah always finds ways to explain his truths to unbelievers."

1999 The Hare and the Tortoise. Retold by Alan Trussell-Cullen. Illustrated by Edward Mooney. Paperbound. Carlsbad, CA: The Dominie Collection of Aesop's Fables: Dominie Press, Inc. $6.98 from AwesomeBooks.com, June, '12.

Here is the second book of this series (of ten) that I have found. It has about twice the number of words as the other volume, The Very Greedy Dog. There are 587 words here to 228 there. Sixteen pages. In this version, the boastful hare doubles back to tell the tortoise that he might as well give up. Within sight of the goal "'This is such an easy race!' he said to himself. 'I've even got time for a little nap'" (10). This tortoise's repeated line is "I must keep going! I must keep going!" (13). The tortoise gets to proclaim the moral at the end: "Slow and steady wins the race" (16). Now I need to find the other eight booklets in the series! 

1999 The Hare and the Tortoise and Other Fables: Aesop's fables retold by Alice Mills. Illustrated by Lialia Varetsa and Valentin Varetsa. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Milsons Point, Australia: Mynah. $5.98 from Half-Price Books, July, '08.

I had found this book earlier in its Australian version, published in 2000 by Global Book Publishing. Now I have found the 1999 USA version, published by Mynah, an imprint of Random House Australia. The ISBN has changed from 1740480961 to 0091838339. The publisher's icon at the base of the spine has changed accordingly. The book not only comes to me through two different publishers; it was printed by two different printers, both in Hong Kong. There is a dust jacket on this copy, and there was none on that book. More staff are listed facing the title-page. I will repeat some of my comments from that edition. This book turns out to be far more extensive than I had thought. It has an unusual landscape format of 9" x 6". Each page has a square illustration of about 3½" on a side, with the text next to it. Many of the illustrations are seriously indebted to Walter Crane. Several of the fables and their illustrations are unusual. "The Warhorse and the Miller" concludes with the miller saying "You should have thought more carefully before you chose to give up the army for the mill" (27). "The Leopard and the Fox" has the fox finishing with this statement: "An unspotted mind and heart are better than any spotted skin" (44). The artist may not have understood on 52 how a clever cat might suspend itself by its hind legs from a peg as though she were dead. On 66, the fox falls into a river, not a well, and gets the goat to help him out. "The Kingdom of the Lion" is played out without irony, as the lion proclaims a universal peace and the little animals say that this is the day that they have been waiting for (77). "The Tortoise and the Birds" may conflate two fables (93) or perhaps two motifs from different fables. The tortoise offers a large reward for flying, and the eagle is not sure how she can crack his shell. In MM, the milkmaid does not shake her head; she trips on a stone (100). There is a T of C at the beginning and both an AI and advertisements at the back.

1999 The Old Hermit and the Boy Who Couldn't Stop Laughing: An African Fable. K. Christopher Toussaint. Hardbound. Philadelphia: African Fables for Children Series: The United African Educational (and Scholarship) Foundation. $3.98 from Better World Books, March, '12.

I am surprised not to have run into this book earlier. UAEF has a website that displays some five other books in this series. Their name has apparently changed to drop the previously included "and scholarship" between "Educational" and "Foundation." In this book there is an identical list before and after this story of "Future book publications in our African Fables for Children Series." Each list contains the same fourteen items, not including the present book. This book tells a story I had not heard before. A hermit with a huge head and a hobbled walk visited town one day, only to be laughed and mocked by a young boy named Osade. After trying to get away from the boy, the hermit laid a curse on him. The boy could not stop laughing. His parents were deeply concerned. They consulted a griot, a wise old storyteller with mysterious powers. He told them of an expensive set of rituals that would be required if they wanted to lift the boy's spell. Then one day the boy abruptly stopped laughing -- but now had a large misshapen head like that of the old hermit. The griot understood that the hermit himself had shifted the spell and went to the hermit to ask him to release young Osade from the spell. Meanwhile, Osade underwent a change of heart. Now he helped old people. One day Osade even came upon the old hermit in town. Now he no longer laughed at him. The tale comes, of all places, from the very territory in Africa in which I worked, Benin City in Nigeria. I will be looking for the other stories in the series.

1999 The Tortoise and the Hare. Stéphane Turgeon for Tormont. Hardbound. Hong Kong: General Creation International Ltd. $0.99 from Danny Borders, Milledgeville, GA, through eBay, May, '08.

This is a sturdy small (7" x 5") board book with five double-sided interior pages. Baby Bear narrates. Mayor Piggy starts the race. The rabbit tires himself out. Result of the race? "The Hare has kept his mouth shut to this very day." I wonder if there are other books in this series. It seems as though the book may be coordinated with a tape, disk, or website, since the back cover says "Press Baby Bear's toes when you see a [pawprint] and he will read you the story of the Tortoise and the Hare!"

1999 The Tortoise & the Hare: An Aesop Fable. Adapted by Tess Fries. Illustrated by Danny Brooks Dalby. Hardbound. Puppy Tale. Printed in USA. Franklin, TN: Dalmation Press. $11.78 from Medlock's Old and Rare Book Warehouse, Shallotte, NC, Feb., '02.

This is a twenty-eight page book, 5¾" x 6", with very stiff covers and very thin pages. A few lines of centered text appear on each left-hand page, while each right-hand page has a full-page colored illustration. Perhaps the best of the simple illustrations shows just the frog's hand being waved after the proud hare has challenged the whole crowd to a race. The suggested retail price is $1.49, and "Your Price" is $.97. How did I get to pay $11.78?!

1999 The Very Greedy Dog. Retold by Alan Trussell-Cullen. Illustrated by Andrew Geeson. Paperbound. Carlsbad, CA: The Dominie Collection of Aesop's Fables: Dominie Pess, Inc. $6.98 from AwesomeBooks.com, June, '12.

I am surprised that I have never run into this series of ten books before. I wrote the publisher yesterday to ask about the set. Sixteen pages. This version starts with a farmer giving a dog meat and the greedy dog already responding "I want more!" This dog steals the cats' milk and the hens' grain and the horses' oats. Finally the farmer gives the dog a huge bone. The best picture of the book occurs as the dog goes over a nicely bowed bridge and sees his reflection perfectly in the water. A selection of this picture is rightly chosen to appear also on the cover. When the dog looked down into the water afterwards, "all he could see was a very sad dog with no bone at all" (15). An old crow watching comments "Greedy folk often lose what they have!" (16). Formerly owned by Dickinson Elementary School in DePere, WI. 

1999 Tiergeschichten aus der Fabelwelt. Shogo Hirata. Hardbound. Reichelsheim, Germany: Edition XXL, GmbH. DM 12.95 from Buch & Kunst, Dresden, July, '01.

This is a large-format book for children presenting the illustrations of Shogo Hirata for twenty-five fables. They are the twenty-five that are included in the ten volumes of the Joie Hirata series of 1989. In fact, they occur here in the exact order in which I have listed them there. Hirata and Joie are acknowledged on the final page here. The book designer here takes three elements found there on two pages and joins them onto one page: large picture, small symbol, and text. The picture on the cover of each booklet there is included as the first picture of the story here. Other decorations are added to fill out pages. The texts seem to follow Hirata's closely, changing genders when appropriate to the German. The cover-picture is excerpted from "Eine feige Fledermaus" (55) and the title-page illustration is one of the small symbols from "Eine Mäusenhochzeit" (84). Good art gets around!

1999 Tim and Harry: Video Activity Book. Editorial Director: Marion Cooper. Design and Illustration: Raketshop Design Studio. Apparent first printing. Paperbound. Singapore: Video Activity Book: Prentice Hall ELT. $24.75 from Alibris, Nov., '04. 

This landscape-formatted sixty-four-page paperback workbook apparently matches a half-hour video cassette, which I have not yet found. Most pages have eight TV-like panels or cells, with plenty of open space around them. The story replays TMCM. Tim drives from the city, meets Harry in the country, and is appropriately frightened by a friendly bull. Invited to help himself to lunch, he asks "Help myself to what?" He declares the food in front of him "junk food" as opposed to good food like "pizza, hamburgers, cola, chocolates." When Tim tries to pick a berry, he seizes a hive instead and has to dive into a pool for safety. Once in the city, the two steal clothes and prepare to steal a car at a toy store. In fact, this version handles better than most the disparity between rat-scale and human-scale. When Harry is about to enter the human door to Tim's home, Tim quickly dissuades him and brings him to the rat-entrance. Harry sits on a radio button and scares himself when the music comes on. Kids interrupt them. Then a cat comes, and Tim hides Harry in a plant. After all the chasing and hassle, Harry tries to sleep but cannot because of the noise. The two take leave of each other sadly and go to their respective homes. To my surprise, Tim soon drives out to the country with his possessions and admits that he has been a thief. There are exercises on various English language skills after each of the three parts. That the idiom is not American may be suggested by the use of "cola" above and by Tim's invitation to Harry at his car to "hop on" (not "hop in"). A note after this section says "Some people say 'Hop in.'" This workbook is meant for students who have studied two to three years of English. It is first in the series of four, in order of ascending difficulty: before "Zip and Earnest," "The Ants and the Grasshoppers," and "The Woodcutter and the Genie." This is lively work, and I hope I can find all four books and cassettes.

1999 Velut in speculum inspicere: Der Mensch im Spiegel der Fabel: Phaedrus: Lehrerkommentar. Bearbeitet von Maria Ausserhofer und Martina Adami. Various. 1. Auflage. Paperbound. Bamberg: Antike und Gegenwart: C.C. Buchner. Gift of Martin Kölle, August, '07.

Martin was just retiring from teaching and so gave me a set of teaching materials dealing with fables. Here is the teacher's companion book for a very strong piece, with the same title, done for German schoolchildren listed under "1997/2005." The "Vorbemerkungen" on 5 give the teacher a good sense of what to expect here. The "Didaktische Begründung" on 6 follows up with hoped for possibilities of the approach taken here and throughout the series "Antike und Gegenwart." There is then a chapter for each of the fifteen units, with plenty of new illustrations, possible questions and approaches to the Latin, and helpful commentary and analysis of the parallel texts offered. I find this approach to pedagogy impressive. I would love to teach or learn it! See also my comments on the student's booklet.

1999 Zip and Earnest: Video Activity Book. Editorial Director: Marion Cooper. Design and Illustration: Raketshop Design Studio. Apparent first printing. Paperbound. Singapore: Video Activity Book: Prentice Hall ELT. $16.53 from Alibris, Nov., '04. 

This landscape-formatted eighty-page paperback workbook apparently matches a half-hour video cassette, which I have not yet found. Most pages have eight TV-like panels or cells, with plenty of open space around them. Zip is a lazy hare oversleeping a date with his girlfriend Julie. He turns off his alarm clock, which has an engaging personality. Zip tries to get back into Julie's good graces by humiliating Earnest the tortoise. "Fast guys succeed," he says. Julie seems to understand what is going on and promises to marry Zip if he wins. She explains to her mother that Zip's laziness will somehow cost him the race. He threatens Earnest that he will "lose both the race and his face." Commentary from various fans and even arguments between them liven the story up nicely. In the end, Earnest waits for Zip and they cross together. The story teaches not only "Slow and steady wins the race" but also "Never tease others." Earnest attends Zip and Julie's wedding. There are exercises on various English language skills after each of the four parts. This workbook is meant for students who have studied two to three years of English. It is second in the series of four, in order of ascending difficulty: after "Tim and Harry" but before "The Ants and the Grasshoppers" and "The Woodcutter and the Genie." The story makes explicit mention of Aesop's fable at least twice. This is lively work, and I hope I can find all four books and cassettes.

1999/2000 Gib Ihm Sprache: Leben und Tod des Dichters Äsop: Eine Nacherzählung. Hans Joachim Schädlich. Illustration by Juro Grau. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Reinbek: Rowohlt. 2. Auflage. €14.90 from Walter Naumann-Etienne, Munich, through Orbidoo, April, '07.

This book is rightly labeled a "Nacherzählung," since it follows quite faithfully the information in a tenth-century Greek life of Aesop. Schädlich chooses wisely and well among the information there, to judge from the first third of this book that I have read. Aesop comes off the feisty, earthly, sexual, gifted figure that the tradition of that "life" represents. This is a well-made little book of 90 pages. 

1999/2004 Reinaert de Vos. Samengesteld door Hubert Slings. Fourth printing. Paperbound. Amsterdam: Tekst in Context: Amsterdam University Press. €15 from Utrecht, July, '09.

This is a very attractive paperback edition, presumably created for students of history and literature. It presents parts of the text of early texts of the Dutch Reinaert de Vos, along with contextualizing articles and sidebars. Excellent photography and graphics. One lovely little sidebar presents FC with an early colored illustration (44). Other foci include the chapters involving Reynard with the bear and the cat. Discussions include references to Jews, to clergy, and to the justice system presented in Reinaert de Vos. There is even a page on the presentation of Reynard under the Dutch Nazis. There are bibliographical helps and sample questions. It would be fun to learn from books like this one! 

1999/2009 I Once Was a Monkey: Stories Buddha Told. Jeanne M. Lee. Fifth printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. $12.23 from Amazon.com, Jan., '10.

An untitled story takes the reader immediately into a dark temple filled with random animals fleeing a storm. As the animals bicker, a stone statue of the Buddha quiets them. He will tell them a story to pass the time. There follow six Jataka stories done as an engaging children's book. They are illustrated in strong linocuts, some in one, some two, and some many colors. "The Foolish Forest Sprite" tells of a sprite who drives away the lions from his forest, but then the farmers come and cut down the trees, and soon all the animals have to flee. When the sprite asks the lions to return, they refuse. All creatures depend on each other for their existence; only tolerance of others can bring harmony. "The Deceitful Heron" tells a well-known KD tale, but with three changes from the versions I know best. First, the teller is a tree near the fresh full pond. Secondly, the heron carries individual fish in his beak to their doom. Thirdly, the tree-narrator is the place where the victim-fish are eaten. "The Monkey and the Crocodile," the book's title-story, is a famous tale involving the claim that the monkey has left his heart behind. The special feature here is that the monkey claims to show his heart hanging on the fig tree to the foolish crocodile. This colored picture is perhaps the best of the book. The monkey exults "You can't even tell a fig from a monkey's heart!" "The Flight of the Beasts" is the familiar story of the hare who fears that the the earth is caving in; in other versions the fear is that the sky is falling. The result is the same: a stampede. Here the lion stops them just before they race into the ocean. He asks the elephants if they saw the earth caving in, and they answer that the tigers did. The tigers point to the rhinoceros, who points to the oxen, and so on. "The Wise Dove" is about the captured dove who does not let himself get fattened up. He ends up free while all the other captives are eaten. "Three Friends in a Forest" reshapes the KD story of the rat and friends, only here without the rat. The two-color large illustration of the tressed antelope is one of the book's best. At the end of the last story, the animals awake as if after a long sleep, and the storm is over. The Buddha is a simple statue, but they all seem to remember the same stories as they leave the temple.

1999? Children's Treasury of Moral Stories 1. First edition. Paperbound. Delhi: Shilpa Publishing House. 39.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03.

This 16-page large-format pamphlet is the first of six volumes. Each page contains one fable with a colored illustration, with a moral given in a colored banner across the bottom of the page. There is a T of C on the inside front cover. FG (2) seems to be told in Vernon Jones' version, but at least several others here are not from Jones. The coloring of the illustrations is often garish. A good example here is 2P on 7. The spendthrift who sold his coat is here, in the illustration, advanced enough in age to be going bald (12).

1999? Children's Treasury of Moral Stories 2. First edition. Paperbound. Delhi: Shilpa Publishing House. 39.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03. 

This 16-page large-format pamphlet is the second of six volumes. Each page contains one fable with a colored illustration, with a moral given in a colored banner across the bottom of the page. There is a T of C on the inside front cover. This volume does a good job of text and illustration for "The Farmer and His Sons" (7). It also handles well the difficult situation in "The Mouse, the Frog and the Hawk" (13). It notes that these two friends were "not really suited," and it does not speak to the frog's part in the mouse's drowning. The coloring of the illustrations is often garish. Good examples here are on 2 and 9. The last page creates a word that is new to me when its moral proclaims "To Thine Ownself, Be True."

1999? Children's Treasury of Moral Stories 3. First edition. Paperbound. Delhi: Shilpa Publishing House. 39.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03.

This 16-page large-format pamphlet is the third of six volumes. Each page contains one fable with a colored illustration, with a moral given in a colored banner across the bottom of the page. There is a T of C on the inside front cover. This volume contains a curious illustration for FWT (4), in which the upright fox seems to strike a pose appropriate to a fashion model. On the following page we find "wating" for waiting." "The Fawn and His Mother" (9) is told in unusual fashion. Usually child chides parent. Here the mother upbraids her son--and then runs off when she hears the dogs. There is an extra apostrophe at the end of the third-last line. Page 10 speaks of the ferocious beast, the "Loin"! The coloring of the illustrations is often garish, but here "The Peacock and Juno" (12) is very nicely illustrated. This fable also ends with an excellent line from Juno: "Make no more complaints: for, if your present wish were granted, you would quickly find cause for fresh discontent."

1999? Children's Treasury of Moral Stories 4. First edition. Paperbound. Delhi: Shilpa Publishing House. 39.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03. 

This 16-page large-format pamphlet is the fourth of six volumes. Each page contains one fable with a colored illustration, with a moral given in a colored banner across the bottom of the page. There is a T of C on the inside front cover. This volume's cover picture of a wolf has him appear more like a lion! The same illustration is on 4, but the boy has changed garments. The best illustration here may be that for "The Sick Stag" (8). The donkey-driver on 10 cannot "get the donkey to budge from the drink." Might that be "brink"? Do the wolves usually make their appeal to the dogs (12)? Here they encourage the dogs to hand over the flocks and to feast together with the wolves; when the dogs agree and visit the wolves, the wolves tear the dogs to pieces. The coloring of the illustrations is often garish, as in the case of the two donkeys on 16.

1999? Children's Treasury of Moral Stories 5. First edition. Paperbound. Delhi: Shilpa Publishing House. 39.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03. 

This 16-page large-format pamphlet is the fifth of six volumes. Each page contains one fable with a colored illustration, with a moral given in a colored banner across the bottom of the page. There is a T of C on the inside front cover. "The Fox and the Grasshopper" here (4) lacks the usual reference to fox droppings. This grasshopper refers rather to "Grasshoppers' wings strewn about the entrance to a Fox's hole." The good moral to "The Bee-Keeper" (11) is "When you hit back, make sure you have the right man." The coloring of the illustrations is often garish, but the illustration for "The Rivers and the Sea" here (9) is quite beautiful.

1999? Children's Treasury of Moral Stories 6. First edition. Paperbound. Delhi: Shilpa Publishing House. 39.50 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03. 

This 16-page large-format pamphlet is the sixth of six volumes. Each page contains one fable with a colored illustration, with a moral given in a colored banner across the bottom of the page. There is a T of C on the inside front cover. The cover of this volume happens to come from a story in Volume 5! There are good illustrations here for "The Blind Man and the Cub" (11) and "The Boys and the Frogs" (16). The coloring of the illustrations is often garish; a good sample is the illustration for "The Dogs and the Fox" (4). Besides, the dead lion here has a quite human face!

1999? Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit. By Joel Chandler Harris. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Bedford, MA: Applewood Books. $10 from Bartleby's Books, Washington, DC, Dec., '07.

Here is a lovely reproduction of the (original?) edition by Frederick A. Stokes Company. I have it listed under "1907?" The biggest change I find is that the pages here are printed on both sides. Let me quote my comments from that earlier edition. Eleven stories, five of them in verse in this sideways book. The first and last stories are four pages long; all others are six. This edition keeps the dialect language. I recognize only one of these stories ("How Brer Rabbit Got a House") after reading the original Uncle Remus, His Songs and Sayings (1880). Especially with the 1906 copyright, could it be that these stories are from one of Harris' later Uncle Remus books? Excellent colored illustrations. Some pages have two illustrations and some only one. Finding this beautiful book convinced me for some reason to put a few editions of Brer Rabbit stories into this collection. That may not be my most logical decision ever, but I am glad to have found the book! I wonder who did the illustrations. This last question concerning the earlier edition has still not been answered for me.

 

To top