2000 to 2004

2000

2000 A Pig with Three Legs: Fables. Ferit Lamaj; Adapted into English by Steve Williams. Illustrations by Lazar Taçi. Paperbound. Tirana, Albania: Ilar Publishing House. $9.99 from Rosalind Maggart, San Diego, through eBay, Sept., '07.

This is not only my first book published in Albania; it is also one of the largest-format books I have. I measure it at about 9" x 12½." The twenty-seven fables here are simple and good. Each fable gets a two-page spread in these 64 pages. Beware: The T of C lists fables not by pages by each fable's number in chronological order. Most of these good fables end up being close to the border with jokes. When the pencil says to the eraser "Your only use is/To undo what I have done," the latter replies "The only time I've work to do/Is when you've gone astray" (10-11). The title-story comes from a boy who is happy to outdo his comrade who said that a pig has only two legs (12-13). "Parachute" (32-33) is both good and a good example of the joke character of the fables here. A piggy went to the store to buy a parachute. "The Stork clerk said, full of pride,/"This will give you a wonderful ride./Like all our goods, it's guaranteed./We stand behind our product, indeed!/If it doesn't work as it is tasked,/We will exchange it, no questions asked." A parrot begins cursing, and the mother asks the son to stop it (54-55). The son answers "Believe ir or not, he's teaching me." On an engaging page at the end, the author asks if the reader likes the fables. If so, he requests calls, emails, and letters and gives the address or number for each. If not, he writes three things, the heart of which is that he has lost his phone, email, and home. The pictures of author, illustrator, and translator on the back cover look as though they came from Eastern Europe in the depths of Russian occupation.

2000 A Sip of Aesop.  By Jane Yolen.  Illustrated by Karen Barbour.  Paperbound.  NY: Scholastic, Inc.  See 1995/2000.

2000 A Stupid Fox. Paperbound. Penang, Malaysia: Popular Stories Series; Tomato Series: Rhythm Publishing Co. Sdn. Bhd. 41.75 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill, Manila, August, '03. 

This is one of four sixteen-page pamphlets of mid-size (5¾" x 8¼"), each portraying one story. The texts seem to be identical with those used in Angel Publishing House's My Favorite Stories: Read & Colour 1-5. One clue is that the first of the series to which these books belong contains the story "Si Luncai." These two series were apparently first published in 1997. This 2000 edition is labeled "revised." This booklet belongs to the first series. This story uses a rabbit hole to make the point that the fox has to be as thin to get out as he was to get in. This story specifies the time he needs to thin back down: three days.

2000 A Treasury of Favorite Fables. Hardbound. Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing. $2.50 from Jean K., Lakewood, WA, through eBay, Nov., '12.

Previously published by Parragon in 1999 as A Treasury of Animal Tales. That title would be even more appropriate, since seven of the twelve stories here are standard Aesopic fables, but the other five are a mix of "Pourquoi" and other sorts of stories. FWT has the fox in question sporting his own tail as a part of his hat, and so the revelation of the story is not that he is missing his tail but that he had lost it in a trap. "The Wolf and the Ass" emphasizes the distinction between the smart ass, who here kicks the wolf, and the less smart donkey. Other fables include TH, DS, FC, TMCM, and FS. "The Cat That Walked by Himself" is a fascinating creation story that has the woman civilizing the man and various beasts, but only partly taming the cat. This book is about 6½" square with padded covers. 

2000 A Treasury of Five-Minute Stories.  Chosen by Fiona Waters.  Illustrated by John Lawrence.  First printing.  Paperbound.  NY: Kingfisher.  $2 from somewhere in the Bay Area, July, '15.

I have encountered both Fiona Waters and John Lawrence previously, and I have enjoyed the work of both.  Here some three texts will call out to fable readers.  TMCM (22) is told by Waters herself.  The telling is dramatic and well crafted, fleshed out with plenty of detail.  Lawrence offers five good illustrations for this fable.  "Soup Stone" (65) offers a version of the story in which the proprietor of the stone approaches just one woman.  In the end, he gives her the stone and starts all over after that.  "Brer Rabbit to the Rescue" (106) offers the story in which Brer Rabbit frees Brer Turtle from Brer Fox's bag and replaces the turtle with hornets for the unsuspecting fox.  Well done! 

2000 Aesop's Fables. Jerry Pinkney. First printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Belgium. NY: SeaStar Books: North-South Books, Inc. $17.95 from amazon.com, Sept., '00.  Extra copy a gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Nov., '01.

This large-format book starts with an insightful introduction by Pinkney (9). He mentions that he as an adult often recalls a moral without its corresponding story and vice versa. His point is that "each stands effectively and wholly on its own, yet together their impact is even greater." This is a worthwhile book, one of the best fable books I have seen in a long time. The texts of its 61 fables are good. The size of the illustration varies, from thumbnails to part-page to full-page. LM gets a luxurious two-page spread at the middle of the book. Almost every text gets at least a thumbnail illustration. The art sometimes reminds me of Frederick Richardson. Some of the humans are black, as is Pinkney, a celebrated winner of several Caldecott Awards. BW's shepherd boy wishes that a wolf would come. "At least then something would happen" (11). The stag struggles free of the constraining branches--of course because of his strong legs (14). Among the most delightful of the illustrations is that of the mice's headgear on 24-25. The fox twirls around in a circle so effectively that the pheasants watching him get dizzy, lose their balance, and fall as his prey (39). The mouse in LM knows that it is a lion that she is climbing on (41). GB gets one of the most dramatic illustrations (45). DW has a fine moral: "Lean freedom is better than fat slavery" (49). New to me is this way of telling "The Peacock's Tail" (57). The peacock used to be able to fly, but prayed for beautiful feathers. Of course he got them, but could no longer fly. Grandmother Crab finishes the fable here by proclaiming that on second thought "a true crab should always be very proud to walk sideways" (70). This book has two crows deal with the water in the pitcher; of course, only one is successful (72). OR also gets a two-page spread (80-81). There is an AI at the back.

2000 Aesop's Fables. Jerry Pinkney. Paperbound. NY: AIG (American International Group)/Chronicle Books. Gift of Barbara Farnsworth, West Cornwall, CT, April 4, '04. 

This pamphlet, about 5½" square, presents selections from Pinkney's larger work by the same title. There are six fables here, all but one (TH) offering a full-page illustration. TH gets a two-page spread at the middle of the book without illustration. As I say of the larger book, the art sometimes reminds me of Frederick Richardson. Other fables here include GA, CP, TB, BS, and "The Mermaid and the Woodcutter." This book has two crows deal with the water in the pitcher; of course, only one is successful.

2000 Aesop's Fables (Chinese). Paperback. Printed in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Sunbeam Publications. See 1989/2000.

2000 Aesop's Fables, Vol. I (Chinese).  Deng myohyang Bianzhu, Du Xiaofeng, Wu Ruoxian, Liu Zhu.  First edition, boxed.  Paperbound.  China: Acme Book Co., Ltd.  $10 from an unknown source, July, '15. 

Here is a mysterious set of three books, found too long after I had acquired them.  I have pieced together some information from the web.  I know that they have one ISBN number for the whole set (957-492-375-4) and one for each volume (here: 957-492-376-2).  This first volume has DS on its cover, which would be the back cover in a western book. A beginning T of C lists 37 fables in this volume on some 191 pages, with stiff paper covers that form their own flyleaves.  The fables are easy to recognize from the lively colored illustrations, usually two to a fable with occasional colored photographs showing given animals.  Good sample illustrations are for "Fox and Eagle" (25) and "Lion and Mosquito" (29).  Town Mouse and Country Mouse seem to be interrupted by a cook who fits their dimensions (42).  Each fable has a small "post-it note" in a corner with a smaller version of one of the illustrations.  Might that note express a moral?  Both the screaming ant and the thrown leaf are done in expressive primitive fashion in AD (53).  The artist choose a good perspective for presenting the fox in the well looking up at the goat (99)!  The set of three volumes is boxed.

2000 Aesop's Fables, Vol. II (Chinese).  Deng myohyang Bianzhu, Du Xiaofeng, Wu Ruoxian, Liu Zhu.  First edition, boxed.  Paperbound.  China: Acme Book Co., Ltd.  $10 from an unknown source, July, '15.

Here is a mysterious set of three books, found too long after I had acquired them.  I have pieced together some information from the web.  I know that they have one ISBN number for the whole set (957-492-375-4) and one for each volume (here: 957-492-377-0).  This second volume has a picture of a monkey on a roof for its cover, which would be the back cover in a western book. That story, which I do not recognize, occurs on 126-29.  A beginning T of C lists, as does Volume I, 37 fables in this volume on some 191 pages, with stiff paper covers that form their own flyleaves.  The fables are easy to recognize from the lively colored illustrations, usually two to a fable with occasional colored photographs showing given animals.  Among the livelier illustrations in this engaging volume are the two for "The Mother and the Wolf" (49, 50).  We get a sad-looking lion without teeth and claws on 60.  The two serving girls rudely awakened are very young (93).  Typical of this illustration style is the lively picture of the crow stuck in a lamb's wool (180).  Each fable has a small "post-it note" in a corner with a smaller version of one of the illustrations.  Might that note express a moral?  The set of three volumes is boxed.

2000 Aesop's Fables, Vol. III (Chinese).  Deng myohyang Bianzhu, Du Xiaofeng, Wu Ruoxian, Liu Zhu.  First edition, boxed.  Paperbound.  China: Acme Book Co., Ltd.  $10 from an unknown source, July, '15.

Here is a mysterious set of three books, found too long after I had acquired them.  I have pieced together some information from the web.  I know that they have one ISBN number for the whole set (957-492-375-4) and one for each volume (here: 957-492-378-9).  This third volume has a group of animals reading an edict on a tree for its cover, which would be the back cover in a western book. That story, which I do not recognize, occurs on 122-25.  A beginning T of C lists, as do Volumes I and II, 37 fables in this volume on some 191 pages, with stiff paper covers that form their own flyleaves.  The fables are easy to recognize from the lively colored illustrations, usually two to a fable.  Typical illustrations in this volume are "The Woodsman and His Axe" (47, 49); WS (71, 73); and "The Astronomer Who Fell into the Well" (175).  Each fable has a small "post-it note" in a corner with a smaller version of one of the illustrations.  Might that note express a moral?  The set of three volumes is boxed.

2000 Aesop's Fables: Complete & Unabridged.  Edited by Dutta and Martin.  Illustrated by Satyajit Debnath.  First edition; signed by Satyajit.  Paperbound.  Kolkata: Grantha Niketan.  60 Rupees from a bookstall on College Street, Kolkata, Dec., '13. 

Here is one of only two books I found in walking the many stalls along College Street in Kolkata.  This book shows significant wear, especially for a book only fourteen years old.  229 pages.  T of C at the beginning.  "Aesop's Fables" appears at the central seam near the bottom of each page, with a printer's design below it and the page number beside that.  Every fable seems to have a simple black-and-white design and a moral.  "Complete & unabridged" is quite a claim!  The cover has a yellow background with FG in brown and green.  Some student seems to have practiced signing his name in the first and last pages.  Aesop lives!

2000 Aesop's Fables: Imitation in Writing Series, Book 1. Matt Whitling. Second edition. Paperbound. Moscow, Idaho: Imitation in Writing Series, Book 1: Logos School Materials. $25.95 from alibris, Nov.,'04.

This is an 8½" x 11" spiral-bound book of fifty pages. It presents a collection of forty reproducible fables, each with key word outline sentence prompts and space for word definitions. It is, as the inside front-cover proclaims, "book one in a growing series of Imitation in Writing materials designed to teach aspiring writers the art and discipline of crafting delightful prose and poetry." What a good idea! (Others in the series include fairy tales, Greek myths, Greek heroes, and "The Grammar of Poetry.") Though there are no interior illustrations, there is a fine image on the cover of two men in Elizabethan garb, both with slate and chalk and apparently copying from each other and/or arguing. The author lays out a thirteen-step method to follow in getting students to imitate good writing (5-6). The texts used are traditional and sound somewhat archaic. To my surprise, the two I have been able to track down ("The Gnat and the Lion" and "The Two Frogs") come from Frederick Burr Opper in 1917.

2000 Aesop's Fables: The Hare and the Tortoise and Other Animal Stories. Text by Sally Grindley. Illustrations by John Bendall-Brunello. Second printing. Printed in Singapore. London: Bloomsbury Children's Books: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. From Alibris, Jan., '01.

Apparently identical with a hardbound version from 1999. Eighteen fables in an oversized version for the very young. Bendall-Brunello's work is aptly described here as "jaunty." It reminds me a bit of Quentin Blake's. Grindley's text is lively. It uses repetition effectively: "The hare snickered, then he sniggered, then he snorted, then he couldn't help himself and burst out laughing." (8). Most fables get a two-page spread. Longer fables include LM and TMCM. The crow has a worm in FC (18). This version lets the jackdaw, who had painted himself white, rejoin his fellows after he grows new feathers (22). The pictures in "The Fox and the Goat" match each other perfectly (26). The two friends in TB are young boys on bicycles (38). The boy left with the bear trembles, shudders, and throws himself to the ground with the bear in front of him. This bear is dumb! The piece of meat in the water in DS is twice as big as the dog's own (40).

2000 An Old Fable; A New Fable.  Diane Weintraub.  #15 of 50; signed by the creator.  Hardbound.  San Diego, CA: Iron Bear Press.  $85 from Oak Knoll Books, New Castle, DE, Sept., '14.  

This is a fascinating double book in which the back cover of one book is joined back-to-back with the upside-down back cover of the other book.  Open it one way and it gives you an old fable; open it the other and you have a new fable.  The old fable is characterized as Asian.  Some of us may know it from Tony DiMello.  Several rounds occur starting with a farmer purchasing a fine new horse and his neighbor saying that he was lucky.  "Perhaps."  Then the horse runs away.  "Unlucky."  "Perhaps."  The horse returns and brings many other horses along.  "Lucky."  "Perhaps."  The farmer's son rides the horse, falls, and breaks a leg.  "Unlucky."  "Maybe."  "Soldiers come through and conscript but do not take the son.  The new fable applies that old fable to contemporary times as a man invents a great new product in his garage, only to see it stolen.  He sues and after a long battle wins all his competitor's assets, only to lose everything in a stock-market crash.  This fable ends as the reader turns a page to find three endings of the story that unfold from their base on the page.  The three endings are quite different!  Each front cover has an inlaid bar of patterned white material.

2000 Animal Fables from Aesop. Adapted and illustrated by Barbara McClintock. Paperbound. Printed in Spain. Boston: David R. Godine. $4.98 from Half-Price Books, Berkeley, CA, Nov., '02.

Here is a fine paperback version of the original 1991 hardbound version, also done by Godine. Let me repeat my comments there, except to say that I had complained about the hardback cost. Now the paperback cost is less than a third that of the hardbound. As I write there, 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. TMCM is closely modeled after Jacobs' version. In an excellent last illustration, the humans who make up the cast take off their animal masks. Other excellent pictures show the crow losing his cheese; the crow frustrated over the loss; the fox winking over his soup; the wolf pointing a finger down at the lamb; the crow at the peacock ball (note the peacock statue!); the fox's fall; and the fox buying grapes from a mouse. A real treat.

2000 Beastly Tales From Here and There. Vikram Seth. Illustrations by Ravi Shankar. Paperbound. Printed in Great Britain. London: Phoenix House: Orion. See 1994/2000.

2000 Broken Fables. Nathan Myers, Luke Fisher, Jason Gewehr. Blockprints by Aaron Van de Kerckhove; photos by Luke Fisher. Paperbound. San Jose, NY, Lincoln, Shanghai: Writers Club Press. $8.75 from Better World Books, Nov., '09.

Working with fables brings me to wonderfully strange experiences! I figured one of those was coming when I noticed that the cover photo of this 185-page book shows a man in a straw hat vomiting. The back cover advises: "Store this classic collection of anti-wisdom in a zip-lock bag beneath your toilet. Read during your bowel movements. Wipe with the pages. Refresh your copy frequently." The foreword is signed by "Edit-whore & chef, N.M." I tried perhaps five of the short offerings. They are anti-wisdom, sometimes surprising, sometimes perhaps angry. "The Guru" (1) has a disciple pledge himself to a master for years only to find out that the master is a fake bilking him of money. "Life is the Butt of a Dream" (5) is a bit of GA. One man spends all sorts of energy building a house while another watches him and dreams. The house-builder scorns the other when the dreamer asks if he can stay with him. Two weeks later the dreamer finds the house-builder dead of a heart attack in his beautiful home. The dreamer buries him and moves into the house. Maybe closest to traditional fable is "Country Rooster, City Rooster" (15). The story begins as a typical war movie with the City Rooster nobly and surprisingly saving the Country Rooster in the midst of a terrible battle in the Great War. They became gay partners, visited the Country Rooster's family at home, and were scorned. They returned to the city "and they made love like only gay chickens can" (17). Yes, these fables are broken!

2000 Classic Animal Tales. Individual stories adapted by Lisa Harkrader, Catherine McCafferty, Megan Musgrave, Sarah Toast. Cover illustrated by Richard Bernal; individual stories illustrated by Dominic Catalano, Jason Wolff, Rusty Fletcher, Yuri Salzman. First printing. Hardbound. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest Young Families, Inc. $2.98 from Half-Price Books, July, '11.

This book is largely identical with one published in 1998 by Publications International with the same title. It has these differences. This copy has "Reader's Digest Young Families" on its otherwise identical cover. It includes five stories instead of six; "The Cat That Walked by Himself" is left out. The book thus concludes on 71, not 87, with only a "The End" page following. It does give credit on the verso of its title-page to Publications International, the publisher of the earlier book. The latter also holds the 2000 copyright. This title-page illustration includes the first picture from GA by Jason Wolff; the earlier volume's title-page had a picture from "The Cat That Walked by Himself." This edition strangely drops mention of TMCM's story adapter, Lisa Harkrader, and its artist, Dominic Catalano, but includes the attributions of the other stories at the beginning of each. Even the endpapers are identical. This book includes TMCM, GA, and AL. The other stories are "Brer Rabbit Outfoxes Brer Fox" and "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi." Here are some comments from that earlier volume. The tellings are lively and traditional. Full-page colored illustrations occur about every other page. Among the best illustrations are those showing Alistair, the city mouse, pulling the pillow over his ears in the early country morning. GA's 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. Next summer he sings "Summer work is slow and steady. But when winter comes, I'll be ready!" Brer Rabbit's key line is "Please throw me into the briar patch" and Brer Fox's is "Come with me and I will carry you."

2000 Clever Tortoise: A Traditional African Tale.   Francesca Martin.   Apparently third printing.   Dust jacket.   Hardbound.   Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.   $6 from Bluestem Books, Lincoln, NE, Jan., '03.  

At Lake Nyasa in Africa, the elephant once came crashing among the other animals.   That action roused the hippopotamus to show how strong he was, too.   When the other animals gathered to ask what they could do, clever tortoise came up with an idea.   He went to elephant and issued a challenge to a tug-of-war.   Then he did the same with hippopotamus.   That night the animals worked hard together to weave a strong rope.   The next morning they went individually to the two and gave each an end of the rope.   Here one finds perhaps the best illustrations: two facing pages of three panels each.   Martin playfully shows the intensifying and frustrated efforts of each beast.   At noon, tortoise cut the rope with an axe.   The elephant bumped his head, and the hippopotamus smacked her back in the water.   That evening, the animals held a big party to celebrate clever tortoise.   The illustrative work is affectionate and colorful in this landscape-formatted book.

2000 Coleman's Fables.  Roger R. Coleman, DC.  Foreword by Ken Wolf.  Hardbound.  Oaksdale, WA: Arts & Crafts Book Bindery.  $5 from Winter Ventures, Red Lion, PA, through eBay, April, '14.  

This is a privately published book of thirteen stories on 102 pages.  The author is eager to show the partiality of scientists and doctors.  In the first fable, ideas of wizards fight each other.  Wizards here seem to become scientists.  I read the first two offerings and did not find them to be fables.  Coleman is a chiropractor.  "The Wars" (67) talks about the struggles of a chiropractor -- first to get chiropractice licensed and recognized.  Then come the "technique wars": "The ill informed fought the unenlightened, watched by the uncaring" (69).  Science finally triumphs over technique.  "Technique is dead, long live science."  Now, for Coleman, the IME wars begin!

2000 Cooperation: Stone Soup. Adapted by Mary Rowitz. Illustrated by Sharron O'Neil. Pamphlet. Publications International, Ltd.. $.10 from Hoopeston Books & Gifts, through eBay, March,'04.

Each pair of pages presents one full page of text and one of colored illustration. The picture of the cow maid holding her mop at the farmhouse's half-door is too good to miss! This cook/traveler proclaims from the start that his stone has magic qualities. A page at the end stops to reflect on cooperation in the light of the story.

2000 De Mooiste Sprookjes en Verhalen: De Fabels van Aesopus.  Katrien Bruyland.  Illustraties van Patricia Ludlow.  Hardbound.  Aartselaar, Belgium:  Deltas.  €4 from Antiquariaat Klikspaan, Leiden, through Abe, July, '16.

Here is the Dutch version of "Aesop's Fables" published by Brown Watson in 1999.  Except for the translations of the texts, the book seems identical.  As I wrote there, this is a large-format book of thirty fables occurring 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).  "Mooiste" seems to mean "prettiest."

2000 Die Gattung Fabel. Hans Georg Coenen. Paperbound. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. DM 33.80 from Hassbecker's Galerie & Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, July, '01.

Amazon's short summary is helpful: "Die Fabel löst, wenn sie als Kommunikationsmittel Erfolg hat, beim Leser eine Erkenntnis aus. Dieses Buch beschreibt in seinem Hauptteil die geistigen Leistungen der Kommunikationspartner, auf denen dieser Erfolg beruht. Die im Anhang interpretierten stoffgleichen Fabeln verschiedener Epochen und Länder geben Beispiele eines spielerischen, fantasievollen und geschichtsschweren Gedankenaustausches." This book works from the supposition that, just as a conversation partner has grammatical structures that allow him to understand a speaker's declaration, there is an explainable connection between stimulus and reaction when rhetorical and poetic strategies are at work, which in like fashion provoke understanding. Coenen works from the way a metaphor provokes understanding and even decision about behavior. He wants to examine how a fable text releases in the fable-addressee the necessary achievements necessary to fable-communication. For his purposes he needs to separate rhetorical fable from instructive fable. The former is ordered to a concrete case of disagreement and is meant to help decide the case. The latter, "belehrende," fable serves to deliver some general wisdom about life. If it impacts decisions at all, it will be in the long term. The process that the fable text initiates is different in the two cases. A first part of the book then offers an overview of the genre. The second part is the crucial part of this book: analysis of the act of communication of a fable. A four-part appendix compares belehrende fables concerning the same material. This is a book I would want to read in the midst of a good group discussing, challenging, sifting. 

2000 Die Landmaus und die Stadtmaus. Elizabeth Shaw. Hardbound. Berlin: Die Kleine Bibliothek Elizabeth Shaw Band 6: Der KinderbuchVerlag. €5 from J. Kitzinger Antiquariat, Munich, August, '07.

The landmouse lives peacefully on the farm, with proportionally sized chickens, ducks, and goats. Grandmother cooks in a wood oven and gets water from the spring; they live the way their parents and grandparents lived. Grandfather smokes his pipe and reflects on life and watches to see if someone comes to visit. One day there is a noise. The citymouse shows up on a motorcycle -- and finds life here so quiet that it is eerie. The citymouse offers to take the landmouse to the city, and she agrees. Grandfather says that she will be back soon; his grandfather once took off for the city and came back fast. The landmouse is suitably impressed with the apartment on the fifteenth floor. (Everything in this town seems to be mouse-sized, and the landmouse wonders at the streets, the cars, and the many mice. Apparently there are no people here.) Here one does not have to haul wood or water. One does not need to plant, harvest, or even cook. There are ready-made meals in the freezer! Why, the landmouse opines, here one could sit all day and reflect, like grandpa. The citymouse responds that he has to work all day in the factory, and tomorrow the landmouse can come along and help. They work hard, come home tired, and eat frozen meals in front of the TV. On the weekend they party. Life in the city is expensive. After a couple of years (!), the landmouse decides that city life is not for her. It is a "Hetzjagd." The citymouse does not disagree. He is getting ready to marry, and the apartment would not have room for three. However, to her surprise, the landmouse finds that grandmother has set up a hot dog stand for all the tourists looking for quiet in the country. The poor landmouse likes neither city life nor modern life and wants the good old days. She gets drivers to slow down and enjoy the flowers and convinces grandma to serve not hot dogs but good old country food. The book closes with a first meal in the "Gasthaus auf dem Lande" with the citymouse and his new bride. Some good old socialist thinking is still alive in Berlin!

2000 Don't Let your Mind Stunt Your Growth: Stories, Fables, and Techniques That Will Set Your Mind Free. Bryan E. Robinson. First printing. Paperbound. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.. $1 from MassBookStore, Wilmington, MA, through eBay, Oct., '10.

As the introduction says, "Don't Let your Mind Stunt Your Growth is a collection of sixty-four stories that encourage you to examine your life by paying closer attention to how your mind creates each experience that you have" (7). That, from my experience of the first fifteen stories or so, seems an accurate description. This seems like a sound self-help book that respects the power of narrative to suggest new ways of envisioning our lives. Many of the stories are personal experiences from the author or from things he has read. Several of the two-page chapters include fables. One finds, for example, on 20-21, the four-phase Chinese story of the farmer who loses his horse, gets a herd of wild horses, watches his son break a leg taming one of them, and then sees his son passed over for soldiering since he has a bad leg. His response each time: "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?" A page later we see the story of the farmer who meets two strangers, both asking about the kind of people in this territory. In answer to both the farmer asks what kind of people the stranger encountered where he came from. To either, with their divergent answers, he answers "I expect you'll find the same sort of people around here" (22). Each chapterlet has a helpful title and quotation summing up what it has to offer. Who could argue against the kind of good advice you find here? 

2000 Dragon Fin's Soup: Eight Modern Siamese Fables. S.P. Somtow. First edition. Paperbound. Northridge, CA: Babbage Press. $14.15 from AAAwesome Stuff, Inc, Stevens Point, WI, through abe, June, '03. 

From the first of the eight installments, I can affirm that this is a wild book! I enjoyed the title-story, which I read through a number of interruptions in a doctor's office. What a wild and wonderful mix of sex, food, Thailand, Chinese culture, America, family, friendship and imagination! We are of course a long way from fable here. These are very contemporary short stories. The back cover describes them in four different ways: "8 Modern Siamese Fables," "8 RowdyTales," "8 Frightening Ruminations," and "8 Delectable Servings." All the descriptions fit the first story, and I imagine that they do the rest, too. I look forward to reading them.

2000 Fabels van Aesopus. In verzen verteld en ingeleid door Johan van Nieuwenhuizen. Illustrations from J. van Vianen. Second Printing. Paperbound. Utrecht: Prisma: Het Spectrum. See 1979/2000.

2000 Fables Choisies mises en vers par M. de La Fontaine. Illustrations de François Lesourt Chanton. Hardbound. Barbentane, France: Éditions Équinoxe. Gift of Maureen Hester from Gayrau, Bouquiniste on the quais of Paris, July, '07.

I have seldom been charmed as much by a book as I am charmed by this edition. Of course, it was a pleasure to find it together at one of the bouquinistes on the Seine. Most friends have given up on finding a new fable book for or with me. Open this book and you will be charmed immediately by the end papers. Each pair, front and back, includes ninety-six initials used in the eighty-seven fables here. Some are doubles, and not all of the fables' initials are included. I found it a game to match initial with its fable, since each initial includes a fine symbol for the particular fable. Except for one triple, the doubles match each other for their relative placement on the page. The style of illustration is primitive and highly colorful, right from the four scenes of TMCM on the front cover. To my surprise, the edition bothers to include the letter and poem to the Dauphin, the life of Aesop, and the dedicatory poems to Madame de Montespan and the Duke of Bourgogne which open the second and third portions, respectively. The back cover finds the fables of the first portion simpler and more apt for children and those of the later portions more varied, complex, and suitable for adults. Throughout the book, the right-hand pages have no text but an illustration, either partial or full page. The fables, given in an AI at the beginning, appear in their original order and are numbered according to their original books and fable numbers. Many illustrations include several phases from the fable. King Lion's portions are particularly effectively portrayed in I 6 on 35. LM on 45 gives a fine sense of the fable: one panel shows discussion and the other eating. Lesourt Chanton has particular fun with "Les Membres et l'Estomac" (89). Other fine efforts are FK (93) and "The Eagle and the Owl" (143). Typically here the characters have human bodies and dress with animal heads. Lesourt Chanton died in 1997, as a short biography at the end points out.

2000 Fables from Aesop. Adapted by Tom Lynch. Illustrated by Tom Lynch. Apparently first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers: Viking Penguin. $14.39 from Amazon.com, Sept., '00.

Twelve fables in an "landscape" book that features two-page spreads for each fable with a fabric collage for each. Even the frontispiece, title page, and dedication are or include photographs of fabric collages. The monkey who gets caught in the net (the third fable) has a wonderfully rearranged body! Another great illustrations shows the fox stuck in two holes of a tree (fable 7). My prize goes to the last illustration, which makes the fox's shadow into a huge wolf. Each moral starts with "So remember!"

2000 Fables from the Sea. Leslie Ann Hayashi. Illustrated by Kathleen Wong Bishop. Signed by Bishop. First printing. Hardbound. Honolulu: A Kolowalu: University of Hawai'I Press. $2.98 from Steve Downs, Lewes, DE, through eBay, Feb., '08.

Here are ten new fables, with clear didactic lessons for today. So the first fable, "The Moray Eel and the Little Shrimp," is an effective remake of LM, with the appropriate moral, "An act of kindness, no matter how small, should never be forgotten" (7). These stories do for the sea what Hayashi and Bishop's 1998 book, "Fables from the Garden," had done on land. Some of the best illustrations are those bringing together various animals, like "The 'Iwa's Theft" on 8-9 and "The Impolite Hermit Crab" on 12-13. There are notes on 36-39 on the Hawaian sea creatures and birds presented in this book. Hayashi is a district court judge in Honolulu. The author and illustrator were childhood friends.

2000 Fables in Verse Inspired by Aesop and La Fontaine. Abraham Arouetty. Paperbound. Lincoln, NE: Writers Club Press. $25.95 from alibris, Feb., '02.

The author's preface is quite straightforward. He wants to present his own version of already famous fables. He wants to convey them in a manner that is enjoyable and at times humorous. He hopes readers will enjoy his "linguistic trickery." The book distributes 110 verse fables over five books, with each fable given a letter from "A" to "Y" or "Z." The fifth book reaches only to "J." I have read the first book and would have trouble recommending this as a good contemporary fable book. Unfortunately, I found two typos on the first two pages of reading: "Your singing needs nor more enhancing" (1) and "A Frog saw and Ox" (2). The typos seem not to stop there. Rhyme seems to drive the poetry here. "Death and the Sad Man" (5) bothers me. Does it help the story to have this man often pray to death to come? I would have thought that the prayer arises just once in a moment of frustration. If the man is always praying to death, why does death wait until now to come? Finally, I cannot make sense of the moral: "To sorrow and despair one should always agree,/When assured that life is one's fee." One of Arouetty's best moves is a sudden shift of viewpoint, as from the second-last to the last line of AD (8): "He uttered a cry, which put the Dove to flight./There was no pigeon to consume that night." Some of the same freshness comes in the moral for "The Monkey and the Dolphin" (13): "People speak about things of which they have never heard./Follow this advice: when you know little utter not a word!" I am surprised to learn that the fox could have got the grapes if he had only persisted (9). The farmer kills the goose in GGE after just one golden egg (14).

2000 Fablesauce: Aesop reinterpreted in rhymed couplets. Pat Lessie. Scratchboard illustrations by Karen Gaudette. Paperbound. Inscribed by Gaudette.  Athol, MA: Haley's. $2 from Second Story Books, Rockville, MD, Jan., '08.  Extra copy, uninscribed, for $14.95 from Alibris, Feb., '02.

Nine fables in rhymed iambic tetrameter. These texts are meant to be read aloud to children. Lessie speaks warmly of family experiences with poetry read aloud. I can mostly applaud her efforts here. A number of rhymes help to clinch the fables. A few seem labored. The illustrations are a more-than-pleasant addition. They often show wit of their own. There is, e.g., a clever last picture for "Old Lion" showing the fox's hind quarters and his unidirectional paw-prints (4-5). Again the final picture of the owl eating the last of the grasshopper on 11 is good: there is still one leg left to swallow, and there is just one note coming out of the owl's mouth. I offer two examples of Lessie's verse, The first, from the fox to the crow on 14, is, I think, less good :

"…what really, really sets you back
is brains—you simply have no wits;

or one might say, your mind's the pits."

The second, much stronger, is the finish to "Crab and His Mother" on 19:

"And when this incident was done,
they both agreed, Mom and her son,
that one should never talk the talk
without the means to walk the walk."

As the tortoise passes him, the hare sleeps next to a tree, which is well placed in the center between 22 and 23 so that it spreads out from the book's crack.

2000 Fablesauce: Aesop reinterpreted in rhymed couplets.  Pat Lessie.   Scratchboard illustrations by Karen Gaudette.   Dust jacket.   Hardbound.   Athol, MA: Haley's.   $10.95 from BMLF, Seattle, June, '03.    

See my comments on the paperback version published in the same year by the same publisher.   The dj on this hardbound version is slightly torn.

2000 Fábulas Animadas Sobre Animales. Paperbound. Madrid: Colección Fábulas: Editorial Libsa. $5.99 from Community Book Solutions, Billerica, MA, through abe, April, '05. 

This collection includes fables from Aesop, Phaedrus, La Fontaine, Samaniego, and Hartzenbusch in a full-sized unpaginated pamphlet of 32 pages. There is one fable per page, with a text and colored illustration well integrated with each other. The "animadas" seems to indicate that the fables are lively. One of Hartzenbusch's fables here is "Aesop and the Ass," which he got from Lessing. Hartzenbusch has another strong fable on the next page. Two snails want to have a running race, and the frog tells them that they had better see if they can walk before they concern themselves with running. The colored illustrations are simple but telling. The boy pointing to the fox hidden in his home is well done here. Also good is the fox stretching itself out to try to replicate the snake--and about to burst because of its silly effort. There are three other booklets in the series: "Fábulas de siempre," "Fábulas inolvidables," and "Fábulas populares."

2000 Fábulas Animadas Sobre Animales.  Paperbound.  Mexico City: Colección Fábulas:  Selector.  $5.50 from Better World Books through Amazon, August, '15.

The large-format colored pamphlet replicates another in the collection with a small change or two.  The cover shows Selector as the publisher, rather than UA Libsa.  The back cover redoes the bibliographical information, starting with "Edición especial para Mexico."  Those seem to be the only two places to get bibliographical information about this booklet.  As I wrote there, this collection includes fables from Aesop, Phaedrus, La Fontaine, Samaniego, and Hartzenbusch in a full-sized unpaginated pamphlet of 32 pages.  There is one fable per page, with a text and colored illustration well integrated with each other.  The "animadas" seems to indicate that the fables are lively.  One of Hartzenbusch's fables here is "Aesop and the Ass," which he got from Lessing.  Hartzenbusch has another strong fable on the next page.  Two snails want to have a running race, and the frog tells them that they had better see if they can walk before they concern themselves with running.  The colored illustrations are simple but telling.  The boy pointing to the fox hidden in his home is well done here.  Also good is the fox stretching itself out to try to replicate the snake--and about to burst because of its silly effort.  There are three other booklets in the series: "Fábulas de siempre," "Fábulas inolvidables," and "Fábulas populares."

2000 Favorite Children's Stories from China and Tibet.  Lotta Carswell Hume.  Illustrated by Lo Koon-chiu. Fifth printing.  Hardbound.  Dust jacket.  Boston: Tuttle Publishing.  See 1962/2000.

2000 Feathers and Fools. Mem Fox. Illustrated by Nicholas Wilton. First Voyager Books Edition. Paperbound. Printed in Singapore. San Diego: Voyager Books, Harcourt, Inc. $5 from Encore Editions, Fort Worth, TX, through ABE, June, '00.

A pride of peacocks and a flock of swans begin to note differences between the two groups and also to suspect each other. They prepare weapons. A false alarm sets off a doomsday event in which every bird is killed. But soon two eggs hatch forth a peacock and a swan. The illustrations are very well done. My favorites for their multi-level textures are the two illustrating one of the most important page-pairs: "And so it came to pass that the peacocks gathered a great quantity of feathers which they sharpened into arrows and concealed in the shadows of their gardens." Text ©1989 by Mem Fox; illustrations ©1996 by Nicholas Wilton.

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.  See 1999/2000.

2000 Great Illustrated Classics: Aesop's Fables. Edited by Rochelle Larkin. Lorna Tomei. Hardbound. NY: Great Illustrated Classics: Baronet Books. $5.99 from Jenna's Boutique, Jackson, TN, through eBay, April, '03. 

This book reproduces in smaller format (8" x 5¾") Great Illustrated Aesop's Fables by the same publisher in 1994. Rochelle Larkin is still acknowledged as editor, but Lorna Tomei, acknowledged there as illustrator, is not mentioned here. The cover illustration, still of TH, has changed to one signed by a "Virginia Lucia." The cover and title-page (front and verso) indicate the series, "Great Illustrated Classics." The cover also speaks of this book as a "First Classics Edition." Let me repeat some of my comments from the original book's listing. This seems to me to be an ultimate "formula book." The two-page formula involves a story on the left, with a moral beneath it, and a full-page illustration on the right with a key phrase beneath it. The formula is repeated 118 times! (The first story inverts the two pages.) The art, produced in a quantity unusual in contemporary books, seems to me inferior. No T of C or AI. The grasshopper saw many grasshopper wings strewn about the entrance to a fox's hole (138). The ubiquity of morals gives an unusual contemporary chance to test them. I find the following very good: 6, 20, 22, 28, 32, 114, 156, 172, and 220. The following seem curious: 14, 46, 96, 190, and 202.

2000 Honesty: The Honest Woodcutter. Adapted by Mary Boudart. Illustrated by Tammie Lyon. Paperbound. Publications International, Ltd.. $.10 from Hoopeston Books & Gifts, through eBay, March, '04.

Each pair of pages presents one full page of text and one of colored illustration. The woodcutter here is perhaps a beaver, but he still uses an axe. A water sprite makes the usual triple retrieval. After selling the two precious axes, the woodcutter can give his wife and two children all the things they have dreamed of. There is no second phase in this telling; that is, no envious comrade tries to outwit the water sprite. A page at the end stops to reflect on honesty in the light of the story.

2000 If Truth Had Wings: Fifteen Fables for Adults. Gordon Hansen. Paperbound. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Corporation. $3.06 from A1 Books.com through abe, June, '05.

The back cover says of these fifteen stories: "Each fable has a source and a destination, to fly a successful course in life--whether it be from defeat to triumph, from despair to hope, or from here to Ever-after." Subtitles give the flight trajectory in each case. I read the first three stories. "Monty and the Three Crows" involves a fascinating engagement of the human and animal world in setting things right. It is subtitled "Flying from condemnation to exoneration." "Lucky's Escapades" is about a daring and lucky pilot: "Flying from contrary to kindred spirits." "Casey's Last Swing" engaged me. It is a golf story in which the author takes the place in a foursome of a discredited deceased person. He learns the truth along the course. The climax is that Casey, who had been discredited and will be exonerated, got the hole-in-one he had always hoped for on his last swing: "Flying from ignominy to immortality." "Fable" is used here for a short story with an uplifting message. 

2000 In the Land of Make Believe: Fairy Tales, Folktales, Legends, Fables, Children's Stories and Disney Depicted on Postage Stamps of the World. By Karen Cartier. Paperbound. Albuquerque, NM: American Topical Association. $17.95 from Books On Stamps, through eBay, Dec., '06.

Here is a helpful book. I look forward to working with it to find those fable stamps of which I am not yet aware. In several chapters, this book lists countries alphabetically and then the stamps done in each country that bear on the subject of the chapter. As the insert clarifies, there are chapters on Fairy Tales, Legends, Folktales; Fairy Tale, Legend, and Folktale Characters; Children's TV Shows; Cartoons and Comics; Children's Poems/Rhymes/Songs; Children's Books; Postal Stationery; and Disney. In the first chapter, I find fable stamps listed for Belgium, Burundi, Ciskei, Dahomey, France, Greece, Hungary, Monaco, New Caledonia, Niger, North Korea, San Marino, Syria, Thailand, Vietnam, and Zambia. The four colored pages illustrating various stamps and inserted between 64 and 65 offer a special treat. The extensive AI, also in the insert, is helpful with its references for Aesop and La Fontaine. Cartier stops along the way to tell a number of the stories associated with stamps, including several fables, like OF (19), "The Stag and the Lion" (24), and "The Swallow and the Serpent" (57).

2000 Jean de La Fontaine: Fables.  Illustrations de François Crozat.  Hardbound.  Toulouse: Milan.  €6 from Aux Arts Majeures, Paris, August, '14.  

Here is a fascinating find.  I thought that I had found a French original of an English translation.  In fact, what I have found here is the original French 2000 edition of a book which I already have in its French 2007 re-edition.  I will recall below my remarks on that edition, but let me first note the elements that are different here in the earlier edition.  The cover now presents the wolf against a white background rather than in an all-dark close-up of his face.  The publisher is "Milan" rather than "Milan Jeunesse."  There is not a listing of other titles "dans la même collection."  Otherwise it is interiorly identical.  The back cover and the ISBN are the same.  As I wrote back then, this is a large-format children's book with lively colored illustrations.  Here are twenty-seven of La Fontaine's fables in their original form, accompanied by dramatic painted illustrations.  The animal paintings here are strong on emotion, beginning with the scowling lion next to the "Sommaire" (T of C) on 6.  The illustrations are generally two-page spreads.  Among them some are especially dramatic: GA on 8-9; "La Mort et le Bucheron" on 14-15; and TT on 16-17.  Some fables are spread out onto two pages, but the two illustrations are distinct, as in GGE on 18 and 19 or FC on 20 and 21.  Despite good efforts, I cannot find the fly -- if he exists -- in the illustration for "Le Coche et la Mouche" on 24-25.  Did the illustrator want me to look so long, only to be unable to find the minuscule flea?  The sons' faces are impressive, I believe, in "Le Laboureur et ses Enfants" on 32-33.  The wolf and the lamb are wonderfully contrasted in size and attitude on 38-39.  The sweep of the scene in "Le Petit Poisson et le Pecheur" is grandiose (46-47).  The chagrined fox leaving the stork's home on 53 is a classic, as is the happy shoemaker on 55, especially in contrast with the pale banker in the background.  The good "scowling lion" illustration is repeated on 60 for "Les Animaux malades de la peste."

2000 Jean de La Fontaine: Fables: Illustré par Born: Texte Intégral. Illustrations de Adolf Born. Première Édition Française. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in the Czech Republic. Paris: Éditions Gründ. 230 Dirhams from Livre Service, Casablanca, July, '01.

Here is a new favorite of mine! It is from an original edition done in 2000 in Prague by Brio. What a great find in my first attempt to find books in Casablanca! I had not and have not seen this book in Paris. It abounds in lively and delightful illustration, including all sorts of little extras, like critters in the margins of the opening T of C. These days one seldom finds La Fontaine so extensively illustrated. Each book gets a full-page illustration at its beginning. Then there are smaller and larger illustrations scattered through the book, sometimes starting in the right page's margin and finishing only after one turns the page. A good example occurs from 91 to 92, as we see the eagle, cat, and pig mothers clearly on 91, and then their children more clearly on 92. The satyr dealing with the passer-by on 171 suddenly has his leg turn into that of the horse administering a kick to the wolf on 172. There are also many full-page and even double-page illustrations within the books. Among my favorites are the illustrations for "La Lice et sa Compagne" (55), "La Chatte Metamorphosée en Femme" (73), FK (88-89), "Le Lion Amoreux" (106), "L'Avare qui a Perdu son Trésor" (147), DLS (191-92), "Le Cochet, le Chat et le Souriceau" (204-5), DS (220-22), "Les Deux Coqs" (268-69), "Le Lion, le Loup et le Renard" (292-93), "Les Femmes et le Secret" (300-1), "Le Rieur et les Poissons" (305-6), "L'Éducation" (340), "L'Écolier, le Pédant et le Maître d'un Jardin" (363), "Le Lion" (436-37 and 439-40), "Le Paysan du Danube" (454-55 and 456), and "Les Compagnons d'Ulysse" (469-71). The spread on 116-17 brings together nicely the preceding fable, since the fly is on a beautiful woman's face, and the following fable of the Seigneur hunting violently in the garden. "Le Héron" and "La Fille" are combined creatively on 244-46. "The Horoscope" and "L'Âne et le Chien" come together on 323-5. This book, almost single-handedly, got me into trouble for baggage weight at the Casablanca airport! I ended up carrying it by hand in a shopping-bag.

2000 Jean de La Fontaine: Les Fables illustrées par Gabriel Lefebvre. Paperbound. Tournai, Belgium: Collection Beaux Livres Littéraires: La Renaissance du Livre. €22 from Librairie de l'Avenue, Paris, July, '09.

Here is the earlier large paperback book that is behind the smaller hardbound volume of the same title from the same publisher in 2003. That book belonged to the Collection Jeunesse, while this belongs to the Collection Beaux Livres Littéraires. One of its qualities is its large size: almost 9" x 11½". I can now confirm factually what was only an impression earlier. These are new illustrations, different from those Lefebvre used in his two 1986 volumes Jean de La Fontaine Fables. Let me modify and supplement my comments on the 2003 volume. There are fifty-one fables on 191 pages, as the closing AI shows. There are illustrations here -- like the first illustration for OR (34) and the second illustrations for TMCM (19), WL (23),and FS (30) -- that are not included in the 2003 edition. Among the strongest of the illustrations here are WL (20); FS (28); CW (58 and 60); "The Wolves and the Sheep" (74 and 75); "The Lion in Love" (86); FM (97 and 99); "The Eagle and the Owl" (129 and 131); TT (180 and 183); and "The Cat and the Two Sparrows" (187 and 189). There is a curious set of markings below the picture on 74. The preoccupation with presenting two eyes for every creature seems to be gone from Lefebvre's art. The new identifying mark is the presence of a kind of colored confetti around an animal that is experiencing something strong, like having been kicked in the head! Lefebvre has a wonderful sense of color.

2000 Jean de la Fontaine: Selected Fables. Walter Thornbury, translator. Joslyn T. Pine, editor. Paperback. Printed in USA. Mineola, NY: Dover Thrift Editions: Dover Publications. Gift of Moe's Bookstore, Berkeley, CA, June, '01.

Here is an inexpensive ($1.50) verse version of some seventy of La Fontaine's most famous fables. This surprise find will be worth considering the next time I teach fables. My congratulations to Dover for making it so inexpensive! It is a bare-bones edition. Other than two pages of introduction, there is nothing here but the texts and a T of C. There is, e.g., no numbering of the fables or notes on them.

2000 Kalilah and Dimnah: Stories for Young Adults. Translated and Adapted from the Persian by Muhammad Nur Abdus Salam. Illustrations by Rose Ghajar Bakhtiar. Paperbound. Chicago?: Islamic Classics for Young Adults: ABC International Group, Inc.. $10 from Mondazzi Book Emporium, East Windsor, CT, through abe, August, '02. 

Twenty-five stories on 171 pages. Each story has a full-page black-and-white illustration, and there are a few additional abstract designs inserted along the way. There is no overarching narrative; all are independent stories. The book has unusually large print and large top margins between the headers and the top of the text. Some features are slightly different from those of other versions of Kalila and Dimnah. In "The Clever Rabbit," the same rabbit has the original idea of rationing victims for the lion and then of outwitting him (17). He tells the lion that his brother, the intended victim, was captured by the "other lion." He stands between the lion's legs at the well, so that the lion can see both his competitor and the captured brother. "The World Traveling Pigeon" (25) presents La Fontaine's two birds, but the traveler and the stay-at-home are here brothers. The heron supposedly transporting fish to a new lake carries them in a watermelon rind (83). La Fontaine's fable of the solitary man and the bear is also here, complete with the rock employed by the foolish bear to try to get rid of bothersome flies (163). Several stories here are new to me, like "The Useful Lesson" (9)." A poor but clever fisherman uses something he learned from two students--that there is "neuter" besides "masculine" and "feminine"--to outwit a rapacious government official who is trying to cheat him. In "The Friendship of the Partridge and the Falcon" (55), the unnatural friendship finally yields to the law of predator and prey. In "The Impatient Pigeon" (103), stored grain dries out and takes up less space in the pigeon-couple's storeroom. The male accuses the female of stealing from their grain and drives her from the nest. When the wet season returns, the grain expands and he knows too late that he has been wrong. In "The Avenging Birds" (109), a victim dervish calls on the sparrows to avenge his death at the hands of thieves. A year later, the birds dung on the picnicking thieves while people of the victim's town happen to picnic nearby. The result is that the thieves, making light of the respected victim, are overheard and turned over to the police. In "The Old Woman's Cat" (127), a starving old cat believes that it is best to sneak into the sultan's kitchen and eat fine food. It learns at the cost of an injury that that kind of crime does not pay! In "The Scorpion's Sting" (133), a scorpion riding across water on his friend the turtle's back prepares to sting him, with the explanation that it is his nature to sting. The turtle rolls him off into the water to let him drown. There are many typos in this book, like "when it is customary to remained" on 112.

2000 Kalila wa Dimna (Arabic). Hardbound. 30 Dirhams from Librairie El Mohammedia, Casablanca, July, '01.

This edition of Kalila and Dimna is notable for its colorful raised cover, with its dramatic scene of the lion attacking the bull while two jackals look on. There are no internal illustrations. There is a T of C at the back, and there seem to be footnotes along the way. The back cover presents a smaller, non-raised mirror image of the front cover's picture of struggle.

2000 La Fontaine: összes meséi.  Vikár Béla and Szántai Zsolt.  Illustrations by Haranghy Jenö.  Hardbound.  Budapest, Hungary: Szukits Koyvkiadó.  2500 Forints.  Budapest, August, ‘17.  

Vikar Bela translated La Fontaine into Hungarian in 1929.  The highly dramatic black-and-white illustrations are strong and frequent.  I appreciate the illustration on 23 for "The Serpent with Many Tails and the Serpent with Many Heads."  It makes sense of the fable.  The "Simonides" illustration for I 14 gets the point across swiftly and dramatically.  MSA on 61 is rendered with four scenes of dissatisfaction.  Typical of the overly inked cartoon style of Haranghy is "The Ass and the Lapdog" on 90: direct and dramatic but slightly overdone?  "The Miser and His Buried Treasure" on 108 is presented differently than normally, as is "The Two Sleepy Maids" on 119.  I may sometime want to use "The Bragging Mule" on 127.  I would love to use "The Horse and the Mule" on 147.  The "cheese house" on 163 is ingenious.  Is there a more original publication of Haranghy's La Fontaine, I wonder, perhaps with even more distinct illustrations?

2000 Mastering Aesop: Medieval Education, Chaucer, and His Followers. Edward Wheatley. First edition, first printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. $27 from Marilynn Ervin Books, Berwyn, IL, through abe, Nov., '01.

It is hard to believe that I have had this book eleven years! Even now I can give only an overview. Wheatley challenges readers early: "we must be able to imagine an era during which fable was taken seriously as a vehicle for social, political, and religious communication" (3). Wheatley's first three chapters give a broad "overview of the attitudes and practices surrounding the reception and appropriation of the verse Romulus collection as a Latin curricular text" (4). One great caution: ""All-encompassing formal definitions tell us more about our own desires to master fable than medieval reception of the literary form" (5). He considers fable not as a literary genre but as a mode of discourse. Another caution: "To belive that a fable is best interpreted in one particular way suggests an entrenched dogmatism which the later Middle Ages did not espouse" (6). The second half of the book brings the material from the first half to bear upon the "translated" fables written by three medieval British vernacular writers: Chaucer, Lydgate, and Henryson. The first appendix gives selected fables in their versions by the three authors. Further appendices give Latin medieval fable texts. 

2000 Oak Meadow Fables. Illustrations by Walker Korby. Paperbound. Putnam, VT: Oak Meadow, Inc. $4.14 from Eilene Sutton, Sharpsburg, MD, through eBay, Sept., '05. 

Sixteen stories are told on 85 pages. The stories range from "The Little Red Hen" and "The Gingerbread Boy" to TMCM and TT. Nine of the sixteen stories are fables. "The Little Jackals and the Lion" (11) has the jackals leading the lion to the supposed home of his rival in a well. Other fables include TMCM; BW; "The Larks in the Cornfield"; "The Brahmin, the Tiger, and the Jackal" (where five different creatures are questioned about whether the tiger should eat the Brahmin); TT; and "The Gold in the Orchard." SW is told in the poorer form (28). New to me and good is "The Jealous Courtiers" (58). The artist Grupello is asked by the Elector in Dusseldorf to make a statue of him. He does so and it pleases the elector very much. His courtiers are, however, jealous and make all sorts of criticisms and suggestions. Grupello asks for time to adjust and is heard pounding away for days. When he unveils, each critic declares the statue improved in the regard that he had raised. Then Grupello reveals that he changed nothing and that he has been "hammering at the reputation of the Elector's courtiers" (61). The illustrations are simple designs, one at the end of each story.

2000 Once Again, La Fontaine: Sixty More Fables. Translated by Norman R. Shapiro. Illustrated by David Schorr. Introduction by John Hollander. Apparent first printing. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Hanover, NH, and London: Wesleyan Poetry: Wesleyan University Press: University Press of New England. $12.56 from buy.com, June, '02.

Shapiro and Schorr are at it again! This marks their third book together on La Fontaine. It is, I believe, another triumph. The translations are crisp. I enjoyed, for example, "The Charlatan" (115). I am surprised at how copiously David Schorr illustrates this volume. I noticed only perhaps four fables that are not illustrated. Schorr discusses well in his foreword the possibilities for the use of visual space in a bilingual translation. While he exploits again here the polarity of a fable's antagonists, he also plays with other design possibilities, involving among other things the outer margins and the gutter. I enjoy particularly SS (18-19), "The Drunkard and His Wife" (30-31), the before and after views of the weasel (40-41), the child sleeping on the rim of the well (90), and SW (104-5). The latter repeats a motif from Schorr's earlier work, perhaps in The Fabulists French. I believe that there are only about forty La Fontaine fables left for these two to work on. This book includes an audio CD featuring twenty-six of the fables in English. They are rendered in very lively fashion.

2000 Once Again, La Fontaine: Sixty More Fables. Translated by Norman R. Shapiro. Illustrated by David Schorr. Introduction by John Hollander. Apparent first printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Formerly in the Library of Congress. Hanover, NH, and London: Wesleyan Poetry: Wesleyan University Press: University Press of New England. $9 from Second Story Books, Rockville, MD, Jan., '08.

Here is the hardbound version of a book I had found only in paperback earlier. I will include my comments from there. Shapiro and Schorr are at it again! This marks their third book together on La Fontaine. It is, I believe, another triumph. The translations are crisp. I enjoyed, for example, "The Charlatan" (115). I am surprised at how copiously David Schorr illustrates this volume. I noticed only perhaps four fables that are not illustrated. Schorr discusses well in his foreword the possibilities for the use of visual space in a bilingual translation. While he exploits again here the polarity of a fable's antagonists, he also plays with other design possibilities, involving among other things the outer margins and the gutter. I enjoy particularly SS (18-19), "The Drunkard and His Wife" (30-31), the before and after views of the weasel (40-41), the child sleeping on the rim of the well (90), and SW (104-5). The latter repeats a motif from Schorr's earlier work, perhaps in The Fabulists French. I believe that there are only about forty La Fontaine fables left for these two to work on. This book includes an audio CD featuring twenty-six of the fables in English. They are rendered in very lively fashion.

2000 Performing Parables: Religious Folk Tales, Legends and Fables for Readers Theater.   Matthew Powell, OP.   With illustrations by Ade Bethune.   Paperbound.   Printed in USA.   San Jose, CA: Resource Publications, Inc.   $18.95 from Aaawesome Stuff Inc, Stevens Point, WI, through ABE, June, '03.    

This large-format paperback workbook offers eighteen scripts for readers theater performance.   Powell's introduction estimates that each takes between two and fifteen minutes.   The introduction talks effectively about the place of story in religious ritual.   It also gives a good sense of readers theater and its potential gifts to a group.   The texts themselves include two fables based on the Thomas James edition of 1848.   They are MSA (41) and BM (47).   Each story begins with a scriptural quotation.   After that point, Powell lets the story speak for itself.   The former version has a good question put by the outgoing townsman: "Is that donkey your own?"   The latter offers no final point after the good advice given by the mouth to the other members--to the effect that all the members need to work together for the common good.   The fables, like a few other stories, are not illustrated here.   The illustrated stories have simple religious ornamentation.

2000 Point de croix: Fables de La Fontaine. Frédérique Crestin-Billet. Paperbound. Paris: Flammarion: Creative World: DMC. €5 from artdeschoix1 through eBay, Dec., '05.

There are detailed plans here for ten sewn renditions of La Fontaine's fables and for a portrait of La Fontaine himself. Is "Point de croix" cross-stitch? Each little section of the book offers the full La Fontaine text, a picture of the completed stitchwork, the plan for doing the stitching, and one or two excerpts or symbols of the whole stitching. The fables featured here include MM, "Juno and the Peacock," FC, "The Two Goats," "The Wolf Become Shepherd," TT, "The Horse and the Wolf," TB, FS, and "The Fisherman and the Little Fish." The designs may be oversimplified; still, I find the finished pieces good. The last pages include a sampler of letters, color codes, and pictures of the seven other books in this series. They deal with fairy tales, legends, myths, and visual elements like letters and florets.

2000 Read and Understand, Folktales & Fables, Stories & Activities, Grades 2-3. Author: Jo Ellen Moore. Illustrator: Don Robinson. Paperbound. Monterey, CA: Evan-Moor Products. $6.49 from Melanie Olson, Bountiful, UT, through eBay, July, '04. 

At least twelve of the twenty-one stories used here are recognizable fables, including GGE, BC, "The Tortoise and the Eagle," GA, "The Monkey and the Crocodile," CP, FS, "The Rabbit That Ran Away," "The Crow and the Peacock," BW, SW, "The Tiger and the Big Wind." Following each story there are four or five "skill pages" covering things like comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, structural analysis, and parts of speech. Simple illustrations accompany the story text. The best of the illustrations is a view of monkey lying on crocodile's back in mid-river (52). In GGE, the farmer and his wife, after killing the goose, keep buying geese in the hopes of finding another gold-layer (11). "The Tortoise and the Eagle" (23), described as an African Fable, is new to me. Tortoise hosts eagle often, but eagle never invites tortoise. Tortoise hides himself in a gourd full of fruit which he gives to eagle. He declares himself in eagle's home. When eagle gets angry, tortoise demands to be taken home and seizes on eagle's leg. He holds on until eagle takes him home. The grasshopper in GA never goes to the ants' home; he comes to a realization on his own about saving from your abundance for later need (38). "The Little People" (102) is new to me. A young Native American boy meets some diminutive people who offer to trade with him for their diminutive bow and arrows. He refuses and later regrets that he judged on size. "The Crow and the Peacock" (108) is not the usual Aesopic fable. White crow paints yellow peacock the colors we now associate with the peacock. Peacock is so proud that he wants no competition from crow. He manages to knock over all the paints except black. SW (119) is unfortunately told in the poorer version. In the final tale, the rabbit talks the tiger into believing that a big wind is coming and into demanding that he, tiger, be tied up first for security against the wind (131).

2000 Resurrecting Aesop: Fables Lawyers Should Remember. Mike Papantonio. Foreword by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.. First edition. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Pensacola, FL: Seville Publishing Company. $24.95 from Amazon.com, Oct., '02. 

This is a motivational book for lawyers. Papantonio introduces it as a call back to the basics and understands Aesop to have made this kind of call with his fables. By basics Papantonio has in mind "quality living," the kind of living that involves fundamental virtues like integrity, humility, kindness, and unselfishness. "Aesop's philosophy spoke about the wisdom of simpler living. His philosophy placed a high value on serving and giving to others. He believed in the wisdom of honesty about our importance in the world. Moderation in all things was an underlying theme to Aesop's formula for maintaining a joyful spirit." (182) The book is more engaging than I had thought. Each chapter begins with a fable. Chapters deal with issues like civility, perspective, gratitude, and ambition. The chapter on joy uses fables more extensively than other chapters. It starts with the fable of the ass who admired the song of grasshoppers and so followed their advice and ate only dew until he died of malnourishment. We like the ass tend to look in the wrong places for finding the quality of life that will support our quality of spirit. Papantonio makes effective use of Aesop's story of the rich man who got used to living with the nauseating smell of the tanner next door; so young lawyers get used to dulling their spirits in the vain hope of finding a joyful period years later. Wise lawyers build their practice "from the inside out," that is, to fit with their life-style and with what brings them joy. The fable about Mercury's hearing that his own statue was virtually worthless helps Papantonio to make the point that we need to get realistic perspective on our own importance. The fable of the miser says to Papantonio that resources lead to joy only when they are at the service of something beyond ourselves.

2000 Roadsigns: A Harey Race with a Tortoise: An Aesop Fable. Adapted by Margery Cuyler. Illustrated by Steve Haskamp. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Printed in Belgium. Delray Beach, FL/NY: Winslow Press. $9 from Alibris, August, '02. Extra copy for $14.95 from Alibris, Feb., '03.

This book is an introduction to road signs and to whatever kinds of signs fans and demonstrators are prone to brandish. The former are particularly attractive on these large landscape-formatted pages, since they are done with shiny pigments that make them look like stickers. There is also some groan-worthy humor in some of the latter signs. "Hare today, gone tomorrow," "Bad Hare Day," and "Hare Goes Nothing" give an idea of these. At a key point in the race, the hare gets into a construction area. At another, the tortoise is just leaving a rest stop as the hare is arriving at it. An ice cream cone at Ben and Harey's immediately precedes the hare's nap. When they finally enter town, they find "Hare-Rod's Store" along the way. The moral is "Hard work pays off!" Here is a case in which I had already found the book for $9 but had not yet catalogued it six months later, and so purchased another copy for $14.95. Oops!

2000 Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales.  Selected and edited with an introduction by Sir George Douglas.  Paperbound.  Mineola, NY:  Dover Publications.  $3 from Books for America, Washington, DC, Jan., '16.

First published by W. Scott in London about 1901.  This is a standard presentation of a country's folktales.  It includes, as one of seven categories, "Stories of Animals" (90-98).  Several of these animal stories happen to be known fables or fable-types.  "The Fox Outwitted" is a replay of "The Nun's Priest's Tale."  "The Fox and the Cock" (93) revolves around the number of escape tricks possessed by the fox and the cock.  The story morphs at that point to become another instance of "The Nun's Priest's Tale." "How the Wolf Lost His Tail" (93) is the standard tale of losing one's tail by ice-fishing with it.  "The Eagle and the Wren" (96) is the standard Aesopic tale about who can fly highest.  "The Two Foxes" incorporates features from two tales.  One has to do with throwing good food out of the back of the farmer's wagon along the trail.  The other has to do with fooling an aggressor by asking him to read what is on one's hoof.  Here the fox has his brains smashed out by the unwitting horse.  "The Two Mice" is a very short version of TMCM, so short as to be barely recognizable. The title-page has "Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales" while the cover has "Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales."

2000 Stone Soup.  Heather Forest.  Illustrated by Susan Graber.  Paperbound.  Atlanta, GA (NA): August House LittleFolk.  $8.95 from Amazon, Feb., '17.

Here is a paperback version of a book first published in hardbound in 1998.  There is a good "Author's Note" on the variety of versions of this story, "a popular European folktale that has been told and retold for centuries."  The author takes note of the French version, in which soldiers find townspeople fearful of being generous after the ravages of war.  In the Swedish version, a tramp teaches a stingy old woman generosity by using a nail to start a sumptuous broth.  In Russia, an axe serves as the soup starter.  This version "takes place in a village located anywhere that people learn about the pleasures of sharing."  The characters here are largely people of color.  Two travelers seeking food receive a cold welcome of doors closed in their faces.  Everywhere they hear "I don't care.  I won't share.  There is no food!"  One traveler says to the other that, if they speak truly, the people in this village are in greater need than they are.  "We should make them our magical soup."  They call for and get a large pot.  They fill it with water and heat it.  Then, as they put a stone into the water, they claim that this soup has a magical ingredient.  With a repeated request "Bring what you've got," they add one ingredient after another, at first in very small quantities.  Everyone in town ends up bringing one small thing.  The magical ingredient turns out to be sharing.  After a wondrous feast, the town bids a fond farewell to the two travelers, and they recite a verse "recipe" worth remembering:  "Bring what you've got.  Put it in the pot.  Every bit counts, from the largest to the least.  Together we can celebrate a Stone Soup feast!"  The last page is a recipe for "Your Own Stone Soup."  Well done!

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. See 1998/2000.

2000 Tales from Aesop's Fables.  Retold by Stephanie Laslett (NA).  Illustrated by Lorna Hussey (NA).  Hardbound.  Bath, England: Nursery Classics:  Parragon Publishing.  $4 from Brookline Booksmith, July, '16.

Here is the 2000 printing of a book I already have with its 1999 copyright and printing.  The ISBN number has changed, as has the cover design and cover picture.  Stephanie Laslett is no longer acknowledged as reteller on the title-page.  This copy also lacks the dust jacket of the 1999 copy.  As I wrote then, 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.  Lorna 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."

2000 Tales of Aesop: Retold Timeless Classics. Retold by Karen Berg Douglas. Illustrated by Greg Hargreaves. Apparently sixth printing. Paperbound. Logan, Iowa: Cover-to-Cover Books: Perfection Learning. $5.99 from Buy.com through eBay, August, '09.

In this book one finds ten fables, a play in five acts, and four full-page black-and-white illustrations. Each fable is introduced with a black-and-white vignette featuring not the fable but one of the main characters. In GA, an old black ant invites the hungry grasshopper in to eat with the ants. BC, GGE, TH, FWT, TH, "The Lion, the Fox and the Beasts," MSA, "The Miser and His Gold," "The Shepherd Boy," and "Androcles." The full-page illustrations respond to GGE; "The Lion, the Fox and the Beasts"; "The Miser and His Gold"; and "The Shepherd Boy." The thirteen-page play is "Androcles" (59). "The Miser and His Gold" is pictured on the cover.

2000 Tales of Kalila and Dimna: Classic Fables from India. Retold by Ramsay Wood. Illustrations by Margaret Kilrenny. Introduction by Doris Lessing. First printing. Paperback. Printed in Canada. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, Ltd. Desk copy from Inner Traditions International, Feb., '01.

Here is the third format in which I have taught this lovely little book. The cover is a now a colored composite of classic manuscript illustrations (Oxford? Istanbul?). Has the title changed, or am I just getting more careful about titles? I see no interior change from the New Traditions edition of 1986; only the cover is new. See my comments on the earlier editions, including the 1982 Paladin edition from Granada. This copy is the one sent me by the publisher as a teacher's desk copy. I used it with great success in my World Literature course this semester.

2000 Ten Fables for Teaching English. Ellen M. Balla. Illustrations by Karen Bell. Apparent first printing. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Parsippany, NJ: Good Year Books: Pearson Learning. $14.51 from buy.com, June, '02.

This large-format book (about 8" x 11") has plenty of learning helps for teachers and students in the early grades. Notice that it is meant as much for ESL students as for those learning English as a first language. The pages are all tear-out and reproducible. The versions are sometime disappointing. In GA (21), the ant gives the grasshopper a scarf and a jacket but no food. The good moral is that there is a time for work and a time for play. SW (36) is told in the poorer form. The lion (51) tells the caught mouse that he is going to make stew of him! In BW (76), only the boy's father is summoned each of three times. In TB (102), the bear supposedly tells the prone traveller that the fellow sojourner is not a true friend. This is my first experience of that message, and I wonder if it works. A bird tells the two goats who have fallen from the bridge to try it again by moving to the side to let each other pass (114). I think this advice misses the point. In GGE (125), the goose tells the owner that she can lay only one golden egg a day. He tries to shake the other eggs out of her, and she runs away after five days. Other stories include TH, TMCM, and CP. There are good simple illustrations along the way, with even a story wheel on 122, and flash-cards for use with each story.

2000 That's a Laugh!  Four Funny Fables.  Edited by Philip Bryan.  Illustrated by David Pearson.  Paperbound.  Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia: Literacy 2000:  Mimosa Publications.  See 1992/2000.

2000 The Ant and the Grasshopper.  Retold and illustrated by Amy Lowry Poole.   Dust jacket.   Hardbound.   Printed in USA.   NY: Holiday House.   $12.95 from Powell's, Portland, June, '03.    

This is a large-format book over 10" square.   The setting is a long time ago at the edge of the courtyard in the emperor's summer palace.   The visual setting is oriental.   The grasshopper starts each of three different statements in the first half of the book with "Silly ants!"   A week after winter sets in, the emperor leaves for his winter home, and the ants close their door.   The book ends on a very abrupt note: "the grasshopper huddled beneath the palace eaves and rubbed his hands together in a mournful chirp, wishing he had heeded the ant's advice."   The illustration is likewise quite strong, perhaps the best in the book. There is no specific rejection by either the ant or the author.

2000 The Cattle Thieves/Picking up Peas.  Adapted by Lin Liang; translated by Kristian Kildall.  Illustrated by Tsao Chun-yen.  Paperbound.  Taiwan: The Illustrated Sutra of the One Hundred Parables 11:  Foguang Cultural Enterprise Co.  $4 from West Coast, July, '15.

The web seems to be telling me that this is a large series, if not up to one hundred.  Here is Volume 11, with two stories to offer.  A statement from the editor at the rear of the book makes clear that these parables come from Buddha and speaks of forty stories in twenty volumes.  A preface makes clear that these are "scriptural tales."  The first story seems overly simple.  People steal a cow, are apprehended, lie, and soon confess.  The second story sounds to a person who knows the Aesopic tradition like a familiar tale, but this different tale has a monkey stealing peas, losing one, putting down all the others to find the one,  In the meantime, chickens and ducks gobble up his other peas.  He is still searching in vain for his one pea.  Of course, he ends up losing all of his peas.  Now I want to go after the whole twenty-book series!  Will that be like an endless search the peas I have lost? 

2000 The Collected Fables of Ambrose Bierce. Edited, with Introduction and Commentary, by S.T. Joshi. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First printing. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. $40 from Paper Moon Books, Portland, OR, through ABE, May, '00.

This book represents a great contribution to this collection. First, it brings together all of Bierce's fables. Secondly, it adds several hundred fables to what is available of Bierce's work. Its first main section comprises "The Fables of Zambri, the Parsee." I was not even aware of these 135 fables. After that, we find the several sections of Fantastic Fables. Then there are "Uncollected Fables," which run here from Item #448 to Item #846. A commentary and a chronology round out the volume. This book will help me and others for years to come, besides delighting us whenever we have a chance to read some of Bierce's work. For this round, I read the Zambri fables. Though I gather that they are early work and considered rudimentary, I still enjoy them. A number of them are already good parodies of traditional Aesop: items 33, 35, 71, and 82. Otherwise my prizes go to items 15, 19, 44, 54, 60, 70, 73, 74, 75, and 111. I especially praise 21, 61, and 95. The introduction is helpful, though I might have hoped for even more than its fifteen pages.

2000 The Craft of La Fontaine. Maya Slater. First edition?. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. London/Madison, NJ, and Teaneck, NJ: The Athlone Press/Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. $29.87 from Pack of Books, Oakland, CA, through Amazon.com, August, '10.

Slater's introduction stresses close reading, openness to surprise, and ambivalence in La Fontaine. She quotes Renée Kohn about La Fontaine's fables: "it is one of the few books to grow up with the reader" (viii). English-only readers and readers like me, with good French but not exhaustively good French, will be happy that every French passage is promptly translated. Again, a reader like me will probably be going to the index's specific passages on specific poems to find what she has to say. The reader travelling faithfully with Slater from start to finish is in for a long haul. She starts her first chapter, for example, with comments on La Fontaine's first lines and then moves to comments on his compression and on coincidence. Readers may want to read Slater's epilogue first. Let me quote some sections of it. "La Fontaine's thoughts are consistently presented in an oblique manner." His writing needs to be "decoded" for its full impact. The reasons for obliqueness of political critique are apparent. Elsewhere the obliqueness may be due to a certain shyness. He is an entertainer, but he is insinuating questions and views. His poetry is a "densely woven fabric." "In this book I have tried to tease out someof the elements of an extremely subtle process by which artistic and moral complexities are seamlessly incorporated in a fable so that they may almost escape notice." "La Fontaine seems easy but is not." "La Fontaine is a poet who does not state, but instead suggests." His is a "type of writing which insinuates ideas into the head of the reader, without the rader's being fully aware of what is happening." "Oblique writing of this kind, found in his own Fables, is what this book is about." I so look forward to the next time I am teaching La Fontaine! This book should be a wonderful companion then! 

2000 The Crow and the Magpie. Paperbound. Penang, Malaysia: Popular Stories Series; Tomato Series: Rhythm Publishing Co. Sdn. Bhd. 41.75 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill, Manila, August, '03. 

This is one of four sixteen-page pamphlets of mid-size (5_" x 8¼"), each portraying one story. The texts seem to be identical with those used in Angel Publishing House's My Favorite Stories: Read & Colour 1-5. One clue is that the first of the series to which these books belong contains the story "Si Luncai." These two series were apparently first published in 1997. This 2000 edition is labeled "revised." This booklet belongs to the first series. This story is new to me. It has a stark simplicity to it. The crow who desperately wants to sing well asks the magpie how to do it. The latter cynically responds that he needs to feed on nothing but dew drops for seven days. The crow follows orders and dies of hunger.

2000 The Eagle & the Wren: A Fable. Retold by Jane Goodall. Illustrated by Alexander Reichstein. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Apparent second printing. NY/London: A Michael Neugebauer Book: North-South Books. $4.50 from Black Dog Book Store, Fishkill, NY, through abe, July, '02.

Originally published in Switzerland under the title Der Adler und der Zaunkönig. This is a lovely book. Neugebauer again here offers something well thought through and well executed. Various birds start by bickering about who can fly the highest. The eagle contradicts the other birds; the first illustration of the eagle glistens beautifully with light. Various birds can fly only so high and then must return to the earth. The ostrich welcomes them back and encourages them for having done as well as nature intended. The art zooms out nicely as the birds fly higher. In the end, the other birds can see only one bird left, the eagle. As the eagle is soaring, the wren creeps out of his feathers in another dramatic illustration. The wren flies upward; as she does so, the eagle tries to match her but is too tired. She assures him that he has won the contest and mentions that she could not have flown so high by herself. The owl congratulates both for setting a new record together. I am particularly impressed with the positive transformation of the ancient fable, which is about outdoing others. Here each contributres to a new achievement.

2000 The Fox and the Crow Activity Storybook. By Susan Ring, based on the script by Norman Stiles. Illustrated by June Valentine-Ruppe. First edition. Paperbound. NY: A Golden Book: Between the Lions: Get Wild About Reading: Golden Books Publishing Company. $5 from Better World Books, Mishawaka, IN, Dec., '12.

This book is in series with The Lion and the Mouse Activity Storybook by the same publisher in the same year. Golden Books have grown up in size! This Golden Book is just under 8½" x 11". As the cover proclaims, it features activities and stories starring the letter "O." This 48-page book alternates colored and black-and-white pages. This series seems utterly independent of a Chick-Fil-A series of the same name. Theo the Lion and Click the Mouse work in a library. The book gets into a two-level presentation: the FC story above and Theo and Click and others below. Do I understand correctly that characters can get put into the computer story and brought out again? In the new story here, the cheese drops "kerplop" onto the head of the fox. "The flatterer gets flattened." This new story is meant to show that not all birds are birdbrains. Lots of activities allow very young readers to get used to words including the letter "O." This book is one of six "Between the Lions" titles, though the other four do not deal with fables. I see that it is taken from a TV series. 

2000 The Fox and the Grapes. Kanon: Makoto Sawatori and Mishio Amano. Paperbound. $6 from Marblebook, Kobe, Japan through eBay, Jan., '09.

This is a 28-page large-format pamphlet that needs a plain brown wrapper. It is titled (in English) "The fox and the grapes." The title-page has a clear English announcement "Adult only." The bulk of the book is then a black-and-white graphic novelette that is indeed graphic! From my quick look I have little sense of how the fable of the fox and the grapes is played out in this intense sexual adventure (or adventures?). I offer one last word of warning. Do some or all Japanese books work from our back to our front? The pages, I notice, are numbered that way, and now I see that what I took for the back cover is an appropriate cover with the same English title and warning as the title-page. Aesop provokes a great deal!

2000 The Fox and the Stork. Gerald McDermott. Paperbound. San Diego/NY/London: Green Light Readers: Harcourt. $1 from River City Books, Vancouver, WA, through abe, Nov., '05. 

Apparently, the first Green Light Readers edition was in 1999, but I am not sure what that means for this booklet. It contains twenty pages and offers strong cartoon presentations of the fable. Often a par of adjoined pages will offer one scene, but with an independent text at the bottom of either page. I am delighted to have found this book at this price. Now I need to find (the) others in the Green Light series. "At last Fox saw that being kind to others is the right thing to do."

2000 The Garden of Joys. Henry Cattan. Illustrations by Christian Buléon. Paperbound. London: Saqi Books. $9.95 from Daedalus Books, Portland, OR, July, '11.

This is the paperback version of a hardbound book published in 1979 by Namara. I notice four changes in the transition. Now Saqi is publisher. Secondly, the "Foreword" here is a rewriting of the old "Preface." This statement has undergone good development. Cattan includes more specific mention of the gifts of "Arabian Nights" and "Kalila and Dimna" and expands the explanation for the criteria of selection. Thirdly, the black-and-white illustrations may have lost a bit of sharpness in the transition to this new format. Fourthly, there seem to be some changes in the text and particularly in their titles. The old "The Astrologer and the Well," for example, has become "The Astrologer's Misfortune." The text seems generally the same but is newly typeset. The cover illustration is taken from the same picture used by the dust jacket in the 1979 edition. I include comments I made then. This is a delightful book in three sections. The last two sections tell Joha stories and give isolated proverbs: both seem good and lively. The first section mixes fables and anecdotes of good humor, frequently salty. There are several that I do not get. I find nine Aesopic fables in the group, four illustrated: "The Astrologer's Misfortune" (25), WC (43), "The Goat on the Roof and the Wolf" (50), and "The Cat Who Sat As Judge Among the Mice" (54). Two fables are told in unusual form: "The Camel and Its Load of Salt" (30) and 2W (111; the man loses his beard!). Other fables include "The Lion, the Wolf, and the Fox" (17), BC (49), and "The Lioness" (81). The illustrations are simple.

2000 The Hare and the Tortoise and Other Fables: Aesop's fables retold by Alice Mills. Illustrated by Lialia Varetsa and Valentin Varetsa. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. Willoughby, Australia: Global Book Publishing. $4.95 from Powell's, Portland, June, '03.

First published (by whom?) in 1999.   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.

2000 The Horse and the Donkey. Paperbound. Penang, Malaysia: Popular Stories Series; Tomato Series: Rhythm Publishing Co. Sdn. Bhd. 41.75 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill, Manila, August, '03. 

This is one of four sixteen-page pamphlets of mid-size (5_" x 8¼"), each portraying one story. The texts seem to be identical with those used in Angel Publishing House's My Favorite Stories: Read & Colour 1-5. One clue is that the first of the series to which these books belong contains the story "Si Luncai." These two series were apparently first published in 1997. This 2000 edition is labeled "revised." This booklet belongs to the second series. The version here is different from the traditional one. The insulted donkey sees the horse carried on a pole, since one of its legs was broken. "It would be shot and its meat given to other animals as food. The horse begged the donkey to help him. But the donkey could only stand and watch." There is a great expression of anger and disdain on the horse's face on 7.

2000 The Lion and the Mouse Activity Storybook. Lauri Posner, based on the script by Peter Hirsch. Illustrated by Phil Wilson. First edition. Paperbound. NY: A Golden Book: Between the Lions: Get Wild About Reading: Golden Books Publishing Company. $2.12 from Kayleighbug Books, Morristown, NY, through abe, Nov., '12.

Golden Books have grown up in size! This Golden Book is just under 8½" x 11". As the cover proclaims, it features activities and stories starring the letter "I." This 48-page book alternates colored and black-and-white pages. Theo the Lion and Click the Mouse work in a library. The book gets into a two-level presentation: the LM story above and Theo and Click and others below. Do I understand correctly that characters can get put into the computer story and brought out again? Lots of activities allow very young readers to get used to words including the letter "I." As the story continues, Click starts to feel that he is unappreciated and starts to leave. This book is one of six "Between the Lions" titles. A second deals with FC, and I just ordered that. The cover picture shows an interview scene, apparently between two lions. I see that it is taken from a TV series. 

2000 The Lion and the Mouse: An Aesop Fable. Retold and Illustrated by Bernadette Watts. First edition, first printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Belgium. NY, London: North-South Books. $15.95 from Powell's, Portland, June, '00.

©2000 by Nord-Süd Verlag AG, Gossau Zürich, and first published in Switzerland under the title Der Löwe und die Maus. This lovely oversized edition starts in a new way: a playful lion cub is awakened by a mouse scampering across his paw. Making the lion young allows, I think, for a different understanding of his boast that a mouse cannot help a lion. Though the art is still done for children, Watts creates one of the most realistic nets I have seen for the lion, who roars day and night. None of the animals can help him. Watts pays special attention to the surrounding creatures, including colorful snakes and birds. My favorites are the curious and attentive mongooses.

2000 The Lion and The Mouse and Other Aesop's Fables. Retold by Doris Orgel. Illustrated by Bert Kitchen. First printing. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. $21 from Alibris, August, '00.

This is a large-format book with twelve fables illustrated, sometimes by a single picture across two pages, in watercolor and gouache. A first page asks and answers questions like "How many Aesop's fables are there?" Answer: "No one knows exactly. Many thousands." The author does a good job of answering the "truth" question that has bothered the history of fable criticism: "They are made up, but they mean something true." The illustrations follow a contemporary trend for combining exact detail with sentimental or romantic large patterns. A small insert offers helpful information along with each fable. With BF, e.g., we read that birds were highly respected in ancient times and that the peacock was Hera's favorite bird. My favorites among the illustrations are those for LM (8) and "The Monkey and The Dolphin" (26).

2000 The Peacock's Complaint. By Emily Martin. Signed, #17 of 50. Paperbound. Iowa City, IA: The Naughty Dog Press. $40 from Vamp & Stramp, Booksellers, Birmingham, AL, August, '09.

This is a curious production! It consists of eight pages roughly the size and shape of a feather bound together at their bottom by a screw and nut, with a multi-colored string attached and at their top by a thin thread that allows them to separate a little over two inches from each other. On the obverse of the six interior feathers are drawings of two people -- drawn almost as stick-persons -- conversing with each other in alternating poses of facing each other and facing away from each other. The conversation goes on in three rounds using, respectively, cake, telephones, and coffee. On the last feather there is a text starting with this paragraph: "I have a friend named Mary. We are very different but we share a special connection." Martin then tells the fable. She adds: "Mary and I let each other be the peacock once in a while." My, what fables provoke!

2000 The Peasant, the Snake and the Fox and Other Stories. First edition. Paperbound. Delhi, India: World Famous Stories: Rohan Book Company. 65 Philippine Pesos from Powerbooks, Manila, August, '03. 

This twenty-four-page pamphlet starts with a title-page and TOC. The title story gets eight pages, while the other seven get from one page to three pages each. The peasant of the title story, wearing his fez, vest, and boots, is sympatico. Might these pictures have been taken from an animated film? There are proofreading problems here, as in "the I'll let you bite me" (6). Exclamation points and question marks are routinely separated from the last word of their clause and even stand alone at the beginning of the next line. The fable ends cleverly. The man bribes the fox to say that good deeds are rewarded with good deeds. He promises him a piglet, lamb, and goose to argue it his way against the snake. (Of course, the fox not only argues the man's way, but cleverly gets the snake back into his original confinement.) When the fox comes to collect his rewards, the farmer meets him with a shotgun and two dogs. New to me is "The Left-Handed Fiddler" (12); I do not find this story strong. "The Dog and the Fox" is really the myth of Procris and Cephalus; the two animals are changed to stone. The field mice who are about to explain to a traveling mouse that the cock (here unfortunately "clock") is friend and the cat is enemy tell him to calm down and have a cup of coffee. The art here is surprisingly good for a cheap children's edition.

2000 Tierfabeln.  Christian Heinrich Kleukens.  Mit farbigen Zeichnungen von Josef Weisz.  Paperbound.  Dassel, Germany: Büttenpapierfabrik Hahnemühle GmbH.  €7.25 from Bücher und Mehr: Antiquariat Sigl Beyer, Northeim, August, '14.  

Here is a little gift item from a paper factory to its friends.  The beauty mark of this lovely little (6"x 8¼") book lies in its illustrations.  They are copious and excellent.  The colors that predominate are brown and tan.  Especially lively is both text and illustration for Meissner's "Die Taube und der Fuchs."  New to me and excellent in both verse text and three-color illustration is Lichtwer's "Der Löwe und der Wolf."  A friendly little fox sits alone on the cover.

2000 Trilussa: Cento Favole. Illustrated by Gulielmo Wohlgemuth. Paperbound. Milan: Piccola Biblioteca Oscar: Oscar Mondadori. See 1995/2000.

2000 United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Paperbound. Penang, Malaysia: Popular Stories Series; Tomato Series: Rhythm Publishing Co. Sdn. Bhd. 41.75 Philippine Pesos from Goodwill, Manila, August, '03. 

This is one of four sixteen-page pamphlets of mid-size (5¾" x 8¼"), each portraying one story. The texts seem to be identical with those used in Angel Publishing House's My Favorite Stories: Read & Colour 1-5. One clue is that the first of the series to which these books belong contains the story "Si Luncai." These two series were apparently first published in 1997. This 2000 edition is labeled "revised." This booklet belongs to the second series. It may outdo all other versions of this story that I have seen for the quantity of sons involved, namely ten. There is a great image of effort here on 10. The son with the sticks exerts so much effort that he is cross-eyed!

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. See 1996/2000.

2000 Zayann: Fables de La Fontaine Français/Créoles. Sylviane Telchid, Hector Poullet. Cover: Th. Petit le Brun. Paperbound. Guadeloupe: PLB Éditions. $23.39 from Gian & Stefi's Books, Miramar, FL, through Amazon Marketplace, Feb., '11.

I learned of the existence of this book when I found Zayann II two months ago. This first volume is simpler than that, since it includes only Creole adaptations of La Fontaine and since it has no illustrations other than that on the cover. The presentation is regular: La Fontaine's fable is on the right-hand pages and the Creole adaptation is on the left. The latter is generally considerably longer than La Fontaine's lapidary French. Fifty fables are presented here. This paperback book has seen some wear. It was in some library, whose call number still stands at the base of its spine. Heavy pens and white tapes have blocked out that former owner. There is a crease in the middle of the back cover. There is an AI -- based on La Fontaine's French title -- at the back. I commented then "Now I need to find a copy of Zayann!" Mission accomplished.

2000 19 fables de roi lion.   Jean Muzi.   Illustrations intérieures de Gérard Franquin.   Paperbound. Paris: Castor Poche #90: Castor Poche Flammarion. See 1984/2000.

2000/2003 Phaedrus: Fabeln. Ausgewählt und Kommentiert von Harald Triebnig. Various artists. Paperbound. Latein Lektüre aktiv!: Graz: öbv & hpt /Leipzig: Klett Schulbuchverlag. 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 Austrian schoolchildren. I find it sophisticated, challenging, and exciting. From 10 to 59 there are twenty-five units with, on the left page, one or two appropriate texts from Phaedrus with more unusual vocabulary just below. On the right page is more standard vocabulary used in these texts and then, especially in a section called "Activa et Contemplativa," opinions, challenges, questions, and comparative texts to work with. On one or both pages is a picture of the animal in question or a design from a leading edition of fables or even from student drawings. For example, 16 shows Phaedrus' "Graculus superbus et pavo" and a "Schülerzeichnung" of a crow with peacock feathers apparently being attacked by another crow. On the right-hand page, after vocabulary, there are four good questions ranging from noticing Phaedrus' characterizations to gauging our ability today to slip into other roles than our own. Two texts follow, Aesop's DLS and Helmut Arntzen's story of an encounter between the ass-in-a-lion's-skin and a snake. "I am strong. How can I become clever?" asks the ass. The snake responds: "Take off your skin." "But then I am the old ass." The snake answers, "All cleverness begins with self-recognition." I find the whole work well conceived and executed.

2000? A Fable About a Mouse and a Cow. Written by Emily N. Robert. Illustrated by Priscilla Burris. Paperbound. Norman, OK: Saxon Phonics and Spelling: Grade 1, Decodable Reader 51: Saxon Publishers. $3.96 from Better World Books, March, '12.

Here is a made up fable about Floyd, who lives in a teapot and wants a bell to put on the teapot's handle. He meets Ruffle, a cow who needs food. Floyd shows him to hay and asks for his bell. Where there is a will, there is a way. Black-and-white line drawings grace this 8-page pamphlet.

2000? A Fox and Some Grapes and Other Stories. Paperbound. New Delhi: Sterling Press Private Limited. $2.50 from Melissa Jenkins, Norwich, CT, through eBay, June, '07.

Here is a fascinating find. There are eight fables on sixteen pages in this large-format pamphlet with a leaping fox from FG on the front cover and a variety of fable characters surrounding some print about fables on the back cover. The pamphlet itself has some history. It was published in India and sold at Uptown Drugs in Tobago of Trinidad and Tobago. The printing and paper are not of high quality. The art seems to be a combination of elements, some of which seem like traditional drawing, some like the effect of spray painting, and some like highly defined two-dimensional layers. The cover and MSA (12) may show the strange combination best. Several of the fables are new to me, e.g., "The Foolish Chicken" about a chick who wants to swim (2-3) and "The Discontented Dog" who at first wishes that he could live in the air and then wishes he could live in the water, only to learn that the birds and fishes want to live where he lives (4-5)! Twice the artist creates an unsuccessful surrounding frame for the fable: FG (8-9) and "A Lion and a Bear" (14-15). The alert farmer notices the wolf in sheep's clothing (10-11). In MSA, "Humiliated at being laughted at, the old man threw the ass into the river" (13). "A Dog and a Cock" (16) is the only fable just one page long. There is a T of C at the front.

2000? Aesop's Fables. Paperbound. Fables: Learners Press Private Ltd. 35 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03.

This is one of four pamphlets, all 24 pages in length, which have "Fables" across their back cover, followed by the same brief description and history of fables. Here TH is pictured on the cover, with surrounding leaves, flowers, birds, butterflies, and insects. The pattern of this frame is the same for all four books, though its colors change from one to the other. There are twelve fables, most told in two-page spreads. The illustration for TH is surprising, since the tortoise seems to be stopped to address the sleeping hare, even though the text assures us that the tortoise "never paused" (2). AD (4) is told unusually at several points. The pigeon hands the drowning ant a twig. The ant in the second illustration is just smaller than the man's hand! SW (6) is told in the poorer version. "The Boot in the Jungle" (10) is new to me. Three animals claim that a boot found in the jungle--it was novel to them all--is, respectively, the shell of a fruit, a nest, and a plant with roots. A duck, from experience, informs them about the boot. The bear answers, telling the duck to keep out of it. "What he claims cannot be true" the bear opines. FG forestalls criticism by starting with the explanation that the fox was different from his clan, since he preferred grapes, not mutton. This moral is new to me: "It is good to accept defeat sportingly" (13). In the illustrations for FC, the fox uses a microphone with a long cord, and then the raven does the same. The incongruity of the microphone up in the tree with a cord dangling down is striking. The snake that licks the knife (not a file) on 24 falls down unconscious, presumably from loss of blood. None of the four booklets has bibliographical information beyond the publisher's name. I presume that this press is in India.

2000? Aesop's Fables Book 1. Stories Retold by S. Bhatia. Illustrated by G. Gopal. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Arora Book Company. 65 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

Twenty-three numbered fables in a 4¾" x 7" paperback, each fable taking two pages that include one colored illustration. There is a T of C at the front. The illustrations are better conceived and executed than is often the case in children's books I have found from India. Good examples include DLS (13), "The Father and His Daughters" (17), and "The Fox and the Woodcutter" (25). The cover illustration here refers to a fable I may not have seen before, "The Hare and the Fox" (27). The hare asks the fox if he really is cunning, or whether his victims are simply foolish. The fox says that he finds the question interesting and would like to discuss it with the hare over dinner. When the hare arrives, he notices quickly that, while the table is set, there is no food on it. He quickly runs off! The host fox has a knife in a holster around his waist. In "The Viper, the Frogs and the Water Snake" (45), the frogs support their friend the viper by cheering. After he wins, they ask for their share of the spoils. He whistles for them and explains that he is repaying them in the same way in which they had helped him. There are six pages of colored advertisements at the back.

2000? Aesop's Fables Book 2. Stories Retold by S. Bhatia. Illustrated by G. Gopal. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Arora Book Company. 65 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

Twenty-two numbered fables in a 4¾" x 7" paperback, each fable taking two pages that include one colored illustration. There is a T of C at the front. The illustrations are better conceived and executed than is often the case in children's books I have found from India. Good examples include "The Butcher and the Thieves" (7) and WL (47). The sick lion has bottles of medicine with him (39)! Like Little Book of Fables for Children & Adults from Manila in 2001, this book has the story of the fox who captures a turtle but cannot break his shell in order to eat him. The clever turtle suggests that the fox put him in water to soften him up. Once the turtle hits the water, he is gone (25)! There are eight pages of colored advertisements at the back.

2000? Aesop's Fables: The Conceited Mouse: Sticker Fun Book. Illustrations: Carlos Busquets. Pamphlet. Bridlington, England: Peter Haddock Limited. AUS $2.25 from Paula Hahnel, Hillarys, Western Australia through eBay, Oct., '05. 

Here is one (so far I have one other) out of four booklets in a series. My hat is off to Peter Haddock: for eight pages of images for the fable, they provide two full pages containing some fifty-six stickers. This booklet presents a good fable, one which I think I have not seen before. Longtail grows up with an unusually long tail. With it he accomplishes various sorts of mischief and impresses young mice-women. When the cat attacks, however, the long tail turns out to be a liability. In fact, the cat shortens it to about the length of tail that other mice have. "It does not do to boast about what Nature has given us."

2000? Aesop's Fables: The Discontented Mouse: Sticker Fun Book. Illustrations: Carlos Busquets. Paperbound. Bridlington, England: Peter Haddock Limited. AUS $2.25 from Paula Hahnel, Hillarys, Western Australia through eBay, Oct., '05. 

Here is one (so far I have one other) out of four booklets in a series. My hat is off to Peter Haddock: for eight pages of images for the fable, they provide two full pages containing some fifty-six stickers. This booklet presents a fable which I think I have not seen before. Master Mouse wants to live where mice have never lived before. When he falls out of the treehouse that he is building, Mr Owl rescues him and gives a lecture on living where mice live. A few days later, they find Master Mouse trying to live like a mole in a hole in the ground. "Would he ever learn?"

2000? Aisopou Mythoi. Sergio Cavina (NA). Hardbound. Athens: Hoi Megales Epitykies: Ekdoseis Stratike. $18.94 from Schoenhof's, Cambridge, MA, Nov., '03.

Here are thirty-six fables, each receiving a two-page spread, in a large-format polychromatic book. I recognized the work of Sergio Cavina, but am not sure of the ancestry of this volume. At least some illustrations are carry-overs from Cavina's English (1978?), Italian (1987), or Spanish (1983) versions. Though Cavina's work is always full of humor, the illustrations do not come off here as crisp and as lively as they do elsewhere. The endpapers use Cavina's motifs, but they do not look as though they come from him. I miss the wordless fable of the two donkeys tied together between two piles of hay from Cavina's Aesop's Fables of 1978 by Galley Press and El Arca de las Fabulas by Sigmar in 1983. In MSA (114) the miller first pushes the donkey in a cart!

2000? Aisopou Mythoi / Aesop's Fables 1.  K. Papageorgiou; English by K. Ioakeimides.  Illustrations by Tzene Drosou.  Hardbound.  Athens: K. Costopoulos.  $20 from an unknown source, April, '15.

The cover and title-page set "hellenike" and "agglika" on the sides of ""diglosso," (bilingual).  The very first pages, Greek on the right and English on the left, tell of "Dia" creating man (8-9). A clever friend has written in "Ho Theos," God, over the first use of "Ho Dias" to help those of us more accustomed to ancient Greek.  When man complains of not being as strong as any of the animals, God replies that thought is the greatest gift of all and adds point to his statement by saying "But perhaps you are not so clever.  You must be very stupid if you think that the animals are better than you."  Some reflection helps man to concur with God's wisdom.  The book's pattern seems to be that a simple English text, titled, is set against the beginning of a titled Greek text, and these facing pages are complemented with several one-color designs pertinent to the fable.  The next pages then include more Greek (the rest of the fable or further comment?) and a full multicolor page.  A strong sample of this last element is on 23: the fox has learned how to divide prey from the dead ass.  "The Two Dogs" (46) provides another example of this rhythm, with a strong picture on 49 contrasting the two dogs.  The moral of this story of the hunting dog versus the "home dog" is curious: "It is not always good to blame lazy and useless children.  We should see how their parents brought them up."  WS makes good use of the one-color illustrations on 56-57 to contrast the traveler's reaction to wind and sun.  In the end he takes off all his clothes!  "The Man and the Lion" is one of the strongest illustrations (61).  It is right that it is repeated on the front cover.  78 pages, originally with an audio cassette.

2000? Aisopou Mythoi / Aesop's Fables 2.  K. Papageorgiou; English by K. Ioakeimides.  Illustrated by Tzene Drosou.  Hardbound.  Athens: K. Costopoulos.  $20 from an unknown source, April, '15.

The cover and title-page set "hellenike" and "agglika" on the sides of ""diglosso," (bilingual). This volume continues the good project begun in Volume 1.  The book's pattern seems to be that a simple English text, titled, is set against the beginning of a titled Greek text, and these facing pages are complemented with several one-color designs pertinent to the fable.  The next pages then include more Greek (the rest of the fable or further comment?) and a full multicolor page.  A strong sample of this last element is on 39: the man breaks his non-productive statue of a god and finds money pouring out of it.  It is good to repeat this illustration on the front cover.  "The Shipwrecked Merchant" makes good use of the one-color illustrations on 58-59 to give both underwater and above-water views of the shipwrecked passengers.  "Hermes and the Sculptor" is one of the strongest illustrations (70).  79 pages, originally with an audio cassette.  It is frustrating that I cannot track down this book anywhere on the internet.  When was it published?

2000? Best-Loved Aesop's Fables. Paperbound. Fables: Learners Press Pvt. Ltd. 35 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03.

This is one of four pamphlets, all 24 pages in length, which have "Fables" across their back cover, followed by the same brief description and history of fables. Here DS is pictured on the cover, with surrounding leaves, flowers, birds, butterflies, and insects. There are ten fables, each told in two or three pages. Each fable has at least one full-page colored illustration. In DS, the dog goes to the river thirsty after chewing his bone. Worried that another dog will take his bone, he takes it along. In DM, the dog intends to eat the hay but cannot stand its taste. Here it is not a man but a bear who lies in bed listening to the appeals of Industry and Sloth. New to me is "The Discontented Dog" (10) who wishes for everyone else's life until he hears others wishing for his. Also new is the story of a chick who wants to swim and so dives in…. In FK, the frogs ask for a king because they fight with each other. The frogs return to their fighting when they see that the log does nothing. But then the snake arrives and starts eating. "So there were no more fights -- and no more frogs." The last story is of a pine tree who wants not needles but golden leaves. A greedy man takes all the gold and leaves the tree bare. Leaves of glass and then of green follow, but each sort brings its own troubles. In the end, the tree wants its needles back. None of the four booklets has bibliographical information beyond the publisher's name. I presume that this press is in India.

2000? Classika Eikonographemena: Aisopos. Bas. Rota. Illustrated by Gianne Dragona. Paperbound. Athens: Apo ten Mythologia kai tyn Istoria tes Ellados #1218: Atlantis - M. Fechlivanides and Co. $14.94 from International Comic Book Co., Calgary, Canada, through eBay, Nov., '06.

This 48-page comic book, consistent with our Classics Illustrated, presents the life of Aesop. To my surprise, it starts with Aesop as an older man. I can make out very few of the more commonly supposed events of tradition in this rendition. Aesop seems to carry a head of a Hermes statue. Is it revealed somewhere along the line as a kind of piggy bank? The final day of Aesop is presented as something of a divinization. He is hurled from a cliff and there is fire where he lands. Though the cover illustrates animals from some of Aesop's best known fables, I find no mention of them in the comic book itself. I learned two repeated expressions from the text and pictures: "Ha, ha" is "Xa, Xa" and people like to say "Loipon." Is that something like "And the rest?" Very good condition. 

2000? Die Parabel von den drei Ringen und Aphorismen. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Paperbound. Heilbronn: "Die Goldene Mitte": Verlag Heilbronn. €3 from Antiquariat Richart Kulbach, Heidelberg, August., '12.

Here is a 12-page pamphlet of Lessing's "Die Parabel von den drei Ringen" von "Nathan der Weise." It is a pleasure to read it again. One can see why it stands as an example and summary of Lessing's enlightenment viewpoint on religion and religions. The parable contains a good admonition to live as the ring would have one live, making himself beloved of everyone. I continue to find parable just one step away from fable. The pamphlet includes an advertisement for other publications in the series. The aphorisms deal almost exclusively with religious tolerance.

2000? Fables of La Fontaine (Hebrew).  Hardbound.  $11.99 from Misrahi Bookstore, Brooklyn, through eBay, Sept., '17.

This book represents a strong presentation of La Fontaine's fables in Hebrew, but for that very reason, I am unable to be exact about some of its colophonic details.  The monochrome illustrations are stong but strike me as borrowed.  The question is whether they are borrowed from one or many sources. The illustration that I recognize immediately as done somewhere in the tradition is that of the rabbit on 277.  There seem to be six sections in this book, finished at 77, 120, 161, 214, 255, and 302.  Might each section include two books of La Fontaine?  There is a T of C at the end.  There are mysteries here!

2000? Famous Tales from Panchatantra, Book Three. Edited by Sadhna Kapur? Illustrated by Aradhna Jha? Paperbound. Delhi, India: A Tiny Tot Presentation: Tiny Tot Publications, India. $6.50 from Poe House Books, Crystal River, FL, through choosebooks.com, Sept., '06.

This booklet of sixteen pages contains three stories: "The Snake and the Crows," "The Monkeys and the Demon," and "The Monkey and the Log." In this version of the first story, the clever fox advises the crows to pick up a princess' gold necklace and to drop it into the snake's hole. The demon in the second story forbids the monkeys to drink from his lake, but apparently he himself cannot leave the lake. So the clever monkey-king devises a long tube from bamboo reeds and drinks out of the lake at a distance. In the third story, the curious monkey who pulls the wedge out of the tree is crushed to death. In most versions, just one part of his anatomy is--painfully--caught in the veritable vice that closes when the wedge is removed. The illustrations are large, simple cartoons. The monkeys' faces seem quite human. I am including as author and illustrator names that appeared when I did a websearch for the book. I could not find any acknowledgement in the booklet itself.

2000? Famous Tales from Panchatantra, Book Six. Sadhna Kapur? Aradhna Jha? Paperbound. Delhi, India: A Tiny Tot Presentation: Tiny Tot Publications, India. $6.50 from Poe House Books, Crystal River, FL, through choosebooks.com, Sept., '06.

This booklet of sixteen pages contains two stories: "The Two Friends" and "The Brahmin's Daydreams." The covers are the same as for Famous Tales from Panchatantra, Book Three, except for the changes in volume number and story titles. The first story here tells of Bholu and Raghu, who go off into the world, make a great deal of money, and return home with it. They hide much of the money before they return home. The evil Raghu returns that very night to dig up all the money, saying "I hope no one seen me" (sic). The story is faithful to the usual telling, with Raghu's father hiding in the tree and acting as its voice. Bholu, as in traditional versions, burns him out of the tree. The father seems not to die in this version, and Raghu, while punished, stays alive. The most telling picture is that of the father who has caught fire and is running away from the tree. The second story has the Brahmin daydreaming of the wealth he will get for his full pot of wheat, hanging near him in the room. His dreams expand to include goats, cows, sweets, diamonds, mansion, family, and even misbehaving children. He in his daydreams picks up a stick to beat them and of course hits the pot of wheat. This story is Panchatantra's version of MM. Perhaps the most telling picture in it shows the Brahmin overseeing his children while they play soccer. I am including for author and illustrator names that appeared when I did a websearch for the book.

2000? Favourite Aesop's Fables. Paperbound. Fables: Learners Press Private Ltd. 35 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03.

This is one of four pamphlets, all 24 pages in length, which have "Fables" across their back cover, followed by the same brief description and history of fables. Here GGE is pictured on the cover, with surrounding leaves, flowers, birds, butterflies, and insects. There are twelve fables, most told in two-page spreads. GA makes it clear that the grasshopper is left to starve by the ant. MSA (6) includes mention of a man who, having seen the miller throw his ass into the river, saved the ass. "The Two Buckets" (8) is new to me. One bucket, aware that he is always sent back down empty, is dissatisfied. The other bucket is aware by contrast that he is always refilled and brought up, and so he does not share the dissatisfaction. SS substitutes cotton for sponges (10). "The Foolish Goats" features two different pairs of goats. The first pair create mutual destruction by fighting it out on the bridge they each want to cross. The second pair includes one who offers to sit down and let the other step over his body. The illustration on 13 unfortunately has one of the two standing aside and pointing the way to the other! In BC, the mice try to bully one mouse into belling the cat, but that mouse is too scared to do it (16). This version of GGE may not help itself when it says "A fairy gave him a golden goose" (20). The eggs are golden, but I do not think that the goose is. The garb in this illustration (21) seems to me to be from India, or somewhere near India. "A Bear and Some Bees" (24) is told with unusual clarity. The bear is stung and knocks down some hives. The bees sting the bear badly. Later he says to himself "It would have been wiser for me to let one injury pass, than to receive so many." None of the four booklets has bibliographical information beyond the publisher's name. I presume that this press is in India.

2000? Feu de Brande 2eme flambée: Fables de La Fontaine interprétées en patois du marais vendéen. Texte et Illustrations de Marcel Douillard. Paperbound. Typo-Offset Fleury. $20 from Luigi Lucas, St. Hilaire, France, through eBay, Nov., '07.

This title means something like "Hearthfire lighted twice: The Fables of La Fontaine interpreted in the regional dialect of the marshlands of the Vendée. Vendée is a district of France that was apparently very important during the revolution. This is a large-format (9½" x 12¼") paperbound booklet of 50 pages. Nineteen fables follow the letter to Madame de Sévigne. At the end there is a page of vocabulary in this dialect and a page of pronunciation rules. Can pages like these have been mimeographed? That is the impression. Almost every fable, two or three pages in length, gets one illustration, in a beige box within the white page. The illustrations have a simple charm. The earliest are perhaps the best representation of Douillard's visual work: GA, FC, and TH. When I read the text, I notice many well-known French words, but I would have trouble construing the sense.

2000? Fun with Fables: Adapted from Aesop's Fables (Pop-up). Braum. $2.99 from Susan Johnson through eBay, May, '03. 

This 4" x 6¼" pop-up book has several noteworthy characteristics. First, the five pop-up pictures are all intact and functioning. That quality is rare in my experience of pop-up books, which are among the most fragile of productions. Second, this book contains very little bibliographical information. TH gets two pictures. Also included are CP, GA, and LM. Perhaps the most successful of the pictures captures the lion's negative look and the mouse's pleading with folded paws. I suspect that this book does not have distribution rights in the USA. So here is another lucky find!

2000? Ho Georgos kai ta Paidia Tou. Alexandros Krasokeras. .Paperbound. Athens?: Aisopou Mythoi: Vasilake-Triperina. £2 from Ifigenia Bottas, Thessaloniki, Greece, through eBay, Dec., '06.

This is one of three 16-page large-format pamphlets in a series. The series is typified by blank cover backgrounds featuring "Aisopou Mythoi" at the top, identical monochrome inside-covers of an ass reading Aesop's fables to other animals, and a last page giving a moral under a repeat of the fable's title at its top. Bibliographical information is sparse, and I can find no indication how many books might be in the series. The library's bibliographer sums up the story well: "An ailing farmer tricks his sons into working in his vineyard." The artist here does a good job of making the sons' faces particularly "dopey" through most of the story. That quality sets up the good last two-page spread, where they are smiling and laughing with each other in front of money bags. 

2000? Ho Lagos kai he Chelona. Alexandros Krasokeras. Paperbound. Athens?: Vasilake-Triperina. £2 from Ifigenia Bottas, Thessaloniki, Greece, through eBay, Dec., '06.

This is one of three 16-page large-format pamphlets in a series. The series is typified by blank cover backgrounds featuring "Aisopou Mythoi" at the top, identical monochrome inside-covers of an ass reading Aesop's fables to other animals, and a last page giving a moral under a repeat of the fable's title at its top. Bibliographical information is sparse, and I can find no indication how many books might be in the series. This volume's version of TH features a hare marked by two prominent front teeth. By contrast with most versions of TH, this approach includes no other animals, for example, at the start of the race. Only one bird witnesses the race's finish, which seems to happen very close to the place where the rabbit fell asleep. 

2000? More Aesop's Fables. Paperbound. Fables: Learners Press Private Ltd. 35 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03.

This is one of four pamphlets, all 24 pages in length, which have "Fables" across their back cover, followed by the same brief description and history of fables. Here LM is pictured on the cover, with surrounding leaves, flowers, birds, butterflies, and insects. I discover now that the pattern of this frame is the same for all four books, though its colors change from one to the other. There are twelve fables, most told in two-page spreads. WSC (5) has a wolf that does not at all fool the shepherd. This version retains an element that seems to cling to this fable: the farmer "hung him up, sheepskin and all, as a spectacle and an example" (5). "The Proud Raven" (6) is new to me. A raven looks at the recently laid eggs in her nest and dreams of the future of her five young, when the wind blows and knocks the eggs down. None of the four booklets has bibliographical information beyond the publisher's name. I presume that this press is in India.

2000? The Baby's Own Aesop, Being the Fables Condensed in Rhyme with Portable Morals. Miniature. Rhymed version of W.J. Linton. Pictorially pointed by Walter Crane. Engraved and printed in colours by Edmund Evans. Hardbound. $9.99 from Lee Ann Borgia, Pennington, NJ, through EBay, Jan., '04.

This book was originally published in 1887 by George Routledge and Sons. This miniature reproduction in 1/12th scale has 21 pages not including the flyleaves. Each page is illustrated in color. The pages are printed on both sides of single sheets. The sheets are 25/32" wide by 25/32" long. The book with the printed cover is 7/8" wide by 7/8" long by 1/8" thick. The spine is printed with the title.  I can find no indication of date or publisher.  Might the printing have been done with a xerox machine?  The color work is quite good, though these pages are just too small for my eyes to discern!  This must be the smallest book in my collection.

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2001

2001 A Funny Dolch Word Book #2: Stories, Poems, Fables, Word Puzzles. Betsy B. Lee. Paperbound. Brunswick, GA: Learning Abilities Books. $5.95 from Amazon.com, May, '12.

This pamphlet of some 24 pages contains four "stories," nine traditional Aesop's fables, three puzzles using key Dolch words, and a short statement to teachers and parents. I had not known that someone had taken up the spirited approach to learning that E.W. Dolch represented in the 1950's. Lee is listed as the reteller of each Aesop's fable. There are a few lines of introduction before the fables: "Here are some of Aesop's fables. At first, they were for grown-ups. Now they are in children's books, too. All of us can learn from these stories."

2001 Ackamarackus: Julius Lester's Sumptuously Silly Fantastically Funny Fables.   Julius Lester.   Illustrated by Emilie Chollat.   First edition, apparently first printing.   Dust jacket.   Hardbound.   NY: Scholastic Press.   $17.95 from San Marino Toy and Book, Los Angeles, March, '03.    

Whimsy is the key here.   These stories play with language, as when in "how bernard the bee lost his buzz" (1), Bernard tests his buzz to make sure that he has not become a "been."   When he goes out to find breakfast, we later learn, he has been wearing his seatbelt.   Bernard falls in love.   The story leads to two morals: "Always be all that you can bee" and "Why buzz when you can balalaika?"   "the flies learn to fly" (8) teaches that an airplane is just a big fly.   A clever illustration shows an airliner with "Fly Fly" on its side.   "how the lion became king of the jungle" (12) tells us that both a hippopotamus and an elephant could not disturb Lionel the lion in the midst of sleep that was clearly so peaceful and enjoyable.   His wives finally decide to sell the opportunity to photograph him sleeping at a dollar a pop.   "Appreciate somebody for who he is instead of getting upset about who he isn't."   In "anna the angry ant" (19), the title character swallows an anacanda.   "Don’t eat when you're angry.   You might swallow more than you want to."   Next up is "ellen the eagle finds her place in the world" (24).   Ellen's place turns out to be Washington, D.C., where she poses whenever the government needs an eagle picture.   "If you were born a chicken but think you're an eagle, don't be a turkey."   Finally, "the incredible adventure of adalbert the alligator" (31) takes adalbert to Vermont, where he shares a cave with Bertice the Bear.   "You are what you think you are and not what others think you aren't."  

2001 Äsop'sche Fabeln op kölsch: Deerverzällcher vum Äsop, us denne mer so mänche Lihr trecke kann. Herausgegeben von Volker Gröbe. Illustrationen von Peter Sicken. Erste Auflage. Hardbound. Niderau, Germany: Verlag M. Naumann. €12 from Hassbecker's Galerie & Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, August, '06. Extra copy for €12 from Orbidoo, Munich, April, '07.

There are fifty fables in this book, translated into the Cologne dialect. There is a T of C at the beginning, a lexikon at the end, and something then about the group supporting the Cologne dialect. That statement begins with the claim that for these translators, "kölsch" is the only language in which they can drink! Advertisements at the end offer "The Little Prince," "The Christmas Story," and "Das kölsche Schimpfwörterbuch." The fifteen black-and-white illustrations are adequate. I wish that they all, like the cover picture, had been done in color. I tried several of the first fables. It would be even better to hear a native speaker of kölsch recite them, but it is not hard to find the German behind this dialect. The whole effort behind this book bespeaks the fun of fables.

2001 Aesop, Just in Rhyme: A New, Humorous Version of the Great Fables for Readers of All Ages. John W. Murphy. Illustrations by J.M. Condé. Paperbound. ©John Murphy. $10.39 from amazon.com, Oct., '02. 

This book surprised me when I first learned of it. Now I am surprised to learn that it has been privately published. I have read the first thirty pages of these humorous verse renditions of the fables. My strongest impression is that the rhyme scheme and meter force the storyteller into some infelicitous phrases and some padding. Murphy's wit may come through best in the morals. Consider this for the fable about the drowning boy and the pedant: "For those who take pleasure in censure,/try helping, it's a new adventure" (18). Murphy closes the fable about the farmer and the eagle who saved him: "It's fun to savor/doing a favor" (34). The recurring blank pages are disconcerting: 19, 31, 35 and more. The illustrations are black-and-white copies of Condé's work. What this book may show most is, first, that Aesop's stories continue to beckon to both listeners and tellers and, second, that they invite playful development.

2001 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Pratibha Nath (NA). First edition. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. New Delhi: Child Care Series: Reader's World. 311.75 Philippino Pesos from Goodwill Bookstore, Manila, August, '03.

Here is a surprising find from my last day in Manila. This 112-page hardbound edition, published in India, reproduces the twenty stories told in Learning for Life: Aesop's Fables Parts 1-4 (1999) by the same publisher, where Pratibha Nath was acknowledged as the source of the texts. There is no acknowledgment here. Here there are 110 pages of stories (5 x 22) after two pages of title and introduction. Like the earlier work, this work is marked by its energy. Its first strange note is that the text on the front flyleaf stops abruptly in mid-sentence! Many texts butt up against illustrations. The fox in FG hits his head against a wall as he jumps, and he falls down senseless. The leaping fox may have come from Fritz Kredel's work (4). The mouse exploring the lion deliberately puts his tail up the lion's nose (10)! The contraction "Im" misses its apostrophe on 11; there is a "c" missing in "presence" on 28. The same proofreading errors I noted in commenting on Learning for Life are still here on 52, 56, and 77. The new fables are "Who Was Cleverer?" (between the fox and the cat); "Cock Crow" (and the two maids); "The Donkey's Shadow"; "Visitors for the Lion"; and FS. The cat in the first story is sure of the superiority of her one trick from the beginning. "The Donkey's Shadow" includes the remainder of the trip, on which the owner gallantly offered to lead the way while they both almost died from thirst. The lost donkey had been carrying their water. The fox who has noticed the direction of the footprints offers to send the lion a get-well card! In FS, the stork immediately hails what the fox has done as a "really good joke." The moral here is: "Enjoy a joke when you are the target." The proofreading errors continue. On 98 the desert "had become so hat" that the donkey rider took a break.

2001 Aesop's Fables (Korean). Edited by Dong-Hoon Jung, Hye-Sook Seong. Illustrated by Seung-Im Hong. Paperbound. Seoul, Korea: Tae-Eul Publishing Company. 7,000 Won from Kyobo Books, Seoul, June, '04. 

This book presents eighty-nine fables in English on left-hand pages facing Korean on right-hand pages. There are occasional cartoons along the way, besides the ever-present fox on the upper right-hand side of the page. Most fables include a "key" line after the English text introducing idioms and vocabulary. A bilingual T of C at the beginning numbers the fables. A quick, random reading catches the error "seep" for "sleep" on 72 and a repetition of "man will" on 208. SW is told in the better form (94).

2001 Aesops [sic] Fables (Korean): Cartoon & English. Edited by Mira Chung & Louise Sorrell. Illustrated by Seo Ye Sik. Paperbound. Seoul: Wicom. 6,800 Won. Kyobo Books, Seoul, June, '04. 

This book presents thirteen fables in black-and-white cartoons with English captions, coupled in each case with a single long Korean narrative. The cartoons are strong in their use of idiomatic English phrases: "My spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." "Time flies." "Stabbed in the back." "The Lion and the Wolf" has the lion taking all three shares. This story presents another good pair of idioms together: "Strike while the iron is hot. Break a leg" (37). The foxes do cut off their tails and then lose their balance. They seem to have sprouted wings (41, 48). In MSA, the women on the road carry children on their backs in what I would have called African style (57). Occasional pictures of body parts like a single eyebrow can be hard to read (e.g., 56). MM concludes with two proverbs: "It's no use crying over spilt milk" and "Don't count your chickens before they are hatched" (87). There is a picture-puzzle texture to one image on 141: I wonder what artistic purpose this texture might serve here.

2001 Aesop's Fables. Paperbound. Dust jacket. Taipei: Cosmos Readers 13: Cosmos Culture Ltd. Gift of Yin P. "Rex" Hung and Prof. Tom Lawler, August, '01.

This book came to me because it first came to Prof. Tom Lawler as a gift from his student Yin P. "Rex" Hung, and Tom asked if he could pass it on for the collection. It is a beautiful paperback that matches 136 of Handford's versions, including his titles, with--so I presume--Chinese translations. The latter come first as a group; then there is a second title-page, followed by a second section, paginated just as the first was. The result is that a given fable has the same page number in both sections. Simple cartoon-like black-and-white tail-piece designs pop up frequently along the way in either section, like the thief crawling in through the window on 11 in the Chinese section. These cartoons are perhaps more concentrated in the first, Chinese section. The second, English section often gives a number of notes on vocabulary right with the text of a fable. This book is one of those lovely paperbound Chinese works that has a dust jacket. Here it presents a near-pointillist colored FG on the front and a golden profile of the same on the back. At the back of the book is a page of extensive bibliographical information. I wonder what selection criteria were used to get down from Handford's 207 fables to the 136 used here. The book is inscribed by Rex to me on 6-30-01.

2001 Aesop's Fables.  Retold by Rashmi Jaiswal.  Illustrated by K.P. Mayekar.  Paperbound.  Mumbai: Alka Publications.  75 Rupees from Children Book Centre, Kolkata, Dec., '13.

This mid-sized (7⅜" x 9½") paperback contains 112 numbered fables on 134 pages.  There is a T of C on 3-4.  Each fable has a black-and-white drawing, some -- like the "Bull and Gnat" on 66 -- reminiscent of Rackham.  "The Fox and the Cat" (24) finishes with this sentence from the cat: "My only trick is indeed worthwhile  than the many tricks of the poor fox!"  Can Indian English drop comparatives?  "Monkey and Cat" (85) has a picture that imitates a traditional image for this fable.  SW on 129 starts with the two as friends.  Each fable has a circled moral at its end.  I have one other of the four books in this series: "Panchatantra Stories."

2001 Aesop's Fables: The Ant and the Grasshopper. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK: Bright Sparks: Parragon: The Complete Works. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '02.

GA is told here in traditional fashion and is illustrated with lively cartoon characters including Bee, Ladybug, and Spider. When we meet Ant, she is struggling to balance a number of grains on her back. Grasshopper annoys the other insects by dancing and singing at night when the other insects are trying to sleep. By the end of the summer, Ant has four little children ants. She asks Grasshopper at this point what he is doing about building a nest and storing food. In the end, Ant relents and lets Grasshopper in. Grasshopper learns his lesson and is ready to build a nest of his own when spring arrives.

2001 Aesop's Fables: The Fox and the Grapes. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK: Bright Sparks: Parragon: The Complete Works. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '02.

This must be the longest telling of FG that I have read! This expansive version has time for the fox to chase bunnies and squirrels. Both failures give him a chance to use the logic that he will employ vis-à-vis the grapes later on. "Who cares about a bunch of silly bunnies?" His being frightened by a passing hay-wagon seems to have less thematic relation to the story. Eight pages in this little book are then dedicated to the fox's leaping.

2001 Aesop's Fables: The Fox and the Grapes. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK: Bright Sparks: Parragon: The Complete Works. £.99 from Brent, Aberdeen, UK, through eBay, Oct., '07.

As I came to catalogue this book, I thought that I recognized it as identical with another that I already had. Having the two of them in my hands showed me that I was wrong. Internally the books are the same, and their data are all the same except for the last four digits of their ISBN numbers. This one has 211-5, whereas that has 215-8 after 1-84250. This copy lacks the purple wavy stripe along the spine and rearranges the back cover somewhat. The front cover here lacks mention of "Bright Sparks." Most of all, this cover's illustration is a mirror opposite of that one! Let me mention my comments from there. This must be the longest telling of FG that I have read! This expansive version has time for the fox to chase bunnies and squirrels. Both failures give him a chance to use the logic that he will employ vis-à-vis the grapes later on. "Who cares about a bunch of silly bunnies?" His being frightened by a passing hay-wagon seems to have less thematic relation to the story. Eight pages in this little book are then dedicated to the fox's leaping.

2001 Aesop's Fables: The Hare and the Tortoise. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK: Bright Sparks: Parragon: The Complete Works. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '02.

This version of TH sets out to have fun with the story. After the race's start, we read this of Hare: "When there was no one to show off for, he slowed down just a bit." When Tortoise--unusually upright in this version, I think--comes upon Hare sleeping, he does not wake him and says "He must have a reason for sleeping. He would only be angry if I woke him!"

2001 Aesop's Fables: Town Mouse and Country Mouse. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Printed in Italy. Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK: Bright Sparks: Parragon: The Complete Works. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '02.

The cartoon-work is fun here. Still, I wonder how successful Gardner is in depicting Town Mouse. His image does not fit with the text's description that "his whiskers were fancy and elegant." In town, Country Mouse gets a tummy ache from all the rich food he has eaten. A woman with a broom and a cat threaten the two mice. Country Mouse stays one night in town but is too unhappy to sleep. He tries hard not to cry.

2001 Almost Fables: Character Education with Humor. Robin Richmond Mason. Pat Banks, Tom Whitaker, and Ashley Beth. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Cleveland: Pathway Press. $11.84 from buy.com, July, '02.

Here is an engaging set of twenty-five various stories with some remarkable full-page colored illustrations. Mason is right: the stories provoke discussion on a number of levels. I have read the first five. The first offering, "The Mine Is Not Mine," presents graphically the attitude of a young man who wants to get away from a small mining town, his family, and the culture that has come with them. He is well portrayed as a rooster. What we get from him is less a story and more of a statement. The much shorter second offering, "The Angora Goat," is by contrast a good replay of MSA. The third story is a creative redoing of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, but this time the assembled people offer the components once Jesus blesses the loaves and fishes that the boy has offered. The fifth story, "Finders Keepers," is narrated by a dog who, with two dog friends, found and enjoyed a boat for a month, only then to find it gone. The story suggests well that they were keepers not of the boat but of the joy they had with it during the time it was theirs to sail. Though I have limited myself to five stories for this little report, I want to enjoy more of them, and that certainly does not happen with every book!

2001 Anthologie des Fables de La Fontaine. Choisies et lues par Michel Leeb. Illustrées par Philippe de Kemmeter. Hardbound. Paris: Éditions du Layeur. €10 from an unknown source, August, '12.

This is a curious book, with a fine CD. The unusualness starts with the book's thin, tall format: 5¾" x 9½". The unusualness continues with the twelve full-page colored illustrations. Their style is lively, primitive, spirited, creative. The French keep using their imaginations on La Fontaine, and the results are delightful for the rest of us! There is a strange thing here: many of the illustrations are separated from their texts. Since there is no table of the illustrations, I will list them here with their pages and, if they are separate, the pages of their texts. They are "The Weasel in the Granary" (17, 15); "The Stag Admiring Himself" (21, 18); UP (33, 35); "The Bulls and the Frogs" (41); TH (49, 51); "The Old Lion" (53); "The Lion and the Mosquito" (57); WC (69, 66); "The Wounded Eagle" (77); "The Angler and the Small Fish" (81, 78); and "The Fox and the Goat" (85). Let me suggest something engaging about each of three of the best among these. The weasel in the granary has eaten books, not grain! In the illustration for "The Bulls and the Frogs," one can see the frogs underwater as well as the bovine love triangle that caused their problems. In "The Wounded Eagle," colors help make clear that it is eagle feathers that have mortally wounded this eagle. FC shows up three times: on the cover, on the verso of the title-page, and on 37. The disc has little or no music but very good voices. I will keep the disc in its holder inside the end-paper at the back of the book. 

2001 As fábulas de La Fontaine de Sao Vicente de Fora/Les fables de La Fontaine du monastère de Saint-Vincent à Lisbonne. Tile illustrations after Oudry. Introduction by António Coimbra Martins. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Lisbon/Paris: Gótica/Chandeigne. €38 from Musée La Fontaine, Chatteau-Thierry, July, '07.

I fell in love with this landscape-formatted book as soon as I saw it. I had not even known of the beautiful tile walls of the monastery that are pictured in photographs here. There are thirty-eight of these murals, as the closing T of C makes clear. For each we get the fable in Portuguese and French, a detail from the mural, and then a fuller picture of the mural's fable scene. I have several favorites here. Maybe a part of the pleasure is seeing Oudry so faithfully presented in the medium of blue-and-white ceramic tile. First of these is "The Bear and the Lover of Gardens" (43). Others include "The Two Friends" (77); "The Two Goats" (89); "The Astronomer Who Fell into a Well" (113): SS (117); and AD (173). There are several colored pictures of the monastery itself at the very front and the back before the T of C. Martins' introduction makes a point that Oudry's grand four-volume edition of La Fontaine came out in 1659, the year in which Pombal expelled the Jesuits. I would never have thought to put these two events together in time! This is a lovely book!

2001 Automata too! Magdalen Bear. Paperbound. Stradbroke, Norfolk: Tarquin Publications. $9.60 from amazon.com, Jan., '03.

This thirty-two page pamphlet of large format (about 8¼" x 11¾") has materials and instructions for creating four automata. One of them is TH. The designs here form a box with a crank on the side. The tortoise and bunny both appear to move forward, but--I will wager--in different fashion. TH materials are on 19-24, with instructions on 17. Such constructions take me back to Cabaret Mechanical Theater at Covent Garden.

2001 Balinese Children's Favorite Stories.  Retold by Victor Mason with Gillian Beal.  Illustrated by Trina Bohan-Tyrie.  Hardbound.  Hong Kong: Periplus.  $8 from Green Apple Books, San Francisco, July, '15.

The introduction to this surprising book admits that some of the stories here come from Aesop, who some are reported to believe was a Phrygian slave of the Romans (4).  The other main source here is the "Panchatantra."  Text is one page and a full-page illustration is on the other.  Texts from elsewhere are given a Balinese setting and flavor.  The book includes eleven stories.  The Aesopic fables here include "The Golden Axe"; AD; "The Dog and the Crow"; "The Haughty Toad"; and "Four Naughty Boys" (BS).  Notice that this version substitutes a dog for the fox who flatters the crow.  Panchatantra stories include "Saintly Stork"; TT; and "Three Fishes," though the latter is not the usual story of three fish found in "Kallila and Dimna."  The haughty toad is named Gobrag.  He likes to brag "For as East is East and West is West, I am the biggest and I am the best!"  Three little frogs have tried to get away from him but landed on a large bull who rose out of the water and nearly killed them with his large hoofs.  They are trying to give a sense of this monster's size, but Gobrag insists that he is larger than any beast.  The saintly stork dresses up as a priest to issue his warning about coming fishermen.  The crab strangles him from inside but does not kill him.  The stork converts and stops lying.  The retriever of the woodman's axe is a beautiful female fairy.  She rewards him by visiting his wife and giving her a precious axe.  The talkative turtle used to talk too much in school.  One of the smallest illustrations may be the best: the talkative turtle and the two geese clamp onto the stick (32).  Empas the talkative turtle finally answers the insult from a hungry dog: his family must have left him behind.  The geese attack the dog and help save Empas.  He actually gets rejoined with his family!  AD has a Balinese boy with poison darts shot through a bamboo blowpipe.  The dove pulls the ant out of the water with a blade of grass.  Many ants bite at once!  "The Three Fish" raises a good question.  Did the young fish do well to leap out of the diminishing pond?  He drew attention to its low water level.  Older fish tell him that he should have looked before he leapt.  The art is a strange mix of styles.  A sample might be the crazy monkey sitting on the shoulder of the traditional prince on 37.  On 48, there are cartoon ants on a realistic boy.

2001 Basni.  I. A. Krilov.  Illustrated by V. Kastalski.  Hardbound.  Moscow: Machaon Publishing.  $15 from an unknown source, May, '15.

Here is a fascinating find.  The cover looked suspiciously familiar.  I checked and I have a book with the same cover illustrations and format and publisher, but it is in Ukrainian and this book is in Russian.  A little more checking and I realized that I had that Ukrainian book in two formats, with the same interior but two different covers.  My!  This book then was published one year earlier than its Ukrainian twin with the blue checkerboard background on its cover. There are several curiosities to note.  This book advertises itself as presenting fables by Krilov.  That book advertised itself as presenting the fables of Hlibov, Krilov, and Aesop.  Hlibov was, I believe, the best known Ukrainian fabulist.  How curious!  Individual fables are thus not attributed here as they are there to one of these three.  This book thus presents different texts with the same illustrations.  The last two pages, advertisements for other books, show the same pattern: different texts with the same background and illustrations.  I will copy some of my comments from there.  Eighty pages offering fifty-seven fables with rich and simple full-color cartoon-like pictures on every page.  Most of the fables are recognizable from their illustrations.  The first four fables are GA, "Quartet," FC, and "The Swan, the Lobster, and the Pike."  I particularly enjoy the depiction of "Trishka's Kaftan" on 77.  There is a T of C on 4.

2001 Buckwheat and the Giant: Fables and Tales, and a Little Truth. Kris Bex & Brian Bex. First edition. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Hagerstown, IN: American Communications Network. $0.99 from eBay, Dec., '07.

From what I can gather, this small, sturdy 328-page book is the political credo of a devoted father-and-son team. They believe that something is deeply wrong with the contemporary United States, and this is part of their attempt to get the country on the right track. I include the book in the collection because it does indeed include several fables. They, too, are a part of the argument. Thus far I have found three. One is at the top of the T of C on 76. The cartoon presents "The Bex Boys" and has an apparent title "Fables for the 21st Century." Dad tells son "Just remember the fable of the grasshopper and the ant. The ant works hard all his life and as a reward.." Son responds "Somebody steps on him." In that T of C we see listed "The Ass And His Shadow" (85) and "The House Dog And The Wolf" (121). I also notice a joke that is new to me and may qualify as a fable: "The Pig With The Wooden Leg Sits For Dinner" (147). It turns out that this pig is very special to this farmer, since he saved his daughter's life. When asked about the wooden leg, the farmer responds "You surely can't expect us to kill this pig all at once." The "moral" asks if the pig could be "individual freedom" and the rest of the family be ourselves. Notice also "Two Monks And The Truth" on 177. The monk who carried the naked girl across the river put her down miles ago; the scandalized monk has been carrying her ever since. When people want to make an argument, they turn frequently enough to traditional wisdom sources, including fables. 

2001 Comic Aesop's Fables in English [Korean]. Edited by Jin-Young Kim. Illustrations by Jae-Hong Joo. Paperbound. Seoul, Korea: "Very Interesting" Series: Kumi it 'n Jip (Dream House). 6,800 Won at Kyobo Book, Seoul, June, '04. 

Here are thirty-two bilingual fables, catalogued in an opening T of C. The left-hand page offers several panels with monochrome color and English. The English includes both a narrative sentence or two in each panel and some "balloon" comments from the characters within the panel. The right-hand page presents the same panels, slightly reduced, in black-and-white, with Korean narrative and balloons. At the bottom of the right-hand page are a few vocabulary words. The standard length of a fable is four to six pages. On 10, the donkey wearing a lion's skin roars--in the English panel--in Korean! At the end of each story there is a "Think about it" box with a question. For DLS the question is "What do you think would have happened if the donkey was not caught by the fox?" The English is sometimes problematic, as in this "Think about it": "Was the kingfisher cautious in his thinking? He might have avoided a small danger but did he concern such a big danger?" (35). Again, the country mouse says at the fable's end "I'd rather not choose in eating this food" (70). A solitary girl kills the cock and so hopes for longer sleep (42). Laziness seems to be the biggest problem which the morals to the fables address. New to me is "The Monkey and the Soybeans" (142).

2001 Contes et Fables: Texte Integral. Charles Perrault. Illustré par Eva Frantová. Hardbound. Paris: Gründ. $38.64 from Winter Ventures, through abe, July, '12.

After "Contes en Verse" and "Histoires ou Contes du Temps Passé," a section titled "Autres Contes et Fables" runs from 281 through 344. Within that section there is a three-page version of FS and then a presentation of the "Labyrinthe de Versailles" in thirty-eight discrete sections (286). The latter is introduced by a two-page introduction which emphasizes the labyrinth's focus on love. What I have heard or intuited before is repeated here: that the water fountains are the voices of the animals. Cupid declares in an opening discussion with Apollo that love is itself a labyrinth. Cupid says that his advice, given in the statues and verses of the labyrinth, will help lovers to find their way out of the labyrinth that love is. Aesop and Cupid should stand at the entrance, since Aesop created the stories and Cupid created the lessons to be derived from them. The contrast between the attractive young Cupid and the ugly old Aesop should be fetching. Apollo then saw to the making of the labyrinth's lovely statues. And lovely they were! This time through, I have studied the prose summaries of Perrault, which are quite traditional, and his morals, which do in fact focus almost exclusively on love affairs. An example of the turning of a fable to love-concerns comes in "Le Loup et le Porc-Epic" (332-33). The wolf tells the porcupine that he would be prettier without quills. "Yes, but they defend me" is the answer; notice that it is not, as often, something like "You would be prettier without those teeth!" Perrault's moral: "Young beauties, you will hear that you would be more beautiful if you were less cruel. Yes, but it is often a wolf who tells you that!" The following fable presents the snake with many tails and the snake with many heads. The former could escape pursuit and the latter could not. The moral? "In love, as in other matters, too many opinions are problematic; the surest thing is to follow along one's way." "The Hawk and the Doves" (334) turns into a comparison between the potential brutality of a spouse and of a non-spouse lover. The art is clever, soft-focussed, colorful, and sentimental. Among the better fable illustrations are "The Cat Suspended and the Rats" (298-99); FC (312-315); and FM (318-19). This big, heavy book closes with two longer verse works: "Le Roseau du Nouveau Monde ou la Canne à Sucre" and "Métamorphose d'un Berger en Mouton." 

2001 Der Löwe und Die Maus: Fabeln von Äsop. Nacherzählt von Doris Orgel. Illustriert von Bert Kitchen. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Munich: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. DM 19.90 from Bücher Braun, Heidelberg, August, '01.

This is the German reprint of The Lion and The Mouse and Other Aesop's Fables by Dorling Kindersley Publishing in 2000. As I write there, this is a large-format book with twelve fables illustrated, sometimes by a single picture across two pages, in watercolor and gouache. A first page asks and answers questions like "How many Aesop's fables are there?" Answer: "Das weiss niemand ganz genau. Aber es sind Tausende." The author does a good job of answering the "truth" question that has bothered the history of fable criticism: "Sie sind erfunden, aber es geht um etwas Wahres." The illustrations follow a contemporary trend for combining exact detail with sentimental or romantic large patterns. A small insert offers helpful information along with each fable. With BF, e.g., we read that the peacock was Hera's favorite bird--though the German edition drops the English version's mention that birds were highly respected in ancient times. My favorites among the illustrations are those for LM (8) and "The Monkey and The Dolphin" (26).

2001 Ezop: Basni. L.N. Tolstoy. Hardbound. Moscow: Yaniko. $39 from Ivan Koutyrev, St. Petersburg, Russia, through eBay, April, '03. 

This miniature book is 1 1/8" x 1 3/8" (22 x 30 mm). As the T of C at the end shows, it contains forty-one fables on 142 pages. It is a limited edition of 500 copies. A Greek flute-player takes up most of the title-page, and a collection of animals adorns a full page just after the closing T of C. There are small printer's designs of birds and animals after each fable. The edges are nicely marbleized in green and brown to match the cover's colors. Even in the land of Krilov, Aesop is still reprinted.

2001 Fables de Jean de La Fontaine. Mises en images par Gabriel Lefebvre. Paperbound. Tournai, Belgium: La Renaissance du Livre. €5.75 from Gibert Jeune, Paris, July, '12.

I have been in love with Lefebvre's work since his two volumes of La Fontaine's fables done for Casterman in 1986. When I saw this work almost twenty years later, I presumed that it was a reprint in different format of the same illustrations. Now I have found three different editions of his more recent work, all done by La Renaissance du Livre. Each is different in size and format. This seems to be second in chronological order and thus to be based on the large paperback edition. This edition contains some thirty-three of the fifty-one fables presented there, listed here on a beginning T of C and a closing AI. The back-cover speaks of a "soixantaine de fables"; apparently someone was not checking things out before they got printed! There is no division here by La Fontaine's twelve books. This book has an unusual format: 4¾" x 9¼" and thus the pictures are reduced from their size in that large-format book. Indeed some pictures seem to be reduced in width proportionally: TB on 95 provides an example of this horizontal-but-not-vertical compression. The third edition is a hardbound edition of 2003. That edition tends to separate text and image pages; surprisingly it drops some second images for fables that have two images in both other editions. Among the strongest presentations here are WL (20, 23); FS (28, 31); "The Lion in Love" (62); "The Eagle and the Owl" (90, 94); and TT (120, 123). As I mention a propos of the other two editions, the new identifying mark is the presence of a kind of colored confetti around an animal that is experiencing something strong, like having been kicked in the head (85, 87)! There is a simple name and drawing on the upper left of the pre-title-page. 

2001 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Rébecca Dautremer. Hardbound. Paris: Magnard Jeunesse. €12.25 from Amazon.fr, May, '08.

This is my third copy of this book, but this copy has two differences from the other two. They were printed in Barcelona and have a publication date of 2003. Though I ordered another copy by mistake, I am happy to have an apparently more original copy printed in Luçon in France in 2001. I will repeat the remarks I made about those other two copies. This is one of the most delightful La Fontaine books I have seen recently. It shows wit and creativity as its illustrations bring the texts into contemporary life. Each of thirty fables receives a two-page spread in this landscape book's layout, as is clear from the T of C at the back. It will be hard to list all of the individual illustrations that I find impressive. GA's conversation is set on a "Bienvenue" doormat, on which the ant with his or her torso pointed out in front faces the cicada (2-3). Dautremer modernizes FC by putting the crow on top of a telephone pole (4-5). FWT is cleverly illustrated by a "cut out and dress up" paper doll (7). The fox begs the stork to help him up onto his tall stool (9; also see the front cover). OF features the sort of "choice meat cuts" poster we usually see for beef, now done for a frog (14-15)! Perhaps the best of all the illustrations presents the lamb from an angle taken through the wolf's sharp-toothed mouth (27). Do not miss the washing-instruction label on one of the sheep on 31. Other delightful illustrations include "La Belette entrée dans un Grenier" (38-39); Le Chat, la Belette et le Petit Lapin" (40-41); and 2P (44-45). What a delight!

2001 Fables of a Jewish Aesop. Translated from the Fox Fables of Berechiah ha-Nakdan by Moses Hadas. Illustrated with woodcuts by Fritz Kredel. Preface by David Hadas. First printing. Paperbound. Boston: Nonpareil Books: David R. Godine. $2.50 from Jerleen Schlesser, Cresco, IA, through eBay, August, '04. 

I have a hardbound copy of the 1967 original publication from which this paperback is reprinted. This edition adds an essay by David Hadas. Let me repeat some of my comments from that edition. This is a curious but disappointing book. The 119 Hebrew fables come from France of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries and seem to be based chiefly on those of Marie de France. They are bleak about the fickleness of fortune's turning wheel. They are also rhetorically fulsome, using Biblical phrases to expand on (and sometimes obfuscate) simple action and speech. A favorite insult seems to be "My little finger is bigger than your loins." These fables become "parables" squeezed for moral meaning, like those in Rodriguez' Christian Perfection. The fables regularly have an application afterwards and often a bit of poetry. Kredel's few illustrations are nice reinterpretations of the Ulm woodcuts: 7, 33, 51, 68, 90, 109, 135, 157, 184, 214 and the frontispiece. The point of many fables seems to be simply missed in the search for meaning: #12, 18(?), 22, 33, 64, 94, and 112. The rhetoric becomes unconsciously funny when the lamb hopes he will not fulfill the prophecy that the wolf will lie down with the lamb (45). Differently told: the eagle gets the frog but not the mouse, who survives; the sheep argues that children should not die for their fathers' sins; the frogs ask the tree to be king; the crane stores food in a tree's holes; the fox apportions whole beasts to the lion, lioness, and cub; the covetous and the envious become apes before king lion (the story is repeated with human characters in #119); the shepherd gives the wolf away with his eyes, though no one notices; an osprey fills a pot with stones; a man is besieged by flies; and the father ape comes to love his hated son. Some stories are new to me and delightful: #26, 32, 36, 38, 40, 46, 49, 71, 77, 91, 113, and 115. "The Apes' King" (#78) is particularly well told.

2001 Fábulas. Marcelino O. Ramos Hernández. Ilustraciones de Norma Morán Molina and Rafael Noguerola Martínez. 1000 copies. Paperbound. Xalapa, Veracruz, MX: Colleción Manantial: Gobierno de Veracruz. $10 from Libros Latinos, Redlands, CA, Oct., '02.

Twenty fables on 122 pages. I have tried, but the Spanish here is beyond my reach. The two illustrative styles are quite distinct. These look like lovely reflective fables! Was the state of Veracruz celebrating something particular with this little booklet? 

2001 Fábulas de La Fontaine de Sodas. E.L. Fiscón. Paperbound. First edition. Mexico City: Editorial Praxis. $20 from Libros Latinos, Redlands, CA, March, '02.

Get it? Soda fountain? In the "Advertencia al Lector," Fiscón states clearly that these are not fables of La Fontaine. They are, he says, more. He goes on to claim that there is much merit in the fact that he wrote these, even if the merit is not literary. The cover picture has a horse drinking through a straw out of the kind of glass that many of us would associate with a drug store's soda fountain. There are four rhyming verse fables here, written in longhand, each with a full-page colored illustration. The collage-like illustrations are decidedly surrealistic. "La cabeza que se quejaba" tells of a head that makes his way complaining through the world until God asks him what he can do for him. God even makes some suggestions about what he could do for this head. What does the head ask for? A sombrero. In the second, a crow that has come to eat nothing but eyes finally eats the moon. The third explains why the "The Sphinx Who Did Not Have a Complex" committed suicide after encountering Oedipus. The final poem tells of the devil who tried to sell his soul to God. My deficient Spanish seems good enough to determine that this effort of the devil's does not turn out well.

2001 Fairy Tales in Russia.  State Russian Museum.  Various artists.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  St. Petersburg: Palace Editions.  Gift of Tim and Maryanne Rouse, July, '14.  

Wow!  This is an impressive undertaking.  Some fourteen authors and compilers contribute, along with nine narrators of folktales and a host of artists.  The 411 pages here present a raft of stories.  Among them are scattered references to "The Wolf and the Fox" (44-45); "The Axe Soup" (86); and FS (122).  Then there is a whole section given to fables (341-56).  This section begins with a beautiful semi-silhouette of Ivan Krylov by Narbut and declares "Fables in Russian literature are synonymous with the name of Ivan Krylov" (343).  Among the principal illustrators of Krylov mentioned are Orlovsky, Chernyshev, Bohm, Serov, and Narbut.  Beautiful illustrations from Narbut, Orlovsky, Serov, and Bohm make this section delightful.  "Biographies of Artists" (399-409) is a valuable source of information on these people.  Be careful in reading this book to distinguish page numbers from illustration numbers.

2001 Father Foley's Fabulous Fables of Faith. The Reverend Doctor William E. Foley. Illustrated by Carol Way Wood. Paperbound. NY: Vantage Press. $3.45 from Wombat Book Company, Los Vegas, NV, through eBay, August, '10.

Here are twenty-two short religious stories on 62 pages. I tried the first five and enjoyed them. "Puff Mouse and Prayer Mouse" (1) is a clear redoing of "The Publican and the Pharisee." "Leo the Lonely Lion" (3) finds community in a Christian group. I wonder if he returns to the zoo.. "Andy and His Upside Down A" (5) is a whimsical piece in which a boy uses his "A" as a kind of pogo stick on a loving mission. "The Stained Glass Window" (9) may reach further than I am comfortable, as birds see to the creating of Jesus' image on an otherwise clear glass window. "Crinkly the Cricket" (11) creates the melody for all the animals to sing in celebration of Jesus' resurrection: the first notes from "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today!" This is imaginative work by an Episcopal priest trained by the Jesuits at Canisius College. His picture on the back cover may come from earlier days, but he sure was handsome then! 

2001 Four Fables from Aesop. Introduced and new translated by Elizabeth Craik and Nakatsukasa Tetsuo. Embellished with eighteenth century cuts. #38 of 175 copies. Pamphlet. Birmingham: The Hayloft Press. £ 24 from Barry McKay Rare Books, Westmorland Cumbria, UK, through ABE, Sept., '01.

How nice to get this book almost hot off the presses! I commend the authors for researching their introduction carefully and for using Perry numbers to identify the four fables they offer. The introduction notes some important antecedents of Greek fables. A brief history of the dissemination of Aesopic fables notes that Jesuits brought them to Japan. The four fables are "Two Boys and the Cook," BW, "Herakles and the Carter," and DM. The woodcuts may not have been as lovingly printed in the eighteenth century as they are here! (As the last page's colophon notes, the edition for which the blocks were made has not been identified.) All four pictures are clear and dramatic. The translation for "Herakles and the Carter" is done in verse to fit the Greek verse original. DM, offered in Latin prose, includes an alternate version about one dog unable to gnaw but refusing to give his bone to another dog. The surprising variety of original materials might have prompted the authors to identify the sources from which Perry takes these four. The first two are from the Augustana. The Greek verse in Perry 291 is from Babrius, and the Latin for DM comes from Steinhöwel's "Fabulae Extravagantes."

2001 'Hie lert uns der meister': Latin Commentary and the German Fable 1350-1500. A.E. Wright. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Tempe, Arizona: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. $32 from College and University Press Services, Ithaca, NY, May, '07.

I have been able to read only the introduction to this fascinating study. Wright works from the two verse textbooks of Aesop for medievals and late medievals, Avianus' forty-two fables and the sixty fables of the Anonymous Neveleti (Walter of England). He investigates the growth of Latin commentary on these collections, frequently used as textbooks. He works on the connections of this Latin commentary tradition with the development of important German fable collections, including Boner's "Edelstein," the Magdeburg Aesop, the Wroclaw Aesop (all in verse), and the Nurnberg Aesop in prose. Ah, how I would love to dig in further!

2001 Introducing Christian Virtues Using Aesop's Fables: A Self-Study Workbook for Children Grade level 3-6. Maggie Rayner. Illustrations by Shane McLaughlin. Paperbound. Delta, British Columbia, Canada: Maggie Rayner. $6 from Michelle Scott, Garysburg, NC, through eBay, May, '12.

I am surprised that I am only now, eleven years later, encountering this spiral-bound private publication devoted to home-schooling children about virtues through the use of fables. It has 108 pages 8½" x 11" in size. The author takes thirty Christian virtues and matches each with two fables, one page for each. There are some multiple-choice questions along the way. The fables are used both positively and negatively. Thus the first virtue is attentiveness; fables used are those of the sick stag whose guests ate away his grass and MM. "Benevolence" uses AD as a positive story and "The Wolf and the Horse" as a negative. In that fable, the wolf offers the horse oats that are neither his nor of interest to him. "Boldness" uses "The Boy and the Nettle" and "The Hunter and the Woodsman," where the hunter has to declare that he is seeking not the lion, but the lion's tracks! Next, to my surprise, is chastity, for which the author uses "The Wolf and the Goat" and "The Wolf and the Lion." In the former, the wolf is inviting the goat down from its safe precipice. In the latter, the wolf complains that the lion has stolen what belongs to the wolf, who of course stole it in the first place. The virtues are thus done alphabetically. After some 60 pages of virtues and fables, there are two pages each on the seven supreme (cardinal and theological) virtues. Final elements include an answer key, extension assignments, extension activities, a reading list, and a glossary. I will use this as I prepare my fable video lectures this summer! 

2001 Ivan Krylóv: Fabler.  Pa dansk ved Lars P. Poulsen-Hansen & Holger Scheibel.  Various illustrators.  Essay by Peter Ulf Moller.  Hardbound.  Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanums Forlag: Kobenhavns Universitet.  175 Kroner from Paludan Bogcafe, Copenhagen, July, '14.  

This is a serious edition of Krylov's fables.  It is complete and careful to follow Krylov's order of fables.  About every six pages there is a good black-and-white illustration.  The only colored illustration (12) repeats the cover's portrait of Krylov.  The text margins are generous and the illustrations large.  Fables and illustrations that caught my attention on this viewing of the book include "The Trigamist" (I 20); "The Bag" (III 7); "Author and Robber" (VI 24); and "The Crow" (VII 26).  I do not yet understand the fit between fable and image in "Leaves and Roots" (IV 2).  It strikes me that Krylov's illustrators present his fables as quite stark.  For all their seriousness, Aesop and La Fontaine seem to draw more fun out of artists.  The key fables in Krylov, both borrowed and new, tend to have illustrations here, as is only right.  Each fable has a comment in a section near the book's end.  That section is followed by an acknowledgement of the eight artists -- Brjullov, Kandaurov, Panov, Petrov, Popov, Sapozjnikov, Serov, and Trutovskij -- and four institutions whose art is presented here.  The last two elements of the book are a T of C and an AI of fables.  This is one of the heavier books that made my Scandinavian burden a challenge flying home from Europe!

2001 James Christensen, Foremost Fantasy Artist. Paperbound. Printed in Italy. Shelton, CT: New Century Artists Series: The Greenwich Workshop Press. $16.45 from Bud Plant Comic Art, Grass Valley, CA, through EBay, Oct., '02.

This is a slick, large-format paperback book full of James Christensen's art. The art is an engaging combination of fantastic imagination and detailed observation. It may reach its height in paintings like "The Burden of the Responsible Man" on 57, which also appears on the book's cover. I bought this book because it was advertised with the caption "Myths, Fables & Tales." I find much more of the first and third than I do of the second. Perhaps the most pertinent painting for the collector of fables is "Once Upon a Time" (42). Its caption begins "A magical storyteller in the woods tells fables to the characters who are usually in those fables." The art in this book may not be to everyone's taste, but I would hope that anyone could have fun with this book. For me, one of its delightful moments comes with the sign on the side of the riverboat to the afterlife: "Manus pedesque in rate tenete."

2001 je lis des Histoires Vraies, No. 96, Mai 2001: Jean de La Fontaine. Paperbound. Paris: Fleurus Presse. $10 from an unknown source, July, '09.

This is a 66-page magazine, apparently a monthly, designed for children between eight and twelve years of age. This issue concentrates on the fables of Jean de la Fontaine. Many individual parts feature La Fontaine. The first of these is a narrative of La Fontaine's life (7). This picture-story would make a good quick review the next time I teach La Fontaine. It is divided into seven parts. "Incroyable mais vrai" (36) offers four little-known facts relevant to La Fontaine's life and work (35): it took forty years to build Versailles; invited to lunch, La Fontaine was once late because he was observing the burial of an ant; Versailles included a rather large menagerie of exotic animals; Louis XIV preferred eating with his fingers to using a fork. "Documents" (36) offers illustrations on La Fontaine's life, his animals, and his fables. "En savoir plus" recommends further reading and listening. I am heartened by the fact that I have almost all of the important works of illustration that are featured here. Various games, puzzles, and exercises follow. There are also four detachable cards (67), two of which have in fact been detached already. This magazine seems to be part Classic Comics and part Our Junior Messenger.

2001 Jean de La Fontaine: Bajky. Translator Gustav Francl. Editor Eva Brantsova. Illustrations by Adolf Born. Boxed. Hardbound. Printed in the Czech Republic. Prague: Nakladatelskvi Brio, s.r.o. $14 from Zachary Cohn, Prague, by mail, Nov., '01.

I was doing business with Zachary when, in Morocco, I found the French edition of this book, published in 2000. I asked him about the Czech version, and he found it at this astounding price. This edition is boxed; the box has slight damage at the upper edge of the spine. The book cover features a clever cartoon of a beast writer out of whose mouth a snake emerges--with an open mouth and fangs showing. What a great image for the fabulist! It is curious that the French edition listed this Czech publication as appearing in 2000, but the Czech publication itself gives a date of 2001. Did something in the process get slowed up? I append below some of my comments on the French edition. The page numbers are identical in the two volumes. It abounds in lively and delightful illustration, including all sorts of little extras, like critters in the margins of the opening T of C. These days one seldom finds La Fontaine so extensively illustrated. Each book gets a full-page illustration at its beginning. Then there are smaller and larger illustrations scattered through the book, sometimes starting in the right page's margin and finishing only after one turns the page. A good example occurs from 91 to 92, as we see the eagle, cat, and pig mothers clearly on 91, and then their children more clearly on 92. The satyr dealing with the passer-by on 171 suddenly has his leg turn into that of the horse administering a kick to the wolf on 172. There are also many full-page and even double-page illustrations within the books. Among my favorites are the illustrations for "La Lice et sa Compagne" (55), "La Chatte Metamorphosée en Femme" (73), FK (88-89), "Le Lion Amoreux" (106), "L'Avare qui a Perdu son Trésor" (147), DLS (191-92), "Le Cochet, le Chat et le Souriceau" (204-5), DS (220-22), "Les Deux Coqs" (268-69), "Le Lion, le Loup et le Renard" (292-93), "Les Femmes et le Secret" (300-1), "Le Rieur et les Poissons" (305-6), "L'Éducation" (340), "L'Écolier, le Pédant et le Maître d'un Jardin" (363), "Le Lion" (436-37 and 439-40), "Le Paysan du Danube" (454-55 and 456), and "Les Compagnons d'Ulysse" (469-71). The spread on 116-17 brings together nicely the preceding fable, since the fly is on a beautiful woman's face, and the following fable of the Seigneur hunting violently in the garden. "Le Héron" and "La Fille" are combined creatively on 244-46. "The Horoscope" and "L'Âne et le Chien" come together on 323-5.

2001 Jean de La Fontaine: Fables. Translated by Sir Edward Marsh. With Illustrations by R. de la Nézière. Hardbound. Everyman's Library: Children's Classics. Printed in Germany. NY/Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf. $11.96 from Olsson's, Washington, D.C., Jan., '02.

By chance I passed by Olsson's in Bethesda between visits to used book stores, and I found this lovely recent book. It combines the excellent work of de la Nézière, both in color and in black-and-white, with the good verse translations of Marsh. Might the occasion of using de la Nézière's work be that it is exactly 75 years since its publication in 1926? I notice that the back of the title page is careful about acknowledging Marsh's original publication (in Everyman's Library) in 1952 but says nothing about the art of de la Nézière. Sixty fables are presented here, regularly with two black-and-white illustrations. I find sixteen illustrations in color, and they are strong: FC; OF; WL; FS; BC; "The Lion and the Gnat"; "The Hare and the Frogs"; FK; FG; "The Cat and the Old Rat"; "The Donkey and the Lapdog"; BF; DLS; TH; "The Lion, the Wolf, and the Fox"; and "The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse." The art likes to employ airplanes for flying animals, e.g., in AD (37) and TT (156). "The Lion, the Wolf, and the Fox" (141) wins my prize for the best illustration. This might be the book I would recommend most highly this year as an excellent, sturdy, inexpensive fable book. Well done!

2001 Le Fabuleux Fablier. Fables réunies par Jean-Marie Henry. Illustrations de Régis Lejonc. Hardbound. La Poésie: Rue du Monde. €8.25 from Gibert Jeune, Paris, August, '12.

As the back cover proudly says, here are one fable from La Fontaine and seventy-five to discover. All seem to build in one way or another off of La Fontaine. There is wonderful wit here! The cover's sub-title is "Anthologie de fables de tous les temps pour mieux vivre ensemble." The French know their La Fontaine so well that a book like this is a natural! These are poems of the sort that one needs to know highly idiomatic French to get the word plays and allusions. I understand and enjoy FC by Charles Clerc (10). The crow tells the fox that the latter has served the former despite himself. He came to lunchtime today without hunger. The flattering fox made the tortoise's simple meal seem delectable. Queneau's parody of GA follows this method: every original word was replaced by the seventh word which follows it in the dictionary (15). The fly that brought the chariot along comes in for special consideration with four different fables on 22-23. "Le Chat et l'Oiseau" looks to me like a fine fable, as a cat ends up lamenting that he only partially destroyed a lamented dead bird (29). "If I knew that his state would cause you such pain, I would have eaten him entirely." The ox in OF asks "Is it my fault that I am so large?" (44). The pretty T of C at the end gives the sources of the poems. The art is highly stylized. Like the poems, it will stimulate thought.

2001    Le Grandi Fiabe Degli Animali.  Illustrazioni di Carlos Busquets.  Paperbound.  Milan: Gruppo Carteduca.  $9 from Spectator Books, Oakland, CA, July, '13.

This large-format book of 192 pages to read and 32 to color seemed familiar in its artistic approach.  Sure enough, I have some twelve different books with his work, Greek, Italian, Spanish, and English.  The art is big, colorful and lively.  In this volume, one finds eight Aesopic fables after four other stories.  In TH, the hare knocks the tortoise over.  In FC, the crow steals the cheese from a mouse and the fox shares the cheese with the mouse.  FS is spread out in its telling; each story here gets sixteen pages, and that extent stretches this simple fable!  In LM, the house hits the lion with a pea-shooter!  The ants find the grasshopper in GA and carry him into their nest.  He revives and plays for them.  The fox tries to use a tree as a catapult in FG!  In TMCM, the  town mouse uses a knife and form to eat corn on the cob.  BC has an unusual moral, something like "Between saying and doing there is half an ocean."  Animals here are finely dressed.  The stories are listed in order on the book's back cover.  This book has no internal title-page and little bibliographical information.  The last 32 pages are heavy line drawings suitable for crayon coloring.  The illustrations are all full-page in scope.  They are arranged so that there is an open area for a few lines of prose text on each.

2001 Les fables de La Fontaine revues et salées ou un petit clin d'oeil érotique à un grand monsieur. Juliette Clément. Illustrations: Bruce Roberts. Paperbound. Montreal: Les Éditions des Intouchables. $10 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, June, '08.

Here is a witty turn on La Fontaine. As the back cover says of Clément, "Ses adaptations sont certes érotiques, mais elles n'ont rien de pornographique." I would agree. The book takes a fresh look at some thirty-eight of La Fontaine's best known fables and presents them as a commentary on some sexual issue. Thus, as far as I can tell, the cicada (11-12) has been only something of a flirt, while the ant has been a working prostitute. The ant's advice here is "Vous flirtiez? Baisez maintenant!!!" What the cat interrupts in TMCM is here apparently not a meal (24-25)! "Les Voleurs et l'Ane" gets cleverly transposed into "Les Violeurs et l'Anne" (28). I think that the "pearl" that this cock finds is not a jewel but a part of the female anatomy (36). Similarly the "grapes" that the fox on 69 wants are part of the body of a woman. One needs good colloquial French, perhaps even Canadian colloquial French, to get all that is happening here. Bruce Roberts' sketches help this reader to know better sometimes what is going on. 

2001 L'Ineffable la Fontaine revisité. Grains de sel: Gilbert Salachas. Dessins originaux: François Arnaud. Préface: Gérard Klein. Paperbound. Paris: Éditions Gilbert Salachas. € 26.79 from Chapitre, Paris, July, '04. Extra copy inscribed by Gilbert (Salachas) for $30 from John Baxter, Paris, June, '04.

I am indebted to John for finding me this outstanding work. It combines imagination of various sorts. It presents forty-one fables of La Fontaine and does several things with each. First it offers a delightful line-drawing by Arnaud, each drawing made without lifting the pen. In the very first (10), the wolf towers over the lamb. Sweeping lines draw together the fox and the crow (14). One line includes the pail, the pig, the cow, and the chicken in MM (18). Other outstanding illustrations include "The Lion in Love" (44), "The Lion and the Mosquito" (58), and TMCM (74). The other gift to each La Fontaine text is one of Salachas' "grains of salt." These are, as far as I can perceive, contemporary replays of the fables. Thus for OR, a resistance leader ridicules a new young woman in the movement, but when the Nazis come, it is the leader who talks and not the woman (13). For FC, two rascals stand under a rich kid's balcony and ask him if he can play his new harmonica without hands (15)! For La Fontaine's fable on the ass carrying a sacred object, Salachas offers the story of an unattractive thirty-year old woman who suddenly turns heads, only to realize late in the day that she threw on a tee-shirt depicting Marilyn Monroe (29)! For each poem a source is offered, like Aesop, Horace, or Phaedrus. After every few pages, there is also a "pochette surprise," something like a lucky bag or even a grab-bag. One of them presents a student essay correcting everything that is "wrong" with La Fontaine's FC (16-17). There are also pages of hommage to great film directors. One of the main benefits of this collection is to find and bring together the sort of wit that Aesopic fables unleash in people. This book is a great example! I find this book so important that as I am reviewing it, I have purchased a second copy. Unfortunately, the binding of the Baxter copy is already loosening at its top. Since it is signed by Salachas, I will keep the second copy in the collection.

2001 Little Book of Fables for Children & Adults. Retold by Veronica C. Abangan. Paperbound. Sta. Cruz, Manila: CKC Publications. 39.75 Philippine Pesos from Good Will Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

Thirty-three fables, following upon a statement that I would dispute: "The fable is one of the easiest kinds of stories to write" (v). Each story has one, two, or three simple black-and-white illustrations each of which consumes most of a page. Abangan inserts an unusual structural element between each story and its moral lesson, namely "Context of the Story." For CP, this context is "Cleverness of finding a way to survive" (6). Several stories are new to me. "The Two Crows" (3) is about a contest between crows carrying sacks. They fill their respective sacks with cotton and salt. When the rain comes, the wiser crow is apparent. A fox captures a turtle but cannot break his shell in order to eat him. The clever turtle suggests that the fox put him in water to soften him up. Once the turtle hits the water, he is gone (41)! A dog substitutes for the fox here in the story about the goat and the well (53); the same is true for FC (63). OR becomes the story of the mango and the bamboo trees (75). Abangan's ant is more discrete than La Fontaine's in GA. It gives the grasshopper food today but says he will need to find his own tomorrow (19). At the end there is a "Free Page--For Some Reminders" (97).

2001 Monira's Fables. Written by Monira Sohaili. Illustrated by Andre Van Zijl. Paperbound. 1stbooks. $12.70 from Elephantbooks.com, Gilroy, CA, through abe, May, '03. 

This book describes itself in its last pages and again on the back cover as "sensitive and nurturing stories for children four to twelve years old" (101). For those studying fables, I think it presents a good sample case of fables that push toward compassion and encouragement rather than enlightenment about harsh realities. Thus Webby the spider laughs at Silky the silkworm because she is a "slave to other people" (5). Silky converts Webby to thinking about others and even rejoicing over their good. Anna has to leave behind her pet ducks and fishes because of war raging around her parents' home. During the whole time of their hiding in the forest, she wonders how they are. The three return to find their home destroyed, but the ducks have three ducklings, and there are now hundreds of fishes (8)! Sunflower is sad because bee, butterfly, and others do not visit her the way they do other flowers for their nectar. Bee, butterfly, and earthworm console sunflower by saying that they enjoy her beauty; everything has its own gift in the garden of love (13).

2001 Parables and Fables for Modern Man, Vol. IV. Peter Ribes, S.J. Cover and Illustrations by Sr Solange SMMI. Paperbound. Printed in Allahabad. Bandra, Mumbai: St Paul Publications. See 1991/2001.

2001 Phaedrus: "Stark-Schwach" Fabeln: Text und Arbeitsheft. Ausgewählt, bearbeitet und illustriert von Wulf Mißfeldt. Erste Auflage, Neunter Druck. Paperbound. Leipzig: Blaue Reihe: Altsprachliche Texte: Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag. See 1990/2001.

2001 Reineke Fuchs in der Kunst: Reineke Fuchs von Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe nach der Originalausgabe 1794 mit Kostbarkeiten aus der Sammlung. Friedrich von Fuchs. Signed by Friedrich von Fuchs. Hardbound. Vienna: Oesterreichischer Kunst- und Kulturverlag. € 22 from Friedrich von Fuchs, July, '04. 

Here are 144 pages of glorious Reynard illustrations and objects taken from all sorts of areas of art production, each object matched with a short section of Goethe text. Herr von Fuchs has assembled a fascinating array of responses to the Reynard story, from cards and figurines to clocks and puppets. His approach here helps to bring together the literary work with a prodigious array of artistic activity. The book contains only a few illustrations proper to fables. A first set illustrates "The Horse and the Wolf" (107-110). Three of these four are trade cards. The other is a ceiling relief from Seligenstadt bei Hanau showing Isengrim and Maehre. The second set comes from the episode in which the stork retrieves a bone from the wolf's throat. There is first a small sculpture made out of a walrus tooth in Lettland about 1930 (117). There is also "Der Kranich und der Wolf" from the deck of cards titled "Deutsche Tierfabeln" put out by the Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik, Poessneck, DDR, 1989 (118).

2001 Sour Grapes and Other Fables. Written by Margaret Mooney. Illustrated by Chantal Stewart. Paperbound. Northborough, MA: Alphakids: Sundance: A Haights Cross Communications Company. $3.98 from Better World Books, Mishawaka, IN, Jan., '11.

This is a sixteen-page pamphlet 5¼" x 6½". As Page 2 says in a wonderful introduction to the concept of a "Table of Contents," there are four fables: "Sour Grapes" (FG); "Danger Ahead" ("The Fox and the Lion"); "A Tiny Bite" (AD); and "Dog and Bone" (DS). The illustration prize goes to the picture of the disappointed lion lying in his cave after the fox sees through his "sick-trick." AD changes the story slightly. Here the ant bites the hunter as he is opening the trap in which the dove has been caught. The language-prize goes to this effective passage in DS: "Alas! There was no other bone. There was not even another dog" (14). I found several books that I had never seen before at the Better World Books warehouse in Mishawaka. This is one of them.

2001 Storie di Animali: Favole di Esopo, Fedro, La Fontaine, Tolstoj... A cura di Renzo Zanoni. Illustrazioni di Luciano Aglioni e Michela Sudati. Hardbound. Florence/Milan: Giunti Kids. € 9.50 from Giunti Bookstore, Florence, August, '06.

This is a large-format book for children. It has 93 pages and a T of C at the end. The range of fabulists is considerable. Besides the four mentioned on the title-page, there are fables from Florian, Serdonati, Pancrazi, Krylov, Bechstein, Marotta, Croce, Horace, Palazzi, Thurber, and Trilussa. Besides, there are fables from China, Anatolia, South America, Romania, Toscana, Czechoslovakia, and Russia. Finally, besides an anonymous fable, there is material from the Zen tradition and from "1001 Nights." The visuals are big and colorful. For each fable, there is an introductory sentence or two, often relating the fable to a proverb. "La favola del tordo," ascribed here (4) to Francesco Serdonati, is actually in the Aesopic corpus as Perry #576. Most of the fables are one page long. Watch out: sometimes two fables on facing pages use the same illustration(s). This is a pleasing book.

2001 Story Books Step 1: Aesop's Fables. Editor: Yu-A Vision. Illustrations by Mee-Jung Lee. Hardbound. Seoul, Korea: EntersKorea. 7000 Won from Kyobo Books, Seoul, July, '04. 

This hardbound booklet is prepared to accompany a tape of the same name. They sold together for 7000 Won. There are two stories: TMCM and GGE. The country meal in TMCM features, according to the text, "only potatoes and corns" (6). Actually, one can see several other kinds of food on the tray in front of the complaining mouse! The city meal is interrupted by a woman with a broom, who is flanked by a cat. "The Hen that lays Golden Eggs" starts "There are old man and woman" (18). They pray "Please make this hen lays a golden egg only once!" I have never seen this prayer before as part of the story. After the two stories are told and illustrated, there is a bilingual script for TMCM, including wives for the two mice, two kids, and a landlady. For a book produced by "native speakers" there are far too many mistakes here, like "Vegetable are put on the table" and "with a disappointment" (34). The script is followed by a chant (44) and a song (45). Finally, after a bilingual presentation of the text of the two stories, there are words (49-endpaper) and stickers (inserted) for key vocabulary in the two stories. The tape begins with the song by the two mice. The tape then follows the texts of the two stories exactly as they appear on 6-17 and 18-29, respectively. The tape offers the words on 49 through the endpaper for listeners to repeat with the children's voices on the tape. Next, a reader reads through the stories, and listeners are invited to repeat it with the children's voices on the tape. Listening to these repetitions almost drove me crazy! The tape ends with the chant (44).

2001 Tales from India. Retold by J.E.B. Gray. Illustrated by Rosamund Fowler. Paperbound. Oxford: Oxford University Press. $2 Canadian from Toronto, Nov., '03. 

Twenty-three stories on 151 pages. The first four are from the Jatakas. Seven others are fables taken from the Hitopadesha, described in the Author's Note as a collection of fables. "The Mouse and His Friends" (36) is the traditional K&D story of Zhirac the rat and his friends. "The Mongoose, the Owl, the Cat, and the Mouse" (43) is the familiar story of the mouse's having to trust the cat for a short time to defend himself from the threatening owl and mongoose--but he is too smart to trust this friendship after the threat to them both is over. "The Earthquake" (46) is the traditional "end of the world" story. "The Brahman and the Goat" (126) is about the clever thieves who convince this Brahman that he is leading a dog, not a goat. "The Indigo Jackal" (128) is familiar, as are "The Fate of the Vulture" (138), "The Hare in the Moon" (141), and "The Foolish Brahman" (150). Strangely, the Author's Note mentions two stories that are not in this volume.

2001 Teaching With Aesop's Fables. By Theda Detlor. Cover art by Nan Brooks. Interior illustrations by Cynthia Jabar. Paperbound. Scholastic Professional Books. Printed in USA. NY: Scholastic Inc. $15.50 from Alibris, Oct., ‘01.

The overly-long subtitle gives a good sense of this booklet: "12 Reproducible Read-Aloud Tales With Instant Activities That Get Kids Discussing, Writing About, and Acting On the Important Lessons in These Wise and Classic Stories." I find the booklet well done. The early material gives both a good apologia for using fables in the classroom (4-5) and a good overview of the features on the four pages given to each fable (6-7). Each fable gets a good single page for text, illustration, and moral. The morals are nicely pointed and idiomatic, e.g., "Little by little does the trick!" for CP and "Easier Said Than Done" for BC. Further features include activities, discussion, vocabulary, links to other subjects, and good related books. The author notes well a propos of TH that children generally interpret "Slow and steady wins the race" literally; they "state that the moral is about how to win a race" (23). She urges getting them to see that fables are about many situations. I am delighted to see that SW is told in the better form (24). There are suggestions at the end for children to create fables. The selection of fables is good. Other than those already mentioned, the following are presented here: LM, OR, TMCM, FS, BW, FG, FC, and GA.

2001 The Best of Aesop's Fables. Stories adapted by Jane Brierley. Illustrations: Irina Georgeta Pusztai. Hardbound. Montreal: The Best Of Series: Tormont Publications, Inc.. $1 from Carolyn Parks Bani, New Haven, CT, through eBay, Sept., '05. 

Thirty fables are told here in a small (about 4½" x 6½") 119-page volume that puts together five volumes published by Tormont in 1998 as Famous Fables Treasury. This stout little book has padded covers. 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 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 donkey merely collapses after the horse refuses to share some of his burdens. Several morals are very good. The moral for BC is "We often think some plan is a wonderful idea--as long as we don't have [to] carry it out ourselves!" That for "The Wolf, the Nanny-Goat, and the Kid" is "It never hurts to check twice!" The ox himself is the interlocuter with the about-to-burst frog. Perrette runs into problems when she skips because she is thinking about having so much money. Her husband admonishes her later. The illustrations are typical of Tormont publications: bright, lively, slightly cute. The final illustration for "The Monkey and the Cat" is striking.

2001 The Friendly Snowflake: A Fable of Faith, Love, and Family. M. Scott Peck. Illustrated by Christopher Peck. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Ariel Books: Barnes & Noble Books. $3.98 from Better World Books, Feb., '10.

Originally copyrighted in 1992. M. Scott Peck is the author of "The Road Less Traveled." Christopher is his son, who volunteered to illustrate the book. Young Jenny is surprised by a friendly snowflake -- Harry -- who alights on her nose and, after a short stay, evaporates. Jenny is the poet, mystic, and believer, I would say. Her brother Dennis is the scientist who explains all that he can and calls the rest an accident. Jenny's winter musings lead her to wonder whether everything has a soul and whether the ocean is the heart of the world and if we all reincarnate. She is ready finally to believe that Harry may have evaporated and gone away but also may have come back through the dam and into Babcock Brook. She says good-bye and waves her hand. "I'll see you again next year!" There is some water damage to the translucent dust-jacket. Was it Harry that got to my book?

2001 The Grasshopper and the Ant. Harvey Kurtzman. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Northampton, MA: Denis Kitchen Publishing Co. $25 from Denis Kitchen Publishing Co., April, '10.

Harvey Kurtzman created MAD Magazine. Apparently this work, which first appeared in 1960 in Esquire Magazine, is a rare solo creation of his. In Esquire, it appeared in smaller fashion and was thus less legible. This book represents the first time in forty years that Kurtzman's version of GA saw the light of day. Denis Kitchen writes in his introduction "This retelling of the hoary Aesop Grasshopper and Ant fable tweaks the intellectually tantalizing beatnik philosophy of the period." Kitchen goes on to describe how thoroughly Kurtzman was himself both grasshopper and ant. "The elusive promises of reward, the overriding cynicism and the pervading sense of dread in this story cannot easily be separated from Kurtzman's own life experiences. Alas, little changed after 1960. But savor the schizophrenic jewel that follows." The story is indeed dark, and at its darkest in the surprising ending. This is one of the most creative transformations of GA that I have encountered. The cover illustration and title may be the best single example to show from this work.

2001 The Tortoise and the Hare: An Aesop's Fable. Retold by Angela McAllister. With woodcuts by Jonathan Heale. First edition, apparent first printing. Hardbound. Printed in Singapore. London: Frances Lincoln Limited. £10.99 from Foyle's, London, June, '02.

This is a landscape-formatted, unpaginated, well-executed large book. McAllister is careful in her English telling of the tale. I say "English" because a few elements like "elevenses" might look strange to readers in the USA. In McAllister's telling, the tortoise has a strategy from the start, as is clear when he rejects the hare's suggestion of a short race to the hedge and back. "'That's not far enough,' said Tortoise. 'We'll race down the lane, past the mill and across the meadow to the bridge.'" The mill is important, because the tortoise knows that the hare will find carrots there, just as the meadow will invite a nap in the hot midday sun. Perhaps the best of Heale's good colored woodcuts depicts the smiling tortoise as he comes upon the carrot tops lying scattered at the mill. The sleeping tortoise meanwhile dreams of leaping over the moon, while all the rabbits cheer. Of course that cheer is for the tortoise already struggling toward the bridge. The rabbits cheer again for the hare when he promises after the race not to boast any more. The story closes with the tired tortoise asking the hare to carry him home. I am delighted to have found this book in a renewed Foyle's, "the world's greatest bookshop."

2001 Two Pussycats: A fable of our time. Vacha Masu. First edition. Paperbound. South Deerfield, MA: Wesma Publishers. $18.50 from Bernardston Books, Bernardston, MA, May, '08.

I got only about halfway into this book. It is described both as a fable and as an American novella. The plotline opens with the author discovering and caring for two kittens. After some time, they start revealing things to him. The blurb on the back cover promises this: "Satirical as well as allegorical, in the tradition of the great fabulists, Aesop and La Fontaine, it is narrated in the contemporary setting of a comfortable country home." I did not yet find the Aesop or La Fontaine. Perhaps I will get further into it in my next reading. 

2001 Vaeddelobet. Caroline Repchuk. Illustreret af Alison Jay. 1. oplag. Hardbound. Risskov, Denmark: Klematis. $2 from Milwaukee Public Library, May, '09.

This book was a surprising find in the Milwaukee Public Library's shop. It presents The Race, published by Chronicle in either 2001 or 2002. I have had it down for 2002, but this book claims the date of 2001 for both itself and its original. This book is marked as a first edition. Let me repeat some of my comments from that version. This is a large-format (9¾" x 11¼") landscape-formatted development of TH. A map early in the book shows a race starting from London and reaching to New York. Hare takes off in a car that leaves a cloud of dust. Tortoise cleverly boards an ocean liner. Hare runs into trouble; picture-postcards show him on ski-lift gondolas and Venetian gondolas. He is even thrown off by a donkey in Greece. Hot air balloons and kayaks continue the theme. After a boat ride of his own, Hare takes a plane from Hong Kong. After a stop in Australia, he gets into a fast plane--and then jumps out of it near the Statue of Liberty. If you look closely in the Statue's crown, Tortoise is there waving to Hare. The book's paintings are given a deliberate "retro" feel by showing cracked paint. It is all quite a bother about a simple point, but I suppose that observation only confirms this story's moral.

2001 Vietnamese Fables of Frogs and Toads. Told and Edited by Masao Sakairi. Translated by Matthew Galgani. Illustrated by Shoko Kojima. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Berkeley, CA: Asian Folktales Retold: Heian: Stone Bridge Press. $10.53 from Buy.com, June, '08.

Originally published in Japan by Hoshinowakai. There are two folktales in this large-format book of 32 pages. "The Frog Bride" is a "happily ever after" story of the transformation of a beloved frog into a woman. The man who has married the frog is teased by his fellow students. After passing tests of cooking and sewing, the frog must appear at a party, and the husband fears being shamed for having married a frog. On the way to the party, she goes into the woods and sheds her frog skin. The man destroys it. As she tells him, "Because you're such a good man, God gave you a wife. And because I met such a kind man, I was allowed to become a woman again" (12). The second folktale, "The Toad Who Brought the Rain," explains why frogs croak before it rains. After a long drought, a desperate toad on his way to ask the gods for rain gathers a whole troop of animals. With their specific skills, these animals overcome the God of Lightning and bring the Chief God to grant their request for rain. From now on, this god stipulates to the toad, if there are dry days, the toad should come close to the heavens and by croaking remind the Chief God to make rain. Kojima's illustrations are enjoyable. Often they are suggestive designs. Those designs complement more realistic presentations, e.g., of the frog turned into a woman on 13 or of the animals collected along the way.

2001/09 La Tortuga y la Liebre: Una Fábula de Esopo: The Tortoise and the Hare: An Aesop's Fable. Contada por Angela McAllister. Con grabados en madera de Jonathan Heale. First edition, apparent first printing. Hardbound. London: Frances Lincoln Limited. $9.33 from Mondazzi Books, Windsor, CT, through Better World Books, July, '12.

This is my third bilingual presentation of this fable by the same people, along with one just in English. The other two combine English with French and Polish respectively. This is a landscape-formatted, unpaginated, well-executed large book. McAllister is careful in her English telling of the tale. I say "English" because a few elements like "elevenses" might look strange to readers in the USA. In McAllister's telling, the tortoise has a strategy from the start, as is clear when he rejects the hare's suggestion of a short race to the hedge and back. "'That's not far enough,' said Tortoise. 'We'll race down the lane, past the mill and across the meadow to the bridge.'" The mill is important, because the tortoise knows that the hare will find carrots there, just as the meadow will invite a nap in the hot midday sun. Perhaps the best of Heale's good colored woodcuts depicts the smiling tortoise as he comes upon the carrot tops lying scattered at the mill. The sleeping tortoise meanwhile dreams of leaping over the moon, while all the rabbits cheer. Of course that cheer is for the tortoise already struggling toward the bridge. The rabbits cheer again for the hare when he promises after the race not to boast any more. The story closes with the tired tortoise asking the hare to carry him home. The first several pages in this copy are crimped at the top. 

2001/12 As fábulas de La Fontaine de Sao Vicente de Fora/Les fables de La Fontaine du monastère de Saint-Vincent à Lisbonne.  Photographs of St. Vincent Monastery.  Introduction António Coimbra Martins.  Third edition.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Paris/Lisbon: Chandeigne/Nova Terra.  Gift of Lisa Markuson, through her mother, Barb, in Glenwood, Iowa, August, '14.  

What a marvelous book!  And what a marvelous place to present!  I had never heard of this collection of tiles representing fables of La Fontaine.  Thirty-eight of La Fontaine's fables are presented here in splendid groupings of tiles.  These presentations, generally four pages in length, are preceded by a French essay "Fabuleux Saint Vincent" and succeeded by a Portuguese essay "Sao Vicente Fabuloso."  Then there is a T of C at the end.  Both the dust-jacket and the cover rightly highlight one of the best of the series: "The Bear and the Lover of Gardens," an exquisite group of tiles.  That picture on the cloth cover is a first sign that no expense was spared in the preparation of this lovely book.  A standard fable presentation here is generally divided this way: a page featuring a picture detail surrounded by very large margins; a page of the French text; a page of the Portuguese text; and finally a full-page presentation of almost all of that fable scene, including the top and bottom molding.  The page format here does not allow including all on the right and left.  Among the best of a very good lot are these illustrations: "The Bear and the Lover of Gardens" (41); "The Faithless Friend Left with a Deposit" (55); "The Camel and the Floating Sticks" (63); "The Acorn and the Pumpkin" (67); "The Eagle and the Magpie" (79); "The Snake and the File" (95); "The Shepherd and the Sea" (103); "The Astrologer Who Fell into a Pit" (111); SS (115); GGE (127); "The Fox and the Bust" (145); "The Cat, the Hare, and the Weasel" (167); and AD (170).  One gets a sense of the cloister walk itself on 184-85.  The tiles were done in the eighteenth century.

2001? Babrius: Fables. Explained by Théobald Fix and translated by M. Sommer. Paperbound. Les Auteurs Grecs expliqués d'après une Méthode nouvelle par deux Traductions Françaises. Paris: Hachette. Photographic replica by Elibron Classics: Adamant Media of Boston. See 1847/2001?

2001? Les Fables de La Fontaine. Hardbound. Fables et Contes Classiques: Éditions du Korrigan. $10.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, June, '11.

This is a quintessential La Fontaine for small children. It uses prose for twenty-two fables on some 48 pages, followed by a T of C. Simple colored illustrations accompany the texts. Two stand out for me: SS on 18 and "The Fox and the Turkeys," especially the second illustration (32). Notice the drooping eyelids on the remaining turkeys! The strange thing about this book concerns its publisher. The front cover and spine proclaim "Éditions du Korrigan." The back cover acknowledges 2001 copyrights held by Maxi-Livres and Edibimbi: Ediart. The title-page has at its bottom MLP. Help! Who published this book?

2001? Panchatantra Stories.  Retold by Rashmi Jaiswal.  Illustrated by K.P. Mayekar.  Paperbound.  Mumbai: Alka Publications.  75 Rupees from Children Book Centre, Kolkata, Dec., '13.

This mid-sized (7⅜" x 9½") paperback contains 67 numbered fables on 162 pages.  There is a T of C on iv.  One finds a curious printer's note on the bottom of the title-page.  The stories are told here separately; there is no frame story connecting them.  I have usually seen "The Foolish Monkeys" (25) stressing the foolish bird that butted into the monkeys' foolish attempt to make fire from red fruits.  I find story #13, "The Great Sacrifice," surprising.  In it two doves dive into the fire to provide a meal for a hungry hunter.  Here is a surprise: 34 is printed backwards!  I am surprised to find GGE represented as from the Panchatantra (45).  In this version, the wife disagrees with her husband and kills the hen.  I am also surprised to find MSA here in the Panchatantra (141).  The usual story of the bedbugs here has them try at first not to allow the visiting mosquito to stay (54).  "The Lion and the Woodcutter" is new to me (56).  Suspecting the lion's friends -- crow and fox -- means giving up the friendship of the lion.  The art of the quarter-page black-and-white illustrations is primitive and graphic.  Notice, for example, the snake emerging from the mouth and even stomach of the sleeping prince on 112.  I have one other of the four books in this series: "Aesop's Fables," and it was published in 2001.

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2002

2002 A Tiny Fable of Reynard the Fox. Edited by Joseph Jacobs. Wraps illustrated by Christoper Manson with a medieval woodcut. One of 200. Paperbound. Baltimore: Hill Press. $30 from The Veatchs Arts of the Book, Northampton, MA, April, '08.

This is a pamphlet 6.5" x 10" with six French-fold (double) pages. Surprisingly, the story of Tibert's being sent to bring Reynard into the court breaks off here just as it gets interesting. We hear nothing of Tibert's being caught by the priest and counter-attacking. The colophon has this: "The linocuts were cut by C.B. Manson, who took his inspiration from an illumination from W.102, circa 1290 English book of hours in the Walter's Art Museum. Edition of 200." The cover illustration has the rabbit ringing the church bells; the back cover's illustration depicts Reynard himself, presumably at the gates of Malepardus. This is a very finely made publication!

2002 Aesop's Fables: A New Translation. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Laura Gibbs. Second printing. Paperbound. Oxford: Oxford World's Classics: Oxford University Press. $8.95 from amazon.com, Feb., '03. Extra copy of the second printing for $8.94 from ABE, August, '03. 

What a fine book! It delivers, I believe, what Robert and Olivia Temple promised. I think its chief accomplishment is that it presents the ancient Greek and Latin collections fully. In addition, there are links to the sources, and a good bibliography of these. The fables are well translated, with helpful comments appended to them. In keeping with the quest for completeness, there are often variant versions given of what would be the same Perry number but now has two numbers and two texts in Gibbs, e.g. 31-32, 40-41, 111-112, 139-140, and 255-256. The organization of the fables is novel. The main divisions are excellent. Fables themselves (#3-498) are separated from "Aetiologies, Parodoxes, Insults, and Jokes" (#499-600). Within the fables themselves, Gibbs offers groupings like "Slaves and Masters," "Animal Kings," "Choosing a King," "The Flock," and "Self-Destruction," to take the first five. There must be seventy or eighty such groupings. I am sorry that Gibbs or her editor does not give an overview or outline of these topics somewhere. Indices at the end of the book track first Perry numbers, then sources, and finally all the people, animals, and things referred to. I will use this book a great deal.

2002 Aesop's Fables. Eighth printing. Paperback. $.90 from Karen Kennedy, North Reading, MA, through eBay, April, '04. 

Here is another candidate for the ultimate in cheap Aesop editions. I bought ten of these for $8.99 on eBay. The edition admits of no author or editor. It starts on 1 with DM and ends on 206 with "The Boy and the Nettle." In between there is generally a fable per page with a moral at the bottom of the page; several fables take two pages. The back cover proclaims "Complete and Unabridged." I wonder what that means. A quick check does not find an obvious source for these versions. Now I have nine books that I can give away to anyone who wants to read fables!

2002 Aesop's Fables: The Fox and the Crow; the Monkey and the Dolphin. Retold by Cherry Gilchrist. Rhian Nest James and K. Jakeman. Paperbound. Harlow, Essex, England: Penguin Young Readers Level 2: Longman: Pearson Education Limited. AU$13.99 from ABC Books, Crawley, United Kingdom, Sept., '10.

This is a large format (over 11½" x 8") pamphlet of 16 pages. The illustrations are large, loud, and splashy. The fox asks the crow if he is king of the birds. There are simple questions to answer on the last page and chants to sing on the inside of the back cover. As the back cover claims, these are "simplified texts to support children learning English." 

2002 Aisopos: Fables Told in Type and Ornament. Art Center College of Design. Bruce Whiteman. Limited edition of 75 copies. Hardbound. Pasadenia, CA: Archetype Press. $150 from Vamp and Tramp Booksellers, Birmingham, AL, March, '08.

Here is a lovely book done under the direction of Gloria Kondrup and Heidrun Mumper-Drumm. The preface by Bruce Whiteman of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. Hand-bound by Alice Vaughan. Unpaginated. There are thirty-three pairs of pages, the first a nearly transparent page with the name of the student who did the design of the fable itself, which is on the second, underlying page. Many of the fable texts are straightforward. Several are not. Among those apart from the tradition is the third selection by Sarah Cathcart: "I am Aesop, Gabriel, a Liar. I'll build my wings with paper, glue, and wire. I'll catch an updraft in the city tonight. I gotta be ready. You don't fuck around with flight." So there! D. Reagan Marshall gets the swirls of the "2" in the title "2 Crabs" to represent the sideways walking of the two crabs. Soyoung Leah Kim's title "The Fox with the Cropped Tail" is itself cropped on the edge of the page. Clever! Dyna Kau does lovely work with designs and colors in a version of GA called "Summertime." Emily Liu works with several highly expressive designs for her version of WC. A standard feature of the pages is a rectangular section in the upper left that usually contains the text of the story. Other things like the title and moral often fall outside this rectangle. Another favorite of mine is "The Scorpion and the Frog" by Christine Marie Montgomery. Ellen Wong's fable is new to me and very strong. I quote it without attending to its poetic form. "Cartier a richman bought his wife a Cartier necklace every month. (Just for being beautiful) he said. One day, she observed a wrinkle above her right eye and decided to go under the knife. (For sure he will reward me wth an extra diamond) she thought. But with 1 cut of inexperience her face now sits lop-sided. And her husband now sits with another. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (of the knife)." I am so delighted to have found a copy of this book!

2002 Anthony Ant y Grady Grasshopper. Lindamichellebaron; Traduccion Mariela Dabbah. Illustraciones Zeph Ernest. Paperbound. Garden City, NY: Harlin Jacque Publications. $15 from Amazon.com, April, '11.

The title-page contuinues "Una Nueva Versión de La Fábula de Esopo: La Hormiga y el Saltamontes." Anthony is on roller-skates. Page 5 offers a view of him in action that is something like an Eadweard Muybridge series of photographs. Anthony calls Grady an "actor" and even "Mr. Showstopper." In this version, Anthony gives Grady the deserved lecture in winter but then invites him to eat. Grady learns his lesson and, when summer next comes, he sings while he works, and sometimes Anthony even sings along. There are three songs by Floyd Johnson Jr. at the end of the story: "Back and Forth"; "A little food"; and "You sang and you sang." 

2002 Bayke (Ukrainian). Editor L. Savoshpitcka. Illustrator V. Kastalski. Hardbound. Kiev: Zolota Seryah: Machaon-Ukraine Publishing. $14.99 from Victor Romanchenko, Rubux Ukrainian Books, Ukraine, Nov., '05. 

To my surprise, this turns out to be the same Ukrainian book of fables by Hlibov, Krylov, and Aesop that I have already catalogued. Only the cover differs. Where that cover mentioned all three fabulists and showed characters from five different fables against a blue checkerboard background, this cover has only "Bayke" and six panels from individual fables. The endpapers here show, on the left page, a bucket, shoes, a clarinet-like instrument, and a piece of painted wood that may be some musical instrument. The right page has a pair of glasses, a violin, an inkstand and feather, and a manuscript. Once one has gone past those pages, the books are identical--except for one line on the colophon page just before the advertisement at the end. Where the other book has "3 AM 1196," this has "3am 1277." I will copy my comments from there. Eighty pages offering fifty-seven fables with rich and simple full-color cartoon-like pictures on every page. Most of the fables are recognizable from their illustrations. The first four fables are GA, "Quartet," FC, and "The Swan, the Lobster, and the Pike." I particularly enjoy the depiction of "Trishka's Kaftan" on 77. There is a T of C on 4. Leonid Hlibov is spoken of as the best Ukrainian fabulist. He is brought together here with the best of Russian and Greek fabulists. He offers a fable on two barrels on 59; is it the traditional 2P? I realize in comparing the two books that this book never mentions that it is highlighting the three fabulists named on the cover of the other copy. At least five fables are attributed to Hlibov. The rest are attributed to Krilov. None are attributed to Aesop.

2002 Bayki: Fables by L. Hlibov, Aesop, I. Krylov (Ukrainian). Editor L. Slavoshpiteka. Illustrator V. Kastalski. Hardbound. Kiev: Zolota Kolektsiya: Machaon-Ukraine Publishing. $14.99 from Victor Romanchenko, Rubux Ukrainian Books, Ukraine, Sept., '05. 

Eighty pages offering fifty-seven fables with rich and simple full-color cartoon-like pictures on every page. Most of the fables are recognizable from their illustrations. The first four fables are GA, "Quartet," FC, and "The Swan, the Lobster, and the Pike." I particularly enjoy the depiction of "Trishka's Kaftan" on 77. There is a T of C on 4. Victor speaks here of Leonid Hlibov as the best Ukrainian fabulist. He is brought together here with the best of Russian and Greek fabulists. He offers a fable on two barrels on 59; is it the traditional 2P? With this book's subtitle, the attribution of fables is a little strange. At least five fables are attributed to Hlibov. The rest are attributed to Krilov. None are attributed to Aesop.

2002 Bernelly & Harriet: The Country Mouse and the City Mouse. Elizabeth Dahlie. First edition, first printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. $5.73 from King's Books, Tacoma, through abe, April, '04. 

This is a contemporary development of what many take to be the central thrust of TMCM, namely that each is happiest in her or his own element. The adaptation to contemporary life is enjoyable. Bernelly lives in the country and is a fly-fishing instructor. During the winter she ties beautiful flies, and during the summer she teaches fly-fishing. A leak in her boot leads her to visit her city cousin Harriet. Life in the city seems mouse-sized, down to the trolleys. Harriet is a painter who paints masterpieces in the winter and travels around for inspiration in the summer. They do the town, but Bernelly wants to get back to the country's quiet. Harriet comes along for inspiration. It is not hard for a reader to sense what is coming. Harriet soon misses the bustle of city life. The last page is a fine revelation. When Bernelly asks sadly if the country has not provided Harriet with inspiration, the latter answers that it has in its own way. That is, she has created a number of cityscapes! Though the mice shop for clothes and pack them, they tend to wear almost nothing--perhaps a scarf and boots in a picture. Dahlie identifies the two mice nicely by the dark color of the country cousin and the white color of Harriet.

2002 Big & Small The Eagle and the Daw.  Paul Brown and James Reidhaar.  #20 of 60; signed by Brown and Reidhaar.  Paperbound.  Bloomington, IN: Big & Small Series #3:  Brown Trout Press.  $55 from Oak Knoll Books, New Castle, DE, July, '13.  

This is a lovely miniature book (about 2½" x 3") with heavy paper cover, separate endpapers marbled on one side and a text of the fable of "The Eagle and the Daw" at its center.  This pair of pages folds out to a four-section page contrasting a silver-and-gold image above of an eagle carrying off a lamb with a purple-and-gray image below of a crow in the midst of fleece.  There is then a colophon page at the back.  Simple and engaging!

2002 Cambodian Folk Stories from the Gatiloke.  Retold by Muriel Paskin Carrison from a translation by The Venerable Kong Chhean.  Illustrated by Michael Lombrozo and Peter Lombrozo.  Third printing.  Paperbound.  Boston: Tuttle Publishing.  See 1993/2002   

2002 Children's Favorite Animal Fables. Retold and Illustrated by Graham Percy. Hardbound. Printed in Singapore. No place given: Barnes & Noble, Inc. $7.98 from Barnes & Noble, Berkeley, Feb., '03.

I stumbled over the single remaining copy of this large-formatted (10" x 12½") book in Barnes and Noble on a Saturday morning stroll. It gathers together the eight small books that Percy published with Henry Holt in 1993. The place of publication remains Singapore. In 2000 David Bennett Books apparently published a large-formatted version in the UK. This edition is ©Barnes & Noble 2002. I am surprised to find the introduction ("The Story of the Fable") listing and explaining the moral of each fable. Half of the fables (BC, TMCM, FC, and "The Heron and the Fish") change their morals and three (TH, FS, and TMCM) their titles. In TH, The hare is a perpetual boaster who picks out the tortoise as someone to sneer at. The course here is a lake, and a field mouse is the referee. The tone of GA is not resolved to my satisfaction. Lots of sympathy goes here to the ant, apparently a single parent, who works hard for her children. Her home is a cozy paradise in winter, stocked with the food she has gathered and the blankets she has woven. The lazy grasshopper is turned away completely, and the ant teaches her children this strange moral: "Always save for a rainy day." FS loses several elements from its earlier version. The fox here is a practical joker. Ms. Stork buys a new dress for the occasion and shows off her long neck with the strands of a pearl necklace. "The Cat and the Mice" starts with a wonderful picture of the large family of mice not "peaceful and happy." They fear the cat prowling just outside their little country home. There is a wealth of anthropomorphic detail here in the description of the mouse family's life. They eat eggs for breakfast, the children practice the piano, and the father smokes a pipe. Mother mouse gets the bright idea. Grandmother mouse puts it down. In TMCM, the city mouse stays "a few days" in the country before he starts complaining. In the city, he reclines wonderfully in a cake stand. At the end there is a clever introduction to the moral: "Write something for me to remember you by." What the country mouse writes in this version differs from what he wrote in the 1993 edition. There he wrote "Pleasure that comes at such a cost is no pleasure at all," but here "A quiet and safe life is better than a luxurious but fearful one." Is this an improvement? The vain crow in FC goes right into the kitchen to get the cheese. The moral is delivered by one watching sparrow to another. LM starts with a great picture of the mouse in babushka hurrying home with a stalk of wheat for her children. She rests for five minutes on what she thinks is a "brown tree stump." The children make a good factor for her appeal. There is good realism in her remark after being released "I might be able to help you someday." To get the lion free, she has to gnaw all night and half the next day. "The Heron and the Fish" uses the late afternoon hours to mark the progress from perch to trout to minnows to carp to a snail. The fish point their fins and giggle and gurgle at the heron's pathetic supper. The good moral comes from a wise frog bystander: "Folk who are too choosy often miss out altogether." The black-and-white silhouettes now join small colored illustrations in framing the text pages on the left, which face full-page colored illustrations magnified from the smaller books. Each story has six of these giant illustrations on its right-hand pages. Percy's work is able to survive the magnification. The book suffers from cheap production. The folding hinges around its spine are weak, and the pages are starting to protrude beyond the covers.

2002 Chuot Tra On. Narrated by Dinh Thuy Tien Sachi, Din Tra My, Tran Ha Anh, and Ngo Quang Huy. Illustrated by Quang Huy. Paperbound. Tu Sach Me Ke Con Nghe: Struyen Co Tich - Ngo Ngon Hay Nhyat The Gioi Qua Nhieu The Ky #3: Trang An. 13500 Vietnamese Dong from Cty Van Hoa Minh Tri - Nha Sach Van Lang Bookstore, Ho Chi Minh City, July, '04. 

The illustrations--and presumably the stories--in this colorful paperback book about 7" x 6½" repeat from the smaller booklets I found in the same store at the same time. Here we have familiar story lines and familiar paintings for LM; for the story of the boy who has a wolf in a hole all tied up in answer to the suggestion of recreating the crime; the wolf whose shadow convinces him that he is a tiger; the crow who disguised himself as a pigeon, but then finds the flour which he used washing off; and "The Horse and the Donkey." The cover shows the lion with four of his mice friends. The precision of the color work seems to have suffered somewhat by comparison, especially on the front-cover illustration.

2002 Der reiche Mann und der Schuster: Eine Fabel des Aesop. Erzählt und illustriert von Bernadette. Hardbound. Gossau Zürich and Hamburg: Ein Nord-Süd Bilderbuch: Nord-Süd Verlag. € 4.95 from Galerie Neubecker, Heidelberg, August, '06.

Here is the German version of The Rich Man and the Shoemaker: A Fable by La Fontaine, published in the same year by the same publisher. It is curious that the same story is described here as a fable of Aesop, whereas in English it was a fable of La Fontaine. And "Bernadette" here is "Bernadette Watts" there. Let me repeat some comments from that edition. I am delighted to see that Bernadette Watts is continuing to illustrate fables. She had done so for at least three Aesopic fables earlier: The Wind and the Sun, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, and The Lion and the Mouse. I noted then that the telling here is not true to La Fontaine's fine fable. Not only are fine little details left out, like the shoemaker's reference to the feast days on which he may not work, but bigger things are changed too. For example, the merchant here at first asks the shoemaker to stop singing. There is no such request anywhere in La Fontaine. In La Fontaine's version, the singing stops of its own accord as the shoemaker fixates in worry on his new treasure. In this version, the merchant has to try three times to give the shoemaker some gold. The latter, when he finally accepts it, digs into the frozen ground behind his home. I enjoy Watts' art. She sets the shoemaker into a very warm family-business setting here.

2002 Dr. Seuss's Fabulous Fables. First printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. London: HarperCollins Children's Books. £1.99 from Margaret Weston, Basingstoke, Hants, England, through eBay, Oct., '05. 

This is a compilation of three Dr. Seuss stories: "The Lorax," "I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew," and "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?" It is one of those eBay purchases for which shipping costs more than four times the cost of the item. The three stories were originally published, respectively, in 1971, 1965, and 1973. In the first story, the long-suffering Lorax tries in vain to save all the Truffula Trees from the wicked Once-ler's axe. The second story tells of struggles to reach Solla Sollew, "where they never have troubles." It suggests, according to the flyleaf, that "It's better to face up to life's problems than to try to run away from them!" The third story tells of "mishap and misadventure" and suggests that there is always somebody worse off than we are. These verse stories are imaginative and well illustrated. They are quite a distance from fables in the strict sense.

2002 Fables from Phaedrus. Illustrations by Phaedrus. Paperbound. Bloomington: 1stBooks. $11.45 from Powell's, Portland, Oct., '05. 

Here is a huge surprise. This book has nothing to do with Phaedrus or fables. It contains six or eight short stories and perhaps four illustrations. The short stories are sometimes a bit racy or macabre. The interspersed black-and-white illustrations are all quite similar. They feature something like the texture of a flower, with "Mr" in various positions, depending on the picture, around it. The text includes a number of misplaced apostrophes and typos, as in "they went to bed with a feeling of forebode hanging over them that night" (25). The very last lines of the blurb on the back cover are these: "I leave behind a greedy, jealous, self-centered species of which I have been a part of." I think that there is one "of" too many in there. The big questions that this book raises for me include these: What does Phaedrus have to do with what we actually find inside this book? And who is this "Phaedrus" that writes and illustrates the book? I can find nothing on either cover that would indicate that this is not a fable book.

2002 Fabulario Nazional. Joaquin Meza. Paperbound. First reimpression, 500 copies. Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada: Nekepú Editores. See 1998/2002.

2002 Fábulas. Con Compact Disc. Hardbound. Barcelona: Editorial Oceano. $22.40 from amazon.com, Feb., '03. 

There are twenty-seven fables here on 135 pages, followed by a T of C. Two audio CD's are attached to the title-page. They provide a nice musical approach to the stories, "las mejores fábulas de todos los tiempos." They offer good dramatic voices for the characters. A short flute-melody marks the time to turn the page. The book's approach to illustrating the characters is childlike and simple. The understanding of "fable" is broad here, and so the collection includes "El Cultivo del Maíz," "Popul-Vuh," "The Musicians of Bremen," "The Pied Piper of Hamlin," and "La Yerba Mate." Stories I cannot recognize include "A Margarita," "Los Cangrejos," "Boca Ancha," "La Sirenita," and "El Viento Zonda." The man who had fallen in love with a cat finds another girl to marry, and they both care for his beloved cat (61).

2002 Fábulas de Siempre: Las Tradicionales.  Paperbound.  Mexico City: Fábulas: Selector: Editorial Libsa.  $8.04 from Better World Books, July, '15.  

This is a sturdy 8½" x 10½" paperback offering thirty classic fables, all but one on a single page.  The contributors include Aesop, Phaedrus, La Fontaine, Samaniego, and Hartzenbusch.  The unacknowedged illustrations are appropriate but rather cartoonish.  New to me is the Samaniego fable of the camel who complains of a heavy load.  A little cactus offers to help and the camel answers, "Thank you, Sir Elephant"!  Hartzenbusch has a clever fable about a frog telling a tadpole that he and his tail are ugly.  "When I was a tadpole, I never had a tail."  The tadpole replies "Just as I thought.  You were never a tadpole."  The Juno that hears the peacock's complaining seems emaciated or drugged.  The most endearing illustration shows four dogs lapping up water together.  Pity that they will soon explode from their drinking!  There are three other books in the series, which seems to be out of print.

2002 Fábulas Exóticas. Paperbound. Mexico City, Mexico: Selector: Editorial LIBSA. $7.87 from Redline Distributing and Entertainment, through eBay, Sept., '08.

This is a 32-page paperbound book in large format with a wide array of stories. The geographic provenance of each story is given. All except one are identified by their nation of origin; Kahlil Gibran is the author of the other story. Represented ethnic groups include Celts, Indians, Africans, Arabs, Sioux, Uruguayans, Nepalese, Mexicans, and Eskimos. There seems to be a mix here of traditional fables and other stories. Thus the first story is of a fisherman who marries a seal, while the second is about villagers who fear the ringing of a bell until they find that a monkey is doing the ringing. More traditional fables include the frog and the scorpion; the hares and the elephants; and three from "Kalila and Dimna": the doves and the net; the hare, the lion, and the well; and the turtle, gazelle, and rat with the hunter. I am delighted to see a well-made book come out of Mexico.

2002 Favourite Aesop's Fables. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Bath, UK: Parragon. £0.85 from Palmonterry through eBay, Nov., '05. 

Is this a large-format work combining three smaller works from Parragon? The three stories presented here are TMCM, TH, and GA. Parragon did versions of all three in 2001 in "Bright Sparks" editions. The cartoon-work is fun here. Still, I wonder how successful Gardner is in depicting Town Mouse. His image does not fit with the text's description that "his whiskers were smart and elegant." (In the other version, that last phrase had been "fancy and elegant.") In town, Country Mouse gets a tummy ache from all the rich food he has eaten. A woman with a broom and a cat threaten the two mice. Country Mouse stays one night in town but is too unhappy to sleep. He tries hard not to cry. Country Mouse "never, ever" goes back to the city again. This version of TH sets out to have fun with the story. After the race's start, we read this of Hare: "When there was no one to show off for, he slowed down just a bit." When Tortoise--unusually upright in this version, I think--comes upon Hare sleeping, he does not wake him and says "He must have a reason for sleeping. He would only be cross if I woke him!" (In the other version, that last phrase had used "angry" rather than "cross." GA is told here in traditional fashion and is illustrated with lively cartoon characters including Bee, Ladybug, and Spider. When we meet Ant, she is struggling to balance a number of grains on her back. Grasshopper annoys the other insects by dancing and singing at night when the other insects are trying to sleep. By the end of the summer, Ant has four little children ants. She asks Grasshopper at this point what he is doing about building a nest and storing food. In the end, Ant relents and lets Grasshopper in. Grasshopper learns his lesson and is ready to build a nest of his own when spring arrives.

2002 Five Centuries of Childhood: 1497-1897.  Justin Schiller.  Paperbound.  NY:  Justin G. Schiller, Ltd.  Gift of Gregory Gellert, August, '16.

The title continues: "A Selection of Two Hundred Important Collectible Children's Books, Manuscripts and Related Drawings; References and Juvenilia."  I had worked so much with Schiller's earlier "Realms of Childhood," published in 1983, that I was delighted to learn that he had done another catalogue of available books from the history of children's literature.  That simple fact is quite remarkable: that a dealer could offer 200 books important in the history of this segment of literature.  We do not have to have an eye on buying these books to appreciate their descriptions!  This catalogue is like the first: extremely helpful for the particular interests of this collection.  Important items here for the fable-watcher are #33, 36, 39, 70, 112, and 167.  Among these I am most familiar with #36 on the sculptures at Versailles; #39 by Dodsley; a printing block from Bewick in #70; and Calder's Aesop in #167.  That means that I will be looking vigorously into #33 and #112. Would it be too extravagant to say that they belong in this collection?

2002 Hare and Tortoise Race to the Moon. Retold and Illustrated by Oliver J. Corwin. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. $14.95 from Borders, Los Gatos, August, '02. 

This is a "space-age twist on the popular Aesop's fable," as the dust-jacket proclaims. Hare stops off at places like the North Pole and the desert before he gets serious. After the contest, these two good friends hop on the moon--six times higher than they could on earth. The combination of fable and space travel is deliberately weird and off-putting, I think. The book makes a fine example of the strange places to which fable penetrates.

2002 I.A. Krylov: Fables (Russian). Hardbound. Moscow: Ripol Classic Publishing. $14.99 from Victor Romanchenko through eBay, April, '05. 

This small, pocket-format book has 560 pages. It is about 3½" x 4¼". As Victor's advertisement for it points out, it is richly illustrated with full-page black-and-white illustrations. Some of these are taken from Eugene Lambert. Another set, occurring especially at the beginning of each book, has no border. My sense from reviewing the visuals is that the reliance on second-hand illustrations probably means that the non-original fables of Krylov--especially those from La Fontaine--are more frequently illustrated here than are his original fables. Authors like Coxwell have said that eighty percent of Krylov's fables are original. The T of C at the back gives an overview; there are books or collections numbering, respectively, 22, 23, 21, 20, 26, 25, 26 (plus one?), 23, and 11 fables, with apparently five fables offered as an appendix. That would make for a total of 202, which squares with other totals I have found. Ripol did a more standard-sized edition of Krylov in 1997 with illustrations by I.V. Denisov. Is there any connection between the two books? This is another tight, well-made little book.

2002 Ivan Andreevich Krylov: Vorona i Lisitza: Basni. Edited by A. Grigoreva. Woodcuts by Aleksandr Mitrofanov. Hardbound. Moscow: Klassiki Detym: Bely Gorod. $14.99 from Rubux Russian & Ukrainian Books, Ukraine, through eBay, Sept., '05. 

"Vorona i Lisitza" is "The Crow and the Fox." 22 fables on 48 pages with a T of C on the last page. The endpapers at both ends of this large-format children's book include muted illustrations of several fables, including "The Cook and the Cat." The same cat is back on the book's title-page. The first two pages (2-3) offer a portrait and a life of Krilof himself. The art work is worth attending to, as when the final picture of WL (6) is of a wolf walking into the woods with a lamb in his arm; or in FC. "Razdel" seems to be the next story and illustration, followed by "The Swan, the Lobster, and the Pike" (14-15); "The Pig and the Vine" (16-17). Also here are: "The Monkey and the Spectacles"; "The Eagle and the Chickens"; "The Sightseer" (22-23); "The Monkey and the Mirror"; something about men and dogs; "The Cuckoo and the Rooster"; "The Caged Skylark"; FG; and "Elephant and Pug"; GA; "Uncle John's Soup"; "Quartet"; "The Judge and the Cock"; "Trishka's Kaftan"; one fable I cannot decipher; and "The Cat and the Cook." This book has a highly glossy and substantial cover.

2002 Jean de La Fontaine: 4 Fables en délire. Sylvie Girardet. Puig Rosado. Hardbound. Paris: Rimes A'Z jouer: Musée en Herbe: Hatier. €10 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05. 

Here is fun! For each of four fables, there are three areas of interaction: "Méli-Mélo," "Cache-cache," and "Mots et mots." The four fables are FC, GA, OF, and LM. Before we encounter a fable, we find the life of La Fontaine offered in five mixed up text-posters and five mixed up image-posters. What fun! Next comes "Jeu du Corbeau," thirty-seven steps in a board game meant to show the events in La Fontaine's life. When we reach FC, we find Rosado's great representation of FC back again. Though there are no prices this time, the crow is offering a choice of eleven different cheese to the waiting fox (11). This image comes with La Fontaine's text. "Méli-Mélo" is a mix-up in poster style of the text's phases. Put the six different posters into the correct order. "Cache-cache" here is a puzzle with a rebus solution. "Mots et mots" is a multiple-choice test based on the poem, with pictures for each possible answer. With the other fables, "Cache-cache" becomes various games relating to the story. A special prize goes to the full-page image of the frog being blown up with a bicycle pump (27)! I am very happy to find something longer done by Rosado, since I--and many others--have so enjoyed his cartoon of FC. There are even two more games at the book's end: "L'intrus" and "Mots découpés." In case you have trouble working out some of the games and puzzles, there is an answer sheet on 46.

2002 Kohút a líska: The Cock and the Fox: Ezopské bájky.   Ondreja Sliackeho; English by Heather Trebatická.   Illustrations by Svetozár Mydlo.   Hardbound.   Bratislava: Mladé letá.   $7.99 from Michal Foltan, Bratislava, through Ebay, May, '03.    

This attractive 120-page book with shiny bright covers presents twenty-three bilingual Aesopic fables.   FS is the first offering and gives a good example of the style.   The fables are significantly expanded here.   Thus the fox envies the stork's flight and so decides to play the trick.   Three different courses are offered in shallow bowls, and--on the following day--the stork offers several deep-necked jars of food.   In FC, a wolf first tries negative persuasion on the crow; the story thus sets up the clever approach of the fox.   In the story of the miser (23), the stone itself suggests to the miser "Bury me there in the gold's stead."   I think that this edition thus represents the first time that I have seen a stone speak in this story.   The title-story, "The Cock and the Fox" (57), is UP.   The woodcutter initiates the invitation to the fox to stay in his shed and, only after hearing about a reward, makes furtive gestures to indicate the fox's presence (69).   There are playful black-and-white illustrations throughout.   Enjoy the road-kill wasp on 42 and, on 67, the jackdaw who thinks that he is an eagle.   Sometimes animal forms and landscapes coalesce, as on 83.   As decoration Mydlo throws in a pencil in many shapes.   After the fables there is a two-page statement only in Slovak by the author, Ondrej Sliacky.   That is followed, respectively, by a pronunciation guide for the English texts, by an English-to-Slovak dictionary, by biographies of the book's collaborators, and by a T of C.

2002 La Fontaine aux fables (Volume 1): Texte Intégral. Various artists. Préface de Alain Ayroles. Hardbound. Paris: Guy Delcourt Productions. €22.60 from Musée Jean de La Fontaine, Château-Thierry, France, July, '07.

This is a high-class volume of comics representing twelve fables of La Fontaine. The artist for each fable can be found in the T of C at the back and also on the back cover; in fact there are twelve different artists, and their styles of presentation are quite different. The most unusual style is that of Yann Dégruel and Julie Audibert in "Le Chat et le Renard" (33-35). The T of C incorrectly puts "Le Renard et le Bouc" on 8. It is on 18. I will ask some friends who speak better French than I about the play on words which I think is found in the title, perhaps something like "The Fountain for Fables"? The fables here probe dimensions not perceived in the fable, as when the wolf first makes various attempts on the sheep, only to be thwarted by a dog, and then tries on various disguises before settling on that of a shepherd (3). The stories themselves last generally about three or four pages with about eleven or twelve individual pictures on a page. I find the artists here clever. Two of them bring in FC as clever additions to their illustrations of other fables. Thus both the fox and the crow get distracted when the mule with a casket of gold passes by on 24. FC shows up again on 44 as a short distraction in FS. This is very high quality comics work! One particularly good effect has to do with the destruction of the unwitting. Thus the weasel and rabbit destroyed by Raminogrobis the cat are represented in the last pane only by their characteristic clothing, which is all that is left of them (10). Earlier the corpse of the wolf who had masqueraded as a shepherd is hanged with a shepherd's crook through his heart (5). Do not miss the great pane of wolf's eyes on the top of 38.

2002 La Fontaine et les Artistes. Gérard Gréverand. Various. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Tournai, Belgium: La Renaissance du Livre. € 36 from Chapitre, July, '04. 

Here is a new star of this collection. The book has three sections. First there is a survey of illustrators of La Fontaine's fables. The center of the book is an "iconographic promenade" through eighty fables illustrated by various artists. The third portion, less helpful to me, walks through La Fontaine's life. I find the first two sections close to spectacular. Gréverand has chosen well among the visual treasures created in response to La Fontaine's poetry. I am delighted to see some of my favorites, even those I thought less well known, represented here. The one glaring omission is Pierre Barboutau. Great entries, some of them surprising, come from a Bon Marché orientalizing trade card; Hitler's appearance as the wolf in WL; a cotton imprint of MSA from 1806; Imagerie Pellerin posters; Gabriel Lefebvre; Imam Bakhsh; Willy Aractingi; Jean Effel; Fèlix Lorioux; Benjamin Rabier; Leonor Fini; Marc Chagall; Salvador Dalí; and Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel. Of course there is, as there should be, plenty of representation from the standard contributors: Chauveau, Oudry, Grandville, and Doré. Striking work of which I know nothing comes from Julien Yèmadjè. At the back there are alphabetical indices of illustrators and of fables, as well as a sequential listing by book and number of La Fontaine fables presented here and a bibliography. I am so glad that I happened across this book among Chapitre's listings!

2002 La Fontaine: Fables. Illustrées par Lionel Koechlin. Hardbound. Seuil jeunesse. €11.50 from Chapitre.com through abe, Dec., '04. 

Here are twenty-eight fables each situated on two or three pages and receiving one square illustration. The book is 78 pages long and about 6" x 7¼". The illustrations are decidedly contemporary, thought-provoking, and--might one say--geometric. Thus the first illustration puts the grasshopper as a guitar-toting beggar on a Paris metro. The fox who has the cheese is on the TV which the crow is watching (9); is he perhaps a televangelist? The frog shoots up his skinny arm with a hypodermic needle as he watches the huge ox hold up a set of weights (11). Does the dog, as he carries his attaché case, find the wolf hiding his face in a bread line (13)? The oak is just saying "Pensée unique!" to the reed as his face--the tree trunk--cracks into two (30)! The woodsman goes after death with a chain-saw (33)! The hare has wrapped his car around a tree and lies sprawling out its door, while the tortoise rides by on his bicycle (55). The heron's "snail" is a fast food place, the only thing open late at night (62). This book is fun!

2002 Lapin Plays Possum: Trickster Tales from the Louisiana Bayou.  Adapted by Sharon Arms Doucet.  Pictures by Scott Cook.  First edition, first printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  NY: Melanie Kroupa Books: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  $4.98 from Spectator Books, Oakland, CA, August., '13.

Here are three well-told Brer Rabbit tales with a Bayou sauciness:  "Bouki over a Barrel"; "Lapin Plays Possum"; and "Lapin Tangles with 'Tee Tar Bébé."  The obverse of the title-page gives a helpful glossary that draws nicely on Wolof and French and plenty of features of Louisiana culture.  Each story pits Lapin against Bouki the hyena.  In the first, Lapin claims that he is called away to one baptism after another, and the children get the names  "Commencé," "Moitié," and "Tout Fini."  The second story features first the trickery of taking only the top or the bottom or the middle of the crop.  In each case Lapin plants according to the portion he will be getting in the harvest.  The second half of this story concerns the possum maneuver that, in this version, has Lapin stealing Bouki's cart.  In the third story, Lapin starts his encounter with her by kissing the female tar baby and gets stuck by his mouth first.  The partial-page illustrations are lively.  The last illustration before the author's note may catch the spirit of Compère Lapin particularly well as he goes jaunting off with two buckets, surely full of something yummy (62).  Good stuff!

2002 Le Favole de Fedro in Versi Veneziani. Attilio Caminati. Illustrations by Raimondo Squizzato. Preface by Giuseppe L. Goisis. First edition. Paperbound. Spinea, Venice: Collana Rosso Veneziano 6: Edizioni Helvetia. € 10 from Libreria Miracoli, Venice, August, '06.

Finding this book in my first hours in Venice was a great omen! The Libreria Miracoli opens out onto the Piazza Miracoli, and this book was lying on the table out front. Each fable gets a new page on which to start. The Venetian version, complete with title, appears first, with the Italian version at the bottom of the page. The presentation of "The Sow and the Wolf" (186) contains an anomaly: the title of the Italian version is also in Venetian! The full-page black-and-white illustrations include FC (51), OF (66), "The Dogs and the Crocodiles" (68), "The Frogs and the Bulls" (74), "The Mosquito and the Mule" (98), "The Cicada and the Owl" (113), "The Mountain That Gave Birth" (146), "The Bull and the Calf" (165), "The Sow and the Wolf" (186), and "The Snake and the Lizard" (195). My favorites among these are "The Bull and the Calf" (165) and "The Sow and the Wolf" (186). The former contrasts nicely the bull's mass and the calf's suppleness. The latter also contrasts mass against spirit. In this case, the mass of the sow also includes intelligence enough to get rid of the wolf. The illustration for "The Cicada and the Owl" seems also to provide the backdrop for the cover and the illustration for the title-page. There is a T of C at the back.

2002 Le Loup et l'Agneau et autres fables cruelles de Jean de la Fontaine. Hardbound. Paris: France Bleu. €13.57 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05. 

This booklet comes with a CD. Both the book and the CD contain sixteen of La Fontaine's fables. I found this set shortly before I was to give a paper at the University of California on violence in La Fontaine's fables. The selection of fables is very good for the topic. Each fable gets one picture in the little (5¼" x 4¾") booklet, which is pasted into the stiff CD cover. WL, which also serves as the cover, has the wolf in chef's clothing looking down on the lamb, while the lamb reads a book and sips water from the river. Each image has a few lines from the text. Other fables here include "The Lion and the Mosquito," "The Thieves and the Donkey," DW, "The Two Bulls and a Frog," "The Donkey and the Dog," "The Cat, the Weasel, and the Little Rabbit," "The Wolf Turned Shepherd," "The Fox and the Goat," "The Lion in Love," LS, "The Two Pigeons," "The Old Cat and the Young Mouse," "The Lion and the Fox," FS, and FM. In FS, the fox walks away with a vase stuck on his nose. There are frequent owls and mosquitoes moving around these pictures, even when they are not characters in the fable. In a last image of La Fontaine writing at night, the owl is there on his writing table. He also shows up as an image on the CD.

2002 Literature Pockets: Aesop's Fables.   Authors: Jo Ellen Moore and Jill Norris.   Illustrator: Jo Larsen.   Paperbound.   Monterey, CA: Evan-Moor Products.   $12.95 from June Hinds, Hernando, FL, through Ebay, Feb., '02.  Extra copy a gift of Kathryn Thomas, Dec., '03.

For each of eight fables the teacher helps students of Grades 2 and 3 to create portfolios with pockets full of projects.   After, e.g., the TH pocket is labeled, a young student fills it with a bookmark, a text of the story, a "What is the moral?" sheet, a medal for the winning tortoise, a comparative chart on the characters, and a report on some real race.   Some of the projects are quite ingenious.   For LM, e.g., students are invited to write briefly on one side of a blank paper doll how someone helped them and, on the other, how they helped someone.   For MM, each student gets a jar of cream from which to make butter.  

2002 Little by Little. Linda Hayward. Illustrated by Peter Grosshauser. Paperbound. NY: Road to Reading Level 1: Golden Books Publishing Company. $1.05 from historianh@aol.com, NY, through eBay, April, '10.

Two crows find a pitcher of water only partially filled. One gets the bright idea to use pebbles. The other complains that it takes too long. The first perseveres. "Mile 1" books like this feature easy words, fun rhythms (perhaps they mean "rhymes"), big type, and picture cubes. This little booklet does what it is supposed to.

2002 Love & Folly: Selected Fables and Tales of La Fontaine. Translated by Marie Ponsot. Illustrations by Soon Chun Cho. Introduction by Benjamin Ivry. First edition, first printing. Paperbound. NY: Welcome Rain Publishers. $10.18 from Aaawesome Stuff Inc., Stevens Point, WI, through abe, April, '03. 

This book uses Ponsot's translations done originally for Selected Fables and Tales of La Fontaine by the New American Library in 1966. It adds several good features to those good translations. There is first of all a fine introduction by Benjamin Ivry based on La Fontaine's phrase "Diversity Is My Motto." It may be the best short introduction to La Fontaine's aesthetic that I have seen. There are also the seven black-and-white illustrations of Soon Chun Cho. Let me mark their places: title-page, 24, 28, 74, 114, 124, 150. The best of these might be the simplest: FS (28) and FG (150). I continue to enjoy Ponsot's translations. She does perhaps a third to a half of the fables and a small selection of La Fontaine's other works. This publisher picked a good translation to reprint.

2002 Lua Doi Lot Su' Tu'. Narrated by Dinh Thuy Tien Sachi, Din Tra My, Tran Ha Anh, and Ngo Quang Huy. Illustrated by Quang Huy. Paperbound. Tu Sach Me Ke Con Nghe: Struyen Co Tich - Ngo Ngon Hay Nhyat The Gioi Qua Nhieu The Ky #7: Trang An. 13500 Vietnamese Dong from Cty Van Hoa Minh Tri - Nha Sach Van Lang Bookstore, Ho Chi Minh City, July, '04. 

Some of the illustrations--and presumably the stories--in this colorful paperback book about 7" x 6½" repeat from the smaller booklets I found in the same store at the same time. Here we have familiar story lines and familiar paintings for DLS, which supplies the front-cover illustration; BW; "The Rooster, the Dog, and the Fox"; the story of the cat and dog bringing the piece of meat over which they have been fighting to the fox as arbitrator, who eats it all; and AD. The smaller iconic illustrations here are at the lower right on the right-hand page, while the left-hand page presents the full-page illustration.

2002 Mille et une Histoires: les Renards.  Paperbound.  Paris: Fleurus Presse.  $3 from West Coast, July, '15.

This is the February, 2002, number of a subscription pamphlet for young people and their parents.  It contains four fox stories.  From "Roman de Renard" comes the fable about the tail of Ysengrim.  From "Kamchatka" comes "The Fox and the Seal."  From Russia comes the fairy tale "La petite galette ronde."  And from Siberia comes the fable "The Catch of Rocks."  The stories are followed with puzzles, games, and consideration of a Pieter Boel's 17th-century painting of foxes.  The Ysengrim story is illustrated well.  I did not know that there was a hatchet-wielding hunter there to finally set Ysengrim free from her tail in the frozen ice-fishing hole.  The second story has the fox arranging seals as stepping stones across an otherwise impassable stretch of water.  "The Catch of Rocks" has the crow outsmarting the fox three times by sending him on fool's errands of carting huge rocks home from the seashore.  They are supposed to turn into delightful fish to eat.  The second and third time, the crow says that the fox did not use the magical formula and did look back along the way, respectively.  There is some writing on the cover and on 24.  There are some lovely fable images late in the magazine: FC on the capital of a church column, FS after Oudry, and UP by Grandville.  I was unaware that such subscription magazines existed.

2002 Praying Your Story: Making Sense of Your Life through Fables, Prayers and the Company of Saints. William Cleary. Illustrations by Maureen Noonan. First printing. Paperbound. Leavenworth, KS: Forest of Peace Publishing. Gift of the publisher, Jan., '02. One extra copy, also from the publisher.

This fine book picks up where Prayers and Fables: Meditating on Aesop's Wisdom (1998) left off. Each of forty chapters again uses a fable, a moral, and a prayer effectively. The playful, clever illustrations, again by Maureen Noonan, continue to add their own contribution to the reflective fun here. New elements make this book even stronger than the first. Instead of the psalm, which I found extraneous in the first book, we have a prayer to and a short account of a saint. The effort is an excellent one, I think, for suggesting the human impact of the fable. Sometimes the match of individual saint, prayer, and fable may be difficult, but the frequent creative matches makes the overall effort more than worthwhile. A second addition is a set of several questions on each psalm. Questions belong with fables; the questions here do their task of raising possibilities for reflective readers. This is a fable book I will take along to enjoy and to comb as I leave my collection behind. Here is what I wrote for the publisher's blurb on the book: "What a refreshing use of fables! Cleary's fables are for today's adults, as each fable's reflective prayers to God and to a saint make clear. Praying Your Story includes good questions for consideration and reflection, but I found myself already asking good questions as I read the fables and entered into the prayers. As a lover of fables, I am delighted at Cleary's pointed telling of the stories. As a person who tries to pray, I am delighted to find prayers that are prayable. In fact, the prayers are surprising in their transparent humanity."

2002 Read and Color Me Again & Again: The Tortoise and the Hare. Written by Heather Siemers. Illustrations by Jeff Pearson. Hardbound. Edmunton, Alberta, Canada: Read and Color Me Again & Again: Creative Publishing: Transglobal Communications Group. $4.99 from Yvonne Carr, NY, through eBay, Oct., '02. 

The hare, complete with jogging outfit and sunglasses, trips over the tortoise. The animals who gather for the race carry signs, each cheering on his or her contestant. The hare here returns during the race to see how the tortoise is doing and runs some circles around him. That occurs after he has slowed from running to a walk. In fact, he has returned because he is bored. Then he gets bored of teasing the tortoise. He deliberately sleeps near the finish line in order to make the tortoise see him win. A bunny in the crowd faints to see what is happening at the finish-line. The victory speech of this tortoise is "It doesn't matter how slow or fast you are, as long as you do your best." Does that moral really fit with this telling? This twelve-page stiffboard book has its own pack of six magic crayons in the upper right corner, and each of the pages is cut to fit around the pack of crayons. The special feature of this series is that you can color the pages with the magic crayons and then wipe them clean again. Aesop's fables get around!

2002 Stories from the Panchatantra: Ancient Stories with Moral Values or Fables. Retold by Esther Mary Lyons. Illustrated by Roy Bisson & Deepak Dhawan. Hardbound. Printed in India. Delhi: Books for All: Low Price Publications. $9 from Khazana, Minneapolis, March, '02.

Here a splashy red cover leads to twenty Panchatantra fables. A frame story on 7 and 51 gives the context. Children ask a teacher for stories, and she obliges with the Panchatantra. She seems solicitous along the way to explain old Indian customs to the children. One of them comments on 51 that life has changed since then and that her teacher helps to explain the differences well as she reads. There are simple black-and-white designs, usually two to each story. New to me is "The Singing Donkey" (27). The donkey thief is so pleased with his stolen cucumbers that he must sing, and of course his singing draws the night-watchman. The fox lures the ass to the lion by promising him a bride (54). To get him back the second time, he declares that the creature he encountered in the cave was his bride. The fox eats the ass' ears and brain and explains later that he never had any, if he was foolish enough to come back a second time. Less well known is "The Cobra-Son and the Daughter-in-Law" (57); the wife is clever enough to burn the cobra box during a brief interlude in which her husband is human. The rabbit and partridge come to the cat for judgment over the home that the latter had left and the former moved into. The cat eats both. Here it is a mosquito that barges in on the good life of the bugs living in the king's bed (109). The pictures of the cobra man on 58 and 62 are too good to miss! Notice the typo "Offcourse" for "Of course" on 51. There is confusion in line 5 of 98. The lion, not the camel, needs to speak this line, as the next paragraph presumes.

2002 That's Not Fair, Hare!  Julie Sykes.  Illustrated by Tim Warnes.  Sixth printing.  Paperbound.  NY: Scholastic, Inc.  $4.95 from Powell's, Portland, July, '15.  

This is a landscape pamphlet of 32 pages.  This storyteller works hard and well at setting a context.  Muggs the female turtle encounters a greedy hare eating the cabbages she normally feeds on and suggests sharing them.  Hare has a better idea: to hold a race, of which the winner gets all the cabbages.  Muggs has to stop along the way to rescue the well-intentioned Rabbit from a ditch where she has fallen while trying to show Muggs how to run faster by hopping.  Squirrel similarly tries to help with skipping and ends up slowing Muggs down.  The best image portrays the key moment where the hare is sleeping and Muggs overtakes him.  Rabbit and Squirrel cheer so loud that they wake the hare up.  At this point, the story tries a whole new gambit.  The hare actually wins the race, but Muggs suggests a second race, claiming that this result was unfair because her friends woke the hare up.  This race will have as its goal "home."  When the race starts, Muggs declares herself winner because she is already home.

2002 The Ancient Fable: An Introduction. Niklas Holzberg. First printing. Paperbound. Bloomington: Studies in Ancient Folklore and Popular Culture: Indiana University Press. CAN 12.97 from BMV Bookstore, Toronto, Nov., '03.

Laura Gibbs sums up the content of the book well in her review in "The Journal of American Folklore" (2007, pages 111-113): "Niklas Holzberg's 'Ancient Fable: An Introduction' provides a concise and clear analysis of the Greek and Roman sources for Aesop's fables. The book surveys each of the major sources for the approximately six hundred Greek and Latin fables that have survived from antiquity. This includes fables as exempla in the different historical periods of Greek and Roman literature; the verse fable collections of the poets Phaedrus, Babrius, and Avianus; and the prose fable collections in Greek and Latin. Each of these brief sections (approximately ten pages or less) is followed by a page or so of bibliographical observations." Holzberg's aim is to provide a critical review of prior scholarship, and he does that evenhandedly. He also adds some newer thoughts of his own. "Dare we infer again that the author of this novel [The Life of Aesop] also wrote the fable book that now survives in the form of the Collectio Augustana?" (p. 91). Holzberg rejects the traditional view that the "Life of Aesop" is a botched work. He sees, I believe, more literary merit in both the Augustana Collection and Romulus than many critics have allowed. He offers excellent comments on each of the verse fabulists he treats. While he provides an evenhanded overview of a difficult realm, Holzberg tends to presume a great deal from his readers. He writes, alas, from a classicist's point of view. His good introduction would benefit, I believe, by investigation of the anthropological-cultural view of fables and their place in ancient life. And of course one wants to go further in the fascinating history of fables, but that would lie beyond his subject. This good book was my reading as earlier as I took a train from Toronto to British Columbia. Good stuff! 

2002 The Bear and the Travelers: A Story of Trust. Paperbound. Chick-fil-A presents Adventures from The Book of Virtues: Porchlight Entertainment. $1 from Barbara Mulholland, Little Elm, TX, through Ebay, Sept., '02.

Chick-fil-A presents the booklets with their Kids' Meals as part of their program of "Growing Kids Inside and Out." The booklets are meant to teach character. Two of the six booklets in the series are fables, and I have been fortunate to find both together and in very good condition. There are seven full-page colored illustrations of TB in this 16-page pamphlet with stiff paper covers. The approach to the story here is curious and engaging. An older badger named Chauncey wants to travel the world. His young friend Alec offers to go with him. Half of the book is spent in Chauncey's imagining the things Alec would do to protect him along the way. They do travel. Once when they are asleep, a hungry bear comes upon them. Alec immediately hides in the woods (not in a tree). The story demonstrates and articulates the need for deeds that show trustworthiness. Might the illustrations here be stills from the PBS TV presentation of the story? The front cover says "See it on PBS kids" in the lower right corner.

2002 The Bear and the Travellers and The Ducks and the Tortoise. Val Biro. Paperbound. Printed in Malaysia. London: Award Publications Limited. £3.20 from George Answell, Kent, through EBay, Dec., '03.  Extra copy for 135 Philippine Pesos from Powerbooks, Manila, August, '03. Extra copy for 340 Kenya Shillings at Nakumat, Nairobi, Jan., '05.

This volume seems to belong to the set from which I already have two other volumes, but the three booklets are printed by different companies. See The Ass in the Pond by Ginn in 198April, '85 and The Eagle and the Man by the Wright Group in 1986. Here two volumes are grouped together in a large 8½" x 9½" pamphlet. Each page contains a head-line which repeats above the illustration part of what will be written just below it on the same page. Apparently this method is meant to offer help to the intended audience of "first readers," mentioned on the back cover. TB has an older and a younger friend. The latter forsakes the former. The bear surprises them at very close range and chases them. Does not this element hurt the story when the chasing bear comes upon one of the two men suddenly dead? The old man is offering his staff as a weapon for the young man to use when the latter climbs up into the tree. Biro's illustrations have fun with the story. The inciting element in TT is not drought or any other danger but the tortoise's desire to fly. Whereas the tortoise in many versions of this story opens his mouth to say something harsh in response to the crowd, the tortoise here opines that the people below must think that he is very clever. Apparently the "thump" of his fall does no permanent damage to the tortoise.

2002 The Boy Who Cried Wolf and the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs. By Val Biro. Paperbound. London: Award Publications Limited. 135 Philippine Pesos from Powerbooks, Manila, August, '03. Extra copy for 340 Kenya Shillings at Nakumat, Nairobi, Jan., '05.

This volume belongs to a set of eight large 8½" x 9½" pamphlets, each containing one longer and one shorter story illustrated by Biro. Each page contains a head-line which repeats above the illustration part of what will be written just below it on the same page. Apparently this method is meant to offer help to the intended audience of "first readers," mentioned on the back cover. The setting is clearly from the Arabic world, as one notes in the turbans and minarets. In BW here, the boy does not laugh out loud after the first deception. The second day, the townsmen see the boy laughing and realize his deception. Biro's wolf, when he does appear, is terror-inspiring! The wolf eats all the sheep. GGE contains the great line after they have cut the goose open to find the gold inside: "But the goose was full of goose." The accompanying illustration has the man holding the back end and the wife the front end of the split goose.

2002 The Chaste Mouse and the Wanton Mouse. Text by Ian Jackson. Drawings by Ann Arnold. Signed by Jackson and Arnold. Paperbound. Berkeley, CA: Ian Jackson. $12 from Michael Hackenberg, El Cerrito, CA, July, '11.

The opening-page inscription ("For Meggie and Thos, with love") and signatures have a clever little mouse design of their own. The book is a delightful contrast in praise of profligacy, with a fine surprise ending. The illustrator combines the titillating, funny, grotesque, and bizarre. This book does not follow closely on the patterns of TMCM. It is probably more along the pattern noted by the author: Beatrix Potter's mice-books.

2002 The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse. Paperbound. Manila: Story-Teller: Grafalco/National Book Store. 44 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03.

This sixteen-page pamphlet is one of a series of five books, each with an individual tale, sold together. Other fables in the set include "The Fox and the Wolf" and "The Presumptuous Little Mouse." Here Nico from the city takes his motorbike and mobile phone to visit his family in the country. When Lucas returns the visit, he finds that humans and a cat named Beelzebub disrupt life in the city. He tells his country friends that city people live better but have lives full of danger.

2002 The Eagle and the Man and Town Mouse and Country Mouse. By Val Biro. Paperbound. London: Award Publications Limited. 135 Philippine Pesos from Powerbooks, Manila, August, '03. Extra copy for 340 Kenya Shillings at Nakumat, Nairobi, Jan., '05.

This volume belongs to a set of eight large 8½" x 9½" pamphlets illustrated by Biro. Here the two stories are of about equal length. Each page contains a head-line which repeats above the illustration part of what will be written just below it on the same page. Apparently this method is meant to offer help to the intended audience of "first readers," mentioned on the back cover. Biro's style remains engaging. The man has released the eagle from the net in which he found him. Soon the eagle carries off the sleeping man's hat. The man wonders why, until he returns to the spot of his nap and finds that the old wall next to his sleeping place had fallen onto it. The country mouse in the second story lives in a ditch. In the city, a man sweeping in the larder calls the dog to catch the mice.

2002 The Fables of Kalilah and Dimnah: Adapted and translated from the Sanskrit through the Pahlavi into Arabic by Abdullah ibn al-Muqaffa AD 750. Translated from the Arabic by Saleh Saadeh Jallad. Drawings and cover design by Myriam Misk Saikaly. Dust jacket. Hardbound. London: Melisende. £14.95 from Foyle's, London, July, '02. 

Seventeen chapters on 247 pages are preceded by four important elements that are part of the story itself: "The Introduction to the Book," "Dabshalim the King and Baydaba [Bidpai] the Philosopher," "The Mission of Barzawayh the Physician to India," and "Barzawayh." Three of these have a number of fables within them. The first chapter is then the traditional "The Fable of the Lion and the Bull." There is an opening T of C, with mention of each of the fables in each chapter. The illustrations for each book and selected stories, in black and white and gray with Islamic script, are rather primitive. The illustrations for "The Monkey and the Carpenter" (82) and "The Drake and the Crab" (92) certainly get the fables' situations wrong. The book actually starts with a translator's foreword that begins from Arabic culture and Islamic faith and their contributions to the world. In this setting, the life of ibn al-Muqaffa is presented. K&D was long the second most popular book in Islam, after the Quran. Ibn's Arabic has survived; the Sanskrit and Pahlavi have not. The work stresses classic themes but highlights the positive role of the scholar in government and society. Some of the individual fables in the work are probably Ibn's creations. This is the fullest version I have seen of K&D. It includes al-Muqaffa's introduction, including the key statement: "The book thus infuses wisdom with amusement." The chapters include stories I have not read before, including several that La Fontaine picked up. It was worth studying this book in some detail.

2002 The Farmer and His Sons and The Ass in the Lion's Skin. By Val Biro. Paperbound. London: Award Publications Limited. 135 Philippine Pesos from Powerbooks, Manila, August, '03. Extra copy for 340 Kenya Shillings at Nakumat, Nairobi, Jan., '05.

This volume belongs to a set of eight large 8½" x 9½" pamphlets illustrated by Biro, most containing one longer and one shorter story. Each page contains a head-line which repeats above the illustration part of what will be written just below it on the same page. Apparently this method is meant to offer help to the intended audience of "first readers," mentioned on the back cover. Biro's style remains engaging. The characters in the first story are Italian or German, to judge by their dress and accessories. The lazy sons lounge around in the shade of a tree. After their father's death and their energetic digging up of the vineyard, they are back to lying around under the old tree … until the harvest surprises them by its quality and abundance! In DLS, the lion-skin falls off the ass as he romps about, and he does not even notice the loss. Biro has a great line near the end of the story: "Without his lion's skin he had no lion's courage."

2002 The Favourite Book of Fables. Illustrated by Harrison Weir (?) et al. Hardbound. Whitstable, Kent, England: Pryor Publications. £9.75 from the publisher through eBay, July, '11.

This book reproduces the 1890 original version by Thomas Nelson and Sons. Pryor Publications is, in their own terms, "Specialist in Facsimile Reproductions." I also have a copy of the 1891 printing. This version continues the early edition's beautiful pictorial spine and covers, featuring good colored illustrations of five fables. Noteworthy inside is the mix of illustrators and illustration styles. I think I can detect four different styles and, presumably, sources. (1) The sharpest and best here is a set of mid-sized rectangular engravings by W. Small (e.g., 17 and 25). (2) The largest occupy a full page, broken in some way by the presence of text (e.g., 13 and 57). (3) Next in size comes a set of large squares (59 and 75). Either of these last two categories may be by or from Weir. The TB illustration on 73 seems to be Weir's illustration given by Hobbs on 105 with text inserted, but I find a different TB illustration in my own Weir editions! (4) The smallest rectangles seem to be a poor man's Bewick (11 and 20). I wish I could place the source of the ass's sprawl on 49 and the cover. 

2002 The Fox and the Wolf. Paperbound. Manila: Story-Teller: Grafalco/National Book Store. 44 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03.

This sixteen-page pamphlet is one of a series of five books, each with an individual tale, sold together. Other fables in the set include "The Presumptuous Little Mouse" and "The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse." This pamphlet's story has the fox telling the famished wolf about his great trick of lying on the road as though dead in front of the farmer's oncoming truck. The farmer threw the fox onto the back of the truck and then onto the haystack at home. After the farmer and his family went to bed, the fox had his pick of the ducks in the farmer's yard. The wolf eagerly tries the same trick. Alas, the next vehicle is the same truck driven by the same farmer. The wolf gets shot in the tail for his troubles! The tricks, we learn, that are good for some are not good for others. Strangely there is a list of eight books in the collection on the back cover. Those not included in this set of five seem not to contain fables.

2002 The Hare and the Tortoise. Paperbound. Manila: Collection: Big Stories: Grafalco/National Book Store, Inc. 59 Phil Pesos from Powerbooks, Manila, August, '03. 

This is a large-format (9 ¾" x 11¼") sixteen-page pamphlet giving a very simple rendition of TH. The one signed illustration seems to feature the name "Paqui." The new feature of this rendition is that the tortoise covers the last leg of the race very quickly because she climbs inside her shell and rolls down a hillside very fast. There are two other good touches earlier in the depiction. The fastest animals went ahead to the finish line, while the slower animals kept pace with the tortoise and cheered him on. Still earlier, the crowd had thought that the fast-starting hare had already won, but the wise owl reminded them that the race was not over yet. "We'll see what happens at the finish line," he added. There seem to be twelve pamphlets in the series. "The Milkmaid" seems to be the only other fable.

2002 The Presumptuous Little Mouse. Paperbound. Manila: Story-Teller: Grafalco/National Book Store. 44 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

This sixteen-page pamphlet is one of a series of five books, each with an individual tale, sold together. Other fables in the set include "The Fox and the Wolf" and "The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse." This pamphlet's story runs according to the pattern of the fable about marrying one's daughter to the sun. Here a spirited young female mouse finds a coin, dresses up in a bow, and attracts a great deal of male attention. She rejects all suitors until she finally agrees to marry Earl Cat. The latter does not even wait until the marriage ceremony. In church, he tries to eat her then and there! Her neighbor, Little Rat, has been watching. He helps to rescue her and then marries her.

2002 The Race. By Caroline Repchuk. Illustrated by Alison Jay. Hardbound. Printed in Belgium. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. $3 from Van Aken, Denton, TX, through Ebay, Dec., '03.

This is a large-format (9¾" x 11¼") landscape-formatted development of TH. A map early in the book shows a race starting from London and reaching to New York. The tortoise announces his usual wisdom "Slow and steady is the way/to get somewhere without delay." Hare takes off in a car that leaves a cloud of dust. Tortoise cleverly boards an ocean liner. Hare runs into trouble; picture-postcards show him on ski-lift gondolas and Venetian gondolas. He is even thrown off by a donkey in Greece. Hot air balloons and kayaks continue the theme. After a boat ride of his own, Hare takes a plane from Hong Kong. After a stop in Australia, he gets into a fast plane--and then jumps out of it near the Statue of Liberty. If you look closely in the Statue's crown, Tortoise is there waving to Hare. In the end, the old-time moral is confirmed. The book's paintings are given a deliberate "retro" feel by showing cracked paint. It is all quite a bother about a simple point, but I suppose that observation only confirms this story's moral.

2002 The Rich Man and the Shoemaker: A Fable by La Fontaine. Retold and Illustrated by Bernadette Watts. First edition, first printing. Hardbound. NY, London: North-South Books. $5.99 from BookCloseOuts.com, March, '05. 

I am delighted to see that Bernadette Watts is continuing to illustrate fables. She had done so for at least three Aesopic fables earlier: The Wind and the Sun, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, and The Lion and the Mouse. The telling here is not true to La Fontaine's fine fable. Not only are fine little details left out, like the shoemaker's reference to the feast days on which he may not work, but bigger things are changed too. For example, the merchant here at first asks the shoemaker to stop singing. There is no such request anywhere in La Fontaine. In La Fontaine's version, the singing stops of its own accord as the shoemaker fixates in worry on his new treasure. In this version, the merchant has to try three times to give the shoemaker some gold. The latter, when he finally accepts it, digs into the frozen ground behind his home. I enjoy Watts' art. She sets the shoemaker into a very warm family-business setting here.

2002 The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales.   Text by Jon Scieszka.   Illustrations by Lane Smith.   First printing of this edition.   Dust jacket.   Hardbound.   NY: Penguin Viking.   $16.99 from San Marino Toy and Book, Los Angeles, March, '03.  

Here is the ten year anniversary edition of a favorite book.   The back of the dust-jacket proclaims "It's actually a Special Limited Extra Stuff Included at No Extra Charge Ten Year Anniversary Edition (dust jacket)."   Wow!   Inside this dust jacket (yes, you have to take it off the book to read it) is the long-lost story of "The Boy Who Cried Cow Patty" that was promised in the original book but never quite appeared.   The dust jacket inside also contains the numbers that fell off the table of contents.   Actually, the boy who always yelled "cow patty" in the key event ended up yelling "Fire!   Fire!"   Of course he did!   The publication data is updated to 2002 on the final page.   See my comments on the madcap book that otherwise is still the same inside this anniversary dust jacket.   What a great scam!

2002 The Tortoise and the Hare. Hardbound. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Fairy Tales 23: Creative Publishing: Transglobal Communications Group. $2.99 from Tobolski, Chicago, through eBay, Nov., '07.

This book is very similar to another square book of the same size which I have catalogued under 2004, two years later than this edition. There are fascinating differences. This book has a cushioned front and back cover. It is labeled on both covers "Illustrated Wide Format Edition." What might that "wide format" be? Both covers identify this volume as "Fairy Tales 23." Both front covers feature an apparent start to the race, but they add different things in the background, and the typeface of the title is different. The back covers present different scenes. This copy's pages are regular paper as opposed to the boards that form the pages and covers of that book. This ISBN is 1-55280-736-3. While the cover illustration is the same, several of the illustrations in this book are dropped in that later book. That book has a first pair of pages not found here: the left page has "This Book Belongs to:" and the right page has a title and a circle of the race's start. That book then jumps into the story with an illustration suggesting the challenge to a race. On the title page spread here, the hare is yawning as the tortoise approaches; he is not yet wearing his signature sunglasses. On the second spread, the sun-glassed hare seems to be skipping by the tortoise. The third spread of pages here is then the first full spread there. While the text there will be set in strong font against a colored background, here it is in standard typeface against a cream background. The text here is not only smaller, but it is also longer. This text does not have the problem of getting the hare started and then later having him pass the tortoise, as the later text will. This hare first quits running and then begins walking and finally goes back to check on the tortoise. He dances around him: this image gives rise to the problem of the later text, since it puts the hare behind the tortoise at one very brief point during the race. This story then presents the hare eating a carrot. This event, not mentioned in the later book, shows up in a confusing image on the back of that later book. A further image of the hare hurrying to catch up is in this edition but not the later one. The moral articulated here by the tortoise is slightly different and slightly less objectionable: "It doesn't matter how slow or fast you are, as long as you do your best." At the very least, it is not a run-on sentence! My, the changes that happen in one company's two different editions just two years apart!

2002 The Tortoise and the Hare: A Story of Perseverance. Paperbound. Chick-fil-A presents Adventures from The Book of Virtues: Porchlight Entertainment. $1 from Barbara Mulholland, Little Elm, TX, through Ebay, Sept., '02.

Chick-fil-A presents the booklets with their Kids' Meals as part of their program of "Growing Kids Inside and Out." The booklets are meant to teach character. Two of the six booklets in the series are fables, and I have been fortunate to find both together and in very good condition. There are seven full-page colored illustrations of TH in this 16-page pamphlet with stiff paper covers. It is ironic that "it took forever just for him [the tortoise] to brush his hair" (3), since the page opposite shows him with two hairs! The tortoise was slow in everything, including games, but in these he usually beat the hare. In fact, it is because he lost so regularly that the hare dreamed up the race with the tortoise. The hare ran so fast that carrots were sucked out of the ground! The hare stopped in the race to clip a heroic statue of himself with the groundhog's hedge trimmers. After a huge dinner, the hare decided to take a nap. As the booklet's cover shows, the hare actually grabbed the tortoise's shell from behind just a few feet from the finish-line. Might the illustrations here be stills from the PBS TV presentation of the story? The front cover says "See it on PBS kids" in the lower right corner.

2002 The Tortoise and the Hare Continued.... Original story by Aesop 600 BC, Revised by Barry Lane 2002 AD. Illustrated by Miles Bodimeade. First printing. Hardbound. Shoreham, VT: Discover Writing Press. $24.10 from OwlsBooks, Hammond, IN, through eBay, Feb., '09.

This is a clever book. The key to its approach is the word "continued." The story never stops developing. One reads near the beginning "Grown ups do enjoy stories which tell children how to behave, but they sometimes leave out the stuff which might confuse you." So we are to imagine what happened the day after the famous race. The tortoise became rich and famous but was challenged by other hares to prove himself and lost ignominiously to them all. Moral: Quit while you're ahead. Now these hares became famous and appeared on "The Hoprah Show." Tortoises secretly hired speedy gophers to carry shells and beat the hares in the next challenge race. Moral: Cheating can sometimes work. And: Never judge a tortoise by its shell alone. The hares wanted a rematch. In the rematch, hail stopped the hares but not the tortoises. Moral: Even bad weather can bring good results. The frustrated hares fashioned armor to resist the hail, wore and supported it in the next race, and discovered too late that they did not need it. Moral: If you live in the past, you lose in the present. The long-lived tortoise met the great-grandson of the original hare -- hares average eight years of life to a tortoise's more-than-fifty -- and told him stories about his great-grandfather, who learned his lesson and turned to planting seeds. Moral: Time heals all wrongs. Actually, this story was not true; the original hare never learned his lesson. He even lost to a flea who climbed onto his back and leapt off over the finish line. The tortoise made up the more positive story of the original hare to inspire the young hare. That young hare grew up to be a doctor who worked hard to build a better world. He gave a graduation speech telling the "nice" version of his great-grandfather; some hares who heard him resolved to live slower and steadier. And many did! Moral: Made up stories can improve real lives. Text and illustration are always on facing pages. Unfortunately, this copy's pages were crinkled up at the bottom. I wonder how I missed this book when it first came out. My wonder increases as I pay $24.10 for a copy that was once sold on clearance for $.49!

2002 The Wolf Who Cried Boy.  Story by Bob Hartman. Pictures by Tim Raglin. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Printed in Hong Kong. NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons. $15.99 from San Marino Toy and Book, Los Angeles, March, '03.   

This landscape-formatted book has a sampler or needlepoint pattern as background for its dust jacket, covers, and end-papers.   The title is a nice reversal of the usual fable.   Here Little Wolf complains each night about what his mother serves for dinner, whether it is lamburgers, sloppy does, or chocolate moose.   He wants boy!   Father himself remembers wonderful boy chops and baked boy-tato.   Father assures Little Wolf that, if he can find a boy in the woods, father and mother will catch and cook him.   Here, in keeping with the fable, the boy tries to put off an unwelcome dinner of three-pig salad by howling to his parents from a distance on his way home from school that he has seen a boy.   The two come running.   The ruse works; the three-pig salad is ruined in the meantime.   Little Wolf tries the same trick the next day, and the Granny Smith pie goes bad when Granny gets all lumpy!   The parent wolves find him out, and the next day a whole troop of boy scouts come marching by.   One curious boy even comes into their cave, but Little Wolf cannot get anyone to look up at him!   The result?   The boys at least live happily ever after.   The illustrations are delightful, cartoonish, and unusually precise in their printing.   Well done!   

2002 Three Fables. Retold by Maryann Dobeck. Illustrated by Diane Dawson Hearn. Pamphlet. NY: Scholastic. $0.98 from K. Mitchell, Grantsville, VT, through eBay, June, '09.

This is a good sixteen-page pamphlet about 8" a side. Its three fables are FC, FG, and "The Dog and the Bone." FC is told in an excellent version. If a reader needs a sensible rendition of this fable, this pamphlet is a good place to look. In FG, the fox tries many tricks and efforts to get the grapes he deeply desires. "The Dog and the Bone" is the third fable here. It combines text and illustration in excellent fashion, for example at the bridge. The dog in this version never knows that the bone he saw in the water was his own.

2002 Truyen Ngu Ngon Edop. Translated by Pham Khai Hoan. Cover illustration by Trang Ngoc Nhung. Introduction by Nguyen Tam. Paperbound. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Tuyen Tap: Van Hoc. 10000 Vietnamese Dong from Ho Chi Minh City, July, '04. 

I found this book out on the shelf advertising "Edop" while I could communicate almost nothing to the store workers in this small bookshop. The book features a walking, salivating fox or wolf on the cover. Its hundred pages contain about two fables per page, but I can find no T of C. The verso of the title-page lists as sources the 1954 Penguin edition and "Folk-Lore and Fable: Aesop-Grimm-Anderson" from the Harvard Classics in 1909. There are no other illustrations--unfortunately, since that animal on the cover is striking!

2002 Zayann II: Fables de La Fontaine et d'Esope Français/Créoles. Sylviane Telchid, Hector Poullet, et al. Illustrations by Th. Petit le Brun. Paperbound. Guadeloupe: PLB Éditions. $3.99 from Better World Books Warehouse, Mishawaka, IN, Jan., '11.

This book apparently follows upon Zayann, a collection of La Fontaine's fables in French and Creole produced by PLB in Guadeloupe. This second volume follows up with twenty-one more La Fontaine fables, each facing a Créole adaptation, and twenty Aesop fables, each including adaptations in, as the subtitle's continuation has it, "guadeloupéen, guyanais, martiniquais, haïtien." Each of these latter adaptations comes marked with an identifying place name and outline of its island country. The respective adapters for the four are Hector Poullet, Aude Farwaka Désiré, Daniel Boukmann, and Jocelyne Trouillot-Levy. The presentation is regular: Aesop's short version appears at the top of a left-hand page; the adaptations follow on the left and right-hand pages. The Haitian version is regularly three or four times longer than either Aesop or the other adaptations! The break between the La Fontaine and Aesop sections comes on 81. Th. Petit le Brun adds full-page black-and-white illustrations for "The Cat, the Weasel, and the Little Rabbit" (cover); "The Herdsman and His Flock" (43); and "The Ass and His Masters" (75). Particular words are marked for help along the way. That help, divided according to the four territories, comes on 124-26 after the T of C on 122-23. This copy formerly belonged to the Brooklyn Public Library. Now I need to find a copy of "Zayann"!

2002 3-Minute Stories: Bedtime Tales. Various storytellers, including Sarah Toast and David Presser. Various artists, including Krista Brauckmann-Towns and Viviana Diaz. First printing. Hardbound. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, Ltd.. $4 from The Library Friends' Shop, Cincinnati, June, '11.

This book is noteworthy for its thick, cushioned covers. A person holding the book can see through the heavy front cover to a mysterious clock. Turned one way, the clock shows 8:00; turned another, the clock's face winks and shows 8:03. There are twenty traditional stories. Among them are LM (140) and TH (148). The former is adapted by Sarah Toast and illustrated by Krista Brauckmann-Towns. The first illustration shows a wonderfully peeved lion. The mouse has been picking berries and thought that she was climbing a rock. She actually gets away when the lion chases her but is soon too exhausted to run further. In this version, the lion laughs so hard at the mouse's offer of future help that he rolls on his back and almost crushes her. He goes off immediately to seek food and falls into the trap. His reward to the mouse for being freed is to carry her back on his head so that she can pick a great berry. The mouse offers to pick some berries for the lion too for a picnic that they can have together. TH is adapted by David Presser and illustrated by Viviana Diaz. Hare thinks after a fast start that he will rest until tortoise comes along. After eating, he supposes that there is no harm in taking a little nap. Tortoise enjoys the whole race and greets friends as he goes along.

2002/2004 The Dog and His Shadow: A Fable. Retold by Lucy Floyd. Illustrated by Nancy Coffelt. Fifth printing. Paperbound. Orlando: Harcourt. $3.98 from Better World Books, June, '11.

This is a 16-page pamphlet once sold by Goodwill for $1. Its illustrations feature pastel colors in large areas. This version of the story early identifies the dog as "a little bit greedy" (3). The dog declares the bone belonging to the "other dog" twice as big as his own. Perhaps the best illustration shows the dog in the water with only his head and one paw protruding (15). The booklet's back cover seems to indicate that the book is appropriate for the first half of the second grade.

2002/2008 Aesop: The Complete Fables. Translated by Olivia and Robert Temple. With an Introduction by Robert Temple. Paperbound. Tongzhou: Yilin Publishing House. 19.50 Yuan from Hangzhou Wholesale City Trading Co., Oct., '10.

Here is an apparent second printing in 2008 of the Chinese translation from 2002 of Penguin's new edition of Aesop done in 1998 by Olivia and Robert Temple. The work includes Robert Temple's extensive introduction to this translation. This book adds an element that the original had lacked: a T of C at the beginning. There is a short afterword in Chinese on 385-7. The English appears on left-hand pages. The Chinese translation and a rare note or two appear on the right-hand pages. This Chinese collection shows excellent political correctness. It contains 357 fables, not 358, and they are ordered according to the Temples' order. A bit of sleuthing easily unearths the excluded fable: ""The Chariot of Hermes and the Arabs" (#112 on 87 in the Temples' edition). This fable involves a racial slur. For more about the book by the Temples, consult my comment on their 1998 edition or my review of it for Classical Outlook. There are no illustrations here other than the FG illustration that appears both on the front cover and on the title-page. 

2002? Famous Aesop Fables: The Cat and the Cockerel & other stories. Paperbound. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Jiwa Seni Sdn. Bhd. 73.50 Philippine Pesos from Good Will Book Store, Manila, August, '03.

One in a set of seven 7½" x 10¼" pamphlets, each including seven fables. For each fable, there is a full page of text on the left and a full-page colored illustration on the right. The cartoon illustrations are simple and lively. One story may epitomize this member of the series: "The Man and the Flea." The conception of the story here is good, namely that a small enemy can do a great deal of harm. The flea argues that he is too small to cause any harm. The man answers that he needs to kill him no matter how small he is. The illustration is lively and dramatic: a huge hand has the squirming flea between thumb and index finger. The English suffers in phrases like "he searched the flea to kill" and the moral's "It is not the matter who did it, but what have done." The illustration for "The Lion, the Bear and the Fox" does a good job of arranging and characterizing the four characters in this fable. The two combatants struggle, the victim lamb sweats in fear, and the spectator fox licks his chops. The artist offers an unusual frontal view of the bloated frog in OF.

2002? Famous Aesop Fables: The Farmer and His Sons & other stories. Paperbound. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Jiwa Seni Sdn. Bhd. 73.50 Phil Pesos from Good Will Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

One in a set of seven 7½" x 10¼" pamphlets, each including seven fables. For each fable, there is a full page of text on the left and a full-page colored illustration on the right. This booklet may be best remembered for its slight misses in dealing with English. "The Father and His Sons" concludes with the line "Your enemies will win you easily!" The moral for "The Drowning Boy" is "Help when need help; advise when need advice." There is a good turn of phrase in "Bear and the Fox." The bear has just boasted that he is kind and polite; bears after all do not eat the dead. The fox answers "How I wish you would change your eating habits and eat the dead instead, and leave the living animals alone when you are hungry!" The English is particularly suspect in the last story, "The Black Smith and a Lazy Dog." The cartoon illustrations are simple and lively.

2002? Famous Aesop Fables: The Fisherman and a Little Fish & other stories. Paperbound. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Jiwa Seni Sdn. Bhd. 73.50 Philippine Pesos from Good Will Book Store, Manila, August, '03. Extra copy for 69 Philippine Pesos at National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

One in a set of seven 7½" x 10¼" pamphlets, each including seven fables. For each fable, there is a full page of text on the left and a full-page colored illustration on the right. The cartoon illustrations are simple and lively. The donkey in "The Donkey's Shadow" is purple! The eager fisherman who has caught a little fish (both at the center and on the cover) has a remarkable face with open mouth and bulging eyes. I would not want to be that little fish! Unfortunately, the fisherman's statement to the fish is "Mmm, I don't like I'll let you go." The last text has "quite" for "quiet."

2002? Famous Aesop Fables: The Frog and the Mouse & other stories. Paperbound. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Jiwa Seni Sdn. Bhd. 73.50 Philippine Pesos from Good Will Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

One in a set of seven 7½" x 10¼" pamphlets, each including seven fables. For each fable, there is a full page of text on the left and a full-page colored illustration on the right. The cartoon illustrations are simple and lively. The English has problems in some of these stories. Thus in "The Lion and the Wild Boar," we read "On seeing the eagle, the lion and the wild boar knew why the eagle waiting for." New to me is the story of the olive and fig tree. The olive boasts of its green leaves. Soon heavy snow falls on these and breaks the tree's branches. This a remarkable telling, with a remarkable illustration, for this culture! The boy tries to get not filberts but peanuts from the jar. "He tried to get more peanuts as he could." This booklet presents one of the best illustrations I have seen for "The Two Bags," using backpacks rather than a pole. "The Boy and the Prickly Leaves" has a new approach to the traditional story of grasping nettles. Here he should grasp the stem firmly, not the leaves. There the point usually seems to be that we need to be firm and decisive. Here the point is well expressed in the moral: "A hard job can be done easily with tricks of how to do it." The best illustration has the mouse covering his eyes as the frog jumps with him into the water. The typo on the moral here is especially saddening: "Thing before do anything."

2002? Famous Aesop Fables: The Hawk and His Captor & other stories. Paperbound. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Jiwa Seni Sdn. Bhd. 73.50 Philippine Pesos from Good Will Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

One in a set of seven 7½" x 10¼" pamphlets, each including seven fables. For each fable, there is a full page of text on the left and a full-page colored illustration on the right. The cartoon illustrations are simple and lively. As in another Asian version I read recently, it is the mother deer who upbraids the fawn, and not vice versa. Then the mother hears the dogs and runs off. The fawn says to his mother "Now do you know why I'm a coward?" FWT is told in the normal fashion, but its illustration includes just one fox and a squirrel snickering behind his back. The problems with English continue in this volume. Thus one moral says "Do not challenge to those who are stronger than you do."

2002? Famous Aesop Fables: The Robber and the Soldiers & other stories. Paperbound. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Jiwa Seni Sdn. Bhd. 73.50 Phil Pesos from Good Will Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

One in a set of seven 7½" x 10¼" pamphlets, each including seven fables. For each fable, there is a full page of text on the left and a full-page colored illustration on the right. The cartoon illustrations are simple and lively. I notice here that the pleasant little thumbnail illustrations of the six other stories inside the book do not follow the order of the stories inside. The good picture of the cat playing dead and hanging by its tail contradicts the text by having a mouse come up close to the suspended cat. The motif of the "lion's share" as everything is portrayed here in a fable in which the lion has only one partner, the wild ass. The final illustration presents a great image of a threatening mother scolding her crying son.

2002? Famous Aesop Fables: The Wolf and the Lamb & other stories. Paperbound. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Jiwa Seni Sdn. Bhd. 73.50 Philippine Pesos from Good Will Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

One in a set of seven 7½" x 10¼" pamphlets, each including seven fables. For each fable, there is a full page of text on the left and a full-page colored illustration on the right. The cartoon illustrations are simple and lively. "The Rich Widow and Her Maids," well told and well illustrated here, shows the problem of using a proverb to express the moral. What does it mean to say "Crooked sticks will have crooked shadows"? This wolf has an objection to the lamb that is new to me, namely that the lamb had drunk water from the wolf's pond. The moral to "The Charcoal Burner and the Fuller" surprises me: "Avoid the word that hurts the people."

2002? Favorite Folk Tales: A Wise Old Goose. Paperbound. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ciptaan Jiwaseni Sdn. Bhd. 69 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

One in a series of seven 7½" x 10¼" pamphlets. Unfortunately, this was the only member of the series that I could find in my short visit to Manila. There are two Jatakas stories here. "The Blue Jackal" works from the vantage point of fear. The jackal first runs away from the dogs through fear. Then, when he has become blue, he knows that the other animals fear him. It does not help this booklet, I believe, that a number of animals pictured along the way in this story are blue! The main character in "A Wise Old Goose" knows that small creeper plants at the base of a tree will grow and soon allow people like hunters to climb the tree and kill the birds who live in the tree. His advice goes unheeded. One day a hunter climbs the tree and spreads his nets. Soon the geese are trapped. Now the wise old goose conceives a plan: they will all play dead tomorrow, and the hunter will throw them down from the net. When the last is thrown, they need to fly away. There is a strange blank page facing 14, but apparently nothing is missing, since the page before was numbered 13.

2002? So Viele Schöne Märchen. Text von Patricia Schillinger. Hardbound. Hemma. €8 from Dresden flea market, August, '07.

©Edizioni Larus. Cuteness is everything in this large-format colorful book of children's animal stories. The stories work with fable motifs, but extend them to greater lengths. Thus the first story has a cat show a hungry tiger the house where the cat meows to get a saucer of milk. The tiger watches and decides that he will get more if he roars. Instead of a little girl with a saucer of milk, he faces a man with a gun! The second story presents a conspiracy by a fox and a blackbird to get the lunch that a little girl brings her father; surprisingly the fox is once referred to as a wolf. In this story, the fox goes through well delineated steps in cheating his partner. First he divides the spoil, then eats his own, then tries the blackbird's, and then eats it all. When in the next story young Lilli needs to leave the farm for a while, she leaves the proud rooster Checco in charge. As he gives orders, he sees a disobedient rooster in the well and dives in to teach him a lesson. The fox in the next story teaches the little bear the lesson that honey enjoyed in moderation will taste good again tomorrow, but honey eaten wildly will spoil one's appetite for honey tomorrow. "Die Zwei Kleinen Mäuse" is a cute version of TMCM. Snails do the hedgehog trick in a race with an elephant while the real competitor sticks to the elephant's tail. Ducks fish for the moon. Like Brer Rabbit, a clever rabbit caught here in a garden trap convinces the dumb ass that he has been employed at five Talers per hour to watch the garden. On it goes through further stories. Good fun!

2002? The Ox and the Frog and Other Stories. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Sterling Press Private Limited. 29 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

This sixteen-page pamphlet contains eight fables with playful and colorful illustrations. One sees what can happen with poorly matched color at mid-page on 2-3. This bull is blue in front but white in back! This story, "The Bee and the Bull," is in fact a retelling of the more traditional story of the flea and the bull. The illustration for TMCM (13) is particularly strong; it pairs the mice's heads very nicely as they look frightened around the curtain in the house. "A Cat and a Dog" (15) is new to me. The cat complains about being poorly treated by the cook. "There must be some reason," the dog replies. It turns out that the cat knocked down a dish and then ate up all its contents!

 

To top

2003

2003 A World of Fables. Brenda Deen Schildgen and Georges Van Den Abbeele. Paperbound. Berkeley, CA: Pacific View Press. $4.99 from Great Buy Books, Lakewood, WA, Jan., '09.

I am surprised not to have learned before of this paperback book, put together apparently by two Davis professors. In its 140 pages, it covers a great deal of territory. Might it be meant as a textbook for a course on fables? I count twenty-eight chapters after an introduction and before a bibliography. There are expected chapters on authors or works such as Panchatantra, the Jataka Tales, Phaedrus, KD, Marie de France, da Vinci, de la Fontaine, Lessing, Krylov, Harris, Tolstoy, and Thurber. There are also somewhat more surprising chapters on authors such as Juan Ruiz, Rumi, Charles Perrault ("Little Red Riding-Hood"), Georges Sylvain, Victor Montejo, Barry Lopez, Nubia Kai, Leon Trotsky, and Colette. Further surprising chapters present Italo Calvino's Italian folk tales, Hottentot fables, Ananse Stories from Ghana, and Ogoni folk tales. I am surprised that there is no chapter devoted to Aesop other than the Phaedrus chapter. The book starts with the -- to me -- surprising claim that "fables exist in one form or another all over the world" (ix). As the introduction gets further into its subject, it seems to assume (x) that fables have to do with animals, even though a more careful statement earlier described fables as "fictitious, short, secular narratives often using animal figures to convey a truth" (ix). Readers can probably relate easily to the statement that fables, by contrast with fairy tales, "are the genre that deliberately features the connection between narrative and proverb" (xi). Again we read that "Fables are among the most widespread of narrative forms, appearing in virtually every culture and historical period" (xi). The introduction rightly points to the ambivalence of fable and its ability, noted by Hegel, to develop the contrary of its stated point. "Such contradictory possibilities are what make the fable so explosively applicable to political and historical change while ultimately making its ideological convictions elusive" (xiii). And so Marx uses the very capitalistic fable of the belly and members to claim "Agrippa failed to show that you feed the members of one man by filling the belly of an other" (xv). Surely many of us can agree with the introduction when it comes to Disney: "In place of the hard lessons offered by the animal characters in classic fables -- where any lapse of judgment could mean becoming someone else's meal -- the likes of Mickey Mouse and Scoobydoo propose only cuteness, silliness and what, from the perspective of traditional fable, could only be a dangerous foolishness presenting itself as anodyne insipidity" (xv). I am surprised at the ease with which the introduction moves between folktale and fable. The Perrault section gives its case for including "Little Red Riding-Hood": it has a "typed animal character, a moral, and no magical or supernatural element" and thus it "shares traits with the fable" (70). New to me and enjoyable is "The Bear and the Old Lady" by Colette (109). Leon Trotsky's "An Aesop Fable" (108) is also surprisingly good.

2003 Aesop's Fables. Translated by V.S. Vernon Jones. Illustrations by Arthur Rackham. Introduction and Notes by D.L. Ashliman. Fourth printing. Paperbound. NY: Barnes & Noble Classics. $5.95 from Barnes & Noble, August, '06.

This is a useful inexpensive representation of the 1912 Heinemann original. It adds to that edition a good list of nineteen proverbial morals on its very first two pages. It also offers an accurate time-line of historical events important for the history of fable (ix-xii). Ashliman's introduction supplants the Chesterton introduction in the original. An appendix gives Aarne-Thompson numbers for the fables (249-51). There are also useful questions and quotations on 252-57. The book reproduces at least many of Arthur Rackham's illustrations. The colored illustrations suffer by being reproduced in black-and-white. Rackham's original black-and-white work comes through well. There are 283 numbered fables on 243 pages. There is a T of C at the book's beginning and an AI at its end. This would make a suitable basic textbook for people studying twentieth-century editions of fables. Barnes & Noble does a worthy service by reprinting this book and outfitting it with so many study helps!

2003 Aesop's Fables. Retold and Illustrated by Brad Sneed. First printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: Dial Books for Young Readers: Penguin Young Readers Group. $2.99 from Brenda Rindge, Charleston, SC, through eBay, Sept., '04. 

This is a very lively and colorful oversized children's book featuring two-page spreads for fifteen fables. Realism, exaggeration, color, and dynamism mark the visual style; sometimes the animals, and especially their faces, become contorted. Some tellings here have fun with the traditional story, as when the tortoise who has begged for flying lessons begs in falling for landing lessons. When the wolf threatens the poor crane who has removed the bone, he tells her to leave before he eats her for dessert. "I promise to chew every bite forty times!" The country mouse leaves upon hearing the first sound of approaching dogs. GA has a good moral: "It is best to finish your chores before you play." The best illustration may be the first for "The Stag at the Pool": we see only four spindly legs up to a point above the knee, along with their reflection in the water. Both illustrations of OF are good, including the one where a frog seems to sit on a giant blotch, apparently what is left of his exploded father. "The Fox, the Rooster, and the Dog" suffers, I think, from having the dog physically present. The story runs better with a dog that the clever rooster concocts. This is among the better recent Aesop fables books for kids, I think.

2003 Aesop's Fables.  Retold and Illustrated by Brad Sneed.  Second printing.  Hardbound.  NY: Dolly Parton's Imagination Library:  Dial Books for Young Readers: Penguin Young Readers Group.  $5.95 from Book Shop, Sioux Falls, SD, Oct., '14.  

Here is a slightly smaller version in a special collection of a book already in the collection.  The cover and the verso of the title-page proclaim this book as part of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.  This copy has no dust-jacket; I suspect it never had one.  I will repeat my comments made on the larger original edition.  This is a very lively and colorful oversized children's book featuring two-page spreads for fifteen fables.  Realism, exaggeration, color, and dynamism mark the visual style; sometimes the animals, and especially their faces, become contorted.  Some tellings here have fun with the traditional story, as when the tortoise who has begged for flying lessons begs in falling for landing lessons.  When the wolf threatens the poor crane who has removed the bone, he tells her to leave before he eats her for dessert.  "I promise to chew every bite forty times!"  The country mouse leaves upon hearing the first sound of approaching dogs.  GA has a good moral: "It is best to finish your chores before you play."  The best illustration may be the first for "The Stag at the Pool": we see only four spindly legs up to a point above the knee, along with their reflection in the water.  Both illustrations of OF are good, including the one where a frog seems to sit on a giant blotch, apparently what is left of his exploded father.  "The Fox, the Rooster, and the Dog" suffers, I think, from having the dog physically present.  The story runs better with a dog that the clever rooster concocts.  This is among the better recent Aesop fables books for kids, I think.

2003 Aesop's Fables. Texts from Joseph Jacobs, not acknowledged. Illustrations from Percy Billinghurst, not acknowledged. Hardbound. First printing. Ann Arbor: State Street Press: Borders Group. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, July, '05.

Published by special arrangement with Ann Arbor Media Group. This is a sturdy, well-bound, and attractive little book that reproduces Percy Billinghurst's illustrations without acknowledgement. They come from the Bodley Head A Hundred Fables of Aesop. (This book is sometimes dated to 1898 and sometimes to 1899.) The use of that edition sets up an interesting question. There seem to be ninety-nine fables here. Which one fable from Billinghurst's book has been left out? The texts are from Joseph Jacobs' 1894 The Fables of Aesop. There is a long colophonic statement at the back on the quality of this edition and the print in which it is presented. I am surprised with all the care that has gone into this book that neither writer nor illustrator nor place of printing is offered.

2003 Aesop's Fables. Retold by Carol Watson; Adapted by Katie Daynes. Illustrated by Nick Price; Additional illustrations by Ian McNee. Paperbound. London: Usborne Young Reading: Series Two: Usborne Publishing, Ltd. $5.36 from amazon.com, Nov., '04.

This fine little book builds off of Usborne's excellent 1982 publication by the same name. The text has been changed to a significant extent. The departing country mouse had said "I'm going back to the country where life is quiet but safe." Here he responds to the city mouse's "Come back and visit soon" with "You must be joking!" The layout is also quite different: from a larger-format pamphlet of 24 pages with five or six panels per page, we have a standard portrait-format paperback book of 64 pages, with only one or two illustrations per page. A number of illustrations from the earlier book are thus left out--e.g., two of the original nine in the first story, TH, or one of the original eight for the next story, "The Crow and the Jug." Some of the original pictures are cropped or extended tastefully to meet new requirements here. DM and GA are skipped entirely. A new introduction is added, complete with two illustrations of Aesop. They may be the only new illustrations here. As I mentioned back then, this book presents good series of lively sequential cartoons. I think Nick Price's work is fascinating and fun!

2003 Aesop's Fables: The Ant and the Grasshopper. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Bath, UK: Parragon: The Complete Works. $2 from Omaha Book Sale, June, '05.

Here is an updated version of the 2001 "Bright Sparks" edition. The book no longer makes reference to a place for "The Complete Works," as it had there. The covers have lost one complexifying element in their design: a section near the spine done in a solid color and featuring mention of "Bright Sparks." The title-page and the spine now have a "P" that they did not have before. The story is the same, and so I repeat my comment from there. GA is told here in traditional fashion and is illustrated with lively cartoon characters including Bee, Ladybug, and Spider. When we meet Ant, she is struggling to balance a number of grains on her back. Grasshopper annoys the other insects by dancing and singing at night when the other insects are trying to sleep. By the end of the summer, Ant has four little children ants. She asks Grasshopper at this point what he is doing about building a nest and storing food. In the end, Ant relents and lets Grasshopper in. Grasshopper learns his lesson and is ready to build a nest of his own when spring arrives.

2003 Aesop's Fables: The Fox and the Grapes. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Bath, UK: Parragon: The Complete Works. $2 from Omaha Book Sale, June, '05.

Here is an updated version of the 2001 "Bright Sparks" edition. The book no longer makes reference to a place for "The Complete Works," as it had there. The covers have lost one complexifying element in their design: a section near the spine done in a solid color and featuring mention of "Bright Sparks." The title-page and the spine now have a "P" that they did not have before. The story is the same, and so I repeat my comment from there. This must be the longest telling of FG that I have read! This expansive version has time for the fox to chase bunnies and squirrels. Both failures give him a chance to use the logic that he will employ vis-à-vis the grapes later on. "Who cares about a bunch of silly bunnies?" His being frightened by a passing hay-wagon seems to have less thematic relation to the story. Eight pages in this little book are then dedicated to the fox's leaping.

2003 Aesop's Fables: The Hare and the Tortoise. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Bath, UK: Parragon: The Complete Works. $2 from Omaha Book Sale, June, ‘05.

Here is an updated version of the 2001 "Bright Sparks" edition. The book no longer makes reference to a place for "The Complete Works," as it had there. The covers have lost one complexifying element in their design: a section near the spine done in a solid color and featuring mention of "Bright Sparks." The title-page and the spine now have a "P" that they did not have before. The story is the same, and so I repeat my comment from there. This version of TH sets out to have fun with the story. After the race's start, we read this of Hare: "When there was no one to show off for, he slowed down just a bit." When Tortoise--unusually upright in this version, I think--comes upon Hare sleeping, he does not wake him and says "He must have a reason for sleeping. He would only be angry if I woke him!"

2003 Aesop's Fables: Town Mouse and Country Mouse. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Bath, UK: Parragon: The Complete Works. $2 from Omaha Book Sale, June, '05.

Here is an updated version of the 2001 "Bright Sparks" edition. The book no longer makes reference to a place for "The Complete Works," as it had there. The covers have lost one complexifying element in their design: a section near the spine done in a solid color and featuring mention of "Bright Sparks." The title-page and the spine now have a "P" that they did not have before. The story is the same, and so I repeat my comment from there. The cartoon-work is fun here. Still, I wonder how successful Gardner is in depicting Town Mouse. His image does not fit with the text's description that "his whiskers were fancy and elegant." In town, Country Mouse gets a tummy ache from all the rich food he has eaten. A woman with a broom and a cat threaten the two mice. Country Mouse stays one night in town but is too unhappy to sleep. He tries hard not to cry.

2003 Aisopos: To Liontari kai to Pontiki. Anna Papastaurou. Illustrations by Leafart. Paperbound. Metamorphose Attikes, Greece: Ekdoseis Kuriakos Papadopoulos. AUD$6 from Greek Toys and Books, through eBay, May, '07.

This is a 16-page pamphlet of moderate proportions (about 4¾" x 6½") with lively computer-art cartoons. The front cover, title-page, and final page all present an endearing picture of lion and mouse extending their arms to each other and holding both hands. In this version the lion captures a snake that is pursuing the mouse and ties the snake in knots. This lion is captured in a net but then put into a bamboo cage. The mouse gnaws the cords that tie together the bamboo sections. There are seven other books in this nice series.. 

2003 Angel's Moral Stories I. Compiled and Retold by B.R. Kishore. First edition. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Angel Publishing House. 49 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

There are thirty-five numbered fables here in a paperback book measuring 4¾" x 6¾". There is a T of C at the beginning. Each fable gets two or three simple black-and-white illustrations. A number of the stories are new to me, like the first. Bhola's horse is stolen. With the help of the police he apprehends the thief and recovers the horse, but the thief claims that the horse is his. Bhola throws a bag over the horse's head and says "The horse is blind in one eye. Which?" When the thief guesses "Left," Bhola exclaims that the horse is blind in neither eye. He gets his horse back. In "The Silver Key" (11), a traveller faces a locked inn door late at night and hears from the greedy innkeeper "This door can be unlocked only by a silver key." The traveller passes a silver coin through the slot, and the door is opened. He mentions one piece of luggage. When the innkeeper goes out to get it, the traveller closes and locks the door. He then makes the same statement to the innkeeper that the innkeeper had made to him! While almost all the stories are from Aesop, there is also "Two Crows and a Snake" (44) from K & D. The ant at first welcomes the cricket into his home; only when he learns of his summer singing and dancing does he throw him out (60). In "The Money-Lender and His Purse" (81), a poor man finds the evil money-lender's purse filled with ten coins. The latter claims that it had eleven in it, and so he reneges on the one-coin reward he had promised. The wise town overseer asks the lender if he is sure that he had eleven pieces in the purse. When he says that he is sure, the overseer wisely answers "Then this is not your purse" and gives the whole thing to the poor finder. There is a new twist in the old story of the dog who has grown old. His master shows him no pity, so a few weeks later the dog lets thieves into the house and only then runs away (84).

2003 Angel's Moral Stories II. Compiled and Retold by B.R. Kishore. First edition. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Angel Publishing House. 49 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

There are forty numbered fables here in a paperback book measuring 4¾" x 6¾". There is a T of C at the beginning. Each fable gets two or three simple black-and-white illustrations. Almost all of these fables are from Aesop. Perhaps the only one that is new to me is "The Stableman and the King" (48), which ends with the stableman fishing in main street and explaining "If the farmer's two oxen can be parents to a foal, why can't I fish in the market?" The illustrations are simple. I think that the person who sketched the snow-laden olive tree on 22 and 23 may never have seen snow! In "The Farmer and the Jackal" (11), the farmer ties the hated jackal to a post with a string and then lights his tail on fire. The fire burns the string, the jackal runs into haystack, and soon the farmer has lost everything. The moral is unclear but intriguing: "Two things a man should never be angry at: when he can help, and when he cannot help." Might that mean "Do not get angry when you can help yourself from getting angry and when you cannot help yourself from getting angry"? I am surprised to find that the frog who churns milk into butter and so escapes is called "Ftrthy" (27). Might that have been "Frothy"? The cover's illustration of the good-natured bald man who loses his toupee, repeated in black-and-white on 79, is well done. FM here has the strange involvement of a log, under which the frog swims, and so he loses the mouse who has been on his back (83).

2003 Angel's The Best of Aesop's Fables. First edition. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Angel Publishing House. 49 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

There are forty-nine numbered fables here in a paperback book measuring 4¾" x 6¾". There is a T of C at the beginning. Each fable gets two or three simple black-and-white illustrations. Since all of these fables are supposed to be from Aesop, there are fewer surprises in the telling than there are in the other books in this series, namely Angel's Moral Stories I and Angel's Moral Stories II. As in the latter, FM here has the strange involvement of a log, under which the frog swims, and so he loses the mouse who has been on his back (48). As elsewhere in Indian books of fables for children that I have reviewed recently, so here there is the story of the camel who blunders too near King Lion in his dance and is soon consumed by the incensed members of the court (72). A mermaid takes the place of the satyr in "Blowing Hot and Cold" (102). I do not think that I have seen before "The Lion and the Hunting Dog" (105): the lion finally answers the dog's barking with a roar, and the frightened dog gets caught in a bush. A wolf, in an unlikely move, saves him from the bush and warns him not to challenge lions. Gay's "The Rabbit and His Friends" is also here (124).

2003 Barefoot Doctor: Twisted Fables for Twisted Minds. (Stephen Russell). First printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Hammersmith, London: Element: HarperCollins. £10.32 from GreenLeaf Books, Birmingham, W-Mid, UK, Nov., '04.

Here are seventy-two short stories that seem to energize a reader and challenge her or him to think new ways. They are little incidents that pop open surprises. One reads more than once here: "This will either heal you or make you go insane." The flyleaf speaks of the whole work as a fable. "Author's Brief Introduction" speaks of "distracting your thinking mind through the telling of fables" (xi). The experience induces a kind of childlike trance. Self-help comes to the fable world! I read the first four and am not yet transformed. 

2003 Basni Krilova (Russian). Anatoliy Savchenko. Hardbound. Moscow: Samovar Publishing Co. $31.17 from Victor Romanchenko through eBay, Feb., '05. 

This is a lively children's book with a hard glossy cover. 76 pages plus a closing T of C. The illustrations are colorful and engaging. I got halfway through this book before coming upon a Krylov fable that I could not immediately recognize from its illustration. That is progress! Among the best and perhaps most representative illustrations here are "The Ass and the Nightingale" (15). Another shows the improvident hunter loading his gun while the prey flies away (49). A cheeky little bird sits on the gun to admonish him for his foolishness. This is an enjoyable book for kids.

2003 Best of Hitopadesha. Retold and Edited by Shyam Dua. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Delhi, India: Tiny Tot Publications. $15 from Glass Eye Industries, August, '11.

This is a colorful publication of some 33 stories, with a T of C at the front. I recognize good old friends from the Kalila and Dimna tradition, including "The Jackal's Greed" (19), "The Trusting Louse" (27), "The Wise Rat" (30), "The Wily Jackals" (42), "The Wolf and the Rams" (60), and "The Wily Followers" (75). "The Wily Jackals" is of course the frame story for the first major section of Kalila and Dimna. The plentiful illustrations in full color are helpful, if neither original nor surprising. There are several typos along the way.

2003 Classics For Young Readers, Volume 2. Editor: John Holdren. Illustrators: Scott Brooks, Vince McGinley, and Deborah Wolfe Ltd. Paperbound. K12. $3.98 from Half-Price Books, Portland, OR, July, '08.

K12 is an organized approach to home-schooling. Here is, I believe, the first of their works that I have encountered. It is a large-format, substantial collection of pieces, perhaps for second-graders. A nice picture of Rumpelstiltskin is on the cover. Fables appear throughout the pages; the resource page near the end credits the first fable texts to Lori Burgess, whose work I do not otherwise know. Most of the black-and-white illustrations are simple and classical, in the style perhaps of someone like Richard Heighway. Fables gathered at the beginning include DS (4); GGE (6); MM (7); DW (8); FWT (10); FG (12); BW (13); and "The Two Frogs" (15). "The Jackals and the Lion" (36) usually involves a rabbit rather than jackals. The lion is tricked into jumping into a well to attack his own image. "The Hound and the Hare" (39) and "The Lion and the Fox" (40) are two more traditional fables. "Mayor Rat's Niece" (53) is a version of the story that involves finding the best marriage partner for the young female rat. GA (57) is done as a dialogue in two scenes. The ant gives one grain but will give no more. "The Man and His Donkey" (79) is MSA. They throw away the pole and drive the donkey back home, "as he has been the wisest of us all today." AL is on 94. As the final pages show, these tales are adapted from standard readers from the early twentieth-century.

2003 Creature Features. Peter Gray. Paperbound. Xlibris. $11.25 from Second Story Books, Rockville, MD, Dec., '10.

This large-format (8½" x 11") paperback book presents fourteen creatures through rhyming couplets and line-drawings. The rhymes sometimes groan, but the word-plays can be fun. Here is a good example from "The Gnu and the Gnat": "When the gnat gnaws, the gnu gnarls and gnashes its teeth./Then the gnat flies away to gnaw on a new gnu./So, if we don't use the 'g' sound what good does it do?/Neither the gnat nor the gnu knew." Towards the end of the book there are two accounts "Based on a fable by Aesop": first, a good version of LM (31-33) and then a composite fable, "The Wolves, the Tiger, and the Rabbit." The tiger takes the rabbit from the quarreling wolves, but then moves through water and has the problem usually associated with DS. I was lucky to find this fable needle in Second Story's warehouse haystack of books!

2003 Das Fabelbuch von Aesop bis Heute. Illustriert von Silke Leffler. Apparently fourth printing. Hardbound. Vienna/Munich: Annette Betz Verlag im Verlag Carl Ueberreuter. €19.95 from Thalia Bücher, Heidelberg, August, '06.

The back cover praises this "Hausbuch" as "ein zeitloses Standardwerk für die ganze Familie." The front cover has a sticker on it "Schönstes Buch Österreichs 2003." Presented in large format, the book is divided into ten sections, each with four or five examples. Together, the forty-nine individual items form a fine representation of fables and the fabulous. Authors represented by more than one work include Aesop, Wilhelm Busch, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Martin Luther, Italo Svevo, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, and Folke Tegetthoff. The ten categories are titled with famous German fable-phrases: wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt; wer andern eine Grube gräbt; Undank ist der Welten Lohn; übe stets Bescheidenheit; wer nichts wagt; geteilte Freude ist doppelte Freude; erst denken, dann handeln; wenn zwei sich streiten; Lebenslust & Lebensfrust; and wer zuletzt lacht. Some of the fables here that are new to me include "Vom Bäumlein, das andre Blätter hat gewollt" by Friedrich Rückert (12); "Waldwolf und Steppenwolf" from Native Americans (28); "Der Esel und der Papagei" and "Der Kleine Vogel," two new favorites of mine by Italo Svevo (30); "Der Schmetterling und die Blume" (32) and "Die Meise" (40) by Wilhelm Busch; "Die Ameisen" by Joachim Ringelnatz (42); "Die Schnecke und der Tiger" by Heinz Janisch (42); "Der Lastträger" by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (49); "Tausend Spiegel," a new favorite by Folke Tegetthoff (52); "Die Maus in der Falle" by Franz Kafka (66); and "Papperlapapp" by Josef Guggenmoss (84). Unfortunately, the book takes Herder's version of SW, which tells the story in poorer fashion (72). Every story gets at least a small design; many have a full-page illustration. The latter appear on only the right-hand pages facing their fable texts on the left. The illustrations tend to elongate human arms and limbs and add umbrellas. One of the best full-page illustrations is "Die Frösche in der Milch" (45).

2003 Doré's Illustrations for the Fables of La Fontaine. Paperbound. Mineola, NY: Dover Pictorial Archive Series: Dover Publications. $6.15 from Alibris, August, '06.

Here are all eighty-four full-page plates and thirty-nine of the vignettes from Hachette's original Fables de la Fontaine avec les Dessins de Gustave Doré" of 1868. This is a typically well-prepared Dover edition. The illustrations are well done. Besides the illustrations and their titles in French and English, there is a one-sentence summary of the fable. This summary is twice misleading, I believe. The sentence for GA on 1 is "Like the grasshopper, the woman whiled away the summer when she ought to have been planning ahead, and she faced poverty when winter arrived." True enough, but there is no mention of any "woman" in La Fontaine's fable. Doré created a human scene to illustrate the animal fable. Again for FG (15), the sentence addresses the action of the picture's courtiers. There is a T of C listing both groups of illustrations at the book's beginning. This copy had some library's bar code glued to an early page. I had ordered and perhaps acquired a copy of this book three or more years ago, perhaps even in Omaha before the book's publication. Somehow between Berkeley and Omaha, I could never put my hands on the book. So when I saw that Alibris had it now for a good price, I decided to get it while I am in Omaha. I presume that this action will mean that the original copy surfaces very soon!

2003 El Gran Tesoro de las Fábulas.  Jean de La Fontaine; Traducción de Ma. Del Pilar Ortiz Lovillo.  Ilustraciones de Gauthier Dosimont.  Primera edición, 4a reimpresión.  Hardbound.  Querétaro, Mexico: Editions Hemma (Bélgica).  $25 from Rose Peer, West Palm Beach FL, through eBay, Dec., '14.

I already have a copy of this book, but of the sixth impression from 2005, while this is the fourth impression from 2003.  An issue with both books is that one cannot know, I believe, when the first printing was done.  I will include my comments from that copy.  I am delighted to get a well made book produced in Mexico!  Dosimont did several editions for Hemma in the 1990's, and I have no doubt that these illustrations were taken from one or several of those editions.  The book varies full-colored pages of illustrations with white pages of text framed by a colored repeated floral pattern.  The texts seem to be prose poetry.  The illustrations lack precision; it is as though they have been recopied from elsewhere.  Key symbols in the book are the printer's icon of the "book and inkwell" at the bottom of many texts and the larger symbol of the crow's tophat and cane on top of a large cheese on 37.  The story of DS is told not with a piece of meat or cheese but with a duck whom the dog apparently had in his mouth (47); only the illustration presents the duck, while the text talks of the dog's "comida."  Of the large illustrations, do not miss "Juno and the Peacock" on 50-51.  This is not a happy Juno!  The two rats have a rat-sized car at their disposal in TMCM on 62-63.  The flouncy milkmaid on 74 must not be missed!  Her face and expression change considerably after the accident on 77.  There is a life of La Fontaine on 96 and a T of C on 97.  The front cover presents a nice synthesis of several fables, with FC most prominent.

2003 Esop Basni. Introduction with commentary by M.L. Gasparova. Illustrations from Rackham et al. Hardbound. Moscow: Eksmo. $15 from M.A. Kyterieva, St. Petersburg, through eBay, Oct., '03.

This is a sturdy little (5" x 6¾") collection of some four-hundred-and-two numbered Aesopic fables (131-350) followed by a non-numbered set of Tolstoy's fables (352 to 390). This Tolstoy segment has four sections. Then follows a commentary (391-446) that begins by noting the editions by Perry, Hausrath, and Chambry. The very first element in the book is a life of Aesop in twenty-four chapters (7-130). The numbered Aesopic fables seem to follow, closely but not exactly, Perry's divisions in Aesopica. Thus this book's section of Babrian fables starts at #279, while Perry's starts at #274. The visual component of this well-produced little book is a melange. It includes a cover-illustration (of the quack frog) and a number of other colored illustrations from Arthur Rackham. There are also many of Rackham's black-and-white illustrations and silhouettes. The book also uses some older woodcuts and printer's devices. Some Rackham and older material has been excerpted and enlarged, with a strange effect (e.g., 131, 259, 315, and 351). I am encouraged to see this book published, since it is a serious collection with a sense of resources in a well made product.

2003 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Rébecca Dautremer. Hardbound. Paris: Magnard Jeunesse. €13.60 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05. Extra copy from Gibert Jeune, Paris, for €13.60, Jan., '05.

This is one of the most delightful La Fontaine books I have seen recently. It shows wit and creativity as its illustrations bring the texts into contemporary life. Each of thirty fables receives a two-page spread in this landscape book's layout, as is clear from the T of C at the back. It will be hard to list all of the individual illustrations that I find impressive. GA's conversation is set on a "Bienvenue" doormat, on which the ant with his or her torso pointed out in front faces the cicada (2-3). Dautremer modernizes FC by putting the crow on top of a telephone pole (4-5). FWT is cleverly illustrated by a "cut out and dress up" paper doll (7). The fox begs the stork to help him up onto his tall stool (9; also see the front cover). OF features the sort of "choice meat cuts" poster we usually see for beef, now done for a frog (14-15)! Perhaps the best of all the illustrations presents the lamb from an angle taken through the wolf's sharp-toothed mouth (27). Do not miss the washing-instruction label on one of the sheep on 31. Other delightful illustrations include "La Belette entrée dans un Grenier" (38-39); Le Chat, la Belette et le Petit Lapin" (40-41); and 2P (44-45). What a delight!

2003 Fables de La Fontaine. Racontées par Divers. Illustrées par Pascale Boillot. Hardbound. Editions Thierry Magnier: France Bleu. €23 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05. 

Here are fifteen fables, also presented in an accompanying audio CD. There is an opening T of C. Each fable gets a two-page spread. The illustrations by Boillot are downright fun. The crow who has given up his cheese, for example, hangs with wonderful frustration over the branch upon which he was earlier perched (2-3). The exploded frog is seldom presented with such exact detail as she is here (5)! The left margin of the text for OR is bent like a reed in the wind (9): how clever! The snapshot of the struggling mule-owner is perfect: both animal and man--with their heads held just above the water level--are desperate. Under each of the man's hands is a sponge. The laborer and his children are moles (12-13)! The cat coming to break up a violent fight between the weasel and the rabbit is a fat, tonsured monk (17). The stork has invited the fox to a large banquet that includes many other eaters, all with long beaks and snouts (30-31). This illustration is cleverly reshaped to form the front cover's illustration.

2003 Fables Européennes. Traduction: Conchita Madueño. Paperbound. Paris: EDDL. $8.80 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Oct., '06.

The book was apparently published first in Spain in 2002 by Editorial LIBSA in Madrid. It is a 32-page booklet a little larger than 7½" x 10¼". Each pair of pages presents a single picture with generally a fable on each half of the double-picture. Many of the fables are new to me and delightful. Perhaps that is because many come from Spanish authors. Don Juan Manuel presents well, e.g., Aesop's story of the crying bird-hunter. Calderón de la Barca tells a story that is new to me. A wise man became so poor that he wondered, as he picked up herbs to eat, if there was anyone poorer than he. As he wondered, he looked behind to see a man picking up along the path the herbs he himself had rejected. Samaniego is represented, of course. Pettissen is new to me; he is represented here by Aesop's fable of the gander who is proud because he can swim, walk, and fly. A sparrow points out to the gander that he does none of these well. The Archpriest of Hita is represented by the Aesopic story of the donkey and the lapdog. Gay appears with "The Swan and the Crow": the latter had better learn to live admiring the former's white plumage--and not trying to emulate or get it for himself. Heine is represented by "The Eagle and the Nightingale" on a whole two-page spread of its own: the nightingale cannot sing in the eagle's milieu. Modest talent does not fit grandeur; it sublimates and embellishes itself in humility. Ramón de Campoamor presents a Mexican standoff between a liberty-seeking nightingale in a cage and a hungry nightingale outside the cage. Prat de Lamartine has a story of three urns; its moral may be better than the fable, "Nothing is great if it is not inhabited by the divine." Don Juan Manuel has "The Emperor's New Clothes" on a double-page. The twist to this telling is that the emperor's new clothes are invisible to illegitimate children. The only black man in the kingdom finally overturns this lie. Paul F. de Gudin has a fable about a proud bell; a cat points out that the bell would have none of its glory were it not for the hand that rings the bell. Jean-François Guichard has a good fable about a monkey who did a great trick, won great praise from his fellow-monkeys, and then could not repeat the trick. "The worst thing you can do to a joker is to offer too prompt praise." Tirso de Molina is represented by "The Pig and the Ass." Lessing, La Moliniere, Lorrin, Le Baylli, and Lulio are also represented.

2003 Fables: Jean de La Fontaine (Korean). Illustrated by various artists. Hardbound. Crayon House, Ltd. 11,000 South Korean Won from Kyobo, Seoul, July, '04. 

I was delighted to find this old friend translated into Korean in the few minutes I had to shop for books in Seoul on this trip. It seems to be a translation and otherwise a reproduction of the beautiful French 1994 version published by Albin Michel, whose copyright is recognized here. It thus contains thirty fables illustrated by thirty artists. Let me repeat some comments from that listing. It would be hard to exaggerate the merits of this beautiful book. The fun starts with the cover picture of bookshelves with figurines of two pots, a tortoise and a hare, and a fox and a crow around a pensive La Fontaine wearing a scarf made of a page of his own printed fable text. Each of the thirty artists has contributed four elements: a full-page colored illustration in one of many different styles (the right-hand page in each fable's set of two pages), a matching colored initial letter, a black-and-white design that appears below the text on the left-hand page, and a self-portrait. The latter are collected at the end of the volume. The numbering of pages seems to have changed slightly. My favorites among the illustrations include "The Fox and the Goat" (4-5), "The Lion in Love" (12-13), 2P (14-5), "The Rat Who Retired from the World" (36-7), "The Fisherman and the Little Fish" (48-9), "The Cat, the Weasel, and the Young Rabbit" (54-5), and WL by Tony Ross (56-57). T of C at the front. A real treasure!

2003 Fábulas. Arnold Lobel; Traducción al español: Paula Vicens. Hardbound. Barcelona: Corimbo. $4.48 from Better World Books through eBay, Nov., '09.

Here is a Spanish edition of the original Harper and Row publication from 1980. Let me repeat my comments from the earliest edition I found. This book is 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 was formerly in the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center in Corona, NY, and of the Queens Library. Muy bonito!

2003 Fábulas: Esopo, Fedro, La Fontaine, Samaniego, Iriarte. Adaptación de Julia Daroqui. Ilustraciones de Raúl Stévano. Hardbound. Buenos Aires: Colección Estrella: Editorial Sigmar S.A.. $13.39 from a1books.com, June, '05.

Here is a large-format, well bound children's fable book of some 60 pages with a T of C at the back. Each fable gets a page or two. The colored illustrations are simple, even naïve, and engaging. Have I seen them before? I can find nothing by Stévano in what I have. A good sample illustration of Stévano's illustrations is "La Zorra, el Lobo y el Caballo" on 55. I am surprised to find a fable "El Mono y los Pescadores" (14) attributed to Aesop. The monkey does what the fishermen had done, that is, he throws a net. But because he does not know what he is doing, he gets tangled up in it and drowns. I have seldom seen as direct an attack as the peacock makes on the crow in BF (16): he pecks at the crow's head, which is flat against the ground. BW is attributed to Samaniego (23); I think that it is the only fable here attributed to Samaniego. Iriarte, who has several fables here, contrasts the chicken who cries out to announce that she has laid an egg with the frog who croaks all day and night and ought to be quiet a little (28). Well done!

2003 Fairy Tales & Fables (Miniature). Paperbound. Victoria, BC: Jean Day. $16 from Jean Day, Victoria, BC, through eBay, March, '04. Extra copy from Jean Day for $7.50 through eBay, July, '04. 

The source for this book is a Goldsmith edition of 1923. Eighteen pages. The cover shows Santa painting a Noah's Ark. Eleven colored illustrations, with others in black on sepia. 13/16" x 10/16". The fables included are MM and BC, along with two others whose print I cannot quite make out! I could not find any fable illustrations.

2003 Favorite Aesop's Fables. Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Bath, UK: Parragon. $.99 from Rebecca Escalante, Monterey Park, CA, through eBay, August, '11.

Here is a new experience for me. Parragon published one year earlier a book with the same title except for using the British spelling "Favourite." This book is largely identical but with that "u" dropped whenever the title occurs. The verso of the title page adds "Created and produced by The Complete Works." The ISBN has changed. That copy has a dustjacket, but this does not. In that earlier work Parragon was apparently combining three smaller works that included TMCM, TH, and GA. Parragon did versions of all three in 2001 in "Bright Sparks" editions. The cartoon-work is fun here. Still, I wonder how successful Gardner is in depicting Town Mouse. Does his image fit with the text's description that "his whiskers were trimmed and elegant"? (In the two earlier versions, that last phrase had been "smart and elegant" and "fancy and elegant.") The town here has "trucks" where the 2002 version had "lorries." In town, Country Mouse gets a tummy ache from all the rich food he has eaten. A woman with a broom and a cat threaten the two mice. Country Mouse stays one night in town but is too unhappy to sleep. He tries hard not to cry. Country Mouse "never, ever" goes back to the city again. This version of TH sets out to have fun with the story. After the race's start, we read this of Hare: "When there was no one to show off for, he slowed down just a bit." When Tortoise--unusually upright in this version, I think--comes upon Hare sleeping, he does not wake him and says "He must have a reason for sleeping. He would only be angry if I woke him!" The 2002 version had changed "angry" to "cross." Now the text changes back again! GA is told here in traditional fashion and is illustrated with lively cartoon characters including Bee, Ladybug ("Ladybird" in 2002), and Spider. When we meet Ant, she is struggling to balance a number of grains on her back. Grasshopper annoys the other insects by dancing and singing at night when the other insects are trying to sleep. By the end of the summer, Ant has four little children ants. She asks Grasshopper at this point what he is doing about building a nest and storing food. In the end, Ant relents and lets Grasshopper in. Grasshopper learns his lesson and is ready to build a nest of his own when spring arrives.

2003 Favorite Aesop's Fables (Cover: A Collection of Favorite Aesop's Fables). Adapted by Ronne Randall. Illustrated by Louise Gardner. Hardbound. Bath, UK: Parragon. $1.99 from jancher19 through eBay, Oct., '07.

I seem first to have had several short works by Gardner and Randall. Then I found three of them together, with slight changes, in a 2002 book by Parragon titled "Favourite Aesop's Fables." Now I find this 2003 version repeating those three and adding five more. First let me repeat my comments on the first three. The cartoon-work is fun here. First the text had called City Mouse's whiskers "fancy and elegant." In the collection of three, the whiskers were "smart and elegant." Now they are "trimmed and elegant." My! In town, Country Mouse gets a tummy ache from all the rich food he has eaten. A woman with a broom and a cat threaten the two mice. Country Mouse stays one night in town but is too unhappy to sleep. He tries hard not to cry. Country Mouse "never, ever" goes back to the city again. This version of TH sets out to have fun with the story. After the race's start, we read this of Hare: "When there was no one to show off for, he slowed down just a bit." When Tortoise--unusually upright in this version, I think--comes upon Hare sleeping, he does not wake him and says "He must have a reason for sleeping. He would only be angry if I woke him!" (In its phrasing here, this version agrees with the individual story rather than the collected version.) GA is told here in traditional fashion and is illustrated with lively cartoon characters including Bee, Ladybug, and Spider. When we meet Ant, she is struggling to balance a number of grains on her back. Grasshopper annoys the other insects by dancing and singing at night when the other insects are trying to sleep. By the end of the summer, Ant has four little children ants. She asks Grasshopper at this point what he is doing about building a nest and storing food. In the end, Ant relents and lets Grasshopper in. Grasshopper learns his lesson and is ready to build a nest of his own when spring arrives. In addition to having those three works earlier combined into one book, I also have FG in two versions from Parragon, from 2001 and 2003. I wrote the following about them. This must be the longest telling of FG that I have read! This expansive version has time for the fox to chase bunnies and squirrels. Both failures give him a chance to use the logic that he will employ vis-à-vis the grapes later on. "Who cares about a bunch of silly bunnies?" His being frightened by a passing hay-wagon seems to have less thematic relation to the story. Eight pages in this little book are then dedicated to the fox's stretching and leaping. LM is colored by the mouse's effort to find food for its children. FS does a good job of having the stork preen, especially by polishing her beak: "My beak is my very best feature" she says, emphasizing the "is." She leaves the fox's house in a huff and discusses her effort to "teach him a lesson" with her friend, the heron. Heron delivers her invitation. In this version, the fox thanks the stork for teaching him a lesson. He promises never to play tricks on anyone again. DS adds a first episode: Patch and Scrappy forage for food together, but Patch is so worried that Scrappy is getting more that he barely tastes his own food. Again, Patch learns from his bad experience; now the two dogs forage together. In AD, the ant falls into a fountain in a garden. The spine of this heavy book is loose.

2003 Friends Of A Feather: One of Life's Little Fables. By Bill Cosby. Illustrated by Erika Cosby. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: HarperEntertainment: HarperCollins Publishers. Canadian $22.95 from Contact Editions, Toronto, June, '03.    

This is a hard-bound landscape-formatted book almost 10" x 9". It was sold without a dj. It has a distinctive art style: it uses "stickers" to insert characters into a scene. This illusion is created chiefly, I think, by the white outlines surrounding each character. A reader--like me--might even try to peel the stickers off. The narrator is "Slipper," who immediately lets us know that he was "THE BIRD." A bird named "Feathers" attracted people to the beach where Slipper used to show off. The only bird that could sometimes out-attract Feathers was Hog, a pelican-like bird who gobbled up fish and shrimp in his bucket-shaped beak. But his fine performance, perhaps because of his dull color and shape, never got the attention that Feathers got. Trying to outdo Feathers, Hog hit the rock and was seriously hurt. Feathers talked patiently with him as he recovered. His lesson was that we get destructive when we do things not for or with each other but rather to impress the spectators around. The narrator mentions that that would be a good ending to the story, but it has one more episode…. I am not so sure that this book presents a fable, but I suspect that it will appear so often when I search for fables that I decided to give in now and catalogue it.

2003 Friends Of A Feather: One of Life's Little Fables. By Bill Cosby. Illustrated by Erika Cosby. First edition signed by both authors; #4 of 1500, apparent first printing. Hardbound. Norwalk, CT: Signed First Edition: Easton Press. $150 from Powell's Rare Book Room, Portland, OR, July, '11.

I had long since catalogued this book when, to my surprise, I found at Powell's this fancy leather-bound first printing signed by both Cosby contributors. This edition has other special features: especially sturdy paper, a ribbon, a certificate of authenticity, and a pamphlet about the book. Apparently Easton Press has a series of "Signed First Editions"; they acknowledge the permission they received from HarperCollins Publishers, the publishers of the standard edition. Is 1500 a rather large number for so exclusive an edition? In any case, I decided that this collection is an apt place for an unusual book like this. I will include comments from my first copy. This landscape-formatted book has a distinctive art style: it uses "stickers" to insert characters into a scene. This illusion is created chiefly, I think, by the white outlines surrounding each character. A reader--like me--might even try to peel the stickers off. The narrator is "Slipper," who immediately lets us know that he was "THE BIRD." A bird named "Feathers" attracted people to the beach where Slipper used to show off. The only bird that could sometimes out-attract Feathers was Hog, a pelican-like bird who gobbled up fish and shrimp in his bucket-shaped beak. But his fine performance, perhaps because of his dull color and shape, never got the attention that Feathers got. Trying to outdo Feathers, Hog hit the rock and was seriously hurt. Feathers talked patiently with him as he recovered. His lesson was that we get destructive when we do things not for or with each other but rather to impress the spectators around. The narrator mentions that that would be a good ending to the story, but it has one more episode....

2003 Fuchs und Storch: Eine Fabel von Aesop.  Frei erzählt von Karl Rühmann.  Mit Bildern von Alessandra Roberti.  Hardbound.  Zurich: Nord-Sud Verlag.  €12 from Peters Buchkontor, Schorndorf, Germany, Feb., '18.

Here is the original German edition of a book I found earlier in its English version.  This is an enchanting edition in the tradition I have come to expect from North-South.  The textures throughout are very soft.  Fox wears an apron as he prepares his mouse-tail soup.  In one of the loveliest images, Stork grooms and cleanses her feathers in preparation for the meal.  She also picks a little bouquet as a gift.  Another excellent image is the two-page spread of the two animals eating at Fox's house.  Fox thinks that Stork did not even notice that he had tricked her.  He steals a flower from someone's garden the next day to present her as a gift.  The final excellent image is that of the gray day with a slightly surreal orange tree as Fox slinks away hungry.

2003 I.A. Krilov: Basni. Edited by E. Antonenkova. Woodcuts by O. and A. Ivanovi. Hardbound. Moscow: Rosmen Press. From an unknown source, Nov., '05.

I find fifty-four fables here on one-hundred-and-twenty pages. The illustrations are done in a very attractive style. The book sustains an unusual individual format for its fables, with text on the left and illustration(s) on the right. Parts of the fable's illustration can easily slip over from one page to another. Among my favorite illustrations here is "The Monkey and the Spectacles" on 6-7. Another is the dramatic confrontation of cat and pike on 15. Another highly dramatic illustration is that of WC on 95. "Quartet" is featured on both the cover and 22-26. This is a particularly valuable book because it illustrates so many of Krilov's fables. There is a T of C on the last page. This book seems to have been purchased first at an Ozon bookstore.

2003 I.A. Krylov: Basni. V.P. Bitrovneva.  Dust jacket. Hardbound. Moscow: The Big Illustrated Library of Classics: Bely Gorod Publishing. $24.99 from Victor Romanchenko, Ukraine, through eBay, Oct., '05. 

This is a major addition to the collection. It is the deluxe Russian edition of Ivan Krylov's fables published in the special series "The Big Illustrated Library of Classics." Large format (8" x 10½"). Very heavy. 648 pages. As Victor writes, "Every page of this book is abundantly illustrated with thousands of pictures showing the history of illustrations beginning from the first editions of fables by Ivan Krylov. The book includes all fables of Ivan Krylov from his nine books as well as fables not included in them, comic fables, and fables imputable to Krylov. It includes portraits of Krylov by artists of XIX-XX centuries, chronicles of life and creative work, geography of his life, historical anecdotes about Krylov, chronology of writing and publishing of his fables, chronology of translations of Krylov's fables into foreign languages, an index of names and characters in Krylov's fables, and a big bibliography of editions of Krylov's fables including those in foreign languages. It is the first such Russian edition of Krylov." I am happy to have found this book! A fable like I 6, OF, has seventeen illustrations (30-35). WL gets twelve illustrations (50-53). GA (112-17) has fifteen. "Quartet" gets fifteen devoted to the fable (215-221). Perhaps the grand prize goes to "The Soup of Master John" (277-285), which has eighteen illustrations of the fable and eight other illustrations. Doré and Grandville are frequently represented here. Apparently when the editor comes across a less worthy fable, he shows us the covers of various Krylov editions. For a panoply of photographs of covers and texts, see 74-75, 274-275, 346-347, 502-503, and 530-531. I learned on 374 that there is a wooden push-pull toy representing WC. Now let us see if I can find it! Fables beyond those usually represented in Krylov's nine books seem to begin on 533. A gallery of portraits of Krylov begins on 548 and a chronology on 552. At the very back there is a T of C, and a colophon page.

2003 I. A. Krylov Basni. Illustrated by O. Boronova. Hardbound. Saint Petersburg: Gerion Publishing. $4.99 from Victor Romanchenko, Rubux Ukrainian Books, Ukraine, Sept., '05. 

This is a simple small-format book of fables for children. As the T of C on 7 makes clear, there are twenty fables on 52 pages. Do the endpapers depict the Saint Petersburg of Krylov's day? Each fable gets from one to four pages, with illustrations on virtually every page. My prize goes to FG, where the vixen is trying to reach the grapes with an umbrella (52)! This is a very pleasant little book with FC (and a travelling hedgehog) on the cover.

2003 I.A. Krilov: Basni (Russian). O. Voronova. Hardbound. Printed in Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg: Gerion. $6 from argosyrus through eBay, Jan., '04.

This lovely little (4½" x 6½") book contains nineteen fables with delightful colored pictures. Its cover already gives the keynote: the bass-playing bear explains with hand outstretched to the three fellow members of the quartet. Pastel colors and a classical house-front for background complete the typical picture. Around the title-page and following T of C are playful characters from Krilov's best known fables, like the monkey with a mirror, the crow with cheese, eyeglasses, and the cat who eats while being lectured to about eating. The fox here (27) tries to get the grapes down by using an unopened umbrella! The finish of the last story, WL, is lovely. The young lamb was wearing a sailor hat with ribbons at the time of encountering the wolf. Now the hat lies on the ground with nothing else around (52). We find that same lamb on the back cover and in the T of C. Well done!

2003 I.A. Krylov: Basni (Russian). Dust jacket. Hardbound. Moscow: Ellis Lak 2000 Publishing. $14.99 from Victor Romanchenko through eBay, April, '05. 

This small, pocket-format book has 384 pages. It is about 3¼" x 4". It is illustrated with four traditional full-page black-and-white illustrations (60, 171, 262, and 293). But its special claim lies, I believe, in the eight silhouettes (12, 72, 104, 138, 202, 232, 328, and 358). There is a T of C at the end. There is a bookmark.

2003 I. Krilov Basni (Russian). Pop-up. Hardbound. Moscow: Rosman Publishing Co. $20 from Victor Romanchenko through eBay, Feb., '05. 

Here is a pop-up or, as the Russian calls it, a "panorama" book. There are six fine pop-up scenes, one to a fable, within glossy hard covers. The fables presented are FC, GA, "The Monkey and the Spectacles," FG, "The Swan, the Lobster, and the Pike," and "Cock and Cuckoo." "The Monkey and the Spectacles" is an especially good illustration. The monkey is cross-eyed as she tries to read the paper, with glasses on her nightcap, elbow, foot, tail, and newspaper.

2003 Jean de La Fontaine: Fables. Illustrations: Daniel Maja. Hardbound. Paris: Enfance en Poésie: Gallimard Jeunesse. €6.20 from Musée La Fontaine, Chateau-Thierry, June, '07.

This lovely little book, 6½" x 7½", is a new favorite. My affection for the book starts with the way the cover illustrations are painted onto the page as though they were stickers. These figures include the fox and crow, the frog measuring his wasteline, a stork, and a rooster. Inside there are thirteen fables. All get either one or two two-page spreads. The characters are lively! The ant rejecting the cicada has a snarling dog on a leash and a vacuum cleaner under her housewifely arm. In OF, one little frog is measuring the girth of the expanding frog, who is lying down for the experience. The second picture for WL consumes the two pages as the snarling wolf with knife in hand carries off the lamb. The hunter in AD looks back at his heel and not at the dove who is his target. In the meantime, young people row boats and swim. In UP, the cock is pointing not just to dogs but to approaching police vans. Perhaps the finest portrait of all is that of the fisherman who has caught a little fish. Second place goes to the unhappy holder of the hen that laid the golden eggs. DS lets a rabbit go leaping to the other shore while he jumps into the water after the shadow leaping gracefully. One last prize goes to the coachman struggling to get the coach uphill while a fly sits on his nose. A prolog introduces poetry, and the last two pages present La Fontaine and Maja.

2003 Jean de La Fontaine: Les Fables illustrées par Gabriel Lefebvre. Hardbound. Tournai, Belgium: Collection Jeunesse: La Renaissance du Livre. €19.50 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05. 

I have been in love with Lefebvre's work since his two volumes of La Fontaine's fables done for Casterman in 1986. When I saw this work almost twenty years later, I presumed that it was a reprint in different format of the same illustrations. Now I think that these are new illustrations, and they are delightful! There are fifty-one fables on 141 pages, as the closing AI shows. Each fable gets either a two-page or a four-page spread, with either one or two pages for text and the same for illustration. Text and illustration remain separate. Among the strongest of the illustrations are WL (18); FS (24); CW (40); "The Wolves and the Sheep" (54 and 55); "The Lion in Love" (63); FM (71 and 73); "The Eagle and the Owl" (92); TT (133 and 134); and "The Cat and the Two Sparrows" (137 and 138). The preoccupation with presenting two eyes for every creature seems to be gone from Lefebvre's art. The new identifying mark is the presence of a kind of colored confetti around an animal that is experiencing something strong, like having been kicked in the head! Lefebvre has a wonderful sense of color. This is a particularly heavy book.

2003 Leonardo's Fables and Jests. Retold by Edgar Herbert Brice-Smythe. Paperbound. Sausalito, CA: E & E Publishing. $6.64 from Paperbackshop.co.uk, April, '05. 

There are fifteen items in this forty-six page book. I had no idea that there were publishers in Sausalito! I had to go to a UK bookshop to find this Sausalito book! A number of the items are fables. They include "The Mouse" (13), "The Razor" (15), "The Sheet of Paper" (19), "The Stone" (21), "The Spider" (31), "The River" (33), "The Privet and the Songbird" (37), and "The Patch of Snow" (41). I think "The Mouse" is the best of these. They are all true to the spirit of Aesop's fables. The last item in the book is a clever mathematical magic trick that I have not yet figured out.

2003 Les Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Corderoc'h. Hardbound. Champigny-sur-Marne: Editions Lito. €8 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05. 

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.

2003 Les Fables de La Fontaine. Atelier Philippe Harchy. Hardbound. Succès du Livre: Maxi-Livres. €16 from Maxi-Livres, Paris, Jan., '05. 

A chance walk down the Rue St-André brought me past a small book store, and I found this book, close to the ultimate in large-format, bright-colored, simple-art books for children. The book is 11" x 14½". There are just over one hundred fables here. Most are one or two pages in length, as the closing T of C on 156-57 shows. Not all fables are illustrated. Sometimes the simplest illustrations are the best. So here, the plow left in the dirt on 29 serves as a fine illustration for "The Laborer and His Children." Among the most dramatic illustrations are SS (48-9), "The Two Goats" (82), and "La Lice et sa Compagne" (84-5). A special prize goes to the unique point of view taken for "The Weasel Who Got into a Granary" (108-9). Frogs get the best facial expressions here, whether worried (120) or duplicitous (133). Individual illustrations are cleverly lifted from their specific places (like TT on 46) and worked into the composite illustration on the endpapers.

2003 Les Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrations: Atelier Philippe Harchy. Hardbound. Outremont, Quebec: Les Éditions Cumulus: Éditions Total Publishing. $11.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Dec., '10.

This soft-covered book made with heavy paper is very large, over 11" x 14½". FC and TH appear on the cover. The illustrations themselves have a largeness to them. Sometimes texts are framed by vines within large two-page spreads; sometimes the vines frame a whole page including both text and simple illustration. OR's page, for example, has a fallen tree trunk as the bottom of its frame (10). Some fables are not illustrated at all, like "Le Rieur et les Poissons" on 53. The grasshopper on 13 pleads with the ant using all four of his gloved hands and arms. The tortoise on 61 has a wonderful look of surprise on his face as the purple frogs jump into the water. The meeting of the two goats on the tree-limb is nicely dramatic (82). FM on 132-33 may be the most successful illustration in this book. Can we see a smirk on this frog's face? Another strong image is that of the rat with his front end trapped inside an oyster (149). T of C on 156-57. Is this computer-generated art? It combines some sharp lines with some rather fuzzy lines, as in the two-page illustration for AD (72-73). Many of the illustrations are direct descendants of famous versions, like those of Grandville and Doré. It has been hard for me to locate the publisher. Is Éditions Total Publishing a self-publishing firm that took on this book?

2003 Les fables de La Fontaine.  Hardbound.  Ontario, Canada: les grands classiques:  scholastic.  May, ’15.  $12 from Marie Gervais through eBay,

There are about forty fables, generally in two-page spreads, in this large children's book.  The images look suspiciously familiar.  There seems to be a first page missing; that page might have given more details about the artists.  I would have guessed that the images are computer-generated.  There is an AI index at the end, headed by a familiar image of the two ducks without their talkative friend.  Texts are overlaid onto images in transparent rectangles.  Most drastic of the images might be that of the father owl returning to his nest as the eagle flies away.  What the father sees left of his children is their claws (18-19).  All three faces are well done as the eagle swoops down on the rat tied to the frog (32-33).  In CJ, the rooster is selling the jewel to a shopkeeper (48-49); might that image be mixing the two stories?

2003 Les Fables de La Fontaine.  Illustrées par Marie-José Sacré.  Hardbound.  Chevron, Belgium: Collection: Des notes et des mots:  Hemma Éditions.  $15.76 from World of Books through eBay, Sept., '15.  

Here each of twelve of La Fontaine's fables is given a two-page spread.  Some have a single illustration spreading over the two pages.  Others have a pair of illustrations.  The cover shows various animals looking down onto the pages of a book spread on the floor before  them.  The endpapers show various animals scurrying about.  Recognizable among them are the fox carrying a cheese, a grasshopper with a guitar, and a frog with an extended belly.  In the illustrations, the characters are outlined with a heavy black line.  The fables include FC, OF, GA, GGE, "The Pig, the Goat, and the Sheep," "La Belette entrée dans un grénier," WL, "Les deux Lapins" (Thomas Iriarte); "The Angler and the Little Fish," "The Fox and the Goat," TMCM, and LM.  The best picture in the group might be that of the weasel stuck in the hole of the granary that he earlier managed but now cannot.  Second prize goes to "The Angler and the Little Fish."  The Iriarte fable is ingenious.  A pursued rabbit argues with another rabbit about the particular species of the dogs that are approaching.  While they argue, they are consumed!

2003 Les Fables de La Fontaine: 45 Fables. Illustrations: Christian Vandendaele. Hardbound. SDP Le Livre Club: Editions Caramel: Editions LLC. €10 from Librairie Les Alizés L'Harmattan, Paris, July, '07.

Here is a 94-page large-format book for children with lively illustrations and almost no bibliographical information. The AI on 94 confirms that there are forty-five of La Fontaine's fables here. A curious feature of this book is the way in which each overlaid window with text on it does not obscure the underlying background scene. A particularly good touch comes with "L'Aigle et le Hibou" on 18-19, where the owl comes home to discover only the claws of his young owls left after the eagle has eaten the rest of them. Enjoy the facial expressions on all three main characters in FM on 32-33. Every fable here gets a two-page spread. Slick art and a soft cover.

2003 Les Philo-Fables.  Michel Piquemal.  Illustrated by Philippe Lagautrière.  Hardbound.  Paris: Albin Michel.  $24.80 from Motor City Books through Amazon, Oct., '15.

Amazon's summary is a good start: "Les philo-fables, ce sont des fables simples et riches de sens tirées de la philosophie occidentale, de la mythologie et des sagesses d'Orient.  60 fables accompagnées de questions, de repères et de mots-clés... Voilà de quoi aider les enfants, dès 9 ans, à franchir la porte de l'atelier du philosophe. A lire pour le plaisir de penser plus grand et plus loin!"  The book is wonderfully colorful and engaging.  Some of the stories, like the first, are more exactly fables and are taken from fables.  Two hedgehogs are cold and lie together but then find that they are hurting each other.  They get away from each other, but then grow cold.  It takes them some time to find the proper distance.  Another such fable is "The Blind and the Lame" from Florian (122).  Most of these thought-provoking stories come from other than the fable tradition.  That fact fits my thinking because these sources probably fit best what I have called "parables," stories that question values rather than stories that invite perception.  There is, for example, the great story of the two monks who encounter a pretty young woman who wants to cross the river (56-57).  One picks her up and carries her across.  The other is scandalized that a monk would touch a woman.  When they arrive back at the monastery, the outraged monk accuses the other, who answers "I put her down two hours ago.  You still have her on your back!"  Each story has some catch-words above it, as here "Colère, Jalousie, Tentation, Désir."  And each has a reflection titled "Dans l'atelier du philosophe."  The colorful, simple art is just right for this book.

2003 Lua Va Ngua: Ngu Ngon Edop. Narrated by Trinh Xuan Hoanh. Illustrated by Hoang Ha. Paperbound. Hanoi, Vietnam: Tu Sach Hoan Hong: Nhung Truyen Co Tich Van Ngu Ngong The Gioi #23: Van Hoa - Thong Tin. 9500 Vietnamese Dong from Cty Van Hoa Minh Tri - Nha Sach Van Lang Bookstore, Ho Chi Minh City, July, '04.

The illustrations in this colorful slick paperback book almost 6" square seem to me to repeat some I have seen elsewhere, but I cannot yet be sure about a match. There are five stories presented. In each, the text is on the left-hand pages, along with a small iconic illustration in the lower left corner. The right-hand page is a full-page colored illustration in vibrant colors. I recognize "The Horse and the Donkey," which provides the cover illustration; the "show me again" story which leaves a wolf tied up again in the pit in which he has started; LM; the story of the wolf who has thought he was a tiger; and finally the story of the crow who disguises himself as a pigeon. This latter saw humans feeding pigeons. He got himself some flour. But the rain washes off his disguise, and the pigeons shun him. So do the crows when he returns to them.

2003 Most Popular Aesop's Fables.  Retold and Illustrated by Abrar Nari, Rudra Prasad Warrier, and Shane Brown.  First edition, 2nd reprint.  Paperbound.  Anna Nagar, Chennai, India: Apple Books.  $2 from Thriftbooks, March, '16.

Here is a second reprint of a book already in the collection.  I find nothing changed in the book besides that notation facing the title-page.  As I wrote about the first printing, there are twenty-seven fables here in a paperback book measuring 4¾" x 7".  There is a T of C at the beginning.  Each fable gets one full-page black-and-white illustration.  "Black-and-white" is not quite accurate, since these illustrations incorporate effective shading.  The endearing feature of this book is these cartoon illustrations.  They are on the way to something like the cartoons for "Far Side."  Notice, e.g., the anger on the face of the farmer as he approaches--with stick in hand--the dog in the manger (10).  And for TMCM just following, there are fine expressions on each of the mice's faces (14).  Here, as in other recent Indian fable books, the "Jump in Rhodes" story--or something quite like it--is told with a cat as the boaster (23).

2003 Mother Goose on the Loose: Illustrated With Cartoons from The New Yorker. Edited by Bobbye S. Goldstein. Illustrated With Cartoons from The New Yorker. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: Harry N. Abrams. $7.99 at Borders, Santa Rosa, Dec., '07.

This book is as much fun as it is going through each issue of The New Yorker magazine to enjoy its cartoons. I am surprised at how many of them either work off of or at least fit with good old nursery rhymes. I am not sure that "Old Mother Goose and the Golden Egg" (92) really relates to the fable of "The Goose and the Golden Egg," but the three cartoons here certainly do relate to the fable. The artists are Chon Day, Mick Stevens, and Henry Martin. I will include the cartoons themselves in their own section of the collection. Click here to see them. Fables get around.

2003 Hoi Mythoi tou Aisopou Metaglasmenoi Poietika kata te Sokratike Methodologia. Staurou Melissinou. Inscribed by the author to Rev. Greg Carlson. Deutere Ekdose. Paperbound. Athens: Privately published? Gift of Kathryn Thomas, Sept., '03.

As the T of C on 123-26 shows, this is a work presenting one-hundred-and-fifty Aesopic fables on 11-85. The standard form of the fables puts together eight lines of verse for narrative and four verses for morals. I tried the first few, but my classical Greek will not quite reach to understanding this modern Greek! Before the texts there is a four-page introduction. After the texts, one finds apparently first a description of the author's life and work, then his "The Europe of the Greeks and the Greece of the Europeans" (89-100), "Kritikes Apotimeseis" (101-119), an introduction by Fr. Ragovin to the Melissinou's "Rubaiyat" (120-22) and the T of C. Melissinou is the "Poet Sandalmaker of Athens," who made the sandals worn by performers at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympics in Greece. It was very good of Katie not only to get a copy of the book for me but to have Melissinou inscribe it to me!

2003 Pearl in the Rice: Ancient Vietnamese Fables. Father Leo Booth with Kien Lam. Paperbound. Printed in USA. Long Beach, CA: SCP Limited. $10.50 from Pamela J. Williams, Heflin, AL, through Ebay, Dec., '03.

There are twelve stories here, proposed by Booth for their spiritual and personal meaning. The introduction offers on 4-6 the values one can learn in each of the stories. I read the first two, "Snake Head" and "Little Princess and Blind Horse." These are fairy tales or folk tales, full of magic and the victory of the good guys. The EBay advertisement aptly says that the book "brings the essential transforming power of the Vietnamese fable to life. These beautiful stories all have a sacred theme and speak to us in spiritual ways."

2003 Phaedrus: Fabeln. Ausgewählt und Kommentiert von Harald Triebnig. Various artists. Paperbound. Latein Lektüre aktiv!: Graz/Leipzig: Klett Schulbuchverlag. See 2000/2003.

2003 Pilpay's Fables. By Sir Richard Burton; Edited by Thomas E. Cox. Illustrations by Sushiela Goodwin. Hardbound. Dust jacket. Bangkok: Orchid Press. $27.95 from Orchid Press, Bangkok, August, '03. Extra copy.

Burton published his Pilpay in 1847, as the special strip added over the dust-jacket here proclaims. This is the first Burton edition in over one hundred years. This volume includes copious footnotes from Burton himself, especially linguistic and anthropological. The notes often draw upon contrasts between Muslims and Hindus. The introduction on Burton himself paints a lively picture of a man who could learn languages with amazing speed and accuracy. He also immersed himself successfully into foreign cultures and learned their mores, including sexual mores. He seems to have been a master of disguise. The heavy paper helps to account for the fact that this book is only 74 pages long. The title of the original work is "Akhlak-i-Hindi or a Translation of the Hindustani Version of Pilpay's Fables." There are eight fables here. I will do my best to trace the way through. (1) In the frame story, pigeons are tempted to descend into a trap for rice. (2) Suspecting a trap, one pigeon tells the tale of an old tiger. This tiger offers a gold bracelet gratis to passers-by, but first they need to wash in what turns out to be quicksandish mud; the tiger simply eats them up once they are stuck. The pigeons fly with the net toward an old mouse friend. Crow wants to become friends with mouse even though they are natural enemies. (3) Mouse, not yet trusting, tells crow the story of the crow, deer, and jackal. Deer brings jackal, a supposed friend, to meet crow, a good friend. Crow suspects the jackal. (4) Crow tells the deer the story of the vulture and cat. The cat talks the vulture into sparing her; then the cat devours the young birds that attracted the vulture--and moves on. The little birds' parents return and kill the vulture. Jackal proves to be evil. Crow helps rescue trusting deer, who plays dead. A peasant who thought he had caught the deer throws a club at the fleeing deer, but it hits the evil jackal instead. Mouse and crow pick up and go to join the tortoise, crow's old friend. Mouse tells the story of his conversion after living off of a begging monk. (5) A visiting monk tells the begging monk that the mouse preying upon him has a reason for being able to leap so well. To explain, he tells the story of an old Banyan who has an unfaithful young wife. When she is almost caught, she covers her lover's escape with repeated kisses of her old husband. Things are done for the doer's interest. Together the two monks found the mouse's hoard and reduced him to a pauper. (6) The tortoise claims that a beggar is happier than a rich miser and tells the story of a jackal. A sportsman, a deer, and a hog are all dead. The gnawed string of the bow ends up killing the greedy jackal. Then the deer joins the group. (7) If they have to travel, they should not let the tortoise go by land, the mouse says. They will regret it the way a Banyan came to regret his own work. He then follows with the story of a man who fell desperately in love. His fostermother tempts the woman, married to a Banyan shopkeeper, to love her fosterson who pines for her as she does for him. "I will arrange it soon that her husband brings her to you," the fostermother says to the desperate man. (8) Contrivance is everything, she claims, as is shown by the story of the elephant devoured by the jackals. One jackal leads the elephant into quicksand and fetches fellow jackals to devour him. She gets the man to hire the woman's husband and to relate to him his dream of robing women in rich clothes. After two women, the Banyan husband brings his own wife, but of course this lover treats her differently from the first two women. The frame story ends: the turtle is captured by a hunter; the deer fakes being lame and lures the hunter slowly after her. The mouse frees the netted turtle. These are very talkative animals; their rhetoric is fulsome. This work loves lists, e.g., the six things which become a man (24). The illustrations are good. Among the best are those showing the crow observing the mouse and the birds (29) and the cat devouring young birds near a sleeping vulture (39). The book, alas, contains a number of typos: "extracate" (20); "your value your weal" (21); "then" for "than" (34); "mans" (36). Might they come from Burton or his publisher rather than from Orchid?

2003 Professor Aesop's The Crow and the Pitcher. Illustrated and interpreted by Stephanie Gwyn Brown. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Printed in Singapore. Berkeley/Toronto: Tricycle Press. $8.99 from Title Wave Books, Albuquerque, NM, through ABE, Feb., 03.

Here is a delightful, eclectic problem-solving approach to the time honored fable of CP. One pair of pages about ten pages into the work will give a sample idea. The point is well stated in the few words of text: "After several attempts, he gave up in despair." Four pictures show the crow banging his beak against the pitcher, trying to kick it over, trying to squeeze into its mouth legs first, and finally sitting against it exhausted. Each of the three "attempts" is illustrated in a little "cloud" nearby showing him, respectively, as a kind of woodpecker, as a karate expert, and as a deep sea diver. Closer inspection shows that the spread is divided into four sections fanning out from the bottom center. Each section has a determination meter that traces his dropping energy. The eclectic art throws in blueprints and charts along the way. The pitcher is consistently a blue-and-white of a different dimensionality and style from its surroundings. A "thirst-o-meter," an "ambient thermometer," and a pebble indicator track developments. Two pages near the end complete the story by noting the result ("and saved his life") and the key elements (necessity, perseverance, and invention). Two further pages outline the scientific method in six steps according to Crow. I had not known that this press is right here in Berkeley.

2003 Seven Fables, Seven Truths. Adapted by Dennis Fertig. Illustrated by Carlotta A. Tormey. First printing. Paperbound. Austin, TX: Pair-It Books Proficiency Stage 6: Steck-Vaughn Company. $10.48 from Steck-Vaughn Company through Better World Books, March, '10.

This book is paired in Steck-Vaughn's "Pair-It Books" series with Jane Goodall's A Good and True Heart. The seven fables are straight from the tradition: GA, BS, "Mercury and the Woodcutter," "The Horse and the Mule," SW, DA, and "The Two Hunters." In this version of GA, the grasshopper has just used his fiddle to shovel through the snow, and its broken pieces now lie behind him. The grasshopper does not encounter the ants during winter; he only goes by their home, where they are enjoying themselves. At first he thinks that he will have to teach them next summer how to enjoy its pleasures; soon he realizes that he has been wrong and has nothing to teach the ants. "Still hungry but wiser, Grasshopper struggled on through the deep snow as best he could" (7). BS features a Black family with six children and twigs. The telling of "Mercury and the Woodcutter" is as good as I have encountered. In "The Horse and the Mule," the horse has to carry a heavy load -- as do the woman and the mule -- but he is young and they are both older. The old woman tries to help the mule by carrying one of his sacks. In this version, the mule does not die. The horse has to carry him and his load to the village. SW is told in good fashion, as the North Wind claims "I shall force the red cloak off that man's back" (28). The bird-catcher in AD has a trap, not a bow or gun; that change helps the story, I think. In a clever, integrating move, Fertig has the two hunters of the last fable meet, one by one, the characters of the preceding three fables. The woodcutter knows where the lion is and offers to show them. They run away leaving their hunting gear; they wanted only to follow the lion's tracks, not to meet the lion!

2003 Slon I Mos'ka (Russian: Elephant and Pug-Dog). I.A. Krilov. Illustrated by An. Chubukova. Pamphlet. Moscow: Publishing House 000 (Rus'). $2 from Marina Gorenkova, Godfrey, IL, through eBay, March, '04.

This pamphlet opens with a surprise when we see an elephant marching among cars down a contemporary street. The next illustration underscores the contemporaneity of the scene when we see one man on the street in an "Amstel" shirt and another talking on a cell phone. The story is taken by Krylov from Lessing's fable "Der Elefant un der Mops." A little dog barks vehemently at a circus elephant, who pays him no heed. An older dog tells the little dog that the elephant is not paying him the least attention. "That is exactly why I do it," the little dog answers. "I know that I can get away with it, and everyone will say that I heroically barked at and stood my ground against an elephant!" The back cover provides the best comment on the dog, as he stands alone and frustrated in front of his doghouse and scratches his forehead. His bravado did not convince anyone. This book--and presumably others in the series--are for pre-school children.

2003 Strekoza I Muravey (Russian: Grasshopper and Ant). I.A. Krilov. Illustrated by An. Chubukova. Pamphlet. Moscow: Publishing House 000 (Rus'). $2 from Marina Gorenkova, Godfrey, IL, through eBay, March, '04.

This pamphlet does a strong job of anthropomorphizing the two main characters. The grasshopper has huge eyes. Is that some sort of beetle warning her among the brown leaves in the fall? The winter scene seems to present more rain than snow, but it also introduces us to a wonderfully hideous ant. I have never seen one uglier! It is hard to see how this version resolves the story. Usually, when the ant tells the grasshopper to dance, it is a way of turning her out into the cold to stamp her feet in an effort to keep them warm. Here the grasshopper, apparently indoors, does dance! The back page seems also to be unresolved, perhaps deliberately, as it puts together the shovel of hard work and a garland of beautiful flowers.

2003 The Ant and the Grasshopper. Boots S.A. Pastor. Illustrated by Jason Moss. Paperbound. Printed in Manila. Manila: Lampara Books. 51.75 Philippine Pesos from Book Sale, Novaliches, Philippines, August, '03. One extra copy purchased at the same time and place.

The presentation in this large-format pamphlet is lovely. The sixteen pages alternate regularly, with illustrations on the left and the texts in both English and Tagalog on the right. Enjoy the strange water buffalo or fat cow on 6. Not snow but rains come to make for hard days for the grasshopper. The style of presentation is Chinese, with frequent chops appearing on both text and illustration pages. In this version, the ant does not even open the door to his anthill when the grasshopper comes in the rainy days. The back cover folds out. The inside back-cover contains here a "Stand-up Grasshopper." The simple moral three pages before the end is "Save for the rainy Days!" There is also a nice little maze for the ant to get through on the way to finding his food supply. This book is apparently one of six in the set.

2003 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse: Based on the Fable Written by Aesop. Retold by Karen Jennings and Mark Pierce. Illustrated by Dennis Hockerman. Hardbound. Pleasantville, NY: Classics for Beginning Readers: Reader's Digest Young Families. $8.99 from Joe Burdek, Tampa, FL, through eBay, Oct., '10.

Here is the more original version of a book published in 2006 in its series "Famous Fables" by the same publishers, Reader's Digest Young Families. This 2003 book is a fuller version of the story but lacks some of the added features of the later series. Let me review first the book's unique approach to the story and then note the differences in this edition. Henry and Emma both enjoy the country meal. Emma has forgotten about picking berries, and so Henry offers to drive them both to town for dessert. His first suggestion was to "run to the corner store and get us something sweet," and Emma had to let him know that in the country people grow all their food. They drive to the city in a mouse-sized sportscar. "Sweet Treats" is right next to Henry's townhouse, with a dessert cart that invites the mice to a feast! They can sneak in under the front door. Pierre, the cook's cat, soon attacks and catches Emma by the tail; Henry has to grab Pierre's whiskers to get Pierre to free his paw from Emma's tail. They run out the back door past Rufus the dog. Henry asks if the dessert was not wonderful, and Emma agrees but asks if was worth all that danger. City life with its excitement is not for her. Henry drives Emma home and promises that he will come again next autumn. The next evening Henry goes out dancing in the city, while Emma settles in at her country home, enjoying turnip and cabbage stew with a nice cup of tea. What was a 20-page book there is a 24-page book here. Gone are the back endpapers' tips for parents, including strategies, discussion questions, and activities that grow out of the story. Gone too is the subtitle: "A Tale of Tolerance." Included are pictures revealing the gift from the city as a back-scratcher, which is a human toothbrush. Included are also pictures of the mice eating cake, of the cat caring for herself after her whiskers have been pulled, and of Rufus the dog hot in pursuit of the mice. 

2003 The Crab and the Crane: Based on a tale from the Panchatantra. Retold by Sampurna Chatterjee. Illustrated by Taposhi Ghoshal. Hardbound. New Delhi: Favourite Tales: Ladybird Books: Penguin Books India. 145 Kenyan Shillings from Nakumatt, Nairobi, Jan., '05. 

I found this and three other books in the series on sale at the only supermarket we found in our first four stops in Africa, namely Nakumatt in Nairobi. This is a highly colorful and creative visual approach to the story, which is also well told. Among the best illustrations are those showing the fish swimming too deep for the crane to catch them and the depictions of the frustrated swirls the fish would make to avoid the supposed fisherman's nets. In this telling, the crab has no sense of the crane's deceit beforehand, but acts promptly as soon as he sees the bones and then lands with the crane.

2003 The Crane and the Peacock. Boots S.A. Pastor. Illustrated by Jason Moss. Paperbound. Printed in Manila. Manila: Lampara Books. 51.75 Philippine Pesos from Book Sale, Novaliches, Philippines, August, '03.

The presentation in this large-format pamphlet is creative and artistic. The sixteen pages alternate regularly, with full-page colored illustrations on the left and the texts in both English and Tagalog on the right with a smaller illustration. The scene created by the first pages is that of a rehearsal for a ballet or operatic production. In fact, the title of the opera is the title of this fable. In an early backstage scene, the rotund owl has his mask off and is talking on a cell-phone. One page later he is either yawning or enjoying a snack backstage. A highly imaginative illustration on 9 has the crane flying from a string against a background of a cat silhouette, a garden hose, a birdbath, a faucet, and a peacock who, like the crane, is one-twentieth of the size of the cat. The peacock, after his failures to fly, is so embarrassed that for several days he would not emerge from his dressing room, which of course has a star on its door! The moral may be less trenchant here than in other books of this series: "Do not be too proud with what you have, for it may not always give you the advantage." The back cover folds out. The inside back-cover contains eleven punch-out figures and three tree props for a shoebox ballet. The activity page here asks a reader to color and match each of eleven birds to an appropriate dancer. This book is apparently one of six in the set.

2003 The Crow and the Eagle: A True Fable. By John K. Danenbarger. Design and Illustrations by William Cloutman. First printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Salem, MA: Stormblock Publishing. $1 from Hippo Books, through eBay, May, '10.

This book is about the life of Yankee pitcher Bob Turley. It starts with a fable of the crow and the eagle. This fable is new to me and, I expect, created for the situation. The eagle tells the nervous crow that he, the eagle, was once a crow. He offers the crow a chance for more and better with a short conversation each day. The suspicious crow grudgingly accepts the offer. The eagle labors through several conversations to make clear to the crow that Bob Turley, born in poor circumstances and perhaps talented on a par with others, had the unusual gift of seeing himself in the majors. He worked hard at getting there, and the work paid off. Further facts sift through. "Bullet Bob" Turley set a record in 1955 in his first year with the Yankees: for walks! He works to make himself better and in 1958 he is the hero of the World Series and winner of the Cy Young Award. Further conversations take the two to Turley's downward spiral out of baseball and his unsuccessful business ventures to eventual success as an insurance company agent. The second half of the book portrays a number of subjects on which crow and eagle have contrasting views. The eagle, I take it, represents Turley himself and the strong views that have made him who he is. The book is unusual for its attempt to sustain a fable.

2003 The Crow and the Pitcher: Based on a tale from the Panchatantra. Retold by Kalpish Ratna. Illustrated by Bindia Thapar. Hardbound. New Delhi: Favourite Tales: Ladybird Books: Penguin Books India. 145 Kenyan Shillings from Nakumatt, Nairobi, Jan., '05. 

I found this and three other books in the series on sale at the only supermarket we found in our first four stops in Africa, namely Nakumatt in Nairobi. This booklet starts off telling the story of a little girl named Chakoli, who is always late for school. As she explains, it is because the town's big clock has not worked for a long time. Kakoli the crow lives alone behind the clock and is happy every day to see Chakoli come hurrying, stop to look up at the clock, wave to Kakoli, and then hurry on. Summer comes, Chakoli stops hurrying by the clock, and her grandmother sets out a pitcher of water for those who pass the house and are thirsty. Kakoli comes looking for Chakoli and, thirsty, discovers the pitcher of water. As Kakoli is about to fly away frustrated, Chakoli, who has been watching, asks "Are you quite sure the pitcher's empty, Kakoli?" The first pebble tossed into the pitcher is actually Kakoli's test to see if there is any water at the bottom of the dark pitcher. Chakoli gets Kakoli's encouragement to do something just as clever to get what she wants, namely to get the town's clock working again. So she goes to the clockmaker and asks him to fix it. Now Kakoli cleans it with his feathers, every Sunday Chakoli gives him the key to wind the clock, and she is never late for school. The booklet is a curious attempt to weave together two similar stories. It may break down at the points at which Chakoli knows the bird's name (how?) and at which Kakoli answers her in human speech. The art reminds me of Leo Politi.

2003 The Fox and the Stork: A Fable by Aesop. Retold by Karl Rühmann; Translated by Anthea Bell. Illustrated by Alessandra Roberti. First printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY/London: North-South Books. $18.95 from powells.com, August, '05. 

This is an enchanting edition in the tradition I have come to expect from North-South. It was first published in Switzerland as Fuchs und Storch. The textures throughout are very soft. Fox wears an apron as he prepares his mouse-tail soup. In one of the loveliest images, Stork grooms and cleanses her feathers in preparation for the meal. She also picks a little bouquet as a gift. Another excellent image is the two-page spread of the two animals eating at Fox's house. Fox thinks that Stork did not even notice that he had tricked her. He steals a flower from Stork's own garden the next day to present her as a gift. The final excellent image is that of the gray day with a slightly surreal orange tree as Fox slinks away hungry.

2003 The Jewish Book of Fables: Selected Works. Eliezer Shtaynbarg; Edited, Translated from the Yiddish, and with an Introduction by Curt Leviant. Illustrated by Dana Craft. First edition, apparent first printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Syracuse: Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art; A Dora Teitelboim Center for Yiddish Culture Publication: Syracuse University Press. $18.50 from Don Colberg, Greenwood Village, CO, through abe, April, '03. Extra copy of the first printing with dust jacket for $22.02 from amazon.com, June, '05.

There is an alphabetically ordered T of C at the front listing the fifty-five fables here. Twelve colored illustrations are gathered at the beginning. There are also perhaps a dozen black-and-white illustrations along the way; true to the bilingual character of the book with texts facing each other, these illustrations are mirror images of each other on facing pages. The best of these illustrations may be "Over the Trough" (121). These stories--or almost all of them--are fables and they are very enjoyable. The translator uses rhyming verse well for fable's trenchant impact. Let me mention a few of the best. In "Aesop and the Ass" (9), the ass begs for a rest. Aesop pontificates on, and the ass drops dead! In "The Bayonet and the Needle" (21), the needle cannot understand what the bayonet can make out of the people it "sews." In "The Crow and the Canary" (63), the crow asks the other birds to be patient with the canary's attempts to learn to caw. In "The Sacrifice" (147), a cow means to echo a lion's song but his mooing is taken by animals to be an insult. In "A Story Without an End" (175), a donkey is beaten because he does not stand, and he does not stand because he is being beaten. And in "The Umbrella, the Cane, and the Broom" (183), the owner hears these three arguing over who is superior, and he asks about his worth. They each agree that God made him "to cater to me." I enjoyed this book!

2003 The Mice Who Ate Iron: Based on a tale from the Panchatantra. Retold by Sampurna Chatterjee. Illustrated by Bindia Thapar. Hardbound. New Delhi: Favourite Tales: Ladybird Books: Penguin Books India. 145 Kenyan Shillings from Nakumatt, Nairobi, Jan., '05. 

I found this and three other books in the series on sale at the only supermarket we found in our first four stops in Africa, namely Nakumatt in Nairobi. Again, Thapar's art reminds me of the work of Leo Politi. Naduk's business is not doing well, and so he will move to Somewhere Else. But he leaves behind the big iron beam which his father had bought hoping to build a house--and then had left to Naduk for that purpose. His sole friend Laxman promises to take care of the beam for Naduk while he is away. Naduk has better luck and soon has a chain of shops. He sells them to return home and build his house. There is, I believe, a major error in the otherwise good telling of this story. Earlier Laxman had supposedly sold the iron beam to cover some debts. At the end of the story, the judge tells him to bring it out of his storeroom and return it to Naduk to get his kidnapped son back. It is supposedly gone, but the text and illustration miraculously return it to Laxman, so that he can give it back!

2003 The Moral Philosophy of Doni popularly known as The Fables of Bidpai. Sir Thomas North. Edited with Introduction and Notes by Donald Beecher, John Butler, and Carmine Di Biase. Hardbound. Ottawa: Barnabe Riche Society Publications #14: Dovehouse Editions, Inc. $44 from The Owl at the Bridge, Cranston, RI, through TomFolio, Sept., '06.

The second subtitle proclaims aptly "A Collection of Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic Fables, 1570." One notices three immediate improvements upon the last edition of North's work, Jacobs' edition of 1888. First, there is a good set of introductory material. Secondly, there is a wealth of visual material. Thirdly, the spelling of North's English is updated, so that it is easier to read these days. I find this book fascinating. From the beginning of the 90-page introduction, the editors help the reader to see this book in its oriental, Italian, and English context, since North was translating Doni's Italian version. There is actually one other cultural shift before that, from Hindu to Muslim. A beginning T of C helps give an overview of that extensive introduction. Appendices to the introduction are helpful in showing collateral versions and a history of Western fable. A fourth appendix offers some seventy-six representative illustrations from Eastern and Western sources. That is the first part of the valuable visual material. The second consists of the forty-nine illustrations inserted into the text itself. In fact, North's work came out in two editions, 1570 and 1601. The last section of the introduction discusses the merits of the two editions. My sense of what we have here is the text of the 1570 edition updated in its spelling and -- rarely -- corrected for obvious errors by the 1601 edition. The illustrations include photocopies of the 1601 edition's illustrations. Since I know "Kalila and Dimna" best, I start to recognize a familiar storyline here in North's second book (of four), about Chiarino the bull. In this version, mule and ass replace the two jackals who so frequently discuss politics and morality. The third book seems to carry the story through the death of Chiarino and the falling out between mule and ass. The fourth book then has to do with the revelation of the mule's crime and his mortal punishment. What a lovely and unnexpected connection to find this book dedicated to Fr. Peter Milward, S.J., whom I met in Tokyo and who gave me a copy of his fable book. If I get a chance to read early Kalila and Dimna material in Latin and German with Sabine Obermaier, this book would be one of my most important helps. Do not miss the book's very last element, a list of fables with their variant titles (405).

2003 The Mouse and the Lion. Boots S.A. Pastor. Illustrated by Jason Moss. Paperbound. Printed in Manila. Manila: Lampara Books. 51.75 Philippine Pesos from Book Sale, Novaliches, Philippines, August, '03.

The presentation in this large-format pamphlet is fun. The sixteen pages alternate regularly, with full-page colored illustrations on the left and the texts in both English and Tagalog on the right with smaller colored illustrations. The left-hand illustrations are contemporary and may have been done with chalk or pastels. The right-hand illustrations are deliberately primitive. The first several illustrations present well the forest of the lion's hair and the strange scene of a mouse on a lion's nose. Notice the colorful lion pointing to the mouse to flee on 7. When the mouse hears the lion's roar, "This was the chance the mouse had been waiting for." The moral is: "Judge a person not by his size but by his character and capabilities." The inside back-cover contains a punch-out lion with a mouse to ride his back. The colorful lion appears again on the activity page. The reader is asked to count the number of mice hiding in the lion's mane. This book is apparently one of six in the set.

2003 The Prince and Other Modern Fables. Rabindranath Tagore; Translated from the Bengali by Sreejata Guha. Illustrations by Rosy Rodrigues. Paperbound. New Delhi: Puffin Books. $12 from Khazana, Minneapolis, through abe, May, '04. 

These are prose poems with the excellence I have come to expect from Tagore. For Tagore, stories are as real as history. In learning, the story always wins. "Eventually, at the end of his tether, the mentor tries to compromise by blending the story with a sermon. But eternally incompatible, the two never fuse smoothly. Burdened, the story cracks and the moral slides out, leaving only a pile of rubbish" (6). Well said! The fairy reveals herself by going away, and she can never be found again (13). Do not miss "The Picture" (24). I do not know if it is more about art or about having a soul. I find Tagore especially good on sexuality, e.g. in "Liberation" (51), "First Heartache" (79), and "Ingrate Sorrow" (92). Tagore's stories reach beyond the usual world of fable, I think, as in "The Wrong Heaven" (103), which asks serious questions about purpose in life, and in "The Spectre" (119), which asks about the influence of revered teachers and gurus.

2003 The Rooster and the Fox: A Fable from Aesop. Retold and illustrated by Helen Ward. First edition, apparently first printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press. $12 from amazon.com, Dec., '04. 

This is a sideways (landscape) book of considerable artistic appeal, like The Hare and the Tortoise from the same publisher in 1998. The color work is excellent. Ward is faithful to Chaucer. I see two possible exceptions. First, has Chanticleer never seen a fox before? A second exception may consist in the adding of a forest, at the edge of which all the pursuing animals stop. The liveliest images here come when the animals pursue the fox with Chanticleer in his mouth. The first of these is particularly attractive. A special feature of this book comes at the end when each of the species represented here is identified. There is a black (remainder?) mark on the bottom of the book. Well done again!

2003 The Swallow and the Eagle. Boots S.A. Pastor. Illustrated by Jason Moss. Paperbound. Printed in Manila. Manila: Lampara Books. 51.75 Philippine Pesos from Book Sale, Novaliches, Philippines, August, '03.

The presentation in this large-format pamphlet is playful, starting right from the scowl on the eagle's face on the front cover. Most of the sixteen pages are parts of two-page spreads including left and right hand pages. English and Tagalog are on the right. The wager is not about climbing higher than others but about speed in reaching a distant goal. The swallow, who has noticed that it will rain soon, urges the eagle to make the race more exciting. The swallow proposes that each will carry a load, the eagle namely a bundle of cotton and the swallow some salt. When the rain comes, the eagle, whose cotton bundle is getting wet, flies slower and slower. The swallow's salt of course melts away with the rain. The swallow wins and the eagle stops bragging. There is a simple maze on the activity page: the crow is trying to get to a worm. The inside back-cover contains two punch-out birds. A simple illustration shows how to let them slide down along a gradually inclined string. This book is apparently one of six in the set.

2003 The Tortoise and the Hare. Ian Beck. Paperbound. Printed in Malaysia. Oxford: An Oxford Storybook: Oxford University Press. Can $13.50 from World's Biggest Bookstore, Toronto, Nov., '04.

The dashing hare in spring knocks over the slow-going tortoise, and the tortoise in anger challenges him to a race. The hare sits down during the race to wait for the tortoise. For his victory, the tortoise wins a lifetime of sweet lettuce and carrots from the hare. Two words strike me as odd: "woken up" and "crosser." Might they be Anglicisms?

2003 The Turtle and the Hare. Boots S.A. Pastor. Illustrated by Jason Moss. Paperbound. Printed in Manila. Manila: Lampara Books. 51.75 Philippine Pesos from Book Sale, Novaliches, Philippines, August, '03.

The presentation in this large-format pamphlet is strong. The sixteen pages alternate regularly, with full-page colored illustrations on the left and, on the right, texts in both English and Tagalog with smaller black and white illustrations. Enjoy the flying squirrel at the bottom of 3 as he studies an origami book! The hare, who is drawn in the style of Picasso, has a pogo stick. The turtle, in response to the hare's first chiding, says that he is slow but not sluggish. The hare, when he reaches the top of the hill, decides to take a nap. When the hare wakes up at sundown, he still takes his time finishing the race. The pond marks the end of the course. The turtle is in it, wearing sunglasses. There is a good moral: "Do not underestimate the abilities of others." The back cover folds out. The inside back-cover contains punch-out rolling figures of the turtle and hare. There is also a nice puzzle-page with six hidden turtles and six hidden hares. This book is apparently one of six in the set.

2003 The Wolf and the Crow. Boots S.A. Pastor. Illustrated by Jason Moss. Paperbound. Printed in Manila. Manila: Lampara Books. 51.75 Philippine Pesos from Book Sale, Novaliches, Philippines, August, '03.

The presentation in this large-format pamphlet is engaging. The sixteen pages alternate regularly, with full-page colored illustrations on the left and the texts in both English and Tagalog on the right with a smaller illustration. In an unusual turn, this version starts the fable with the wolf seeing a farmer chase a crow. Most versions have not a wolf but a fox, and there is usually no pursuit by the farmer. The crow is carrying not the usual meat or cheese but a fish. This booty is apt for the Philippines! The best and most creative of the illustrations may be that from 6, which is repeated on the front cover. It shows a tree full of patches of a musical score. On 6, the balloon showing the wolf's thoughts or speech has in it a precious necklace of jewels. In the meantime, several hot-air balloons float through the air in the background. I think that this booklet contains some of Moss's most creative illustrations. Several pictures include eyes and eyeglasses. Before the wolf has the cheese, there is on 9 a framed picture of him in formal attire with a huge cheese in his mouth--or is that candy he would bring to get himself a better reception? On the last pages of the booklet, one wolf has a lovely bouquet in his mouth. By 11, both characters are made out of a musical score. This version's moral is "Being vain could bring your downfall." The back cover folds out. The inside back-cover contains here a basic mask that can be filled out to represent either a wolf or a crow. The activity page here offers a crow skeleton with an invitation to draw feathers with a black marker. This book is apparently one of six in the set.

2003 Town Mouse/Country Mouse.  Jan Brett.  Twenty-third printing.  Paperbound.  NY: Puffin Books: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.  $6.99 from Dog Eared Books, San Francisco, July, '15.

Here is a paperback version of a book I love!  It is lavishly and carefully done.  Do not miss the silks and jewels in the city and the woven patterns frequent in the country.  The borders of the illustrations are a treat in themselves, depicting things like tassels, buttons, cones, pasta shells, and postage stamps.  The story has two couples discovering that there is no place like home.  The enemies are parallel:  the cat in the city and the owl in the country.  The two mice couples meet and decide to trade houses.  There are some wonderful touches of observation and imagination here.  The town woman mistakes rain for a leaking bathtub.  Her husband's colorful jacket attracts a predator bird.  The two wipe soot from the city window to see the blue sky that reminds them of their country home.  The cat falls from a stack of piled-up dishes.  To the frightened country mice, the cat is an "owl with teeth," and the owl is, to their counterparts, "a cat with wings."  The two predators collide as they are chasing the mice on the way back to their homes.  As he comes to, the cat suggests to the owl that they trade places.  The only thing lost in this inexpensive paperback version is the hardbound book's clever cover illustration of country tweed.

2003 Truyen Ngu Ngon Edop. Narrated by Vu Boi Tuyen. Paperbound. Tu Sach Vuon Co Tich: My Thuat. 9500 Vietnamese Dong from Cty Van Hoa Minh Tri - Nha Sach Van Lang Bookstore, Ho Chi Minh City, July, '04. 

The illustrations in this colorful slick paperback book almost 6" square seem to me to repeat some I have seen elsewhere, but I cannot yet be sure about a match. There are five stories presented. In each, the text is on the left-hand pages, along with a small iconic illustration in the lower left corner. The right-hand page is a full-page colored illustration in vibrant colors. I recognize "The Rooster, the Dog, and the Fox" (the story about talking with the "doorman" below); TH with an impeccably cute bunny; the story of the fox judging between the cat and dog as they argue over a piece of meat; BF, which supplies the cover illustration of a beaten raven; and DS. The cover of this book stands out because it uses so much red!

2003 Vorona I Lisitsa (Russian: Fox and Crow). I.A. Krilov. Illustrated by An. Chubukova. Pamphlet. Moscow: Publishing House 000 (Rus'). $2 from Marina Gorenkova, Godfrey, IL, through eBay, March, '04.

This art in this sixteen-page pamphlet is heavy on color and anthropomorphic animals. Perhaps the strongest illustration is that hear the end which shows the crow surrounded by the outline of a royal figure, including a crown and spread wings. The fox winks with the cheese in his mouth and waves good-bye on the back cover.

2003 Who's Got Game? The Ant or the Grasshopper? Toni & Slade Morrison. Pictures by Pascal LeMaitre. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: Scribner. $16.95 from Readers' Books, Sonoma, CA, July, '03.  

I had noticed this book being offered, sometimes for outrageous prices, in the last few weeks. During a short stop in Sonoma, I decided to ask for it in this lovely bookshop. Their computer said that they had copies, but they had trouble finding one of them. The flyleaf already speaks to me when it proclaims "We, the creators of Who's Got Game?, were inspired by the wonder of Aesop's Fables--their vitality, their endless demand for new interpretations." Lively verse combines with contemporary cartoons to update this fable. Foxy G (a grasshopper) and Kid A (an ant) hang in the park and romp each day until dark. As vacation ends, Kid A does the chores and shops the shores, while Foxy G sings on. In fact, the music so infects Kid A that he dances while he works. Winter finds Foxy G in a cardboard box in the park wanting to finish one more tune before nightfall. Foxy G has the usual encounter with Kid A, who is quite smug and comfortable. Angry, Foxy G proclaims "Art is work. It just looks like play." The two go their separate ways, and the book ends with its title question. Well done!

2003 Who's Got Game? The Lion or the Mouse? Toni & Slade Morrison. Pictures by Pascal LeMaitre. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: Scribner. Can $26.50 from World's Biggest Bookstore, Toronto, Nov., '03.

This book offers quite a creative transformation of LM. The lion announces himself, in the book's rap style, as king with a great deal of swagger--until he gets a thorn in his paw. The mouse saves him and then shows the same swagger himself. The other animals only laugh at the mouse, and he bothers his friend the lion king repeatedly for help. At the mouse's request, the lion even leaves his own den and heads for the hills. The lion's last line gives a fine moral for the tale as it is fashioned here: "Is he who wants to be a bully/just scared to be himself?" This book is one of three to appear by the same persons and from the same publisher. See the same year for GA and 2004 for "Poppy and the Snake."

2003 101 fables du monde entier.  Textes choisis et adaptés par Corinne Albaut.  Illustrées par Magali Clavalet, Floriane Vacher, Gaëtan Dorémus, Sophie Bazin.  Hardbound.  Paris: "101":  Bayard Jeunesse.  €9.40 from Gibert Joseph, Paris, August, '14.  

This is a stout, heavy book about 6" x 7¾".  It was once the property of the "École Primaire Publique" in Marseilles.  Each fable gets a two-page spread with a text and small design on the left and a lively full-page colored picture on the right.  It is easy to like this book!  As the T of C at the end makes clear, there are four roughly equal sections: African; Oriental; Latin and Greek; and French.  The second-last includes Abstemius, Babrius, "Aphtonius" (?), and Phaedrus.  The last group includes six fables from Florian, while all the rest come from La Fontaine.  Each of the four artists has a section and is recognized for it section on its title-page.  New to me among the African offerings is the story of all the animals coming together to complain that they were devouring each other.  Each complained that he was food for someone stronger.  Suddenly, the lion grew impatient.  "I propose that we leave the matter there, since it's time for my dinner.  I am ready to catch my prey."  Everyone dispersed as fast as they could (32).   Also there is the argument of the animals: Who is the greatest?  After all their competing assertions, they asked a man, who chose a milk cow (40).  The Oriental fables include the lion cub who, after being brought up among lambs, was attacked by a lion.  The cub thought he would be eaten.  The older lion brought him to a river and showed him his reflection.  He learned who he was (62).  A clever rabbit at the riverside sees something float by and calls "If you are a crocodile, keep floating, but if you are a tree trunk, float upstream."  The crocodile gives himself away by floating upstream (68).  MSA shows up here as an oriental fable, with a great picture of the two humans carrying the ass -- wineglass in hand -- in a chair (89)!  TT is on 102.  "The Eagle and the Crow" (124-25) among the Greek and Latin fables is told and illustrated well.  "The Stag at the Pool" is illustrated with a stag suspended by his antlers while the dogs approach (129).  It looks as though the wolf's stomach in WC has plenty of bones besides the one that got stuck in his throat (131).  The rats play a kind of volleyball with the bell in BC (155).  La Fontaine's ant in GA has a storeroom of food that looks like a supermarket's loaded shelves (167)!  FG includes a ladder and a bird eating a bunch of grapes while watching the fox (193).  The decked-out daw of BF is wonderfully preposterous (197)!  This book is a delight!

2003 101 Moral Stories of Grandpa.  Retold by Reinu Bhanot.  Illustrated by Ram-Lakshman.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  New Delhi: Arora Book Company.  See 1990/2003.

2003/6 Fabeln.  Neu erzählt von Käthe Recheis.  Bilder von Monika Laimgruber.  Erste Auflage, Nachdruck.  Hardbound.  Vienna: öbvhpt Verlagsgmbh.  €12.95 from Booksalltime: BücherInsel, Bopfingen, through eBay, August, '09. 

The most memorable characteristic of this collection of fables by various authors may be the imposing colored picture on the cover of a fox in trench-coat looking up at a bunch of grapes. The gray-and-white interior designs are less imposing. The best of them are the footprints going into the lion's cave on 49. The blurb on the back-cover rightly claims that Recheis tells the stories in clear language "without pointing a raised finger -- and so that children today gladly hear and read them." There are forty-two fables here. Many are from Aesop and La Fontaine. Others come from Pfeffel, Lessing, Tolstoy, Triller, Ebner-Eschenbach, Schopenhauer, Krylov, da Vince, and de' Giorgi Bertola. There are also representatives from American Indians, from Germany, China, and Tibet. Several are new to me and enjoyable. The young wolf who wants to fly (11) of course fails but then yells at the birds "You cannot run as fast as we can!" "Each in His Own Way" (18) by Lessing has a mother swallow teaching her child that she does not have to collect food for the summer as the ants do. Triller's brook hastens by the pretty meadow (44) only to end up in a swamp. Schopenhauer writes of the porcupines in the cold who tried keeping warm by getting close but then pricked each other with their quills. They kept going back and forth between being cold and getting pricked until they found the right distance -- and called it "politeness" and "good behavior" (63). Tolstoy (73) tells of a mouse who had a nest under a small hold in a granary: one grain after another fell through, always enough and easy to come by. But in time she found the hole too small. She gnawed it bigger, and lots of grains fell at once. She went out to invite all the other mice to a great party. When they got there, they found that the farmer had noticed the large hole and patched it. A rat had seen the large pile of grain and ate it all up!

2003/2008 Contes et Fables d'Afrique.  Claire Brouillet and Andrée Vary.  Second printing.  Paperbound.  NY: McGraw Hill Glencoe.  $8.54 from Seattle Goodwill Industries, March, '15.

Here is apparently a textbook meant for English-speaking students learning French.  There is an introductory section in English informing readers about the importance of elders, of oral tradition, and of storytelling today in Africa.  There are also plentiful vocabulary helps at the bottom of text pages.  The sixteen stories themselves, identified by their country of origin, are listed in the T of C on iv.  Each story gets a full-page monochrome illustration.  Many of the stories seem to tend toward pourquoi stories.  I sampled several.  "Tortue visite Faucon" (85) from Congo describes an early falling out among animals once all friends with one another.  Tortoise, a good cook, invited miserly falcon to dinner and introduced him to her children.  Falcon, as was custom, returned the invitation, with no intention of fulfilling it.  He and his children laughed over the invitation.  How could tortoise get to falcon's nest?  Tortoise, unhappy at being mocked, plotted with her children.  She became a boxed surprise gift for falcon to pick up "while tortoise happens to be away."  Falcon thus delivered her himself.  When he was surprised to find her inside the package as the gift, he asked her how she would get down, hooked her, and dropped her.  That was the end of their friendship -- and the beginning of her cracked shell!  The introductory note to "Tortue fait la Course contre Léopard" begins "Le conte suivant ressemble à une des fables de La Fontaine" (67).  A good fable, I would say, is "Le Roi du Désert" (81).  A lion and a palm tree are arguing -- effectively -- about which is king of the desert when a swarm of grasshoppers attacks.  By the end of their attack "L'oasis est dévastée.  Le palmier est rasé; le lion est en pièces" (83).

2003/11 Fábulas Pánicas.  Alejandro Jodorowsky.  Segunda reimpression.  Paperbound.  Mexico: Grijalbo: Random House, Mondadori.  $32.99 from Amazon, March, '15.

Here are individual cartoon pages that appeared regularly in "El Heraldo de Mexico" between 1967 and 1973.  The Laughing Squid online describes the setting in which Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean filmmaker best known for directing several surreal cult films created a weekly comic strip.  "Taking its name from the Panic Movement -- an artistic movement that Jodorowsky co-founded in 1962 -- the strip was entitled "Fabulas Panicas", or Panic Fables.  Despite appearing in the right-wing Mexican newspaper, El Heraldo de México, the strip is classic Jodorowsky: wildly experimental and unapologetically transgressive.  In this 2003 interview with Jay Babcock, Jodorowsky said: 'Everything I could not do in movies, I make in comics and writing. I do comics because I think it’s an art form as big as movies or painting or poetry. The graphic novel is a fantastic thing for me. For four or five years every Sunday I drew a comics page, a complete story.'"  I have sampled several of these offerings.  They are one-page admonitions.  A master sees a disciple smashing a vase: "There are infinite ways to destroy this vase.  There was only one way to make it" (56).  Two characters speak, one saying "I accomplish nothing" and the other saying "All that you seek you already have" (58).  Photographs of three women have two apparently screaming and a third commenting "In the house where somebody screams, nobody sends" (259).  The art is highly mixed, very energetic -- quite typical, I would say, of the late 60's.

2003/11 Stone Soup.  Retold and illustrated by Jon J. Muth.  Sixteenth printing.  Hardbound.  NY: Scholastic Press.  $6 from the Bay Area, July, '15.

This is my seventh "Stone Soup" book.  The story is set in China.  The village is selfish and suspicious as three monks arrive.  Their question as they approached the village is: "What makes one happy."  The wisest of the three says "Let's find out."  When they enter and knock on doors and receive no answer, they comment "These people do not know happiness.  But today we will show them how to make stone soup."  One of the story's best views -- from inside the pot -- marks a key moment: "As each person opened their heart to give, the next person gave even more."  The pictorial art is just right for this approach to the story.  The book offers great pictures first of individual characters in the village and then of people looking out curious from their windows.  It also offers a great two-page spread of the great feast.  "They had not been together for a feast like this for as long as anyone could remember."  "Sharing makes us all richer."

2003? Most Popular Aesop's Fables. Retold and Illustrated by Abrar Nari, Rudra Prasad Warrier, and Shane Brown. Paperbound. Anna Nagar, Chennai, India: Apple Publishing International. 89 Philippine Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03.

There are twenty-seven fables here in a paperback book measuring 4¾" x 7". There is a T of C at the beginning. Each fable gets one full-page black-and-white illustration. "Black-and-white" is not quite accurate, since these illustrations incorporate effective shading. The endearing feature of this book is these cartoon illustrations. They are on the way to something like the cartoons for "Far Side." Notice, e.g., the anger on the face of the farmer as he approaches--with stick in hand--the dog in the manger (10). And for TMCM just following, there are fine expressions on each of the mice's faces (14). Here, as in other recent Indian fable books, the "Jump in Rhodes" story--or something quite like it--is told with a cat as the boaster (23).

2003? My Favourite Stories: Read & Colour 1. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Angel Publishing House. 35 Phil Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

This sixteen-page pamphlet is in a series of five titles. Each volume presents nine fables from various sources; the inside front and back covers provide the extra two pages needed. For each fable there is a two-page spread, with the text and a small black-and-white illustration on the left, along with a "Phrase of Advice" (moral). The right-hand page is a rudimentary full-page line-drawing to color in. TB makes the two friends fat and thin. New to me is "The Wolf and the Dog." The former is still howling to call for the latter to return to the jungle. CJ speaks not of a jewel but of a "magic stone." The cock buries it back in the ground and says "If only this stone were worms which I could eat." Then it becomes worms! The donkey in SS is carrying cotton wool, not sponges, on his second trip, and he is drowned.

2003? My Favourite Stories: Read & Colour 2. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Angel Publishing House. 35 Phil Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

This sixteen-page pamphlet is in a series of five titles. Each volume presents nine fables from various sources; the inside front and back covers provide the extra two pages needed. For each fable there is a two-page spread, with the text and a small black-and-white illustration on the left, along with a "Phrase of Advice" (moral). The right-hand page is a rudimentary full-page line-drawing to color in. "Si Luncai" tells of a boy who was supposed to buy fish at the market but instead bought the putative big fish at the end of a fisherman's line. This "fish" turned out to be a rock, and Si Luncai's mother was very angry. A mousedeer, not a fox, refuses to go into the old lion's cave because he sees only ingoing tracks and no outgoing tracks. The wise hornet decides the way to establish ownership of the hive between rival claims by female and male bees. "Destroy the hive, and both of you start building." The female bee agrees and so shows that she is the owner; the male bee cannot rebuild it and so does not own it. A wolf's lair is here spelled "layer." The wolf's seductive approach to the sheep for the purpose of getting rid of the guard-dog is particularly well done in the last story here. He mentions noticing that the dog barks and bites the sheep, and he promises to take the dog's place and hurt none of them. Together they gang up on the dog to get rid of him. Then he leads a sheep into the jungle every day.

2003? My Favourite Stories: Read & Colour 3. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Angel Publishing House. 35 Phil Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

This sixteen-page pamphlet is in a series of five titles. Each volume presents nine fables from various sources; the inside front and back covers provide the extra two pages needed. For each fable there is a two-page spread, with the text and a small black-and-white illustration on the left, along with a "Phrase of Advice" (moral). The right-hand page is a rudimentary full-page line-drawing to color in. FC starts with a garbled runover sentence. "The Frog and the Toad" is new to me. The two argue about who is more beautiful and then ask a rabbit to judge. He tells them that they are both ugly and should look at themselves in the pond. They do and then agree with him! In "The Bull and the Buffalo," the clever bull wants to get rid of the stupid, boring buffalo, and so he departs from him while he is sleeping. The result is that the wolves chase down the bull and kill him. The perplexed buffalo wakes up and goes home alone. I enjoy again here "The Hat Seller and the Monkeys." The latter steal his hats while he is sleeping. How can he get them back? He throws his own hat down, and the imitative monkeys all do the same thing!

2003? My Favourite Stories: Read & Colour 4. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Angel Publishing House. 35 Phil Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

This sixteen-page pamphlet is in a series of five titles. Each volume presents nine fables from various sources; the inside front and back covers provide the extra two pages needed. For each fable there is a two-page spread, with the text and a small black-and-white illustration on the left, along with a "Phrase of Advice" (moral). The right-hand page is a rudimentary full-page line-drawing to color in. FG has a good moral: "One who gives up easily will always have an excuse." "The End of the World" features the mousedeer and the tiger; the former uses the latter to get out of a well by telling him that the well will be the only safe place when the sky falls. "The Mice & the Mongooses" suffers from poor proofreading but offers good pictures of the mice-generals' hats. These encumber their retreat and cost them their lives. There is a good version here of "The Bear and the Bees." The bear retaliates against the whole hive for the attack of a few bees. His action brings a whole swarm against him.

2003? My Favourite Stories: Read & Colour 5. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Angel Publishing House. 35 Phil Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03. 

This sixteen-page pamphlet is in a series of five titles. Each volume presents nine fables from various sources; the inside front and back covers provide the extra two pages needed. For each fable there is a two-page spread, with the text and a small black-and-white illustration on the left, along with a "Phrase of Advice" (moral). The right-hand page is a rudimentary full-page line-drawing to color in. FM is told differently here. The frog and mouse are on pilgrimage. They tie the string because the frog has trouble keeping up with the mouse along the way. When they reach a stream, the frog offers to carry the mouse on his back. When they approach a log in the stream, the frog--instinctively?--dives under it, and the mouse falls off and is drowned. "Better be alone than in incompatible company" makes sense for this good telling. The camel trying to imitate the monkey steps too close to the lion king, and the other animals pounce upon him and devour him because of his disrespect. The traditional "Rhodes" story about an incredible leap is told here of a cat, who claims to have competed in a tournament in Paris and to have jumped to the moon. Challenged to do it here, the cat answers that it is daytime and that there is no moon. The whole party bursts into laughter over the big lie and joke.

2003? Night-Time Stories from The Panchatantra.  Retold by Reinu Bhanot.  Illustrated by Ram-Lakshman.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  New Delhi: Arora Book Company.  125 Rupees from Children Book Centre, Kolkata, Dec., '13.  

Similar to Arora's "101 Moral Stories of Grandpa," this hardbound book with dust-jacket has 100 pages.  Thie T of C on 6 lists fifteen numbered stories.  This book is remarkable for offering a large picture on almost every page.  New to me is "The Sparrows & the Tusker" (51).  An elephant breaks off a limb and unwittingly destroys a nest.  The sparrows get help from a woodpecker, a fly, and a frog, Together they lull the elephant, blind him by pecking out his eyes, and mislead him into a deep pit he mistakes for a water-hole.  It is nice to meet old friends from the Panchatantra and Kalila and Dimna tradition, and I enjoy Ram-Lakshman's art.  One of the best images here is that of the lion springing into the well as the hare runs away (99).  The dust-jacket is glued to the covers.

2003? Sleepy-Time Stories from The Panchatantra.  Retold by Reinu Bhanot.  Illustrated by Ram-Lakshman.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  New Delhi: Arora Book Company.  125 Rupees from Children Book Centre, Kolkata, Dec., '13.  

This book is parallel to Arora's "Night-Time Stories from The Panchatantra," this hardbound book with dust-jacket has 100 pages.  The T of C on 6 lists fourteen numbered stories.  This book is remarkable for offering a large picture on almost every page.  New to me is "The Warrior-Turned Potter" (28).  A potter through accidents comes to be a high-standing warrior in the king's entourage.  He is eager to serve in battle but is dismissed by the king when the king learns about his past.  The king relates a good fable about a jackal raised by a lioness with her own cubs.  When faced with an attacking elephant, the jackal proves in action that he lacks the courage of his brothers.  The lioness tells him the truth about his past and he leaves the family immediately.  It is nice to meet old friends from the Panchatantra and Kalila and Dimna tradition, and I enjoy Ram-Lakshman's art.  One of the strongest images here shows the jackal caught between the two head-butting rams (47).  A foolish barber happens to see an honest man strike a "saint" who turns into gold, as the saint had promised in a dream (48).  The barber proceeds to murder a whole set of saints, but none of them turn into gold!  He is hanged for his troubles!  This hanging is one of many graphic illustrations in the book (53).  "The Birds and the Monkeys" (54) is also from that tradition.  Instead of fireflies here, it is concerned with dark red flowers which the monkeys mistake for burning coke.  This version deals not with advice from one bird but with laughter from many birds.  Then in a second round, a monkey gets angry over unwanted advice given and pulls down a nest.  Two young birds are killed.  The fable moralizes that evil persons always disregard advice and turn inimical to those who try to advise them.  "The Selfless Thief" is a curious piece from start to finish (81).  This Brahman is otherwise upstanding, but he cannot rid himself of the bad habit of thieving.  He accompanies four jewel merchants who have all swallowed their jewels for safe transport home.  Villagers accost them on the way, having been told by truth-telling birds that they have jewels.  The chief of the village has a plan to kill each to find the jewels in their bodies.  The noble Brahman offers to be killed first.  The villagers find no jewel and let the other four go.  The book has a number of typos; check, e.g., 31, 33, 46, 47, 56, 63, 81.  The dust-jacket is glued to the covers.

2003? 2 Stories: The Foolish Crow and A Stranger in the Nest. First edition. Paperbound. New Delhi, India: Stories from Fairyland: Read and Colour: Angel Publishing House. 39 Phil Pesos from National Book Store, Manila, August, '03.

This sixteen-page pamphlet is in a series of twenty-three titles, several of which offer fables. They are pictured on the back cover. I could not find other fable-titles in this series in my short time in Manila. FC adds a mouse; he had stolen the cheese as the story opens. The fox shares the cheese with him at the end. All the characters in this story wear caps. The second story features a young vulture dropped into a nest of sparrows. He grows up with them and shows in warding off an attack by vultures that he belongs to the sparrows now. Unusual vocabulary words are asterisked and explained along the way. Black-and-white line-drawings invite coloring. The best art may be the slick colored work on the cover.

 

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2004

2004 A Fable.  Jean-Claude van Itallie.  Paperbound.  NY: Dramatists Play Service Inc.  $5.26 from Amazon, April, '14.  

First copyrighted in 1976, this play's copyright was renewed in 2004.  This booklet is a 42-page text.  The back cover describes the piece this way: "The action begins, once upon a time, in the village of People Who Fish in the Lake, where everyone longs nostalgically for the Golden Time, when happiness and harmony reigned supreme. In quest of what has been lost, the haughty king sends a traveler off in pursuit of the beast that is stifling the kingdom- a search filled with uncertainty and lurking terrors. As she progresses in.her journey, the traveler is beset on every side, and her task grows more complex: How will she find the beast? How will she recognize him? How will she kill him? Scenes of high humor alternate with those of dark menace as she presses on, building inexorably into a brilliant and evocative mosaic which, in the end, distills and expresses the very elements of the life force itself."  I have not had the opportunity to try it for myself.

2004 Aesop: Fables. Hardbound. Madrid: Miniature Classics Library: Del Prado. £4.99 from Stephen Beach, Heanor, Derbyshire, UK, through eBay, July, '10.

This is an impressively bound little volume of 638 pages. By my count, it contains some 322 fables in black print with maroon titles. Del Prado is known for its series of classics. There is a T of C at the back covering some twenty-eight pages! This has to be the most compact and portable Aesop I have found! I wonder if Del Prado books are available in this country.

2004 Aesops Fabeln oder Die Weisheit der Antike. Dimiter Inkiow. Reinhold Prandl. Hardbound. Munich: Nymphenburger: F.A. Herbig. €5.95 from Jokers, Heidelberg, August, '06.

This book is a later remaking of Inkiow's 1999 Aesops Fabeln from Lentz. The book seems reshaped for adults. The first chapter is retitled from "Ein Wort zuvor: Wisst ihr, wer Äsop war?" to "Wer war Aesop?" The first sentence of that first chapter used to read this way: "Um ehrlich zu sein, wir Erwachsenen wissen es auch nicht so genau" (7). Now it reads ""Um ehrlich zu sein, keiner weiss es genau" (8). New chapters here just after that first chapter include "Die Abende bei Krösus" (9) and "Die Hinterlist" (13). The earlier book had no divisions. This book has its three introductory chapters mentioned above and then two large collections: "Geschichten von Tieren, die Aesop als Sklave erzählte" (15) and "Geschichten von Menschen, die Aesop als freier Mann erzaehlte" (97). I doubt, by the way, that one can make this division of fables stand up on our historical evidence. Some titles change slightly, like "Die klugen Krähen" (33) here for ""Die klugen Krähe" (30) there, and "Bock" here (57) for "Ziegenbock" there (54). There is at least one additional fable: "Das Schilfrohr und der Olivenbaum" (48). A quick sampling suggests that the texts are largely the same, but earlier texts have been modified into the versions here. The 1991 edition was itself a remake of Inkiow's earlier Die Katze Lässt das Mausen Nicht und andere Fabeln des Äsop from Schneider in 1991. The only illustrations here are two printer's designs, one of a bird pulling a worm out of the earth and the other of a running man. The former appears on the cover, title-page, and beginning page of the first collection, while the latter appears on the title-page of the second collection.

2004 Aesop's Fables. Various artists. Hardbound. Chippenham, England: Third Millenium Press Ltd. $14.13 from Quartermelon, Ltd, Stratford-on-Avon, UK, through abe, August, '05. 

This is one of the more ingenious items in the collection. It is a double-sided accordion book. One opens the book and pulls out a succession of fables, each on one page, in an accordion-like long string of pages, twenty-three such pages to be exact. (The twenty-fourth page is pasted to the cover.) Fold them back up, close the cover, and flip the book up--and you are facing a second book with a new set of fables, contained of course on the obverse of the first pages. The fables are beautifully illustrated by traditional artists--all, I suspect, beyond copyright range. I cannot find a listing of the artists used here. I notice Rackham, Winter, and Detmold for sure. I think there may also be some illustrations from Weir. I recognize many others but am unsure now of their sources. The interior "accordion" is about eleven-and-a-half feet long! Besides being ingenious, this book is sturdy. DS and TH are on the two covers. Beware, this looks from the outside like just another knock-off fable book!

2004 Aesop's Human Zoo: Roman Stories About Our Bodies. Translated from Phaedrus's Latin by John Henderson. With Illustrations by Thomas Bewick. First edition, first printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. Gift of William Cleary, July, '05. Extra copy for $13.60 from Amazon.com, Nov., '04.

This is a lively little book! Henderson makes his own choice of fifty of Phaedrus' texts to present and orders them creatively around our bodiliness. The book is not what a reader today would expect of another translation of a Latin classic. This book makes a reader think, take notice, even disagree. Henderson, like his Phaedrus, is intrusive. I felt after a half hour of reading that I wanted to get rid of him and get to Phaedrus, and I suppose he wants just that reaction. Playing with the several sides of fable, he often strains the principle of non-contradiction, as in this statement: "Fable knows, perfectly well, that our bodies (don't) make us us" (9). Struggling readers will ask whether they do or do not. Henderson and the fabulist will probably just nod their heads! I enjoyed my trip through a third of these texts, grateful for the Latin as well as the creative, lively, provocative translations. Whether they clarify as much as they provoke is a good question. The translations do offer the sharp, raw, sometimes bawdy, terse, colloquial English that the flyleaf promises. I found particularly stimulating the comments after some poems. This set on 111, on a conversation between a butterfly and a wasp, may be representative: "Reincarnation -- as classical folklore? It seems far fetched./Maybe this is "fakelore." It's always hard to tell, to be sure./Maybe we should be stung into looking for what fables are, not were./That's what this book wanted to be about. Has been." The indices at the back show, of course, Henderson's imaginative approach: "Tables for the Fables," "The Cast of Characters," and "Tempting Topics."

2004 Aesop's Opposites: Interactive Aesop Fables. Written by Dotti Enderle. Illustrated by Len Shalansky. Paperbound. Carthage, IL: Teaching and Learning Company. $0.99 from Wendelyn Henry, Redding, CA, through eBay, May, '07.

This book for pupils in the first through third grades works off a good insight that fables often present opposed pairs. Thus the twenty-one fables here generally contrast pairs. The first three offerings are "The Lion and the Mouse--An In and Out Story"; "The Tortoise and the Hare--A Stop and Go Story"; and "The Wind and the Sun--A Happy and Sad Story." Sometimes this pedagogical approach is perhaps grafted onto the story's own intent, as in the first story. It uses "out" and "in" fourteen and fifteen times, respectively. At other points, this contrasting approach is right on target for understanding the story. In the few cases where contrasts are not at hand, Enderle creates other kinds of exercises, like creating short words to fill in the blanks of DS (14). AL cleverly uses four numbers as substitutes for words: 1, 2, 4, and 8. There are answer pages at the back. The materials in this 8½" x 11" booklet are meant to be reproduced by teachers for pupils' use. The author promises that "no stories will have the kids giggling as much [as] the collection I've written for you here" (iv). This is not only an enjoyable and fruitful approach to the fables, but I got a real bargain on this book, since I paid ten per cent of its normal cost!

2004 Animal Fun Fables. Written by Gordon Volke. Illustrated by Tony Oliver. Hardbound. Ashland, OH/Sydney, Australia: Publishing International/The Book Company Publishing. $4.99 from Roman Reicher, Agoura Hills, CA, Jan., '12.

Here, on 23 stiff cardboard pages, are four stories about animals with names: "The Cygnet and the Stork," "The Hippo and the Cheetah," "The Hyena and the Lion," and "The Tiger and the Monkey." Happy endings, sharing, apologizing, creative thinking, and laughing are the name of the game here. In a clever twist, Harriet the hippo outruns Flash the cheetah because she can run underwater in a more direct line to the goal. Sunny the monkey, threatened by reports of the coming of Stripes the tiger, is clever enough to drop so many banana peels that the tiger cannot get traction and hunts elsewhere. The book's cover has a square cut-out, so that we see immediately Downy, the crying cygnet who graces the page that serves both as title-page and as T of C.

2004 Beastly Tales.  Vikram Seth.  Illustrations by Ravi Shankar.  Hardbound.  Dust jacket.  London: Belfast Telegraph Children's Collection #12:  Paperview.  $7 from West Coast, July, '15.

This is my fifth edition of Ravi Shankar's illustrations and my sixth of Vikram Seth's stories.  The original copyright seems to have belonged to Viking Penguin in India in 1992, though subsequent editions usually trace their heritage back to Phoenix House in 1993.  Phoenix also did a paperback edition in 1994.  Penguin Viking did a smaller hardbound version in 2005, and Puffin in India did a version illustrated by Prabha Mallya in 2013.  Now comes this "promotional edition" that is #12 in the Belfast Telegraph Children's Collection.  The back of the dust jacket advertises "Next Week: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."  The error "seranade" remains uncorrected here on 71.  As I wrote, when I first found the book, the ten well told, witty tales in verse include two slightly expanded from Aesop but with different contemporary twists.  The eagle dies of grief over the beetle's continual destruction of his eggs wrought out of vengeance for the beetle's old friend, the hare.  And the female hare ends up losing the race but winning all the press acclaim.  The other tales come two each from India, China, the Ukraine, and "the Land of Gup."  "The Mouse and the Snake" from China is a good fable with an ironic ending comment.  "The Cat and the Cock" from the Ukraine uses repeated lines very well.  In #9, the frog manager ruins the nightingale and never knows it.  One black-and-white line sketch with each story, two with the last.

2004 Buddhist Animal Wisdom Stories. Illustrated and Retold by Mark W. McGinnis. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Boston: Weatherhill: Shambala. $13.57 from Amazon.com, Jan., '10.

This is a lovely presentation of forty-four Jataka tales. As the publisher's online advertisement says "Author and painter Mark McGinnis has collected over forty of these hallowed popular tales and retold them in vividly poetic yet accessible language, their original Buddhist messages firmly intact. Each story is accompanied with a beautifully rendered full-color painting, making this an equally attractive book for children and adults, whether Buddhist or not, who love fine stories about their fellow wise (and foolish) creatures." I like particularly the lively contemporary style of the texts. The very first tale gives a good example. The drunken dung-beetle challenges the elephant to a duel, and the elephant agrees, chooses his weapon, and defecates on the beetle (9)! The art is simple but expressive. A good example is the self-sacrificing Banyan deer who puts his own head on the sacrificial block (56). There is of course a great deal of classic wisdom here, as in "The Fish and the Tortoise" (31). Two similar fish come to a tortoise for a judgment on their relative beauty. He describes beauty then in terms of tortoise-beauty. They give up on their argument and go their separate ways. Some classic tales are told differently here, like "The Three Fish" (66). All three fish are swimming downstream toward the trapping fishermen. Thoughtful cautions that they should turn back. Thoughtless plunges ahead. Over-Thoughtful cannot make up his mind and so follows him. Thoughtful has to play a trick of making both sides of the net appear torn to rescue the two when they are caught by fishermen. "The Jackal and the Crow" (40) is different from the traditional FC fable. Here both are insufferable flatterers. The wise owl finds their interaction sickening enough to drive her to another part of the forest.

2004 Cent Fables de La Fontaine. Textes Réunis et présentés par Albine Novarino. Photographies de Michel Maïofiss. Paperbound. Paris: Cent: Omnibus. €14 from Pascal Merlot, bouquiniste, Paris, July, ‘07.

This is a fascinating concept. Each of the hundred fables presented here includes La Fontaine's text, presented with a bowed margin. Each also includes at least one black-and-white photograph, the kind one can often linger over. Also included is at least one picture crayoned by a child to represent the fable. Each fable also includes, in gold, some comment; there are also smaller-case footnotes on idiomatic expressions of La Fontaine's time. Some of the photographs that invite one to linger and ponder are: for GA, a silhouetted photograph of a woman dancer, taken from offstage (9); for TMCM, a single photo with a triumphal arch in the background and a wheatfield in the foreground (20); for CW, a shrouded figure on a ladder playing with a cat standing on its hind legs (48); for "A Will Explained by Aesop," a cemetery wall with two women figures in the foreground (51); for "The Weasel Who Got into a Granary," a large-eyed child eating (71); for "The Cat and an Old Rat," a woman with an unhappy expression and a mask (73); for "The Eye of the Master," a photograph of Man Ray at a mirror (93); for TH, an old woman and a turtle walking along a narrow path (126); for DS, two dogs dancing or fighting but forming almost mirror images of each other near a river (137); and for "The Court of the Lion," royalty maniquins in a store window, with children looking and eating ice cream cones in front (158). The prize goes to "The Old Cat and the Young Mouse," which features a photo of the two in a jungle-like scene (210); the photo is upside-down. The crayon drawings have their own charm, though -- and maybe because -- they are very small. The colophon at the end thanks the teacher, parents, and young artists. Among the best of these are TMCM (21), "The Weasel Who Got into a Granary" (70), "The Ass Carrying Relics" (112), and "The Old Cat and the Young Mouse" (211). There is a T of C at the end.

2004 Children's Classic Stories: Fairytales, fables & folktales. Editorial Director: Anne Marshall. Various artists. First printing. Hardbound. Essex: Bardfield Press: Miles Kelly Publishing. $15.33 from Better World Books, April, '11.

This stocky (6½" x 7¼"), heavy book has 512 pages of classic stories. The lively colored illustrations begin with the cover's picture from "The Old Woman and Her Pig": an older woman talks with a mouse while a horse, a pig, and a dog look on. As the beginning T of C makes clear, a section titled "Animals Big and Small" (140-200) presents several fables: LM, AL, DS, "The Wonderful Tar Baby," and TH. As is true throughout the book, the small illustrations for the fables are well executed and often show both charm and creativity. There are seldom two pages of solid print in a row. The lion facing the mouse on 141 has his tongue coming out the side of his mouth. If one had to choose one good story book for reading regularly to a child, this book would certainly be a candidate. The extensive list of artists contributing to this book faces the title-page. The pliable covers and spine show some warping and crinkling. 

2004 City Dog, Country Dog. Story by Susan Stevens Crummel and Dorothy Donohue. Illustrations by Dorothy Donohue. Stated first edition, apparent first edition. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish. $11.53 from amazon, com, Dec., '04. 

This is a delightful, playful book. It plays particularly well with Vincent van Gogh and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. It works with photographs of paper constructions. The papers are textured, layered, and pasted down. The basic story is about two dogs who love to paint: Vincent van Dog and Henri T. La Pooch. They meet at art school. Much about the two becomes a study in contrasts. Their encounters, like the disastrous visit by Henri to the country, become occasions for references to appropriate paintings, like "Starry Night." The city meal is at a restaurant. Later the owner of a night club throws them out for joining the can-can dancers in their dance. There is a happy, surprising, novel resolution: they meet on the beach! The moral is "Vive la difference!" Along the way the book manages to teach several French expressions on each two-page spread. I enjoy the creativity and taste evident in this production.

2004 Das Fabelbuch als Rahmenerzählung: Intertextualität und Intratextualität als Wege zur Interpretation des Buchs der Beispiele der alten Weisen Antons von Pforr. Sabine Obermaier. Hardbound. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. Gift of Sabine Obermaier, August, '09.

Here is a great example of a helpful Habilitationsschrift! And it is particularly precious to me because it is inscribed by Sabine "Für Greg, der "Kalila wa- Dimna genauso schätzt wie ich!" I show this book off when we study "Kalila and Dimna" in World Literature I, so that students can see that scholars are interested in the works we are reading and that scholars even talk to and like each other! Getting to know Heshmat in recent encounters with the Renard Society makes me happy that this book is dedicated to him! For me the first question to examine with the help of this work is "How does 'Das Buch der Beispiele der alten Weisen' follow the 'Directorium Vitae Humanae,' and how does the latter follow 'Kalila wa- Dimna'?" Answering that question will be fun! And of course the great "happening" in all three is just what Sabine looks into, the role of the frame-story in this kind of fable book. Good going, Sabine! 

2004 Debi Gliori's Bedtime Stories: Bedtime tales with a twist. Debi Gliori. Paperbound. London: Dorling Kindersley. 68 South African Rand from Johannesburg Airport Bookshop, Jan., '05. 

After several weeks of trekking around Africa, it was a pleasure to find a fable book as we went through the Joburg airport. Notice the subtitle: bedtime tales with a twist. Gliori presents creative adaptations of traditional tales. There are nine stories here. The third through the sixth are fables. The first three of them are in verse. TMCM features a town mouse in high heels and lace. The country mouse is saved from the cat by a pigeon friend. In LM, the hunters actually interrupt the conversation between lion and mouse. In TH, the tortoise reads Proust. The hare uses an alarm clock but ends up sleeping for a whole day! The race between the wolf and hare is a variation of the traditional story of the hedgehog and hare; however, here the race goes across the North Pole and through Russia. Various rabbits pop up from their burrows, as delightful artwork on 50-51 shows. Rabbit had communicated with all of them on a cell phone! But this story has a great surprise ending. The fairy tales here are successful creative variations of the traditional tales. For example, nail soup is a ploy that th chicken uses first to stall, then to exhaust, and finally to fill up the fox that was going to eat her.

2004 Der Fuchs in der Kunst: Ein Nachschlagewerk über den Fuchs in der Kunst. Zusammengestellt und aus der Sammlung von Friedrich von Fuchs. Erste Auflage. Signed by Friedrich von Fuchs. Paperbound. Kassel: Druckerei Schanze GmbH. Gift of Friedrich von Fuchs, July, '04. 

The cover proclaims that this is a research book for "Exponate in Elfenbein, Meerschaum, Silver, Porzellan, Glas, Holz und Bronze." It is! There are over seven hundred illustrations in color of a marvelous range of objects. The breadth of the collection put together by Herr von Fuchs is impressive. It gives some sense of the collection to notice that there are eighteen pipes pictured here! There are many fable illustrations along the way. A silver-plated fruit-dish, crafted in Russia about 1965, shows FG (34). Several fable motifs occur together on 68, including FS on a candy box, FC on on the early twentieth-century cookie box I first found along the Seine, and FC as a bookend. A gunpowder bottle from about 1800 pictures FC (79). The same page includes a porcelain plate of FG and a small wall stand with a hand-cut base of FC. FG is back on 81 in a Viennese bronze Tischglockendrücker. Three Minton tiles displaying "The Fox and the Goat," FC, and FS are shown on 87; are the designs really from Walter Crane? I think they come rather from John Moyr Smith. There are eight beautiful embroidery patterns for fables of La Fontaine from Verlag Reinhold Beist in Frankfurt about 1914 on 89. The following page features oven plates for FG, FS, FC, and "The Fox and the Goat." On 90 there are three fable scenes from the stucco ceiling of the Einhardhaus in Seligenstadt: two come from FS and one from "The Fox, the Wolf, and the Horse." A wine barrel on 94 shows FG, and the same scene is on the portal of Saint Mark's in Venice on the following page. There is a "laterna magica" scene of FC after La Fontaine on 101. Herr von Fuchs closes the book with a touching remark placed under the skull of a fox: "Das Ende eines jeden Sammlers ist mit seinem Ableben besiegelt. Um die Exponate der Nachwelt zu erhalten, sollen Sammlungen nie aufgeteilt werden."

2004 Disabled Fables: Aesop's Fables Retold and Illustrated by Artists with Developmental Disabilities. Foreword by Sean Penn. First printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: Star Bright Books. $11.03 from Paperbackshop, Roseburg, OR, April, '05. 

The fourteen artists who each contribute one fable to this book are members of L.A. Goal, which provides services for developmentally disabled adults. I would hope that it is one of the glories of this fable collection that it lays hold of an unusual book like this and saves it for future generations. The tellings are sometimes a bit unusual. In the first fable, the fox who has conversed with the cat about his many modes of escape actually does get away finally by running out of the forest (12). The crow who finds a pitcher with some water in it had first rejected the Hudson River because it is too dirty (16)! The miser is a woman this time, and she digs up her gold every week in order to look at it (18). Her neighbor advises her to look at her hole. The boy who ends up crying "Wolf!" is lonely and tries the trick in order to get company (28). Are there really "reverse Dalmatians" with white spots on black (40)? At the end of each story there is a good short section titled "What this story means to me." These reflections often bear eloquent testimony to the struggles which their authors have experienced. Todd Rubien, for example, speaks eloquently a propos of "The Shepherd Boy" of his own loneliness and that sharing feelings is a better way to combat loneliness than creating emergencies. People respond better when we see them as friends than when we see them as enemies. There is also a separate, framed moral for each fable. The moral for TMCM is "It's better to live in peace than in pieces" (23). The art is often simple, direct, and good. Among the work that attracts me the most are "The Fox and the Cat" (12), "The Stork" (38), "The Bear and the Bees" (43), and FG (47). Reading through this book is a treat!

2004 El Libro de Oro de las Fábulas. Edición Verónica Uribe. Ilustraciones de Constanza Bravo. Apparent first edition. Hardbound. Caracas, Venezuela: Ediciones Ekaré. $13.98 from Better World Books, April, '10.

I have known this lovely little book in its English derivative, Little Book of Fables published by Douglas & McIntyre in 2004. I mentioned as I reviewed it that it was first published in Spanish as El Libro de Oro de las Fábulas. Now I have found the Spanish first edition! I repeat some of my comments made there. This book is indeed small (4¾" x 6¼") and presents twenty fables in its 126 pages. Uribe seems to pay attention to the fables; most are very well told. MSA is told in a different version. After father and son carry the donkey, the father gets frustrated, unties the donkey, and puts his son on its back, as he had done when they first left home. "This is the way I left home, and this is the way I will continue" (58). Unfortunately, Bravo's second illustration does not echo well the written story's way of carrying the donkey. In SS, the lucky donkey who has just loss half of his salt load tells a donkey coming in the opposite direction not to worry about the river; but, alas, this donkey is carrying sponges. He relies on the donkey's advice, ignores his master's directions, and is swept away by the current when his sponges fill up with water (74). The miser here sleeps near his treasure every day (79). In FC, the clever fox begins by getting the proud crow to fly a few circles by telling him that he loves watching him soar through the air (105). The illustration for FC, which is also on the DJ and the cover, gives a good sample of the artistic style. That style is deliberately naïve, featuring elongated limbs and whimsical hats. One of the strongest images shows the lion on the verge of eating the mouse (50). Uribe's closing comment gives the specific source of the fables she presents.

2004 Fabeln der Antike (Cover: Die Fabeln der Antike). Herausgegeben und übersetzt von Harry C. Schnur. Überarbeitet von Erich Keller. Hardbound. Dusseldorf: Albatros. €3.95 from Modernes Antiquariat Medium-Mini, Münster, August, '06.

This packed little book with, on its title-page, the caricature of Aesop from the red-figure drinking bowl carries 1978 Heimeran and 1985 Artemis copyrights. It was then "verbessert" and had new copyrights in 1995 and 1997 with Patmos and with Artemis & Winkler. I have the strong impression that I have this book in some other form, but searching on the editors and publishers yields no help. The T of C shows the book's helpful division: Old Testament, Hesiod, Archilochus, Aesop, Syntipas, Phaedrus' five books, Babrius, and Avianus. (Ennius actually has a fable between Archilochus and Aesop.) The only added information is a list of comparative times of the authors. The book includes a surprising number of texts. Aesop gets fifty-three pages, with two to three fables per page. Book I of Phaedrus has twenty-seven fables. Avianus has seventeen fables.

2004 Fabhalscéalta Aesóip. Athinsint le Carol Watson; Liam Mac Cóil a rinne an leagan Gaeilge. Nick Price a mhaisigh. Paperbound. An Gúm. $8.93 from Kenny's Bookshop & Art Gallery, Galway, Sept., '09.

Here is the Gaelic translation of Usborne's 2003 edition of Watson and Price's original work of 1982. Except for the language, the book seems identical. Let me add some of my comments from there. Like the 2003 Aesop's Fables edition, this fine little book builds off of Usborne's excellent 1982 Aesop's Fables. The layout in these later booklets is different: from a larger-format pamphlet of 24 pages with five or six panels per page, we have a standard portrait-format paperback book of 64 pages, with only one or two illustrations per page. A number of illustrations from the earlier book are thus left out--e.g., two of the original nine in the first story, TH, or one of the original eight for the next story, "The Crow and the Jug." Some of the original pictures are cropped or extended tastefully to meet new requirements here. DM and GA are skipped entirely. A new introduction is added, complete with two illustrations of Aesop. There is also a lively fox facing the Gaelic vocabulary on 63. As I mentioned back then, this book presents good series of lively sequential cartoons. I think Nick Price's work is fascinating and fun! Kenny's Bookshop had a discount sale and free shipping, and I found three books in the shop's holdings!

2004 Fables. Jean de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Gérard Franquin. Avant-Propos by Henri Gougaud. Paperbound. Paris: Castor Poche Flammarion. £8.53 from Awesome Books, Wallingford, UK, April, '12.

At first I thought this paperback of some 191 pages was just another in the long line of inexpensive French paperback renditions of La Fontaine's texts. Each of the sixty fables here is introduced with a standard printer's design and closed with an animal symbol appropriate to the specific fable. The fables are interspersed with good black-and-white crayon drawings. Many of these include some clever detail, often having to do with the eyes of one or more of the scene's participants. Illustrated are FC (16); DW (22); OR (38); "The Bat and the Two Weasels" (44); LM (54); "The Wolf Become Shepherd" (66); FG (72); "The Eye of the Master" (84); TB (98); TH (104); MM (126); "The Cat, the Weasel, and the Rabbit" (132); "The Cat and the Fox" (168); and TT (174). There is a T of C on 189-91.

2004 Fables & Folklore Reader's Theater. Written by Margaret Allen. Paperbound. Huntington Beach, CA: Creative Teaching Press. $1.25 from Overlock, Hope, ME, through eBay, Dec., '06.

The subtitle of this classroom help is "Develop Reading Fluency and Text Comprehension Skills." The first four of ten stories use fables to develop these skills: SW, GA, LM, and BW. There are detailed instructions on how to coach and prepare first-grade and second-grade children. SW is unfortunately told in the poorer fashion. GA has a good strong ending: the grasshopper gets nothing from the ants. Further stories include a "noodlehead tale" ("The Day It Rained Bunuelos") and a pourquoi story ("How Kitty Cat Got His Purr"). 8½" by almost 11".

2004 Fables de La Fontaine. Illustrées par Thomas Baas. Hardbound. Paris: Tourbillon. €11.90 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05. 

This large-format book with a cover heavy on blues and browns contains twenty-seven fables, with a T of C at the beginning. Each fable has a two-page spread, with texts and pictures interwoven nicely. The color work is very pleasing. The artwork is big, simple, and fun. At the bottom of the page are vocabulary footnotes. Among my favorites are "Les deux Taureaux et une Grenouille" (24-5); TB (50-51); and "Le Cheval e l'Ane" (60-61).

2004 Fables from the Ark: Poems. By Kurt Brown. Paperbound. Cincinnati: CustomWords. $3.98 from Better World Books, March, '12.

"Fables from the Ark" forms the first of several portions of this book. It was done originally as a chapbook by Woodland Press in 2002. Other sections include "A Voice in the Garden," and "The Rita Poems," which seems to include both "The Sayings of Tádjèck" and "On the Origin of Tádjèck." There are some twenty-four poems in "Fables from the Ark." My best candidate for a fable is "Captains of Industry." Others here that I favor include "Autobiography of a Minor Bacteria" (better bacterium?); "The Owl and the Goat"; and "Afterlife of Mold." I am not sure what to make of "New Address," in which a man decides to join the animals in his barn, while they take over his house. Not illustrated except for the nice colored reproduction of Fritz van den Berghe's "Naissance" on the cover.

2004 Fables: Jean de La Fontaine. Illustrée par Christian Aubrun et al. Hardbound. Champigny-sur-Marne: Éditions Lito. €15 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05.

The T of C at the end of this large-format book gives the context perfectly. As it shows, there are twenty-seven of La Fontaine's fables here, each illustrated by a different contemporary person. At the bottom of the second page of the T of C is an image of La Fontaine lying out on the grass composing a fable while two butterflies hover about. The book usually gives two facing pages to each fable; occasionally one fable receives four pages. On the left page are a title, a text, and some small designs around the text, while the right-hand page is a full-page illustration. These latter are deeply different from one another! I don't think I have seen "The Small Fish and the Fisherman" done as dramatically as this (10-11)! TMCM is done in a very different style: they are in a wine-drinking scene worthy of Paris. Things are all in their scale, including wine bottles, glasses, and forks. What does not fit the perspective are the boots and legs that loom over them (33). Like so many French illustrators, Muriel Kerba has a good time presenting "Monsieur je sais tout" as the teacher who lectures the drowning boy (41). My special prize goes to Quentin Gréban for his illustration of the shoemaker sitting on top of his locked chest with a musket-like rifle in hand (55). Other fine illustrations include WL (12-13); "Le chat, la belette, et le petite lapin (20-23); TMCM (32-33); and "Le coche et la mouche" (34-35).

2004 Fables: Jean de La Fontaine. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Paris: Éditions du Chêne: Hachette Livre. €20 from Equipages, Paris, June, '07.

This little volume, about 4½" x 6¼", has a surprising range of visual offerings. It may be one of the best simple introductions to the variety of French illustration of La Fontaine. Though the flyleaf advertises the work of the greatest artists from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, the scope reaches further back than that. An early favorite new to me is the illustration for "The Cat Metamorphosized" (69). There are many popular, ephemeral illustrations, like that for TMCM on 17; these are generally not associated with an artist's name. The great artists and groups that do appear include these: Barboutau, Bon Marché, Chagall, Crane, de la Nézière, Doré, Épinal, Gellibert, Grandville, Jaba, Jankowski, Jeanjean, Lorioux, Loto des Fables, Moreau, Oudry, Pautoberge, Rackham, Rapeño, and Vimar. The most frequently used include Bon Marché, de la Nézière, Grandville, Loto des Fables, Rapeño, and Vimar. Barboutau is on both covers of the dj. The book is very solidly put together and beautifully printed.

2004 Fábulas de Esopo. Seleccionadas e ilustradas por Michael Hague. Quinta edición. Hardbound. Leon, Spain: Editorial Everest, S.A. See 1996/2004.

2004 Favorite Fairy Tales and Fables. Written by Peter Holeinone. Illustrated by Tony Wolf. First printing. Hardbound. Franklin, Tennessee: A Tell-Me-A-Story Keepsake Treasury: Dalmatian Press. $4.11 from BookCloseOuts.com, March, '05. 

Holeinone and Wolf are back, though the format is different from that of their earlier large-format books. This book is almost square, just above 9" on a side. About half of the forty stories here on 224 pages are fables. The production of the book seems physically solid, the paper sturdy, and the graphics quite sharp. Questions interspersed with the text and framed to stand apart raise good issues, like these on 21: "Do you think the crab and the fish can trust the heron to help? Why or why not?" The crab in this case does not kill the heron. MSA is presented as "What Other People Think." The first stage here is to carry the donkey in a wheelbarrow (172). Are the fable illustrations new or details of Wolf's earlier work? I am surprised to learn that I have fifteen other books on which the two collaborated.

2004 Favorite Fairy Tales and Fables.  Written by Peter Holeinone.  Illustrated by Tony Wolf.  Second printing.  Hardbound.  Franklin, Tennessee: A Tell-Me-A-Story Keepsake Treasury:  Dalmatian Press.  $.01 from New Chapter Recycling through Amazon, July, '15.

Here is a curiosity.  I found a book earlier with all the same bibliographical information except its ISBN.  Now I happened to find this book.  When I checked whether I already had added the same book to the collection, I noticed my remark that the book I had found first was almost square.  This book, by contrast, is about 9" x 12".  It also adds a page facing the bibliographical information.  On this page there are lines to fill in with the name of the person who gave the book and one's favorite story, character, and picture.  The rectangular presentation of the three pigs on both covers there is here circular.  This is a second printing.  Can the format have changed from one printing to the other?  In any case, here is what I wrote back then:  Holeinone and Wolf are back.  About half of the forty stories here on 224 pages are fables.  The production of the book seems physically solid, the paper sturdy, and the graphics quite sharp.  Questions interspersed with the text and framed to stand apart raise good issues, like these on 21: "Do you think the crab and the fish can trust the heron to help?  Why or why not?"  The crab in this case does not kill the heron.  MSA is presented as "What Other People Think."  The first stage here is to carry the donkey in a wheelbarrow (172).  Are the fable illustrations new or details of Wolf's earlier work?  I revise my earlier statement to say now that I am surprised to learn that I have sixteen other books on which the two collaborated.

2004 Giga: New Aesopian Fables for the 21st Century. Robert W. Long. Paperbound. Privately published? £2.85 from Paperbackshop, Roseburg, OR, May, '05.

Here are one hundred fables in a large-format paperbound book of 125 pages. The foreword conveys misinformation, e.g., that Aesop met with "Phadedo," Menippus, and Epictetus. The association with the latter is off by some seven hundred years! The author chooses the Japanese word "giga" or caricature because "many of the characters in these fables represent common hopes, ideals, goals and shortcomings that shape society today" (i). In a moment of deep and unsought irony, the author's expression of gratitude on i for a proofreader contains the typo "particuarly" for "particularly." A beginning T of C identifies the "issue" involved in each fable. The illustrator for each fable is meticulously listed at the back. There is a good variety of black-and-white Japanese illustrations, generally not well presented here. The prints are dark and sketchy. Some, like the tree on 60, seem like digitalized images done at the wrong resolution. Others seem as though they have taken an image and extended one direction without extending the other. The stories range from half a page in length to two pages. For me the best of the first ten is #9. A mole father "shows" (misinterprets) the world to his son.

2004 Good Night, My Baby: Three-Minute Fables (Korean). Edited by Hyo-Sung Lee. Illustrated by Eul-Soon Kang et al. Hardbound. Seoul, Korea: Jigyung-Sa. 12,000 Won from Concos, Seoul, June, '04.

Twenty-nine fables, with a T of C at the beginning. This is a hard-bound book with a padded cover. The illustrations include simple, large colored pictures of various formats and shapes, executed in various styles. Typical images might be those of SS on 26 or of the insect distracting the hunter on 53. There is an unusual personification of the reed on 42-43. This is another of the big colorful books I found on this trip to Korea.

2004 He Alepou ki ho Korakas. Nestoras Chounos. Illustrations by Chrestos Varlamos. Paperbound. Athens: Aisopou Mythoi 2: Ankyra. $2.67 from Greece-Mania, Athens, through eBay, June, '05.

Here is one of a series of 16 slick oversized 8-page pamphlets, of which I have three. The best illustration of a strong group may be the cover illustration, which has the fox laughing and holding the cheese in her paw. This fox wears, by the way, a pretty blue-and-white dress. The lively illustrations include a scene in the home of this mother fox, with small foxes and their human toys. There is also a picture of an irate grocer trying to grasp the crow as he flies away with the stolen cheese. The center foldout is very close to the strong cover illustration. The crow weeps in the last illustration. 

2004 Ho Tzitzikas ki ho Mermenkas. Nestoras Chounos. Illustrations by Chrestos Varlamos. Paperbound. Athens: Aisopou Mythoi 4: Ankyra. $2.67 from Greece-Mania, Athens, through eBay, June, '05.

Here is one of a series of 16 slick oversized 8-page pamphlets, of which I have three. The grasshopper here is a rock star with some of the features of Elvis. The ants are coolies wearing Chinese hats. In the cold the grasshopper has snot coming out of his nose. He is last shown covered in a mound of snow, with several of the strings of his harp unstrung. The circular door to the ants' colony is hinged and bolted. 

2004 I. A. Krylov Basni. B. Trzhemetzkiy. Hardbound. Moskow: Russike Klassike: Drofa Plyus. $14.99 from Victor Romanchenko, Rubux Ukrainian Books, Ukraine, Sept., '05. 

The first thing to strike one picking up this well-constructed children's book is the glossy appliques on the green cover, with a fox, crow, and cheese highlighted at the center, and four colored circles aligning this picture. Inside are twenty-four fables listed in the T of C at the end. Most fables receive a beginning cameo, a full-page illustration, and an endpiece. Favorite illustrations of mine include the nonchalant wolf caught in the kennel (17); the lecturing cook and smiling cat--whose picture is followed by an endpiece of mice carrying off a sausage (36-7); and the monkey being barbered by the bear (50). As usual in the Russian tradition, the fox looking up at the grapes is female (52).

2004 I.A. Krylov: Basni (Russian). Hardbound. Moscow: Astrel Publishing. $14.99 from Victor Romanchenko through eBay, April, '05. 

This book adds a spritely hard cover to a more traditional Russian fable book. The attractive, bright-colored cover illustrates GA. In fact, the same design is used for front cover, back cover, and spine. Inside are 170 pages on the kind of poorer paper I would have associated with older Russian books. The beginning of each book of Krilov's fables is marked with a black-and-white design taking up the top third of the page, and the ending of each book is marked with a small printer's design. A reader can locate the beginnings in the closing T of C. The beginning illustrations include favorites like "The Monkey and the Spectacles" (11), GA (27), "Quartet" (67), and "Master John's Soup" (79).

2004 I.A. Krylov: Basni (Russian). Illustrated by Vitaliy Shvarov and Yelena Almazova. Hardbound. Moscow: AST: Astrel Publishing. $14.99 from Victor Romanchenko through eBay, April, '05. 

Here is a very colorful children's book. It is good to see a book like this coming out of Russia! The book gives each of nineteen fables a two-page spread, with text surrounded by a colored illustration that often includes two phases of the fable's plot. The succession starts off with lively presentations of GA; FC; "The Swan, the Lobster, and the Pike"; and "Quartet." This monkey apparently does nothing but drop successive pairs of spectacles onto his tail! Some of the animals and insects end up looking as though they came out of a "Star Wars" bar scene, like the termites that have eaten a tree out from under a monkey. The nurse crane called in to remove the bone from the wolf's throat looks down in wonder at a groaning board of many different roasts. This is an enjoyable book for kids.

2004 I. A. Krylov Basni. Illustrated by Vumali Shvarov and Elena Almazova. Hardbound. Moskow: Astrel Publishing. $9.99 from Victor Romanchenko, Rubux Ukrainian Books, Ukraine, Sept., '05. 

This is a simple large-format unpaginated book of fables for children. The pages are fully covered, and the animals very lively. Each of nineteen fables receives a two-page spread. Enjoy the huge pack of fruits that the ant carries on its back in the opening fable, GA. The arrangement of characters is done for comic effect and is even farcical, as in "Quartet." The special feature of "The Cat and the Cook" is that the cook ends up throwing the cat out the window and into a puddle!

2004 Klassicheskaya Basnya (Classic Fables) (Russian): Aesop, LaFontaine, Krylov, Tolsmou, Muhalkov. Edited by I. Rozuna, M. Kaluzina. Illustrated by C. Habymovskiy. Hardbound. Moscow: Classika Gem: Strekosa Press. $15 from Marchenko, Kiev, Ukraine, through eBay, Nov., '05. 

Here is a medium-format book (5½" x 8"), with a good selection from each of its five contributing fabulists: thirteen fables come from Aesop, fifteen from LaFontaine, twenty from Krylov, fifteen from Tolstoy, and twenty-five from Michalkov. For each of the five, there is one full-page black-and-white illustration at the beginning of his set and then one smaller illustration at the head of the first fable. There are also three pages printed with colored illustrations on both sides. They occur at 32 (LM and "The Cat Hanging from a Peg"); 64 ("The Pig and the Oak" and WL); and 96 ("The Goat and the Wolf" and perhaps "The Lion and the Mosquito"). There is a T of C on 123-127, followed by a colophon page giving the book's bibliographical information. The cover has a lively picture of the cook haranguing and the cat eating.

2004 La Fontaine aux fables (Volume 2): Douze fables de La Fontaine interprétées en bande dessinée: Texte Intégral. Hardbound. Paris: Guy Delcourt Productions. €22.60 from Musée Jean de La Fontaine, Château-Thierry, France, July, '07.

This is a second high-class volume of comics representing twelve fables of La Fontaine, like the first by Delcourt in 2002. The artist for each fable can again be found in the T of C at the back and also on the back cover; in fact there are again twelve different artists, and their styles of presentation are quite different. The endpapers have changed. We now have an ant and a dragonfly moving in on a writer's picnic, with book, ink, and feather. Meanwhile a crow takes a cheese towards a fairytale house. One of the prizes for this book must go to the final picture of OF on 9, with a Red Cross cart and a puddle of blood where there used to be a frog. UP plays well with the deceitful talk between fox and rooster, as when the author gives the fox a thought-bubble of a meal while the fox himself talks peace or when the rooster uses binoculars to see "dogs" who are in fact grazing cows (11-12). AD is graced with a particular mordant pane on the ant's bite of the archer (21). "La Mort et le Bûcheron" (22) has the most unusual art in this volume, appropriately heavily blue and black. TH is done with unicycle and hot-dog motorcycle (26). One of the best stories here for filling the gaps with great pictures is OR (30). Do not miss the animals waiting at the bus stop in spring in "Le Cheval et le Loup" (41).

2004 La Sagesse des bêtes. Texte et Illustrations: Helen Ward; Adaption Française de Françoise Rose. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Hachette Livre: Gautier-Langereau. €16 from Bon Marché, Paris, Jan., '05. 

This book was adapted from the British version of Helen Ward's Unwitting Wisdom: An Anthology of Aesop's Fables. It was also published, apparently at the same time, by Chronicle Books in the USA: that book I have and have already reviewed. The book's lovely dedication continues in this French version: "To Aesop and all tellers of moral tales who, despite a monumentally ineffective history, still gently try to point the human race in a better direction." The book seems to follow the English version, and so I will repeat some of my comments from that version. (However, I need to compare this with the English version: some visual effects with the text may have been lost in this French version.) The text versions make the point of the fables abundantly clear, as when the fox not only leaps for the grapes but tries to climb the tree around which the vine is curled, tries to prod the grapes with a cane, and throws and kicks sticks and stones at the vine. When he leaves, he mutters to himself that they "were undoubtedly the nastiest, most horrid, disgusting, revolting, inedible, indigestible and very probably the sourest grapes he had ever had the pleasure of not eating!" Ward illustrates every page, but the key illustrations are those which accompany the title and a short description on a lavish two-page spread. (The text then generally follows on a more modest two-page spread). The prizes for the grandest illustrations may go to the dressed-up jackdaw and the fox sniffing among the stork's beautiful Greek urns.

2004 Les Fables de La Fontaine. Robert Wilson. Hardbound. Paris: Fondation Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent. $33.25 from Friends of the San Francisco Public Library through Amazon.com, May, '12.

It has taken me a long time to engage this book! Did I see it first in Chateau-Thierry in 2006? And was it lost in that fated shipment of books bought in La Fontaine's home? At any rate, this is a fascinating piece of work. Wilson created for the Comédie Française a dramatic presentation of the fables that was biting, bloody, close to the throat. A NY Times review of an American performance by the Comédie Française spoke this way: "With a palette of light and sound that finds a primal scream within the stately rhythms of a minuet, Mr. Wilson and company wrench La Fontaine out of his frozen niche in the académie and thrust him back into the real, teeming world he observed with such passion and dispassion. These are not La Fontaine's Fables as you studied them in introductory French literature, fluidly assembled verses with tidy morals and sharp bite; these are the fables as life itself, and you may never have another chance to see just how scary they are." What this book presents is suggested by the face confronting a reader on the endpapers: a bloody hostile head apparently on a human body wearing a suit. The passion of that first profile goes through many gripping images, stronger for having transparent slipsheets in front of them with snatches of La Fontaine's text: "que vous êtes joli"; "la raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure"; "la chétive pécore s'enfla si bien qu'elle creva"; "le phénix des hôtes de ces bois"; "il se dédit alors"; and "ventre affamé n'a point d'oreilles." A helpful English insert translates the major texts here: an appreciation of Wilson by Pierre Bergé; a tribute to Wilson by Marcel Bozonnet, General Administrator of the Comédie Française; a long guide to the fables by Marc Fumaroli; and a short biography of Wilson. Whoever originally sold the book charged $85. 

2004 Lessons That Count: Math Fables. By Greg Tang. Illustrated by Heather Cahoon. First printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. NY: Scholastic Press. $4 from Mary Beth Stronge, Alabaster, AL, through eBay, April, '04. 

I found this book on eBay within a month of its publication in March of 2004. It is a series of ten rhyming stories. All except the first deal with numbers in terms of groups that make them up. When nine ants find a picnic, for example, three creep ahead to look at it while six stay behind. Then eight complain that they cannot lift it all, while one older ant says that they will have to work together. Seven pick up the loaf of bread, while two carry the cheese. Groups of five and four carry two crackers, respectively. All nine learn the meaning of cooperation. None of the stories is a traditional Aesopic fable, but there is a little pointer to an ethical lesson at the end of each story. Thus the two young birds who try to fly for the first time but fail learn that "Sometimes the most important thing in life is just to try!" The four squirrels--two have gathered nuts and two have put them underground--learn that it is wise to plan ahead. Author Tang, who has written five other math books, has written this book for ages three to six. It is an enjoyable and attractive book, even for adults. The illustrations are colorful, lively, humorous, and appropriate.

2004 Little Book of Fables. Retold by Verónica Uribe; Translated by Susan Ouriou. Pictures by Constanza Bravo. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Toronto: A Groundwood Book: Douglas & McIntyre. $8.95 from C and D Media, Los Angeles, through abe, Dec., '04. Extra copy for $8.95 from Shelvesofbooks.com through abe, May, '05. 

First published in Spanish as El Libro de Oro de las Fábulas. This book is indeed small (4¾" x 6¼") and presents twenty fables in its 126 pages. Uribe seems to pay attention to the fables; most are very well told. MSA is told in a different version. After father and son carry the donkey, the father gets frustrated, unties the donkey, and puts his son on its back, as he had done when they first left home. "This is the way I left home, and this is the way I will continue" (58). Unfortunately, Bravo's second illustration does not echo well the written story's way of carrying the donkey. In SS, the lucky donkey who has just loss half of his salt load tells a donkey coming in the opposite direction not to worry about the river; but, alas, this donkey is carrying sponges. He relies on the donkey's advice, ignores his master's directions, and is swept away by the current when his sponges fill up with water (74). The miser here sleeps near his treasure every day and dreams about it (79). In FC, the clever fox begins by getting the proud crow to fly a few circles by telling him that he loves watching him soar through the air (105). SW is told in the poorer version (117). The illustration for FC, which is also on the DJ and the cover, gives a good sample of the artistic style. That style is deliberately naïve, featuring elongated limbs and whimsical hats. One of the strongest images shows the lion on the verge of eating the mouse (50). Uribe's closing comment gives the specific source of each of the fables she presents.

2004 Making Science Count: Math Fables Too. By Greg Tang. Illustrated by Taia Morley. First edition, third printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. NY: Scholastic Press. $4.83 from Purple Turtle Discount Books through eBay, Nov., '09.

This book follows up on Lessons That Count: Math Fables, published by Scholastic in 2004. Notice the pun in the title: "too" can also be read as "II" or "Two" as in "Volume Two." Each of the ten stories here works off of a digit from 1 to 10. One male sea horse is happy to be different: he is a pregnant dad! Again, all ten stories except the first deal with numbers in terms of groups that make them up. Four herons, for example, fish first in groups of three and one but then eat the surfacing fish in groups of two and two. As in "Math Fables," none of the stories is a traditional Aesopic fable, but there is regularly a little pointer to an ethical lesson at the end of each story. Thus the four herons "know the secret to success/is patience, smarts, and skill!" Like its predecessor, this book is enjoyable and attractive, even for adults. The illustrations are colorful, lively, humorous, and appropriate.

2004 Marc Chagall: Les Fables de La Fontaine.  3e edition revue et corrigée.  Hardbound.  Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux.  See 1995/2004.

2004 Mes plus belles Fables. Adaptées de La Fontaine et autres auteurs cèlébres. Hardbound. SP Le Livre Club: LLC Editions. $0.99 from Mr. and Mrs. Austrums, Downers Grove, IL, through eBay, June, '08.

"Au total, plus de 50 fables, admirablement illustrées, qui familiariseront les enfants avec ce genre littéraire si particulier." That is the back cover's marketing description, and it seems accurate to me. The art, which seems to be copyrighted (originally?) by Grafalco, is probably computer-generated. It is simple, colorful, and lively. It may be at its best in unusual or anomalous situations, like that of the sheep being poorly shorn. This book has soft, padded covers; I just tried to find a technical name for them but failed. A T of C at the back gives the order of the fables. Go first down the left column, and then down the right. The book is not paginated. Many of the fables are taken from Aesop rather than from La Fontaine. Fables take up mostly two pages, with occasional fables taking only one, a few taking four, and two -- TH and "The Hare and the Porcupines" -- taking six pages. Several fables here are new to me: "The Fox and the Tortoise"; "Cleaning the Pig"; "La Mouche Savante"; "The Dog in a Lion's Skin"; "Two Dogs," and "The Dolphin and the Shark." The version for "The Barbered Sheep" is good. The pain of his shearing is such that it gives the sheep voice. The story of the fox with a flaming tail adds a river to the story. Some pages show signs of use.

2004 Meshal Haqadmoni: Fables from the Distant Past: A Parallel Hebrew-English Text, Volume I. Isaac Ibn Sahula; Edited and Translated by Raphael Loewe. Illustrated by Venetian woodcuts of 1547 and vignettes in the Rothschild Miscellany. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Oxford; Portland, Oregon: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization. $46.68 from amazon.com, Sept., '10.

This work is bilingual by putting the English on the left-hand page and the Hebrew on the right-hand page. In Wikipedia I found the following helpful information. Meshal ha-Kadmoni was written between 1281 and 1284. This book of fables was written expressly to displace, with an original Hebrew work, such light literature as Kalila and Dimna and the Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, which were read extensively by Jews in the Middle Ages in Hebrew translations. Hence Ibn Sahula introduced in his book a similar structure and mode of presentation, and even added illustrations to his book, as was prevalent in non-Jewish literature. Divided into five chapters, "Meshal ha-Kadmoni" contains a large collection of parables, stories, and tales, all written in rhymed prose with pedagogical purpose. Each of the five sections -- on wisdom, penitence, sound counsel, humility, and reverence -- starts with the words of a Cynic against one of these virtues. He is refuted by the Moralist. This volume consists of extensive introductory material and the first two parts of the work itself. I read in some detail the first book's story of "Lion, Hart, and Fox." It could come, in outline, straight from Kalila and Dimna. The fox attempts to betray his fellow-counselor, the hart. When the hart proves his heredity by showing the wisdom he has from his rabbi father, the lion king turns instead against the fox and rejects him. All of this is done with so much quoting of the scriptures and so much philosophizing that it takes pages. I will look forward to reading these two volumes in more detail the next time I get to teach a fable course. The texts here are wonderfully footnoted, and there is a helpful outline in the introduction. Individual illustrations from the Venetian woodcuts of 1547 and black-and-white renditions of the colored vignettes in the Rothschild Miscellany tend to come in pairs, one from each set, every four to ten pages. 

2004 Meshal Haqadmoni: Fables from the Distant Past: A Parallel Hebrew-English Text, Volume II. Isaac Ibn Sahula; Edited and Translated by Raphael Loewe. Illustrations from Venetian woodcuts of 1547 and vignettes in the Rothschild Miscellany. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Oxford; Portland, Oregon: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization. $46.68 from amazon.com, Sept., '10.

My listing for the first volume includes comments on the work as a whole. This volume consists of the final three parts. I read in some detail the fifth book's story of "The Stork and the Frog." The story is simple enough. A stork eats frogs every day but finds one eluding her. She puts special effort into tracking this frog and then holds a sustained debate with her. The stork argues determinism. Everything is set. The frog's fate is sealed. She should give up efforts to save herself. The frog stresses free will. She will escape evil as long as she can. The stork tells the long Old Testament story of the king who asks four independent astrologers to forecast his newborn son's fate. All predict varied deaths for the son at the age of twenty-five. The king is about to put them all to death when a wise counselor suggests that he wait to see if their prophecies come true. At the age of twenty-five, the son is caught in a storm and dies. Each of the prophecies in its own way turned out to be true. So it was all predestined. When the frog continues to contend, the stork physically grabs hold of her, takes her home, and makes her into a meal for the stork family. Here this story takes 56 pages, from 556 to 612. Each astrologer teaches a short course on astrology before making his prediction. I struggled in vain to find a few short fables that I could read more quickly. Kalila and Dimna likewise has extended stories, but it includes short fables within each of those extended stories. So much here is supposedly enlightened disquisition from philosophy, the sciences, and scripture! 

2004 Mís fábulas favorítas.  Paperbound.  Buenos Aires, Argentina: Susaeta.  $19.75 from Maria Burda, Webster, NY, through eBay, June, '15.

Here is a large-format stapled pamphlet of 24 pages that spent too long in a musty basement.  It presents some heavy handed themes for little readers?  TH is pictured in flowerchild fashion on the cover, with bugs and mushrooms, butterflies and birds in evidence.  Both characters are dressed and even overdressed.  The fables presented here are "El burrito y los libros"; "El gato y el ratón"; TH; and "Las gallinas gordas y las flacas."  The first story is new to me but a highly contrived "fable."  A young donkey who likes to skip school thinks he can eat the books instead of the tedious job of reading them.  He gets in front of class and can only bray.  They mock him and throw him out and he learns to get studious and to attend school.  In "El gato y el ratón" a young mouse succumbs to the cat's trap of offering cheese and nuts, but his mother rescues him.  He learns to pay attention to his parents' directions.  In TH, the hare stops by a friend's house to chat, eat a meal, and take a nap.  In the last story, the fat chickens make fun of the skinny ones -- until the day that the farmer needs some chickens for a big meal.  Each six-page story starts on a right-hand page and ends on a left-hand page.  That arrangement makes for one nice two-page spread in the middle of each story, but all the other pictures clash at the center of the open book.  A good deal goes on in each picture.  So I notice the pig having fun in mud while the fat chickens ridicule the skinny ones.

2004 Mon Beau Livre de Fables. Jean de La Fontaine. Illustrations de Gauthier Dosimont. Paperbound. Chevron, Belgium: Collection: Les beaux livres intégra: Éditions Hemma. $14.68 from Bouquinerie du Languedoc, MONTPELLIER, France, Dec., '10.

This is the fifth book I have found illustrated by Dosimont, all apparently done from the same set of illustrations and all published by Hemma. The illustrations are perhaps here at their sharpest in this flexibly bound mid-sized (8" x 10") book for children. The cover shows a fox lounging under a tree in which is lodged a high-hatted crow with cheese in his beak. Favorites in this nice book include the mouse-congregation (20-21), FC (38-39), "The Stag at the Pool" (64-65), and GA (70-71). The page devoted to La Fontaine, which elsewhere comes at the front of the book, is here on 96 just before the closing T of C.

2004 Once Upon a Time in Africa: Stories of Wisdom and Joy. Compiled by Joseph G. Healey. Artwork by Samuel Bullen Ajak Alier and Manolito Corpuz. Paperbound. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. Gift of Mario Almeida, S.J., Sept., '04. 

This is a delightful collection of stories, most of which are aptly described in terms of their genre (e.g. myth, folktale, and true story). Watch out especially for those stories that Healey calls parables. The viewpoint of the book is that of liberal Catholicism today: Africans knew God long before they met anybody from the historical religions. The stories are grouped under eight headings, with an introduction to each group: "In the Beginning," "Life," "Family," "Community," "Good Times and Bad Times," "Joy and Celebration," "Culture Matters," and "Seeds of God in African Soil." Let me mention first several stories that bear on traditional fables. The chameleon wins the race against the rabbit by grabbing on underneath the rabbit (10). He is thus the first to sit on the victor's chair, since he is underneath the rabbit then too! The hyena sees one goat caught at the end of either of two paths (30). He lets his left leg follow the left path and his right leg the right path. He splits in two. An old man meets two successive young men about to enter a village (53). Both ask how the people are in the village. He asks each how the people were where the man came from. The first answers positively and enthusiastically. The second is negative about the people and their reception of him. To both the man wisely answers "You will find people here about the same." A captured prince sang through his humiliating work day (89). Why? "I sing because you cannot take away my title and who I am. I need not react to your shameful behavior!" The monkeys survived the flood because they could climb up into the trees. When the waters started to recede, they noticed fish darting around in the water and believed that they were struggling and about to drown (96). And so they piled them up on the shore! A king sent messengers to a famous sage to ask for some one hundred proverbs. The sage asked the messengers to sit down, be quiet, and close their eyes. For half an hour he said nothing. Then he said "Tell me your dreams." "How, if we have not been sleeping?" He answers "And how can I tell you proverbs if the situation has not arisen?" "The Dying Father's Last Testament to His Three Sons" is listed as a true story, but it is really Aesop's "Bundle of Sticks" (36). "The Lion's Share" is listed as a folktale, but is really Aesop's story about learning how to divide spoil for a ruler. The fox here answers that he learned so much when he heard the wolf's skull cracking! Another touching story is "I Am the Dancing Man" (12). I like the story "You'd Better Be Running" (17). Every morning the gazelle wakes up and knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning, the lion wakes up and knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It does not matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. "When the sun comes up, you'd better be running."

2004 Pancha Tantra: Five Wise Lessons: A Vivid Retelling of India's Most Famous Collection of Fables. Krishna Dharma (Kenneth Anderson). Design by Kurma Rupa. First printing. Paperbound. Badger, CA: Great Classics of India: Torchlight Publishing. $5.46 from Better World Books, April, '11.

The back cover claims that this is "the only non-scholarly version available." A key to this edition occurs in the "Author's Note" on 199: "For the purpose of making it more readable to my intended audience, I have left out many of the moral instructions found in the original." I have enjoyed reading the early pages of this recent Panchatantra. It follows this classic's usual division into five books. Short morals are set off and centered. The two jackals are named "Careful" and "Crafty." The story's starting incident is that the bull "Frisky" breaks a leg, and then it heals. He more usually gets thoroughly stuck in mud. His bellowing is over the joy of freedom, not over loneliness. I think that the author has a good point in reducing the philosophizing poetry that we sometimes find distracting as we move through the narrative. I look forward to reading this paperback through during the next fable course I teach; the story itself is only 198 pages long here. There are occasional simple black-and-white full-page line drawings regularly along the way. 

2004 Qua Va Cao. Narrated by Trinh Xuan Hoanh. Hoang Ha. Paperbound. Hanoi, Vietnam: Tu Sach Hoa Hong: Van Hoa - Thong Tin. 9500 Vietnamese Dong from Cty Van Hoa Minh Tri - Nha Sach Van Lang Bookstore, Ho Chi Minh City, July, '04. 

The illustrations in this colorful slick paperback book almost 6" square seem to me to repeat some I have seen elsewhere, but I cannot yet be sure about a match. There are six stories presented. In each, the text is on the left-hand pages, along with a small iconic illustration in the lower left corner. The right-hand page is a full-page colored illustration in vibrant colors. I recognize FC, which provides the cover illustration; "The Donkey and the Wolf"; SS; OF; GA; and FK. In this latter story, the god actually walks up to the pond and drops a log into it (42). The grasshopper in GA turns blue in winter.

2004 Reinaert de Vos.  Samengesteld door Hubert Slings.  Fourth printing.  Paperbound.  Amsterdam: Tekst in Context:  Amsterdam University Press.  See 1999/2004.

2004 Slow and Steady Wins the Race. Various artists. Paperbound. Chicago: Ariel Capital Management. Gift of Ariel Capital Management, March, '05. One extra copy, March, 2005. 

This is a classy advertising booklet that lays out a strategy of investing in small and mid-cap stocks for the best long-term value. I am pleased to see this final product! It was fun for me to be a part of the project. Materials which Creighton and I made available include a children's tin plate (11); a Minton blue-and-white tile (16); and a detail of a stock trade card that I cannot identify (17). Actually, I presume that a number of other visual materials in the book were found first on my site, and then subsequent copyright permission was sought from the proper authorities.

2004 Squirrel Inc.: A Fable of Leadership through Storytelling. Stephen Denning. Hardbound. Dust jacket. First edition, first printing. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. $16.07 from amazon.com, July, '04.

The preface expresses the book's thesis clearly: "Storytelling is in fact at the core of the significant activities of every modern corporation, as well as at the center of everything we do in public and private life. The ability to tell the right story at the right time is emerging as an essential leadership skill for coping with, and getting business results in, the turbulent world of the twenty-first century. It's also a critical capacity for personal interaction and happiness with family and friends" (xiv). Denning proposes here (1) to give advice on how to craft and perform a story that can spark transformational change in an organization; (2) to show how to deploy various kinds of stories in specific organizational contexts; and (3) to illustrate the impact of storytelling on our work and lives. Denning turns to fable because "Over the centuries animal fables have successfully communicated complex messages to diverse audiences" (xvii). The first section then is an exciting plunge into the challenge of presenting a transformational story, with lots of good positive and negative advice. Diana, a rising executive, learns to sharpen her story about the (partial) success of one squirrel who stopped burying nuts and starting storing them. She learns to tell it so that it is other people's story. She learns also then to ask the "What if" sort of question that enlists appropriation of the story by at least some of her audience. The second section presents seven types of organizational storytelling: to ignite action, to share knowledge, to get people working together, to lead people into the future, to neutralize bad news, to communicate who you are, and to transmit values. I got through 68 out of 182 pages and enjoyed what I read but had to move on.

2004 Stories of Hope and Spirit: Folktales from Eastern Europe.  Dan Keding.  First printing.  Hardbound.  Little Rock AR: August House Publishers.  $18.95 from New England Mobile Book Store, August, '16.

Two of the twelve spirited stories in this book seem to me to fit into the category of fables.  "How the Rich Man Learned a Lesson" (65) from Chechnia is new to me.  A rich miser covets the wife of poor Hamid.  She and Hamid are happy together.  One day after the harvesting season Hamid finds two huge melons in the forest.  He brings one home, eager to eat it.  His wife wisely suggests that he sell it in the village.  Of course the miser treasures food second only to money.  He buys the melon and makes a deal with Hamid.  If Hamid will bring him the second melon, Hamid can have whatever he touches first in the rich man's house.  If he does not bring it, the rich man can have whatever in Hamid's house he touches first.  Hamid returns to his wife, rejoicing that he can bring the second melon and touch the rich man's purse.  As they talk, he reveals the location of the second melon to two of the rich man's henchmen, who have been eavesdropping to hear where the second melon is.  Hamid comes home distraught from his empty return trip but has met a wise old man with a plan.  Hamid puts his wife in the attic and perches a rickety old ladder at the attic opening.  When the miser comes to collect the wife, he grabs the ladder, gets half way up, and -- feeling unsafe -- comes back down.  The old ladder, not the wife, is his!  "Nail Soup" (69) from Croatia is a pleasant rendition of the traditional "Stone Soup," with good embellishments.  For example, the nails never do go into the soup! 

2004 Tales of Beastly Behaviors: Contemporary Fables for Adults. J.A. Madrid. Paperbound. NY, Lincoln, Shanghai: iUniverse, Inc. $24.94 from amazon,com, Nov., '04.

There are thirty-four tales here on 461 pages. Most of the stories are 10 to 20 pages in length. All are in centered sense lines. The author's preface urges us to see his texts as satire and social commentary (ix). The back cover has this to say: "These thirty-four fables satirize human behaviors by attributing them to barynard animals that think and speak like humans. The characterizations may be whimsical, but what the barnyard animals do and say is entirely recognizable in the actions and words of our friends, our families and ourselves. These fables make social commentary easier to accept as they pick at our frailties and force us to laugh at them." The first story presents a one-time trial -- otherwise unknown among the barnyard animals -- over stolen hay pitting the cow against the horse. The second story investigates what happens when Consuelo Goose and Cedric Goose finally decide to get married. Their goslings are to attend a Montessori school, and private schools care about the marital status of the parents of their pupils. This story includes a fine comment on shallowness. Consuelo is rejecting a candidate for maid/matron of honor because she will not balance with others in the photos. "Consuelo Goose realized that it was petty of her to be so superficial/but she reasoned/that if she couldn't be shallow at her very own wedding,/then when?" There are occasional missed words. Check lines 3-4 on 9 and line 10 on 13. 

2004 The Barefoot Book of Animal Tales From Around the World. Retold by Naomi Adler. Illustrated by Amanda Hall. Paperbound. Cambridge, MA: Barefoot Books. $6.50 from Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, Tucson, Oct., '10.

Originally published as a hardbound book by Dial in the USA in 1996. The stories are from a good variety of cultures. Perhaps the most imposing illustration is that of Tilladick the giant frog sleeping after he has drunk up all the water in the world (32-33). Another prize goes to the illustration on 59 of the supposedly sick crocodile king being visited by the crocodile friendly with the monkey. See also the lovely two-page spread of "Sedna, the Mother of the Sea" on 70-71. There are several traditional fables included here. "Never Trust a Pelican" (48) is the Kalila and Dimna story of the aging pelican who lets himself, as it were, be prevailed upon to ferry fish to a safer lake. It is labeled here as a Thai story. Here the pelican carries the fish and then the crab in his beak; this twist makes the crab's attack on the pelican harder to picture. "The Monkey's Heart" (56) is another perennial fable; in this version it is the crocodile king who claims that he needs a monkey's heart to recover from his illness. "The Musicians of Bremen" (38) is also included here. The art is primitive, engaging, and colorful. 

2004 The Dog and His Shadow: A Fable.  Retold by Lucy Floyd.  Illustrated by Nancy Coffelt.  Fifth printing.  Paperbound.  Orlando: Harcourt.  See 2002/2004.

2004 The Fables of Kalilah and Dimnah: Adapted and translated from the Sanskrit through the Pahlavi into Arabic by Abdullah ibn al-Muqaffa AD 750.  Translated from the Arabic by Saleh Saadeh Jallad.  Drawings and cover design by Myriam Misk Saikaly. Signed by the author.  Hardbound.  Dust-jacket.  London: Melisende.  $40 from Bryn Mawr Bookstore, Boston, July, '16.

I already had this book in the catalogue under its original copyright date of 2002.  The copyright has been renewed in 2004.  This copy is also inscribed by the author on its title page.  The only other change I can notice in the book is that the back of the dust-jacket is now not blank but rather includes a set of testimonies, one from my old colleague at Holy Cross, John Esposito.  As I wrote of the 2002 book, one finds here seventeen chapters on 247 pages preceded by four important elements that are part of the story itself: "The Introduction to the Book," "Dabshalim the King and Baydaba [Bidpai] the Philosopher," "The Mission of Barzawayh the Physician to India," and "Barzawayh."  Three of these have a number of fables within them.  The first chapter is then the traditional "The Fable of the Lion and the Bull."  There is an opening T of C, with mention of each of the fables in each chapter.  The illustrations for each book and selected stories, in black and white and gray with Islamic script, are rather primitive.  The illustrations for "The Monkey and the Carpenter" (82) and "The Drake and the Crab" (92) certainly get the fables' situations wrong.  The book actually starts with a translator's foreword that begins from Arabic culture and Islamic faith and their contributions to the world.  In this setting, the life of ibn al-Muqaffa is presented.  K&D was long the second most popular book in Islam, after the Quran.  Ibn's Arabic has survived; the Sanskrit and Pahlavi have not.  The work stresses classic themes but highlights the positive role of the scholar in government and society. Some of the individual fables in the work are probably Ibn's creations.  This is the fullest version I have seen of K&D.  It includes al-Muqaffa's introduction, including the key statement: "The book thus infuses wisdom with amusement."  The chapters include stories I have not read before, including several that La Fontaine picked up.  It was worth studying this book in some detail.

2004 The Emperor's New Clothes.  Retold by Marcus Sedgwick.  Illustrated by Alison Jay.  First printing.  Hardbound.  Dust jacket.  San Francisco: Chronicle Books.  $10 from Green Apple Books, San Francisco, July, '15.

First published in the United Kingdom in 2004 by Templar Publishing.  This expansively illustrated, landscape formatted book has a lion emperor.  That solves problems about presenting nudity!  The would-be tailors are weasels, and the emperor's attendants are tortoise and hare.  Recall that Alison Jay did "The Race," already in this collection.  Sedgwick uses verse effectively to tell this tale.  This emperor wakes up to another royal day, but "no outfit seemed quite grand enough."  Weasels to the rescue!  They weave spells as well as thread.  "All who dull or foolish be, our magic clothes they cannot see!"  When the treasurer objects that they have already spent too much on clothes, the emperor retorts that his new suit will let him see those who are wise or foolish.  Is that a logical expectation?  Hare wonders why these tailors laugh so much in their workshop.  Hare and tortoise look at each other when they see nothing on the loom.  "They had to stall!"  Apparently, they understand that it is not just each of them that is at fault.  At the procession, people are too frightened to say what they really think.  The weasels run away with the money during the parade.  A small frog says "Look!  The emperor's wearing nothing at all!"  The trick is exposed, and so is the emperor.  Does this emperor learn something?  The paintings all show the cracks that ancient paintings develop.  The animal poses are engaging, starting with the gesticulating weasel tailors facing the title page.

2004 The Fables of La Fontaine. Elizur Wright. Paperbound. Kessinger Publishing. $6.96 from BargainBookStores.com, Feb., '08.

This volume is symptomatic of where book publishing is going these days. This 7½" x 9¼" paperback book of 432 pages reproduces the texts of Wright's edition of 1881 in good, accessible form. It does so without a single illustration and in a style that looks as though it has come straight off the computer. I was lucky to find this copy for a very reasonable price on the web, since it normally sells for almost six times that price. Before I mention some of the characteristics of the 1881 edition that is reproduced here, let me mention a few characteristics of this 2004 edition. (I could not find a date in this book, so I went to Amazon.com and found the 2004 publishing date.) One curiosity of this editon is that it has two T of C's at the beginning. Why? The first looks more like the final printer's table. The second looks like a web-produced table that the printer worked from. Contrast the formatting in the two. Both have the strange anomaly that footnote numbers are placed not only in the text but also in brackets just after the title of the fable. The preface in this 1881 edition traces the history of Wright's translation. After six quick editions in Boston (1841-3) and one small-type edition in London at the same time, there had been nothing till this edition in 1881. In fact, there had been only one other translator of the complete LaFontaine's fables into English during that time (Thornbury), and the preface finds that translation inferior to Wright's. This edition embodies the corrections but not the expurgations of the sixth edition (see my 1843 copy); in fact the preface presents the five fables that Wright, under some duress, substituted for the expurgated LaFontaine fables in that sixth edition. The preface continues with a nice account of Wright's life. For some reason, Page 9 gives a date of 1882. It mentions both notes and J.W.M. Gibbs, but does not make clear if they are his notes.

2004 The Last Bit Bear: A Fable.  Sandra Chisholm (Robinson) de Yonge.  Ellen (Ditzler) Meloy.  Paperbound.  Lanham, MD:  Roberts Rinehart, Inc.  $1.5 from Beers Book Center, Sacramento, July, '15.

Curious things happen in the history of publishing.  Here a book has a twentieth anniversary printing and reveals some things as a byproduct.  The title has changed from "Bit-Bear" with a hyphen to a "Bit Bear" without the hyphen.  But the hyphen remains in the text of the story itself.  Both author and illustrator have changed their names, presumably by marriage.  The story remains the same eloquent story I wrote about a long time ago when I wrote that it is an engaging story.  Clover, a bit-bear, munches on moak leaves.  The fish, the rat, the wolf, Numa the whale, and the scientist's son help Clover search for a mate.  This ecological tale is heavy against the "other animal," humans, and ends sadly:  Clover is the last bit-bear and never finds a mate.  Clover is very well drawn; he resembles Chewbacca from Star Wars.  A good example of the contemporary fashionable sense of "fable."

2004 The North Wind and the Sun and Other Fables of Aesop. Translated by Gregory McNamee. Various illustrators. Paperbound. Einsiedeln, Switzerland: Daimon Verlag. $10.52 from Paperbackshop.co.uk, April, '05. 

This paperback offers a fable per page for just less than one hundred pages, with illustrations taken from standard editions of the 1800's. The tellings work especially from Perry's Aesopica. Thus they are appropriately terse and pointed. I find them well crafted. There are no titles and no T of C. The illustrators include Heighway, Doré, Winter, Weir, and Bewick. The cover offers a nicely colored version of Heighway's SW.

2004 The Orchard Book of Aesop's Fables. Michael Morpurgo. Illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. Signed by both Morpurgo and Clark; first printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. London: Orchard Books. £21.99 from Mal's Books & Memorabilia, Cheshire, UK, through eBay, March, '05. 

There are here twenty-one fables on 96 pages. A great introduction tells the story of a man named Aesop leaving an old lion some stories. The lion roars the next day and invites all the animals to hear stories. They listen enthralled, but then fall asleep one by one. By morning the lion has finished all of Aesop's fables, and he has also eaten all of the sleeping listeners! TH has a lovely moral: "Speed isn't everything. There are other ways of winning" (17). The butcher here gives the dog the bone that he will lose in the river (18). In my experience, it is hard to articulate a good moral for BC, and Morpurgo does it well: "Saying something should be done is one thing. Doing it is often altogether more difficult" (29). The moral for OR is: "Obstinacy may look like strength. It rarely is" (67). The shepherd boy in BW has just begun shepherding because his dad now thinks him old enough. The wolf ends up eating him as well as the sheep (90). For good examples of the book's lovely illustrations, try MSA (59-65). Part of the excellence of this book lies in its substantial paper stock, enhanced with nicely executed art work.

2004 The Tortoise and the Hare. Hardbound. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Creative Publishing: Transglobal Communications Group. $1.39 from Rick Flosi, Boynton Beach, FL, through eBay, April, '08.

Here is a large square (8") board book with 12 pages. It is perhaps most memorable for its images of the hare with fashionable sunglasses. Here the wolf starts the race with a gun. There is a strange juxtaposition of two perceptions. At the start of the race we read "The hare shot off the starting line so fast no one saw him go." Then on the next page we read "When the dust cleared, the tortoise was barely two steps ahead of where he had started. 'You'll never win this race!' the hare said as he ran past the tortoise." Wait a minute! If the hare got so far ahead at the start, how does he now pass the tortoise? At the end is a moral some will disagree with: "'It doesn't matter how fast you are, just always do your best,' said the tortoise." Perhaps the best picture in this book is on its back cover: the hare eats a carrot while the tortoise approaches with his walking-stick.

2004 The Twenty-Four Carat Buddha and Other Fables: Stories of Self-Discovery. By Maxine Harris. With Illustrations by Tracey Hedrick Graham and Molly Ennis. Paperbound. Baltimore, MD: Sidran Institute Press. $10 from Janice Ungar, West Bloomfield, MI, May, '04. 

These are indeed stories of self-discovery, "thought-provoking tales" as the quotation on the back cover claims. The author gives her sense of the stories' purpose when she speaks in the introduction of our attempts "to make sense of our lives, to solve problems, or to resolve old hurts." These are twenty-four therapeutic stories--good ones, to judge by the first five and the title-story. For those who want to go beyond the story or to dig deeper into it, there is a commentary and a set of questions for each story. The first story speaks of the diver who is told to wait to leap off the high cliffs until his instructor tells him to. Finally he does it on his own, and the instructor rejoices, saying that he needed the student to express his own belief in himself. "Just One String" (7) tells of the girl who has lost her family, her village, and the tapestry she had sewn narrating her life. She has been able to save only one thread from it. Her sorceress aunt gets the one thread to tell the whole story of the girl's life. Gold and Silver are two nieces to whom Queen Isadora entrusts her lovely garden. The two love the garden, one by protecting it and the other by enjoying it. Inktomi the spider tries several ways to become the most beautiful creature on earth, in fact consuming himself in flames in the last attempt. A chipmunk laments the loss of Inktomi's beautiful underbelly, which the chipmunk had found among the most beautiful things on earth. The twenty-four carat buddha is a foolish purchase by an American tourist in Bangkok. She buys it from an obvious and self-confessed seller of fake antiques--after he admits the false character of his street wares and takes her to his family's old "antique" store. She pays $500 for a jade buddha that is probably worth considerably less.

2004 The Wolf Who Cried Boy. Story by Bob Hartman. Pictures by Tim Raglin. Thirteenth printing. Paperbound. NY: Puffin: Young Readers: G.P. Putnam's Sons. $8.30 from Amazon.com, May, '11.

Here is the paperbound version of the original 2002 hardbound edition. As I mentioned then, this landscape-formatted book has a sampler or needlepoint pattern as background for its covers. The title is a nice reversal of the usual fable. Here Little Wolf complains each night about what his mother serves for dinner, whether it is lamburgers, sloppy does, or chocolate moose. He wants boy! Father himself remembers wonderful boy chops and baked boy-tato. Father assures Little Wolf that, if he can find a boy in the woods, father and mother will catch and cook him. Here, in keeping with the fable, the boy tries to put off an unwelcome dinner of three-pig salad by howling to his parents from a distance on his way home from school that he has seen a boy. The two come running. The ruse works; the three-pig salad is ruined in the meantime. Little Wolf tries the same trick the next day, and the Granny Smith pie goes bad when Granny gets all lumpy! The parent wolves find him out, and the next day a whole troop of boy scouts come marching by. One curious boy even comes into their cave, but Little Wolf cannot get anyone to look up at him! The result? The boys at least live happily ever after. The illustrations are delightful, cartoonish, and unusually precise in their printing. Well done!

2004 The Zebra's Stripes and other African Animal Tales. Retold by Dianne Stewart. Illustrated by Kathy Pienaar. Paperbound. Cape Town:Struik Publishers. 98 South African Rand from Exclusive Books, Johannesburg Airport, Jan., '05. 

There are perhaps thirty stories in this engaging book. The stories are grouped by animals; many are etiological. After an animal's stories, there is first a pair of full-page colored illustrations and then a section "Interesting facts" about the animal. Most of the verbs, prepositions, and possessives are not capitalized in the titles for the various chapters. Many of the stories are fables. "Leopard Cub" (22) shows how a wronged animal will get revenge, often on the wrong party. "How Lion and Warthog became Enemies" (25) is a story that combines two frequent fable motifs; first, the lion freed by the warthog wants to eat one of the warthog's young; second, the warthog asks the lion how he became trapped in the first place. Once he has him back in the trap, he lets it close on him and leaves as he came. "Baboon's Revenge on Leopard" (38) has baboon convincing leopard that he wants to groom him; as he does so, he and friends bury his tail in the ground and then beat him to death in revenge for leopard's killing of their young. "Peace Among the Animals" (47) is UP. "Jackal the Trickster" (50) combines two fables, one on directional footprints and another on using your enemy's heart as your cure. "Hyena, Lion and Leopard Trick Donkey" (59) is the familiar story about confessing sins to stop a drought. The first three confess crimes but mutually assure each other that they are not sins; the donkey confesses a peccadillo and is eaten for it. "Hippopotamus and Elephant test their Strength" (69) is the story of the tug of war arranged by Hare. "Tortoise Deceives Elephant" (86) involves the tortoise supposedly jumping over Elephant's head. This is the old substitution trick: the tortoise's wife is on the elephant's other side.

2004 Tho Va Rua. Narrated by Mai Hoa, Nam Trung, Nguyet Lieu, Thanh Huyen. Illustrated by Do Cuong. Paperbound. Tu Sach Me Ke Con Nghe: Struyen Co Tich - Ngo Ngon Hay Nhyat The Gioi Qua Nhieu The Ky #40: Trang An. 13500 Vietnamese Dong from Cty Van Hoa Minh Tri - Nha Sach Van Lang Bookstore, Ho Chi Minh City, July, '04. 

Some of the illustrations--and presumably the stories--in this colorful paperback book about 7" x 6½" repeat from the smaller booklets I found in the same store at the same time. Here we have familiar story lines and familiar paintings for TH, in which the bunny is quite sprightly and active; "The Lion and Three Bulls"; "The Farmer and His Sons"; and "The Eagle and the Snake." The set of which this is #40 includes some eighty paperback books.

2004 Three Cat and Mouse Tales. Retold by Marilyn Helmer. Illustrated by Josée Masse. First printing. Hardbound. Tonawanda, NY: Once-Upon-A-Time: Kids Can Press. $10.95 from Borders, Los Gatos, August, '04. 

This children's book presents "Puss-in-Boots," TMCM, and "Dick Whittington and His Cat." The art is deliberately flat-dimensional, with a strong sense of the primitive in it. In TMCM, the city mouse is male, while the country mouse who invited him is female. The first intruder in the city dining room is the maid. The second interruption comes from a pair of children. Soon a cat jumps through a window. "The home you love is the home that's best!"

2004 Town Teddy & Country Bear: A Classic Aesop's Fable Retold. Written and Illustrated by Kathleen Bart. First edition. First printing. Dust-jacket. Hardbound. Cumberland, MD: Reverie Publishing Company. $12.24 from Buy.com, June, '08.

This is a clever book. It takes an understanding of TMCM -- that each belongs in his own place -- and tells the tale to help the reader enjoy that view. In keeping with her first book, Bart makes the two main characters into teddy-bears, Bandanna and Tuxedo. For most of the book, each gets a facing page, with picture and text that make the point how alike their experience is: first of longing for the different and then of struggling with the different. Bart gets the text for each pair of pages to have one very close overlap. Thus Bandanna finishes his first left-hand page saying "Restless as a wild mustang, I dreamed of action and adventure. I needed a change!" Tux on the right-hand page writes "All stressed out, I dreamed of sunshine, fresh air and wide open spaces. I needed a change!" They exchange keys, cannot wait to get to cousin's home, and have trouble as soon as they get there. Bandanna drives the wrong way up Broadway, a one-way street. Tux starts a stampede. After some pages they come to parallel realizations: "This country bear just wasn't suited to the city" and "This town teddy just wasn't cut out for the country." In a nice touch, they enjoy some time together in the country and then in the city, with either host helping the guest to enjoy its good part. At this point, the usual counterpoint picturing stops, and one border surrounds a large two-page spread for each venue. Now they visit each other every year. "Together, they share the best of both the Town and the Country." The art is heavy on cute and cuddly, but the style fits the good story here.

2004 Unwitting Wisdom: An Anthology of Aesop's Fables. Retold & Illustrated by Helen Ward. First printing. Dust jacket. Hardbound. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, November, '04. 

This book has a lovely dedication: "To Aesop and all tellers of moral tales who, despite a monumentally ineffective history, still gently try to point the human race in a better direction." I am not sure that I understand the characterization of fables' wisdom as "unwitting" in the title. Perhaps Ward is pointing to the fact, underscored in her introduction, that the animals (all twelve tales here feature animal actors) are "all acting out their own parts, uncomprehending, in the great game of life." She quotes Chesterton: "In Aesop's fables.The animals' reactions are always predictable. They have no choice; they cannot be anything but themselves." The text versions make the point of the fables abundantly clear, as when the fox not only leaps for the grapes but tries to climb the tree around which the vine is curled, tries to prod the grapes with a cane, and throws and kicks sticks and stones at the vine. When he leaves, he mutters to himself that they "were undoubtedly the nastiest, most horrid, disgusting, revolting, inedible, indigestible and very probably the sourest grapes he had ever had the pleasure of not eating!" Ward illustrates every page, but the key illustrations are those which accompany the title and a short description on a lavish two-page spread. (The text then generally follows on a more modest two-page spread). The prizes for the grandest illustrations may go to the dressed-up jackdaw and the fox sniffing among the stork's beautiful Greek urns. A special prize goes to the "description" after the title of DS; it has a mirror-image just below it, on a line with the reflection of the dog in the water on the facing page. The last line of the story of the tortoise who begged the eagle to teach him to fly sinks down the page the way the released tortoise does. Does it make sense that the shepherd, as it seems, does not discover that the wolf in sheep's clothing is a wolf even while eating him?

2004 Unwitting Wisdom: An Anthology of Aesop's Fables. Retold & Illustrated by Helen Ward. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Victoria, Australia: The Five Mile Press. AU $5 from Jenny Ogilvie, Victoria, Australia, through eBay, March, '08.

I need to be more careful when buying foreign duplicates of books I have from American publishers. This lovely book cost less than $5, but the postage was over $26! This edition by The Five Mile Press in Australia was printed in the same place as the USA edition from Chronicle Books. As far as I can tell, only the cover and dust-jacket are different. Let me repeat remarks made on that edition. This book has a lovely dedication: "To Aesop and all tellers of moral tales who, despite a monumentally ineffective history, still gently try to point the human race in a better direction." I am not sure that I understand the characterization of fables' wisdom as "unwitting" in the title. Perhaps Ward is pointing to the fact, underscored in her introduction, that the animals (all twelve tales here feature animal actors) are "all acting out their own parts, uncomprehending, in the great game of life." She quotes Chesterton: "In Aesop's fables, the animals' reactions are always predictable. They have no choice; they cannot be anything but themselves." The text versions make the point of the fables abundantly clear, as when the fox not only leaps for the grapes but tries to climb the tree around which the vine is curled, tries to prod the grapes with a cane, and throws and kicks sticks and stones at the vine. When he leaves, he mutters to himself that they "were undoubtedly the nastiest, most horrid, disgusting, revolting, inedible, indigestible and very probably the sourest grapes he had ever had the pleasure of not eating!" Ward illustrates every page, but the key illustrations are those which accompany the title and a short description on a lavish two-page spread. (The text then generally follows on a more modest two-page spread). The prizes for the grandest illustrations may go to the dressed-up jackdaw and the fox sniffing among the stork's beautiful Greek urns. A special prize goes to the "description" after the title of DS; it has a mirror-image just below it, on a line with the reflection of the dog in the water on the facing page. The last line of the story of the tortoise who begged the eagle to teach him to fly sinks down the page the way the released tortoise does. Does it make sense that the shepherd, as it seems, does not discover that the wolf in sheep's clothing is a wolf even while eating him?

2004 Was Tiere miteinander reden: 30 Naturfabeln in Gedichtform. Jakob Streit. Mit Zeichnungen von Kilian Beck. Hardbound. Schaffhausen, Switzerland: Oratio. €10.80 from Mannheim, August, '09.

This is a curious book in several ways. Its texts were written by a man apparently born ninety-nine years ago. Its illustrations were done by a young man of 13 years. Its texts are mostly newly created. Three late titles add a parenthesis mentioning La Fontaine as inspiration. Generally texts are arranged on one page -- especially the left -- and the fable's illustration on the facing page. The fables seem gentle and perceptive, as when the cicada first asks the butterfly to make music with her wings and then learns that the butterfly wants to dance to the cicada's music. The ant is delivering a long lecture to the snail that has slimed its path, but the snail only retires into its internal kitchen to create more slime for tomorrow. The fish tries to be an "airfish"; not flying in air but swimming in water is its life. The sparrow that sees the swallow flying high is at first envious but learns that its life is to hop around on earth.

2004 Who's Got Game? Poppy or the Snake? Toni & Slade Morrison. Pictures by Pascal LeMaitre. Dust jacket. Hardbound. Printed in USA. NY: Scribner. $12.57 from amazon.com, July, '03.

This is the third in a series of retellings of Aesop's fables. While the text and illustrations are copyright 1903, the ISBN and flyleaf information seem to indicate a copyright for the book of 2004. The Morrisons and LeMaitre create another engaging story here. The basis is Aesop's fable of the farmer who took home a frozen snake. As the flyleaf suggests, this tale is about who gets the last laugh. The story is told as a reminiscence by a wise grandfather to the grandson who is thinking of dropping out of school. He plans to leave school because other things are more fun, and so he has trouble paying attention. Poppy, the Grandfather, tells him the story of his "remembering boots." You see, Poppy once encountered a snake pinned under the tire of his truck….

2004 7 Blinde Mäuse. Ed Young. Aus dem Englischen von Katrin Schulz. Hardbound. Berlin/Munich: Altberliner Verlag in der Baumhaus Buchverlag. €8.90 from Texxtbücher Anders, Munich, August, '07.

This book replicates in German Seven Blind Mice, which was first published in English by Philomel Books: Putnam & Grosset. I have the 1993 edition by Scholastic. It seems to have first appeared in German as a 1995 copyright of Altberliner Verlag with a new copyright in 2004 for Altberliner Verlag in der Baumhaus Buchverlag. Let me update some of my remarks from the English version. I enjoy anything that Ed Young does. Here he starts with an all-black background and then adds elements in cut-out paper and other materials. Seven differently-colored mice, marked as blind by their blank white eyes, find "etwas Seltsames in der Nähe ihres Teiches." Each day a different mouse goes to the something near the pond and brings back a report, and no one believes the reporter. Their reports are, respectively, that it is a pillar, snake, spear, cliff, fan, and rope. On Sunday, White Mouse goes to the something at the pond. She runs up one side and down the other and then across the top from end to end. She repeats all the specific similarities but adds "alles in Allem ist es . . . ein Elefant." The others try her method and concur. Perhaps the best illustration of all, I see now, has various mice standing on or at the various parts of the animal that they first encountered. "Die Mäuse-Moral: Wissen in Teilen macht eine schöne Geschichte, aber Weisheit entsteht, wenn wir das Ganze sehen." This book won a 1993 Caldecott Honor Award. This German hardbound edition is very nicely produced.

2004 19 fables de renard. Jean Muzi. Illustrations intérieures de Gérard Franquin. Paperbound. Paris: Castor Poche #59: Castor Poche Flammarion. $8.95 from Powell's, March, '05. 

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, Dix-Neuf Fables d'Oiseaux, 19 Fables de Singes, and Diecisiete Fábulas del Zorro. T of C at the back, on 117. About half of the stories come from The Roman de Renard. Several fables that are new to me are "Renard et la panthère" (19); "Renard, la vache et le lion" (41); "Renard et l'ours" (55); and "Renard, l'ours et le paysan" (89). The black-and-white illustrations of this handy little volume, one to a fable, are simple and well done. The original copyright on text and illustrations seems to be 1983.

2004/5 Sonnets from Aesop. By Judith Goldhaber. Illustrations by Gerson Goldhaber. First printing. Paperbound. Berkeley, CA: Ribbonweed Press. $14.95 from Turtle Island Bookshop, Berkeley, CA, Oct., '05. 

Roger had been saving this book for me. What a wonderful surprise! A local couple, writer and artist, worked together to create it. He also gave me the blurb on them and their book. Gerson Goldhaber is an over-80 astrophysicist from Cal, and Judith is his somewhat younger poet wife. What a great combination! There are one hundred fables here, each in sonnet form, and each with a full-page watercolor illustration on the facing page, done here in glossy, four-color renditions. As for the texts, they may labor sometimes to accomplish their rhymes. The writer takes on the difficult task of giving whatever moral may be appropriate within the fourteen-line structure of the sonnet. Thus the fox who has announced universal peace but is now leaving quickly does not say that the dogs may not have heard about the peace but rather "sometimes I'm outfoxed by my own cunning" (2). The owner and the renter of the ass argue over who owns the ass' shade, but while they argue the ass runs off (8). The conception of TB is different here; there is nothing about playing dead, but only about confronting the bear (12). This fable provides one of the liveliest illustrations! "The Eagle and the Hawk" (18) is one of the most successful texts, and has a good illustration too. "The Rabbit with Many Friends" (36) makes it into this collection as Aesopic, even though it seems first to have appeared in Gay. "The Eagle and the Arrow" (52) closes well with what the author calls an epitaph: "we give our foes the means for our destruction." "The Farmer and His Sons" (66) is well told. The two daughters with contrary prayers commend them--each one prayer--to their respective parents, so that the parents are praying mutually for rain and sunshine. I notice a new moral to "The Serpent and the File": "it's useless to beat up on the insensible" (104). Two pages later, Zeus makes the earth so that the lark can bury her dead father. The woman who was a cat is not transformed back after eating the mouse; she just feels mortified (138). Perhaps the most graphic illustration is for FWT (151). Fortune spares a man sleeping, not on the edge of a well, but at the edge of a road where cars come very close to him (160). There is an AI at the back. This is an impressive book! The explanation of the two dates is that the book is copyrighted in 2004 but printed in 2005.

2004/2007 Children's Classic Stories: Fairytales, fables & folktales.  Editorial Director: Anne Marshall.  Illustrated by various artists. First printing.  Hardbound.  Essex: Bardfield Press: Miles Kelly Publishing.  $0.49 from Better World Books through eBay, April, '15.

I had previously found a first printing of the 2004 edition of this work, which has a copyright year of 2004 but claims to be an edition published in 2007.  It seems to be a sixth printing.  I find it hard to put all that information together.  As I wrote then, this stocky (6½" x 7¼"), heavy book has 512 pages of classic stories.  The lively colored illustrations begin with the cover's picture from "The Old Woman and Her Pig": an older woman talks with a mouse while a horse, a pig, and a dog look on.  As the beginning T of C makes clear, a section titled "Animals Big and Small" (140-200) presents several fables:  LM, AL, DS, "The Wonderful Tar Baby," and TH.  As is true throughout the book, the small illustrations for the fables are well executed and often show both charm and creativity.  There are seldom two pages of solid print in a row.  The lion facing the mouse on 141 has his tongue coming out the side of his mouth.  If one had to choose one good story book for reading regularly to a child, this book would certainly be a candidate.  The extensive list of artists contributing to this book faces the title-page. The pliable covers and spine show some warping and crinkling.

2004? The Fables of Aesop: 1. Illustrated by Jagdish Sharma & Tapas Guha. Paperbound. New Delhi: Rupa and Co. $3.45 from Books and Co., Ithaca, NY, April, '05.

Apparently this volume and each of the other four in the series includes the texts and illustrations first published by Sharma and Rupa in 1993; I have a copy of that book from 1996. The back cover of each of the five books in this series speaks of "these evergreen fables, now in five volumes." That "now" suggests that these texts and illustrations come from an earlier edition. If so, the full-page illustrations and the name of Tapas Guha seem to have been added. That same back cover lists the book as belonging to "childern's literature" (sic). There are 51 pages after 8 pages of introductory material, including a T of C. The texts seem archaic, but I have been able to place a source for only one, "The Flea and the Man" (Perry 272) from Frederick Burr Opper in 1917. There are half-page and full-page illustrations with differing styles. The former show much more wit. An example of the partial-page illustrations (there are twelve of them here) is the wrestler bitten by a flea (10); an example of the full-page illustrations (there are five here) is the dog and the oyster (32). I presume that Sharma has done the partial illustrations and Guha the full-page, since the partial illustrations seem identical with those in the earlier edition. The smaller illustrations often feature movement-lines around characters, and frequently there are swirling leaves in outdoor scenes. One sometimes has to turn the page to put together a story and its illustration.

2004? The Fables of Aesop: 2. Illustrated by Jagdish Sharma & Tapas Gupa (sic for Guha). Paperbound. New Delhi: Rupa and Co. $3.45 from Books and Co., Ithaca, NY, April, '05.

Apparently this volume and each of the other four in the series includes the texts and illustrations first published by Sharma and Rupa in 1993; I have a copy of that book from 1996. The back cover of each of the five books in this series speaks of "these evergreen fables, now in five volumes." That "now" suggests that these texts and illustrations come from an earlier edition. If so, the full-page illustrations and the name of Tapas Guha (here apparently misprinted "Gupa" in contrast to the other four title-pages) seem to have been added. That same back cover lists the book as belonging to "childern's literature" (sic). There are 50 pages after 8 pages of introductory material, including a T of C. The texts seem archaic. There are half-page and full-page illustrations with differing styles. The former show much more wit. An example of the partial-page illustrations (there are eleven of them here) is "The Fox and the Mask" (23); an example of the full-page illustrations (there are four here) is the "The Quack Frog" (35). I presume that Sharma has done the partial illustrations and Guha the full-page, since the partial illustrations seem identical with those in the earlier edition. The smaller illustrations often feature movement-lines around characters. One sometimes has to turn the page to put together a story and its illustration.

2004? The Fables of Aesop: 3. Illustrated by Jagdish Sharma & Tapas Guha. Paperbound. New Delhi: Rupa and Co. $3.45 from Books and Co., Ithaca, NY, April, '05. 

Apparently this volume and each of the other four in the series includes the texts and illustrations first published by Sharma and Rupa in 1993; I have a copy of that book from 1996. The back cover of each of the five books in this series speaks of "these evergreen fables, now in five volumes." That "now" suggests that these texts and illustrations come from an earlier edition. If so, the full-page illustrations and the name of Tapas Guha seem to have been added. That same back cover lists the book as belonging to "childern's literature" (sic). There are 47 pages after 8 pages of introductory material, including a T of C. The texts seem archaic. There are half-page and full-page illustrations with differing styles. The former show much more wit. An example of the partial-page illustrations (there are eight of them here) is "The Fox and the Woodcutter" (2); an example of the full-page illustrations (there are four here) is "The Wasp and the Snake" (31). This same illustration in colored form serves as the front cover. I presume that Sharma has done the partial illustrations and Guha the full-page, since the partial illustrations seem identical with those in the earlier edition. The smaller illustrations often feature movement-lines around characters. One sometimes has to turn the page to put together a story and its illustration.

2004? The Fables of Aesop: 4. Illustrated by Jagdish Sharma & Tapas Guha. Paperbound. New Delhi: Rupa and Co. $3.45 from Books and Co., Ithaca, NY, April, '05. 

Apparently this volume and the other four in the series include the texts and illustrations first published by Sharma and Rupa in 1993; I have a copy of that book from 1996. The back cover of each of the five books in this series speaks of "these evergreen fables, now in five volumes." That "now" suggests that these texts and illustrations come from an earlier edition. If so, the full-page illustrations and the name of Tapas Guha seem to have been added. That same back cover lists the book as belonging to "childern's literature" (sic). There are 49 pages after 8 pages of introductory material, including a T of C. The texts seem archaic. There are half-page and full-page illustrations with differing styles. The former show much more wit. An example of the partial-page illustrations (there are six of them here) is "The Old Woman and the Wine Jar" (27); an example of the full-page illustrations (there are six here) is "The Horse and His Rider" (8). This one fable gets illustrations of both sorts. It is unusual that the fable illustrated on the cover of this book, "The Quack Frog," does not appear here but rather in Volume 2 of the series. I presume that Sharma has done the partial illustrations and Guha the full-page, since the partial illustrations seem identical with those in the earlier edition. The smaller illustrations often feature movement-lines around characters. One sometimes has to turn the page to put together a story and its illustration.

2004? The Fables of Aesop: 5. Illustrated by Jagdish Sharma & Tapas Guha. Paperbound. New Delhi: Rupa and Co. $3.45 from Books and Co., Ithaca, NY, April, '05. 

Apparently this volume and the other four in the series include the texts and illustrations first published by Sharma and Rupa in 1993; I have a copy of that book from 1996. The back cover of each of the five books in this series speaks of "these evergreen fables, now in five volumes." That "now" suggests that these texts and illustrations come from an earlier edition. If so, the full-page illustrations and the name of Tapas Guha seem to have been added. That same back cover lists the book as belonging to "childern's literature" (sic). There are 51 pages after 8 pages of introductory material, including a T of C. The texts seem archaic. There are half-page and full-page illustrations; their styles do not seem to be here as different from each other as in the other four volumes. One of the full-page illustrations "The Man and the Lion" (17), seems to be in the style of the partial-page illustrations. Among the best of the eighteen illustrations here are DM (25) and "The Miser" (31). To render the "kid" for "The Kid and the Wolf" (50), the artist puts a child standing on the roof! One sometimes has to turn the page to put together a story and its illustration.

 

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