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Colección "mis fábulas"

 

 

This series includes eight volumes, two each from four fabulists.  Each volume has eight two-page fables, regularly with a larger illustration at the beginning and a smaller illustration at the end.  I have found five of the eight by chance.  Now I will try to be methodical about finding the other three!

1980 fábulas de La Fontaine.  Dibujos: B. Botia.  Colleccion "mis fábulas."  Madrid: Europa-Ediexport, S.A.  Gift of Linda Schlafer, Sept., '95.

In this large-format, comic-like pamphlet, eight fables from La Fontaine receive two pages each, with three-quarters of a page given to a simple colored illustration.  Most add a short moral in parentheses.  The cover picture belongs to a fable (FM) not told here!

1982 Samaniego: fábulas. Dibujos: B. Botia. Colleccion "mis fábulas." Madrid: Europa-Ediexport, S.A. Gift of Linda Schlafer, Sept., '95.

In this large-format, comic-like pamphlet, eight fables from Samaniego are rendered in varying lengths. The verse texts are from Samaniego verbatim, as are the occasional prose morals. The illustrations are even more Disneyesque here than Botia's in the parallel La Fontaine booklet in this series (1980). This booklet happens to be in terrible condition: some moisture seems to have started a mold.

1983 Fabulas de Esopo 2.  B. Botia (NA).  Paperbound.  Madrid: Coleccion "mis fábulas":  Europa-Ediexport.  $10 from Christian Tottino, Buenos Aires, through eBay, July, '16.

There are several surprises among the "Aesopic" fables in this little volume.  Those from Aesop include BC; "The Fox and the Eagle"; WC; "The Angler and the Little Fish"; and "The Dog Invited to a Banquet."  The second fable here is "The Blind and the Lame."  Is that not from Florian?  The fourth is "El abogado y las peras."  Its focus seems to be on enjoying and using what one has when one has it.  I cannot recall finding it among Aesopic fables.  The fifth fable features a donkey and an ox.  I remember it from "Thousand and One Nights," where the donkey's advice backfires and causes him to have to work.  Colorful illustrations typically present the characters but may not help focus the story's specific action.  One helpful illustration shows the blind and lame men facing a river which they presumably need to cross.  The wrap-around cover presents a girl interacting with a fox while a mouse looks on.  The "Esopo" is formed by the smoke coming out of a chimney.

1983 Fabulas de Iriarte.  B. Botia.  Paperbound.  Madrid: Colección "mis fábulas":  Europa-Ediexport.  $10 from Christian Tottino, Buenos Aires, through eBay, June, '16.

I would not have thought that Iriarte was easily understood by children.  The owl wisely counters the toad's urgings that the bird come out into the open: "On the contrary, you would do better to hide like me!"  Alas, we writers should follow the owl but we would rather be conspicuous toads than modest owls.  Two rabbits argue whether those pursuing one are dogs or curs -- until they get eaten by whatever they are!  Squirrel tells colt that he also moves about deftly, but the colt answers that his movements have purpose.  "On puerile trifles of the day, some time and talents throw away."  Ant challenges the dismissive flea to match her industry and work.  "Maybe some other time."  Grasshopper criticizes ox's crooked furrow.  Ox: "I do so well generally that my master does not mind an occasional miscue."  Captious critics, stop carping about small blemishes in great works (like mine?).  The fable about the flautist ass has the great repeating line "por casualidad."  Bee criticizes cuckoo's monotonous song.  Cuckoo in responses criticizes bee's monotonous cells of wax.  Bee's answer: a work of usefulness may lack variety, but works intending to please should show some inventiveness.  Frog criticizes hen's cackling.  Hen responds that she celebrates laying an egg.  Frogs' croaking celebrates nothing.  Colorful illustrations typically pit the two characters against each other.  The wrap-around cover seems to illustrate a bee and an ant, but there is no such fable here.  It seems typical for this series of books that second volumes are marked "2" but first volumes have no number.  For longer fables in this volume there is no second illustration.

1983 Fabulas de Iriarte 2.  Illustrated by B. Botia (NA).  Paperbound.  Madrid: Coleccion "mis fábulas":  Europa-Ediexport.  $10 from Christian Tottino, Buenos Aires, through eBay, July, '16.

Here is a second volume of Iriarte in this series.  As I wrote of the first volume, I would not have thought that Iriarte was easily understood by children.  When the crow beats the turkey in a race, the latter makes base personal criticisms of the former.  A gardener, following boss's orders, first starves fish while attending to flowers.  Criticized, he does the opposite.  Writers, if you cannot do two things at once -- be both tasteful and profitable -- quit!  The third fable purports to be from Aesop.  Once mouse hears cat claim faithfulness to dog as praiseworthy, as mouse had just done, says he does not like it at all.  Many retract what they would assert if it boosts their enemy.  Iriarte then says "Good fable, isn't it?  Instructs and pleases?  Well, it is not from Aesop.  Now I suppose you'll hate it because it comes from me!"  The reader falls into the trap the fable has set.  Goat prides himself on the strings of a violin as coming from goat-gut.  Horse notes that the horse-hairs in the artist's bow allow the horse to get acclaim for his part in the art while he is still alive.  Goat can hope for acclaim only after death.  Two inns contrast.  The impressive inn ends up being cold and unfriendly, while the humble in was warm and welcoming.  Thus many a book deceives its reader's hopes.  Don't trust a frantic beginning from a mule or a frantic opening from a writer.  As animals praise a silkworm's cocoon, a caterpillar intervenes and wonders what the fuss is all about.  Others wonder why he alone is such a critic.  The sly fox answers "It is because he makes cocoons too, but his are worthless."   A pedantic cat loves to talk in big words.  Lizard understands nothing of it but praises the cat.  A silly cricket is likewise impressed by the cat.  High sounding writers, this fable is for you!  Colorful illustrations typically present the characters but may not help focus the story's specific action.  The wrap-around cover presents a child sitting on a toadstool directing several animals.

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