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Fablio the Magician

English

1969 Fablio the Magician: The Frog and the Ox, Adapted from La Fontaine's Fable. Text by Georges de la Grandière. Illustrations by Ludo. Hardbound. London: Fablio series #1: R.L. Cavallere Ltd. £ 0.49 from Sarah Hicks, Benfleet, Essex, UK, through eBay, Feb., '03. 

Here is an English version of the French work I have from 1970. As in that version, Crak the Frog and John the Bull help Fablio to tell the story in this large-formatted book for children. The cartoon pictures are evidently movie stills. Crak, an Olympic champion, plays in all sorts of ways to his admiring fans, including his fiancée. With his valet, he watches a bullfight between John and Bull on TV. Crak wants to take on the new champion John. He trains, but is miserably bested by John. He finally hires a gas truck to help blow him up, and of course he explodes. As the spectators say, "If he hadn't been so envious and so proud, CRAK would never have cracked!" Among the best illustrations is the picture of the green Crak blushing red with shame over having forgotten his swimming trunks. I learn in this book that there are six books in the series and that they were published in French, German, Dutch, and again in German for the Swiss.

1969 Fablio the Magician: The Cat and the Old Rat, Adapted from La Fontaine's Fable. Text by Georges de la Grandière. Illustrations by Ludo. Hardbound. London: Fablio series #3 (or #2?). London: R.L. Cavallere Ltd.. £ .99 from Alexis Demaude, Ludlow, Shropshire, UK, through eBay, Jan., '06. 

I have this book in the original French, and there it is #3 in the series of 6. Captain Tom is a cat terrorizing the mice, including the little mice's teacher, Mr. Ratso. Mr. Ratso is teaching little mice pupils in their classroom about the fearsome cat. They visit the cat's cellar to see him in action. At several turns, they seem to frustrate his efforts to catch and eat them. One little mouse gets drunk on wine and is vulnerable to Captain Tom's attack. Mr. Ratso saves this little mouse with his remote-control mechanical mouse. Then Captain Tom tries the "hanging dead cat" and the "cat in flour" tricks from the fable. As in the second of the three books of this series that I have, the full text by La Fontaine appears intact on the last page. The story moves where it can to rhyming poetry. The cartoon pictures are evidently movie stills. This English version has several typos, including "round" for "rounds" and "wat" for "what." The cover has a mouse flying a balloon with "3" on it, but a list of the six books in the series on the verso of the title page has this volume as #2 in the series. The covers are laminated color pictorial boards. There is some wear on the spine tips and some rubbing to corners and edges. This book is 30 pages long. Aesop, Phedre, and La Fontaine are featured on the endpapers.

1969 Fablio the Magician: The Grasshopper and the Ant, Adapted from La Fontaine's Fable. Text by Georges de la Grandière. Illustrations by Ludo. Hardbound. London: Fablio series #4: R.L. Cavallere Ltd., London. AUD 18 from Bob Gale, Para Hills West, Australia, through eBay, Feb., '06. 

Here is a fable that I do not yet have in any language by Fablio. The story starts with a ladybug waking up and taking a shower by pulling down the cup of a daisy. The ants respond with unanimity to the wake-up call of a sentry's whistle--except one, Minibus. They all do everything according to regimen--except Minibus. The ants wake up Hippy the Grasshopper, sleeping in her matchbox. Mr. Millipede soon is dancing with twenty-five ladybirds while the ants are working away on a corn-cob. The ants work green-flies for their milk, hooking them up to electric milking machines at home. Everything in the ants' home is orchestrated and even mechanized. In a move that surprises me, Hippy, in an attempt to stay warm, burns her guitar. The story shifts then rather abruptly to La Fontaine's text, presented in rhyming verse. And then this text is presented again on one page with small illustrations above and below the text. The covers are laminated color pictorial boards. This book is 48 pages long. Aesop, Phedre, and La Fontaine are featured on the endpapers.

1969 Fablio the Magician: The Lion and the Gnat, Adapted from La Fontaine's Fable.  Text from a film by Georges de la Grandière.  Illustrations by Ludo.  Hardbound.  London: Fablio series #2:  R.L. Cavallere Ltd., London.  $18 from Mad Hatter Books, Auckland, New Zealand, through abe, May, '14. 

Here is an English version of original French work.  I now have all six of the six books in the English series, four in the French, and one in German.  The story starts with "Mr Buzz," a mosquito enjoying springtime.  He is due for a final rehearsal of a symphonic orchestra that he directs. His rehearsal is distracted by one musician playing flat and a cleaning lady doing her chores.  Maestro Buzz seems to make his own posters and post them himself for the upcoming performance.  Everybody comes except (and now we finally approach the fable) the lion, who is off camping for the weekend.  The fable then proceeds as it does in La Fontaine.  The English may struggle a bit.  This mosquito "likes to surprise his audience, so now he appears suddenly from the flies like a helicopter landing on a terrace.."  Might that be "on the fly"?  The text has been converted to English, but the illustrations have not.  One of Mr. Buzz's posters advertises "Maestro Bzz."  That was his name in the French edition.  I cannot make sense of the English moral, either in the body of the work or in the closing presentation of the text of the fable.  La Fontaine has "qu'aux grands périls tel a pu se soustraire, / Qui périt pour la moindre affaire." Spector translates "from great perils one may well escape, / Only to die in the slightest scrape."  That makes more sense to me.  The cartoon pictures are evidently movie stills.  This book has been in a musty basement too long!

1969 Fablio the Magician: The Tortoise and the Two Ducks, Adapted from La Fontaine's Fable. Text by Georges de la Grandière. Illustrations by Ludo. Hardbound. London: Fablio series #5: R.L. Cavallere Ltd., London. £ 4 from Abbey Antiquarian, Blockley, UK, through abe, April, '05.

Here is an English version of original French work. I now have two of six books in the English series and three in the French. The little tortoise Tillycom is seven months old and quite a terror of a child. She decides to leave home, eager to go anywhere that is more exciting. In the city, she meets Ting and Ling, two ducks willing to fly her to America. In this version, their stick is tied to circles they put around their necks. She descends into the middle of a bull-fight in Andalusia, where she waves her red hat as she says good-bye to Ting and Ling. They rescue her and fly her to Egypt. Soon they are in America, where Tillycom falls into a rugby match and is mistaken for the ball. A kick takes her into the middle of an Indian pow-wow. She will be either tortured or eaten! Ting and Ling are again involved in her rescue. The moment of tragedy comes when they fly over some native tortoises on an island. These greet her as queen of tortoises flying by, and Tillycom answers by claiming respect proper to a queen. She shatters then on the stones below. The story moves where it can to rhyming poetry. The cartoon pictures are evidently movie stills.

1969 Fablio the Magician: The Wolf and the Dog, Adapted from La Fontaine's Fable.  Text by Georges de la Grandière.  Illustrations by Ludo.  Hardbound.  London: Fablio series #6:  R.L. Cavallere Ltd., London.  $19.95 from Easton's Books, Mt. Vernon, WA, through abe, May, '14. 

Here is an English version of original French work.  I now have five of six books in the English series, three in the French, and one in the German.  As I mentioned of the parallel German edition, "Lobo" the wolf lives in a forbidding hut that even the devil would not inhabit. Lobo is starving. Fablio expands the tale considerably. Lobo sees a tender lamb walking along, but soon a ewe picks her up in his fast car. Lobo grabs onto the car and is pulled along into the city. He tries to steal her purse, but she strikes him and calls the police. He steals a bear's wallet but finds in it nothing but holy cards! Lobo next tries stealing from a grocery store, but is caught. Cosh the policeman comes. Lobo next tunnels into bank territory, gets onto the roof, and comes down the chimney. The security system discovers him, and the police give chase. Cosh ends up recovering the money-sack when it will not fit through a manhole.  Lobo meets a guard-dog and is apparently offered a security job.  Both the translation of La Fontaine and the cartoon text modify La Fontaine slightly, I believe, when they say that Lobo "may be running still."  This text has "wets" for "whets" of Lobo's appetite on what would be 4.  This copy is inscribed at Christmas, 1971,  The cartoon pictures are evidently movie stills.

German

1969 Fablio der Zauberer: Der Löwe und die Schnake.  Text nach einem Film von Georges de la Grandière; Nacherzählt nach der Fabel von La Fontaine.  Illustrationen von Ludo. Hardbound.  Belp, Switzerland: Fablio series #2:  Zyklo-Verlag AG.  €12 from Bücher-Insel through ZVAB, July, '16.

The Fablio series of six books was done in French, Dutch, English, and German.  Here is my second volume in German.  It covers a story that I already have in French.  It is 48 pages long and features "Aesop," "Phedre," and "La Fontaine" on the endpapers.  The covers are laminated color pictorial boards.  As I wrote in my comment on the French version, the story starts with "Bzz," a mosquito enjoying springtime.  He is due for a final rehearsal of a symphonic orchestra that he directs. His rehearsal is distracted by one musician playing flat and a cleaning lady doing her chores.  Maestro Bzz seems to make his own posters and post them himself for the upcoming performance.  Everybody comes except (and now we finally approach the fable) the lion, who is off camping for the weekend.  Bzz goes to him personally to deliver a poster.  The fable then proceeds as it does in La Fontaine.  At this point, the book moves to a German version of La Fontaine's fable, picturing Bzz and the lion.  It actually then repeats this version on a single page.

1969 Fablio der Zauberer: Der Wolf und der Hund. Text nach einem Film von Georges de la Grandière; Nacherzählt nach der Fabel von La Fontaine. Illustrationen von Ludo. Hardbound. Belp, Switzerland: Fablio series #6: Zyklo-Verlag AG. €6 from Ulrike Simon, Kassel, through ABE, Jan., '06.

The Fablio series of six books was done in French, Dutch, English, and German. Here is my first copy in German. It covers a story that I have not yet found in either French or English. It is 48 pages long and features "Aesop," "Phedre," and "La Fontaine" on the endpapers. The covers are laminated color pictorial boards. "Heuler" the wolf lives in a forbidding hut that even the devil would not inhabit. Heuler is starving. Fablio expands the tale considerably. Heuler sees a tender lamb walking along, but soon a ewe picks her up in his fast car. Heuler grabs onto the car and is pulled along into the city. He tries to steal her purse, but she strikes him and calls the police. He steals a bear's wallet but finds in it nothing but holy cards! Heuler next tries stealing from a grocery store, but is caught. Beiss the policeman comes. Heuler next tunnels into bank territory, gets onto the roof, and comes down the chimney. The security system discovers him, and the police give chase. Beiss ends up catching him when his money-sack will not fit through a manhole. At this point, the book moves to a German version of La Fontaine's fable, picturing Heuler and Beiss. It actually then repeats this version on a single page. There is wear on the spine tips and some rubbing and tearing at the corners and edges.

French

1970 Fablio le Magicien présente La grenouille qui veut se fair aussi grosse que le boeuf.  Texte: G. de la Grandière.  d'apres un film de George de la Grandière.  Hardbound.  Neuilly-sur-Seine: Fablio series #1: Dargaud Éditeur.  $3.33 from Colette Kienzle, Piedmont, Quebec, Canada, Feb., '03. 

Crak the Frog and John le Boeuf help Fablio to tell the story in this large-formatted, well used book for children.  The cartoon pictures are evidently movie stills.  Crak, an Olympic champion, plays in all sorts of ways to his admiring fans, including his fiancée.  With his valet, he watches a bullfight between John and Bull on TV.  Crak wants to take on the new champion John.  He trains, but is miserably bested by John.  He finally hires a gas truck to help blow him up, and of course he explodes.  As his assistants then say, "Sans sa jalousie et son orgueil, CRAK n'aurait pas craqué."  La Fontaine's text is interspersed with this modern cartoon version, not always successfully.  The very last still ends with a text that says "Vous pouvez regarder la prochaine fable à la Tele!" 

1970 Fablio le Magicien présente Le Lion et le Moucheron.  Texte: G. de la Grandière?  d'apres un film de George de la Grandière?  Hardbound.  Neuilly-sur-Seine: Fablio series #2: Dargaud Éditeur.  $3.33 from Colette Kienzle, Piedmont, Quebec, Canada, Feb., '03.  

This large-formatted, well used book for children has lost its title-page.  I have supplied bibliographical information from other books in the series.  The cartoon pictures are evidently movie stills.  The story starts with "M. Bzz," a mosquito enjoying springtime.  He is due for a final rehearsal of a symphonic orchestra that he directs. His rehearsal is distracted by one musician playing flat and a cleaning lady doing her chores.  Maestro Bzz seems to make his own posters and post them himself for the upcoming performance.  Everybody comes except (and now we finally approach the fable) the lion, who is off camping for the weekend.  The fable then proceeds as it does in La Fontaine.

1970 Fablio le Magicien présente Le Chat et le Vieux Rat.  Texte: G. de la Grandière.  d'apres un film de Radka Badcharova.  Hardbound.  Neuilly-sur-Seine: Fablio series #3: Dargaud Éditeur.  $3.33 from Colette Kienzle, Piedmont, Quebec, Canada, Feb., '03. 

Rodilard and Kastra (Kastrat in several places) star in this well used book for children.  The cartoon pictures are evidently movie stills.  Kastrat is teaching little mice pupils in their classroom about the fearsome cat.  They visit the cat's cellar to see him in action.  At several turns, they seem to frustrate his efforts to catch and eat them.  Then Rodilard tries the "hanging dead cat" and the "cat in flour" tricks from the fable.  As in the second of the three books of this series that I have, the full text by La Fontaine appears intact on the last page.

1970 Fablio le Magicien présente La Tortue et les deux Canards. D'apres un film de George de la Grandière. Maquette: Ludo. Hardbound. Neuilly-sur-Seine: Fablio series #5: Dargaud Éditeur. $14.50 from Bag a Book, Rooseveltown, NY, through abe, Jan., '06. 

Here is the original French book behind an English version that I have. The little tortoise Pététée is seven months old and quite a terror of a child. She decides to leave home, eager to go anywhere that is more exciting. In the city, she meets Dig and Ding, two ducks willing to fly her to America. In this version, their stick is tied to circles they put around their necks. She descends into the middle of a bull-fight in Andalusia, where she waves her red hat as she says good-bye to Dig and Ding. They rescue her and fly her to Egypt. Soon they are in America, where Pététée falls into a rugby match and is mistaken for the ball. A kick takes her into the middle of an Indian pow-wow. She will be either tortured or eaten! Dig and Ding are again involved in her rescue. The moment of tragedy comes when they fly over some native tortoises on an island. These greet her as queen of tortoises flying by, and Pététée answers by claiming respect proper to a queen--and so, of course, she falls. In this version she seems to fall into and then to be shot out of a volcano and to have an astronaut adventure. Finally she is returned to her parents. "Everything is good which ends well." The story moves where it can to rhyming poetry. The cartoon pictures are evidently movie stills.

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