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Nathan Duos Classiques

 

2005 la cigale et la fourmi.  Réécrit, imaginé et illustré par Paul Beaupère; textes du documentaire et des jeux: Valérie Videau.  Paperbound.  Paris: Les Fables de la Fontaine:  Nathan.  €5 from Gibert Jeune, July, '17.

This is the third acquisition among the series of six, and it convinced me to go after the other three, which will arrive soon.  The pamphlet offers delightful cartoons, starting with the front-cover's strongly contrasting facial expressions of the grasshopper and ant.  First the fable is told in its entirety, with helpful vocabulary at the page bottom.  Then we start putting the story into a context for today by taking a few lines at a time and giving these lines a two-page spread.  La Fontaine's focus comes out immediately as we read of Magali "Tout l'été, elle a chanté sur la plage pour le plus grand plaisir de ses amis."  The beach scene offers quite a concoction of sunbathing insects!  Magali's promise to pay Sigismonde with interest is based on her visualized hope of soon becoming famous through her singing.  The observation that ants are not lenders is vividly demonstrated by their hard-hatted defense of their treasures (16-17).  Magali spent the summer's days writing songs and the summer's evenings presenting those songs.  "I worked for my public!"  The last pages have plenty of good information about both insects and also good questions to ponder.

2005 Le courbeau et le renard.  Réécrit, imaginé et illustré par Paul Beaupère; textes du documentaire et des jeux: Valérie Videau.  Paperbound.  Paris: Les Fables de la Fontaine:  Nathan.  $32 from Amazon.com, June, '13.  

This is one of six books in a series.  I am sorry to have missed the series.  Now only two of them seem available at reasonable prices, and here is the second of those two.  The pamphlet offers delightful cartoons, starting with the front-cover picture of the crow sitting on a construction beam with a hard hat and grasping his piece of cheese.  Here that piece of cheese is a good contemporary sandwich.  As this presentation develops, we find Romeo the crow suspended from the Eiffel Tower and Arsène the fox climbing its girders.  Soon it seems that this venue is undergoing a movie shoot.  The fox gets into the workers' suspended box with the crow and continues his pitch.  Soon the crow sings.  He lets go of the sandwich, and the whole crew is after it!  The fox gets it and quickly lowers the box.  As always, the crow is left alone and deprived in the end.  Good fun!

2005 la grenouille qui veut se fair aussi grosse que le boeuf.  Réécrit, imaginé et illustré par Paul Beaupère; textes du documentaire et des jeux: Valérie Videau.  Paperbound.  Paris: Les Fables de la Fontaine: Nathan.  €5.08 from Momox, Leipzig, Nov., '19.

This is the fourth acquisition among the series of six.  The pamphlet offers delightful cartoons, starting with the front-cover's contrast of the frog standing on a box on top of a stool to try to measure up with the athletic bull flexing his muscles.  First the fable is told in its entirety, with helpful vocabulary at the page bottom.  Then we start putting the story into a context for today by taking a few lines at a time, creating a contemporary narrative, and giving these lines a two-page picture.  Two little frogs are visiting a county fair, and one, Rosine, is attracted to Archibald, an athletic bull.  She tries to ring the bell with a big hammer and gets only a quarter of the way there.  The next day she starts working out at the gym and asks her sister Solange if she is approaching Archibald's muscularity.  She also swims.  Wherever she goes, she puts up posters of Archibald.  When that approach does not work, she begins to eat everything in sight and keeps asking Solange if she notices a change in her physique.  At this point she is developing a beerbelly.  After a while she starts to approximate Jabba the Hut: a huge blob of flesh.  The final explosion here is dramatically depicted.  "Nothing of Rosine remained."  La Fontaine's general comment on people wanting to expand themselves is well represented by a snail carrying an enormous house.  In the last picture, Rosine is an angel sitting on a lion's shoulder contemplating a rooster carried in a sedilia by servant chickens.  Now, too late, she understands that the task is to be ourselves.  The last pages have plenty of good information about both insects and also good questions to ponder.  This copy has a moderate crease down the center from top to bottom.  I learned here that bulls drink 80 liters of water a day!

2005 Le loup et l'agneau. Réécrit, imaginé et illustré par Paul Beaupère; textes du documentaire et des jeux: Valérie Videau. Paperbound. Paris: Les Fables de la Fontaine: Nathan. $10.90 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, Sept., '12.

This is one of six books in a series. I am sorry to have missed the series. Now only a couple of volumes are available, and they are very expensive! The pamphlet offers delightful cartoons, starting with the front-cover picture of a lamb slinking away with food while a wolf looks on with knife and fork in his paws. First the fable is told in its entirety, with helpful vocabulary at the page bottom. Then we start putting the story into a context for today by taking a few lines at a time and giving these lines a two-page spread. The context is a school cafeteria, where Richie the Wolf does what he pleases without objection from others. Baptiste has finished his lunch with friends. Richie wants Baptiste's dessert. "You're sitting in my seat and eating my cake!" Baptiste gives him his place. "You're not getting out that easily! You mocked me yesterday!" Baptiste jumps on a rolling cart. "I wasn't even here yesterday!" Richie jumps on a cart and pursues Baptiste. The course terminates at a tree. There Baptiste is tied up and has to watch Richie eat his dessert.

2005 le lion et le rat.  Réécrit, imaginé et illustré par Paul Beaupère; textes du documentaire et des jeux: Valérie Videau.  Paperbound.  Paris: Les Fables de la Fontaine: Nathan.  €13.21 from amazon.fr, Nov., '19.

This is the fifth acquisition among the series of six.  The pamphlet offers delightful cartoons, starting with the front-cover's contrast of the large lion in business suit and overcoat with the mouse in turtleneck and simple pants.  First the fable is told in its entirety, with helpful vocabulary at the page bottom.  Then we start putting the story into a context for today by taking a few lines at a time, creating a contemporary narrative, and giving these lines a two-page picture.  Rodolphe, the "riche homme d'affaires," is being chauffeured through the city in his grand limousine as Miguel, the vagabond, tries to cross the road with his shopping cart and fast-food bag.  Which of the two has more need of the other?  The limo hits Miguel.  Rodolphe takes Miguel into his limo, gives him a hot drink, and offers him a job.  Miguel goes to work in Rodolphe's car wash.  One afternoon, Rodolphe is on his way to the bank with the day's proceeds when he is robbed by a gang of elephants.  Miguel responds to Rodolphe's cries for help.  His shadow is so frightening that the robbers flee.  Miguel now shares Rodolphe's desk, apparently as a partner in the firm.  The last pages have plenty of good information about both animals and also good questions to ponder.  I learned here that gerbils can be gluttonous.

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