2015 to 2019


2015 A Comparison of the Fables Contained in La Fontaine, Marie De France, and the Collections known as Isopet I, Isopet II, Isopet de Lyon.  Margaret Rara Benn.  Paperbound.  BiblioScholar Dissertations: CPSIA.  $49 from Amazon, May, '15. 

This is a Master's Thesis submitted to the Department of Romance Languages and Literature of the University of Kansas in 1908.  It may contain some good criticism of the five collections it compares.  I have not read through the criticism and so I cannot say.  I can say three things.  First, this thesis is poorly presented, to say the least.  I would not have believed that a reputable institution would accept a work so filled with errors and crossouts.  The thesis is unpaginated and presented in single-space.  I would not accept such work from a normal undergraduate, much less a candidate for an MA degree.  Secondly, the work is poorly done by its contemporary republishers.  Many pages are faint.  Those frustrated with the copying of the dissertation into the present paperback will only be exasperated when the last page -- or last pages? -- is missing.  The last page of this work as it presents itself is a repeat of the page before.  Apparently no one bothered to check this work of less than 100 pages, even though it cost $49.  Thirdly, other fable scholars might have hoped for some charts indicating which works are found in which collections.  I find no such helps here.  I have been frustrated with print-on-demand books for some years.  I took another try on this one.  Imagine whether I will try again soon!

2015 Aesop's Fables.  V.S. Vernon Jones (NA).  Illustrations by Milo Winter.  Introduction by G. K. Chesterton.  First printing.  Hardbound.  NY: Knickerbocker Classics Series:  Race Point: Quarto Publishing.  $14.99 from Powell's, Portland, July, '15. 

This small hardbound book is a curious melange.  The introduction by Chesterton, taken without attribution from the 1912 edition featuring the art of Arthur Rackham, drops Chesterton's first paragraph.  The translations are from that same edition but here without recognition: they are from V.S. Vernon Jones.  The color of the illustrations from Winter, advertised on the cover, are surprisingly washed out.  This is the sort of book that comes from the expiration of copyrights seventy-five years after publication of the work.  The best thing about this book is its red cloth cover with gold lettering and a good illustration of the TMCM mice fleeing from the city dinner.  There is a list of illustrations at the front of the book and an AI at the back. 

2015 Aesop's Fables. George Fyler Townsend. Paperbound. Middletown, DE: (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform). $8.09 from Amazon, August, '15.

Here is another print-on-demand book in the form of a sturdy mid-sized paperback of 188 pages. This seems a good rendition of Townsend's texts, preceded by an interminable T of C and followed by a life of Aesop, a preface (!), footnotes, and a long AI. Everything is in uniform format, as boring and machinelike as can be. The cover shows trees, clouds, and some grass. Aesop would not approve, I think!

2015 Aesop's Fables.  Retold and Illustrated by Surendhra Kumar Padayatchi.  Pamphlet.  CreateSpace.  $13.74 from Greatbookprices through Ebay, August, '20.

This is a print-upon-demand pamphlet of 25 pages offering twelve fables.  8½" square, the booklet pairs text on the left for each fable with a full-page colored illustration on the right.  The illustrations seem computer-generated.  The texts are archaic and may have been lifted from a source like Croxall.  Do people today still speak of a "barleycorn"?  On 16 the end of the text seems to have been mixed up by the printer.  The best text, I believe, has the hare on 8 celebrating over the recognition at last of the equality of all animals.  "And after the Hare said this, he ran for his life."  The best of the illustrations may be the last, for WL.  Does the illustration on 19 fit the fable?  Neither character seems to be a fuller or a charcoal-burner.  They both seem to be sculptors.

2015 Aesop's Fables: Vol. I: A First Reader.  Mara L(ouise) Pratt(-Chadwick).  Paperbound.  Young Folk's Library of Choice Literature:  Educational Publishing Company.  $20.75 from Amazon, August, '15.

Here is a paperback book that helps me to carry on my campaign against "publish upon demand" books.  This book is, in some form, a reprint of Mara Pratt's 1892 first volume.  The botched job by the reprinter makes it hard to know just what that form is or which printing of Pratt's work is involved.  Let me list my frustrations as I have tried to catalogue this book.  First, the cover -- and of course the title under which it was advertised and sold -- is not the title on the title-page.  Let me quote verbatim the title on the cover: "Aesop'S Fables: A First Reader - Primary Source Edition."  Who would recognize that as Pratt's book?  Secondly, who is the author?  The xeroxed page inside this book identifies her, as do -- so I believe -- all the published editions of her work, "Mara L. Pratt."  The publisher, in his wisdom, has made her into Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick.  While it is helpful to have the information of her changed name, the present publisher is not making things easier for those of us who would like to be careful about names.  My biggest frustration comes as I open the book.  I have regularly used the images for FG, an early fable in the 1892 version, as a test case for various printings and editions.  Typically, there is an image I watch on 10 of these editions.  What is on 10 here?  It can be hard to answer this question because 5-7 recount "The Fox and the Lion."  8-9 are misplaced from the beginning of the volume; they show Harvard's library identifier and the inscription of the original giver of the book.  Shall we look to 10 to complete the story of the fox and lion?  What appears is the apparent ending to FG, but without the usual FG image!  I give up!  When instant publishers become more serious about reproducing their books, I will become more serious about cataloguing them!

2015 Best-Loved Aesop's Fables Coloring book.  Maggie Swanson.  Paperbound.  Mineola, NY: Dover Coloring Book:  Dover Publications.  $4.99 from Amazon, Feb., ‘18.

This large-format paperback book offers twenty-two two-page spreads offering texts and black-and-white illustrations to be colored by a young reader.  The illustrations are highly simple.  TMCM is told at too great length!  The colored endpapers are good renditions of "The Young Mouse, the Rooster, and the Cat" and LM.  My hat is off to Dover for continuing to publish fable books for young readers!

2015 Das Hausbuch der schönsten Fabeln und Weisheitsgeschichten.  Inga Hagemann.  Illustrated by Lena Hesse.  Hardbound.  Muenster:  Coppenrath.  €24.95 from Germany, August, '17.

Over 200 texts, pillowed covers with a colorful illustration of FC on the front, and a bookmark set this off as a book for families to enjoy with their children.  I learned here that in Hans Sachs' version of GA the grasshopper claims to have been useful in the summer by singing people to sleep.  The ant answers that the grasshopper should go ask for food from the people she has sung into sleep!  The curious moral is "Who does not collect in youth must go without in old age" (17).  Other texts that are new to me include "The Frogs' Competition" (13); "Die Rangierlokomotive und der Prellbock" (50); and "Diplomatic Advice" (68).  Fables are sometimes brought together to utilize their images together, as happens on 26-27 where a fable about a fox on the left is balanced by a fable about a fox and geese on the right.  The fox image on the left serves for both fables and balances nicely the image of geese on the right.  Images occur every few pages.  Good ones near the beginning of the book include FS (28) and "The Monkey and Spectacles" (49).  Most featured authors are Aesop, Leonardo, La Fontaine, and Lessing.  There is a truly international spread of stories.  Kipling sets a record for his story that goes from 108 to 113 on rather full pages: "The Elephant's Child."  This is the sort of book I would love to work through over a number of days!

2015 Der Hund und der Hahn.  Regine Griube-Heinecke.  Hardbound.  Weinheim: Der Kinderbuch Verlag in der Verlagsgruppe Beltz.  €6.80 from Hassbecker's Buchhandlung, Heidelberg, June, '19.

This book first appeared in 1975.  Its format is unusual, since it is a landscape book 8½" x 6¼" with only eight interior pages presented on very thick cardboard.  The story is well told, though the dog pictured here might have trouble threatening anyone!  The best image has the flattering fox praising the rooster's voice and wanting to embrace him.

2015 Die Schönsten Fabeln.  Ausgewählt von Matthias Reiner.  Illustriert von Reinhard Michl.  Inscribed by Reinhard Michl.  Hardbound.  Berlin: Insel-Bücherei: Insel Verlag.  €31.25 from Bührnheims Literatursalon & Antiquariat, Leipzig, May, '15.

This impressive book presents over fifty fables.  About half are from Aesop.  The other half favors Thurber and German authors.  The covers present a scene that is distinctly contemporary.  A crow bartender shakes a martini shaker.  Mice, a toad, and an unidentified animal sit at the bar.  A chipmunk or squirrel bartender rounds out the scene.  The colored illustrations accompanying most fables are strong.  Perhaps one of the best is "Die Hasen und die Frösche" (24).  GA (40) is also well done, as is TMCM (43-44).  The art for texts on one page regularly spill over onto the space of the facing page, as on 54-55.  The illustration for Kafka's "Kleine Fabel" on 64-65 is another excellent piece!  It turns out that the cover picture is for Thurber's "The Truth about Toads" (72-76).  Reiner Kunze's "Das Ende der Fabeln" (84) is the perfect way to end this lovely book.  The cock starts twice to create a fable but realizes that the fable will offend either the fox or the farmer.  He starts a third time, but….  He looks left, he looks right.  Now there is not another fable!

2015 Die Schönsten Fabeln.  Ausgewählt von Matthias Reiner.  Illustriert von Reinhard Michl.  Inscribed by Reinhard Michl.  Hardbound.  Berlin: Insel-Bücherei #2013: Insel Verlag.  €30 from Bührnheims Literatursalon & Antiquariat, Leipzig, August, '17.

Here is a second copy of this lovely book, but this copy includes an inscription from the artist along with a cartoon on the second title-page: "Fur Doreen Bunke, herzlich, Reinhard Michl.  München im April 2015."  The cartoon is of a fox raising a cocktail glass.  As I wrote of the other copy, this impressive book presents over fifty fables.  About half are from Aesop.  The other half favors Thurber and German authors.  The covers present a scene that is distinctly contemporary.  A crow bartender shakes a martini shaker.  Mice, a toad, and an unidentified animal sit at the bar.  A chipmunk or squirrel bartender rounds out the scene.  The colored illustrations accompanying most fables are strong.  Perhaps one of the best is "Die Hasen und die Frösche" (24).  GA (40) is also well done, as is TMCM (43-44).  The art for texts on one page regularly spill over onto the space of the facing page, as on 54-55.  The illustration for Kafka's "Kleine Fabel" on 64-65 is another excellent piece!  It turns out that the cover picture is for Thurber's "The Truth about Toads" (72-76).  Reiner Kunze's "Das Ende der Fabeln" (84) is the perfect way to end this lovely book.  The cock starts twice to create a fable but realizes that the fable will offend either the fox or the farmer.  He starts a third time, but….  He looks left, he looks right.  Now there is not another fable!

2015 Die schõnsten Fabeln von Aesop bis Heute.  Illustriert von Silke Leffler.  First edition.  Hardbound.  Berlin: Annette Betz im Ueberreuter Verlag.  €19.95 from Thalia Bücher, Mannheim, August, '17.

A standard check unearthed that this book, though a first edition in its own right, goes back to a first edition of 2003 already in the collection, titled "Das Fabelbuch von Aesop bis Heute."  Commending comments on the back cover are also the same: "ein zeitloses Standardwerk für die ganze Familie."  The larger publishing house may have moved to Berlin and changed its name.  I will repeat my comments from that edition.  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).

2015 Die Schönsten Tierfabeln für Kinder.  Fabeln nacherzählt von Karla S. Sommer.  Illustrations by Anne Suess.  Hardbound.  Cologne: Schwager & Steinlein Verlag.  $39.11 from Amazon, Oct., '20.

Here are 33 fables with cute illustrations for children.  I find the illustrations thoughtful.  They are all partial-page, well integrated with the text.  Appropriately for Germany, the dog in DS steals a sausage and swims underwater to try to find it (7).  The turtle at the end of "The Turtle and the Eagle" wears a bandage on his head (11).  The stork in FS has five steep glasses set up for the second meal (15).  The aphoristic moral to LS is "Trau, schau, wem!" (29).  A sausage is again the source of conflict which the monkey settles for the dog and fox (42).  Author and artist work together to develop "Die kleine Maus auf grosser Reise" (86-89), with a final image well repeated at the end of the book.  They also collaborate to bring a happy ending to GA: the grasshopper dances for the hospitable ant, so that the long time to wait for summer seems shorter for both (91).  The fables are traditional Aesopic material.  The one exception comes from the Panchatantra, "The Lion and the Hare" (114-19).  Last of all comes a two-page history of fables (126-27).

2015 El Ratón campestre y el cortesano.  Delia Páez.  Illustrated by Emilio Darlun.  Primera Edicion.  Hardbound.  Buenos Aires: Fábulas para leer en familia: Vlacvoks Contenidos.  $30 from Christian Tottino, Buenos Aires, through eBay, August, '18.

Here is one member of a colorful series of books with, apparently, wide representation on Youtube and elsewhere – but unfortunately not easily available in the USA.  Besides TMCM, this volume contains simple, spirited presentations of "Las Moscas y la Miel"; "La Zorra y la Pantera"; and "La Rana Médica."  TMCM involves a lake and a palace.  A "miau" interrupts the palatial feast, just as a two-page illustration of a cat punctuates the book (6-7).  The country mouse cries upon returning home, not sad but rather appreciating what he has.  The flies let themselves get stuck to the honey and pay for it with their lives.  The third story seems new to me, or at least to employ new characters for a traditional moral.  A parrot with a hurt wing needs help to get up to its nest.  He asks a panther who is busy admiring his image in some water, and the panther refuses.  A fox helps the parrot.  Soon enough King Lion holds an assembly to offer a prize for beauty, and the panther expects to receive it but is surprised that the beauty in question here is inner beauty.  The fox is rewarded for helping the parrot.  The frog proclaiming to be a doctor has promoted herself in all sorts of ways for a long time.  Her own wounded foot, noted by a cicada, is her undoing.  Every one of the added morals emphasizes humility.  The images seem computer generated.

2015 Ezopovy Bajky.  [Illustrated by Tessa Hamilton, NA.]  Hardbound.  Prague: Fortuna Libri.  129 Czech Korunas from Prague, August, '17.

Here is Fortuna Libri's Czech republication of Brimax's 1991 book, "Aesop's Fables."  The two books make for a fascinating study in the family tree of books.  I have seldom seen a more faithful use of the original.  What is different?  What had been a central picture of LM on the front cover has become instead an image of FS.  What had been an AI at the beginning of the volume has become a true T of C.  The page-for-page match between books remains strong, with only the captions and texts changed.  As I wrote there, the visual approach is unusual.  The backgrounds are varied, the borders clever, and the illustrations lively (single or double paged).  They are echoed in each case by at least one Bewick reproduction (mostly generic, a few showing fables themselves) and sometimes by a small repetition of a detail from the larger picture.  The morals are nicely captioned within the borders.  The grand prize goes to "The Eagle and the Beetle" (92-3).  Other good illustrations feature the mouse thumbing his nose at the bull (10-11), a face on the back of a groaning wagon (18), an exhausted town mouse back home (37), an astronomer at the bottom of a well (44), a chagrined fox (65), the tortoise's shell-like house (77), tree-faces (90-1), a knight on a broken-down horse in the farmyard (98), a freezing spendthrift sitting over a bunny-hole (111), and a mangy crow that has tried to be a swan (121).

2015 Ezopovy Bajky.  Jiri Zacek.  Illustrated by Adolf Born.  6th printing.  Hardbound.  Prague: Nakladatelstvi Slovart.  249 Czech Crowns from Spalena, Prague, July, '19.

Most of the 50 fables in this strong 8" x 10¼" book get two pages.  Text and illustration are well integrated spatially.  The exploding male in OF is surrounded by three females wearing two-piece bathing suits (10-11).  Another strong illustration is the disgruntled fox in FG (15). There are great facial expressions in TH (39).  Perhaps the best of all is DL (55): notice the chair breaking under the weight of both man and donkey.  Born did a fine edition of La Fontaine fourteen years earlier.  How nice to find this edition in Prague!

2015 Fable Comics.  Edited by Chris Duffy.  Various cartoonists.  First edition, first printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  New York: First Second Books.  $14.92 from Amazon, August, '15. 

Here are twenty-eight fables rendered by contemporary cartoonists.  They range in size from one page to six.  The first offering, FG, by James Kochalka, includes a good deal of appropriate chatter from the fox and a jet-pack that has the fox flying far beyond the grapes.  It is lively and sets the lively tone for this book.  The various cartoonists take creative approaches to their fables, like Charise Harper's approach to BM (16-19).  She invents wonderful complaints from the various members!  Itsy the mouse treats the lion's belly as a trampoline (20)!  Does it help the story to have the wolf go sailing over the cliff above the lying shepherd boy (38)?  Simone Lia in CP builds up the crow as an answer-person able to answer hard questions (40-44).  Hermes responds to the overly clever second axe-wielder, who has thrown his axe into the pond and claims the golden one Hermes brings to him: "You can't lie to me!  I'm the god of liars, you dork!" (47).  Graham Chaffee surrounds the story of DS with cleverly introduced modern urgings to get more.  As the boneless dog passes a phone booth, he hears "I'm tellin' ya, Sal -- ya can't lose…." (52),  Dead frogs with haloes trailing Hermes to the afterlife announce the moral for FK (63).  Is it true that I am noticing for the first time Krylov's "The Elephant in Favor" (71)?  It dramatizes effectively the importance of listening!  An eagle captures the tortoise and happens to drop him at the race's finish-line (97-102)!  GA is told in Disney fashion but adds dashed dreams of stardom by the musical grasshopper (103-108).  George O'Connor draws four fables; all other cartoonists here do just one.  A very small line at the bottom of the first page of each fable gives a generic source for the story.  Krylov, Bidpai, and Ambrose Bierce get into the fun, as do some folktales identified by their country of origin.  This is my kind of book!

2015 Fables d'Ésope illustrées.  Retold by Susanna Davidson; French translation by Caroline Slama.  Illustrated by Giuliano Ferri.  Hardbound.  London: Éditions Usborne.  $23.47 from Wordery through Ebay, Feb., '20.

This French edition quite exactly replicates its 2013 original by Usborne.  The place of printing has changed from China to the United Arab Emirates.  Otherwise, only the change of language seems to separate the two books, bought almost exactly ten years apart.  As I wrote there, this is a squat edition, 6" x 7¾" with puffy covers.  Its 272 pages are divided into eight categories, with three to six stories in each group.  The categories are Pride, Trickery, Greed, Quarrels, Friendship, Cunning, Retorts, and Comeuppance.  The story versions are good and filled out nicely with picturesque details.  All but TH are well thought through.  Davidson has the hare deliberately nap, planning on making the race competitive when the turtle catches up near the end.  The illustrations are charming and colorful.  FC on 14 is a good example.  The book is physically heavy.

2015 Fables in An Old Style/Fábulas En Un Estilo Antiguo: Book One.  Sylvia Ross; Spanish translation by Rosalinda Villareal Teller.  Paperbound.  Lexington, KY: Comparative Literature for Children:  Bentley Avenue Books.  $10 from Amazon.com, Nov., '15.

There are four fairytale stories here, each twenty to thirty pages in length, and each presented in English with a Spanish translation on the facing page: "The Apothecary's Garden"; The Wizard"; Doña Stephana and the Dragon"; and "Trees of Gold and Silver."  There are plenty of black-and-white full-page illustrations suitable for coloring.  The back cover describes the stories as "simple parables told with careful attention to traditional and modern values."  In her personal statement at the end of the book, Ross remembers the stories told by the nuns at St. Augustine's School in Los Angeles after lunch every day.  World War II brought its own dark threats to Los Angeles, but what the nuns read were "stories that told of peaceful lands and gentle people."  This book and its companion second volume were printed upon demand.

2015 Fables in An Old Style/Fábulas En Un Estilo Antiguo: Book Two.  Sylvia Ross; Spanish translation by Rosalinda Villareal Teller.  Paperbound.  Lexington, KY: Comparative Literature for Children:  Bentley Avenue Books.  $10 from Amazon.com, Nov., '15.

This book and its companion first volume were printed upon demand.  There are three stories here, each about forty pages in length, and each presented in English with a Spanish translation on the facing page: "The Stepmother"; The Woodswoman's Jewels"; and "A Story of Small Magic."  There are again plenty of black-and-white full-page illustrations suitable for coloring.  The back cover again describes the stories as "simple parables told with careful attention to traditional and modern values."  In her afterword for this book, Ross notes that these three stories come not from the fables she heard as a child.  "They arose from true incidents observed during the years I taught in a small, rural city."  "The conversion of harsh truths into fables is a time-honored tradition. These kinds of stories, even when they have sad or bittersweet endings, give consolation to children whose lives are troubled.  The same stories cannot help but broaden the empathy of children traveling through easier lives."

2015 Fables: Quand la Sagesse Vint aux Ânes.  Pierre Ruaud.  Illustrated by Julia Wauters.  Hardbound.  Lyon: Éditions amaterra.  €14.90 from Let Petits Platons, Paris, June, '19.

There are thirteen fables on 31 pages in this tall (8½" x 12¾") book, as the beginning T of C shows.  This book has an unusual feature: colored-background half-pages give the rhyming verse of each fable.  Facing each text then is its multi-colored, dramatic full-page illustration.  Thus the first fable, "Le Chien et le Chat," has the head of a donkey presented between cat and dog, each in a balancing scale suspended from the ears of the donkey.  The donkey holds a judge's gavel in his mouth.  The wise donkey judges that each of these bickering competitors must name four qualities of the other at the next sunrise.  They do, and he wisely judges that they complement each other, since one wards off thieves and the other mice.  Once one recognizes the qualities of our rivals, we can no longer detest them.  The second fable is "Le Corbeau et le Renard qui Connaissait la Fable."  This fox has to figure out new ways to fool crows!  The title fable (19) has two donkeys tied to each other at a rest period learning to eat together out of first one and then the other's feed – instead of straining against each other and getting nothing.  Thus wisdom comes to these two asses, though it often does not come to humans!  Later (20) two cocks compete by waking the farmer up earlier and earlier.  He ends their competition by serving them a great meal.

2015 Fábulas. Illustrated by Sofía García Aubert. Hardbound. Madrid: Editorial Libsa. $11.11 from The Book Depository, London, August, '15.

This is a tall (almost 8" x 11½") hardbound book with soft covers. It offers thirty-one fables, each with its own two-page spread, by a variety of authors. The only surprise among the authors is Jean-François Guichard, who presents "El sapo y la luciérnaga" (38). Apparently the toad eats the glow-worm because the glow-worm does something that the toad cannot do, namely "brillar," shine. It seems that Hartzenbusch also told this fable, and that may be the source of its inclusion here. I think Harzenbusch's "Monkey, Ass, and Mole" is new to me (24-25). Monkey complains of not having a tail, ass of not having horns, and mole of being blind. Typical of the book's big, strong art is "Los toros y las ranas" (30-31). I am happy to see a less frequent fable like SS show up in this group (52-53). Did I know before Iriarte's provocative fable of "The Elephant and the Other Animals" (56-57)? The elephant offers comments on how to live a good life and criticizes harmful faults. The predators start to criticize and leave. Apparently Iriarte's point is that he is not writing about particular men but about human faults. I think the closing sentiment is "If you believe it touches you, it is you -- not me -- that criticize you."

2015 Fábulas de Esopo.  Versiones de Delia Maunás.  Ilustraciones de Mima Castro.  Hardbound.  Buenos Aires: Colección Atrapacuentos:  El Gato de Hojalata: Editorial Guadal.  See 2010/2015.

2015 Fabulously Funny Fables.  Kathryn Gabrielle.  Paperbound.  Milton Keynes, UK:  Privately published.  $10 from an unknown source, Jan., '16.

This is an unpaginated print-upon-demand paperback of fifteen short stories and poems.  The cover is a pixelated picture of what seems to be a woman plucking flowers.  To get the flavor of this paperback book, try "(#3) A Can of Hairspray" and "(#8) A Tale of Envy and Compassion."  The latter is a  strong and simple piece that argues powerfully for values different from those ruling society.  Typos like "occurred" and bad spacing get in the way.  That this is a British rather than American account comes clear with the word "electric."

2015 Fabulously Funny Fables.  Kathryn Gabrielle.  Paperbound.  Milton Keynes, UK:  Privately published.  $10 from an unknown source, Jan., '16.

This is an unpaginated print-upon-demand paperback of fifteen short stories and poems.  The cover is a pixelated picture of what seems to be a woman plucking flowers.  To get the flavor of this paperback book, try "(#3) A Can of Hairspray" and "(#8) A Tale of Envy and Compassion."  The latter is a  strong and simple piece that argues powerfully for values different from those ruling society.  Typos like "occurred" and bad spacing get in the way.  That this is a British rather than American account comes clear with the word "electric."

2015 Fibble-Fabbles: Fables for Grown-Ups, Precocious Teens, Nerds, Biddies and Geezers, and the Socially Immature..  Howard Denson.  Paperbound.  CreateSpace.  $10.61 from Greatbookprices2 through Ebay, August, '20.

I do believe that there is fun here for the engaged reader.  I myself lasted to Page 10.  That was far enough for me to judge that these short stories go beyond the genre of fables.  What I pick up from the first and part of the second story is the author is having fun and invites his reader to do the same.  Print-upon-demand.

2015 Garbage Pail Kids Magazine: Fables, Fantasy, and Farts: Fantasy Felicia: April, 2015.  Paperbound.  San Diego: IDW Publishing.  $4.99 from Jason Campbell, Salem, NJ, through eBay, May, '15.

Wow!  This magazine sets a new low standard for this collection.  The humor sometimes combines clever wordplays, but the standby is toilet humor with occasional violence that borders on the obscene.  I cannot find anything to do with fables.  There is frequent talk of quests.  I am afraid I would call this kind of literature mindless.  I include it here to stop the next fable enthusiast from bothering with it.

2015 Il  Était une Fois: Fables de La Fontaine.  Sylvie Martin.  Illustrated by Anouk Lacasse.  Hardbound.  Les Éditions Coup d'oeil.  $21 from Marie Gervais, St.-Urbain-Premier, Quebec, Canada, through eBay, March, '19.

This large format book (9" x 13") with five fables is a selection and development of "Les Fables de La Fontaine" by the same author, artist, and publisher in 2013.  That book had twenty fables.  Our five here are not only selected from there.  The art is sometimes repeated and sometimes modified, and sometimes a selection is made or a large image there is broken up into two.  Also, the original La Fontaine text is no longer presented.  There is only the prose narrative accompanying the images.  Presented here are GA, OF, FC, TH, and TMCM, each for eight pages.  The frog in OF is a diminutive slender female who wants to put on weight.  The ox recommends the "balloon" method to fill out, and she falls in love with the method!  The artist gives us a good sense of La Fontaine's perception of the beginning of the TH race:  the hare rests with a cocktail in a lawn chair while the race starts and the tortoise moves off.  The approach of this art is especially appropriate, I believe, for TMCM, which is well presented.  All three full-page illustrations in this fable capture the two mice in revealing action.  Among the many big, inexpensive fable books that appear in France year after year, this is a favorite.  T of C at the beginning.

2015 Jean de La Fontaine: 25 Fables: Bilingual illustrated edition.  A new translation by Christopher Carsten.  Engravings by Sophie de Garam.  Preface by Sir Michael Edwards.  Signed by the translator.  Paperbound.  Paris: Librairie Editions Tituli.  $23.25 from Grolier Poetry Bookshop, Boston, July, '16.

Here is a fresh set of translations done quite consciously not only into American English but into contemporary idiom.  I have sampled the first six translations and found them lively and well chiseled.  "Sponge Donkey, Salt Donkey" gets moralized "Different strokes for different folks," and the proverb fits perfectly.  "The Man Between Two Ages and Two Mistresses" closes with these four lines: "Whichever one I pick, would in her fashion Have me live, and not in mine.  OK, I'm bald, but bald and celibate is fine.  I’m much obliged, my beauties, for the lesson."  Well done!  The black-and-white illustrations are less enlightening for me.

2015 La cigale et la fourmi.  Francois.  Paperbound.  Middletown, DE: (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform).  $9 from Amazon, Sept., '15. 

This is a remarkable book.  It looks like we have reached the limit of on demand publication.  What is lacking in this book?  Indication of the author, publisher, and date.  What we have is a place, a fable of La Fontaine poorly formatted, and then some 102 unpaginated pages of creative development of La Fontaine's fable, I take it in a highly political and satirical vein.  The back cover gives this introduction, which Amazon repeats as its only real description of the book:  "Sous l'impulsion de la colonie des droits de l'insecte, l'union des vingt-sept fourmilières de la grande clairière s'organise pour sauver les cigales qui risquent leur vie tous les jours pour venir apporter leur gaieté de vivre aux fourmis travailleuses en l'échange d'une vie plus agréable qu'au sud du grand étang. Motivées par un groupe de jeune fourmis socialisantes, les travailleuses risquent leur vie pour la réussite de cette vaste opération de sauvetage. Malgré des centaines de pertes parmi les rangs des ouvrières, les braves travailleuses continueront le chantier pour le bonheur de participer au rayonnement de leur grandiose civilisation des lumières. Elles ont la joie de mourir pour une grande cause sous les regards incrédules de l'égoïste fourmilière de l'est de la grande clairière. Ces fourmis rouges, qui loin de vouloir participer, se mettent à construire des murs infranchissables aux fourmis et idées tolérantes de l'union des vingt-sept fourmilières. Et tout cela au mépris de la morale de monsieur de La Fontaine."  Ants, unite!  Unhappy cicadas, look forward to a better future for all animals!  I need to leave further exploration of this offshoot of La Fontaine to others better equipped to pick up the social criticism.

2015 Le petit Théâtre de La Fontaine: 8 Fables a Jouer Masqués.  Agnes de Lestrade and Gloria Pizzilli.  Tirage No. 1.  Paperbound.  Paris: Seuil Jeunesse: Éditions du Seuil.  $23.91 from Stars and Stripes Bookstore through Amazon.com, May, '16.

As the back of this assemblage well proclaims, we find here first a book to read; secondly, twenty scripts of parts to play; and thirdly eight masks to wear in those roles.  All three -- but particularly the first and third -- are well done.  The book is part of the sturdy portfolio that also includes an envelope for the other two materials.  At its heart, the book has a page for each of the eight La Fontaine texts and a dramatic illustration page facing that.  Then there are some tips on typical dimensions of theater.  My prizes here go to "The Sick Lion," FC, and WL.  The second offering is twenty single pages, each presenting the script of a fable for a particular character in that fable.  Thus, there is a page, front and back, for the hare in TH, with the hare's lines in bold print.  One could easily hand out these pages in, say, a class presentation of a fable.  Then thirdly there are the masks!  Colorful, dramatic, well conceived, and well constructed.  My prizes go to the fox, wolf, lion, and hare.  This is a wonderful use of La Fontaine's fables!  I will keep the whole set with the books.

2015 Les Fables de la Fontaine.  Illustrées par Thomas Tessier.  Hardbound.  (Paris): rue des enfants.  €32.59 from Nathalie Roy, Voiron, France, Dec., '16.

Here is a later and smaller edition of the 2013 "Mes plus belles Fables de La Fontaine" by the same publisher and above all by the same artist.  Here one finds 15 of the 25 fables presented there.  I continue to enjoy Tessier's highly imaginative presentations of La Fontaine's fables.  Each fable gets two pages, with text on the left-hand page and a clever illustration on the right-hand page.  Fable after fable, his imagination finds lively approaches to the story.  The ant in GA is pushing a full shopping card around the outside of a grasshopper concert!  Both the fox and the crow wear old-time French wigs as they argue their "case" in and below a tree.  We get to view the exploded parts of the frog in OF.  In MM, her future dreams are shadows in the puddle of spilled milk.  The wolf is gigantic as he towers over the lamb at the river.  WC is wonderfully dramatic, simple, and colorful.  The two mice are enjoying burgers, hot dogs, and fries as the cat comes upon them from a fire escape outside an open window.  FS becomes a theater drama acted on a stage.  This is stimulating, refreshing, creative work!  Other fables presented here include OR; "The Heron"; "The Farmer and His Sons"; LM; "The Little Fish and the Angler"; and "The Fox and the Goat."  T of C at the end.  There is a CD attached inside the front cover.  The cover illustration focuses in on WC.

2015 Les Fables de La Fontaine Illustrées par les Plus Grand Artistes.  Paperbound.  Paris: Circonflexe.  $12 from N. Roy, Voiron, France, through eBay, May, '16.

This large-format (9' x 11½") paperback presents a lovely variety of illustrators of La Fontaine's fables in vivid color.  There is no introduction or commentary.  There is a last page of short biographical comments on the sixteen artists.  Otherwise there are only pictures and texts.  Three are new to me: Thomas Tessier, Emmanuel Fornage, and Hermann Vogel.  I have already ordered the works of two of them because of this book!  Others represented include: Boutet de Monvel; Pieter Breughel; François Chauveau; Guastave Doré; Jean-Honoré Fragonard; André Hellé; Félix Lorioux; Franz Marc; Gustave Moreau; Jean-Baptiste Oudry; Benjamin Rabier; Auguste Vimar; and the 1894 Artistes de Tokyo gathered by Barboutau.  What a lovely book!  By the way, the editors may be cheating a little to use Breughel's "The Harvest" to illustrate "The Laborer and His Sons."  Was Oudry originally meant to be shown in color?

2015 Mlsna Stika a Jine Pribehy: Bajky podle Ezopa, La Fontaina a Krylova.  Arnost Vit.  Illustrations by various children.  Hardbound.  Prague: e-bohem: Mlada Fronta.  99 Czech Crowns from Levne Knihy, Prague, July, '19.

I believe that the title translates into something like "'The Fox and the Pike' and Other Stories."  There are about eighty fables on some 128 pages.  Virtually all come from the three fabulists mentioned in the subtitle.  The delight of this book is well described in the publisher's blurb: "The author told both known and lesser-known fables, and through our website, we invited children from all corners of the country to pick, read and send us an illustration. We collected hundreds of pictures and selected those that ended up in this amazing book. They show that great illustrators grow up among children."  My own favorites among them include FS (86); death and the woodman (91); the cat and mouse on 105; and the shadow man on 110.  The title-fable "Mlsna Stika" is on 27-28: A court is ready to sentence the pike for a variety of crimes, when the fox suggests that they drown him in a stream.  All find his suggestion brilliant.  Clever fox!  Lucky fox-friend the pike!

2015 Modern Fables.  Curt Moeller.  Paperbound.  Kumo Publishing.  $7.99 from Amazon, July, '18.

Here are eighteen stories in which animals act in very human ways.  One rabbit tricks another into letting the former sleep with the latter's Wife.  Horse and donkey get used to slavery, but in different ways.  Mice torment a cat but their ploys end up sharpening the cats claws, and they pay for their mistake.  A frog talks a fish into committing to live on land and laughs as the fish dies.  These unillustrated fables show good imagination.

2015 Mon Grand Livre des Fables de La Fontaine.  Illustrated by Élodie Bossrez, Alain Boyer, Romain Guyard, Prisca Le Tandé, Mathieu Maillefer, and Jocelyn Millet.  Hardbound.  Paris: Larousse.  $41.77 from Amazon, Oct., '19.

This large hardbound book, about 11½' x 9½", has in its 91 pages each of the eight booklets published as the "Collection Les Fables de La Fontaine" by Larousse.  These attractive booklets only become more attractive by their larger presentation here.  See the collection for details about each story.  Changes in the color and size of the typeface again add to the effect.  As I wrote there, these stories present a lively introduction to La Fontaine for smaller children.  This book comes with a special front cover on which some of the writing and characters are raised above the level of the rest.  The back cover features one character from each of the stories.  There is a Spanish version of this book:"Mi Gran Libro de las fábulas de La Fontaine."

2015 Mousetropolis.  R. Gregory Christie.  First edition, first printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  NY: Holiday House.  $13.71 from Amazon, Feb., '18.

This lively version focuses on the desire for an exchange, an experience of the other, and a quick return to one's own home.  The City Mouse in downtown Mousetropolis wakes up to too much noise and needs a vacation.  He responds immediately to an invitation from Country Mouse but sticks up his nose at his first country meal.  When he asks what Country Mouse does for fun, he finds himself on the way to a jamboree.  "Not bad," City Mouse says of the dancing.  But going home he senses danger, and he is right.  An owl watches them all the way.  The night is too hot and too quiet.  They both have the same idea and soon run for the train and land on top of a box car.  The station in Mousetropolis is full of music, dancing, and food  --  candy and cheese, of course!  But just as an owl had appeared in the country, a cat appears in the station and scatters the mice.  Country Mouse is quickly back home and says simply "Home."  The back endpaper shows the City Mouse saying the same thing.  Lively gouache illustrations.  Maybe the "Swoosh" picture on top of the boxcar is the most unusual.  The dancing figures on the front cover are also very well done.

2015 Mousetropolis.  R. Gregory Christie.  Fourth printing.  Paperbound.  NY: Holiday House.  $6.99 from Amazon, Feb., '18. 

This lively version focuses on the desire for an exchange, an experience of the other, and a quick return to one's own home.  The City Mouse in downtown Mousetropolis wakes up to too much noise and needs a vacation.  He responds immediately to an invitation from Country Mouse but sticks up his nose at his first country meal.  When he asks what Country Mouse does for fun, he finds himself on the way to a jamboree.  "Not bad," City Mouse says of the dancing.  But going home he senses danger, and he is right.  An owl watches them all the way.  The night is too hot and too quiet.  They both have the same idea and soon run for the train and land on top of a box car.  The station in Mousetropolis is full of music, dancing, and food  --  candy and cheese, of course!  But just as an owl had appeared in the country, a cat appears in the station and scatters the mice.  Country Mouse is quickly back home and says simply "Home."  The final pages show the City Mouse saying the same thing.  Lively gouache illustrations.  Maybe the "Swoosh" picture on top of the boxcar is the most unusual.  The dancing figures on the front cover are also very well done.

2015 Reynard the Fox.  Translated by James Simpson.  Illustrations by Edith E. Newman.  Foreword by Stephen Greenblatt.  First edition.  Hardbound.  Dust jacket.  NY:  Livewright Publishing Corporation: W.W. Norton.  $24.95 from Readers' Books, Sonoma, CA, July, '15.

First, it is very nice to see a book dedicated to an old friend, Jill Mann!  Secondly, it is great to encounter a Reynard book that offers an illustration of a number of the fables told in the book.  That page here is 177, and it includes "The Horse and the Wolf"; "The Horse and the Hart"; "The Man and the Snake"; "The Dog and the Ass"; and "The Wolf and the Crane."  Those are stories one could supposedly see in Reynard's magic mirror, as the text on 179-84 lays out.  Simpson helps the reader with good summaries of the sections and chapters.  Thus Part V reads "Reynard the Fox bamboozles and distracts the court with elaborate stories of nonexistent precious objects" (169).  Another helpful element is found just before the text itself begins: an "Animal Dramatis Personae" lists the major and minor players and describes the relation of each to Reynard.  The two major relations are "victim" and "friend."  Cuwaert the Hare for example has this beside his name: "eaten by Reynard."  I think a person could have a lot of fun with this book!

2015 Rimes of Ancient Fables.  Carl J. Hasper.  Illustrated by Gina Haver.  Paperbound.  Massapequa, NY: ProPress Books.  $1.72 from Amazon, Sept., '18.

Aesop and his stories keep generating lively things.  In this case, the fables have inspired a happy poet to retell forty fables and then transform his story into poetry.   The author concludes a little essay on Aesop this way: "I have seven or eight books of Aesop's fables in my home library.  I have endeavored to use them to learn how to write poetry.  First, I rewrite the fable in my own words and extract the moral, a again in my own words, in prose.  Then I tell the fable as poetry in rhymed couplets of ten syllables per line.  It is fun."  "Poetry" here has a heavy accent on rhyme.  The illustrations tell the stories well; a good example is the first, picturing either of the two wives holding a hair around a balding man.  The front cover features a hare wearing sunglasses and a Hawaiian lay.  Even the author's wife gets into the fun by admitting "Writing rhymed poetry has become his passion.  He wants to use his poetry to entertain and also teach.  It's a 'Double Whammy.'"  The story of this book is indeed a matter of fun!

2015 The Frog and the Ox and other Aesop's Fables.  Compiled by Vic Parker.  Paperbound.  NY: Gareth Stevens Publishing.  $14.82 from Book Depository, London, August, '17.

This booklet, published by Miles Kelly in 2013 has been picked up, along with the rest of the set, by Gareth Stevens in 2015.  The booklet is now printed in the USA.  I do not find a listing of the artists in this copy.  It is curious that I needed to buy this American-printed copy from a British bookseller!  I believe that the format of these booklets has become smaller.  There are still fourteen fables on 40 pages, but the pages may have shrunk.  The pages still contain little characters around the edges.  Throughout this volume, the frame including these animals is the same.  Dragonflies and mice adorn the tops of pages.  A lion and frogs are along the bottom and the right hand side.  One of these symbols appears with each moral.  Every fable is illustrated.

2015 The Grasshopper and the Ant.  Jerry Pinkney.  First printing.  Hardbound.  Dust-jacket.  NY: Little, Brown, and Company.  $18 from Black Oak Books, Berkeley, June, '15.

Here is another strong and well considered Jerry Pinkney book.  The artist's statement at the end of the book is helpful.  Pinkney's wawtercolors stress the colors of the seasons as nature changes from summer to fall and then to winter.  He also stresses the musical quality of the story.  His special gift here is in painting faces and particularly eyes.  Do not miss the cover illustration, which is not the same as the dust-jacket illustration.  Pinkney's form of the story has the Queen Ant offering the freezing grasshopper a cup of tea.  He sees the ants learning to share and the grasshopper learning to work.  This grasshopper makes snow angels, snowmen, and snow hoppers!  He is a one-man band, complete with guitar, drum, cymbals, and accordion.  The key to his depiction here is that he is alone.  Near the end is a surprising "fold-up" page to add height to a two-page spread.  The grasshopper is above ground while the ants are below ground.  Pinkney directs readers to the endpapers to see how the grasshopper has learned to work, but I have trouble finding the evidence for his learning, beautiful as the endpapers are.

2015 The McFables: Selected Aesop's Fables in Scots.  Glenn Muir.  Paperbound.  McStorytellers.  $10 from an unknown source, August, '16.

Here is a published-upon-demand book worth publishing!  The rhyming Scots verse is fun!  I enjoyed reading the first five or six out loud, murdering no doubt the Scots pronunciation.  Nice finds along the way included, in AL, "But the Lion jist held oot his paw Whilst lookin helluva miserable."  The last line of BC is "This question brocht forth the soond o silence."  The final two lines of FG are ""Och weel" quo he "I shouldnae gripe.  Nae doot they're soor, they'll no be ripe."  It is fun to see people having fun with the fables!  T of C at the beginning.

2015 The Monkey and the Crocodile and Other Fables from the Jataka Tales of India.  Retold by Ellen C. Babbitt.  Illustrations by Ellsworth Young.  Paperbound.  Mineola, NY:  Dover Publications.  $9.01 from Ebooksweb through eBay, June, '18.

Here is a new edition by Dover that puts together two books published in 1912 and 1922, respectively, by Century.  (Dover gives the date for the first as 1918.)  This is a typically clean, well produced Dover book.  I will repeat comments I made on the two.  The first contains eighteen fables.  These stories are clearly written for children.  Some of the stories have more potential than is realized in these somewhat simplified and moralized tellings.  "How the Turtle Saved His Own Life" (10) may be the best of a lot that is largely new to me.  The glory of this book lies in the deft silhouette-like illustrations, one or two for each story.  Outstanding examples of these are on 22, 47, 76, and 86.  The second contains twenty-one fables, with a T of C before them. Again, I am taken first with the exquisite silhouettes. Notice the detail in the red-bud tree on 134, for example. Most of the stories are new to me. The fishes in The Three Fishes (108) are named as in the standard Kalila and Dimna story, but the story now has to do with one fish who saves two others from a net. The Golden Goose (121) presents a goose whose golden feathers turn white if they are plucked out against his wish. Furthermore, the new feathers that come in are not golden either. I like The Cunning Wolf (127). In it the wolf reveals a man playing dead by tugging at his weapon. The Woodpecker and the Lion (136) seems like a replay of WC.

2015 The Oracle's Fables: Life Lessons for Children Inspired by Warren Buffett.  John Prescott.  Illustrations by Tom Kerr.  Hardbound.  Dallas: Taylor Specialty Books.  Gift, Sept., '15. 

"Life Lessons for children based on quotes from the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett."  Fourteen fables get each a two-page spread, with an illustration on one page and a text on the other.  The first fable is a good exemplar: "The Mice, The Beaver and Old Man Winter."  The mice refuse the beaver's offer of a dam and trust to winter's ice.  The latter gives them a good bridge in winter but sweeps them away in spring.  A second fable, "The Frog and The Snake," has a frog seeking better territory but then returning home only to find a snake has inhabited his den.  "Never risk what you have and need for what you don't have and don't need" (4).  Good advice!  In a fable similar to TMCM, a young raccoon setting out meets an old raccoon, whose life in the city was good but destructive for him.  The young raccoon thanks him and goes into the forest rather than the city.  The story of an overeager badger concludes with this lovely moral: "The most important thing t o do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging" (8).  A bear learns from a fellow bear mauled by bees to seek berries instead.  The author cleverly puts Buffett's good advice into the story of a small sea turtle ready to break out of his shell and make a dash for the sea: "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful" (12).  A stray puppy becomes a trusted pet over years and then bites the farmer's hand.  "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.  If you thin about that you'll do things differently" (15).  A later gem is this: "Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future" (16).  "The Three Fish" (20) is vintage Aesop: "Middle-sized fish urges big fish to stop eating the little fish, which he himself wants to eat, and to go after middle sized fish.  So big fish immediately eats middle fish.  The final fable, "The Greedy Queen Bee," finishes with this moral: "If you're in the luckiest one percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent" (29).  The art is, I would say, adequate.  This book is more engaging than I thought it would be.

2015 The Oracle's Fables: Life Lessons for Children Inspired by Warren Buffett.  John Prescott.  Illustrations by Tom Kerr.  Hardbound.  Dallas: Taylor Specialty Books.  Gift of MaryAnne and Tim Rouse, Dec., '17.

Here is a second copy of a book I have already enjoyed.  This copy is inscribed to me and signed by Tom Kerry and John Prescott.  I am delighted to include it in the collection.  As I wrote of the first copy I was given, this book is more engaging than I thought it would be.  The subtitle is "Life Lessons for children based on quotes from the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett."  Fourteen fables get each a two-page spread, with an illustration on one page and a text on the other.  The first fable is a good exemplar: "The Mice, The Beaver and Old Man Winter."  The mice refuse the beaver's offer of a dam and trust to winter's ice.  The latter gives them a good bridge in winter but sweeps them away in spring.  A second fable, "The Frog and The Snake," has a frog seeking better territory but then returning home only to find a snake has inhabited his den.  "Never risk what you have and need for what you don't have and don't need" (4).  Good advice!  In a fable similar to TMCM, a young raccoon setting out meets an old raccoon, whose life in the city was good but destructive for him.  The young raccoon thanks him and goes into the forest rather than the city.  The story of an overeager badger concludes with this lovely moral: "The most important thing to do if you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging" (8).  A bear learns from a fellow bear mauled by bees to seek berries instead.  The author cleverly puts Buffett's good advice into the story of a small sea turtle ready to break out of his shell and make a dash for the sea: "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful" (12).  A stray puppy becomes a trusted pet over years and then bites the farmer's hand.  "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that you'll do things differently" (15).  A later gem is this: "Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future" (16).  "The Three Fish" (20) is vintage Aesop: "Middle-sized fish urges big fish to stop eating the little fish, which he himself wants to eat, and to go after middle sized fish.  So big fish immediately eats middle fish.  The final fable, "The Greedy Queen Bee," finishes with this moral: "If you're in the luckiest one percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent" (29).

2015 The Tortoise and the Hare: An Aesop Fable Retold and Illustrated by Bernadette Watts.  First printing.  Hardbound.  Dust jacket.  NY: North-South Books.  $14.22 from Amazon.com, Feb., '17.

This is my sixth book by Watts dating back to 1992.  It was first published and copyrighted in 2015 by Nord-Süd Verlag AG, Gossau Zürich under the title "Der Hase und die Schildkröte."  This lovely oversized edition starts and ends in unusual ways.  The tortoise takes the initiative at a friendly picnic of the animals.  The hare dawdles while eating along the way.  One of the best moments in the illustrations has him gorging on lettuce and smiling.  Watts is again very good at filling in the illustrations with various little animals, plants, and other objects scattered around the scene.  In this version the passing tortoise hears the hare snoring!  Unusual at the end is that the hare is the first to congratulate the tortoise.  They leave happily together.  "It was my own fault."

2015 The Tortoise and the Hare and Other Stories.  Nicholas Oliver.  Interiors designed by Stephanie Drake.  First printing.  Paperbound.  Cottage Farm, Sywell, UK: Igloo Books.  $5.05 from Awesome Books through Ebay, Feb., '20.

This 8½" x 11" pamphlet contains TH, TMCM, and FS.  The text uses a variety of sizes, bolding, and typefaces to emphasize particular words.  The art is big, like the pamphlet itself.  In TH, the tortoise has a mouse rider.  Eating dandelions leads the hare to sleep.  The tortoise wins by a nose.  TMCM is characterized by clever dialogue, with the "host" answering the "guest" in both places.  There is a softened ending here.  The town host understands the country guest.  "Better a little in safety, than an abundance surrounded by danger."  In FS, the stork is a newcomer.  Her bowl at the fox's meal is too shallow.  The fox thinks she has forgotten when her invitation comes to him.  "Now you know how I felt," she says to him when he cannot get at the food she serves.  The fox is sorry and promises never to do it again.  Good versions of these stories!

2015 The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and other Aesop's Fables.  Compiled by Vic Parker.  Illustrations by Frank Endersby, Marco Furlotti, Natalie Hinrichsen, Tamsin Hinrichsen, Jan Lewis, and Marcin Piwowarski.  Hardbound.  NY: Gareth Stevens Publishing.  $31.95 from Amazon, August, '17.

Here is a 2015 hardbound version of the 2013 paperback booklet listed with the other nine among "Miles Kelly Aesop's Fables."  Now the publisher is Gareth Stevens.  All ten of the booklets are pictured on the back cover.  Not only the publisher but the publishing is now in the USA.  I wonder why Amazon's price is so high.  Fifteen fables on 40 large-format pages.  As I wrote there, this is the first of this series of books to feature a story without illustration: "The Boy and the Nettle" (12).  Perhaps the best illustration in this volume is that for "Jupiter and the Monkey" (22).  I believe that this is the first time that I have seen mosquitoes in this fable usually about leeches or bloodsuckers: "The Fox and the Mosquitoes" (13).  The word "storys" (32) has been corrected to the American "stories."  The text is taken over largely from the classic version by Joseph Jacobs.  It would be fascinating to know how much of that borrowing Parker has done for his versions.  The pages still contain little characters around the edges.  Throughout this volume, the frame including these animals is the same.  Here there are caged birds on top and, along the bottom, a lobster, starfish, spiral shell, nautilus and peacock.

2015 Von eitlen Raben und schlauen Füchsen: Die schönsten Tierfabeln.  Nacherzählt von Sabine Tauber.  Illustrationen von Eleanor Sommer.  Hardbound.  Munich:  Prestel.  €9.95 from Hassbecker's Heidelberg, August, '17. 

This is one of many books lovingly set aside by the manager of Hassbecker's.  My last visit had been probably three years earlier, and she had been setting aside fable books ever since!  This one is a delight.  Its back cover speaks of the forty nicest animal fables from a variety of authors newly narrated for this edition, the texts complemented by charming illustrations with lively color arranged in the manner of collages.  New to me and worthy are several fables: "The Apes" by Gherardo de Rossi (8); "The Ass and the Jackdaw" by Lichtwer (38); "The Horse and the Fox," also by Rossi (52); and "The Worm and the Butterfly" by Herder (58).  The frontispiece, repeated on 31, of DLS offers a good example of Sommer's appealing collage-like art.  Particularly pleasing is her rendition of BF on 79.

2015 40 Fun Fables: Tales That Trick, Tickle, and Teach.  Retold by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss.  Illustrations by Baird Hoffmire.  Paperbound.  Atlanta, GA:  August House.  $8.95 from Amazon, August, '16.

Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss style themselves as "Beauty and the Beast Storytellers."  This book represents a good testimonial to the enduring attraction of fables.  Hamilton and Weiss approach the stories as engaging storytellers.  Their good renditions of the stories are complemented by helpful presentations on how these fables fulfill the requirements of Common Core State Standards.  A second appendix traces, perhaps in a slightly popular manner, the sources of these stories.  The forty fables are divided into groups: "Starter Stories"; "Next Step Stories"; "Challenging Stories"; and "Most Challenging Stories."  In several stories the authors offer good developments beyond the original fables.  For example, CJ (12) has a second phase: a boy passes by and finds the diamond a great gift for his mother.  Similarly, in the story of the two stubborn goats (14) the two not only knock each other off the bridge.  In the water they blame each other.  New to me is "The Oyster and the Heron" (54).  The cartoons are helpful, if somewhat predictable.  Be careful: the source investigation at the end is based on alphabetical order, not the order of presentation in this engaging book.

2015? Reynard the Fox: An Old Story Newly Told.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  Translated by Mme de Sanctis.  Illustrations by Wilhelm von Kaulbach.  Hardbound.  India: Pravana Books.  $31.61 from S N Books World, Delhi, India, Jan., ‘21.  

Here is a recent reprint of a translation of Goethe’s “Reynard” with a selection of reprints from Kaulbach’s very important artwork.  This copy has leather covers.  Alas, the illustrations, which are neither printed on the verso nor paginated, are quite lightly printed.  My favorite – the priest’s encounter with the challenged Tibur – is not here.  Originally published by W. Swan and Sonnenschein & Company in London about 1885.



2016 A Novel Journal: Aesop's Fables.  Aesop.  Hardbound.  San Diego: Canterbury Classics:  Peter Norton: Printers Row Publishing Group.  $8.67 from Bargain Book Stores, Grand Rapids, MI, June, '16.

Here is a first!  This is indeed a journal for writing one's thoughts and experiences.  The tiny lines in the journal are Aesop's fables.  As an advertising slip proclaims, "The journal lines are the novel (in teeny, tiny text)!"  Teeny tiny is right!  To make reading even harder, the fables' titles are done in yellow against white.  Many will find them impossible to read.  The cover is graced by "Whatever you do, do with all of your might.  --Aesop."  There is one ribbon to mark one's place and another to keep the book closed.  Clever idea!

2016 Aesop's Fables (a selection): An Intermediate Ancient Greek Reader.  C.T. Hadavas.  Various.illustrators   Paperbound.  Published by C.T. Hadavas.  $12.95 from Amazon, Maiy, '18.

What a delightful discovery!  I have had this book for over six months and now at last have a chance to look into it.  IL would say that Prof. Hadavas is a kindred spirit.  He obviously likes fables!  For the 34 fables presented here in Greek with notes and vocabulary, there is a wide variety of engaging translations and illustrations, highlighted by Rackham's FG on the front cover in black-and-white and Crane's "Lion in Love" in color on the back cover.  Imagine my surprise when I began moving into the extensive introductory materials to find that I was there with Ben E. Perry and Laura Gibbs on the page of acknowledgments!  Thank you!  I also noted happily the nod to the discussion I offered on the definition of fable (xiii, mentioned again on xxiii).  The variety of illustrators and translators would make this a great book in which to try out one's Greek!  The two illustrators I want to learn more about are Mulready and Takeo Takei.  In fact, I just made an offer on the latter's fable book because of this reading!

2016 Aesop's Fables Coloring Book.  Charles Santore.  First edition, first printing.  Paperbound.  Portland, OR: Pomegranate Communications, Inc.  $10.76 from JRM Group LLC through Ebay, August, ''17.

Here is a soft-cover book with staple binding offering 21 images to color on 48 pages.  The images are preparatory drawings for the watercolor paintings Santore did for his Aesop's Fables, published by Sterling Children's Books in 2010.  Morals for the 21 drawings are listed at the beginning and under each appropriate drawing.  The inside covers present the paintings themselves, including the cover's dramatic picture of the owl and grasshopper -- perhaps just before the owl takes care of this nuisance by eating him!  The comparison of the early drawing with the final product is intriguing.  If nothing else, these drawings show where the artist is deciding to put his focus.  Nicely done!

2016 Aesop's Fables on Stage: A Collection of Children's Plays.  Julie Meighan.  First edition.  Paperbound.  Cork, Ireland: JemBooks.  $7.99 from Amazon, Sept., '16.

Here is a paperback book printed a week before I ordered it.  After eleven "drama games" not related to fables, the book offers eighteen plays based on Aesopic fables.  In GA on 17, the grasshopper is listening to music on his iPod.  The grasshopper in winter goes to various animals who refuse to feed him.  The bears, for example, are angry that he wakes them up.  The ants give him food but make him promise that next year he will work hard in the summer.  The moral: "Fail to prepare?  Prepare to fail!"  In TH (20), after several animals quip that the tortoise could not beat the hare, the eagle suggests a race.  After a great first half of the race, the hare decides to take a nap.  In BW (24), one of the sheep makes the first suggestion that the boy shepherd pretend that there a wolf is attacking the sheep.  The next time, the sheep do not know that it is a trick. They challenge the boy afterwards: "You frightened us."  A reader needs to be pleased with the creativity that goes into this book.  It may be the only book I have seen in a while which takes a special page to say "The End" (70).

2016 Aesop's Fables: The Lion and the Mouse. Illustrated by Gavin Scott. Paperbound.  Essex, England: Miles Kelly.  $7.95 from World of Books, Feb., ‘18.

I find this a strong presentation of the familiar fable.  The little mouse is particularly curious,and thus he ventures into the lion's cave, where he is promptly caught.  Perhaps the best image of this oversized pamphlet shows the mouse with closed eyes enjoying the racing of the lion in the jungle while sitting in his mane.  “The weak really can help the strong" is added before "Little friends can be big friends."  More than 10 inches square.

2016 Auprès de La Fontaine…Fables en haïku.  Agnès Domergue and Cécile Hudrisier.  Hardbound.  Paris: Éditions Thierry Magnier.  €6.90 from Gibert Jeune, Paris, July, '17.

What a delightful little book!  Twenty of La Fontaine's fables are turned into haikus, each with a full-page facing illustration.  The result is highly engaging and provocative.  The selection catches La Fontaine's best known fables, but it may still be a bit difficult at first, especially for people whose French is not colloquial, to pick up which fable is being presented.  The closing T of C helps.  The illustrations will be easier for such readers to enjoy, and they are themselves highly provocative.  My favorites include GA, MM, FC, and especially FS.  What a delight to see people play this imaginatively with La Fontaine's fables!

2016 Big Book of Aesop's Fables.  Editorial Director: Rosie Neave.  Artists: Kate Daubney, Monika Filipina, Andy Rowland, and Barbara Vagnozzi.  First printing.  Hardbound.  Essex, UK: Miles Kelly.  Gift of Wendy Wright, Nov., '16.

This IS a big book of Aesop's fables!  It is 10½" square.  The pictures are large and dynamic.  I agree with the back cover: "perfect for reading aloud with your child."  Each artist develops one story.  It strikes me that these four -- TH, BW, GA, and TMCM -- are probably the four best known fables these days.  The tortoise goes to bed the night before the race in TH, while the hare parties late with the badgers.  Well into the race, the hare can look back and see how far behind the tortoise is.  Then he eats lettuce and decides to take a short nap.  "After all, he'd had a late night, and the tortoise was far behind" (19).  "The hare had lost his own challenge.  From now on perhaps he wouldn't be so boastful" (26).  On the second day of alarm in BW, little George breaks into a courtroom to cry "There really is a wolf this time!" (40).  The people who grumbled after the first alarm now become very cross.  Soon after they leave, George notices something moving in the trees.  In GA, the grasshopper does nothing in summer but sleep, eat, dance, and make music.  There is no indication that others enjoy his music or profit from it.  Thus he admits to the ant at the latter's door in winter "I didn't do any work at all!" (69).  In this version, the ant gives him as much food as he could spare: just enough to see the grasshopper through the winter.  These miserable months teach him a lesson.  The following summer he works hard to store enough food for himself.  He even finds time to help the ant!  "There is a time for work and time for play" (75).  In TMCM, the plain country food is bread and cheese and the bed is made of leaves.  The point of emphasis about the town house is that it is comfortable.  In town, they meet a cat in the kitchen and hide under a cup.  Dogs interrupt them as they feast in the dining room. Each traveling mouse wears a backpack.

2016 Cautionary Fables & Fairytales: Asia Edition: Old Tales of Magic and Woe.  Randy Milholland and Andrew Sides and others.  First printing.  Paperbound.  Comixology: An Amazon Company.  $9.99 from Marc Johnson, Dubois, PA, through Ebay, Oct., '17.

This is a "graphic novel" including, as the beginning T of C shows, 21 stories.  Among them is "The Tiger, the Brahmin, and the Jackal" by Randy Milholland and Andrew Sides (177).  In this standard Jataka tale, the tiger has promised not to harm a hair on the Brahmin's head.  One minute after being released, he pounces on the Brahmin.  When asked about his promise, he answers "Your scalp is the one bit I won't eat."  The three living things which they consult are a tree, a buffalo, and a jackal.  The jackal wisely says at the end "Or perhaps sometimes, some things should just be left alone."  To sample the others, I tried "The girl who married a tiger" (80).  A young woman finds out that her husband is really a tiger.  Through a friendly bird, she notifies her brothers, who bring various things with them to trick the tiger into thinking that they are strong, even monster-like.  They rescue their sister.  When the tiger comes back to claim her – as always claiming that he will get what he wants or will eat her – they prepare a pit as a trap and let him die in the trap.  In the stories I tried, there seem to be frequent transformations between humans and beasts.  These are tales of "magic and woe" -- enough so that I doubt I will buy the African or European versions.  I did not know that Amazon had its own company for "comixology."

2016 Die Fabeln von Wilhelm Busch.  Zusammengestellt von René Schack.  Paperbound.  Oldenburg: Isensee Verlag.  $5 from Momox.com, August, '19.

I am surprised that this book does actually contain some fables.  I have always enjoyed Wilhelm Busch's work but had not seen any of his work as fables.  Several items in this paperback are not fables, e.g., "Naturgeschichtliches Alphabet" (9-20) and the twelve chapters of "Fipps, der Affe" (85-173).  Several early stories do work as fables.  I think here particularly of "Fink and Frosch" (21); "Der weise Schuhu" (22-25); and "Diei beiden Enten und der Frosch" (26-31.  Also "Der Hahnenkampf: Eine Fabel" (34-41).  In these an effort by one party generally leads to the opposite result of what that party had in mind.  Gut gemacht, Herr Busch!

2016 Fabeln von Jean de La Fontaine.  Translator Johanna Wege.  Illustriert von Marc Chagall.  Erste Auflage.  Hardbound.  Berlin: Insel Bücherei #2021: Insel Verlag.  €16 from Hassbecker's, Heidelberg, August, '17.

This lovely little book with its 43 colored illustrations is heavily dependent on the edition from Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux in Paris from 1995.  It was great of Frau Hassbecker to create a little collection of recent German fable books for me, and this was one of them.  I believe that it reproduces the 43 extant – or acknowledged – Chagall works out of the 100 that he did before the war.  I suspect that many either went underground or were destroyed in WWII.  The color reproductions here are excellent.  Among the best I would rate SS (12); CW (24); FG (34); "Eagle, Cat, and Sow" (36); "Wolf, Mother, and Child" (50); "The Old Woman and the Maids" (60); "The Satyr and the Traveler" (62); TB (80); MSA (86); and "The Joker and the Fishes" (96).  This is a lovely little edition!

2016 Fables Across Time: Kalila And Dimna.  Sabiha Al Khemir.  Hardbound.  NY: American Folk Art Museum.  $21.95 from Amazon, June, '17.

Heavy, well-made landscape-formatted book 11¼" x 8¼".  The book works in English in one direction and in Arabic in the other, with mirror-opposites of the same illustrations at each step along the way towards the book's center.  The book's three stories are "Three Fish," "The Lion and the Ox," and "Four Friends," each story covering some twenty pages.  "Three Fish" presents an even more immediate threat than in some other versions I have read.  The wise fish is gone immediately without even saying good-bye, and the fishermen are already putting their nets into the water.  The other two stories, that are told in such leisure elsewhere with illustrative fables, are pared down to the strict narrative.  I feel the loss!  One good illustration in "The Lion and the Ox" shows Kalila and Dimna facing each other on 45-46.  The Dimna page appears also on the cover of the book.  A second good illustration shows Dimna whispering into King Lion's ear (49).  "Four Friends" presumes an already-existing friendship between the gazelle and the turtle.  There is an excellent rendition of the doves in the net on 62-63.  A happy collaboration among art museums – in Bahrain, Indianapolis, and New York – brought this beautiful book into existence.

2016 Fables, contes et comptines à broder au point de croix.  Véronique Enginger.  Hardbound.  Paris: Mango: Fleurus Editions.  $38.88 from Amazon, Sept., '19.

Here is the French original for a book I found a few weeks ago, "Fables & Fairy Tales to Cross Stitch: French Charm for Your Stitchwork" (Schiffer, 2018).  The book consists of patterns derived from three genres of literature: eleven fables: twenty fairy tales ("contes"); and fifteen French nursery rhymes ("comptines").  These are followed by "Techniques and Tips"; "Project Instructions"; and "Patterns," curiously called "patrons" in French.  For each of the fables, there is on the left-hand page a photograph of a finished product, often set in a real-life context, and on the right-hand page the pattern to work from.  There are helpful suggestions then on how to "Take the Fables Along" as bookmarks, pins, or key rings.  A suggestion for a "storage pouch" includes patterns for yet more fables, like TT, LM, and 2P.  The book seems to presume that makers or users of the cross stitches know the fables.  For French people, that is highly likely.  For English speakers, I suspect that it is less the case.  The fable renditions are charming.  My favorites include FC (18-19) and MM (20-21).

2016 Fabulous Fables: Traditional Fables from Aesop.  Retold by Joanna Nadin.  Illustrated by Irina Troitskaya.  Second printing.  Paperbound.  Oxford: Greatest Stories: Oxford University Press.  $10.28 from Book Depository, London, Oct., '17.

This 32-page pamphlet for school children, complete with discussion questions, a quiz, and suggestions for further reading, has three fables:  DS has a curious beginning.  This dog steals from his friends.  The wise cow consoles them that he will get his comeuppance.  When this dog loses his bone to the river's current, he thinks he still has a chance for the bigger one that he saw in the river.  FC is different in that the fox finds a piece of meat behind the butcher's shop but is full.  While he sleeps the crow steals it from him.  This fox's ploy is to say that crow is fit to be king of all creatures but that his voice is out of tune.  "Be careful if you trick someone because theiy might trick you back."  The farmer in "The Farmer and the Eagle" is grumpy and suspicious about animals, but the friendly eagle cures him of that.  Now if the eagle finds a lost lamb, she carries it back to him.  If he catches a rabbit in net, he leaves it out for her tea, not his -- and eats a cheese sandwich instead.  Lively contemporary twists on these three age-old stories.

2016 Fairy Tales and Fables.  Eve Morel.  Illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa.  Hardbound.  NY: Sterling Children's Books.  Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '18.

This book was originally copyrighted by Grosset and Dunlap in 1970.  Our collection has a 1973 printing of that edition.  The copyright was taken over by Ronald Fujikawa in 2008.  Surprising about that fact is that he took over copyright not only to Fujikawa's illustrations but to Morel's texts.  Now Sterling reprints that edition.  The only change I can notice is in the pagination.  I was originally surprised to find that this book includes the earlier edition labeled "Fairy Tales" by the same pair.  As I wrote then, Morel does an excellent job of telling the fourteen fables that are here, including the morals as a final statement within the story.  The bull makes an apt final comment about the gnat, for example: "It takes a small mind to be so conceited" (27).  CP ends with "Where there's a will, there's always a way" (55).  MSA (94) has several unusual features:  baskets of produce figure in the story; all the principals fall into the water; the produce is lost; the donkey swims away.  SW (51) follows the poorer version.  My favorite illustration is still of the cat pulling down the tablecloth (26).  Here is a great wildcard inclusion: "The Dragon and the Monkey" (42), the old "I left my heart at home" story.

2016 Fuchs und Storch; Tilki ve Leylek; The Fox and the Stork.  Inci Hilbert & Volker Mergner; Englilsche Ubersetzung von Sophia Miller.  Paperbound.  Frankfurt/London/NY:  Weimarer Schiller-Presse: Frankfurter Literaturverlag.  €11 from Bücherecke BeLLeArTi, Vienna, July, '19.

This landscape pamphlet is one of my favorite finds from a rich summer of book-hunting in Europe.  This pamphlet fell off the shelf of children's illustrated books in this lively and very hospitable bookstore in Vienna.  Its dedication page spells it out in all three languages, German, Turkish, and English: "For all who had to leave their home countries and flee into the unknown."  A preface starts by saying "Never before were so many people on the move as there are today."  Stork Hasan comes to Germany and meets fox Alois in their place of work, a chicken factory.  After years, Alois invites Hasan to his home.  Alois forgets that Hasan is religiously not allowed to eat pork, and besides he serves it in shallow bowls.  Alois ends up eating everything.  Hasan and his wife prepare mutton in their traditional long glasses, followed by Baklava.  "Eat sweet, talk sweet."  Alois, having eaten nothing because of the long glasses, goes home wondering "Where did we go wrong."  Wise Dr. Marabu tells the two of them: "You need to sit down and talk to each other."  They do not understand him, but soon there is a factory get-together.  Everybody brings their favorite foods.  It becomes a wonderful celebration.  Years pass.  Their children and grandchildren become friends.  This pamphlet is a fine example of taking a traditional fable and deliberately fashioning a new development in it.  It may be a little forced here, but it's a praiseworthy effort!

2016 Hare and Tortoise.  Alison Murray.  Hardbound.  Dust jacket.  Somerville, MA:  Candlewick Press.  $15.29 from Strand Books, NY, August, '16.

First published in Great Britain in 2015 by Orchard Books. London.  This is a large-format -- almost 10" x 12" -- children's book.  It sets a young reader up well for things to come in the race when it describes hare in terms that will come to play later.  His ears are accustomed to the sound of animals cheering, and his paws are used to crossing the finish line in first place.  "And he has NEVER been known to resist a carrot."  Similarly, Tortoise will always do her best.  "I may be slow but I'll give it a go."  A map gives a sense of the race's phases, including a carrot patch.  A few nibbles lead to a tiny nap.  Hare dreams of animals cheering: there is the clue.  He wakes up to that cheering and tries to catch up but loses by a breath.  Big broad illustrations and rhyming couplets help tell this tale well.  Tortoise consoles Hare at the end: "You might just win next time" and then suggests a race to the lettuce patch.  The endpapers reproduce in monochrome the map of the race.

2016 Het leven en de fabels van Esopus: Teksteditie met inleiding, hertaling en commentaar.  Gheraert Leeu, Hans Rijns and Willem van Bentum.  Antwerp, 1485.  Paperbound.  Hilversum, Netherlands: Uitgeverij Verloren.  Gift of Hans Rijns, July, '19.

Here is a gracious gift of Hans Rijns promised at the meeting of the Renard Society in Prague in the summer of 2019.  This is a major undertaking!  The book is "bilingual" in the sense of giving the original text of Gheraert Leeu's edition of 1485 on the left-hand page and a contemporary translation on each right-hand page.  Small reproductions of Leeu's illustrations accompany the right-hand page translations.  It is my understanding that Leeu followed Steinhöwel's 1476 edition, and so the 164 fables are presented here in exactly the order they had in that ground-breaking edition.  The illustrations surprise me in their closeness to those of Steinhöwel; they are far superior to their cousin Caxton's, who worked, as Leeu apparently did, from Julien Macho's 1480 French version.  On the cover, the title illustration from Leeu is colored.  When originally reporting on this lovely book, I wondered if the other illustrations were originally colored as well.  Hans has graciously reported that they were.  A T of C of the life and fables appears on 49-56.  What comes before that is an extensive introduction in Dutch.  There is a helpful register of objects found in fables starting on 467.  I am not sure where one finds the commentary promised in the subtitle.  What a wonderful gift!  I wish there were a comparable edition in English!

2016 La Laitière et le Pot au Lait.  Alexandre Jardin.  Illustrated by Fred Multier.  Hardbound.  Paris: Les petits secrets des Fables:  Hachette Jeunesse.  $10 in Paris, August, '17. 

The colophon for this charming little booklet is so long and complex that I could not find out some of the information that I needed.  Hachette, McDonald's, The Marketing Store Worldwide, and Havi Global Solutions seem to have the rights locked up, but which of them produced this booklet or where is not clear.  Apparently the series takes La Fontaine's fables and makes them into a page by page quest, where we need to answer questions -- not necessarily germane to the fable -- before moving on.  This milkmaid is swinging her pail around rather than carrying it on her head, and she has Billy, her friendly puppy, with her.  La Fontaine's fable is given the last two pages.  Before then we get a longer prose version that wanders through some 25 pages.  The setting is the "Far West."  Billy accompanies her as she is swinging the pot.  Question:  What has impressed the serpent in the corner?  Answer: the horns of the bull.  As Billy and Perrette converse about her eggs in the next scene, our question concerns the Mariachi band playing near them.  And so on.  Perrette's dreams even construct a gigantic amusement park and get her into a circus performance.  My!  There is plenty of spirit and imagination here.  I think La Fontaine would love it, if he would recognize it.  This booklet inspired me to seek the rest of the booklets in the series.  It is not yet clear whether I will be able to "bring them in."

2016 Le corbeau et le renard.  Jean de La Fontaine.  Illustrated by Séverine Duchesne.  Paperbound.  Champigny-sur-Marne:  Éditions Lito.  €2.50 from Gibert Jeune, Paris, August, '17.

This is a colorful cartoonlike presentation of FC on stiff shiny paper.  The presentation consists of five two-page spreads that play well with the story.  The crow rests on a pillow in his perch, with squirrel, worm, and butterfly as his neighbors.  The fox wears human clothes, including suspenders, jeans, and sneakers.  The squirrel holds his ears when the crow breaks into jubilant song.  Three other booklets in the series are illustrated on the back cover.

2016 Le Tigre, Le Brahmane, et le petit Chacal.  Karine Tournade & Grégoire Vallancien.  Illustrated by Grégoire Vallancien.  Paperbound.  Morsang sur Orge, France: Lire c'est partir.  €1.50 from Pele-Mele, Brussels, August, '19.

This version of the familiar story adds a young woman Sahana who watches it all and feels badly for the tiger.  It also has the Brahmin double back during the night and release the tiger, who now wants to stay a long way from both people and jackals!  In this version, the bargain is that four creatures have to affirm the tiger's eating the Brahmin.  This is a lively contemporary presentation!

2016 Les Fables de La Fontaine: Cahier de Dessin Animé.  Jean de La Fontaine.  Claire Faÿ. Paperbound.  Paris: Éditions Animées.  $19.21 from Amazon Global, United Kingdom, Oct., '19. 

Here is a fascinating concept that I had not encountered before.  In a process that the publisher calls "Blinkbook," a child colors the characters presented on these overlarge pages.  He or she next photoraphs them with a tablet or phone.  Then the child can make them into an acting cartoon.  The five stories presented here are FC; LM; MM; GA; and BF.  13" x 9".  Each story gets about three or four pages, including characters and background scenery.  Clever!

2016 Les fables de La Fontaine en argot illustrées.  Jean-Louis Azencott.  Preface by Pascal Legitimus.  Paperbound.  Montigny-leBretonneux, France: Zinedi Éditions.  $14.88 from Bibliothèques sans Frontières through Amazon, July, ‘21.

The texts in a book like this are titillating for me: I can find just enough in the slang to have some idea what we are talking about.  After some effort, I recognize perhaps even more of La Fontaine's story.  Then comes a crucial expression, surely highly idiomatic, and I am more lost than ever!  It helps that the 23 stories here come straight from La Fontaine.  It also helps that there are seven pages of "Lexique" at the end.  The illustrations are sometimes sardonic twists on the original fable.  The wolf in Adidas shorts invites the lamb to drink from the river while he holds a bottle of poison behind his back (22)!  The cow tries to interrupt the fighting bulls to indicate that she has changed her mind (114).  The illustrations regularly confirm the moral of a fable by extreme representation.  The lion declares the gnat the winner with a “thumbs up” (108). 

2016 Life and Soul in Fables.  Alan Wong.  Paperbound.  London: Austin Macauley.  Gift of the publishers, May, '16.

Let me offer a quick reaction and then include some comments from the publisher's agent, who offered me the book.  I find this book a noble effort.  It is a challenge to write fables that can compel contemporary readers.  I enjoyed the first few fables in this book.  I also wondered: can the writer continue to write short, pointed fables?  For me, the answer is not clear.  I tried various fables after the first few.  Several confirmed my fears that the author would want to write longer stories.  One ("The Loveless Maiden" [44]) confirmed my fear that short fables would be obvious.  I look forward to reading more.  Here is what the agent wrote to me.  “Life and Soul in Fables,” the debut collection of fables from Alan Wong is an enchanting collection of fables with morals and messages very pertinent to our present day lifestyle. Expressed through easily accessible tales from nature, told through the interactions of animals and plants as well as people, the collection explores important themes like friendship, strength, arrogance, conceit, humility and many other characteristics spanning the whole breadth of human emotions. The talented writer says: 'I first starting reading Aesop’s Fables whilst I was attending University in Birmingham. My interest was such that I wanted to begin writing them myself. The stories in my book are inspired by many different works, observations and general experiences in my life. Each fable gives us an insight about the effects of wrongdoing, the rewards of virtue or a deeper understanding of the world around us.'"

2016 Mi Gran Libro de las fábulas de La Fontaine.  Illustrated by Élodie Bossrez, Alain Boyer, Romain Guyard, Prisca Le Tandé, Mathieu Maillefer, and Jocelyn Millet.  Primera Edicion.  Hardbound.  Ciudad de Mexico: Larousse.  $17.99 from Amazon, Oct., '19.

This large hardbound book, about 11½' x 9½", is the Spanish version of the French "Mon Grand Livre des Fables de La Fontaine."  It has in its 91 pages each of the eight booklets published as the "Collection Les Fables de La Fontaine" by Larousse.  These attractive booklets only become more attractive by their larger presentation here.  See the collection for details about each story.  Changes in the color and size of the typeface again add to the effect.  As I wrote there, these stories present a lively introduction to La Fontaine for smaller children.  The back cover features one character from each of the stories.

2016 Modern Russian Fables: 71 Short Russian Fables.  Tamara Moreton & Alan Moreton.  Paperbound. Tortoise Publications.  $13.86 from greatbookprices2 through Ebay, August, ‘21.  

The first pages describe what is offered here in various ways, including "fables," "puns," "double meanings," and "grooks."  The latter are described as "Short aphoristic poems, witty and wise and warmly human" (3).  A good example is "Injustice" (12), in which a healthy tooth laments that decayed teeth "are going all in gold."  "Clay" on 17 has the clay rejoicing over every footprint, even though each disappears immediately.  "Lovely, kind horse's hoof!  I will forever keep its image in my heart…."  Some stories seem to me wistful, as when brown curls in “Memory” (40) remember the man who caressed them in singular fashion but then died.  They learned about his death through a letter, part of which is now twisted into a hair curler.  Many of these stories seem to be rather soliloquies or single-agent stories, whereas fables love the encounter of two parties.  “A Small Window Shutter” (41) seems to me more of a fable.  The window shutter is attracted to the soccer ball until the soccer ball shatters the window shutter.  And the next day the replacement shutter admires the soccer ball….  “The Eternal Twins” (62) makes a good finale to this book: “Taking fun as simply fun and earnest in earnest / Shows how thoroughly thou none of the two discernest.”

2016 My Treasury of Aesop's Fables.  Written by Jan Payne.  Illustrated by Michael Terry.  First printing.  Hardbound.  Cottage Farm, Sywell, Northampton, UK: Igloo Books Ltd.  $12.95 from Zuber through Ebay, July, '18. 

This book is built off a 2013 publication by the same team and still has that 2013 copyright.  It has reduced from 25 fables on 192 pages to 23 fables on 176.  Dropped from there are BC and "The Gnat and the Lion."  The cover has changed from being puffy and featuring TH to colored boards with a dozen characters.  On the earlier cover was "A Beautiful Collection of Timeless Tales"; now we find "A classic collection of fantastic fables."  What was there a cockerel has here become a rooster.  "A" treasury has become "My" treasury, and the book's fancy ribbon has disappeared.  I continue to find the versions and the illustrations playful and helpful.  As I observed then, the versions routinely soften drastic outcomes in the fables.  In BW, the boy says the first two times that the shepherd's shouting scared the wolf off (9-10).    In this version of GA, the ant happens by the grasshopper in winter and helps the grasshopper on condition that he promise to change next summer (27).   A snail travelling with the tortoise in TH is so exhausted that we can see his breath (33).  A mouse rides on the tortoise's back in the same picture.  There is a fine double-page (38-39) of the dramatic moment in LM.  Another happy ending comes in DS (49) when the dog's mistress gives him the bone which he lost and which she then found in the stream.  In FG, the fox tries to pole vault and to let the breeze carry him and his umbrella (69).  In GGE, the farmer and his wife demand more production from the "Golden Goose" (84), threatening otherwise to take her to market.  This goose leaves, and the couple bickers until they get over their greed and return to their former way of life.  The occasion for TT is that the tortoise wants to have some fun and has envied other animals.  There is a fine illustration of the larger tortoise between the two ducks just after takeoff on 116.  The tortoise answers a crow "I am special" and tumbles to the ground but only has the wind knocked out of him.  "From now on I will be happy just being me!" (119).  The donkey does a fine dance on the table (125) before the lapdog explains the donkey to the farmer.  Another fine image has the farmer's wife running to help punish the crazy donkey .  "The Lion and the Elephant" is also well done: "Everyone has something they are afraid of" (155).  "The Hare and the Hound" moralizes aptly: "Winning often depends on who needs to win the most" (161).  The fox tries several approaches with the crow in FC: the cheese is too large for one bird; the cheese will make the crow fat; we need to talk closer to each other; people say you have a great singing voice (163-66).

2016 Russian Fables Bilingual Edition (English-Russian).  lvan Krylov.  Paperbound.  Middletown, DE: NA (Amazon Digital Services LLC?).  $8 from Amazon, June, '18.

This book is a curious specimen.  It offers, on facing pages, ten of Krylov's most popular fables.  While it has ISBN numbers, it does not have a publisher.  It does not acknowledge a translator.  The translations are in prose.  Of course, it was printed upon demand soon after I ordered it.  What an unusual pamphlet!

2016 The Cricket and the Ant: A Shabbat Story.  Naomi Gen-Gur.  Illustrated by Shahar Kober.  Paperbound.  Minneapolis, MN: PJ Library: Jewish Bedtime Stories and Songs:  Kar-Ben Publishing: Lerner Publishing Group.  $5 from Secondhand bookshop, Union Station, Washington, DC, Sept., '18.

Originally published in Hebrew under the title "Can You Spare a Grain of Sugar?" by Kaibbbutz Hameuchad Publishing House in Israel.  The two characters have animal bodies but human clothes.  The hard-working ant has a babushka and glasses.  The story goes through the cricket's week.  On Friday morning he stays in bed before he will bake a "yum-yummy cake" for Shabbat.  He oversleeps and awakens on Friday afternoon to find no food in his pantry, fridge, or cupboard.  He goes to his neighbor ant no less than four times to ask for different ingredients.  Ant rests, happy that she has helped a friend.  Ant however also oversleeps and has forgotten to turn off her oven.  Her Shabbat cake is totally burned.  Just as ant is despairing over her meager meal, cricket surprises her with an invitation to share his cake.  They sing and dance together.   This is a clever adaptation of the traditional fable with a whole new kind of lesson to be learned.

2016 The Grieving Widow and Other Fables.  Phoenix  J. Coulton.  Paperbound.  Milton Keynes, UK: Xlibris: Lightning Source.  $24.18 from Wordery through Ebay, Nov., '18. 

The title fooled me on this book of the creative prose and poetry of Phoenix Coulton.  For some reason, I presumed that the title story was a version of "The Widow of Ephesus" and that the "other fables" were fables.  As a reading of the first few offerings shows, I was wrong.  I keep the book in the collection to help others -- and me -- know that it is not a book of Aesopic fables.  Though the selections are not illustrated, the back cover's "watering eye" illustration is attractive.

2016 The King of Crap and Other Fables for Grown-Up Kids.  Kathryn Star Huggins.  Cover Art by Raynola Dominguez.  Paperbound.  Bonners Ferry, Idaho: Star Dancer Publications.  $7.99 from Amazon, Oct., '16.

This is a book of short fictional stories based on contemporary pop psychology.  The King of Crap is a king who does not know he is a king.  Responding to early put-downs, he sees himself as nothing more than a shoveler of crap -- until a woman has confidence in him and encourages him to experience his own worth, in fact his kingliness.  "Backpack Land" (12) is about a land where people put negative experiences as bricks or rocks into their personal backpacks and live with them for the rest of their lives.  The heroine of the story at last decides to take bricks out of her backpack and to stop putting them in.  In the last line of the story, freed from her backpack, she drives out of backpack land. 

2016 The Mysterious Library: A Coloring Book Journey Into Fables.  Translated by Lauren Na.  Illustrated by Eunji Park.  First printing.  Paperbound.  Waves of Color:  Seven Seas Entertainment.  $12.56 from Joslyn Art Museum, Jan., ‘18.

First published in 2015 by Hyeonamsa Publishing Company in Korea.  I bought this book at the Joslyn, happy to find a fable book that they had discovered of which I had known nothing.  Alas, it is not a fable book at all.  A young girl wanders into a library and encounters glorious pictures -- to be colored -- relating to a number of classic fairytales.  The fairytales are identified by pages in the last few pages of this large-format book almost 10" square.

2016 The Lion Inside.  Rachel Bright.  Illustrated by Jim Field.  First Scholastic Paperback Printing.  Paperbound.  NY: Scholastic.  $7.45 from Amazon, March, ‘18.  

Having found a hardbound edition, I wanted to get a paperbound copy as well.  Here it is.  First published in the UK in 2015 by Orchard Books.  Rhyming quatrains.  The diminutive mouse wants to be someone.  He wants to roar!  "If you want things to change, you first have to change…YOU!”  It turns out that this lion is frightened of mice!  "No matter our size, we all have a lion and mouse inside!"  Perhaps the two most significant illustrations in this encouraging booklet are the small illustration on the title-page in which the frightened mouse is reading a book "How to Roar" and the central two-page spread in which the lion sees the mouse and declares "Eeek!"

2016 The Lion Inside.  Rachel Bright.  Illustrated by Jim Field.  Third Scholastic Printing.  Hardbound.  NY: Scholastic.  $10.40 from Amazon, March, ‘18.  

First published in the UK in 2015 by Orchard Books.  Rhyming quatrains.  The diminutive mouse wants to be someone.  He wants to roar!  "If you want things to change, you first have to change…YOU!”  It turns out that this lion is frightened of mice!  "No matter our size, we all have a lion and mouse inside!"  Perhaps the two most significant illustrations in this encouraging booklet are the small illustration on the title-page in which the frightened mouse is reading a book "How to Roar" and the central two-page spread in which the lion sees the mouse and declares "Eeek!"

2016 The Original Fables of La Fontaine: Tales for Children of Many Lands.  Frederick Colin Tilney.  Paperbound.  Publisher not acknowledged.  $11.61 from Grand Eagle Retail through eBay, Sept., '16.

This is a curious published-upon-demand book.  It represents some of the features that set me against this style of book.  It seems to be a reprinting, including illustrations, of a book first published in 1913.  I write "seems" because the publishers do not indicate the date of the original which they are copying.  The front cover presents a lively picture of the fox waiting for the crow to drop his circle of cheese.  The back cover strangely reverts to a French-language commendation of La Fontaine's fables.  Turn two pages inside the book and we see the erroneous title for the frontispiece "The heart of Thyrsis left" whereas the list of illustrations four pages later has the correct "The heart of Thyrsis leapt."  Readers may be upset at the wandering margins, for example, in that list of illustrations.  Of course the colored illustrations are here rendered in black-and-white.  The original was printed, as one finds here on the title page, by London: J.M. Dent and Sons in London and by E.P. Dutton in New York.  One looks here in vain for an acknowledgement of the publisher of this printing.

2016 Tomi Ungerer: A Treasury of 8 Books.  Tomi Ungerer.  Boxed.  Hardbound.  NY:  Phaidon Press.  $33.96 from Amazon, Nov., '18.

This is a lavish large edition of some of Tomi Ungerer's best work.  Even the box and the cover are pretty!  I have to admit right away that I believe I was deceived by someone's description of this book as "8 Fables by Tomi Ungerer."  Now I cannot find that description.  While he himself describes his stories as "fables," they are, I believe, longer stories that teach things as fables teach things.  I read the first two stories and enjoyed them thoroughly.  "The Three Robbers" suggests, in Ungerer's own words before the story "Evil can be the most fertile ground for good, and good can learn from the cleverness of evil."  Finding little Tiffany and stealing her convert the robbers' energy into all sorts of good enterprises involved in her care.  Similarly, "Zeralda's Ogre" shows how "The stomach knows how to feed the heart."  Instead of eating Zeralda, the ogre loves eating what she cooks!  Soon enough, local ogres and ogresses are feasting sumptuously on her recipes and have "all lost their taste for children."  The visual artistry is wonderfully engaging.

2016 Treasury of Aesop's Fables.  Illustrated by Chandra Prakash Dubey, Manoj Yadav, Madhu Dubey, and Arun Singh.  First printing.  Paperbound.  New Delhi: Om Kidz: Om Books International.  $14.02 from SuperBookDeals through Ebay, June, '19.

Here is a large (9¾" x 10¾") paperbound version of six fables listed on the back cover: BC, BS, FC, LM, SW, and TB.  There is no title-page; the book begins immediately with the title-page for BC.  Each story is 16 pages long and individually paginated.  The book thus stops on the last page of TB, with John teaching the self-protecting Judas a verbal lesson and walking away from him.  The art is perfect for children: big, colorful, and clear.  The mice in BC wear human clothes, hats, and glasses.  In FC, the gender difference is clear between Mr. Fox and Mistress Crow.  In LM, the lion has his mouth open to eat the mouse before the mouse stops him with his plea to be spared.  In this version, hunters arrive on the scene to discover the captured lion but decide to go get a wagon to carry him to the palace and thus earn a handsome reward.  The bet in SW is about "Whoever can force that traveler to remove his coat."  Contrary to that wager, the story goes on to show the North Wind "confident that he could blow away the coat."  The North Wind then reverts to the bet when he says "Let's see if you can get the man to take off his coat."  Of course the sun can do that!  This book is well produced.

2016 Trois fables sur la giraffe et traduction en vers latins de la premiere fable.  Louis-François Jauffret.  Paperbound.  Paris: Hachette Livre.  $15.20 from Greatbookprices on Ebay, Jan., '18.

Here is a strange print-upon-demand publication.  As it is, it includes 12 plus 12 pages.  I use that strange formulation because the original booklet as it is photocopied here seems to be 12 pages long.  It includes an 1827 title-page, a frontispiece illustration of a giraffe, a four-page introduction, three fables of 2, 2, and 1 pages, a Latin translation of the first of these three fables, and a page of advertising for two fable publications.  Then, to a reader's surprise, there are twelve pages of an apparently utterly different book, "Revue de l'histoire des religions," beginning with its Page 12.  Does no one look at these print-upon-demand publications after a machine has garbled them up?  Speculation on the confluence of giraffes and fables would be fascinating, but I will let it go for now.

2016 Usborne Illustrated Fables from Around the World.  Illustrated by Anja Klauss.  Hardbound.  London: Usborne Publishing.  $5.14 from Goodwill Books, Hillsboro, OR, Nov., '19.

This is a physically heavy, padded-cover, book of 256 pages.  The cover illustration features a lavish red dragon and a colorful frog perched on a colorful rock.  The eighteen stories listed on the beginning T of C, we are told in the prefatory comment, "explain how things came to be."  The comment also says that these stories are "known as myths or fables."  The stories strike me as a collection of, yes, myths and also pourquoi stories.  I would be  hard pressed to call any of them a fable.  There are many gods and spirits operating in these stories!  I do notice a lovely sequence in "The Missing Goddess" (110-127) where LM is nicely integrated into a larger overall story.  There is even an excellent Illustration of the mouse sitting on the netted lion's nose (121).  One of the book's loveliest features is its vivid use of color in  the illustrations.  I only wish it were more about fables!

2016 Walt Kelly's Fables and Funnies: Dell Comics Stories 1942-1949.  Compiled by David W. Tosh.  Introduction by John E. Petty.  First edition, first printing.  Hardbound.  Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books.  $33.51 from Amazon, June, '16.

As John Petty's introduction makes clear, this book looks beyond the usual fascination -- well deserved, of course -- with Walt Kelly's "Pogo" comic strips to a fruitful time when Kelly, after working on Disney's "Fantasia," "Dumbo," and "Pinocchio" and before developing "Pogo" worked for Western Publishing and Dell Comics.  What we find here is a mixture of one-page presentations of nursery rhymes and longer narratives, most 6 to 20 pages in length, gathered here in six chapters.  One sample coming close to some fable situations is "Elephunnies" (83-90), but the story goes through many stages.  I think Kelly is at his best presenting and parodying traditional nursery rhymes.  "Sing a Song of Sixpence" and other nursery rhymes are played straight with delightful cartoons on 141-150.  A good example of playing with nursery rhymes is "Mix-up" on 116.  Other than the pairing of fox and crow on 206, I can find no reference to or use of Aesopic fable materials here.  But, oh, the visual artistry is exquisite!  People reading "Fables" in the title here will wonder if there really are fables, and so I keep the book in the collection.

2016 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales Collected from Around the World.  Retold by Tom Baker.  Designed by Brenda McCallum.  Hardbound.  Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.  $9.99 from Amazon, Jan., '17.

This is a collection strong on engaging stories.  Fables make up perhaps 80% or 90% of the book.  The designs along the way are not remarkable.  That could be a cheese dropping from the crow's beak toward the fox below on the cover; both have red in their eyes.  Some stories are new to me, like "The Priest and the Robber" (21).  Some have a good deal of magic, like "The Boy's Toe Bone" (19).  I am happy to see "Stone Soup" included in a book like this (27).  One seldom sees "The Green Jackass" (13).  "The Jackal and the Elephant's Carcass" (52) is a strong fable, new to me.  The greedy jackal gets caught inside an elephant carcass!  The stories are well told.  If one wanted to give a contemporary little collection of well-told tales, including fables, this would surely be a book to consider.

2016 53 Moments with Fables.  Philip J. Bradbury.  Paperbound.  Brisbane, Australia:  The Write Site.  $12.98 from Amazon, April, '19.

This print-upon-demand book seems a collection of short stories.  I read the first several, including "The Golden Belly-Button" (13), which I first learned in high school as a funny, long-drawn-out joke about the golden bolt.  Also fun is "The Gnus" (20), with ten potential morals, including these groaners: "The good gnus always end up as bad news" and "No gnus is not good news."  Other stories have a wistful character.  I doubt that readers will find traditional fables here.

2016 321 Aesop's Fables with great moral lessons for chilidren (Thai).  Betty White.  Paperbound.  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.  $11.97 from Thrift Books through Ebay, April, 19.

This is a curious -- perhaps even strange -- paperback book of 187 pages.  It is printed upon demand in San Bernardino, CA.  It has no title-page inside.  Instead, it begins with a T of C from 1 to 11.  Then it seems to begin immediately with fables in Thai.  Some of the fables have an English word in or next to their titles; others do not.  Fortunately, Amazon is selling the book and lists it as published in 2016.  It also identifies the publisher as CreateSpace.  The cover shows four animals in its lower half.

2016 321 Aesop's Fables with great moral lessons for children (Arabic).  Nadia Sadaf.  Paperbound.  $12.10 from PrepBooks through Ebay, Feb., '20.

This is a curious -- perhaps even strange -- paperback book of 97 pages.  Its cover almost exactly replicates that of a similar paperback in Thai.  This version, by contrast, does not admit a publisher.  Like the Thai copy, it has no title-page inside.  Instead, it begins with a T of C from 1 to 10.  Then it seems to begin immediately with fables in Arabic.  By contrast with that other book, there is not a word of English in this book.  The cover shows four animals in its lower half.


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2017 Aesop, La Fontaine, Krylov: Complete Collection in One Volume (Russian).  Illustrations by Griset; Grandville; Sapozhnikov; and Trutovsky.  Hardbound.  Moscow: Alpha-Kniga.  $30 from Pabel Ynpnearlov, Moscow, August, '17.

This is an impressive tome of 1136 pages.  Each author has his own illustrator or illustrators.  Aesop has Ernest Griset.  La Fontaine has J.J. Grandville.  Krylov has A.P. Sapozhnikov (apparently for the full-page illustrations with the fables) and K.A. Trutovsky (for the designs enclosing the titles of books).  An impressive frontispiece gathers all three figures.  At the end of this very large volume is first an AI by authors (1171-1179) and then a T of C (1180-1197).  Aesop has 278 numbered texts.  The fables of both La Fontaine and Krylov seem to follow the normal organization by books.  The Krylov fables tend to be one to a page with a full-page illustration on the facing page.  Perhaps a half or one-third of the Krylov fables are illustrated with, apparently, Sapozhnikov's line drawings.  The rhythm is interrupted for printer's designs that get a whole page to themselves.  This is one of the fattest books in the collection!

2017 Aesop's Bedtime Rhymes: Moral Fun with Rhyme & Pun.  Brian E.A. "Dr. Beam" Maue.  Paperbound.  Scotts Valley, CA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing.  $i7 from Amazon, August, '18.

This book helped me learn that "CreateSpace" is Amazon's publishing arm for independent publishers.  This book's front cover features a bed with a book resting on the pillow -- and Aesopic figures moving toward it.  There are eight fables on 108 pages, with simple black-and-white cartoon illustrations.  The back cover claims that this book combines the fables with a "variety of virtuous verse schemes and poetic puns."  Virtuous?  In LM, the mouse first offers King Lion the option of changing his behavior before the mouse will free him from his net.  "The Monkey and His Grip" is a version of "The Boy and the Filberts."  I find the rhymes and puns forced, but children hearing these tales may judge differently.  The last story, "The Caterpillars," pits "Try" against "Not" to dramatize two life styles. 

2017 Aesop's Fables.  Translation: Tper Tradurre Srl.  Illustrations: Manuela Adreani.  First printing.  Hardbound.  Milan, Italy: White Star Kids.  $13.90 from Amazon, Jan., '18.

In this large-format book, twenty fables are given two pages each after an introduction.  White Star did the book in Italian, also in 2017.  Might Adreani have been the author as well as the artist?  Only "Esopo" is listed on their website as the author of the Italian edition.  By the way, Adreani also did a La Fontaine in Italian for White Star, and I just ordered the English edition, which was published eight days ago!  Adreani paints with a broad brush.  A single scene is the background for each two-page spread, with text usually on just one of the pages.  She plays in delightful fashion with scale.  Thus in the first story, DLS, a fox a few inches high sits on the nose of the donkey and raises the snout of the lion-skin.  The cover illustration comes from "The Donkey and the Frogs," which is new to me.  A donkey gets stuck carrying wood through water and complains; frogs ask what he would do if he had been there for as long as the frogs have.  The book appears on Amazon with the curious illustration for "The Wolves and the Sheep."  In Adreani's illustration, the sheep -- who stupidly gave up their dog defenders -- are marching down on a hill that turns out to be the body of a wolf.  The Amazon cover turns this picture 90 degrees upright, so that the sheep climb up to the wolf's snout.  In a surprising change, it is a chough who tries to join the crows but is rejected both by them and then by his fellows.  Sometimes it is hard for me to understand the artist's logic, as when the quack frog rests on the back of the fox who sees through him.  The English is also a little off here as the fox asks "How is it possible for you to heal others when you can't even heal own limp?" (29).  Much more telling is the great illustration of the fox trapped in a tree by his own enlarged stomach (34-35).  My first prize goes to the illustration for FK, including the looming figure in the background (38-39).  This is creative work!

2017 Aesop's Fables, Complete and Unabridged.  Translated by V.S. Vernon Jones.  With illustrations by Arthur Rackham and others, hand-coloured by Barbara Frith.  Afterword by Anna South.  First printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  London: MacMillan Collector's Library:  MacMillan.  $12.61 from Amazon, May, '18.

This book is a reissue of a book published in 2014 by Collector's Library.  It includes 284 numbered fables and so is a "complete and unabridged" copy of what was first published by Heinemann and by Doubleday in 1912.  The hand-coloring is nicely done.  For examples, notice the court scene on 136 and "The Bald Man and the Fly" on 152.  Less well done are the illustrations already colored by Rackham.  The small format (4" x 6¼"), brown titles, and lovely illustrations make this a very nice edition.  The dust jacket has the smiling fox serving a very large platter to a stork on the front and, on the back, the fox emptying an amphora's last drop, with "Slow and steady wins the race" somewhat illogically above that illustration.

2017 Aesop's Fables: Fun Stories, Great Lessons!  Written and illustrated by Britton LaTulippe. Paperbound.  Columbia, SC: Blue Manor Education.  $12.95 from Amazon, Feb., '19.

Here is a square paperback 8½" on a side containing twenty fables, as the beginning T of C makes clear.  The front cover features a dramatic head-shot of an elephant with a blue eye, while the back cover features many animals and a few humans in cartoon form.  Most fables here are two or three pages long.  Texts generally receive one page, and each story receives a full-page colored illustration.  Perhaps most dramatic of these shows the elephant from the cover about to step on a rat who has been propounding that there is really no difference between the elephant and him (19).  The final illustration is also strong: a colorful kestrel woos a female eagle but holds only a tiny mouse in his claw.  The narratives are creative.  The turtle expands the length of the short race suggested by the hare.  The mouse loosens a cherry that falls on the lion's nose, just as the branch pokes him in the eye and the mouse lands on the lion's head.  The fox at first asks for a bite of the cheese.  The ram does not even notice the crow who is trying to lift him aloft.  Not a shepherd but a guard sheep gets bored and cries "Wolf!"  The grasshopper curls up in the snow and dies inches away from the ant's home, where the ant is feasting.  A cook who rescues the cat from the fire then beats her for stealing the chestnuts, while the monkey is curled up sleeping.  "The Vulture's Meal" (40) is new to me.  The vulture notices the limping giraffe and squawks "Injured giraffe."  A bear comes and a big fight ensues.  The bear prevails and kills the giraffe, though the bear has been seriously wounded.  "Injured bear!"  The lion comes and a big fight ensues.  The lion prevails but has been seriously wounded.  The vulture enjoys the giraffe for breakfast, the bear for lunch, and the lion for dinner.  Printed on demand in February, 2019.

2017 Aesop's Fables: Over 40 Stories to Share.  Catherine Allison, Anne Rooney, and Clare Sipi.  Various illustrators. Hardbound.  NY: Parragon.  $14.99 from Amazon, May, '18.

This is another strong, large fables book for children.  The illustrations are simple, good for children's literature.  Most fables have stated morals.  Continuing pages surprisingly repeat the title of the fable.  MSA (16) has a key line: "You're absolutely right!"  In this version, well told, there is no river.  The donkey just runs off when it falls off the pole.  TMCM (28) has a key line in both venues "It's nothing to be afraid of."  There is a good illustration of the fox bested by the stork, with his tongue out at the top of the vase (76-77).  Another good illustration shows the frogs pleading before Zeus (117).  WC has a surprising moral: "Sometimes being helpful is its own reward" (85).  This collection includes Gay's "The Hare Who Had Many Friends" (121).  The wolf in sheep's clothing gets away from the shepherd who discovers him (131).  TB is well illustrated (180).  There is a T of C at the beginning.

2017 Aesop's Favorite Fables: More Than 130 Classic Fables for Children!  Valdemar Paulsen (NA).  With Pictures by Milo Winter.  First edition, first printing.  Hardbound.  NY: Racehorse for Young Readers: Skyhorse Publishing.  $14.39 from treasurebookisland through eBay, April, '17.

Here is the latest in a long string of reprintings of Rand McNally's "The Aesop for Children," first printed in 1919.  What is different here?  First the title.  Secondly, the publisher.  There are further surprises here.  The book is, as far as I can tell, a literal reproduction of the original.  Why then say "More than 130 Classic Fables for Children!" when there are in fact 146, as in the original?  This edition still fails to credit Valdemar Paulsen, as copies of the book did from the beginning, though others who used portions of it acknowledged Paulsen.  A further surprise is that Bodemann seems to know nothing of this book, or of anything attributed to Milo Winter.  A final mystery with this particular copy is that I bought it on eBay, and the seller is listed as treasurebookisland.  Why then, did the book come with a Barnes and Noble invoice?  And why was the eBay price $14.39 when Barnes and Noble sells it for $11.44?  I wrote earlier that the versions of the fables here have a steady eye on correct children's behavior.  The stories' actions are carefully motivated, sometimes even over-motivated.  In fact, the stories have a tendency to overkill.  There are good statements from the characters, made to themselves when talk with others would be inappropriate.  There are some double morals.

2017 Animali sui banchi di scuola: Le favole dello pseudo-Dositeo (ms. Paris, BnF, lat. 6503).  Caterina Mordeglia.  Paperbound.  Florence: Micrologus Library 86: Sismel: Edizioni del Galluzzo.  Gift of Caterina Mordeglia, July, '19.

What a lovely gift from the author!  Michel Pastoureau's preface gives the context perfectly for this book, placing its sixteen fables in their literary and historical context.  Mordeglia also situates them and then offers their Latin and Greek texts.  In a later section, she offers a good comment on each of the sixteen.  I checked the first fable, and she caught the substitution, for example, of "ad" for "at" and explained it accurately.  I had made this substitution myself as I read the Latin, but I was aware that I come from classical, not medieval Latin.  A helpful feature of the text segment is that the Latin is given not only as it appears, line by line, in the manuscript, including all the abbreviations made in texts like these.  Mordeglia also presents a full Latin transcription as we are used to reading texts.  This book makes me look forward to the next time I can dive into the text history of the fables.  Thank you, Caterina!

2017 Arthur Golding's 'A Moral Fabletalk' and Other Renaissance Fable Translations.  Liza Blake and Kathriyn Vomero Santos.  Paperbound.  MHRA Tudor & Stuart Translations: Vol. 12:  Modern Humanities Research Association.  $27 from Amazon, May, '18.

Here is a very helpful volume of some 594 pages.  It contains Arthur Golding's "A Moral Fabletalk" entire and parts or all of four other significant Renaissance translations, starting with Caxton in 1480.  The last selections are from John Ogilby's two multiply-edited publications.  The other two are new to me: Richard Smith's translation of Henryson and John Brinsley's school publication.  Among the helps along the way, do not miss the "Table of Fables" on 54-60.  One of the greatest contributions of the book is to produce Golding's work so nicely.  One recognizes illustration after illustration that jump out as significant in the fable tradition.  Let me mention a few early illustrations:  FS (79); LM (85); and "The Donkey and the Little Dog" (123).  The same is true for Ogilby.  Old friends here are FM (426); LM (436); "The Dog and the Thief" (442); and BM (452).  The introductions, cross-references, and lists of emendations are all helpful.  I am sorry that it has taken me a year and a half to get back to this work!

2017 Classic Storybook Fables.  Illustrated by Scott Gustafson.  First printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  NY: Artisan: Workman Publishing.  $19.95 from an unknown source, August, '18.

Here is a large-format -- about 11" x 12 ¼" -- collection of eight stories.  The four fables include CP; "The Emperor's New Clothes"; BW, and BC.  Other stories include "The Ugly Duckling"; "Beauty and the Beast"; "The Little Red Hen"; and "The Boy Who Went to the North Wind."  After viewing plenty of computer art, I am pleased to view oil paintings.  CP gets one strong double-page (44-45).  One can see the water rising among the stones.  Gustafson makes the "Emperor" all the more striking by placing the story in a kingdom of dogs.  The naked emperor thus wears a medal and a long wig, while all of his fellow dogs are in sumptuous court clothing.  The Emperor tells himself that "the procession must go on," and "the chamberlains followed behind, carrying the hem of a robe that wasn't there" (54).  BW involves three different partial scenes on two pages, well arranged alongside text (56-57).  My prize goes to BC with its emphasis on the applauding audience of mice (71).  The text starts dramatically "The mice had had enough!"  "Beauty and the Beast" is on front cover and dust-jacket.  "The Emperor's New Clothes" is on the back cover and dust-jacket.

2017 Esti allatmesek.  Ildiko Boldizsar.  Illustrated by Csilla Koszeghy.  Hardbound.  Budapest: Mora: Konyvkiado.  3499 Forints in Budapest, August, '17.

This is a large-format (about 8½" x 11¾") book offering more folktales than fables, despite the lively illustration of FS on the cover and repeated on 17.  Others of the fifteen or so full-page illustrations may well be of fables.  On 8 a fox looks up at a rooster on a tree branch.  That could well be UP.  On 26 a fox sits on a frozen lake with his tale frozen into the icy water behind him.  On 81, a clever rabbit runs across the backs of crocodiles lined up like a bridge of stones to hop over.  The stories here come from a broad range of cultures: Thailand, Africa, Burma, Slovakia, Japan, Ethiopia, and others.  Check the FS image again.  Can a wing and vase ever look that way?  Which is in front of which?

2017 Fables de Florian.  Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian.  Illustrations by Victor Adam.  Paperbound.  Au Temps Jadis: La France Pittoresque.  $32.76 from Amazon, May, '20.

Here is a print-upon-demand French representation of a classic in a series devoted to such books: La France Pittoresque.  I will take over some comments here from our record of the original book's first edition in 1838.  Each of the 110 fables gets an illustration, though not here, as in the original, full pages and on separate paper.  Gone also are the title decorations, individual initials, and many strong tailpieces.  Adam's illustrations remain very helpful.  There is a T of C at the end.  This inexpensive paperbound version will make it easy to make one's way through Florian without endangering a fragile older book.

2017 Fables for Leaders.  John Lubans.  Illustrated by Béatrice Coron.  Paperbound.  Salem, OR: Ezis Press.  $26.99 from Amazon, Oct., '17. 

I enjoy this book and even find John Luibans something of a kindred spirit.,  The heart of the book, I would say, is a collection of traditional Aesopic fables.  To these Luibans adds a number of things.  First of all there are what I would call ruminations, reflecting well on how the fable applies to life.  Then there are fables from others, including especially himself.  My hat is off to anyone who, after the thousands of fables that have been created in our literary tradition, makes a new one.  I do note that Lubans' fables seem longer than the traditional Aesop fables he uses.  To these texts are added simple, pleasing silhouettes,like the dramatic gesture outlined on the cover.  The book also makes room for personal notes from readers.  It all adds up for me to a valuable book.  The fables are grouped by themes under seven chapters, with two to eight themes per chapter.  Bravo, John Lubans!

2017 Fables for Wisdom Seekers Young and Old.  Barbara A. Meyers.  Illustrated by Susan Adele O'Dwyer. Paperbound.  Sarasota, FL: First Edition Design Publishing.  $14.80 from Discover Books through Ebay, Feb., '20.

Meyers is a therapist.  She loved stories as a child.  "Now as a therapist, I listen to and hold the emotional space for others' stories."  The book "is a direct outgrowth of my work over the years and is written for parents, grandparents, teachers, counselors, and other adults who care about and love children and want to assist them on their journey to wholeness."  Fables, she writes, "teach us about our own humanness" (all from the Preface, i-ii).  The fourteen stories here are each six to eight pages long, with one full-page colored illustration by O'Dwyer.  Each story is followed by about three pages of "talking points."  The first story tells of Geri the Giraffe who gets lost and listens to bad advice from Snake.  Turtle at last counsels Geri to listen to her own powers as giraffe.  When she does that, Geri arrives back in her own territory at her own herd.  In the second story, Clara the Caterpillar wants to be rid of the "unsightly" yellow spots on her green body.  Nothing helps her to get rid of the spots.  She meets Sam the Spider, who is tired of being all black.  He has a method for getting more colors: he stands where a piece of glass refracts a rainbow of colors, perhaps onto him.  He gets hotter and hotter in these focused rays until he goes up in flames.  Marvin the Mole shows up, asks what happens, and laments.  He has seen the beautiful blue on the underside of Sam, which Sam of course could not see.  Clara reconsiders that maybe she should be looking for her gifts rather than what she is missing.  8½" square.

2017 Fables You Shouldn't Pay Any Attention To.  Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Worth Van Clief.  Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier.  First Atheneium printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  NY: Atheneium.  $16.99 from an unknown source, August, '17.

Here is a new version of a book already in the collection, but from a new publisher and with a more engaging visual artist.  Two stories have been added since the 1991 edition in the collection: "Phoebe" and "Sally."  Phoebe is a bee who smells the flowers all summer instead of making honey.  But then a bear comes and steals the honey.  Phoebe is happy that she smells the flowers!  Sally is a slow raindrop who ends up because of her slowness not in a big mud puddle but in a lovely rainbow.  The characters in most stories here are identified as specific animals.  Genevieve in the first story seems to be a human in the text but is well pictured as a cat.  That shift takes something of the sting out of praising her carelessness.  Caleb and Conrad in the last story are also humans, but the illustrations of them move towards ducks or chicks, I think.  The book was apparently first published in 1978 by Lippincott.  There are now nine enjoyable stories.  Good fun!

2017 Grandes fábulas de La Fontaine para los más pequeños.  Translated by Sara Cano Fernández.  Illustrated by various artists..  Hardbound.  Barcelona:  Beascoa: Penguin Random House Grupo Edtorial.  $15.09 from Bargain Book Stores, Grand Rapids, Sept., '17.

Apparently originally published as "Fàbulas de la Fontaine: livro de histórias" by Zero a Oito in Portugal in 2014.  This 10" square book contains six stories, each about twelve pages in length.  Each story is illustrated by a different artist.  FS, GA, TMCM, GGE, WL, and "The Angler and the Little Fish."  Each story has an identical final two page element: a page with a sign "Moraleja del Cuento" and a page of perhaps 12 to 15 lines of reflection on the story.  The stories are indeed well fashioned for children.  The artistry is simple in each case but decidedly varied from story to story.  GA is told in the non-La Fontaine fashion, and TMCM is tilted toward the superiority of country life.  Both characters in FS are female.  Among the most curious illustrations is the view inside the dead hen that had produced golden eggs (45)!  The first finish to WL seems to say something like "In this story, evil wins in the end.  Protect the innocent always if you want to triumph."  The more official moral advises getting away from such types and avoiding the harm that they can do to us.  The little fish begging to be thrown back has musical notes coming out its mouth.  The final two pages here are shortened to one.

2017 Heltai Gaspar: Fabulak: A Bölcs Esopusnak.  Modernized by Arthur Keleti.  Workshop of Gyorgy Kaza, Master Geza Korda.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Budapest,,Hungary:  Magyar Naplo Klado.  16500 Hungarian Forints from Libri Bookline, Budapest, Hungary, August, '20.

This edition repeats the texts and illustrations of editions I have of 1943 and 1948.  Here these are on slicker pages, ornamented by use of peach color for initials and "moral."  This book is in landscape rather than portrait format and has a dust-jacket showing the title-page in color.  It also features a CD in which, I presume, the fables are told in Hungarian.  I will repeat some of my comments from those editions.  I have noticed that the subtitle seems to be "The fables and instructive speeches of the wise Esopus and others and their meaning."  This book was apparently reprinted by the publisher – and perhaps others – many times over, sometimes with a colored title-page or cover.  100 fables and 31 strong woodcuts.  Some things are not clear to me.  Are the woodcuts patterned on a Remondini edition "Aesopi phrygis et aliorum fabulae"?  Were the woodcuts done with Heltai's original edition in 1566 or sometime later?  These woodcuts are in any case strong and simple.  Among the best are the title-page illustration found again on 55.  Notice the a+rtist's struggle with the face of a lion on 67.  I believe that the original publisher was Diosgyor Paper Mill.  Gaspar Heltai was apparently a polymath: preacher, bible translator, and writer on many subjects.  Gyorgy Kaza was a late nineteenth and early twentieth century artist.  Clever endpapers developed from the illustration of cat and mice.

2017 La Fontaine: En vers et contre tout!.  Sylvie Dodeller.  Paperbound.  Paris: Medium:  L'école des loisirs.  €3 from Ex Libro, Strassburg, July, '19. 

The first 13 pages plunged me into the childhood of Jean de La Fontaine in vividly pictured local circumstances.  I am sorry that I cannot read more now.  I suspect that there are very good things coming!  By the way, his teacher was referred to as a "regent."  That is what we have come to call Jesuits in training who teach in a school.  Maybe I just learned the reason why we call them that!

2017 Le renard et le fromage.  Patrick Pasques.  Paperbound.  Points de suspension.  €13 from Les Éditeurs Associës, Paris, June, '19.

Here is another delightful recent French creation having fun with a La Fontaine fable.  The story here starts after the fox has the cheese from the crow.  The story then details all the adventures the fox has in trying to eat the cheese in peace.  He encounters, in order, flies, a bear, an eagle, a mountain, cactus, a bull, ants, a crocodile, and a hole.  The visuals seem to have been created as photographs of scenes made of folded paper.  The fox walks like a human throughout the story.  Two of the best illustrations have the fox running from the bear and the bull holding the cheese in his hand.  Both story and visualizations are extremely clever.

2017 O lisce a capu a dalsi Ezopovy bajky.  Hana Primusova.  Illustrated by Dagmar Koskova.  Second edition.  Hardbound.  Prague: Ceskoslovensky spisovatel.  69 Czech Crowns from Levne Knihy, Prague, July, '19.

Here are twenty-five fables on 53 pages, as the closing T of C shows.  Is that God who is pictured laughing over the monkey mother on 19?  A strength of this nicely colored edition is the use of multiple images to tell a story, not just in that fable's many images gathered together, but also the paired images for TMCM on 43.  Then again, in "The Stag and the Dogs" (51), we have a dominant image of the caught stag covering three-quarters of the page; it might be only a little later that we notice the oval of reflecting water above this image.  This is another lovely find from several days in the Czech Republic in summer of 2019!

2017 O zajici a zelve a dalsi Ezopovy bajky.  Hana Primusova.  Illustrated by Dagmar Koskova.  Hardbound.  Prague: Ceskoslovensky spisovatel.  69 Czech Crowns from Levne Knihy, Prague, July, '17.

This is, from all indications, a companion volume to "O lisce a capu a dalsi Ezopovy bajky."  They have the same editor, artist, publisher, and year of publication.  They even have the same number of fables on the same number of pages: twenty-five fables on 53 pages, as the closing T of C shows.  The title fable here is TH, whose illustration is repeated on the back cover.  Among the better full-page colored illustrations, which occur regularly on right-hand pages, I find "The Father of Two Daughters" (9); "The Donkey and the Lapdog" (13); "The Hares and the Frogs" (21); and "The Fortune-Teller" (53).  As in the other volume, this nicely colored edition uses multiple images to tell a story, whether in paired images, as in "The Lion and the Fox" (29), or in several images brought together, as in "Acorn and Pumpkin" (15).  This is a lovely find from several days in the Czech Republic in summer of 2017!

2017 The Fables of Ivan Krylov.  Translated by Stephen Pimenoff.  Paperbound.  Sawtry, Cambs, UK: Dedalus European Classics.  $11.14 from Amazon, June, '18.

Pimenoff writes a strong introduction, in which he reveals his hope that this translation will make English readers better aware of Krylov's greatness, equal in his mind to that of Aesop and La Fontaine.  After some helpful historical background, that introduction gives a good sense of Krylov's wit and of Pimenoff's translating hopes.  He rejects both prose and rhyme and chooses free verse.  To get a sense of the translations, I read the first ten fables of Book IV.  I find them utterly intelligible and regularly delightful, whether they are the better known "The Quartet" and "The Swan, the Pike and the Crayfish" or others new to me, like "The Pond and the River" and "The Mechanic."  I want to make more use of this helpful translation!  It includes all the fables or all nine books, plus six extras.

2017 Town Mouse, Country Mouse.  Libby Walden.  Illustrated by Richard Jones.  First printing.  Hardbound.  London: Little Tiger Group: Caterpillar Books.  $11.04 from Superbookdeals through Amazon, Jan., '18. 

The back cover rightly describes this as a "rhyming peep-through picture book."  The front cover indicates several of its charms when it presents the two mice through cutouts of the thick cover material and when it supplies a series of small snapshots selected from scenes in the book.  The basic story here is of a swap that brings each mouse back to enjoy his or her home.  Cutouts in the pages present a nice contrast, as when City Mouse has a picture of country mouse in her wall in front of the motorcar wallpaper like the front endpapers.  She writes, by the way, on an ace of spades desk surface.  Turn the page and we find on the wall of the Country Mouse a framed picture "Town Life," which of course looks through the same cutout hole to the previous scene's view of the town.  Storyteller and artist both linger nicely on the details of packing up, watering plants, and saying good-bye to friends.  Once they have traded places, noise in the town wakes up Country Mouse, who has to be stopped by a spider from blundering into a mouse trap.  Town Mouse has to be warned by a bird not to eat some berries that would make her sick.  Life gets worse for both when they go outside.  The series of city scenes across the top of these pages is particularly well done.  Now back at home, Town Mouse knows it's the place for her and sends a paper airplane out to her country cousin, who reflects that home is where the heart is.  The book ends with flowered endpapers, as it began with citylike automobile images.  This is a clever and engaging children's book.

2017 25 Fables: Aesop's Animals Illustrated.  Curated by Bronwyn Minton.  Various artists.  Hardbound.  Jackson Hole, WY: National Museum of Wildlife Art.  Gift of the National Museum of Wildlife Art through Debbie Ross-Vassar, Manager of Retail Operatiions, August, '18.

Pauli Ruotolo tipped me off to the exhibit and book.  I wrote to the museum and asked if copies of this catalogue were still available.  They graciously scared one up and sent it to me.  Bronwyn Minton is the Associate Curator of Art and Research at the museum.  Twenty-five artists each contribute an illustration – in a variety of media and styles.  The very first, TMCM by Rachel Kunkle Hartz (4), is among the most dramatic, contrasting country and city.  Also arresting is the ink drawing of DW by Haley Badenhop (12).  Half of the single animal's face is the dog chained to his doghouse.  The other half is wildly psychedelic!  Again, Ben Carlson's ink drawing of "The Wolf and His Shadow" (28) is wonderfully suggestive.  David Klarén's FG on 38 startles a viewer into thinking twice.  Greg Houda's WC puts great expressions on both animal's faces (44)!  I have not been able to figure out whether artists were given established texts (whose?) or invited to prepare their own.  What a lovely project and what a lovely gift!



2018 Aesop's Fables.  Rev. George Fyler Townsend.  Illustrated by Harrison Weir.  Preface and Introduction by Susie Moore.  Paperbound.  Oxford, UK: Aesop Classics.  $9.99 from Amazon, May, '18.

Here is a nice reproduction of G.F. Townsend's "Three Hundred Aesop's Fables" of 1880, published then by George Routledge and Sons and including, now as then, fifty of Harrison Weir's illustrations.  This reproduction is good enough to reproduce the title-page from that edition, with the addition of the present-day names and places.  The Weir illustrations are better defined here than in many of the early publications by various publishers.  There is a T of C at the end and a list of illustrations between the life of Aesop and the first fable.  I believe that the T of C has changed the typeface of the page numbers; I wonder what mystery lies behind that choice.  Have some stories or pages been dropped?  This book has made me aware for the first time that there is an editing group named "aesopbooks.com."  This volume belongs to their "Aesop Classics," along with Shakespeare and Canterbury Tales.  Though this seems to be the only "Aesop" book that they publish, it is heartening to find a publishing group named after the ancient fabulist!

2018 Aesop's Fables in English & Latin, Interlineary, for the Benefit of those who not having a Master, Would Learn Either of these Tongues.  (John Locke).  Hardbound.  Eighteenth Century Collections Online: Literature and Language:  A.Bettesworth/Creative Media Partners: Gale: Cengage.  See 1723/2018.

2018 Aesop's Fables: The Classic Edition.  Charles Santore.  First edition, first printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  NY: Applesauce: Cider Mill Press.  Gift of Mary Pat Ryan, Dec., '18.

This impressive large (10" x 12¾") book has a significant history.  Jellybean Press did Santore's original version, printed in Italy, in 1988.  It was about ⅜" larger each way than this book.  It had FG on its front cover and dust-jacket.  And it had no morals attached to its text.  It had a five-page foreword by Patricia Barrett Perkins.  Santore's work then was the background for some of the illustrations in Merrill Lynch's opulent advertising campaign launched during the '92 winter Olympic games.  Then in 2010 Kohl's Cares reprinted the book and sold it for $5 in an edition printed by Sterling Press in China.  That edition added morals and substituted a foreword by Santore for the earlier foreword.  A selection from the large final foldout wrapped around from back cover through the front, with the same repeated on the dust-jacket.  Now this present edition returns to the larger format of the original edition but includes the added features from 2010, including cover art, foreword, and morals.  As I wrote about the first edition, the art is big, witty, and strong.  In the triple foldout -- here labeled as a "stunning gatefold" on the dust-jacket -- the animals from all the fables reappear at the end of the TH race.  Also excellent is the illustration for "The Monkey as King" (29).

2018 Ars Bene Valendi.  François Joseph Terrasse Des Billons.  Paperbound.  Heidelberg/Delhi, India: Joann(es) Wiesen/Facsimile Publisher.  See 1788/2018.

2018 Awesome Aesop's Fables.  Dust-Jacket.  Hardbound.  Mumbai, India: Shree Book Centre.  $9.60 from Thriftbooks through Amazon, July, ‘21.  

Six fables are followed by a three pages of “Meanings of Difficult Words.”  Each page gets some text and some illustration with cartoon “balloons” for the characters’ thoughts and statements.  MSA presents all the steps of the story, including carrying the donkey on a pole and watching him go “hurling down the river” (16).  For King Lion’s birthday, both the monkey and the elephant show off impressive tricks before the camel thinks “I can perform these tricks better than the monkey and the elephant” (25).  When his dance goes wrong, the lion banishes him from the forest.  At the end of FS, the fox understands how hurt others can feel over tricks like his.  The town mouse has a bath, supper, peaceful sleep, and a hearty breakfast.  He likes country life!  Later the village mouse enjoys “the malls, the movies and the museums” of the town.  The owner of the town house sprays the house daily with smoky insect repellent.  This day he then waits for them outside the house with a big stick.  Also “The Deer and His Antlers” and “The Owl and the Grasshopper.”  In the latter, the owl does not invite the grasshopper in for a meal; he simply pounces upon him after repeated requests for quiet.  7¼” x 9¼”.

2018 Das Grosse Fabelbuch.  Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi.  Paperbound. e-artnow2018.  $6.70 from Amazon, May, ‘21.  

Here is a print-upon-demand book with fables on 13-111, with few exceptions one to a page.  Those exceptions run onto a second or third page.  I read the first ten or so.  Pestalozzi is an Enlightenment author, to be sure.  Sometimes his comments become a major part of the fable or of its explanation.  Earlier comments I have made about Pestalozzi are confirmed mere.  He may see more in a story than the listener or reader does.  Many fables are contentious, and it may not be clear -- until Pestalozzi explains -- who is the "winner."  Overall, I do not find his heady fables as convincing or enlightening as those of Aesop.  However I am happy to have this collection of them, complete with an opening T of C.

2018 Fabel-haft: 10 Fabeln nach Aesop in Versen, Bildern und Liedern op Platt.  Jens Jacobsen.  Aquarelle von Ulrike Brokoph.  Paperbound.  Oldenburg: Isensee Verlag.  $22.56 from PBShop UK through Amazon, Feb., '21.

"Plattdüütsche Leder to de 10 Fabeln," as the title-page declares.  This is a large-format (8¼" x 11⅞") paperback featuring lovely developments of ten fables.  These "developments" take us in three directions.  First, these texts are in Plattdeutsch.  Secondly, they offer songs for each fable, nicely rhymed, also in Platt.  Third, they offer good, large colored illustrations for each fable.  The preface wishes readers "Un veel Spooss dorbi! "  That is a good sign!  Each fable has several small pictures besides the full-page illustration.  Maybe the best of these large illustrations is that of the mouse sniffing around the sleeping lion's nose (18).  Not a good idea!  Another excellent illustration is that for "Eagle and Tortoise" (35).  There are three moments of "Söökspeel" along the way and appendices on Aesop and on the material on FG too long to put at its place in the book.  Do not miss the identical book done in "Hochdeutsch" in 2020 by the same people.

2018 Fables.  Matthew Stringer.  Paperbound.  Surrey, UK: Grosvenor House.  $14.50 from Amazon, Feb., '19.

False alarm!  As the back cover of the book says, "In this collection of loosely linked short stories, centuries-old conspiracies, hoaxes and confessions are uncovered, historiography is censored at its birth, and boundaries of form and style are broken to intrigue the reader with philosophical diversions and alternative readings of the past."  Amazon lists it as a "fantasy anthology."  I did not get into the book.

2018 Fables & Fairy Tales to Cross Stitch: French Charm for Your Stitchwork.  Véronique Enginger; Translated by Omicron Language Solutions.  Hardbound.  Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing.  $19.52 from Amazon, July, '19.

From the 2016 French Fables, Contes et Comptines by Fleurus Editions in 2016.  The book consists of patterns derived from three genres of literature: nine fables: about eighteen fairy tales; and about fifteen French nursery rhymes.  These are followed by "Techniques and Tips"; "Project Instructions"; and "Patterns."  For each of the fables, there is on the left-hand page a photograph of a finished product, often set in a real-life context, and on the right-hand page the pattern to work from.  There are helpful suggestions then on how to "Take the Fables Along" as bookmarks, pins, or key rings.  A suggestion for a "storage pouch" includes patterns for yet more fables, like TT, LM, and 2P.  The book seems to presume that makers or users of the cross stitches know the fables.  For French people, that is highly likely.  For English speakers, I suspect that it is less the case.  The fable renditions are charming.  My favorites include FC (18-19) and MM (20-21).  I just ordered the French version.

2018 Fables de La fontaine selon M. de Renusson.  Jean de La Fontaine.  Illustrated by Georges de Renusson.  Paeprbound.  Paris: Carnet Visuels #4: Éditions solo ma non troppo.  €12 from Les Éditeurs Associës, Paris, June, '19.

This little unpaginated booklet of 32 pages is one of the most delightful finds of a summer visit to Paris.  Apparently Georges de Renusson (1916-1991) was a maker of models for a maritime museum in Paris.  A really gifted cartoonist, he published apparently only one book.  This partial facsimile seems to have been his transformation of a cheap book of texts of La Fontaine's fables done by drawing right on the pages of the book.  He did this between 1942 and 1945.  I'd love to learn more about this book and its discovery.  His designs are delightful from start to finish of this partial reproduction.  One notices the partiality when texts begun on one page are not continued on the next.  The very first page opens out onto the winter world of the grasshopper's plea to the well-housed ant.  Two pages later the old man runs from death, dropping pipe, hat, scythe, and both shoes!  Four cartoons adorn TMCM, the last a rustic picnic under a mushroom.  The fortune-teller's top-floor room under the slanting roof is well filled out with stove, cauldron, and beakers.  The hunt that destroys the gardener's garden spills across the left-hand page from the right.  The rats and weasels have a huge battle with cannons as well as swords.  The ears of the rabbit do cast a shadow that stretches across two pages.  On the very last page, without text, the pedant lectures away next to a floatable lifesaver.  Will he ever stop?  What wonderful imagination!

1983 Fables de La Fontaine traduites en créole seychellois.  Rodolphine Young.  Paperbound.  Hamburg: Kreolische Bibliothek 4: Helmut Buske Verlag.  $40.47 from Thriftbooks, Jan., '18.

Like other Creole presentations of fables which I have found, these fables have a charm all their own.  The written text cannot, of course, carry the charm of hearing the familiar amid the unfamiliar, but some of that experience is there as one reads through these texts.  This 118-page book in a form with which German academics are familiar presents 49 fables.  After an introduction on 5, the book presents the numbered fables, with critical notes following on 55.  After a section on the language of the fables, there is a glossary on 75-80.  La Fontaine's original texts follow on 81, with a bibliography on 115 and a T of C on the last two pages.  One has the fear that these charming dialects may be dying out in the not-too-distant future.

2018 Fables d'Ésope.  Adaptation de Jean-Philippe Mogenet.  Illustré par Jean-François Martin.  Hardbound.  Toulouse, France: Milan.  €8.50 from Librairie Dinali, Strasbourg, August, '19.

This large-format book is almost identical with that published in 2011 by the same publisher.  Changes include a change on the cover and title-page from "Milan Jeunesse" to "Milan."  Fewer books are included in the series listed facing the title-page.  The ISBN has changed, through the price has not.  The typeface on the back cover changes for one small portion of text.  Before I repeat comments I made then, I want to add two now.  Animal characters here regularly wear hats.  By my count, only three stories lack hats in their illustrations.  A striking appearance of the hat comes in DS (35).  Secondly, readers of La Fontaine will note here that Aesop's story is not about a grasshopper and ant but rather about a beetle and an ant (56-57).  There is no reference to singing!  As I wrote then, this tall book offers twenty-six Aesopic fables with a distinctive illustration for each.  The art makes abundant use of big spaces to make its good points about the fables.  In twenty-four of the cases here, that means a full page of illustration.  In the other two, it means a double-page.  Both of those double-page illustrations are strong: "The Stag at the Pool and the Lion" (46-47) and "Goat and Wolf" (60-61).  Other strong illustrations include WC (17); "The Lion and the Hare" (25, with a detail repeated on the title-page); "The Tortoise and the Eagle" (27); DS (35); and FG (51).  Martin has a style all its own.  It shows some dependency, I would say, on Art Deco.  I am happy to see the French pay some attention to Aesop!

2018 Fables Gravées Par Sadeler, Avec Un Discours Préliminaire Et Les Sens Moraux En Distiques.  Aesop.  Paperbound.  Hachette Livre.  See 1743/2018.

2018 Fifty Fables in German: A Parallel Reader.  Clinton Sheppard.  First printing.  Paperbound. Clinton Sheppard: Goodreads.  $11.54 from greatbookprices2 through Ebay, Dec., ‘20.  

Here is a curious book, 7½” x 9½”, containing fifty numbered fables.  Each fable is presented in parallel German and English columns, with specific words numbered to correspond with words or phrases in the other column.  The approach to language learning helps to make the book worth thinking about.  For me, it is a good experience to wonder about a word and immediately look at its counterpart in the other language.  Such is, as I understand it, the approach John Locke proposed for learning Latin.  The back cover claims that this practice helps “to study the differences between the two languages.”  Does it?  The fables are a mix, apparently straight from Schmid in 1800.  Perhaps a half-dozen are standard Aesopic fare, like “The Overburdened Ass” (#14); TB (#20); and “Acorn and Pumpkin” (#41).  BW (#21) has a surprise ending: the wolf eats the boy up!  “The Stolen Horse” (#26) is a good fable.  To disprove claims about horse ownership, ask “In which eye is the horse blind?”  He is in fact not blind in either eye!  There are extensive vocabulary listings at the back.

2018 French Fables in Action.  Violet Partington.  Paperbound.  Ithaca, NY: Yesterday's Classics.  $8.25 from Amazon, Nov. 11, '18.

This book was first published in 1918 by E.P. Dutton.  Yesterday's Classics "is the publishing arm of the Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project."  The heart of this print-on-demand volume is 57 pages of French text offering ten of La Fontaine's fables as theatrical pieces, with several scenes and characters in each fable.  Thus in the first presentation, TT, the talkative tortoise speaks first of boring days in her "vieux trou."  The two ducks, Quoique and Pourquoi, stop by on their way to America and soon enough, after the tortoise complains about being stuck in her little garden, offer to take her along.  In a second scene, the three prepare.  Towards the end of the scene, the two ducks take off with Madame Tortue after a short conversation with a peasant couple.  The peasant seeing Madame Tortue aloft, says she is the queen of turtles.  "La reine!  Oui, en effet je la suis" answers the turtle and falls to her apparent death.  The two ducks speak La Fontaine's four-verse moral.  Other stories included are DW; "The Lark and Her Children"; GA, "The Old Man and the Three Youths"; MM; UP; "The Laborer and His Children"; TB; and TMCM.

2018 Holy Jester!  The Saint Francis Fables.  Written and illustrated by Dario Fo, translated by Mario Pirovano.  First edition, second printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Tuxedo Park, NY.  $31.84 from Amazon, July, '18. 

This disappointing book was one of the fastest reads of my life.  The eight incidents chosen may include some of the most important in Francis' life, but I was disappointed on two counts.  First, these episodes have little to do with fables.  Secondly, Fo's handling of them does not get,, I believe, into the heart of Francis.  Play may well be able to pierce to the heart of Francis' gifts, but I did not find Fo pushing into the depths of this great man or finding his gift of play.  The book is set up for fast reading.

2018 I.A. Krylov: Basni.  Illustrated by A(lexei) M. Lapteva.  Hardbound.  Moscow: Makhaon.  $25 from Natalya Slepchenko, Moscow, through Ebay, Dec., '19.

This is one of the best produced volumes of Krylov that we have.  It offers twelve fables, each with a full-page colored illustration from Lapteva.  These, all signed "A. L. '64", are highly colorful.  My prizes for the illustrations go to FG (7); "Elephant and Pug" (15); "The Donkey, Rooster, and Nightingale" (20); and FC (27), repeated on the cover.   This is a sturdy, well-made book!

2018 Il était une fable.  Pascal Teulade.  Illustrations by Adrienne Barman.  Hardbound.  Geneva, Switzerland: La Joie de Lire.  €12.60 from Gibert Jeune, June, '19.

Here is what the publisher puts out for this book: "Il y a 350 ans paraissaient les premières fables de Jean de La Fontaine. Dans Il était une fable, Pascal Teulade renouvelle le genre. Un peu contraint et forcé il faut bien le dire ! En effet ce sont les animaux des fables eux-mêmes qui sont venus lui rendre visite et lui ont demandé de les remettre au goût du jour… Ils ont frappé un jour chez lui, explique-t-il dans une introduction, alors qu’il cuisinait tranquillement un gratin. Il n’en a tout d’abord pas cru ses yeux Pascal ! Mais ils étaient tous là : l’âne, le lion, le coq, le renard, la cigale… Intermittents du spectacle, depuis trop longtemps ignorés par les écoles et par les enfants eux-mêmes, les animaux ont prié Pascal Teulade de prendre sa plume et de leur donner un nouvel élan. Mais pourquoi l’avoir choisi lui, s’est alors demandé bien légitiment l’auteur, flatté certes mais un peu méfiant tout de même?  Après tout il y a plein d’écrivains sur terre… Finalement, après moult discussions et tergiversations, il accepte et publie l’ouvrage à La joie de lire."  Lively stuff!

2018 Jean de La Fontaine: Bajky.  Jan Kaspar.  Illustrated by Zdenka Krejcová.  Hardbound.  Prague: Aventinum.  199 Czech Crowns from Knihkupectvi Spalena, Prague, July, '19.

Aventinum here brings out a new edition of a book they first published in 1993.  This book is a competitor in the "published in most languages" category, since this is the fourth language in which it appears in our collection, besides French (1993) and English, Dutch, and German (all 1995).  As I wrote of the English version, this is a large-format, colorful book containing forty-six fables.  The art is big, colorful, and dramatic.  BF (#1) has the smallest bird I have ever seen trying to wear these peacock feathers!  OF (#3) starts with a great image of a horned frog; the ox is his only interlocuter, and there is no other frog around.  TMCM (#5) does show a Turkish rug, but the setting seems to be more the country meal than the city meal, and there is no country meal in La Fontaine!  Great chagrined lion (#12), overcome by the gnat.  Sometimes the images of two fables are merged on one two-page spread, e.g. 14-15 (GA and FC) and 20-21 (WC and FG).  Appropriately, a gravedigger steals the miser's buried gold (#24).  In 2P (#25) the iron pot has a good moustache.  The illustration for "The Mountain that Gave Birth" (#27) is strange:  a man in the foreground raises a golden egg in his hand, while the mountain in the background looks sad.  In "The Torrent and the River" (#40), a hat floating on the calm surface tells the whole story.  Great job for an inexpensive book!  T of C at the front, listing stories but by neither number nor page.  The texts are centered, and I presume that they are, as in English, prose.

2018 Jean de La Fontaine: 25 Fables: Bilingual illustrated edition.  A new translation by Christopher Carsten.  Tangrams by Edith de Tarragon.  Preface by Sir Michael Edwards.  Paperbound.  Paris: Librairie Editions Tituli.  Review copy from Seventeenth-Century News, Oct., '18.

Consult the 2015 version of this book by the same parties, except the visual artist for my comments.  My review takes as its keynote Michael Edwards' preface: "He praises its 'unexpected rhymes,' 'snappy turns of phrase in familiar speech,' and occasional updates.  He finds the translations 'lively and full of pep' (7-8).  I concur with these judgments."  About the illustrations I write this: "The present colored tangrams are a clear upgrade.  The art ranges from the simpler 'Crow and Fox' to the more complex and suggestive 'Farmer, Dog, and Fox.'  As with La Fontaine's texts, there is here in the tangram images always something more to enjoy.  A personal favorite is 'Frog and Ox,' in which the frog, framed in a colorful stained glass arrangement, expands and explodes into tangram pieces (27).  Unfortunately, three of the 25 fables here are not illustrated."  I appreciate Joe Johnson's asking me to review this lively book!

2018 La Réforme et la Fable.  Alice Vintenon et Françoise Poulet.  Préface de Frank Lestringant.  Paperbound.  Geneva: Cahiers d'Humanisme et Renaissance #155: Librairie Droz.  Gift of Willis Regier, Jan., '20.

I would love to get further into this fascinating discussion.  I am aware of Luther's use of fable and of the Jesuits' use of fable, but I do not go further than that yet.  My French is not up to this scholarly discussion.  Who knows how I might find a way into the discussion?!  Till then this remains a cherished gift and a promise of lots to learn!  As the closing T of C makes clear, the book's essays are divided into five parts: "Reform Commentaries on Pagan Fictions"; "Evangelical Fictions"; "The Perception of Mythologies: Around Simon Goulart"; "Fable, Pedagogy, and Education"; and "The Place of Fable in Evangelical and Reformed Poetry."

2018 Le Renard sans le Corbeau.  Pascale Petit.  Illustrations by Gérard Dubois.  Hardbound.  Geneva: Éditions Notari.  €16 from Librairie des Éditeurs Associés, June, '19.

Originally published in Italian in 2018 by Orecchio acerbo.  Here is a great parody of and play on La Fontaine.  In the first fable a cow invites the clever fox to praise her qualities.  He is not apparently the cleverest flirt now.  Is he perhaps trying to give up his crow-flattering ways?  The cow, inviting praise of her physical features, finally asks him if he wants to see her buttocks and watch her dung fall.  She then lets it fall all over him.  Sadly, some of the idiomatic French escapes me!  What for example does this fable's moral mean?  "Watch out for those who fart higher than their ass!"  In general, the fox here is paired with other individual animals who do not fall for his tricks until a last picture has him and crow reversed, with the crow on the grounding holding cheese.  A last text then asks "A quoi bon avoir usé des ses talents d'orateur/auprès de toute cette bande d'usurpateurs?"  Without the crow, the fable does not have the same flavor!  The illustrations seem to me to be a pleasant throwback, perfectly conceived for this kind of parody.  It was a delight to find this book in a delightful bookshop!

2018 Les Fables de La Fontaine.  Bruno Heitz.  Hardbound.  Brussels: Les Classiques en BD:  Casterman.  €12.95 from Gibert Jeune, Paris, June, '19.

Here is a pleasing Bande Dessinée presentation of some 24 of La Fontaine's fables, introduced by three pages of La Fontaine presenting himself and then arguing with some animals who want him to change his stories about each of them.  Each fable gets one or two pages.  Except for the suppression of "he said" elements, the texts seem to be verbatim those of La Fontaine.  The cover image presents a good array of the characters.  The story moves out briefly again from straight presentation of fables to dialogue with La Fontaine on 36 to move from animal stories to those presenting plants and humans.  The back cover catches one of the best of the book's illustrations, the fox holding a vase while the stork enjoys what is inside the vase (19).  Heitz has a gift for closing images, like the cat carrying off the mouse who thought he was equal to an elephant (13).

2018 Les Fables de La Fontaine.  Joann Sfar.  Hardbound.  Neuilly sur-Seine Cedex:  Editions Michel Lafon.  €20 from Chantelivre, Paris, June, '19.

I happened to pass Chantelivre on my way elsewhere during this Paris visit, and so I stopped and asked.  What a great find!  This book's art is explosive!  Sfar's work reminds me of Quentin Blake's.  Almost every right-hand page between 33 and 199 has a full-page colored illustration to match a fable.  The few exceptions arise with those fables too long to print on one left-hand page.  The art is vigorous, with nervous black lines filled in with vigorous color.  The cover pictures of FC (front) and La Fontaine with a lion and other animals (back) give a good sense of what the reader will find inside.  The effect is, I believe, to shock the viewer into reconsidering the fable's invitation to perception.  GA, for example, presents a rainy, muddy, brown world with a grasshopper in what might be a raincoat appearing at the door of an aristocratic ant with a huge hat and a very sturdy home behind him (33).  There is a lively sense of exaggeration in the art.  Thus the donkey is lying in the lap of his owner and trying to lick his face (39).  The expressions of donkey, owner, and wife are all strong.  The cozy lapdog looks on motionless from his pillow.  The town mouse lives not in splendor but among trash (47).  The lion is a hell's angel meeting the mosquito in a bar (51).  The young wolves devouring young lambs are human males sneaking up on beautiful human females asleep (59).  The list goes on through one surprise after another.  Sfar often provokes a curious mixture of fear and laughter, as when we see four burning suns descending on frightened frogs (109).  Other provocative pieces include LM (75) and TB (101).  I welcome this kind of creative interpretation of La Fontaine!  The order of fables is not La Fontaine's.  T of C at the end.

2018 Les Fabulistes Populaire.  Edited by Emile de La Bédollière.  Illustrés par Bertall (Charles-Albert d'Arnoux).  Paperbound.  Paris: Pantheon Populaire: Hachette Livre BnF/Gustave Barba.  $15.28 from Book Depository, April, '21.

This is a 48-page small print pront-on-demand booklet offering fables from a wide array of French fabulists other than La Fontaine and Florian.  After La Bédollière's introduction (1-3), there are about two to three fabulists per page and six or seven of their fables per page.  In its own way, this booklet is a predecessor to Shapiro's "The Fabulists French."  One is surprised again at the huge array of French authors who put their hand to creating in this genre.  Bertall's illustrations occur, often in groups, every three or four pages.  The original publication came out in 1851 in a series known as "Pantheon Populaire."  I notice that La Bédollière was involved in other numbers of the series, sometimes as a translator.

2018 Lions and Lobsters and Foxes and Frogs.  Ennis Rees.  Drawings by Edward Gorey.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Mineola, NY: Dover.  $14.95 from Renaissance Books, Milwaukee Airport, June, '18.

I am delighted to see this classic fable book beautifully reprinted by Dover.  As I wrote on the original 1971 version, "There is always something to laugh over here."  Rees' tellings come from his 1966 version.  Do not miss "The Impatient Fox."  The last landing of the exploding frog is another classic!

2018 Mes Fables de la Fontaine.  Illustrated by Thomas Tessier.  Hardbound.  (Paris): rue des enfants.  €9.50 from Gibert Jeune, Paris, June, '19.

This book is a tribute to a publisher's ingenuity in repackaging the same material.  This book replicates the texts from the same publisher's "Mes plus belles Fables de la Fontaine" from 2013.  It changes the cover, though by using the same basic illustration of FC.  It changes the endpapers by downsizing the line of tiles excerpted from the illustrations of the book's various stories.  It takes the illustrations that had been framed by white margins and resizes them slightly to fill the page.  It changes the typeface in which La Fontaine's texts are presented.  It is printed in Poland, not more generally in the European Union.  Finally, it changes the title slightly by dropping " plus belles."  Fascinating!  I will include comments I made on that earlier version.  I am delighted to include this collection of Tessier's highly imaginative presentations of twenty-five La Fontaine fables.  Each fable gets two pages, with text on the left-hand page and a clever illustration on the right-hand page.  Fable after fable, his imagination finds lively approaches to the story.  The ant in GA is pushing a full shopping cart around the outside of a grasshopper concert!  Both the fox and the crow wear old-time French wigs as they argue their "case" in and below a tree.  We get to view the exploded parts of the frog in OF.  The two mice are enjoying burgers, hot dogs, and fries as the cat comes upon them from a fire escape outside an open window.  FS becomes a theater drama acted on a stage.  In TB, the bear is all over the traveler on the ground, who peers up from under his broad-brimmed hat.  In MM, her future dreams are shadows in the puddle of spilled milk.  This is stimulating, refreshing, creative work!  T of C at the end.

2018 The Beauty of Being: A Collection of Fables, Short stories & Essays.  Abiodun Oyewole.  Introduction by Felipe Luciano.  First edition, first printing.  Paperbound.  NY: 2Leaf Press.  $5.98 from Thriftbooks through Ebay, Feb., '20.

This paperback book seems to include eighteen short stories that dig into the mystery of life.  I read and enjoyed the first two, which are surely more complex than a fable.  In the first, "The Tree of Life," a couple come to violate a grandmother's admonition that plucking a flower from the beautiful tree of prosperity will destroy the tree.  They do, and soon the neighborhood has stripped the tree of flowers.  The offending young woman realizes what she has done, runs to the tree and hugs it, and pleads "Please grow flowers again."  The second story is an account of a wild escapade in Costa Rica, including help from locals and some silly gambling by the narrator.  His rental car is deeply damaged, and he "tries to sell" the unlikely story to Nissan.  They accept the story, and soon enough the advertising department at Nissan publishes it as a commercial.  Thus the narrator has just given Nissan a great story for free, and he views the commercial built on it a few months later.  The stories or "chapters" are in prose except for Chapter 3, which seems to be in verse.  I ran across several proofreading errors along the way.

2018 The Boy Who Cried Vampire.  Benjamin Harper.  Illustrated by Alex Lopez.  Paperbound.  North Mankato, MN: Far Out Fables:  Capstone: Stone Arch Books.  $6.69 from Wordery, through Ebay, Dec., '18.

The back cover declares "Classic fables get twisted about and turned inside out in this series of full-color comic books for kids!"  The vampire in this rendition is "Grigore the Dreaded."  The boy Ion likes to play pranks and make up wild stories – or otherwise, to watch scary movies.  Ion cries out to the people of the village that "Grigore the Vampire is after me!"  When people show up, Ion tells them that it was a drill.  His parents ground Ion for a month.  Ion tries a wounding story including ketchup.  "Ion, you are beyond lame.  I mean, ketchup?"  Ion is grounded by his parents "until he is 35"!  Grigore then actually appears and comes after Ion.  Grigore then reveals to Ion that he drinks only "totally organic beet juice."  He does not want blood; he wants to hang out.  This story ends rather open-ended.  Is Grigore what he says he is?

2018 The Emperor's New Clothes.  Sigal Adler.  Illustrated by Harry Aveira.  Paperbound.  Monee, IL: Once Upon a Time Folktales in Rhyme: Sigal Adler through CreateSpace.  $12.99 from Amazon, Oct., '19.

This booklet is about 8¾" square.  Its 36 pages are unpaginated.  Rhyming quatrains on each left-hand page correspond to full-page colored illustrations on right-hand pages.  The booklet gets off to a great start by using a mirror scene on the cover.  In this scene, the king clad only in lower underwear looks into the mirror and sees himself in noble garments and a crown.  Adler characterizes the emperor early as "not too smart."  The crooked tailors promise this selfish king "a suit that dumb folks can't see."  The king thinks of a plan to test all his workers: "If they can see it they'll keep working here, if not, well, they'll all be out on their ear!"  The best illustration may be the illustration of the gala parade with the king in crown and shorts.  The finger-pointing "whistle-blowing" child on the next page is wonderfully portrayed!  In this version, the king responds to everyone's laughing by blushing, running away, and commanding the capture of the swindlers, who have already disappeared.  The king doesn't emerge from his castle for more than a year, "but at least he'd learned a lesson most dear."  Simple art, perhaps computer generated.

2018 The Fables of La Fontaine.  Tper Tradurre Srl.  Illustrated by Manuela Adreani.  First edition, first printing.  Hardbound.  Milan, Italy: White Star Kids.  $16.4 from Wordery through Amazon, Dec., '18. 

In this large-format book, twenty fables are given two pages each after an introduction.  Adreani did an Aesop book a year earlier in the same format for White Star.  There is a T of C at the beginning.  I am disturbed by the typo "including" in the introduction (7).  The translator offers generally rhyming couplets, with closing quatrains.  I believe that the translations struggle.  La Fontaine's beginning of TH is "Rien ne sert de courir.  Il faut partir à point."  The translation here has "If you don't arrive in time, what good is there in running?"  The main clause is fine, but "arrive" is a confusing translation for "partir."  Similarly I am confused when I read "The monkey could not remember a similar scandal / it had never been seen, or so it is said / that to solve the matter of the vandal, / the monkey four shirts of sweat did shed" (17).  FG has for a moral the intriguing aphorism "What I cannot have, I will gladly give you for a steal" (9).  For me, the visual artistry here is far stronger than the text.  Good illustrations include WL (10-11), where the lamb drinks under the long shadow of the snarling wolf.  As we view the would-be lion hunter who has scrambled up a tree, we see only the tip of the lion's tail (12-13).  FS plays with geometric angles as the stork looks down on a flat dish while the fox lies looking into – and sniffing? – a vase on its side (20-21).   FC features excellent facial expressions as the fox walks off proudly with the cheese in its mouth and the crow looks askance, ready to fly away (38-39).  The cover illustration comes from OF: the ox holds the frog-become-balloon by a string.  This good text has the frog conversing only with the ox, who cautions her.  The frog "burst, and away it flew" (22). 

2018 The Fox and the Tiger.  Li Man.  Illustrations by Zhang Chi.  First printing.  Hardbound.  Chicago: Cardinal Media: Phoenix Juvenile and Children's Publishing.  $9.89 from Discover Books through Ebay, Oct., '20.

Here is the classic Chinese story of the clever fox who talks the tiger into believing that he, the fox, is the ruler of the forest.  To prove it, he asks the tiger to walk behind him as he moves through the forest.  All the animals, seeing the tiger right behind him, flee before the fox.  The tiger goes away after different prey, and the fox "chuckled" and "amled off to enjoy another day."  Perhaps the best two illustrations depict the tiger's fantasy of the ruler fox and the tiger's tail as he slinks off-page after the fox proves his power.  This is a pleasant one-fable landscape-formatted book.

2018 The Long Path to Wisdom: Tales from Burma.  Jan-Philipp Sendker.  Translated from the German by Lisa Liesener and Kevin Wiliarty.  Advance Uncorrected Proof.  Paperbound.  NY: Other Press.  $7 from Second Story Books, Rockville, May, '19.

There are a number of touching stories here.  The only one I can find that I would list as a fable is "The Crocodile and the Monkey" (295).  It has a surprise ending quite different from the normal ending of this fable.  The sick wife in this version asks for the "heart of a young monkey."  The crocodile notices one young monkey on one side of the river that is unusually adventuresome.  He tells the monkey that the fruit on the other bank of the river is bigger and juicier.  After some days, his persuasion works, and the monkey climbs on his back.  As traditionally in the story, the crocodile begins to submerge halfway across the river.  The monkey learns what is up and explains that monkeys could not swing around as they do if they were carrying their heavy hearts.  Instead they hide them in trees.  "Let me go back and I will fetch you two of them."  Brought back to his shore, he then gives the crocodile in fact two large figs.  The crocodile's wife eats them and, convinced that they are monkey hearts, she enjoys excellent health all the rest of her days.  Happy ending!

2018 The Most Beautiful Fables of Aesop, Phaedrus and La Fontaine.  Translator: Daniiela Innocenti.  Illustrations by Marisa Vestita.  First edition, first printing.  Hardbound.  Milan, Italy: White Star Kids.  $17.46 from Alibris through Ebay, May, '18.

This heavy, large-format book offers twelve fables from each of its three fabulists, each fable two to eight pages long.  The artist works hard to integrate text with illustration.  "The Lion and the Mosquito" presents a good example on 12-13: statements are arranged like radii around a center, and the radii are the lion's mane.  The statement of the lion's scratching himself comes among three lines like tines of a fork.  In this telling of the fable, the lion actually brushes away the cobweb for his little conqueror!  The shepherd boy in BW laughs in the face of the villagers: "It was only a prank…and you fell for it!" (32).  FG (42) may be the shortest fable here: one picture and six lines.  My prize goes to the illustrations for "The Fox with the Swollen Belly" (50).  Also good is the expression on the face of the rejected grasshopper on 61.  The Phaedrus section starts off strong with "The Lion King," which might better be titled "Monkey Stew" 84.  The selection of Phaedrus fables here underscores what many have talked about: they underscore the hard life of the underdog.  The La Fontaine selections are in poetic form, with rhyme.  The book finishes with the best tailless fox that I have seen!

2018 Tierfabeln für Kinder.  Neu erzählt von Elke Leger.  Illustriert von Anne Bernhardi.  Hardbound.  Cologne: Anaconda Verlag.  $15.81 from Book Depository US through Amazon, Oct., '20.

The steady stream of German fable books for children continues with this collection of 25 fables.  The approach of this book involves expanding the fables into engaging short stories, which run to five, six, or seven pages, including a pleasing variety of illustration sizes.  The tale of the fox visiting the ailing lion has him, as usual, standing outside the lion's cave, but the illustration on 17 has him standing before the lion's throne.  The cat interrogating the bat has a napkin around his neck and a fork in his hand (62).  No pressure!  The ant supplies the dung-beetle enough to get him through winter, and the latter has learned his lesson (72).  New to me is "Der Kampf der Schlangen," at least in its choice of characters (83-87).  One snake is assured of the help of some frogs as he fights another snake, but the frogs do nothing during the battle.  Confronted afterwards, they say "We croaked.  That's all we can do!"  The snake learned whom he can trust.  Lion and bear wear boxing gloves for their exhausting fight before the fox carries away the prize (106-109).  The turtle who wanted to learn to fly was lucky to have a strong shell when the eagle dropped him (114).  Among the best illustrations might be the full-page presentation of FS (51).  These two characters also appear in an excellent design on the title-page.  There are repeated floral designs on the bottom of each left and right-hand page, and the two designs are repeated in larger form on the book's last page.

2018 Who Will Bell the Cat?  Patricia McKissack.  Illustrated by Christopher Cyr.  First edition, first printing.  Hardbound.  Dust jacket.  NY: Holiday House.  $17.95 from Amazon, Oct., '17.

This is a lively, scary, creative retelling of the fable in an  oversized landscape book for young children.  Here is a helpful review from "School Library Journal":  "A group of mice save a freezing feline, warming the orange cat on a bed of straw and sharing their food. When Marmalade regains her strength, however, she immediately does what cats are known for: terrorizing mice. Smart Mouse gets an idea when she finds an old sleigh bell; the bell will make an alarm! Together the mice create a collar for Marmalade to alert them when she nears. But who could possibly put the bell on the cat? Certainly not the mice; not even the local (and vicious) rats. But when four giants (a human family) arrive at the farm, the smallest one takes an interest in Marmalade and gently places the collar around the cat's neck. This way, the girl will always know her cat friend's whereabouts. Dramatic use of dark and light presents a threatening Marmalade and the large-eyed colony of mild-mannered mice from various perspectives. Soft lines of the digitally created illustrations do little to mitigate the harsh appearance of the devilish cat which softens considerably when seen from a distance with the young girl. McKissack's retelling of this fable from India ends with a different but satisfying twist."

2018/19 The Hungry Fox: A Fable Told in Rhyme.  Cole Adams.  Paperbound.  Published by Chakib Azzaoui.  $11.37 from BargainBookStores.com through Ebay, Dec., '19.

Apparently this print-on-demand book has changed its cover once already in its two years of existence.  Online information indicates a publishing date of 12/25/2018 and a cover featuring the fox alone and identifying Cole Adams as both writer and illustrator.  This booklet itself has a copyright of 2019 and shows on its cover the fox in the midst of the many characters he will meet in here.  The bibliographic information in the booklet describes this as Book 1 of The Hungry Fox Adventures.  The artistry deals in heavily outlined two-dimensional figures without much individualization.  The T of C is a map promising nine specific stops on the hungry fox's journey.  Most clauses in the first chapter's verse are exactly one line long.  In the journey, very long sentences -- not lines -- rhyme.  Fox finds a good welcome with each animal but spoils it by his greed, laziness, or other vices.  The most active illustration is on 22-23, when mother elephant tosses the deceitful fox away from her baby elephant's pail of milk.  In the last episode, a kind owl offers the fox food and reviews with him the lessons he has learned.  Each episode here is more of a fable in the traditional sense than is the episodic collection of them.

 2018? Fables.  Juan J. Montenegro.  Paperbound. conejonegroblakrabit.com.  $29.98 from greatbookprices2 on Ebay.  Nov.,' 18. 

Here is a printed-upon-demand 8.5" square paperback using 50 traditional Aesopic fables in simple typeface on left-hand pages with artistry of highly varied sorts on the right-hand pages.  The texts are thus quite standard.  Whoever created the texts did not realize that "ye" is the plural of you; in "The Astronomer" (6) a neighbor addresses the fallen astronomer "Hark ye, old fellow."  Similarly, one can ask whether "freedom of fear" on 48 should be "freedom from fear."  The artistry starts its appeal with the book's cover, which combines many of the book's illustrations in a colored collage offering mirrored images left and right and, partially, up and down.  Each of the images here appears somewhere in the book.  The mark of the images here is their wide range of styles.  AD on 5 effectively uses repeated colorful forms around the two main characters.  "The Boy and the Filberts" (15) plunges the reader into the jar of nuts.  BW follows immediately with a violent look down the wolf's throat, rendered in Roy Lichtenstein style.  FS on 39 cleverly positions each character with his offered implement, all four rendered quite abstractly.  "The Lion, the Fox & the Ass" (53) is well illustrated with two resolutions of colored geometric patterns.  SW on 63 receives one of the simplest and most dramatic illustrations.  "The Two Bags" (95) seems at first one of the most literal illustrations, until one notices its homage to Magritte.  I enjoy this kind of creativity!  I only wish it could have found a more permanent and typographically pleasing presentation from a mainline publisher.



2019 Aesop's Fables.  Susie Brooks & Amanda Enright.  First edition, first printing.  Hardbound.  Brighton, GB: Scribblers: Salariya.  $21.56 from Amazon, Nov., '18.

This large (9¼" x 12") book released before its publication date offers seven fables on 148 pages: TH, TMCM, OF, FG, GA, LM, and FC.  American readers will notice its British vocabulary, like "slowcoach" and "press-up."  I recommend it especially for two features.  First, its expansive stories feature good, lavishly detailed contemporary storytelling.  For example, tortoise unwraps his birthday presents so slowly that it is nearly his next birthday by the time he is finished.  Engaging details help story after story.  The exploding frog in OF is father to 108 froglets, one of whom encounters the friendly "monster" away from their home pond.  Thus each of the main characters is introduced early with a pronounced human proclivity.  Town Mouse is persnickety about his appearance and surroundings.  The fox in FG is "very good at getting his own way."  The adventuresome mouse in LM has tested the lion sleeping soundly and decides to slide down his nose and swing in his mane.  Secondly, several morals are particularly apt.  For FG: "It is easy to hate what you can't have."  For GA: "A bit of hard work now will pay off later."  For FC: "Being too proud can make you look foolish."  The art is large and as playful as the text.

2019 Aesop's Fables.  Retold by Elli Woollard.  Illustrated by Maria Altés.  First printing.  Hardbound.  London: Macmillan Children's Books.  $18.28 from Amazon, July, '20. 

This delightful book takes several engaging ways of making the fables lively.  One is the use of rhyme throughout.  Others grow out of individual fables, like making the traveler who actually has contact with the bear in TB female (8).  In several stories, we have to turn the last page to get a surprise finish.  In TH, the tortoise falls into a river along the way, and the race extends into the night and early morning hours.  Perhaps the best of the engaging illustrations is on 29: the chagrined losing rabbit faces the other animals.  The ending of BW indicates that the wolf is now wearing boy's shoes.  The telling of this story was already different in that only one person was expected to rally to the boy's alarm, the shepherd himself who employed him to watch in the night.  Do not miss the good illustration of cowering animals in DLS on 43.  TMCM (77) is a tour-de-force of the book's best qualities, including a dramatic introduction of the cat.  This book has fun with the fables!

2019 Aesop's Fables (Kazakh).  Paperbound.  Sunflower Press.  $15.90 from Premier Books, Roseburg, OR, through Ebay, Jan., '20.

This 122-page print-on-demand book makes for the sixty-sixth language represented in this collection.  Since there is neither a word in English nor a number I can recognize, I can say little about the texts here.  The front-cover illustration shows a dramatic peacock confronting other fowls.  It looks like something Milo Winter might have done.  There are no other illustrations.  The pages are unnumbered. There is nothing here but a title-page, story after story, and a print-upon demand colophon on the last page.

2019 Aesop's Fables: The Cruelty of the Gods.  Carlo Gébler.  Illustrations by Gavin Weston.  Apparent first printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  London: Head of Zeus, Ltd.  $33.57 from Book Depository through Amazon, June, '20.

Here is a serious new entry in the library of translations of Aesop's fables.  The 190 fables offered here are rewritten, based on Chambry's 1927 edition and the Penguin translation by Olivia and Robert Temple in 1998.  Not all who work with fables these days would applaud those decisions.  Some would have thought rather of Perry and Gibbs, respectively.  Let me offer a word about the book's divisions, its overall viewpoint, the individual texts, and the illustrations.  The ten divisions make sense and help the book to take shape as more than an endless round of stories.  Because they characterize the book well, I recount them here: "1. Caprice, Arrogance and the Exercise of Arbitrary Power"; "2. Irreconcilability, Conflict and Vengeance"; "3. Self-Deception, Stupidity and Idiocy"; "4. Ambition, Overweening and Overreach"; "5. Selfishness, Self-Interest and Self-Love"; "6. Gloating and Heartlessness"; "7. Jealousy, Covetousness and Greed"; "8. Cunning, Guile and Insight"; "9. Bitter Words, Rebukes, Barbs and Savageries"; and "10. Last Griefs or a Series of Epilogues."  Those titles indicate well, I think, the tone of the book's approach to the fables.  "Broadly speaking, Aesop has two subjects – the exercise of power and the experience of the powerless who endure life and all that it inflicts on them.  In his fables, the gods and goddesses who exercise power tend to be capricious, willful, thoughtless and unforgiving, while the powerless, the mortals (many of whom are animals) who endure life and all that it inflicts on them tend to be blind, deluded, foolish, and careless.  The discrepancy between the powerful and the powerless is a source of humour but it is also the basis of Aesop's critique.  The human world, as Aesop has it, is a place of rough, justice, deep hurt, epic cruelty and unstinting monstrousness" (7-8).  This view, it seems to me, works for a good number of fables, and its "critique" comes clear here in the way individual stories are shaped.  I see two things in the overall picture a little differently.  I find the gods rather unimportant in Aesop's view.  Greeks since Homer knew that they are capricious and immoral.  I think Aesop's eye is on the ironies of life, not on its divine background or causality.  The book's subtitle here may be distracting.  And I think there is more fun here than Gébler's viewpoint might allow.  Is it not part of the Aesopic experience to be teased into laughing at ourselves?  The individual versions, as I say, are well rewritten, expanded to express strong viewpoints, sharpened contrasts and bitter ironies.  The illustrations have the same bite.  Two good examples might be "The Champion Hen and the Widow" (247) and "The Dolphin and the Monkey" (267).  The detail of the frogs' king in action is a great choice for the dust jacket!  At the book's end, there are lists of correlations with Chambry and the book's 42 illustrations.

2019 Bedtime Stories for Children: Aesop's Fables: Illustrated Fables for Kids.  Written and illustrated by Elijah Da Vinci.  Paperbound.  Monee, IL: independently published.  $15.99 from Amazon, Nov., '20.

Here is an 8" x 10" softbound print-upon-demand book of 116 numbered fables on 147 pages for reading to young children.  The cover is a colorful, simple rendition of TH.  The illustrations inside are simple, black-and-white, computer generated, and full-page.  I count ten of them.  The beginning T of C includes the number of each fable as well as its page.  It may be a comment on our present situation that the first element after statements of rights and a "legal notice" is a disclaimer.  The first word about Aesop is that we do not know his last name.  The introduction goes on to some generalized statements about whether Aesop created many of these stories and why they were sometimes written in complex language.  The introduction acknowledges Laura Gibbs as "a known author who has successfully been able to translate Aesop's fables into a children's guide" (11).  I myself was surprised that, when we come to fables, the first fable told is an anecdote of Aesop talking with ferrymen.  The morals tend to run to several sentences.

2019 Fables choisies.  Jean de La Fontaine.  Illustrées par des maîtres de l'estampe japonaise.  Preface by Elisabeth Lemirre.  Paperbound.  Arles: Harmonia Mundi Livre: Éditions Picquier.  €23.83 from Amazon EU, Feb., '21.

This beautiful paperback version of Barboutau's classic from 1894 follows just six years after Les Éditions de l'Amateur did a splendid hardbound version of the same.  Here is another exquisite rendering – hindered in my mind only by the following restriction in a paperback book.  That is, the illustrations are spread across two pages, and some of the artistry in the very center of the two pages is not visible.  It is harder to get a sense of the whole scene.  Other than that drawback, this is a wonderful presentation of all 28 of the illustrations in Barboutau's two La Fontaine volumes.  About the illustrations, I can say that one senses less of the rice paper here than in the 2013 hardbound version.  And the only thing better than the beautiful images inside the book are the even more beautiful images on front and back cover.  Generally a two-page spread of two fables facing each other will be followed by the illustration of the latter fable and the illustration of the former of the next pair of fable texts.  There is a T of C at the end.  Lemirre's preface includes a look at several important steps along the way to Barboutau's work, both in Japan and in French book production.

2019 Fables d' Aujourd'hui.  Yvan Pommaux.  Couleurs de Nicole Pommaux.  Hardbound.  Paris: l'école des loisirs.  $22.07 from Stars and Stripes Bookstore through Amazon, Sept., '20.

Here are ten original four-page rhyming verse fables told and illustrated with verve.  When the frogette Adélie meets frog Jules, her self-hatred vanishes and her water lily becomes a paradise (9).  A particularly engaging story describes the jealousy of a rat concerning his female mouse friend (26-29).  Of course, when the cat sleeps, the mice dance!  She loves to dance, and so do her fellow mice.  He is upset and irritated.  He wants the party to stop, and so he wakes up the cat.  What happens?  He experiences "entre quatre griffes un sort cruel, definitif."  Love and jealousy do not do well together.  The mouse cried…and then "turned the page."  We see her with her new friend at the end of this sad tale.  Another engaging and engagingly illustrated story has Sarah the mouse torn between two rat lovers, Pierre and Jean (38-41).  She wishes their best qualities were gathered into one Jean-Pierre!  Sadly, she lets both go, and a passing crow counsels that life would be boring if we could order perfect friends.  The accompanying illustration shows a machine stamping out identical suitors with bouquets in their hands.  The picture of Sarah on her couch is lovely (38)!  This book is fun!

2019 Fabulae centum ex antiquis auctoribus delectae et a Gabriele Faerno cremonensi carminibus explicatae.  Gabriel Faerno.  Illustrated by Pirro Ligorio.  Paperbound.  Rome: Vincentius Luchinus.  Reprint by Facsimile Publisher, Delhi.  $10.56 from Gyan Books through Ebay, July, ‘21.  

Very good copy of the 1564 original.  Bodemann mentions dates of both 1563 and 1565, but the image of the cover in Bodemann is exactly the same as the image on this paperback.  The high quality of this copy is unusual in my experience of recent reprints.  I am especially happy to get this copy to match with our three Faerno books: Italian (1736); English/French (3 copies; 1741); and Latin/French (1744).  Latin verse on right-hand pages, one to a fable, with the accompanying illustration on the left.  The illustrations are rather dark.  As Bodemann notes, the central figures regularly fill out much of the image.  Not much attention is given to background.  The illustrations seem to me to be vintage Renaissance material, including frequent naked bodies.  "Asini Duo" (5) gives a good idea of the combination of realism and a kind of "expressionism" at work in these illustrations.  The river in this illustration reminds one of elements of Edward Munch.  Almost all of these Latin poems handle identifiable Aesopic fables.  Plantin did an edition in 1567; that was apparently the next.  Faerno was a protégé of Charles Borromeo and Borromeo's uncle, Pope Pius IV.

2019 Filipino Children's Favorite Stories: Fables, Myths and Fairy Tales.  Retold by Llana Romulo.  Illustrated by Joanne de Leon.  First printing.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Hong Kong:  Tuttle Publishing: Periplus Editions.  $15.82 from Wordery, Hanover, MD, through Ebay, May, '20.

Among the various stories in this volume, there are fables.  "The Battle of the Wind and the Rain" (18) is like SW.  The wind is sure that it can blow a monkey out of a tree.  The growing rain gets the monkey to climb down on his own.  "A Feast of Gold" (26) is like the Midas legend.  A couple loves to count their money.  They even delay prepared meals to do more money-counting.  Once after a delay, they find that their food has turned to gold, and they celebrate wildly.  Wanting to throw a party, they go to the kitchen, but find that the food there has turned to gold.  They end up never eating.  A final image shows two skeletons among vases, bags, and baskets filled with gold.  "The Magic Lake" (35) is the fable of the lost ax.  Here the "divine" element is a fairy pictured as a lovely woman, who explains that she made the silver and gold blades just for Pedro – and so he could accept them as gifts rewarding his honesty.  Pedro's wife tells the story abroad, and neighbor Lito loosens two blades and loses them in the lake the next day.  He wants both the silver and gold blades that the fairy produces but she refuses.  And now he has lost both his axes!  "The Deer and the Snail" (41) is a replay of the traditional race against the hedgehog.  Fellow snails position themselves along the way.

2019 Frog's Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables.  Michael James Dowling.  Illustrated by Sarah Buell Dowling.  Hardbound.  Franklin, TN: Carpenter's Son Publishing.  $17.67 from Ebay: Wordery, Feb., '20.

This book surprised me in several ways.  First, it turns out not to be a traditional fable book.  Secondly, it turns out to be a good contemporary probe of readers' values.  In story after story among the eight told here, I found myself wondering where I was.  This approach is strengthened, I believe, by the quoting, story after story, of those who would disagree with the Christian understanding of the story.  This is good, provocative story-telling!  For example, should duck change the sign just because he finds the hill to the pond had to climb?  Should rabbit believe that the fox has come to enjoy the carrot-lunch rabbit plans to serve?  Rather than solving the questions, these good stories raise them.

2019 Gustave Dore Remastered: The Fables of La Fontaine.  Translated by Walter Thornbury.  Paperbound.  Columbia, SC: Studio 57.  $12.99 from Amazon.com, Oct., '19.

This print-upon-demand book is disappointing.  "Remastered" made me hope for highest quality illustrations.  I fear that they are average.  The introduction page closes with "I thank you" but no human being is mentioned here beyond La Fontaine, Doré, and Thornbury.  Perhaps the type used in the book is so limited that it cannot present a French accent on the cover, title-page, or introduction; otherwise the bypassing of an accent on Doré's name is lamentable.  I am happy to see the fine work of all three men spread abroad; I had hoped for a better representation of it.

2019 I.A. Krylov: Basni (Russian).  Illustrated by Sergei Bordyug.  Hardbound.  Moscow: Labyrinth Press.  $14.99 from lovereadbook on Ebay, May, '21.

This book came to me on Ebay via Persida Book Store in Portland.  For this book, let me do something different, namely quote the Microsoft translation of the book's own self advertisement: "48 pages, hard cover, edition format enlarged 263-220 mm, Publishing Labyrinth. This collection includes 22 Fables of Ivan Krylov, the most famous and beloved, long ago divided into proverbs and sayings. Familiar heroes of fables appear in this book in the form of landowners and socialites, yard and peasants - inhabitants of picturesque estates, villages and cities of the 19th century: Fox and Marty in caps and dresses with ribbons, hardworking Ant in a kaftan and Wolf in a tailcoat and cylinder. This is how they were invented and drawn by the wonderful artist Sergei Bordyug. In a house with many books, children grow up more successful and versatile than their peers. Surround your child with books, give him a happy future!"  My favorite here is "The Cook and the Cat" on 24-25.  Bordyug's imagination also does something different with FG on 39.  There is a T of C at the end.

2019 Les Plus Belles Fables de La Fontaine.  Illustrated by Muriel Gestin.  Paperbound.  Quebec: Chouetteditions, com.  €14.31 from Amazon.fr, Oct., '19.

This 8½" square unpaginated paperback booklet offers eight fables in full color.  Each fable receives about six pages.  The colored illustrations cover whole pages, into which several verses are inserted per page.  The art may well be computer generated.  Each fable has a prose moral added.  In GA, it is rain rather than snow that signals the season of hunger.  The full page of the crow pinning his head against the tree in shame in FC is well done.  Again a full page is dominated by the bloated tummy of the expanding frog as we gaze into her eyeballs bursting with bloodshot.  WL concludes very well with just the dark woods: the lamb is gone.  In the last scene of "Death and the Woodman," Death with his sickle is flying away.   Also TH, GGE, and TMCM.  At the end is a surprising but helpful lexicon of unusual vocabulary, arranged by fable.  The two covers together present a scene with La Fontaine and these fables' characters.

2019 Lion and Mouse.  Jairo Buitrago, translated by Elisa amado.  Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng.  Dust-jacket.  Hardbound.  Toronto and Berkeley: Groundwood Books: House of Anansi Press.  $16.19 from Amazon, August, '19. 

This book is delightfully pictured and cleverly written.  The mouse, a busybody and a glutton.  marched into the lion's den.  "Being well mannered, he wiped his feet on the lion's mane."  The lion asked him where he was going by addressing him as "Breakfast."  The mouse said he was off to see his girlfriend.  After the rescue, the lion was astonished.  "I told you I'd return the favor," exclaimed the mouse.  Later they met up again in a new chapter in this age-old story.  The lion protected the mouse from the rain.  The mouse asked "Another favor?"  He said that he would have to do another favor for the lion, and then the lion another for him, and so on.  "Enough!" the lion exclaimed.  He was doing it, he explained, to keep the mouse from getting wet.  "And that is how they began to be good to each other."  These were then not favors, given with an expectation of getting something back.  The two ended up living together.  The lion declared that, looking at the mouse up close, he no longer found him ugly at all.  Other mice joined them. "They lived together nicely the rest of their days."  The lion walked through the bushes with the mouse sitting on his head.  Pleasing, stylized illustrations.

2019 Marc Chagall et les Fables de Jean de La Fontaine.  Ambre Gauthier.  Paperbound.  Boxed set of two volumes.  Paris: Éditions Hazan.  $34.60 from Amazon, August, '19.

This shorter of the two volumes contains Gauthier's essay "Les vibrations multicolores du noir et blanc" and a catalogue of the works illustrated in the larger hardbound volume.  Gauthier's essay helped me get closer to understanding the relationship between the gouaches first displayed and sold in 1930 and the black-and-white etchings first done in the 20's but only published in 1952.  I gather that the gouaches were a work-up, a prelude, to the etchings, which were ready at that time for publication, but Ambroise Vollard was somehow not up to the task and then died.  There are pleasing photographs of the Chagall family with Vollard.  On the cover is the gouache of "The Partridge and the Roosters."  On the cover of the box is the gouache of "Two Pigeons."

2019 Marc Chagall Jean de La Fontaine Les Fables.  Boxed set of two volumes.  Hardbound.  Paris:  Éditions Hazan.  $34.60 from Amazon, August, '19.

The special gift of this larger of the two volumes, containing the illustrations of 64 fables, is that it mixes the three variations of Chagall illustrations: the gouaches first displayed and sold in 1930, the black-and-white etchings first done in the 20's but only published in 1952, and some of those that were hand-colored by Chagall.  Many of them are, like FG on the cover and on 90, the gouaches made in preparation for his etchings.  The New Press edition of the 43 of the gouaches in 1995 is as complete a set of those as one could hope for now.  As I suggest, they are the backbone of this longer of the two volumes.  The black-and-white etchings, a copy of which we have in the collection, are the least represented here.  I find only two examples: "The Lion and the Mosquito" (36) and "The Eagle, the Sow, and the Cat" (85).  In both of those cases, we are also shown the gouaches for comparison and contrast.  I find the hand-colored etchings among the most interesting here, especially in comparison with their corresponding gouaches.  Good examples are UP (49 and 50); "The Lion in Love" (102 and 105); "The Miser Who Lost His Treasure" (123 and 125); and 2P (135 and 136).  This volume contains nothing but La Fontaine's fable texts and Chagall's art.  There is a T of C of fables at the end.

2019 Quelques fables assez fabuleuses.  Jean de La Fontaine.  Illustrated by Voutch.  Hardbound.  Paris: le cherche midi.  $42.77 from Stars and Stripes Bookstore through Amazon, Sept., '20.

Voutch's foreword has him proclaiming that he is a designer of humor, not an illustrator and that that description would have led him to turn down an invitation to illustrate La Fontaine.  But wait!  Refuse to illustrate La Fontaine?  That cannot happen!  From his "yes" to the invitation to the decision to put the fables "back" into the woods the process of creation was apparently quite straightforward.  Voutch acknowledges that La Fontaine takes some liberties – that cicadas may not last into winter, that frogs do not eat rats (where in La Fontaine might they?) – but that presents little problem.  Nobody is perfect.  The back cover also has Voutch declaring that he will not add humor to humor; La Fontaine has already been "l'humoriste en chef."  Agreed, and Voutch follows that plan well.  These illustrations are delightful.  Most add to a full-page illustration a cameo within the text.  Some have a second full page illustration.  Among the best are "The Bear and the Gardener" (17); TMCM (21); "Milan and Nightingale" (34); the first cameo for TB (43); "The Stag at the Pool" (53); and "The Pig, the Goat, and the Lamb" (62).  There is a T of C at the end showing the 30 fables here, each illustrated.

2019 The Crow and the Pitcher: A Retelling of Aesop's Fable.  Zeph Ernest.  Hardbound.  White Plains, NY: Z.E. Graphics.  $24 from Amazon, Feb., ‘21. 

Here is a large (11¼" x 9") landscape book "Dedicated to the indomitable spirit."  As the opening T of C shows, the book's 24 pages include a preface, three chapters, a glossary, and an author biography.  The preface identifies happiness as salvation and finds overwhelming evidence that Aesop was African in origin.  The author means the book "to address our current economic reality: In the new economy, achieving happiness (salvation) is elusive because materialism permeates all facets of life."  Further, "In the final hour, the crow's inherent materialistic tendencies hamper his efforts, and without divine intervention, there is no hope for him."  I have not seen this interpretation before.  I both applaud the effort to see fables touching contemporary challenges and find this particular interpretation forced.  I do concur with Ernest in seeing in the crow an "indomitable spirit."  The moral Ernest draws at the end of the fable makes utter sense to me.  The narrative of Ernest's chapters follows the plan of his reading.  The crow awakening at the summer solstice has been a victim of his own success, trapped in his own ego.  As he seeks desperately to deal with his thirst, a surprise wind lifts him.  In a state of some delirium, he realizes that his life has been trapped in illusion.  He finds himself airborne again and soon finds the jar of precious elixir.  Of course he at first cannot get at it.  "At the point of his greatest despair, a little thought came to him."  Ernest is the founder of Z.E. Graphics.

2019 Wolves, Frogs & Other Beasts: Selected Fables of Jean de La Fontaine.  Christopher Carsten.  Woodcuts by Yves Trouillet.  Boxed, signed, numbered #23 of 50.  Boxed portfolio.  Fourcalquier, France: Christopher Carsten.  €200 from Christopher Carsten, Dec., '20.

This is a boxed portfolio of 15 free-floating unbound numbered folded pages from an experienced translator of La Fontaine, who worked with a team to produce an outstanding presentation.  The best of the translations may be "The Satyr and the Passerby."  As an experiment, I read the translations without referring to the original beforehand.  I would say that the experiment succeeded.  Carsten's translations work!  The woodcut illustrations are challenging.  As I considered them, I found them taking narrative form only slowly and sometimes never.  After some time, I would sometimes make out a known form.  Perhaps the most challenging that way is the illustration at the very center of the work, on Folio VI, between "The Fox and the Bust" and "The Ears of the Hare."  I reviewed a book of La Fontaine fable translations of Christopher earlier, and so we know and respect each other's work.  It was a pleasure to learn of this work and acquire it.  There is an online video describing the teamwork that produced it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIDyikUZEP8.

2019 12 fables de Jean de La Fontaine.  Et leurs adaptations contemporaines par Guy Jimenes.  Illustrations by Anne-Soline Sintès.  Paperbound.  Toulouse, France: Collection Classique en tete: Sedrap Jeunesse.  $7.10 from Amazon, Nov., '20.

Here is a clever way to help French-reading young people get into fables, still a mainstay of French elementary education.  In each case, the La Fontaine verse fable is presented in italics.  Then a contemporary story is told.  I tried two of them -- LM and FS, the first and last -- and found them good.  Each fable and each contemporary story has a duochrome illustration, green and black.  The best illustration, I believe, is on the cover: a boy walking through a door has the rear of a hare.  There is a T of C at the front.  Keep thinking about those lively fables!  First published in 2014.

2019 56 Fables de La Fontaine en Alsacien: 56 Fawle vum La Fontaine uf Elsassisch.  Ulrich Richert.  Illustrated by Daniel Lautié.  Paperbound.  Published by Daniel Lautié.  $19.61 from Grand Eagle Retail through Ebay, March, '20.

This print-upon-demand book of 116 pages offers only Alsatian texts written by Daniel Lautié's father-in-law and illustrated with small black-and-white cartoons by Lautié himself.  I am surprised at how heavily German Alsatian is.  I expected more French.  There is a bilingual T of C at the end.  There are curiosities in the pagination of the book, including blank pages (16, 74, 86, 92).  For a moment I thought that perhaps every fable received two pages, whether the pages were filled or not.  However, there are sometimes one-page fables immediately followed by another fable (50, 54, 84).  See also Sibler's "Fables de La Fontaine en Dialecte Alsacien" from 1996.

2019 101 Best Indian Fables for Children.  Introduction by Stuti Gupta.  First printing.  Paperbound.  New Delhi: Cuckoo Tales:  Srishti Publishers.  $13.99 from Barnes and Noble, Dec., ‘20.  

This is a print-upon-demand book offering original fables with simple black-and-white designs.  At least, I am not aware of having encountered them before.  A book offering original fables is surprising!  176 pages.  5" x 7¾".  "The Monkey and the Looking-glass" (7) comes close to traditional fables.  Once the beasts see themselves in the monkey's mirror, they urge him to break it.  "Ignorance is bliss!"  The next fable also has an Aesopic pattern.  A fawn strikes up a friendship with a young tiger and wants to offer him something to eat, and so she asks her mother to provide it.  "Child, how lucky it is that you have come away!"  "The Hammer and the Anvil" (174) surprises me.  It seems to say that having these two beat upon each other is good: "Competition is the secret of the world's success."  At least that is what the furnace says.