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