Favorite Aesop's Fables (Cover: A Collection of Favorite Aesop's Fables)

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Randall, Ronne
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Book, Whole
Research Projects
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I seem first to have had several short works by Gardner and Randall. Then I found three of them together, with slight changes, in a 2002 book by Parragon titled Favourite Aesop's Fables. Now I find this 2003 version repeating those three and adding five more. First let me repeat my comments on the first three. The cartoon-work is fun here. First the text had called City Mouse's whiskers fancy and elegant. In the collection of three, the whiskers were smart and elegant. Now they are trimmed and elegant. My! In town, Country Mouse gets a tummy ache from all the rich food he has eaten. A woman with a broom and a cat threaten the two mice. Country Mouse stays one night in town but is too unhappy to sleep. He tries hard not to cry. Country Mouse never, ever goes back to the city again. This version of TH sets out to have fun with the story. After the race's start, we read this of Hare: When there was no one to show off for, he slowed down just a bit. When Tortoise--unusually upright in this version, I think--comes upon Hare sleeping, he does not wake him and says He must have a reason for sleeping. He would only be angry if I woke him! (In its phrasing here, this version agrees with the individual story rather than the collected version.) GA is told here in traditional fashion and is illustrated with lively cartoon characters including Bee, Ladybug, and Spider. When we meet Ant, she is struggling to balance a number of grains on her back. Grasshopper annoys the other insects by dancing and singing at night when the other insects are trying to sleep. By the end of the summer, Ant has four little children ants. She asks Grasshopper at this point what he is doing about building a nest and storing food. In the end, Ant relents and lets Grasshopper in. Grasshopper learns his lesson and is ready to build a nest of his own when spring arrives. In addition to having those three works earlier combined into one book, I also have FG in two versions from Parragon, from 2001 and 2003. I wrote the following about them. This must be the longest telling of FG that I have read! This expansive version has time for the fox to chase bunnies and squirrels. Both failures give him a chance to use the logic that he will employ vis-à-vis the grapes later on. Who cares about a bunch of silly bunnies? His being frightened by a passing hay-wagon seems to have less thematic relation to the story. Eight pages in this little book are then dedicated to the fox's stretching and leaping. LM is colored by the mouse's effort to find food for its children. FS does a good job of having the stork preen, especially by polishing her beak: My beak is my very best feature she says, emphasizing the is. She leaves the fox's house in a huff and discusses her effort to teach him a lesson with her friend, the heron. Heron delivers her invitation. In this version, the fox thanks the stork for teaching him a lesson. He promises never to play tricks on anyone again. DS adds a first episode: Patch and Scrappy forage for food together, but Patch is so worried that Scrappy is getting more that he barely tastes his own food. Again, Patch learns from his bad experience; now the two dogs forage together. In AD, the ant falls into a fountain in a garden. The spine of this heavy book is loose.
Parragon Publishing
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