101 fables du monde entier

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This is a stout, heavy book about 6 x 7¾. It was once the property of the École Primaire Publique in Marseilles. Each fable gets a two-page spread with a text and small design on the left and a lively full-page colored picture on the right. It is easy to like this book! As the T of C at the end makes clear, there are four roughly equal sections: African; Oriental; Latin and Greek; and French. The second-last includes Abstemius, Babrius, Aphtonius (?), and Phaedrus. The last group includes six fables from Florian, while all the rest come from La Fontaine. Each of the four artists has a section and is recognized for it section on its title-page. New to me among the African offerings is the story of all the animals coming together to complain that they were devouring each other. Each complained that he was food for someone stronger. Suddenly, the lion grew impatient. I propose that we leave the matter there, since it's time for my dinner. I am ready to catch my prey. Everyone dispersed as fast as they could (32). Also there is the argument of the animals: Who is the greatest? After all their competing assertions, they asked a man, who chose a milk cow (40). The Oriental fables include the lion cub who, after being brought up among lambs, was attacked by a lion. The cub thought he would be eaten. The older lion brought him to a river and showed him his reflection. He learned who he was (62). A clever rabbit at the riverside sees something float by and calls If you are a crocodile, keep floating, but if you are a tree trunk, float upstream. The crocodile gives himself away by floating upstream (68). MSA shows up here as an oriental fable, with a great picture of the two humans carrying the ass -- wineglass in hand -- in a chair (89)! TT is on 102. The Eagle and the Crow (124-25) among the Greek and Latin fables is told and illustrated well. The Stag at the Pool is illustrated with a stag suspended by his antlers while the dogs approach (129). It looks as though the wolf's stomach in WC has plenty of bones besides the one that got stuck in his throat (131). The rats play a kind of volleyball with the bell in BC (155). La Fontaine's ant in GA has a storeroom of food that looks like a supermarket's loaded shelves (167)! FG includes a ladder and a bird eating a bunch of grapes while watching the fox (193). The decked-out daw of BF is wonderfully preposterous (197)! This book is a delight!
Bayard Jeunesse
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