You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fables to Read Together

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Hoberman, Mary Ann
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The format of this book uses colors to indicate alternating readers within its thirteen fables. As the introduction proclaims, You take one voice, I, the other; then we read to one another. The moral is in a different color and is to be proclaimed chorally. Before and alongside that introduction, we see two characters dressing up in seven steps as TM and CM. In the first fable, TH, we notice that the alternating characters not only have different colored texts, but the texts rhyme and are set into different columns. With almost every pair of statements comes a strong cartoon of the specific action, so that in TH there are eight different scenes presenting the action. In TH, the two racers ride bicycles -- and of course wear helmets! BW has the shepherd boy crying out Wolf! every day. His sheep read books, play cards, and ride bicycles. The townsfolk are in Fitzpatrick's having a beer -- and stay there finally on the catastrophic day. City Mouse is a female flapper (14). The cow in DM drives a tractor. In FG, three grapes are little purple people with voices (18-19). When you cannot have a share,/Don't pretend you do not care. Particularly well done for children is The Peacock and the Crane (20-21): good looks are not everything. SW involves more creative visualizing (24-25) even though the bet is poorly conceived. Make him take off his warm coat if you can. In GA, the ant drives a tractor. The ending of GA seems to me unresolved. The ants seem to come out with food for the grasshopper and to dance around his fire. There is no suggestion in the text that they help him. The last words from one of them are Don't bother me! In LM, the mouse deliberately tickles the lion's nose (30-31). This book represents a great way to experience fables!
Little, Brown and Company
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