Two-Minute Animal Stories
There are ten short animal tales told here. Three are identified as from Aesop: Lion and Tiger (6), TH (34), and LM (38). The first is new to me. Lion and Tiger grow up together under the tutelage of a wise man. They argue about whether the moon's changes presage changes in weather. The wise man intervenes saying The moon changes as it will. The weather changes as it will. One thing should never change: friendship (9). Hug indicates that his words have the desired impact. In The Crocodile Feast from India (14), deer tricks the greedy crocodiles into lining up in the narrows, so that she can count them by jumping across their backs to the fruit she wants. Greedy Monkey from Pakistan (26) combines elements of The Boy and the Filberts and FG. The Two Frogs from Japan (30) is the famous tale of mistaking one's own familiar place -- Kyoto and Osaka, respectively -- for the new and different place one had intended to reach. Kyoto is just like Osaka. Each goes home none the wiser (33). LM has what seems a typo: ''You were tickling me,' he said a growling voice (39). Hare is Scared from India (42) is the story of a thud seeming to the hare to signal the end of the world. Lion halts the stampede and urges the animals to stop and think the next time. Other stories are aetiological pourquoi stories explaining such things as zebras' stripes and porcupines' quills. Lively, colorful water-color illustrations are well balanced with text. Perhaps the best is the first: the wise old man dangles a catnip mouse over the lion and tiger cubs (6).