Stories from Panchatantra, Book II
I have enjoyed this book. It is quaint in its orthography and its not for prime time bookmaking. Where else can one find an address label pasted onto the back of the title page to indicate the American distributor of the book? That is just what you find in the hardbound edition. Five of its six fables are familiar to me and well told here. New to me is the last, The lion-makers (57), a fine story about common sense. The Ass has no brains has on 14 a strong if simple illustration, in the book's orange-and-brown style, of the ass with his head cut open. The mice that ate iron (25) is about a beam that is hidden, not sold. (Notice the typo on 28: Beam of that kind are difficult to get....) The Brahmin's dream (41) is a delightful elaboration of the basic MM motif, climaxing with the dreaming Brahmin's beating his children and so breaking his atta bowl. This book and its companion volume (Book IV under 1969/78) are among those things that may have wandered a long way to come into this collection.
The Children's Book Trust