Aesop's Fables

Aesop, Author, Safaya Salter, Author, Safay Salter, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $14.95 (79p) ISBN 978-0-15-200350-0
Salter refurbishes 58 of Aesop's fables with delicate flame-toned illustrations. Underscoring the timelessness and adaptability of the Greek storyteller's work, the British artist borrows motifs and styles from a number of the so-called cradles of civilization. In her full-page illustrations, slightly flattened perspectives recall antiquity, while the use of serial borders and of floral and geometric patterns seem specifically Middle Eastern. A fox and a stork pose with with a black-figure vase suggestive of pre-classical Athens; other pictures incorporate architectural flourishes (various types of capitals or arches) that evoke the style of an entire period. Small, color images interspersed with the text echo the facing illustrations; for spreads without full-page art, Salter produces stately framed miniatures or, alternately, abstract decorations. While the stories themselves receive perfectly satisfactory treatment, the concluding morals, unnecessarily modified, can take on a fortune-cookie flavor (``you will often be judged by the company you keep''). The moral here: judge this book by its cover full of sumptuous art. Ages 6-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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