Aesop's Fables

Jerry Pinkney, Author Seastar Books $19.99 (87p) ISBN 978-1-58717-000-3
Beautifully designed, this lush, oversize volume showcases Pinkney's (The Ugly Duckling) artistry in grand style. There's a king's ransom worth of material here, as Pinkney serves up more than 60 of the ancient Greek slave-philosopher's fables. Aesop's wisdom spills across the pages as freely as Pinkney's glorious watercolors, alight with the many creatures who people the tales, from fiddling grasshoppers and diligent ants to wily foxes, clever crows, brave mice and grateful lions. Each of the vigorous retellings concludes with the kind of succinct moral that centuries of readers have come to expect (e.g., ""Don't count your chickens before they're hatched""; ""You are judged by the company you keep""). And whether the homilies concern a wolf in sheep's clothing or sour grapes, the timeless virtues resonate as freshly as the day they were minted. Pinkney brings his considerable talent to bear on everything from thumbnail animal portraits to sweeping full-page vistas of hearth and woodlands, and his detail, delicacy of line and subtle palette create an elegant foil for the simple parables. If there's room on the shelf for only one picture book version of Aesop, this could be it. All ages. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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