cover image The Fables of Aesop

The Fables of Aesop

Aesop, Frances Barnes-Murphy, Rowan Barnes-Murphy. HarperCollins, $19.95 (92pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07051-9

This British husband-and-wife team has gleaned more than a hundred of the ancient storyteller's fables for this beguiling compendium. Well-known entries (e.g., ""The Tortoise and the Hare""; ""The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs"") are presented cheek-by-jowl with lesser-known offerings (""The Bald Knight""; ""The Crab and Her Baby""). As explained in a detailed foreword, the retellings are served up much as Aesop might have told them, unadorned by the clicheed moral epigrams that have come to be attached to his tales over the centuries. The abundant illustrations invite browsing as well as close reading: the pages are peppered with droll black-and-white sketches as well as energetic full-color watercolors. A table of contents and title index are useful additions. All ages. (Oct.)