cover image Birds of a Feather and Other Aesop's Fables

Birds of a Feather and Other Aesop's Fables

Tom Paxton, Aesop. Morrow Junior Books, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10400-9

Paxton and Rayevsky are on a roll--in their fourth joint venture they return once again to Aesop territory, putting their unique spin on 10 more of the master's fables. Some of the stories in this collection are familiar, such as ``Birds of a Feather'' and ``The Pot Calls the Kettle Black''; others are more obscure, but all feature stock characters from Aesop--braggarts who get their comeuppance, pranksters who are outfoxed--as well as such timeless wisdom as the value of kindness, the importance of sharing, and the fact that verbal persuasion is always better than physical force. Singer-songwriter Paxton's spirited verse is delicious as always, especially the neat couplets that sum up the moral of each story (``One can't go wrong if one believes / There is no honor among thieves''). And Rayevsky's sly, punk-modern illustrations, with their distinctive long, lean lines and occasional dark undertones of ferocious humor, make this the ultimate Aesop for the '90s. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)