cover image Animal Fables Aesop

Animal Fables Aesop

Barbara McClintock, Barbara McLintock. David R. Godine Publisher, $17.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87923-913-8

McClintock ( Heartaches of a French Cat ) offers her interpretations of nine fables, chosen chiefly from among the better-known of Aesop's tales. Her animals are garbed in exquisite period clothing--breeches, waistcoats, top hats and fine gowns--and have expressive postures and faces. Recent seasons have brought forth several other Aesop collections, and there is considerable overlap among them. Rating these anthologies depends largely upon whether one prefers McClintock's straightforward tellings and anthropomorphic and highly detailed, almost rococo characters; or Margaret Clark and Charlotte Voake's light, playful touch; or Lisbeth Zwerger's soft elegance, to cite just a few entries. McClintock devotes more space to each tale than the other interpreters named, and this, along with the fact that several characters appear in more than one tale, gives a sense of the tales as unfolding dramas. Indeed, the ``cast of characters'' is first presented in a stage setting by a natty billygoat; taking their bows at the end, all pull off their animal heads revealing themselves as actors--humans all. Ages 10-up. (Nov.)