cover image Aesop's Fables (UK Edition)

Aesop's Fables (UK Edition)

Aesop, Lisbeth Zwerger. NorthSouth, $16 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-88708-108-8

Here are a round dozen of Aesop's instructive tales, including such favorites as ``The Hare and the Tortoise'' and ``The Milkmaid and Her Pail,'' along with lesser-known parables like ``The Man and the Satyr'' and ``The Hares and the Frogs.'' A single illustration faces the one-page text for each. The separate elements of this collection are well executed: the text is crisp and succinct, the ink-and-wash illustrations delicate yet often sharply revealing of character or mood. But they add up to a less than fully satisfying whole. Zwerger's expressiveness as an artist makes one wish for more: to see the fables actually unfold, their characters and situations developed sequentially rather than presented in a single, necessarily static frame. A format containing fewer fables, but devoting more space to each, would have allowed Zwerger to realize more fully the wit and wisdom of these classic tales. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)