Title: Aesop’s Fables
Illustrator: Fulvio Testa
Publisher: Barron’s Publishing
Number of Pages: 42
Pub. Date: 1989
Summary: This book is a collection of twenty famous tales of animals told by Aesop, which is the name traditionally given by the ancient Greeks to the author of their famous collection of animal fables. It includes well-known tales like the Tortoise and the Hare, the Fox and the Crow and The Donkey and the Dog along with many more. These stories feature many different types of animals who learn a lesson through an experience. Many of those experiences include being tricked or conned into something and feature many different animals.
Critique: This is the best known collection of Fables. All of the tales are simple, short stories that teach a moral lesson or emphasize a universal truth. The main characters are all animals and they play out situations in which a moral truth can be learned. For example, in The Lion, the Hare and the Deer, the Lion has a perfect chance to catch a hare, but sees a deer and decides to go after it instead because it would be a bigger prize. He chases it, but to no avail and when he goes back to see if the hare is still there it is long gone. He realizes that his greed got the best of him and now he is left with nothing.
Response: My favorite fable in this collection is The Lion and the Mouse. It is a tale in which the Lion is about to eat a mouse, but the mouse outsmarts him and says, “I am so little that you would still be hungry. And just think-if you don’t eat me, one day you might need my help!” (p. 20). The Lion lets him go and eventually finds himself caught in a trap. The mouse hears him and comes to his rescue him by chewing threw the ropes. The Lion is then very grateful that he didn’t eat that smart little mouse. I enjoy this story greatly because it shows that true friends come in all shapes and sizes and to always be friendly to people, because you never know when it’s their help that you may need one day.