Book Review: Aesop’s Fables

Rating: ★★★★☆

Every child should read Aesop at some point, not only because of the time-honored wisdom contained in the stories, but also because knowing Aesop gives a cultural literacy that will bring great pleasure.  Many of Aesop’s morals have become proverbs whose original meaning is not remembered.  When these privileged readers hear someone mention sour grapes, or they are admonished not to count their chickens before they’re hatched, they will know exactly what is meant.

This gorgeously illustrated version makes the ancient genre of morality tales accessible to young listeners.  The collection includes 52 fables (about a quarter of the corpus attributed to Aesop), including most of the better-known stories  — the tortoise and the hare, the boy who cried wolf, Androcles and the lion, and the stork and the crane — as well as some lesser-known ones.  Pinkney’s mesmerizing watercolor paintings will hold attention long enough for the well-written text to be read aloud, and the traditional pithy moral will help anchor it in the memory.  A child who has experienced this book ought to be delighted to encounter a broader Aesop collection later (although they will always remember the pictures that accompanied their first Aesop experience).  If you must choose only one Aesop collection, choose one with more stories, but if you can afford a version for the younger set, this is an excellent choice.

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Publication Information: Pinkney, Jerry. Aesop's Fables. Aesop (Original Author). SeaStar Books. 2000. ISBN: 1587170000.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08, Books Children Love, Read-Aloud Handbook
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Posted on September 25, 2009

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