From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-Sneed has chosen 15 tales to retell and illustrate. The art, done in watercolor, colored pencil, and acrylic, is a standout. The animals, while realistically proportioned, are endowed with the character and personality that connect them to the human foibles that the tales illuminate. The palette is both varied and vibrant, and the artist has posed his creatures in a range of inventive yet possible positions. The text, however, is not as impressive. The use of colloquialisms in the dialogue-"golly," "holy cow," etc.-seems at odds with the more formal language of the narratives. Libraries who have invested in Jerry Pinkney's Aesop's Fables (SeaStar, 2000), which features 60 tales and has a better meld of text and illustration, may consider this an additional purchase.Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
K-Gr. 3. Aesop's fables have been retold for centuries, and there's no end in sight. Sneed offers 15 retellings (the sixteenth, the "Tortoise and the Hare," is wordless) in sometimes jarringly contemporary language but keeps the classic morals at the end of each. The lazy grasshopper tells the ants to "Take a load off," and the rooster soon to become the eagle's lunch cries, "What?! Nobody wants a piece of me?" Each fable is a double-page, full-bleed spread, and the text is brief, a few paragraphs at most. Watercolor, colored pencil, and acrylic paintings are fully realized; the animals are depicted in surreal detail but with exaggeratedly human expressions. Note the supercilious grin on the face of the fox, who is flattering the crow into dropping the cheese in its beak. Not as elegant as Doris Orgel's The Lion and the Mouse and Other Aesop's Fables
(2000) but not as serious either. GraceAnne DeCandidoCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved