From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4-- McClintock puts a clever new spin on nine familiar tales. Framed within a late 18th- or early 19th-century theatrical setting, a repertory company consisting of a fox, crane, cat, two crows, a lamb, wolf, two mice, and an assortment of supporting dogs and peacocks is introduced. These characters enact the fables that include ``The Fox and the Crane,'' ``The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,'' and ``The Crow and the Peacocks.'' The writing style of each is understated and slightly formal, in keeping with the setting. But it is the illustrations that stand out, beautifully reflecting the period. Executed in what appears to be dry-point engravings with watercolor washes, they are reminiscent of French engravings of the late 1700s. Dressed in proper waistcoats and ball gowns, the animals are a splendid sight. The colors are a mix of subtle earth tones with flourishes of intense reds, lavenders, and greens. The final page holds a surprise, as the entire cast removes headmasks to reveal smiling adults and children underneath. While the distinct setting of this collection is its strong point, it may also limit the book's appeal for young readers. Libraries boasting large collections of Aesop's fables will welcome this innovative addition. --Denise Anton Wright, Library Book Selection Service, Inc., Bloomington, IL
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.