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The McElderry Book of Aesop's Fables Hardcover – June 1, 2005


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The McElderry Book of Aesop's Fables + The McElderry Book of Greek Myths (Margaret K. McElderry Book) + The McElderry Book of Grimms' Fairy Tales
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2–"One day in March, after a morning of carefree cavorting and capering with her friends on the hillside, Hare was haring her way home along a path when she came across Tortoise." Morpurgo is jocular and colloquial as he adds descriptive details and conversation in retelling 21 tales of the venerable Aesop. Accompanied by humorous watercolor scenes in varied sizes, some tales extend for several pages, while others are complete on two. The concluding lessons, set in larger type, tend to lack the pithiness of those in many older collections, though some are more economical than others. "Obstinacy may look like strength. It rarely is." The reteller seems undecided as to how deadly the fate of some characters should be–or at least how specifically it should be stated. In "The Rat and the Elephant," not usually found in Aesop, he says of the cat's pursuit of the rat, "Well, I won't tell you what happened. You'll just have to imagine it." However, he adds a bit of ill fate for the boy who cried "wolf." Unlike most versions, the boy, along with his sheep, is eaten. Morpurgo includes no notes on his sources or choices of tales and alterations. These cheerful, well-crafted offerings will work well for independent reading and reading aloud.– Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Every library has an edition of these stories, which have been retold for children many times. But this large, spacious hardcover is perfectly designed for reading aloud. The text appears in big, clear type on thick paper, and Clark's gorgeous watercolors show the characters--from the scary, threatening black bear to small creatures that sometimes come out on top. Morpurgo's adaptations of 21 short tales stay true to the tradition of humanlike animal characters and lessons that eschew heavy philosophizing in favor of warnings about ordinary folk and their foolishness. From "The Tortoise and the Hare" to "The Dog in the Manger," the chatty style is never cute ("I'll beat you easy-peasy"), and the morals ("Be happy with what you've got, and look after it") apply as much to the schoolyard as the jungle. Morpurgo's own introductory fable is filled with playful animal action and has a surprising reversal. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; First American Edition edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416902902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416902904
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.7 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
55%
4 star
27%
3 star
18%
2 star
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1 star
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See all 11 customer reviews
My kids love this book.
S. Murtza
There are 21 fables and each takes up between 2-6 pages - perfect for bedtime!
Julia Flyte
I also like the fact that they wrote the moral of each story at the end.
JB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I looked for some time for a good collection of Aesop's fables to add to my children's bookshelf. Too often they seemed to be pitched at adults. This collection is perfect for reading to 3-7 year olds (although my 7 year old can read it for himself as the language is not complex). There are 21 fables and each takes up between 2-6 pages - perfect for bedtime! They are written in a very engaging fashion. At the end of each fable is the moral which makes a wonderful starting point for discussion. It's fun to see if the kids can work out for themselves what the moral should be.

The other thing that sets this collection apart is the illustrations, which are plentiful and truly beautiful. This is such a lovely book. I have just purchased my second copy to give as a present. It will make a wonderful gift.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sally on November 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although the fables are not exactly true to the classics I remember, the updated language works perfectly for reading aloud. Never awkward or stiff, the language is very well written, and the illustrations are lovely. This is a favorite of my 5 year old daughter (and mine too, since I love that they stories are a great teaching tool.)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Madigan McGillicuddy on April 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Soft and sunny watercolors are the star attraction in this edition of read-aloud fables. Originally published in England, the majority of the stories are well known favorites. The twenty-one different tales include such favorites as The Lion and the Mouse, The Hare and the Tortoise, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse; as well as lesser-known tales such as The Travelers and the Bear, The Rat and the Elephant, and The Wolf and the Donkey. Large type print is punctuated by watercolor decorations as well as occasional half-page and full-page spreads of animals.

The illustrations of the somewhat anthropomorphized animals in the book have a fierce emotional intensity. In The Dog and His Bone, the Dog's ebullient expression fades to a dismayed, downcast look when his own greediness causes him to lose his bone. He "walked off home, his tail between his legs, feeling very stupid and very annoyed with himself." In the Crow and the Jug, we are treated to pictures of a beaming Crow as he drops pebbles in the jug "What a clever crow, he thought as he drank. What a clever crow." He's shown gazing around, clearly pleased with himself. This book is geared for children aged five to eight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. H. toney on October 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Decent selection of fables in this compilation and well illustrated. I don't particularly enjoy the non-traditional phrasing of the morals at the end of the stories.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rooter on May 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is useful for having a lot of Aesop fables in one place. However the wording of the fables is not very engaging, I spice up my reading a little to keep my child interested in the story. The lessons are so timeless, I want her to remember them, but these aren't written in a manor that engages children. The illustrations are great though!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Murtza on March 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My kids love this book. I read fables to them almost every night. I would have given the book 5 stars but only gave 4 because I prefer the old school "A friend in need is a friend indeed" type of morals rather the ones included in this book.
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