Mr Aesop's Story Shop by Bob Hartman and Jago
|Mr Aesop's Story Shop by Bob Hartman and Jago|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Lovely illustrations to these age-old, familiar tales with a moral.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 48||Date: March 2010|
|Publisher: Lion Hudson|
Aesop's fables have been known for centuries all around the world, and here is a new edition where a selection of the fables have been given some new embellishments. Aesop features in the stories himself, as a teller of tales himself with a stall in the market where people, especially children, gather to listen and hear him. His stories are often set within the context of an understandable situation, making it easier for children to see parallels between the animals in the tales and the real life action.
My husband didn't like the format of Aesop and his stall introducing each fable - I think he found it a bit gimmicky. But I quite enjoyed them being told in this way. It tied the fables included in this collection together more, being linked with Aesop's own story. I also liked the repetition at the end of each tale of the 'moral' that had been described, reinforcing the point of each fable. Because of Aesop's presence, relating the fables, there's occasionally a sort of question and answer opportunity where Aesop will ask a question of his listeners. If you're reading the story aloud you can use that to get your child/children involved.
The illustrations are lovely. They have a great textured look to them, and I liked the expressions on some of the animals' faces. I was reading the book with my four year old daughter, and she just about had patience for the stories although I think she would have preferred more pictures - each story is quite short so has only one or two pictures to illustrate it. It's probably better for slightly older children because they are, of course, stories with a point to make but I felt that the points being made were sometimes a little beyond her understanding at just four. Probably by seven a child would have more of an idea of what was going on. She did enjoy The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing though (which had my favourite illustrations in), and also The Mouse and the Lion since she's on the little side herself but gets very cross if anyone thinks any less of her because they're taller than she is!
I think there are some children who really wouldn't enjoy this book at all, and might see it as old-fashioned and didactic. Those who appreciate a clever, thought-provoking tale of the traditional variety will more likely enjoy it, and it's a nice book to share aloud, perhaps in a classroom situation, since the stories are short but promote plenty of discussion.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. We also have a review of The Sheep in Wolf's Clothing by Bob Hartman.
Further reading suggestion:
For a favourite fable with a twist try Tortoise vs. Hare - The Rematch! by Preston Rutt and Ben Redlich.You might also like to look at The Bookbag's Top Ten Retellings of Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales.
You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Aesop's Story Shop by Bob Hartman and Jago at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Mr Aesop's Story Shop by Bob Hartman and Jago at Amazon.com.
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