Aesop’s Fables

All posts tagged Aesop’s Fables

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2014 – The Round Up

Published January 11, 2015 by bibliobeth

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2014 was the second year that Chrissi and I rolled out our Kid-Lit challenge. Again, it was a really fun thing to do which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Please see below for the links to my reviews and check out Chrissi’s blog HERE for her fabulous reviews.

JANUARY – Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

FEBRUARY – Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll

MARCH – Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

APRIL – The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis

MAY – Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie

JUNE – The Wind In The Willows – Kenneth Grahame

JULY – The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz – L. Frank Baum

AUGUST – The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann Wyss

SEPTEMBER – Swallows And Amazons – Arthur Ransome

OCTOBER – Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

NOVEMBER – White Fang – Jack London

DECEMBER – The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our second year of blogging in Kid-Lit.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2014 and why?
BETH: I am totally torn between three… Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden. I was delighted to find that I loved all three as an adult as much (if not more) than I loved them as a child. Little Women is an undeniable classic, Anne is just one of those characters you completely fall in love with and I love the style of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s storytelling.
CHRISSI: Little Women. When Little Women is an option out of books, I’m always going to mention it. Oh yes!
2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2014 and why?
BETH: I think it would have to be The Swiss Family Robinson I’m afraid. I was bitterly disappointed with this book and expected so much more from it. Some passages sent me into complete boredom and it felt slightly too “preachy” for my liking.
CHRISSI: I’m the same as Beth for this answer. Unfortunately I found The Swiss Family Robinson DIRE! Such a shame.
3) What was the Kid-Lit book that surprised you the most?
BETH: Perhaps The Magician’s Nephew. This was one of my old favourites from childhood (along with the rest of the Narnia series) and there were whole parts of the story that I had forgotten so it was exciting to re-read and remember them all over again.
CHRISSI: Anne of Green Gables. I hadn’t read it prior to this challenge and I was surprised at how charming it was.
4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2013?
BETH: Once again, the writing of Frances Hodgson Burnett has made me long to read another of her books – perhaps we can put her on the list for 2016 Chrissi? Otherwise, I think I’m definitely going to read The Making Of A Marchioness this year.
CHRISSI: Oh yes. Let’s read more of Frances Hodgson Burnett! ❤

Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit 2014 – JANUARY READ – Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

Published January 30, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

The fables of Aesop have become one of the most enduring traditions of European culture, ever since they were first written down nearly two millennia ago. Aesop was reputedly a tongue-tied slave who miraculously received the power of speech; from his legendary storytelling came the collections of prose and verse fables scattered throughout Greek and Roman literature. First published in English by Caxton in 1484, the fables and their morals continue to charm modern readers: who does not know the story of the tortoise and the hare, or the boy who cried wolf?

This new translation is the first to represent all the main fable collections in ancient Latin and Greek, arranged according to the fables’ contents and themes. It includes 600 fables, many of which come from sources never before translated into English.

What did I think?:

This is the first book in my Kid-Lit challenge which I participate in with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. It’s also one I’ve been meaning to get round to for a while as I find some of the old fables quite amusing and charming. This collection consists of 600 original fables, attributed to Aesop but acknowledged to be written by a number of classical scholars including Aristophanes, Phalereus and Socrates. Aesop himself was thought to be a slave and storyteller who lived in ancient Greece during the 5th century BC, if indeed he existed at all. Most fables from around this time are connected to Aesop if there is no other known literary source and passed down by oral tradition. The fables are mostly quite short in order to get the point across, and include a moral or expand on a proverb. The philosopher John Locke was determined on the idea that they could be used to teach young children and in effect, groom young minds.

Aesop’s fables, in his opinion are

“apt to delight and entertain a child. . . yet afford useful reflection to a grown man. And if his memory retain them all his life after, he will not repent to find them there, amongst his manly thoughts and serious business. If his Aesop has pictures in it, it will entertain him much better, and encourage him to read when it carries the increase of knowledge with it For such visible objects children hear talked of in vain, and without any satisfaction, whilst they have no ideas of them; those ideas being not to be had from sounds, but from the things themselves, or their pictures.”

 Some of the fables were quite new to me (well, there are six hundred!) but others were old favourites that I immediately recognised including The Tortoise and The Hare, Androcles and the Lion, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Ant and the Cricket. All include a little lesson for life that we recognise in sayings such as: “slow and steady wins the race,” “a wolf in sheeps clothing,” “one swallow does not a summer make,” some of which I hadn’t realised originated from these classic fables. As for being a tool for teaching, I do agree that children can learn some valuable lessons when regarding morality and the difference between bad and good. However, some of the fables require serious revising or re-structuring to conform to today’s moral code. I’m talking about the ones that advocate slavery, are highly sexist or accuse all Arabs of being evil.

 In general, there’s a really nice set of fables here that have the potential to be revised and updated to reflect current times more accurately. At times it felt a bit tedious (perhaps six hundred fables at once is a bit much?), and there are a few that seem slightly repetitive save for a change in animal, but I enjoyed the book on a whole. I also found the structure quite interesting i.e. it was split up into different categories – fables about slaves and masters, fables about self-destruction and even fables with a bit of toilet humour. And hey, who isn’t delighted and entertained by a talking animal?!

These are a couple of my favourites that I think illustrate a dry wit that has stayed with us through the centuries and imprinted itself on our memories.

The Mother, the Child and the Crow

The mother of a small baby consulted a soothsayer who told her that her child would be killed by a crow. Terrified, the mother ordered that a large chest be built and she shut her baby inside, protecting him so that no crow could harm him. She continued in this way, opening the chest at regular intervals in order to give the baby the food that he needed. Then one day, after she had opened the chest and was using an iron bar to prop up the lid, the child recklessly stuck his head out. At that moment, the iron bar – it was a crow bar – fell down on top of the boy’s head and killed him.

Zeus and the Tortoise

Zeus invited all the animals to his wedding. The tortoise alone was absent, and Zeus did not know why, so he asked the tortoise her reason for not having come to the feast. The tortoise said, “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” Zeus got angry at the tortoise and ordered her to carry her house with her wherever she went.

For Chrissi’s take on Aesop’s Fables please see her fabulous post HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

WWW Wednesday #28

Published January 29, 2014 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Hello everyone, I’m back from a fantastic holiday in Iceland for another WWW Wednesday! Thanks as ever to MizB over at Should Be Reading for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?:

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I’m attending a bloggers evening hosted by Oxford University Press this Friday and this is one of the books I have to read beforehand. Looking forward to hearing the author speak at this event.

What did you recently finish reading?:

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Aesop’s Fables is the January read for the Kid-Lit feature I participate in with my sister and fellow blogger, Chrissi Reads. Look out for our reviews coming soon!

What do you think you’ll read next?:

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This is the second book from Oxford University Press that I’m reading for the bloggers evening this Friday. Can’t wait!

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come and pay you a visit, happy reading everyone!

Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit – the titles for 2014

Published January 9, 2014 by bibliobeth

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Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit is a monthly feature I began with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads last year. We both chose six books each to represent the twelve months of the year and resolved to read and review one a month. We enjoyed doing it so much last year that we wanted to carry on the challenge for 2014, so without any further ado, here are the twelve lucky titles!

JANUARY – Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

FEBRUARY – Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll

MARCH – Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

APRIL – The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis

MAY – Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie

JUNE – The Wind In The Willows – Kenneth Grahame

JULY – The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz – L. Frank Baum

AUGUST – The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann Wyss

SEPTEMBER – Swallows And Amazons – Arthur Ransome

OCTOBER – Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

NOVEMBER – White Fang – Jack London

DECEMBER – The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett