Animal Fables from Aesop, by Barbara McClintockDavid R. Godine Publisher
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. The final page holds a surprise, as the entire cast removes headmasks to reveal smiling adults and children underneath.