You may not be aware that many common sayings come from Aesop's fables.
- "Look before you leap."
- "Don't put off for tomorrow what you should do today."
- "Appearances can be deceiving."
- "Slow and steady wins the race."
- "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched."
- "There are two sides to every story."
Jerry Pinkney is an award winning artist, who has illustrated more than 75 children's picture books. His Aesop's Fables (compare prices) is a beautifully designed and illustrated book. The artwork ranges from thumbnail to full page in size and was created with pencil, colored pencil, and watercolors. The people in the fables represent a variety of racial and ethnic groups. With his illustrations of animals, Pinkney has an uncanny ability to express the emotions each animal is feeling. His artwork is filled with color, movement, and life. Pinkney's Aesop's Fables was published in 2000 by SeaStar Books, a division of North - South Books, Inc. The book contains more than 60 fables. Some, like "The Tortoise and the Hare," you will instantly recognize. Others, like "The Children and the Frogs," may be as new to you as they were to me.
Another excellent Aesop's Fables (compare prices) for children is the one compiled by Russell Ash and Bernard Higton. It was published in 1990 by Chronicle Books. If you would enjoy seeing how a variety of nineteenth and twentieth century artists interpreted the fables, you will particularly enjoy this book. There are more than 50 fables in this collection. The illustrations represent a number of different styles and eras. The artists include many well known names: Randolph Caldecott, Arthur Rackham, Walter Crane, Milo Winter, and Alexander Calder, among others.
Fulvio Testa was born in Verono, Italy. Testa's books have been translated into 13 languages and published in 17 countries. Fulvio Testa's Aesop's Fables (compare prices) has vibrant and engaging illustrations that reflect both European and Middle Eastern influences. His book was published in 1989 by Barron's. There are 20 traditional fables, each illustrated with a bordered painting that catches the essence of the fable.
After reading a number of versions of Aesop's fables, I picked these three as favorites. All three contain well written versions of the fables and distinctive artwork that complements the text. I also came to the conclusion that adults as well as children should have their own copies of a picture book version of Aesop's fables and promptly bought myself a copy of Jerry Pinkney's version.