arrow_upward

Talleen Hacikyan , Michael Rosen

Aesop's Fables

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: United Kingdom

Cateogry icon

Title of the work

Aesop's Fables

Country of the First Edition

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2013

First Edition Details

Michael Rosen, Aesop's Fables. Taleen Hacikyan, ill. Toronto: Tradewind Books, 2013, 28 pp.

ISBN

9781896580814

Genre

Didactic fiction
Fables
Illustrated works

Target Audience

Crossover

Cover

Courtesy of Tradewind Books.


Author of the Entry:

Sonya Nevin, University of Roehampton, sonya.nevin@roehampton.ac.uk

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl

Female portrait

Talleen Hacikyan (Illustrator)

Talleen Hacikyan is a Canadian artist and art educator based in Montreal. She studied Anthropology at McGill University and trained in Fine Arts and Fine Arts Education at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her work has been presented extensively in solo and group exhibitions.


Official website (accessed: July 2, 2018).


Bio prepared by Sonya Nevin, University of Roehampton, sonya.nevin@roehampton.ac.uk


Male portrait

Michael Rosen , b. 1946
(Author)

Michael Rosen is a British poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As an author and editor he has published over 140 books. Rosen read English Literature at Wadham College, Oxford. He went on to work for the BBC on Play School, Schools TV and radio dramas until 1972. From that time he has worked as a free-lance author, writing poetry, non-fiction, novels, picture books, and retellings of traditional tales and myths, the latter reflecting his love of street rhymes, popular songs and folk stories. His work is predominantly for children, and is typically humorous.  

Michael Rosen's publications include Mind Your Own Business (1974), Wouldn’t You Like to Know (Puffin Books, 1977), Quick Let’s Get Out of Here (Puffin Books, 1983), Sad Book (a children's book about bereavement, Candlewick 2004; Walker Books 2011), Dear Fairy Godmother (Walker Books, 2011) and the phenomenally popular We're going on a Bear Hunt (Walker Books 1993). Rosen teaches children’s literature in universities and visits many schools with his one man show. He was UK Children's Laureate 2007-9.


Official website (accessed: June 25, 2018).


Bio prepared by Sonya Nevin, University of Roehampton, sonya.nevin@roehampton.ac.uk


Summary

Aesop [an introduction to Aesop by Dr J.R.C. Cousland, Univ. British Columbia]

Dog and Wolf

Fox and Grapes

Crow and Fox

Lion, Fox and Wolf

Wolf and Lamb

Mouse and Lion

Frog and Bull

Cockerel, Dog and Fox

Mosquito, Lion and Spider

Fir Tree and Thornbush

The Axe and the Trees

Partridge and the Fighting Cocks

Town Mouse and Country Mouse



Each story is laid out with one page for the tale and a full-page illustration on the facing page. The myths are told in the simple, direct language (note the minimal use of articles in the titles). They have a lively tone, with lots of direct speech, including some colloquialisms. Each fable has a section beneath the narrative in which the moral of the story is explicitly stated; the accessible, conversational style appears here too, and the morals match the stories well.  

Analysis

Aesop's Fables retold as children's stories, intended to introduce children to the stories and to communicate their moral lessons.

Most of the illustrations could place the stories in any time or place, however the ones featuring humans, The Axe and the Trees, and Town Mouse and Country Mouse, locate the stories in the modern, Western world. All of the illustrations have a very dark tone; the backgrounds to the prints are all black, with the result that the skies are black. The characters are depicted in a heavily stylised manner, often with elongated bodies and/or snouts. Some might interpret the stylised images as being sinister, while others will find them more appealing. The absence of visual or textual details that signify antiquity places the book's emphasis on the morals of the stories rather than on learning from or about long ago, or explicit introduction to classical culture.

The Aesop section calls Aesop a "legendary figure," and refers to the traditions about him in Herodotus and Roman biography. It recommends W. Hanson's Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature as a follow-up reading about Aesop. This section, written by JCR Cousland rather than Michael Rosen, appears to be aimed at adult readers rather than children, as the language is more complex and the tone more serious than that used in the stories themselves. This section offers the adult reader a context for the Fables, which some may find familiar while the background is unknown. Dr Cousland was invited by the publisher, as a specialist in antiquity. The decision to include his biography of Aesop indicates that the publishers wished to communicate the idea that the longevity of the stories is part of their value and appeal, even if that aspect is not emphasised through in the main body of the work.  


Further Reading

Babrius and Phaedrus Fables, trans. B.E. Perry, Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge MA and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1965.

Cooper, Kenneth, "Aesop's Fables for Adults", Peabody Journal of Education 33.3 (1955): 143-147.

Daly, Lloyd, R. (trans. ed.), Aesop Without the Morals. The Famous Fables, and a Life of Aesop, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1961.

Finch, Chauncey E., "The Greek Source of Lorenzo Valla's Translation of Aesop's "Fables"", Classical Philology 55.2 (1960): 118-120.

Hall, Edith, Our Fabled Childhood: Reflections on the Unsuitability of Aesop to Children, [in:] Katarzyna Marciniak, ed. Our Mythical Childhood... The Classics and Literature for Children and Young Adults, Leiden: Brill, 2016.

Movrin, David, Aemulating Aesopus: Slovenian Fables and Fablers between Tradition and Innovation, [in:] Katarzyna Marciniak, ed. Our Mythical Childhood... The Classics and Literature for Children and Young Adults, Leiden: Brill, 2016.

Perry, B.E., Aesopica: Studies in Text History of Life and Fables of Aesop, 1952. 

Rothwell, Jr. Kenneth S, "Aristophanes' "Wasps" and the Sociopolitics of Aesop's Fables", The Classical Journal 90.3 (1995): 233-254.

van Dijk, J. G. M, "The Function of Fables in Graeco-Roman Romance", Mnemosyne 49.5 (1996): 513-541.

Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Aesop's Fables

Country of the First Edition

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2013

First Edition Details

Michael Rosen, Aesop's Fables. Taleen Hacikyan, ill. Toronto: Tradewind Books, 2013, 28 pp.

ISBN

9781896580814

Genre

Didactic fiction
Fables
Illustrated works

Target Audience

Crossover

Cover

Courtesy of Tradewind Books.


Author of the Entry:

Sonya Nevin, University of Roehampton, sonya.nevin@roehampton.ac.uk

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Hanna Paulouskaya, University of Warsaw, hannapa@al.uw.edu.pl

Female portrait

Talleen Hacikyan (Illustrator)

Talleen Hacikyan is a Canadian artist and art educator based in Montreal. She studied Anthropology at McGill University and trained in Fine Arts and Fine Arts Education at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her work has been presented extensively in solo and group exhibitions.


Official website (accessed: July 2, 2018).


Bio prepared by Sonya Nevin, University of Roehampton, sonya.nevin@roehampton.ac.uk


Male portrait

Michael Rosen (Author)

Michael Rosen is a British poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As an author and editor he has published over 140 books. Rosen read English Literature at Wadham College, Oxford. He went on to work for the BBC on Play School, Schools TV and radio dramas until 1972. From that time he has worked as a free-lance author, writing poetry, non-fiction, novels, picture books, and retellings of traditional tales and myths, the latter reflecting his love of street rhymes, popular songs and folk stories. His work is predominantly for children, and is typically humorous.  

Michael Rosen's publications include Mind Your Own Business (1974), Wouldn’t You Like to Know (Puffin Books, 1977), Quick Let’s Get Out of Here (Puffin Books, 1983), Sad Book (a children's book about bereavement, Candlewick 2004; Walker Books 2011), Dear Fairy Godmother (Walker Books, 2011) and the phenomenally popular We're going on a Bear Hunt (Walker Books 1993). Rosen teaches children’s literature in universities and visits many schools with his one man show. He was UK Children's Laureate 2007-9.


Official website (accessed: June 25, 2018).


Bio prepared by Sonya Nevin, University of Roehampton, sonya.nevin@roehampton.ac.uk


Summary

Aesop [an introduction to Aesop by Dr J.R.C. Cousland, Univ. British Columbia]

Dog and Wolf

Fox and Grapes

Crow and Fox

Lion, Fox and Wolf

Wolf and Lamb

Mouse and Lion

Frog and Bull

Cockerel, Dog and Fox

Mosquito, Lion and Spider

Fir Tree and Thornbush

The Axe and the Trees

Partridge and the Fighting Cocks

Town Mouse and Country Mouse



Each story is laid out with one page for the tale and a full-page illustration on the facing page. The myths are told in the simple, direct language (note the minimal use of articles in the titles). They have a lively tone, with lots of direct speech, including some colloquialisms. Each fable has a section beneath the narrative in which the moral of the story is explicitly stated; the accessible, conversational style appears here too, and the morals match the stories well.  

Analysis

Aesop's Fables retold as children's stories, intended to introduce children to the stories and to communicate their moral lessons.

Most of the illustrations could place the stories in any time or place, however the ones featuring humans, The Axe and the Trees, and Town Mouse and Country Mouse, locate the stories in the modern, Western world. All of the illustrations have a very dark tone; the backgrounds to the prints are all black, with the result that the skies are black. The characters are depicted in a heavily stylised manner, often with elongated bodies and/or snouts. Some might interpret the stylised images as being sinister, while others will find them more appealing. The absence of visual or textual details that signify antiquity places the book's emphasis on the morals of the stories rather than on learning from or about long ago, or explicit introduction to classical culture.

The Aesop section calls Aesop a "legendary figure," and refers to the traditions about him in Herodotus and Roman biography. It recommends W. Hanson's Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature as a follow-up reading about Aesop. This section, written by JCR Cousland rather than Michael Rosen, appears to be aimed at adult readers rather than children, as the language is more complex and the tone more serious than that used in the stories themselves. This section offers the adult reader a context for the Fables, which some may find familiar while the background is unknown. Dr Cousland was invited by the publisher, as a specialist in antiquity. The decision to include his biography of Aesop indicates that the publishers wished to communicate the idea that the longevity of the stories is part of their value and appeal, even if that aspect is not emphasised through in the main body of the work.  


Further Reading

Babrius and Phaedrus Fables, trans. B.E. Perry, Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge MA and London, England: Harvard University Press, 1965.

Cooper, Kenneth, "Aesop's Fables for Adults", Peabody Journal of Education 33.3 (1955): 143-147.

Daly, Lloyd, R. (trans. ed.), Aesop Without the Morals. The Famous Fables, and a Life of Aesop, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1961.

Finch, Chauncey E., "The Greek Source of Lorenzo Valla's Translation of Aesop's "Fables"", Classical Philology 55.2 (1960): 118-120.

Hall, Edith, Our Fabled Childhood: Reflections on the Unsuitability of Aesop to Children, [in:] Katarzyna Marciniak, ed. Our Mythical Childhood... The Classics and Literature for Children and Young Adults, Leiden: Brill, 2016.

Movrin, David, Aemulating Aesopus: Slovenian Fables and Fablers between Tradition and Innovation, [in:] Katarzyna Marciniak, ed. Our Mythical Childhood... The Classics and Literature for Children and Young Adults, Leiden: Brill, 2016.

Perry, B.E., Aesopica: Studies in Text History of Life and Fables of Aesop, 1952. 

Rothwell, Jr. Kenneth S, "Aristophanes' "Wasps" and the Sociopolitics of Aesop's Fables", The Classical Journal 90.3 (1995): 233-254.

van Dijk, J. G. M, "The Function of Fables in Graeco-Roman Romance", Mnemosyne 49.5 (1996): 513-541.

Yellow cloud