Tag Archives: Aesop

Chanticleer and the Fox – 1959 Caldecott Medal Book

Chanticleer-and-the-fox“Chanticleer and the Fox”, an adaptation from The Canterbury Tales, and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, received the 1959 Caldecott Medal.  This charming book reminded my children of some of the many Aesop’s Fables that they have heard.  I particularly enjoyed that the wit and wisdom of the story’s rooster triumphed over the sly fox.

Caldecott Criteria:

  1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – Pictures in primarily black and white with occasional accents in red, green, blue, yellow, and brown allow for eye-catching illustrations.  Extensive details are evident, my favorite of which are the thatching on the roof and the bee hives in one scene.
  1. Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – The story can be followed easily through the pictures.
  1. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”– The illustrative style used in this book elicits the “Old World” setting of  Chaucer and the prototypical Aesop-like fable.
  1. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – The plot, characters, setting, and information are very clear throughout the book.
  1. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.”– My children enjoyed this book, but I believe it was more for the charm of the story than for the pictures.  Details in the illustrations, however, could be used to discuss many aspects of farm life.

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Aesop’s Fables

Aesop's FablesWe recently finished reading a compilation of Aesop’s Fables.  So much wisdom is packed into each concise story that we had to take reading this one slowly so I could make sure that my older girls really understood the meaning behind the stories.  I knew for sure that at least something had sunk in thanks to my 4-year old’s responses to me when I fussed at her for dragging out her chores.  She said, “Mom, slow and steady wins the race!”  Her excuse did make me giggle!

Pros: A group of stories that can be read in shorter spurts, so are suitable for a wide variety of ages.  I enjoyed that every story is different – funny, sobering, or exciting – yet, they all teach a valuable lesson.

Cons: After reading more than 100 pages of this book some of the stories started to sound alike.  I found that I would skip to the end of each and review the moral to the story to see if it was overly similar to ones we had already read.

Age Range: 3-Adult

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