Aesop's Fables

by Aesop

Hardcover, 1989





Barron's Educational Series (1989), Edition: Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed, Hardcover, 48 pages


An illustrated collection of animal fables first told by the Greek slave Aesop.

Original publication date

ca. 600 BC

Physical description

48 p.; 11.35 inches


0812059581 / 9780812059588



User reviews

LibraryThing member MeditationesMartini
A moral education, and Chesterton's perceptive remarks about fable as truism and fairytale as realism aside, also something of a sentimental one. It's like, if we worshipped Aesop, does anyone think the Bible would have caught on as instructive stories for children and maybe adults, as opposed to the bloodthirsty fever dreams of a Middle Eastern death cult?

Plus some of them are just dumb jokes, and a surprising percentage of those are funny.
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LibraryThing member Voracious_Reader
Every few years I enjoy rereading Aesop’s Fables. When I come across a different edition with wonderful, new-to-me illustrations, I just can’t help myself. The morals of the Fables are occasionally contradictory, that’s where they’re most interesting in fact. For example, some tales seem to indicate that opposites attract and can help one another; in other instances alike things are attracted to one another and those things that are different are dangerous and can cause them harm; still, one has to fight the urge, because they are so amusing, to agree with all of Aesop’s “lessons” on all points. The best thing you can get from it as a child is that the world can be a contradictory place and that the best thing to do is ask questions about the truth of any given assertion or act. Aesop, if he did exist, seems like he could probably move from being a skeptic to being paranoid pretty easily. It’s good to read the tales with a dose of good humor.… (more)
LibraryThing member GoldenBeep
I read this book while taking a course on animal satire with a focus on the Aesopic tradition. The fables are very entertaining and make for good conversation with friends. The translator, Laura Gibbs, has posted many of the fables on her website. However, the book is organized by situations, and there is nothing more satisfying than quoting one of Aesop's fables to remedy a particular situation.… (more)
LibraryThing member coffeeandtea
Who does not like Aesop's Fables? Come on.
LibraryThing member smcamp1234

Enjoyed the ones I was familiar with, many of them seemed repetitious. Overall a book everyone should and usually are familiar with.
LibraryThing member Anietzerck
Not sure if it was just the copy that I had but it seems that so many of the stories were the same or very similiar and there were also some that seemed to tell the same story but with different outcomes. I know that historians are pretty sure that other authors have added their own work to be included with Aesop's fables, and that made the repetitive stories a little easier to read. Individually though, most of the fables had a good lesson attached to it.… (more)
LibraryThing member ARICANA
The Tortoise and the Hare, the Grasshopper and the Ant, and dozens more of the delightful creatures that have been entertaining and instructing people for thousands of years. The storyteller Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, far away from us in time and distance. But his clever little stories have as much meaning for us today as they did when he first told them so long ago...… (more)
LibraryThing member capiam1234

Enjoyed the ones I was familiar with, many of them seemed repetitious. Overall a book everyone should and usually are familiar with.
LibraryThing member Danielle_Rumsky
This is a great collection of tales full of themes and moral lessons. A favorite in this collection is the tortoise and the hare that teaches the lesson of slow and steady wins the race. There are animals, fun, and moral lessons throughout this collection.
LibraryThing member psychedelicmicrobus
Dad used to read these to us when we were children.
LibraryThing member LeviLloyd
This book is a series of short, and a little weird, stories with a little bit of proverb advice at the end of each story.

Personal Reaction:
I think this is an outstanding set of fables and short stories. I found this to be very entertaining and a little bit of an eye-opener. Reading some of these stories to my children was entertaining to them and entertaining to me to watch their reactions. A lot of the proverb advice I had to explain a little deeper for my oldest to understand them, but all in all a very good and entertaining read.

Classroom Extension:
1. These stories can be intergraded in many fashion of ways. I think it would be ideal to use as a "brain-break" in between lessons.
2. This book can be used as a good way to bring literature into the classroom and can be a good way to introduce fables, proverbs, and short stories.
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LibraryThing member Jill.Barrington
Various fables by Aesop are presented in a collection.

The book would be useful in discussing morals and fables with kids.
LibraryThing member dtn620
This was my first read through of Aesop's Fables in its entirety. Obviously I have encountered many of these fables before individually but was somewhat surprised by how dark they are. Aesop as a freedman was brilliant at seeing into the psyche of humankind. The Fables have held up well over the last 2500 years. I found it odd that the translator used the names of the Roman gods as opposed to the original greek gods.… (more)
LibraryThing member berthashaver
This book contains 82 of Aesop's fables. Many of these short stories with a moral of the story at the end, I have never heard before. Many, many of these early stories have morals that I never knew the origin of -
A stitch in time saves nine, honesty is the best policy. These moral little sayings have withstood the test of time.… (more)
LibraryThing member Pauline.Ramsey
This was the first time I ever read any of Aesop's Fables and I loved each little story. These nuggets of morality hidden within tiny stories truly makes one think about their actions towards themselves and toward others. It is an excellent book to read to your little ones in hopes of helping them understand decency towards others.

I would recommend this book to others.
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LibraryThing member vegetarian
Nothing in it is true - though some argue that it has 'truths' (of a sort). I gave it one star...
LibraryThing member JVioland
It would be a benefit to mankind if these morals were taught today. Instead, everything seems to be nonjudgmental. "Who are you to tell me I'm wrong?!!"
LibraryThing member auntieknickers
Yet another I should reread, although so many of the fables are so familiar. Who could forget the fox and the grapes? The lessons in Aesop are still worthwhile today.
LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
Collections of these short tales with a moral were among the very first works--after the Bible--to be published on the printing press. It's amazing how many catch phrases come from these fables: Honesty is the best policy. Don't count your chickens before they've hatched. Look before you leap. Aesop himself, like Homer, may never have existed in history. Tradition makes him a slave in Asia Minor, possibly of Ethiopian descent, born in 620 and eventually freed for his cleverness becomes a counselor to kings and companion to philosophers. Herodotus, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Horace all mentioned Aesop and his tales, and the earliest surviving collection is from the first century. They're been used by orators and in primers ever since, and definitely should be read in the interest of cultural legacy. They're short. One of the most famous ones is only three lines:

Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked, 'Oh, you aren't even ripe yet! I don't need any sour grapes.' People who speak disparagingly of things that they cannot attain would do well to apply this story to themselves.

To be honest, I tend to think these are best read by children, preferably in an illustrated edition. There's really no authoritative canon for the fables, the two primary collections from antiquity consist of only a few hundred tales. A lot of translations use antiquated language, or put the pithy tales into rather elaborated verse, or cut the moral, so you might want to scan various editions before deciding which to get. They're worth knowing, if only to be able to recognize where so many familiar stories and phrases come from.
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LibraryThing member .Monkey.
Some were great, some were dull (or even rather mean), and some were in-between. Overall, not super crazy about it, but glad to have read the collection of them.
LibraryThing member theWallflower
I liked this one better than "Grimm's Fairy Tales" because A) they're all super short, great for reading a teeny bit at a time and B) the language is much more understandable. But like "Grimm's Fairy Tales", the stories get repetitive after a while. They're all moral lessons, and they fall under three categories: evil is its own ruin, be honest and don't lie, don't be vain/greedy/prideful. Consequences of failing to heed lessons A, B, and C will result in you being eaten by a tiger 90% of the time.… (more)
LibraryThing member siouxe_hawaii
I was amazed tht there was actually a 224 page book.. the only fables i remember hearing were the Sat. morning cartoon ones.
LibraryThing member briannad84
Read this for the "1001" books and they're good little stories with great moral messages, but I found it hard to read them straight thru as a whole book. A few of the stories I even got a bit confused on because I kept mixing them up with others that were similar. I thought a few times "didn't I just read this this one?" But it was a good read and a keeper, and at least I finished it!… (more)
LibraryThing member YESterNOw
Brilliant stuff, but some of the morals seem to contradict others. For example, The Ant And The Grasshopper teaches one to always prepare for the future, whereas The Frogs Desiring A King has the moral "Let well enough alone!" I think most adults can see the nuances differentiating those two stories, but a child might not be able to. And while some stories speak of the importance of teamwork, some exalt individual toughness and refusal to play along with others. So why do I still give this 4 stars? Because of life's pesky gray areas, of course.… (more)
LibraryThing member sealford
I always loved reading these fables when I was a kid, and they certainly permeated their way through my childhood even up until now. While they may seem a little silly and/or difficult to understand, there is certainly a message to be taken away from all of them if you are willing to think outside of the box.




(915 ratings; 3.8)
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