by Arnold Lobel

Other authorsArnold Lobel (Illustrator)
Paperback, 1983


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Call number

E Lo



HarperCollins (1983), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 48 pages


Twenty original fables about an array of animal characters from crocodile to ostrich.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member elainevbernal
**Reviewer's note: this review only focuses on "The Mouse at the Seashore."

The Mouse at the Seashore is an endearing story about a mouse who leaves his parents venture out to the seashore. Despite his parents' warnings about, "the world [being] full of terrors," the mouse is adamant about his
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decision and goes off on his journey. The mouse is attacked by a cat, dogs, and birds - and although the mouse is bloodied, bruised, tired, and frightened, the mouse reaches the shore and is flooded with peace as he experiences the moon and the stars over the ocean. The moral of the story direct and easy to comprehend, and is indicated after the end of the fable: "All the miles of a hard road are worth a moment of true happiness."

As in most of Aesop's fables the plot is very easy to follow and stays true to the oral tradition as the content is composed with descriptive narration and interactive dialogue between characters. The story is accompanied by only one picture - the illustration is poignant and symbolic of the entire story - it shows the small injured mouse, with half its tail, his many footsteps behind him, and looking up to the beautifully and richly drawn sky.

Perfect read-aloud for ages 6-9, and sends a warm, loving message about success and determination.
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LibraryThing member Cottonwood.School
Twenty original fables about an array of animal characters from crocodile to ostrich. Short, original fables with fresh, unexpected morals poke subtle fun at human foibles through the antics of animals. The droll illustrations, with tones blended to luminescent shading, are complete and humorous
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LibraryThing member jeriannthacker
A collection of fables by classic author Lobel, fables are stories that tell a moral and use animals as primary characters. Lobel's characters are a bit off the wall, but entertaining. Caldecott Medal.
LibraryThing member r13
A wonderful collection of Fables to teach children about writing fables. Full of humor and great morals.
LibraryThing member missmichelle
Age Appropriateness: Primary
Genre: This book is a collection of many fables, each with a moral at the end of the story, and were all written by Arnold Lobel. Since most of the fables contain an element of magic and the majority of them have talking animals, this book would be considered a
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collection of Fairy Tales. Each story also contains a moral at the end that teaches the reader something about life such as, " Satisfaction will come to those who please themselves."
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LibraryThing member meallen1
This book is a fantasy book. The art is hand drawn sketches done with watercolor and colored pencils. The book has many 20 different fables that the author has written. The reading level is third or fourth grade. The curricular connection is reading because it is a book on fables.
LibraryThing member missrader
A collection of fables created by Arnold Lobel each with a moral. Each fable is written on one page with a single accompanying illustration on the opposite page. Very funny!
LibraryThing member mitchellmerritt
Caldecott Award winner, book of fables with nice watercolor illastrations. I love fables. They're short and get the children to think about personal improvment. The different story lessons can be applyed at different times.
LibraryThing member eamill
This book teaches many lessons through its many fables. It is a Caldecott Medal winner. This book is great for helping kids look at the problems they are having or may face with responsibility. It teaches problem solving in a fun and interesting way.
LibraryThing member dtortorice
A great collection of short stories that each teach a different moral lesson. The stories are each one page and deal with a character and their situation. At the end, a one line moral meaning to the story is given. Often very poigniant. " A first failure may pave the way for later success." "All
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the miles of a hard road are worth a moment of true happiness."
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LibraryThing member blindexpression1
This book offers a collection of Fables that are based on animals with human characteristics much like the Aesop’s collection. They strive to teach moral lessons but are short enough to engage children and teach them about decision making. The animal antics are humorous and the illustration adds
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to characters. A total of 20 stories to chose from.
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LibraryThing member shelbyrae
The whole book is filled with different stories that each has different morals. I focused on “The Baboon’s Umbrella. It is a story of a baboon that can’t get his umbrella shut but he wants to enjoy the sunshine and listens to his friend and cuts holes in his umbrella. Soon it begins
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to rain and the rain goes through the umbrella.
Personal Reaction:
I like the moral behind this story that some advice is good but some advice is bad. You have to be your own person and make your own decisions.
Classroom extension ideas:
1. I would have students write a story of when they took bad advice from someone.
2. I would have classroom discussion about decision making and why it is important to be your own person.
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LibraryThing member jmilton11
Genre: Folktale
Review: This book falls under this category because at the end of each short story, there is a life lesson to take away from it. The sense of justice is not necessarily reached through these fables. They are more like entertaining stories rather than more in depth.
There is no real
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plot since it is a collection of short stories.
Media: Colored pencil
Age: Intermediate
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LibraryThing member gallenor
I enjoyed most of these fables as there was a bit of humor in each. I can see why this would have won the Caldecott or at least been a contendeer, the illustrations really complimented the stories. Students should enjoy reading these short stories as well that involve animals and provide a witty
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moral at the end of each.
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LibraryThing member candicebairn
Wonderful illustrations that go along perfectly with each fable.
LibraryThing member MrsLee
Modern fables with modern morals at the end. Not my favorite Lobel book, still nice stories.
LibraryThing member Angie.Patterson
Lobel, Arnold. Fables. New York: HarperCollins Children’s Books, 1980

Title of Fable: The Hen and the Apple Tree

Characters: Hen and Wolf

Setting: Hen’s house

Theme: fable, life lessons, trickster tale

Genre: Traditional Literature, Children’s fiction

Golden Quote: “It is always difficult to
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pose as something that one is not.”

Summary: Twenty original fables about an array of animal characters from crocodile to ostrich.

Audience: Children 3 years of age and up

Curriculum ties: discuss morality and cautionary tales; characteristics of trickster tales; compare and contrast this trickster tales with others

Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner, 1980

Personal response: I remember reading Lobel’s fable book when I was a child and I thoroughly enjoyed it just as much then as I do today. I chose the fable entitled “The Hen and the Apple Tree” to go along with motif of trickster tales, but also because it is quite a hysterical fable. The Wolf thinks that The Hen can’t figure out that he is disguised as an apple tree to try and eat her, but The Hen is not as dumb as he thinks she is which makes his intelligence rather questionable. In this trickster tale, the one doing the tricking does not get away with it! Another aspect I like about Lobel’s Fables is remains true to the traditional versions (in both text and illustrations) and accompanies each tale with the moral of the story the end.
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LibraryThing member rekrumrie
This has twenty orginial fables about an array of animal characters, from the crocodile to the ostrich, and the lessons and morals they learn through their thoughts, actions, and words. I would use this with all grades because it is important to learn life lessons and apply to daily life in and out
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of school.
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LibraryThing member BrandiMichelle
This book has charming traditional stories presented in one page sections. The illustrations are often laugh provoking and definitely add meaning to some new vocabulary introduced.
LibraryThing member Dyne001
Fables is a collection of short stories that teach a lesson. The stories are entertaining and easy to read, but make an obvious point to teach a lesson.
I found the stories very interesting, they are quick reads and very easy to understand what is the meaning behind the story.
These stories could
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easily be used as examples to inspire children to create their own stories and/or morals. This could also be used to open conversation about morals.
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LibraryThing member MiguelPut
really enjoyable short fables. So many and so creative.
LibraryThing member EmmaBrockwell
Fables by Arnold Lobel is a book I feel indifferent about. This book is a bunch of short stories compiled together with what seems to be advice quotes following each story. I felt indifferent about this book because of it range of stories and ideas. Some of the stories were happy and normal and
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some were just downright strange. I couldn't tell if these stories had an agenda or were meant to be funny. The story The Cat and the Visions is about a cat fishing for and envisioning a large fish to eat. As time goes on he keeps envisioning a smaller and smaller fish since it seems unlikely that he’ll catch a big one. But in the end, he catches a big fish because he never gives up. This story had a happy ending and seemed to teach patience. But in contrast you have the story The Baboons Umbrella. It is just a weird story with no meaning. In this story the baboon wants to have sunlight come through the umbrella he’s carrying because it is stuck open. Instead of just putting the umbrella down or not carrying it he decides to cut large holes in it. Well of course, shortly after he does this it begins to rain and he gets soaked. The one thing I did like about this book were the small advice quotes after every story. Even though most didn't make sense I enjoyed the concept of leaving the reader with a thought. I liked the ones such as “At times, a change of routine can be most helpful”, “Even the taking of small risks will add excitement to life” and “A child’s conduct will reflect the ways of his parents.” But then you get some off the wall ones like “All’s well that ends with a good meal.” And the one that followed a story about a pig on a diet going to the candy store to find it closed, “A locked door is very likely to discourage temptation.” They just didn't make sense. I feel like the big idea in this book is entertainment. Having the collection of different short stories doesn't allow for an overall theme. And the quirkiness of the stories also make me feel like there is no deeper meaning involved.
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LibraryThing member yelhsajoh
Fables by Arnold Lobel

Summary: Fables is a collection of very short stories that all have a moral at the end to teach children a good lesson to learn. There is one about two ducks who follow the same path every day and meet a mean fox, which advises a change of paths can sometimes be a good thing.
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There is another about a crocodile who will not leave his bedroom because the wallpaper’s orderliness (the flowers being in a straight line with perfect order) comforts him, and the outside garden is too much of a mess, that advises that too much order is not always a good thing.

Personal Reaction: I found this to be a fun read. The short stories allow you to be able to read to a child with a very short attention span, and can maybe even help them learn a lesson. The pictures go along with the stories, most do not add anything new, but are still fun to look at.

Extension Ideas:
1. Discuss the morals with the children after reading the stories. Try to see if they can think of any examples where that lesson might be a good one to learn, or tell them some yourself.
2. Take ideas from the different stories and make crafts, like jewels for the King Lion, or flowers for the crocodile.
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LibraryThing member ajohns75
I'm a big fan of short stories with aspects of wonder and magic, so I found this book to be a great read with great variety. For each of the twenty fables, the author's text occupies one page and beautiful illustration on the facing page. The author is also mindful to give a moral to each story.
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While the moral is genuine and hits home for many readers, the tone of the fables is cheerful and playful rather than moralistic. This aspect of the stories illuminates the minds of young readers especially while also incorporating important life lessons they should take into consideration as well.
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LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
This book contains 20 fables that your children will love reading!


Caldecott Medal (Medal Winner — 1981)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades K-3 — 1983)
Flicker Tale Award (Nominee — Juvenile Books — 1988)


Original publication date


Physical description

48 p.; 11.44 inches


0064430464 / 9780064430463


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