Elem. – Lessons with Aesop’s Fables (Series NF)

Hansen, Grace. Lessons with Aesop’s Fables. DiscoverRoo, 2022. $23.00 ea. $138.00 set of 6. Unpaged. Grades 2-5.

The Ants & the Grasshopper: A Lesson in Hard Work. 978-1-098-24128-5.
The Boys & the Frogs: A Lesson in Empathy. 978-1-098-24129-2.
The Hare & the Tortoise: A Lesson in Determination. 978-1-098-24130-8.
The Lion & the Mouse: A Lesson in Acts of Kindness. 978-1-098-24131-5.
The North Wind & the Sun: A Lesson in Respect. 978-1-098-24132-2.
The Shepherd Boy & the Wolf: A Lesson in Honesty. 978-1-098-24133-9.

Each title in this series introduces Aesop, explains what a fable is, presents an actual fable, and explains the lesson it is trying to teach readers. The text is very straightforward and is broken up by illustrations and other interesting features, such as fun facts and QR codes that link to relevant online resources. A glossary, index, and “Making Connections” questions round out each volume in the series. This is a very useful, accessible series for teaching kids important lessons. 

THOUGHTS: What I loved about this series is that it does an excellent job of taking old fables and making them relevant to kids today. It incorporates technology through the use of QR codes, provides real-life examples of consequences one might actually experience, and poses questions that enable readers to relate the lessons to their own personal experiences. The online resources are entertaining and interactive. This would be an excellent addition to any elementary school in which character education is taught.

398.2 Folklore          Julie Ritter, PSLA Member

Elem. – The Fabled Life of Aesop

Lendler, Ian. The Fabled Life of Aesop. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 978-1-328-58552-3. 63 p. $18.99. Grades K-3.

The Fabled Life of Aesop follows the life of Aesop, as he began his life as a slave and ended up becoming free. All throughout Aesop’s life he told stories and tales to his different masters, so you see the tales that he told as well as what happened as a result of his telling those tales. In the middle of the story, there are nine of Aesop’s more famous fables; however, they are woven into the story of Aesop’s life. The afterword by the author goes into more detail about Aesop’s life as far as what is known, as well as more about the fables and how they came to be. The illustrations are absolutely stunning and add so much detail to the story, as well as making the fables come to life. This is a wonderful addition to any elementary school library collection, and gives new life into some of Aesop’s fables that you may have heard several times before.

THOUGHTS: I loved the illustrations and feel they really added so much to the story. The afterword was informative and made me feel like I got more information, even though there isn’t a lot known about Aesop himself.

398.24 Fables          Mary Hyson, Lehigh Valley Academy Charter School

Elem. – The Weather’s Bet

Young, Ed. The Weather’s Bet. Philomel Books, 2020. 978-0-525-51382-7. Unpaged. $18.99. Grades K-2.

The Wind and the Sun may be a familiar Aesop fable to many adults but a new puzzle for young readers. Ed Young has recreated the fable into The Weather’s Bet with his usual collage and mixed media. We see a young shepherd with a red cap who becomes the unknowing target of a bet between the wind, rain, and sun above. While wind and rain seek to use forceful methods of persuasion, the sun patiently waits for its gentle warmth to win out. Young brings in an environmental note in the forward and introduces several Chinese pictograms to symbolize the competing weather. It’s a good bet that children will appreciate and discuss this fabled work with fresh voice and vision.

THOUGHTS: The story length is ideal for a short storytime, and can easily be compared with other fables and versions of the story. The moral is not overt, so a discussion with classes would be recommended. Recommended for K-2.

398 Folklore          Dustin Brackbill, State College Area SD