Barefoot Books: The Hare and the Tortoise

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books (September 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781905236541
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905236541

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6–Bolt translates and recasts La Fontaine's work in rhyming, contemporary English. My tale's for you, you tricky folk–/Be warned, before you trick a bloke./You shouldn't dish it out if you/Aren't ready to receive it too. The Fox and the Stork, The Lion and the Rat, and other familiar tales appear among these 19 selections, along with a few that are less well known. La Fontaine seems to have extended the often-terse ancient versions through dialogue and added commentary on the characters and lessons, and Bolt conveys them in a cheerful, upbeat tone and phrasing. Potter's double-page, naive paintings echo the humor, effectively portraying the animal and human characters. The rhymed phrasing offers an entertaining introduction to the literature of fable and pleasing read-aloud and storytelling material. Only a bit of La Fontaine's extensive writing of fables is currently available for children, and this slim, attractive volume is a welcome companion to Edward Marsh's larger collection, Fables (Random, 2001).–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
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"A modern version of La Fontaine's wised-up fables. The tortoise moving 'in top gear/doing at least a mile a year' and the man who thinks he looks 'so very fine/Though he saw mirrors all the time/That seemed to tell him otherwise,' convey their clever lessons all over again. An excellent introduction reminds us that many of the fables were based on tales that originally appeared in Sanskrit as early as the fourth century (they were reputedly written for three badly behaved young princes)." --The New York Times Book Review

Adults can take pleasure in reading these famous fables aloud, while children will be entertained, even as they learn important life lessons. Illustrator Gisele Potter interprets each story with captivating charm." --Scholastic Parent & Child

" A much-practiced translator for the British stage presents nineteen fables selected from the renowned French poet's more than two hundred. The verse takes center stage in Potter's full-bleed pages, where characters and other important story elements make a quiet, invitingly decorative complement. In a field long dominated by Aesop, this is an attractive, more courtly offering." --Horn Book Magazine

"With the wit we've grown to expect, Ranjin Bolt has transformed these familiar tales into such idiomatically entertaining English that  it is a pleasure rather than a chore to read them aloud to young children." -- Jonathan Miller

Jean de La Fontaine is the most famous and best-loved poet in the history of French literature. His greatest work by far was his eleven-volume collection of fables, which was written primarily for adults but has always been enjoyed by children, too.

For this collection, award-wining translator Ranjit Bolt has chosen the best of La Fontaine's fables, presenting each entry in lyrical, witty and lighthearted verse. Equally captivating, is the art of illustrator Giselle Potter, who has interpreted each story with the whimsical charm that has won her many admirers.

A landmark in the translation of french poetry for children, this elegantly humorous gift book introduces a truly great writer to a new generation in an utterly delightful way.
The Hare and the Tortoise and other Fables of La Fontaine

Around our home, we have real bunnies (very friendly) and pretend ones, too. While in San Francisco, we visited a very cool museum and I had to get a photo of a tortoise up close. Just wondering, have you read The Hare and the Tortoise? Some favorites, The Pumpkin and the Acorn, The Grasshopper and the Ant and The Oak and the Rose.

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. All the kids grow up by listening to this story. The pics of the rabbit & horse are nice.
    Nice story.


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