PRINT November 1964


Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables

Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Distributed by New York Graph­ic Society, Greenwich, Conn). 96 pages, illustrated.

Parents who find themselves stupefied by the vapid quality of present-day children’s books will find this selection a joy. Illustrations for each of the fables selected range from 15th-cen­tury Italian woodcuts to drawings by Alexander Calder, and the fables themselves are presented handsomely print­ed in translations also ranging from Caxton to Marianne Moore. J. J. Grand­ville’s 19th-century wood engravings, which have been charming readers of the New York Review of Books in re­cent months, are by far the most apt of all the illustrations. The book is a fine idea, beautifully executed. It belongs on all adult bookshelves, and any those children’s bookshelves which present Beatrix Potter, for example, as neighbors.

Philip Leider