Fox Tails: Four Fables from Aesop
Written and Illustrated by Amy Lowry
What do a fox, a crow, a goat, and a stork have in common? They’re all featured in Aesop fables, of course! In this delightful retelling of four fables by the master Greek storyteller, the author gives second graders a lot to think about and several life lessons to walk away with.
All four tales are meshed together to give a day-in-the-life feel for the fox. First, the fox foregoes breakfast because he can’t reach the sour grapes in a tree near his home. It is easy to scorn what you cannot get. Next, he gets his breakfast by tricking the crow into dropping his cheese. Never trust a flatterer. The fox gets out of a well by tricking the goat into helping him. Look before you leap. Last, he gets his just desserts when the stork serves him a less-than-satisfying dinner. One bad turn deserves another.
In supplemental information for the parent or teacher, the author, Amy Lowry, explains the role of talking animals as they relate to Greek stories and delineates the four tales from which she drew inspiration. Lowry’s charming illustrations make this book even more enjoyable. Every few pages, she adds an extra creature or other detail – frogs in a well, or a squirrel in a tree hollow – for kids to watch for. Children should be able to read the text on their own, but possibilities for additional reading activities abound with this type of book: research of the Greek culture, acting out the fables in classical Greek style, discussion of the morals of the story, etc.