Books by Anne Gatti

THE MAGIC FLUTE by Anne Gatti
adapted by Anne Gatti, illustrated by Peter Malone
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

This retelling of Mozart's wonderful opera works particularly well for two reasons. First is the eye-catching appeal of Malone's illustrations, with their gorgeous theater-set qualities, fresco naturalness, and zesty characterizations. The second is that Gatti keeps tempo of the opera in her text, with pleasingly swift scene changes and quick character portraits. She neither simplifies the story, nor bevels its edges: Papageno might be there for light relief, Tamino and Pamina feel destined for one another despite their miscues, but good and evil often wear their opposite qualities, and the mother, disquietingly, is still the most evil of all; consider the scene outside the temple walls (Pamina: ``Oh, Mother, I don't know what to do! Please protect me.'' Queen of the Night: ``Protect you?''). An audio CD is included (with musical cues in the book); if everything pales before the music, readers will still sense how the opera's magic worked on Gatti and Malone, and gain an entry to the magic themselves. (Picture book. 7-11) Read full book review >
AESOP'S FABLES by Aesop
by Aesop, adapted by Anne Gatti, illustrated by Safaya Salter
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

Fifty-eight economically retold fables, many of them relatively unfamiliar. Salter, drawing on her own eastern Mediterranean heritage, makes a major contribution with elegantly stylized art, its intricate details, jewel-like colors, and imaginatively varied borders recalling Persian miniatures. The frequent full-page illustrations sometimes amplify the stories, but the more numerous vignettes simply represent characters or serve as decoration. In strict classical tradition, the stories are so succinct that they are almost mathematical in dispensing justification for the appended morals—which are phrased as maxims, often in familiar form (``Don't jump to conclusions''). A handsome, useful edition. The publisher doesn't identify the adapter, and there's no comment on her sources. (Folklore. 6+) Read full book review >