North to south, east to west, across mountain, valley, ocean and desert, California's flora and fauna illustrate adapted Aesopian fables.
Hansen brilliantly transposes the ancient tales to contemporary and historical settings artistically rendered in bright, finely detailed transparent watercolors. The Hollywood sign and a prospector running from a grizzly bear slide easily into the tales of old with wit and humor. In keeping with the fable tradition, they close with a moral. In "The Fox and the Grapes"––how very Californian—the fox decides that "[i]t's easy to find fault with what you cannot have." A full-page illustration faces text, one fable per opening. Hansen's introduction gives a biography of Aesop, and the "Fabulous Facts" section provides greater details about flora, fauna and settings, along with suggestions to young readers for specific things to look for in each picture. The tales themselves read aloud easily, wry textual details complementing the illustrations’ humor. It is an imaginative and creative reworking in text and art—a gift not only for Californians, but for others far beyond its borders. From this golden gift, Heydey may perhaps consider releasing the art in poster sets.
This affectionate, glowing collection will be hard to resist. (Fables. 4-8)