THE CAT AND THE COOK by Ethel Heins

THE CAT AND THE COOK

and Other Fables of Krylov
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Heins has taken 12 fables of Ivan Krylov, the Russian Aesop, and unfolded them into short texts full of crunchy poetic incrustations (``they tugged and shoved, sweated and strained, but the cart stubbornly refused to budge''). Krylov had a grim imagination, more didactic than facetious. A mighty eagle builds a nest in a tree; a tiny mole warns him that the tree's roots are rotted, making it unsafe; the eagle ignores the warning, and the tree falls and kills his family. A hunted wolf runs into a village and asks a cat if there is a place to hide; the cat suggests different houses, but the wolf rejects every suggestion since he has stolen animals from each place. ``You have no one to blame but yourself,'' the cat concludes. While Heins's prose retellings work from a stylistic point of view, they don't always hang together as stories without their jumpy rhymes and rhythms. The results are a little bizarre--many endings lack punch and simply peter out. Lobel's illustrations, which are crammed with the details of the fables and with images of peasant life, are exactly the kind of pictures that might appear in a Russian edition of the same book; the look is glorious, and nothing says pictures have to be fancy to be fun. (bibliography) (Picture book/folklore. 5+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-688-12310-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1995




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