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REYNARD THE FOX by Selina Hastings


adapted by Selina Hastings & illustrated by Graham Percy

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: May 22nd, 1991
ISBN: 0-688-09949-1
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

 Basing her retelling of this traditional European story about an impenitent trickster on Caxton's 1481 translation, Hastings retains its medieval flavor in her details (Reynard, claiming to have reformed, ``has given away all his wealth, and spends hours a day on his knees in penance for his sins''). Beginning with a scene in which Reynard's neighbor animals voice their complaints against him, she recounts three unsuccessful attempts to bring the miscreant to justice in the halls of King Lion. Like Hastings's carefully honed text, Percy's illustrations have an apparent simplicity that disguises their considerable subtlety. His soft color-pencil drawings almost appear to be in coloring-book style, yet they are beautifully structured; the characters are lively and have extraordinarily expressive faces, and the setting is skillfully evoked, both in the many details and in the animals' demeanor--they would be equally at home in a Chaucerian tale. A fine, accessible edition in lengthy picture- book format, to share aloud or use as a young reader. (Folklore. 5-10)