Reviews for Fox tails : four fables from Aesop

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Four familiar fables The Fox and the Grapes, The Fox and the Crow, The Fox and the Goat, and The Fox and the Stork effortlessly combine to form a single integrated story. The action flows far more smoothly than might be expected from such an amalgam, and it reads like a single episodic tale, in part because a series of encounters featuring a fox is so common a folkloric motif. Softly colored illustrations in pencil and gouache have a wry and cutely mannered look, as evidenced in the prep school-style sweater sported by the fox. There's no slapstick here; rather, a more subtle humor shines through, especially in background details such as the stack of trickster storybooks on Fox's kitchen bookshelf. In fact, the art yields many such rewards for observant readers: daffodils, tree trunks, and rocks reveal delicate facial features; shrubs and hills integrate batiklike animal patterns in two shades of green; and much more. The stork, pictured at the outset watching Fox approach the grapes, helps tie the beginning to the end, when it is Stork who finally delivers Fox his comeuppance. A creative premise, beautifully executed.--Foote, Diane Copyright 2010 Booklist

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Four of Aesop's familiar fables feature wily fox shamelessly tricking his fellow creatures, followed by their gleeful retaliation, strung together in one continuous if episodic narrative. First, hungry fox fails to retrieve a luscious bunch of grapes from a tree. To save his dignity, fox announces the grapes "are quite sour," proving it's "easy to scorn what you cannot get." Then, fox encounters crow with cheese in her beak. When fox cleverly asks if crows really do have amazing voices, crow opens her mouth to caw, dropping the cheese. As he gobbles crow's cheese, fox moralizes, "never trust a flatterer." In his smugness at this victory, fox stumbles into a well--and then tricks hapless goat into helping him escape. Leaving goat in the well, fox warns to "look before you leap." And finally, "one bad turn deserves another," when goat, crow and stork give fox his just deserts. Lowry cleverly incorporates the four fables into a single story sequence with each fable adding to the theme of fox's self-centered dishonesty. Pale gouache-and-pencil illustrations in muted greens, browns and greys provide a subdued, understated backdrop to fox's self-serving antics while emphasizing the very human behavior of each animal character. Four fable favorites cleverly repackaged. (author's note, morals) (Picture book. 4-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

K-Gr 2-A fox has one busy day and gets his just deserts in this smart joining of four familiar tales: "The Fox and the Grapes," "The Fox and the Crow," The Fox and the Goat," and "The Fox and the Stork." Lowry's tone is at once contemporary and faithful to the economical Aesop accounts of the opportunistic animal. She adds small opening and concluding scenes to present a well-knit cumulative tale. The broad gouache scenes are a deft match for the narrative in simplicity and clever detail. As the fox decides the grapes are sour anyway he's watched by an unmentioned observer, the stork who will play a big role later. The fox next meets the gullible crow and later becomes so busy congratulating himself on flattering her out of her chunk of cheese that he stumbles into a stinky empty well. A passing goat is pressed into joining him and providing his escape. Readers will enjoy humorous innuendo in many scenes-the expressive frogs in the well, the shadowy animal figures in tree roots and well walls, the cookbook titles on stork's bookshelves. She's having the fox over as a supper guest and invites the crow and the goat to come and watch as she repays his bad hosting. That soup served in tall narrow jars has the crow and goat rolling on the floor in laughter and sends the angry fox stalking out the door, heading "home to bed hungry." Though incorporated in each episode, the usual moral doesn't always stand out as a lesson, but it is listed again in the author's brief closing note on Aesop. These cheerful encounters offer wide appeal for reading aloud and will be equally fun for early readers new to Aesop and those already familiar with the venerable tales.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Stringing together four familiar tales, Lowry tells how a fox dupes three other animals and then is duped in return. In outline, the stories are as usual, though updated a bit. Lowry's spacious, elegant gouache and pencil art features simply drawn yet expressive figures reenacting the events in settings enlivened with just a few interesting details. Altogether, an inviting introduction to Aesop. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.