The other day I found myself in the the children’s section at Edward McKay with a significant store credit and a two year old niece to shop for. A few lessons learned:
#1: Always read the whole children’s book before you purchase it. Don’t assume just because it’s a well-known book or a beautiful book it will be fine. I ended up a with a book full of cool illustrations that I couldn’t in good conscience give as a gift. After I got home and did a full read-through, I realized I didn’t like some of the messages in the book and didn’t want to corrupt my little niece’s sweet little mind. I’d rather leave that to her parents, though I did give her a book about horrible underpants, so, I guess it’s all relative.
And #2: I am a hoarder and I don’t always want to share my lovely used book finds with others. Not even cute little blue-eyed innocents who wear fairy wings most of the day. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given my gene pool’s swimming with rabid yard-salers, thrift-store junkies and garbage men, but when I flipped through this hardback copy of Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Fritz Kredel, I knew I couldn’t part with it.
I just love the playful, expressive faces of all the animals and the economy and energy of every simple line. The colored illustrations seem a bit strange/dated to me and I wonder if the color is perhaps off on this print run, but I love drawings too much to let that bother me.
As I flipped through, I realized I don’t actually know (or maybe it’s remember) all the fables, so I enjoyed rediscovering them. It’s neat how these simple stories apply just as much to my adult life as they did to my little-kid world. I think I remember many of the illustrations from my childhood.
I really love this book, so for now I’m keeping it on my own bookshelf but I’ll keep an eye out for another copy so my niece can have one of her very own. Here are a few snapshots of some of my favorite images. Aren’t they neat?