The Fabled Life of Aesop

by Ian Lendler, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, imagines the biography of Aesop, the originator of some of the world’s most famous tales, like The Tortoise and the Hare and The Boy Who Cried, Wolf. No one is sure of the exact details of Aesop’s life, but stories passed down from ancient sources like Aristotle and Herodotus suggest that he was born enslaved around 2,500 years ago near Greece. Because of the nature of the life, he led as an enslaved person, Aesop learned to express himself in fables and stories, many of which center around animals with human characteristics, providing a distraction while giving the listener subtle lessons. These stories made an impression on those around Aesop and eventually helped him gain his freedom. The book deals lightly but poignantly with the story of Aesop’s life and recreates some of his most famous stories and the messages they tell. Zagarenski’s pictures bring the stories to life with color and whimsical detail. (Non-Fiction)