How is it that fables are still so popular? In searching the library database Books in Print, which lists books currently published, you can find over 6,000 books that concern fables in some shape or form. Writers and artists still draw from the tales of old.
Our illustration this month features the work of one such artist, Darryl Funk. Mr. Funk is a freelance illustrator in Canada who does work for a children's magazine called Zamoof! And he drew a lovely piece featuring the Fox and the Grapes. When asked about why he used a fable for inspiration he said, "For me I think that it's kind of like going back to the beginning. These fables are the basic building blocks for storytelling. The simple, moral lessons are as valid today as they were way back then. I'm sure most modern stories have just taken that information and expanded upon it."
The longevity of fables may be because they were intended to be cautionary tales for dangers which are timeless. They were told to warn those who are weaker and to provide advice on a means of escape from difficult situations - some advice being good and some bad. Perhaps that is why fables are so popular as children's books. They are constants to which both adults and children can relate.
In the stories this month, The Wind and the Sun and The Fox and the Grapes - we hear of weaker characters both triumphing and giving up in the face of adversity. And they are lessons we can relate to regardless of our native language.
The Fox & the Grapes
The Wind & the Sun