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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  8,325 ratings  ·  372 reviews
'Short, original fables with fresh, unexpected morals poke subtle fun at human foibles through the antics of animals. . . . The droll illustrations, with tones blended to luminescent shading, are complete and humorous themselves.' -- Association of Library Service to Children, ALA. ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 6th 1980 by HarperCollins (first published 1980)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,325 ratings  ·  372 reviews

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Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just ♡ Arnold Lobel's books and this is a fav. Anyone can enjoy it. My favorite fable in this book is The Pig and the Candy Store. 5***** ...more
Arnold Lobel has written his own fables, one page stories, in this collection. There is a lesson in each one and the lessons are written at the bottom of the page for each story. This is a long book that is a lot to read in one setting, but better spread over a few nights.

The artwork is lovely and focuses on the heart of the story. I enjoyed many of these.

The kids thought some of these were funny and some of the stories were boring. The nephew loved the pelican who is a mess at dinner. My nephe
Miranda Reads
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars
Arnold Lobel - most famous for his Frog and Toad series - has also written a series of fables centered around lively animals, whimsical moments and crazy situations.

For the most part, I really enjoyed it.

There's only 48 pages but wow - he certainly crammed a LOT of content in there.

Twenty stories and plenty of full-color illustrations really make this book memorable.

I loved all of the animals - from crocodiles to ducks to baboons to elephants - so much variety!

The stories were fai
Nick Geiser
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was a quick read with a nice old writing style that is built up of a bunch of tiny little fables. The book was okay, but the book didn't pop out as the best book I have ever read. (Finished my genre graph) ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
1981 Caldecott Medal

This has 20 written and illustrated fables. Each fable contains a timeless moral that all children could benefit from. I think reading a fable or two at a time would work best, since the fables are sort of lengthy.
Katt Hansen
Feb 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shades of Aesop done badly. Some of the lessons I don't think were valid lessons at all. But they weren't all that bad and I was willing to go along with this book up until "The Pelican and the Crane."

Call me triggered, as I probably am. As a parent of autistic children I had a hard time with this Fable. I understand the sentiment - you don't have friends because you don't act right. Fine. But with an autistic child who doesn't understand how their behavior impacts others - this kind of lesson s
“Fables” is a book full of (guess) fables written by Arnold Lobel and is the winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal. This book is full of Aesop-like fables about animals that are greedy, naughty, confident, and lucky and this book is surely to be an instant favorite for children who want to learn useful lessons in life.

Arnold Lobel’s writing is witty and inventive as he narrates each fable with a wise and proper air, indicating that the main characters are of high class (which might explain
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fables by Arnold Lobel consists of 20 one page original fables with fresh morals that slyly, humorously poke human at human failings using animal characters.

Each one page fable has a moral, written in italics, afterward. My favorite fables in the collection, with their morals, are:
The Lobster and the Crab - Even the taking of small risks will add excitement to life.
The Bear and the Crow - Moral: When the need is strong, there are some who will believe anything.
The Pelican and the Crane - Moral:
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SUMMARY: 'Short, original fables with fresh, unexpected morals poke subtle fun at human foibles through the antics of animals. . . . The droll illustrations, with tones blended to luminescent shading, are complete and humorous themselves.'

REVIEW: Most of Arnold Lobel's books are geared to young children. Fables would be a great read aloud for older elementary students. Each story in and of itself would be a great discussion prompt and/or writing prompt. His illustrations as always are wonderful
Sarah Middlestead
own. 1981 Caldecott Medal: Lovely pictures to illustrate each fable. We read two or three fables each day during Morning Time. The kids guessed at the moral for each fable, which was fun for them and entertaining for me.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are sublime stories that teach gentle but important life lessons paired with Lobel's thoughtful and colorful artwork. what more could you ask for? 1981 Caldecott winner! ...more
Seema Rao
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
These original animal fables are still as wonderful as I remember them; with short morals at the end, and attractive illustrations.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love this book! I remember having it as a child in the 90s and when I saw it at the library I picked it up and brought it home! I then gobbled it up! fun+ nostalgic !!
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Why don't we heed fables anymore. They are filled with such wisdom wise beyond out time! ...more
Oct 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
A collection of fables by Arnold Lobel, similar to Aesop's in that they involve animals in human situations which call for wise decision making. Lobel's illustrations are what make these fables special, some I wish I could frame and put on my wall, especially one of a camel in ballerina shoes. My favorite fables were rather dark, including one about a trio of frogs who chase rainbows into a cave and are eaten by a snake. The moral was something like, 'some hopes end in disappointment.' Ha! ...more
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
I don't think I read this back in my Frog and Toad days, although some of the illustrations seem familiar. But they are so luminous and fun that they may have been reproduced somewhere else. I don't love the fables themselves quite as much -- I'd rather have a story -- but they are nice and sufficiently silly and tongue-in-cheek to not be preachy. ...more
Caldecott Winner 1981

This has some truly funny fables. I love the one about the umbrella and the one about the misbehaving kangaroo. It is a fun way to talk with students about fables especially when paired with Squids will be Squids by Scieszka.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1981 Caldecott Winner. I use this book when teaching 2nd Grade Fables. It is such a cute book!
Benji Martin
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think I have a new favorite Caldecott winner.
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020reviews
First sentence: A crocodile became increasingly fond of the wallpaper in his bedroom.

Premise/plot: Arnold Lobel is the author and illustrator of this lovely collection of (new) fables. The fables include:

The Crocodile in the Bedroom
The Ducks and the Fox
King Lion and the Beetle
The Lobster and the Crab
The Hen and the Apple Tree
The Baboon's Umbrella
The Frogs at the Rainbow's End
The Bear and the Crow
The Cat and His Visions
The Ostrich in Love
The Camel Dances
The Poor Old Dog
Madame Rhinoceros and Her D
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book of fables with a short moral at the end.
Beautiful illustrations !

A winner. A+++++++++++
Alicia Steagall
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very lovely short stories with knowledge at the end .
Linda Munro
This was another 'Mission' book for a reading contest.

I love fables, but I was unfamiliar with any of these.

To be honest, I was glad they ended after 45 minutes.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
It won the Caldecott medal and it was a good read with multiple mini stories.
Rebeca Nelson
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Fables
Award: Caldecott Medal
Audience: 3rd through 6th grade

A. I read "The Hippopotamus at Dinner". The main character, the hippopotamus, was shown with many emotions. He was angry and hungry, and then sad, lonely, and regretful.
B. I haven't heard anything like this story before, but I enjoyed it. I am not familiar with any of the other fables either.
C. I would use this in a storytelling for older students if I knew they were learning about themes, or having troubles with wanting too muc
Sarah Baird
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: caldecott
Fables, by Arnold Lobel is different than many picture books. It includes a new short story, or fable, with every flip of the page. The artwork in this book provided a lot of support to each fable because they are so short. There is a lot more information that can be interpreted with the pictures complimenting the stories. The color in each illustration helps implement the tone of the particular story. The writings with deeper meanings, perhaps darker, have an array of colors that include, gray, ...more
Alexis Caudill
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-summaries
1. Book summary, in your own words (3 pts)
Fables is a Caldecott Medal Book. It has 20 different fables with 20 different meanings. It is a very cute and funny book with beautiful pictures for each fable.
2. Grade level, interest level, lexile (1 pt)
This would be a book for 3rd-5th graders. It is a very funny book, just a little hard to read if you want to really understand the meaning behind each story.
3. Appropriate classroom use (subject area) (1 pt)
I would use this book to help teach about fab
Matthew Hunter
No qualms with the artwork earning Arnold Lobel a Caldecott Medal. The actual original fables with morals are another story, a mixed bag, to say the least. Stated bluntly, "The Pelican and the Crane", with its moral of "When one is a social failure, the reasons are as clear as day," reeked. In no way should such a fable be read to little ones, who Lobel appears to consider "social failures". Kinda schmucky, Arnold!

On the positive side, the kids loved "The Mouse at the Seashore", "The Ostrich in
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up a copy of this because I recognized the cover; I remember nothing about the content of the book, but I'm SURE I read it when I was little (3rd grade at most). It does have truly superb illustrations, and some of the fables are very good (my favorites are "The Hen and the Apple Tree" and "The Mouse at the Seashore"). Not all of the fables work--just skip the hippopotamus one--but overall, it's a solid collection. And I cannot overstate the quality of the artwork.

I read this aloud to m
1981 Caldecott Winner;
You may better know Lobels' work from his popular Frog and Toad series;

This award winner is a simple collection of his own retellings of Aesop Fables and other similar morality stories; The illustrations are very cute;
The book is good for Grades 2-3, as any younger would probably not understand some of the morals or even the words;
This is a re-read from my youth as well, though I'd forgotten about it.

Good read aloud, but be prepared for questions after each fable.
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Arnold Stark Lobel was a popular American author of children's books. Among his most popular books are those of the Frog and Toad series, and Mouse Soup, which won the Garden State Children's Book Award from the New Jersey Library Association. ...more

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