The Eagle & the Wren: A Fable
. A Michael Neugebauer Book: North-South Books . NY/London
PZ8.2.G57 Eag 2000 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Originally published in Switzerland under the title Der Adler und der Zaunkönig. This is a lovely book. Neugebauer again here offers something well thought through and well executed. Various birds start by bickering about who can fly the highest. The eagle contradicts the other birds; the first illustration of the eagle glistens beautifully with light. Various birds can fly only so high and then must return to the earth. The ostrich welcomes them back and encourages them for having done as well as nature intended. The art zooms out nicely as the birds fly higher. In the end, the other birds can see only one bird left, the eagle. As the eagle is soaring, the wren creeps out of his feathers in another dramatic illustration. The wren flies upward; as she does so, the eagle tries to match her but is too tired. She assures him that he has won the contest and mentions that she could not have flown so high by herself. The owl congratulates both for setting a new record together. I am particularly impressed with the positive transformation of the ancient fable, which is about outdoing others. Here each contributres to a new achievement.