“ Genre: Junior Books / Author: Janet Stevens / Paperback / Book published 1991 by Holiday House „
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Ages 4 -8 This book is the classic story from Aesop's fables about Androcles and the lion. Androcles is a slave to a cruel master but eventually escapes to live in the forest with wild animals whom he befriends. One day he discovers a lion in a bush and turns to run, but notices the lion is hurt. In a tremedous act of bravery, he approaches the beast, and removes a thorn from its paw. Eventually Androcles is captured and ends up being thrown to a lion in the arena. By luck it is the same lion he had helped earlier. The lion remembered Andocles and gently licked his hand. They were both set free and returned to the forest, to live in peace. The moral of the story is " A noble soul never forgets a kindness" I have always liked Aesop's fables myself, and think the messages they teach hold true as much now as they did some 2,500 years ago when they were written. They provide an opportunity to teach children both about history and about values. beyond the stated moral of the story, I think this story encourages both courage and kindness. I have reccomended this story for ages 4-8. My almost 2 year old will listen to it, with enough sound effects, but I think the point of the story is lost on him, and it isnt one he would choose. My 5 year old however very much enjoys it, and is able to understand the meaning behind it. The book has large colourful, and detailed illustrations. These add greatly to the enjoyment of the story. Some of the animals are probabley not quite appropriate to the original tale, i can not quite picture a wealthy Roman slaveholder with a British Bulldog as his pet, or an ostrich living in an Italian forest. the children of course don't notice these details, so it takes nothing from the story. I would highly reccomend this book to those with children, or working with children. It is really a wonderful story for reading aloud.