Aesop, the real Aesop, is shrouded in mystery and legend. We know he lived between approximately 620 and 564 BC. He was a Greek fabulist or storyteller, and is credited with these stories collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Even his existence remains contended by scholars, and whether or not he authored these stories is a mystery because no writings by him survive today. We do, however, have scattered references to parts of his life from writers including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. According to these writings, Aesop was a 'strikingly ugly' slave who had a unique gift for storytelling. He eventually won his freedom and became an advisor to King Croesus of Lydia; it was on a diplomatic mission when he met his death. 

Aesop's fables are stories about anthropomorphic plants, animals, and other inanimate objects which interact to tell a story. At the end of each story is a moral, usually only a sentence or two long, which use the story as a basis for the lesson. Many reflect morals upheld within Aesop's culture-- stories representing the pitfalls of pride, laziness, and greed-- while others blatantly poke fun at the people of his day (see The Old Woman and the Doctor.)

Some of the mystery around just what Aesop wrote (or if he wrote any of it) comes from the attribution of almost any fable over the history of storytelling. There are over six hundred tales attributed to Aesop, but it's doubtful if he wrote even a fraction of those. As well as this attribution of extra tales, every culture has appropriated Aesop and applied their own background and cultural norms to his character, illustrations, and stories. Over nearly 3,000 years, Aesop has changed so much that many of the tales we know today have little resemblance to the ones he probably originally told.

Regardless of whether or not Aesop really wrote these stories, we think they're excellent reading. The morals in these fun, fascinating, and often humorous stories ensure that these are safe, wholesome reading, and they make great bedtime stories! Authors and artists of all backgrounds have taken their own approach to these stories, making them as fun to look at as they are to read, and we encourage you to find your own favorite illustrator and author. 

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Aesop for Children
by Aesop, Milo Winter
from Scholastic Inc.
for 3rd-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: O5B-PIC)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
from Henry Holt and Company
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 1st-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: O5B-PIC)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop, edited by Ann McGovern
from Scholastic Inc.
for Nursery-2nd grade
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
from Signet Classics
Fairy Tales & Fables for 10th grade-adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: MLIT-ANC)
Aesop's Fables
by Retold & Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
1st Ed. from Chronicle Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: O5B-PIC)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
from Illustrated Junior Library
for 2nd-6th grade
Aesop's Fables
Puffin Classics
by Aesop
Reprint from Puffin Books
for Kindergarten-4th grade
Aesop's Fables
Children's Classics
by Aesop
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 2nd-6th grade
Aesop's Fables for Children
by Aesop & Milo Winter
Pap/Com from Dover Publications
for 2nd-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: O5B-PIC)
$14.99 $8.00 (1 in stock)
Aesop's Fables for Young Readers - Teacher Edition
3rd edition from A Beka Books
for 1st grade
in A Beka Reading (Location: E6A-REA)
Classic Treasury of Aesop's Fables
by Don Daily (illustrator)
from Running Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: O5B-PIC)
$9.95 $5.00 (1 in stock)
Complete Fables
Penguin Classics
by Aesop
from Penguin Classics
Fables for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: MLIT-ANC)
Fables of Aesop
by Joseph Jacobs
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
Imitation in Writing: Aesop's Fables
Imitation in Writing Series
by Matt Whitling
2nd edition from Logos School
Writing Curriculum for 3rd-6th grade
in Imitation in Writing (Location: D8B-WRI)
$17.00 $11.90 (2 in stock)
Lion and the Mouse
Step into Reading Level 1
by Gail Herman
from Random House
for Preschool-kindergarten
in Step into Reading (Location: O4C-EAR)
Literature Pockets: Aesop's Fables Grades 2-3
from Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
for 2nd-3rd grade
in Evan-Moor Literature & Poetry (Location: E-LIT)
$16.99 $10.00 (1 in stock)