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Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit with errors


Classic Tales of Brer RabbitAt the moment, I’m reading Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit (by Don Daily and Joel Harris Chandler) to the kids before bedtime. I bought the book a few weeks ago because I remember having these stories read to me when I was a child. This particular edition is beautifully illustrated and my girls like the stories – well, the six-year-old does but the two-year-old tends to become bored after 60 seconds and then goes off and brushes the manes on the My Little Ponies. (I hate My Little Ponies and will gladly ship them off the glue factory when the kids are old enough. Strawberry ‘bloody’ Shortcake is also not long for this world in my house.) Anyway, I digress. Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby is our favourite tale.

However, I am mystified by one thing about the book. It’s full of mistakes in the copy and they are easy to find. Clearly a lot of money was spent on the illustrations but why were so many mistakes let through? Quiet is spelled quite, Brer Fox becomes Brer fox, Brer Rabbit becomes Brer rabbit. I sometimes see mistakes in the ARCs I receive from publishers when they are promoting an author but not many – remarkably few actually.

It’s interesting to see the reaction of the six-year-old to one story where Brer Wolf and Brer Fox plan to trick Brer Rabbit and beat the living daylights out of him after trapping him in Brer Fox’s house. She doesn’t bat an eyelid. She also doesn’t flinch in the Tar-Baby story where Brer Fox is planning to kill Brer Rabbit after he becomes entangled in the Tar-Baby. Poor Fox can’t find any rope to hang him, or water to drown him, or kindling to burn him, and yet she just keeps on listening intently.

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Richard Davies

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