French / France

Les animaux malades de la peste
(The animals infected with the plague)

La Fontaine, Jean de (text)
Morel, Olivier (illus.)
Paris: Éd. Courtes et longues, 2013. –
[44] p.
(Series: Petit livre – grand texte)
ISBN 978-2-35290-109-9

Power | Nepotism | Guilt | Scapegoat | Fable

Who is to blame for the plague ravaging the land? The animals gather for a meeting chaired by their ruler the lion, hoping to fi nd the animal responsible for the disaster. They hope that by sacrificing a scapegoat, fate will turn in their favour and end the plague. Since none of the powerful animals, from lion to wolf, are willing to call themselves guilty, a cynical coalition is soon formed against the weakest of the kingdom. The naive and truth-seeking donkey becomes the condemned party when he accuses himself of a trifle.

Olivier Morel’s evocative illustrations bring to life the timeliness of this La Fontaine fable about power, privilege, and (in)justice, and hints at the modern forms of ≫plague≪ that still exist in today’s society. Morel finds surprising overlaps with the classical text, and his montages quote wittily from art history and photography. (Age: 9+)