19 DECEMBER 1885, Page 23

Twelve Old Friends, by Georgians M. Craik (W. Swan Sonnen-

schein and Co.), gives us twelve well-known fables, with an intro- duction showing how they were retold to certain children. The narrator is quite aware of a possible criticism that may be made upon her style, ingenuously confessing that she has added a good deal of water to 1Esop's wine. Very likely one of the young people is quite right when she says, "I am sure wine and water is ever so mach the nicest of the two." Children are great realists, relish an endless amount of detail, and are often quite insensible to the literary merit of brevity.