At the beginning of the 1960s, while working at Literary Front, Sava Popov used his annual leave to prepare the second edition of Sly Peter and the edition of Simple Tales arranged with the Varna State Publishing House. Both books were published in 1965.
The title came from Sava Popov’s column in the Hornet newspaper and the publication by the same name from 1943. But this was not the same book. The writer revised all the stories and added new ones. He united them in a cycle with the main character, Uncle Peycho, who resembles Sly Peter to some extent. He leads, in his own way, a constant struggle against injustice and inequality. With cunning, he punishes the gluttony of priests and the priests’ wives, the greed of the skinflint wealthy merchants; he teaches a lesson to swindlers and thieves, as well as to lazy daughters-in-law and sons.
The second part of the book includes animal stories. Sava Popov even began one of the stories like this: “Sometimes in fables and fairy tales, wondrous things happen. Almost like in the lives of people.” The themes and setting of Simple Tales are archaic and were foreign to the time in which the book was published. The plots are connected only with the village, with the long-forgotten patriarchal way of life and communication. But the book, together with those of Ran Bosilek, Elin Pelin, and Angel Karaliychev, is part of the genre of children’s literature of those years, well received by critics as part of the approval of the “folk.”
The illustrations are by Stoyan Anastasov, one of the most popular illustrators at that time, beloved by children. His characters are very funny, and the collage technique gives the publication a decorative beauty. The emotions of both the people and the animals are easily recognizable – surprise, bewilderment, cunning, joy. Twenty years later, one of the unpublished stories from African Tales was included in the book.