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The Marvelous Mouse Man by Mary Ann Hoberman

The Marvelous Mouse Man

by Mary Ann Hoberman

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I really like this book. The pictures are engaging and the tale is fun. A take on the Pied Piper story. ( )
  kthomp25 | May 14, 2010 |
From Publishers Weekly
In a memorable picture-book debut recalling both the golden age of children's illustration and contemporary artists like Jim LaMarche, Forman contributes luminous, finely detailed illustrations to Hoberman's (A House Is a House for Me) sprightly variation on a tried-and-true tale. Achieving an antique effect using pencils and watercolors, the artist portrays a small town of yesteryear whose streets are overrun by a quickly multiplying throng of mice. Young readers will gleefully spot these unwanted visitors in the most unlikely places: peeking out of pockets, perched atop buildings, darting up a pant leg. Lengthy rhyming stanzas (which intermittently address readers as "sir") explain the townfolks' reaction: "I tell you, sir, it was not nice. This town was soon as warm with mice. You need not look but once or twice To see them frisk and frolic Till not a single store or house Was uninvaded by a mouse And every husband and his spouse Was rendered melancholic." Enter the Pied Piper-like savior, shown as a gangly old gent wearing a stovepipe hat and crimson cape, who entices the mice to follow him not with music but with an odor of intrinsic appeal to the persistent pests: "Some said it smelled of Brie from France, While others swore 'twas Liederkranz Or Gorgonzola, ripe, perchance, Or Stilton, Swiss, or Edam." Hoberman's agile and comical verse cleverly contorts a classic and adds a second star: an appealing young heroine. Yet it is Forman's art, at once inventive and nostalgic, that makes this a book to savor. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. ( )
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  heathergarcia | Jun 13, 2007 |
Showing 2 of 2
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz (Children's Literature)
One small mouse's arrival in town is the start of this variation in elegant, lyrical verse of the Pied Piper story. When the mice become a plague, "a most peculiar fellow" answers the mayor's plea for help. His magical fan produces a cheesy smell that lures the mice away. But when he has gone, the town finds that all of the pet cats and dogs have left as well, and the children have followed them. The impasse is settled by a clever young girl, leading to a happier, more compassionate ending than the original. Forman's detailed, naturalistic pictures done in pencil and watercolor dyes are also less dark, literally and figuratively, than many other versions, helping make this both warm and humorous. The Mouse man, a tall, skinny old fellow, is not a threatening figure, while the ubiquitous mice seem busy rather than harmful. 2002, Gulliver Books/Harcourt, $16.00. Ages 5 to 8.

added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz (May 14, 2010)
Janice M. Del Negro (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May 2002 (Vol. 55, No. 9))
Mice overrun a town, and in despair the mayor offers a reward to whoever can remove the cute little rodents. Enter the Marvelous Mouse Man and his magical aroma-producing fan, which rids the town of mice. The cats can’t do without the mice, however, so they leave, quickly followed by the dogs (who can’t do without the cats), and then the children (who can’t do without their pets). The Mouse Man offers to return everything for a fee, but the town’s coffers are empty. A little girl comes up with a suitable solution for the homeless Mouse Man: he will pay the city to build him a permanent home, where he can live with the mice and everyone can visit. If this sounds like a kinder, gentler Hamelin, well, it is. Forman’s pencil and watercolor illustrations are an idealized dream of turn-of-the-century Americana: a subdued golden palette, distinct drafting, and sweeping Zwergeresque lines result in detailed compositions worth poring over for more than the multitude of mice that skitter through the pages. The lengthy rhyming text does reveal the occasional blip in Hoberman’s rhythmic radar, but all in all this gentle and restrained storybook makes an effective Pied Piper revisited. Review Code: R -- Recommended.
added by kthomp25 | editThe Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Janice M. Del Negro
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152017151, Hardcover)

As more and more mice pour into an unsuspecting town, the people grow increasingly distressed. Who can get rid of the pests? The marvelous Mouse Man claims he can lead them away--ut he ends up taking more than anyone bargained for.
Animals and humans play follow-the-leader in this fresh and funny adaptation of a familiar story. But it's an inspired little girl who finally comes to the rescue of her neighbors . . . and of the marvelous Mouse Man.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)

When the townsfolk hire a mysterious man to purge the village of mice, he gets rid of too many other things as well.

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