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The Mouse and His Child (Puffin Books) by…

The Mouse and His Child (Puffin Books) (original 1967; edition 1976)

by Russell Hoban

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7122413,240 (4.27)1 / 37
Title:The Mouse and His Child (Puffin Books)
Authors:Russell Hoban
Info:Puffin Books (1976), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:pb, mooched, mice, juv, line, hoban, illus

Work details

The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban (1967)

  1. 00
    The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (themulhern)
    themulhern: Animals with characters based on their physiology and also perhaps, mediaeval legend, form an essential part of both stories.

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My copy has no ISBN number on covers, spine or imprint page; but this cover is linked to ISBN 0140364552
  biodiplomacy | Jun 7, 2017 |
I will never let this book go....reading it was a numinous experience. ( )
  maryhollis | Feb 20, 2017 |
Satirical and dark fable about two wind-up toys. Russel Hoban was Jewish and he wrote this in the 60s. I think there is some sort of metaphor for Israel in the whole story, but I can not say what the point finally is.

This is yet another novel, like Peter Pan, in which the villain feels degraded and entrapped by his own villainy.

This is a good tale to read over Christmas, if you don't share the public and commercial enthusiasm for the season. ( )
  themulhern | Jan 5, 2017 |
saw on display in library & picked up - I'd never heard of it nor read it as a child - I do like the illustrations by Small in this edition... OK - I got to page 58 and am just not getting it. I don't know why; maybe it's because of the kinds of distractions I'm having irl right now, but anyway I'm going to take it back to the library.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
If you think this is "just a children's book," you're mistaken. This book is deep...really, really deep! Read it and read it to your children and grandchildren too!! ( )
  Writermala | Mar 8, 2016 |
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The sense of danger must not disappear:
The way is certainly both short and steep,
However gradual it looks from her;
Look if you like, but you will have to leap,

W H Auden
These pages are dedicated
to the memory of three fathers:
A.T Hoban,
Edward Lewis Wallant,
Harvey Cushman, under whose
Christmas tree I first saw
the mouse and his child dance.
February 1967
To Randy, my friend
to Harold, my healer
To Sarah, my soul
September 2001
First words
The tramp was big and squarely built, and he walked with the rolling stride of the long road, his steps too big for the little streets of the little town.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439098262, Hardcover)

Like so many exceptional children's books, Russell Hoban's The Mouse and His Child clearly wasn't intended only for kid consumption. It certainly qualifies as a fantastic story for children: the characters are entertaining and memorable, the images powerful, the pacing tight, and the message unique and lasting. But this sweet, melancholy fable about a wind-up pair of tin mice--a dancing father and son joined at the hands--explores so many different themes of hope, perseverance, transformation, and the nature of existence (while still managing to be quite funny at times) that it's the sort of book that demands to be kept around for a lifetime of rereading.

The father and son's redemptive quest to become "self-winding" takes them through all sorts of trials, from the toy store to the dump to the swamp and back again, and all along the way the pair runs afoul of Hoban's well-realized and often menacing menagerie of characters, including the slave-driver Manny Rat, the distracted thinker Muskrat, and Crow and Mrs. Crow and their Caws of Art Experimental Theatre Group. (These last provide some of the best scenes in the book, getting a surprising amount of philosophical meat out of a play called The Last Visible Dog: "What doesn't it mean! There's no end to it--it just goes on and on until it means anything and everything, depending on who you are and what your last visible dog is.")

If you're only familiar with Russell Hoban from his Frances books (Bread and Jam for Frances), this gripping, sometimes disturbing, occasionally even violent novel might come as something of a surprise. But if you've read any of Hoban's later work, like Pilgermann or The Moment Under the Moment, then you know what this sophisticated and extraordinarily graceful writer is capable of, and why The Mouse and His Child deserves praise as one of the more profound children's works ever written. (Ages 9 to adult) --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:53 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Two discarded toy mice survive perilous adventures in a hostile world before finding security and happiness with old friends and new.

(summary from another edition)

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