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The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

by Helen Ward

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674334,552 (4.18)7
A retelling of Aesop's well-known fable in which a country mouse visits a town mouse and they find they prefer very different ways of life. Set in 1930s New York at Christmas.

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Showing 4 of 4
This is an exceptionally lovely rendition of the story. The animals are depicted in natural style - no clothing or anthropomorphic props. Each page is lush with nature or city abundance, and there is sly humor here. The town mouse is bragging "And we don't have dangerous wild animals." as the two mice pass a sleeping fawn. In town, the danger is presented by a vigilant and pugnacious pug dog. The tabletop abundance and mouseprints remind me of The Mouse in the House, by Henrietta.
The paintings are lush and moody - harvest fields by moonlight type. Love to dawdle on these pages and drink in the richness. ( )
  2wonderY | Sep 18, 2013 |
This retelling of the classic Aesop's fable has gorgeous pictures. Country Mouse becomes envious of the life Town Mouse describes - one of hustle and bustle and action. He decides to go visit Town Mouse to see what it's all about. While he's there, he experiences some of the fun of the city but also comes to appreciate aspects of his home that he truly misses. We have good discussion afterwards about taking risks and being happy with our choices.
  scducharme | Jun 3, 2013 |
Grades 2 and up

Sumptuous illustrations highlight this retelling. The text is fairly simple and straightforward, but readers will pore over Ward's vivid watercolors. When he repays the visit of his more urbane cousin, the country mouse finds himself in an early 20th-century city, where wagons co-exist with electric lights and magical up and down elevators. The Christmas decorations add to the lavishness of the country mouse's new environment, but he discovers he prefers the simplicity and quiet of the countryside, and happily finds his way home.

If you own Jan Brett's version, also beautifully illustrated, then this isn't an essential purchase. But the compare and contrast possibilities, as well as the beauty of the book, make it worthwhile.
( )
  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
Aesop's fable of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse is an old one, but Helen Ward's tender re-visitation is poetic and playful. When Country Mouse is visited by his cousin, Town Mouse, his tales of the city leave our protagonist itching for a glimpse at the busy, bustling life. But once he makes his long trip and sees the skyscrapers and electric lights for himself, Country Mouse wonders if home isn't exactly where he belongs. Ward's simple but carefully-selected language is so descriptive, it's perfect for young readers eager to learn new words. But the real star here is Ward's breathtaking watercolor illustrations; her play on light and perspective make each turn of the page a delight. The detail and care taken with every painting will keep readers gazing into her exquisite, colorful world, long after the words have been read. Grades 2-4. ( )
  sroslund | Oct 8, 2012 |
Showing 4 of 4
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A retelling of Aesop's well-known fable in which a country mouse visits a town mouse and they find they prefer very different ways of life. Set in 1930s New York at Christmas.

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