Mousetropolis

R. Gregory Christie. Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2319-4
Christie (Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood) presents a stripped-down version of Aesop’s “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse” that brings the fable into the present day. City Mouse decamps to visit his “country cousin” after a bad night’s sleep in his apartment; readers see the brown mouse clutching two pillows to his ears while music streams from the turntables at a neighbor’s all-night party. The theme of music carries through Christie’s retelling: Country Mouse takes City Mouse to a jug-band jamboree, and when the mice return to the city together, dancers fill a subway platform—until a cat sends the mice scattering. While Aesop’s original favored the quiet, safe country life, Christie’s version is in line with adaptations that recognize the pros and cons of both settings. On the way to and from the jamboree, City Mouse is unnerved by the owls watching them. “This seems dangerous,” he says. “It is,” responds his cousin. “Keep walking.” Vivid acrylic paintings confer a dancer’s grace on the mice, whether they’re traversing a vast field or looking out on a ruddy sea of buildings. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Release date: 03/01/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-8234-3692-7
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