Tale of Two Rats

Claude Lager, Author Stewart, Tabori, & Chang $13.95 (1p) ISBN 978-1-55670-228-0
In this winning twist on The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse --with a nod to A Tale of Two Cities --friendship conquers all, including seasickness and artistic angst. Arthur, a New York City painter, is stymied: his Big Apple customers are not interested in canvases ``of the same old stuff they see every day,'' so the talented rodent's work goes unsold. But when Arthur befriends Jack, an Italian who invites him to the old country, things change. Arthur finds exciting scenery and a parcel of caring buddies, and his cityscapes of home become hot commodities. Anxious to market his Italian-inspired work in the States, Arthur prepares to board ship--until his heart tells him otherwise. Lager's text holds little drama or adventure despite its engrossing premise. However, her basic messages--trust brings the courage to try new things; friends are of great value--ring true. Rutten's varying palette--sunny oranges and reds for the Mediterranean and gritty blues and grays in N.Y.C.--provides an engaging contrast. His jolly rats scurry from one atmospheric scene to the next with a wide-eyed innocence rarely seen in the order Rodentia. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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