cover image The Bremen Town Musicians

The Bremen Town Musicians

Janet Stevens, Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm, Jacob W. Grimm. Holiday House, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0939-6

One may question the need for yet another rendering of this Brothers Grimm tale of the four aging animals who set out for Bremen to start life anew as musicians, yet who end up residing happily in a cottage whose inhabitants--three robbers--they ingeniously manage to scare away. Stevens (who also adapted and illustrated The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and The Tortoise and the Hare , among others) offers a traditional retelling, with a chipper pace and punchy dialogue. But it is her large-scale, rather dark-toned illustrations--rendered in gouache, pastels and ink and originally created on paper made from rice straw and Russian hemp--that give this volume its distinction. The pictures' unusual texture and dimension, together with the decidedly droll expressions on the faces of the bedraggled animals and the scruffy robbers, earn this version a welcome place on bookshelves. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)