Title: The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
Author/Illustrator: Helen Ward (from Aesop)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publ. Date: Sept. 11, 2012
Helen Ward's retelling of Aesop's fable is traditional in its approach. There are no surprises in the text. All ends as it always does: the town mouse still likes the town best and vice-versa. East-west, home is best, and all that jazz.
The reason I have decided to review The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse here at Storied Cities is simply because Ward's illustrations are so lovely. The town is no "town" at all. It is New York City in the 1930s! At Christmas! What could be better? Not much, I tell you. At first the little country mouse is dazzled by "great towers of smooth stone and glass," electric elevators, sumptuous holiday feasts, and cozy Christmas trees that make great sleeping nooks. Unfortunately, the city also comes equipped with one highly menacing pug dog, who sends the country mouse scampering back to home-sweet-home. The town mouse, however, doesn't mind his canine pal and curls up for a good gorgonzola-induced nap.
There are only a few city scenes in this book but they are worth it, and country lovers will enjoy Ward's illustrations of the more natural side of life. It's an excellent choice for some cozy holiday reading.
Try a different variation on the country mouse-city mouse theme with Love, Mouserella, or the duo Brown Rabbit in the City/Moon Rabbit.
Read an article in The Guardian about Helen Ward.