Monday, August 1, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and thirteen

Today I have a book for you that is quite unique. You will meet a cat who wants to dine on a mouse, and a mouse who does not want to become someone's dinner. Readers of all ages will be able to appreciate the situation the cat and the mouse find themselves in, and they will be able to laugh at the clever way in which the problem is resolved.

Frank Asch
Illustrations by Devin Asch
Picture Book
Ages 6 and up
Kids Can Press, 2004, 1-55337-486-X
   Mr. Maxwell is feeling in a celebratory mood. He has just been promoted, and when he arrives at his usual restaurant for lunch he decides to treat himself to a delicacy that he has not had in a long time – raw mouse. Mr. Maxwell soon finds himself face to face with his lunch, a very polite and very verbose mouse who has impeccable manners and who seems to know a great deal about the finer things in life.
   Mr. Maxwell is at first irritated by this mouse who keeps interrupting his meal. If only the creature would just be quiet and allow Mr. Maxwell to eat it. Instead the mouse has to say a prayer, he congratulates Mr. Maxwell on his promotion, and he even advises him as to what kind of wine he should have to drink.
   It isn’t before Mr. Maxwell finds himself quite unable to cut into this highly talented mouse. The two have become far too well acquainted to make the dining part of the arrangement easy
   This wonderful tongue in cheek tale has us rooting for the mouse with all our hearts and souls. Surely the clever little creature is not going to get eaten after all that he has been through. Dark and subdued computer created artwork beautifully captures the mood in the author’s cat-eat-mouse world.

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