The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
A gorgeously illustrated and poetically written classic, set in a 1930s-era city at Christmastime
Rediscover the tale of the simple country mouse, magically retold by Helen Ward. Beguiled by his cousin’s amazing tales, the country mouse visits the electric city. Unfortunately the town mouse forgot to mention that the city has a lot of noise, tall buildings . . . and dangerous dogs! Helen Ward’s 1930s New York at Christmas is at once gorgeous and frighteningly busy. In the end the reader understands both why the town mouse loves his exciting life and why the country mouse is content with his peaceful home.
Helen Ward won the first Walker Prize for Children’s Illustration and twice won the British National Art Library Award. She has also been short-listed for the 2003 Kate Greenaway Medal. She lives in Gloucestershire, England.
A splendid retelling of Aesop’s familiar fable. . . .Sumptuous watercolor illustrations enhance the rural/urban juxtaposition with luminous close-ups of country mouse immersed in the seasonal flora and fauna of the English countryside and overwhelmed by the "noise and bustle and hum" of a 1930s-era city at Christmas. The richly detailed illustrations invite and reward close inspection. A visual stunner.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Brief, beautifully descriptive text placed amid charming watercolor illustrations. . . Ward’s lush pastoral illustrations bring out the deep contrasts between rural and city life. As the city cousin describes the "noise and bustle and hum" of his home, the accompanying painting shows a huge, shining harvest moon resting on a field of wheat sheaves and branches of plump blueberries and golden apples. City scenes are busy with tall, sprawling buildings and their leaded windows; armloads of Christmas gifts and ornaments; overladen sweet tables. This retelling, closely based on the original short fable, is a worthy addition to any collection.
—School Library Journal (starred review)