Monday, November 9, 2009

Kirkus Reviews: "Young readers will pore over this one again and again."

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August, 2009:
Following a retelling of the Aesop fable, Von Buhler embellishes the tale with a luxurious castle, a princess, some pampered cats and an inventive, brave mouse with a faithful bat friend. The poor mouse lives in a dark basement, cold and hungry, surviving on the crumbs that fall through the floorboards. He has grandiose schemes to bell the cats, involving elaborate costumes. Of course he is spotted each time and subjected to much humiliation by the cats. The Princess’s unexpected kindness inspires the mouse’s final, successful plan. It’s an upstairs-downstairs scenario carried through in every way, the spreads frequently split in two horizontally to show the contrast. The typeface is appropriate to the location, heavy and bright in the Princess’s rooms, while thin and pale in the mouse’s quarters. The action is richly illustrated in profusely detailed multimedia collage, framed in ornate gilt, which again emphasizes the differences in the lifestyles of the characters. The upstairs scenes glow in lavish, bright gold tones, and the downstairs scenes are dark and gloomy. Young readers will pore over this one again and again. (Picture book. 5-8) - Kirkus Reviews