Monday, November 9, 2009

School Library Journal - "Children will find a lot to discover in the details, even after repeated readings".

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In solving the Aesop riddle, von Buhler creates a lavish castle complete with handmade rooms, highly decorated backgrounds, and characters formed as cutout paper dolls...The back jacket flap details von Buhler’s production of her illustrations. As the story begins, a two-tiered, upstairs-downstairs setting finds Princess and her eight spoiled cats enjoying luxurious lives in contrast to the humdrum basement surroundings of Mouse and his friend Brown Bat. Determined to share some of that good life, Mouse devises a number of schemes to bell the felines, only to be outwitted (and needing rescue from Brown Bat) at every turn. After learning that Princess is about to celebrate her birthday with a party, Mouse finally, and cleverly, concocts a way to accomplish his mission; with the cats belled, the final page finds the duo indulging in an array of gooey birthday treats. This tale will work well in conjunction with Aesop’s original fable, which conveniently prefaces the story. Children will find a lot to discover in the details, even after repeated readings.–Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA for School Library Journal