Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Mouse and His Child

Author: Russell Hoban
Reading Level: Adult?

Pages: 165
Publisher: Faber and Faber, UK
Edition: Paperback, 2005 (1969)

I was thoroughly engrossed by this tale of many horrors. It's funny how it never dawned on me that the "mouse" is the father -- and of course, it's him and HIS child who have to go through all the hardship in the story. The killing fields, the betrayal, the maiming and the ill-luck -- on my goodness, how much they must endure before the triumphant finale could be rewarded!

This is a story that I as a children's literature student would have loved and thought to be exemplary as the highest form of children's literature: a story featuring tin toys with a very grown-up sensibility. What a wonderful work for children and their adults! But as a practitioner in the library field, I kept wondering whether ANY child would have the heart and stomach to go along on the arduous journey and not feeling too bogged down or burdened.

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