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MARY AND THE MOUSE, THE MOUSE AND MARY by Beverly Donofrio Kirkus Star


by Beverly Donofrio & illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-83609-1
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

“Mary lived in a big house with a very little mouse.” And sure enough, the twain does meet. Captivating illustrations chronicle the parallel lives of Mary and the mouse as they grow up. They discover each other one day after dinner when Mary drops a fork and the mouse drops a spoon at the same time and they spot each other through the mouse hole. Every night from then on, they drop a utensil and wave to each other. Both girls grow up and move out and have daughters—who meet and share a similar friendship. The story by itself is understated and quiet, but the delight is in the details of the side-by-side and top-to-bottom panels: The mouse’s clothes emulate Mary’s; a human watch on a mouse wall becomes their clock and stools are made of thread spools. An ample-sized format allows McClintock’s fine-lined art to invigorate each bifurcated scene and embellish the miniature appeal of The Borrowers and the fashions of the decades from the 1950s into the hippie years. Cleverly designed, inventively enacted and charming from fork to finish. (Picture book. 4-8)