MOUSE WOMAN AND THE MUDDLEHEADS by Christie Harris

MOUSE WOMAN AND THE MUDDLEHEADS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Harris' third collection of stories about the mouse/woman/spirit from Northwest Coast folklore, the little busybody again aids a princess kidnapped by a supernatural creature--and, in a switch, watches from the sidelines as a human chief takes two supernatural wives but loses them by his arrogant behavior. Mouse Woman helps another supernatural being, a kind and handsome one, get a human princess for a wife, but he doesn't keep her, and the Mouse Woman, who is given to calling other people muddleheads, observes that ""sometimes I think I'm a muddlehead myself."" In the most playful tale, Mouse Woman tricks the trickster Raven who has conned her children out of their whale meat; she is essentially an onlooker in the most serious tale of a noble princess preserving her royal line after her village is destroyed; and she gloats when a young princess dies as a result of interfering with the marriage arrangements which should be made by parents. Mouse Woman still seems to be a bit too cute and capricious for all this attention, but she does worm her way into some stories worth retelling. Whether they are worth buying no doubt depends on your experience with the first two collections.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1979
Publisher: Atheneum