THE MOUSE AND HIS CHILD by David Small
Kirkus Star

THE MOUSE AND HIS CHILD

illustrated by & by
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

"Be naked" our departing predecessor pinned to the bulletin board, and we have never felt so vuluerable as in anticipating the response to Russell Hoban's arresting departure from juvenile precedent. "I want to find the elephant... to be my mama," says the mouse child, remembering the toy shop, to the other windups. "and I want the seal to be my sister, and I want us all to live in the beautiful house." Mouse & Child's frustrating, harrowing, sometimes funny quest is also a flight--from Manny Rat, the ultimate underworldling who is both Lucifer and Luciano. Through trashcan and dump, past murder and robbery and war, into the obscurities of the Caws of Art (two crows on a bare stage), Muskrat's Much-in-Little ("Why times How equals What"), and the contemplation of infinity (by the turtle author of "The last Visible Dog") they pace their little circles, searching for a way to become self-winding, the child to clinging his faith in a future. At last, beyond the last visible dog (on the disintegrating label of a can) the child finds the answer--"nothing but us." Irony, satire, parody--and an implicit, unrestricted compassion (except for fools). The two windups survive shattering and reassembling, finally reform Manny Rat and establish family and fellowship in their own territory. "Be happy," the tramp blesses them in what could be a blessing for the book--and we will "be asked" and say that man and child will recognize themselves in Mouse & Child. A rich disturbing, very touching book.
Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1967
ISBN: 0439098262
Page count: 244pp
Publisher: Harper & Row
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1967




MORE BY DAVID SMALL

ChildrenTHE QUIET PLACE by Sarah Stewart
by Sarah Stewart
ChildrenONE COOL FRIEND by David Small
by Toni Buzzeo
ChildrenELSIE'S BIRD by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen

MORE BY RUSSELL HOBAN

ChildrenJIM'S LION by Russell Hoban
by Russell Hoban
ChildrenROSIE'S MAGIC HORSE by Russell Hoban
by Russell Hoban
ChildrenSOONCHILD by Russell Hoban
by Russell Hoban

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

IndieTHE COZIES by T.L.  Fischer
by T.L. Fischer