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MR. MAXWELL’S MOUSE by Frank Asch Kirkus Star


by Frank Asch & illustrated by Devin Asch

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-55337-486-X
Publisher: Kids Can

This father/son team has concocted a delicious cat-and-mouse tale in which small outsmarts large. Every day, Mr. Howard Maxwell, a proper and pompous cat, orders baked mouse at the Paw and Claw Restaurant until the day of his promotion to Vice Manager of Efficiency Control, when he chooses a raw mouse for his entrée. When the dish arrives, the white mouse, reclining on rye toast, engages Mr. Maxwell in conversation (despite his mother’s admonitions not to fraternize with his food), employing one ruse after another to delay his demise: sprinkling salt, ordering a glass of wine, and requesting a prayer. The mouse deviously creates a catastrophe that enables him to escape and free all the other mice. The computer-generated art is stylishly elegant, dramatically colored in dark hues of slate and black, and handsomely designed with the text printed in white on black sidebars. Effective telescopic perspectives zoom closer as the mouse gets nearer to being eaten. Visually stunning, the period setting (1930s England?), captivating illustrations, and tongue-in-cheek dialogue create a delectable tail, er, tale of one-upmouseship to be savored. (Picture book. 5-8)