THE ROLLING RICE BALL by Junichi Yoda

THE ROLLING RICE BALL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The rolling rice ball goes into a mouse hole and starts a mouse singing, so the old man rolls in his second and his third, bringing a mouse to the entrance with an invitation to visit the mouse demesne underground--all of which is comical per se and boldly pictured, making this Japanese variant of a familiar plot uncommonly suitable for preschoolers. The familiar part follows as the old man's greedy neighbor is undone trying to get a reward like the one he brings back; but the depiction of that undoing--the offender forced to dig his way up in the dark while the mice leave by their tunnel and his wife waits with a stick--provides a punchy ending. In fact it tends toward Punch and Judy buffoonery all the way.

Publisher: Parents' Magazine Press