A new twist on the classic Aesop fable.
When Tansy Mouse meets William Gray, she leads him into her country world of strawberry patches, singing birds, buzzing bees, and fresh air, “soft and sweet.” But when Will describes his city—the shops and restaurants and crowded sidewalks—and invites Tansy, “Come with me!…It’ll be an adventure,” Tansy sets off with him. But Tansy finds city life too crowded and noisy, and Will thinks the city too exciting to leave, so they part ways. However, they discover they were lonely without each other. So, as friends do, Tansy and Will find a compromise, set up housekeeping next to each other in a town between the country and the city, and live “mousily ever after.” Rudy’s intricately constructed miniature tableaux of found materials and felted characters, photographed by her, offer much to pore over, and the double-page spreads depicting pastoral scenes, city streets, and their newfound in-between town are beautifully realized. Even the gestures of the two mice are carefully orchestrated to show emotion. Light and lilting prose complements the illustrations, which are clearly a labor of love.
There’s always room for another take on a classic, especially when done so well. (Picture book. 4-8)