TUNDRA MOUSE by Megan McDonald

TUNDRA MOUSE

A Storyknife Tale
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 McDonald (see review above) and Schindler have created an uncommon blend of folkways and natural history that underscores a gracefully told, lovingly illustrated Christmas story. In an Alaskan variant of the town mouse/country mouse tale, a wild mousereferred to as Tundra Mousefinds herself in the unfamiliar environment of a human house, where she is welcomed by the resident House Mouse. Busy arranging a nest made from Christmas tinsel stolen from the family's tree, the mice are driven back out onto the tundra by a burst water pipetheir cheek pouches still full of silver threads. Weeks later out on the tundra, the children of the household find a litter of baby mice curled up in a nest made of tinsel. These events are part of a story about ``last Christmas'' told by a Yup'ik girl, Elena, to her younger sister, Lissie, as they gather berries. The soft colored-pencil illustrations portray the mice and the landscapes with almost botanical precision, and also employ symbols based on traditional Yup'ik ``storyknife'' drawingsfigures scratched into mud or snow with the tip of a knife as the story proceeds. Younger listeners may need help with Lissie's interruptions story; older ones may want more information on tundra micespecifically, what becomes of the mice when their burrows are invaded or crushed by humans, as they are here. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-531-30047-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1997




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