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THREE BY THE SEA by Mini Grey Kirkus Star


by Mini Grey & illustrated by Mini Grey

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: April 5th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86784-2
Publisher: Knopf

A cat, dog and mouse live peacefully in their seaside shack—each doing his or her part to keep the household humming: Cat cleans (between naps), Mouse cooks dinner (cheese fondue only) and Dog busily buries bones. One day, a fox with a briefcase labeled “Winds of Change Trading Company Ltd.” washes ashore on a flower-patterned air mattress, dons his stripey gangster suit and barges into this salty little Eden. With meaningful whispers and strategic gifts, the out-of-the-blue Stranger sows the seeds of discontent. Dog suddenly notices Cat is, perhaps, no Martha Stewart, Cat questions Dog’s somewhat limited garden… and even enthusiasm for Mouse’s daily fondue congeals. A heated fight erupts at dinner! Heartsick Mouse runs away, but, happily, his dramatic near-drowning reunites the torn-apart trio. Still, the winds of change have blown in and enriched their once-complacent lives, infusing this pithy British import with an unusual and thought-provoking message. Grey’s wonderfully expressive, richly textured mixed-media collages leap and bound with funny details (like the “All-Purpose Flakes” box in the kitchen, perfect for both baking and bathing). Vivacious design elements such as comic-strip–like panels for action sequences and cut strips of type for the dialogue in the climactic fight add further fun. The clear, clever text—rendered in a large font—is as fresh and invigorating as the rest. (Picture book. 5-8)