GUSTAVE by Rémy Simard

GUSTAVE

by ; illustrated by translated by
Age Range: 4 - 6
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Greater love hath no mouse….

Simard and Pratt tell in an uncompromisingly honest style the tale of a mouse whose best friend, Gustave, is eaten by a cat, apparently sacrificing himself to save the narrator and allow him to escape. Once the terrified mouse is sure Gustave is gone, he wanders alone through a bleak urban landscape, dreading going home to his mother without his dearest friend. Finally, he returns to the mousehole. Mother is making dinner. She has already guessed what happened and has a plan to make her son feel better. She pulls out a life-size stuffed mouse, identical to Gustave in every feature, which she just happens to have on hand. The mouse declares, “You will never be Gustave,” but he decides quickly that the lifelike toy will be an acceptable substitute, and in his imagination, it can come alive. Strikingly illustrated in a painterly style reminiscent of Whistler’s nightscapes, with sparse, hand-printed text, the book is clearly aiming to make an impression. Textured acrylic washes and figures heavily outlined in black give the book a gloomy, threatening air. For all the beauty of its artwork, the tone of this book is surprisingly somber for a children’s book, and readers may find it hard to discern a positive message.

Share this book with children who have a high level of tolerance for ambiguity—and be ready to discuss. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-55498-451-0
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2014




MORE BY RÉMY SIMARD

ChildrenSIMONE: EVEN MORE MONSTROUS by Rémy Simard
by Rémy Simard
ChildrenSIMONE: THE BEST MONSTER EVER! by Rémy Simard
by Rémy Simard
ChildrenHORRENDO'S CURSE by Anna Fienberg
by Anna Fienberg

MORE BY PIERRE PRATT

ChildrenONE IS A LOT (EXCEPT WHEN IT'S NOT) by Mượn Thị Văn
by Mượn Thị Văn
ChildrenSTOP FEEDIN' DA BOIDS! by James Sage
by James Sage

MORE BY SHELLEY TANAKA

ChildrenWHO BELIEVES WHAT? by Anna Wills
by Anna Wills
ChildrenTHE BREADWINNER by Deborah Ellis
by Deborah Ellis

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE LION AND THE BIRD by Marianne Dubuc
by Marianne Dubuc
ChildrenBOOM, SNOT, TWITTY by Doreen Cronin
by Doreen Cronin
ChildrenGOODBYE MOUSIE by Robie H. Harris
by Robie H. Harris