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SLIM AND JIM by Richard Egielski Kirkus Star


by Richard Egielski & illustrated by Richard Egielski

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-028352-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

Channeling Aesop through Charles Dickens, Egielski (Locust Pocus! A Book To Bug You, 2001, etc.) brings together two yo-yo–wielding urban rodents from different walks of life, and pits them against a gloriously piratical feline hoodlum. Slim, an orphaned rat living on the mean streets, meets Jim, a mouse from a well-off family, on a rooftop. Together, the two foil a jewel heist contrived by Buster, the one-eyed cat; fall into the river, where Slim saves Jim; and meet a frog that drives them to Jim’s home. As they grow up together, they share yo-yo tricks—a rock the baby, a rock the baby and then throw it out of its cradle, and a rock the alien baby on the launchpad—and see their friendship survive a tough test, eventually growing up to become professional yo-yo stars. The Caldecott Medalist has outdone himself in the art, depicting expressions, body language, and details of the narrow-laned streetscapes with even more lapidary precision than usual. He clothes his all-animal cast in mix-and-match articles from the past two centuries of fashion and captures in subtle ways the loyalty that cements this unlikely interspecies friendship. A heavily battered typeface adds to the generally raffish air of this droll, action-packed (and very silly) modern fable. (Picture book. 7-9)