THE MOUSE AND THE EGG by William Mayne


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A folk-type tale in which white-bearded old grandfather learns to be thankful for his daffy egg, though as the story opens he complains that he's tired of always having a brown egg for tea and would like something better. Grandmother is shocked but sends him to the speckled hen, who in turn provides a golden egg. But grandmother doesn't know how to cook it and eventually a wind blows in and the golden egg cracks and ""[falls] to dust."" What makes this more-or-less pious story intriguing is the resident mouse who observes it all wordlessly, tying and then untying three knots in his long tail--""because he knew, he knew""--as the proper course of events is questioned, violated, and then reinstated. Turska's European folk-style illustrations are decorative but corny; her mouse is appropriately the most provocative character, but the pictures overall don't project any of the undertones his presence puts into the story. Still, a stylish and suggestive read-aloud.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1981
Publisher: Greenwillow