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Grey Mouse

Overview


In this twist on an old tale, it is not the leopard who wants to change its spots, it's a lonely grey mouse who craves color and excitement in her life. To attract a friend, she assumes various guises: green to charm a frog, zippy stripes to appeal to a zebra, polka dots to lure a ladybug. When all the creatures laugh at her, she feels bluer than blue. Diving into some water to avoid a swarm of bees, the soggy mouse hears the squeaky little voice of an eager new playmate -- ...
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Overview


In this twist on an old tale, it is not the leopard who wants to change its spots, it's a lonely grey mouse who craves color and excitement in her life. To attract a friend, she assumes various guises: green to charm a frog, zippy stripes to appeal to a zebra, polka dots to lure a ladybug. When all the creatures laugh at her, she feels bluer than blue. Diving into some water to avoid a swarm of bees, the soggy mouse hears the squeaky little voice of an eager new playmate -- another grey mouse.

Grey Mouse is lonely and tired of being grey, so she changes her appearance to see if that will help.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chipper graphics soup up a familiar premise about being yourself in this picture book from a Dutch team. Grey Mouse, feeling "blue," tries to cheer herself up by painting herself different colors. When she tries green, Frog laughs at her; when she attempts polka dots, the ladybugs fly away. The plot offers one or two twists before arriving at its predictable destination: restored to her natural shade, Grey Mouse finds friends who look just like her. Min makes every stroke count in her pictures. She paints Grey Mouse's head, ears and torso as exaggeratedly large shapes, while the expressive facial features and long skinny limbs seem crayoned in, for maximum fluidity. Ample white space sets off Min's canny approach to composition. For example, Grey Mouse's head occupies most of the spread as she, butternut-colored, declares, "Yellow is not a happy color"; in the upper left corner, viewers can glimpse a bird in matching hues who does not deign to stop and play. The artist's spare use of what appear to be collage elements (a florist's patterned wrapping paper; leaves printed on textured paper) subtly quickens the visual momentum. Ages 2-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Grey Mouse is bored, lonely and tired of being grey. She paints her nose red, but goose just giggles at her instead of playing with her. She tries green, but frog has the same reaction. Yellow, polka dots and stripes are also unsuccessful. When she tries a flower pattern, the bees chase her into the water and the paint is washed off. As she emerges from the water, Grey Mouse meets a whole group of mice that invite her to play. She stays grey, but she is not lonely anymore. This book has a very similar premise to Elmer, the story of the patchwork elephant who wanted to be like everyone else. The text of the story is very simple and lends itself to prediction. Min's illustrations are a combination of paint and collage that give a warm, friendly feel to the characters. Grey Mouse's expressions support the text nicely. Young children will enjoy the simple story of liking oneself. 2002 (orig. 2001), Front Street, $14.95. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: Carol Lynch AGES: 3 4 5 6
School Library Journal
PreS-A story about identity and belonging. One morning, Grey Mouse is feeling blue and decides that painting herself a bright color might cheer her up. First, she experiments with a red nose, only to be laughed at by a red-beaked goose. Further attempts to lighten her mood through color and to blend in with the animals around her are also unsuccessful. After painting flowers on her fur, she is chased into the water by overly enthusiastic bees. The adventure proves fortuitous when she resurfaces in a colony of amiable mice that look just like her. The intended audience may be confused by the description of the mouse's emotional state as "blue" when she is in fact gray, and by a story in which coloration is used as a metaphor for feelings. The artwork employs a good deal of white space that highlights solidly painted, simply rendered figures. A winsome pictorial depiction of the protagonist does add some charm to this slight, somewhat illogical story.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
First published in the Netherlands, this uncomplicated tale about friendship and the journey to self-acceptance now debuts in the US. "One day, Grey Mouse felt blue. She was bored and lonely. And she was tired of being grey," reads the opening. Min (Peter's Patchwork Dream, not reviewed, etc.) pictures the angular mouse with her head hanging low, tiny paws drawn to her temples. On the next page, she holds a bucket of red paint and a brush. "Maybe Goose will play with me now," she says after painting her nose red to match the goose's bill. Sadly, "goose just giggled." Throughout, Min's mixed-media illustrations set against the plain white page depict Grey Mouse trying on a variety of different colors and patterns. She paints herself green like "Frog," red with polka dots to match the ladybugs, and striped like "Zebra." Each time, the emulated animals appear in the corner mocking Mouse's efforts. The only creatures that don't cringe are the bees. Attracted to the flowers that she has decorated herself with, they chase Grey Mouse all the way to a pool of water into which she dives. Deep blue fills the interior spread as the flowers slip off and the muted mouse glides eyes-closed through the murky depths. When she reemerges she's met with a surprise. " ‘Hi,' said a squeaky little voice." In the final illustration, mice are popping up all over the place (" ‘Hi,' said another. ‘Hello,' said another. And ‘Let's play,' said another." Grey Mouse, unadorned, has finally found friends. An affirming read. (Picture book. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781886910768
  • Publisher: Lemniscaat USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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