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Mole and Shrew Step Out

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- If `` everybody who is anybody '' is invited to the ball at Mouse Manor, then Mole, who doesn't get a blue envelope with silver writing, determines he is nobody. Shrew asks him to escort her, instructing him to wear ``black tie and tails'' that he then goes about collecting from a lizard, a kite, etc. This makes him a laughingstock at the party, but supportive Shrew suggests they have a ``Good Friends' Ball'' and make sure nobody is left out. Ormai's watercolors create a Wind In the Willows world of well-dressed animals and cozy interiors, although the characters do not have the vivid personalities found in Grahame's story or Shepard's illustrations. The humor is not always successful, since many children will be as in the dark about black tie and tails as Mole, and will miss the full meaning of the situation even though his solution is obviously silly. That means the joke is on readers as well as on the hero. Still, the messages about friendship and the pain of not being accepted are clear without being overbearing, and the story leaves readers with warm, positive feelings. --Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Gary Young
"Everybody who is anybody," says Shrew, has been invited to the fancy ball at Mouse Manor. But Mole doesn't get an invitation and worries that he is nobody. When Shrew invites him to attend as her guest, he appears wearing all manner of tails with his black tie, much to his embarrassment when everyone just stares at him. Shrew, however, helps him out. Adults will think of "The Wind in the Willows", of animals with good and bad human manners. Children will be absorbed by the full-color illustrations complementing a story that plays with words along the way but doesn't sacrifice sense to cleverness. The principal characters are well drawn in both text and artwork. The social conflict will be obvious, and the ending is both entertaining and instructive. The book would be good bedtime reading as well as the kind of book that children will want to read later by themselves. Further adventures wouldn't be a bad idea.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689317132
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years

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